How To – U.S.A. Parks

In this series of articles the Coaster Kings teams look to share some advice that will help our readers plan their travel. This week Ian outlines the steps to prepare for a trip to a theme park in the United States. This article is specifically geared towards American theme parks in general. Look for articles on the Disney and Universal resorts in the future!

Continue reading “How To – U.S.A. Parks”

Spanish Theme Park History – Part 5: PortAventura

After a little break, today we’ll continue our series about the Spanish Theme Park History with the fifth article. Every two weeks we’re publishing one of eight articles about the history of thirteen Spanish amusement and theme parks. Some of them no longer exist, but some others are still operating and receiving guests nowadays. In this series, we travel in time through 168 years in theme park history, starting in 1853, to our days in 2021. In this article we’ll focus on PortAventura, the very first theme park of Spain and the only Universal park that has ever existed in Europe.

Continue reading “Spanish Theme Park History – Part 5: PortAventura”

Our Favourite European Theme Park Food – Part Two

Welcome back to part two of our culinary journey across Europe. We really hoped you enjoyed part one and are ready to find our some more of our favourite places! Myself (Emma) and James have been busy writing this article over the last month as there really is so much to chose from. Having to whittle places down means we could not mention them all, but if we’ve missed your favourite place or you want to let us know about a highlight, please leave a comment or find us on social media!

Continue reading “Our Favourite European Theme Park Food – Part Two”

Lost Coasters of California – Part 10: Déjà Vu

In Part 9 of this series I briefly mentioned Six Flags ambitious expansion throughout the 1990s and early 2000s.  A growing American economy made the expansion of the theme park market seem unstoppable.  A series of park acquisitions and the acquisition of Six Flags by Premier Parks that was finalized in 1998 expanded the company’s portfolio to include European parks, movie themed parks, and animal parks.  At the park level Six Flags unveiled park expansions and additions at a dizzying rate.  From the years 1997-2003 Six Flags Magic Mountain received a brand new coaster every year.  It is worth noting that with the exception of 1999 each one of these additions was a major, and in many cases record breaking coaster: 1997 saw the addition of the record breaking 400 ft tall Superman: The Escape.  1998’s Riddler’s Revenge remains the largest Stand-Up coaster in the world. 2000’s Goliath opened as the world’s tallest continuous circuit coaster. 2002’s X introduced the world to the 4th dimension coaster.  And 2003’s B&M floorless Scream was built to be a reliable addition after X‘s problems. X was originally set to open in 2001 but was delayed significantly.  Six Flags chose to open another major thrill machine from Vekoma. Unfortunately, this coaster would have its own set of problems. In August of 2001 Six Flags and Vekoma unveiled the world’s first “Giant Inverted Boomerang”, Deja Vu.

Continue reading “Lost Coasters of California – Part 10: Déjà Vu”

Our Favourite European Theme Park Food – Part One

Hello and welcome to part one of our 2 part article on our favourite European theme park foods. Today myself (Emma) and James will be talking all about our favourite foods, snacks and restaurants. We want to dive into the best food in Europe and share with you, and find some more theme park gems along the way. We sadly haven’t visited all the theme parks in Europe (wouldn’t that be a dream) so these are our favorites that we have personally experienced.

Continue reading “Our Favourite European Theme Park Food – Part One”

