Forty-five years ago this Saturday, the Racer roller coaster opened at Kings Island.
The Racer — really it’s twin racers — has been the focal point of the Coney Mall sector of Kings Island since its debut, and with good reason. More than 103 million guests have taken a ride on the Racer since it opened April 29, 1972 — the most in park history. Its record year was 1976, when a park record 3,681,338 rides were given.
In addition to being considered an important part of the roller coaster renaissance of the 1970’s, the Racer was the site of several world-record riding attempts and is notable for its appearance in the “Cincinnati Kids” episode of The Brady Bunch, filmed at the park in 1973. On May 28, 1982, one side of the Racer became the world’s first full-length, backwards traveling roller coaster (both sides now face forward).
Kings Island officials coaxed designer John Allen out of semi-retirement for the task of designing and building the Racer. He started to design the ride’s blueprints in 1969. Actual construction began in September, 1970. The first trial run came in September, 1971. It worked perfectly the first time as Allen predicted it would.
The Racer was the first roller coaster built structurally on the ground with prefabricated sections lifted into position and bolted. It was one of the largest roller coasters ever built at the time, and the largest that Allen had built. He considered the Racer to be the finest roller coaster he ever built.
There’s more than 600,000 board feet of lumber in the ride. Nobody knows how many nails. The construction crew started with 6,000 tons of nails which lasted only 60 days.
In addition to the Racer, the Eiffel Tower, Woodstock Express roller coaster and Kings Island and Miami Valley Railroad also turn 45 on Saturday.
After losing a World Series bet with Great America, Cedar Point will pay the piper next weekend as they live up to their side of the wager.
Beginning next weekend and running for two days only, the amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio, will rename one of its roller coasters after the Cubs, dubbing it the "Top Thrill Cubster," according to a release.
The ride, normally called the "Top Thrill Dragster," takes riders on a journey reaching speeds of 120 MPH and heights of 420 feet.
According to the theme park, guests riding the roller coaster next weekend will be able to get a souvenir photo, and special t-shirts will also be sold to commemorate the occasion.
"The 2016 World Series was an all-time classic, but unfortunately for us, Chicago came out on top, so we're paying up," Cedar Point general manager Jason McClure said in a statement. Six Flags Great America in north suburban Gurnee originally proposed the bet in a video posted online ahead of Game 1 of the World Series.
Join us today for live updates from Busch Gardens Media Day as we experience the first rides of their brand new wooden coaster InvadR!
Getting ready for the Ribbon Cutting at #InvadR Grand Opening! Video will be posted to YouTube of the ceremony shortly!
Fun fact from Suzy Cheely: During construction they found old wood underground from an old ball pit play area. #InvadR
#InvadR is very much like White Lightning, but with a twister terrain aspect. More directional changes. Just as much airtime and speed.
InvadR has some great speed. Its size is very deceptive. It is quick, agile, and filled with airtime and directional changes.
The crew with Cindy from @BuschGardensVA and @DevinOlsonMedia here today! Great job by all!
We have a winner folks! #InvadR is a great ride!
A very nicely decorated station! #InvadR
The blue dragon train is off! The bear train represents the Villagers, the dragon represents the Vikings.
The yellow bear train on its way! #InvadR
We will be riding for Reverse POV shortly! #InvadR
Wonderful looking ride area!
We're being escorted to the ride now! #InvadR
There are roughly 96,000 bolted connections on #InvadR and over 10,000 pounds of nails used.
A little chilly and breezy this morning. #InvadR ride times are slightly delayed. We'll keep you posted as we get closer to riding.
#InvadR has two tunnels over the course of the ride. It has a 46-inch height requirement, shorter than most other GCI coasters.
#InvadR has a 74-foot drop to kick things off at 48MPH. 9 airtime hills will greet us throughout the ride!
Having some breakfast prior to the online working media entering the ride area!
Lots of banners around the park! Very beautiful this morning!
We're on our way back to the ride! #InvadR
A pair of patents from Universal Orlando Resort's sister entity, Universal City Studios, may hint at what's next for the theme park's Harry Potter attractions. The two patents, dubbed "vehicle transportation room system and method" and "system and method for a moving puzzle theater," both show technologies that could be used to bring more elements of the Harry Potter world to life. That may happen since rumor has it Universal will replace the existing Dragon Challenge coaster at Islands of Adventure with a new Harry Potter attraction— with land to spare as the coaster took up a substantial portion just for clearance /safety space.
Most intriguing is the patent of the vehicle transportation system that talks about using a retractable "launch room" that would cover ride cars on multiple sides with walls. "The launch room vehicle may include one or more show elements, such as displays, animatronic characters, speakers, fog machines, strobe lights or the like configured to operate in sync with each other and the movement of the launch room vehicle and/or ride vehicle," said the patent, noting the launch room would move alongside the ride car to keep guests in the experience.
A virtual reality attraction unlike any other is coming to Busch Gardens Williamsburg in the spring of 2018. Utilizing virtual reality headsets and the state-of-the-art motion simulator located on the former site of Europe in the Air, the yet-to-be-named attraction will be the first of its kind in North America. With this marriage of technology, Busch Gardens will be able to take riders through a portal into a hidden world of mythical characters, set against an Irish theme.
