Friday, February 29, 2008

Tony Hawk @ Discovery Kingdom

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom has posted some deconstruction photos of their new Tony Hawk spinning roller coaster for 2008. These photos are actually of the ride be taken apart at the Gerstlauer factory in Germany for shipping to Discovery Kingdom - hence the deconstruction.

It was speculated for a while that this version would not be the standard model, but a slightly smaller one that would fit on Zongo's former concrete ride base. Well, now that's looking pretty true. This is what is speculated to be this ride's layout:
You can also see in the photos that as expected, the ride does not have it's supports on foundations dug into the ground, rather, the ride sits on the concrete pad and supports... itself. It's different but still looks like fun!

Great Adventure Shrinking in 2008

Six Flags Great Adventure has posted their 2008 park map on their website. It's now rather ironic that yesterday I posted about how much the park has changed, and now today we see that it's changing a lot again for 2008.

They're basically closing the Old Country section of the park. Guests will enter the Dark Knight from the Movie Town section of the park, the area in front of the Batman Stunt Theater on will be off limits.

The only other attractions left in the Old Country were the bumper cars and a musik express. The showcase theater and batman stunt theater are now listed as special event locations. Basically, they're closing off walkway in red here:

That's a rather nice sized chunk of the park. Though, with Freefall, Chiller, several flats, etc, removed from this area is was pretty much just a nice walkway with tall trees. Maybe it's just a one year thing, and in 2009 it'll open back up with new stuff?

On another note, two more Johnny Rockets are being added to the park, so they'll have 3 this year.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

1990s Great Adventure Postcards

These are by no means relics or anything, they're really only 12 or so years old, but they do prove quite a point: Six Flags Great Adventure has changed a lot in the last decade(ish).

The Right Stuff. This was back when Simulators were cool just because they were simulators. Plus, Time Warner themed the ride when it was built - I remember standing in the queue when they played the jet roar and wondering if I might have permanent hearing loss.

Then Viper, dear old Viper. Hey it's concept art! Time Warner was always good for some quality concept art... as for Viper itself, well, I got that credit! The first drop was really good, too.

Rolling/Rotting Thunder/Lumber. I'm sorry, it's a really catchy design but it's just rough, and squeaky, and although I was much younger the first time I rode it it's one of a handful of amusement park attractions that made noises that genuinely scared me. (like is this thing falling apart? scared)

And finally we have Stuntman's Freefall. There's nothing like being put in a metal cage, lifted up a tower, then dropped so that you end up on your back. Ahh, memories.

P.S. - No, I have no idea why Porky Pig is 'presenting' Freefall, or why Taz is blocking Rolling Thunder's first drop. Weird.

Worlds of Discovery Dubai

Busch Entertainment's big announcement was the addition of 4 theme/water parks on the edge of "The Palm" development in Dubai.

There will be a Busch Gardens, Sea World, Aquatica, and Discovery Cove - all built on a man-made land mass in the shape of Shamu. Oh, and there will be hotels and shopping, entertainment, etc. as well.

The land developer is a company named Nakhell, and they will actually be paying for the parks to be built and Busch Entertainment is going to license their brands to them and operate the parks under a contract.

The parks are to be built in phases, with the first phase ready to go in 2012.

Official source with press releases and images.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Voodoo 2.27.08 Update

Here's a Voodoo at Dorney Park update from today, 02.27.08!

As you can see, the holding brake spike is complete! It looks like they were working on adding the holding brakes today.

The pieces for the opposite tower have been rearranged again, here's what is still out in the parking lot.

Here's a one taken further back so you can get a better perspective of how tall the ride is. I mean I knew the ride's height but it's really impressive when you see it!

Nothing too much new in this photo. You can see the track pieces for the spiral tower are all ready to go.

2008 Valleyfair! Brochure

ValleyfairZone has posted the 2008 Valleyfair! brochure in their forums. You can click here to see the scans. It's pretty nice, but not quite on par with the other Cedar Fair brochures we've seen so far. Valleyfair!'s brochures have always sorta been like that, though.

