Six Flags Magic Mountain, the “Thrill Capital of the World,” and voted by USA TODAY readers as America’s Best Theme Park, today unveiled plans for the highly anticipated, world-record-breaking hybrid coaster, Twisted Colossus, an unprecedented, awe-inspiring four-minute journey through nearly 5,000 feet of track and two lift hills.
Twisted Colossus, the next generation of the beloved wooden roller coaster that thrilled millions of guests in its 36-year reign at the park, will be a unique technological marvel combining an iconic wooden structure with state-of-the-art Iron Horse Track. The advanced technology, available exclusively at Six Flags, provides ride experiences never before possible on wooden coasters, such as over-banked turns and inversions. Twisted Colossus will feature numerous exciting components including a “Top Gun” element, the western hemisphere’s first “High Five” element, and a Zero G Roll.
“At Six Flags, innovation is in our DNA and with Twisted Colossus, innovation will go to an extreme level with record-breaking elements, faster speeds and steeper banks. This cutting-edge technology marries the best of both classic and modern coaster designs. It is definitely a twist on a traditional wooden coaster experience,” said park president Bonnie Rabjohn.
With its unique construction, Twisted Colossus will feature:
“Top Gun Stall” – an inversion where the train slows down upside down
Western Hemisphere’s first “High Five” – where two trains pass through an overbanked turn facing each other with the illusion that riders can reach out and “high five” each other
Zero G Roll where track twists 360 degrees
A staggering 128-foot drop at an amazing 80-degrees
18 airtime hills
Two lift hills
Four minutes of thrills on nearly 5,000 feet of track – longest hybrid coaster in the world
Twisted Colossus will be the focal point of the newly themed area, Back Alley, where guests can expect the unexpected through whimsical experiences in entertainment, food and retail.
The original Colossus wooden coaster opened on June 29, 1978 and offered its farewell run on August 17, 2014. Construction on Twisted Colossus is already underway.
Six Flags New England, the Thrill Capital of New England, today announced plans to add a new state-of-the-art roller coaster that integrates the latest in ride technology and innovation to Massachusetts — Wicked Cyclone. The Wicked Cyclone will offer the ultimate in thrills and adrenaline combining the extreme characteristics of both steel and wood to build the first hybrid roller coaster to hit the East Coast.
“We take great pride in creating incredible, one-of-a-kind experiences for our guests here at the Thrill Capital of New England,” said John Winkler, Six Flags New England Park President. “This project has been years in the making, and the addition of Wicked Cyclone enhances our commitment to delivering world-class thrills to Six Flags New England every year.”
With its unique construction, Wicked Cyclone will be:
A hybrid integrating a steel track on a wooden structure
The first coaster of its kind to hit the East Coast
A coaster with more airtime than any coaster in New England
The first coaster of its kind to have a 200 degree stall and two Zero G Rolls
The world’s only Double Reversing Bank Airtime Hill
Wicked Cyclone’s steel track provides riders with a smoother and more intense ride along its 3,320 feet of track. The ride stands 10 stories in the sky and reaches speeds of up to 55 mph. Once the twenty-four thrill seekers board Wicked Cyclone, it quickly climbs the 109-foot hill to then plummet at maximum speeds while providing riders with weightlessness and a truly wicked ride. Wicked Cyclone will be the first coaster of its kind to have a 200-degree stall and two Zero-G Rolls. Riders will also be able to experience more airtime than any other coaster in New England on Wicked Cyclone.
Wicked Cyclone will be storming into Six Flags New England, summer 2015 and will be a “must ride” for the ultimate thrill seekers.
Six Flags Fiesta Texas today unveiled plans to debut the most exciting coaster in the park’s 22-year history — BATMAN™: The Ride, premiering in 2015. After being lifted straight up a 120-foot hill, this 4D Wing Coaster challenges riders to “face their fears” as they flip head-over-heels at least six times along the weightless, tumbling journey. Along the way on this 4th dimension free-fly coaster, thrill seekers experience exhilarating coaster hills and unexpected drops along with an interactive ride experience. BATMAN™: The Ride allows adrenaline seekers to soar outside the confines of the track and fly like Batman.
