Tuesday theme park news round-up: Bats, Falcons, and Thor
If you lived in the Midwest in the early 1980s, or if you're a fan of roller coaster history, you likely remember The Bat at Kings Island. The prototype suspended coaster didn't work all the time -- okay, it was broken a lot. But it enticed a generation of roller coaster fans with the possibilities of a new way of placing riders relative to a roller coaster track, and won a legion of fans in the process. Kings Island eventually, and rightfully, closed the coaster, but its name will return to the park for the 2014 season. Kings Island announced today that it will rename The Bat's successor
, the suspended coaster Flight Deck
, as The Bat when the park opens next spring. Flight Deck was built as Top Gun, but lost that name when the old Paramount Parks chain sold Kings Island and the rest of its parks to Cedar Fair and declined to include the license for its film franchises in the deal.
Photo courtesy Busch Gardens
Busch Gardens Tampa has taken delivery on more than 500 tons of steel for the 335-foot main tower of its new drop ride, Falcon's Fury, which will debut next spring. The pieces shipped across the Atlantic Ocean from Spain before arriving at the park last week. Falcon's Fury will be the tallest freestanding drop tower in North America when it opens. If you're curious about that "freestanding" qualifier, that's because Six Flags will have taller drop rides, but they're attached to the sides of other attractions.
Disney's found another use for its facade projection system. The latest digital projection show for the It's a Small World facade at Disneyland will be a short presentation every 15 minutes during the Small World Holiday overlay, where the entire facade will become a massive clockwork. Here's a preview:
Until Disney's managers give the greenlight for a new Marvel-themed attraction at the Disneyland Resort, it appears that the Innoventions facility in Disneyland's Tomorrowland will continue to serve as the de facto Marvel outpost in the park. This week, the park debuted its new Thor exhibit and meet-and-greet, to support the new movie coming to theaters next month. Earlier this year, Iron Man got the spotlight at Innoventions. Let the countdown begin for the Captain America exhibit next spring.
Disney this week has been installing new Coca-Cola-brand soft drink flavors from around the world at Epcot's Club Cool. Despite so many the old flavors going away to make way for the new tastes, Disney continues to troll us all by still serving Beverly. Yay?
Interestingly, Beverly was discontinued as an actual product a few years ago. It appears to only exist exclusively for the lulz at Epcot and World of Coke...
I really love the way the Blog Flume is being done now. Much more positive and fun than the old way. I now look forward to this column every week. Keep up the great work Robert!
Annette, your screen must show something different than mine. My header for this shows "Tuesday theme park news round-up", not "Blog Flume Filter". Your dislike of Mr. Elliott is well-known, but some of us like his more edgy writing and tongue-in-cheek style. I'm glad Robert is continuing to bring us news updates while Jeff is taking some well-deserved time off to deal with his personal life. If you don't like Jeff's writing, don't read it, but don't declare that Robert has taken over his weekly article. BTW, "Blog Flume Filter" is posted on Thursday, not Tuesday.
I'd be happy to see Beverly leaave the Epcot drink line up. I'm getting a little tired of pretending I don't know what it is when my kids come up to me with a cup and say "Hey dad, try this one." Then I have to put on a face of (fake) surprise and (real) disgust as I down the cup.
I agree with James. Robert's updates are wonderful, as always, but I miss Jeff's snark :-). My best wishes to him and I hope we see him back soon!
Love Jeff's occasional satire also. It adds some color to what is often ho hum news, new Disney bathrooms & benches etc. And Robert's articles are also interesting, so we have the best of both worlds with the two usual weekly articles.
I think Jeff laid it on a little too thick. Snark is one thing, but his columns weren't funny to me. His "jokes" were always the same: "Disney's so expensive a trip cost my whole annual salary!". He'd say stuff like that and I'd think "Have you gone to a movie theater lately?". I just get enough of hearing about "how expensive things are these days". I never saw the point of it in the Blog Flume columns. I wish he tried harder to find some other source of "humor" than griping about prices.
Jeff's body of work speaks for itself, Annette. He's been writing a column of one form or another on TPI for quite some time, and they are almost always excellent. The humor of the snark in his articles takes a considerable amount of effort and thought, and I for one feel bad that I don't compliment him more often when I enjoy one of his columns.
I'm feeling the love and I didn't even write the column....this is how things should always work!
Kings Island didn't take any risks this time, waiting 20 years to make sure this coaster worked before naming IT The Bat.
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