Saturday, July 22, 2023

Dorney Park Starts Tease for 2024 Coaster + Announcement Date

© Dorney Park
We've been anxiously awaiting any news out of Dorney Park on their 2024 addition, expected to be a new roller coaster.  Yesterday we got our first release in a teaser campaign that looks to be leading up to a full announcement of the ride on August 10th - just under 3 weeks from now!

Dorney Park added a new page on their website - linked to via a button indicating visitors will be able to "forge your own fate in 2024" and that the park is offering a "sneak peek of new things at Dorney Park in 2024."  First, the fact that the text notes "new things" plural is interesting, as it is rumored that the new ride might come with a lightly themed "area" surrounding it.  Secondly, the use of "forge" is definitely significant and I expect will be tied to the ride's theme and name.

© Dorney Park
The page for the ride's teaser so far contains only the numbers "8/10" - expected to be the date of the ride's announcement, and the same text as described above.  "Forge your own fate" is in a fancy font here which I'm sure is tied to the ride's theme, but not too much to go on here.  

There is also a YouTube video teaser - "Strange things are happening at Dorney Park in 2024."   The video is short and dark, showing a dilapidated factory type building illuminated by flashlight and then a big hole in a chain link fence followed by the date 8/10.  Unclear if we're going in to explore said factory OR if something has made its way out...

So, we have the hint  of the word "forge," new "things" coming in 2024, an indication of "strange things" happening next year, an old factory and a broken fence.  What does it all mean!!!???

The park indicated more clues are coming before the August 10th announcement, so we'll find out more soon!

Thursday, July 6, 2023

Busch Gardens Tampa's SandSerpent Is Closing Very Soon!

© Busch Gardens Tampa
This was announced a while ago so hopefully you heard the news and got in your last rides on SandSerpent at Busch Gardens Tampa, for it is closing for good on July 9th!  Yes, that's just two days away at this point.  The family oriented Wild Mouse style ride will become a part of the park's history, after having opened at Busch Gardens Tampa back in 2004.   That means the coaster will have gotten in just about 20 seasons of operations while in Florida.

© Busch Gardens Tampa
The coaster actually opened as Cheetah Chase but was renamed in 2011 when it got a new neighbor coaster - named Cheetah Hunt.  Only enough room for one Cheetah themed coaster on the block, indeed.  The ride was created by Mack and features a typical Wild Mouse layout.  It stands 46 feet tall and features 1,213 feet of track.  The ride came to Florida after an 8 year stay at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, where it was named Izzy (for the Olympics mascot) and then Wild Maus.  

© Google Maps
Busch Gardens Tampa has already confirmed they are working on a new attraction that will reside where SandSerpent is located now, but they're not saying much about what it will be.  The above aerial of the park shows that there is not much land to work with at the spot, so perhaps another family coaster or a family thrill ride of some sort?  Time, as always, will tell!

Monday, July 3, 2023

Peppa Pig Theme Parks Headed to Texas and Germany

© Merlin Entertainments

After opening the first Peppa Pig theme park next to Legoland Florida in 2021, Merlin Entertaiments has announced that two more parks will be opening in 2024 - in Texas and abroad in Germany.  The quickly expanding park concept is a stand-alone ticketed property in Florida, and will be the same at the next two parks.  The parks will "feature multiple rides, interactive attractions, themed playscapes and water play areas—complete with “muddy puddles” of course—and fun live shows daily, all based on instantly recognizable locations from the globally popular brand."

© Merlin Entertainments
In Texas the new Peppa Pig theme park will be built in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, specifically located next to the already popular NRH2O Water Park in North Richland Hills.  Specific attractions for the park were not announced, however it is expected to closely resemble the already operating park in Florida (seen above).

© Google
From this aerial it looks like Merlin has purchased a former mini-golf and go-kart facility located next to NRH20, which will serve both parks well in the future.  It also appears that the park will have plenty of space to grow in the future should they choose.  Wouldn't be unreasonable to think that a themed hotel would also fit will between the two parks.

In Germany, the Peppa Pig Theme Park will go up just next door to the existing Legoland Deutschland Resort, and be aimed at pre-schoolers and their families with a variety of kid-friendly rides, shows and attractions.  2024 is a big year for the Peppa Pig brand as it celebrates its 20th anniversary.  Two new theme parks are certainly a nice anniversary gift!