Doug takes on the Midwest

Posted on July 21, 2015 in Updates by

In a few weeks I will be embarking on my biggest road trip alone yet. I’m attending a business conference in Louisville, KY and I’ve decided to make good use of the road trip. During the days I’m not at the conference, I will be visiting four parks (two of which I’ve never been to before). Here’s where I’ll be at:

Kentucky Kingdom, Sunday, August 9

Kentucky Kingdom

I’m looking forward to seeing how the rebirth of Kentucky Kingdom is going, as I used to live in Louisville as a child and was a season pass holder. I interviewed Ed Hart several years ago during his first go at getting back the park and he has so much passion to make it a solid destination once again for the Louisville metro.

Holiday World, Monday, August 10

Holiday World

Where do I begin with Holiday World? 3 world class wooden coasters, the brand-new Thunderbird (which we named #4 on top coasters we’re excited for), and one of the best waterparks in the world. The park has won the “Cleanest Park” Golden Ticket award every year since the Golden Tickets started and “Friendliest Park” for 13 of the 16 years it’s been awarded. But I’m most excited about the unlimited soft drinks.

Kings Island, Thursday, August 13

Kings Island

With 14 roller coasters, Kings Island is one of the most coaster-filled parks in the world. While there are only a few standout coasters (Banshee, The Beast, and Diamondback), it’s a great place to easily increase your coaster count. I always wanted to visit Kings Island when I lived in Louisville, but never got to go. Excited to finally cross this park off my list.

Cedar Point, Friday, August 14

Cedar Point Gatekeeper

The mecca of all coaster fans, this will be my 3rd time to Cedar Point. My last visit was in 2009, so I have yet to ride Gatekeeper, Rougarou, Shoot the Rapids, and Windseeker. Cedar Point is my favorite amusement park and offers a great variety of things to do. It’s one of the few parks where it’s a challenge to get it done in one day. I wish I could spend more time, but my schedule doesn’t permit an extra day.

During my trip I will be doing my best to Tweet throughout the day and occasionally Periscoping. I’m still on the fence about bringing my Cannon T1i, so we’ll see. It’s been several years since I’ve ridden a major roller coaster, so I’m excited to feel the rush again.

Fury 325 welcomes first riders

Posted on March 25, 2015 in News by
Photo: Carowinds

Photo: Carowinds

Today, Carowinds held their much anticipated media day for Fury 325, the park’s new B&M gigacoater which boasts the tallest roller coaster lift hill in the world. New Park President and General Manager Mike Fehnel gave and energetic welcome to the extensive local and national media showing. Following a welcome and “FaceTime call” from North Carolina governor Pat McCory and South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, the ribbon was cut on the largest B&M roller coaster ever built complemented by fireworks, smoke effects, and teal and purple confetti, certainly a nod to the nearby Charlotte Hornets. Media and guests then had their opportunity to ride. The seats of first 3 public trains out of the station were auctioned off to benefit the Cam Newton Foundation.

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Photo: Carowinds Connection member, Axel

Reviews from first riders have been stellar, with most praising the rides speed and forces through the first half and floater airtime through the second. Additionally, many mention the unique “sideways airtime” effect that can be experienced during the turnaround prior to the drop under the bridge. In general, many say that the ride is on par with Millennium Force, but the two rides are very different experiences. Others call Fury a “more comfortable Intimidator 305.”

A few great reviews:

Check out a few videos of the ride below, both a forward POV and a reverse POV with some members of


This was also the welcome ceremony for the brand new park entrance plaza and up-charge “Slingshot” ride. It’s easy to see Cedar Fair’s commitment to making Carowinds a premier thrill destination in the United States taking shape all around the park. At the end of the Fury opening ceremony Rob Decker, Carowinds’ Senior VP of Design said “our park will make a big splash” in August. Even more big things may be in the pipeline for Carowinds.

Photo: Park  Journey

New park entrance. Photo: Park Journey













Want to take Fury for a spin? Carowinds opens to the public this Saturday, March 28th.

What are your thoughts on Fury 325? Leave your comments and Park Thoughts below!

Top 5 Coasters We’re Excited For in 2015

Posted on March 5, 2015 in News, Thoughts by

Top 5

According to Roller Coaster DataBase, in 2015, 130 roller coasters are being built worldwide. Most of these coasters are being built in China where there is currently an explosion of theme parks being built. Unfortunately, information about these parks and their coasters is scarce. However, there are plenty of other coasters being built we know lots about! We’ve looked over all the stats, renderings, and videos to decide the top 5 coasters we’re excited for in 2015. Let’s start…

#5: Fury 325, Carowinds

Fury 325 Construction

Bolliger & Mabillard are back with another giga coaster for Cedar Fair, and they’ve up the ante even more. This time Carowinds gets the privilege of owning this towering machine. Reaching a top speed of 95 MPH, Fury 325 will fly through bunny hops, overbanked turns, and even dive under the pathway leading to the new park entrance.

