Timesunion.com has reported that Cedar Point has changed the names of two of the haunts after the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) had concerns about the names for their haunted house, "Dr. D. Menteds Asylum for the Criminally Insane" and the show, "The Edge of Madness: Still Crazy" as false stereotypes for people with mental health problems.
CEO of Cedar Fair Dick Kinzel told the Sandusky Register that Cedar Point didn't want to offend anyone. He said that the Haunted House will keep the same asylum theme but will be renamed to "Eternity Infirmary". Also, the show will be renamed to "The Edge of Madness: Six Feet Under."
According to Timesunion.com, Terry Russell, NAMI Ohio chapter executive director, says that Cedar Point is moving in the right direction. He said, “NAMI Ohio is extremely thankful to them for doing that and our organization now full supports their Halloween activities” (quoted from Norwalk Reflector).
The renamed attractions will open at this year's HalloWeekends, opening on September 16th. This is the 14th year of the event, dating back to 1997. Initially, it wasn’t the best Halloween event around with only a couple of haunted houses and not very many decorations. Now, Cedar Point takes the event to the extreme with a plethora of different mazes, haunted houses, shows, and attractions. It has been confirmed that the attendance level of HalloWeekends goes way beyond the attendance number on the busiest days of the summer.
Halloween events are taken very seriously at all Cedar Fair parks with various events for all of their parks, like Knott’s Scary Farm, Valleyscare, and Scarowinds events for Knott’s Berry Farm, Valleyfair, and Carowinds. There are also the Halloween Haunt events at Canada’s Wonderland, California’s Great America, Worlds of Fun, Dorney Park, King’s Dominion, and King’s Island. Each of these events has some of the most popular Halloween events ever.
After two seemingly related incidents have now occured in two weeks on one of their star attractions, Universal has announced that changes have been made to Islands of Adventure's Dragon Challenge. The pair of inverted coasters, once known asDueling Dragons will now no longer duel according to WESH Orlando. This marks the first major change, besides changing the name and theme, to the coaster in all of its twelve years of operation.
The first incident occurred two weeks ago when the Puerto Rican vacationer Carlos Montalvo was struck in the eye by a flying object while riding the coaster. The incident resulted in him recently losing his eye after doctors were not able to save it according to Click Orlando. Unfortunately, nobody else on the train saw the object, and the park's investigation turned up no objects in the vicinity which could have been the culprit for the injury. After the investigation and inspection, which found the ride to be mechanically safe and sound, the ride re-opened.
The more recent accident happened last week when nineteen year old Jon Wilson was also struck by something in the leg, arm, and face while riding the coaster. In an interview with Click Orlando he said, "My sister was sitting next to me at the time, and when I said I was hit she thought it was a bug or something, but then she looked over and I had blood on my hands, so it was obviously something more."
Both incidents occurred at similar parts of the coaster. They both occurred at the "dueling points" of the ride according to WESH Orlando. These are points when two trains come very close to each other to provide the illusion that a collision is going to occur. The fact that both accidents happened when two trains were near each other suggests that the riders were struck with a loose article that came flying from another guest on a different train, or perhaps thrown by a guest on board.
In an effort to eliminate the possibility of being hit with an object that came from a guest on a different train, Universal has announced that the coasters will no longer duel. This means that instead of both sides of the coaster being dispatched simultaneously they will now be dispatched in an alternating fashion. This will result in the coasters no longer interacting at their dueling points. Click Orlando has also reported that more signs telling riders to secure their loose articles have been placed around the coaster.
In a written statement Universal spokesman Tom Schroder said, "As we continue to study these incidents, we will operate both coasters as separate experiences without their usual intersect points. The safety of our guests is our highest priority and we are taking this very seriously." In the statement, Schroder also noted that over 50 million guests have safely experienced Dragon Challenge since its opening.
Cedar Point has announced that they will be introducingDinosaurs Alive! on Adventure Island for the summer of 2012. The new prehistoric attraction will be located on a four-acre wooded island in the lagoons near the back of the park, with dinosaurs spread over a half-mile of walkway. Cedar Point will also be adding a mat-racer slide complex to its Soak City waterpark.
At a cost of $1 million, Dinosaurs Alive! will consist of approximately 50 animatronic dinosaurs, four of which will have interactive controls that allow guests to see how they moved parts of their bodies (arms, tail, eyes, and mouth). Dinosaurs will range from the two-foot tall, eight-foot long Angustinaripterus, to the massive 40-foot tall, 72-foot long Ruyangosaurus. Other dinosaurs include Irratator, Baryonx, the largest carnivorous dinosaur Spinosaurus, and the most famous meat-eater of them all, Tyrannosaurus Rex.
