2010 was relatively modest in the amount of attractions that were introduced.  However, many of the new additions for 2010 were game changers.  The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal’s Islands of Adventure brought an entirely new and innovative ride system and emerged as one of the most detailed environments in the world.  Disney California Adventure debuted it’s highly anticipated nighttime spectacular World of Color.  Universal proved that they were ready to make each park unique and one of a kind with their brand new theme park, Universal Studios Singapore. On the east coast, it was a roller coaster intimidation war.  Carowinds’ Bolliger and Mabillard hyper coaster, Intimidator, proved a smashing success, while King’s Dominion’s Intimidator 305’s g-force filled coaster might have been too intense resulting in the coaster being significantly toned down throughout the season.  Kennywood took a step into the future with their steel LSM launch coaster, Sky Rocket.  And Holiday World continued to break records with the world’s longest (and best) water coaster, Wildebeest.

Let’s take a look back at this past year and what it has brought to the theme park world.

World of Color at Disney California Adventure – When the park opened in 2001, guests would flee the park come nightfall to Disneyland to experience the various elaborate nighttime offerings next door.  Disney’s Electrical Parade revived from the grave to come and save the park’s nightlife.  However, 2010 finally brought a unique one of a kind nighttime spectacular.  World of Color is a massive fountain, laser, and fire spectacular that is on a scale beyond anything else attempted before.  Featuring approximately 1,200 fountains, 75 flame throwers, a platform larger than a football field, projectors, lasers, and lights, World of Color has greatly impacted the park increasing attendance by 20%.  The $75 million investment has been satisfying guests ever since it’s world premiere on June 11th.  After seeing the show myself, the scope and size of the show is unbelievable and is a must see for any park guest.  To see Park Thought’s full video of World of Color click here for Part 1 and here for Part 2.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal’s Islands of Adventure – After a highly successful movie franchise, it was natural that one day Universal Studios would create a Harry Potter attraction.  Not one to disappoint, Universal announced Islands of Adventure would receive an entire land themed around the boy wizard. June 18th brought the magical opening the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  The star attraction of this ‘land’ is Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.  Using a first of it’s kind ride system the ride  has been dubbed as one of the best dark rides since Indiana Jones Adventure.  Also, the park put a Harry Potter twist on Dueling Dragons which became Dragon Challenge, as well as Flight of the Unicorn which became Flight of the Hipogriff.  Perhaps the best part of this new land is the detailing of Hogsmeade that truly immerses guests in the world of Harry Potter.  Although I have not been to the the Wizarding World of Harry Potter yet, I plan on attending the park next year and look forward to seeing this awesome new experience!

Intimidator at Carowinds – Cedar Fair gave us two new intimidating attractions in 2010.  In the Carolinas, Intimidator is a massive airtime filled Hyper coaster.  Themed to the NASCAR legend, Dale Earnhardt, Intimidator boasts seven airtime hills symbolic of Earnhardt’s seven championships.  Just like a champion ship race, each hill brings an adrenaline rush.  Intimidator was the only new Bolliger and Mabillard coaster to open up in 2010 on the planet.   Although the coaster may not have been as fast or tall as it’s Virginian cousin, the Carowind’s version did not need any modifications during the season.

Intimidator 305 at King’s Dominion – In Virginia, King’s Dominion introduced it’s own tribute to Dale Earnhardt with Intimidator 305′.  Created by Swiss manufacturer, Intamin AG, Intimidator 305′ was designed to be a high octane, force filled coaster.  The 305 in the name identifies the height of the ride (305 feet) which leads into several twists and bends.  The coaster was described by many early riders to be one of the most intense coaster experiences on the planet.  While to some this is great, the park felt that the ride may have been too extreme and resulted in the coaster being severely trimmed later in the year.   Currently, the park has removed the turn at the bottom of the drop to create a new wider drop that will be less forceful for guests.

That concludes this portion of the 2010 The Year in Review.  Check back tomorrow for Part 2.