Let’s Take A Look At Sol Spin – REVIEW

Sean/McLaren: Knott’s Berry Farm officially opened Sol Spin on April 21st after several weeks of construction and testing, and of course we were there to check it out! The park’s newest ride is located on the lot where WindSeeker used to reside and offers guests a totally unique experience in the Californian theme park world. Let’s take a look at Sol Spin and what our experience of the new thrill ride was like! Continue reading “Let’s Take A Look At Sol Spin – REVIEW”

SOL SPIN IS NOW OPEN AT KNOTT’S BERRY FARM!

Spring time is in full bloom at the farm and the newest thrilling installment has arrived at Knott’s Berry Farm just in time to enjoy during the popular Knott’s Boysenberry Festival. Sol Spin will bring brand new hair-raising thrills to the Fiesta Village area starting (Today) April 21st.  Continue reading “SOL SPIN IS NOW OPEN AT KNOTT’S BERRY FARM!”

Knott’s Berry Farm To Add New Top Scan Attraction In 2017

sol-spin_logo_4c-largeKnott’s Berry Farm just released more information regarding their 2017 season, which doesn’t only include the huge Knott’s Soak City expansion, but also the extension of the Boysenberry Festival, the return of Ghost Town Alive!, a new restaurant, and a brand new one-of-a-kind (in California) Top Scan attraction named “Sol Spin”.  Continue reading “Knott’s Berry Farm To Add New Top Scan Attraction In 2017”

California Coaster Kings SUMMER Q&A on August 9th

Summer 16 Q&A thumbnail (Medium)Dear readers,

After a successful Q&A earlier this year, we are now back with a new Q&A session on August 9th. It’ll be the start of more-frequent Q&A sessions. Each session will have a particular set of topics to stay current and fully get an opinionated discussion going. (Rather than very general questions). The first one is coming up on Tuesday night, August 9th! Continue reading “California Coaster Kings SUMMER Q&A on August 9th”

Six Flags Fiesta Texas – Trip Report

DSC_0158 (Medium)The second park on our California Coaster Kings Texas trip was Six Flags Fiesta Texas. A wonderfully located Six Flags property in San Antonio that features an outstandingly awesome lineup of rides and shows. We had just one day to visit the park, but that full day was plenty of time to ride all the attractions and see some shows. The park features world renowned coasters like Iron Rattler, Superman Krypton Coaster and Batman: The Ride, as well as other awesome coasters like Road Runner Express and Poltergeist! Join us as we take a look around the park in this trip report!

Continue reading “Six Flags Fiesta Texas – Trip Report”

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Update – February 13th 2016

Kong002There isn’t such thing as loving Six Flags Discovery Kingdom too much, so of course we were back this weekend. Not just for the Joker, but for some all around fun around the park as well! We published our Joker Update a few days back, here’s our regular park update, taking a look around the park seeing the changes from last week, and of course including some coaster-shots.  Continue reading “Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Update – February 13th 2016”

Legacy of Arrow Documentary – Review

day-six-of-arrow (1)On Saturday January 23rd, several ACE Members/ Film makers premiered their newest work, a wonderful documentary telling the story of one of the most influential theme-park ride and rollercoaster manufacturers the world has ever seen, Arrow. On January 30th, a week later, the crew came down south to Six Flags Magic Mountain to show coaster-fans their work. I was there and must say it was wonderful! Continue reading “Legacy of Arrow Documentary – Review”

A Day Turns Into A Year – 2015 Turns Into 2016

CCK new logo 001It’s December 31st 2015. It’s hard to believe that another year has passed. 2015 was one heck of a wild ride, what a year it was for us here at California Coaster Kings, and the amusement industry as a whole. Let’s celebrate the great memories of the year past, while also looking for even better things to come. Please join us as we look back at 2015 and all the amazingness it brought and as we look into the magical future of 2016, which seems to be another amazing year for parks and park-goers in California! Continue reading “A Day Turns Into A Year – 2015 Turns Into 2016”

California’s Great America to Open MASS EFFECT 4D Experience in 2016!

image002California’s Great America officially announced their 2016 addition in which they will be partnering with with Electronic Arts (EA) and BioWare to completely renovate the Action Theater into a brand new 4D experience in the Mass Effect canon. Guests will strap in and battle breath taking intergalactic enemies on their immersive 4D journey through the expansive Mass Effect universe. Continue reading “California’s Great America to Open MASS EFFECT 4D Experience in 2016!”

