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, visitwww.sixflags.com/overgeorgia.

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 www.sixflags.com.

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 martinsfantasyisland.com.

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: Zamperla@zamperla.it.

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 jseifert@amusementtoday.com 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.

Lake Compounce and Phobia Phear Coaster set to open on Saturday, May 7th

By | May 5, 2016

BRISTOL, Conn. – Lake Compounce and its much anticipated new rollercoaster Phobia Phear Coaster are opening at 11am on Saturday, May 7th.

12 terrified riders have been chosen through an online contest to be the first to experience Phobia Phear Coaster on the park’s opening day at park opening immediately following a ribbon cutting to celebrate the new attraction. The Phobias of these 12 lucky riders span from clowns, butterflies, chainsaws, to of course rollercoasters. The general public is encouraged to attend this event on May 7th to watch the 12 brave riders and to then ride Phobia themselves.

Guests who are not 2016 Season Pass Holders yet can purchase Buy 1 Get 1 Free Regular Admission tickets on the park’s website that can be used on opening day.

Phobia features an inversion at 150 feet in the air—one of the highest in existence and the tallest in the Northeast. Guests will experience speeds of 65 mile per hour with many exciting and unique elements including multiple launches, a twisting heart-line Inversion, and ascending and descending twists.

Erie County Fair Signs 10 Year Contract with the Strates Shows

By | May 3, 2016

image005HAMBURG, NEW YORK – The Erie County Agricultural Society announced today that it has extended its contract with the Strates Shows Inc. by 10 years as the sole carnival midway provider for the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, New York (Buffalo). The contract for amusement services between Strates Shows and the Erie County Fair now extends to 2026.

“We are pleased to have secured a long-term relationship with the Strates Shows,” said Dennis R. Lang, CEO & Erie County Fair Manager. “For the past 91 years, the Strates Shows has provided Western New York with an exceptionally entertaining and safe family experience.”

Three generations of Strates family members, E. James Strates, his son John image003Strates and grandson Nick Strates joined representatives of the Erie County Fair for the announcement and ceremonial contract signing at the Fairgrounds.

“Beyond just a contractual relationship, we truly regard the Strates as part of the Erie County Fair family. The 10 year contract means that the Strates Shows will be part of the Erie County Fair beyond their 100th anniversary with us,” said Lang. “We look forward to a centennial celebration with Strates in 2024.”

“Strates Shows and the Strates family are delighted to be part of the time-image001honored tradition of the Erie County Fair,” said E. James Strates, President of the Strates Shows. “In 1924, when my father signed the first contract, little did we know or expect that nine decades later the relationship would still be flourishing and growing. There is a bond between not only the show and the fair, but with independent operators, agricultural people, the local community and our many lifelong friends. It’s an unbroken tradition that few fairs and carnivals share.”

The exclusive relationship between the Erie County Fair and the Strates Shows, now in its 92nd year, is considered a historical milestone in the modern amusement industry.

According to Robert Johnson, President of the Outdoor Amusement Business Association, the relationship between the Strates Shows and the Erie County Fair is the longest continuous run of any carnival midway in the United States. The next longest run would be 84 years between Reithoffer Shows and the Delaware County Fair in Walton, New York.

“I can’t think of another carnival operator in the United States with a longer run than what the Erie County Fair has with Strates,” said Johnson. “It’s rare in modern business times to see such a strong relationship. It is a tribute to the Erie County Fair and the Strates family. The Strates Shows ongoing commitment to quality, safety and innovation, added to its close relationship with the Erie County Agricultural Society’s management, makes for a great partnership. It’s this type of partnership that we would like to see emulated at fairs across the county.”

To commemorate the extended relationship, Strates Shows and the Erie County Fair are inviting fairgoers to join in on the celebration. On August 18, 2016, “Strates Day at the Fair,” fairgoers to the Erie County Fair will be able to enjoy 90-minutes of free midway rides from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

“Together, we have been through decades of change and tremendous growth that brings us to the upcoming 2016 fair,” said Strates. “This wonderful, family-oriented event continues to promote and showcase the community’s agricultural traditions, talents, diversity and heritage. We look forward to seeing everyone at the fair!”

Unique among today’s amusement operators, The Strates Shows is the only “railroad carnival” in North America. Each spring, the Strates Shows leaves its winter quarters in Florida and begins an eight-month journey by rail that transports their equipment to fairgrounds across the eastern seaboard and northeast. The “fair train,” as commonly known in Western New York, currently is comprised of over 50 rail cars. The arrival of the Strates train at the depot in the Village of Hamburg, a living piece of Americana, will be celebrated this August.