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Fun Spot America Discussion Thread

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There is at least a large banner hanging on the track that is being expanded, Commander I think it's called, that shows the entire expansion. Basically the same one we have seen before with the flats moved around a little. The construction that is going on now is being done by Fun Spot staff with rented machinery. I watched for a while when they first started and sincerely hope that most of this project is done by people who build stuff for a living.


I was out again yesterday for a ride or two and it was pretty unimpressive. Someone needs to clean the place up, it looked like crap, burger was crap and the rides were the worst I've had there. Someone was learning on Paratrooper and apparently on the salt shakers too. I have had much better times in the park than my last one was. To me it seemed like construction could be any time now, weird I suppose but thats the way it felt to me.

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Officials on Thursday gathered on International Drive for a groundbreaking ceremony at Fun Spot. The amusement park is adding a new section that will include several rides.


It's the first major upgrade in the 15 years for the attraction owned by the Arie Family. Chief Operating Officer John Aire Jr. said the expansion plan will bring additional jobs to I-Drive.


"Well with this $20 million expansion. We plan to add more than 100 jobs to the local economy... from ride attendants to maintenance personnel, management teams and supervisors... from beginning salary all the way up to executive salary."


Construction crews have already been hired and start work in earnest. The planned expansion includes the area's first wooden roller coaster and a steel, family coaster. A new go-kart track is also planned.



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A couple cool things on the Fun Spot facebook page. They are getting a BRAND NEW Tilt-a-Whirl, I didn't think they still made new ones and it's a ride I love so I'm glad to see a new one. They have some photos of construction crews doing some clearing...so there's dirt, wIll someone get more pictures of the dirt please. Also you can see the ground breaking ceremony, actually quite boring, and there a couple GCI links to blogs about the coaster. It's a start.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I went by today and there is some work being done, not what we're looking for but it's progress. The main thing lately has been filling the ditch that ran under the former Commander track, they accomplished this and poured some concrete for drainage. I talked to a guy who said they are still planning on March through May to open the new rides, seems difficult to me. Tractors on site are moving dirt making way for the go kart track that will be 4 stories tall. They had painted the chasis for the old karts red and blue, they look nice. The other tracks got snazzy new signs and they put a kid track over by the slide and carousel. They are changing the concession as well in preparation for a major expansion of food service, seems they are going to put some big bucks into it.


I really hope this is a huge success for Fun Spot, that coaster will be a hell of a calling card for this area. Speaking of which, there is no sign of the new coaster. I saw a bunch of folks dressed nice coming from up stairs, hopefully finalizing plans to go ahead with construction. I know it was a big deal to them to have the coaster under way if not track complete for IAAPA. Obviously they can't finish track but maybe they could at least get a start. On that note, how long might it take to get footers in for White Lightning. After that the thing could go up pretty fast.

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  • 2 weeks later...

What's that you say? You want to see some actual progress at Fun Spot? Well look no further, you found it!


Drove by the park today, they've officially moved onto the "tractors pushing dirt around" phase. I imagine it shouldn't be long before we start seeing some construction on the expansion area of the park.


The area is now officially a "hard hat" area, and no trespassing!


John Deere made an appearance.


Lots of dirt getting pushed around.


Plowing the field so a magnificent GCI may grow and yield a bountiful harvest of airtime.


Was that nerdy? I think it was a little over the top.


Lots of construction markers.


Push that dirt! Push that dirt!


Just in case you didn't believe this was Fun Spot.


This should look very different in a few months.




I really wonder if any trees will be saved.


From the end of the property you can see how much has been cleared.


A little perspective on how large the expansion will be.


Excited to have a GCI installed five minutes from home!


For the bilingual TPR members.

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Rob you have always been so kind to keep everyone informed of Fun Spot's progress, so I thought I would share some exclusive photos with your readers prior to us posting them to our social media outlets



Portion of the steel coaster



More of the steel coaster



and even more of the steel coaster



White Lightning seat



Front view of White Lightning seat



Check out the paint =)

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Haven't seen this posted yet but there was a small article in the Sentinel the other day about the coaster saying grand opening is expected for June.


Two new roller coasters and an additional high-flying attraction are key parts of a $25 million expansion next year at the Fun Spot location near International Drive.


The attraction tripled its space with a land purchase last year, and it plans to triple its attendance with new rides under its expanded new name: Fun Spot America.



A wooden coaster called White Lightning will skirt along two sides of the new property that border Grand National Drive and Touchstone Drive. It will be about 2,000 feet long, 80 feet tall and have a top speed of 50 mph, says John Arie Sr., CEO and owner.


"It should be a beautiful, smooth, exciting ride," he says. "Our goal was to have re-rides on it, so people could get up there and enjoy the ride and not get beat up and want to go again."


A computer simulation of White Lightning on the Fun Spot website shows the ride sporting hills, dips and sharp turns in an out-and-back, L-shaped formation.


Although it will be considered a wood coaster, it will have a steel superstructure, Arie says. Metal is easier to build with and more durable, he says. The only other wood coasters in Florida are Coastersaurus at Legoland Florida and Gwazi at Busch Gardens in Tampa.


"A characteristic of a wooden coaster is that with age, it gets rougher and the ride gets sloppier and rougher on the passengers. We shouldn't suffer that," Arie says. "The wood initially gives it a little bit of a cushion and has a special feel to it. There's very little give with a full metal coaster."


Nearby will be Freedom Fighter, a suspended steel coaster that won't be too harrowing, Arie says.


"It's going to feel like you're soaring all the time," Arie says. "No inversions, but it's supposed to give you the sense of flying and going around in circles."


Another kind of thrill ride at Fun Spot America will be a 250-foot Skycoaster, an attraction that swings harnessed passengers through the air, Superman-style. It's the second-tallest one in the world, Arie says, trailing only the 300-foot version at the Fun Spot location in Kissimmee.


The Skycoaster's bright white supports will resemble the St. Louis Arch.


"This should become the new icon of our park and hopefully of the area here," Arie says. This Skycoaster previously operated at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.


Although the Kissimmee Fun Spot has a coaster ride purchased from Cypress Gardens, the new rides are the attraction's first try for "major" coasters, Arie says.


"We've never, ever spent this much money on any single ride," he says.


The initial budget was $20 million but "we were dreaming," Arie says. The project includes the purchase of more midway-style rides and other structures.


Fun Spot is aiming for a June grand opening. If all goes well, there could be another expansion phase with a small water park.


"Wet and dry parks have kind of blended together to create an overall experience that's really good," Arie says.


Next year's expansion will have a dramatic effect, Arie says.


"We think this is going to change everything about our marketing, about our operations, about our profitability and everything else," he says.


But it won't change its pricing strategy, he says. Fun Spot has free admission and free parking. Attractions, including go-karts, are purchased per ride or in bunches.


"We think that's a key part of our success formula," Arie says. "We want to keep the free admission, free parking, pay-for-what-you-enjoy scenario."


Source: http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-11-01/travel/os-dewayne-bevil-fun-spot-roller-coasters-20121101_1_wooden-coaster-wood-coaster-steel-coaster

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Rob you have always been so kind to keep everyone informed of Fun Spot's progress, so I thought I would share some exclusive photos with your readers prior to us posting them to our social media outlets


Thanks for sharing the photos! Gotta love those GCI trains.

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