New Height Waiver Filed
We previously reported on the 315 foot height waiver that was submitted by Busch Gardens, likely for a "Project Madrid". Now, the park has filed a permit for a 90 foot structure, located in the Ireland section of the park.
Nobody seems to understand the direction of the Busch Parks right now, and they seem to be scrambling to make plans work. Ireland currently lacks any large attractions, besides the brand new Battle for Eire. 90 feet is not that tall, but tall enough to still fit in a mid-size coaster. It would be a benefit for the park, given that not many of their "family coasters" have a low height requirement, but it would also be a bad move given that they have not installed a quality thrill coaster in a while.
Some people have already thrown around ideas such as a Mack Spinning coaster similar to Cobra's Curse, or a themed launch tower ride that was debated years ago. If it is a coaster, I am certain that it will be f the smaller scale.
Project Madrid Update
This project seems more likely to be a 2020 addition now, and it may have also been modified. Although plans are still very primitive, Festa Field seems to have a new structure in the plans looking very similar to an amphitheater. So instead of the aforementioned 315 foot attraction, it may just be an upgraded Royal Palace Theater instead. It's really difficult to know what Busch really has in store until they actually begin construction, as their leadership is sort of in shambles right now.
Project Madrid may open without a major attraction, or be something that is built up over the years. It's not really a surprise to me, seeing that the chain's financials do not justify a huge new investment like a new area.
We have heard reports that Carowinds is considering a double launch Mack coaster for their 2019 project. Now keep in mind that this is coming from Screamscape's "exclusive sources", so it is far from a confirmed thing, but it is a possibility given how certain they sound about it.
If so, this would be the first traditional sit down Mack launch coaster we've seen in the US, besides Time Traveler of course. With highly rated rides like Blue Fire and Helix overseas, this could turn into a real treat for those of us who cannot make it out to Europe.
Recently, the trademark "Copperhead Strike" has been filed by Cedar Fair, and would be a good fit for the location of the park, as Copperhead snakes are found along the Eastern US, such as the Carolinas.
Our friend Walter S. has sent us another photo of the site, showing the land almost fully cleared, and ready to begin laying foundations:
While I did originally believe that this would likely be a GCI coaster, now I am more unsure. A launch coaster would be a much better and higher quality fit for the park, given they don't have one at all. No matter what condition Hurler is in, the park at least has a traditional wooden coaster. Pushing a possible RMC project off longer would prevent the coaster cannibalizing off of Twisted Timbers.
With the level that Cedar Fair has been pushing Carowinds lately, a project like this is definitely more unique and should attract more people. At least in my opinion, a Mack launcher would definitely hasten my visit faster than a run of the mill GCI.
Screamscape also has a mock layout, which I will not post, because it is too speculative. According to them, the ride will have a dual launch element, and include 2-3 inversions, along with tight turns, and a top hat.
This could definitely be the dark horse for Cedar Fair's best coaster addition in 2019, given their "big project" is the dive coaster at Canada's Wonderland. Mack is one of the quickest growing and most exciting manufacturers in the industry right now.
We have an update coming from Busch Gardens Tampa today, where the website Touring Central Florida has revealed that permits have been filed to completely demolish the remains of Tanganyika Tidal Wave. The attraction has been closed for 2 years now, and if you view one of our latest videos on our YouTube channel, it is one of two locations for future expansion.
While it is not a guarantee, this makes our guess/speculation of a Premier SkyRocket model a lot more likely. While I'm not a fan of the idea, I am totally okay with them finally demolishing the SBNO attraction, and replacing it with something new.
Closed rides at eyesores, and bad for business, as they represent a park that may be struggling financially, and look dilapidated/unsafe to the general public. Unfortunately, this will probably result in something happening to Gwazi's site being stalled for a little longer. It's a shame because that ride is front and center and can be seen from across the park. But in my opinion, parks should follow a guideline of remove or replace. An empty lot of land is better than one that holds an attraction that isn't operating.
Carowinds Project Alpha 2019
Shame on me... I have already posted a YouTube video on this subject, but totally forgot to update the main site. Carowinds already has planning documents in place for a project named "Alpha". Land clearing is seen happening in the old White Water Falls and Sand Dune Lagoon sites.
This area is around 4 acres in size and many people are already pointing to a new roller coaster addition. Based off of what the park needs, they currently don't have a good thrill-scale wooden coaster, or any form of launch coaster.
Many people believe that the leading candidate is a GCI wooden coaster. Canada's Wonderland is currently getting the "big" project for 2019, so Carowinds is more likely to get a "B level" project in the investment scale of a wooden coaster.
If they go through with the plans, this gives them an opportunity to sacrifice Hurler down the line, without having to worry about a flagship park going without a wooden coaster. In the video, I mentioned the possibility of renovating Hurler with a launch, so that they meet that need down the line (in the style of Maverick of Lightning Rod).
I'm not going to mention too much more here, or give more updates until we see something happen, but the video can be seen here:
Kennywood teases land clearing
I don't think many people would be excited over a pile of dirt, but Kennywood is using it to tease land clearing for the 2019 roller coaster that has been teased for a few years now. Even though Tomas Town is the big update for this season, Kennywood is already generating excitement.
