Quassy announced back in early that it would be adding a brand new family wooden coaster for the 2011, partly to replace the departing Wild Mouse coaster. After the announcement was made, Quassy challenged local elementary and middle schools to submit potential names for the new coaster. After all submissions were considered, the park deliberated on the name possibilities, narrowed down the choices and finally came to a consensus. The new wooden coaster will be called the “Wooden Warrior.”
Quassy Amusement Park President, Eric Anderson, said “We asked our team to pick their top three selections from the list…The ‘Wooden Warrior’ collected five votes, three of which were indicated as the first choice.” The team deciding on the name was given a list of over 90 submissions from the schools, and slowly narrowed the choices down from there. On the ballot, only the different names were listed, with all school names being omitted to avoid any potential bias.
Oddly enough, the name Wooden Warrior was not a single, unique submission, but was actually submitted by two classes from different schools, and therefore both classes are winners. The two winning classes are Mrs. Barbara Minutillo’s fourth grade class, Middlebury Elementary School; and Miss Lauren Zafrin’s fifth grade class, R.M.T. Johnson Elementary School. Both classes used a very democratic process to narrow down the names, starting with 20-25 names on the board and having students narrow down the choices and vote on the submission.
As the winners, the two classes will be invited to the park to ride the new coaster when it opens next year, and will also be visited by Quassy officials to hold a ceremony honoring the students. Progress is already being made on the coaster, with footings in and structure now going up. The coaster, designed by Gravity Group, will be approximately 35 feet high, 1,250 feet long, and will feature the companies all-new Timberliner trains, provided by Gravitykraft Corp, sister company of Gravity Group.
Since 2006, Santa’s Village amusement park has been closed, with an unknown future. But on Thursday, the park opened under a new management and theme. The park will now be known as a kiddie park, and will have several petting zoos and animals ranging from your standard farm animals to African porcupines. African porcupines in a petting zoo? No; in fact, they will have an aviary and multiple exotic animal sections.
While many will miss the Christmas town that existed for a little less than half a century, others are quite grateful for the change. The new owner has said that there have been nonstop emails coming in from people that are grateful for the opportunity to show their kids what they saw as kids. The park will now operate under the name “Azoosment Park”, complimentary to the new animal theme. The new owner has stated in interviews that he is going to make the park much more family oriented, including very low prices and becoming more of a zoo than an amusement park. Admission prices have been said to be $13.50 for children ages 3 to 12 and $9.50 for adults, with children 2 and younger being admitted free.
While the park has changed its general theme, it will still have Santa when Christmas rolls around.
While it has been all but confirmed now for several weeks that the stand-up B&M coaster would be relocated to Six Flags Great Adventure, no true confirmation or details would be given. The park has finally announced those rides, and will be adding a “new” B&M to their lineup, to be called the Green Lantern, after the DC Comics super hero.
The ride itself is none other than the Chang roller coaster, which was removed from Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom this past year. Though the initial plans of Six Flags seemed to be to move it to their park in Great America, where track began arriving and a height waiver was requested, those plans were scrapped and the track was moved to Six Flags Great Adventure. It will now be the parks 12th coaster, and will be the 4th B&M installation at the park.
Green Lantern will stand 154 feet tall, reach speeds of 63 mph, and negotiate five inversions on its 4,155 foot long journey, including a 121' 7" tall Vertical Loop, 103' 10" tall Dive Loop, 72' tall Inclined Loop, and interlocking Corkscrews. Park President John Fitzgerald said “Six Flags is home to many of the biggest roller coasters in the world, and Green Lantern brings an all new dimension of thrills.”
Six Flags Great Adventure, already home to such massive coasters as the B&M Nitro Hypercoaster and Kingda Ka Intamin Accelerator coaster, currently the tallest and one of the fastest coasters in the world, plans to open up the new Green Lantern coaster in Spring 2011, just before the release of the “Green Hornet” movie based on the superhero character the ride is named after.
Details concerning Busch Gardens Africa's new ride have found their way out a little early.
The coaster, to be named Cheetaka with the slogan "Feel the Spirit. Feel the Speed.", will combine exploration of a lot of the animals at Bush Gardens Africa with the thrill of a coaster, according to vice president of zoology Mike Boos. The layout of the coaster will be very extensive due to the supposed theme, and will be the longest coaster at Busch Gardens Africa.
