Saturday, May 31, 2008

Sea World's Bay of Play

© 2008 DLMountainFan

I just stumbled upon some photos of the newly opened Sesame Street Bay of Play themed area, new to Sea World San Diego this year.

User DLMountainFan on the MiceChat boards provides several nice views of the new section. It has a pleasant assortment of family rides, wet and dry play areas, character meet'n'greet locations, and more.

You can see more photos of the new area in this thread on MiceChat.

Halloween Horror Nights 18

I know that it's only the last day of May - but a fan of Halloween like me always has the fall on my mind...

The official Halloween Horror Nights website has been updated, and tickets for the Orlando event are already on sale.

The online puzzles and such that Universal is famous for have not started yet, and there are no apparent hints as to this year's theme online yet - that I can see anyway.

They do have a general HHN video up on the event overview page for Orlando which is nice to see just because it makes me pumped for the fall!

And just for fun, my favorite host, The Caretaker....

Steel Hawg Rising

Steel Hawg has finally started major vertical construction at Indiana Beach amusement park. The official Indiana Beach blog has a couple more photos of the ride in its current state.

The ride probably won't be operating until July or so, guessing from the state of construction at this point.


This video from YouTube is a rendering of Manta, the new B&M Flyer coming to Sea World Florida in 2009.

No one seems to be able to verify if it's legit or not, but if this really is the layout of the ride then I really like its design. That first sorta half pretzel followed by a big fan turn that inverts the train looks interesting...

© 2008 IOACentral

Also, IOACentral has some photos of the ride's announcement as well as the construction site. As seen above, IOACentral also has photos of the ride's logo which I really like. Please click here to check out their update on the ride.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Fahrenheit Review + Photos

© 2008 Coasterdom

Coasterdom has up a great review of Fahrenheit at Hershey Park as well as some beautiful photos of the ride, much like the one above. Both links are really worth checking out if you are interested in this ride.

The coaster has some issues on its opening day when a train tuckered out in the cobra roll, but now that's all taken care of and the ride is open to the public. Personally, I can wait to take a ride!

Got an Extra $1.2 Million?

If you do have that sorta cash laying around, you can buy Laser from Dorney Park. After much debate in the past over whether certain used ride listings were Laser or not, we now can be sure.

UsedRides has a listing up for the ride, complete with pictures from CoasterGallery and everything.

I guess it's pretty important to get in your rides on Laser this summer! Then again, look at Demon Drop at Cedar Point - that's been for sale for years and is still operating.

Regardless, things don't look too good for Laser being at Dorney Park too much longer...

Six Flags Magic Mountain Update

© America Coasters 2008

Here's a link to a park update on America Coasters for Six Flags Magic Mountain. The update has a lot of nice photos of X2 - but also has some of the most recent photos I've seen of Thomas Town at the park.

I'm a little confused though, does Six Flags Magic Mountain's Thomas Town only have the train ride and the rethemed kiddie coaster?

Manta is Official

© 2008 Sea World Florida

Sea World Florida has made their new coaster for 2009 official, and as expected it will be named Manta.

The ride will be 140 ft. tall and 3,359 ft. long (a couple hundred feet shorter than Tatsu), and hit speeds approaching 60 m.p.h. Sporting colors of cobalt, ultramarine blue, and dark purple, the B&M flying coaster will have 12 ft wide trains shaped like a Manta Ray, and it's fins will indeed dip into the water at one point.

The coaster will be centered in an ancient village paying honor to Rays in general through artifacts and decorations, the queue will pass viewing areas for a spectacular amount of different types of live rays. Sound like a pretty complete experience, and hopefully well themed on top of that.

Sounds like a great project for Sea World that combines the park's marine life message with the highly attractive thrill rides of today.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Mermaid in the Magic Kingdom

Blue Sky Disney recently did a Blue Sky Buzz for Disney World in Florida, and the big news the site is reporting is that the Magic Kingdom will finally see another E-Ticket attraction in the form of the Little Mermaid ride going into Disney's California Adventure at the end of this decade (or so).

The site doesn't list a timetable for the Florida ride, but it's pretty exciting news. I'm guessing this is the attraction that will finally take most of the place of the former Submarine ride in Fantasyland.

From what I've read elsewhere the ride's design keeps getting more involved and detailed, so the ride sure sounds promising. I know some people don't like when rides are cloned but I don't mind, it's more probable for me to ride it in FL than in CA!

