Stand-up coaster to go floorless at California’s Great America

By | August 19, 2016

2_Patriot_floorless_coaster_coming_to_California_s_Great_America_for_2017_season__COURTESY_CALIFORNIA_S_GREAT_AMERICA_SANTA CLARA, Calif. — California’s Great America (CGA) will introduce Patriot, the first floorless roller coaster in the park’s 41-year history, for the 2017 season.

Patriot will emerge from a technical makeover of Vortex, which opened at the park in 1991, was designed by Werner Stengel and manufactured by Bolliger & Mabillard of Monthey, Switzerland.

Patriot will carry riders in a seated position, legs dangling free, to the top of a 91-foot-high lift before sending them into a 360-degree loop at 45 mph.

“With the track visible beneath their feet, Patriot will create unique and exciting new perspectives throughout the ride,” said Raul Rehnborg, CGA’s vice president and general manager.

The theme of the coaster was inspired by both the ride’s position adjacent to the park’s All American Corners section and the name of the park itself. The stand-up-to-floorless transition will include new blue-and-white trains.

Guests can take their final rides on Vortex on Sept. 5., after which it will be closed in preparation for its remaking into Patriot.

CGA’s 2016 season continues weekends through Oct. 30, with Halloween Haunt running Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from Sept. 24-Oct. 30.

Making its debut at CGA this year, WinterFest takes center stage Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from Nov. 25-Dec. 30, with daily operation Dec. 19-23 and 26-30. —Dean Lamanna

WinterFest returns to Kings Island in 2017

By | August 18, 2016

KI Winterfest logo_4c-01MASON, Ohio – Nostalgia and a return to traditions are what holiday seasons are known for, and in 2017 Kings Island will deliver those sentiments with the return of a month-long holiday celebration.

After a 12-year absence, the long awaited return of WinterFest will provide Gold season passholders and Tristate residents with four seasons of fun at the 364-acre amusement and water park.

The focal point of WinterFest will be the world’s largest Christmas tree display with the park’s iconic 314-foot tall Eiffel Tower decorated with thousands of lights which will be seen for miles.

WinterFest RenderingBelow the Eiffel Tower, International Street will be transformed into a colorful and quaint winter village, featuring the fun of holidays past – outdoor ice skating on the park’s Royal Fountain, Christmas carolers, and homemade crafts.

Tasty foods, colorful gifts, live stage shows, fun rides, and of course, Santa’s workshop will all be part of WinterFest’s warmth and excitement.

Rides will include the Grand Carousel and a journey through the park’s Rivertown area on an authentic steam train.

Operating dates, hours and ticket prices for WinterFest will be announced at a later date. The event will be included free for 2017 Gold and Platinum season passholders.

Also new in 2017, Soak City Water Park will see the addition of a smokehouse style restaurant as well as other new amenities and improvements. Guests will enjoy the smells and tastes of new food items such as smoked pulled pork, smoked or grilled wings, hand-breaded chicken tenders and shrimp. The water park will also offer additional shade structures, changing rooms, cooling mister fans, and expanded deck space doubling the number of chaise lounge chairs.

Last month, Kings Island announced it was building a new wooden roller coaster, Mystic Timbers, which will debut in the spring of 2017.

Kings Island 2017 Gold season passes are now on sale at the lowest price of nine easy payments of $11 online at and include free season-long parking, early ride time every public operating day on select attractions, early access to Soak City Water Park and unlimited admission to Halloween Haunt and WinterFest.

Kings Island is owned and operated by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, a publicly traded partnership that is listed for trading on The New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “FUN.”

KumbaK co-founder Maarten van de Ven passes away

By | August 18, 2016

THE NETHERLANDS – It is with great sadness that we share that our co-founder and colleague, M.W.T.M. (Maarten) van de Ven passed away unexpectedly.

In the almost 15 years of the existence of KumbaK, Maarten has always been the contact person for our suppliers and subcontractors.

We at KumbaK owe him great gratitude and will truly miss him.

Weber Group mourns the loss of president, founder, and friend Tom Weber

By | August 18, 2016

SELLERSBURG, Ind. – With deep regret and great sadness, Weber Group has tragically lost one of their own. On August 14, president Tom Weber passed away unexpectedly.

Tom and I founded Weber Group together in 1983 as a Design/Build Company. Through Tom’s leadership, WGI has become a pathfinder in comprehensive specialty fabrication and a world leader in both design and construction services,” said Vice President Donny Weber.

Tom was married to Barb, his beloved wife of 39 years. They have two children, Max and Sam, both of whom worked alongside their father at the Weber Group. Tom was thrilled with his three-year-old grandson Henry, and often spoke about putting family first.

