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Announcements News Rumors

Busch Gardens Tampa Announces Tigris and Teases RMC Gwazi

In 2019, Busch Gardens Tampa will be adding Tigris, a triple launch coaster from Premier Rides.

Tigris joins Tempesto and Electric Eel as the SeaWorld chain’s third SkyRocket II model. Offering a great thrill in a small package, these coasters have proved popular among families and enthusiasts alike.

Launching riders both forwards and backwards, Tigris will reach a top speed of 62 miles per hour. After reaching a height of 150 feet, riders will experience a heartline roll and a non-inverting loop.

While Busch Gardens will be adding Tigris in 2019, they don’t plan on stopping there. The park has been hinting at a hybrid conversion from Rocky Mountain Construction for 2020.

Gwazi, the park’s wooden dueling coaster, opened in 1999 to raving fans. Sadly, the ride didn’t age well and Busch Gardens closed it in 2015 due to its rough ride experience. Since then, Gwazi has been standing but not operating, with its final fate left unknown.

Now, it looks as if the ride may get the I-Box treatment after all. Screamscape managed to obtain a reference to the park’s 2020 plans, which all but confirms a Gwazi transformation. I would expect Gwazi to reopen in 2020 with an increased lift height, relentless airtime hills, and a couple of wild inversions that made RMC famous. I’m also expecting the park to opt for a mobious layout like on Twisted Colossus, allowing riders to ride both sides of the track. We’ll have to wait for the details, but 2020 looks promising.

Are you excited for Busch Gardens Tampa’s announcements for 2019 and 2020? I love the one-two punch they have planned, and I can’t wait to see how Gwazi turns out in 2020.

Read next: Electric Eel Coming to SeaWorld San Diego

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Announcements News

Copperhead Strike at Carowinds Launching in 2019

Yesterday was a big day for coaster announcements, but Six Flags wasn’t the only chain unveiling their plans for next year. Carowinds announced Copperhead Strike, a wild new launch coaster from Mack Rides. With two launch sections and five inversions, the coaster will treat riders to a spaghetti-bowl of twists and turns when it opens in 2019.

Over the summer, the park teased the ride’s stats by releasing small components of “Granny’s Secret Recipe” each week via Twitter.

As it turns out, Granny and her famous jam are a key part of the ride’s theme. Riders will head to the copperhead-ridden farm where she runs operations only to find that Granny has more than jam up her sleeves—and they’d better get out of there quick before they’re caught by the moonshiners. After taking in the details of a themed shed (sound familiar?), riders will be launched from 0–42 mph into the rest of the course.

Copperhead Strike will feature five inversions, including a slow jojo roll out of the station, two loops, a corkscrew, and a cutback. Midway through the layout, the train will launch a second time and reach a top speed of 50 miles per hour while traversing a bunny hill.

While the layout features some intense-looking turns, it looks like “hangtime” will be the ride’s specialty, with several of the inversions taken at an unusually slow speed. Watch the on-ride POV for Copperhead Strike below:

Carowinds has been lacking a good launch coaster for years, and that’s one of the things that stood out to me during my 2015 trip to the park. It looks like they set out to build the Maverick of the South, and since Cedar Fair has all but ditched Intamin due to unfortunate reliability issues, Mack Rides was the obvious manufacturer of choice. As a huge fan of Maverick at Cedar Point, I’m curious to see how the Mack Rides design compares in terms of intensity and overall layout.

In terms of theming, it’s interesting to see the third iteration of Cedar Fair’s farm/shed storyline. With the Copperhead Strike shed placed early in the layout, riders will catch a glimpse at the coaster’s theme while awaiting the launch. This seems like a much better placement for the shed than the anticlimactic finale on Mystic Timbers.

Between Copperhead Strike, Maxx Force, and West Coast Racers, 2019 is shaping up to be a great year for launched coasters. One thing is for sure—I’ll have a really hard time deciding which park to visit next year.

Read next: Six Flags Great America Announces Maxx Force

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Announcements News

Six Flags Great America Announces Maxx Force for 2019

Today, Six Flags made their announcements for 2019, and perhaps the most notable new coaster opening next year is Maxx Force at Six Flags Great America. Themed to a formula one car, the coaster will feature a 78 mile-per-hour launch and five inversions.

The ride begins by launching from 0–78 miles per hour in 2 seconds—making it the fastest-accelerating roller coaster in North America. Gimmicky marketing superlative? Without a doubt, but that’s not to take away from a great looking launch section.

Reaching a height of 175 feet, the train will then roll through two inversions high above the park. Sweeping back to the ground, the coaster will take on a zero-g roll while still clipping along at 60 miles per hour. Now that sounds like a fun element.

