Thursday, May 31, 2007

Harry Potter + Islands of Adventure

This is what *I* am getting from the concept art that Universal Orlando released for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I am using best guess here, and it looks to me like they're really only going to gut the Oak Tree Tavern and a gift shop, and then retheme everything else like Flying Unicorn and Dragons and add their big ride in the reserved empty space.

This is the concept art I went off of. Just for reference.

I'm really glad that half of the island is going to be left alone! I really enjoy the themeing of the part that will remain specifically, so this all sits very well with me.
Universal Orlando's site for the expansion.

Big Drama at Bushkill Park, It's Not Opening

Agilitynut / Flickr CC 2006

It's sadly ironic that this past Monday I thought to myself, "Self, you should take the family to Bushkill Park once it's open to support the place," and then Tuesday the Morning Call published an article about how it probably won't open this year.

It sounds like there is a lot of bickering and fighting going on right now between the current owner, the man who currently leases the property from that owner, and the former owner / current partial owner.

Depending on who's side you want to take each party could have a list of things they've done wrong to doom the park. I think, 'who cares,' as what really killed the park is the flooding that keeps happening.

Flooding, of course, that seemed to keep on taking place now that there are tons of housing and other developments in the area causing their runoff to filter into the Bushkill Creek.

If you want to read the current park operator's side of things, check out their rant on

It's all moot though, in my opinion, as it's just sad to see another old park slowing dying.

"Big Plans" for Wild Waves Theme Park

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has an article today about the newly christened Wild Waves Theme Park, in Federal Way, WA.

New owners, PARC Management, have 'big plans' for the property, and are starting by spending $1.6 million on the attraction this year. Upgrades include upgrading stores in the park to accept credit cards, improving their family slide (lift for tubes, perhaps?), an adding a Zamperla Kang-A-Bounce family ride.

You can read the article on the paper's website.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Morgan Manufacturing Amusement Ride Flyer

Morgan Manufacturing is probably best known for their steel hyper coaster rides. Up until 2001, when the company merged with Chance Rides, the company focused mainly on such coaster rides and carousels.

Now, as the combined Chance-Morgan, the company has a full offering of amusement attractions. They still offer the coasters, but now are fully able to offer rides like different sized carousels, ferris wheels, observation towers, antique cars, thrill rides like Revolution, Aviator, Wipeout, Alpine Bobs, train rides, and transport vehicles as well.

The below flyer is from when Morgan Manufacturing was still on its own. It's not dated, but since Mamba is on it it's post 1998.

That little Family Coaster looks fun, but I do not believe one was ever built. They still offer it, though, this is in the family coaster section of Chance Morgan's website:

Maybe a park will buy one! And maybe not. Who knows.

Just as an FYI, here are the coasters that are credited to Morgan Manufacturing:

• Wild Thing, Valleyfair!, 1996
• West Coaster, Santa Monica Pier, 1996
• Steel Force, Dorney Park, 1997
• Mamba, Worlds of Fun, 1998
• Steel Eel, SeaWorld Texas, 1999
• Steel Dragon, Nagashima Spa Land, 2000
• Phantom's Revenge, Kennywood, 2001
• Quicksilver Express, Gilroy Gardens, 2001
• Superman: Ultimate Escape, Six Flags Mexico, 2004

Coaster list via Roller Coaster Database, also visit Chance Morgan's website.


I'm updating to the newer version of blogger and NewsPlusNotes is paying the price. While I try to figure out what I'm doing the blog will be a mess. Apologies.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom Opens Deluge

Copyright the Courier Journal

Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom has opened their new water coaster, Deluge, and the Courier Journal has a bunch of photos showing off the ride.

Now, in the picture above do not ask why the first rider is wearing a helmet, because I have no idea and that's weird.

Regardless, the ride looks like a lot of fun, and after spending a lot of time in a water park this weekend I can say that it'd be a fun addition at parks everywhere.

Check out the article and photos from the Courier Journal's website.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

AquaRacer Review

It's fun!