“Dad expected excellence which can be seen in Weber’s unparalleled quality and craftsmanship,” says son and Project Manager Max Weber. “But he was also a very kind and patient teacher to me and our company. As we move forward through this difficult time together we will honor dad’s memory with continued success as a market leader.”

“Weber Group was not just a business to dad, it was family,” remarked son Sam Weber. “He viewed every member of the company as a son or daughter, and treated everyone with dignity and respect. He was a man of principals and always conducted himself, and the business, in a manner he believed to be fair and just.”

Tom held a bachelor degree in Architecture from the University of Kentucky and was an avid supporter of the UK athletic program. His tenure at Weber Group included over 30 years of experience in design and construction in a variety of environments from multi-family housing and commercial construction to highly branded and themed environments for clients such as Disney, Kennedy Space Center, Crayola, SeaWorld, Lego and Great Wolf Lodge.

Tom was heavily involved in community projects and led annual efforts to support New Directions Housing Corporation, which served low income families in need of home repairs and rental housing. He was also a valued contributor to The Council for Developmental Disabilities, a local organization that provides a variety of programs for people with disabilities.

A memorial service to honor Tom’s life will be held on Monday, August 21st at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, located on 3345 Lexington Road in Louisville, Kentucky at 10 AM EST. Visitation will occur on Sunday, August 20th at Ratterman Funeral Home, located on 3711 Lexington Road in Louisville, Kentucky between 1 – 7 PM EST. Memorial gifts will benefit The Council on Developmental Disabilities; Down Syndrome of Louisville and The Flaget Alumni Scholarship Fund.

Friends of Tom’s can also share their memories and stories on a special tribute page found at

For more information please contact Carolyn McLean at or 502-645-4996.

Tailspin Racer coming to Dollywood’s Splash Country

By | August 16, 2016

DSC_TailSpin_Racer-750PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. – With the excitement of what is shaping up to be a record season in 2016, The Dollywood Company today announced the addition of TailSpin Racer to Dollywood’s Splash Country for 2017.

This thrilling new attraction, supplied by WhiteWater West, allows up to six guests to race each other on mats through the twists and turns of TailSpin Racer’s unique spiraling tube design. The race begins with riders descending a daring first drop inside intertwined, high-speed AquaTubes. After navigating the wet and wild curves, riders emerge from the translucent tubes on a traditional mat racer-style slide. From there, it’s an all-out race toward the splashdown finish.

“TailSpin Racer is an exciting addition to the park that we know our guests are going to love,” explained Dollywood’s Splash Country General Manager Mike Brown. “We always seek to add slides and attractions which will leave our guests with big smiles and memories to share. I think we’ll see a lot of fun as families and friends challenge each other to races down this great new slide.”

TailSpin Racer’s slides are longer than a football field in length and stand five stories above the park. The $2 million attraction, which uses ergonomically designed starting blocks, will be located alongside Big River Pavilion near the park entrance.

Thanks to strong visitation to Dollywood’s Splash Country in 2016, officials added five new days, Aug. 15-19, to the park’s operating calendar. The award-winning water park now is open daily through Aug. 21 and on weekends through Labor Day.

Dollywood’s Splash Country’s other family-favorite attractions underscore why the park was named America’s Must-See Waterpark in 2009 by the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions. The park also was named a Top-10 water park by TripAdvisor in 2016. With RiverRush, Tennessee’s first and only water coaster, the daredevil drops of Fire Tower Falls and Mountain Scream and the white water rafting journey on Big Bear Plunge, Dollywood’s Splash Country has thrill rides for the adventurous members of every family.

For those who want a slower pace, The Cascades leisure pool, Mountain Waves wave pool, Downbound Float Trip lazy river and children’s water play areas are a relaxing way to cool down. Voted one of America’s best waterparks by The Travel Channel, Dollywood’s Splash Country features more than 35 water adventure slides in its breathtaking natural surroundings, the Smokies.

With the upcoming addition of TailSpin Racer, an impressive lineup of water-based attractions, and fun at every splash, Dollywood’s Splash Country is the best place to beat the heat in the Smoky Mountains.

2016 Golden Ticket Awards registration well underway

By | August 15, 2016

2016 Cedar PointSANDUSKY, Ohio — Amusement Today and Cedar Point invite working professionals in the amusement industry such as park owners, operators and management and ride manufacturers, designers, suppliers and vendors, to join the fun at “The Networking Event of the Year” during the 2016 Golden Ticket Awards on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 9-10.

