2019 Sonoma County (Santa Rosa) Fair Midway Walkthrough/Tour ALL RIDES

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Lego Unveils Massive New Roller Coaster Set

When it comes to model roller coasters, K’nex has long been the building toy of choice for many folks to build some very impressive creations. But, it appears that Lego has finally entered their hat into the ring, with the gigantic new Roller Coaster (10261) set for their Creator line. Although Lego’s roller coaster track system, which was first seen on last year’s Joker Manor set, isn’t quite as “flexible” (both figuratively and literally) as those seen on the K’nex coasters, where this kit absolutely shines is in an area that Lego is quite good at: detail. Oh… My… Lord the detail! This 4000+ piece set features everything model builders have been dreaming of: multiple trains, a switch track, air-gates, a stylized sign, and numerous other things that I don’t even want to point out, since half the fun is spotting them all! The thing I’m completely in love with is the structure, which sports a hyper-realistic compact design, and something that could, with enough extra pieces, be something that could easily be converted to be a bit more “portable” (Wink Wink Nudge Nudge).

Now, with all this amazingness, there must be a catch, right? Well, maybe not for you directly, but possibly for your wallet, as this kit give it a dent the size of $379.99 when it launches in June. Ouch! However, if you’re interested in building Lego roller coasters, there are some cheaper alternatives. Lego is also going to be releasing a much smaller coaster kit, the Pirate Roller Coaster, which although does not have a release date or price, will most likely be significantly cheaper. For a 3rd party option, Coaster Dynamix has their Cyclone set, which features a more “bendy-style” track for a bit more realism, and at $149.99 is a fraction of the cost of the official kit.

Besides the steep price point, I’m really excited for this kit! Even if it’s a bit out of range, as pointed out, there are already other coaster sets coming up that look just as fun. And, in the off change I can actually get it, it would really nice next to my Fairground Mixer!

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Video: Hyde Park Winter Wonderland 2017/2018 Walk Through and Review

Hey everyone! I’ve been trying to get something on here for a while now, but I usually either start and don’t finish, or I just don’t have the time to start at all (Not that “no time” is the only reason, but still). But, no matter the reason, it’s been awhile since I posted to this site, and I think it’s about time to change that!

So, late last year, I got to visit the Winter Wonderland holiday fair that that takes place at Hyde Park in London every year. Though having a massive fair in heart of one of the worlds most fantastic cities is already amazing as it is, this is no ordinary U.K. “funfair”. What sets this event apart is the rides, out of the many dozens of large attractions at Winter Wonderland, I’d say only about 10% of them are actually from the U.K.. So, where does that leave the remaining 90%, you may ask? None other than the “holy land” of big funfair attractions: Mainland Europe, and more specifically, Germany and The Netherlands. For those who don’t know, west and central Europe is essentially the capital of gigantic, over the top traveling rides, with many of the “Worlds Largest Traveling… (blank)” being both built and operated in the general area. With some of the most legendary German/Dutch attractions, such as Olympia Looping, Hangover (The Tower), and The Gladiator, being present at Winter Wonderland, it’s no surprise I spent countless sleepless nights leading up to the event.

Now, I could go on and write an entire novel talking about the whole fair and all the rides, but I don’t have to, because I already made a video doing just that! I know it’s a bit late, but I’d rather having a slightly late post than no post at all. Plus this fair contains so much awesome that there’s never NOT a good time to talk about it! So with out further ado, here’s the review:

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“RailBlazer” Single-Rail Roller Coaster Coming to California’s Great America in 2018

Photo credit: Mercury News

Good news for Bay Area coasters fans, as another “Raptor-Track” roller coaster is coming to California’s Great America in spring of 2018! The new ride, “RailBlazer”, will be 106ft tall and reach speeds of up to 52 miles an hours. It will also feature 3 inversions and a 90 degree vertical drop. It should be noted that this ride will be a mirror image clone of “Wonder Woman Golden Lasso Coaster” at Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio, and although rumors suggest that the ride would feature two trains instead of three, you can clearly see three in the video above, though nothing has been confirmed by the park.

