Cedar Point Wing Rider
News of Cedar Point’s 2013 attraction have been unofficially revealed, and it’s something many Cedar Point “fanboys” have been predicting and hoping for, a new coaster. But this won’t just be any new coaster, it will be a massive Wing Rider according to an uncomfirmed memo released by Cedar Fair CEO Matt Ouimet.
The Sandusky Register has reported that the coaster, code-named “CP Alt. Winged,” will be a $25 million project and will have the “longest drop [at 170 ft tall], run the fastest, and be the longest ride of its kind” according to Matt Ouimet. To make room for the giant new Wing Rider, the Cedar Point will be removing the Space Spiral, the parks skytower, and Disaster Transport, the parks indoor bobsled coaster. Ouimet was not available for comment, and Corporate VP of Marketing Lee Alexakos declined to confirm the memo, stating “we have not announced any plans for 2013 but we did announce a $25 million investement.”
In the alleged memo, Ouimet stated “Rob Decker (Cedar Fair VP of planning and design) and others have done a great job of creating a compelling, economically attractive new coaster for Cedar Point…we believe this particular ride design with this particular manufacturer balances the desire for marketable innovation and risk associated with early adaptations of prototypes.”
Ever since green Wing Rider track appeared outside of B&M’s manufacturing plant in Ohio, fans of Six Flags Magic Mountain and Cedar Point have been vying that the track would be for their park’s 2013 coaster. When it was discovered that the track was actually for a coaster in China, the rumors about the two park’s 2013 fates has still been under siege. If it’s true, Cedar Point’s Wing Rider will be the 5th installed, and the third in the US, following 2011’s Raptor (Gardaland), and the 2012 trio of the Swarm (Thorpe Park), Wild Eagle (Dollywood), and X-Flight (Six Flags Great America).
Again, this information comes from a memo that park officials have declined to confirm and not commented on further, but their silence and refusal to deny such a big rumor could be telling.
Bluegrass Boardwalk Faces Delays
Bluegrass Boardwalk’s chances of opening in 2013 are decreasing as more delays are thrown in front of the Koch family. Should the park open in 2014, it could even open without any roller coasters.
The Koch family, who run Bluegrass Boardwalk, Inc as well as Holiday World in Santa Claus, Indiana, were hoping to get their lease with the Kentucky State Fair Board signed last month.
As COASTER-net reported, the company has been attempting to secure tax incentives to back their financial investments in the park. They received preliminary approval earlier this month, but the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet is still working on an investigation to ensure that the Koch’s undertaking meets all the requirements for the incentives.
According to WFPL news, Gil Lawson of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet said that the investigation should conclude by next month. Paula Werne, Koch family spokesperson, told WFPL that it isn’t until the study is completed that Bluegrass Boardwalk, Inc will be able to determine the park’s opening date.
These legal impediments are also delaying the physical side of reopening the park. Park clean up, ride analyses on each ride from experts, and therefore refurbishments have been delayed until the lease has been signed, according to WHAS11.com. Without these assessments, the park will have to continue to push back the opening.
The park may also open without roller coasters, according to Courier Journal. The Louisville news site reported that their copy of Bluegrass Boardwalk’s incentive application stated that the park would initially open with “all the existing water park attractions and some of the amusement park rides.”
According to the same report, this was based off of information gained from preliminary examinations of the rides.
“We’d kicked the tires, but we didn’t crank up the engine,” Werne said in a press release on theBluegrass Boardwalk blog. “That will happen after we have the signed lease and can really dig in – with the experts. They’ll help us formulate the very best plan for reopening what we can and saying good-bye to what simply can’t be rehabilitated.”
Bluegrass Boardwalk is becoming less a dream and more a reality by the week. Dan Koch recently announced an exact date that his family is aiming to open the park - May 11th, 2013.
"We've got financing approved,” Koch told wdrb.com. “We have to have the mortgage placed on the property, and the governor signs the lease, and we're good to go.”