Lost Coasters of California – Part 9: Stealth

Paramount Park’s 13 year foray into the theme park business resulted in a significant number of successes and industry oddities.  The application of Paramount theming in existing regional parks gave us two significant B&M Top Gun inverts and the world’s first major linear induction motor launch coaster, Flight of Fear.  However their tendency to experiment and take additions in different directions also resulted in a string of failures and disappointments.  Kings Dominion opened the late Volcano, The Blast Coaster in 1998, a prototype Intamin inverted catapult coaster that never seemed to run reliably throughout its 20 years at the park, and the ill-fated prototype air launch coaster Hypersonic XLC in 2001.  Carowinds opened a Setpoint suspended water coaster in 2000 called Flying Super Saturator which lasted less than 10 years.  Canada’s Wonderland still has an odd collection of mid-size coasters for the world’s most popular regional park including 1995’s SLC Top Gun and 2004’s Zamperla flyer Tomb Raider, The Ride.  The chain’s flagship, Kings Island, received one of the most notorious failures of them all, 2000’s wooden hyper coaster, Son of Beast.  That same year the chain would add a unique prototype to Great America, the world’s first major flying coaster, Stealth.  

Continue reading “Lost Coasters of California – Part 9: Stealth”

Spanish Theme Park History – Part 4: Parque de Atracciones de Madrid

Today we’ll continue our series about the Spanish Theme Park History with the fourth article. Every two weeks we’re publishing one of eight articles about the history of thirteen Spanish amusement and theme parks. Some of them no longer exist, but some others are still operating and receiving guests nowadays. In this series, we travel in time through 168 years in theme park history, starting in 1853, to our days in 2021. In this article we’ll focus on Parque de Atracciones de Madrid, a park with lots of history, an interesting variety of rides and attractions, that is constantly evolving to offer the best experiences to its guests.

Continue reading “Spanish Theme Park History – Part 4: Parque de Atracciones de Madrid”

How To – China

In this new series of articles I want to take our experiences and share them with our readers to better prepare them to conquer the (theme park) world. I sat down and started with day-by-day reliving of trips around the world and things we learned along the way that would have been useful to have known beforehand. I think the perfect destination to discuss first is the People’s Republic of China. Whether you’re there just to hit theme parks, or plan on spending time visiting major sites, the tips in this article may really help!

Continue reading “How To – China”

Dennlys Parc – A Little Gem Hidden in the North of France

In a time where most of the theme parks in Europe are uncertain about opening in time for the 2021 season, we decided to do a little throwback to last year’s trips and especially to a little park in the north of France, Dennlys Parc. It may be the hidden gem of the north of France, come with us as we recall our visit to Dennlys Parc!

Continue reading “Dennlys Parc – A Little Gem Hidden in the North of France”

Lost Coasters of California – Part 8: Invertigo

Last week we focused on Windjammer Surf Racers and how it was a product of Knott’s Berry Farm’s attempt to navigate the space between the family and thrill market.  It faced the problem of Magic Mountain dominating the thrill market with major coaster additions, many of which we’ve discussed here, and Disneyland’s hyper detailed themed experiences.   Northern California in the late 90s had a far less competitive theme park market.  After the construction and runaway success of Tidal Wave in 1977 Marriott’s Great America, eventually Great America in 1985 and then Paramount’s Great America in 1993, had remained consistent with coaster trends.  In 1986 they opened the wooden Grizzly, 1991 saw the addition of the B&M standup Vortex, and 1993 saw the addition of the still-beloved B&M invert Top Gun.  These consistent additions, despite changes in ownership, resulted in a solid coaster collection any regional park could be proud of.  

Continue reading “Lost Coasters of California – Part 8: Invertigo”

2nd Hand Coasters

Five of the Best Parks in America for Relocated Roller Coasters


You can’t build new old coasters – any park could conceivably build a new ride from scratch, but there’s something about a relocated coaster that feels unique. A ride on its 2nd or 3rd location is also on its 2nd or 3rd lease on life, or even its 2nd or 3rd identity. Parks with multiple relocated coasters dedicate themselves to continuing the stories of these rides – many of which whose narratives were thought to have already ended.

