The world is getting closer and closer to the debut of RMC's first Raptor Track coaster. Wonder woman Golden Lasso Coaster at Fiesta Texas is scheduled to have a media date of April 24th, and open to the general public on April 28th. Above we get a close-up of a finished train, and it is looking good!
Darien Lake is showing off the train design for Tantrum. The park has yet to announce an opening date for the ride.
They are still receiving final shipments of parts, and groundwork is still being finished up with the footers and paths. Only a couple of support beams are vertical at this point.
The time has finally come... Cedar Point has released test footage of Steel Vengeance featuring Communications Director Tony Clark, and Park Manager Jason McClure. We all have been waiting to see any sort of test footage or content showing off the new ride, so here it is:
Matching it up with the animated POV, this thing is right on the dot when it comes to speed and pacing. All of the people out there who whine about RMCs having pacing issues and speed can eat their words on this one.
I feel like Tony and Jason are being completely genuine with the fact that this could potentially be the best roller coaster on the planet. Beating out Maverick is a pretty high standard to hold something too. Maverick is a top 3 coaster for me, and I'm excited to see how I feel about this one.
Cedar Point's opening day cannot come soon enough, and I hop that I will be able to follow through with my plans to visit the park by the end of May!!!
Forgot to post this the other day, but Knott's has officially released Hangtime's opening date... May 18th.
While it's a far cry from the original speculated date of March 31st, opening day is just a little over a month away. Instead of rushing the opening, they are taking their time with finishing off the station and queue areas, as well as getting the light programming down.
In my mind, it's better to open the ride when it's ready, as the media is going to be taking a boatload of pictures. There is also the chance of a soft opening a week or so beforehand.
Thorpe Park opens Walking Dead Coaster
Thorpe Park has opened their rethemed version of X: No Way Out the other day. Initial thoughts from the public are that the ride was rushed, and does not improve over the original ride in any way. While the preshow and queue areas are well done, the ride itself did not change much. Not many effects or memorable moments were added. It seems like this was more of a project to get a quick flip on the popular franchise, although a rumored 20 million pounds was spent on it, and not much work was done.
Knott's Hangtime continues testing
Hangtime was never able to make its March 31st deadline, but work is continuing to be done at a rapid rate. As shown by this screengrab of the park's webcam, all of the ride's lights are now operating and look stunning. The ride's queue and surrounding areas are still being worked on with shade structures being added, and the ride itself continues cycling until it will finally be opened.
Darien Lake receives first Tantrum pieces
Darien Lake is finally showing off their first track segment and support columns arriving for Tantrum, a new Gerstlauer Eurofighter. While the ride is a bit behind schedule due to weather, groundwork is complete and ready to begin building the track. The ride will not be ready for opening weekend, but by Memorial Day weekend is a good aim for this to open up.
Twisted Timbers is Now OPEN!
Kings Dominion opened up their RMC revamp of Hurler this weekend to great praise. Coaster enthusiasts say that the ride is up there in terms of RMCs, and packs quite the punch. Some have even gone as far as saying that the ride holds its own with Intimidator 305.
Oak's Park Opens Euro-Fighter
A small amusement park in Oregon, Oak's Park has opened their neatly colored Euro-Fighter as well. This ride is a clone of Hydrus at Casino Pier. A nice addition for this tiny park.
Steel Vengeance is Testing
Cedar Point has finally begun testing Steel Vengeance this week. Small video snippets can be found online, but they are of pretty low quality. It is good to see them finally begin testing the ride, so the are on track for an opening weekend debut.
Better late than never, Fantasy Island in Grand Island NY has announced that they will be making many family improvements for the upcoming season. The park was formerly known as Martin's Fantasy Island, until it was bought by Apex Parks a couple of years ago.
Among the improvements includes the moving and/or renaming of some rides:
- Carousel becomes "All The King's Horses"
- Jack and the Beanstalk (drop tower) becomes "Rapunzel! Rapunzel!"
- Blue Goose becomes "Goosey Goosey Gander"
- Tea Cups becomes "Enchanted Tea Party"
- Kiddie Train becomes "Storybook Express"
This is all part of the new Fairy Tale Forest area, formerly part of the Garden of Fables. "Cinderella's Midnight Magic Wheel," a kiddie ferris wheel, is a brand new ride.
