You know the economy is bad when even Princesses are getting evicted. Yes, after 40 years of operation the “Snow Whites Scary Adventure” dark ride found in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, Florida will be giving its final “adventure” on May 31st 2012. Disney says the attractions replacement will be “Princess Fairytale Hall”, a location where guests will be able to meet their favorite Princesses.
The new meet and greet location will finally give the Princesses a proper meet and greet location in Fantasyland. For years the Princesses had been conducting meet and greets in the Mickey's Toontown area of the park. When that area was demolished last year to make room for the New Fantasyland expansion the Princesses moved to a temporary location on Main Street USA, they can be seen there currently.
“Snow White's Adventures” opened on October 1st 1971 with Disney World. The attraction orginally put guests in the shoes of Snow White as they were chased through the attraction by the evil wicked witch. The original version of the attraction did not feature any figures of Snow White as guests were supposed to be playing her. The attraction was famous for frightening children and confusing guests in general.
The attraction was re-imagineered in 1994. In an attempt to make the attraction more family friendly more scenes with Snow White as well as scenes with the Seven Dwarfs were added. The word scary was also added to the name of the attraction to try to deter guests that may be easily frightened from riding.
Snow White's Scary Adventure while still somewhat popular, often has low wait times compared to the other dark ride attractions in the area. It is expected that Princesses Fairytale Hall will be a more enjoyable experience for children than “Snow White's Scary Adventures”.
Snow White will not be attraction-less for long though. Disney announced last year plans to build a “Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Coaster” in New Fantasyland. The Rollercoaster type attraction will allow guests to step into the world of Snow White and board Swinging Ore cars for a fun filled trip through the Dwarfs diamond mines. The attraction will be a first of its kind ride in which the coaster cars will sway side to side during parts of the ride. Disney Imagineers say the attraction will be more intense than the “Barnstormer” kiddie coaster but less intense than “Big Thunder Mountain” (a mine train coaster). The new attraction is slated to open sometime in 2013 (Do you think the construction workers “Whistle While they work?”
Make sure to get your last rides in on the classic attraction before it closes!
Timber Tower Dispute Settled
The last time we reported on the status of Dollywood’s SBNO Timber Tower, HUSS was seeking dismissal of Dollywood’s $500,000 lawsuit. Dollywood was suing HUSS Park and Attractions (HPA) and HUSS Parts and Services (HPS) for “breach of contract, breach of warranty, and negligence,” after having their new ride down for service more than it was up and operational during its short life, and being charged for it despite the ride never working properly.
HPA and HPS though requested dismissal of the lawsuit claiming that since they were not successors to the original company that built the ride and made the contract with Dollywood, they were not liable or responsible for the claims. The original contract, signed with HUSS Maschinenfabrik, was signed in June 2005, with a one-year limited warranty on the structure and rides operation. After filing for insolvency in October 2006, HPA and HPS took over their assets, but according to Tennessee law, “when a corporation purchases the assets of another corportation, the purchaser is not automatically liable for the obligations of the seller,” as reported by timesnews.net.
Now, it has been reported by TimesNews.net that the two entities have reached a settlement and resolved all issues without “an admission of liability by either side.” Pete Owens, media and public relations manager for Dollywood said that they came to a “mutual agreement.” While the exact terms of the settlement have not been revealed, Owens confirmed that Timber Tower would be taken down and removed before March 24, the first day of Dollywood’s 2012 operating season.
After the rides completion in March 2006, it only took a few months before the ride started experience problems and malfunctions. In October 2006, however, HUSS Maschinefabrik filed for insolvency and was taken over by HUSS Park Attractions and HUSS Parts and Services, according to The Mountain Press. Maintenance was performed by HUSS in January 2007 after negotiating a new contract with Dollywood. Again, within just a few months, by April, the ride was experiencing new problems, which led to the June 17 incident that year which left 38 riders stranded at the top of the tower. Dollywood then had to replace the ride’s main hydraulic pump and the circulation pump, in September and November 2007 respectively. Later, in June 2008, after just over two years of operation, Dollywood had to replace the gondola motor drive, and that year the ride was down for 627 operating hours.
While Owens also told TimesNews.net that the park was looking into something to replace the ride, he noted that Barnstormer to 1-1.5 years, Wild Eagle 2+ years, and Mystery Mine took nearly 3 years of planning to come online.
