Thursday, May 21, 2020

Coronavirus and Amusement Parks- What will re-opening look like?

 Amusement Parks, Coronavirus and Re-opening.. oh my? 

 Nothing is normal and nothing will be the same for a long time. So how is this going to effect the summer season? 

 Amusement parks and theme parks across the country are starting to prep for reopening and what is left of the summer park season. With announcements beginning today and more expected to break their silence in the next week.

 As of 5/21/20, several parks have announced opening days including Six Flags Great Adventure and Holiday World. With social distancing in place, face masks required and dozens of new sanitation rules in place- the changes to your summer park fun are going to be massive. It's now time to take a look at what this strange, new amusement park world is likely going to look like.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Kings Island- Orion, New coaster for 2020.

Kings Island building a new giga coaster, Orion for 2020. 

In August, Kings Island shocked the coaster world with the announcement they would be building a new giga-coaster for the 2020 season.

 The first giga to be built in five years, this comes as big news as the park hasn't built a new coaster since Mystic Timbers in 2017. Cedar Fair parks often run in cycles, each park gets new attractions or additions each year but coasters tend to only come on the building block every 3-5. It's impressive Kings Island is getting something new so quickly over their sister park, Cedar Point, who has been added a new coaster every two years lately.

Let's get into the real details of this new beautiful creature coming to Kings Island.

Manufacturer: Bollinger and Mabillard
Type: Steal, Giga Coaster
Ride Time: 3 minutes.
Trains: 2 trains of 8 car each, 4 riders in a single row for 32 riders per train.
Track Length: 5,321 feet
First Drop Height: 300 feet
Length of First Drop: 447 feet
Top Speed: 91 MPH
Total Hills: 8

Set to open in Spring of 2020, Orion boasts some impressive stats. It's 70 feet taller than Diamond Back, the current tallest coaster in the park. Built by the same coaster company, Kings Island boasts a collection of the finest things B&M has to offer.

Orion is themed to a new area of the park, Area 72. Themed around a group of scientists in a race to develop travel though a coming meteor storm and investigating a new planet in the Orion constellation. Naturally, we riders will be the 'volunteers' to help with testing out this transport system.

The new themed area will be going into the park which currently houses Flight of Fear, beyond the Racer. Ground clearing for this new coaster has been in progress since 2018 when Firehawk was demolished. During this time when additional land clearing began, fans began to get suspicious- why would they need that much land cleared out suddenly?

A coaster, was the obvious answer and Orion doesn't disappoint.

Orion is taking over a portion of the space Firehawk once occupied and a good bit more, stretching itself into the back part of the park towards the wooden area Beast plays in and that once housed the 'Dinosaurs Alive' attraction.

 In September, Kings Island showed us this lovely gem. The beginnings of the lift hill base and starting on vertical progress.

More recently, Wild Gravity Travels showed us this amazing little gem from earlier in November. The lift hill has been completed and downward progress is nearly to the bottom of the first drop.  While it's difficult to tell, we can guess that outward progress from the lift hill has begun in the form of supports and footers. Although how the cold weather will slow construction is difficult to say.

If we get the chance, we'll have to get out to Winterfest and take a look for ourselves.

Image from Attractions Magazine 
New today we have these lovely, sweet looking new trains which where just released at the IAAPA expo in Orlando, Florida.  B&M displayed the lead car for the new coaster at the expo, giving fans a another hint of what to expect in the spring of next year.

Easy to say, we're excited. We look forward to watching the progress of this coaster more so than we already are.  So stay tuned, space travelers? Space Travelers, we're going with it.. we'll have more to come soon!

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

New coaster trains for Busch Gardens Parks shown at the IAAPA

 IAAPA Shows Off New Coaster Cars for Busch Gardens.

 It's that time of year again, the IAAPA is in full swing and images are coming down hard and fast. Showing off the latest and greatest, the soon to open and the future news- a lot is going to drop this week with the expo going on!

 SeaWorld Parks is offering some of the first showings here with the two new coasters coming to the Busch Gardens parks.

Image from Theme Park Insider

 Up first, we've got the new coaster train design going in to Busch Gardens Williamsburg and the coaster Pantheon.  Intamin showed off the design, which to be honest, I'm not thrilled with.

Allow me to explain..

 The same harness design is used at Hershey Park for the coaster 'Sky Rush' which has the unloving nickname 'Thigh Crush' for a reason.
 Rather than going with the slightly older design, they've opted to use this model for the new coaster.

 Although considering it's not a wing coaster, there could be some saving grace to our poor thighs in the future. At least, if your not short? I'll have to wait and see with this one.

Image from Theme Park Insider 
 Busch Gardens Tampa isn't to be left out of the fun either, showing off the new trains for the redesign of Gwazi.  Created by Rocky Mountain Coasters, it's now called 'Iron Gwazi'. The coaster will be a complete re-track of the original ride with many of the old elements removed and new added, combining it into a single track coaster.

 Taking away the dueling element does allow more room to work and design, but seems like it's somehow taking away a key element of an original design. Dueling coasters are becoming a rarity these days, but let me digress once more..

 Let me confess something to you, the trains confuses me.

 Gwazi was (supposedly) named after the legend of a creature which had both the head of a lion and the head of a tiger, thus why each side was designated 'lion' or 'tiger'. However, in this new coaster train theme, seem to share nothing more than the name with the original coaster. Rather this is now 'crocodile inspired thrills'!

 Perhaps it's just me, but I liked the 'big cat' theme as it fell in nicely with the education programs the park runs regarding their big cats. Although I do suppose it's time to branch out as they have 'Kumba',  'Cheetah Chase' and 'Tigris' now.

Anyway, I've digressed enough for one afternoon.

We're looking forward to more news from the IAAPA's 2019 show.

We'll cover the SeaWorld Parks in tomorrows update- There is PLENTY more to come!

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Busch Gardens Williamsburg- Pantheon News 11/2

Busch Gardens Williamsburg- Pantheon News 

 For those who haven't been following along, Pantheon is the newest coaster coming to Busch Gardens Williamsburg in 2020.  Themed to the Roman Gods, with various elements of the coaster being named after them, the ride is an Intamin steel, sit-down coaster. Slated to be the fastest, multi-launch coaster in North America.