There is still no clear answer to what type of coaster the park will be adding, but the location of this picture is indeed right around the old Log Jammer plot. This coaster has the potential to be HUGE. We will keep you updated on any and all rumors we hear regarding this project.
Rumors continue to pour in about SFMM's 2019 plans. We previously heard rumors pointing to Deja Vu's old location over in Cyclone Bay. This speculation is picking up again, as some are suggesting that the WHOLE area may in fact be shutting down for rehab. For those unfamiliar with the park, Cyclone Bay is in the back portion of the park and includes Apocalypse, Jet Stream, Cyclone 500, and Dive Devil.
This area of the park has been under neglect for years now, and is in dire need of a refresh, similar to what was done in the DC Universe a couple of seasons ago. If the rumblings hold true, this may be the largest investment that the park has undergone in years. So large, that construction may begin soon, like we have seen with Canada's Wonderland.
People are clinging to the rumor of Dive, Dive, Dive, as this has been going around since there was the possibility of Viper's demise years ago. I think this is one of the best possibilities, as it is more compact, but could even break records for the park, and possibly push 300 feet. Magic Mountain currently has coasters in the 200 and 400 foot range, so a Giga would be a first.
Roaring Rapids, although in a different area, could be demolished in favor of making room for this new coaster. With Magic Mountain running out of room, it could clear up some space. Roaring Rapids is one of the older rides in the park, and most costly to run and maintain.
Not only does it rack up a huge utility and operational bill, but it has suffered from increased maintenance issues recently, making it more vulnerable to closing. It's quite unfortunate if that's the case, as Magic Mountain would be down to 2 water rides, but from what I've heard, the ride does not generate much interest anyways.
If these plans are truly in the books, the Cyclone Bay area would close somewhere around June to prepare for construction. Apocalypse and other rides would be safe from demolition, but they would be taking a period of increased maintenance and rehab, something that Apocalypse has been seeing a lot of lately. For Magic Mountain's only remaining traditional wooden roller coaster, I feel that close to a year off is necessary to keep in in decent condition.
This is a great way for the park to reutilize old attraction space for something new and improved, but also takes some of the load off of the older attractions that need some extra attention. Besides coasters, SFMM is low on other attractions, so a ride like Jet Stream needs to be preserved. It is good to see the park on a bit of a spur in investing, as they are seeming to round out their lineup, and rehab some of the plazas and areas, similar to Cedar Fair's strategy.
We will continue to look into this, and likely post a video soon...
SeaWorld Entertainment has just filed 3 trademarks, all corresponding with a potential name for a new roller coaster addition, all linked to Busch Gardens Tampa. The names, Tigris, Twisted Tiger, and Uproar all suggest a Tiger theme, which already has people speculating on their meaning.
Two possibilities have been suggested thus-far:
1. The elephant in the room is of course Gwazi, the former GCI dueling wooden coaster that has been SBNO for over 2 years now. Why would Busch leave the ride standing for so long, if it was permanently on the chopping block? The amount of closed and inoperable attractions at the park is growing, and surely must be hurting the park's image.
It's easy to suggest that the park may be looking to turn the ride into an RMC hybrid, considering I don't see many reasons why the ride has not already been demolished. BGT is surely lacking a wooden style coaster, and the steel I-box track would ensure its thrill factor, and longevity in the Florida heat.
2. Some have also speculated that Gwazi may be removed completely, and replaced by a Premier Skyrocket II, similar to Tempesto at sister park Busch Gardens Williamsburg. While this is definitely a huge downgrade, and not exactly too exciting, SeaWorld has been very fond of this model ride recently, and the name Uproar fits the bill.
Even though I wouldn't be too big of a fan, something is better than nothing when it comes to operating attractions. These names would pay homage to the ride that stood there before them, and would begin to turn around BGT's string of bad luck. In a perfect world, I would much rather hope that the former option was being considered considering the amount of land at play.
Vertical construction has begun on Universal Orlando's future roller coaster that replaced Dueling Dragons. Not much at all has been released yet on any specifics, but work is moving along steadily. I try to cover these parks as unbiased as possible, considering I'm ore of a reporter for this type of news, rather than just a fan. But Universal is still in my doghouse for removing Dueling Dragons.
With the great job that they did with rehabbing Hulk, the same type of thing could have been done to save one of the most iconic and photogenic coasters of modern times. But they had it out for the ride ever since JK Rowling and Harry Potter came into the picture.
The only thing that I've said will put Universal back on my good side is a ride that meets or improves upon the quality of DD. This picture is still too early to predict a manufacturer, theme, or ride system. If I had any say in what SHOULD be, it would be something tight and forceful, along the lines of an Intamin Blitz coaster, but my expectations aren't that high.
Escape from Gringotts is a good ride, and one of the best that Universal has ever manufactured, but I'm hoping for something a little longer and more intense, especially considering what its replacing. I have heard the possibility of a Ministry of Magic theme, but that is just preliminary speculation at this point. The idea of Hagrid's motorcycle also came into play, and possibly considering that Tron at Magic Kingdom will become a very similar roller coaster. this is definitely an intriguing project to follow...