I got to check it out today, and my group and the public in general seemed to really enjoy it. It's sorta odd how it's just in the middle of that walkway, but at least it divides the wave pool (which gets crazy) from the other slides and such.

Also, the game area I pointed out where Torpedo Tubes were is this "Swim Race" game. I didn't see what it costs, but it looks like you go out and swim in a large horse shoe shape in the former Torpedo pool and are timed. If you do it in a certain time you win a stuffed frog. I only saw two people try it and neither were even close to winning.

Other than that, the water park looked nice. A good start to the season, aside from the insane thunder storms that came though this evening.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Sierra Sidewinder & Geauga Lake Opened, Too

User Top Thrill Dragster went to Knott's Berry Farm today and found that Sierra Sidewinder was open!

They were nice enough to place a photo update of the opened ride on Themeparkreview, and a video of the ride on YouTube.

The ride looks as awesome as I expected. Keeps it's speed for the whole ride, actually looks pretty wild for a family coaster. Check it all out in Top Thrill's post.

Geauga Lake also opened today to what looks like a very, very small crowd. That poor park. User Loopy placed a trip report with photos over on PointBuzz. You can read it here.

Maverick and Firehawk are Open

Poor Cedar Point. They have to delay the opening of Maverick to replace that track and now, today, after quickly swapping out the track and getting it open - the weather looks like this.

Still, you can see a train on the bunny hill in the back right of the photo, so it must not be pouring that much.

On another note, and maybe better weather, Kings Island will open Firehawk today. I'm looking forward to all the pictures and reviews.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Local Amusement Parks 2007 Part 2

Frontier City. I know that this park is a little more developed than some others on this list, but now that Six Flags ditched it it's returning to it's original local park roots.

Additionally, I think it's cool that the park's new owners are adding a dark ride to the park for 2007. Quick Draw is a 'shoot-em-up' style dark ride where guests aim for targets and collect points while on the ride.

The park has nice theming and some neat rides, and hopefully it will thrive under the new ownership. More info.

Idlewild and Soak Zone. I know that this is part of the Kennywood chain, but it still fits the local park bill perfectly.

This small Pennsylvania park caters to families, and their attraction for 2007 is no different. the Flying Aces is a spinning flat ride that has ten plane ride vehicles attached to it. Riders can control a wing on their ride vehicle to allow for extra height to be achieved.

This type of ride has already proved to be smash hit with ride enthusiasts, and I'm sure that Idlewild's guests will love it as well. More Info.

Knoebel's Amusement Resort. This gem of a park, located in Elysburg, PA, could almost be called the king of local parks. It's long tradition of operating in an almost opposite manor than that of the big regional parks has aided in the park receiving this title.

Started in late 2005, the Flying Turns wooden bobsled coaster should be opening this coming season. Anticipated by many, a ride of this kind has not been seen for decades.

Flying turns joins two other wooden coasters at the park, Twister and Phoenix, and along with many other rides this park has something for everyone. More info.

Kemah Boardwalk. Located in sunny Texas, this boardwalk park is part of a much larger entertainment and shopping district. They have a relatively small collection of rides, to which they are adding a Gravity Group wooden coaster for 2007.

The ride is squeezed into a small space, so it packs a lot of punch in a small area. Gravity Group has received rave reviews for their first two coasters, Hades and The Voyage.

It looks like after the 96 ft. lift hill the ride will be a mess of turns and tight corners. In other words, it looks like a lot of fun. More info.

Lagoon. Being located in Utah does not place this park in a metropolis, however, they park has seen it fit to add some interesting coasters and flat rides over the years.

New for 2007 is Wicked, a steel coaster with an evil side. It's twisted bright green track launches riders at 55 miles per hour up a tower to 110 feet in the air. Riders are then treated to an inclined twist inversion.

The ride looks pretty sweet. It's the first Zierer launch coaster in the United States. More info.

Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park. This Wisconsin made a big splash when it opened the Hades wooden coaster in 2005. After grabbing and existing water park and building an indoor ride park, the complex is one giant theme park.

Now in 2007 there's more being added. Apollo's Swing is an S&S swing attraction, and the Posideon's Rage wave pool is being added as well.