“This is a great networking opportunity for our industry,” says Gary Slade, publisher and editor-in-chief of Amusement Today.  “It’s also the perfect way to celebrate the end of the summer season with friends and colleagues.”

The host park, Cedar Point amusement park and resort in Sandusky, Ohio, is busy gearing up for an unforgettable two days. The setting on a picturesque Lake Erie Peninsula will provide a one-of-a-kind backdrop for the event with all the feel of a relaxing beach resort coupled with a dramatic skyline of thrill rides and roller coasters.   

“The Golden Ticket Awards have grown into so much more than just an awards show over the years,” says Slade. “Along with the team at Cedar Point, I’d like to personally extend an invitation to our industry to check out the GTAs… and be part of a truly remarkable weekend.”     

To check out the itinerary and hotel information and and rates for the Golden Ticket Awards, as well as to register, please log on to  Cedar Point’s beautiful Hotel Breakers will serve as the host hotel for the event.

This is the 19th annual year for the Golden Ticket Awards; they are presented to the “Best of the Best” in the amusement industry and are calculated from an international poll conducted by Amusement Today.

2016 Golden Ticket Awards – Tickets remain for boat cruise benefitting NRCMA

By | August 12, 2016

SANDUSKY, Ohio — As a unique fundriaser for the National Roller Coaster Jet_Express_1-rgbMuseum & Archives (NRCMA), Cedar Point and Amusement Today have organized a boat cruise on the Jet Express for Saturday, Sept. 10.

The Jet Express will take riders
on a unique 45-minute cruise on Lake Erie, circling the Cedar Point Resort giving unique views of this historic amusement property.

Help support the amusement industry’s fastest growing museum collection by purchasing a ticket!

Tickets are $75.00 per person and will be sold until the boat is sold out. The tour departs from the Cedar Point Marina at 11 am sharp. The boat cruise will last approximately 45 minutes.

Jet Express tickets may be purchased online at:

Hersheypark Announces Hershey Triple Tower™ Opening in 2017

By | August 3, 2016

TripleTowerHERSHEY, Penn – At a press conference today, Hersheypark, the 110-acre theme park in Hershey, PA, announced its newest attraction – Hershey Triple Tower™. The new attraction, slated to debut for the 2017 Springtime In The Park event, is comprised of three drop towers of different heights: Hershey’s Tower™, Reese’s Tower™ and Hershey’s Kisses Tower™.

Hersheypark will be the first amusement facility in the country with three towers at different heights. Each tower provides a different ride experience with varying heights, thrill levels and speeds.

Hersheypark is well-known for providing guests with rides and attractions that the entire family can enjoy and this new ride is sure to deliver, said Kevin Stumpf, General Manager Attractions & Entertainment. We are happy to be adding this new attraction that will offer families the opportunity to choose their level of thrill and enjoy panoramic views of the Park.”

Stumpf also announced the addition of a Chick-fil-A Express restaurant to Hersheypark for 2017 – one of more than 2,000 Chick-fil-A restaurants across 43 states and Washington, D.C. Chick-fil-A is known for its menu of fresh, hand-crafted food that offers a variety of options for guests, with signature items including a hand-breaded, pressure-cooked, boneless chicken breast sandwich, Waffle Potato Fries, hand-spun milkshakes and fresh-squeezed lemonade. While the new restaurant will offer a limited menu, it will serve these favorites along with 2 delicious breakfast options. It will also will feature both indoor and outdoor seating for guests. Hersheypark Season Pass Holders will also receive food and beverage discounts at the new restaurant.

More details about the new ride were shared. At a height of 80’, Hershey’s Kisses Tower™ will have three seats on each of its four sides allowing for 12 riders on each ride. The ride will be themed in silver, the color of the famous Hershey’s Kisses brand.

At a height of 131’, Reese’s Tower™ will have four seats on each of its four sides allowing for 16 riders on each ride. The ride will be themed in orange, the color of the famous Reese’s candy brand.

Both Hershey’s Kisses Tower™ and Reese’s Tower™ are ͞double shot towers which offer two cycles of positive and negative G-force experiences. A ͞double shot͟ tower rapidly propels riders up to the top of the tower and then gently lowers them down, with a series of air-cushioned bounces, to the loading platform.

Reaching 189’ above Hersheypark, Hershey’s Tower™ will offer 20 seats in the round. Themed in the chocolate brown color of the famous Hershey’s Bar wrapper, this tower will be able to offer a variety of experiences for riders. Two of the available options include space shot, where riders are rapidly propelled to the top of the tower; and turbo drop, where riders are blasted down the tower at speeds faster than a typical freefall.

