Currently named ‘Construction 2018’ the ride is said to feature the highest number of ‘interactions’ in the world with 15 and will cross five other park rides and pass through two tunnels. The ride is being manufactured by Mack Rides at their world-class factory in Waldkirch, Germany, utilising the latest state-of-the-art engineering processes, including laser beam technology for extreme accuracy. A double launch will see thrill-seekers propelled forward at high speed not only at the start of the ride, but also at a second point half way through the two-and-a-half minute experience. Riders will experience the same levels of G force as felt by the driver of a Formula 1 car. The ride features acceleration which is 4 times that experienced in a Lamborghini Gallardo.
Just days after their Halloween haunts made their debut, California’s Great America and Knott’s Berry Farm have pulled the plug on their newest offering, FearVR, because of concerns that the attraction could be “hurtful to those who suffer from mental illness.”
The move comes after mental health advocates in Southern California protested the virtual reality story line about a possessed patient running amok in a hospital. Parkgoers are strapped into chairs, given VR goggles and told to press the “panic button” if the experience becomes overwhelming.
A statement issued Tuesday night by Cedar Fair, parent company of the Santa Clara and Buena Park theme parks, said the “edgy, adult-only” attraction was never meant to “portray mental illness.” However, “As it is impossible to address both concerns and misconceptions in the Halloween timeframe, at this time we have decided to close the attraction.”
A Southern California mental health advocate, Kay Warren, praised the decision. “I’m so grateful (Cedar Fair) listened to the voices of the mental health community,” she told the Orange County Register.
Race into action on a new generation of coaster that combines the thrill of the sea with the adrenaline rush of a roller coaster in ways never before seen or experienced. Coming to SeaWorld San Antonio in summer 2017, Wave Breaker: The Rescue Coaster will enable riders to feel what it’s like to race alongside SeaWorld’s heroic animal care team and veterinarians as they spring into action at a moment’s notice to help rescue animals in distress.
“The new coaster promises a ride of a lifetime that’s also unique to SeaWorld’s mission,” said SeaWorld San Antonio Park President Carl Lum. “Replicating an adventure limited to only a few trained professionals, Wave Breaker will launch riders into an exhilarating experience similar to going on an animal rescue mission. The coaster is sure to thrill, but also brings awareness to the brave efforts of our animal teams as they join forces with organizations around the world to help ill, injured, orphaned and abandoned animals.”
Wave Breaker: The Rescue Coaster boasts a variety of features inspired by the reality of jet skiing across a body of water. The unique jet ski-style car design is the first such coaster design in North America and engages riders in a straddled seating position. The design will allow riders to lean into a series of banked and serpentine turns, and grip the handle bars as they race over air time humps and a pair of high acceleration launches. Reaching heights of up to 61-feet, the majority of the coaster’s 2,600-foot track will be directly over water, creating the sensation that riders are racing across the park’s Ski Lake. With a minimum height requirement of 48”, Wave Breaker promises to be a dynamic coaster experience for the whole family.
“Inspired by our guests’ ongoing requests to learn more about how they can help support animal rescue efforts, each ride begins by telling the story of a rescue mission and invites guests to become personally involved in helping to protect animals,” adds Lum. “Wave Breaker: The Rescue Coaster will definitely be a thrilling ride, but we also hope it brings riders on a journey of discovery, as together we work to protect the wild wonders of our world.”
A new Halloween horror attraction that opened Thursday at Knott’s Berry Farm has drawn criticism from mental health advocates, who say it includes offensive and dehumanizing depictions of mental health patients.
Knott’s responded Thursday by changing its website to remove references to mental health from the attraction’s name.
But Ron Thomas, whose son, Kelly Thomas, had serious mental disabilities and was beaten and suffocated to death in 2011 by Fullerton police officers, went to see the virtual reality show Thursday night said the web site changes were “cosmetic.”
“You can call a duck a dog, but it’s still a duck,” said Thomas.
In the show itself, he said, “the message is clear. ‘The mentally ill are going to kill you.’ It’s just wrong. Totally wrong.”
