Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Steel Venom MISSING from GL 2007 Map!

It's not there!

Does this Dorney electrical hookup rumor have an even deeper meaning all the sudden?

This is from the 2007 CP/GL trip planning guide.

You can Download it here.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Carowinds 2007 Brochure

Carowinds posted their 2007 brochure on their website today.

Click Here to download it.

They also announced lower prices, the return of their inverting ship ride, and a large scale ice show.

Notes on the brochure:

• They are using the two parks for the price of one logo that Geauga Lake used last year.
• Nick, Borg, Top Gun, and other trademarked names are used, so no changes there.
• They seem to be planning on expanding their Scarowinds halloween event.
• The brochure is the Cedar Fair format we've seen for years now at the original parks.

It looks good!

Knott's New Coaster Logo

We've been on a logo kick around here lately, so I thought I'd share this:

I like it! And look it uses Knott's individual logo! I hope they do even some general theming for the ride, that would be nice.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Dorney Park Fun Facts #5

Dorney Park Unveils Berenstain Bear Country; $2.5 Million Children's Fantasy Village - April 3rd, 1995

Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom will unveil on Saturday, May 6, its all-new Berenstain Bear Country, a unique children's fantasy village that brings to life the much-loved "family's" family, the Berenstain Bears. Dorney Park's new fantasy village is taken directly from the pages of the best-selling Berenstain Bears children's book series created by Stan and Jan Berenstain of Bucks County, PA.

Dorney Park's $2.5 million Berenstain Bear Country features a variety of exciting play areas and stimulating, larger-than-life interactive attractions that allow children to learn while they play and meet Papa, Mama, Brother, and Sister Bear. Berenstain Bear Country is divided into eight special play areas that will fascinate and entertain youngsters, while also teaching them about science, physics, biology and computers.

Berenstain Bear Country at Dorney Park is the first major multi-purpose attraction, designed especially for children ages three to either, to open in the past decade at a major theme park in the Northeastern United States.

According to Bill Near, Dorney Park general manager, special emphasis was placed on planning a unique attraction that would both entertain and educate. "We knew that today's parents demand a fun, yet educational atmosphere for their youngsters during the summer months. We created Berenstain Bear Country not only as a place to learn about science, biology and computers, but also as a place where children can learn more about both personal and family values."

One of the most unique landmarks in Berenstain Bear Country is the Bear Museum, with a mix of educations and interactive attractions inside that will entertain parents and children alike with fascinating science, biology, and physics lessons.

The Bear Museum features the Actual Factual Mobile driven by the Actual Factual Bear. This gigantic "learning mobile" is the home of Jacob's Ladder that allows children to create electricity at the push of a button. Children can observe the power of gravity and centrifugal force through the Fascinating Funnel in the Bear Museum.

Families can also visit Dr. Grizzly's office inside the Bear Museum, where youngsters can measure their height, check their weight or measure their heart rate after riding on a stationary bicycle.

Bear Museum also features a Computer Cove, equipped with touch screen computers that are both fun and educational. The museum also has the Bear Library for visitors that want to relax, unwind and read books from the Berenstain Bear book series.

In addition to the museum, there are several other areas throughout Berenstain Bear Country that children can enjoy. One of those areas is the Boys Club. Taken from the pages of "No Girls Allowed", the Boys Club features a periscope, maze tilt-table, tic-tac-toe game, log roll and talk tubes.

There are several other attractions taken directly from the pages of Berenstain Bear stories that the entire family can enjoy. Children can watch the Spooky Old Tree come to life right before their eyes. This larger-than-life attraction with claw shaped limbs and glowing eyes, is a replica of the monster tree from the pages of "The Berenstain Bears and The Spooky Old Tree". Children can climb into this attraction and see a sleeping bear and alligator pit, then slide out a back door. This attraction is sure to thrill its visitors.

Children and parents can also visit a huge walk-through replica of the Berenstain Bear Family Tree House. Visitors can take a peek and see what the inside of the Berenstain Bear family treehouse looks like.

If adventure is what children have in mind when they visit Berenstain Bear Country, The Dinosaur Pit is designed especially for them. This attraction is equipped with excavating equipment and a giant dinosaur skeleton. Children can dig in the gravel for hours and hunt for prehistoric treasures.

Additional activities located throughout Berenstain Bear Country include musical hopscotch; phone booths where children can talk to Bear family members; a water play unit with paddle wheel and water pump; and various pieces of playground equipment including teeter-totters, slides, spring board, balance beam, and monkey bars.

In addition to all the attractions, there will be tree stumps throughout Berenstain Bear Country with Berenstain Bears books attached to them corresponding to the attraction nearest to it.

Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom is a 200 acre amusement and water park located in Allentown, PA.

Yikes - Cedar Fair Logo-ing Confirmed

It's been confirmed over on the boards at Around The World that the 2007 Worlds of Fun brochure has the standardized Cedar Point font logo that popped up on Michigan's Adventure's website. Another version of the Kings Island one is included above.

