Posts By: Drew

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Construction Update

Animal Kingdoom has been under construction for a while with two major projects, The first being Rivers of Light, a new night time show spectacular coming into the Asia section of the park. The second Pandora the world of Avatar is coming to life in a all new land for the park. In this update we show off new preferred parking, the construction walls being removed at Rivers of Light, and the latest progress of Avatarland

Mako is testing at SeaWorld Orlando

Mako has completed its first of many test runs yesterday at SeaWorld Orlando. This is a monumental achievement for the park and designers of this B&M hyper coaster. Mako is named for a species of shark, the fastest in the world. Check out some of these photos the park has sent over, as well as a POV video.

Orlando, Fla. (April 15, 2016) – Mako made its debut run along its 4,760-foot steal track at SeaWorld Orlando this week. During its inaugural test ride, Mako plunged 200-feet down from its initial lift hill, surged through nine air-time hills and reached topped speeds of 73 mph.

Mako’s tight turns and speed are inspired by reality. Mako sharks are known for their top speed, making extreme jumps and the ability to quickly change course as they pursue their prey. Riders will become submerged into the world of the mako shark and feel the power of the predator as they experience the thrill of the hunt starting June 10.

Mako Quick Facts:

Opening June 10, 2016, Mako will be the tallest, fastest and longest coaster in Orlando.
Mako will be a hypercoaster, designed for speed and relentless “air time”
Orlando’s only hypercoaster lures guests to brave tight turns, stomach steep drops and endure shark-attack speeds.
Riders will soar up to 200 feet high and reach speeds up to 73 mph.
Mako will be the centerpiece of the new two-acre shark-themed realm which also includes Shark Encounter®, Sharks Underwater Grill®, gift shops, and shark- and shipwreck-themed educational experiences.

Follow the Mako frenzy using the hashtag #NothingFaster. Visit SeaWorld.com/Mako for more information and updates on the new ride.

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Starbucks Coffee coming to Knott’s

Starbucks_Corporation_Logo_2011.svgNew for 2016 Knott’s Berry Farm has announced a Starbucks location will open in the marketplace. The facility will be 935 square feet and be the forth Cedar Fair park with a Starbucks on property. according to the press release “Knott’s has partnered with Starbucks to design a welcoming gathering place that evokes themes of the Knott family’s original roadside stand with the familiar, contemporary aesthetic of Starbucks stores.” You can read this press release below

KNOTT’S BERRY FARM TO OPEN A STARBUCKS STORE IN MARCH

Buena Park, Calif. (January 6, 2016) – Knott’s Berry Farm announced today that it will open its first Starbucks location.  The 935 square foot Starbucks store will open in March 2016 in the California MarketPlace, just outside the Park’s main entrance, and will offer Starbuck’s world class coffee drinks and entrees.

Knott’s follows Cedar Point, King’s Island and Canada’s Wonderland as the fourth Cedar Fair Park to open a Starbucks location at its theme park.  As a themed entertainment destination, Knott’s has partnered with Starbucks to design a welcoming gathering place that evokes themes of the Knott family’s original roadside stand with the familiar, contemporary aesthetic of Starbucks stores.

“At a theme park rooted in rich culinary traditions, Starbucks brings a level of quality and service to Knott’s Berry Farm that our guests have come to expect,” said Russ Knibbs, vice president of Food and Beverage Service at Knott’s Berry Farm.  “The partnership with Starbucks will help us continue to bring great refreshments and dining, while delivering the very best experiences to our guests.”

Just south of the new Starbucks construction site is the ongoing restoration project of Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant.  The restaurant and the quick service option Chicken-To-Go closed on Monday, January 4 as construction continues in preparation for a spring 2016 reopening. To ensure Mrs. Knott’s famous fried chicken is still available during construction, a temporary Chicken-To-Go counter service dining location opened today in the retail space where Cable Car Kitchen restaurant formerly operated.  Even while the restaurant’s main kitchen is being renovated, the famous fried chicken with all the fixings will continue to be prepared using Mrs. Knott’s legendary recipe at Chicken-To-Go.

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Rodolph The Red Noes Reindeer is back at Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas

dollywoodDollywood has announced that Rodolph the Red Nose Reindeer is back for another season of family fun at their award winning Christmas event  Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas. Rodolph was a meet and greet character last year where guests of all ages could meet Santa’s famous friend.  Furthermore Dollywood announced that it is the final season of their technological masterpiece of a show Dollywood’s A Christmas Carol. This show features a holographic Dolly Parton to star among its cast. You can read more in the press release below.

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (November 4, 2015) — Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer leads Santa’s sleigh back to Pigeon Forge for Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana (Nov. 7Jan. 3). Rudolph and his special friends enjoyed visiting Dollywood guests so much last year that they’ve decided to pack up all of the fun from the North Pole and bring it to Dollywood for this year’s festival!