I’ve already written an article about the Six Flags coaster, so I won’t go into a huge detail about the ride itself, but I will say that this is a perfect fit for the Santa Clara park. In case you don’t know, Great America’s history, especially with Cedar Fair, hasn’t been exactly smooth. Once they bought the park, along with the rest of the Paramount properties in 2007, they quickly realized that they where thrown into an all-out war between the park and the neighboring office buildings, as well as a proposition for building a giant new stadium that would require them to share their parking lot. As you can guess, this caused a lot of headaches for Cedar Fair, and they even tried selling the property back in 2011. Even before that fell through, things were looking grim for Great America, popular attractions such as the “Invertigo” coaster (which is what is new coaster replaces) were being ripped out, yet no new attractions were being added. But, things started to change once the new year hit, Cedar Fair had just gotten a new President and CEO, Matt Ouiment, and it seemed as if the company was willing to give the park one last chance. They finally got the “Gold Striker” wooden roller coaster approved after years of it being in purgatory, providing to be a huge hit and finally, after so many years, giving that park the new breath of life it so desperately needed. Although I haven’t visited the park since the ride first opened in 2013 (although, this newly announced coaster will probably change that), I’ve heard that park has really been sparkling lately, with lots of new painting being done all over the park, on both buildings and attractions, and they have been really working on improving and fixing up that “sad little park” that sat unwanted for so long. This new “RailBlazer” coaster is exactly what the park needed, a big, thrilling roller coaster (and the first looping coaster to be added since the 90’s) that fits in perfectly with its current collection of rides, yet doesn’t take up to much space to make other major addition less probable in the future.

I should also add that this is one of three projects Cedar Fair is doing with Idaho based Rocky Mountain Construction in 2018, the other two being “Twisted Timbers” at Kings Dominion in Virginia, and “Steel Vengeance” at Cedar Point in Ohio, both of which are steel conversions from existing wooden coasters. These three, along with Knott’s Berry Farm’s new “HangTime” Infinity coaster make four exciting new coasters from Cedar Fair next year. 2018 really can’t come soon enough!

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Six Flags Fiesta Texas Announces Worlds First Single Rail “Raptor Track” Roller Coaster

Photo Credit: Six Flags

In a bit of unexpected news, Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio has jumped the gun a bit early of the August 31st announcement date for the rest of the Six Flags chain, and decided to announce their 2018 project a bit earlier. Their plans? To build “Wonder Woman Golden Lasso Coaster”, the worlds first roller coaster to use Rocky Mountain Construction’s “Raptor Track”, a track style in which the train only rides on a single rail, rather than two.

According to the Roller Coaster Database, this new coaster will be about 113 ft tall and reach a top speed of 52 mph. It also states that it will have 3 inversions and feature a 90 degree vertical drop, all of which can be seen in the picture above. Each car will hold only 1 passenger each, with the trains comprising of 8 cars, and a total of two trains for the whole attraction.

The track being used, Rocky Mountain Construction’s Raptor concept, is one of two ideas the Idaho based company has for a “Monorail” coaster. The other being the “T-Rex”, a bigger variation of the track that is to be used for larger rides, and will feature more tradition cars (4 riders per, instead of one). Both tracks are based on the company’s “I-BOX”, a style that was originally developed as a replacement for traditional wooden coaster tracks, but has now branched out to other rides. Already, two of Fiesta Texas’ newest coasters, Iron Rattler and Batman: The Ride, feature the track.

Going into the actual look of this new ride, I have to say, I’m really digging that layout! It’s extremely compact, yet features just about everything you would want in a big, thrilling coaster. Crazy first drop? Check. Inversions? Check. Sharp turns and changes in direction? Check. Airtime (when your butt wants to come flying out of your seat)? Check. This little coaster takes up less land than a lot of family mine train rides, yet is ready to pack more of a punch than a lot of rides 3x its size. This seems to be a bit of a trend at moment, as we have been seeing more and more rides, both in concept and in actuality, that have been using the “small coaster, big punch” formula. For example, Euro-Fighter type rides, such as the brand new “Hydrus” at Casino Pier in New Jersey, has become an extremely popular design at both bigger and smaller parks. This makes sense, as rides like “Hydrus” and “Wonder Woman” help reduce two of the biggest problems of building a big, extreme roller coaster: Space and cost.

