Disney’s Hollywood Studios – I think we just figured out what is going to go up in the Star Wars Dance Off theater. It looks like Monsters University is going to be throwing its Homecoming Celebration in that theater which will include a DJ, games, and activities. The festivities will run from 6pm to 10pm every night starting this weekend and running through the entire Monstrous Summer promotion. In the meantime, while we wait for some enterprising person with a camera to film some of it, here is a little bit more coverage of the now mothballed Star Wars Weekend.
Epcot – The lineup for the Sounds Like Summer concert series has been announced. What the concert series should be called is Sounds Like Someone Else’s Band, because all of the bands that have been booked are tribute bands and not the real thing. Doesn’t Disney own a recording label? Maybe it is in their other pair of pants…underneath all of the entrance fee and merchandising money. It so saddens me to see Disney being cheap when they don’t need to. Sting just played Red Rocks in Denver a week ago, just ask him and he would probably say yes for a little taste of Mickey's cash. Please don’t insult us with some silly Police tribute band…
SeaWorld Orlando – We now have proof that animals of different species can talk to each other. Last week, it was the penguins, this week it appears that the penguins have taught the sea lions a trick or three. What will it be next week? Shamu making a break for it?
Disney’s Animal Kingdom – The laser effects have returned to the Dinosaur ride. They had been gone for so long I had forgotten about them. I have to wonder if the crew is starting to spruce the park up in little ways in effort to make the new Pandora area not make the rest of the park look horrid. If that is true, I know of a big hairy guy that may get to change his tune in the near future.
Coney Island – The Thunderbolt is being resurrected! Except all is not as it seems. It seems that Zamperla has won the bid to build and install the new coaster, which is no big surprise since they are running the show there. It was very amusing on the Coney Island community board, someone asked if Zamperla had won the bid to install the new coaster. The response was: yep, who else is there? I would like to respond to that question with the following answer: B&M, Intamin, GCI, Gravity Group, Rocky Mountain Coasters, Mack, Vekoma, my across the street neighbor, half the TPI discussion board, and the girl I buy my morning coffee from… Please feel free to add any more that I missed below while I silently weep.
So, to recap, they are basically stealing a name that has a nostalgic value and then doing whatever they want with the actual coaster.
Farup Sommerland – We now have video of their latest coaster: Orkanen. While it is pretty short, it does pack quite a few thrills into it.
I was very excited when I heard the Dinosaur laser effects had been restored, but when I rode a couple days ago I was disappointed to discover that the original "wall of lasers" effect (from when the ride was called CTX) have NOT returned. Instead, this is a much less impressive circular cone of light projected onto fog. When I rode, the first effect was almost unnoticeable unless you looked for it, and the second ruined the finale by illuminating the escape route prematurely. This doesn't bode well for the Yeti, I'm afraid...
The Thunderbolt Reborn video is scary. Not in a good way. I'm sure there is NO WAY that lift "hill" will ever break down... And the ride looks smooth as butter! If built as presented, by Zamperla, this will be pure folly. Did they even ask other companies? Is Zamperla offering to build this for, like, $23?
Jonah, I'm not sure if your comment was tongue-in-cheek, but I anticipate problems with the lift, and the ride will be a capacity nightmare. Then again maybe not, since it will probably be part of the Scream Zone, where the current coasters and attractions are pay-per-ride (I believe 8 or 9 dollars at present, I didn't check) They are not included in Luna Park's POP, nor is the Cyclone. I wouldn't be shocked if this cost $10 per ride. And while I liked the $23 comment, this thing is apparently a $10M machine.
Laser Effects on Dinosaur are nice... But i love that Yeti Video XP.
Published: June 13, 2013 at 9:08 PM
The Cyclone is currently $9 a ride up from $7 last year. Coney Island is so fragmented price wise that it gets very expensive. I was there last week. You can easily drop $100 in a few hours. There isn't a one ticket deal for all of the rides. Hopefully, eventually they will implement a pay one price deal. Problem is that there are at least 5 owners of five different areas. Deno (who's sons own Wonder Wheel, Spookorama bumper cars Thunderbolt and a kiddie park), Luna Park (which owns the all of the new attractions including the Scream Zone) the original landlord. (Who owns two or three attractions, including Ghost Hole, bumper cars and one other). And the city who owns the carousel and Carol Hill Albert runs the Cyclone under a lease agreement with the city. Sound fragmented? It is and the pricing currently reflects that.
Published: June 13, 2013 at 10:56 PM
Carol doesn't run the Cyclone anymore, Zamperla runs it along with Luna Park and the restored B&B Carousel.
In reply to the last comment, Carol Hill Albert was the co-owner of Astroland and former operator of the City-owned Cyclone. The licensing agreement for the coaster was transferred to Zamperla's Central Amusements Int'l after the end of 2010 season. The B&B Carousell is owned by the City, and also operated by CAI's Luna Park under a licensing agreement with the Parks Dept. The City earns a percentage from each ticket. That is why bonus credits on the Luna Card and Luna wristbands are not valid on those rides.
As I've written on my Coney Island blog: Some people are surprised by the lack of a central ticketing system for all of Coney Island because they look at it as all one park or would like the convenience. Coney Island is NOT and never has been a single operator park. Historically, Coney Island’s unique character and vitality comes from the fact that it was a neighborhood with many individually owned amusement rides, attractions, restaurants and other businesses. Let’s hope we can keep this tradition.
Until or unless the operating agreement with Zamperla is changed or runs out, I doubt we'll see many other ridemakers at Coney Island. It would be nice to see a company like GCI get to rebuild the old Tornado or Thunderbolt, but Zamperla isn't going to pay for another company's rides when they have their own rides they can install. It's a far more profitable venture for them, and it gives them a stage to show their rides off for other potential buyers around the world.
I'm happy that Coney Island is alive again. Zamperla has done a remarkable job breathing life back into the place. I do hope though that we can see a return to more permanent installations and some high profile projects from other companies. That would require the right people with the money, vision, and ambition to come after a piece of the action. In other words, they could use a modern day Tilyou/Thompson.
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