Knott’s Berry Farm hires new general manager

By | May 27, 2016

Knotts Logo Purple No BackgroundSANDUSKY, Ohio — Cedar Fair Entertainment Company has announced that Jon Storbeck has been hired as Vice President and General Manager of Knott’s Berry Farm. Jon will join the company on May 30, after a distinguished career of more than 30 years at The Walt Disney Company.

Mr. Storbeck replaces Raffi Kaprelyan, who has been promoted to Regional Vice President of Cedar Fair.

“During his time with Disney Parks & Resorts, Jon demonstrated the leadership traits that make him particularly well-qualified for this role.” said Raffi Kaprelyan. “As Vice President and General Manager, Jon will report directly to me and oversee all aspects of Knott’s Berry Farm’s operations, ensuring we continue to deliver the high-quality guest experience that Knott’s is known for.”

In his new role, Mr. Kaprelyan will oversee Knott’s Berry Farm as well as several other parks in the Cedar Fair system. “Raffi has driven the record-performance of Knott’s Berry Farm and we are excited to have his leadership applied to more of our parks.” said Richard A. Zimmerman, Chief Operating Officer of Cedar Fair.

Six Flags Over Texas opens expanded Gotham City section

By | May 25, 2016

ARLINGTON, Texas — At 11 am on Tuesday, May 24, Six Flags Over Texas hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the super-villains rides in the newly expanded Gotham City section of the park. Officers from the Arlington Police Department were on hand to keep the villains under control and to be the first riders.

Following the police officers, media and VIP guests had the opportunity to be among the first to experience the three super-villainous rides during a media preview day at Six Flags Over Texas. The day was geared towards providing media with a first-hand account of their battle against The Riddler Revenge, Catwoman Whip, and Harley Quinn Spinsanity.

Six Flags season pass holders will have the opportunity to try the new attractions on May 26 and May 27. The area will open to the general public on Saturday, May 28.

The Riddler Revenge and Catwoman Whip are two new rides supplied by Zamperla S.p.A. of Italy. Harley Quinn Spinsanity is an existing ride that has been rethemed to fit in with the newly-expanded Gotham City section. It was supplied by Huss Park Attractions of Germany.

Photos courtesy of Six Flags Over Texas

Photos courtesy of Six Flags Over Texas

New Skycoaster becomes instant landmark at Andy Alligator’s Fun Park

By | May 18, 2016

AndyLogo_FullColor_fullNORMAN, Oklahoma — Motorists traveling along I-35 just 10 miles south of Oklahoma City now have a prime view of the State’s newest thrill ride- a 109 foot A-Frame Single Skycoaster that has instantly become the new vertical icon for Andy Alligator’s Fun Park. 

The combination FEC-Waterpark has steadily grown since its debut and the addition of the Skycoaster marks a milestone in the park’s history. “The FEC business is changing and we continue to look for attractions that meet the demands of our guests. We are excited to add an attraction we feel will take our business to new heights”, proclaimed Kyle Allison, the park’s General Manager.  “The Skycoaster is unique and that’s what we look for. Our customers are already intrigued by the construction of the towers and we can’t wait for the first ride!  We are confident the Skycoaster® will take us to the next level. Our customers are excited for a cutting edge thrill attraction.”

Skycoaster’s Managing Director Mark Rosenzweig is also thrilled with the installation. He added, “This model of Skycoaster is ideal for the FEC and small to medium-sized park market. For the investment, it is tough to find another vertical piece that makes such a strong visual presence. We are confident that the attraction will serve Andy Alligator’s well over the coming years.”

Six Flags Announces Guests’ Choice for New Name of Roller Coaster

By | May 17, 2016

Blue Hawk_SFOG 3AUSTELL, Ga. — May 17, 2016 — By popular vote, Six Flags Over Georgia announces its guests select Blue Hawk as the new name for the renovated Ninja roller coaster. Blue Hawk, featuring an initial drop of 122 feet at speeds of more than 50 miles per hour, is set to debut on Thursday, June 2.

More than 6,000 votes were cast in the naming poll earlier this month. Blue Hawk received more than 50 percent of the vote, with American Eagle finishing in second place and Air Commander in third place.

Blue Hawk will reopen with new ride enhancements, including:

· Two new coaster trains with new soft-vest restraints for a more comfortable experience;
· Enhancements to the 2,800 feet of track for a much smoother ride; and
· A fresh, new coat of shiny blue paint along the track and silver paint on the support poles.

Service Members from Dobbins Air Reserve Base will participate in a ribbon cutting ceremony and the coaster will have a special military theme to honor America’s service members, when it reopens in June.

Six Flags Over Georgia will unveil the official Blue Hawk logo on June 2. The park will be open for daily summer operation beginning May 21. For more information on the all-new Blue Hawk,

About Six Flags Entertainment Corporation
Six Flags Entertainment Corporation is the world’s largest regional theme park company with $1.3 billion in revenue and 18 parks across the United States, Mexico and Canada. For 55 years, Six Flags has entertained millions of families with world-class coasters, themed rides, thrilling water parks and unique attractions. For more information, visit

Niagara’s Martin’s Fantasy Island is the newest theme park addition to Apex Parks Group

By | May 13, 2016

martins fantasy island logoALISO VIEJO, California — May 13, 2016, California-based Apex Parks Group is pleased to announce the acquisition of Martin’s Fantasy Island theme park. This is Apex Parks Group’s first acquisition for 2016.