SFMM Guest Surveys show off crazy new coaster concept
On the most recent ride planning survey, Six Flags posted this video of what would be a revamped Superman: Escape from Krypton. The ride would reutilize the current structure, but become a single full circuit coaster, rather than two shuttles. The ride would feature the world's tallest inversion, connecting the two sides.
Of course this is an extremely primitive model and is going to need extreme engineering analysis. The structure is going to have to hold the new load of this updated track, as well as fall into safe force ranges with Lex Luthor being on the same drop tower. I actually received this same concept through Great Adventure's survey, so they are receiving an opinion chain-wide. I would be totally for this project happening, but would rather see SFMM get its 20th ground up coaster, rather than a repurpose.
Busch Gardens Williamsburg debating Sesame Place area
BGWFans has uncovered a guest survey for a potential new Sesame Place area added behind France at BGW. The land would be open by 2021, and feature 6 family attractions. This project would not be a part of BGW, rather a "third gate" added onto the property. This is an attempt to take full advantage of the Sesame Street IP, much like what is being done in Pennsylvania.
The new park would include a shopping district, dry ride area, an mini water park. While I find it weird that this wouldn't be a part of the park, like Busch Gardens Tampa's Sesame area is, this seems large enough to be sustainable on its own. It just needs to have the right admission cost, and draw in enough families with small children who really enjoy the IP.
We're barely into the 2018 season, and it's already time to start reporting on rumors for 2019 and beyond. This one comes from Hersheypark, where it seems like a planning document has been uncovered noting a 2020 attraction. Considering the early timeframe and year of this proposed attraction, it will most likely be of larger scale, such as a roller coaster.
Hershey's last coaster addition was the enclosed Laff Trakk of 2015, but you have to go all the way back to 2012 for their last new thrill coaster, and my personal favorite, Skyrush. Of course this document does not reveal any specifics, as it is very preliminary in nature, but it does signify that something big is happening.
2018 brings a massive water park expansion for the park, with a new slide complex and water coaster. It may be safe to say that 2019 will be kind of an off-year considering the major investment. On the horizon, it will make sense that the next marquee attraction will be a thrill coaster, as the park is overdue for one.
I don't want to begin speculating too much, as we don't have a lot of info, but a few possibilities that come to my mind are:
1. RMC Wildcat- The coaster is the worst of Hershey's wooden collection, and RMC would need to be booked this far in advance due to heavy demand.
2. New steel coaster- Intamin or B&M could make a return to the park if this is the case.
At any rate, we will definitely continue to look into this and inform you of any updates!
Pigeon Forge TN Guide has uncovered even more information about Dollywood's 2019 expansion. Visible attractions in the 5 acre area are a swinging ship, family inverted roller coaster, and a large building among other smaller attractions.
These plans come from a town environmental hearing, so are very primitive in nature. Most of the attention from the industry so far is around the colored tube structure, which resembles a roller coaster. Many people have already imagineered crazy ideas of what the coaster's concept could be, but this is a clone layout of a standard Vekoma 453m family suspended coaster. A similar ride is Orkanen in Denmark, seen below:
This model has not made an appearance in North America yet. While it is a cookie cutter addition, Herschend's theming will make up for it. What is most intriguing to me however, is the large warehouse-like building in the background. Could Dollywood finally be getting an immersive dark ride that it has been missing for years?
Many enthusiasts look over the fine details and just rampage about various coaster models and statistics, while proposing impossible features.
Another interesting thing to note of is the flat tracked ride in the upper right corner of the document. It seems really short for something along the lines of an antique car ride or miniature train, but I am going to dig up an idea from the old guest surveys.
Flashback to 2012, when Herschend operated Darien Lake in New York. They created a family area named Rowdy's Ridge and added a popular attraction called Moose on the Loose. This ride is a single rail powered attraction featuring bucking moose that travel through different scenes.
While it is a unique interactive ride, its manufacturer Metallbau estimates its hourly capacity at only 240 riders per hour. A ride like this would surely be a hit with families, and not be able to meet the demand of the park without modification, such as Omni mover loading.
Although this area is on the smaller scale, there are still a lot of possibilities to be excited about. While most of the immediate attention will go to the coaster, the unknowns are what makes this for me.
Loch Ness Monster Receives New Trains
To coincide with the 40th anniversary of the ride, it seems as though Busch Gardens has purchased new trains for the classic Arrow ride. While the train's source is still unclear, Coaster Square believes that they were either built in-house using parts from the old trains, or came from a shop that supplies Arrow products in Richmond. I would go with the latter, or S&S's Arrow parts division stepping in.
Taller headrests, increased space, and a new body design are all new features of the rolling stock. Despite budget cuts and recent controversial business decisions, it seems like Busch Gardens is taking another step in the right direction to celebrate this historic attraction.
Valleyfair removing Riptide???
We have also heard a rumor that Valleyfair may be removing their HUSS Suspended Top Spin, Riptide. The ride has disappeared from the park's website, and with the installation of Delirious, it could be an early indicator. Along with the log flume removals, the removal of HUSS Top Spin rides has been happening far too often. These rides are known for their high running and maintenance costs, and usually do not age well due to the nature of the machinery.
