California’s Great America

Marriott’s Great America, built by hotel and restaurant operator Marriott Corporation, opened to the public on May 20, 1976. Less than two weeks later on May 29, the company opened a second Marriott’s Great America – later known as Six Flags Great America.

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The park, though profitable, was still an earnings disappointment for Marriott, leading the company in 1983 to explore options to sell. An interested party, Caz Development Co., appraised the land value at US$800,000 to $1 million per acre. Marriott also involved the city of Santa Clara in negotiations, which was already leasing 55 acres (22 ha) of parking space for the amusement park. The city eventually acquired the park for $93.5 million from Marriott, which retained 20 acres (8.1 ha) from the sale for development. Caz Development settled and was allowed to build a hotel and office near the park, which the city renamed Great America. Kings Entertainment (Kings Island and Kings Dominion for example) Company, who owned and operated other amusement parks, was hired in 1985 to manage Great America for the city.

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Paramount acquired Kings Entertainment, and created Paramount Parks. Viacom, the parent of MTV Networks (including Nickelodeon), then bought Paramount in 1994, allowing Nickelodeon theming and merchandise into the park as well. During the Paramount era, attractions from the Action FX Theatre, Nickelodeon Splat City (later Nickelodeon Central), Drop Zone Stunt Tower, Invertigo, and many more modern thrill ride attractions were added in. In 2000, the park added the first flying coaster in the world to their coaster line-up, Stealth. Stealth was a Vekoma Flying Dutchman, and was extremely popular among guests. The park had to remove the fan-favorite in 2003 to make room for their in-park water park Boomerang Bay. Stealth got moved to Carowinds, also Paramount by that time, and has since recieved a make-over and is currently named Nighthawk.

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After Viacom and CBS Corporation split, Paramount Parks became part of CBS. The merger did not last long, as CBS announced plans to sell the theme park division.

In May 2006, it was announced that Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. would be acquiring the entire amusement park division from CBS. The transaction includes licensing agreements with Nickelodeon and Paramount, providing the park the option to retain its Nickelodeon and Paramount theming for several years.

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The park seemed to have had a hard time the last couple of years, with removal of Invertigo, and Cedar Fair wanting to sell the park. The last new coaster before Gold Striker opened in 2001, Psycho Mouse, and many were delighted to see the park add a new big ride in 2013. The park seems to be ready for the next couple of years.

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Below you’ll find a list with all current rollercoasters the park operates. Click on the name of the ride to get the statistics from RCDB.com .

  • Demon is an arrow looper, that started it’s life as ‘Turn of the Century’. The track got altered along the way to add a double loop into it, and got renamed Demon.
  • Flight Deck is a unique custom designed B&M inverted coaster. It has a relatively small layout, and is definetly one of the park’s major attractions. It used to be named Top Gun, with the Paramount License still active.
  • Gold Striker is the park’s newest addition, and is the longest wooden coaster in nothern CA. It is a GCI that had some noise problems, but these have been solved and the ride is running smooth. It is believed to be CA best wooden rollercoaster.
  • Grizzly is the park’s first wooden rollercoaster, and is believed to be rough now-a-days. It is still a fun classic woden coaster ride.
  • Psycho Mouse is the park’s wild mouse coaster made by arrow. This is one of the last arrow coasters to be opened.
  • Taxi Jam is a coaster for the younger visitors of the park.
  • Woodstock’s Express is too.
  • Vortex is the 2nd B&M coaster to be built. The ride is similar to Vortex from Carowinds, which opened as 3rd B&M, but has some significant differences in the track layout. Vortex is a stand-up coaster.

 

A Ride through Space in a Magic Kingdom

The first Space Mountain opened in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom theme park in Orlando, Florida in 1975.

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The ride opened as a response to the success ‘The Matterhorn Bobsleds’ had received when they opened at Disneyland in Anaheim, California in 1959.  The Matterhorn Bobsleds ride was Disney’s first thrill ride, and they realized that thrill rides brought a wider range of people to their park, so the idea of Space Mountain was born.  In 1965, Walt Disney partnered with Arrow Dynamics for the second time, the first being with Matterhorn, to build Space Mountain.  Unfortunately, Walt passed away in December of 1966, and the main focus was on completing his Disney World project, so the Space Mountain project was suspended.  Disney World had huge success, and planned to build a new thrill ride due to its large population of teenage and young adult visitors in 1971.  A new Matterhorn was thought of, but the park in Florida didn’t have enough space, so Disney Imagineers went back to designing Space Mountain.  Although the park had enough space to build the ride, they chose to build it off park property and have RCA sponsor the 10 million dollar project.  It opened on January 15th, 1975.  The ride features many elements that have come from defunct rides in the park, including Epcot’s Horizons and the Submarine Voyage, as well as pieces from the old Disney Lounge at LAX airport.  The ride features single file seats, similar to Disneyland’s Matterhorn. This Space Mountain exists out of 2 nearly the same tracks (mirror) that have a height of 90 ft. maximum speed of 27 MPH, and the ride has a duration of 2 mins and 35 seconds.

