Worlds of Fun pushes Zambezi Zinger opening date

May 24, 2023, 10:11 AM · Worlds of Fun's revived Zambezi Zinger roller coaster will not be opening to the public tomorrow, as previously announced.

The Kansas City-area Cedar Fair theme park announced today on its social media that it is pushing back the opening date for the Great Coasters International production.

"Zambezi Zinger is almost ready to go, we just need some more time to get everything ready," the park announced on its social media. "Our teams are working through final testing on the new steel-wood hybrid coaster. We look forward to announcing the new opening date soon, along with the rescheduled Season Passholder experience on Zambezi Zinger. We promise it will be worth the wait!"

Carrying the name of the old Schwarzkopf coaster that ran at the park until 1997, GCI's new Zambezi Zinger is a hybrid coaster with 2,482 feet on a steel and wood frame, with a top speed of 45 mph, but it keeps the original's iconic spiral lift hill design. GCI released a front-row on-ride POV video earlier this month.

In other roller coaster opening news, SeaWorld Orlando's Pipeline the Surf Coaster opens officially to all on Saturday. Here is our review, including on-ride POV and RPOV videos: Catch a Wave on SeaWorld's Next-Gen Stand-Up Coaster.

Across the country in California, SeaWorld San Diego has not yet announced an official opening date for its Arctic Rescue coaster, but it has sent invitations for a media preview on June 1, so expect an official opening date reveal soon.

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Replies (8)

May 24, 2023 at 11:13 AM

This is a massive bummer as we are planning to visit the park this weekend, and had actually carved out 2 days in case lines were long or there were operational issues.

May 24, 2023 at 1:56 PM

@russell bad form for them to wait so late to announce it. They didn't know two weeks ago it wouldn't be ready?

May 24, 2023 at 2:19 PM

@thecolonel - I get it - sometimes testing doesn't go as planned, and there can be setbacks or other issues unearthed during the testing process that need to be addressed before allowing guests to ride. However, it's incredibly disingenuous to announce a public opening date and passholder/VIP ride opportunities, as well as a charity ride when you're not 99.99% sure you can deliver the attraction.

I was initially pessimistic that the coaster would open in time for Memorial Day when they didn't start testing until late April, and it does seem like they didn't provide themselves enough runway to deliver the coaster on time. Hopefully Hersheypark will not have a similar issue next week for Wildcat's Revenge, which had an even shorter runway than this coaster.

May 24, 2023 at 4:36 PM

Given that the ride has reportedly been testing pretty consistently, I'm guessing this is less likely a significant problem with the ride and is more likely an operational issue (such as not getting final inspections done in time to get the operating certificate or not having enough staff trained on the ride). If that is indeed the case, I expect the delay will be only a week or two. Hopefully it's not longer, or I'll likely miss the ride on my planned visit in mid June.

Regardless of the reason, though, it's very poor form to fail to meet an announced opening date. There's a reason most rides are complete at least a couple months before they're expected to open, as that allows plenty of time to get everything ready. Three weeks was a very tight testing window with pretty much no margin for error, and it seems either the park or GCI underestimated how long it would take to get the ride ready.

May 25, 2023 at 12:03 PM

You can tell this park doesn't open major attractions often and have a GM with a games/merchandise background.

May 25, 2023 at 12:12 PM

No kidding. Last major ride that was opened was Prowler in 2009 (I’m not counting Steelhawk as a major ride).

May 27, 2023 at 1:01 AM

It's worth mentioning that the Zambezi Zinger pays homage to the previous Schwarzkopf coaster that operated at the park until 1997. This new iteration by Great Coasters International (GCI) is a hybrid coaster featuring both steel and wood elements. With a length of 2,482 feet and a top speed of 45 mph, it retains the iconic spiral lift hill design of its predecessor.

To give enthusiasts a glimpse of what to expect, GCI released a front-row on-ride POV (point-of-view) video earlier this month, allowing viewers to experience the ride virtually.

May 30, 2023 at 7:57 AM

The new coaster was testing pretty heavily throughout the day on Sunday, but we did not see it testing yesterday (Monday). Trains were running without water dummies, and from the sound of it, the coaster must be extremely smooth (more of a
"whoosh" sound than the roaring sound you typically hear from wooden coasters).

Staff were positioned at the roped off entrance the entire time we were there to give the "nothing to see here" response to guests wondering if they could ride the new coaster.

I will say that this new coaster isn't the most photogenic with no real good place to get a shot of the track without being in the queue. Even the spiral lift is hidden behind trees.

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