A few months ago, Disney's California Adventure theme park shocked fans across the world when they announced that the beloved Tower of Terror attraction would close and be re-themed to "Guardians of the Galaxy." Several Disney fans loathe the change, while others say it's a welcomed refreshment to a ride that is slightly inferior to its Florida counterpart. Today, the company announced that the last day to ride the current version of the California attraction will be January 2.
According to the Disney Parks Blog, there will be several special celebrations to come prior to the closing, including a "Late Check Out" special in September and October during Halloween festivities, where the ride will run in complete darkness. The park will also have special merchandise, shows, and food/beverages that will be included as part of the ride's finale.
While no exact opening date has been announced, Disney did specify (along with the ride closing announcement) that the new "Guardian of the Galaxy: Mission BREAKOUT!" attraction would debut at the California theme park in Summer 2017. At this time, there are no plans to re-theme or renovate the Florida version of the attraction.
About a month ago, the Kings Island amusement park just outside of Cincinnati, Ohio unveiled plans to build Mystic Timbers, a brand new wooden coaster from Great Coasters International, Inc. for the 2017 season. In a year where few attractions have been announced thus far, Mystic Timers has garnered most of the attention from fans looking ahead to the 2017 new attractions.
Monday, the park took the next step towards making the ride a reality, as vertical construction began with the first few track bents being placed. Construction will continue through the fall season and the winter, with a planned opening in late April, possibly even for opening weekend of the 2017 season.
Mystic Timbers will become the fifth wooden coaster at the park, following the likes of Woodstock Express, a smaller family-style coaster, The Racer, a twin-track racing coaster, and The Beast, which was built in 1979 and is one of the most well-known coasters in the United States. The park added Son Of Beast in 2000, which became the first modern-day wood coaster to go upside down, but multiple issues forced the ride's permanent closure in 2009. Park representative Don Helbig says that while Mystic Timbers is fundamentally different from the other wood coasters in the park, it does share some similarities with The Beast. "Mystic Timbers will weave along steep cliffs, down ravines, cross over water and go through an extreme S-turn among a forest of trees at speed up to 53 mph," said Helbig. The ride will end with an unknown event inside of a shed that the park is keeping a secret until opening.
Canada’s Wonderland will be showcasing two new unique and adrenaline-pumping attractions in 2017. With the addition of towering water slides in Splash Works and a new thrill ride that will be the first of its kind in North America, guests will experience two exhilarating Parks and one memorable 2017 season.
Muskoka Plunge, a 60 ft. (18 m) tall waterslide complex featuring four speed slides, will kick-off the summer fun in Splash Works. Riders will feel the adrenaline rush when they step into an enclosed launch chamber and suddenly plummet into a high-speed free fall through S-curves and 360° loops at speeds of approximately 40 km/h.
For thrill-seekers that prefer to stay dry, Canada’s Wonderland will be adding to its arsenal of world-class thrill rides with Soaring Timbers. This unique ride experience will send guests spiraling through the sky on two massive rotating gondolas that swing riders through sweeping arcs while rotating 360 degrees.
Canada’s Wonderland has also recently announced a limited time offer on 2017 Season Passes for only $68.99 ($21.00 less than the current Season Pass price). As an additional benefit to purchasing next year’s Season Pass, New Passholders will receive one free visit this year and Renewing Passholders will receive one free 2016 Fast Lane Plus pass, valid for one day this season.
New thrills will be coming to Michigan’s Adventure in 2017 with the addition of a new water park attraction that is sure to excite families and young children.Half Pint Paradise will be completely revamped with all new equipment including seven new children’s slides. In addition, a new Splash Pad will offer a variety of interactive water play features shaped to reflect a sailboat navigating through fish, a sea serpent, and other sea creatures to stimulate the imagination for kids of all ages. Dumping water structures and bubbling geysers surround the features and make playtime exciting to the delight and engagement of younger park goers. The Beach Party and Half Pint Paradise areas will be reconfigured so that guests can move easily between the two family play areas with improved visibility. This will offer families with small thrill seekers the opportunity to concentrate their fun into an area designed just for them. Additional seating with shaded areas, plus private cabanas offer both relaxation and comfort for families seeking summertime fun!
The new addition to the park will also allow for a new entrance to Funnel of Fear making navigation of the waterpark easier for everyone. Michigan’s Adventure is the largest amusement park and water park in Michigan offering over 60 rides and attractions for thrill seekers of all ages. Now is the best time to purchase a 2017 season pass at the lowest price of the season. Guests who purchase a 2017 season pass before the park closes for the season can enjoy one free visit in 2016. Michigan’s Adventure and WildWater Adventure are open daily through September 5. Michigan’s Adventure will be open for one additional weekend on September 10 & 11.