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Due to its large success Disneyland started construction on a second Space Mountain shortly after the first one was completed.  After 2 years, Disneyland’s 20 million dollar Space Mountain complex was complete, with a stage/theater, a restaurant, and the Starcade, as well as the coaster.  Many famous astronauts such as John Glenn and Alan Shepard attended the opening.  The ride featured many high tech updates over the early years, including a moving sidewalk at the entrance of the ride, and, when FedEx became the sponsor of the ride, new scenery were added, such as TV screens with looping safety videos and FedEx robots added for scenery in the loading area.  In 1996, the ride added on board music, by composer Aarin Richards and show producer Eddie Sotto, which was explained as a combination of horror, sci fi, and surf music.  In 1997, the dome structure holding Space Mountain was repainted green and gold.  In 2003, the ride closed for track renovations, due to the tracks instability.  It reopened in 2005 for Disneyland’s 50th anniversary, with new track, new effects, and a new storyline.  Although the track was new, it was the same original layout as its predecessor.  The ride was dedicated to Neil Armstrong on its reopening.  In 2006, the park added a new on-board soundtrack featuring a remixed version of the 1989 Red Hot Chilli Pepper’s song Higher Ground.  During the month of October from 2007-2008, the ride operated as Space Mountain: Nightmare Nebula.  Nightmare Nebula was never a large success, so it was change to Ghost Galaxy in 2009.  Ghost Galaxy features different lighting and scenery on both the ride and in the queue, and has been a large success.  This Space mountain has a ride duration of 2:48 min, has a track length of 3,459 ft. and has a top speed of 32 MPH. Riders will enter the dome and reach height by traveling through tunnels and special effects over 3 lift hills. While in the dome, projected stars will disorient riders as they travel down in repetitive motion, being confused by sudden twists and small drops. Before getting back to the station the ride makes another sudden movement and will slow down in a special effects tunnel.

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Space Mountain in Tokyo opened in 1983.  The ride is a clone of Disneyland’s Space Mountain, but in 2006, the rides theming was renovated, to make the ride seem more futuristic.

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Space Mountain of Disneyland Paris opened in 1995, and was originally called from ‘earth to the moon’. This Space Mountain is the only one with inversions. In 2005, it changed to Space Mountain: Mission 2, with upgraded theming.  The ride was the first ride to feature synchronized on ride music.  The ride’s crowning jewel is the large cannon on the outside of the mountain that launches riders in.  The new ride, although having the same track was to be considered a sequel to the original ride instead of a replacement.  Ex Disney CEO Michael Eisner said that this ride was the thing that kept Disneyland Paris alive. The ride begins with the riders (seated in a big rocket-like train) going around the corner entering the huge canon. (Based on Jules Verne’s “A Voyage to the Moon and a Trip Around It”.  In the story, the astronauts are launched from Earth by a giant canon.) The canon side closes, and some effects including fog simulate the launch. Just as the cable launch catches the car from underneath, the fog appears at the end of the tunnel, and the riders get launched up the canon into the mountain. Inside the mountain the synced audio matches with the inversions giving the riders a unique experience. In the middle of the ride there seems to be a rather slow part, this is where the train gets elevated a bit more to then again get more speed to go through some more elements before returning to the station. The ride has a max. speed of 44 MPH, has a track length of 3,281 ft, reaches the height of 105 ft., and has 3 inversions. These inversions are a sidewinder, corkscrew and unique tongue. Vekoma did a great job with this unique request, and to optimize the ride experience, the ride will feature the popular MK1212 trains in the near future.

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Hong Kong Space Mountain is very similar to Disneyland’s Space Mountain as well.  It has some differences though however, such as a different queue, and a hyper speed tunnel.

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World’s Tallest Roller Coaster… in.. Vegas?

For our 3rd Tomorrow Tuesday, we are looking at a ride that is very possible in the near future.

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The Las Vegas Review Journal is out with some pretty exciting news. A  company called U.S. Thrill Rides LLC is planning to build the world’s tallest roller coaster in Las Vegas. The coaster, if completed, will stand a staggering 650 feet high. (Click here for a video of the ride)

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That would make it nearly 200 feet taller than the current tallest coaster in the world, Kingda Ka. But, perhaps even more interestingly, the “Polercoaster,” as it’s called, will fit in a tiny amount of real estate. It will be built in a giant pole-like structure with tracks spiraling around the structure.

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The tower structure has room for a mall in the top levels, which you can only reach with elevators.