California TOP 50 – 2015 – Part THREE (30-21)

TOP 50 TNail001 YESCalifornia Coaster Kings rated many coasters, and although we’re usually not fans of listing/ranking rides or parks, we do create an annual California TOP 50! You might, and likely will, disagree, that’s totally fine! That’s what this TOP 50 is all about! Of the many rides in the state, we selected the 50 we think are best! Here are places 30-21 in the 2015 California TOP 50!  Continue reading “California TOP 50 – 2015 – Part THREE (30-21)”

Dare Devil Chaos Coaster Media Day

DSC_0548 (Large)We would like to start out by thanking Six Flags Discovery Kingdom very much for inviting us to such a well put together event. We had a fantastic time and got to experience Dare Devil Chaos Coaster for the first time. Just as a prelude to our thoughts on the ride, no matter how you feel about the marketing for it, it is a very fun and thrilling ride that we loved, and I’m sure the general public will as well when it officially opens today. Continue reading “Dare Devil Chaos Coaster Media Day”

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Update – April 25th 2015

DSC_0204 (Large)Having paid another visit to the one and only Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, we naturally have got an update for you right here! Lot’s of things are going on at the park from the completion of Dare Devil Chaos Coaster to the cutest new born seals we’ve ever seen so let’s do it. Continue reading “Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Update – April 25th 2015”

The Six Flags 2015 NOT Coasters – Larson Loops.

The Six Flags 2015 NOT Coasters – Larson Loops… We’ve all heard it, and we’ve all disagreed. The so called new ‘coasters’ coming to Six Flags Great Adventure, Six Flags America, Six Flags Over Georgia, and Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, are not coasters. They’re flat-rides. Having said that, these 2015 additions are Larson Giant Loops. Larson, the ride’s manufacturer, sells the ride as a “dominating compact roller coaster”. Which is literally in the first line of the ride’s description given by the company. Now everyone can yell at Six Flags for calling their new FLAT RIDES, a coaster, but all they’re really doing is taking advantage of the manufacturer’s description.

But… This doesn’t take away that for one of the parks this addition is definitely not what the park deserves. I’ll be taking a look at each individual park and how appropriate I find the addition, ending it with our very own Six Flags Discovery Kingdom here in California.

 Six Flags America

The Bourbon Street Fireball is what it’s called at Six Flags America. Six Flags America hasn’t actually put the word coaster in the name of the ride. But rather the name of the original flat-ride it’s based off of, Fireball. Though in the ride’s announcement, it’s advertised as a “Chaotic Looping Coaster”… Yeah, no… Like we said before, Six Flags is playing along with the manufacturer’s game. The only thing I’m hoping for, is that they will not list it as a roller-coaster on their website once it has opened. Because that would really be a bit… foolish. Anyhow, let’s take a look at the logo. I actually like it. There’s some flames (fitting the name), and it stands true to its Mardi Grass theme. Not over-done either.bourbonstreetfireballlogo (Large)

The ride will be located in the new Mardi Grass themed area, where they added Ragin’ Cajun earlier this year, and where they repainted and re-themed original rides to be part of the new area. For a park that is often called the worst in the chain, this really isn’t a bad addition. Especially not when realizing that they opened two new coasters (relocated from Six Flags Great America) for the past two seasons. And that they repainted Batwing, and entirely re-tracked their popular wooden coaster Roar. This Giant Loop from Larson is a perfect and fine addition if you ask me.SFAM Bourbon Street Fireball Key Art

