Manta, SeaWorld Orlando's new flying coaster, was topped off on October 29.
The construction crew set the highest piece of track in place at 140ft in the air along with a ceremonial evergreen tree and an American flag. The construction of Manta, engineered by Bolliger & Mabillard of Switzerland, will be all downhill from this point on.
Other flying coasters are Tatsu at Six Flags Magic Mountain and Superman: Ultimate Flight at Six Flags Great Adventure. However, this one separates itself from the others with its unique SeaWorld-style theming, including a lagoon of marine creatures, hence the ride's name, beneath the coaster.
Manta should open in early 2009.
Celebration City, located in Branson, Missouri, will join the latest list of notable amusement parks to close in the past several years. The Herschend Family Entertainment, owners of several major family entertainment complexes the most notable being Silver Dollar City, Dollywood, and Wild Adventures, made the announcement yesterday that today, Saturday, October 25, 2008 will be Celebration City’s final day of existence.
Herschend stated that the closing was due to a "shift in business strategy," however the company, "is already exploring various new development concepts for the site including an aquarium, other family attractions, re-theming the current park and also, destination retail and dining."
It has also rumored that Celebration City’s closing is also partially due to the economy considering Herschend Family Entertainment has scaled back all of the planned additions to their parks for the 2009 season.
It is unknown what will happen to the park’s major attractions include its signature wooden roller coaster the Ozark Wildcat, which was built by Great Coasters International in 2003. The park is also home to two steel roller coasters, the Jack Rabbit and the Thunderbolt, as well as this year’s latest addition to the park, the Roaring Falls flume ride, which also came from another recently closed park in Geauga Lake.
Celebration City originally opened as Branson U.S.A. in the year 1999 where it achieved minimal success. The closed in 2001 and sold to Herschend where the park was rebranded and reopened it as Celebration City in 2003.
With the recent success of a large scale remake of Six Flags Magic Mountain's X into X2, Six Flags Inc. has decided to implement the same strategy on some of their other major attractions this off season, including Six Flags Great Adventure's Medusa.
When the park opened Medusa in 1999, the world was shocked by B&M's new minimalist train design. Described by some to be mere "flying chairs on wheels," the new Floorless rolling stock became an instant hit. The media attention garnered by this revolutionary new roller coaster thrust Six Flags Great Adventure into the limelight of the coaster community.
In years since then, however, the ride's popularity has waned. With record breaking new additions such as Kingda Ka and El Toro vying for public attention and Medusa's poor location in a back corner of the park, ridership began to fall.
But the new, money-conscious management of Six Flags decide to breath new life back into this trend setting ride. Last year they discovered that giving special effects and new advertising campaigns to existing rides can be a cost effective way to boost attendance. They are hoping that the same strategy will work for Medusa.
When Six Flags Great Adventure opens next year, the world's first floorless coaster will once again be the center of much attention. Medusa will boast carefully choreographed, state-of-the-art fire, fog, and water effects as well as an audio production orchestrated to seamlessly integrate into the ride experience.
This updated Medusa will be sure to provide a complete sensory overload experience to riders, all while continuing to thrill them throughout its spine tingling seven inversion course.
In light of Warner Brothers' upcoming Terminator movie, Six Flags has decided to bring another blockbuster attraction to their biggest park, Six Flags Magic Mountain, with the new wooden coaster appropriately named, Terminator: The Coaster.
The ride comes after Six Flags has made attempts to bring families into their parks, espeically the Magic Mountain property as major cutbacks in their ride count has occured, including the removal of many flats and two coasters, the Intamin produced Flashback and the wooden twister Psyclone. Terminator shall take the place of the later.
The park has only stated vague aspects of the ride including a minute video sporting a computer gernerated visual of the actual ride. According to the press release, the ride shall contain at least five air time inducing hills, six high speed turns, and a GCI trademark station-fly-through.
As for actual statistics, the ride has been projected to be 2,850 feet long, which was the only statistic released. From viewing the video, the ride appears to be around 90-95 ft tall and will most likely travel between 50-55 miles per hour.
The rolling stock will be GCI's signature Millennium Flyers, featuring twelve cars of single bench seats for an articulated look. The trains appear to be a rusty gray color, of which, the front seat shall have a low slung nose, allowing for more overview site of the track. Terminator: The Coaster shall be Six Flags Magic Mountain's sixteenth roller coaster, just one behind their seemingly eastern coaster count rival, Cedar Point.