John Hildebrandt, VP and GM of Cedar Point, stated in the park’s press release, “Our guests will have the opportunity to visit the Jurassic Age up close and see some of the amazing creatures that called it home. Dinosaurs Alive! will be educational but fun, too.”
Entering via a bridge near Camp Snoopy, guests will then traverse the half-mile of walkways surrounded by prehistoric dinosaurs, encountering an excavation site, fossil displays, and paleontological dig along the way, with informative signs and guides throughout to answer additional questions. The cost for the attraction will be the same as its brethren opened this year at Kings Island, $5 per person. With dinosaurs now occupying the lagoon however, the Paddlewheel Excursions boat cruise will finally be retiring from the park on Sept. 5, 2011 (Labor Day), after over 45 years of operation at the park.
It seemed last year many thought perhaps they opened the Dinosaurs Alive! exhibit at Kings Island as a testing grounds to see if they wanted to try it at Cedar Point. Looks like either those speculators were right, or its purely coincidence that Cedar Point now has their own version of the exhibit, and while not a terribly popular attraction with repeat visitors and enthusiasts, it seems Dinosaurs Alive! was very well received by families and kids visiting the park. So visitors beware, dinosaurs will now be lurking the grounds of Cedar Point next season.
A monster of Biblical proportions is rising in Vaughan, Ontario. In May of 2012, Leviathan will begin taking guests on a hair raising ride through a whopping 5,486 feet of terrifyingly twisted track, at speeds of up to 92 miles per hour.
Powering the coaster through this tremendous course is a 306 ft tall lift hill. That's right, B&M is finally breaking the 300 ft barrier. Few thought this day would and many pondered that when it did, the ride would come in the form of a Dive Machine. But this is no simple dive machine, though the first drop will reach a precipitous 80 degrees. With a layout filled with overbanks, high speed turns, and airtime inducing hills, this is no one trick sea pony.
The name Leviathan comes from an Old Testament scripture in Job which refers to it as a monstrous sea creature whose combination of strength and grace no man could control. Certainly the name sounds fitting for what Canada's Wonderland is about to unleash.
For those brave souls who do decide to challenge the mighty Leviathan, they will be boarding into one of three classic style B&M hyper trains. With eight rows of four passengers each, 32 people at a time will be dispatched from the station, embarking on a nearly three and a half minute adventure, as they attempt to conquer the great sea beast. Along the route they will encounter a 164 ft high "Barrel Roll" element (does not invert), a 183 ft high camel back hill, a 147 ft high hammerhead turnaround banked at an amazing 115 degrees, another camel back hill topping out at 124 ft, as well as many high speed turns along the way.
This $28 million investment very well become a landmark in the coaster universe when it opens next spring. For sure it already has the the entire theme park community talking. B&M is breaking through the walls of its pre-proscribed box and taking Canada to new heights with only the 4th Giga coaster in history. Is it worth all the hype? Only time will tell.
Europa Park recently released some titillating images of the themeing for their future, currently unnamed roller coaster for 2012. COASTER-net previously reported the announcement in June.
As Germany’s largest theme park, and the second most popular theme part destination in Europe, Europa Park has high standards to meet for their eleventh roller coaster. Luckily for its fans, it doesn’t seem like it will be disappointing them anytime soon.
Their latest roller coaster is a Great Coasters International wooden creation that will rise 35 meters (115 feet) over its 1,050 meter (3,444 foot) track, coiled tightly in just 1.5 acres. The ride is expected to soar at just about 100 kilometers per hour (62 miles per hour) through its Scandinavian habitat.
According to the pictures, the park seems to be sticking consistently to the ride’s themed home – reportedly going into an Iceland-based area. The entrance, queue line, and station look to be the main focus of the themeing. In one of the pictures of the station, it even appears the ride will feature a station fly-through.
With the phrase, “Ein Mythos Erwacht,” or "A Myth Awakens" in English being used, one can assume that the themeing will have to do with mythology. Taking a look at the pictures, one can see what the park is calling “Mimir,” the fountain of wisdom, as well as the queue line going past “Nidhogg,” the envy dragon.
Just based off of the concept art, the coaster looks to be beautifully themed. Hopefully Europa Park will release more details soon.
Rising out of the earth at Hersheypark will soon be a whole new breed of roller coaster –Skyrush, a mega/hyper coaster with winged seating. It will be the tallest, fastest and longest coaster in the Park.
