Yesterday, Six Flags Great America hosted the first ever Coaster Challenge marathon event. The event allowed coaster lovers the opportunity to ride a 5k, 10k, or marathon instead of run it. Over the last few months participants raised money and the amount that they raised determined the length of the “race” that they participated in. According to the Daily Herald, $49,000 was raised by over 200 participants. All monies raised benefits the Special Olympics of Illinois. Jennifer Marcello, director of young athletes for Special Olympics Illinois, said about the overwhelming response to the event, "You can't really ask for a better first-time event.” Participants from around the region flocked to the park to get their “race” on. One such rider was Jennifer Miller, from West Bend, Wisconsin who stated "It's my kind of marathon. No running involved. And believe it or not, I work in fitness. I just don't like running.”
The day started off on two hours of exclusive ride time on the Great America classic, Raging Bull. After each trip ride participants had their tally cards checked off to get credit for the length of the ride they just rode. Once the park opened at 11 AM, participants were given front of the line access at every coaster in the park. Just as with Raging Bull, riders had their cards checked at the exit after riding. Once a participant met the distance requirement, he or she took their tally card to be officially counted and participated in a medal presentation ceremony. However, for participants the day was not over at that point. The riders could continue to get front of the line access for the rest of the day. As Christian Warren, of Cary stated, "It's a ton of fun. It's different...and it's for a great cause."
Cedar Point, The Roller Coaster Capital of the World!®, will introduce a dynamically new riding experience when it unleashes Rougarou™ in the spring of 2015!
Named after a terrifying werewolf-like creature in French folklore, Rougarou [roo-guh-roo] feeds on screams and lurks in and around the swampy lagoon at the center of the park, shared with other coasters like Iron Dragon and Top Thrill Dragster.
Rougarou’s floorless trains will take riders on an epic journey at speeds reaching 60 mph as their feet dangle just inches above the track and the murky waters below. The trains will be manufactured by Bolliger & Mabillard, Monthey, Switzerland, the same team behind rides like Raptor and GateKeeper, and will transform the ride experience dramatically while utilizing the structure and track of the former Mantis roller coaster.
The ride begins with a climb to the top of the 145-foot-tall first hill, providing amazing views of the Cedar Point skyline. After reaching the apex, the trains will make a 180-degree turn to the right and plummet 137 feet, at a 52-degree angle, to within inches above the water. Thrill-seekers caught in Rougarou’s grasp will then be flipped upside-down by a 119-foot-tall vertical loop, spun around a 103-foot-tall dive loop, whipped around a highly-banked 360-degree turn and then twisted upside-down again by the world’s only inclined loop on a floorless coaster, angled at a wicked 45 degrees. Just when guests think the ride is over, the steel beast will take them through a 360-degree flat spin, tight and twisty turns and a figure-eight finale. Riders must be 54” tall to ride Rougarou.
“Rougarou is going to be a fantastic addition to our coaster lineup and our guests are going to love it,” said Jason McClure, vice president and general manager of Cedar Point. “With the swampy waters below, the vibrant colors of the supports and track, lighting and other effects, it will be a ride like no other at the park.”
2015 will also mark the debut of the newly-renovated Hotel Breakers. Located along the mile-long Cedar Point Beach, Hotel Breakers will complete its two-year transformation into the ultimate resort destination. Along with a new exterior, the modernized hotel will have a new entrance portal, classic interior finishes, newly-furnished and remodeled rooms with LCD TV’s, new furniture, bedding and décor, and many other amenities and offerings. Additional enhancements include a new Starbucks and the Surf Lounge bar inside the famous rotunda, widened exterior green space with panoramic views of Lake Erie and an outdoor water play area with zero depth entry and splash features.
“We want to provide a well-rounded and complete vacation experience for our guests, and the enhancements at the Hotel Breakers will help them have just that,” said Jason McClure. “It will have a fun and fresh feel, is steps away from the park and it’s a great place to start new family traditions.”
Other amenities include two pools and Jacuzzis, access to the Cedar Point Beach and Boardwalk, a gift shop, arcade, exercise room, three restaurants, Early Entry (access to some of the biggest rides and coasters before the park opens to the general public), discounted Cedar Point admission tickets, complimentary Wi-Fi and the comfort and convenience of staying right next to the rides and roller coasters of Cedar Point. Reservations for the 2015 season can be placed now online at cedarpoint.com/hotelbreakers or by phone at (419) 627-2106.
