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  • Posts

    • I think this is good choice.  This will be a nice change of pace after all the "family launched coasters" they've been building at the other parks.
    • How many family coasters added in the US does this make, between this year and next?  Back to the bread and butter.
    • Hooooooly shit. That line for one train opps on a family coaster? There's no way I would wait in that if I didn't have a kid, or maybe at all. I wonder if the audio track will already be toast by the start of 2024? It's awesome that even with the loud audio, you can still hear Freeze roaring and kicking ass after over 20 years.   How's the trick or treat and October Fest been going? I think we're going to check it out in a couple weeks.
    • I think this is going to be a great addition to the park. They needed another family coaster with Sand Serpent gone and there are not that many rides in the park at all for someone too old for kids rides but not wanting to go on a coaster with an inversion.
    • ACE fall conference was this past weekend at Lagoon. Primordial is indeed open to the public, we got some ert on it Friday afternoon before park open. Which was a very good thing because it has an average of a 1 1/2 - 2 hour wait Fri night and most of the day on Sat. Yes, an update version of Wonder Mountain's Guardian BUT a few significant differences at the end of the ride. Don't want to say more and be a spoiler......but you should do it more than once if you are there and able. Feel free to message me if you want the exact details. I really enjoyed the park. It was both more polished and bigger than I thought it would be. Halloween event was going on of course, no scare zones but nice decorations and the 5 mazes were well staffed, free with your regular ticket (unless you bought the fastpass) and comparable to most SF/CF parks. The standout were the shows. They had some really high quality Halloween shows and one in particular, Seance was very different, in the best way, from most theme park shows. That one was an upcharge but well worth it in my opinion and if anyone has a chance to go I strongly advise you to be one of the "volunteers". Side note: According to my son their flyers are just about as snappable as the ones at Knoebles.
    • I'm assuming part of this ride will be where Sand Serpent was, but if I remember correctly they also removed the Phoenix singing ship ride and maybe some of the other smaller rides in that side area of Pantopia. I was looking at a map trying to figure out how it could go over the Serengeti Plain area and directly adjacent to Pantopia is a service road and then the elephant barn/habitat directly to the east and some other animal enclosures a little more to the northwest. I don't know exactly where the layout will go but there ae some options in that area, even if it's just a nice view from the lift hill.
    • I'm not too familiar with the parks. . . will this station go where Sand Serpent was?    trying to figure out where the layout would be and still go over the Serengeti Plain. . .as doesn't Cobra's Curse also overlook that?
    • Busch Gardens Williamsburg has announced that the iconic Loch Ness Monster coaster will live on with new track and an updated experience featuring an enhanced queue and storytelling elements!    In the year 564, the mythical Loch Ness Monster is believed to have been first spotted in the Highlands of Scotland. Centuries later in 1978, the Loch Ness Monster came alive in Busch Gardens Williamsburg in the form of a coaster so original and iconic that it became a registered landmark.  Now in 2024, the Loch Ness Monster will resurface with a fully restored experience loaded with all-new thrilling elements, dramatic storytelling and innovative effects, as it takes riders on its journey through the Scottish terrain across “Nessie’s” signature steel track, featuring over 900 feet of all-new track.  The adventure begins with an enhanced queue experience featuring new storytelling elements, and the quest continues during the lift hill climb, guided by an all-new soundtrack created just for Loch Ness Monster. New in 2024, while braving the first drop, guests catch a glimpse of something monstrous lurking under the water. Next, after plummeting over 100 feet, riders race towards the first of two interlocking vertical loops, traveling up to 60 miles per hour. Thrill-seekers emerge into a spiraling tunnel, traversing a helix and coming face-to-face with the monster in a shadowy cave lair. Out of the darkness and into the daylight, the train descends into the second iconic loop and makes one final turn before returning to the station.      After four and half decades of operation, the original Loch Ness Monster will close to the public on Tuesday, Oct. 31. For the first time in the park’s history, Busch Gardens Members will have exclusive “last to ride” access for one final weekend on November 4 and 5, in addition being the first to ride the reimagined Loch Ness Monster: The Legend Lives On when it opens in 2024. A Busch Gardens Membership is the best way to experience new attractions and fan favorites, offering unlimited visits and unbeatable benefits. Memberships are on sale now.     “Loch Ness Monster has been a staple to our park since 1978, even being recognized as a registered landmark by the American Coaster Enthusiasts,” said Kevin Lembke, President of Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Water Country USA. “We are excited to continue Loch Ness Monster’s story in 2024 and beyond.”    2024 promises to be a monumental year filled with new reasons to visit in every season. The fun kicks off with a grand Mardi Gras celebration and ends with anniversaries for two of Busch Gardens’ signature events, Howl-O-Scream® and Christmas Town™. Plus, stay tuned in the coming months as we unveil an all-new summer event! The new year previews what is to come for Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s highly anticipated 50th anniversary in 2025, creating new and elevated experiences for guests while restoring and refreshing the timeless legacy of the world’s most beautiful theme park. For a full calendar of upcoming 2023 and 2024 events, visit https://buschgardens.com/williamsburg/events/.   Members enjoy exclusive benefits like unlimited admission and unbeatable benefits all year long, including free parking, free guest tickets, monthly rewards, savings on merchandise and exclusive events with a Busch Gardens Membership. Memberships start as low as $13.00 per month.    For construction updates, first to ride opportunities and more information on Loch Ness Monster: The Legend Lives On, visit BuschGardens.com/Williamsburg and follow Busch Gardens on social media.  