Martin’s Fantasy Island is located in Grand Island, New York, less than 10 miles southeast of Niagara Falls in western New York. The park has over 25 rides and 7 water attractions; including the Silver Comet wooden roller coaster. The park’s attractions and live shows are geared toward family-oriented and thrilling entertainment for any age. Martin’s Fantasy Island is an ideal addition to Apex’s family of theme parks, water parks, and family entertainment centers.

Apex Parks Group CEO, Al Weber, Jr. commented: “We’re excited to work with the Martin’s team to continue the successful operation of Martin’s Fantasy Island. The addition of this beautiful family-niche park is another step toward Apex’s goal of growing to become the leading company in the fragmented out-of-home entertainment business.”

Former owner, Martin DiPietro adds, “I bought this park 22 years ago and it’s been a labor of love. I decided Apex Parks Group was the best choice to ensure that Martin’s Fantasy Island continues to be the best family fun park in the area. Their track record in the family-oriented amusement business is unmatched, and I have every confidence that their success will carry over to Martin’s Fantasy Island.”

Martin’s Fantasy Island opens for the 2016 season on May 14 and will continue planned operations during the transition. For more information about the park, visit

Zamperla issues statement regarding ride mishap in India

By | May 13, 2016

ZAMPERLA_logoVICENZA, Italy — Zamperla is saddened to learn of the fatal accident at Kishkinta Park near Chennai, India, which occurred on May 11, 2016 involving a ride called the “Disco Dancer.”

It is important for the public to know that the ride involved in this accident was not a Zamperla product. Zamperla, a leading manufacturer of amusement rides worldwide, devotes considerable resources into developing its unique amusement rides, providing the safest possible experience for the public.

The ride involved in this accident was an unauthorized, poorly executed forgery of the Zamperla design. Although outwardly appearing like a Zamperla ride, copies do not receive the level of engineering and manufacturing expertise Zamperla invests into each of its designs. Zamperla urges customers to only purchase genuine Zamperla rides and replacement parts in order to ensure the safety of their customers. Please direct any further inquiries to:

Busch Gardens releases Cobra’s Curse video

By | May 11, 2016

TAMPA, Florida — Busch Gardens Tampa has released video POV of its latest attraction, Cobra’s Curse. The new roller coaster from Mack Rides of Germany, includes a number of distinctive features including an elevator lift and cars that rotate 180 degrees for a portion of the ride, then spin freely for another portion of the ride.

ProSlide announces European office expansion

By | May 11, 2016

ProSlideOTTAWA, Ontario, Canada — ProSlide has announced a new addition to the ProSlide Europe team. Based out of Amsterdam, Geert van Heugten will step into the role of Business Development/Account Manager for Europe.

“Given the strong growth that we are seeing in Eastern Europe, we believe that now is a perfect time to expand our sales team,” said Lars Lenders, vice president of business development. “We expect this growth to accelerate in the coming years, and want to ensure the best service for our clients.”

Geert has recent experience in the European theme park industry, having held roles with Merlin Entertainments (Netherlands) and Holiday Park Kownaty (Poland). Geert graduated from the Breda University of Applied Sciences (NHTV Breda) with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration (BBA) specializing in Attractions & Theme Park Management. NHTV Breda is one of just three leisure expertise centers in the world and is affiliated with IAAPA (International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions), TEA (Themed Entertainment Association), and a number of leading market players, including Efteling and Walt Disney World.

“We’re invested in our European customers’ success and are looking forward to delivering more world-class attractions to the best water parks in the region,” said Rick Hunter, ProSlide president & CEO.

Six Flags hosts management reunion

By | May 9, 2016

ARLINGTON, Texas — Former and present Six Flags managers gathered at Six Flags Over Texas for a two-day reunion event on May 3 and 4, 2016. Festivities included a Classic Six Mixer at the park’s Crazy Horse Saloon on Tuesday evening, walking tours of Six Flags Over Texas on Wednesday followed by a reunion dinner Wednesday evening at the park’s catering pavilions.

The reunion committee presented a photo montage that was shown during the dinner.

SF Reunion 2016_mpeg1video from on Vimeo.

Valravn diversifies Cedar Point’s lineup of record-setting coasters

By | May 5, 2016

The park turns to B&M for fourth time

valravn_4c_ribbonRSANDUSKY, Ohio – Setting records is nothing new for Cedar Point. In fact, it is a reputation for which the park has become  famous. With a lineup of world-class roller coasters climbing into the upper double digits, the park has set records more than ten times with its coasters.

For a fourth time, B&M has delivered one of its massive giants to Cedar Point. Following in true fashion of its predecessors, Valravn takes on the namesake of a “creature.” This follows Raptor, Rougarou (formerly Mantis) and GateKeeper, each with its imposing edge.

What differentiates the new Valravn from the other breeds is its signature moment of pause – for four seconds – at the precipice of a 214-foot drop. What took riders by complete surprise during previews was the spectacular view of not only the park, but the expanse of Lake Erie beyond the shore. Cedar Point is given high praise for the perfect positioning of the ride.

What is particularly impressive of about Valravn is not just its record-setting statistics, but the quality of the installation. Notable details are vast, including a brand new midway that not only eliminates the dead end toward the park’s venerable Blue Streak, but provides new seating, shade, ornamentation, an expanded restaurant patio and spectator areas. The artistry of pavers, bench walls and shape design of the midway are appreciated even more so from Valravn’s dramatic view.

Valravn’s position in the park also made it an opportune time to renovate Cedar Point’s Marina Gate, which now looks modern and strikingly beautiful.

The dive coaster’s statistics are the park’s marketing focus: 223 feet tall, 3,415 feet long, 75 mph and three inversions – all of which are records for a dive coaster. Guests, however, will find the installation goes beyond the coaster itself. Cedar Point has delivered the complete package.