According to Pigeon Forge TN Guide, plans have been leaked that may hint as to what Dollywood may be receiving for their "largest expansion yet" in 2019. Park officials have stated at a local planning meeting, that the area will be around 5 acres large, and feature 8 new attractions.
These attractions are accompanied by a restaurant, restrooms, water features, and shade structures. Once what was thought to be along the lines of a roller coaster or major thrill ride now seems more like a family or children's area investment. This area may reflect an addition like Fireman's Landing at Silver Dollar City a few years ago. While I am hopeful that at least one or two rides will be thrill rides, it doesn't seem like the case.
If Dollywood still has a major roller coaster in the plans for the near future, it is kind of contradictory to market this as "the largest expansion yet". Even though Herschend Parks are more geared towards family fun, for a park with rides like Wild Eagle and Lightning Rod, a family area is a miniscule feature, even if well themed.
I won't rag on this addition too much until we see the specifics of it, but I am hopeful that it will have a better theme or attractions than SDC's did. While I am a fan of Firechaser Express, having a whole area themed to firefighting is kind of generic and unappealing.
Dollywood's locals seem mixed about this news so far, with some wanting more kiddie rides and shows, and others wanting more thrill rides.
Cedar Point hints at BIG changes to Boardwalk
According to reports from yesterday's Winter Chill Out event, despite putting finishing touches on Steel Vengeance, the park is already looking to the future. Last season, we learned that the Extreme Sports Stadium would be demolished for future expansion. This led to speculation that the "boardwalk" area around Wicked Twister would be the next to see investment.
Cedar Point's 150th anniversary is looming, and will be a two year celebration according to the park. This is the perfect opportunity to open another roller coaster, with a setting along the beach and Lake Erie. Similarly with the former Good Time Theater, where Valravn now stands, this older school structure was large, bland, an eyesore, and blocks views of the beautiful waterfront. Something much more aesthetically pleasing deserves the real estate.
Park spokesman was very cryptic with his hints yesterday, as expected, but did plug a little bit about this area dramatically changing very soon. We will be searching all year for updates.
Six Flags Fiesta Texas eyeing 365 day operation
Coincidentally, we posted an article about Magic Mountain's gloomy performance so far with all year operation. Depending on the result, Fiesta Texas may be the next park in line to see an extended schedule. With a perfect climate and growing attendance level, the park may not dive right into 365 day operation, but an all year schedule focusing on weekends and holidays.
Kentucky Kingdom 2019 Rumor
It's been rumored for a while that 2019 would bring a large attraction to Kentucky Kingdom. According to a park spokesman at a recent winter event, these plans will likely come to fruition. While not directly stated, Mile High Falls (a Hopkins Shoot-The-Chute ride), may be the next one on the chopping block. Mainly due to its age, and large plot of land, the landlocked park may see its land as more valuable than the ride itself.
Mile High Falls is one of the returning attractions to the park after the new owners came in. With a large water park, and the river rapids ride finally back in operation, it may be okay for the park to sacrifice this attraction for a larger or more appealing one.
New planning documents have revealed that California's Great America is planning to construct a 236' tall ride for 2019 or 2020. Based off of the park's 20 year master plan released last year, the location of the proposed structure will either correspond with the tower ride, or hyper coaster.
The coordinates of the new ride will be located where Peanuts Pirates (a HUSS Breakdance) currently lies. Coming off of a large investment with Railblazer this season, it would be unlikely that the park is already planning for the hyper coaster next season. Considering the construction period of the ride, it is a possibility that they have already filed for the hyper coaster to be installed for 2020. Of course, none of the heights correspond with the ones listed in the original plan, as many projects are modified slightly before final renderings.
Ignore the arrows, but this image is the only clue that we have to help give us perspective of the future. The hyper coaster would be the long straight yellow lines that turnaround along the Eagle's Flight flat ride. The ride's station would either reside where the go karts currently are, or where Log Jammer used to be. Marked by the red cursor in the Google Maps image, the tallest point of the ride would be there in either scenario.
This makes me believe that a Star Flyer model will be coming in 2019, and the hyper coaster is tentatively scheduled for 2020/2021. Let's explore both possibilities:
Case 1: Star Flyer in 2019
- A Star Flyer would fit on the ride pad of Peanuts Pirates
- Coming off of Railblazer, this is a smaller investment, but enough to market
- Valleyfair's North Star ride is around the same height (230 feet)
- The "star" attraction of the chain in 2019 is scheduled to be a Dive Coaster at Canada's Wonderland
- The hyper coaster would have to cross at a diagonal for its tallest point to be at the cursor
Case 2: Hyper Coaster for 2020/2021
- Logger's Run and HMB Endeavour have been removed to clear land leading to Eagle's Flight
- Paperwork is being completed earlier to account for the large scale of the attraction
- If the Star Flyer is coming in 2019, the go kart attraction could also be removed to make way for a station/queue area, which is diagonal from the location on the documents
- This gives Cedar Fair more of a buffer zone to spread out capital investment
- Although there is always a tolerance, the hyper coaster was slightly taller than the submitted height
All of this is speculation, but I am reasoning why I believe that these two attractions will fall into this plan. A Star Flyer is a great supplementary addition to help ease the blitz of removals that CGA has been undergoing. Then a couple years after the marketability of Railblazer has worn off, CGA would build their next "big thing".