As COASTER-net reported just weeks ago, Bluegrass Boardwalk, Inc recently got approval for tax incentives. It intends to invest upwards of $15 million into the former Six Flags park.
Much of the investment is going into sprucing up pre-existing rides and buildings on the property, but also into new additions.
“We're going to put in new rides. We're going to paint buildings. We're going to clean up toilets,” Koch said. “There's a happy thing back there, too. There's a lot of pretty buildings already and some of those rides aren't in bad shape and the landscaping actually is beautiful.”
Not every ride will be staying from Kentucky Kingdom to Bluegrass Boardwalk. Some are in such disrepair that it wouldn't make sense to put more money into repairing it than replacing it.
“I can't speculate what we'll have open because we haven't broken down all the rides and slides to take a look at it. And candidly, some are just gonna be beyond the repair standards of Holiday World," Koch told WKU Public Radio.
China's Only 4-D Coaster Opens
The Dino Land theme park in Changzhou, China, about two hours west of Shanghai, recently opened its newest coaster. Dubbed Dinoconda, the $20 million coaster is one of just three fourth-dimension coasters built by Arrow/S&S in the entire world, and Dino Land’s is the only in China. The only other fourth-dimension (4D) coasters are X2 at Six Flags Magic Mountain, Eejanaika at Fuji-Q Highland in nearby Japan.
Like those coasters, Dinoconda features seats on the outside of the coaster, with independently rotating seats. The rotation of the seats is controlled by a second rail running along the course, which causes the seats to roll forward or backward by moving the rail closer to and further from the train. According to the LA Times, Dinoconda, built by S&S Worldwide, will stand an imposing 259-feet tall, plunging down a vertical first drop, and hitting a top speed of 78 mph. The bulk of the layout will consist of an inside raven turn, zero-g roll, fly-to-lie element, an outside raven turn, and a final fly-to-lie element, for a total of 3 complete inversions over a course of 3,500 feet.
Dino Land is known by many as the “Jurassic Park of the East,” an accurate description given the extensive themeing and countless dinosaurs and mythical creatures standing tall throughout the entire park. Dinoconda joins the ranks as the parks third coaster, following 2009’s Whirling Dinosaur Car, a spinning coaster from Chinese manufacturer Golden Horse, and 2010’s Dinosaur Mountains, a Zamperla MotoCoaster.
Some new life will be coming to the iconic SooperDooperLooper coaster this year. Amusement Today reported that the coaster's new Gerstlauer built trains have arrived at Hersheypark and have been loaded onto the coaster's storage track.
This set of two trains will be the third pair for the coaster. The classic Schwarzkopf coaster debuted back in 1977. During its first years the coaster ran trains that came straight from Schwarzkopf. However, in 1988 these trains were replaced by a set built by Giovanola in Switzerland. The Giovanola trains remained on the coaster until just recently as the new set from Gerstlauer.
Fans of tradition don't need to worry about any dramatic changes coming with these trains. The classic look has been preserved with the new trains. Most importantly, the new trains retain the individual ratcheting lap bars found on the older trains. This means that the trains still feature lap bars rather than over the shoulder restraints. Also, photographs of one of the trains have risen and revealed that it will be sporting a bright orange paint job.
Amusement Today also mentioned that one of the old trains has been donated to the National Roller Coaster Museum & Archives. That train left the park last week.
Boomeranging to Costa Rica
One park’s loss will become another park’s gain overseas, as Parque Diversiones, also known as the National Amusement Park, in San Jose, Costa Rica, will be receiving a boomerang coaster from Brazil. Amusement Today reported last month that Playcenter amusement park in Sao Paulo, Brazil would be closing in favor of a more kid-friendly entertainment park/facility. Now, the Costa Rica Star is sending word that Playcenter’s Boomerang coaster will be making its new home there.
