Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sabrina's Brochure Spotlight: Wyandot Lake 2006

I have a confession to make. When I acquired this brochure, I didn't have the foggiest idea that this park even existed. For all the industry-related reading I've done in my lifetime, I thought I was well beyond such "a-HA!" moments, at least as far as U.S. parks are concerned. I guess not! Of course, the irony here is that by the time I found out Wyandot Lake existed, it sorta didn't anymore.

Wyandot Lake spent the better half of 2006 as a Six Flags property. It had become part of the Premier Parks family a number of years beforehand, and thus transitioned right into the new management team's hands once that era came to an end in late 2005. But by mid-2006, Six Flags' debt-induced "property shedding" movement had begun, and it was announced that Wyandot Lake would be sold to the nearby Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

If there's one good thing to be said about the closing of Wyandot Lake as we--er, you--knew it, it's the fact that the Columbus Zoo made the wise decision to retain the Sea Dragon, a classic John Allen woodie which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2006.

Oblivious to the management shake-up that was about to alter the course of Wyandot Lake's history, this happy-go-lucky brochure writer proudly boasted of how much "more" the park had to offer in 2006. They even had a brand new go-kart track, Sunshine Speedway. Sadly, very few of Wyandot Lake's assets were retained by its next owners.

Caution: Dry brochure material above. Read at your own risk of boredom!

Wyandot Lake had built up a nice selection of both wet and dry rides by the time it closed. Nearly all of them were auctioned off later that year, with the Grand Carousel fetching the biggest return. But don't be too sad, because the Columbus Zoo has replaced them all in kind! Check out Mike's Aerial Antics feature on the newly rechristened "Jungle Jack's Landing and Zoombezi Bay" for a recap.

Last but not least, here's a look at Wyandot Lake's final operating calendar, along with a list of the many special events mentioned at the beginning of this brochure.

Now that the park has essentially merged with the zoo, families have even more options for fun. If you're curious to see exactly what has become of the former Wyandot Lake site, check out Jungle Jack's Landing and Zoombezi Bay on the web. Or better yet, stop by and see for yourself!

Reaching New Heights at Six Flags

Six Flags Theme Parks has partnered with Whirl Helicopter to bring rides to several Six Flags theme parks starting this season.

Called "500 ft. of fun," the helicopter used for the ride seats three guests at a time and is named the Dragonfly. Rides at the parks start at $25 per person. The journey seems short, though, as the company's website states riders climb to 500 ft., hover, and then return to the ground.

The parks listed as having the ride will be Six Flags Great Adventure, Six Flags Over Georgia, Six Flags Over Texas, and Six Flags Magic Mountain.

For more information on the rides and Whirl Helicopter, check out their website.

New Sky Rocket Construction Photos

© 2010 Kennywood Park

Showing off the quick progress of Sky Rocket, Kennywood has uploaded a new gallery of construction photos of the coaster to their Facebook Page. The ride now has up a slew of supports, and track has been placed on the bunny-hill home stretch. With great Spring weather now in place, I'm sure the rest of the ride will rise equally as quick. It's looking good!

Impressive New Star Flyer at The Prater

I have to admit that stared at these photos for a few moments before my brain caught up with my eyes - that ride is tall, really tall!

The Prater, located in Vienna, Austria, is home to a new Star Flyer ride from the Funtime Group. When completed, the ride will stand 360 ft. tall. While not installed quiet yet, the top piece will be themed as a clock. Riders will swing at the 311 ft. level, at over 40 m.p.h. Bet your local playground swings didn't offer that!

Interestingly, I believe Prater was the debut location of the Star Flyer back in 2004. That tower was only just over 200 ft. tall though. Tiny compared to this!

I believe some modifications are being made to the original Star Flyer to differentiate the two. Not sure exactly what, though.

For more information on the Star Flyer rides, check out Funtime's site.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Opening Day at Six Flags America

Six Flags America kicked off its 2010 season this past Saturday, and the "Fun Squad" braved some rather frigid temperatures to be there and bring us this great opening day trip report. They don't call 'em "super fans" for nothing! But with so many park improvements to celebrate, who wouldn't want to bust out their finest winter parka and take the old camera for a stroll around the grounds?