Hershey Triple Tower™ is manufactured by S & S Worldwide, Inc. of Logan, UT. The newride will be located in the Kissing Tower Hill section of the Park. Each of the three towers will operate independently, launching at different times, with independent queue lines.

The maximum speed for all three towers is 45 mph and the ride braking system combines pneumatic braking with launch systems. The restraint system features an over the shoulder harness. Theoretical ride capacity is approximately 1,400 riders per hour and the minimum height required for all three towers is 48 inches or the Hershey’s Bar category. The project cost of Hershey Triple Tower™ is projected at approximately $8 million.

The new attraction will be one of more than 70 rides and attractions that are available for guests during the 2017 season. Unlimited visits to Hersheypark are just one of the many benefits of purchasing a 2017 Hersheypark Season Pass, on sale now for the lowest rate available through September 30, 2016.

New Water Attraction to Bring High Seas Adventure to Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park Next Spring

By | August 3, 2016

MissFortuneLogoColorLAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park is growing its roster of great guest experiences and embarking on a high seas adventure with a new family-friendly water attraction called Miss Fortune Falls expected to open in spring 2017.

Located near Crush ‘n’ Gusher, Miss Fortune Falls brings to life the story of the fictitious Captain Mary Oceaneer, a treasure-hunting heroine who got stranded at Typhoon Lagoon years ago by a rogue storm.

Once aboard their treasure rafts awaiting them at the ride’s entry point, guests will embark on a journey through Captain Oceaneer’s past before plunging into a white-water adventure where guests can see unique artifacts that she collected on her many treasure hunts around the world.

“We’re thrilled to add to our menu of great guest experiences at Disney’s Water Parks with Miss Fortune Falls,” said Faron Kelley, vice president of ESPN Wide World of Sports, Disney’s Water Parks & Miniature Golf. “We believe this new attraction will quickly become a favorite with our guests, who are always looking for new ways to enjoy our parks.”

With a ride time of two minutes, Miss Fortune Falls will be among the lengthiest at any Disney water park.

Miss Fortune Falls is yet another exciting addition to a series of expansion projects across Walt Disney World Resort as the property continues to grow in innovative and exciting ways. Within the theme parks this summer, guests can enjoy even more immersive experiences in Disney Parks including “Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire” at Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park, “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular” Fireworks and Projection Show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and “Frozen Ever After” at Epcot. Longer-term expansion projects coming soon to Walt Disney World Resort range from Pandora – the World of AVATAR at Disney’s Animal Kingdom to Toy Story and Star Wars-themed lands at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon is a 60-acre themed water park – inspired by the legend of a typhoon, earthquake and volcanic eruption combining to create an inland sea with break waves (Typhoon Lagoon) and a towering watershed mountain (Mt. Mayday) atop which is a stranded shrimp boat (the Miss Tilly).

The park offers water activities suitable for all ages, including signature attractions such as Crush ‘n’ Gusher, a water-coaster that takes riders aboard inflatable rafts on a twisting, turning, up-and-down adventure; Ketchakiddee Creek, a water playground for children ages 2 to 5 (under four feet tall) and their parents; and Castaway Creek, where guests hop onto inner tubes for a meandering water tour through a misty rain forest and a hidden grotto.

For more information on Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, visit

ARM Inc. issues statement addressing incident involving the Super Shot at Frederick County, Virginia Fair

By | August 2, 2016

WINTERSVILLE, Ohio – A.R.M. (USA) Inc., the manufacturer of the Super Shot ride involved in the July 25th accident which occurred at the Frederick County, Virginia fair wants to extend its prayers and well wishes to the woman who was injured. In addition, A.R.M. is compelled to address inaccuracies and misinformation reported in the news concerning the event. Contrary to early news reports, there has not been a structural failure of the passenger seat frame, main vehicle frame, or a failure of a cable or hydraulic brake. Based on information from post accident inspectors who have viewed the subject ride, the sole cause of the accident was a failure to properly assemble the ride before use.

A.R.M. is a well respected US ride manufacturer which has been in business for over 18 years. The company has designed and manufactured hundreds of rides, which have safely thrilled carnival and amusement park guests across the US. A.R.M. has manufactured over 60 Super Shot rides, which have had an impressive safety record.

The transportable Super Shot, like all portable amusement rides, must be properly assembled and inspected before operation. The company wants to assure its other Super Shot owners that by following the manufacturer’s assembly, inspection and maintenance procedures, their ride is safe for operation.

For further information please contact: Mike Gill -­‐