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Beyond CaliFlorida: What's the buzz for 2015?

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Published: August 6, 2014 at 12:12 PM

It is a new week and with a new week is new speculation on where Universal and Legoland have signed agreements to put up new parks. Nothing to see here… move along.

Six Flags New England – This may help further a little bit of speculation. Now that the Cyclone roller coaster is closed, if the park was going to build something completely different on the site, they would have either brought in the wrecking ball, the C4, or the marshmallows. But instead of making a smoldering, twisted mess out of the roller coaster, they are very carefully removing the tracks off of the Cyclone. The fact that they said the ride was closing forever makes me think that they are not just refurbishing the track, but fundamentally changing the ride. This leads me to think that maybe the rumors were true that Rocky Mountain Coasters is going to take a shot at fixing this one up with some steel Iron Horse rails.

Carowinds – The park is promoting its 2015 coaster with drop-offs of bee-themed promo materials to media outlets in the Charlotte area.

Silver Dollar City – The park has shut down Geyser Gulch to make way for something new in 2015. While we don’t quite know what the attraction is going to be, it will presumably be called Fireman’s Landing, and if that is the case, a copy of FireChaser Express from Dollywood seems like it would fit right in. Or maybe this is an adult area…which would make sense if the park realized that it didn’t need an area to drop the kids off, but it did need an area to drop the females off at. Just think, a bunch of hunky firemen keeping an eye on a rest area designed to cater to females who need to rest for a little bit as their overweight and nerdy male counterparts go run around like monkeys all over the roller coasters. I know my wife would be much more willing to go to a park that had a perk like this. Would the attractions be: Back Massage Cabana, Fire Hose Refreshments, Mouth to Mouth Safety Demonstrations, and Stop, Drop, and Roll?

Canada's Wonderland – The park announced today that its stand-up coaster, SkyRider, will close September 1.

Six Flags St. Louis – The Scooby-Doo Ghostblaster ride will be shutting down for good on September 14th. No word as to what is going to replace it just yet. Hopefully it won’t be the stripped down version of Ghostblasters without Scooby or the boats while everything else remains the same.

Lotte World (South Korea) – Fairy Trail Dream Boats is now open. I can’t quite figure out if this is a water ride or a walk through attraction. The sets look like they are made out of colorful candy, but they didn’t bother to hide the speakers or lights, so the attraction has a weird chic shabbiness about it that makes it peg out both sides of the well done/crappy scale.

Movie Park (Germany) – We have a complete ride experience from the Lost Temple ride. This is kind of an interesting ride system. If you look carefully, the vehicle only travels about 15-20ft into the screens and after the film is over, it is pulled back from the screens to the load station. This looks like it would be the perfect dark ride for a park with minimal land area.

Efteling (Netherlands) – Construction has begun on their new B&M Dive Machine roller coaster, while they are only currently moving dirt around, it still counts as construction. I have to wonder if this will be an off the shelf roller coaster or if Efteling will theme it up and give it a story line.

Gardaland (Italy) – Footers are going in for their new B&M Dive Machine.

IMG Worlds of Adventure (Dubai) – Since most of the building is up as well as track slotting into place for their roller coaster, I have to say that this project has probably long been pulled off of the rumor table. So I should probably mention it before we look completely foolish here.

Cedar Point – We are starting to fill in the picture about what the Point is getting next year. The ride will possibly be named Rougarou which is the Cajun word for Werewolf. I still have money on somehow using the projection and interaction system from Wonder Mountain’s Guardian.

Knott’s Berry Farm – The Farm is looking at getting some of the old Geauga Lake water park elements busting their berm into the parking lot near Pacific Spin or toward Independence Hall. In other news the former home of Beary Tales and Kingdom of the Dinosaurs is empty...completely empty…just a husk of a building now. I would expect that this will be what the Farm will open up next year…and I would also guess using the same technology of Wonder Mountain’s Guardian.

Busch Gardens Williamsburg – Whoever is in charge at this park seems to be throwing more bad money after bad money. The latest rumor seems to indicate that Tempesto or Diavolo will be the name of the new ride at BGW and it is going to be a copy of the Superman ride in Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, a ride notorious for a low capacity and long lines at a small park.

