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News

Hyperion Opens at Energylandia

Energylandia’s stunning new mega coaster completed the testing phase and made its premiere at the park Saturday.

Hyperion stands 252.6 feet tall and treats riders to an 84° drop into a tunnel, where it reaches a top speed of 88.2 miles per hour. Designed by Intamin, the ride features four-across seating and a train design not unlike a B&M Hyper.

After watching an on-ride video of Hyperion, I was very impressed with the speed the ride maintained throughout the layout. Several hills appear to have extreme airtime and the Stengel Dive makes for a smooth turnaround not found on many coasters.

Take a virtual ride on Hyperion:

Overall, I think Energylandia hit a home run with their latest coaster and they’re shaping up to be one of the top parks in Europe after only four years of operation. Depending on the Hyperion’s success, I would be interested to see if any American parks decide to invest in Intamin over B&M for their next big coaster.

What are your thoughts on Hyperion? Leave a comment below.

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Construction featured News Rumors

Five 2019 Developments to Watch

With June just around the corner (where did time go?), several amusement parks are already preparing to make way for new rides and attractions. Here are five developments to keep an eye on over the summer.

Dollywood Park Expansion

Image © Coaster101

Earlier this year, Dollywood began clearing a five-acre plot of land behind Thunderhead, opening up the woods at the back of the park. According to Dollywood spokesman David Taylor, the park plans on adding about eight new attractions in the area.

Blueprints discovered by a local news station reveal that the entrance to the new park section will be just in front of Mystery Mine and the new rides seem to be aimed at families, with something of a river theme. Considering the lack of family-friendly attractions on Wilderness Pass, this is a great move by Dollywood.

One of the new rides in the area has been discovered to be an exact clone of Orkanen—a new Vekoma Suspended Family coaster.

As for Dollywood’s next big coaster, I would expect an opening date of 2020 or 2021. A B&M Hyper or even a Chance rides Hyper GT-X would make a great new addition for the park’s thrill seekers, but we’ll just have to wait and see what Dolly has up her sleeves.

Project Alpha-Digital at Carowinds

According to Lance Hart and the coaster sleuths at Screamscape, Carowinds is planning a dual-launch steel coaster from Mack Rides, codenamed Project Alpha-Digital. Judging by the layout Screamscape dug up, the ride will have four or more inversions, two launch sections, and possibly a top hat element.

Image © Europa Park

If this rumored coaster turns out to be a reality, and it looks like it will based on the Mack Rides parts that have been arriving, this coaster would really take the park’s coaster lineup to the next level. After visiting Carowinds in 2015, I wrote that one of the things that most stood out to me about the park was the absence of a launch coaster. Now, it looks like the missing ride has finally turned up, taking the place of the park’s long-gone White Lightnin’ coaster.

Project Madrid at BGW

Image © Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Last year, Busch Gardens Williamsburg requested approval for a 315-foot structure in an expansion area codenamed “Project Madrid”. While we don’t know any details about what new rides or attractions will be included in this expansion, it seems likely that Project Madrid refers to a new park section themed to Spain.

What about the height request? If the 315-foot height refers to a new ride, it could point to Busch Gardens getting a B&M Giga coaster like Fury 325 or a drop tower similar to Falcon’s Fury at sister park Busch Gardens Tampa. Conflicting filing found by BGWFans suggests that the park might be planning an amphitheater on the cleared land instead.

Kings Island’s Giga Rumors are Back

Remember all those rumors from 2016 pointing towards Kings Island getting a B&M Giga? They turned out to be a little premature, as the park ended up adding a GCI wooden coaster instead. But now the rumors are back, fueled by the park’s removal of their Dinosaurs Alive attraction and a telling clue left by management during the off-season.

With the space at the back of the park opened up by the removal of Dinosaurs Alive, there’s plenty of room for an out-and-back layout behind the X-Base area. The ride’s station would likely be near the old Dinosaurs entrance, with the lift-hill heading East towards the outside of the park.

Then there’s the message Kings Island wrote in the snow during their off-season. In full view of one of the park’s live webcams, someone shoveled the word “GiGA.” Whether this is a red herring or a genuine hint remains to be seen, but it certainly points to activity in the near future.

