Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Disneyland's Splash Mountain Closes as Tiana's Bayou Adventure Makes Progress

© NewsPlusNotes
Disneyland's Splash Mountain closed for good yesterday evening after sporting waits that hit around 4 hours long, at least according to the park's app.  The ride went out without any sort of big fanfare from the theme park, as the focus is on the future of the attraction, not the past.  That future is Tiana's Bayou Adventure, a total retheme of the ride which is slated to open in both Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom in late 2024.  The ride closed in Florida earlier this year, and Imagineering is already hard at work on the changes.

© NewsPlusNotes

Splash Mountain was a beloved attraction that maybe, probably, never should have had the theme it did, and it didn't age well.  But that's not the point of this post, the point is more to look at some new news that Disney has put out about Tiana's Bayou Adventure... and to saw farewell to Splash Mountain.  Many of us have happy memories of the ride for various reasons, whether on a family vacation to Orlando or with friends in California.

© Disney
Tiana's Bayou Adventure will see visitors enter the word of The Princess And The Frog, and be led through the ride by Tiana and her friendly alligator pal Louis.  The pair will be planning a special Mardi Gras celebration and we're invited, of course!  Since the plot of the feature movie, Tiana has started her own food company, aptly named Tiana's Foods, and purchased a salt mine and brought it and the surrounding area back to life.  There's a boutique farm and a professional kitchen area, I'm assuming all of which will be seen in the ride.  Overflowing with success, Tiana is now ready to throw that big celebration for us all as we visit her bustling salt mine food company combination.

© Disney
This recent video from Disney gives am idea of how the exterior of the attraction will look, which includes a tiara-topped water tower up on the hill.  According to Disney that water tower will be lifted into place on the Florida ride sometime this summer.  The ride is taking on a more New Orleans feel, obviously, but generally we're not going to see anything super dramatic that will change how the ride looks from the midway.

© Disney
Lastly, and most recently, Disney has revealed that the ride will also feature Mama Odie during the ride, and the character will be voiced by Jenifer Lewis as she was in the movie.  The above concept art was released depicting guests seeing some magic performed by Mama Odie after meeting her for the first time.  Disney is also stressing that Tiana's Bayou Adventure will feature brand new characters that park fans can fall in love with, "dozens" of new audio-animatronics, new music along with familiar songs from the movie, the scent of baking beignets in the ride's queue and much of the cast of the original movie reprising their character roles for the ride.

Monday, May 29, 2023

RipQurl Blaster Water Coaster to Open Soon at Six Flags America

* Had to get a new computer, back in business now!

© Six Flags America
One of the last 'surprise' announcements that Six Flags made earlier this year that I haven't covered was for Six Flags America's new water roller coaster addition.  Joining the park's Hurricane Harbor area, RipQurl Blaster is being billed as the largest part of the park's biggest investment in the water park in over a decade.  The water coaster itself will be the "regions tallest master blaster water coaster" though I am not sure what is considered the region.  The ride itself is a long way from one of the largest of its kind to be built, but still an exciting addition for the property.


© Six Flags America

RipQurl Blaster's layout is seen above, and it features "three powerful uphill rip currents" that rafts will encounter.  There is a total of 550 feet of twist and turns, and there will be three separate drops.  Special features in the layout also include "AquaLucent hairpin turns, a pitch-black wallhugging helix and of course a big splashdown" at the end of the ride.

© Six Flags America

“We are excited to debut RipQurl Blaster, which will be both a thrilling and refreshing experience for guests visiting this summer,” said General Manager Ramar Vaughan. “This is just one of many investments we’re making to be the DMV’s most convenient and enjoyable out-of-home experience for the whole family."  The new attraction is expected to be built next to the park's wave pool and will replace the floor drop slides that were previously there.

