WOF_Fan wrote:Worlds of Fun announced on their blog today the return of the floral clock to Europa, the Liberty Bell to Americana, a new and larger fountain on Front Street, plus new Haunt and Winterfest additions.
The park also showed on their snapchat new themed decorations in Orient and that they have started installing the track on the new overbanked turn on Timber Wolf.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed they can have this ready for Memorial Day, but if not I'll just have more time for Prowler.
So i got the opportunity to come in town for Pass holder Preview Night and opening day. Weather wasn't the best, but it could've been a whole, whole, whole lot worse. I could sum up this opening weekend in one statement. It felt like a whole different park. Aside from the obvious change, Nordic Chaser, there were other huge changes around the park, mainly in infrastructure. One of the most surprising changes was the insane upgrade in quality of food. Every restaurant or food stall was open in the park and featured new menus with very high quality food. It's hard to describe the improvement in food, but it is way above average now. Probably some of the best theme park food I've had in a while. The food offerings at WOF was one of my biggest gripes, but now its just incredible how they've turned it around. I can't explain it, just try it when you're in the park, you wont regret it! I had the chicken tenders meal from the chicken shack. It's not your typical cedar fair chicken tenders meal. The chicken was steaming hot, hand battered with an in-house recipe according to a supervisor we talked with, and it came with a very good biscuit and a ton of sidewinder fries. It was absolutely delicious. It's just a weird experience going from ride to ride and non stop smelling absolutely delicious food. That's not supposed to happen at WOF! Im used to that only happening at like SDC, Dollywood, or BGW. So that's major upgrade #1
The next thing that the park has done for this season is created more subsections in the areas in the park. They may have been there before, but they're much more obvious now. The two biggest changes were in Africa and Americana. Africa has been divided into Africa, the area around zulu, Prowler, and Egypt, the area around Mamba, Fury of the Nile, and Boomerang. Americana was split into two. The section by patriot, steelhawk, and front street is staying Americana, and it looks to be a more generic Cedar Fair style of area with the Front Street upgrades. Then there is the Old West. Pretty self explanatory there. So that's kinda neat.
The biggest change for this season is the crazy amount of infrastructure and aesthetic upgrades around the park. The largest being Front Street. Some people are upset that they torn down more trees, but honestly, it doesn't make a difference to me. It looks fantastic. Its fancy, modern, crisp, and clean with a large illuminated granite fountain as a centerpiece. Africa saw some improvements as well. New landscaping and fencing around Fury of the Nile (still has the disgusting water its always had though), Games by boomerang were updated, roof lines around Zulu had thatch added to them. Of course we can't forget about the beautiful floral clock they added too! Orient got a lot of updates as well. There was a lot of new brickwork, landscaping, and awesome fish lanterns reusing the bulbs from the winterfest lanterns over the koi pond. Yes, they've left up a lot of Winterfest decorations, but they totally work and look amazing! They have also added really cool flickering lanterns around the Americana section. It's weird seeing them care about theming for once. But there were so many little details around the park, and we know those make a big difference. You'll just have to see for yourself!
Operations were... average. The dispatches weren't bad, usually less than 2 to minutes. Patriot was the only one that had bad operations for most of the day with 5+ minute dispatches. But as soon as the evening crowds hit, at least one operator cared about efficiency. He was running to check the restraints as quick as he could, but his coworker was too busy talking to girls and slowly moving seat to seat throwing his entire body weight into the restraint to ensure maximum stapling. But hey, at least all the coasters were running two trains. But props to the kid who actually cared about his job and props to the Mamba crew for having some hustle. I do see operations improving this season though. At Mamba and prowler, we both saw a supervisor come up to the crew and told them to "speed things up". She came back to those rides later in the day and was chewing the crews out for not going fast enough. The new employees were showing some effort, but the ones that have been here for a while weren't. We walked by a group of supervisors and over heard them saying angrily that they were going to replace the ones who don't care about their jobs with ones who do. Its a start, that's for sure. I haven't seen supervisors this strict in a *very* long time. It makes me hopeful for the future.
Rides that were open were running great. Timberwolf was closed and steelhawk was fighting the weather both of the days we were there. But Mamba was running fantastic. The midcourse was practically not even enabled as we just glided through it. The return run was insane, especially in train 1 which was absolutely flying. When mamba is running like it was this weekend, it truly is one of the best hypers i've ridden. The airtime is insane! Patriot was smooth, but running kinda sluggish. Prowler... I used to love this ride. I honestly never thought it was that rough. But that changed this season. It was really rough for a GCI. It vibrated like mad, shuffled like crazy around the turns, and even jack hammered a bit on some airtime hills. They didn't even replace the top two layers anywhere on the ride during the offseason. Hopefully now that Timberwolf is finishing its rehab, prowler will get some love. Falcon's Flight finally got its lights working. Also, the new paint job on ELI looks stellar. One thing i want to mention is some issues with the restraints on Detonator. Ive lost a ton of weight and have a ton of slack in the seatbelt for that ride. But there is so much play in the shoulder harnesses that the sensors wouldn't properly read the restraint position. They had to push down on my restraint very hard to get the sensor on, but after that, i could lift the harness up a good 3" off of me. They really just need to refurbish the mechanical parts of those restraints. But overall, nearly all rides were open at some point during the day which is surprising for an opening day.
The new hotness for the park this season is Nordic Chaser. The ride wasn't received the best when it was announced because it was just another used spinny kiddy ride that will probably have a lame ride cycle. I was seriously impressed with what they've done with the ride. It's in my opinion the best themed flat ride in the park. It has a lengthy, but very fast ride cycle. Its well themed for Worlds of Fun standards. The themed audio and very loud viking music it plays when the ride is running is a great touch. I'm glad they realized they had to do more than just plop it down in the park and call it good. Its a very worthy replacement for Finnish Fling if you ask me.
I can almost guarantee you that i forgot to mention something major, but oh well. I highly suggest you see these changes for yourself. It's not the drab, run down, poorly operated Worlds of Fun like it used to be. It truly feels like a new park. The management changes that have occurred recently have been nothing but a positive for the park. Here's to a fantastic 2018 season!
Everything Jayke said is 100% accurate. A lot of the park feels brand new. The new Front Street area looks incredible in person, and the new floral clock is massive and impressive. Nordic Chaser isn’t an “OMG INSANE CRAZY” flat ride, but it’s loads of fun and the theming they’ve put into the ride is much better than I’ve seen at other Cedar Fair parks. The ride even has it’s own soundtrack, which is rare for a flat ride.
Also, I think Jayke forgot to mention one of my favorite upgrades for this season, which would be the gigantic wild animal topiaries in Africa. They were around for WinterFest, but I’m glad they kept them for the regular season. They are incredibly beautiful in person. Nearly everyone I saw walk was in awe of the 30 foot tall giraffe next to the bridge near Zulu.
So happy to hear about the ops improvements. This park felt like it had a lot of potential when I went last year but with the poor operations it really put a damper on the whole experience. Consistent d ops and a new coaster would get me back to the park in a heartbeat.
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