Great Adventure's Dark Knight

The New York Post featured the above image in an article about Six Flags Great Adventure's new Dark Knight roller coaster for 2008. That's the first concept art of any sort that I've seen and it almost looks like it could have been done by Virtual Image Productions.

They're the ones that do awesome concept art and videos for new rides - they're by far the best at what they do. Let's hope it was, and that there's more to come from them when Six Flags releases it.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Six Flags Goes to the Moon

Six Flags announced today that two of their parks, Six Flags Over Texas, and Six Flags Great Adventure will add a Fly Me to The Moon 3D to their simulator theaters this coming season.

Fly Me to The Moon 3D is a feature movie that is to be released this coming summer - it's billed as the first computer animated film designed from the start to be a 3D experience. You can see a preview of the movie (looks pretty cute, not Pixar cute, though) on the movie's official website.

About the actual movie, "The fact based fictional film follows three teenaged flies on an incredible adventure as they become part of history - stowing away inside the space helmets of Commanders Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins on the Apollo 11 mission that marked America's first manned landing on the moon."

Obviously the simulator version will be shorter and different from the feature film, but I'm sure it'll be a hit with visitors at the park.

Valleyfair! Interview

ValleyfairZone has a neat interview with some Valleyfair! employees/marketing department on their forums. Several items are covered in the interview, everything from the park's new ticket system to some juicy information about The Haunt 2008.

Click here to check it out

Another Niagara's Fury Teaser

The website for Niagara's Fury has been updated, and now along with an interesting teaser video we know a more formal name for the attraction: Niagara's Fury: The Creation of the Falls.

The video still reveals almost nothing, but it's got cool music and is very dramatic, which is always fun. There's a countdown on the site to what I would guess is the official announcement, which looks to be about 2 months away.

Check in out at this link.

Monday, February 25, 2008

New Jungala Website

Busch Gardens Africa has launched a new website for the park's new land for 2008: Jungala. It's a cute website, not too much on there we didn't already know, but there are some new short video clips that are interesting.

The land does look like a great expansion for the park, mixing a themed environment with a couple rides and plenty of animal encounters in a way that will please the entire family - which is very, very hot in the industry right now.

Carowinds Has a Webcam

It may not be great quality - but Carowinds now has two webcams showing the construction of their new wave pool, Bondi Beach. They're streaming, too, which is pretty neat.

They've also more formally announced their new ride from Geauga Lake, Yo Yo.

Both items can be found on this page.

I'm Excited: The Haunt at Dorney Park 2008

Here's the official press release!

The HAUNT at Dorney Park Features Major Expansion to Halloween Program

ALLENTOWN, Pa – Dorney Park announces THE HALLOWEEN HAUNT AT DORNEY PARK, the largest expansion in their Halloween special event since the inception of HalloWeekends eleven years ago. Brave souls who dare to enter THE HAUNT AT DORNEY PARK will encounter more gruesome haunted attractions, petrifying thrills, and fearsome fun than ever before. Fall 2008 raises the bar on scary with all new attractions like Club Blood, a popular nightclub of the vampire underground and CornStalkers, an outdoor maze where guests find that they are all that stands in the way of the ghosts of Solomon’s farm who have returned to reclaim their fields.

THE HALLOWEEN HAUNT AT DORNEY PARK also will frighten souls with Terror Square, a giant new Scare Zone. Upgrades also include never before seen props, hundreds more employees to run the show with dozens of new costumes. From the terrifying haunted houses and the spine-chilling Fright Zone, to upgrades on other past favorites, the park will be overrun with gory ghosts, ghouls and goblins.

“Dorney Park is joining the team of other Cedar Fair Parks who host a HALLOWEEN HAUNT. This award winning program is setting the standard for Halloween programs everywhere.“ states Jim Yeager Dorney Parks Vice President and General Manager. “Dorney Park is now on-board as the premier regional destination for Halloween, with unmatched selection and variety of attractions, event theming, scares, monsters, and special effects.”