Six Flags America has a new general manger who is committed to making a lot of changes to the park.  The changes include more special events such a Viva La Fiesta, Pride Week, Thrill-A-Thon and more, plus a ton of cosmetic changes.  This year the park will see updated restrooms, new shade structures, restored decorative fountains, new paint and theming all over, expanded seating areas, new midway games, additional landscaping and plenty more.

Monday, April 17, 2023

Lake Compounce Keeps Wildcat Closed for Renovations + Adds Titan Track to Boulder Dash

© Lake Compounce
The historic Wildcat wooden roller coaster at Lake Compounce will be closed for 2023 while work on the ride takes place, the park has announced on social media.  The park is only saying they are working on a large "improvement project" that requires the ride to stay closed this year.  The ride will probably be receiving a large amount of track repair and replacement, and perhaps even some more modern fixes to help smooth out the track. 


Thankfully the park is being clear and there is no need to worry that the classic wooden coaster is on its way out, in fact the park notes that the ride "is an iconic part of our park’s history, and we intend for it to be a cherished part of our park's future."  The PTC designed ride opened in 1927 and was designed by Herbert Schmeck.

© Lake Compounce
In other Lake Compounce news, the park has reported that Boulder Dash has received Great Coaster International/Skyline Attraction's Titan Track on its first drop, showing off the renovations on social media as well.  A full 580 feet of the no-weld steel track has been placed on the drop, meant to make a smoother ride and prolong the life of the coaster as well.  Looks great!  I have to wonder if Wildcat will feature any of this track as part of its renovations this year?

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Enhancing Animal Experiences in 2023

© NewsPlusNotes
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is once again turning its focus to the park's various animal exhibits in 2023 with the addition of The Rainforest Trail.  The attraction will be "set amongst water features and plant life designed to represent the special ecosystem of a rainforest" and will feature "over 500 free flying butterflies from around the world, colorful fish, a slot and more."

Guest will be able to take the whole family on the journey to the Rainforst Trail, which is meant to "transport guests to a lush tropical environment which includes encounters with exotic animals."


© Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
“We are excited to continue the park’s 37-year legacy of providing educational and thrilling wildlife adventures for our guests,” said General Manager Kirk Smith. “The Rainforest Trail, new Shark Experience, and other recent animal additions solidifies our commitment to delivering the most unique and innovative experiences for our guests. From world-class rollercoasters to breathtaking animal presentations, we have it all.”

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom will also be creating a newly enhanced Shark Experiences for visitors to explore.  The park will make state of the art audio and visual enhancements and add-on interactive educational opportunities to "compliment the existing walkthrough underwater tunnel and floor to ceiling viewing windows" that visitors have enjoyed for three decades. 

Other animal additions in 2023 include new animal interaction programs:

    Dolphin Discovery – Swim alongside these amazing ocean creatures;
    Wildlife Adventure Tour – An intimate and private tour around the park with awe-inspiring meetings with the park’s majestic animals;
    Sharks in the Dark – Sleep overnight in the park’s Shark Experience amongst the calm shadows of these creatures of the deep;
    Backstage Safari – Go behind the scenes and learn how the park’s animal care specialists care for the unique assembly of animals at Six Flags;
    Merlin’s Fins & Friends – Come face-to-face with the park’s famous Bottlenose Dolphins;
    Paint N’ Create – Create a truly unique work of art with a dolphin or penguin;
    Cain’s Lion Encounter – Discover the unique personalities of the park’s lion pride; and
    Sal’s Slither & Scales – Burrow into the fascinating world of reptiles.

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Dino Off Road Adventure Family Ride Opening at Six Flags New England in 2023

© Six Flags New England
Six Flags New England is gearing up for the opening of a new family adventure ride named Dino Off Road Adventure, which is scheduled to open Memorial Day Weekend.  The attraction will feature life size animatronic dinosaurs with "realistic sound and movement" placed along one of the park's existing family car rides in the Kidzopolis area.

