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It feels like we're finally turing the corner when it comes to the warmer weather, and sooner than later it’ll be time for the calendar to flip over to May. That means theme park season will officially be underway, so here’s a quick rundown of when some parks across the country are set to fire up their coasters for the very first time:
· Carowinds – Charlotte, North Carolina - March 29
· Elitch Gardens Theme Park – Denver, Colorado - May 3
· Holiday World & Splashin' Safari – Santa Claus, Indiana - May 3
· Kennywood – West Mifflin, Pennsylvania - May 3
· Six Flags Great America – Chicago, Illinois - May 3
· HersheyPark – Hershey, Pennsylvania - May 9
· Cedar Point – Sandusky, Ohio - May 10
· Darien Lake – Corfu, New York - May 10
· Michigan's Adventure – Muskegon, Michigan - May 21
· Great Escape – Lake George, New York - May 23
[Photo: Andrew 94]
[Photo: Andrew 94]
Combining the wonderful world of Ferrari with all things theme park seems to be a great idea, as the Ferrari theme park empire is moving beyond its home over in Abu Dhabi. Park officials are getting ready for a second theme park, as it sounds like they're packing up some cars, rides, and corn dogs and heading over to Spain.
Park number two will be known as Ferrari Land—as opposed to the original, Ferrari World—and it’s going to be constructed as part of the PortAventura resort area a little more than an hour outside Barcelona.
We realize there’s a little bit of controversy when it comes to SeaWorld and its parks and practices; however, when a theme park is celebrating its fiftieth birthday, it's hard to deny its popularity. The "Sea of Surprises" anniversary bash kicked off earlier this week at all three SeaWorld locations and will take place for the next 18 months via a handful of new events and attractions.
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Wandering around Sydney and Melbourne, travelers will eventually look to grab a postcard to send home to friends and family. Amongst the shots of beaches, kangaroos, and the Opera House, one relatively scary image is that of Australia's very own amusement park, Luna Park.
The iconic gate tempting thrill-seekers of all ages can be found across Sydney's Harbour Bridge at Kirribilli as well as the sea-side shores of St. Kilda in Melbourne. Pass through Mr Moon's delightfully scary mouth and head into a small park that is more like a flashback into yesteryear of roller-coasters, sideshows, and games than the modern-day monoliths of Six Flags and Universal.
Beijing might not be the next Orlando, but it looks like they are on schedule to get one heck of a theme park if things go according to plan. The suits behind the Universal Studios empire are looking in their direction, and it sounds like the bulldozers will start moving some earth sooner than later.
Nothing has been confirmed from the folks at the Universal Studios camp, but the Los Angeles Times is now reporting that it’s only a matter of time. This will be park number six for the company and the theme park family, as there are four already doing their thing with one opening in South Korea in 2016.
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They’re at it again this year, but after the news from last month it’s going to cost you a little bit more to party all night long. Disney parks in California and Florida are doing the 24-hour thing once again, and this year’s events are set to go down this May.
Things were kicked off in a unique way, as they used a message on Twitter featuring 140 characters—Disney characters to be specific. Memorial Day Weekend is when things will be open all day long, as the “Rock Your Disney Side Party” takes place at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort.
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Well that didn’t take too long. Earlier in the week we were chatting about how prices were increasing at Walt Disney World, and now it looks like the other theme parks just down the interstate are doing the same. We kind of figured this was going to happen, but we guess we just did not expect it to take place so soon after.
Looking to pay for all the new entertainment options and additional Harry Potter stuff, Universal Studios is upping the price of admission at their two theme parks in the Orlando area. It looks like a one-day ticket is now $96 for the big kids and $90 for the little kids, and if you’re looking to hop between the parks on the same day it will be $136 for adults and $90 for children. The prices do not include tax, so expect things to jump right over that $100 level when it’s all said and done.
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There’s some goodies heading to Canada this theme park season, as one of the country’s best park’s—Canada's Wonderland—is adding a brand new attraction just in time for the warm weather. It’s not exactly a roller coaster, but at the same time it kind of is one too.
Things are set to open for the first time around the beginning of May, as the park cuts the ribbon on its $10-million investment in fun and entertainment. Known as Wonder Mountain’s Guardian, the new slice of theme park awesomeness will feature a 60-foot coaster hill to enter the dark ride environment.
Mickey Mouse must have a boat payment due or something, as he’s looking to raise a little more cash at his theme parks down in Florida. Walt Disney World just announced that they’re upping the admission cost to its theme parks, and the price increase is effective pretty much immediately. So if you’re been saving up for that trip to visit the Magic Kingdom—you might need to save a little bit more.
It’s pretty much an annual expectation at this point, but it always seems to sneak up on those with Disney plans on the horizon. This time all four parks are going up in cost by $4 per day, and it’s the Magic Kingdom leading them all. It will now set back one visitor $99 to check things out for the day, and when tax is added onto things that’s $105.44. Of course Disney wants you to stay longer than one-day, and the tickets for multi-day visits work out to be a better value. However, it’s a little scary that the cost of doing business with Mickey has now gone over that $100 mark.
When it comes to the offerings at theme parks we’re usually most interested in the big, bad roller coasters. A ride that goes up in the air and drops you back to the ground usually isn't our thing, but we’ve got to say the thing Busch Gardens has planned kind of has us intrigued.
Falcon's Fury is part of the 2014 plans for the theme park down in Tampa, and what makes it unique when compared to other drop tower type rides is its seating configuration. Sure the thing rises to well over 300-feet—like 335-feet to be exact—but when the seating contraption reaches the top is when the fun begins.
It’s not every year that we get a brand new theme park, but 2014 is bringing exactly that. Sure this park might have done its thing in the past under a different flag—Six Flags to be specific—but that doesn’t lessen the need to hit up Kentucky Kingdom when it reappears on the amusement park map this summer.
After doing its thing in Louisville for a whole bunch of years the park has just been kind of hanging out for the last few; however, after a refresh, refurbishment, and renewal the new Kentucky Kingdom and Hurricane Bay is set to debut on May 24.
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We’re already sick of the winter weather and associated activities, so now it’s time to start looking forward to theme park season. Of course the fried food, corn dogs, and other treats will be on the menu; however, we’re most interested in the new roller coasters that will be arriving. Here’s five of the ones that we’re most excited to check out during 2014:
FireChaser Express – Dollywood
This steel coaster will do its thing at speeds of around 35mph, but don’t let that top speed fool you—this coaster sounds like it will still pack a punch. It’s a launch coaster so you’ll get up to speed in just seconds, as you twist and turn through a little less than a half a mile of track. FireChaser Express pays tribute through its theme to the volunteer fire departments that did their thing in and around the Great Smoky Mountains a couple generations ago, so it even has a backstory to go with it when it opens in March.