 

Velocetron, uuhm, we meant Superman The Escape

Superman The Escape opened as world’s tallest and fastest rollercoaster. Superman The Escape was the first ride ever to exceed the 100 MPH mark. But what most people don’t know is that there were totally different plans for the ride first. The park had plans to create a ride named ‘Velocetron’. There is not much known about this plan, since the ride was going to be about the same, except for the theming. There are some pictures out there from the ride ideas such as this one.

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The ride turned out to become Superman The Escape, which was made by Intamin, and was originally intended to open in 1996. Due to problems, it was never open to the public until the 1997 season.  There was a preview for season pass holders in the fall of 1996. Superman The Escape was gray/white and is/was a shuttle coaster. Superman The Escape is/was 1,235 ft long, 415 ft tall, has a 328.1 ft drop, has a max. of 4.5 G’s, and reaches the speed of 100 MPH in less than 7 seconds. Superman The Escape used to reach the top of the tower in the beginning of the operations, but it slowely ended up reaching only half the tower.

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Superman The Escape was the fastest rollercoaster in the world until 2001, when Dodonpa opened in Fuyi-Q-highland. Superman The Escape was world’s tallest coaster until 2003, when Top Thrill Dragster Opened in 2003. Superman (now Superman: Escape From Krypton) is still in the top 3 tallest rollercoasters in the world. In 2010, the ride closed without any given reason, and rumors had it that it would get transformed to Bizarro, but that was untrue. For the 2011 season, Superman The Escape was transformed into Superman: Escape from Krypton. The most significant change was positioning riders to face backwards so they now look towards the ground rather than the sky on the vertical track.

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Superman: Escape From Krypton has been painted red, blue, and yellow, and now reaches the top of the tower most of the time. The ride ran smooth for about a year, but Superman: Escape from Krypton closed again on February 5, 2012 to prepare for the new 2012 attraction Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom. Two drop towers, also built by Intamin, were integrated into the existing sides of Superman: Escape from Krypton’s structure. The ride reopened when construction was finished on July 7, 2012. The ride’s harnasses for the outsides seats got replaced as well during this time. 

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At the entrance to the ride, the Superman “S” shield is imprinted and now painted onto the ground. The entrance area and queue are modeled after the Fortress of Solitude, Superman’s headquarters. The station is lit green, modeled as Krypton, the planet that is full of Kryptonite rock that can take away Superman’s powers. Inside is a crystalline-looking environment which recreates Superman’s fortress in the Arctic. If the Velocetron name had been chosen, the queue and station would have had ancient ruins and a giant laser. (as seen in the picture)

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Superman: Escape From Krypton offers a unique ride which only takes about 28 seconds, with a perfect mix of G’s and a great amount of weightlessness/airtime. If you happen to be around, or have never been on it before make sure to check it out since it’s a fun ride experience, and lines are mild in the mornings and evenings.

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor LA

California Coaster Kings went to Hurricane Harbor next to Magic Mountain to give you an update and walkthrough. 

The park opened as the first Hurricane Harbor by Six Flags in 1995, and there are currently 7 Six Flags Hurricane Harbors.

Here is a list of all the ‘attractions’ in Hurricane Harbor LA.

(click on any of the names to be re-directed to the official HHLA ride page)

Bamboo Racer
Black Snake Summit
Castaway Cove
Forgotten Sea Wave Pool
Lightning Falls
Lizard Lagoon
Lost Temple Rapids
Reptile Ridge
River Cruise
Splash Island  
Taboo Tower
Tiki Falls
Tornado
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Lost Temple Rapids is a family tube slide where four riders share the same raft/tube. It’s a fun ride, but be sure to check it out right when the park opens, or right before it closes, because the lines can get very long. This is also the only tube-slide at the waterpark where you don’t have to carry the raft/tube up the stairs yourself.
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River Cruise is the park’s lazy river, and travels around the 2 kid-areas. The River Cruise is a relaxed, cool, and easy way to get around the park, since there are multiple exits along the way.
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Notice the raft-lift hill, which is unique in this park.
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This is the “Lightning Falls” Slide complex, and is the only tube-slide complex in the park to use 2-person tubes.
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Splash Island is the park’s biggest kiddie-area this complex includes a bucket, 7 small body-slides, and a lot of interactive water features.
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Taboo Tower has 3 speed-slides. Secret Passage is a closed tube speed chute. Escape Chute  is a slide with multiple drops. And Dare Devil Plunge starts in a tunnel, opens up and has a drop as final maneuver.
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A part of River Cruise goes through a temple ruin. The entire water park has a theming that matches this.
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We guess that true advertisement has to be done this way…
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Tornado is the park’s most popular slide and is a funnel-slide, meaning riders will sit in a 4 person tube, going around the corner to the drop, and drop into the funnel.
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From Hurricane Harbor you get some unique views on the record breakers next door.