From there, the train will maneuver through what appears to be a half-twist followed by a dive loop finale. Watch the ride’s trailer below:

The ride layout looks to be short but sweet, and it should be a perfect addition to Six Flags Great America. Maxx Force almost looks like an oversized Sky Rocket II model with a Top Thrill Dragster theme, and that’s by no means a bad thing. With a launch and five inversions, this coaster is sure to pack some forces. I’m curious to find out which manufacturer designed the ride. Update: Looks like it’s from S&S, as they’ve been the primary developers of air-powered launch coasters.

Are you excited for Maxx Force? Share your thoughts about the coaster in the comments section below.

Read next: Yukon Striker Dive Coaster coming to Canada’s Wonderland

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Announcements News

Yukon Striker Coming to Canada’s Wonderland in 2019

Last week, Canada’s Wonderland made their big announcement for 2019—a B&M dive coaster. The ride, dubbed Yukon Striker, will take riders to a height of 223 feet before holding them in a downward position just before the drop.

Next, the train will dive 245 feet straight down into an underwater tunnel, making it the longest drop on a dive coaster. Reaching a top speed of 80.8 miles per hour, the train will then maneuver four inversions—an Immelmann, a dive loop, a vertical loop, and a second Immelmann.

As the park’s first major coaster since Leviathan in 2012, Yukon Striker will become the large inverting coaster that Canada’s Wonderland has been lacking. Having ridden Valravn at Cedar Point, I’m excited to see the park adding something of this scale, but I would have preferred a more intense coaster like Banshee at Kings Island or even a new B&M flying coaster.

Loosely themed to the Klondike Gold Rush of 1897, Yukon Striker will be one of several attractions in the park’s new Frontier Canada area. According to Canada’s Wonderland, Frontier Canada was one of the original  park sections planned for the park’s opening but was scrapped due to financial constraints. Now, under Cedar Fair’s leadership, the area is finally being realized, with Yukon Striker as the centerpiece.

What are your thoughts on Yukon Striker? Leave a comment below.

Read next: Five 2019 Developments to Watch

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Announcements Construction News

Dollywood Unveils Wildwood Grove for 2019

Since the beginning of the year, Dollywood has been hard at work clearing land behind the Wilderness Pass section of the park. While we knew that the entrance to the new zone would be across from Mystery Mine and that the attractions would be aimed at families, we didn’t know any specifics about the area’s theme. Yesterday, the park made their full announcement, revealing Wildwood Grove, home to 11 new family friendly attractions that the back of the park has been needing.

Guests will enter Wildwood Grove through a hollow tree and arrive in a vibrant area surrounded by brightly-colored leaves and butterflies. At the center of the zone stands the Wildwood Tree—representing the heart of the Smoky Mountains.

Wildwood Grove will be home to six new rides, including Black Bear Trail, Sycamore Swing, and the Mad Mockingbird.

The Dragonflier will be a family suspended coaster from Vekoma with a dragonfly theme. The ride’s layout is believed to be a clone of Orkanen at Fårup Sommerland.

Children in the park will get to meet new costumed characters Flit and Flutter the butterflies, Franklin the frog, and Benjamin Bear. A 4,000-square-foot indoor play area will make a great place to cool off, and a new restaurant, Till & Harvest, that will offer a new Southwest dining experience.

Wildwood Grove will be the largest investment in Dollywood history, at $37 million. The plethora of new attractions in the back of the park will be a welcome addition to families, and I can’t wait to check it out.

What are your thoughts on Wildwood Grove? Leave a comment with your thoughts below.

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Announcements News

Kennywood Announces The Steel Curtain for 2019

After teasing their new ride all summer using the hashtag #project412, Kennywood surprised everyone with an announcement no one expected—plans to open a record-breaking 220 foot coaster along with a new zone themed to the Pittsburg Steelers.

Designed by S&S, The Steel Curtain will be the biggest coaster yet from the manufacturer. The ride begins with a steep 220 foot climb before dropping into the world’s highest inversion at 197 feet.

From there, the coaster reaches a top speed of 75 miles per hour and treats riders to nine inversions—the most for any roller coaster in North America. Included in the ride’s elements are two corkscrews, a dive drop, a cobra roll, and a zero-g stall.

Watch the coaster’s animated POV to see the ride in action:

Along with The Steel Curtain, the park will be opening a whole new football-themed section of the park—Steelers Country. The zone will include a Tailgate Patio, multi-level training facility, and an indoor restaurant.

Are you surprised to see Kennywood investing in such a large coaster? I sure am! The Steel Curtain is the biggest ride the family park has opened since Phantom’s Revenge (formerly Steel Phantom) in 1991 and it’s sure to draw in a lot of first-time visitors like me hunting for a unique ride experience.

Read next: Five 2019 Developments to Watch