I can now safely assume that all Cedar Fair parks will be using a similar logo this season. I know how I feel about this, how about you?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Poor Little (Six Flags) Darien Lake

I've been to Darien Lake. It's not a bad park, it's just been mistreated by Six Flags like so many. And everyone knows how good Superman is. It's just sort of a confused property these days. I'm sure the new owners will work on removing that confusion, however. Here's a vacation guide-thing from 1995:

Look at the non-corporate photos!

Predator reminded me of Hercules ... that's not a good thing. I always thought it was such a pretty ride though, on the lake like that.

Viper was fun. Honestly, maybe I hit my head a few times but there's something about a big old Arrow looper that put a smile on your face. Also, the view from that ferris wheel is amazing.

I never saw this, I went years after it was gone. It always interested me. I'd love to know details of the show, and how it was. And who doesn't love beer sponsorship?

I wish Darien Lake well, really I do. I think it's a good park and hope the new owners take care of it and grow it back into what it used to be.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Cedar Fair Logo-ing

We've all been waiting for Cedar Fair Entertainment Company to show some sign of having made a decision about the Paramount name with the Paramount Parks. At least I have. Well, recently some logos have been appearing on the individual park sites, such as this:

And this:

So they're pretty plain, and in a font that Cedar Fair has used for some time, as far as I can tell originating back to Cedar Point logos of the 90s.

Anywho, that's great that they've moving toward a united front, but today I went to Michigan's Adventure's website and saw this:

Hello! Where did that come from? What was wrong with the old logo? Please tell me that they are not going to start to swap out the logos for the other parks and turn them into this! I'm a little worried about this one...

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Dorney Park 2007 Season Update #4

This is not a big update, let me tell you that ahead of time. There hasn't been much to report with the holidays, it's a very slow time of the year. Anyway, these pictures are from earlier this past week.

Please excuse the nasty weather. Winter has finally arrived in the Northeast (sorta). This is a picture of the corner of Lincoln Ave. and the entrance to the park, which is Dorney Park road. There is a survey flag on the corner. Is this big news? No. But at least it means someone came out to the park to start something.

They started to cut down the trees and brush that is on Lincoln Ave. This is the side of Lincoln that borders the overflow lot. Again, nothing huge, but a development nonetheless.

Another view of the same. I'm not sure if they're going to make another lane here and shift things so that two lanes go into the park and the third is left turn for non-Dorney traffic or if it's something else. I didn't catch that in the planning meeting notes, but they are not complete transcripts.

I'll keep checking and have more when it happens.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Six Flags Magic Mountain Coasters Bite the Dust

Six Flags Magic Mountain has removed Psyclone and Flashback from their website. 'People' are saying that they received e-mails from the park confirming the rides' removals. One of the rides was a rough wooden coaster and one was a never operating steel oddity.

This is seriously the off season of ride removals! It's exciting in an odd way.

Dorney Park Fun Facts #4 Update

If you remember, I had this advertising for Dominator at Dorney Park in the last fun facts:

And how I mentioned that it was a Knott's Berry Farm graphic from when they built Supreme Scream? Well, turns out I had that image the whole time!

Only the Knott's one is in color! Whohoo!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Heard On... Six Flags Park Sell Update Call

On Friday, Six Flags had a conference call to give some details of their selling of 7 parks to PARC Management and to give an overall update on their operations and goals. Here's what I heard:

• Regarding Magic Mountain - Attendance was up at the park just with the announcement that the park would STAY a park regardless of whether or not they sold it. Season pass sales at the park are up 33% year to date. They wanted to keep it because they wanted a west coast presence, and the park is showing sings of moving in the direction they want. The park was only ever really offered for sale because interested parties wanted a 'big' park thrown in with the sale. Six Flags is not saying they will never sell it.

• Without the parks that were just sold being counted, attendance for 2006 for Six Flags was a total of 24.9 million, which is down 13%.

• Total Revenues without the parks that were sold for 2006 is $940 million, down 2%.

• Of more note, 2006 EBITDA is $190 million, where in 2005 it was $260 million.

• 2007 with the parks that were sold is expecting $38 million in sponsorship revenues.

• They are increasing marking spending by $25 million to a total of $130 million.

• Although it's early, currently group sales are up 34% over 2006 and season passes are up 50% more than ever has been sold before in SF history.

• Extra land at the St. Louis and Chicago properties are already on the market, extra land in NJ is still being worked on (zoning and such) before they try to sell, and the Maryland land is not on the market yet.

• New Orleans property - They took down the B&M, it will appear as a new for 2008 attraction at one of their parks. They are now formally suing the insurance company over payment for Katrina losses.

Six Flags has a lot of really good looking plans in place and they seem to be receiving an early response from the market. However, they can have all the best plans in the world in place and if people just continue to not go and not care about the parks, well then they are screwed. I think that the 2007 season is going to be very, very important for them.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Park Chains On The Move

With Six Flag's recent announcement that they are selling 7 more parks, I got to wondering; how long until Six Flags is actually smaller than Cedar Fair?

Six Flags got really big for a while there, and the race wasn't even close. Remember when they had all those parks in Europe? Well those are gone, so are the 7 they just sold, plus Geauga Lake and a few water parks and such.