The wave pool is a bit insane though, as it's going to have up to 9 foot waves in it. That seems a bit much for a theme park, but we'll let the park work that out. More info.

That's it! Did I forget any?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Local Amusement Parks 2007 Part 1

Following suit with the water park write up, I figured I'd take a look at some of the smaller local amusement parks and what they are up to for this season. Here's a selection for your viewing pleasure:

Nut Tree Family Park. This small family park, located in Vacaville, CA, actually just opened toward the end of 2006.

The park is a modern reincarnation of the Nut Tree park that existed for decades until the '90s. It features several small family and children's rides, and the Harvest Express roller coaster, a family Miler Coaster ride.

While there are no big expansion plans for this year, the park is new and certainly fits the bill as a local amusement park. More info.

Lakeside Amusement Park. A traditional and historic park located in Denver, CO, Lakeside is a favorite of many park enthusiasts.

It's home to the Cyclone, a classic wooden coaster adored by many. Also located at the park, along with a fair share of other rides, is the Wild Chipmunk, a small steel coaster, which is one of the most hilarious names for a ride I've ever seen.

This year Lakeside plans to add Zoom!, a 140 foot tall drop tower from Larson, Int. The park is also adding a tea-cup flat ride, a favorite of many guests. More info.

Indiana Beach Amusement Resort. Located in Monticello, IN, this park is home to a large variety of rides, as well as 5 roller coasters.

For the summer of 2007 the park will be thrilling visitors with their new aquatic stunt show, Pirates Revolt: The Pillage of Paradise Island. It sounds like Disney isn't the only place to find pirate action this summer. More info.

Wild West World. Band new park! Located outside Wichita, Kansas, this park actually opened for the first time a couple weeks ago.

Themed to... you guessed it, the Wild West, the park features 25 rides, has an acrobat show, games, shops, and plenty of food choices.

The park must not be content with just opening, as they have already promised a drop tower thrill ride for 2008 and a "giant wooden coaster" for 2009. More info.

Canobie Lake Park. This traditional amusement park is located in Salem, NH. Home to classic attractions such as the Yankee Cannonball wooden coaster, the park has not forgotten to keep up with the times.

Recent additions include Divinchi's Dream, a Wave Swinger, Star Blaster, an S&S tower ride, Whipeout, and now, for 2007 - the Xtreme Frisbee.

The spinning ride looks like it'll be a lot of fun. More info.

Cliff's Amusement Park. This Albuquerque, New Mexico park made a major expansion in 2002 when they added the New Mexico Rattler wooden coaster.

After the ride put them on the map, so to say, the park has grown, and 2007 is no different.

This season brings 3 new rides to the park. One adult and two children's rides. The SideWinder is a spinning thrill ride for the adventurous, and the Doggie-Go-Round and Baja Buggy are for the little ones. More info.

Martin's Fantasy Island. This New York amusement park was also put on the map when they built their wooden coaster, the Silver Comet.

The ride opened the door for further expansion of the park, and this brings us to 2007. The park is adding Full Tilt, a unique sounding flat ride.

The 60 foot tall ride rotates passengers up and around while tilting them forward up to 25 degrees. Sounds like fun if you ask me. More info.

Ghost Town in the Sky. After closing in 2002, this amusement park in North Carolina will reopen for the 2007 season.

They've cleaned up the park, renamed the roller coaster to Cliff hanger, made some changes, and things seem ready to go for their May 25th opening.

Hopefully all will go well and the park will stay open for the foreseeable future. More info.

Waldameer Amusement Park. In Erie, PA, you'll find this small park and it's various rides and attractions.

They recently added the Steel Dragon coaster, which is a fairly unique spinning coaster. They haven't stopped there, though, as they are now adding the X Scream freefall tower to the park.

Standing 140 feet tall, the ride thrills 12 passengers at a time. Freefalls are great attractions at parks, not only are they thrilling to ride but they provide something fun for non-riders to watch as well! More info.

Phew! There's even more to come in part 2!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Dorney Park Fun Facts #12

My parents used to go to dinner here, and I also ate there, though it wasn't under the same circumstances.

