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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Although Gilroy is known for its garlic growing, the amusement park is sweet.
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.
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.
1) A Mega-Sky Screamer, similar to the Texas Sky Screamer, which could be located in ‘Pistachio Park’, The Full Throttle Area, Cyclone Bay (in the former Deja Vu area), or on top of Samurai Summit where the pagoda stands.
2) Iron Horse treatment on Colossus, making it world’s first ‘twin’-hybrid coaster.
3) A log flume (or any other water ride), which could be located in the former Deja Vu area, or maybe between FT and the Great Bear Theater.
4) Make-over of Scream!. Transforming it into Bizarro, adding sensory effects and scenery.
Exactly one year ago yesterday, Superman: Ultimate Flight opened at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, CA. The ride stands at 150 feet tall (Vallejo’s city limit) and reaches a top speed of 62 miles per hour. The ride has only one inversion, although it is often mistaken for 2 due to its feature known as a non inverted loop.
Superman: Ultimate Flight replaced pandemonium, which had replaced Zonga before that. On July 29th 2012, the rides train stalled at the top of the track, standing 12 riders there for 2 hours, until they were excited by Vallejo fire fighters. None of the riders were injured.
The ride is a fun and unique experience with some crazy G’s including amazing ‘ejector-airtime’ which is pretty rare in CA. When the riders sit in the 12 seat train, the short but powerful ride is about to start. With only lap-bars to hold you, even the first short launch feels powerful. The first launch will bring you up the first tower before the track spirals. Then the train rolls backwards into the backwards launch speeding through the station op the non-inverting looping. The train then slows down, and plummets back to earth to launch through the station once again, reaching it’s full speed of 62 MPH. The train will then shoot up 90 degrees into the sky while rotating a 180 degrees until it slows down on 150 ft. When sitting in the front row you’ll experience some crazy ‘ejector-airtime’ before you’ll slowly invert through the barrel-roll on a 150 ft high. The train will then slow down once again, before it plummets down 90 degrees while again rotating a 180 degrees diving right up into the non-inverting looping that brings you back to the station. The ride slows down an does a little hop up the first tower, and then brings you back to the station slowly The most amazing thing about this ride is that it does all these unique things in a very short period of time. If you have a chance to ride it, you definitely should because there is nothing out there like this!
The Magic Mountain recreational area in Big Bear Lake, CA offers family fun activities year round. When entering the park the first thing you see is the 18 hole mini golf course, which is beautifully carved into the Big Bear mountain landscape. The pal also contains a go-kart racing track with 9 5.5 horsepower Honda go carts. Then, during the summer, the park opens its double water-slide, which wind around each other, and finish with a splash into their 4 foot deep heated pool. During the winter months, the park opens up its snow play, in which a conveyor belt takes riders to the top of an icy hill where they can inter tube down.These attractions, however, are only side shows to the parks main attraction, the Alpine Slide! Thus exciting bobsled ride begins with a chairlift ride to the top of the mountain. From there ,riders take their own Teflon-runner sleds down one of the
parks 2 quarter mile concrete tracks with high banked turns, sudden drops, and long, fast straight-aways. If you ever find your self in Big Bear Lake, and you are a thrill seeker, this isn’t an attraction to miss!
The Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain shares a complex with the Water Slide, a go-kart track, and a mini-golf course. Ticket prices for the Alpine Slide are $5 a ride, or $20 for 5 rides. The ticket price for the Water Slide is $2 a ticket. The ticket prices for the Go-karts are $5 for single kart, and $7 for a double kart (meaning 2 seats in 1 kart). And lastly the mini-golf course is $5 for adults, and $4 for children (12 and under)
Today we’re celebrating Colossus’ 35th Birthday. Colossus opened on this day in 1978. Colossus opened one of the tallest and fastest roller-coasters in the world, and the longest dual track wooden roller-coaster in the world. As of today Colossus still holds the record for longest dual track wooden roller-coaster on earth. Colossus was the first wooden roller-coaster to have 2 drops over a 100 ft.
Colossus was built by IADI, and with it’s corresponding trains.Colossus was a maintenance problem and was down for maintenance 50% of the park’s operating hours. When six flags bought the park in 1979, they wanted fix these problems and lowered the valley between the 2nd drop and the double-up to decrease roughness. SFMM ultimately installed Morgan trains 1988, seen above.