    • Wow, so not only is it a family suspended coaster, but it will have onboard audio and "swing" like an old school suspended coaster? This is pretty exciting addition, cool to see B&M doing some new stuff. Also it seems like this is a bit longer and faster than the previous 2 B&M family coasters in China so I wonder if that means a custom layout? Every time I'm at BGT the longest lines are almost always for Cheetah Hunt and Cobras Curse, and even Scorpion and the wild mouse used to pull some pretty decent lines. A reliable B&M family coaster with a decent capacity should be a great addition for this park.
    • Busch Gardens Tampa Bay has announced Phoenix Rising, a brand-new B&M family inverted coaster, to open in 2024! Get Ready for a Fiery, Family-Friendly New Adventure: “Phoenix Rising” Set to Soar Above the Serengeti Plain at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay in Spring 2024 “Phoenix Rising” becomes the largest family-friendly addition to the Pantopia area of the park and will be the first coaster to feature on-board audio Minimum height requirement of only 42 inches will have thrill-seeking families experiencing the exhilarating flight of the Phoenix aboard an all-new suspended roller coaster that will swing riders side-to-side 2024 Annual Pass members will be the first to ride with passes on sale now Expect a blaze of excitement in Tampa Bay this coming Spring, as Busch Gardens brings to life a legend with its newest roller coaster “Phoenix Rising,” – the park’s tenth coaster, and the largest family-friendly addition to the Pantopia area of the park.  This exhilarating new experience will have family members soaring above the Serengeti Plain before going on an exploratory journey over the Pantopia region, with its vibrant colors, thrilling attractions, and more. Riders will feel the rush of the wind and thrill of the flight in this suspended roller coaster that enable ride cars and riders to swing side to side as the train races along the track high above the Serengeti Plain. “Phoenix Rising” will be the first coaster to feature on-board audio, enhancing the ride experience with a one-of-a-kind soundtrack, integrated into an exhilarating array of twists, turns and surprises for families riding together. The best way to experience Busch Gardens is with a 2024 Annual Pass and pass holders will be the first to ride the family-friendly coaster “Phoenix Rising” before it opens to the public. Manufactured by Bolliger & Mabillard, “Phoenix Rising” is a family-friendly suspended roller coaster, traveling at speeds up to 44 miles per hour throughout the 1,831-feet journey. With a minimum height requirement of 42 inches, “Phoenix Rising” will be the perfect attraction for thrill-seeking families to embark on and have fun together. “Phoenix Rising” will be an extraordinary journey for our seasoned coaster enthusiasts and younger thrill-seekers alike,” said Stewart Clark, president of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. “Joining a comprehensive coaster collection, this new attraction reinforces our commitment to provide guests with new, immersive and one-of-a-kind experiences.”
    • North America's first B&M family invert coming next year.  
    • ^ That Asian-looking building on a barge there, beside the park. Is it a restaurant or a Haunt House or ...... ? Just being curious. 🍜 Thanks for the update.