I loved how at the end of it's life it had become full of great Dorney Park memorabilia.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

2008 Announcement Tracker

In order to keep track of everything that the parks are announcing for 2008, I've made this post.

To be used as a handy guide to what's new at North American Amusement and Theme parks in 2008, I will continually update this entry as new attractions are announced.


Name: River BattleOpening: March, 2008
Cost: $5 Million
Capacity: 9 Rafts, 800 pph
Length: 500 feet
Type: Manf. TBA
More Info: Official Release

Nickelodeon Universe

Name: Nick Universe
Opening: March, 2008
Cost: $30 Million
What: Re-theme of Camp Snoopy at Mall of America. Includes 4 new rides, 3 for families and a Spongebob themed Roller Coaster. Additionally themed elements will be added, food service revamped, new merchandise brought in, and a new ticket system added.
More Info: News Article

Hard Rock Park

Name: Hard Rock Park
Location: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Opening: Spring, 2008
Cost: Between $300-400 Million
Size: 140 Acres
Attractions: Over 40, 4 Coasters, Dark Ride, Lots of Entertainment, Shopping, Themed Restaurants, Flat and Family Rides, all contained in 6 themed sections.
More Info: Official Site, Great Updates, Concepts, Photos

Universal Studios Orlando and Hollywood

Name: TBA, Simpsons attraction
Opening: Spring, 2008
What: Simpsons replacing Back to the Future attraction at both American Universal parks. Themed to a visit to Krustyland with the Simpsons family using motion simulators. Original creative and voice talents for the show will be used.
More Info: Official Release, Park Photos

California Adventure & Disney's Hollywood Studios

Name: Toy Story Mania
Opening: 2008
What: Interactive dark ride at both parks. Riders wear 3-D Glasses and are taken on a journey through classic midway games. Riders have a "toy cannon" which allows them to play these midway games, which are loaded with Pixar characters.
More Info: Press Release


Where: Next to Busch Gardens Africa, Tampa, FL
Opening: March, 2008
What: SeaWorld's take on a water park. Full 60 acre water park with 36 water slides, 6 rivers and lagoons, and 80,000 sq. ft. of beach. Features two wave pools that have 9 different wave programs available, two lazy rivers, a water fortress, and kiddie areas.
More Info: Official Site

The Columbus Zoo

Name: Zoombezi Bay water park
Opening: May 17th, 2008
Size: 22.7 acres
Cost: $38 Million for entire redevlopment
What: Rebirth of the former Wyandot Lake park. The Zoo kept the roller coaster and a water play structure, other attractions are new. Water slides include a mat racer, Tornado Slide, a Family raft ride, Bowl slides, Tube slides, free-fall slides, lazy and action rivers, a wave pool and more.
More Info: Article, Press Release, Concepts

Canada's Wonderland

Name: Behemoth
Opening: May, 2008
What: B&M Mega Coaster
Cost: $26 Million
Dynamics: 230 ft. tall, 5,318 ft long, 77 m.p.h.
Capacity: 3 trains, 32 riders each, 1,545 guests an hour
More Info: Official Site

Busch Gardens Africa
Name: Jungala
What: 4 acre land inside the theme park
Opening: Spring 2008
Features: New land contains several themed animal exhibits, new food options, as well as two new family/children's rides.
More Info: Press Release, Concept Art

Holiday World & Splashin Safari
Name: Kima Bay
Cost: $1.7 million
Opening: May, 2008
What: Whitewater West RainFortress in Splashin' Safari
Features: Monkey themed water play area, with 7 water slides attached, 100 water features, 125 spray jets, multi-level play area.
More info: Official Site

Six Flags Over Texas
Name: Tony Hawk's Big Spin
Cost: $6.5 million
Opening: Spring, 2008
What: Gerstlauer spinning roller coaster.
Dynamics: 53 ft. high, 1,351 ft. long, 31 mph
More Info: Official Site