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Tornado is located in the back of the water park, right behind Bamboo Racer.
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Bamboo Racer is a family-style race slide.
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Tiki Falls has 3 tube-slides. One of them is green and light will shine through. The other two are pitch black adventures.
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The 3 speed slides on Black Snake Summit end up where the Taboo slides end too. The 3 speed slides are Coiled Cobra & Twisted Fang (Tallest enclosed slides in CA) and Venom Drop, a steep free-fall slide.
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On the lower level of Black Snake Summit you’ll find Boa Constrictor and Sidewinder, 2 totally enclosed, dark tube-slides. The Black Snake Summit complex towers over the Forgotten Sea Wave Pool, the park’s wave pool.
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Castaway Cove is the small kiddie area.
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Forgotten Sea Wave Pool it is.
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Lizzard Lagoon is a fun-filled 7,000-square-foot tropical getaway for teens and up. With the slide complex Reptile Ridge. Reptile Ridge has five seriously twisted water slides — Gecko Gully West, Gator Gorge, Gecko Gully East, Iguana Ravine & Croc Creek.
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Reptile Ridge from the side.
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Taboo Tower, and Black Snake Summit. are the park’s two tallest slide complexes.
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This is Lizard Lagoon from when you entered. The park recently opened an all new Cabana Cove in the back of this area. The Cabanas are up for daily rental online or at the park. The Lizard Lagoon area also includes a water-volleyball pool, and a water-basketball pool.
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Just like any other Six Flags park, use Discover and save 5%.

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Invertigo. Inverted Vertigo…

For our 3rd Throwback Thursday we have Invertigo.

Invertigo is a suspended Vekoma Boomerang Model (Vertigo) having riders sit with their backs to one another facing the other riders at the same time. Invertigo looks like the regular Boomerang models when looking at the track layout. The only differences are in the train hanging under the track, the height, and the looping exits on the opposite side.

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Invertigo was located next to the park’s first woodie, Grizzly, and has had some operational errors making people believe that’s one of the main reasons the ride was closed and left. Invertigo was blue(supports) with yellow(track). The top speed of this machine was 50 MPH, and it stood a 131 ft. tall. The ride went through the Cobraroll and Looping both forwards and backwards (like every other boomerang model similar to this from Vekoma). The coaster is known for being powerful as the train isn’t only suspended but also has a max. amount of G’s of 5. The ride’s duration is about 1:30 minutes.

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Invertigo came to California’s Great America in 1998, and closed at the end of the 2010 season. Invertigo is now located in Dorney Park, and is renamed and re-colored to become Stinger.Stinger_HomepageSlider

Dinner With Mrs. Knotts

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The original sign from Mrs. Knotts’s Fried Chicken from 1934, that has been refurbished over the years.

Since 1934, tourists and locals alike line up for a delicious dinner at Mrs. Knott’s Fried Chicken.  The restaurant opened in 1934 as a small five table tea room where Cordelia Knotts did all the cooking and her daughters waited tables.  Since its opening, the restaurant has served over 20 million guest.

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Mrs. Knotts Fried Chicken restaurant with Ghost Rider’s lift hill rising above it from behind.

The meal comes with a quarter fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, a salad, soup, biscuits, your choice of corn or spinach, and for desert, a slice of boysenberry or apple pie, or a scoop of boysenberry sherbet.  The restaurant also offers an all you can eat Sunday brunch.

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Many of the components that go into a chicken dinner at Mrs. Knott’s.

Disney Ride Has Riders Screamin’

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Screamin’s launch over the water and into 1 of its 3 scream tubes.

The opening of Disney’s California Adventure in February of 2001 brought the Disneyland Resort’s first coaster with an inversion, California Screamin’.  The rides top speed is 55 mph, making it the fastest coaster at the Disneyland Resort.  The ride was designed by Walt Disney Imagineers and built by Intamin.  It is the 8th longest coaster in the world, and 4th longest in the USA.  It is also the longest coaster with an inversion since Son of Beast closed in 2012.

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Screamin’s loop, which forms the head of Disney’s famous Mickey Mouse Ears.

Although the ride is steel, it is built to resemble a wooden boardwalk coaster.  In 2010, the ride recorded safety spiels and a launch count down with Neil Patrick Harris.  In 2007,  the ride added a new onboard soundtrack to both Screamin’ and Space Mountain by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.  A train departs every 36 seconds, and there are up to 5 trains operating at a time.  The ride is 108 ft tall, has 1 inversion (verticle loop), and reaches a top speed of 55 mph through 6,072 ft of track.

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Screamin’s Intamin trains going through its LIM launch system. There are five different colored trains that can all run at once.

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

    California Coaster Kings went to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom on July 5th for a park walk- through and update. Below you’ll see pictures with captions giving you the most up-to-date info. 

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Here is the park’s official parkmap. We didn’t get to get pictures from everything in the park, since the camera battery died.