© 2010

As you can see from the photo above, the park's new Thomas Town area is still very much a work in progress, though Mark Shapiro assured everyone on last week's fan call that it would be finished by Memorial Day weekend. In the meantime, our friends at SFAFANS report that plenty of progress has been made in other areas. Here's a small sampling of what you can expect to see at Six Flags America this summer:
  • A new cardmember entrance

  • A fresh coat of paint on Superman - Ride of Steel

  • Huge new umbrellas over many of the tables in the park's various food courts

  • New "Meet and Greet" stages where children can meet their favorite Looney Tunes characters

  • Improvements to the Looney Tunes Movie Stage

  • New fencing around many of the rides

  • Improvements to the Heritage House Food Court

  • New shows and entertainment
Be sure to visit for the full report! It sounds like 2010 is shaping up to be another great year for this park. Now if only Mother Nature would do something about those frigid temperatures...

Boo Blasters on Boo Hill: New at Kings Island

Kings Island, Mason, OH, has announced the details of the park's new dark ride for the 2010 season. Boo Blasters on Boo Hill will be a new interactive family dark ride, replacing the former Scooby-Doo and the Haunted Castle attraction.

The park describes that the adventure begins when guests enter a haunted castle to take on Boocifer, the meanest ghost around. Riders "have a secret weapon called a Boo Blaster to zap Boocifer and all the Ghosts away as they travel through ghastly graveyards, creepy corridors, and down into dingy dungeons. If they collect enough points, they’ll rid the castle of Boocifer and his Ghosts."

Additionally, guests can choose whether or not they want to ride with 3-D glasses available from the park. The dark ride features lots of special effects and gags that will keep the ride interesting even for repeat visitors.

Also new to Kings Island in 2010 is the previously announced Planet Snoopy children's area, as well as four new live entertainment offerings including Snoopy Rocks on Ice! The park opens for the 2010 season on April 17th.

Darien Lake Announces SplashTown for 2010

Darien Lake Resort has made a major announcement today by revealing SplashTown Water Park at Darien Lake, an all new separate gate facility next to the theme park.

SplashTown will utilize the existing water park, while adding "three all-new attractions, an additional 5 acres of completely new park space, a new bathhouse, new food and beverage options, new landscaping, more deck and lounging space, and new cabanas."

The existing park shown with the expansion

A new lazy river attraction, Flotation Station, will take guests down a 16 ft. wide river that stretches over 1,000 ft. long. Along the path will be several water features that riders, in one or two people tubes, will encounter.

The Lazy Days Lagoon will also take up residence at the new park. The 44,500 gallon wave pool features rolling waves and an expansive deck space for guests to enjoy. The entrance to the lazy river is also built into the area.

The four slides that make up Swirl City

The thrill aspect to the new water park can be found in the Swirl City slide complex. Four separate slides leave from the same tower, offering a variety of experiences. Mister Twister is a Tantrum slide, featuring three funnels along the path. Cannon Ball Run sends riders into a massive cannon bowl for a spinning good time. Finally, two Turbo Twins slides snake their way through the complex in the dark.

The new attractions will be provided by Aquatic Development Group and Proslide.

In addition the new water park, the resort will expand their offerings as well. Lodge on the Lake Hotel will add 10 "Forts-O-Fun" backwoods themed rooms to their offerings. The camping area will build two dozen new Brown Bear Cabins - designed to look rustic but filled with modern amenities.

Combo tickets for both parks are available, as well as separate admission just for SplashTown. Darien Lake opens on May 8th, SplashTown is scheduled to open on Memorial Day weekend.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Aerial Antics: Martin's Fantasy Island

Martin's Fantasy Island, located in Grand Island, NY, is the focus of this week's Aerial Antics. The medium sized theme park offers a nice selection of rides and attractions, as well as a water park. Originally it started out as Fantasy Island, then eventually became Two Flags Over Niagara Fun Park, and finally it's current name.

The park has a large section devoted to the little ones. Here there is a selection of rides for the tots, as well as a petting zoo (see the barn area on the left). The train station is also conveniently located nearby.

Another section of the park that is a direct throwback to its roots is this cozy area. Guests can take canoes out to the Indian Village that's located on the island.

The park got it's permanent spot on enthusiasts' hit lists when the Silver Comet wooden coaster opened in in 1999. Designed by Custom Coasters, the ride stands 82 ft. tall is stretches 2,800 ft. long.

This section of the park is home to several other big rides, such as the Crazy Mouse spinning coaster. Also seen is Flight - a Zamperla vertical swing ride that was introduced in 2008.

I love Log Flumes, and even the simplicity of this one isn't a turn off for me. Simple, yet effective!

Martin's Fantasy Island also has a small water park, seen here. One of the newer slides is the Cannon Bowl, which drops riders into a huge bowl with a splashy finish.

For Bing's aerial of the park, click here.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Take A Ride On Intimidator

Carowinds has released this POV of their new Intimidator coaster!
Remain seated and enjoy your ride.