With Cedar Fair purchasing Paramount Parks, they now have quite a collection of facilities themselves. I wanted to figure it all out, so here goes:

Number of Facilities:

Cedar Fair:
Owned Amusement Parks: 12
Cedar Point
Worlds of Fun
Dorney Park
Michigan's Adventure
Knott's Berry Farm
Geauga Lake
Kings Island
Kings Dominion
Great America
Canada's Wonderland

Managed Amusement Parks: 2

Bonafante Gardens
Star Trek Experience

Water Parks: 5
Oceans of Fun
Soak City (OH)
Soak City (CA)
Soak City (CA)
Soak City (CA)

Hotels: 7
Hotel Breakers
Sandcastle Suites
Knott's Resort Hotel
World's of Fun Village
Lighthouse Point
Breakers Express
Geauga Lake Hotel

Indoor Water Parks: 1
Castaway Bay

Estimated attendance with all parks: 25 million

Six Flags:
Owned Amusement Parks: 12
Six Flags America
Six Flags Fiesta Texas
Six Flags Great Adventures
Six Flags Great America
Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom
Six Flags Magic Mountain
Six Flags Mexico
Six Flags New England
Six Flags St. Louis
La Ronde
Great Escape
American Adventures

Safaris: 1
Six Flags Wild Safari

Owned Water Parks: 3
Six Flags Hurricane Harbor (NJ)
Six Flags Hurricane Harbor (CA)
Six Flags Hurricane Harbor (TX)

Managed/Leased Amusement/Water Parks: 5
Six Flags Marine World
Six Flags New Orleans
Six Flags Over Georgia
Six Flags White Water (GA)
Six Flags Over Texas

Managed/Jointly Owned Indoor Waterpark Hotels: 1
Great Escape Hotel

So, it would appear as though Cedar Fair Entertainment Company is really almost as large as Six Flags, if not as large. (depending on other factors such as financials) Back when Cedar Fair had 4 parks I used to compare them to the (then) giant Six Flags. I had no idea what the future held!

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Riverside Park 1995 a.k.a. Six Flags New England

I always wanted to (and still have not had the chance to) visit Riverside Park in Agawam, MA - or as we now call it - Six Flags New England.

These days the reason to go is (IMO) Superman and the very large and modern water park, but back in the day this was another little park that did well on its own. I figured why not take a look at it just before the super-mega-branded park set in.

The park had a planner that they sent me and I used to pour over it. I have family near the park and it always killed me to visit them but never visit the park.

Here is the map that is contained in the planner. Click for a bigger version for some detail. As you can see, there was no Superman, no Batman, no DC Comics area, no Blizzard River... really the park has a horrible lack of comic book characters! Also note that the speedway was still there and in use. This was a big draw for the park back in the day ... much like Dorney Park's speedway.

And look! They even had a Halloween event named the same as what Six Flags uses now! Is that Elvira and Beetlejuice in the picture? I always thought it was cool that they had an event like this long before all the big parks had them.

It's nice to remember parks like these before their mega expansions.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Dorney Park 2007 Season Update #3 (kinda)

I went out to take some photos of what's going on over at Dorney Park this morning, but, uhh, there's nothing going on.

Laser is still looking untouched, there is no work on parking and parking lot improvements, and there is nothing visible going on in Wildwater Kingdom.

I'll keep checking and do a real update as soon as there is something to update!

Thursday, January 4, 2007

ValleyFair! Halloweekends 2000

Okay so Valleyfair! has no operating dates for October 2007 listed on their calendar online. Last year they had a Halloween event with ValleyScare, and held it in October. Well, the park actually had a Halloween event - Halloweekends - for three years: 1998, 1999, and 2000. They had the event in September, originally for three weekends and then moving down to two before they cut the event.

You would have thought the world was ending for Geauga Lake when Cedar Fair canceled their Halloween event, yet the same thing happened to Valleyfair! in the year 2000. And it certainly wasn't a sign of death for the park, nay, the park now has an event once more.

Anyway, Valleyfair! has not said anything regarding Halloween 2007 - but who knows, maybe they are just moving the event back to September - where it originally anyway.

Enough rant: here's their brochure from 2000.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Steel Force Construction Diary #4

Back to the construction of Steel Force. When we left off the ride had just topped out. Now things really start to pick up.

Here we are on March 29th, 1997. As you can see they moved along quickly and have the entire lift hill and drop tracked. You can also make out that some of the bunny hills on the return run have been tracked. Thunderhawk's sign is also totally ripped down now, sadly.

This is where they painted the track and supports after they arrived at the park. You could see the paint on the ground up there the entire season after the ride opened!

This shot is from the very start of April, 1997. You can see that the supports for the second hill have been completed. Also, say hi to Hercules.

And here we have a shot of the newly tracked bunny hills. You can see where they stopped placing track at the bottom of the first drop. If I remember correctly, they had some issues with water while digging and pouring cement for the tunnel down there. Obviously it eventually was completed, but it gave them some problems for a while.

Next time we start both the station area and the turnaround!