It’s too early to jump to conclusions, but I, for one, would have mixed feelings if Kings Island announced a Giga for 2019 or 2020. They already have Diamondback, which is a solid B&M Hyper and very similar in concept to a Giga. I would be more excited to see them invest in a launch coaster of some sort or maybe an RMC. I’m still disappointed that they added Mystic Timbers instead of an RMC Topper Track coaster, and now they’re unlikely to add another wooden coaster any time soon.

On the other hand, B&M coasters are extremely reliable, and Cedar Fair has become wary of the issues that plague innovative coasters. After seeing the success of Leviathan and Fury 325, Kings Island really couldn’t go wrong to add a Giga themselves.

Dive Coaster at Canada’s Wonderland

Image © Busch Gardens Tampa

It’s been years since Canada’s Wonderland added a major roller coaster, but the all signs are pointing towards a B&M Dive Coaster for 2019. In January, they filed a permit for a new attraction and began clearing land.

To start off construction, the park installed track in a new underwater tunnel in the lake occupied by Vortex. Judging by the width of the track, it has become clear that the ride will indeed be a Dive Coaster similar to Valravn at Cedar Point. Whether the tunnel will be part of the first drop or incorporated with a later part of the layout, it is certain to make for an exciting element.

As for the theme, fans hoping for Ziz may be disappointed. The park already has Behemoth, the Biblical beast of the land, and Leviathan, the beast of the sea, so Ziz, or the beast of the air, would complete the trio. However, Canada’s Wonderland has begun to tease the coaster with signs inside the park promoting the “Historic Chilkoot Trail”. Unless the park is planning to tie that in with the legend of Ziz, it looks like we’ll be getting another RailBlazer nature-themed ride.

Regardless of the name, the new dive coaster is sure to be a great addition for Canada’s Wonderland. Since it’ll be their first big coaster with inversions, I would imagine that they’ve got plans for some great elements. [td_smart_list_end]


What new-for-2019 addition are you most excited about? Share your thoughts in a comment below.

Read next: Top 15 New Coasters for 2018

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News

Steel Vengeance Opens at Cedar Point [Update]

Yesterday, Cedar Point officially opened to the public, showing off the ride they’ve worked on for the past two years. Steel Vengeance is finally running alongside its coaster siblings at the Roller Coaster Capital.

Image © Cedar Point

Does it live up to the hype? All of the reviews I’ve seen so far suggest that Steel Vengeance is quite possibly the best roller coaster in the world. Check out what some of the first riders are saying:

It has everything coaster enthusiasts love: height, speed, tight turns, airtime, airtime, airtime, and did I mention airtime? And it does all of this with butter-smooth transitions. —Kyle from Coaster101.

My favorite element (hands up all the way): the outward-banked hill. I’m certain this is the longest and strongest sustained airtime moment I have ever felt. —John from CoasterCritic.

Without a doubt, Steel Vengeance is at the top of my bucket list for this summer. With a 205-foot vertical drop and a plethora of twists and inversions, the coaster combines the best elements of Millennium Force and Maverick while still throwing in the wild unpredictability RMC is famous for. According to Cedar Point, Steel Vengeance features 27 seconds of airtime—the most of any roller coaster.

Ready to see the ride in action? Here’s the official POV from Cedar Point:


Update: Due to a minor train collision in the station on Opening Day, Cedar Point temporarily closed the coaster for inspection. Since then, Steel Vengeance has only been running with one train as Rocky Mountain Construction works on fixing the issue. As a result, lines have been extremely long and the park has removed Steel Vengeance from the Fast Lane Plus program.

Update 2: As of June 1st, Steel Vengeance is now running with two trains once more and has been returned to Fast Lane Plus.

Read next: Time Traveler and Twisted Timbers Now Open

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News

Time Traveler and Twisted Timbers Now Open

We’ve finally reached that exciting time of year when amusement parks begin opening for the season. The new coasters we’ve heard so much about have passed the final stages of testing and are now opening to their first riders. The first major rides to open in 2018 have been Time Traveler at Silver Dollar City and Twisted Timbers at Kings Dominion. Judging by their POVs, the coasters turned out every bit as good as we hoped they would.

Time Traveler

Branded as the world’s tallest and fastest spinning coaster, Time Traveler is the first of a more intense line of spinning coasters from Mack Rides. The coaster begins with a ten-story vertical drop out of the station and maneuvers through three inversions during the ride.