Billed as the "first of its kind in New England," the ride is a combination of "technology and innovation" featuring an "off-road adventure where guests come face to face with life-size dinosaurs, thematic elements, state of the art sound, interactive Adventure Guides, educational components and more."

© Six Flags New England
“Family-fun is part of our DNA here at Six Flags New England and Dino Off Road Adventure delivers exceptional thrills for our youngest thrill seekers,” said Park President Pete Carmichael. “Our guests will experience an adventure of prehistoric proportion as they step back in time and come face to face with life-size dinosaurs with larger than life effects and sound. Our Team is committed to creating exceptional experiences and the 2023 season promises to deliver for dinosaur lovers of all ages.”    


© Six Flags New England
Highlights of the Dino Off Road Adventure include:

• Life-size dinosaurs including a Tyrannosaurus Rex, Dilophosauras, Maiasaura, Pachycephalosaur and many more;   

• Select dinosaurs feature life-like sound and state-of-the-art animatronic movement with realistic head, eye, tail and body movement; 

• Safari style vehicle driven along a track with a capacity of two riders;

• Young adventurers traverse through an interactive off-road adventure with dinosaur theming, interactive Baby Tyrannosaurus Rex and Adventure Guides;  

• Educational queue line with interactive QR component;  

• Midway Dinosaur Photo Opportunity for social media and family photos; and 

• Dinosaur themed specialty food items and drink options that will please any ROARING appetite. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Rookie Racer Family Coaster Headed to Six Flags St. Louis in 2023

© Six Flags St. Louis
Six Flags St. Louis had a fun surprise for smaller visitors earlier this year when they announced the addition of Rookie Racer, a kid friendly brand new roller coaster.  The ride will be loosely themed to Formula 1 racing, with guests sitting in the driver's seat their own cars as they "careen along the steel track."

© Six Flags St. Louis

© Six Flags St. Louis
“We are very excited to be able to provide coaster thrills to our younger guests with the addition of the new Rookie Racer,” said Park President John Krajnak. “This family ride has the look and feel of a major coaster with a height requirement that will allow smaller kids to ride with their parents and older siblings to provide an adrenaline charged experience like only Six Flags can.” 


© Six Flags St. Louis
Rookie Racer will be manufactured by Vekoma and feature one train with 8 cars.  The ride stretches 843 feet in length, features "a series of s-curves and a 540 degree horizontal loop," and hits a top speed of 27 miles per hour.  As a true family ride, the coaster will only have a 36 inch height requirement.  The Rookie Racer will be located near the entrance to The Boss roller coaster.

Sunday, April 9, 2023

Six Flags Great Adventure Making Huge Investment in Hurrican Harbor in 2023

© Six Flags Great Adventure
Six Flags Great Adventure has announced that they are making a huge investment in Hurricane Harbor, the water park adjacent to the theme park, for the 2023 season.  In fact, the investment will be the largest at the water park in two decades.  The changes will be seen throughout the park, and include many improvements, additional amenities and a new family attraction.

Interim Park President Randy Wilke highlighted the new additions, saying, “As one of the Northeast’s largest water parks, we are focused on increasing value for families and elevating the guest experience. This significant investment brings state-of-the-art kids’ attractions geared towards children under 42 inches tall, plus park enhancements aimed at providing exciting new experiences for all ages.”


© Six Flags Great Adventure
The biggest draw will be a new interactive splash play tower named Splash Island.  It will feature a "playful sea creature beach theme" with several kid friendly water slides, vibrant colors and more that 50 play features.  It will feature a giant tipping bucket that will splash down on spectators below, and the entire addition is sure to keep families busy for hours this summer.

Hurricane Harbor will also be adding seven new kid friendly water slides, all smaller versions of popular grown up attractions.  With names like Cowabunga, Jellyfish Twist, Shark Attack and the Stingray Racer, just to name a few, the new kids slides will be a huge improvement over the park's current offerings.

