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Theme Parks / Spring Travel / Amusement Parks / Roller Coasters / Canada Travel / Canada's Wonderland / → All Tags
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.
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.
Roller Coasters / Harry Potter / Wizarding World of Harry Potter / Universal Studios Orlando / Diagon Alley / Hogwarts Express / Gringotts Bank / → All Tags
Yup, that's it folks.
On a recent visit to Universal Studios in Orlando, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was as bustling as ever (even during a low-season week, too). But while the Butterbeer and other Hogwarts merchandise galore kept distracting us, we tried to keep our eyes on the construction rising beyond the Dragon Challenge roller coaster ride.
Remember, this is where a Diagon Alley will be built along with a real deal Hogwarts Express train, able to take visitors from the Islands of Adventure park (where WWoHP is located) over to the front of Universal Studios and vice versa. It will also feature the city of London as well as a Gringotts Bank, which will no doubt mirror the movies and books by featuring a thrilling ride around the vaults.
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Despite the fact that the calendar has shifted from August into September theme park season is still going strong for a few more weeks. However, many spots are already looking towards the future with a focus on new rides, attractions, and construction. One such place is Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey, as they just announced plans to bring the world’s tallest drop ride to the park.
The new track will bring passengers way up into the sky, and then drop them quickly back towards the earth. In total, the coaster will rise 415' into the air, and the free-fall will accelerate riders to roughly 90 miles per hour—oof. The ride will be located right under the park’s Kingda Ka roller coaster and, to terrify further, both rides will launch their riders in the same direction.
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According to Mother Nature it’s not technically summer for at least another few weeks, but we go by the calendar and the season starts with Memorial Day weekend. Thankfully theme parks also seem to follow the calendar, so now is a good time to enjoy that new roller coaster smell. That’s especially the case over in San Antonio, as Six Flags Fiesta Texas is celebrating the start of the amusement park season with a new hybrid wood and steel roller coaster.
The folks down at Six Flags Fiesta Texas certainly have a unique and interesting recipe when it comes to coaster construction, as the park’s new thrill ride is one part wood and one part steel. They’re calling it some sort of hybrid coaster and that makes total sense, but once you climb aboard we’re thinking you won’t care what it’s made out of—just that it’s fun.
According to Mother Nature it’s not technically summer for at least another few weeks, but we go by the calendar and the season starts with Memorial Day weekend. Thankfully theme parks also seem to follow the calendar, so now is a good time to enjoy that new roller coaster smell. That’s especially the case over in Santa Clara, California, as California’s Great America is celebrating the start of the amusement park season with a new wooden roller coaster.
It sounds like the park’s latest roller coaster was an off-again on-again project for a few years before finally making its debut earlier this month. GoldStriker isn’t the usual wooden roller coaster, as this thing is the highest and fastest in Northern California.
According to Mother Nature it’s not technically summer for at least another month, but we go by the calendar and the season starts with Memorial Day weekend. Thankfully theme parks also seem to follow the calendar, so the last few weeks of May are always a good time to enjoy that new roller coaster smell. That’s especially the case over in Gurnee, Illinois, as Six Flags Great America is celebrating the start of the amusement park season with a new take on an old ride.
BATMAN: The Ride has been doing its thing for plenty of summers now, and it’s proud to be known as the world’s first suspended looping coaster. Well this year things are a little different for the ride, as after a winter filled with upgrades and improvements the thing is now heading backwards.
According to Mother Nature it’s not technically summer for at least another month, but we go by the calendar and the season starts with Memorial Day weekend. Thankfully theme parks also seem to follow the calendar, so the last few weeks of May are always a good time to enjoy that new roller coaster smell. That’s especially the case over in Sandusky, Ohio, as once again Cedar Point is welcoming the amusement park season with a brand new ride.
This year it’s GateKeeper that’s taking up a permanent residence inside the park, as the new roller coaster breaks all kinds of records. With a 164-foot drop and over 4,000-feet of track it’s the best in its class, and that’s even before your get buckled in for a ride.
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The weather is starting to get a little bit warmer, 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 - April 19
· HersheyPark – Hershey, Pennsylvania - May 3
· Elitch Gardens Theme Park – Denver, Colorado - May 4
· Holiday World & Splashin' Safari – Santa Claus, Indiana - May 4
· Kennywood – West Mifflin, Pennsylvania - May 4
· Six Flags Great America – Chicago, Illinois - May 4
· Cedar Point – Sandusky, Ohio - May 11
· Darien Lake – Corfu, New York - May 11
· Great Escape – Lake George, New York - May 18
· Michigan's Adventure – Muskegon, Michigan - May 22
With the warmer weather comes theme park season, as parks across the country dust off the rides and attractions. In addition to bringing down the decorations from the attic and testing out all the old favorites, there’s also the opportunity to try out some new stuff.
There’s one coaster that we’re particularly intrigued with during this season, as we’re eager to check out the latest offering over at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri.
We’ve always had a spot in our hearts for the wooden roller coasters. Sure they might not go as fast as their steel siblings, but the twists and turns—not to mention the shimmies and shakes—more than make up for things. However, Outlaw Run is looking to change everything, as it’s going to be the world’s first wooden roller coaster to offer a double barrel roll. They’re not stopping there either, as the thing will also feature plenty of other firsts.
Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom boasts the "most expensive roller coaster in the world" -- Expedition Everest. So what does $100 MM buy you? For starters, the mountain that houses the coaster is reportedly the tallest in Florida, how apropos. Furthermore, Everest is the first roller coaster to switch between forward and backward sections during a single ride.
However, most importantly, the ride feels smooth, not rickety and jerky, which is important seeing that riders are dropped 80 feet down the tallest mountain in FLA.
The coolest part of the coaster is when your train comes to an abrupt stop as the train track in front of you appears broken, falling off into the air of nothingness. Just when you think you might be stuck for good your train hurls you backwards, quickly, which makes you feel like you are going inverted, even though it is just your mind playing tricks on you.
Insider Info: You are an official Disney Denizen if you know why the Yeti you encounter mid ride is referred to as "Disco Yeti"