Last week at your amusement park...May 9, 2011

A digest of amusement park news and rumors...and a couple of rants...with a sense of humor...

From Jeff Elliott
Posted May 10, 2011 at 7:23 AM
Elitch Gardens – Elitches is going for a completely novel concept for the upcoming season, probably something to do with Herschends taking over the management of the park. The novel concept is to keep up maintenance in effort to keep all of the rides open…for the whole season! While PARC7 was never able to deliver on this innovative concept, at least Elitches never got as bad as sister park Magic Springs, who last year had what seemed to be only three rides open for the last several months of the season. An observant person would then make the suggestion of a one-two punch of opening up some new rides…but let’s not get ahead of story. Any rumors of theme parks getting an attendance boost for installing new rides can be easily discounted as park managers trying to keep their jobs and inflating numbers. Nothing to see here…move along…

Busch Gardens Williamsburg - In case you missed it in the Mid-Week Update, we now have the exterior layout of the new 2012 roller coaster. For more info, please check out the update: Mid-Week Update

More in next post...

From Jeff Elliott
Posted May 10, 2011 at 7:24 AM
Universal Florida – The announcement date has been set to May 19th. As of current, speculation still abounds. Despicable Me? King Kong? Madagascar? Harry Potter Expansion? Avatar? Some upgrade to an existing ride? Please visit the discussion board thread where we are attempting to sift through the clues and answer the question. Everyone who nails the announcement completely wins a free* 200 Ton “Theme Park Insider” souvenir lead weight.
USF Announces
*Winner will need to pay for manufacture, design, raw materials, licensing, and shipping expenses (in other words, you pay for it yourself and we will allow you to put "Theme Park Insider" on your commemorative lead weight…along with the words “Winner” in gold paint (if you supply the gold paint)). No substitutions allowed.

Xanadu (New Jersey) – The developers of Mall of America and the West Edmonton Mall (two of the largest malls in the world) have taken over this abandoned project. While all just PR and posturing at this point, they are laying out plans for an indoor amusement park…and building a mall….but let’s be honest…if you are here on this website, you don’t really care about the mall aspect of this.

More in next post...

From Jeff Elliott
Posted May 10, 2011 at 7:28 AM
Disneyland – Cast Member previews of Star Tours II have started.

California Adventure – Goofy’s Sky School has been delay by a month, to open now on July 1. If you have been keeping up on all of the other construction in the area, it is clear to see that they have a bunch of work left to do and this delay is no surprise. Doubtful that the delay is on the part of the roller coaster, but on other buildings that they are still doing construction on.

Thorpe Park – The new development project for Thorpe Park, codenamed LC12, has released a series of videos hinting to the theme of the new project.

If I have missed anything (and I have, so no worries there) please post below. If you have some inside information, more news, more rumors, first rides, please share with the rest of us.

Sources: Screamscape, Amusement Today, WestCoaster, and whatever else I happened to read this week...

From Terri Pierce
Posted May 9, 2011 at 2:13 PM
Ha! I like the Universal one. Thats funny.

From Jeff Elliott
Posted May 10, 2011 at 7:24 AM
Just cleaning things up a bit and fixing the links....see I can learn something...

From Lauren Hayhurst
Posted May 10, 2011 at 7:36 AM
Can you tell me more about the Thorpe Park development? Or suggest where I could find out? Ta!

From Terri Pierce
Posted May 10, 2011 at 8:36 AM
Jeff I know what you mean. I never realized you could do coding in the messages til a couple weeks ago. Seems the welcome notices were there for a reason... *whistles*

Thanks for the shout out.

From Jeff Elliott
Posted May 10, 2011 at 9:52 AM
Thorpe Park LC12 Videos



Nuclear Disaster

Natural Disaster

The videos all reference a website:

The number that the guy keeps saying is 01 08 11.

If you go to the website, there is a countdown that looks (without doing the math) that it is counting down to August 1, 2011. Which I would guess would be the day of the announcement. The website does mention that this is for something in 2012.

Screamscape has much more information on this attraction than I realized was available, including construction updates, teaser posters, theories on who is building the coaster, etc.

I didn't quite put two and two together, until I reread some of the stuff that has been posted. This is the ride that many people are really upset about since the theming includes a crashed airplane among other disaster film icons. There was some controversy about the park being so close to Heathrow that it would cause passengers on airplanes to freak out and pilots to call in crashes.

From James Rao
Posted May 10, 2011 at 9:56 AM
Another tidbit for those who think the sudden proliferation of very tall waveswingers is a good thing:

Six Flags Saint Louis will be opening its newest addition, SkyScreamer on May 14th. A few "lucky" customers have already had the "pleasure" of experiencing this attraction, and the reviews are in: "it is at least as good as a waveswinger, but taller and slower."

There you have it! If you happen to be visiting SFSTL this weekend (and my goodness, can't you think of a better destination, really?), remember to link in and review your SkyScreamer experience.

From Todd Houts
Posted May 11, 2011 at 7:56 AM
@James. I was actually at SFStL the second weekend they were open this year. The park looked much cleaner than the last time I was there; the parking lots had been paved (no more chance of losing your subcompact in a sink hole); staff actually seemed engaged. Overall a very positive experience.

I usually buy a season pass (for visiting other SF parks) and I bought it last minute this year. Not only have they raised single day parking but they also subtly raised the season parking add on to $50. Considering an Outer Market season pass is $49.99 - that seems a slap in the face.

Other notes about SFStL: A couple of major rides were down: Mr. Freeze (for no apparent reason) and Screaming Eagle. The latter is being repainted and will be open by its 35th anniversary on June 5. Its also SFStL's 40th anniversary and they've posted "Then and Now" photos all over the park which are great for those of us that remember the park from its early years. They even have the big original in-park maps posted that show the location of attractions as it was on opening day 1971. The entire park fit inside the train tracks. A nice touch of nostalgia.

From Chris Hall
Posted May 11, 2011 at 9:00 AM
Has anyone heard whether they have begun test rides on Cheetah Hunt yet? I'm going to BGA on June 4 and can't wait to ride it. I'm surprised I haven't heard more about its progress.

From Jeff Elliott
Posted May 11, 2011 at 12:11 PM

They are currently doing 3 train testing of the Cheetah Hunt roller coaster.

The roller coater is supposed to open on May 27th.

As of yesterday, according to those in the know, there has been no notification of any soft opening.

For season pass holders, BGT is opening the roller coaster an hour early throughout at least June.

From Chris Hall
Posted May 11, 2011 at 12:33 PM
Thanks for the info! We were there a couple of weeks ago but despite seeing construction crews present, we didn't see too much happening. I hope the May 27 opening date holds true!

From Robert Niles
Posted May 11, 2011 at 12:46 PM
Media Day for Cheetah Hunt is May 26. We've got our invite and will the there to film and review the ride.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted May 11, 2011 at 4:55 PM
SFGA opened its doors for its 35th year. This year their racing wooden roller coaster, the American Eagle turned 30!. They offered a special price opening weekend of $19.81.

I will try to go to the passholder event for the new addition to Hurricane Harbor

From James Rao
Posted May 11, 2011 at 7:48 PM

Thanks for the update on SFSTL. As you probably know, I have been mostly underwhelmed with that park for years, but I did manage to have some decent fun when I went last year.

I just hope they keep improving the place - there is no reason for it not to be a highly successful and desirous destination park, if they will just put forth the effort.

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