Throw in the park’s four million dazzling lights, award-winning entertainment and delicious food options and it is easy to understand why Dollywood earned this year’s Amusement Today Golden Ticket Award for Best Christmas Event, its eighth consecutive honor. In fact, Dollywood is the only theme park in the world to ever win the award.

“I’m so proud of the work everyone puts in to making Christmas such a special time for families at my Dollywood,” said Dolly Parton. “They start putting up Christmas lights in July! It’s so beautiful and truly is the most special time of year to visit. Our entertainment team does an amazing job with all of the great shows they perform at Christmas. Why I hear they’re even going to bring back the hologram version of me one more time so you can see ‘the other Dolly’ remind ol’ Scrooge what Christmas is all about!”

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, the beloved Christmas television special, comes to life at Dollywood this season. Guests can meet Rudolph and his friends, including Clarice, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster and Yukon Cornelius in Rudolph’s Holly Jolly ™ Junction, a magical area where festive fun awaits. After meeting Rudolph and his friends, families can head to Clarice’s kitchen to decorate custom Christmas cookies or even take part in a few reindeer games!

With a number of family-favorite shows throughout Dollywood, entertainment certainly takes center stage during Smoky Mountain Christmas. The groundbreaking Dollywood’s A Christmas Carol returns to for its final season in 2015. The show uses holographic technology to bring Dolly Parton to the stage as the Ghost of Christmas Past. The lifelike appearance of Parton and the other holograms featured in the show leave amazed audiences mesmerized. This heartwarming tale about the transformation of Ebenezer Scrooge features a 16-member cast, fully orchestrated musical tracks and period costuming.

Dollywood’s entertainment, which in 2015 earned its seventh consecutive Golden Ticket Award for Best Shows, features several other beloved shows this season, including Christmas in the Smokies, An Appalachian Christmas, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, O’ Holy Night, and Christmas with The Kingdom Heirs. Guests also can experience the nightly Parade of Lights, a festive procession of larger-than-life toys and characters, as well as Santa’s Workshop, where the smallest guests can share their wish list with Kris Kringle.

Families can finish their visit with a traditional Christmas meal as several of Dollywood’s menus feature holiday-themed items. Among the favorites are turkey and dressing, hot flavored drinks like hot chocolate and wassail, and much more. Holiday desserts available throughout the park include pumpkin pies, pumpkin rolls, pumpkin spice funnel cakes and a make-your-own s’mores pit.

Smoky Mountain Christmas guests can upgrade a paid one-day admission ticket to a regular 2016 season pass for as low as $28 (plus tax when buying four or more). Ticket purchasers receive credit for the value of a regular one-day ticket ($62) toward the purchase of a 2016 season pass. A season pass purchased during Smoky Mountain Christmas provides unlimited admission to this year’s Christmas festival along with Dollywood’s entire 2016 season. (A one-day ticket is valid for upgrade on the day of visit only.) Also, guests who purchase a Dollywood one-day ticket after 6 p.m. receive free admission to the park’s next operating day.

 

Storm Chaser Coming to Kentucky Kingdom


Kentucky Kingdom announced a 15 million dollar investment today with the re-imagined Storm Chaser, built by Rocky Mountain Construction. Storm Chaser will take place of the former Twisted Twins dueling CCI coaster that closed when Six Flags left the park. The ride has been Standing But Not Operating since the end of the 2008 season. Storm Chaser will run on RMC’s I Box track, making it a steel roller coaster. This same design was used in Twisted Colossus and The New Texas Giant. It will stand 100 feet tall and drop at 78 degrees while inverting you in the process, in America’s first Barrel Roll Drop. Kentucky Kingdom sent us a press release which you can read below.

KENTUCKY KINGDOM ANNOUNCES ITS MOST EXCITING COASTER YET!

STORM CHASER TO DEBUT IN 2016

Louisville, Kentucky, July 20, 2015: Kentucky Kingdom announces the upcoming addition of Storm Chaser, its fifth roller coaster and second new coaster since the theme park reopened 14 months ago.

Kentucky Kingdom is recognized within the amusement industry for its diverse mix of thrilling coasters, which include Thunder Run, the classic wooden coaster ranked among the top “woodies” in the world; T3, its newly revamped and reopened suspended looping coaster; Lightning Run, a one-of-a-kind hyper coaster introduced in 2014 and rated among the top 25 steel coasters in the world by Amusement Today; and the Roller Skater, a whimsically themed family coaster and a favorite with all ages.

With the objective of offering its guests something truly unique, the park commissioned Rocky Mountain Construction to design and build its fifth and newest coaster.  According to John Mulcahy, the park’s Director of Marketing and Communication, “Rocky Mountain Construction (RMC) is on the leading edge of coaster design and engineering, admired by both coaster enthusiasts and industry professionals.”