As more updates come along, we will post them right here as always. Check YouTube tomorrow for a video update!
Elitch Gardens may be removing Ghost Blasters
This is an UNCONFIRMED rumor at this point, but word has been going around that the Sally Dark Ride "Ghost Blasters" may be removed at Elitch Gardens. Reports say that the ride building has been gutted, an will be removed or reused for a 2018 attraction.
Ghost Blasters is only 10 years old this year after a major overhaul in 2008. Although the same or similar storyline is present in many models of Sally rides, namely "Boo Blasters" at Cedar Fair parks, this is a quality dark ride for a small regional park.
For what it's worth, the ride is still listed on Elitch's website, and no mention of a 2018 attraction has been made over social media. Considering the shocking close of Busch Garden's Darkastle dark ride, anything is possible, despite ride age.
Dark rides are among the most expensive to maintain the effects, especially for a smaller scale park like Elitch's. We will keep you updated on any more developments from the park. Elitch Gardens is scheduled to open on April 28th.
Six Flags Dubai interested in Mack Hyper Coaster (2019-2020)
Currently still in development and construction phases, Six Flags Dubai will reportedly scrap the idea of a "Goliath-like clone" RMC wooden coaster for a Mack hyper coaster. The ride may be similar to the DC Rivals coaster over in Australia.
This will be the third rendition of the ride site, as plans changed from an Intamin Prefab coaster, to the RMC Topper Track model, now to this. No specific information has been released in regards to the official opening lineup of the park.
If plans had to be changed, it could be due to the fact that RMC may already be booked for those years. I have heard that the plans of eventually opening an RMC ride have not been completely scrapped. This would become the first major project from Mack that Six Flags has installed in quite some time, and may lead to a future relationship between the companies.
Flashback to just over two weeks ago, we have some updates regarding these two parks, and a couple of the rumors that we addressed.
Magic Mountain Green Lantern Update
Good news to some, bad news to others, crews have been spotted finally working on Green Lantern's structure. The ride has been down for several months now, and rumors of its demise began to swirl around.
Park regulars are speculating that trim brakes may be added to the ride to help make the ride experience smoother and entice less flips. Parts were likely ordered from Intamin, and took a while for manufacturing and shipping overseas. It's hard to find many people who actually enjoy Green Lantern's previous ride experience. The restraints were tight, uncomfortable, and the ride threw you around uncomfortably.
I'm satisfied with this move, because as bad as Green Lantern is, it's better than the park removing it, and merely replacing it with a Free Spin coaster next year. That decision would totally be a "Six Flags thing" to do.
Six Flags over Texas could Reinstall Troika
We also reported on the removal of the Crazy Legs/Harley Quinn Spinsanity Troika ride. Some reports indicate that this may be for a wider scale refurbishment of the ride, so it can be reinstalled at a later occurrence.
While the ride was just refurbished two seasons ago, that was only for paint and retheming into Harley Quinn. This project could see the ride's mechanical system and ride vehicles see more attention. This is just a light rumor at this point, but is definitely a possibility considering the longevity of troika ride lifespans.
Fantasy Island NY 2018 Updates
It's been two years now since Apex Parks purchased the small family park in Grand Island, NY. It also looks like it will be the second year in a row that they will not be building a ground-up ride. This is a huge change from the previous business structure, where a ride was added every year.
Apex will be making some minor changes to the park for 2018. The Raging Rapids water slide from the 1980s will be seeing a refurbishment, with new colors and a new name. Fantasy Island posted a fan vote on their Facebook page to decide whether the name will be Double Dare Falls, Barracuda Blasters, or Riptide Racers. UPDATE: Today the park announced the winner as Double Dare Falls.
As for the "Giant Slide" on the dry side of the park (your traditional sack race slide), it will be removed as a third party company found refurbishment unfeasible. Along with other small updates around the park, it is rumored that a Strike-U-Up game from Skyline Attractions was seen in storage. This could possibly be a small addition to the park to hold them over until next year.
Walibi Holland Future Plans
This rumor has floated around for a while, but as a part of Walibi's major refurbishment plans to the park's theming, a new roller coaster may open for the 2019/2020 season.
The coaster would be a standard S&S Free Spin, and could possibly replace the park's antique car ride "Tour of Gardens". It's a bit odd for me, as quite personally despite me loving roller coasters and thrill rides, it is becoming quite tiresome to continue losing unique rides for these mass cloned Free Spins.
They're starting to become the next Vekoma Boomerang in the industry. They look like fun rides, but why must they all be the same exact layout???
I have heard from various sources close to Lagoon Park in Utah mention that the park is already in the development stages for their next big attraction. The three leading contenders are a water based dark ride, an interactive dark ride similar to Wonder Mountain's Guardian, or an intense roller coaster.
Our sources lean heavily towards the first two, and the ride is likely to receive a primeval theme to dinosaurs. The attraction is in very early development, as the park is still upgrading and banking off the success of Cannibal. 2020 to 2021 may be around the time frame that this ride could be complete.
