Dear Coaster Friends,
The 2019 season is now in full swing, there are a handful of new coasters open, and another good number scheduled to be opened. Lots of fun to be had and lots of fun to look forward to. There is something that has not happened yet and people are already all fired up. That would be the 2020 ride announcements. I did speculate before the season started for 2019 that 2020 was already looking to be epic. The lead time on some of these 2020 projects were so long that many parks were having a hard time keeping it a surprise, or were forced to give limited info out very early. The excitement has turned into frustration among many because of the shear amount of time they are chewing these rumors up. I have to say rumors since the parks have not announced or have only teased limited info. I wanted to take a moment to rant at your rain cloud and blow some sunshine on these rumors.
Hersheypark has been open for weeks now and guest have been entering the park through the construction zone that will later become Chocolatetown. The park has guests walking past teasers that point out all the park records there new roller coaster will take. The park had to show a glimpse of the ride last year since the construction process for the revamped entrance and roller coaster would be tied together and take two years to complete. This new ride appears to be a B&M hyper coaster that would be an awesome addition to any park just based on ride type, but nobody seems to care at all. Hershey already has Skyrush, and enthusiasts took issue with having two hypers at the same park. I didn’t see this option coming and was extremely surprised when this info was released. However once I took a step back and thought about it I got on board fast. Skyrush is one of my favorite rides so anything good at the same park is good news. Skyrush is a hyper, but not the style of hyper that immediately jumps to mind if I told you to imagine a hyper. Right now Comet would be the airtime ride, and I like Comet, but it does not feel like a large signature ride. However a new B&M hyper coaster will feel like a large signature ride, but nobody seems to care. The ride has the potential to offer a comfortable ride with loads of capacity, and a long layout. The park is making a choice that would improve the experience and value of visiting Hersheypark. The other issue with this ride that people take issue with is the leaked name, Candymonium. Sorry, Hershey I’m going to leave you to defend that choice yourself. (Disclosure: Hersheypark is my favorite park.)
Let’s head south to Busch Gardens Tampa where Gwazi is getting the Iron Horse treatment. This transformation has been something enthusiasts have been clamoring for, for years. So everyone is happy? WRONG! Gwazi was originally a dueling coaster so many assumed that the RMC version would be a dueling coaster. The park had a different plan, they wanted to go big and claim records. I think they made an interesting choice because it allows them more freedom to use any of the footers or structure from either side to create their layout. They also save money because they only have to design and fabricate one circuit, they then took some of that savings to really build up the lift structure and turn this into a very large ride. Bigger is better so everyone is happy? Wrong again! This will be the tallest, fastest, and steepest hybrid coaster RMC has made in North America. The next non-issue was if it will be better than Steel Vengeance, and that would make it worse? I don’t understand how some people can enjoy or not enjoy a ride based on another ride existing. My favorite candy is Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, but that doesn’t mean a plain chocolate bar is bad. In fact if you cannot enjoy a candy bar or a massive RMC then we aren’t really friends. RMC has a great resume right now and I have no reason to believe that they cannot be creative enough to make an awesome experience that is unique, even if it doesn’t match whatever you were imagining.
I think everyone knows where we are going next, and that is Kings Island our favorite place to speculate and complain about. The level of excitement coming out of Kings Island from their fans for the lead up to the plans that leaked was epic. People were ready to see the most record setting giga, to the first B&M strata. When you start with a list of never been done befores you are only going to be let down. Many fans and enthusiasts felt let down when the scale of the ride layout seemed to more closely resemble Leviathan than exceeding Fury 325. The economics of building a roller coaster really don’t play a factor into enthusiasts imagination, but they do for the ones making the investment. A 300 foot roller coaster is going to wow the population around Southern Ohio, and that is who Kings Island is trying to attract and impress. Going a bit taller and a bit faster, or adding length to the track is going to add cost, but not add to the impact it will have to their target audience. The ride looks interesting from the leaks, it looks to combine some of the best elements from Fury and Leviathan together. It also still has the potential to show us something new, we only have a limited glimpse of the plans and not a full picture. So many people who are disappointed now, may feel differently when the park releases a rendering of the ride. There are many who are grasping at anything to try and find that these leaked plans are not authentic from outdated logos, to speculation that the documents are a hoax from Kings Island, or they just feel like they know these plans can’t be real because they aren’t labeled, “THE BEST COASTER IN THE WORLD”. If you think I’m talking about you personally, I’m not, so many people have sent us messages all saying the same thing.
These three examples just show how exciting 2020 may be, but the emotions I am seeing run in contradiction to the information. How can it be that we are getting a year with the most major installations in recent memory; and the reaction to this news is a combination of disinterest and Monday morning quarterbacking the design decisions you don’t even know are real? I just have a thought, if someone buys you a multi-million dollar shiny new toy don’t criticize it. Just say thank you, because it may just be a world record Super Loop next time.