The Geauga Lake Land

The land that used to be Geauga Lake amusement park has received 4 bids from real estate developers according to this article from the Plain Dealer.

The article says that all the developers are interested in building mixed use projects on the land. None of the interested parties have been named.

I can't wait for the announcement regarding whether Cedar Fair will sell the land to one of the bidders. It's just such a bad time to be selling a huge amount of land! But CF really needs some cash...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Six Flags Price Slashing

More and more Six Flags amusement parks are announcing lower admission prices to stimulate guests to take a visit. Like several who have already made announcements, a bunch more are now making it more affordable for a family to spend a day at the parks.

Six Flags New England, Six Flags America, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, Six Flags Great Adventure, and Six Flags St. Louis all cut their admission prices by $10 recently.

I wonder if this is because they already are feeling lower attendance, or if it's just an attempt to have a surge in park guests. Hopefully all the ads in the park, etc, can make up for the lower per caps the company will see this summer.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Great Escape, 2008

© 2008 TGE Source

The Great Escape, which is one of the few Six Flags parks left that is not branded, looks like they received a lot of capital for the 2008 season.

The Great Escape Source has a full photo update of what's new at the park this year. They've added a Wiggles World section to the park, and also a new bowl waterslide, Mega Wedgie. There are plenty of other changes to be seen at the park this year, as well.

You can check out all the photos on TGE Source, but be warned the photos are all very large and load on one page!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Geauga Lake's Wildwater Kingdom

Geauga Lake's Wildwater Kingdom opened for the season yesterday. The water park also finally received a new website, you can see that here.

Now that they have up the map for just the water park it seems really ... small. A couple reports from yesterday's opening said that there were very, very few people at the park. I have no idea if it was cold, though, obviously water parks really depend on nice weather.

Were those lakeside pavilions there last year, or did they move a couple over from the Geauga side?

Glow In The Park Parade

Six Flags Great Adventure has debuted their new night parade, the Glow in the Park Parade.

AmusementPics has tons of photos of the parade from its first performance. It looks like they did a great job with this!

Using Gary Goddard Entertainment to product the parade was a smart move on Six Flags' part.

Click here to check out the photos!

Robbie Knievel's Big Jump

Robbie Knievel completed his jump of 24 Coke Zero trucks in the parking lot at Kings Island yesterday.

According to Robbie, he needed to hit 95 m.p.h. before starting the 200 ft. jump in order to land it.

CNN has video of the jump if you want to check it out.

Special events like this are awesome for parks to have ... they bring massive interest to the property and tons of free press. Good job to Kings Island for hosting this event.

Tony Hawk's Halfpipe

SFAFans has a nice gallery of Six Flags America's new water slide for 2008, Tony Hawk's Halfpipe.

While the ride structure is just like all other Water Fun Sidewinder slides, the park did add some nice Tony Hawk decorations to the slide tower, etc.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Daily Spin 5.24.08

SFFT Online has some really stunning photos of Fiesta Texas' new coaster, Goliath. The ride has a really strong paint job, but it really works for the coaster. Also, I had no idea that the park did such a nice job with the ride's entrance area and queue - I really like it! Check out the photos.

Six Flags Magic Mountain is reopening X2 this weekend, and of course enthusiasts and media got to ride early: here's more photos of the 'new' ride than you can shake a stick at.

This week was so full of media days, even 30 year old coasters had them! The Loch Ness Monster at Busch Gardens Europe recently turned 30 and had a media event to celebrate! See photos here.

The GCI Intern website recently posted some shots of the trains for Evel Knievel at Six Flags St. Louis. What a stylin' paint job! The ride is supposed to be on track for an opening in late June.

RCPro has pictures of the area around Pony Express at Knott's Berry Farm, as well as pics of the ride. They show how the ride interacts with that section of the park, which I haven't seen online yet. Also has great photos of the ride's tunnel under construction.

On a final note, Six Flags has gone crazy with their online ads. I was just on and saw an ad! That's it for now, I have a very wonderful wedding to attend today!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Cedar Point Commercial

PointBuzz has this new Cedar Point commercial posted on their YouTube page. What a departure from the type of advertising the park has used in the past!

And I totally think the song is catchy. Ha.

Pony Express Press Day

Pony Express opened for the media and coaster enthusiasts yesterday, and will open for the public this weekend. (I'm a little tired of typing that sentence after all these media days!)

