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Fun Spot America Discussion Thread

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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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Is White Lightning a reference to lightning or moonshine? Trains look more like moonshne themed. In all seriousness I have heard them refer to Central Florida Lightning as being part of the influence on the name. That color blue is basically a perfect blue, I look forward to seeing it in the sun, in person. So far so good for the Fun Spot folks, it looks like they have done there homework on this.


From the art and Facebook we know they are getting a brand new Tilt-a-Whirl as well as the Scrambler and Paratrooper they already have but are any of the other flats confirmed. It appears like a Screamin Swing will be one seeing as they have one in pieces in the parking lot. I am very much hoping the Streetfighter looking ride is actually one. The flats line up could be really solid, nothing crazy but some good solid rides.

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From the art and Facebook we know they are getting a brand new Tilt-a-Whirl as well as the Scrambler and Paratrooper they already have but are any of the other flats confirmed. It appears like a Screamin Swing will be one seeing as they have one in pieces in the parking lot. I am very much hoping the Streetfighter looking ride is actually one. The flats line up could be really solid, nothing crazy but some good solid rides.


You are correct we do have a brand new Tilt-a-Whirl coming to Fun Spot America. Here is a short video of our newly completed Tilt A Whirl


The other ride that has been purchased is a Himalaya ride.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I work close to Fun Spot so I try to swing by to/from work every few days to check out construction. They moved from the pushing dirt phase to putting stakes into the ground. Picture isn't great but it is looking towards the site of the first drop.


They are also selling annual passes this Friday for half off... $59 gets you unlimited GCI rides (and go karts too) for all of 2013.


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We went out to the park this morning to do a little update....


Here's an overview of what the new expansion is going to look like.


And not only that, Fun Spot told us they have purchased at least one new flat ride and a kiddie coaster!


Interesting looking concept for the GCI coaster train!


For those of you keeping track, there will be THREE roller coasters at this Fun Spot location! The GCI Woodie, the Vekoma Jr Suspended, and a kiddie coaster!


Interesting story on the Carousel...


The frame is new, but the horses came from the Cypress Gardens Carousel when Legoland wanted more "Lego" characters on their Carousel.


Some new "Route 66" style theming and signage has been added around the park. Looks nice!


As you can see...the green track is currently closed due to construction! =)


That's right kids...all amusement park projects, big or small, all start with one thing in comment... DIRT!!!


Parts for the 250 foot SkyCoaster are already on site!


Very much looking forward to this one, and I can tell you it's awesome because we've already ridden it! This is the SkyCoaster from the MGM Grand Adventures in Las Vegas! Very happy to see this ride finding a new home in Orlando!


Director of Marketing for Fun Spot, Mark Brisson, standing next to their new(ish) giant attraction for Fun Spot Orlando!


Lots of ground work and foundation is staring for the SkyCoaster, the Vekoma Jr, and the GCI Woodie. They are also building a new entrance to the park.


And lots of these little guys everywhere you look!


More ground work going on...


This machine is about to drill into the ground what will be the poles for the back part of the Skycoaster.


Yup, there is a lot of dirt being moved around!


Where that truck sits will be the turn around for the GCI woodie.


Fun Spot as we know it will be changing quite a bit over the next year, and plans to have the new expansion open in early June 2013.


Take a look at the old map... it won't look like this for much longer.


Looking good Fun Spot! Can't wait until our next visit!

Edited by robbalvey
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