Carowinds installs final track section for Fury 325 record-breaking coaster

By | February 2, 2015

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Construction workers installed the final piece of track on Fury 325 at Carowinds on Friday, January 30, 2015. The record-breaking coaster will be the world’s tallest and fastest mega coaster with a traditional lift hill. Fury 325 will carry riders 325 feet high before plunging down an 81 degree drop at 95 mph.

Fury 325 is expected to debut when Carowinds opens for the 2015 season on March 28.

Photo courtesy of Carowinds

Photo courtesy of Carowinds

Photo courtesy of Carowinds

Photo courtesy of Carowinds

WhiteWater celebrates 100 manufactured AquaLaunches

By | January 28, 2015

RICHMOND, British Columbia, Canada — WhiteWater has recently celebrated its 100th AquaLaunch built. The innovative launch capsule dials up the thrill factor in numerous WhiteWater water slides. AquaLaunch sends riders into jaw-dropping waterslides such as the AquaDrop, the Flatline Loop and the ever popular AquaLoop with installations in over 70 countries worldwide.

WhiteWater first started manufacturing AquaLaunches in 2009 and the current launch has evolved substantially over the past 5 years. “We have worked hard over the years upgrading the quality and durability of the launch parts,” comments Mike Genovese, Operations Manager of Electrical and Mechanical Assembly. The aesthetic design has also been updated to be more visually appealing and provide a streamlined design.

Major innovations have included updating the fiberglass trapdoor to a clear Lexan1 trapdoor that is free swinging to reduce noise and eliminates the need for expensive shock absorbers. The AquaLaunch has become more automated with the addition of a push button operated door replacing the old, manually operated one. All of the changes and updates over the years have only improved the heart-pounding ride experience; “The goal is to provide a quality water slide to our customer that is reliable and inexpensive to operate and maintain,” comments Mike.

Due to the complexity and the specialized nature of the AquaLaunch, all manufacturing is kept local in British Columbia, Canada to allow for close monitoring and quick response from engineers and managers in the event that issues arise during the production process.

2015 will be a busy year for the AquaLaunch team as the orders have been pouring in for projects all over the world. One project to note is set to be China’s largest water park: Zhengzhou Yinji Kaifeng Water park in Henan. With 7 AquaLaunches in total, guests will have the chance to brave two AquaDrops, three AquaLoops and two Fusion AquaLoop + Flatline Loops where riders are sent through an inverted loop before traversing a horizontal loop-de-loop, shooting down into the shutdown lane. Other projects that will feature multiple AquaLaunches include Lotte World in Korea, Sunway Lagoon in Malaysia and Yalta Water park in the Ukraine.

Wet N Wild Gold Coast Australia Courtesy of WhiteWater West

Wet N Wild Gold Coast Australia
Courtesy of WhiteWater West

Triotech and FunLab Cevahir open dark ride in Turkey

By | January 21, 2015

triotech-whiteRMONTREAL, Quebec, Canada — Triotech announces the very first installation an Interactive Dark Ride attraction in Turkey. The attraction will be operated in partnership with FunLab Cevahir, Turkey’s leader in Family Entertainment Centers.

Mr. Ernest Yale, President and CEO of TRIOTECH stated: “We are very happy to open this Interactive Dark Ride with a strong local partner. FunLab’s expertise in the amusement and entertainment world is extremely strong.”

In this new attraction, to be called “Zombi”, TRIOTECH has designed and produced the animation and gaming system that allows guests to experience a 3D adventure enhanced with 4D effects and interactivity. The ride system has been provided by Gosetto srl of Treviso in Italy.

In “Zombi”, guests ride aboard four-person police-themed vehicles and embark on a thrilling family adventure. There are six carts with four interactive scenes and the same number of non-interactive scenes. The 216 feet long ride blends media-based interactivity with 4D effects. An extensive physical décor and theming completes the immersion for riders.

“This installation highlights the flexibility and scalability inherent in our media based offering. Even an FEC can afford to invest in an Interactive Dark Ride. It’s not just for large parks,” mentioned Gabi Salabi, Vice President of Business Development for Triotech.