Since the attraction was announced a little over two weeks ago, the virtual-reality experience had been promoted as “FearVR: 5150,” as part of the theme park’s “Knott’s Scary Farm” season.
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With its new permanent attraction based on “The Walking Dead,” Universal Studios reanimates the television series, making the Halloween experience accessible all year long.
Just inside the park’s main entry, a crashed helicopter looms over the attraction’s entrance, creating an ominous mood for those who dare to venture inside.
The hospital where protagonist Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), first awoke from a coma in the series is the first room guests enter while waiting before entering the maze. Fans of the series will appreciate references to the show, such as blockaded doors that read, “Don’t open. Dead inside.”
As they wait in line, guests are teased by the sound of screams as the groups ahead enter into the main attraction.
The character known as Bicycle Girl was the first walker Grimes came across when he exited the hospital. The term “walker” refers to zombie-like characters that have been exposed to a pathogen.
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SeaWorld Entertainment on Monday slashed its quarterly dividend and said it would suspend future payments, six months after the company decided to stop breeding killer whales at its theme parks.
The company's shares were down more than 6 percent in premarket trading trading and ended the day about 4.5 percent lower. They are down about 36 percent this year through Monday's close.
SeaWorld, which operates marine parks in San Diego, Orlando and San Antonio, faced criticism after the release of the 2013 documentary "Blackfish," which depicted the captivity and public exhibition of killer whales as inherently cruel.
The company said in March it would stop breeding killer whales, and those currently at its parks would be the last.
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SpongeBob SquarePants and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are coming to American Dream Meadowlands. Developer Triple Five has partnered with Nickelodeon on its creation of the largest indoor amusement park in the western hemisphere, Nickelodeon Universe.
The eight-and-one-half acre park will feature rides and attractions based on Nickelodeon-owned properties, similar to the Nickelodeon Universe at another Triple Five-owned property — the Mall of America in Minnesota. That theme park features rides like the Fairly Odd Coaster, Diego's Rescue Rider, and Shredder's Mutant Masher. “Based on the success we have seen with Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America we are excited to bring the number one entertainment brand for kids to American Dream,” Triple Five President Don Ghermezian said in a statement.
It’s been called “the Academy Awards of the amusement industry,” and in a show full of “red carpet” pageantry and excitement, the winners of Amusement Today’s 2016 Golden Ticket Awards were revealed tonight at this year’s host park, Cedar Point, the legendary amusement park and resort along the shores of Lake Erie.
The Golden Ticket Awards are presented annually to honor the “Best of the Best” in the amusement industry and are calculated from an international poll conducted by Amusement Today. The prestigious survey asks experienced amusement park voters around the country and world to rate the “bests” in 23 categories.
Always revealing some surprises, this year’s poll did not disappoint. In the category of “Best Seaside Park,” perennial favorite Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk in Santa Cruz, Calif., re-gained its title after being edged out last year, and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando narrowly displaced Universal’s Islands of Adventure’s Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, also in Orlando, as “Best Dark Ride.” Finally, fan-favorite Millennium Force at Cedar Point was out-voted for “Best Steel Coaster” by a single ballot by Fury 325 at one of its sister Cedar Fair parks, Carowinds, in Charlotte, N.C.
The list of 2016 winners are:
Best Amusement Park- Europa-ParkRust, Germany
Best Water Park - Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort, New Braunfels, Texas
Best Children’s Park- Idlewild, Ligonier, PA
Best Marine Life Park - SeaWorld Orlando, Orlando, Fla.
Best Seaside Park - Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Santa Cruz, Calif.
Best Wooden Coaster - Boulder Dash, Lake Compounce, Bristol, Conn.
Best Steel Coaster - Fury 325, Carowinds, Charlotte, N.C.
Best Kids’ Area- Kings Island, Kings Mills, Ohio
Friendliest Park- Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
Cleanest Park- Holiday World & Splashing’ Safari, Santa Claus, Ind.
Best Halloween Event- Halloween Horror Nights, Universal Studios Orlando, Fla.
Best Landscaping- Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Williamsburg, Va.
Best Christmas Event- Smoky Mountain Christmas, Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
Best Food- Knoebels Amusement Resort, Elysburg, Pa.
