Monday, September 18, 2023

Catching Up on Canada's Wonderland's 2023 Additions

© Canada's Wonderland
One of several things I wanted to take a look at before we roll into the next year, Canada's Wonderland's 2023 additions have impressed for several reasons.  The park made big additions for both families and thrill seekers when they opened Tundra Twister and Snoopy's Racing Railway this year.  Each is unique to the park (and one of them to the world) in several ways, and both turned out quite impressive when complted.

Tundra Twister, seen up top, continues Canada's Wonderland's dominance in flat rides offering a selection of modern thrillers most parks would be envious of.  This prototype ride from Monday is absolutely huge, about 155 feet tall at the peak of the rotation.  The ride' cars spin independently and invert due to the forces created by the ride, meaning no two rides are the same.  This is one that I'd be quite happy to watch but might have aged out of riding!  Check out this video to see what I mean.

© Canada's Wonderland
The second addition this year was Snoopy's Racing Railway, a launched family roller coaster designed by ART Engineering.  The ride features a layout that gives family-level-of-thrills to passengers as Snoopy races to avoid traps set by Woodstock and his bad seed gang.  The premise is cute but the finished product has a considerable amount of theming for a Cedar Fair park - which is great!  You can see some of that theming in the below video from the park, and also note that the coaster goes around the layout twice to give a longer ride experience for guests.  This attraction is one that would fit nicely at several other Cedar Fair parks if cloning is a possibility!


Next year the property is focusing again on their waterpark with the recent announcement of Moosehorn Falls, a large family water slide.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Dorney Park's Halloween Haunt Opens This Friday + New Haunt Details

© Dorney Park
Dorney Park will see the return of Halloween Haunt this Friday, September 15th, as eager fans get to check out the park's lineup of new haunted attractions and all the returning fun as well.  Halloween Haunt is the fright-filled nighttime event put on by the park (with 7 haunted mazes and 4 scare zones), but families are also sure to enjoy The Great Pumpkin Fest during the day as well.

© Dorney Park
We've all been very excited to learn more about the park's new haunted house - called Ghost In The Machine - as it is set to explain the backstory of Iron Menace, the park's new-for-2024 B&M Dive Coaster.  From the park's description on the new attraction:  "After nearly 100 years of boarded closure, the gates to the McTavish Steel Factory have now opened, allowing exploratory passage through the old, darkened halls of what some deem as an “evil place filled with torment and agony.” Will the spirits of this haunted factory hide within the walls, or will they manifest to steal souls from the living in The Ghost in the Machine?


© Dorney Park

“The Ghost In The Machine will tell the chilling backstory of the Iron Menace roller coaster while leading guests on a harrowing, nightmarish adventure through the remnants of Hiram McTavish’s old factory... this maze pushed our creative boundaries and will present a taste of what’s to come in 2024.”  The theming on this new haunted attraction is expected to be top notch and fans of both Dorney Park and Halloween events cannot wait to experience it.


© Dorney Park
Also new-for-2023 is the debut of a new live show on the main midway stage called Conjure the Night.  The show will feature "electric pulses, rockin' vocals and soul-shattering rhythms of Halloween's most terrifying elements in a battle of evil vs. evil."

The park's famous (if you've visited the past few years, at least) Midway Misfits will fully take over the main midway this year and the area will feature a new Misfits Bar as well.  The Misfits change theme and decor each week and used to be based in the lower park across from Center Stage Fries.  The park comes up with some ingenious costumes each week and I cannot wait to see this concept fully fleshed out this year!

Other featured attractions this year include CarnEvil, Roadside Stop & Chop, Necropolis, Tourist Trap, Blood on the Bayou, Blackout, Trick or Treat, Port of Call, Dystopia and The Hallow.  The park will also perform the Opening Scaremony each night and Skeleton Crew, a very popular show, will also return.

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Holiday World Retires River Rapids Ride - Will It Be a Trend?

© Holiday World
Earlier this summer Holiday World announced that the park's river rapids ride, Raging Rapids, had been permanently retired and would no longer be taking visitors on a trip through Boulder Canyon.  The attraction originally opened in 1990, meaning it cooled off guests to the park for more than three decades.

© Holiday World
© Google
The loss of the ride may not be the saddest attraction retirement we've seen lately, but it does make me wonder if the days of the river rapids rides are numbered.  There haven't been an overwhelming amount of them closed recently, just a handful really, but you have to wonder if this is just the start.

© Holiday World
The rides are known for having a substantial operating budget (including labor) and definitely take up a lot of real estate, something that can be an issue for parks.  For the number of people who ride these in an hour, and only for a limited part of the season (most places), using up all that space can be a tough pill to swallow I would think. 

But back to Holiday World.  It definitely sounds like the park is planning something with the Raging Rapids spot:  "While this may feel like an ending, it’s just the beginning. We intend to return the sound of laughter to Boulder Canyon as soon as we possibly can."


The park's new coaster for 2024 isn't using any of this space, so it sounds like something else is already being planned for the park.  Perhaps a new version of the ride, like Silver Dollar City did with Mystic River Falls?  As always, time will tell.

Sunday, September 3, 2023

Half of Geauga Lake Complex May Become a Public Park One Day

© City of Aurora Ohio
I saw this story forever ago (okay, it was June) and then lost track of it for a while but still want to cover it a bit here.  Mostly because the long story of Geauga Lake continues to go on even in current day, somehow.  


The mayor of the City of Aurora, Ohio, wants to purchase Geauga Lake (the lake itself) and 40 or so acres that was originally Sea World Ohio and later Wildwater Kingdom under Cedar Fair ownership.  The city has a page up about the plan here, and it made some news when it was announced.  Sadly, nothing has happened since, but more on that in a bit.

© City of Aurora Ohio
The City would purchase the land from Industrial Commercial Properties for about $4.5 million.  I'm guessing the developer couldn't get anything going on the site, so it decided it would sell the land cheap to the city.  Some houses we built adjacent to the water park's old parking lot, and a new car dealership along North Aurora Road, but not much else has changed per recent aerials.

The city would make the property a public park, utilize the old wave pool to be a pool once again, add docks for non-motorized boats, have pavilions to rent, restrooms and other facilities and walking trails.  The developer would also build a trail that completely goes around the lake, and then give that to the city to own and maintain as well.  It sounds like a really nice park option for residents, and a great way to get access to the lake again since the parks closed.

© City of Aurora Ohio
It is a pretty neat idea, considering this is how the old water park still looks today - just crumbling ruins and mostly bulldozed.  

So this plan was announced back in June when the mayor presented it to city council, but then no vote on the plan (essentially giving the mayor the go-ahead to buy the land and get things started) was done at the time.  Then no vote was taken again at the next meeting, then it was formally postponed at July and August's meetings.  So, it's a standstill for now.  But perhaps one day things will get moving again.