Most of the construction of the coaster is expected to occur thoughout early 2011, with an early summer opening. A teaser photo released a few weeks ago looks to be of a piece of Intamin-like track. The ride is rumored to feature multiple launch sections and stay low to the ground, much like the proposed coaster for Busch Gardens Europe in Williamsburg. A teaser video has also been released featuring park president Jim Dean, which showcases some of the early construction.
Despite Busch continuing to keep details under wraps, they have announced a new Winter show Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy, which according to Busch's blog, allows guests to "experience this exotic encounter inspired by nature’s unpredictable creations" that are "brought to life by an international cast of soaring aerialists, spine-bending contortionists, acrobats, musicians and spectacular costumes beyond your wildest imagination."
With the good news of Canada’s Wonderland receiving a new WindSeeker in 2011, along with three other Cedar Fair parks, comes the loss of a staple attraction at the park. To make way for the new attraction, Canada’s Wonderland has announced that it will be removing its Intamin Looping Starship, the Jet Scream. Despite a rendering that shows the WindSeeker placed next to the Jet Scream ride, the two will never co-exist.
Opening at the park in 1990, the ride will soon be ending its 20 year run at the park, and has now been put on sale for $150,000, available on October 15. One of only a few remaining Looping Starships, the ride, like the more well-known inverting swinging ship, completes several 360-degree revolutions, suspending riders upside down for several seconds.
The WindSeeker replacing it will spin riders around at 30 mph, at a swinging angle of 45-degrees, 301 ft up in the air. While it will not invert like the Jet Scream, the ride will provide fantastic panoramic views of the park, and be significantly more family-friendly.
Six Flags Over Georgia has just announced that it will be getting it’s 11th coaster for the 2011 operating season, Dare Devil Dive. The new roller coaster will be a custom-designed Gerstlauer Eurofighter, with a vertical lift and a beyond vertical drop. While the park claims it will be the “First coaster in the US to drop beyond vertical,” however both Maverick at Cedar Point and Mystery Mine at Dollywood opened in 2007 with beyond vertical drops of 95-degrees.
The ride will start off with a vertical ascent up 100 ft in the air, before the train slows and pauses at the summit. After this, the train will plunge downward, beyond vertical, angling inward before reaching the bottom of the drop, and a top speed of 52 mph. While a clear image and description of the remaining layout is unclear at this moment, the park describes the remaining layout for us: “The ride then careens through a thrilling combination of diving loops while executing three inversions before riders catch air on a zero gravity hill and swoop across the dreaded Immelmann vertical U turn stretched high above the ground. The crescendo builds as the car dives toward the ground and up into a Heartline roll before being slowed by the magnetic brakes.”
Melinda Ashcraft, Park President of Six Flags Atlanta Properties, said of the addition, “We’re excited to welcome Dare Devil Dive as our 11th roller coaster…It will be the perfect complement to an already stellar coaster lineup.”
Dare Devil Dive is expected to open on Memorial Day Weekend in 2011, joining some of the parks other top thrillers like Goliath, Batman: The Ride, and Superman: Ultimate Flight.
We all remember back in February, when a tragic accident involving one of Seaworld's killer whales occurred. One of the whale's trainers had been drowned when the whale, Tilikum, pulled the trainer by her ponytail into the water. Normally, trainers survive incidents like these, but that was not the case this time. Initially, the family of the trainer did not want to press charges, and did not fault the park. But recently, government officials have decided that working conditions were NOT safe at the time of the incident, opening up the opportunity for lawsuit. Realizing that the incident could partly be the park's fault, the family has said that they may end up suing the park after all.
The government agency that decided that the conditions were not safe, OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is pressing charges against the park, allowing the family to follow suit. Their job is to make sure that workplaces are safe for employees. In their reports, the government officials said that whale trainers deserve the same safety benefits of other fields of work, and it is time for amusement parks to be forced to provide safe conditions - and make sure that parks are no longer be able to get away with statements such as 'working with whales is inherently dangerous'. The park is predicted to respond with a statement saying that you can't take humane care of whales in captivity without the close contact that creates these incidents.
It is still in question as to whether or not the family will sue, but OSHA will do so no matter what the family's decision ends up being.