Throughout the entire park there will be more shade structures added, more cabanas available to rent and new dining offerings.  These include a new open air dining experience near Splash Island that will be able to keep hungry families playing in the sun all day.

Monday, April 3, 2023

Cedar Fair Ends Relationship with Camp Cedar Near Kings Island

© Camp Cedar

Cedar Fair has ended their relationship with the luxury cottage and campground near Kings Island, now named Camp Cedar, after only a couple years.  The company never owned the new development, instead they had a management contract in place to operate the facility.  The property was previously known as Kings Island Camp Cedar, and was announced in late 2020 and opened to guests in 2021.  It is located less than a mile from Kings Island.

According to this news article the new management company for Camp Cedar is named Advanced Outdoor Solutions, which has been in business for two decades and specializes in outdoor hospitality.  The new operators are planning on making improvements to Camp Cedar immediately, including making it pet friendly, adding RV rentals and hosting plenty of family-friendly activates on site.  They will still offer shuttles to Kings Island and honor a season pass holder discount.

Looking back, Camp Cedar and the deal to run it was never really mentioned much at all by Cedar Fair in the two years they managed it.  It's curious for the relationship to end so suddenly, but then again Cedar Fair also quietly ended their management contract for Gilroy Gardens last year as well.  Perhaps that's just not a business model they are interested in.  On the other hand, maybe Cedar Fair just stepped in to run the development to help get it open, as it has value as an obvious feeder for the park, while never planning to run it long term. 

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Aquaman Power Wave Now Open at Six Flags Over Texas

© Six Flags Over Texas
Good things come to those who wait, and in this case we've waited several years for Aquaman Power Wave to open at Six Flags Over Texas, and the time has finally come!  The thrilling water attraction was first announced in late 2019 and planned to open in 2020.  The pandemic had another idea about that, but then the ride was further delayed in order to make capacity improvements - in the end the ride is opening about 3 years later than expected.


© Six Flags Over Texas

© Six Flags Over Texas

Aquaman Power Wave is the first water coaster of its kind in North America, and is one of Mack Rides' PowerSplash attractions.  It utilizes launches to send the car forward and backward up two 150 foot tall towers over 700 feet of track at a top speed of 63 miles per hour.  The park made a change to the ride to add a turntable that allows for two, 20 passenger boats to be used to increase overall capacity.

The ride features a giant splash at the end of the last dive off the tower which is sure to soak riders along the way.


© Six Flags Over Texas

© Six Flags Over Texas
“Six Flags Over Texas is known for providing innovative thrills and delivering the special moments that create fond family memories,” said Six Flags Over Texas Park President Richard Douaihy. “We are so excited to introduce AQUAMAN: Power Wave to legions of thrill seekers, and we feel that Spring Break is the perfect time for the grand opening of this epic new attraction,” added Douaihy.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Rides on Cotaland's New Coasters to Wait until at Least Late 2024

© Cotaland
Cotaland is a brand new amusement park under development at the Circuit of the Americas, a large raceway in Texas.  The park has been slowly coming to life for some time now, and has made some pretty big and impressive announcements of attractions slated to open with the park.  Right now Cotaland offers some children's attractions and a couple family rides for visitors to enjoy on race days.

Originally it was believed that the full amusement park would be opening sometime in 2023, but sadly the park has confirmed that the soonest we can get rides on their new thrillers will be "late 2024."  The park is currently slated to have 27 rides, up from 25 when it was first announced.  When completed the park is expected to cover around 20 acres.


The delay in opening means that the park's Vekoma Tilt Coaster, seen above in concept and named Circuit Breaker, will have to be highly anticipated for a bit longer.  The same goes for a unique Gerstlauer Infinity Shuttle coaster named Palindrome, and the high flying and first of its kind SkyBlazer ride.  Just remember, they say good things come to those who wait!