Now, “Millennium Force” at Cedar Point is arguably one of the most well known and beloved roller coasters ever built, but not every park can do a ride like that. The price tag of $25 million (which is well over 30 in today’s money) already rules out most parks other than the Ohio Mega-Park (including the Six Flags chain, who’s current yearly spending budget is capped at about $15 million per park). And that doesn’t even include all of the marketing and yearly maintenance something like Millennium would require. Now, even if you do have the budget as well as the attendance for something like this, that still leaves one issue: Where the hell are you going to put the thing? Now, some people like to say that there is no such thing as park being land locked, that any park can make space for a new addition if they find it necessary. This is true, but at the same time, there is a good chance that they will have to do away with a popular attraction to make room if it comes to that, not only bumming out fans but adding to the cost of building the new coaster. And that’s not even including all of the zoning and local laws that must be followed in order to even get started on something like this.

Well, OK, maybe “Millennium Force” wasn’t the BEST example for what I’m trying to get at, since it’s sort of in a league of it’s own, but what I’m trying to say is this; rides like “Wonder Woman” are making big, extreme roller coasters more and more available to more and more parks. Although the two coaster may seem completely different, at the end of the day, they are both designed to do one thing really really well; scare the living hell out of you. And the great thing is, a ride like this works just as well in a smaller family owned park as it does at one of the corporate giants. This mean that some family park in, say, the Midwest could build something like a “Raptor-Track” ride that would fit perfectly in their foot print and and at a fraction of the cost, and still end up with there own version of “Millennium Force”. I mean, the Wooden Warrior, a 32ft tall wooden roller coaster at a small family amusement park in the middle of nowhere Connecticut, has often been proclaimed as being one of the best coasters ever made. Making the “small coaster, big punch” rides more available is great, and think we will see more and more of them in the future.

Now, that’s not to say that this particular attraction isn’t without its flaws. I think the capacity is extremely low for a ride like this, and, as this is also a prototype, we really don’t know how well this coaster is going to work until it’s open. But I have faith that this will be a very popular attraction for Fiesta Texas, and I could easily see this as become another staple addition to the Six Flags chain.

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Accident on Fireball attraction at Ohio State Fair leaves one dead, multiple inured

In a bit of tragic news, an accident on the Fireball (An Afterburner attraction) at the Ohio State Fair this Wednesday has left one man dead and at least 7 inured after one of the 6 gondolas was freed from main hub at full swing and launched into a support beam. You can find a video of the accident here, and bellow is a picture of an Afterburner ride, so you can better understanding of what we’re dealing with.

Photo credit: KMG

You don’t have to watch the video to understand how serious this is, I mean, someone died for God’s sake, but after watching the short clip a few times, I can tell you that this played out a bit differently than one may think. You see, on a KMG (The Dutch manufacture who designed and built the ride) Afterburner, each row of seats is attached to a small arm which, in turn, is attached to a bigger arm which connects to the central spinning “hub” of the attraction, which is attached to, you guessed it, a swinging arm. Now, you might think that the joint where the small arm holding the seats connects to the bigger arm is what had disconnected, since this is where the seats are attached/ removed during setup and breakdown, and would not only make it the most prone to wear and tear, but make scenario of “a bolt came lose” or something like that much more likely. But, as you can see in the video, the seats actually became detached from the SMALL arm, appearing to have sheared clean off.