Best Shows- Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
Best Water Ride- Valhalla, Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Blackpool, England
Best Water Park Ride- Wildebeest, Splashing’ Safari, Santa Claus, Ind.
Best Dark Ride- Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Orlando, Fla.
Best New Attraction of 2016 — Amusement Park - Lightning Rod, Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
Best New Attraction of 2016 — Water Park- Massiv, Schlitterbahn Galveston Island, Texas
Best Carousel - Grand Carousel, Knoebels Amusement Resort, Elysburg. Pa.
Best Indoor Roller Coaster - Revenge of the Mummy, Universal Studios Orlando, Fla.
Best Funhouse/Walkthrough Attraction - Noah’s Ark, Kennywood, West Mifflin, Pa.
Personally chosen by Gary Slade, publisher and editor-in-chief of Amusement Today, this year’s Publisher’s Pick Awards were presented in the following categories:
One of Cedar Point’s beasts is getting the axe. But when Mean Streak joins the park’s “dead rides,” what’s in store for its towering lumber? “Everyone has been asking what we’re gonna do with the wood,” says park spokesperson Tony Clark. “We’re taking it down. We’re not gonna really give it to anybody. We’re not going to sell it. We’re not gonna auction it. It’s gotta go. If that changes and we want to build some special chairs or furniture and sell it in the park, we’ll let people know, but I don’t think there’s big plans for that wood.”
The coaster, a rickety journey along 5,427 feet of track, features 1.7 million board feet of treated southern yellow pine. When Cincinnati-area sister park Kings Island demolished its troubled Son of Beast wooden coaster a few years ago, a limited number of track pieces were sold to fans. Cedar Point currently has no plans in place to sell any piece of Mean Streak.
Mean Streak, once the tallest and fastest wooden coaster, will unleash its final screams on Friday, Sept. 16 at 7 p.m. -- the same day HalloWeekends opens.
Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (NYSE: FUN), a leader in regional amusement parks, water parks and active entertainment, today announced that preliminary net revenues through Monday, September 5, 2016, increased 2% to a record $1.04 billion compared with $1.02 billion through Labor Day weekend a year ago. As such, the Company expects 2016 to be its seventh consecutive year of record results.
This year-over-year growth was driven by a 1%, or 227,000-visit, increase in attendance to 20.5 million visits; a 1%, or $0.50, increase in average in-park guest per capita spending to $46.71; and a 5%, or approximately $5 million, increase in out-of-park revenues, including resort accommodations, to $114 million.
"We are pleased with our year-to-date results and anticipate our record performance will continue with our extremely popular Halloween events," said Matt Ouimet, Cedar Fair's president and chief executive officer. "Our world-class rides and attractions, day-time family focused Halloween activities and the night-time ghoulish transformation of our parks combine to create a compelling, immersive entertainment experience for every member of the family."
More than 40 years ago, Knott's Berry Farm created the concept of frightful fun and it has grown that concept into one of the largest, most immersive events in the amusement park industry – Halloween Haunt. Cedar Fair has spread this frightful fun to all of its parks, and this year, beginning in September, there will be more than 5,000 screamsters, more than 150 mazes and uniquely-themed live entertainment from morning to night across the parks.
"Consumer demand for our entertainment offerings remains strong and we are excited about the growth opportunities ahead of us for the remainder of 2016, as well as over the long term," added Ouimet. "As consumers continue to prioritize experiences over possessions, we believe we are well positioned with our upcoming Halloween events and the expansion of Great America's operating season with the introduction of WinterFest, a new multi-week holiday experience. This immersive new event will feature more than 7 million LED lights, creating such a vibrant experience it will be able to be seen from theInternational Space Station, more than 270 miles away."
Looking ahead, the Company's 2017 capital investment lineup, which includes roller coasters, water park expansions and increased resort offerings, is already receiving national attention; the new Cedar Point Sports Center is almost complete and is actively booking tournaments beginning next March; and Cedar Fair will be expanding the operating season at three more of its parks with the introduction of WinterFest.
Ouimet said the Company remains on track to achieve its FUNforward 2.0 long-term Adjusted EBITDA goal of $500 millionearlier than its original target date of 2018.