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Cirque Dreams Splashtastic is one of the greatest shows we’ve ever seen. It is very creative, and impressive. The crowd is constantly entertained, and the acrobats get as much attention as the dolphins. This all means that every single thing going on is perfectly balanced out, and this all happens with a great mix of music and other effects, such as lights and water/fountains. If you have a chance to see it, make sure you check it out.

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Monsoon Falls (seen above) is a boat ride that tricked us. It looks like Tidal Wave from Six Flags Magic Mountain, but this water ride gets you very wet.  It is nice on a hot day, but we warn you, don’t ride it at night.

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One of the kiddie areas is Looney Tunes Sea-Port.

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Seen above is one of the animal exhibits. Seal Cove is a viewing area where guests can observe seals and sea lions, or feed them. ($5 for 3 fish).

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Seen above is the Sea Lion Stadium where a pirate themed show takes place several times a day.– Below you’ll see another animal exhibit. Penguin Passage is the penguin habitat close to V2 and Roar, and across from Seal Cove.

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Below you’ll see a picture (more pictures later on in this update) from a Dolphin Pool where guests can take pictures with them or feed them. Sometimes overload crowds for the Dolphin Discovery (Swim with dolphins program) do activities in here. Guests can stand to the side and watch the dolphins swim by or see them play, but the park employees will clearly state that it is NOT a touch pool.

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On the plaza behind the dolphin pool, you’ll see V2, Superman: Ultimate Flight, and Roar. (Roar Plaza)

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V2 stands for Vertical Velocity and is a 150 ft. tall Intamin Inverted Impulse Coaster. This V2 model is unique since it got altered from the original design due to city limits. The tower is now 45’degrees meaning that the upwards spiral is now an inversion, making this the only V2 that inverts.

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Below you’ll see pictures from Superman: Ultimate Flight. Superman Ultimate flight is a unique triple launch coaster with the world’s highest (complete) barrel-roll at 150 ft. The ride also travels forwards and backwards through the non-inverted loop, and has two 90’degrees steep 180’degrees twists. This really offers a unique ride experience so check it out when you have a chance to.

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Below you’ll also see pictures from Roar.  Roar is the first wooden roller-coaster to use millennium flyer trains, allowing it to do nice twists and fast turns. It’s 95 ft tall and has a drop of about 85 ft. reaching speeds up to 51 MPH. It’s a fun ride, and is smoother than most other woodies out there, even though the 2 other CA GCIs (Apocalypse and Goldstriker) tend to be smoother.

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Below you’ll see pictures from the Dolphin Discovery (Dolphin pool), and the Wave Jumper, which corresponded to the park’s former killer whale, Shouka. (1st pic is the view of the plaza from the dolphin pool)

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The park is a pretty sight as it is clearly divided up into different plazas, having all the big rides in the front side of the park, making it quiet and peaceful in the back where the lake is, and where the animal exhibits and habitats are. (sorry we have no pics of those since the camera died on the trip)

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In the stadiums they sell popcorn and cotton candy, as well as some other products. Below you’ll also see a picture of the newly renovated Toyota Stadium, which used to be Shouka Stadium when they still had the killer whale. The new renovation did the stadium good, and the new dolphin show, Drench!, is a nice addition to the parks show line-up. It is a good show for young and old, and they use many more dolphins at the same time than the old show used to have. Also the show features the most up to date pop music, making it an energetic and fun experience.

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On the back side of the park, before the animal exhibits and habitats, you will find Tasmanian Devil, a frisbee from Huss, Sky Coaster, the Ark (Swinging ship), Scrambler, Bird Theater, Crocodile Island, Voodoo (Huss Topspin) and Boomerang Coast to Coaster.

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Below you’ll see pictures from the Oasis Plaza, the plaza where Medusa, Cobra, Kong, and Sky Screamer are located.

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Kong is a Vekoma SLC standard, and has 2 trains, one yellow one red/orange. When CCK was there there were no lines, and we want to recognize the Kong-crew of the 5th of July, because they did an outstanding job with the operations, dispatch in no time, helpful and very sincere. Really enjoyed that. We know Kong is an SLC, and that many people think it’s too shaky, but CCK has been on many more SLCs in the world, and Kong is actually a really good one, CCK really enjoyed their rides on Kong, and Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is taking good care of it. Kong stands 110 ft. tall and reaches speeds of 50 MPH. It has 5 inversions, including a roll-over, a sidewinder, and a double in-line-twist.

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Medusa is a 150 ft. tall B&M Floorless-coaster with a 128 ft. tall vertical loop, immelman, zero-g-roll, sea serpent roll, and 2 corkscrews. It’s probably the park’s most popular coaster if not shared with S:UF.

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Kong is nicely located. From where ever you come, you can see the amazing SLC go. Neat look if you ask us.

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Below you’ll see the waiting line for Medusa which is partly inside a temple.

