Beech Bend Park, Bowling Green, KY, USA - Kentucky's Beech Bend Park has confirmed plans for a yet-unnamed Great Coasters International project for 2006 and released more details on the ride.
The wooden twister's layout will be twisted into a 2,827-foot course with thirty crossovers, and a spiraling first drop inspired by the defunct 1920's-era Aeroplane Coaster at Rye, New York's Playland Park. Another feature of the layout will be three fly-by elements interacting with the station made popular by the Great Coasters 2004 project Thunderhead at Tennessee's Dollywood - two perpendicular and one parallel.Beech Bend's wooden coaster is one of two GCI projects in the works for next year, the other being Thunderbird at Finland's Power Park. It will join three kiddie- and family-sized steel coasters including the 2005 Zamperla Wild Mouse.A name for the new wooden coaster, however, has not been determined yet, and suggestions can be sent to the park via their official site. The winning name will earn two free season passes to Beech Bend and a spot on one of the first trains out of the station on May 6, 2006.
Today, Six Flags over Georgia has confirmed a recent rumor of the removal of a park icon, the Great Gasp thrill ride. To promote the end of the ride, Six Flags over Georgia has made August 13th and 14th the last days to ride the parachute ride. The event is called "The Last Gasp" and the date also marks the week the park will go back to weekends only operation.
The event will not only allow riders and enthusiasts to ride the classic one last time and give final farewells, but the park will also be giving away special edition buttons, commemorating the last gasps on Great Gasp that weekend. After nearly thirty years of operation, the 'Gasp will close for good.
The ride was built in 1976 by Intamin AG, as one of their rare Parachute Drop tower rides. The ride is one of three left in the United States, the other two being Texas Chute Out at Six Flags over Texas and Parachute Training Center at Six Flags Great Adventure. Great Gasp takes riders to heights of 200 feet and gently drops them, providing a ride intense enough for riders to lose their breath on the drop down. The ride also gives riders a bird's eye view of the Atlanta skyline.
The ride will be replaced with a rumored hyper/mega-coaster for the 2006 season. Other rides rumored to be removed in the area include the nearby Space Shuttle.
Today, Drayton Manor's newest extreme thrill, G-Force!, opens up. Being the area's first and only X-Car coaster, riders are taken through a tight circuit consisting of three inversions and over 1263 feet of track in its compact layout. The coaster is made by Maurer Sohne.The ride replaces the park's longtime looping coaster, Klondike Gold Mine, which closed in 2004 and now operates at nearby Funland Amusement Park. G-Force's inversions consist of a vertical loop and a unique inversion, being the first of its kind, the Bent Cuban Eight element. The Bent Cuban Eight element can best be described as a warped Cobra Roll like element. The first X-Car coaster built was Sky Wheel at Skyline Park in Germany, opening last year. Another coaster of its type is heading to Parque de Attraciones in Madrid, Spain for the 2006 season.