Six Flags Great Adventure

The Looping Dragon is what it’s called at Six Flags Great Adventure. Once again the ride’s name doesn’t actually lie by putting the word ‘coaster’ in there. But rather the word Looping, which it is. A flat-ride that’s a looping. The park does though announce the ride to be a “tall steel looping coaster”. Which is an issue we’ll find with all parks and their announcements. Getting to the point, this ride is the most criticized Larson Loop of all four. And that’s for many reasons. I’m going to start with taking a look at the logo first. The logo is supposedly very intense with dragons formed from flames, and fancy golden letters (as it will be located in the Golden Kingdom section of the park). But boy, it failed to impress me. I could’ve designed the logo in a couple of hours as well.looping_dragon_logo (Large)

That being said, its logo is likely the least criticized aspect of the new ride. The fact that, off all parks in the chain, Six Flags Great Adventure ends up being one of the parks adding this, is a mystery to many. Six Flags Great Adventure. The park that brought you the first Floor-less coaster, the insane expansions, and Kingda Ka and El Toro within the same two years, is receiving a flat ride. If last year’s addition was a huge coaster, and the year before that as well, and the year before too. Then sure, a flat-ride is every bit appropriate. But their last new coaster was the hit woodie, El Toro. In 2006… For a park of such world-wide acknowledgement, such numbers of visitors, such space, and such immensity of rides this came as a shock to many.looping_dragon_key_art (Large)

The park hasn’t added a truly-new coaster for 8 years, and placed the relocated Chang as Green Lantern in 2011. But other than that, 2012 was a flat ride, 2013 was the Safari Tour. Which I understand is a huge expansion, but the lines are always 3 hours long apparently, and the general public is going to underestimate the intensity of the expansion of adding an entire safari park to a single attraction. Then 2014 brought the record breaking Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom. And in general, this still isn’t a bad line-up of expansions. It’s just that they took out the beloved Rolling Thunder to create the queue to Zumanjaro, and instead of adding a new coaster on the huge span of land, they added this. And that’s where the disappointment originates I believe. Looping Dragon will be located next to the Zumanjaro queue, in between the 2005 and 2006 stars of the park Kingda Ka and El Toro. Where it will live in the shadow of the popular record breakers, in the spot where many enthusiasts and guests believed the long-awaited new record coaster would have been built.looping_dragon_artist_rendering (Large)

Six Flags Over Georgia

Six Flags Over Georgia is adding THE JOKER Chaos Coaster. And funny enough, the park doesn’t mention it as a roller-coaster even once in their announcement, but yet the name features the word coaster… Anyhow, THE JOKER Chaos Coaster is of course going to be themed to Gotham City, and will accompany another new flat-ride next to Batman The Ride and Mind Bender. The other flat-ride will be named Harley Quinn Spinsanity. Focusing on THE JOKER Chaos Coaster, let’s talk about the logo. I really like the logo actually! It’s simplistic, very similar to Six Flags Mexico’s The Joker’s logo, but in general it strikes the eye as vibrant and super-villain like. Exactly what it’s supposed to be.the_joker_chaos_coaster_sfog_logo (Large)

Getting to the point of whether or not it’s a good addition or not. I believe it is. The ride is not the only expansion to the area, and I believe it’s always neat to see an older area, such as Gotham City, receive some new rides. It did wonders for our old Gotham City at Six Flags Magic Mountain when they turned it into DC Universe with the addition of Green Lantern’s First Flight. Additionally, Six Flags Over Georgia is in a multi-year capital expansion project currently. They added an entire, full-blown water park as their 2014 expansion. I think adding this flat-ride is very appropriate. Especially since the park seems to be receiving some more love and attention in the next few years!the_joker_chaos_coaster_sfog_picture2 (Large)