Triotech’s has recently won two Brass Ring Awards for Best New Product; in 2013 for FEC’s and in 2014 for Major Theme/Attraction Parks as well as IAAPA’s prestigious Impact Award for its Interactive Dark Ride at IAAPA’s Expo last November in Orlando, FL, USA.

“As the leading brand of the amusement industry in Turkey, FunLab is well aware that continuous innovation is key to success in a competitive market. This new ride & our partnership with Triotech will not only keep us cutting-edge but also add value to the entire network of FEC’s we operate,” stated Levent Baloglu, CEO of Balo-FunLab.

Photo courtesy of Triotech

Photo courtesy of Triotech

Thomas & Friends at Discovery Cube Los Angeles

By | January 20, 2015

6A-DC-LA-Logo-VSANTA ANA, Calif. — The world’s most beloved blue engine rolls into Discovery Cube Los Angeles on January 24, 2015. Thomas & Friends: Explore the Rails is an interactive, hands-on exhibit, and is locally sponsored by Union Pacific Railroad, Kinkisharyo, Metrolink and BNSF Railway, with a local media sponsor of PBS SoCal. The exhibit is set to run through April 26, 2015.

Featuring the favorite engines and destinations from Thomas & Friends, the STEM (Science Technology, Engineering and Math)-focused exhibit seeks to engage children and families in foundational skills that foster STEM literacy through playful learning experiences. The exhibit incorporates foundational STEM practices that encourage thinking mathematically, making comparisons, experimenting to solve problems using a variety of methods and tools, thinking creatively and reflecting on actions and results.

Visitors to the 1500 square foot exhibit will be delighted as they find themselves surrounded by the Island of Sodor’s iconic locations: Knapford Station, Sodor Steamworks and much more. In the exhibit, children help Thomas and his friends solve a variety of challenges, from a simple sorting and shape identification activity to more complex engineering obstacles, such as completing a train track using track pieces with different levels of elevation. As children confront new challenges and test their abilities, the smiling faces of Thomas, Percy, Victor and others are there to offer encouragement and remind children how “really useful” they all are.

The Thomas & Friends exhibit was designed and developed by Minnesota Children’s Museum in partnership with HIT Entertainment, a subsidiary of Mattel, Inc. The national tour is sponsored by 3M. PBS SoCal is the local media sponsor for the exhibit and the television home for Thomas & Friends. PBS SoCaL is excited that their PBS show is being brought to life by this dynamic exhibit for Thomas & Friends’ fans across Southern California.

Photo: Business Wire

Photo: Business Wire

Great Adventure announces new theme, location for 2015 Super Loop

By | January 14, 2015

El Diablo color logoJackson, N.J. — The devil is in the details for Six Flags Great Adventure’s new looping thrill ride, set to open this spring. Originally announced in the fall of 2014 as “Looping Dragon,” with an Asian-inspired moniker and location in the Golden Kingdom section, the new ride was re-imagined by park management who opted for a more “devilish” theme – El Diablo.

“The Jersey devil has deep roots in our state’s history, and inspired the new theme for our upcoming thrill ride,” said Park President John Fitzgerald.

The giant, fiery red El Diablo giant loop will make its home next to the world’s top-rated wooden coaster, El Toro, in the Mexican-themed Plaza del Carnaval section. It features riders sitting in “face-off” seats rocketing forward and backward pendulum style until the train gains enough momentum to complete a full revolution seven stories in the air. The thrill ride then kicks into high gear, completing full revolutions until it stops momentarily with riders suspended upside down, and then reverses direction for even more thrills.

“El Diablo is the perfect addition to Plaza del Carnaval, as it appeals to both thrill seekers and families alike. Rides like El Toro and Tango attract a wide audience to this area, which also provides ample opportunities for dining, shopping and relaxation from the excitement of the world’s largest theme park,” Fitzgerald added.

El Diablo is set to open this spring, and will have a 48-inch height requirement to ride.