“Every year we continue to provide more and more innovative technology and excitement for our park guests and season pass holders. BATMAN™: The Ride is an entirely new concept in ride engineering and will provide a sensory experience like no other coaster. The unanticipated tumbling will add even more thrills as riders travel along the dipping and swirling track,” said park president Martin Bozer.
BATMAN™: The Ride features a massive, imposing, floating and twisting track frame, in which ride vehicles begin their journey by traveling up a 120-foot elevator-type lift before being released for their highly unusual sensory journey…including two beyond-vertical free falls, in addition to the six head-over-heels spins. Not only is BATMAN™: The Ride the most exciting thrill ride in Six Flags Fiesta Texas history, it is currently not available anywhere else on the planet. This attraction, based on the comic, will offer a total immersion into the Batman storyline with numerous special effects including the world-famous Batmobile and Bat-Signal.
The unique construction of BATMAN™: The Ride features:
The world’s first, one-of-a-kind onboard magnetic technology featuring six smooth head-over-heels free-fly flips providing guests the feeling of weightlessness as they soar outside the confines of a traditional track;
A 4D wing coaster that seats up to eight and has riders “face their fears” by allowing them to physically face each other as they tumble head-over-heels;
A 120-foot tall hill that is ascended by an elevator-style lift straight up;
Two beyond 90-degree raven drops giving the sensation of free-falling;
Five vehicles with eight passengers each;
A Bruce Wayne/Batman theme throughout the queue line featuring the Batmobile and Bat-Signal.
For more than 40 years, Carowinds has been the place where the Carolinas come together. It’s where the Tar Heel State and the Palmetto State meet. It’s where families and friends bond over thrilling rides and entertainment. Carowinds will now unite its storied history with its future as the standard for thrills by unleashing Fury 325, the world’s tallest and fastest giga coaster.
Fury 325 will simulate the wild, daring and spontaneous flight of the hornet. The new ride will be visible from uptown Charlotte, renewing the park’s skyline and serving as a symbol of changes to come. Fury 325 is part of a planned $50 million dollar multiyear investment to bring new life to founder Pat Hall’s original vision for Carowinds. The park will be revamped from top to bottom to celebrate Carolina culture including new rides and attractions, signature Carolina food offerings and entertainment. Opening in Spring 2015, Fury 325 will be the centerpiece of a new 8.2 acre main entrance plaza that includes a state–of–the–art ticketing and season pass processing area and expanded guest service facilities.
“Starting with Fury 325, we plan to make Carowinds a destination for thrillseekers to celebrate the Carolinas,” says Mike Fehnel, Carowinds Vice President and General Manager. “The new ride will build on the heritage of the park, creating new memories and traditions for our loyal fans and future guests from around the world.”
Riders will board into three 32–passenger open air trains and begin their ascent to the top of a 325–foot (over 30 stories) hill. This immense hill is followed by an exhilarating 81 degree first drop. Like an angry hornet chasing its target, Fury 325 will race through a series of hills, curves and quick transitions while reaching speeds of up to 95 miles per hour. Riders will speed along 6,602 feet of track during the nearly three and one half minute ride.
“The tradition of the park is so important to those who have grown up here,” says Fehnel. “It’s long overdue that we gave our fans a new energy surrounding Carowinds, which will build on our legacy as the premiere entertainment destination for generations of Carolinians.”
Those who can’t wait until Spring 2015 to experience Fury 325 can take a virtual ride atcarowinds.com/fury325 where they can also check out photos, virtual renderings, ride stats and more. This Fall, fans can purchase a 2015 season pass or renew current season passes for the lowest price of the year at carowinds.com. Fury 325 is designed and manufactured by Bolliger and Mabillard (B&M) of Monthey, Switzerland, a recognized industry leader in roller coaster development and the same firm that brought Vortex to Carowinds in 1992, Afterburn in 1999, and The Intimidator™ in 2010.
SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. announced today that it plans to build new, first-of-its-kind killer whale environments and that it will fund new programs to protect ocean health and killer whales in the wild. The new projects will build on SeaWorld’s legacy of providing state-of-the-art, innovative homes for its animals, and will offer park guests unique and inspiring killer whale encounters for generations to come. As part of its vision for the future, the company also pledged $10 million in matching funds for killer whale research and is embarking on a multi-million dollar partnership focused on ocean health, the leading concern for all killer whales and marine mammals.
“For 50 years, SeaWorld has transformed how the world views marine life. The unprecedented access to marine mammals that our parks provide has increased our knowledge of the ocean and inspired generations,” said Jim Atchison, Chief Executive Officer and President of SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. “Our new killer whale homes and research initiatives have just as bold a vision: to advance global understanding of these animals, to educate, and to inspire conservation efforts to protect killer whales in the wild.”
Transformational New Environments
The first of the new environments will be built at SeaWorld San Diego where the killer whale environment is planned to have a total water volume of 10 million gallons, nearly double that of the existing facility. With a planned maximum depth of 50 feet, surface area of nearly 1.5 acres and spanning more than 350 feet in length, the new environment will also have views exceeding 40 feet in height, providing guests with the world’s largest underwater viewing experience of killer whales.
Named the Blue World Project because of its size and scope, the new environment will allow for increased engagement with SeaWorld experts through new enriching experiences and other interactive programs. The environment will enhance the educational experience for guests, foster deeper knowledge of killer whales and their ocean environment and inspire them to celebrate and conserve the natural world.
“Through up-close and personal encounters, the new environment will transform how visitors experience killer whales,” said Atchison. “Our guests will be able to walk alongside the whales as if they were at the shore, watch them interact at the depths found in the ocean, or a birds-eye view from above.”
Expanding on SeaWorld’s legacy of leading-edge animal environment design, the enlarged environment will provide killer whales with even more dynamic opportunities. It will support the whales’ broad range of behaviors and provide choices that can challenge the whales both physically and mentally. Among other things, it is planned to include a “fast water current” that allows whales to swim against moving water, thus functionally increasing speed and diversity. Innovative features focused on husbandry and animal care will offer SeaWorld’s animal health professionals and independent scientists unique access to the whales that can lead to a better understanding and care of the animals both in the parks and in the wild.
The San Diego environment is expected to open to the public in 2018 with new killer whale homes to follow at SeaWorld Orlando and SeaWorld San Antonio.
Killer Whale Research
As part of the Blue World Project, SeaWorld has committed $10 million in matching funds focused on threats to killer whales in the wild, especially those identified by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration related to the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whale. That includes new projects already funded this year: one that will help to understand the hearing ranges of killer whales and the other that will provide insight into nutritional status and reproduction of the Southern Resident Killer Whale. The matching funds will be in addition to killer whale research conducted by SeaWorld’s scientists, which includes nearly 50 studies to date.
Recognizing that ocean health is a leading concern for killer whales and all marine mammals in the wild, the company also announced it will be embarking on a major multi-million dollar partnership focused on protecting the ocean. More details of the partnership will be announced in the coming weeks.
SeaWorld will also engage an Independent Advisory Panel to bring new perspectives and ideas to the project. The panel will focus on the creation of an environment that maximizes the health and wellbeing of the animals. Given the particular expertise of current panelists and those expected to join, the panel will further advise on integrated research projects that can be conducted within the new environment and foster partnerships within the science and academic communities working in the wild.
Current Advisory Panel members include:
Dr. Paul Boyle, Senior Vice President for Conservation and Education, Association of Zoos & Aquariums
Dr. Heidi Harley, Professor of Psychology, New College of Florida
Dr. Dorian Houser, Director of Conservation and Biological Research, National Marine Mammal Foundation
Dr. Linda Lowenstein, Professor Emeritus Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Shawn Noren, Associate Research Scientist, Institute of Marine Science, University of California Santa Cruz
Mr. Tom Otten, Chief Executive Officer, Reef Experience
Dr. James F. Peddie, DVM, Distinguished Faculty Chair, Exotic Animal Training and Management Program, Moorpark College
Dr. Paul Ponganis, Research Physiologist, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Dr. Kwane Stewart, Chief Veterinary Officer and National Director, Film and Television Unit, American Humane Association
Dr. Pam Yochem, Senior Research Scientist and Executive Vice President, Research, Hubbs SeaWorld Research Institute
"SeaWorld's capital investment will create a significant number of new jobs in our community and help drive the economy when construction begins at the Orlando park. Beyond that, it will enhance tourism by providing a state-of-the-art experience for visitors while providing valuable new research and educational opportunities in animal health and behavior," said Representative Daniel Webster (FL-10).