A deserted amusement park is not only disheartening to the economy, but also a negative image to those with fond memories from its previous times. Luckily for Kentucky Kingdom, it has received a new lease on life – literally.
As COASTER-net reported less than two weeks ago, Bluegrass Boardwalk, Inc was the latest company to look into the abandoned former Six Flags park. Bluegrass Boardwalk is made up of the Koch family of Holiday World fame.
Well, the Kentucky State Fair Board unanimously approved a lease for Bluegrass Boardwalk, Inc on Thursday, February 24th, 2012. With the lease approved, the company must now secure financing.
According to WLKY, a Louisville news outlet, it is this step where past attempts to obtain the park have fallen short. The state is unable to provide funding and other companies haven’t been able to manage the massive undertaking.
Bluegrass Boardwalk insists it’s not interested in state money, though. Instead, the company intends to apply for state tax incentives, according to WDRB, another Louisville news outlet. This would provide the Koch family with some reimbursement for its investment as well as some tax breaks.
The Koch family is aiming to invest $15 million to $20 million initially. The park has been abandoned since 2009, and they are hoping to get work crews in as soon as this spring.
"It's like a Charlie Brown Christmas tree. All it needs is a lot of love, compassion and tenderness and we'll make it shine," Bluegrass Boardwalk President Dan Koch said, according to WHAS11. "There are pieces we can fix, or we wouldn't be doing this."
Opening the park would create 800 seasonal jobs and several full time positions. Mayor Greg Fischer told WDRB, “Our goal is to keep this open and get people employed and get our community enjoying it.”
The lease has a 50-year term with base rent starting at $400,000, and increasing every year thereafter and the Kentucky Exposition center getting small percentages after the park makes so much. Further details can be found at wave3.
And Holiday World fans need not worry – all of their favorite amenities are still going to be free.
“We’re bringing our business model of exceptional safety, cleanliness, friendliness and value for families,” Natalie Koch said in the Bluegrass Boardwalk, Inc press release. “That means free soft drinks, free sunscreen and free use of inner tubes.”
The only people more excited than fans are probably the Kochs.
“We can’t wait to get started!” Dan Koch also said in the press release. “We’ve got a lot of work to do to get the park reopened in just 15 months, but we’ll get it done.”
Bluegrass Boardwalk is set to open May 2013.
Parc Asterix New Coaster Oziris
Many of you have already seen the construction of the new coaster going up at Parc Asterix, either on this site or another. From watching the coaster take shape, the size, scale, length, elements, and height were slowly revealed, but now the park has finally announced some of the details we didn’t know from construction. To be called Oziris, The Parisian has stated that the coaster will represent an € 20 million investment in the French park, its biggest and most expensive investment to date.
Oziris is the Egyptian god of the afterlife, the underworld, and the dead, and now he will make his home in France at Parc Asterix, where he will see his first victims on April 7. The coaster will stand roughly 115 feet tall (40 meters), and will hit a top speed of approximately 55 mph (90 kph), traversing along it’s route a dive loop, vertical loop, immelman, corkscrew, and a zero-g roll along with at least one short tunnel, and several overbanked turns.
The new inverted coaster from B&M will not be as tight and compact as its Batman clones, nor will it be on the same massive scale as Alpengiest or Montu. Instead, Oziris will settle somewhere near the middle, like a mixture of Afterburn at Carowinds and Black Mamba at Phantasialand, but with a heavy Egyptian temple and themeing; think Montu’s offspring in terms of theme, color, elements, etc.
Along with the Egyptian section, Parc Asterix boasts Roman, Gallic, Greek, and Viking themed areas. Oziris will be the parks 7th coaster, joining the ranks of the Vekoma looper Goudurix, Ronde des Rondins kiddie coaster, SOS Numerobis family coaster, wooden Tonnerre de Zeus, Trace Du Hourra bobsled coaster, and Vol D’Icare family coaster. Oziris though, will beat out Zeus as the parks biggest coaster and will be the second B&M coaster in France, the other being the inverted Monster at Walygator Parc, relocated from Expoland where it was Orochi.