Six Flags St. Louis
Name: Evel Knievel
Opening: Mid-Summer 2008
Cost: $7 million
What: Great Coasters International wooden roller coaster
Dynamics: 82 ft. tall, 2,700 ft. long, reaches 50 m.p.h.
More Info: Press Release

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
Name: Tony Hawk's Big Spin
Cost: $6.5 million
Opening: Spring, 2008
What: Gerstlauer spinning roller coaster.
Dynamics: 53 ft. high, 1,351 ft. long, 31 mph
More Info: Official Website

Six Flags Over Georgia
Name: Thomas Town
Cost: $2.5 million
Opening: Spring, 2008
What: Family area themed to Thomas the Tank Engine. Features full size Thomas train ride, a Sir Topham Hatt meet and greet, and a new souvenir store.
More Info: Press Release

Great Escape & Splashwater Kingdom
Name: Wiggles World & Wild Wedgie
Cost: $3 Million
Opening: Spring, 2008
What: Wiggles World family area of park. Two children's rides, stage show, shopping and dining facilities - all themed to The Wiggles. Additionally, a new water slide will be added to the water park named the Wild Wedgie.
More Info: Official Press Release

Hershey Park
What: Fahrenheit
Cost: $12.1 Million
Opening: May, 2008
What: Intamin looping roller coaster
Dynamics: 121 ft. tall vertical lift, 6 inversions, 58 m.p.h., 2,700 feet long
More Info: Official Website

Six Flags Great Adventure
Six Flags New England
Six Flags Great America

Name: The Dark Knight Coaster
Cost: $7.5 Million
Opening: Spring, 2008
What: Indoor themed Mack Wild Mouse coaster with special effects and such.
More Info: Six Flags Official Site

Six Flags Fiesta Texas
Name: Goliath
Cost: $15 Million
Opening: Spring, 2008
What: Former Batman The Ride coaster from Six Flags New Orleans
Dynamics: 105 ft. tall, 50 m.p.h., 2,693 ft. long
More Info: Official Press Release

Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom
Name: Voodoo
Cost: $8.5 Million
Opening: May, 2008
What: Former Steel Venom coaster from Geauga Lake, steel launched impulse coaster
Dynamics: 184 ft. tall, 704 ft. long, 70 m.p.h.
More Info: Official Mini-Site

Michigan's Adventure
Name: ThunderhawkCost: $10 Million
Opening: May, 2008
What: Relocated Vekoma SLC from Geauga Lake
Dynamics: 105 ft. tall, 50 m.p.h., 2,260 ft. long
More Info: Official Page

Name: Ravine Flyer II
Cost: $6 Million
Opening: Spring, 2008
What: Gravity Group Wooden Roller Coaster
Dynamics: 119 ft. drop, 57 m.p.h, 2,900 ft. of track, 6 Tunnels
More Info: Official Page

Legoland California
Name: Land of Adventure and Sea Life Aquarium
Cost: $20 Million
Opening: March, 2008
What: New 1 acres themed area inside the theme park with an interactive dark ride, two family rides, and a play area; an entire new separate admission aquarium next to the park geared toward families and children.
More Info: News, Official Press Release

Six Flags Magic Mountain
Name: X2 and Thomas Town
Cost: $10+ Million
Opening: Spring, 2008
What: New trains, paint job, tunnels with light effects for X turning the ride into X2, a new Thomas Town ride and meet'n'greet area.
More Info: Official Press Page

California's Great America
Name: Firefall, Halloween Haunt
Opening: Spring 2008
What: Firefall - Huss Top Spin from former Geauga Lake, new park name, new Ice Skating show, extended operating hours, new Halloween Haunt event
More Info: Official Press Release

Knott's Berry Farm
Name: Pony Express
Cost: $10 Million
Opening: Memorial Day, 2008
What: Zamperla MotoCoaster roller coaster
Dynamics: 38 m.p.h. launch, 44 ft. high, 1,300 ft. long
More Info: Layout, Official Release, News Article

Name: Bondi Beach
Opening: May, 2008
What: 34,000 sq. ft. wave pool, the park's second, also adding new food stand, retail location, additional cabanas, expanding the water park to 20 acres.
More Info: Official Press Release