Boomerang is a standard “Boomerang” coaster from Vekoma Rides Manufacturing, standing 116’ 6” tall, and hitting a top speed of 47 mph as it traverses a cobra roll and vertical loop, first forwards then backwards. Before moving to Costa Rica, the coaster operated at Playcenter as Boomerang since it was first built there in 1997. But after nearly 40 years of operation, Playcenter is changing its strategy from amusement park, to family entertainment center. According to Amusement Today and the Costa Rica Star, the new project will take an investment of BR$40 and will include and interactive ghost train, 4D cinema, and a carousel, amongst other childrens rides, with an expected opening in the first half of 2013.
In the months preceding the park’s closure, homes have already been found for many of the parks other rides and coasters. In February, the Windstorm S&MC Hurricane coaster was moved to Alpen Park as Alpen Blizzard, while the Schwarzkopf Looping Star is being moved to Nicolandia Center Park, both of which are located elsewhere in Brazil. Other attractions, such as the Fabbri Evolution and Cataclysm, are still up for sale to new homes.
When it opens at Parque Diversiones, the “new” Boomerang coaster will stand tall amongst the parks three already existing coasters. The largest of its new brothers is the brightly painted Vekoma Whirlwind coaster called Bocaraca, once the Whirlwind coaster that operated at Knoebels Amusement Park. It will also be standing alongside Montana Ghibli, a small family coaster built by a Costa Rican firm, and Teletren, a small Zamperla Family Gravity Coaster (model 80STD). Expect the new Boomerang coaster to open by the end of 2012.
Greezed Lightnin Relocating
The historic Schwarzkopf shuttle coaster Greezed Lightnin' is on its way to a new home. Amusement Today is reporting that the coaster will be crossing state lines for the first time in its history as it makes the move to Cliff's Amusement Park in New Mexico. The ride is currently sitting in storage in Lubbock, Texas.
Greezed Lightnin' has had an interesting past. The coaster was originally built in 1978 at the former Six Flags AstroWorld. It operated here for 27 years until the park closed its doors in 2005. After AstroWorld's closure the coaster was bought by Joyland Park in Lubbock, Texas. However, Greezed Lightnin' never opened at Joyland Park and instead sat in storage for years.Amusement Today stated that there was a high water table underneath the park that made re-constructing the ride too expensive. Since Joyland Park was unable to re-open Greezed Lightnin' they put the ride up on the market for sale.
While Joyland Park was having problems with their coaster Cliffs Amusment Park in Albuquerque, New Mexico realized that they had an SCS waterplay unit that couldn't meet the demand their park had. The two parks realized that they could benefit by trading rides, so a handshake deal was done and the parks traded rides without any monetary exchange.
Greezed Lightnin' will be joining Cliff's Amusement Park's other two coasters Galaxi and New Mexico Rattler, a CCI wooden coaster. It will also push the park's coaster count up to three, pushing the park past Western Playland in coaster count and making it the New Mexico park with the most coasters.
According to Amusement Today no date has been officially released for the debut of Greezed Lightnin' at Cliff's Amusement Park.
Cedar Point Removes WildCat
After over 4 decades, Cedar Point has done something they have yet to do in that span of time. WildCat, the park's small steel coaster produced by Schwarzkopf, will be dismantled prior to the start of the 2012 season.
The park announces this as they prepare that area of the park for the Luminosity show as well as Celebration Plaza. The park says that they will expand the new additions of the area to the WildCat site. The ride itself has seen its share of problems over the past few years, most recent being a brake failure which caused a collision in the station. The ride has also been prone to cars rolling backwards down the lift, dragging the chain with it.
WildCat is a Schwarzkopf Wildcat model set at 65 m, one of the size models among that design. It was 50 ft tall with a top speed of 40 mph. Along the course were sudden drops, tight turns, two helices, and forces close to a wild mouse style coaster. The ride opened in 1979, a year after Gemini opened, which was the tallest coaster in the world at the time. The ride served its life mostly as a beginner coaster for those getting their nerves used to how roller coasters work. Along with smaller coasters like Blue Streak, Iron Dragon, and Cedar Creek Mine Ride, WildCat helped supplement the larger rides.