The train cars of the 200-foot-tall steel coaster will feature two floored seats flanked by two floorless, winged outer seats that will offer a staggering 270-degree panoramic viewing perspective. Skyrush, which will feature cantilevered trains that are to be the first of their kind in the United States, will cost approximately $25 million and raise the number of coasters inHersheypark to an even dozen.
The train will begin its skyward climb – at 26 feet per second – before it even leaves the station. Upon cresting the track’s peak, the train will plunge down an 85-degree descent and send riders rushing into the first of four high-speed, high-banked turns as they travel at speeds up to 75 mph. Riders will feel the rush of five exhilarating airtime hills and transition from positive to negative gravity as they cross over the entire length of Comet, the oldest roller coaster inHersheypark. Skyrush will travel over Spring Creek, the body of water that was a centerpiece when chocolate magnate Milton S. Hershey opened his park in 1907, and race along nearly 3,600 feet of steel track back to its station.
The third Intamin coaster in the Hersheypark arsenal, Skyrush will join crowd favorites Storm Runner, built in 2004, and Fahrenheit, built in 2008. It promises to deliver the same high-intensity thrills that Park guests have come to expect from this renowned coaster manufacturer.
Skyrush will also bring a new coaster sightline to the Comet Hollow section of Hersheypark, where it will interact with Comet, a classic wooden out-and-back coaster that dates to 1946; sooperdooperLooper, which opened in 1977 as the first steel looping coaster on the East Coast; and Great Bear, which debuted in 1998 as the first looping, inverted steel coaster in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Hersheypark, which is well known for blending the past with both the present and the future as it offers guests a one-of-a-kind experience, is reclaiming about three acres of land that have been closed to the public since 1972. The land is the site of the Park’s former “Sunken Gardens,” a popular place for early visitors to Hershey to take a stroll. The area is now being transformed not only by the new coaster, but also by a renovation that will result in the creation of a scenic observation path that’s lined by globe streetlights, fencing, trees, landscaping and flowers. The area will allow guests to reflect on the Park’s history while watching riders on a state-of-the-art mega coaster.
The coaster’s station house is being modeled after historic train stations in the Hershey area. New restroom facilities, games and food stands will replicate the Park’s buildings of yesteryear, and a new floating fountain in Spring Creek will bring back memories of days gone by. For more information or to take a “virtual” ride on Skyrush, please visit http://www.Hersheypark.com.Hersheypark will open for its 2012 summer season on May 4, 2012; Skyrush is scheduled to open later that month.
A very unusual accident recently occurred on the Dragon Challenge coaster located within the Wizarding World of Harry Potter section of Islands of Adventure, a theme park in Orlando, Florida. The accident left the victim blinded in one eye.
The incident occurred when Carlos Montalvo, a vacationer from Puerto Rico, reports he was stuck in the eye by an unidentified object while riding the coaster. According to WKMG, Montalvo was riding in the front row of the dueling coaster. Montalvo says that he was hit during one of the coaster's dueling moments when two separate trains come very close to each other and provide the illusion that they will collide. It is possible that he was hit by a loose article from another train, but there is no way to confirm this .
Montalvo was quickly taken to the hospital to try to save his vision in the affected eye. Unfortunately, these efforts were unsuccessful according to WESH. In a phone interview with WKMG, Montalvo said, "This is not a vacation. This is a nightmare."
The park shut the ride down to try to determine the cause of the incident. A statement from Universal spokesman Tom Schroder posted by WKMG said, "We have also spent the hours since then thoroughly inspecting and re-inspecting the ride, the ride vehicles, the tracks and the area underneath the tracks. We have found absolutely nothing that could have contributed to this incident."
The park reopened the ride later that day after failing to find a problem with the ride that could have caused the accident. WKMG pointed out that since its opening as Dueling Dragons, this coaster has had no similar accidents. Montalvo plans to speak with an attorney, but it is yet to be determined if he will press charges against the park or its parent company.
Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari in Santa Claus, Indiana issued a press release announcing its major new addition for the 2012 season, Mammoth. Mammoth, a new prototype from ProSlide Technology Inc., is set to be the world’s longest water coaster when it opens in May, and at a cost of $9 million will be the “largest single-ride investement in Holday World’s history.”
While the ride is somewhat similar to Wildebeest, a smaller water coaster that the park opened up in 2010, Mammoth will be a longer and much larger attraction, featuring rafts that hold up to six passengers, and a much larger tube. The ride will be located just east of Wildebeest and will utilize the same LIM technology from HydroMagnetic that ride uses to propel riders up and down undulating hills and twists. President Dan Koch stated in the press release “It’s so huge, we’re calling it Mammoth.”