ART Engineering from Germany is likely to be involved in the design and manufacturing of this attraction, given the park's past of working with them to create "in-house" rides. Some of the company's most famous projects include Cannibal, Wicked, Bombora, and engineering on the Triotech dark rides. While they are not exactly a household name in the industry, they have been growing as of recent.
If the park truly is leaning towards the dark water ride concept, they will likely be interested in ART's raft ride model. It is described as a cross between a traditional raft ride and a log flume. The budget for the project is slated to be around the cost of Cannibal, which after modifications totaled to around 26 million dollars. Lagoon would like an extended version of the model to go through a show building or man made mountain.
This is all initial speculation, as the park could very well decide on another roller coaster. With a collection of 10 roller coasters in their lineup, and Cannibal becoming their first hyper coaster, they may be holding off on another coaster addition until they deem it necessary. The park currently holds 2 dark rides, and 2 water rides.
As for 2018, it seems as though the park is looking to make infrastructure upgrades, and rehab for Roller Coaster (the park's only wooden roller coaster). Roller Coaster is slated to receive track work and new trains. It is unknown who will be providing the trains, but PTC will probably not be involved. GCI's Millennium Flyer model, or an all new design from ART may be explored.
UPDATE: Lagoon has filed a trademark for the name "Primordial", and links it to use for a roller coaster. Take that for what you will. This could end up being a ride system very similar to Wonder Mountain's Guardian. I have also heard that 2019 was being thrown around for the year.
It has been known for a little while that Canada's Wonderland has stated future plans containing a new roller coaster and a hotel. According to planning documents filed at a planning meeting last week, the construction period of the ride will be from January 12th 2018 to January 11th 2020.
This means that the roller coaster will likely be open for the 2019 or 2020 season. The ride's specs and model are not specified, but all we know is that it will be placed somewhere between Vortex and Windseeker. One of the features of the ride will be a tunnel which dives into the pond, like Anaconda at Kings Dominion does.
This is not too large of an area, so I would assume that Cedar Fair may be looking at more of a compact model, such as a Dive Coaster, or similar type of ride. The big gimmick will be the dive into the water.
As for other news, there are plans in place to update the park's entrance and parking plaza, which could be completed by 2019. Cedar Fair has never been fond of the old Paramount Parks' infrastructure, especially on the front end. Look for them to do some work here, and parks like California's Great America in the future.
The hotel will likely open by the 2020 or 2021 seasons, but I have yet to hear solid sources on this one. No planning documents have been filed, but Cedar Fair is looking to design and brand this hotel as their own, much like they do with Breakers at Cedar Point. Carowinds has been subject to similar rumors, being one of the flagship parks.
This won't be your usual edition of the Rumor Rodeo. Instead of reporting on rumors we've heard from around the industry, I am going to dispel a rumor that's been going around.
Dorney Park to replace Stinger with Liseberg's Kanonen
This one's been going around like wildfire. I've hesitated reporting on it so far because I feel like at this time, the rumor should be taken with a grain of salt. People want to believe this rumor because of a coincidental series of events, rather than facts.
In a shocking move this offseason, Dorney Park announced the removal of their Inverted Boomerang "Stinger". Stinger was constructed in 2012 after being moved from sister park California's Great America. Frequent downtime and low ridership plagued the ride. While nothing has been announced regarding its replacement, the park has revealed that the space will be used "for future planning and development of the park".
Many fans of the park have speculated that a new roller coaster will be replacing the old one. Specifically, some believe that the recently removed Kanonen from Liseberg in Sweden is what Cedar Fair is choosing to go in Stinger's spot.
Kanonen is an Intamin Accelerator roller coaster with a compact layout that is close in footprint to Stinger. Liseberg removed the ride a year ago to replace it with a B&M Dive Coaster, "Valkyria", as they just had constructed another launch coaster "Helix".
Those who came up with the rumor that the ride has been purchased by Cedar Fair claim that it may have been picked up in the bulk buy of flat rides from Europe a couple of years ago. Along with that, Kanonen was deeply discounted upon its sale listing, making it a headliner ride for the park at a highly reduced price. An account ran by Liseberg on Instagram has also liked a post from an amusement blog that displayed this rumor.
These are plausible reasons, but it does not mean that Dorney is even looking to replace Stinger with a roller coaster addition, let alone Kanonen. Let's explore some reasons why:
Dorney's Size: Dorney remains one of the smaller parks in the chain, and it loses a lot of attendance to nearby parks that have more prestige. On the average summer day, it is not uncommon to find more of the park's visitors in the water park than on the dry side. IF Dorney is looking to add a coaster, they may go for something cheaper, and lower risk. By the time Kanonen is purchased, shipped, installed, and any necessary updates are made, it will be a mid-tier capital investment.
Maintenance Costs: I haven't heard a lot about Kanonen's downtime, and sources state that Kanonen was one of the more reliable Intamin Accelerator roller coasters. However, it still takes a lot of money to maintain a roller coaster with a launch system of this magnitude. Cedar Fair is very familiar with these costs as Top Thrill Dragster and Xcelerator are in the same chain. Dorney is a smaller park with lower attendance, and it may not be suitable to build a roller coaster with high maintenance costs, and not generate interest. Stinger suffered from this same issue. Maintenance budgets for this park will be lower than that of the flagship properties.