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Busch Gardens Tampa Opens New Serengeti Flyer Swing Thrill Ride

© Busch Gardens Tampa
Busch Gardens Tampa has opened their new thrilling swing attraction, Serengeti Flyer.  One of S&S's Screamin' Swings, the ride is being billed as the "world's tallest and fastest ride of its kind."  Busch Entertainment has built several of these rides at different parks in the past 5 years, with each one coming in as just taller and faster than the previous instillation.

© Busch Gardens Tampa
In the case of Busch Gardens Tampa, the Serengeti Flyer will swing riders up to 135 feet in the sky at maximum reach.  The ride, which is located in a part of the park's 65 acre Serengeti Plain area, swings at a maximum speed of 68 miles per hour.  Riders are arranged in back to back rows of ten across two gondolas, allowing for a maximum of 40 riders to ride per cycle.



© Busch Gardens Tampa
"Thrills are in full swing at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay with yet another exciting record-setting ride for our guests to enjoy," said Neal Thurman, Park President of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. "As the world's tallest and fastest ride of its kind, Serengeti Flyer joins a world-class portfolio of attractions, offering breathtaking views of the park and a one-of-a-kind experience for all our guests."

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Cedar Fair Announces Frist Phase of ESports Development at CP Sports Center

© Cedar Fair
The first phase of the planned Esports arena has been announced to open this coming May at the Cedar Point Sports Center in Sandusky, near Cedar Point.  The initial phase is greatly scaled back from the original plans that were released in 2021, but also note that they say this is just a first phase.  Perhaps they need to test the waters to see if interest is there for the larger project first.

The development opening in May will consist of a 1,000 square foot space in the existing building, not any type of actual physical expansion of the center.  Known as Cedar Point Esports, it will feature 32 "competative gaming setups against the backdrop of multimedia video displays that have the flexibility to connect for larger events."  The equipment will be "top-tier" professional and will allow for "practice, competition and extra-curricular play."  The plan is to create Northern Ohio's "premier immersive gaming experience for leagues, camps and clinics."

“Cedar Fair’s long-term strategy is focused on delivering immersive entertainment experiences that differentiate our parks and create an environment where guests want to come back again and again,” said Richard A. Zimmerman, president and chief executive officer. 


Cedar Fair is partnering with North Coast Entertainment to develop and run the facility as an amenity for the Cedar Point Sports Center.  It will be open to visitors and the public as well.  Cedar Fair does note that this first phase will "serve as the gateway from the existing Cedar Point Sports Center to the upcoming larger Phase II expansion.  Future plans for the development are likely to include food, beverage and a larger competitive space."

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Wildcat's Revenge at Hersheypark Photos + POV Video Update

© Hersheypark
While I've been hibernating the winter away, Hersheypark has been hard at work on Wildcat's Revenge, the Rocky Mountain Construction conversion of the Wildcat wooden coaster into a modern steel tracked thriller.  That's a dramatic introduction, sure, but the new version of the ride looks awesome!

© Hersheypark
The park released these images a while ago, and honestly has made much progress in the weeks since.  Crews did not wait long to start removing the Wildcat's wooden coaster track in order to build up new supports that will handle the crazy steel track they've designed.  The first major element to be constructed is the "world's largest underflip," the rise into which can be seen above.

© Hersheypark
The element comes directly after the ride's 140 foot lift hill/first drop and actually utilizes the former coaster's top-of-the-lift supports and the former first drop.  The new element is much taller that the ride's original lift hill, so RMC just built up the supports to match the harrowing height of the new underflip.

When Wildcat's Revenge was first announced the park did not release the full animated point of view ride video, but they have now!  Not much is really a surprise in this video as we already knew of the coaster's new layout, but it's always great to get extra excited for a new coaster via the ride's animation.  Take a spin below!