    • Made a trip to SeaWorld San Antonio yesterday to experience this year's "Howl-O-Scream" event. pretty crowded (wonder if that had to do with SW parks winning best Halloween event in a recent poll?). Regardless, superbly well run.  With lines moving thru the 6 (free) houses fairly well, TONS of walkway actors/spooks in the fright zones, bar service pretty well staffed, and lots of entertainment.  I also noticed (not tons, but enough to note their presence, which I appreciated greatly, some police officers sprinkled thruout the event, keeping watchful eyes on things. I had a wonderful time, and highly recommend. y'all wanna see some pictures and read some commentary?  sure you do!   I wore my "bat hat" all day. . kept my bald spot from sunburn. . . .LOL. .tho I got a lot of "I like your costume" comments, and kept saying, this is just from my closet!   Even tho the house lines move pretty well?  it's SO worth the $$ to pick up some version of the Fright Pass to use the "skip the line" option.   With six houses, it's really the only way to get to do everything in one night (I mean, including shows, scare-zones, etc).  we got the version that was one trip thru each house, but there are multiple options avail - that also include show seating, ride skip as well as houses, and one with multiple visits to houses. since SeaWorld insists on using these dang paper tickets tho?  do what I did - take a pic of it.  That way they can just scan it on your phone each time, and you'll probably have your phone out for pictures anyways (yes, phone and video filming IS allowed.. just not flash photography).    even before the bars opened (at 5, tho some opened a bit earlier), or the houses opened (at 7), there were street performers out.   lol. .and this is why I take so many selfies instead of asking folks to take pics of me. . sorry about that finger. . 😛 SWSA does have the Offrenda set up. . .it's just in a different location, around the corner from where it used to be, on the stage area. i think it looks SO much better over here. . and love the tables full of fruit and sugar skulls on the sides. a bar that opened a little early?  (Bloodthirsty in the vampire scare zone area)? 1st drinks of the afternoon in hand. . and drinks from Bloodthirsty come with gummy worms and glow in the dark fangs! walking the "Howl o Scream" area, to check out the decorations, even tho the creatures don't really come out until 6:30. At SWSA, the Howl O Scream area is basically all around the lagoon.   From Beluga Stadium to the Sesame Street kids area. stopping to take a peek over the construction walls at Catapult Falls.  they'd added a ton of signage and some slight theming. The ride does look ready to go. . it must simply be delayed due to some minor issue, or delay getting the inspections done.   But I can't wait to ride this.     some of the flume vehicles are in the station. . so they HAVE been testing it, even if the flume itself is drained at the moment.     we stopped in at the Voodoo Lounge bar for another drink. . this is the Texas Tea frozen drink. as we were sitting directly across from "the Swamp" house, we just decided to join the forming line while we were drinking (and would come back and use the skip the line to go thru again later). so we were in a great position when the denizens of the Swamp scare-zone started coming out:   the Swamp |this was the new house two years ago, and tho I enjoyed it, it was pretty lame (I thought), last year as it hadn't aged well.   But I had heard rumors that all the houses had made some changes, so was eager to check out. my take on it this year?  1000% improvement over last year. I love that SWSA basically has a "total dark" house now. I know some complained it was too dark, but so what. . I LOVED it. when I say it's dark in there?  I mean PITCH BLACK, CANNOT SEE WHERE YOU ARE GOING.   They have someone with a light standing over a large prop on the floor as folks kept tripping on it.   and the few sections that are a little lighter?  yup, fog. . . so it's basically a blackout house.    my phone/camera takes excellent night photos, that's the only reason you can make out some of these images. some of the Swamp scare actors on the walkways (we compared ears)   we decided to walk back to the front of the Howl-o-Scream area and start at the Atlantis house (over by Journey to Atlantis). . so here's some pics along the way as we headed over there and it started to get darker. this is the "Sindustry" area, in front of Penguin encounters. it was a bit more "family friendly" this year, but still has the DJ, the acrobat, and the Trampoline troupe. and of course, the DO have a bar there for the adults. my favorite area of the park is over near the brand new haunt this year. . .Bunny Bradley's Ice Cream Parlor. . with so many street scarers out. . all as evil clowns. tho I loved this ringmaster outfit too. full 360 creepy as hell costume we'll hit this when we come back this way. . . but here's the queue line (already pretty long, and it was only ~8pm) SWSA was firing on all cylinders yesterday. . .every ride (but Sea Rescue troika) was open, and lines were almost non existent.  Note if you're going:  the water rides DO close when the houses open (Atlantis uses part of Journey's queue). . so if you want to ride Rio Loco, or Journey to Atlantis?  come early enough to get them in before the Howl-O-Scream event starts. but even during the event, all the coasters kept running.   We got two walk on rides on Texas Stingray (day & night), and a walk on ride on Journey earlier in the day.  we absolutely COULD have done ton more rides, but we were here for the houses.     as usual, the only thing with even close to a line was WaveBreaker, which kept a steady 30+ minute or so line the entire day/night. Paid photo op with a werewolf if you wanted to wait in line for that. . . Bloodthirsty was busy when we walked back by. .   Atlantis - unfortunately, the weakest house, and a big reason is that it's just so bright in there. The props, and effects are great, and so I get why it's SO bright in there - show up the props and makeups. But it's just not scary. Maybe they should promote this house as the "non-scary" one for kids?  (even tho there are some gore mannequins in here) again, it LOOKS great, and it's a fun walk thru with great effects. . . but it's just not a scary house. The inflatable starfish actually made me giggle when we came around the corner great animatronic this year's improvement for the house. . and it's a fun one (not scary tho). you get eaten by the "whale" and it "squishes" you thru it's digestive track. really. . we were giggling. . .   fun.  (but not scary)   next we headed over to the outdoor Haunt: Zombie Horde Zombie Horde - remains an excellent "walk at your own pace" outdoor adventure. The makeups on the actors don't do much - but they don't really have to, as it's so dark it's effective. the only real "light" comes from the UVs that light up the "radioactive" waste splattered across some props. the "out in the woods" setting just really works on this . . and it's a really creepy experience. won't spoil the ending here, but will say that the adjustment they made for this year?  really makes the haunt end on a high ,and terrifying, note.   bumped into friends all day/night today, so that was a ton of fun too!   these are my friends Andrea and Belinda!   Milton Creek Manor - this is the "permanent" house that is around all year (tho not open except during the Halloween event).   As such, it has some fantastic animatronics and Props that you would see in a very high end Haunted House, such as Netherworld in Atlanta.     Because the props are so intricate, they do tend to need a lot of love and the line can get very long due to many "fixes needed" during the event. I did like the new room in the center (they added a kitchen/freezer since last year). . but the flow was a little confusing - needing several attendants to direct the traffic at that piont. it didn't help that we were being rushed thru, so missed some of the triggered effects (I get it tho. .SW needs to keep the line moving, and as noted, this one IS one of the most popular houses). apologies for some of the blurry ones (and I had to toss many, because just moving too quickly to get a decent pic. . but it's a good house) Bunny Bradley's Ice Cream shoppe - the new house for this year.   that replaced that "doll" one. BRAVO. . . excellent new house. and fantastic use of the cool spot that is used as the Coca-Cola lounge the rest of the year. The cast in here makes this house. Best cast of every house. . and that "syringe ceiling". . yes, the lights are made of Syringes. . . it just looks incredible.   I unfortunately blocked the gag. . but the arm she's holding?  is holding an ice cream cone, and she's licking the cone the severed arm is holding that syringe ceiling I mentioned. it's really cold in here. . .brrrrr some new areas had popped up as we made out way back towards the Swamp. all kinds of creepy fun! a dance party was going on over in the Sindustry area. . .   Disassembly Line - was one of the two new houses last year (the other was Atlantis). still fantastic. still creepy.  still SUPER gory. Disassembly line has tons of live actors mixed in with the mannequins. my favorite effect of the whole event. that's a live actor in the meat grinder.   He's pleading for help, and then the machine revs up and he acts accordingly. it's brilliant     all in all, an EXCELLENT event, and worth the time to make a visit (yes, the drinks are a bit expensive, but if you're a passholder, you get a discount on alcohol (really!). . and they also offer for an extra $5 a light up skull glass (that holds 20oz instead of 12oz, and refills are cheaper than a regular 12oz drink). my ranking of the houses, from best to worst (keeping in mind, even "worst" isn't terrible, it's just not scary: 1) Bunny Bradley's Ice Cream Shoppe (barely edging out Disassembly line for 1st) 2) Disassembly Line 3) Milton Creek Manor 4) the Swamp 5) Zombie Horde 6) Atlantis   go enjoy this event. .it's great!  
    • 2023-09-17 I attended my work on the yearly family day @ Gröna Lund. The weather was sunny for a day in the middle of September. I arrived ~20 minutes before the stated opening time and the entrance was already open and the attraction was running, so in under 30 minutes ALL open roller-coasters was crossed of, some more then once JetLine (still no accident report released yet) and Twister was closed.. No cue    Almost empty station    Some preparation for the Halloween season or someone has docked a old floating Chines restaurant in much need of restoration on the waterfront of Gröna Lund??? You could test some programming tasks and a VR-assembly tour of the products my company produces. Not a lot of space left in the park... The strap is still there, alas a bit more sun bleached... So after a couple of hours in the park I left for some sightseeing of the rest of Stockholm. /// Marcus
    • When I unloaded the camera today I realised that I totally missed the Saturday photos I mentioned in the last post..... But here they are + the photos I took today. My work had a family day at Liseberg and I ended up with a fellow roller-coasterfantast doing all of the roller-coasters and AtmosFear with VR-googles (even more mind games).. So first some random photos in the park: The guest service in the park have now moved to the hotel. Construction photos: And the photos from today: Liseberg is getting ready Halloween that starts on Friday 2023-10-06 The funnel will be massive And just a little side note, during the summer I have been working on the next version of my 10-DOF motion logger that I'm using to measure roller-coasters and other amusement park rides. Below you can see the size difference between the previous version (v 😎 and the new one (v 10) (version 9 newer left the design phase): The loss in weight between the last one ( 73,5g) and the new (16,7g) is huge I have found some thing with the new unit that (might) need to be fixed, so version 10b is in the design flow, but some other project (and work) have priority... /// Marcus
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