The charming waterfront hotel first opened its doors in 1905 as the “largest and greatest hotel on the Great Lakes.” Known for its breathtaking views and cool summer breezes, Hotel Breakers has been an important part of any complete Cedar Point experience. Notable guests over the years have included celebrities such as sharpshooter Annie Oakley, comedians Abbott and Costello, composer John Philip Sousa and six U.S. presidents, including Franklin D. Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower.
After months of speculation, Disney has finally confirmed that a Frozen ride is indeed on its way to the park. Over the summer many have pointed to the classic Maelstrom ride in the Norway pavilion at EPCOT as a possible spot for this new attraction. Today Tom Staggs on the Disney Parks blog stated, “I’m pleased to say that we’re starting construction at Walt Disney World Resort on a brand new ‘Frozen’ attraction at the Norway Pavilion in Epcot. The new attraction, which replaces Maelstrom, will take our guests to Arendelle and immerse them in many of their favorite moments and music from the film.” The park has also announced that the last day to ride Maelstrom will be October 5th. The Frozen ride is currently scheduled for a 2016 opening date. No word has been given on ride specifics or how much of the old water portion of Maelstrom if any will be used.
Despite many being very excited about this news, there are a few questioning this decision. Earlier in the summer, the country of Norway raised objections because they did not feel the movie portrayed the country accurately. Also others are concerned that a Frozen ride would feel out of place in the World Showcase. Despite these concerns, Disney is moving forward and capitalizing on the hit movie quicker than most other classic films.
One of the most iconic roller coasters on the West Coast of the United States caught fire yesterday while transformation work was going on at Six Flags Magic Mountain. According to Time, work was being done on the famous wooden coaster near the peak of the lift hill when a fire started near the top. The coaster is in the process of being transformed into a new ride called Twisted Colossus. As firefighters were fighting the blaze, the high powered water hoses caused a section of the track and coaster to collapse. Los Angeles County Fire was sent to the scene and quickly put out the blaze.
According to the article, the park was closed at the time and there were no injuries to report. The coaster had been closed since August 17th as it was undergoing the transformation to the new ride. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but early reports are saying that it was started by welders who were doing work on transforming the track into the hybrid steel-wood coaster that it will become over the next year. Contractors had been working on disassembly of the ride when the “top of the lift hill” caught fire, the amusement park stated on Twitter.
The park released a statement saying that the fire is a unfortunate event, but the construction will proceed and the coaster is still slated on opening in 2015.
After months of speculation and anticipation, news was announced at Lagoon Amusement Park in Farmington, Utah, and the news is stirring quite a craze! According tostandard.net, Lagoon Amusement Park announced they will be building a 22 million dollar, one of a kind roller coaster for the 2015 season. The coaster will reach a top speed of 70 mph and have a maximum height of 208 feet. The article states that the coaster will be an intense experience as it pulls 4.2 Gs of force. The name of the ride will be called Cannibal. The name was so chosen “Because in our collective minds, it will eat other roller coasters,” said Julie Freed, Lagoon’s director of special events.
According to the article, some of the main elements will feature a vertical lift, an inverted loop, a diving loop, and an underground tunnel. At the announcement, officials for the park said there will also be a secret element that will not be revealed until the park opens the ride in March of next season. The ride will be located on the North side of the park and have a jungle type theme.
Park officials are extremely excited because this is the first roller coaster they are building from the ground up with parts built in America. Every other coaster they have imported from Europe. “We’re excited that it is unique, one of a kind,” Freed said. “There’s not another in the world.” The design of the project was a collaborative process between developers in Germany and Lagoon’s own engineers. A plant in Springfield Utah built the track and has made it for easier shipping to the park. “This really will be an incredible coaster and we are so excited,” Freed said. “We feel it will hold its own against any roller coaster in the world.”
It’s the “last stand” for one of Cedar Point’s steel scream machines. Earlier today, the park announced that the Mantis roller coaster will soon give its final rides.
Mantis was billed as the tallest, fastest and steepest stand-up roller coaster in the world when it opened on May 11, 1996. Featuring trains that secure guests in a standing position, Mantis provides its passengers with a unique ride experience. Mantis was built by the same legendary manufacturers that brought guests the Raptor and GateKeeper roller coasters – Bolliger and Mabillard (B & M), Monthey, Switzerland. In its 18-year history, Mantis has given more than 22 million thrilling rides.
“It’s time to say goodbye to one of the park’s coasters, and it’s certainly been a different kind of ride for our guests,” said Jason McClure, vice president and general manager of Cedar Point. “But we’re extremely excited about what the future holds here at the Roller Coaster Capital of the World™.”
Guests still have time to give Mantis a “standing ovation” before it shuts down permanently on Sunday, October 19 at 8 p.m. Additional plans for the 2015 season will be announced at a later date.