Continue reading “2nd Hand Coasters”

Lost Coasters of California – Part 7: Windjammer

Today’s roller coaster landscape is becoming increasingly international.  With the rise of streaming video, social media, and even Google Translate the coaster enthusiast community and industry is more connected than it’s ever been.  With the recent rise of Chinese theme parks and Chinese ride manufacturers it’s easy to forget a time when Japan seemed second only to the United States as a thrill ride destination.  The undisputed king of the Japanese coaster manufacturers was “Toyo Goraku Ki Kabushiki Kaisha” or TOGO.  TOGO opened their first roller coaster in  1953 at Hanayashiki park in Tokyo and soon began building rides all over Japan.  In 1983 their stand-up coaster model was opening at Kings Island as King Cobra, bringing TOGO to North America.  Over the next two decades TOGO would try to capitalize on this success and expand into the American and European market.  They eventually opened a subsidiary named TOGO International headquartered in Middletown, Ohio. While there was some success an ill-fated 1997 project at Knott’s Berry Farm would mark the end of TOGO’s presence as a leader in the coaster world. 

Continue reading “Lost Coasters of California – Part 7: Windjammer”

Spanish Theme Park History – Part 3: Monte Igueldo & Parc d’Atraccions de Montjuïc

Today we’ll continue our series about the Spanish Theme Park History with the third article. Every two weeks we’re publishing one of eight articles about the history of thirteen Spanish amusement and theme parks. Some of them no longer exist, but some others are still operating and receiving guests nowadays. In this series, we travel in time through 168 years in theme park history, starting in 1853, to our days in 2021. In this article we’ll focus on two very special parks, the first one is Monte Igueldo, which still operates in the Spanish region of the Basque Country and, the second one, Parc d’Atraccions de Montjuïc, which was located in Barcelona.

Continue reading “Spanish Theme Park History – Part 3: Monte Igueldo & Parc d’Atraccions de Montjuïc”

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Opens Rides Starting April 1st!

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, the Thrill Capital of  Northern California, today announced plans to open the park with the complement of world class roller coasters, rides, and animals with a special exclusive preview for Members and  Season Pass holders, April 1 and 2, then opening to the general public on April 3, 2021. For the  first time since March of last year, the park will operate its renowned collection of thrilling rides  in accordance with state, county and local government guidelines. The park has safely hosted  guests for the animal-focused, Marine World Experience, since July of 2020. In accordance with  state and county reopening guidelines for theme parks, Six Flags will operate at reduced  attendance levels utilizing the existing reservation system. The park is also continuing the  implementation of extensive safety measures including several new advanced technology  systems to protect guests and employees. The plan, developed in consultation with infectious  disease experts, sets standards for executing at the highest levels of hygiene and social  distancing protocols. These procedures will be adjusted on an as-needed basis to ensure  compliance with state and county recommendations.

Continue reading “Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Opens Rides Starting April 1st!”

Six Flags Magic Mountain Will Reopen April 1st WITH Rides!

Six Flags Magic Mountain announced plans to  reopen the park to members and passholders on April 1 and 2, and to the general public on  April 3, 2021. In accordance with state reopening guidelines for theme parks, Six Flags Magic  Mountain will operate at reduced attendance levels utilizing a new reservation system. The park is also implementing extensive safety measures including several new advanced technology  systems to protect guests and employees. The plan, developed in consultation with infectious  disease experts, sets standards for executing at the highest levels of hygiene and social  distancing protocols. These procedures will be adjusted on an as-needed basis to ensure  compliance with state and county recommendations.

Continue reading “Six Flags Magic Mountain Will Reopen April 1st WITH Rides!”

Pairi Daiza – Spending the Night at Le Jardin des Mondes

Hey everyone! Due to a lack of theme parks with rides open in Europe, we decided to visit a zoo theme park. Pairi Daiza might be one of the best zoos in the world, not only thanks to its animal collection but the theming and detail they use for the areas where the animals live. Since a few years, you can also reside in the park itself for a luxurious experience. First we’ll get you familiar with the park and then we’ll discuss all the different options of staying in the park and our experience!

Continue reading “Pairi Daiza – Spending the Night at Le Jardin des Mondes”