New additions to the area include a show named "If the Shoe Fits", Fairy Tale Fortress (meet and greet), and Storybook Lane, an addition to the former Garden of Fables push button mini-shows. Oakley the Talking Tree will be an interactive animatronic that greets guests entering the area.
Along with this area, the water park will be renamed "Splashaway Bay". We reported earlier this year on the water slide complex formerly known as Raging Rapids being refurbished into Double Dare Falls. But the park is also expanding their cabana section, and transforming a snack stand.
The full press release, along with additional investments can be found here. Apex is truly beginning to give this park some TLC that it needs.
EDIT: The park website still lists the Red Baron ride as operating, so it may end up being moved, rather than removed. With the Tea Cup ride taking its place, this may just be a placement swap between the two.
Silver Dollar City's newest thrill machine is finally open after months of speculation and waiting. Time Traveler opened yesterday along with the ride's media day event to amazing crowds. At its peak, the ride's queue was said to have reached a length of over 2 and a half hours. That is simply extraordinary for Silver Dollar City.
Below is some POV footage from the ride:
Time Traveler is certainly unique, as it becomes the world's first spinning coaster to contain a vertical drop, launch sections, and inversions. This ride not only breaks barriers for SDC and the industry, but for MACK Rides as well who have been on a roll lately.
I must say that the spinning element was performed delightfully. The spinning is not too fast as to make many riders sick, but it offers a different ride each cycle, as it is free spinning. This should keep guests returning for more and more rides to see the different orientations that can happen during the course of the ride.
Time Traveler's theming is also on point, with heavy scenery around the queue and entrance areas. Not to mention that the ride vehicles themselves are beautiful. I hope to make it out to SDC within the next few years to check out all of the great investments that have been unveiled in recent years.
Thorpe Park will be transforming the X: No Way Out roller coaster into a Walking Dead themed ride. Enclosed inside of a building, the Vekoma Enigma roller coaster originally opened in 1996.
The park is marketing the ride as a totally immersive scare experience, that doesn't just start and end with the dispatch of the train. Scare actors and other effects will line the queue and surrounding areas, making this more of a complete attraction. Replicas of props from the show will also be placed in the building.
18 months have been put into the design of the reimagined ride, and the ride's lead creator has gone back to watch all episodes of AMC's popular show to develop as realistic of an experience as possible. This will be the first Walking Dead themed ride to debut at a park. Auditions are being held to find the most realistic zombie actors from around the area to help create the desired atmosphere.
We heard about the franchise branding their show a couple of years ago, with the Sally Corp marketing their concept for a Dead themed dark ride.
Not too much more info has been released yet, as I'm sure that Merlin wants to keep much of the ride a surprise. Hopefully they have gone all out on this one, instead of touting a ride that hasn't added too much effect or scenery wise. The park is scheduled to open March 23rd.
This won't be too much of a lengthy update, but I thought that I would post some of the latest pictures of the projects under construction for 2018!
Alabama Splash Adventure is adding five new family rides for 2018. While it seems like a lot for the small park, they are still recovering from buying the park and rebuilding most of its attractions, meaning that this will give them a good amount of things more to do.
The rides will include a trackless train (pictured above), a Zamperla Rockin' Tug, a Scrambler, a Tilt-a-Whirl, and a Yo-Yo ride. Many of these are typical family rides for a small park, but it shows that the ownership team is committed to growing the park even more.
While the water park is the main draw for this park, they're dry side was once more vast, including three roller coasters, two water rides, and a plethora of flat rides. After 2011, the park closed, and sold off many of its attractions, until Dan Koch purchased the property in 2014.
This isn't a huge announcement, but a good one to see, as a large amount of closed parks have been reopening and revitalized over the past few years. Even if small, more open amusement parks helps the industry and growth of it than less.
After months of being called the "World's Largest Loop Coaster", Six Flags has finally given Great America's new ride a name. Mardi Gras Hangover will be the world's largest Larson Giant Loop ride, standing at 100 feet tall. This is nearly a 30 foot increase of the traditional model that Six Flags has been installing around the country.
The ride will be installed in the park's Mardi Gras area, replacing "King Chaos", a unique Huss Top Spin ride. A hurricane related theme was slated to be the original name for the ride, but the idea was scrapped due to coincidental timing with hurricane season, and Hurricane Harvey. This move was likely made to save the company from bad PR.