 

After looking through pictures of the coaster, I was impressed by the attention to detail in the theming, from the queue to the trains.

The experience itself seems to be family friendly but intense enough to attract the thrill seekers. As for the spinning factor, Mack Rides has equipped the ride with an onboard magnetic brake to prevent the rotations from getting out of control—making for a slow glide to one side through each ride element. According to the park, no two rides on the coaster are the same.

Twisted Timbers

Meanwhile, Twisted Timbers at Kings Dominion has also opened, making it Cedar Fair’s first operating coaster from Rocking Mountain Construction.

Image © Guy LaRocca

After a Storm-Chaser-esque barrel roll drop, the the twisted steel snakes its way around the layout in an unbroken sequence of airtime hills and inversions. I knew the finished ride would be longer in length than the original wooden coaster, but the duration of the ride caught me somewhat by surprise when watching the new on-ride POV.

I thought it worth mentioning that Kings Dominion tried their hand at theming the queue. Considering it’s a Cedar Fair park, I’d say they did a pretty good job.

Image © Guy LaRocca

If Time Traveler and Twisted Timbers are any indication of what to expect for this season, 2018 will be a year for coaster enthusiasts to remember!

Are you planning to catch a ride on either coaster this year? Leave a comment below.

Read next: Top New Roller Coasters for 2018

Categories
Announcements News

New RMCs Coming to Europe and Asia in 2019

While Rocky Mountain Construction has been hard at work installing (or converting) new rides here in the United States, two international parks have announced that they will be transforming their wooden coasters.

White Cyclone at Nagashima Spa Land

Japanese park Nagashima Spa Land will become the first park outside of the U.S. to utilize RMC’s IBox track.

Image © Jeff Rogers

White Cyclone was one of the tallest and longest wooden coasters in the world, with a total length of 5,577 feet. Originally designed by Intamin, the ride featured a winding layout and a massive wooden structure. RMC will be sure to utilize the ride’s hills and helices with their steel conversion.

To get an idea of what RMC has to work with, watch an on-ride video of White Cyclone:

Robin Hood at Walibi Holland

Walibi Holland announced that in October, Robin Hood, their family wooden coaster will be closing as RMC begins converting the ride into a hybrid coaster.

Robin Hood will become Europe’s second hybrid coaster from RMC, after Wildfire at Kolmärden. The ride currently stands 105 feet tall and has an out-and-back layout.

Watch an on-ride video of Robin Hood pre-conversion:

I love to see Rocky Mountain Construction expanding outside of the United States and I’m sure enthusiasts in Europe and Asia are excited to be getting an RMC within a decent travel distance.

What do you think of Nagashima Spa Land and Walibi Holland’s decision to convert their rides? Leave a comment below.

Read next: Top New Roller Coasters for 2018

Categories
Announcements Construction News

Kings Dominion Renames Two Rides in Candy Apple Grove

Along with Twisted Timbers, Kings Dominion has been giving the Candy Apple Grove section of the park a facelift. Improvements include repaving the midway, adding a new plaza, upgrading the restrooms, and adding new seating.

The park also announced that it will be renaming two of its rides: Richochet and Rebel Yell. Richochet will become “Apple Zapple” and will receive a red paint scheme. While I’m not crazy about the name, I think that tying the ride into the area is a great idea.

The other name change has sparked some controversy among the enthusiast community, as the legendary Rebel Yell racing coaster will now be known as Racer 75. Kings Dominion describes the name as a nod to its 1975 entry into the park as well as giving recognition to ACE, or the American Coaster Enthusiasts (rACEr 75). This second statement is pushing it a little, as the coaster club wasn’t founded until 1978.

While this move is clearly an attempt to remain politically correct, I’m cool with a name change as long as it is reflective of the ride’s past. Racer 75, though, is about as bland of a name as they could have picked, and will be sure to prick the nostalgia of long-time visitors. The ride isn’t 75 feet tall, Racer already exists at Kings Island, and the trains only race on crowded days. I just wish the park could have picked a more creative name.

Meanwhile, Twisted Timbers is nearly ready for testing and construction crews are finishing up the electrical and mechanical side of the ride. I’ll close out with a picture from Kings Dominion.

Read next: Kings Dominion Reveals Twisted Timbers for 2018