Lost Coasters of California – Part 3: Tidal Wave

As we discussed in the last article on the Whizzer the Marriott’s Great America parks were bold designs that applied many lessons learned at other regional parks.  Part of this was a plan and specific plots designated for expansion.  In 1977, a year after its opening, the Santa Clara park was the first to receive a major coaster addition, the Tidal Wave.

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X2 vs. Eejanaika vs. Dinoconda

I’ve had the distinct privilege of traveling around the world and riding all three of the large Arrow/S&S 4D Coasters. Having lived next to Magic Mountain for many years, I’m very familiar with X2‘s distinct last Raven Turn, but how do the other two compare? Eejanaika and Dinoconda look similar but deliver vastly different ride experiences. Join me as I take a look at all three 4D Coasters, their differences, ride experiences, and learn which one is my favorite.

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Lost Coasters of California – Part 1: Corkscrew

The Golden State has long had the reputation as one of the recreation capitals of the world.  Beautiful weather combined with a diverse landscape created an environment where leisure became a serious business.  It is no surprise that California is home to some of the world’s most famous roller coasters.  Unfortunately many great rides are no longer part of the California coaster landscape.  In these series we will be exploring some of California’s great coasters that are no more!

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Viper: Hollywood’s Favorite Coaster

For about as long as Six Flags Magic Mountain has been in operation, nearby Hollywood has frequently mined the park for on-location filming of amusement park scenes for feature films, television, advertisements, and more. Classic sequences, like National Lampoon’s Vacation at “Walley World”, remain cultural iconography.

In 1990 the opening of Viper (and the advent of a professional camera rig that could be mounted to the nose of the train) catapulted Magic Mountain even further into Hollywood notoriety, with major productions now having utilized the enormous Arrow Looper countless times over the last 3 decades. Let’s take a look at some, shall we?

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Six Flags Magic Mountain Gets Approval to Lay Foundations of New RMC Coaster

Earlier this year documents were uncovered on the LA County permitting website that show plans for a new roller coaster for Six Flags Magic Mountain! The proposed ride, an RMC Raptor/single rail coaster would re-use the former Green Lantern station and use some of the area currently occupied by Tidal Wave. New permits show that Six Flags Magic Mountain has been granted approval for $1.3M of foundations for the coaster’s supports.

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5 of America’s National Coaster Icons

In 1981 Dutch fantasy park Efteling decided to add their first roller coaster.  Already a well established theme-park they chose to make an investment that would make a big impact on the European market.  Working with Dutch manufacturer Vekoma they unveiled the largest roller coaster in all of Europe, Python.  Although a copy of the existing Arrow Huss Carolina Cyclone, this 4 inversion monster was unlike anything in the region.  It was only 2 years after Blackpool Pleasure Beach had unveiled Europe’s first modern looping coaster and the first time modern inversions appeared in continental Europe.  Efteling had built something loopier, larger, and unlike anything else that Europe had seen and it became a phenomenon.  Python has been featured in numerous Dutch TV programs, was used by Porsche to film a television commercial, and continues to be one of the most popular attractions in the park. So beloved is this ride that in 2018 the park spent an estimated 4.5 Million Euro ($5.3 Million USD) to re-track the majority of the ride and ensure it continues to run for future generations. Continue reading “5 of America’s National Coaster Icons”

The Evolution of Northern California’s Coaster Landscape

America has a few regions that are “hotspots” for roller coasters, regions with 2 or more parks within a short distance from each other.  The most famous include Central Florida, Southern California, and Eastern Pennsylvania. Though long outshined by the plethora of parks  surrounding Los Angeles and San Diego, Northern California holds the distinction of being a region with three parks with major thrill roller coasters.  The roller coaster landscape of Northern California has changed dramatically just within the past 10 years.