Now, I’m sure that plenty of people are already pointing fingers at the safety inspector, the ride’s operator, KMG, the state fair, the state of Ohio, Republicans, Democrats, Trump, Hillary, and Aliens as to whose to blame to this for this incident. But the truth is, it’s way to early to start pointing fingers and, all in all, it really doesn’t matter. What’s important know is HOW this happened, what can be done to avoid it in the future. To me, this is a clear structural malfunction that can possibly affect other rides all around the world. Already, another Fireball ride at the California State Fair has been closed as a precaution and is currently undergoing inspections, and I see this as a very good decision. In fact, it might be a good idea to close ALL Fireball/Afterburner attractions, something that KMG definitely has the power to do, until the cause of accident is known. Is this a problem that might affect other rides, or simply one that only affected this machine?

All in all, this is really awful news, and my heart goes out to those affected by this tragedy. I just really hope that a cause of this incident comes out soon so this will hopefully not be a problem in the future.

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New Additions I would love it see at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

So the summer is coming to an end and many parks around the country are sharing their 2015 plains with us. But some have yet to share what their bringing to the table next year, why not try to speculate what these new additions might be? Today, I’m going to be talking about the things I would love to see at my home park, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, in the future! Now before I start, I need to be clear on somethings. This is just a speculation, this is NOT an actual article on what the park is really getting in 2015 or later. This is just the stuff I would love to see over there and think would fit perfectly. So, lets get on with the show!

medusaThe Rocky Mountain treatment for Roar:

So if you didn’t know, there’s a company in Idaho called Rocky Mountain Construction that will take an old busted wooden roller coaster, rip out the wood track, and add new steel track onto the ride. But it doesn’t stop there, not only do they it give new track, but they will also add inversions, 90 degrees banks, airtime hills, and even extend the height and length of the ride. For that, they have a man named Alan Schilke, the mad man behind X at six flags Magic Mountain. The “new” ride will also review new trains, typical from the German ride company Gerstlauer.  Six Flags was the first to do one of these crazy “make overs” on one of there rides on 2011, and have already done it on 2 others, with 2 more on the way. With this new trend coming on, I think it would be awesome to see this happen on the parks wooden roller coaster, Roar.

 

Edit: I didn’t know this got posted. Well, since the only new attraction the park is adding this year is a looping ride you could find at your local carnival, let’s continue on with this post and do some more speculating/ dreaming!

 

GoliathStand alone Rocky Mountain coaster:

Although the idea of RMC working their magic on Roar is an awesome one, it’s not very likely since Roar draws in riders of all ages and is the park’s only woodie. (Although the didn’t stop Six Flags Mexico.) But that’s OK! Because not only does RMC pump up old rides with a crap load of steroids, but they also build stand alone wooden coasters that contain just as much awesome the referbs. 80 degree drops, dives loops, jet fighter stalls, and crazy airtime hills are just some of the amazing elements that can be found on these rides. (All two of them!) So with more and more Six Flags parks get rides from Rocky Mountain, it would only make sense that Discovery Kingdom would be on the waiting list. And with their last coaster being Superman which opened three years ago, a new one is definitely be a possibility for the next few years. And having it be a crazy new RMC ride would certainly make it one to remember!

el locoS&S El Loco

Like many other amusement parks, SFDK has its fare share of limitations and restrictions. With the park being on and the smaller side, space is becoming harder to come by without having to take anything out. And to add insult to injury, there is a height limit of 150ft which becomes lower the closer they get to the lake. So that means that the park has very small amount of room to play with if they want to add a major new coaster, which mean they have to get creative. They already brought us the wacky Superman, which has been a success for both the park and the ride manufacture, Premier ides, so what else could they do? Well, I personally think than an El Loco coaster from S&S (Now S&S Sansei) would be a perfect fit for the park. An El Loco essentially at Wild Mouse that has been fed massive amounts of crack and then some. You sill have the very compact layout and sharp turns, but are paired with beyond vertical drops, outwards banking, dive loops, and tones of other craziness that only S&S could provide. I think an El Loco would work for SFDK because A. Their awesome B. Their Insane C. It would allow the park to have an awesome world-class coaster without taking up very much room and it would easily stay with in there height limit. (And there budget of about $15 million per-year).

morgan2Chance Rides Hyper GT-X Coaster (Chance Mega Lite)