Last chance to ride Gwazi

By | January 9, 2015

Busch_Gardens_Tampa_logoTampa, Fla. – February 1, 2015, is the last day for thrill seekers to ride Gwazi at Busch Gardens Tampa as the park prepares to permanently close the wooden roller coaster.

Gwazi opened in 1999 as Florida’s first dueling wooden roller coaster, providing guests with thrilling and memorable experiences for more than 15 years.

“No decisions have been made about what lies ahead for Gwazi or for the future plans of that area of Busch Gardens,” said Park President Jim Dean. “But, we are always looking for ways to enhance guests’ experiences, so stay tuned for more news.”

AIMS safety seminar registration deadline extended

By | January 5, 2015

AIMSlogo2015SANTA ANA, Calif. — AIMS International has extended the early registration deadline for the 2015 AIMS Safety Seminar and Certification Program to January 7, 2015. Attendees who register by the newly extended deadline will save $100 off the registration price.

The annual AIMS Safety Seminar is world-renowned for its diverse curriculum and the quality of instructors. Certification testing will be offered for Levels I and II Maintenance Technician and Operations Technician; Level I Aquatics Operations Technician; and Levels I, II and III Ride Inspector Certification. The seminar will take place in Orlando, Florida, January 11 to 16, 2015.

A complete schedule, list of classes and registration information can be found on the AIMS International website.

Amusement Today offices closed for the holiday season

By | December 19, 2014

ARLINGTON, Texas — The offices of Amusement Today will close at 5 p.m on Friday, December 19, 2014, and will re-open on Monday, January 5, 2015, in order to give our employees a chance to celebrate the Christmas and New Year holidays with their family and friends.

Amusement Today desktop edition will not be published on December 24, 25, December 31, 2014, and January 1, 2015.

The Amusement Today staff wish each and every one of our readers and followers a safe and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

December Cover_R

Raging Waters San Dimas announces state’s first hydromagnetic water coaster

By | December 19, 2014

RagingWatersAquaRocketSAN DIMAS, Calif. — Raging Waters San Dimas is introducing the first hydromagnetic LIM water coaster to California this summer 2015 – Aqua Rocket. The new attraction will span close to two football fields in length, making it a great addition to the park’s current 49 water attractions.

Aqua Rocket offers guests a radically different experience by merging the adrenaline rush of a roller coaster and the thrills and spills of a water ride. With the new generation of hydromagnetic technology, the four-person rocket style raft transits uphill for a series of four peaks and three drops at a speedy 30 mph.

“Aqua Rocket is an awesome state-of-the-art water coaster that will stimulate your senses.” said General Manager Mark Whitfield.
Similar to a roller coaster, linear induction motors (LIM) are used to generate a traveling magnetic field to push the metal-plated rafts rapidly and smoothly uphill. Amid the 1,000-foot-long water coaster are three continuous rocket incline zones.

“We are excited for the newest addition and looking forward to Aqua Rocket becoming one of the most popular attractions in California.” Whitfield added. “Ranked by Travel Chanel and USA Today, Raging Waters is one of the Top 10 Water Parks in the U.S….and it just got better!”

Raging Waters San Dimas is owned and operated by Palace Entertainment. Operating on 50 acres of water adventure, Raging Waters San Dimas has over 49 water attractions.

Six Flags Fiesta Texas announces new marketing manager

By | December 18, 2014

Six Flags Fiesta TexasSAN ANTONIO, Texas — Six Flags Fiesta Texas welcomes Jeff Filicko as the new Marketing Manager beginning December 29.

Filicko has more than 7 years of theme park marketing experience at Kennywood amusement park located near Pittsburgh, Pa. Like many in the industry, he began by working his way up from a seasonal summer job to a full time position. As a Manager, Filicko was able to increase his responsibilities to include PR, Promotions, Special Events and Advertising.

In addition, Filicko is also a recent graduate of the IAAPA Institute for Attractions Managers and has served for several years as an IAAPA committee member representing the amusement industry.