Universal Studios' Halloween Horror Nights Partners w/ Eli Roth & Crypt TV to Unveil an All-New “Terror Tram” Experience
Horror auteur Eli Roth (“Hostel”) and his digital network Crypt TV take the helm of the infamous “Terror Tram,” marking the first time ever that the signature attraction comes to life through the twisted mind of the filmmaker, as part of this year’s “Halloween Horror Nights” at Universal Studios Hollywood, which kicks off Friday, September 16, 2016.
“Eli Roth Presents Terror Tram” will expose guests to the fabled legacy of serial killer clown “Hollywood Harry,” the story of a former jovial celebrity clown turn depraved murderer, and the minefield of carnage he left behind.
“I’m thrilled to be part of ‘Halloween Horror Nights’ again,” said Eli Roth. “We wanted to completely fabricate an original story that brings together our absolute freakiest, scariest most disturbing ideas. The ‘Halloween Horror Nights’ team is the best in the business. Their production and execution is unmatched and I know this ‘Terror Tram’ experience will blow away all expectations, and haunt guests for the rest of their lives. ‘Halloween Horror Nights is the must-see event for any horror movie fan—it’s like the Super Bowl for scary movies, and is my favorite event of the year.”
The all-new “Terror Tram” experience will tell the sordid tale of former Angeleno resident Harold Kappowitz whose alter ego “Koodles the Clown” went from cheerful circus performer, to the lovable star of his own children’s network television show…before he was overcome by his genuine “killer instincts.”
By the 1990s, hard knocks took a deadly toll on Kappowitz, and the onetime endearing clown found himself exiled by the very Hollywood entertainment community that once adored him. With an all-consuming anger and hatred, Kappowitz—a now crazed and disheveled recluse—took refuge from society by hiding out at Universal Studios, emerging as notorious serial killer clown, “Hollywood Harry.” Recurring murders began to dominate the studio, as “Hollywood Harry” drew strength from recruiting other outcast former clowns who, together, took revenge on Studio Tour guides and visitors alike, ceremoniously killing them, and leaving behind a deadly trail of terror.
“The goal of ‘Halloween Horror Nights’ is to create the most intense, most memorable and ultimately, the most terrifying experiences for our guests,” said John Murdy, Creative Director at Universal Studios Hollywood and Executive Producer of “Halloween Horror Nights.” “And there is no better partner than Eli Roth to deliver unabashed horror that’s so real you can feel it. We were fortunate to work with Eli years ago on his original ‘Hostel’ themed maze, so we can only imagine the terror that he’s envisioning.”
A series of short form content, produced by Crypt TV in conjunction Universal Studios Hollywood, aired on the digital horror network to tease the story of “Hollywood Harry” and create momentum for the announcement reveal of “Eli Roth Presents Terror Tram.”
Unique to Universal Studios Hollywood, the “Terror Tram” invites “Halloween Horror Nights” guests to walk along a portion of the movie and television studio where such sets as the Psycho House and the Bates Motel from Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller, and Steven Spielberg’s “War of the Worlds,” are located.
Crypt TV is a digital studio that creates original genre content guided by its motto #WEIRDISGOOD aimed at uniting fans and creating a movement that redefines what the future of horror content means to millennials. Since their 2015 launch, Crypt TV has become the fastest growing leader in digital scares with 20 million video views per month. Crypt TV was co-founded by Jack Davis and Eli Roth and has a strategic partnership with Blumhouse Productions.
"Halloween Horror Nights" at Universal Studios Hollywood brings together the sickest minds in horror to immerse guests in a living, breathing, three-dimensional world of terror. Featuring an all-new slate of unrivaled film production quality mazes, frightful scare zones and a fully re-imagined “Terror Tram” experience uniquely themed to today’s most definitive horror properties, “Halloween Horror Nights” will taunt, terrorize and torment guests with spine-chilling haunted attractions as part of Southern California’s most extreme Halloween experience.
“Halloween Horror Nights” mazes to date include “American Horror Story,” inspired by Ryan Murphy’s critically-acclaimed, Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning television anthology series on the FX network; “The Exorcist: The Possession of Regan MacNeil,” based on the iconic supernatural horror film; “Freddy vs. Jason: Dream Battle,” inspired by New Line Cinema’s 2003 film that brought together the biggest horror icons in history: demented killer Freddy Krueger (A Nightmare on Elm Street) and notorious hockey mask killer Jason Voorhees (Friday the 13th); “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Blood Brothers,” which pits guests against the unsavory wrath of manic killer Leatherface and his mentally unhinged brother, Chop Top; “Halloween: Hell Comes to Haddonfield,” an all-new maze inspired by the second film in the classic “Halloween” horror franchise; and “Krampus: The Christmas Devil,” based on Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures’ Christmas-themed horror film that brings to life the fabled anthropomorphic "half-goat, half-demon" horned creature who terrorizes those devoid of holiday spirit; and “The Walking Dead,” an authentic living representation of AMC’s hit television series that takes the realism of the show to an entirely new level with the permanent attraction.
The minds behind Universal Parks & Resorts’ attractions are looking to merge the theme park ride with video games — possibly with a Harry Potter theme. At least that’s what a patent dubbed Video Game Ride from NBCUniversal subsidiary Universal City Studios LLC is trying to do.