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

Last, but definitely not least, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom’s Dare Devil Chaos Coaster. This park is sort of the biggest liar of them all. Stating the word coaster in the ride’s name as well as describing it as a “roller-coaster attraction” in their announcement. Nonetheless, it’s pretty much the same as the other three. The name of the ride is pretty exciting to me, though not very original as both the logo and name are adapted from Six Flags Over Georgia’s Dare Devil Dive Gerstlauer Eurofighter coaster. The logo though is still pretty awesome if you ask me, it isn’t very special, but for the park it’s going to, it’s an entirely new theme.daredevilchaoscoasterlogo (Large)

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is a small park, with the highest maintenance costs imaginable. They run many different shows, a huge variety of rides including 2 launch coasters, a huge floor-less coaster, marine-life stadiums, exhibits, a zoo, etc. Meanwhile the park is relatively small and isn’t merely as popular as some of the bigger parks in the chain. And yet they managed to add Superman in 2012, which started the Premier Launcher hype. The park is generally great at adding the appropriate new attraction at the appropriate time. And again they did so perfectly. In 2011 Sky Screamer was a perfect fit for the Oasis plaza, the next year they took the NorCal crown by adding Superman Ultimate Flight, then they cooled down with adding a new show Drench! to the renewed Toyota Stadium, and a world-class acrobatics show in cooperation with Cirque Dreams. Which they renewed for this year while adding a new family favorite water ride Tsunami Soaker. Additionally, the space in the park is limited, they won’t place rides near animals that can cause disruption of their peace, thus most rides are located in the two front plazas, Roar Plaza, and the Oasis Plaza, where Dare Devil Chaos Coaster will be located.sfdk_daredevilchaoscoaster_1a (Large) (2)

I personally believe this is a great ride for their line-up, it’s small, compact, something thrilling, which keeps the wide range of audience going after they just added a family ride, and it will offer a unique experience. Overall, of all four additions, I believe that Discovery Kingdom is best off with this ride.SFDK Dare Devil Chaos Coaster Key Art

Overall, I’m not against these rides in any way. I honestly think Six Flags bought themselves a little time for some parks by adding this, and for Six Flags America and Six Flags Over Georgia it’s a great little addition for a season in between larger expansions. Regarding Six Flags Great Adventure, I honestly feel it was a bit of a cop out, and I hope that next year will bring a large new ride to the New Jersey park. For Six Flags Discovery Kingdom it’s another year of another great new ride that suits the park.

When looking at all expansions it’s quite understandable that Six Flags went with a bulk order of flat rides, since Twisted Colossus, Wicked Cyclone, and Batman The Ride are some very large rides that influenced the budget, but they (I’m very glad about this) also went back to the drawing board for family attractions by adding the incredible looking dark rides Battle for Metropolis to Six Flags St. Louis and Six Flags Over Texas. It’s time some enthusiasts calm down a little bit, and realize that this wasn’t a bad move from Six Flags at all, the Larson Loops.

Comment your opinion below please!

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Throwback Thursday–VertiGo (Knott’s Berry Farm)

VertiGo was an upcharge flat ride located at both Cedar Point and Knott’s Berry Farm. Both the were S&S Sky Sling models that opened in the fall of 2001. The ride structure consisted of three 265-foot-tall towers (2 placed in front of another rear pole). Cables ran down from the top of the tower and attached to the ride vehicle. Riders of VertiGo would first be strapped into a triangular car. Two people could sit on each side of the triangle, letting six people to ride at one time. The restraints were designed to make you feel very insecure, and had few places to hold on. The car would rise a few feet off the ground, and then would rocket the riders up at 50 miles/hour, over the three 265-foot-tall towers, almost 300 feet in the air. There were three different ways to experience VertiGo: The Hot Rocket where riders remain in the upright position throughout the entire ride, The Cosmic Flip where guests begin in the upright position, then as the ride reached the highest point, the seats will rotate forward 150 degrees to provide a face first falling sensation as the ride vehicle descends toward the ground, The Big Bang where shortly after launch, riders are flipped forward 150 degrees and travel through the majority of the ride upside down and finally, The Big Bang Plus, where seats would rotate at random points during the ride.vertigo  The ride was similar to the upcharge attraction Thrill Shot at Six Flags Magic Mountain, but with rotating seats.  The ride cost between 8 and 11 dollars to ride, and was so popular that  reservations were recommended in order to beat the crowds.  2 months after its opening Cedar Point’s VertiGo model was closed for maintenance and the ride vehicle was removed for repairs.  Unfortunately, the vehicle on these models is used to stabilize the towers and one of the towers collapsed, not injuring anyone but causing some park damage.  Due to the incident, Cedar Fair closed both attractions.  Cedar Point’s version was demolished shortly after, and Knott’s version was demolished about 5 months later after being SBNO for that time.vert