Mulcahy went on to say, “What makes Storm Chaser so special is that it will have RMC’s unique and patented iBox track, which will rest on wood, creating the “feel” of a wooden coaster, but will be supported by a steel superstructure. This yields a ride that’s smooth as glass, yet also very fast and intense. The iBox track also allows for the addition of exciting elements not normally associated with traditional wooden coasters.”

Some might refer to Storm Chaser as a hybrid coaster, but it’s actually an entirely new category of coaster. There are only five other parks in the world to have a coaster with the revolutionary iBox track and they are the marquee attractions at some of the largest parks in the world, including Six Flags Magic Mountain (Valencia, California), Six Flags Fiesta Texas (San Antonio, Texas), and Six Flags New England (Agawam, Massachusetts).

“These other iBox coasters have gotten rave reviews and we’re very proud to be joining their ranks,” remarked Mulcahy. Storm Chaser will give our guests a coaster experience like no other in the region.”

Mulcahy continued, “Storm Chaser, standing 100 feet tall at its highest point, will be the first coaster in America to feature a barrel roll drop from a 10-story lift hill, not to mention a near-perpendicular 78-degree angle of descent.  But that’s just the beginning. That first roll is followed by a stall dive, a tip-out corner, airtime hills, a twisted airtime drop, and even a corkscrew, features that simply can’t be offered on traditional wooden coasters.”

Mulcahy confirmed that Storm Chaser will replace the coaster formerly known as Twisted Twins. Work on this project has already begun and Storm Chaser will be ready for its first riders when the park opens in the spring of 2016.

Ed Hart, President and CEO of Kentucky Kingdom, noted, “Since we’re all about creating exceptional thrills at Kentucky Kingdom, Storm Chaser fits the bill. Storm Chaser would normally cost as much as $15 million all-in, but we’re saving money by using some of the existing superstructure from Twisted Twins. However, because of the new configuration, taller lift hill, and many other innovative features, we are essentially redesigning and building a new coaster.”  Hart went on to ask, “When’s the last time you dropped ten stories while doing a barrel roll?”

Fred Grubb, co-founder and “chief innovator” of RMC, added, “We are thrilled to have been selected for this project and to help introduce our special brand of coaster design to Kentucky. Storm Chaser will be one of the most exciting coasters we’ve ever built!”

The American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE) appears to agree. With anticipation for Storm Chaser building, ACE has selected Kentucky Kingdom to be among the four major regional theme parks to host its national convention next July.

Kentucky Kingdom and Hurricane Bay is open daily through August 11th, the weekend of August 15th and 16th.   Kentucky Kingdom (only) operates as part of the Kentucky State Fair August 20 through 30 (see website for alternate operating hour and ticketing).   Kentucky Kingdom and Hurricane Bay then reopen for Labor Day weekend and select weekends during the month of September (check park schedule via kentuckykingdom.com).

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Roar to be Silenced at Discovery Kingdom

Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 6.57.00 PM Six Flags Discovery Kingdom today announced the closure of one of their eight roller coasters. Roar will officially be silenced on August 16th 2015, one month from today. After that date the iconic wooden roller coaster will be permanently closed. Roar was crested in 1999 by Great Coasters International (GCI), and was the first to open with the Millennium Flyer coaster train, a state of the art rolling stock at the time. In The Loop listener Josh E was quoted saying “I Like it”,  “Reasonably Smooth” and “was a present surprise”, however it seems the public is more excited for the rumored Iron Horse Treatment from Rocky Mountain Construction which turns older wooden roller coasters into a modern steel hybrid attraction. Six Flags has not announced this transformation yet so stay tuned for further news.  That being said if you would like to experience current condition Roar you have a month left to do that. Six Flags did give us a press release and that is below.

VALLEJO, Calif. – July 16, 2015 – Six Flags Discovery Kingdom today announced that its iconic wooden roller coaster, Roar, is set to close on Sunday, August 16, 2015.

Guests and fans can ride Roar one last time from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on August 16. After that, the ride will be permanently closed.

“We are a dynamic and evolving entertainment venue,” said Don McCoy, park president. “Although Roar continues to be a guest favorite, sometimes hard choices must be made to allow for future expansion.”

Roar opened in 1999 amidst a major revitalization effort, with several new shows and attractions, restaurants and shops opening simultaneously. Since that time, an estimated 11 million guests have experienced the 10-story coaster featuring six reversals, 22 crossovers, 17 turns and 12 breathtaking drops, in this 55 mph ride that was named for the thunderous roar of a California sea lion.

Roar is a traditional wooden roller coaster featuring a 3,467 foot-long wooden track.

Officials have not announced any plans for an attraction to replace the coaster.

A special fond farewell to Roar will include a series of events for guests and Season Pass holders, the highlight of which will be a special last rider event coinciding with National Roller Coaster Day on August 16.