The OCRegister has a nice photo gallery of the ride in action, along with a video of the ride. I think it's pretty awesome that Knott's Berry Farm had a bunch of mail carriers on hand to take a spin!

May Poll Results

Well, someone decided to be a turd again and vote for Six Flags about 200 times today in the May Poll: Which Amusement Park Company Has the Brightest Future?

So let's remove the immature-nothing-better-to-do-than-mess-with-polls bunch of votes and since I closed the poll early look at the results now:

The percentages changed very little since mid-month, just more votes came in. I used the data from a day or so ago when there were a total of 407 votes.

As you can see, Cedar Fair was the winner. I don't agree with this, but I clearly cover CF quite a bit so I can't say I'm surprised.

Happily, Busch Entertainment came in 2nd, and with it's wide variety of parks, nice theming, stand out rides and attractions, animal features, etc, well - they clearly have their stuff together.

Six Flags came in third, and honestly this company is in such a transition period that I can't say where their future will lead them...

Herschend Family Entertainment came in last ... but I sorta think they should have come in first. I guess we can check back in 5 years and see if my vote (yes I voted for them) was true.

Columbus Zoo Preview

© 2008 Mark Rosenzweig

The Columbus Zoo is almost ready to open their new sections, Jungle Jack's Landing and Zoombezi Bay. Mark Rosenzweig has a preview gallery of the new areas that can be found in his SmugMug gallery. Check it out!

It doesn't look like the concept art ... but the place looks really nice. They have a solid selection of slides and a bunch of new rides mixed in with just a couple of the old from Wyandot Lake.

Both sections are to open on Memorial Day, the 26th, according to the park's website.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Tony Hawk's Media Day

Holy Media Days Batman!

© Theme Park Village 2008

Another day, another ride media day! This time we have Theme Park Village's coverage of Tony Hawk's Big Spin's media day. The ride opens tomorrow! Be sure to check out all the photos that TPV has!

Thrillville Closes Its Gates

Sad news, Thrill-Ville USA, outside Salem, OR, has closed it gates, possibly forever. The small amusement park closed due to a number of factors, from increased insurance costs, higher prices for fuel and food, even to the state's higher than average minimum wage.

The final fate of the park is not yet decided, but for this summer the property will remain closed. What a bummer.

Voodoo Works Its Press Magic

© 2008 The Morning Call / Monica Cabrera

Voodoo at Dorney Park also had it's media day yesterday - this week has been very busy with new ride media days/openings.

There's a bunch of articles online, some with video of the ride in action. The Morning Call has a nice article with a video of the ride in action. The Philly news stations also were there for the opening, here's NBC and here is CBS's video. Finally, we have WFMZ and The Express Times' contributions to the coverage.

Dorney Park will be open daily for the rest of the summer starting this weekend.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Dominator & The Dark Knight

Here's an article about Dominator at Kings Dominion that has some nice video of the ride, the above and below shots are from that video. I love the B&M roar that you can hear, being around Dorney's B&Ms so much makes me almost forget that sound...

And here's a nice article about the Dark Knight at Six Flags Great America. This one has a really nice slideshow of photos of the construction of the ride and it's opening. Many of the photos were on the park's website but these are much higher quality and allow a peak inside the ride building.

It looks like the summer 'slow' season is upon us as the last batch of rides open and industry news slows down. I'll still dig around for stuff for the blog, though!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Dominator's Media Day

© pkdcoaster 2008

Dominator at Kings Dominion had its media day today, and many enthusiasts were present for the events. This thread at TRP has photos from several people who were at the park today.

Kings Dominion really did a nice job with the area around Dominator. The ride is by no means a parking lot coaster, even though it was built on one. They've planted grass under almost all of the ride, props to the park for that.

The sign (above) is really awesome, too! I'm almost jealous that I visited the park last summer because I want to ride Dominator!

Great America's Dark Knight

© mcjaco 2008

Yesterday was the media day for The Dark Knight at Six Flags Great America, and over on the TRP boards user mcjaco has posted a photo report for the new ride.

I have to say that I like Great America's set up better than Great Adventure's. Great America benefited by being able to place the queue indoors inside a former theater. That helps the 'mood' of the ride because you are indoors more. Plus, that means AC for the whole time in line...

Check out the photos by clicking here.

Weekly Topic #6

This week Theme Park Village posted the topic of what movie would you like to see turned into a movie. Without a doubt, The Goonies!