THE HAUNT AT DORNEY PARK is now the perfect blend of daytime kid-friendly fun combined with thrilling scares and gory glares as the day goes on. Kids will enjoy the park including Trick-or-Treat Street and Mask Making, both open until 6 p.m., as well as The Magical House on Boo Hill funhouse and Camp Spooky. Scare-seekers can look to the favorites like Fright-Zone, ScreamWorks, and Doctor of Doom, and then stop in for a bite at Club Blood, and take on a scarecrow in Corn Stalkers. Scare attractions are at peak operation during evening hours and are not recommended for children under age 13 after 6 p.m.

Schedule of attraction availability is to be determined. HAUNT attractions may restrict availability of some rides. HAUNT scare attractions are not recommended for guests with pacemakers, claustrophobia, heart conditions, seizures, asthma, or any other condition that could be aggravated by the special effects and scares used throughout the park.

Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom will be open for it’s first annual HAUNT on Friday evenings from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturdays from Noon to 11 p.m. and Sundays from Noon to 8 p.m. from September 27, through November 1, 2008. For more Park information log-on to or call 610.395.3724.

Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom is owned and operated by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, a publicly traded partnership that is listed on The New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “FUN.” In addition to Dorney Park, Cedar Fair owns and operates ten other amusement parks, six water parks, one indoor water park resort, and six hotels. Cedar Fair also owns and operates Star Trek: The Experience, an interactive adventure located in Las Vegas, and operates the Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park in Gilroy, CA. under a management contract.

New Thunderhawk Photos - 2.25.08

Michigan's Adventure is moving right along with the construction of Thunderhawk. As you can see, they have the lift and first drop finished, and supports are going up for those wacky SLC inversions.

More pics at the official site.

Aquatica Preview Photos

© Erik Johnson 2008

Over on the Theme Park Review boards there's a really great photo tour of the new Aquatica water park in Florida.

They had a passholder preview day already. The parks looks nice ... and not to whine but the concept art really made it look better than it turned out. Maybe the landscaping just needs to "grow in" or maybe not all elements are ready... but it's not really Orlando area theme park caliber in my opinion. Just my thoughts from the photos!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Aerial Antics: Six Flags New Orleans' Batman

This first shot is post-Katrina, so the park is already closed and ruined, but Batman is still there:

And here's a later one, as you can see Batman is gone. Also gone are the decorative items in the area, and the walkway covers. All the flat rides are still there though. I read that Goliath at Six Flags Fiesta Texas was using the station from New Orleans, but it looks like it's still standing in this photo. Who knows - not me at least.

Voodoo 2.24.08 Update

At the end of the week before the snow they added the rest of the supports for the holding brake tower.

There are less and less big supports in the parking lot now that they've put a bunch of them in place. This doesn't look like all the supports for the twist tower, but what do I know?

I am wondering if they need a bigger crane to be able to put up the last few track pieces.

A final shot, showing all of the ride that has gone up thus far.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Kings Dominion 2008 Brochure

Here's another 2008 brochure: Kings Dominion.

New for 2008 - Dominator. They've changed the colors on a photo of an existing Floorless coaster.

Smart of them to put right on there that it's opening late spring. They're also mentioning again that it has the "largest roller coaster loop!"

Water park stuff and rides for everyone!

Looks like entertainment at the park will stay the exact same as last year. And of course, as they should, they're showing all the Nick stuff at the park.

Information - I haven't paid attention to the past couple year's entry price but I had sticker shock when I read that regular admission is just under $52!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Six Flags Magic Mountain New Coaster in 2009

In this Los Angeles Daily News article it is mentioned that Six Flags Magic Mountain will be adding a new roller coaster in 2009.

The article covers all that is new for 2008, like X2 and Thomas Town, but also says that a new coaster will come in 2009 which will be more Mark Shapiro's style - which means not a big intense looper like X2.

To me, that screams of a Tony Hawk spinner or a Dark Knight indoor mouse for '09. But that's just my opinion.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Remember the Hydra Cam?

Staring at the Voodoo webcam lately has reminded me of ... staring at the Hydra webcam back when that ride was under construction. I totally got caught looking at that webcam at work like a hundred times!