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Tomorrow Tuesday #2: BRC’s Comet Weightless Coaster

Starting in september of 2012, BRC design corporation in Southern California began designing a ride in which riders experience almost 8 seconds of weightlessness.  This ride would be based off of a NASA invention known by astronaut trainees as “the vomit comet”.  The original NASA invention takes astronauts into an aircraft that does multiple take off and landing camel backs that create up to 25 seconds of weightlessness.

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This is the original model for the vehicle for The Comet.
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A model showing how riders would be able to observe the change of property of their science kit.
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The original drawn out model of the ride by BRC.

The ride designed by BRC, known simply as Comet, would have a somewhat simpler design, similar to Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Superman: Escape from Krypton.  The only major difference would be completely enclosed in a rocket shaped vehicle.  This way, there could be less restraint, leading to riders actually feeling weightless.  The ride would launch riders at a 400 ft tower, but once it reaches its top speed of 105 mph, it begins to decrease its speed, so riders feel the sensation of actually floating out of their seat for almost 8 seconds.  The ride would cost an estimated 50 million dollars to build, and would take about a year of construction.  Riders would enter the craft through winged doors and sit down in one of the 16 seats per car (6 rows of 2 and 1 of 4).  The restraint would only be a lap belt, similar to what most airlines use, but without a fastening feature, so riders can actually experience floating out of their seats.  Also, each seat would include its very own science kit containing either a glass of water, a ball, or a gyroscope, so riders could see how these items change properties.  The ride would also be equipped with vomit drains, and showers to hose off if you “loose your lunch” during the ride.  Unfortunately however, we may not see this ride for a while, due to its high price, 20 million dollars more than the average roller coaster.

Six Flags Similarities!

Today’s Six Flags Monday will have a special theme, Six Flags Similarities.

Below we will show two interactive lists where California Coaster Kings compares coasters from CA Six Flags Parks to coasters that are similar elsewhere in the world. AND we have a list comparing coasters from the 2 CA Six Flags parks only.

Let’s start finding some similarities in our very own CA Six Flags parks.

  • SCREAM! and MEDUSA. imageBoth parks are home to a B&M Floorless Coaster. Six Flags Magic Mountain has Scream! and Six Flags Discovery Kingdom has Medusa. Both rides have similar elements, and are both 150ft high. Both have a 128 ft. high loop, right after their first drops. Both of them have an immelman/dive loop after that, and then both coasters have a zero-G-roll after that. But then both rides are totally different. Scream! has a Cobra Roll, and Medusa has a roll-over/sea-serpent roll. Scream! is a mirror edition of Bizarro at SFGAdv, and Medusa is custom designed. For an awesome SPLITSCREEN video of Scream! and Medusa, click here, and decide which one you think is better/ more unique!
  • Road Runner Express, and Road Runner Express.image_7 Both our CA Six Flags Parks have a kiddie-rollercoaster named Road Runner Express. The one at Six Flags Magic Mountain is a Vekoma Junior Coaster (207m), and is painted red(track) and black(supports). The other one, at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is a Zamperla Family Gravity Coaster 80STD, and is blue. There are  total of 3 kiddie-coaster that are currently named Road Runner Express. (The 3rd one is BIG and is to be found at SFFT)
  • ROAR and APOCALYPSE.image_5 Although they don’t share a similar track layout or name, they do have a lot of things in common. Six Flags Magic Mountain has Apocalypse, and Six Flags Discovery Kingdom has Roar. Roar was the first rollercoaster to feature Millennium Flyer trains (which apocalypse has too), and is longer. But Apocalypse and Roar are both 95 ft. high, both have a drop that is around 85 ft. tall, and both reach speeds of almost 51 MPH.

Let’s find some similarities between CA Six Flags Coasters and other coasters worldwide.