Monday, March 6, 2023

Classic Mindbender Schwarzkopf Coaster Has Closed for Good

© West Edmonton Mall
I am well aware that this news broke earlier this year and I'm just getting to it now, but I wanted to still throw a post up to honor Mindbender, which has permanently closed at the Galaxyland amusement park within West Edmonton Mall in Canada.  The coaster hasn't operated in the past couple years and it has been announced that instead of reopening the coaster it will be removed.

Mindbender opened in 1985 at the park, and was created by Schwarzkopf which many of us have a warm spot in our hearts for.  However, many of the designer's large rides have closed in recent years, and so sadly Mindbender is just another on the list.  It's not said yet exactly what will replace the coaster at the Galaxyland amusement park.  For now the park states:

"The iconic Mindbender has been the park’s premier thrill ride since the grand opening in 1985," said Lori Bethel of WEM in a written statement. "While the Mindbender will be missed, we are excited to announce that we are working on groundbreaking new plans for family thrills that will immerse our guests in an out-of-this-world experience."

© West Edmonton Mall
The coaster stands 145 feet tall and features a drop of 127 feet.  The highlights of the ride are the typically nutty forces found on Schwarzkopf rides, plus three vertical loops that are lined up nicely (above).  The coaster hit speeds of 60 miles per hour and had an advertised maximum g-force of 5, which is another telltale sign of a fun Schwarzkopf coaster.  Hopefully you were able to experience this attraction!

Sunday, March 5, 2023

Sesame Place Philadelphia Adding New Water Play Area + New Themed Area

© Sesame Place Philadelphia
A summer of brand new fun is on its way to Sesame Place Philadelphia in 2023 with the addition of a new water play area and a brand new themed section.  As if that wasn't enough, the park is also adding a new live show featuring the Sesame Street characters plus an enhanced meet and greet with everyone's favorite - Big Bird.

© Sesame Place Philadelphia
The new water play area is named Bert & Ernie's Splashy Shores, a fun area where kids can splash and play the day away.  There will be "tipping water buckets, spraying jets, a water curtain, a water bobble and a spraying water tower" among other fun activities.  The area will come with shaded seating as well, so the whole family can hang out during the day.

© Sesame Place Philadelphia
Also new is Big Bird's Beach, a new "tropical-themed land" dedicated to "splashy water fun."  The area was previously known as Twiddlebug Land and has now been "colorfully transformed and creatively updated."  Big Bird's Beach includes water slides, a family-sized wave pool, a spray and play area and plenty of shaded seating.  The land will feature favorite existing attractions such as Elmo's Surf 'n' Slide (family raft ride), Abby's Splash & Spray Garden, Rosita's Seaside Slides (family water slides) and Little Bird's Bay (family wave pool.)


Sesame Place Philadelphia will also feature new and updated live entertaiment this season.  A new show, Welcome To The Party!, will open, featuring Elmo, Abby, Grover, Rosita and Cookie Monster as they put on a show to welcome their new friends to Sesame Street.  The show will be featured in Abby's Paradise Theater.  There will also be an enhanced meet and greet with Small Talk with Big Bird, where guests can interact and chit-chat with Big Bird before getting their photo taken with him.


Sesame Place Philadelphia plans to have all the new and modified attractions ready for guests by Summer 2023.

Monday, February 20, 2023

Dorney Park's 2024 New Coaster Gets Planning Commission Approval

© NewsPlusNotes
On Thursday night Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom received approval from the South Whitehall Township Planning Commission for its proposed "steel roller coaster" for 2024.  A look at the best-guess layout from the footing plans released can be seen up top, as we speculate that the coaster will be one of B&M's smaller Dive Machine rides.

Standing 162 feet tall, the new ride won approval to take up the space formerly used by the Stinger coaster, plus a little bit more.  We did some analysis on the plans in an early post, so we'll reference them here.  The park's General Manager, Jessica Naderman, pointed out during the meeting that the park is "not growing or expanding in any way" with the addition of the ride, and they are working with a "reputable ride manufacturer" for the new coaster.  The park is using "noise mitigation" to help make the ride quieter, and do not expect increased traffic or attendance levels as a result of the ride.  In fact, the General Manager pointed out that they hope to get back to pre-pandemic attendance levels soon, and this ride might help them do it.