Here's a few images I had saved - it's a trip down memory lane!

Knott's Pony Express Update

© Westcoaster 2008

Westcoaster has a great update for Pony Express at Knott's Berry Farm. They have the launch track and half of the first turn up with track - it sure does look more impressive than I expected after reading the ride's statistics.

They also have lots of supports up for the far turn around that leads the ride back to the station.

Check out Westcoaster's update

Some New Behemoth Photos

I haven't forgotten that big new coaster up North - Canada's Wonderland has posted some new photos recently of the Behemoth construction going on at the park.

Progress on the ride's station area is moving right along, you can see that the station is having its roof put on. The roof is red, which is a Cedar Fair trademark, so that's not too surprising - and hey, it matches Talon even more now!

Here's a link to the park's photos

Naughty Six Flags New England

Six Flags New England has been ordered to stop work on their new Dark Knight roller coaster by building inspectors. Whoops!

Apparently while the park was waiting for approval to build the ride they were, well, building the ride. The park apparently does not have a building permit to be working on the ride.

I've known parks to do this in the past, but usually they do not get called out on it like this. The article says that the ride's building is already up, which means they've been working on the ride for some time now.

Hopefully they can get the permit issues worked out and still have the ride open on Memorial Day, as planned.

New Official Voodoo Photos

© Dorney Park 2008

Dorney Park has updated their official construction photos of Voodoo on their website. There's tons to see in this update...

The pictures of the station area answer a lot of questions I've had about the ride. For starters, the grid that Superman Ultimate Escape at Geauga Lake had on the front of it's station is not being used. Instead, they've added the steel structure that has the flags on top of it, and has a few crossbars and such - but will leave the station front pretty open, it seems.

The flags are still a somewhat odd design choice in my opinion, but until everything is completed I guess it's not fair to judge.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Later, HyperSonic! + Dominator

Hypersonic XLC at Kings Dominion is finally coming down. It does look like they are taking it apart carefully, so perhaps it will show up somewhere else down the road?

Also, CoasterCrew has some new photos of Dominator construction. The lift hill has been started and the transfer and train storage areas are up as well.

Niagara's Fury Hints

This article has given us some hints as to exactly what Niagara's Fury at Table Rock is going to be.

It's part of a $38 million expansion of the center, and the article says that the Niagara's Fury attraction "will be a Universal Studios-type attraction using video and audio effects to tell the story of how the falls were formed, bringing visitors from the ice age to present day."

So a Simulator... or perhaps a 4-D Theater? It certainly sounds like my earlier idea of a steel ride on the edge of the falls is out the window!

The media release is fairly soon, so not much longer till we find out what they have for us.

Voodoo 2.20.08 Update

Here are some new pictures of the Voodoo construction at Dorney Park taken today.

They've started work on the straight tower. The base supports are up, along with track that is now pointing pretty much vertical.

View of the other side of the ride. Looking at the station, they've added support frames for the roofing to go on. Also, the roof of the electrical room is now a teal color.

A slightly closer shot from a slightly closer angle. The ride is going up fast!

Camelbeach 2008

Camelbeach Waterpark in Tannersville, PA, is building a new family water play structure for the park's 2008 season.

According to the park's website, the not-yet-named attraction will be 4 stories tall, have a tipping bucket on its top, and 8 waterslides.

Camelbeach has been expanding quite rapidly in the past few years, it's great to see them growing again!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Dorney Park Fun Facts #21

I just stumbled upon these scans of newspaper articles covering the fire that tore through Dorney Park back in 1983.

The fire wasn't cool, but these scans are! They even have a map of what was destroyed...

Evil Knievel Update

© Eagle Rider 2008

There are some great photos of Evil Knievel at Six Flags St. Louis over at the Negative-G forums that are worth checking out.

They were taken during a tour of the construction, so they're really great shots. They're saying that the ride is to open July 4th, which seems really late to me. Especially since Mark Shapiro said that rides wouldn't be opening late anymore. Ha! I love to keep bringing that up.