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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.
Theme Parks / Six Flags / Amusement Parks / New Jersey Travel / Summer Travel / Roller Coasters / → All Tags
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"
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We’ve seen hints of the warmer weather here and there, but it must already be heating up at a couple of the country’s theme parks. Spring has arrived, as tulips and daffodils begin to dot the landscape that’s usually filled with rollercoasters and corn dogs. Not everyone gets in on the spring fun, but here’s a few amusement parks doing the spring thing:
Knott's Berry Bloom
They don’t exactly close for the winter, after all the southern California weather can’t be beat. However, Knott’s Berry Farm does welcome the change of seasons as only a theme park can. Beginning on March 23 they’re upping the ante on the existing offerings, as they’re promising a boost in live entertainment, plenty of games, and even a bunch of food and wine events.
They’ll be taking down the seasonal decorations from the attic as well, as the place gets “spring-i-fied”—their words not ours. Knott’s Towering Topiary Tasting Garden mixes oversized garden sculptures with some adult sips and samples, and the kids get in on the fun as they look for Snoopy and his friends during the park’s Search for the Easter Beagle. Most of the seasonal stuff is included in your admission—around $60 per person.
Landmarks / Design Travel / Architecture Travel / Germany Travel / Roller Coasters / Dusseldorf Travel / → All Tags
Is it a roller coaster? Is a staircase? Um, well, what you see above is actually a combination of both. Oh, and it's also an artwork.
Blog Spot Cool Stuff spotted this...cool stuff...and now we're obsessed.
Sitting in the German town of Duisburg, about an hour outside of Düsseldorf, this interactive sculpture encourages the public to get up and walk its rails. There'll be no roller coaster cars barreling down the track towards you, as the entire thing consists of good old steps. In fact, the piece's name, "The Turtle and Tiger," plays with this:
The summer season is quickly coming to a close and that means only a few more chances to ride your favorite roller coaster this season. Even though time’s running out for some theme parks in 2012, we like to stay optimistic and look forward to 2013. Already we hear that Cedar Point is cooking up something spectacular for next season, and now the details have been revealed.
It’s name will be Gatekeeper, and it’ll be all about breaking records as it scares riders silly. As a "winger coaster," it will kind of hang riders off the sides as the main part of the car maintains a connection with the track. There’s still plenty of pieces to put together—we imagine it’s much like assembling a piece of IKEA furniture; however, when the final screws are set into place the thing will be over 4,000-feet long with a drop of around 164 feet.