© Dorney Park
As with so many South Whitehall Township planning meetings over the year, there was some contention with the commissioners, this time in the form of speaking about sidewalks and the park.  The Township requires sidewalks now (not in the past) and wanted to tie the coaster's approval to the park adding sidewalks along Route 222.  The mess that is pedestrians the Route 222 is a long, sad (there have been deaths) story and it's been not dealt with for far, far too long for a sidewalk to suddenly make things safe.  

And that's not really the park's fault, at least in my opinion.  The park is more than willing to help and put in sidewalks but smartly pointed out that the road in front of the park, the public bus stop, people crossing to hotels - all of it needs to be figured out correctly and done properly and SAFELY.  And they did say they'll put in a side walk as seen above, but they don't even own the land needed to do it, the PA Department of Transportation does.  

In the end the request to add sidewalks was "decoupled" from the coaster's approval, and the park will be required to work with the Township, PennDOT and others to move toward a solution.  They did note that in the past a bridge over the road, a tunnel under the road and more were considered and all shot down - not by the park but by PennDOT.

I believe the coaster still need the approval of the Board of Commissioners, but typically the tough part is the Planning Commission, so fingers crossed on the project!  The ride will also head to the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission this week.  Until we hear more, here's our animation of what we think the coaster will be like one more time!

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Silver Dollar City to Retire Fire In The Hole After 2023

© Silver Dollar City
Silver Dollar City has announced that the 2023 season will be the last for it classic dark ride roller coaster combo, named Fire In The Hole.  The parks names the attraction as the "world's most historic indoor roller coaster," having first opened in 1972 and thrilled generations of families since then.  To help celebrate the closing of the ride the park will hold special events for the ride throughout the season, parkwide fun and promotions all kicking off March 11th and running through December of 2023.

“More than 25 million guests have been entertained by the Fire In the Hole adventure since the attraction opened a half-century ago,” said Brad Thomas, president of Silver Dollar City Attractions. “Today’s riders include grandparents who remember riding when THEY were kids, and now they share the fun and unique experience with THEIR grandkids!”

"The ride’s storyline is modeled after the real-life mining town, Marmaros, that was located atop Marvel Cave and home to residents of long-ago Ozarks. The attraction, novel in its introduction in 1972, has fire-brigade themed trains that twist, turn and drop into a burning town where riders are the volunteer firefighters, saving the citizens and battling the flames before getting soaked themselves."


© Silver Dollar City
The retirement of Fire In The Hole will be a loss for the park, but there is much to look forward to.  The park is planning on a period of "unprecedented growth" over the next ten years, and removing the ride will help pave the way for that.  The park isn't saying just what is coming yet, but leadership says they "are keenly aware that the iconic ride holds a place in the record books of attractions of the world, therefore, what comes next must carry on the legacy."


“This Grand Finale season of the original Fire In The Hole is paving the way for continued growth and new adventures at Silver Dollar City,” said Thomas. “There will be exciting announcements in the future!”

Friday, February 17, 2023

Sesame Place San Diego Expanding with Two New Attractions in 2023

© Sesame Place San Diego
Having just opened in March of 2022, Sesame Place San Diego is already on a path to growth with the announcement of two new attractions for the park's 2023 season.  The park has already made improvements and changes to the park since its opening, but these are the first two major expansions that guests will have to look forward to.

The biggest addition is The Count's Splash Castle, a massive multi-level water play structure that features a drenching good time with 111 interactive play elements on it.  The structure will have not one but two giant tipping buckets that dump over 1,300 gallons of water combined.  The structure will contain "three exciting water slides, plus soakers, flow pipes, hose jets, spray jets, water shooters, water curtains, tipping troughs, spinning and sliding buckets, and much more" for families to explore.  The addition will replace the park's former splash area and is more than double the size of the previous attraction. 