Hand-Me-Down Status: Yes, Cedar Fair has invested a lot in their used European flat ride fleet. But I cannot think of a roller coaster addition off the top of my head that was purchased outside of Cedar Fair. Executives of the company have been known to move coasters from park-to-park, but are wary of bringing outside machinery that they do not know the condition of. Just because it ran good at Liseberg does not mean that it will have the up-time that Dorney desires. The flat rides that were purchased were specifically chosen due to the chain's knowledge of their operational needs. Kanonen's systems are well known by Cedar Fair, but Intamin Accelerator roller coasters have been known to have issues.
Other Options: Cedar Fair has shown their willingness to try new concepts this year. For the first time, Cedar Fair is working with Rocky Mountain Construction, and has rekindled their relationship with Gerstlauer and GCI (with Mystic Timbers and Ghostrider's updates). A GCI wooden roller coaster along the lines of Prowler or Renegade, an RMC Raptor model, or a Gerstlauer roller coaster would all likely be cheaper installations than the final cost of installing Kanonen. This should be appealing for a park that hasn't spent a lot on additions over the past few seasons.
I will definitely be following this rumor going forwards into the 2018 season. I could be completely wrong, as nobody really knows for sure what will be added to Dorney besides Cedar Fair executives. If more signs of Kanonen show up, I will post updates, but for now, I will keep this under "pipe dream status".
Magic Mountain Land Clearing Update
The land clearing that we reported on yesterday apparently is not owned by Magic Mountain. Instead, it is owned by a development company who plans to build a massive community right behind the park. The project will consist of infrastructure and thousands of homes once complete.
As for a new roller coaster, I would still look at Deja Vu's former plot for any progress in the coming months. With this rumor being debunked, it also puts the status of Viper's future back into question as well.
Busch Gardens Williamsburg Height Balloon
As some may have noticed from the Rumor section, Busch Gardens Williamsburg has recently conducted balloon tests and filed paperwork for a height waiver of 315 feet. This is seeking approval for a new attraction of that height in the park.
The odd aspect of it is that the paperwork was filed under the name "Busch Gardens Madrid". The park was formerly known as the "Old Country", and is currently named "Busch Gardens Williamsburg". The park is home to many European themed hamlets, none of which involve Spanish culture. This leads many to believe that this project name is not only going to be one ride, but a whole area dedicated to Spain's capital city.
This mystery is not the only one that remains unsolved, as the type of ride is also unknown at this point. It is only referred to as a "Structure" in all city filings. Many would point to 315 feet as the perfect height for a new giga roller coaster. The park already has a drop tower, and an observation tower, which rule those attractions out. The only other rides that reach that height would be a Ferris Wheel, slingshot, or Sky Screamer/Windseeker attraction. These all seem unlikely for the park, but a swing ride could be the most believable of the three.
Many soil testing and planning documents show a large parcel of land being used for this expansion, so a roller coaster may be the best guess. This would be a clear shot in the competition with nearby Kings Dominion and Intimidator 305. Check back for continuing updates on all projects.
Six Flags Magic Mountain Land Clearing- Possibly New Coaster
Bulldozers and other construction vehicles are currently present behind Apocalypse at Six Flags Magic Mountain behind Apocalypse. These vehicles are currently clearing land, spiking rumors that Six Flags will be building a new roller coaster for 2019 or beyond.
Rumors swirled last year of Viper possibly being removed for a new roller coaster, but these rumors have cooled. No signs are present of the classic Arrow coaster being removed for a replacement.
With 19 operating roller coasters, Magic Mountain still is the record holder for most roller coasters in one park. It would make sense that they would build one ground-up, rather than replace a current one to finally hit the milestone of 20 roller coasters, an unprecedented achievement in the industry.
The name B&M Dive Coaster has been thrown around, but keep in mind that if added, this would have likely been replacing Viper, or taken up most of where Deja Vu used to reside. This clearing seems much more substantial, and could be home to something much larger. Magic Mountain has not added a roller coaster since 2015, when Colossus was transformed into Twisted Colossus. This is a "large" drought for building coasters for the California park, who is currently on 3 years without a roller coaster investment. We'll definitely be keeping an eye on this clearing going forwards.
Kennywood 2019 Coaster Update
Based on leaked plans, land clearing, and the removal of Log Jammer, it is quite apparent that Kennywood is planning a very large scale roller coaster in the near future. However, it is still very much in the air of what type of roller coaster this will be, and what manufacturer is going to be designing it.
The earliest of rumors indicated that this could be an RMC Topper track roller coaster, and that it potentially could break The Beast's record for world's longest wooden coaster. Based off of the amount of land that this project could cover, that may be true, but according to varying sources, the original project proposal may have been heavily modified.
The original proposal most likely would have kept Log Jammer intact, but as we know, the iconic log flume is no more as of the end of the 2017 season. Instead of working around it, new plans may have the station and brake run areas taking up the old plot of land. There are also rumors that the project may also now be a steel roller coaster instead.