The Amusing Ads Archive - Hopkins 1993

Hopkins has had quite a nice working relationship with Wonderland Park, eh? The park has turned to the manufacturer for many rides, including some rather unique ones.

For instance, Hopkins built the custom, double looping Texas Tornado back in 1985. I've always thought the supports on that ride looked quite interesting. While Hopkins is known for water rides, they stepped outside those bounds for Wonderland, in addition to the coaster they built a monorail and a skyride.

The ad's feature attraction is the new "Pipeline Plunge," a 50 ft. tall set of wet-dry set waterslides that debuted at the park in 1994.

Big Dipper Update

If you're a park or interest group with, well, interest in the Big Dipper at the former Geauga Lake Amusement Park, now's a great time to act. I've been informed that the parties who are selling the famous ride have recently lowered the asking price, from $150,000 to $65,000 (contact individual). Really, a steal for such a large wooden roller coaster.

With the possibilities of using the land around the ride as part of a new development opening further each day, perhaps one day the Dipper will ride again, after all.

And you never know, with rides like the Little Dipper being snapped up so quickly there just may be hope!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Weekly Rewind 3.27.10

Cliff's Amusement Park in Albuquerque, New Mexico has announced the addition of a Super Fire Ball for the 2010 season. Standing 80 feet tall and promising to turn its victims--er, riders--upside down 13 times a minute, it should be a great addition to this small park. Based on what I've read, it sounds like the Super Fire Ball will actually be replacing a 60-foot tall "regular" Fire Ball which used to call Cliff's home? Perhaps one of you who frequents the park can clue me in!

Clementon Park just unveiled a flashy (no pun intended) new web site, and I must say it looks great. I can't help but wonder if their "Something Hot is Coming" promise is really a teaser for a future ride or attraction, but for now it would appear that they are simply referring to their 2010 season pass deals. Nevertheless, better keep an eye on that one just in case...

We've grown delightfully accustomed to Six Flags President and CEO Mark Shapiro's regular blogger conference calls. This past Monday he took that concept to a whole new level by hosting the first ever "super fan" conference call--also slated to be the first of many. Although we didn't do a formal write-up on this one, we did listen in and Mike has posted some of the highlights on our Facebook page. Should there remain any doubts that these calls actually make a difference, let me erase them right now by pointing you in the direction of the March 25th entry on Six Flags' official blog. Among other things, you can thank the "super fans" for bringing Houdini back to Great Adventure this year!

On a final Six Flags note, the L.A. Times has posted a piece of concept art for Mr. Six's Splash Island, which will open at Magic Mountain this year along with the previously announced Mr. Six DanceCoaster. The addition of this family friendly interactive water play structure was first revealed during Monday's call.

© 2010 California's Great America

In other left coast news, America's favorite beagle continues his quest to take over the world. Or at least, all the parts of the world belonging to Cedar Fair. California's Great America has posted a whole slew of new photos in their latest Facebook album which showcase the progress being made on Snoopy's new lair. Everything looks so fresh and bright!

I don't know who Peppa Pig is, but apparently she's a big hit in the United Kingdom and she's on her way to Paulton's Park. The park has released a flyer announcing the addition of Peppa Pig World in 2011. The brand new 120,000-square foot themed land, advertised as a "UK Exclusive and World First", will feature seven new rides, various Peppa-themed attractions, and both indoor and outdoor play areas. More details are forthcoming, as the park plans to launch a web site for the project in the very near future.

Something new is coming to Germany as well, and you won't have to wait nearly as long to experience it. Holiday Park (not to be confused with the States' Holiday World) opens for the 2010 season today, and has announced that a new family coaster called Holly's Wilde Autofahrt is on target to open sometime this spring. According to the news post on the park's web site (which most of our readers will probably want to view in the English translation!), this Maurer Söhne Wild Mouse will anchor a brand new area. Holiday Park will also be introducing some exciting new shows this year.

According to this article, Darien Lake's proposed $7 million water park expansion has not only been approved, but will be completed by May 2010. As in, a couple months from now. Perhaps I'm overestimating the amount of time required to install water park rides, but that seems like an awfully quick turnaround to me!

© 2010 Kennywood Connection

Then again, some things do go up pretty fast. Just take a look at Kennywood's Sky Rocket! Kennywood Connection posted a great construction update this week showing off the many supports that are already in place and the various track pieces that are about to be attached to them. At the rate they're moving, the new coaster should be blasting off in no time.