© Sesame Place San Diego
All the fun to be had on The Count's Splash Castle is sure to make families hungry and this year they can dine in the all-new Sunny Day Cafe, a brand new indoor and air conditioned 5,000 square foot location.  The establishment will serve buffet style offerings that will have something for everyone in the family.  There will be seating for up to 160 guests at each meal and the Sesame Street characters will join diners for "an immersive experience with singing, dancing and photo opportunities."   

Elsewhere in the park there will also be a brand new Big Bird's Beach Bites locations with snacks and beverages, to be located near Big Bird's Beach.  The park is also adding mobile ordering for select restaurants within the park.


“Going into the new year, we’re very excited to offer our guests and Season Pass Members more reasons to visit the park throughout the year.  Between our new attractions, increased dining options and 2023 event lineup that will be all-new to our guests, we look forward to an amazing year,” said Jim Lake, Sesame Place Park President. “We’re constantly adding new activities and events to enhance the guest experience. We’re increasing the number of opportunities to interact with their favorite characters and with the expansion of our dining options, plus our mobile ordering, our guests will be able to enjoy more convenience throughout their days at the park.”

Monday, February 13, 2023

Legoland New York Expanding in 2023 With New Water Playground

© Legoland
Legoland New York Resort is excited to open again in 2023 on March 31st, and is celebrating the 2023 season with a band new splashing-good-time addition.  The park will be adding a new water playground that is set to open on Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start to summer.


"New York summers are hot – which is one of the reasons we're so excited to give families a place to cool off this year," said Legoland New York Resort Divisional Director Stephanie Johnson. "We have no doubt our Water Playground will become the heart of the Park this season with its four water slides and new creative building opportunities for kids. Everything we do is for the love of fun, and we're committed to building unforgettable offerings that will keep families coming back to our Resort again and again."


© Legoland New York
The new water playground will feature many activities to keep the whole family busy, from simply cooling off to being able to "build and race a Lego boat, splash on water slides and be doused by a giant 318-gallon water bucket.  A changing area will be nearby so guests can move on with their day, enjoying the Park's seven themed lands and can't-miss attractions."  These types of water funhouse structures are common in water park and dry parks across the globe, and will be a nice addition to Legoland New York's lineup.


Legoland New York's upcoming season is once again filled with special events and activities, including the brand new Ninjago Days in April and May, Red, White and Boom! during the Summer for July 4th, spooky Brick-or-Treat in the Fall and the Holiday Bricktacular in December.  Guests visiting the park can stay in the Legoland Hotel located right next door to the theme park as well.

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Legoland Florida Opens New Pirate River Quest Attraction

© Legoland Florida
Legoland Florida has opened their new family boat adventure, named Pirate River Quest, to eager visitors.  The attraction is very unique in that the park has utilized the existing canals that flow through the park's beautiful grounds to create a pirate themed journey through Cypress Gardens.  The adventure features many larger-than-life Lego creations along the way, with guests joining "a rowdy crew of Lego pirates on Captain’s orders to explore the murky waters and retrieve the lost treasure, stolen by a troop of mischievous monkeys."  It's always monkeys, isn't it?


© Legoland Florida
The canals that flow through Cypress Gardens (yes, the park before Legoland Florida was indeed called Cypress Gardens) were already gorgeous but now have the added quirky cuteness that comes with Lego characters and themes.  Above is one section of the journey where the boats are nearly attacked by some giant octopus tentacles.

© Legoland Florida
Legoland Florida has been on a continued expansion path over the last decade, with new rides and attractions consistently debuting for visitors.  In the competitive Florida market this is necessary, but the resort has also added new themed hotels and even the country's first Peppa Pig themed kids park.

You can see a video preview of some of the fun found on Pirate River Quest at this link in a promotional video from the park.