AMUSE!ngs: Q1 2022 Edition
Welcome to Amuse!ngs: a quarterly blog where we explore the amusing details behind themed entertainment’s newest amusements.
As part of our first edition, some introductions are required. 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)
Icebreaker, SeaWorld Orlando thoughts
Innovative flying coaster in Germany
The Nuts and Bolts of the New Stuff
Ride Engineers Switzerland (RES) recently announced their new Oracle ride concept. At first glance, it looks very similar to the defunct Hexentanz by Zierer, but it adds an extra axis of movement. I hope we see more parks purchase concepts from RES in the future because they look so fun and innovative!
Looping Through the Latest News
February 8th saw the opening of Genting SkyWorlds in Malaysia. The park includes nine lands themed around 20th Century Fox intellectual property, including Ice Age, Robots, and Night at the Museum. Notably, the park has an Oceaneering trackless dark ride and a dual powered coaster from Dynamic Attractions.
Hershey Park announced they are adding new life to the area surrounding their Vekoma boomerang. They are retheming the boomerang to “Jolly Rancher Remix” and painting it lime green. They are also adding a Zamperla Nebulaz to the area. What a great addition/retheme to add some kinetics to the area and brighten it up a bit (the boomerang is currently painted black). Hershey Park also recently teased a haunt event coming to the park for the fall season. If it turns out to be a haunt event, this would be the first at the park.
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser opened recently to rave reviews. The technology used is mind-blowing and the game design and show writing is equally as enthralling.
Peppa Pig Theme Park opened at Legoland Resort Florida, also to rave reviews. Even though the park is quite small, there is a lot for preschoolers to do. The highlight of the park is Daddy Pig’s Roller Coaster, a new lift and launch model from Zamperla.
Icebreaker, a Premier Rides multi launch coaster, recently opened at SeaWorld Orlando and I got to check it out! It’s a really nice coaster full of fun pops of airtime and some surprising lateral forces. The backwards spike is a really fun element, especially if you’re sitting in the back of the train. It does unfortunately suffer from poor train design as they are very difficult to get in and out of and feature useless “comfort collars” that detract from the ride. In other news, the height requirement was originally set for the coaster at 48”, SeaWorld has since raised the height requirement to 54”.
Credit: James Eister
Intamin showed off what they can do in a tight footprint. Storm Coaster recently opened at the Dubai Hills Mall and features a launched vertical lift hill and lots of twists and turns in a tight cylindrical space.
While most parks keep the ride selection process highly secretive, Slagharen has decided it wants the input of the public. Slagharen received 3 proposals for their new rollercoaster and has released animatics of each to the public. They are in the process of conducting a survey to determine which model to build. Premier, Vekoma, and Gerstlauer, are the three companies that have submitted layouts for the ride. It is interesting to see an inverted coaster design from Premier as they have not designed one before.
This Quarter’s Innovative Ride to Write Home About
F.L.Y. @ Phantasialand (Germany)
In 2020, Phantasialand opened the Rookburg section of the park, an industrial steampunk themed land. Along with the opening of the land came the opening of F.L.Y., the Vekoma-launched flying coaster. This is currently the world’s longest flying coaster and the world’s first launched flying coaster. It has just over 4,000 ft of track and a top speed of almost 50 mph. Vekoma designed the trains in such a way that they can pivot to a seated position for loading and unloading and can load using a load/unload station. This fixes some of the low-capacity issues found on other flying roller coasters.
Thanks for joining us for the first edition of Amuseings! I’m excited to see what the ride industry has in store for next quarter’s edition and can’t wait to share those details with you.