“Like so many others in science and industry, we are constantly learning more about how we can evolve our knowledge and continue to learn more about these amazing animals and stewardship of those in the wild,” Atchison said. “We look forward to working with these experts to build on these learnings and achieve our vision of increased knowledge of killer whales and global efforts to protect those in the wild.”
Over the last few weeks many have noticed that the roller coasters of the former Hard Rock Park and Freestyle Music Park have been being dismantled one by one. This has led to much speculation about where they will ultimately end up. According to The State, their final location is possibly somewhere in Vietnam. Intermark Ride Group of Nashville, Tennessee has been tasked with the transportation of the rides from the former South Carolina park. The owner of the company, Gina Guglielmi stated, "All I've heard is they've been sold and are headed to Vietnam."
Freestyle Music Park shut down in 2009 after the second attempt to try to revitalize the park. The 140 acre park was known for their music inspired rides and coasters. Most of the rides have sat on the property dormant since 2009. Many people speculated about the major coasters being sold off one by one to various parks around the country. Ital International were given the rights to sell the rides which were listed on their website late last year. Since then, some rides were sold to the local Family Kingdom Amusement Park in Myrtle Beach. Many though were still listed on their website last week, but now have been removed. It seems that for most American coaster enthusiasts, the possibility of riding these coasters will now be slightly more likely as seeing a live performance of Led Zepplin.
After almost 23 million riders, Canada's Wonderland will be saying goodbye to the iconic stand-up looping roller coaster, SkyRider. Monday, September 1, 2014 will be the last chance for riders to experience one of the legends in the roller coaster collection at the park.
SkyRider opened for riders in May, 1985 and was instantly a hit for coaster enthusiasts across North America. It was the first stand-up coaster to be built in Canada, and second in the world with a loop.
"As the park evolves each year, we continue to focus on future park enhancements that will provide our guests with innovative entertainment and leisure experiences. To accommodate these enhancements, we need to make difficult decisions when considering redevelopment of the land for an improved guest experience in future years. After creating 29 years of memories for our guests, we wanted to make sure thrill seekers of all ages had advance notice of the SkyRider retirement, and an opportunity to enjoy one last ride before it closes at 8 p.m. on September 1," Norm Pirtovshek, General Manager at Canada's Wonderland.
Kings Island on Friday gave its 100 millionth ride on the Racer roller coaster, which opened with the 364-acre amusement and waterpark in 1972.
The rider was Angela Marshall of Chattanooga, TN, who received a Racer-themed airbrush t-shirt, a 2015 VIP tour for eight guests and a large sign proclaiming her as the twin-track coaster’s 100 millionth rider.
When the Racer debuted, it broke records as the world’s biggest, longest and fastest roller coaster. At speeds approaching 60 mph, it was the fastest, too. The Racer is credited for sparking the roller coaster-building boom in the early 1970’s, launching the second golden age of the roller coaster. Its record year for most rides given was 1976, when a single-season park record 3,681,338 rides were given.
In addition to being considered an important part of the roller coaster renaissance of the 1970’s, the Racer was the sight of several world-record riding attempts and is notable for its appearance in the “Cincinnati Kids” episode of The Brady Bunch, filmed at Kings Island in 1973.
The Racer was also the first roller coaster built structurally on the ground with prefabricated sections lifted into position and bolted.
The Racer is the first attraction in Kings Island’s 42-year history to give 100 million rides. The next closest attraction is the K.I. & Miami Valley Railroad at 51 million.