  • Goliath and Titan.image_4 Both Titan (Six Flags Over Texas) and Goliath (Six Flags Magic Mountain) have a 255 ft drop into a 120 ft. long underground-tunnel. Both reach the speed of 85 MPH while in the tunnel, and share a color scheme, orange (Track) and aqua (supports). Both these coasters are Mega Coasters from Giovanola, and have a drop angle of 61′. The difference in these rides are to be found right before the first brake-run. Goliath opened in 2000, and simply turns upward towards the brake-run. Titan on the other hand is considered the brother of Goliath and opened a year later, in 2001, with an upward-helix before the first brake run. Other than the support structure both rides are almost the excact same after the brake-run.For a SPLITSCREEN video of Goliath and Titan, click here, and notice the differences as well as the similarities.
  • X2 and Eejanaika.image_1 Both Eejanaika and X2 are 4D coasters. (Six Flags Magic Mountain catagorizes X2 as 5D because of the fire, audio, and lightning effects) X2 is the world’s first 4D coaster and started it’s life as X. X was made by Arrow Dynamics, which went bankrupt after X. S&S bought Arrow Dynamics and built the second 4D of that kind in 2006, 6 years after the original got built. X closed in 2007without announcement and got refurbished to become X2 with new trains that were lighter and special effects. This was due to the fact that the old trains were 5 times as heavy as the SFMM Goliath trains, and the park needed to replace about 18  wheels a day, making it an extremely expensive rollercoaster to operate. The track layouts of X2 and Eejanaika are pretty similar although there are more differences than most people expect. Eejanaika has: Inside Raven Turn->Zero-G Roll->Fly To Lie->Outside Raven Turn->Fly To Lie. As where X2 has: Inside Raven Turn-> Fly to Lie->Outside Raven Turn->Fly to Lie. There are lots of differences between these 2 world famous rollercoasters so please click here for a video of X2, and click here for a video of Eejanaika. For more information about the differences, please click on the names of the rides on top (links).
  • Roar and Roar. image_2Both track-layouts are almost the excact same, but Roar from Six Flags America is longer due to the wider turns. Roar at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is a bit shorter because the turns are narrower, this is possible because of the millenium flyer trains this Roar uses. (Roar at SFDK was the first RC to use MF trains) Both Roars have the same track layout except the station and transfer tracks are located differently. Both rides are 95 ft. tall and have the same 85ft. tall drop. They both reach speeds upto 51 MPH, and have a max. of 3.5 G’s.
  • Batman: The Ride and Batman: The Ride (and more Batman: The Rides + Goliath (SFFT)).image_3The Batman clones were the first inverted coasters and the first one opened in 1991 at Six Flags Great America. The CA Batman is at Magic Mountain. Ever since many have been built. There is mirror clone of this too which came from Thrill Valley to SF New Orleans, and is currently located in Six Flags Fiesta Texas and is named Goliath. All of these clones are 105 ft high and start with a twisted drop into a 88 ft. tall loop, followed by a zero-G-roll into another loop, and then the ride does some twists and turns into 2 corkscrews. All Batmans have a ride length of 2,700 ft., a ride duration of 2:00 minutes, a max. speed of 50 MPH, and max. of 4 G’s. To see SPLITSCREEN of Batman at Six Flags Magic Mountain, and Goliath at Six Flags Fiesta Texas click here
  • V2 and V2.image_6 Both V2s stand for Vertical Velocity. Both opened as the same model, but due to the city height limit in Vallejo, V2 at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom had to be altered and the upwards twist had to be slanted 45 degrees down, making it an inversion. The tower on the back side was simply lowered to a height of 150 ft. The V2 at Six Flags Great America is still the way it was meant to be at first and is a 185 ft. tall while twisting vertically, the top speed is 70 MPH, as where the one in Discovery Kingdom is 65 MPH. They both had the same colors originally, but the V2 at SFDK got repainted red (track) and purple/maroon (supports).

 

Special Saturday-Walk-through of Castle Park. Riverside, CA

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The park has an indoor-carousel.
 Castle Amusement Park is a medieval castle themed amusement park in Riverside, CA.  The park features a miniature golf course complex, an arcade, and 21 different carnival-like rides. Some of these rides include Screamin’ Demon, a spinning wild mouse coaster, Dragon Tower, one of the smallest S&S launch towers leading to crazy ejector air time, and its featured coaster Merlin’s Revenge. The park also features an interactive dark ride called Ghost Blasters designed by Sally Corporation, who’s rides can be found across America. The park’s creator Bud Hurlbut designed several Knott’s Berry Farm rides such as Timber Mountain Log Ride. The park is now owned by Palace Entertainment.

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Screamin’ Demon is a spinning-wild mouse coaster made by Fabbri. SD is 33 ft tall and reaches a max. of 2.5 G’s.
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Merlin’s Revenge is made by Vekoma, and is a Junior Coaster Model (207meter). MR is 28 ft high and reaches speeds up to 22 MPH./ Notice the Falling Star ride in the back.
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Merlin’s Revenge travels through the trees and around a fountain near the end of the ride.
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Dragon Flyer is a fun family ride for visitors of all ages.
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Flying Saucer is a red gravitron that pushes and holds riders against the walls due to centrifugal force.
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The parks children area, which contains rides in which children can ride a carousel of motorcycles, animals, and its childrens coaster little dipper.
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The park offers a ship ride called the Sea Dragon that offers family fun for everyone!
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The King’s Crown is a ride in which you sit on your own swinging throne, similar to Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Swashbuckler.
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The Scrambler is a classic carnival ride in whch centrifugal force pulls and pushes you from side to side in your car.
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The park with the ride Fireball in the background, which takes you upside down at increasing speeds.
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The S&S drop tower ride the Dragon Tower, which launches riders up at 35 miles per hour to a 3g stop at the top.
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The worlds steepest log flume ride at 48 feet tall splashing down.
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The park’ Sea Planes ride lets riders fly, just like the red baron.
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On the Antique car ride, you can take trip through a turn of the century world, in your very own antique car.
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The park holds a Tilt a Whirl, a long time family favorite ride.
 