If you've never seen this movie, well, go rent it first. The flick came out in '85 and was based on a story concept by Steven Spielberg, and it's awesome.

A bunch of kids find a map in their attic that leads them on an adventure to find hidden pirate treasure, which they need to save their house from developers. Of course, there's bad guys after them at every turn, and their journey takes them past plenty of traps and puzzles as they navigate caves and secret passages.

It would make a fantastic dark ride ... to say the least. Plus it has dead pirates which are all the rage right now! A dark ride is just one idea, too, you could go several different directions with that movie - I mean they literally have water slides in the film!

It's never gonna happen, but man, it'd be awesome if it did!

Monday, May 19, 2008

A Closer Look at Firefall

© 2008 Theme Park Village

Theme Park Village has up a nice set of photos that take a closer look at Firefall at California's Great America.

The fire effects were not working yet on opening day, but the ride looks good even with just the water features working.

Soak City Palm Springs

The Desert Sun has a nice interview with the GM of Soak City Palm Springs which you can read here. It sounds like the park has really been doing well since Cedar Fair purchased the property in 2001.

Attendance is said to be up to over 200k last year, and this past season alone saw a 10% increase. The GM had no problem leaking that 2009 will bring a new slide attraction to the park, either.

It's a detail oriented article about a park which is the kind I love!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Daily Spin 5.18.08

Kings Island Central has photos from this weekend of the 2009 coaster construction. Forget my doubts before, this hyper coaster definitely looks to have a water splash as a finale! That's pretty sweet if you ask me.

Ezeiza's Flickr account has some beautiful photos of FireFall at California's Great America operating. The ride finally opened this weekend. I really like the job that Cedar Fair did with theming and landscaping the ride - it looks very well done.

The Simpsons Ride at Universal Studios Florida has it's grand opening this past week. IOACentral has tons of photos and video from the event.

Alabama Adventure amusement park (formerly Visionland) was purchased last week by Adrenaline Family Entertainment, the company started by a couple former Six Flags execs that purchased Clementon Amusement Park last year. This is good news for the park, as the new owners have more expansion plans for the property.

Tony Hawk's Big Spin at Six Flags Over Texas had it's media day recently, user cedarpointfangirl has a photo trip report of the event on ThemeParkReview. Here's another link to a news report that has video of the ride in action. The ride officially opened yesterday for the general public.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Voodoo Opened Today

So I took a chance and stopped by the park today hoping that Voodoo might open. Lucky for me, it did.

I got there early and noticed that a full ride crew was at Voodoo cleaning, and the management types were milling around. Cleaning queue rails only means one thing in my Cedar Fair experience, and that is that a ride is going to open soon.

But I'm getting ahead of myself, they were doing some work on Laser, it almost looking like they were sanding or something on the tracks. One train was at the very end of the brake run.

Also, there's a new little SnoCone stand right at the entrance of Voodoo. I can't help but wonder if this is new or used-Geauga - which if true would be funny considering it's at Voodoo.

So they started testing Voodoo a few times with the water dummies, did the full runs and the not full test runs, etc. - and then they emptied the water out of the dummies and removed them.

After a while, and much more cleaning of the ride's train, people started to gather at the entrance to the ride and a big line started to form.

And then it opened! I was lucky to get a ride on the first public train, and it was pretty great. It was pretty much what I expected, but in a good way. The launch is fun, and I also actually really enjoyed the holding brake.

The park handled the crowd very well (no Canada's Wonderland Behemoth stampedes) and the dispatches on Voodoo were fantastic. Props to the park for both of those.

It was a perfect blue sky this morning, then by the time the ride opened I had this not-so-great sky as a background for photos.

Important park people and very happy riders of Voodoo. The crowds really seemed to love the ride.

It's a great ride to watch from the midway, too.

On a final note, here's a nice shot of the Ferris Wheel (new logo on the middle panel).

Congrats on your ride opening, Dorney!

Friday, May 16, 2008

ThunderHawk's Opening Day

Michigan's Adventure had their opening ceremonies for the park's new coaster on Wednesday. The first riders were the winning bidders in the first to ride auction for Thunderhawk, which raised over $2,500 for the Red Cross.

The article that the above and below screen grabs came from has a video of the ride that includes a POV. I really like how they landscaped the area around and under the ride. Reminds me of Talon at Dorney, only ThunderHawk sits on a lake.

And I hate to say it, but, the McDonalds color scheme has grown on me! Eek!