I think that it is too early to predict a coaster type or manufacturer, but RMC should still be considered one of the front runners. It is probably safe to say that by next season, most of Log Jammer's space will be occupied by something. Keep in mind that Kennywood still hasn't made any announcements for 2018.
Six Flags Fiesta Texas- Scooby Doo Dark Ride Replacement
As if the new Wonder Woman RMC Raptor roller coaster wasn't a large enough addition, Six Flags has announced that Scooby Doo: The Mystery of The Haunted Mansion will also be replaced for the 2018 season. The ride was a Sally Corp product, that ran for 16 years, from 2002-2018. It seems like Six Flags wants to step away from the old Hanna Barbera characters, as this was the last ride of its type to operate in the US.
While immediate responses pointed to another Justice League dark ride clone. a teaser was released by the park that depicts a pirate theme. Park President Jeffrey Siebert has confirmed that it will fit into the boardwalk theme of the area. With Wonder Woman being a large enough investment, a Justice League clone would absolutely be a budget breaker.
This announcement comes as a bit of a shock, as the park had just modified the ride last season to include a "moving station" set up to increase capacity. While no manufacturer has been announced yet, it is likely that the Sally Corp is involved in this rehab. In order to save on costs, the park will likely try to keep as much in lace as possible, and just switch around the show scenes. The moving station and track layout should remain the same, as it is all fairly modern.
This attraction will not take long to construct, as it is slated to open by Memorial Day 2018.
2018 Will not be Kings Dominion's Big Year
This is just a rumor that popped up on Screamscape today, but I am going to debunk it for now. Screamscape proposed that 2018 could be Kings Dominion's year for a coaster, and it may come in the form of a B&M Flyer. Specifically, the first ever launched B&M Flyer.
Usually, Screamscape has become a lot better with their rumors, and only posts them if they have a little bit of credibility. But with Kings Dominion for the last three seasons, it has been a shot in the dark for them. Ever since the 2015 season, Screamscape has proposed a giant coaster for the park, and have been wrong three times now. It seems like that they keep on pushing that date back, as now they have predicted the same thing for 2018. That's the first red flag why I'm taking this rumor with a grain of salt.
Next, a flying coaster has never been attempted before by Cedar Fair, let alone a launched model. Flying coasters have been some of the highest criticized coasters built by B&M, and usually the least favorite of riders. Why not bank on the more successful models added by the chain, such as a wing, inverted, or hyper design? I'm sure if CF ever tests out a flying coaster, it would be a pretty basic layout, in case it does not work so well.
Finally, Canada's Wonderland has already been in the rumor mill for a while. They have been clearing land, and being the highest seasonally attended park, are in need of another new coaster. People have been calling for an invert for a long time, and 2018 could definitely be THEIR year, instead of KD.
I wouldn't get excited about this rumor yet. Once again Screamscape is just shooting in the dark, and hoping that they can finally get it right.
Six Flags Dubai may be looking to create World's Largest Coaster
The Six Flags project in Dubai is supposedly moving full speed ahead, and from the recent renderings that we have seen, will include many modern, state of the art, designs. The coasters visible in the portrait are:
- Mack Power Splash
- RMC Goliath Clone
- 4D Free Spin
- Possibly a Premier Sky Rocket
- Possibly a Grestlauer Eurofighter
That's already a solid collection of modern coasters, but something is missing. A true hyper/gigs/strata coaster to rule over the park. Where's the BIG coaster that's considered the star attraction? It may be currently being worked on behind the scenes.
There have been some rumors stating that Six Flags wants to build the world's tallest freestanding coaster at the park. While not in the renderings, it could possibly be located in the back of the park on the large unused plot of land. The coaster would beat Kingda Ka's height record, and could possibly challenge Formula Rossa for the speed record as well.
Of course, this would be both revolutionary and expensive for Six Flags. They have not built a coaster over 200 feet since Goliath at Six Flags over Georgia in 2006. They haven't also worked with Intamin, the likely ride manufacturer, since 2011. But seeing that this is a new park, in a different market, they might be willing to do something this large once again.
The last Strata Coaster to be built was Kingda Ka in 2005. However, Formula Rossa opened in 2012, with the world's most powerful launch at 149 mph, and Ferrari Land in Spain will open a 367 foot coaster in 2017, that will mimic the layout of a strata. That coaster, however will utilize LSM technology. But as long as there is a buyer, Intamin is willing to build huge coasters.
We will keep an eye on this project because although not many people are excited for this park, this could be a major project for Six flags and the industry.
Kentucky Kingdom 2017 Rumor
Sticking to their current expansion of the property, Kentucky Kingdom is likely to add a flat ride or rides to their collection for next year. 2018 is scheduled to be a big season for them, but next year expect at least one family ride from them. The name "Zamperla Disko" has been thrown around, but no credible sources have confirmed it yet.
I other news, the park still has the Greezed Lightning trains, and nobody seems to know what is going on with them. The park tried to save the Schwarzkopf Shuttle Loop upon reopening, but it was too costly and had to be sacrificed. Could the park be looking to build a similar attraction for 2018, or will it be something that is once again spectacular?