AMUSE!ngs: February 2023
Welcome to Amuseings: a quarterly blog where we explore the amusing details behind themed entertainment’s newest amusements.
I’m James Eister, P.E.; As part of AOA’s Strategic Engineering + Development team, my day-to-day includes navigating the ins and outs of ride systems and keeping up-to-date with ride news. I started this blog to share this news with AOA’s readers and offer an at-a-glance look at what’s going on in the ride and show world.
LTL;DR (Line Too Long; Didn’t Ride)
Last quarter had some really exciting developments along with a quick IAAPA recap (check out our IAAPA vlog here)!
B&M – Pipeline
Vekoma – Big Bear Mountain, Tilt Coaster
Intamin – Straddle Coasters
Premier – Schwarzkopf
RMC – Wildcat’s Revenge
Skyline – TrailRunner
Zamperla – Lightning LSM coaster
Skyline’s new P’Sghetti Bowl attractions
Carowinds/Kings Dominion go year-round
Primordial at Lagoon
Danse Macabre at Efteling
SEVEN building new FECs in Saudi Arabia
Dollywood Trip Report
LOOPING THROUGH THE LATEST NEWS
IAAPA has come and gone, so let’s take a look at some of the most exciting announcements and train reveals!
B&M and SeaWorld
B&M and SeaWorld Orlando revealed the lead train car for Pipeline: The Surf Coaster opening Spring 2023. The coaster looks really interesting with the bouncy stand-up seats but I'm not sure how well it's going to ride. I'm excited to find out this year!
Vekoma revealed the lead car for Dollywood's Parks & Resorts new coaster: Big Bear Mountain. It's really well detailed with bear claw marks and funny bumper stickers on the backside. I look forward to riding this coaster in the future at Dollywood. Vekoma also had a model of the new tilt coaster coming to COTAland next year. There are only a few of these types of coasters in the world, so it will be really special to have one in the United States. Credit: https://www.carowinds.com/new-in-2023
Intamin revealed the lead car for the Arctic Rescue coaster at SeaWorld San Diego. I’m really excited to see how this project turns out since they are repurposing the Wild Arctic building as the queue and load station for the attraction. This is also the same type of coaster as DarKoaster at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Wave Breaker: The Rescue Coaster at SeaWorld San Antonio. (LINK)
Premier Rides and the son of Anton Schwarzkopf, Wieland Schwarzkopf, announced that they have partnered to bring back an old Schwarzkopf model: the Wildcat. The new model will be taller than the old model at 75 ft high and have an updated LED lighting package. It will be exciting to see a modern take on an old classic. (LINK)
RMC revealed the lead car for Wildcat’s Revenge at Hershey Park. This will be an exciting remake of the old Wildcat coaster and will have the world’s largest underfilp which is, according to RMC, "an inversion that begins with an upward climb, followed by a counterclockwise 270 degree roll and a dive down towards the side." The new coaster will use part of the existing coaster's wooden structure and provide a much smoother ride with RMC’s I-Box track. This coaster is set to open Summer 2023. (LINK)
Skyline Attractions announced a new family coaster concept called “TrailRunner.” This concept uses similar weld free track to Skyline’s P’Sghetti Bowl coaster but includes a larger lift hill and a more drawn out, terrain-based layout. This looks like a great concept, and I hope to see it in a park soon. (LINK)
Zamperla revealed quite a few different products at IAAPA including the new wild mouse car for Cedar Point, the new boat for Draken Falls at Adventureland, and the new Lightning coaster train for the up-and-coming coaster at PNE Playland in Canada. This coaster is super unique as the chassis for the train is weld free. The coaster track is a previous coaster from Intamin and Zamperla has retrofitted it with an LSM launch. I am excited to see this coaster when it is completed next year. (LINK)
Six Flags Fiesta Texas announced a pair of Skyline Attractions dueling P’Sghetti Bowl family coasters. The first of its kind opened earlier this year at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art as part of an art installation. This type of coaster features a weld free track which lends to quicker manufacturing and easier inspection. (LINK)
Two Cedar Fair parks, Carowinds and Kings Dominion, announced they are moving to year-round operations. This is an interesting development as neither park has a large number of indoor rides and it gets quite cold in Charlotte, NC and Doswell, VA in the winter. It will be interesting to see if these parks keep the year-round schedule next year or if more parks follow the year-round operation trend (looking at you Dollywood). (LINK)
Credit: James Eister
Lagoon amusement park in Farmington, Utah finally announced that Primordial a “one of a kind interactive coaster,” is opening next year. This project has been 7 years in the making and I am interested in what exactly the coaster will involve. Lagoon has released that the coaster will feature a 36” height requirement, so the entire family can join in on the fun. (LINK)
Efteling announced a new attraction to replace the Spookslot haunted house. This new dynamic motion stage from Intamin is the first of its kind. Set to open in 2024, this ride system is an almost 60-foot-wide disc with 6 small discs that can spin and tilt like nothing I have ever seen. This will be a great addition to Efteling’s new spooky themed area. (LINK)
Saudi Entertainment Ventures (SEVEN) has announced that they are building 21 entertainment destinations across 14 cities in Saudi Arabia. Attractions will feature themes ranging from Hot Wheels to Transformers and fun attractions like Clip ‘n Climb. AOA is looking forward to partnering with SEVEN on this exciting venture! (LINK)
Credit: Saudi Entertainment Ventures
THIS QUARTER'S TRIP REPORT
Back in September I had the chance to check out Dollywood! It was raining so there weren't that many people which made it a perfect opportunity to enjoy FireChaser Express all by myself for a full hour.
I got to use a new pass-holder perk of “Golden hour” in which gold and platinum pass-holders can use the TimeSaver line for the first hour of each day.
I used the perk to skip the line 3 times on Lightning Rod. What a fantastic coaster (when it works) from RMC. Unfortunately, the coaster has had lots of issues with downtime since it first opened in 2016.
Construction for Big Bear Mountain was kicking into high gear with lots of groundwork going on.
For those that have never been, Dollywood is nestled in the foothills of the Smokey Mountains. The old parts of the park are integrated into the landscape with lots of trees and natural covering. This is one of the main reasons I like this park (and Efteling for that matter) as the natural landscaping and footpaths immerse you into the setting of the Smokey Mountains.
That’s all for this quarter’s edition.
Stay tuned next quarter for more industry news and a trip report from the new Pirate River Quest at Legoland Florida!
Be sure to check out James' IAPPA '22 Vlog on our Youtube: IAAPA 2022 Amuse!ngs Vlog | 4K
If you like this content and would like to hear more, let us know! Want to know more about something James' has shared? Send an email to email@example.com and we'll be sure to mention it in a coming issue. As always, we appreciate your continued support.