Six Flags – The company wide new attraction announcement will happen on August 28th.

Epcot – I’m not saying that I know anything, but you might want to commit this to memory while it still exists.

Hard Rock Park – The end is here. The rides are coming down and the park is getting gutted. Everything from signage to sinks are getting pulled out. I’ll take the rack of free air guitars if no else wants it.

Neverland Ranch – The dream ranch and amusement park Michael Jackson built is for sale. I have to wonder if maybe instead of selling the thing, they should donate it to Give The Kids the World or the Make-A-Wish Foundation as a tax write off, since the estate is in hock to the IRS for nearly $800 million. I find it somewhat interesting that now that Michael Jackson is dead, he is now a national hero and treasure instead of a scarily demented child molester. I guess that is what happens when everyone realizes you are no longer a threat.

Now Hiring – Kings Island is looking for scare actors every weekend for the next several weekends. Be sure to bring a happy smile and a can do attitude. Actually, you know what? Forget that. What you need to do is scare the *$%^& out of the hiring manager and the job is yours.

Readers' Opinions

From Jeff Elliott on August 6, 2014 at 12:53 PM
Maybe what Cedar Point can do is rename Gemini to King James and then use the Wonder Mountain's Guardian technology on the roller coaster to have us shooting at basketball players we don't like...
From Rob Pastor on August 6, 2014 at 1:41 PM
From the McKeesport Daily News 8/4/14: "The Thunderbolt, a thrilling, nostalgic roller coaster at Kennywood Park, was designated an ACE(American Coaster Enthusiasts) Coaster Landmark. The park's Racer and Jack Rabbit were named landmarks in 2010...Kennywood is especially honored by this latest award from ACE because it makes the amusement park the only one in the country to have three landmark coasters....The New York Times called the Thunderbolt the King of Coasters back in the 1970's and interest in the ride helped usher in a second golden age of roller coasters... Nationwide, ACE has designated 30 roller coasters as landmarks....ACE members presented a plaque to the West Mifflin (Kennywood) amusement park last weekend."
From 148.168.40.126 on August 6, 2014 at 2:03 PM
Sounds like mantis at CP is going to be Named King James and is being painted green. Michigan Adventure is going to get new slide complex.
From Daniel Etcheberry on August 6, 2014 at 2:27 PM
Bye bye Maelstrom.
From James Koehl on August 6, 2014 at 3:24 PM
I haven't heard that rumor about "Rougarou" (darn, I HATE it when Jeff gets a Cedar Point scoop before me!), but that would make sense. I wonder if it has anything to do with the rumor and hint that Tony Clark, the main PR guy for Cedar Point, dropped about Mantis. I've heard that it might not be long for this world, a rumor strengthen by Cedar Fair/Canada's Wonderland removing Skyrider, another stand-up coaster. Mantis and Iron Dragon stand over and above part of the old Cedar Point lagoon system, which also houses the HalloWeekends haunted area "Blood on the Bayou". Bayou? Cajun? Rougarou? Coincidence?
Inquiring minds want to know...
From Rob Pastor on August 6, 2014 at 5:51 PM
Some Universal Orlando info....OI & Parkscope insiders are saying upwards to 30,000 people per day on some days are riding Hogwart's Express. The capacity on that ride is excellent.....Seth Kubersky, writer for Touring Plans, Guide to Universal Orlando, and Orlando weekly reported today that this has been the most profitable summer ever for Universal Orlando. He also lauds the exceptional crowd control operations for the 2014 Potter expansion. Due to these controls Universal has not experienced the crowding problems they had with IOA in 2010 with the opening of Harry Potter Hogsmeade.
From James Rao on August 6, 2014 at 7:44 PM
Sadly, the rumors on SDC's 2015 expansion are not as grand as Firechaser Express. Just a collection of kid and family friendly midway rides (some of them from nearby, defunct Celebration City). However, strong rumors point to something "big" in 2016, if I live that long.
From Rob Pastor on August 7, 2014 at 11:20 AM
Universal press release today...Hogwart's Express just celebrated their 1 million rider.

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