Specifically, the patent is aimed at creating a vehicle "configured to receive respective inputs from one or more riders via the vehicle interface circuitry, and wherein the respective inputs are related to one or more game features of a game environment; and a game controller configured to receive information from the vehicle interface circuitry related to the respective inputs; and provide instructions to modify the game environment based on at least one of the respective inputs.”
Photo (C) US Patent Office
The storied history of Geauga Lake might finally have come to an end. What is left of the once largest theme park in the world, officially will close its doors with the conclusion of the 2016 season. The waterpark posted this statement on its website today:
"Cedar Fair Entertainment Company has announced that Wildwater Kingdom water park in Aurora, Ohio, will not reopen after the 2016 season. Its final day of operation will be Monday, September 5.
Cedar Fair has been working cooperatively with both Bainbridge Township and the City of Aurora to redevelop the entire property into what will best benefit the surrounding communities. After examining its long-range plans, Cedar Fair has determined that the time is right to begin this transition and will continue to work together with community leadership in the positive future development of the property.
Cedar Fair would like to thank the residents of Northeast Ohio for supporting Wildwater Kingdom each summer."
Cedar Point's historic Hotel Breakers is growing yet again!
Fresh off of a complete renovation in 2015, an additional six-story tower will be added to the classic beachfront property. The new tower will match the beautiful exterior of the existing hotel and will house 158 guest rooms with many of them configured as connecting family suites. A new outdoor pool area will also make its debut alongside the tower. Construction on the addition will begin after Labor Day and will continue through the 2017 season. It will open to new guests in time for the summer of 2018.
With the new tower, Hotel Breakers will have a total of 669 rooms, making it one of the largest hotels on the Great Lakes – and the love for the property keeps growing. Hotel Breakers has been voted one of the “Top 25 Hotels for Families” by readers of TripAdvisor and is just steps away from both Cedar Point and the new Cedar Point Shores Water Park.
Guests who stay at the Cedar Point Resorts receive the best benefits – Early Entry, allowing access to Cedar Point one hour before the general public to ride some of the biggest attractions, the best deal on park admission tickets (tickets that include free admission to Cedar Point Shores for the length of their chosen 1-day, 2-day or 3-day ticket) and of course, the closest rooms to the world’s greatest collection of rides.
Details on rates and reservations for the 2017 season will be available in early fall.
Nostalgia and a return to traditions are what holiday seasons are known for, and in 2017 Kings Island will deliver those sentiments with the return of a month-long holiday celebration. After a 12-year absence, the long awaited return of WinterFest will provide Gold season passholders and Tristate residents with four seasons of fun at the 364-acre amusement and water park. The focal point of WinterFest will be the world’s largest Christmas tree display with the park’s iconic 314-foot tall Eiffel Tower decorated with thousands of lights which will be seen for miles. Below the Eiffel Tower, International Street will be transformed into a colorful and quaint winter village, featuring the fun of holidays past – outdoor ice skating on the park’s Royal Fountain, Christmas carolers, and homemade crafts.Tasty foods, colorful gifts, live stage shows, fun rides, and of course, Santa’s workshop will all be part of WinterFest’s warmth and excitement. Rides will include the Grand Carousel and a journey through the park’s Rivertown area on an authentic steam train. Operating dates, hours and ticket prices for WinterFest will be announced at a later date. The event will be included free for 2017 Gold and Platinum season passholders.
Also new in 2017, Soak City Water Park will see the addition of a smokehouse style restaurant as well as other new amenities and improvements. Guests will enjoy the smells and tastes of new food items such as smoked pulled pork, smoked or grilled wings, hand-breaded chicken tenders and shrimp. The water park will also offer additional shade structures, changing rooms, cooling mister fans, and expanded deck space doubling the number of chaise lounge chairs. Last month, Kings Island announced it was building a new wooden roller coaster, Mystic Timbers, which will debut in the spring of 2017.
Carowinds is bringing back the 1950s with vintage rides and a Christmas event. During the spring, the theme park delves back to the past with four vintage rides as it opens its new County Fair section of the park. The rides are the result of an initiative by Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. (NYSE: FUN) CEO Matt Ouimet tobring antique rides from Europe and the United States to the company’s theme parks.
“They will be very recognizable rides. It’s playing to nostalgia and just having fun,” Ouimet told The Los Angeles Times last year about the plans to distribute the restores vintage rides to the company’s amusement parks. One of the rides that Carowinds is install is called the Rock ‘N’ Roller. It’s “a staple of any county fair,” says Laresa Thompson, Carowinds public relations manager. “Rock ‘N’ Roller is a fast-paced circular ride that will send guests round and around, up and down as high energy tunes and spectacular lighting round out this awesome experience,” Thompson explains.
The holiday event at Carowinds will be called WinterFest and it premiers in November 2017. It will include a 70-foot-tall Christmas tree.