Throwback Thursday–Skyhawk at California’s Great America

Skyhawk was an Intamin Flight Trainer model that opened at CGA in 1989.  The ride carried riders 60 feet in the air in Rocket shaped vehicles. Each vehicle was attached to an arm, and riders were given the control to rotate their cabins manually 360 degrees. Riders could flip themselves upside down nearly the entire ride, or just enjoy the view in an upright position.  The ride apparently had issues, due to the fact that the plexi glass covers were falling off, so when the ride was closed in 1991 after a fatal accident on the same model ride at King’s Island, the covers were removed by the time the ride was re opened.  Skyhawk was removed either in 1999 or 2000, and stood where the Three Point Challenge game stands today. The reason for its removal is unclear, although rumors have circulated that the clear canopies on the cabins would frequently fall off mid-ride. Very few Intamin Flight Trainer models exist in theme parks today.  skyhawk3

Ride Review–Splash Mountain

splmSplash Mountain is a dark themed log flume ride made by Hopkins Rides located in Critter Country at Disneyland in Anaheim, California.  The ride is themed from the 1946 Disney film, The Song of the South.  Riders enter past the main area to view the 53 foot final plunge, before entering into a barns, and through caverns to reach the boarding section.  Once 6 to 7 riders are boarded into the log, the ride departs up 2 conveyer lifts, and through the outdoor section of the ride.  This section shows the homes of Br’er Rabbit, Fox and Bear, the three main characters of the Disney film and ride.  The ride makes its first, small drop into the indoor section of the ride, where they are greeted by one of the film’s numbers “How Do You Do?” and see some of Br’er Rabbits antics of tricking Br’er Bear and Br’er Fox.  The ride then descends down a completely enclosed indoor drop which crests and then drops again to an area where characters are sung the song “A Laughing Place”.  The riders then see Br’er Rabbit caught in a sticky trap of honey, and the rides third of four songs, “Burrows Lament”, a song explaining the fate of the doomed Br’er Rabbit.  The riders make their final way up the ominous lift hill, complete with speaking vultures of the poor Rabbit’s future.brrbrfsplm

Finally, riders see tied up Br’er Rabbit, with the silhouette of the mouth of Br’er Fox around him, but riders then crest the hill and plunge 53 ft down into the Briar Patch of thorns.  One inside, they see that Br’er Rabbit is safe at home, Br’er Fox is avoiding being eaten by an alligator, and the entire cast of animatronic animals singing the song that made the film famous, Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Da.zadlsplm

Riders make a final turn, where they can preview their picture before exiting the log.  The rides duration is approximately 9 minutes and 20 seconds, making it the shortest of the three versions of the ride (California, Orlando, and Tokyo), however, it features one more drop than either of the other 2.  The ride is fantastic fun for all ages, featuring both thrill and theme aspects, that everyone loves.

Due to its location, the lines stay pretty short at the beginning and end of the day, however, between about noon until 7 PM, the ride’s lines remains jammed.  The best time of the day to  ride is during the fireworks shows, because much of the crowds have cleared to view these, plus, there is a nice view of the show before the final drop.splmn

Throwback Thursday–Lost California Enterprises

With only one standing in the state of California at Great America, the very popular Huss Enterprise model isn’t well known in our home state.  However, California used to house 2 other enterprises, which would have added to the 18 in America if they were still standing today.

