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Windseeking across the continent

Posted on June 30, 2011 in Updates by

An on-ride view of Windseeker, soaring high above King's Island. Image from King's Island TwitPic

After many, many, many delays Cedar Fair’s mass-produced Windseekers are finally opening.  The problem-prone rides suffered severe delays at Canada’s Wonderland, Cedar Point, and King’s Island.  However, all the rides received the proper new parts for them to successfully and safely accommodate thousands of riders a day.

The exact cause of the Windseeker’s delays is not known. However, pictures seem to indicate that the joint in which the individual arms swayed from the main carriage received some sort of reinforcement/additional part that had to be attached to all 32 of the ride’s swinging arms.  The Swiss manufacturer, Mondial then had to mass produce these parts for all 4 of the rides, and deliver them across the ocean to the respective parks.  Considering that these are prototypes, it could have ended a lot worse (*cough* Flying Turns *cough*)

Windseeker at Cedar Point

The Canadians were the first to get their Windseeker open, with Canada’s Wonderland beginning daily operations of the ride by the end of May.  Cedar Point and King’s Island continued to have their own troubles however, each of the park’s got their own Windseekers opened in time for the massive summer crowds in mid-June.

An unexpected treat accompanying the Windseeker’s arrival was a marvelous lighting package that really paints pictures in the sky with LED patterns that radiate from the ride’s carriage.  In addition the tower is lit from the top creating a towering beam of light shooting down the 300+ foot structures.  Video courtesy of our Twitter follower, lepolt.

Windseeker is now open at Canada’s Wonderland, Cedar Point, and King’s Island.

Windseeker's 300+ foot tower is now the tallest part of Knott's Berry Farm's skyline. Image from Westcoaster.net

At Knott’s the ride has quite a different story.  Originally planned to occupy the space of the old Sky Cabin, the park realized removing the giant observation tower and then building a similar tower in the same location was not financially smart.  As a result, the ride’s location was moved to butt-up with the loop of Silver Bullet.  For this to happen, a support was need to be modified.

Once that was complete, the park got to draining the surrounding lagoon, filling in part of it and pouring the foundation.  Earlier this month the park finally began to install pieces of the giant 300+ foot tower.  Now, as pictured above by Westcoaster.net, the tower is complete with the ride’s carriage currently being pieced together.  An optimistic prediction for the opening of the ride is mid-July at best.

As for 2012, could we see Windseekers in store for more Cedar Fair parks?  One rumor already indicates that King’s Dominion is eyeing the flat ride for 2012, and it would no doubt be a welcomed addition at California’s Great America (which is now going on it’s 10th year sans new coaster).  But other parks such as Worlds of Fun, Valley Fair, and Dorney would welcome the flat ride.  What’s in store for the future?  No enthusiasts knows.

Have you ridden a Windseeker?  Do you even want to ride a Windseeker? Leave a comment with your Park Thoughts below.

Green Lantern debuts at Six Flags Great Adventure

Posted on May 21, 2011 in Updates by

Prior to Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom’s closure in 2009, the park confirmed that they would be removing Chang for what they called a “waterpark expansion”.  Shortly after, the entire park was no more.  However, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure! And Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey swept up the former park’s crowning jewel, Chang.  In preparation for the new ride, the Great American Scream Machine was removed in July 2010 to make way for the new, old ride.

In September of last year, Six Flags unveiled plans to install the new coaster on Great American Scream Machine’s former location.  The coaster would also be tied to the famous DC Comics character, The Green Lantern (which just happened to have a movie come out around the same time the ride would debut).  The changes were to be minimal with the track painted green along with black supports; the ride layout itself was to remain unchanged.

And finally, this weekend marks the first weekend that Green Lantern: Stand Up to Your Fear has been open to the public.  From rider reviews, the ride had no problems with the move at it is still one of the best Bolliger & Mabillard stand-ups on the planet. While it may not have quite the airtime like The New Texas Giant or the amount of effects as X2, it is still a solid coaster.  And best yet, the area below the coaster received gravel so it doesn’t look like it was built directly on a parking lot.

Be sure to check out the POV in the video above, and some off ride B-roll footage below.  What do you think of The Green Lantern? Leave a comment with your Park Thoughts below.

 

Construction Update: April 23, 2011

Posted on April 23, 2011 in Updates by

After an 8 day trip to Florida, and life getting in the way, we’ve had to slow down posts for a while.  Here is a round up of the major construction happenings for the past couple of weeks.

Yesterday marked the opening of the New Texas Giant at Six Flags Over Texas.  After closing in 2009, Rocky Mountain Construction company introduced an entirely new track system for the ride.  After 2 years of construction, and jump starting the 50th Anniversary of Six Flags Over Texas, the new Texas Giant looks spectacular.  Initial rider reports indicate the ride features plenty of airtime and rider view POV’s seem to show plenty of ejector airtime.  For those heading to the park, expect 90 minute – 2 hour wait times by the middle of the day so get your ride early!  Video by YouTube member CoasterCrutchfield.

We are just over a month from Cheetah Hunt’s May 27, 2011 opening.  The park has begun the more than 3,000 tests that will happen before a single rider takes the coaster for the spin. Each of the three launch sections are being tested individually with each train as it progressively gets faster with each test before getting over the launch point.  A great video by YouTube member Milleniumforce (ironic, eh?) shows the coaster testing from multiple angles.  It’s unbelievable to me just how huge this ride is.

Krake has made it’s debut at Heide-Park as the first 6-abreast “compact” B&M dive machine.  The ride, which is themed to the giant squid, features some unique (sparse) theming including a shipwreck and giant Kraken squid mouth.  The layout consists of a drop, into a splash, immediately into an immelamann and lastly a turn into the brake run.  While short, it’s nice to see more parks get this unique style of coaster.  Check out a news feature about the coaster here.

It’s been a big week for the Gravity Group.  First, their new compact coaster, Twister at Gröna Lund in Sweden began testing.  Twister is a small and compact creation that is sure to be smooth with those fancy, new Timberliner trains.  The coaster overlaps and intertwines with the pre-existing additions of the park and is sure to be a welcome family attraction.

Another Gravity Group family creation, Wooden Warrior Roller Coaster at Quassy Amusement Park just made it’s first public debut and has since received thumbs up from the general public and coaster enthusiasts, alike.  In a video posted by the Gravity Group, the new Timberline trains seem to glide through the turns and hills and there even appears to be moments of air time in the Gravity Group’s latest attraction.

Yesterday, SeaWorld Orlando debuted it’s new Shamu spectacular, One Ocean.  The new show features original music and new tricks.  To bring the new show to life, SeaWorld greatly enhanced the pre-existing Believe! stadium with new decor to embrace the theme of unity.  Also added to Shamu Stadium was a new fountain system that gives new life to the killer whale show and also soaks guests even more.  One Ocean will open at SeaWorld San Diego, in May, followed by San Antonio in June. Check out this video by Attractions Magazine from the show’s debut.

That’s it for this Construction Update, check back every week or so for another.

Photo Credits: Texas Giant, Cheetah Hunt, Krake, Twister, Wooden Warrior, One Ocean