What happens when you take all the best elements of a mega coaster and smash it down into the size you average family coaster? Two words: MEGA LITE! These things where first introduced by Intamin back in 2008 and treated riders to airtime that would make any B&M mega coaster wee them self’s. But mostly due to very high price tag of about $15 million, they never made it into the States and leaved junkies crying them self’s to sleep. That was until Chance Rides introduced their own version of the mega lite in the form of Lighting Run at Kentucky Kingdom in 2014. Steep drops, quick tight turns, and of course LOADS of airtime, it has all the elements that made the Swiss versions awesome. So why am I telling you this? Although the stuff I mentioned above would be really cool to see, I think that one of these Hyper GT-X coasters would be the absolute  PERFECT coaster for Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, and here’s why:

1. It’s over all small size would mean that it would not only meet the restrictions mentioned before, but it would be pretty easy it fit it into the park with out taking to much out. (And by not much I mean Kong.)

2. With a price tag of around $7 million for LR, it fits perfectly into SFDK budget with plenty of room for more.

3. And lastly and most important of all, I think that the parks audience would love it! Because the park is a large mix big rides and animals, it attracts both young families and teenagers & young adults, so having a ride that isn’t to intimidating for younger riders, but provide the thrill that older riders are looking for is exactly what the park needs.

Seriously Discovery Kingdom, if your reading this, please at least consider blessing the west coast with America’s very own mega lite!

 

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Cedar Fair sells Californina’s Great America and Gilroy Gardens to a new owner!

I was in a bit of shock when I heard that Cedar Fair has sold Great America and the neighboring Gilroy Gardens to real estate investment group, JMA Ventures, costing at a total of $70 million for both parks. JMA mostly owns hotels, ski resorts, and restraints in California, these two with be there first amusement parks. One can only hope that this means a bright future for CGA, but you never know, look at what the new management at Indiana Beach did to the place. But we can just keep our fingers crossed!

Press release

JMA’s Website

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Six Flags makes lots of announcements for 2012!!!

Today (Sept 1, 2011) Many of the Six Flags parks made there announcements today, they include-

2 Starflyers, new shows, 4 new coasters, new waters slides, and much more! Here’s what there getting-

Six Flags America will get a Apocalypse(A.k.a Iron Wolf at SFGA), a B&M standup coaster

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom will get Superman Ultimate Flight, a Premier LIM coaster

Six Flags Fiesta Texas will get Sky Screamer, a Funtime Starflyer

Six Flags Great Adventure will also be getting a Sky Screamer, as well as three new family rides and some water slides for HH.

Six Flags Great America will be getting X-Flight, a B&M Wingrider and the first announced in the U.S.A

Six Flags Magic Mountain will get LEX LUTHOR: Drop of Doom, a new Intamin drop tower that will be place on the support structure of Superman and will be the tallest drop tower in the world

Six Flags New England will be getting Goliath(A.k.a Deja Vu  at SFMM) a Vekoma Giant Inverted Boomerang

Six Flags Over Georgia will be adding 6 new shows for 2012

Six Flags St. Louis will get Bonzai Pipeline for Hurricane Harbor, a Proslide Aqua Loop

The Great Escape will be adding Alpine Freefalls for Splashwater Kingdom, a new expansion that will feature a Speed Slide and a Matt racer slide

So yeah, thats A LOT. Check out the line below for info on these great attractions!

http://www.sixflags.com/national/footernav/videos.aspx

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Thorpe Park Announces The Swarm: New Coaster for 2012!

Although this coaster was for announced as LC12, the official announcement was made of  The Swarm, a new B&M Wingrider like Raptor at Garaland, coming to Thorpe park in 2012! The ride looks to be themed on war because even on the website, there are things that say “War is coming..”.  Many say the ride is themed off of Kill bees because of the name, and if you look in the background of link below, there is what looks to be a swarm of bees. Sounds kind of ridicules to  me, but you never know…

For a trailer and website, check out the link below!

http://www.theswarm.co.uk/

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