Why we’re excited: B&M learned from the mistakes of Leviathan at Canada’s Wonderland and Fury 325 has a much better pace. They’ve kept their signature bunny hops alongside exciting near-ground turns to create one of their best. It’s also their longest ever at 6,602 feet. Carowinds is now home to two world-class mega coasters and is definitely a “can’t miss” for any coaster fan in the southeast.

Website | First Test Run POV Video

#4: Thunderbird, Holiday World


Holiday World said they wanted to go over-the-top for their first major steel coaster, and boy, did they… Thunderbird will launch its 5 car winged trains to 60 MPH in less than 4 seconds into a 140 foot tall Immelmann. And that’s just the start. You’ll then wind your way through the park’s trees and even over the legendary Voyage wooden coaster. They’ve also constructed a building around the track cutting it just enough to fit inside the train’s safe zone.

Why we’re excited: This is the wing rider we’ve been waiting for. No long climb up a lift, just a countdown. The fact that the park is leaving as many trees as they can, along with constructing a fly-through as close as they can will take full advantage of the winged trains. This is also B&M’s first attempt at their own launch system (The Incredible Hulk at Islands of Adventure was developed by Universal).

Website | Animated POV Video

#3: Twisted Colossus, Six Flags Magic Mountain

Racing coasters are lots of fun. But what happens when you throw in Rocky Mountain Construction? You get insanity. Their Twisted take on the classic Colossus coaster at Magic Mountain (you may remember it from the classic movie National Lampoon’s Vacation) is nothing short of magic. You’ll twist, turn, flip, and nearly get ejected from your seat as you race along. Even better, you actually get to race on both sides each ride. You’ll first go on the blue track, then come back around and switch over to the green track to do it again.

Why we’re excited: Rocky Mountain Construction avoids straight lines whenever possible, and that’s why we love them. All of their previous work has been outstanding and we’re loving the elements they’ve added in to heighten the racing aspect.

Website | Animated POV Video

#2: Cannibal, Lagoon

This is one of the very few coasters that has made us go ‘WOW’. Lagoon certainly has the sleeper hit of 2015 with their $22 million custom built 208 foot tall insanity machine. You’ll rise all the way to the top inside an elevator lift, then plummet down a 116º drop into a maze including 3 inversions. The top speed will be a blazing 70 MPH, which will certainly make the turns through the intricate rock work intense.

Why we’re excited: It’s not every day a theme park decides to build its own roller coaster from scratch, let alone a hyper coaster with a 116º drop. With complete control over what they wanted, Lagoon crafted their dream coaster and they delivered. We also love the fact the park is taking the time to add in rock work which will greatly enhance the ride experience.

#1: Wicked Cyclone, Six Flags New England

While Twisted Colossus’s racing will be exciting, we think Wicked Cyclone will be even more insane. Rocky Mountain Construction has gone all out and has created a coaster that never lets up. This is their best work yet. Seriously. With two zero-g rolls, a 200º stall, and 14 ejector bunny hops it will probably be a good idea to empty your pockets before getting on.

Why we’re excited: If there’s any coaster not to miss in 2015, it’s this. There’s nothing quite like a good bunny hop, and with 14 your stomach will be begging for mercy by the end. Rocky Mountain Construction has outdone themselves and created a world class coaster in such a tight space on top of an old wooden frame. We predict Wicked Cyclone will enter most major top 10 lists.

Website | Animated POV Video


What coasters are you looking forward to in 2015? Do you agree with us that Wicked Cyclone is the coaster that can’t be missed? Leave your Park Thoughts below!

Crow’s Nest to accompany Thunderbird at Holiday World

Posted on December 11, 2014 in News by


Holiday World has announced that they have relocated their Zamperla Vertical swing ride over to the surrounding area of the new Thunderbird B&M launched wing coaster. The ride, currently called “Sparkler” in the 4th of July themed area of the park, will be renamed and rethemed to “Crow’s Nest” in its new home alongside Thunderbird in the Thanksgiving area. Sparkler...

Silver Dollar City’s 2013 Project: Is it an inversion?

Posted on July 8, 2012 in Thoughts, Updates by

Image via ACE

When construction images of Silver Dollar City’s “its-not-really-there” Rocky Mountain wooden coaster emerged, it was undoubtedly one of the most spectacular projects we’ve seen in a long time.  Never before has wood been twisted in such extreme ways, from the immensely steep drop to the immediately following twist.  As more bents went up, the track appeared to be going into a...

Why coaster awards and polls will never be accurate or fair

Posted on June 30, 2012 in Thoughts by

Every fall the Amusement Industry eagerly awaits the results of Amusement Today’s Golden Tickets. While the best new ride categories can be rather unpredictable, the other categories are usually consistant year to year. Since 2000, Millenium Force at Cedar Point and Bizzaro at Six Flags New England have had a tug of war for the #1 steel coaster spot. Coaster enthusiasts scream...

The Windseekers Rise

Posted on January 24, 2012 in News by

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...