Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Kings Island to Debut New Orion Giga Coaster on Opening Day - April 11th!

© Kings Island
One of the largest new for 2020 roller coaster projects in the U.S. now has an opening date!  Kings Island will open Orion along with the park on April 11th, 2020.  The park has posted their schedule for the year and also confirmed they plan to have the giga coaster ready to do for opening day.  This news means that riders only have less than three months of waiting until they can get their first rides on Orion.

© Kings Island
And speaking of the ride, if you haven't been following construction you've missed a great deal of the ride's 5,321 feet of track going into place.  The park has already flown through the coaster's second hill, turn around (seen up top in a recent image from the park), and more recently the third and fourth hills as well.  Orion will feature a 300 foot first drop (also seen above) that will send the trains roaring around the track at a top speed of 91 miles per hour.

© Kings Island
It has been fun keeping tabs on Orion from Kings Island's webcam - here is a shot of the coaster from this afternoon.  Crews are hard at work on the giant helix that comes near the end of the ride.  From this image it looks like they're almost at the halfway point of the element.  That only leaves a relatively small amount of track and supports to go before the ride is complete!

That should leave plenty of time for testing ahead of the planned April 11th debut. 

Monday, January 20, 2020

Lagoon's 2021 Coaster Project Sees Track Installed + Mountain Being Formed

© DeLoreans Garage Via YouTube
Lagoon's super-secret roller coaster project for 2021 continues to take shape, as seen in a new video from YouTube user DeLoreans Garage.

The project's details are still under wraps, however since the park is building what appears to be a very large mountain at the park there's plenty to see at this stage in the game.  The latest video shows off the work site from the air, giving us a view into the ride's inner workings... at least to some degree.

What we can see is rather interesting.  The ride, which is expected to be named Primordial, definitely uses a traditional roller coaster track at times, some of that can clearly already be seen in place.  There is a suspected dark ride component to the attraction though, which also seems evident from this footage.  There is a large second story part of the ride with what looks like a switch track area followed by two straightaways in the building.  They lead to the massive concrete towers that are going up, though it's hard to tell just what will be in those towers at this point.

The entire one side of the structure is also being covered in frames for what I assume is some hefty rock work that will cover the structure, leading to the expected mountain theming.

Exactly what else the ride has in store is a mystery for now, and I am grateful for that.  It's fun to watch a massive mystery ride go up like this!

Check out the whole video below from DeLoreans Garage.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Aussie Mat Dash Racing Slide Headed to Raging Waves in 2020

© Raging Waves Waterpark
Illinois' Raging Waves Waterpark has been around for just over ten years, and has expanded several times since its initial opening.  It looks like 2020 will be another big year for the independent water park, as it will open Aussie Mat Dash, a brand new mat racing slide from ProSlide.

Raging Waves is themed around the Australian Outback, so the Aussie Mat Dash will fit in nicely with rides like the Platypus Plunge and Tasmanian Twisters.

© Raging Waves Watepark
According to the park, Aussie Mat Dash will be one of only three ProSlide Rally Racers, which feature enclosed sections of tube followed by a Rally Point where riders can briefly see each other to see who's in the lead.  After that it's back into enclosed tube as everyone races for the finish.  The ride, seen above, doubles over itself to save space, and will feature a bright rainbow color scheme.

The park, which is advertised as the largest outdoor water park in all of Illinois, is hoping that the Aussie Mat Dash's six lanes of racing will not only help improve capacity at the popular park, but also encourage repeat rides to try to claim victory!

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Check Out the Latest Photos of Holiday World's New Cheetah Chase Water Coaster

© Holiday World
Announced toward the end of last summer, Holiday World's water park, Splashin' Safari, is gaining a set of water roller coasters in 2020 named Cheetah Chase.  Featuring two slides on which riders race each other, Cheetah Chase features a total of 1,700 feet of pathway.  Seen above in a new aerial photo from Holiday World, a large amount of the attraction is already in place!

Cheetah Chase features several interesting elements in its design, starting with a "water powered flat launch" section right out of the station before blasting up a large hill.

© Holiday World
Holiday World was hard at work today on pouring the large foundation for what will become Cheetah Chase's 68,000 gallon balance tank, located adjacent to the station.  That work can be seen in the above photo.

The attraction will not only contain the initial racing element, but also two points further on the layout where riders will closely encounter one another.  Another notable feature are the ride's Flying Saucer elements, which are large swooping turns that take place high over the midway.

© Holiday World
This photo is from slightly earlier in Cheetah Chase's construction, but gives a nice view of how the ride will interact with nearby attractions.  Part of the slide actually passes over the Bahari River, which can be seen at the right of this photo.

To keep up to date with Cheetah Chase's construction, be sure to check out the park's live webcam!

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Alton Towers to Introduce Gangsta Granny: The Ride for the Park's 2020 Season

© Alton Towers
Alton Towers has announced a new dark ride experience for the park's 2020 season, named Gangsta Granny: The Ride.  An odd sounding name for sure, but it makes a lot more sense when you understand that it will be based on the popular Gangsta Granny children's book authored by David Walliams.  The theme park previously announced a new land based around Mr. Walliams' characters and stories, and the Gangsta Granny dark ride will be the main attraction.

In the book, the main character, Ben, discovers that his Granny is actually an international jewel thief, quite the opposite from the unassuming cabbage loving grandmother he knew.

© Alton Towers
The new attraction at Alton Towers will take riders on a journey with Ben and his Granny to attempt to pull off "the greatest jewel heist in history," with many amusing antics along the way.  Riders will sit in a vehicle that is able to rotate 360 degrees, which will combine with special effects, projection mapping and more.  The park promises a "special effects laden wild ride" that finishes with an "explosive escape" after riders try to nab the crown jewels.

The park has worked closely with David Walliams on the development of the new dark ride attraction, and has released a video giving more information on that partnership and the attraction.  If you look close you can even see the layout of the ride and more.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Universal Studios Japan to Open Super Nintendo World This Summer + New Details Emerge

© Universal Studios Japan
Universal Studios Japan has made a grand announcement that Super Nintendo World will officially open to visitors this summer ahead of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.  The news comes as the park began to show off some of the features of the area, which they describe as a "life sized, living video game."  Guests will not only enter the land and experience Nintendo themed attractions, they will also be "playing it" via different media applications.

Naturally the land will contain many famous Nintendo locations, such a Peach's Castle and Bowser's Fortress, but spread throughout the area will be a host of interactive features.  There will be two main attractions, a wild Mario Kart ride that is highly anticipated, and a family adventure attraction starring Yoshi.  The below concept art gives an idea of how the finished area will look.

© Universal Studios Japan
In order to get the most out of a visit to Super Nintendo World, guest can get a Power Up Band which will sync to a smart phone application.  That way guests can track their progress as they explore the multi-level area and take part in "one-of-a-kind challenges."  It sounds like they can gather coins along the way, just like Mario does, along with other collectible stamps and badges.  More information on the land will become available in February when a large promotional event will take place in New York City.

For now, Universal has teamed up with Galantis and Charli XCX to debut a new music video sharing the excitement that will be found inside Super Nintendo World.  Make sure to check it out below as it gives many hints toward the attractions to be found in the area.  The land will open at Universal Studios Japan in Summer 2020, then followed eventually by lands in the California, Florida and Singapore parks.