TAMPA BAY, FL
About a month ago, we theme park enthusiasts got one of the most exciting bits of news we could have possibly imagined: that Busch Gardens Tampa's new coaster would be the tallest hybrid coaster in North America standing at 200 ft., as well as the fastest & steepest hybrid coaster in the world — and their update they just posted to Instagram has us even more excited for what's to come.
We learned that this new high-speed hybrid coaster would combine the existing bones of the Iron Gwazi coaster that closed in 2015 with new twists and turns, with an expected opening date in 2020. While the official opening date hasn't been announced yet, the short update posted to their Instagram page this morning has us thinking we might get it sooner in the year, rather than later.
Two out-of-town women were arrested Wednesday on suspicion of theft for allegedly stealing cell phones from purses inside Six Flags Magic Mountain.
Deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station were called to the theme park for reports of theft, said Shirley Miller, spokeswoman for the SCV Sheriff’s Station.
Miller posted news of the arrest on the station’s Facebook page with the plea: ‘Stop stealing other people’s stuff.’
Just one week after Walt Disney World’s new Skyliner attraction started soaring through the skies, a malfunction has halted its flight. A number of guests boarded on the suspended gondolas became stranded in midair on the ride for three hours Saturday night and Walt Disney World has since discontinued letting riders on. Now, the theme park has been spotted testing empty Skyliners before reopening the transportation service to the public.
It’s been a few days since a few Skyliner gondolas collided at the Riviera Resort Station at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The incident left theme park visitors stuck 60 feet above the ground, the local fire department had to evacuate one vehicle and one person was hospitalized shortly after. The person has been treated and released. According to WESH 2 News, the attraction is being run without passengers to test its safety.
Cedar Point is packing in the crowds for HalloWeekends this fall, thanks in part to a new bargain-priced season pass that includes admission for the rest of this year and all of 2020.
Saturdays, in particular, have been so crammed that some visitors have reported waiting well over an hour just to access the parking lots. Lines for popular rides and haunted houses run much longer.
Last Saturday, with picture-perfect fall weather, was particularly crowded. Many long-time park fans took to social media to complain about the crowds — and, in some cases, the new Gold Pass that they think is responsible for the spike in attendance.
Roller coaster shopping is a tad more complex than clicking the “Add to Cart” button on Amazon Prime. It involves test riding, traveling overseas and, in some cases, struggling to communicate to a Russian cab driver who speaks five languages (none of them English) that you need to find an ATM because you neglected to exchange your cash for Euros at the airport.
At least, that’s the experience 2nd generation partner Jack Morey, along with COO Geoff Rogers, had during a recent, whirlwind trek through Europe. The mission: Investigate potential new trains (aka, the vehicles in which you sit) for our wooden Great White coaster, which reaches just over 100 feet.
Our intrepid duo started the six-day trip at Ireland’s Tayto Park, named for a company that invented the first flavored potato chip. In 2015, this theme park installed the largest wooden roller coaster in Europe, the Cu Chulainn. Inspired by an Irish mythological hero similar to Hercules, it’s reminiscent of the Great White in size and speed. But the front wheels of the Cu Chulainntrains —arguably the most technologically advanced of their kind in the world —exist on a separate axle and steering mechanism, meaning less banging around at every turn and way less wear-and-tear on the tracks. In other words: A potential win-win for both Morey’s Piers and our guests.
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA
It’s been 35 years since the iconic film “Ghostbusters” arrived in theaters, and this year, fans can experience the film in a brand-new way at Halloween Horror Nights.
“Ghostbusters” legend Dan Aykroyd (Ray Stantz) and director and producer Ivan Reitman were able to relive the film by going through the maze at Universal Studios Hollywood’s haunt event. They certainly ain’t afraid of no ghosts, even 35 years later!
As Pantheon gradually takes shape in the Festa Italia section of Busch Gardens, the park is also working on a project which, so far, has remained mostly behind the scenes.
Busch Gardens has filed a partial site plan with the James City County Stormwater and Resource Protection Division showing a section of the park near the Rhine River where Project 2021 — the identity of which remains a mystery — will be placed.
The site plan, which was filed Oct. 2 and shows aspects of the attraction that will impact the resource protection area around the Rhine River, indicates a long rectangular “impervious” area in the RPA zone.
PIGEON FORGE, TN
Charlie Brown isn't about to let Dolly Parton's theme park get away with using his famous Christmas tune -- at least not on the watch of the song's cowriter.
Lee Mendelson's production company is suing Dollywood for using the song "Christmas Time Is Here" in a play the amusement park puts on each year. Lee cowrote the song -- famously featured in "A Charlie Brown Christmas" -- and his production studio owns the copyright.
Care of Magical Creatures class with Professor Rubeus Hagrid was always an adventure because for every wondrous lesson on unicorns and thestrals, there were chaotic and often dangerous lessons with blast-ended skrewts. It seems that the unpredictable nature of hanging out with Hagrid extends to the real world as well. In a case of life imitating art, Universal Studios’ Hagrid rollercoaster has been forced to shut down to a bee infestation.
Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure at Universal Studios Orlando closed last week due to a bee infestation. According to Spectrum News 13, the rollercoaster was closed after hundreds and possibly thousands of bees were discovered near the attraction. Universal’s team worked to resolve the issue and the ride was later reopened.
Kings Islands is working to use its rolling topography to maximum effect while constructing a $30 million roller coaster that will soon be the park’s tallest and fastest.
That was evident Monday during a behind-the-scenes look at Orion, which features a steep 300-foot first drop into a valley at the 365-acre Warren County amusement park.“I’ve always made the statement, ‘The only level spot at Kings Island is at my desk,’” said Jeff Gramke, the park’s manager of facilities, engineering and construction. “We’re not mountainous, but we’re very terrain-driven here.”