Loop Trainer Flying Machine (Knotts):  Loop Trainer Flying machine was and SDC model Enterprise that opened in 1976.  The ride was enjoyed by many park patrons, however it was removed in 1989 to make room for the Intamin Flight Trainer ride XK-1 in 1989.  Now the space that both these rides occupied is help by Supreme Scream.

ltfm

Enterprise/Reactor (Magic Mountain):  Enterprise opened at Magic Mountain a year after Loop Trainer in 1977.  The ride opened in the same area as Electric Rainbow and Musik Express, however, with the 1987 addition of Z-Force (Intamin Looping Starship), the ride’s name was changed to Reactor.  Both Reactor and Z-Force closed the same year (1993) to make room for the B&M coaster still standing today, Batman: The Ride.

reactor

 

Throwback Thursday–Parachute Sky Jump @ Knott’s Berry Farm

In 1976, just 2 years after the transformation of Gypsy Camp to the Roarin’ Twenties, the 20 story Parachute Sky Jump was opened.  The ride opened around America’s bicentennial, and July 4th, 1976 was the most populous day ever at “The Farm”.  This Intamin ride, which was also opened at Coney Island at the time, reeled riders up the 200 ft tall tower, and then drop them down.  The parachute above the rider slowed the intensity of the drop, allowing riders to drift down at a nice comfortable pace.  The year the ride opened brought about many new attractions, including Motorcycle Chase (later Soapbox Racers) and the Sky Cabin, which still stands today.  Sky Jump was actually built around the Sky Cabin, so as riders would ascend up in the Sky Cabin, they could see riders of the Sky Jump floating down.  Sky Jump stood as the tallest ride in the park for 22 years until Supreme Scream surpassed it in 1998.  The ride was removed 1 year later, along with the parks Himalaya Ride called Headache.  Many remember this ride fondly, and, although not as thrilling as some of Knott’s rides today, this ride was quite a crowd pleaser.

9 Parachute drop

 

Screamin’ in the skies. Sky Screamer

Not often is there a ride so common at Six Flags parks, and even rarer is the fact that a similar ride is so common at Cedar Fair parks. We’ll be taking a short look at the Sky Screamers at Six Flags parks, and ultimately give some additional details on the unique Californian version at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. ATTENTION: Sky Screamer at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom will be operating BACKWARDS from March 15th (tomorrow), ’til April 27th as a SPRING SPECIAL! DON’T MISS OUT!20130705_134554

The Sky Screamers at Six Flags parks are all different. One thing they do though have in common. All of ’em are Star Flyers, which are manufactured by Funtime, an Australian ride-manufacturer. There are 2 of these star flyers that have a height of 400 ft. These are the world’s tallest ‘swing rides’, and can be found at Six Flags Over Texas, where it debuted in 2013, and Six Flags New England, where it will debut later this year. They both have a name that’s a tat different than the others; the Texas Sky Screamer, and the New England Sky Screamer. The rides are both almost twice as tall as the standard Star Flyer model, and change the parks’ sky lines drastically. SIX FLAGS OVER TEXAS

The Sky Screamers at Six Flags Great Adventure and Six Flags Over Georgia are both 242 feet tall, and have a different structure than the 400 ft star flyers. Both also have different colors, similar to all other Sky Screamers (except for the one at SFFT, which stands 200 ft tall). Vol Ultime, is the lowest of ’em all at 148 ft, which can be found at La Ronde. The Sky Screamer at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is a mere 2 feet taller, and stands a 150 ft tall, which is the city limit. Then there’s a Star Flyer of 236 feet tall that can be found at Six Flags St. Louis, which is of course also named Sky Screamer. SFStL-Opening-2012-Sky-Screamer-1

