SeaWorld has recently been fined $75,000 by OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, for safety violations related to the tragic death of Dawn Blancheau this past February. Dawn passed away after an accident involving a giant orca . After investigations OSHA has determined that "willful" safety hazards were involved in the accident.
Part of the statement includes, "At the Shamu Stadium pools, animal trainers working with Tilikum, a killer whale with known aggressive tendencies and who was involved in the 1991 death of a whale trainer at a marine park in Vancouver, British Columbia, were exposed to struck-by and drowning hazards in that they were allowed unprotected contact with Tilikum while conducting "drywork"performances on pool ledges, slideouts and platforms, on or about 2/24/2010. At the Shamu Stadium pools, animal trainers working with killer whales other than Tilicum, were exposed to struck-by and drowning hazards in that they were allowed to engage in "waterwork" and "drywork" performances with the killer whales without adequate protection, on or about 2/24/2010."
OSHA determines adequate protection to be, "a physical barrier, or any other engineering solution that gives the trainers the same level of protection as a physical barrier." This could mean that the future of shows that involve whale-to-human interaction could be in jeopardy. Naturally, SeaWorld is trying to fight the rulings in order to save their ability to continue these shows.
The total of $75,000 actually comes from two different fines. The first and more serious fine is a $70,000 fine for the endangerment and death of Dawn. The second fine is a $5,000 fine for not having a stair railing on the "Believe" stage in Shamu Stadium.
As you probably read on here earlier, Cedar Fair already announced that Canada’s Wonderland was receiving a new WindSeeker towering swing ride by Mondial. As the day progressed forward, Cedar Fair had plans to make announcements for three of their other parks as well: Cedar Point, Kings Island, and Knott’s Berry Farm. At this point, all of those announcements have been made, and all three of those parks will also be receiving WindSeekers like Canada’s Wonderland.
All four models will be identical, at 30-stories (301 ft) tall and costing approximately $5 million each. For the WindSeeker swing-style ride, after rising up to a height of 301 feet, the ride spreads its metal arms, swinging riders at a 45-degree angle at approximately 31 mph. Each ride will have a capacity of 64 riders, with seating for two riders on each of the rides 32 arms.
It is clear now why Fun Times may be mad at Cedar Point and Mondial, as Cedar Fair’s choice to go with the Mondial WindSeeker over Fun Times StarFlyer is approximately $20 million that their competitor will be making instead of them. Further details have not yet been released as to why Fun Times is filing a lawsuit against Cedar Fair for their purchase of Mondial’s version of the ride. Unless Cedar Fair broke a contract which they had already been signed, it would seem Mondial, the company which made their model very similar in ride and function, would be the one facing a patent-infringing lawsuit.
There are several more Cedar Fair parks which have planned to release details for their additions in 2011, so keep watching the News & Releases page for updates.
The rumored "Stratosoar" StarFlyer style 2011 addition for Cedar Point has just been confirmed ... and not by Cedar Point. Apparently, the park opted to buy from Mondial, who makes a comparable product to the Fun Times made StarFlyer. Now Fun Times is feeling scorned and is threatening to blow the whole thing up.
First off, Fun Times is claiming the Mondial's Wind Seeker model is a copyright infringement of their StarFlyer. The basic ride premise is the same. Riders are taken high in the air on individual seats that swing out from a rotating platform. The difference is that the StarFlyer attaches its seats to the central platform with chains, while the Wind Seeker's seats are attached by more rigid arms which allows it to operate in higher winds.
So now Fun Times is threatening lawsuit. And while one might see a basis for an attempt at legal action against Mondial, that's not who they are going after. Allegedly, plans had existed for Fun Times to build a 400 ft tall StarFlyer for Cedar Point in 2011. Because of that Fun Times is now planning to sue Cedar Point for reneging on that deal in favor of a copy-write infringing competitor.
It remains to be seen if Fun Times will actually follow through on its threat to file a lawsuit against Cedar Point, or if Cedar Point will go through with its plans to "announce" their new 2011 addition at the press conference currently scheduled for Tuesday, August 24. So far, Cedar Point has refrained from commenting on the situation.
Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, TN, has announced the new attraction for their 2011 season. The ride will reportedly cost around $5 million.
The new thrill ride will be named the Barnstormer, after aerialists and stunt pilots of the 1920's. It will feature two pendulum arms, which will be able to seat 32 riders back to back for a capacity of 450 passengers per hour. The pendulums will swing back and forth while progressively increasing in height, reaching a peak of 81 feet and 45 mph, including 230 degrees of rotation.
"I remember my daddy and grandaddy talking about the old barnstormers that used to do all kinds of crazy stunts above the fields where they'd work crops," said Dolly Parton. "My new Barnstormer ride offers folks those same breathtaking moments, high in the sky above Dollywood. And I've recreated a critter-themed barnyard that reminds me of growing up on the farm here in the Smoky Mountains!"
The Barnstormer will have a 48-inch height requirement, and will be located in a barnyard-themed area. The new area will include play areas for kids, including a 22-foot by 16-foot bi-plane play area and a pig pen water play area, all located around around a red barn that serves as a nod to Parton's upbringing.
The Barnstormer will be adjacent to the Mountain Sidewinder, which opened in 1987, and will open along with the new area in March 2011 in time for Dollywood's 26th season.