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In the center of the park is it’s crowning jewel, Castle’s castle, housing its arcade as well as Ghost Blasters, an interactive dark ride where riders shoot at moving ghost targets.

This Ride Got Jammed

 

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On March 26, 1997, Knott’s Berry Farm opened Windjammer Surf Racers.  The ride had two indepedent tracks, that raced each other. The park used wild mouse like trains, but a full length track. Many people complained of headaches due to the fact that the rides over the shoulder harnesses had no padding.

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The ride was themed to represent the southern california coastal lifestyle, complete with sand, palm trees, a life gaurd tower, and a mini lagoon. The photo booth for on ride pictures was inside a yacht.

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The ride had many technical problems and shortly after opening, and just weeks into operation, it broke down and Knott’s had to pay over 2 million dollars on repairs. In retaliation, Knotts sued TOGO, the ride’s manufacturer for 17 million dollars, claiming design flaws such as missaligned track, as well as problems of stalling in even slight breezes, which the park claimed to be a “joke”.

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Knotts lost the law suit, but it was such a publicity nightmare for TOGO, that it forced them to go out of buisiness. After spending 4 years to find a buyer for the coaster, with no luck, thepark dismantled it in 2001.

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The ride began with a 69 foot drop into a vertical loop at 40 miles per hour. After this, the tracks winded around each other and up and down small hills until it came to a stop.

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A year after the closing of this ride, Xcelerator was built in the same spot, giving Knott’s fans an all new coaster experience that you couldn’t experience anywhere else, since it was the first Intamin Accelerator Coaster.

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Spending A Night In A Dream…

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In the early 1960’s, Walt Disney decided he needed a larger area in the park to host guests and VIP’s.  He originally hosted all of his guests in his apartment built on the second floor of the Main Street Fire Station, but that was to small, so during the construction of New Orleans Square, it was placed on the second story of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride building, to resemble a building on New Orleans’s Royal Street.

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The suite was to be designed by Dorothea Redmond, the designer of the sets of the classic movie, Gone with the Wind. Unfortunately, Walt died in 1966, before its completion, and his brother Roy changed it into the Disney art gallery from 1987-2007.

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In September of 2007, Walt Disney company announced the the Disney Gallery would be closed and replaced with the Disneyland Dream Suite. Disney Imagineers worked very hard to build this from Mrs. Redmond’s original design. The suite is stayed in by either Disney contest winners, or the grand marshal for the Disneyland parades for the week.  The suite is 2200 square feet and has a living room, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and an open air balcony which gives an unobstructed view of the parks night time spectacular Fantasmic.

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There are now dream suites in Disneyland and Disney world at Pirates of the Caribbean, the Main Street Firehouse, and at Cinderella’s Castle, as well as on Disney Cruise Ships.

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Gilroy Gardens: Smelling like a rose…

Although Gilroy is known for its garlic growing, the amusement park is sweet.

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Gilroy Gardens was founded by Michael and Claudia Bonfante after selling their Nob Hill Foods supermarket chain to build the park. The park was constructed gradually over a period of 25 years. Before it became an amusement park open to the public, it was known as Tree Haven, and was a commercial plant nursery, as well as a recreational facility for employees of Nob Hill Foods. The park opened to the public in June 2001 as Bonfante Gardens. The name was changed to Gilroy Gardens in February 2007. It features 19 rides, 27 attractions and six gardens.

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The park struggled with financial difficulty and low attendance the first two years it was open. It closed early for its first two seasons and the park’s management debated whether to open at all for the third season. Paramount Parks began to manage the park on contract starting with the 2003 season.

Gilroy Gardens now operates under the management of Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, which acquired Paramount Parks from CBS Corporation on June 30, 2006.

Some popular rides in Gilroy Gardens are:

  • Banana Split — Banana-shaped swinging ship ride.
  • Mushroom Swing — Mushroom shaped swing ride.
  • Timber Twister — Rattlesnake themed junior roller coaster
  • Garlic Twirl — Garlic-themed “tea cups” style ride.
  • Sky Trail Monorail — Monorail ride through Monarch Butterfly Greenhouse.
  • Paddle Boats — Duck shaped paddle boats.
  • Rainbow Gardens Boats — Raft ride though flower gardens.
  • Coyote & Redwood Railroad — Train ride around park perimeter.
  • Quicksilver Express — Mine-themed roller coaster.
Quick Silver Express is the only Mine-Train coaster ever built by Morgan, and is the park's top attraction.
Quick Silver Express is the only Mine-Train coaster ever built by Morgan, and is the park’s top attraction.