The Sky Screamer here in California, is only a 150 feet tall due to the local city limit. This is also the reason why 3 of the park’s roller-coasters have the same height, this being Medusa, V2, and Superman Ultimate Flight. The Sky Screamer was announced in 2010, and opened on May 27th of 2011. This version, like most other versions except for the 400 ft towers, has 16 two-seat chairs connected to a gondola mounted on a colorful central tower. The ride system brings the gondola up and down. For most Sky Screamers the ride will go up once and down once. The shorter SFDK version on the other hand does this twice.20140101_105008

By the time it reaches the top, it is rotating around the tower at its full speed of approximately 43 mph, with riders rotating around the tower in a circle 98 feet in diameter. All riders are secured with a lap-bar that will lock into place with a small attachment, and a seat-belt that also locks during the ride, making this a very safe swing ride.

The Sky Screamer at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is located on the Oasis Plaza, which it shares with California’s only SLC; Kong, a Zierer family coaster; Cobra, and the infamous star of the park; the giant floor-less Medusa.20130705_132113

Unlike most placements of the Sky Screamers, the one here in California didn’t replace any ride, and was placed on a former tram maintenance lot. This though means that it’s located on the very edge of the park, right next to the tram drop-off and pick up, and the entrance of the park.20130705_131620

In order for riders to get to the ride, they’ll have to pass under the entrance sign which then leads to a path under Medusa. This path is covered, and will ultimately lead to the line that is located in between Sky Screamer and the unique Sea-Serpent Roll of Medusa.20130705_132252

Sky Screamer’s line is a quite simple one that exists out of switchbacks only, with sunscreens partially protecting people in line of the hot CA sun. Once waited through the switchbacks, riders will be assigned boarding gates with numbers and letters. These gates then correspond with the seats attached to the ride vehicle, which have numbers and letters on them as well. Once the previous riders exit on the opposite side of the control building, the gates will open and riders will board the ride. Once the riders have securely closed their seat-belts and restraints, two operators will check each and every seat before lift off. DSC_0153

The ride will then go up and down twice while swinging at speeds of 43 mph. We personally love our Sky Screamer and the view it offers. It might only be 150 ft tall, but that’s still the tallest in the park. The ride offers a wide variety of views due its location. Riders will swing high above the entrance, and will be able to see all coaster located in the front of the park. Riders will get a glimpse of Roar, V2, Superman Ultimate Flight, Cobra, and Kong as they swing around the tower. Perhaps the best view of ’em all is the view riders have of Medusa. Medusa’s track swerves around Sky Screamer, and riders will soar over Medusa as it shoots by through its amazing layout. We also like the colors of Sky Screamer, it looks fresh, and the light package makes the ride stand out at night like no other!20130705_132249

Have you been on any of the Sky Screamers? What are your thoughts of it, and which one did you ride? And if you haven’t been on one yet, what are your thoughts anyways? Please comment below, and share the article!

Throwback Thursday–Bottoms Up and Hilltopper (California’s Great America)

Bottoms Up was a Chance Trabant model ride located at California’s Great America.  The ride opened in 1976 and was located near Turn of the Century (now Demon), and Whizzer in the Hometown Square section of the park.  The ride closed in 1983.  The ride was similar to the ride Wipe-Out at Knott’s, accept riders only face one way, and not each other (maybe less painful).  The ride begins just spring in a circle, as well as on its access through an robotic arm.  Then the ride lifts up on an angle, so every revolution featured a rise and drop, rather than just spinning.  Although this ride would have been a fun experience, it was a simple carnival ride that wouldn’t be able to survive at the more thrilling California’s Great America of today.  bottomsup004

Hilltopper was a Reverchon Himalaya model, which is the same model as The Flash: Speed Force at Six Flags Magic Mountain or Thrilla Gorilla at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom.  Riders board one of sixteen cars that wrap around a circular track, and spin at high speeds through sudden dips and rises in elevation.  The ride was located next to Demon’s entrance, and was replaced by Whitewater Falls in 1990.