Phobia Phear Coaster is coming to Lake Compounce in 2016

Screen Shot 2015-07-10 at 11.13.32 AMLake Compounce has concluded the What’s In The Box teaser campaign, with announcing Phobia Phear Coaster! The ride will be themed to several phobias that guests will experience during the attraction. This ride will launch riders three times using Linear Synchronized Motor (LSM) technology in New England’s only triple launched roller coaster to thrust riders down the track reaching speeds of 65 MPH. The Ride will be manufactured by Premier Rides and will feature an inversion at 150 feet. Lake Compounce General Manager, Jerry Brick stated “Phobia will be the largest financial investment we have made to the park in our history and we couldn’t be more excited.” This ride is a similar experience to Superman: Ultimate Flight at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, and Tempesto at Busch Gardens Willamsburg. For more information feel free to check out the parks website. For more information please visit the parks website.

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No 2015 Season for Ghost Town In The Sky

10984993_862269893865169_2657876069856272793_nGhost Town In The Sky, a small park in the Smokey Mountains of North Carolina, which was supposed to open on July 2nd, has announced today that they will not open for the 2015 season. They need more time to work on the updates of the 60+ year old infrastructure of the park. The park is located at the top of a mountain so these updates could take a few more weeks, and it would not be a financially  sound decision to open for only part of the season. Alaska Presley, Park President has sent us a press release in regards to the parks current status.

As many of you know we have spent the last 3 years rebuilding the infrastructure of Ghost Town. The park is 60+ years old and new electrical, plumbing, evacuation roads and more had to be updated. We have spent more than half a million dollars installing 5000 ft of water lines through out the mountain to replace aging and dry wells. I have now been informed that additional measures must be taken in order for the new lines to pass pressure tests and this will not be completed for several more weeks. Without water we are unable to open to the public. This comes as a disappointment, since we have spent the last several weeks renovating the western town and preparing the restaurants and shops. It is just not cost effective to open for a partial season. We will however be completed and ready to go for next season and ask that you please keep updated on our Facebook page for 2016 opening announcements. We have been working on re-branding Ghost Town into a family destination taking it from the 1960’s to the 2020’s and although it may seem like little has been done, I assure you, you must first complete a solid infrastructure in order to build a memorable destination and we have almost completed that. Ghost Town’s future holds exciting new activities like our all new AirWalk which will be a conversion of the existing roller coaster to a harnessed climbable course, extended zip lines, from up the mountain, an Appalachian Village to include local entertainment and artisans and much more. We truly appreciate your understanding and will continue to update you as we progress.

Kennywood has Freak Accident Shooting on 4th of July

KwdAn unfortunate event took place at Kennywood Park on July, 4th 2015. Guests came from all over to celebrate Independence Day and America with thrills and fireworks but one guest got more than she anticipated. A woman around 10:10 PM was walking towards the exit of the park when a bullet penetrated her upper chest near her shoulder. The Lady was walking near the bumper cars, known as Grand Prix at Kennywood, when a shot was fired. Police have determined the bullet came from outside of the park in what is assumed a 4th of July celebration. Kennywood wanted to assure guests that this was a freak accident.  Park Spokesman Chris Salerno stated  “It was a freak accident” and that “We’ve continued the ramped-up police presence, and it was absolutely in place”. This incident is unrelated from the situation that took place opening weekend.

Twisted Colossus Media Day Review

la-trb-twisted-colossus-pov-six-flags-magic-mountain-20141016-vTwisted Colossus, a Rocky Mountain Construction (RMC) hybrid roller coaster opened for media the other day at Six Flags Magic Mountain. This ride designed by Allen Schilke sends riders up 121 feet in the air on this dueling racing monster. Twisted Colossus is the re-imagined coaster based on the original Colossus roller coaster only  instead of using wood track this coaster used a Iron Horse I Beam style track to twist riders in never before seen directions. This includes a first ever Top Gun Stall,  an inversion where one train is upside down in a zero g roll while the other train is below cresting an airtime hill, and the Western Hemisphere’s first ever High Five element, where two trains pass through an overbanked turn facing each other with the illusion that you can reach out and “high five” other riders. Their are also many airtime filled moments, sending you out of you seat 18 times. Parts of the original structure remain for the new ride as well.

Twisted Colossus, the next generation of the beloved wooden roller coaster that thrilled millions of guests in its 36-year reign at the park, will be a unique technological marvel combining an iconic wooden structure with state-of-the-art Iron Horse Track. The advanced technology, available exclusively at Six Flags, provides ride experiences never before possible on wooden coasters, such as over-banked turns and inversions. Twisted Colossus will feature numerous exciting components including a “Top Gun” element, the western hemisphere’s first “High Five” element, and a Zero G Roll.

Check out all of out Media Day coverage below.