Thursday, March 26, 2015

New Amusements For You in 2015

Spring is in the air and all the theme parks and amusement parks are rolling out new attractions for the upcoming Summer season. Here's a rundown of what's new behind the admission gates of some of the parks in the region...

Kings Dominion updates it's water park and gives it the new name Soak City. Besides the name change and facility upgrades the new park will feature several new attractions. "Hurricane Heights, the 65-foot tall slide complex features three thrilling new attractions. On Paradise Plunge, thrill-seekers will step into one of three chambers and wait anxiously for the floor to drop out from underneath their feet, sending them in a high-speed, almost vertical free fall through a series of loops and s-curves in a translucent flume. Aqua Blast will send riders twisting and spiraling through an enclosed chute featuring four intense 360-degree loops across 449 feet of slide before they’re dropped out into a pool of water. A wet and wild adventure will await guests on Thunder Falls as they climb into a single or double raft before being launched down a series of intense drops and turns." There will also be a new kids area.

Busch Gardens Williamsburg debuts a new roller coaster: "In the rich tradition of the classic Italian daredevils, no single man wowed the crowds like Tempesto. Busch Gardens’ daring new roller coaster, Tempesto, lets riders take center stage and recreate his signature stunt. Guests daring enough to take on Tempesto will race into unbelievably tight turns at 63 miles per hour and defy gravity as they roll through a complete inversion 154 feet in the air. Busch Gardens® newest thrill coaster features three launch experiences and Tempesto’s signature loop-the-loop."

Hersheypark in Pennsylvania also has a unique new roller coaster. "Laff Trakk is the first indoor, spinning, glow-coaster in the United States. This family friendly house of laughs spins riders through an exciting adventure of sights and sounds complete with glimpses of colorful characters, a dizzying hall of mirrors, and more!"

 Impulse is the largest construction project in Knoebel's history. The traditional amusement park in Elysburg, PA has added a major new coaster to their lineup. "This steel tower coaster will consist of over 2,000 feet of track throughout which the ride will reach speeds of over 55 miles per hour. To begin the ride, the cars will be pulled via a chain lift up a 98-foot vertical hill, creating anticipation for what’s to come. Following the ascent to the peak of what is called a top hat hill, is a 90-degree free fall drop."

Dorney Park in Allentown, PA offers a new swing ride, Cedar Creek Flyers, to it's guests in 2015.  Riders will sit in one of eight “eagles” suspended from arms 28 feet in the air. As the ride spins, the eagles will swing outward – and riders have the unique opportunity to control their flight experience from mild to wild!"

Another variation on the swing ride with debut at Dutch Wonderland. “Bon Voyage Balloon Chase will take guests on a magical ride in one of eight flying hot air balloons where every seat has a view. The ride soars to lofty heights of 20 feet while rotating clockwise. Your balloon will ascend and descend as it spins; while the wheel at the center of your gondola basket lets you control the direction and speed of your spin."

For Six Flags fans, Six Flags America presents a shiny new version of a carnival classic, "Bourbon Street Fireball, a wild looping coaster. Our new coaster will seat riders in a forward and backward, face-to-face position for a pendulum style take off with multiple 360° revolutions. Just when you think you can’t take any more, the train will suspend upside down and reverse course for additional loops!" A similar ride will also debut at sister park Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey, with the name El Diablo.

Quoted information from park's press releases.





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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Treasures From The Bottom of the Dresser

I've had this button since before I can remember...
I'm pretty sure my parents bought this on a very early visit to the park when I was maybe just an infant. I can remember this hanging on a cork board outside our basement playroom when I was very little. I haven't seen the pin in years and then just this week it turned up in an envelope of stuff from my childhood home. Pretty cool button, no doubt, but the back of the button gives us s little piece of Amusement Park Obscura that I love...
Check out the original price tag sticker from a very early 70's Kings Dominion gift shop. Super cool! 

I also unearthed this sweet pressed penny...
In case you're not a connoisseur of fine tourist attraction souvenirs such as myself, a pressed penny 
Is created by dropping two quarters and a penny into a machine, turning a crank and smashing and imprinting a picture onto your authentic U.S. one cent piece.

  Now, the mystery here is figuring out which park this came from. The design of Fred is from a mid-90's make over of Fred, with the bigger nose and playful pose. Most of the Hanna-Barbera elements were removed from Kings Dominion during the 90's which leaves that the coin could also be from Universal Studios Florida. Universal hosted their own Hanna-Barbera attraction in the 90's, so it's possible it could be from there. I don't remember getting it anywhere...so who knows where it came from. It's cool and looks great buried under my socks in my dresser. 

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