The park suffered from attendance issues this past year due to bad weather in July and August, the park’s peak months, but the park remained around its 1.6 million visitor average. The Parisian reports that the park is hoping the new coaster will bring in an extra 200,000 visitors for the 2012 season.
GCI Selected to Revamp Cyclone
The famous Coney Island Cyclone will be revamped by renowned coaster company Great Coasters International over the next few years; Central Amusement International (CAI) expects the reconstruction to take about four to five years in total.
AmusementToday.com spoke with Valerio Ferrari, CAI president. "We are very excited for the improvements that have been and will be made to The Cyclone," said Ferrari. "This ride is rich in history, and being able to preserve it for future generations to enjoy is something that CAI is very proud to be part of." The Cyclone originally opened in 1927, and was designed by the famed Vernon Keenan.
Great Coasters International itself has been widely praised for their refurbishments over the past few years, and was selected by CAI for the project. "GCII surveyed the Cyclone’s track and proposed that by making small adjustments to its profile, we will be able to create a more enjoyable riding experience for our guests," said Ferrari.
The project itself will be split into phases, according to Ferrari." Since this is both financial and labor intensive, CAI concluded that breaking the project into phases will allow us to keep the Cyclone open during our operating season and stay within budget constraints.”
CAI is also considering either refurbishing the existing trains or replacing them completely. “The Cyclone’s track replacement is expected to be completed within four to five years. As part of the final phase, we are looking into either refurbishing or replacing the Cyclone’s trains. Plans are not final, however, our vision is to keep the trains similar to the original design. When we are finished, the track and other ride systems will be state-of-the-art and will also meet current ride standards.”
The first phase will take place over the next few months, with Cyclone expected to open on Palm Sunday, April 1, 2012.
Crypt leaving Kings Island
Kings Island has been quite busy this off season. With all the news surrounding Soak City and their new web site, many will have noticed another ride along side Son of Beast is missing from the ride listings. Crypt, the park's indoor Giant Top Spin, has also disappeared from the website. The news finally saw some light today as on Kings Island's Twitter, they made it clear that Crypt would be gone for 2012 and replaced by a Haunt attraction in October.
Crypt has gone through a bit of transformation in its history. It opened in 2002 as Tomb Raider: The Ride while under Paramount ownership. It opened as the world's first and only Giant Top Spin made by Huss, able to carry over 70 riders up to heights of over 80 ft. The ride had lots of theming and even a soundtrack to enhance the ride experience.
As 2006 came, Cedar Fair took over and had to change the ride's name to Crypt. Along with that, they made several changes to the ride itself, including ditching all the Tomb Raider theming and the program. However, the ride program was such that the ride couldn't handle the more intense movements, and thus, the ride began to tear itself apart. In years following 2007, Cedar Fair has changed the program over and over to both give it a program, but to make something entertaining as well. As such, it only did on average 1-2 flips in those programs, and word of mouth followed to lack of ridership.
Yet another chapter is unfolding in the seemingly never-ending saga of Kentucky Kingdom. The owners of Holiday World, the Koch family, have put together a team and formed a new company named Bluegrass Boardwalk and are currently working with Kentucky State Fair Board.
The story began in 2010 when Six Flags closed Kentucky Kingdom after negotiations dealing with the park's lease fell through. Since then there have been many proposals and plans to reopen the park, but unfortunately none of them have come to fruition. This could all change soon with the latest plan brought forth by Bluegrass Boardwalk, Incorporated.
According to Theme Park Tourist and the Bluegrass Boardwalk website the plan being put forth by the Koch family would require no public money from the Kentucky Legislature. Instead, the Al J. Schneider company hotel firm has reportedly offered to help finance the project.
The Koch family team is made up of Holiday World president Dan Koch, his sister Natalie Koch, their cousin Kathy Kamp, and her husband, Michael Kamp, who is a General Manager at Holiday World. The trio of Dan, Natalie and Kathy are all grandchildren of Holiday World’s founder, Louis J. Koch.
If all of these plans go through the earliest the park could possibly open is 2013. Until then, you can follow the proceedings every step of the way through http://BluegrassBoardwalk.com, on Facebook: http://Facebook.com/BluegrassBoardwalk and via Twitter: @BluegrassBwalk . And of course, we will be covering the news every step of the way so check back often!