“We’re going to take you places that you never thought possible,” said Busch Gardens Vice President of Engineering Larry Giles. “Nowhere else has this ever been done.”
Busch Gardens disclosed plans for the ride during a presentation at Pass Member Preview Day today. Pass members in attendance helped announce the park’s plans during a card reveal that displayed a “Virtual Reality 2018” logo.
“This new virtual reality attraction will dramatically transform the capabilities of our motion simulator and deliver a truly unique experience,” Busch Gardens President David Cromwell said. “We will create an immersive environment that all families can enjoy.”
Busch Gardens also announced an official opening date of April 7 for InvadR™, its new wooden roller coaster featuring a 74-foot drop, nine air-time hills and a top speed of 48 miles per hour.
While InvadR is Busch Gardens’ first wooden roller coaster, it’s the park’s eighth roller coaster overall.
Halloween and horror music legends Midnight Syndicate will bring their critically-acclaimed concert experience, Midnight Syndicate Live!, back to the world famous amusement park, Cedar Point this fall. The horror-themed multimedia concerts blending live music, theatre, and film will run Friday nights, Saturdays, and Sundays from September 15 through October 29 in the Jack Aldrich Theater at Cedar Point's 21st annual HalloWeekends event.
“We’ve developed a new, even better show that we can’t wait to unleash on audiences,” said MidnightSyndicate’s Edward Douglas. “Our new venue, the Jack Aldrich Theater, is a perfect fit for what we want to do. It will allow us to create an intimate and thrilling experience that guests won’t soon forget.”
“Working with Cedar Point in 2014 was a great experience across the board, so to be able to team up with them again, especially as a part of Midnight Syndicate’s 20th anniversary celebration, is perfect,” added Gavin Goszka.
“We’re excited that Midnight Syndicate is bringing their live and immersive stage show back to Cedar Point this fall,” said Charles Bradshaw, V.P. of Live Entertainment at Cedar Point. “Fans of their mesmerizing music loved their previous run at HalloWeekends – and they’re going to love this latest production.”
For the new show, Midnight Syndicate will once again be calling upon special effects legend Robert Kurtzman (From Dusk Till Dawn, KNB EFX) and his Creature Corps, David “House” Greathouse (Faceoff, Mushroomhead), Beki Ingram (Faceoff), director Gary Jones (Army of Darkness, Axe Giant), 529 Films, EFX-TEK, artist Mark Rakocy, and Screamline Studios.
Silver Dollar City's newest, secret attraction might be called "Time Traveler." Or "Top Dog." Or something completely different. Aerial photographs taken by the News-Leader on Feb. 15 reveal a vast construction site adjacent to a Silver Dollar City amphitheater, complete with concrete footings and a large scaffolding structure.
A spokeswoman for the Branson-area theme park, Lisa Rau, was not ready to reveal many details about Silver Dollar City's latest attraction — unconfirmed reports of which have been fluttering around roller-coaster enthusiast blogs and on social media in recent weeks.
"It certainly is a ride," Rau told the News-Leader. "However, the make, the style, the attributes, the name — none of that anybody knows, except a secret vault of people." Since February 2016, Silver Dollar City's parent company, Herschend Family Entertainment Company LLC, has filed for federal trademarks including "Time Traveler," "Top Dog" and "Barke." In filed documents, the company has described the trademarks with legal language including "amusement park and theme park services" and "entertainment services in the nature of an amusement park ride, namely, a roller coaster," among many other terms.
Yesterday, Daniel Westfall was afforded the opportunity to take a look at the progress of Busch Gardens Williamsburg's 2017 roller coaster, InvadR. Check out the video above to not only see the progress but hear from some of the people involved in its creation!
Yesterday, Grona Lund said they have started planning an application for a large roller coaster scheduled to be completed in spring 2020. The CEO of the company Parks and Resorts, which owns Green Grove, describes the attraction as very different. The roller coaster is designed so that it sits under the rails, hanging by the legs right down. There is a huge momentum experience where you will go up and down, get huge g-forces, rolls, every possible moment during the ride, says Christer Fogelmarck.
The attraction, which is inspired by two roller coasters in the United States , to be built at Tyrol Park, where bumper cars and pentathlon games available today. Therefore, there are also plans to transform the area.
"We want to open up the area so that you can go out to the water, where we can have cafés and venues," says Christer Fogelmarck but points out that they have not yet submitted a building permit request for the plans.
Just building permits and appeals are an ongoing concern for Grona Lund. A new, 95-meter high fall attraction, encountered on patrol in the Land and Environment Court, after neighbors complained of the building permit.
Ever wonder what it would be like to be a Ferrari test driver?
The new, heart-pounding roller coaster scheduled to open at the end of March at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi will let you experience just that. Turbo Track, which rises to 64 metres above Yas Island, will turn riders into new recruits. They will undergo onscreen training and performance analysis before boarding the roller coaster, which will reach a speed of 102 kilometres an hour before zero gravity is experienced as it plummets vertically back down.
Turbo Track can also be ridden backwards, because it includes front-facing and rear-facing seats.