Personally, while I am not a huge fan or enemy of the Super Loop model, I would rather have seen King Chaos stay a little longer. Nonetheless, I am happy to see that this model will feature a larger structure, and a larger train, which should be the whole point behind the "looping coaster" gimmick.
Unfortunately, the ride is seeing some bad press already due to the play on words with "hangover". All I have to say about that is people need to lighten up a little. Advertisements and graphics for the ride show no suggestion to alcohol or its effects on people. I love the play on words, and it is a nice little easter egg for adults visiting the park. The ride itself features many hanging moments, and poses no bad influence or graphics that could harm children.
Kennywood has been receiving some attention lately for their huge new roller coaster project coming within the next couple of seasons. That isn't stopping them from investing big in 2018, as they will be adding an $8.5 million area themed to Thomas & Friends. The park is boasting it as their largest expansion since the Lost Kennywood area in 1995.
The area will hold eight new rides and attractions; 4 new family rides, 3 attractions, and one redesigned ride. Cranky's Drop Tower, Flynn's Fire Training, Diesel Drivers, and Harold's Helicopter Tour are the names for the brand new rides. I suspect that they will be similar in nature to the Thomas Town rides that Six Flags used to operate:
Six Flags' contract to license the Thomas & Friends brand expired, leading them to retheme the areas as "Whistlestop Park". Many parks are rolling back on that theme altogether.
Journey with Thomas will be a modified version of the Olde Kennywood Railroad. A Thomas themed locomotive will be added to the tracks, and it sounds like part of the ride course will be tweaked. The new ride will take riders close to the Monongahela River and the Edgar Thomson Steel Works.
Along with the new rides, guests can expect to see a live stage show, play area, gift shop, and party pavilion as part of this major expansion.
It's interesting that the park would sign with this IP, given I don't know how many kids relate with Thomas anymore. Nonetheless, I expect Kennywood to hold onto this brand longer and take better care of it than Six Flags did. It's great to see the park adding new elements to the railroad to get some more riders on it, given its historic status.
Not only that, but the Thomas theme should bring some more brightness and modern infrastructure to the park, something that I feel they have always needed a bit more of.
This expansion, and the future investment that the park will be bringing should give Kennywood fans a lot to do over the next few years. If the new roller coaster is as big as some sources have been speculating, Kennywood might be trying to become more of a big player in the industry.
After months of speculation, the new roller coaster known as SW8 in Alton Towers code has finally been given its name. The wooden roller coaster built by Great Coasters Intl. will be named Wicker Man.
In true Alton towers fashion, the name was released with a complete advertising package of amazing visuals, soundtracks, and outside marketing, such as lighting up the London Eye. If you haven't seen that image yet, I recommend that you look it up, as it is stunning.
The press release for the ride mentions that the ride will pass through the Wicker Man structure three times during the ride, and will combine wood and fire effects. Wicker Man gets its name from the 1973 film "The Wicker Man", starring Christopher Lee, and subsequent remakes/sequels of the film.
The plot of the film involves the protagonist visiting a remote island to search for a lost girl. After learning of the island's traditions, it becomes apparent to him that the lost girl is intended to be a human sacrifice to "please the farming gods". Responding to the findings, the protagonist begins a violent rampage, only to be informed that he himself is intended to be the human sacrifice, because he meets the requirements of the gods. The movie ends with the protagonist sent to death, burning in a gigantic Wicker Man statue.
It is unknown how much of the plot will be used for the ride, but at the very least, the ride will take its theming from this. Wicker Man will be a historic roller coaster for the UK, becoming the first wooden roller coaster to open since Oakwood's Megafobia in 1996. Much of the reasoning for this drought of wooden roller coasters is because the British public views traditional wooden roller coasters as old fashioned, rough, and unsafe.
This stereotype should be burned away with the opening of this ride, as it features some of the latest innovations in wooden coaster building. Along with featuring GCI's smooth track profile and Millennium Flyer trains, this will be the first "twister" layout wooden roller coaster to debut in the UK. The lift hill features a varying grade to fall within the height restrictions of the park, and a silent rollback system to minimize noise pollution. It is assumed that the ride will also feature magnetic braking, and other GCI standard features.
The ride reportedly has begun testing a month ago, and is slated to open sometime in Spring 2018. This is truly one of the things to look forward to if you are a UK coaster fan. Be sure to visit the ride's official website for stats and media.