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.
Hangtime Opening Date Revealed???
Rumors are floating around concerning Hangtime's opening date. While Knott's themselves have not announced a date yet, the general feeling is that they are shooting for Easter weekend. A screengrab from the Knott's app, may have leaked the ride's opening date, as it says that the ride will debut on the 31st, this Saturday.
Sources close to the park say that the ride itself is mechanically ready to go, with the first live passengers taking a ride the other day, but the area surrounding the ride still needs work. The queue, station, and gift shop are still incomplete, and may not be ready by the time this date rolls around. This is still nearly a week away though, and if work is done around the clock, this may change by the weekend.
As we reported earlier, the maintenance and testing on Xcelerator are complete, and the ride has finally reopened to the public as of last Saturday!
Today I'll briefly go over the status of the three coasters at Knott's currently under construction or maintenance:
Hangtime is Testing
I'm a little late with this one, but here is some great footage from Parks Bros of Hangtime testing, up close and personal. Be sure to check out their channel for a bunch of different testing videos of the ride. Hangtime looks almost ready to open, as they are now in the phase of testing and adjusting. I have seen a little variance of speed over different videos, but the most recent cycles seem tuned to the correct speed of the ride. With a couple of Knott's coasters down already, hopefully this ride is on the brink of opening.
Work on Xcelerator
Good news for Xcelerator, as work has finally commenced on repairing the ride. Xcelerator has been down for quite some time now, first going down around late summer of 2017. The need of specialized parts shipped from Intamin, in combination of the ride needing its annual maintenance seems to have kept it down for the count for this long time. The park has released no specific info or timetable of the ride's potential return.
Pony Express Track Segment Removed
A section of Pony Express' track that goes over Bigfoot Rapids has been removed mysteriously. The ride is currently undergoing a scheduled rehab, and is supposed to reopen on the 16th of this month. Reasons surrounding this disappearance are unknown, although a park local has mentioned that that section of track and supports has seen a lot of corrosion from the rapid ride down below. Two possibilities are that Zamperla has manufactured replacement track for that segment, or Knott's is recoating the track with corrosion free paint themselves.
No matter the issue, I will be shocked if they can reinstall that track and have this ride up and running in only 4 days or so.
It's been no mystery for a while that Knott's was receiving a water park expansion next season. But we finally have learned today what exactly this expansion will consist of.
Shore Break will be the largest complex added to Soak City. It will feature 6 slides total, including 4 drop pod slides. Stand in one of the chambers atop the 60 foot tall tower before launching into the slide via a dropping floor mechanism sure to scare even the toughest of thrill seekers. Also, for those not brave enough to face the Aqua-Launch slides, the complex will offer two dueling inner tube slides that travel through many speed bumps and turns.
The Wedge will take the place of the current Pacific Rim slide. It is a much tamer family rafting experience, where up to 6 guests can take part on this twisting and turbulent experience. A conveyor system also ensures that nobody will have to lug up a cumbersome raft.
As well as the slides, the project includes shaded areas, cabanas, and a renovation to Longboard's Grill.
Reason: Though not the extensiveness of a Carolina Harbor upgrade, this is a pretty good addition for Knott's. Despite having to remove Pacific Rim, they will be able to replace it and even upgrade with these slides. The project also will work on some infrastructure and amenities as well, so it's a huge win.
My only question that remains is what will be the fate of the relatively new Pacific Rim???