Thorpe park just announced for the 2009 season they will be releasing Saw: The ride. They say that its going to be the scariest coaster around. Lionsgate and Twisted pictures are both going to be helping with this project, marketing it as "Face your Fears".
Saw: The Ride will feature several different elements. The scariest, and most heart pounding one will be a 100 degree free falling drop. Saw: The Ride will also feature a total of three inversions, and several "Saw" scenes throughout the ride.
Here's the exact press release from the park:
The UK’s thrill-capital, THORPE PARK, leading next generation film studio LIONSGATE (NYSE: LGF) and TWISTED PICTURES today announced that they will launch SAW – The Ride, the world’s first ever horror movie-themed rollercoaster, in Spring 2009. Based on Lionsgate and Twisted Pictures’ ‘Saw’ franchise, the most profitable horror franchise in movie history, SAW – The Ride is the scariest ride in the world. The latest installment in the series, ‘Saw V,’ premieres on Friday 24th October, and THORPE PARK will be inviting visitors to ‘Face Your Fears’ on their new terrifying attraction next year.
Like the films, THORPE PARK’s new rollercoaster will test the nerve of all who dare ride it and visitors will be at the mercy of the series’ master manipulator, Jigsaw. The ultimate test of SAW – The Ride will be a ‘beyond vertical’ drop of 100º from a height of 100ft, making it the steepest freefall drop in the world. Riders will also endure three inversions that will add another dimension to a whole new experience of adrenaline-fuelled fun for thrill seekers.
SAW – The Ride continues the growth of the ‘Saw’ franchise as an international cultural touchstone. The original 2004 ‘Saw’ launched a new wave in horror films and introduced a bona fide icon of terror: Jigsaw, the philosophically inclined psychopath with an exacting moral agenda and a genius for gruesome games of survival, ‘played’ with those he believes have ceased to value and appreciate the gift of life. Ratcheting up tension and invention with each successive film, the ‘Saw’ franchise has become a part of the zeitgeist while jangling nerves around the world. To date, the four ‘Saw’ titles have taken in over $550 million in worldwide theatrical box office and their combined gross DVD sales are nearly 24 million units.Candy Holland, Creative Director for Merlin Entertainments Resort Theme Parks, is the woman behind the ride and arguably has Britain’s scariest and most exciting job. She is an extreme thrill enthusiast and will draw on her extensive background in theme park and theatre set design, working with the project team to make it the scariest ride in the world. Candy was also responsible for the creative development of THORPE PARK’s Stealth ride, Se7en maze, and Oblivion and Air at Alton Towers Resort.
Candy Holland comments, “I’m a huge fan of horror films and am utterly relishing creating the scariest ride in the world. Anybody who has sat through a ‘Saw’ film scared and terrified beyond belief will have some idea of what’s in store for them at THORPE PARK. SAW – The Ride is going to be shocking and intense…both physically and psychologically…and is sure to give you nightmares.
“We have worked in close collaboration with Lionsgate and Twisted Pictures on this project to ensure total accuracy of the key elements of the ‘Saw’ films, which when combined with the latest rollercoaster technology will create a phenomenal ride experience.”
Marketing Director of THORPE PARK Carolyn London says, “SAW – The Ride is definitely only for the brave, and will add an element of edge to an already adrenaline packed breadth of thrills on offer. We’re certain the ‘Saw’ theme will set pulses racing and will satisfy the appetite of those in search of the ultimate exhilarating experience.”
‘Saw’ producers and Twisted Pictures principals Mark Burg and Oren Koules remark, “We love scaring people, and SAW – The Ride is a whole new way to do it. The team at THORPE PARK have really impressed us with their grasp of the ‘Saw’ universe and with their dedication to creating a truly edgy attraction.”
Guy Avshalom, Lionsgate COO, and Aubrey McClure, Lionsgate Vice President of Promotions, Licensing & Merchandising, add, “SAW – The Ride is a reflection of how thoroughly the ‘Saw’ franchise has crossed over into pop culture at large. We are delighted to be working with THORPE PARK to continue that expansion with the scariest ride in the world.”
The new ride will be the Park’s fourth major rollercoaster, joining an already impressive portfolio of extreme ride experiences, including Stealth – Europe’s fastest rollercoaster, Colossus – the world’s first ten looping rollercoaster and Nemesis Inferno – the 4.5 G-force experience.
THORPE PARK will open for the full 2009 season on Saturday 14th March but to preview the ride visit www.sawtheride.com. For further information please log onto www.thorpepark.com.