After ascending to the highest elevation on a conveyor, the ride will drop five-stories down at a 45-degree angle before the LIMs take over to propel up the rides numerous hills in between the twists, turns, enclosures, and drops. Mammoth will take up about three acres of real estate, and combined with Wildebeest, the park now boasts the two longest water coasters in the world.
The ride will stand 69-feet high with the largest drop plunging riders down 53-feet. It will also feature five hills totaling 282-feet in length, five enclosed sections, and a number of twists and turns in between. The record setting length will stand at 1,763 feet (1/3 of a mile).
The announcement itself marked the 65th anniversary of Holiday World, which originally opened as Santa Claus Land at that time. Along with the new Mammoth slide, the park announced it would be adding the family-friendly Holiday World’s Happy Halloween Weekends throughout October, extending its normal operating season.
After all the rumors and speculation surrounding Iron Wolf this year, Six Flags Great America informally announced on their Facebook page that the coaster would be leaving after this season. Their announcement stated, “After a long 21 year history at the park, we will be removing Iron Wolf. Make sure to get your last rides in – Iron Wolf’s Last Stand is September 5.”
Rumors now seem to have the coaster heading for Six Flags America after that park filed a permit for a “Stand-Up Coaster” filed in mid-July. Furthermore, Six Flags America’s recently closed its Skull Mountain water-coaster attraction, opening up a sizeable plot of land, and one sizable enough for Iron Wolf to easily fit into.
When Iron Wolf opened in 1990, it was the first coaster designed by the Swiss duo of Bolliger & Mabillard (commonly abbreviated to just B&M), at that point having only recently split from Intamin. The ride features a custom layout with a 100-foot drop, loop, corkscrew, and numerous twists and helices in its 2:00 ride length.
Oddly enough, it was just about a year ago around this time that it was rumored that Six Flags Great America may have been getting the B&M Stand-Up Chang from Kentucky Kingdom. As odd as this rumor was given that the park already had Iron Wolf (B&M Stand-Up), zoning approval for a ride of similar statistics seemed to all but confirm the relocation, especially when pieces of the ride began showing up at the park. Then, without warning, the park scrapped its permits, zoning board approval, and those plans in favor of a water park expansion, and Changwas instead sent to Six Flags Great Adventure to replace the Great American Scream Machine.
Now instead of gaining a second stand-up coaster, the park may be losing its only stand-up coaster in favor of unknown plans. The silver lining may be that another park gets to enjoy this unique stand-up creation, and Six Flags Great America may finally have a chance to get a new coaster of its own in the near future.
Cedar Fair issued a press release on Monday, August 1 announcing that they have now purchased 61 acres of land adjacent to Carowinds. The company stated that “This land acquisition will enable the Company to achieve future development and expansion of the facility.” The plot of land purchased is the area located between the park’s parking lot, I-77, and the mall across from Carowind’s entry road.
Cedar Fair spokeswoman Stacy Frole told WCNC that while there were no specific expansion plans right now, having the land opens up lots of opportunities. Having this land could mean expanding the park and water park into the current parking lot, while moving the parking lot further back, shortening the long entry road, and possibly even moving the entrance gate. Some others speculate that the new land would allow Cedar Fair room to also build a hotel and resort, which were part of the original plans for Carowinds when the park was first built.
Matt Ouimet, Cedar Fair’s new President, stated in the press release “We are thrilled about the growth opportunities this land will provide for future development of Carowinds, as well as the increased beneficial economic impact it will have on both Mecklenburg and York counties” (the NC and SC counties the park straddles). This could also help facilitated Cedar Fair’s plans to make Carowinds the “Cedar Point of the South,” as it has stated in the past.
On a related note, Carowinds has begun dropping hints and promoting their announcement for what’s coming in 2012. Initially, during the weekend of the parks Coaster Stock event, wooden stakes with “HUSS GF” appeared in the open field near Intimidator, causing much hope and speculation the park would finally get a badly needed flat ride. Those stakes have since disappeared, but now the park is doing a different marketing campaign.
Now, the park has been posting QR codes to scan throughout their website, each of which reveals part of an image. All the images have been put together in a “windy” looking banner that reads “Voiceless it cries, Wingless flutters, Toothless Bites, Mouthless mutters, Fun soars to new heights…August 24” Based on this and the look of the banner, most speculation seems to be that the park may be receiving its very own Windseeker for the 2012 season, but we’ll know for sure on August 24.