Whether you like it or not, Windseekers are taking over the Cedar Fair chain; Six of out of the twelve theme parks currently operate or are building one. Cedar Fair is hooked on these 300 (excuse me, 301) foot swing sets, and it’s understandable why; simply put, it’s a gimmick, and the general public eats them up. I can already hear “Dude, did you hear some guy fell out of that thing?” “No way! Lets go ride it!” on the midways of Carowinds.
Anyway, the two Windseekers currently under construction are making decent progress. Both just hit the milestone of their first piece of tower being installed and have “gone vertical.” With the theme park season just around the corner, it’ll be fun to watch these things fly up. Hopefully they’ve worked out the kinks from the last set and these two will have a smooth season.
So, here are some pictures of the “30 or so feet of OMGs”:
Carowinds (via Carowinds Amusement Park on Facebook)
Cedar Fair has announced the purchase of 61 acres adjacent to Carowinds parking lot, which will “enable the Company to achieve future development and expansion of the facility.” For anyone familiar with the Carowinds area, according to the Charlotte Observer, the land is located between the season pass parking lot and I-77.
There are a long list of possibilities for the land, from the obvious, park expansion, to hotels, additional campgrounds, or parking. Due to the lands location, largely cut off from the park by the parking lot, it seems like a resort hotel would be the most realistic. But, its a definitely possibility the land could be used to relocate the parking lot to allow for new rides and other park expansion. Anything is rumors at this point, but this is certainly exciting news for any fan.
In other Carowinds news, the park has begun teasing for the 2012 season. Posting QR codes throughout their website, when scanned give an image. Fans have put all of these images together creating this:
The obvious answer to this Riddle is another Windseeker, a giant swing ride which have been popping up all over the Cedar Fair chain, despite the markings which have been seen in the park labeled “HUSS GF” which of course points to a giant frisbee. Anything is possible and we definitely can’t wait for the announcement on August 24th!
What do you think about the large land purchase? What could it be used for? What about the 2012? Windseeker? Giant Frisbee? Leave your comments and Park Thoughts below!
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.