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Holiday in the Park Drive-thru Experience Review – Six Flags Magic Mountain

Holiday festivities have begun here in Southern California. And while it does seem quite a bit different compared to what it was in years past, we are still trying to soak in every single moment. The first park we visited this year for the holidays is Six Flags Magic Mountain. Because the park is currently not allowed to be open for normal operation, they have adjusted Holiday in the Park to make it a drive-thru experience. In this review, we’ll share some basic information on the event along with our review. Continue reading “Holiday in the Park Drive-thru Experience Review – Six Flags Magic Mountain”

Stranger Things: The Drive-Into Experience Review – Los Angeles

Welcome to Hawkins! Hawkins’ new mall to be exact, which laid the scene for the brand new Stranger Things: The Drive-Into Experience located in Los Angeles! With all of the restrictions of 2020, I was eager to see what this completely covid friendly drive through experience would be like. So buckle up and try not to run over Eleven as we delve into the Upside Down.

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California Theme Parks – Where Do We Go From Here?

After months on top of months of waiting, California theme parks finally received reopening guidelines yesterday during the state’s weekly COVID-19 briefing. Governor Gavin Newsom along with other high-level representatives from the Golden State have decided to split up theme parks into “larger theme parks” and “smaller theme parks”. The placement of a theme park is based on its capacity. The state says it will allow smaller theme parks to reopen at 25% capacity (or 500 people, whichever is fewer) once the county the park resides in is placed into the orange tier. Reservations will be required, all park guests must live in the same county the park is in, and only outdoor attractions will be allowed to operate. For larger theme parks, the restrictions are even more suffocating, with the guidelines stating that the county the park resides in must be in the yellow tier in order to reopen. Like the smaller parks, reservations will also be required and the park capacity will have to be 25%. Continue reading “California Theme Parks – Where Do We Go From Here?”

All Disney Parks in the World – Ranked

UPDATED: October 2020

We’ve had the amazing opportunity to travel to all Disney parks in the world, twice! Along with that, we’ve also been passholders for 8 out of the 12 parks! We’re critics – and thus can’t help but compare every experience at each Disney park. We’ve reasoned back and forth and have taken the changes over the past couple of years in account to create this list ranking all Disney parks in the World. (Please note that this article has been completely rewritten from our January 2019 edition). Continue reading “All Disney Parks in the World – Ranked”

Knott’s Berry Farm Hotel Reopens – Take a Look Inside!

Knott’s Berry Farm reopened their hotel, and Randy from the FUNnelcake Blog was there to check it out!

“Stay where you play.” The Knott’s Berry Farm Hotel has always been a favorite place to spend the night. Back in March, the hotel closed for what we all thought would be just a few weeks. Well, five months later, guests are finally being welcomed back into the 320-room facility, just steps away from Knott’s front gate. Continue reading “Knott’s Berry Farm Hotel Reopens – Take a Look Inside!”

SeaWorld San Diego Cleared to Open with Zoo Designation

SeaWorld San Diego is the next park in California to be cleared for reopening after gaining zoo designation by the state. SeaWorld joins other destinations in California with similar guidelines. Indoor attractions and aquariums for example, will remain closed. Theme park attractions such as roller coasters and water rides will also not be operating.

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Knott’s Taste of Calico

While Knott’s Berry Farm theme park remains closed, Knott’s Ghost Town is the setting for the all-new, limited time outdoor food and retail experience, Knott’s Taste of Calico.  During this specially ticketed outdoor event, guests will be able to take a nostalgic stroll through the streets of Calico, sample unique Knott’s culinary creations including boysenberry specialties, visit local crafters and shop at our unique stores. Continue reading “Knott’s Taste of Calico”

Downtown Disney is Open! – Disneyland Resort Update – July 13th, 2020

Preston: The Disneyland Resort is back! This past Thursday, July 9th, Downtown Disney District reopened after its nearly four-month closure due to COVID-19. In this update, we’ll show you the health and safety measures that have been added to the resort. We’ll also take a look at which locations did and did not open on July 9th. There are also some recently completed construction projects around Downtown Disney that we take a peek at. Continue reading “Downtown Disney is Open! – Disneyland Resort Update – July 13th, 2020”