Jeff Elliott

Published: August 1, 2013 at 12:16 PM

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find the surprise TPI member in one of this week's videos.
Daniel Etcheberry

Published: August 1, 2013 at 2:06 PM

Cedar Point's tower implosion was amazing. Had that tower dropped to the wrong side it would have fallen over the parking lot or over the park. I wonder why they left the elevator on the top. Is the surprise TPI member inside that elevator?

Published: August 1, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Hour are still the same at Busch Gardens Tampa the park is closing at 9pm and has been that way all summer. Halloween at Busch the park will be closing at 2am with more houses then last year. Also Christmas town is adding bigger snow area and more lights to the entire park not just some areas. The two restaurants closing is only temp. They are both very slow with not many people going to them. So why not close the when the park slows down. They reopen at peak time or when the new ride opens.

Published: August 1, 2013 at 7:50 PM

Just returned home from Orlando... I was hoping the Simpsons walls would come down while we were there. There were construction crews working on Bumblebee Man's Tacos the whole time and it looked like they were having issues.

The sign was lit up, but only partially, some of the letters had every other LED out. The twirl & Hurl ran non-stop as well. You can get a better view from HP London, so I took some video.

I will be submitting a trip report shortly. There is so much I have to say about the parks, it will take a few paragraphs and I want to explain it in detail.

Jonah Sirota

Published: August 2, 2013 at 7:28 AM

Thanks for the news, Jeff! The Comcast stuff is crazy. They seem to want nothing less than to beat Disney in Orlando. I just started a discussion thread about whether they could be planning a 4-day experience for the Universal Orlando Resort. (this is how rumors get started...)
Gabriel Schroll

Published: August 2, 2013 at 9:34 AM

Wow. Comcast is just now getting ready to accelerate their plans for theme parks?!?! I wonder if that means in Orlando they're going to develop all the land that currently isn't being used to create a third park? And I wonder if they have any new plans for Hollywood. I would imagine most is going to be done in Orlando since Hollywood and Singapore are constrained so much by the development around them. Orlando will be out of room soon, but there's still plenty there to work with.

It's exciting though. I love anything that gets Disney to step up their game.

Bobbie Butterfield

Published: August 2, 2013 at 11:46 AM

That is very interesting news about Outlaw Run, now tied with El Toro for the number one spot on my personal top ten wooden coaster list. With both Texas Giant and Iron Rattler temporarily closed in the wake of the tragedy, is every coaster built or rebuilt by Rocky Mountain Construction going to come under suspicion or require extra safeguards?

Published: August 2, 2013 at 12:30 PM

Interesting interview this week about the Imagination pavilion at Epcot and how Disney decides when/if to add/update attractions there.

The person being interviewed wrote a book about the history of the park, so he does have an insider's expertise.

- Brian

Rob Pastor

Published: August 2, 2013 at 1:24 PM

NB: You just missed the soft opening. All Springfield walls are now down except for the spinner. Looks terrific. I can empathize with you. Last year we just missed the soft opening of Despicable Me by a few days. But that gives us all the more to enjoy when we go back in seven weeks.
Anon Mouse

Published: August 2, 2013 at 1:35 PM

I think my 5 year old would love the Imagination Pavilion at EPCOT, but it will be gone by next year. Oh well. I guess my kid will have to settle for Despicable Me at Universal Studios Florida.
James Koehl

Published: August 2, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Everyone's ignoring Jeff's challenge at the beginning of the Comments...I know the answer
Mark Kausch

Published: August 2, 2013 at 4:15 PM

Well, then, spill the beans!

I know very few people from TPI except by name. And I'm not going to watch all the videos again. Especially since one is 20 min long and, although it's called a doc, kinda was somewhere between that and an infomercial. Just saying'.

James Koehl

Published: August 2, 2013 at 5:51 PM

Mark, it was on the Cedar Point documentary, "From Dreams to Screams" about the construction of Gatekeeper. And I'm the TPIer in the video. At almost exactly the 16:00 mark a guy with short hair and a black windbreaker is sitting with a young man wearing a plaid hoodie. That is me (the old guy with the short hair). We had no idea we had been filmed. It was our first ride on Gatekeeper, on opening day at Cedar Point. I was stunned to be watching the video on the Blog Flume and suddenly to see my son Anton and myself sitting there, ready to fly on Gatekeeper.

John Hildebrandt, the VP and General Manager of Cedar Point (who was shown often in the video) just announced his retirement at the end of the year. He's a great guy, very friendly, and I know he checks out TPI occasionally.

Published: August 4, 2013 at 11:41 PM

Busch Gardens has no plans to eliminate either Howl-o-Scream or Christmastown to my knowledge. Much like TPI, I am also on the media events mailing list and both of these parks have plans for these events through the 2013 season. Have folks forgotten that tickets for both events are already on sale? Both events are huge draws for the park and large money-making ventures that pay off, perhaps more so for Williamsburg then Tampa.
So let's take this apart a bit, shall we?
-Contracts go re-worked, this happens often. More so in management isn't pleased with the current payout for the show, which I can tell you from seeing the current Germany show, isn't great. Considering it's a part they probably want to bring in a fresh crew for a new show.
-Your also forgetting that Williamsburg is a seasonal park unlike Tampa. However, Crown Colony does tend to close during the slow season. This really isn't anything new and it happened in the day when AB owned the parks also.
-Also you've forgotten one thing.. park that is in trouble doesn't build. Busch Gardens Tampa is building, rumors are flying around Williamsburg about a possible building project provided you keep your ear to the ground.

So I'm not buying any of that business.

Carrie of ISI