Flat Ride Friday -Thrill Shot -> Lolli Swing

This is the first edition of Flat Ride Friday, in which we will either highlight CA Flat Rides, or propose flat ride ideas for parks that need them very badly. Six Flags Magic Mountain needs flats badly, very badly. Luckily the park has the space for a bunch of flats, so let’s see what some of the possibilities are.

Thrill Shot used to reside next to Jet Stream, in the ‘Xtreme Zone’, with Cyclone 5000, and Dare Devil Dive, but was removed after standing SBNO for 2 years, in 2011. The space is now empty, and could easily serve as a new location for a flat ride. 20140120_125155

The ride that we were thinking of would be similar to the new Charlie Brown’s Kite Flyer at Knott’s and would be a family friendly ride. This would do wonders to the up-charge section of the park that has no family friendly rides. Although the park has something similar (Swashbuckler), this ride is easy to theme and maintain, fits in this smaller area, and tilts for a different ride experience.

ZamperlaLolliSwing2small

The entrance to the ride is already there, and easy switchbacks are the only thing left to install. A sun-screen cover over the waiting area, and perhaps a little repaint and your line and exit have been realized. The funny thing is, it actually looks really nice still, we would definitely wait in line over here in between the vegetation. (Line would be in the open area, exit in the closed path).20140120_125240

The faded blue building next door, which is a store, could become something related to the theme of the family friendly ride. Which would include a repaint and new signage. The store has a built in ‘caramel apples’ window, which the park could start using again by selling either themed related ice cream, or caramel apples. 20140120_125208

In the end, the park needs more flat rides, and going family style through the entire park would only be beneficial to the attendance, and spread of visitors through out the park. Combine this with repaints, repairs, and a makeover of Jet Stream right next door, and Cyclone Bay is well on its way again. Next up, the former Deja Vu spot and some repaints. The new colorful slingshot is a great start of a colorful Cyclone Bay.

Comment what kind of ride you’d like to see in Thrill Shot’s former spot, or how they could theme the one we proposed, or anything else related to this article below.

Throwback Thursday–Skyway and America the Beautiful

The Skyride opened at Disneyland in June of 1956, just under a year after the parks opening.  It was a Vonn Roll type 101 detachable mono-cable gondola lift ride.  It had a maximum height of 60 ft and a length of 1200 ft, traveling a approximately 4 mph.  The ride was more of a means of transport from Fantasyland to Tomorrowland, and vice versa.  The ride, when at full capacity, held 168 people.  In 1959, Disney had a major renovation, adding rides like the Monorail, Submarine Voyage, and Matterhorn Bobsleds.  Unfortunately, the Matterhorn Mountain was planned to be built right in the path of the Skyride track, and many thought this would be a short lived attraction.  However, Imagineers had the wonderful idea of allowing the Skyride to run through the mountain, and it ran without a single closure while the mountain was being built.  During the large scale Fantasyland renovation of the mid 80’s, the Skyride continued to run, but only round trip from the Tomorrowland station.  The Skyway was removed in November of 1994, almost 40 years after it opened, due to cracks in the Matterhorn supports. The Fantasyland Skyway station remains but is off limits to guests and completely empty and is mostly hidden by trees.  It is slated to be demolished soon due to pest infestations and a weakening structure.  The Tomorrowland Skyway station has been demolished. The holes in the Matterhorn were filled in and the Skyway supports were dismantled within weeks of its closing.

skyride

America the Beautiful was a short film shown in the Disney Circle Vision 360 degree film theater.  It was opened for 25 years, from 1960 to 1984, and then again for its final year between 1996 and 1997.  The soundtrack from the show is now used as the opening number for the Disneyland show, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.  360 degree film technology was invented by famous Disney Imagineers Don and Ub Iwerks.  A year after its final closing in 1997, Rocket Rods used the building for its queue, and now, the building holds Buzz Lightyear: Astro Blasters.

america the beautiful