The barn shakes with anticipation.
Lights flicker and hearts pound with adrenaline. A thunderclap, its sound piped through speakers, reverberates through the line of eager riders. Nervous laughter follows.
Two-by-two riders are strapped into the nation’s first launched wing roller coaster, legs dangling over nothing. The train inches forward to an opening.
“Thunderbird clear for flight!”
Lightning. Thunder. Smoke. Launch!
The suspense ended Saturday at Knoebels Amusement Resort as the Impulse roller coaster did indeed open to the public on opening day of the park's 79th season of operation.
Brian Knoebel, one of the park operators who, with other members of the fourth generation of the family, was involved in bringing the new steel roller coaster to life, said construction workers and dedicated staff members worked well into the night and early morning to get everything ready for Saturday's opening.
"It was a true team effort with our staff, Anskis Construction and C&D Rigging working overnight to help make our dream come true," Knoebel said.
German theme park will introduce a first-of-a-kind attraction featuring a 240-foot-tall high-speed hyper-coaster sandwiched between a pair of medieval-themed dark ride experiences.
Set to debut this summer at Hansa Park, Karnan's Oath: Beware of Its Spell will join two other dark ride-coaster combos built by Gerstlauer at the park: The Curse of Novgorod and the Snake from Midgard.
Billed as a challenging and adventurous family thrill ride, the high-speed hyper-coaster will feature a theme based on a Swedish medieval fortress built in the 1300s. Concept art for the ride shows the coaster swooping through a 260-foot-tall replica of the fort's distinctive stone tower. A soundtrack has been specifically recorded for the ride by a symphony orchestra.
Cedar Point's historic Hotel Breakers, one of the oldest and largest hotels in Ohio, reopens next month with fewer rooms and a new, modern look.
Cedar Point is in the final, frenzied weeks of a massive remodel of the aging lakefront inn, which opened in 1905, when most guests arrived by boat.
As was the case then, the most spectacular feature of the hotel remains its location: on a wide, sandy beach, steps from Lake Erie.
Best known for its collection of behemoth steel roller coasters, a chain of regional amusement parks plans a concerted push into immersive dark rides long considered the exclusive domain of Disney and Universal theme parks.
Cedar Fair — the parent company of Knott's Berry Farm, Cedar Point and Canada's Wonderland — has already introduced a pair of interactive dark rides and plans a portfolio of future attractions under the banner of Amusement Dark.