Spring has sprung, and that can mean only one thing for Conneaut Lake: It's time to spruce up the park! Conneaut Lake Park and the Hotel Conneaut have put out a call for volunteers who'd like to participate in this annual spring clean-up event, which will be held on April 24-25, 2010. For more details, refer to the park's web site.

The arrival of spring also means the return of thrills, tasty food, entertainment,and much more to Puyallup, Washington--if only for a few days. The Spring Fair, held at the Western Washington Fairgrounds, will run from April 15-18, and I'm sure our friend John Hinde and his crew have been hard at work ensuring that the historic Coaster Thrill Ride will be in tip-top shape (not to mention all in one piece!) for the occasion.

On a related note, remember that great web site I mentioned in my Coaster Thrill Ride construction article called Roller Coasters of the Pacific Northwest? Well I happened to notice that the site now has its own Facebook page as well. Check it out!

Not sure if you'll make it to Singapore this summer? Well have no fear, because you can take a virtual ride on at least one of Universal Studios Singapore's new attractions thanks to the Sentosa Theme Park Blog. They've uploaded the video above, which provides a POV ride on Revenge of the Mummy, to YouTube and I must say it looks like a great ride. While it's too dark to make out exactly what's going on during some parts, this video certainly gives you a sense of the level of theming you can expect.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Scott And Carol Present - Carowinds' Intimidator

Despite a massive rock slide that has closed I-40 for several months we made it to Carowinds!

This is the reason we came!

B & M goodness with a NASCAR flavor combines for one great attraction.

The park development crew worked very hard to incorporate appropriate theming in the heart of NASCAR country.

Karin Moss, director of the Earnhardt Foundation thanked the park for raising $10,200.00 with a first rider auction. Kerry Earnhardt admitted "that while it was a great ride, it's still not as good as a ride in a NASCAR two-seater." Jeff Steiner, head of DEI, thanked the park for their interest in supporting Dale Earnhardt's legacy.

Carowinds told everyone to "let them eat cake!" And. everyone was able to have their cake and ride it too!

The trains are modeled after Dale Earnhardt's famous #3 stockcar.

You go up very fast!

And... down even faster, 80 MPH at a 74 degree angle.

The Sky tower provides a nice backdrop with the train going by.

While it looks like the turn around has you going through the trees.

Really... you're not.

This is the finale of the coaster, after the mid-course brake from the Sky tower. Sometimes the Sky tower adds to the background and sometimes it provides the photo opportunity.

Here's a head on view of the finale and with we take the checkered flag at Carowinds, and attempt to navigate our way back around the rock slide. Thanks to all the fine folks at Carowindsfor the warm, southern hospitality!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sabrina's Brochure Spotlight: DelGrosso's Amusement Park 2003

This week I set out to answer the age-old question, "Which came first--the park or the spaghetti sauce?" Over the past century, the "DelGrosso" name has become synonymous with delicious Italian treats, most notably the many varieties of that aforementioned signature sauce. But do you know what best complements a tasty Italian meal? RIDES!

...And there are some at this park, I promise! Plenty, as a matter of fact. You simply won't catch a glimpse of many of them in this brochure. DelGrosso's Amusement Park brochures tend to emphasize value and special events over all else, and this 2003 version is no exception.

Okay, so we've established that this brochure is going to be painfully light on photos. Would you settle for a park map? This one is very detailed and gives you a great sense of exactly how much DelGrosso's has to offer from a rides and attractions perspective, regardless of how much they (don't) talk about it. One ride making its last appearance on this illustrious map was the park's Zyklon coaster (pictured in the upper left-hand corner), which was replaced by the Crazy Mouse the following year.

This map also answers yet another age-old question: "Why did the park patron cross the road?" Why, to get to the other side of the park! DelGrosso's is bisected by Old Route 220, with the amusement rides on one side and the parking lot, water park, miniature golf course, and go-kart track on the other. While not the most ideal arrangement, this sprawling park is a product of its own success. That's a good thing no matter how you bisect it!

Now on to those special events. There's always something cooking at DelGrosso's, and not all of it comes in the form of food. Here's a rundown of the many shows, concerts, and special events enjoyed by park guests in 2003.

Finally, we have the value. DelGrosso's remains a free admission park to this day, although prices have gone up slightly since 2003. But you can always knock a few dollars off that all-day pass by saving your DelGrosso's spaghetti sauce labels! And then--in 2003, anyway--you could get more of the same by visiting the park on a "Spaghetti Wednesday". After all, is it really possible to get too much of a good thing?

By the way, in case you're curious, here's the answer to that original age-old question...