The ride winds through over 4000 ft of track at a 62 mph in 2 and a half minutes. During Six Flags Fright Fest, the park uses Psyclone’s old trains to run the ride backwards. The coaster cost 7 million dollars to build. A tornado caused part of the structure to collapse in itself, which delayed the opening date of the ride. The ride has appeared in TV and movies with appearances in Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Step by Step, Nickelodeon’s Wild and Crazy Kids, Doogie Houser, Night Rider, and the A Team.
To secure safety on the now classic ride, SFMM changed the camel-back hill to a leveled out block brake in 1991. The original camel-back hill can still be seen, as the brake section has simply been built over it.
As California Coaster Kings travels through CA’s theme-parks, many theme-park fails appear. These fails can be anything from false advertisement to extremely slow operations. (no one likes slow operating rides, no one).
For our first ever Fail Friday, we have this picture for you…
If you see the Fail, which might be a bit challenging, let us know by commenting below, or letting us know on FB while you like our FB page here.
The Fail will be pointed out next Friday on our second Fail Friday where we will post another Fail! Monday is SIX FLAGS Monday, and since this is taken in SFMM, we’ll give you a hint on Monday!
All future Fail Fridays will be posted on Facebook only!
So lets move on to the main article of the day, related to APOCALYPSE of course!
The Apocalyptic Evolution…
In 1991, Six Flags Magic Mountain opened its second wooden coaster, named Psyclone. The ride was placed in the same area that former Magic Mountain coasters Sarajevo Bobsleds, and Shockwave were, in the Cyclone Bay area of the park. The ride is modeled after Coney Island’s famous wooden coaster, Cyclone. The differences were in the banking of the turns decreasing the excessive amounts of lateral G’s.
The ride was the only wooden coaster to have trains built by B&M. The Psyclone was 95 ft tall, and reached speeds of 50 MPH. The ride duration was a minute and 50 seconds. The ride was badly damaged during the 1994 Northridge earthquake, but was repaired and operated until 2006, when it closed and SFMM announced on January 23rd 2007 that the ride was going to be demolished. In 2009, Magic Mountain announced the opening of a new ride in the area called terminator the Ride, but was later changed to Terminator Salvation the ride due to the upcoming terminator film.
The ride received great reviews for it’s million dollar budget spent on scenery. The scenery existed out of a pre-show, which has riders walk through an old terminator manufacturing warehouse, turned into human shelter. As well as its fire effect, which shoot out of the front hood of a tuck as the coaster passes by.
In 2011, the ride’s theme was changed to Apocalypse, forcing magic mountain to remove all terminator branding, changing all the signs, and having to re-shoot a pre-show. Apocalypse the ride is also 95 ft tall and hits 50 mph, but does this in 3 minutes.
In our Throwback Thursday article on Deja Vu, we have been talking about Vekoma Boomerang Coasters. But often forgotten are the Schwarzkopf Shuttle Loops. Sadly today we only have 5 of these still in operation, and 1 is re-opening soon in Belgium. The only one in operation in the US is Montezooma’s Revenge here at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, CA.
Montezooma’s Revenge opened at Knotts Berry Farm on May 21st, 1978. It is a Schwarzkopf flywheel launch steel shuttle coaster. It continues to be one of Knott’s most popular rides. The ride was named Montezooma’s Revenge after a blue grass band with the same name that performed in shows at the park. Knott’s ride Jaguar opened in 1995, and part of the track passes right through the middle of Montezooma’s loop. The shuttle-loop was repainted teal and yellow from its original yellow in 2002. Knott’s installed the ride Pony Express in 2008 with a similar launch system. The ride starts with a forward launch at 55 miles per hour into a 72 ft high vertical loop, and into a 135 ft tower, that you then drop back wards from, back through the loop backwards, through the station, and into another 135 ft tower, that drops you slowly back forward and into the station in only 35 seconds.
The ride is a an incredible experience, but not worth a long line wait, and its best features are its launch into the looping and the looping backwards. You sit down in one of the seven cars which all hold 2 rows of two seats. You buckle your seat-belt and pull down the restraint (lap bar) and get launched through (which seems to be) a ring of lights into the first loop. Riders who are lucky will see Jaguar chase by while they’re in the loop. (Jaguar is another roller coaster at the park that goes through the center of MR‘s loop). The ride is exhilarating, and you do not want to miss out on it while in the park as long as there’s not a long line. Long lines often seem to not be worth it due to the fact that the ride-time is only 35 seconds. The ride is a an incredible experience, and its best features are its launch into the looping and going through the looping backwards.
For our first TT we thought it was appropriate to go back in time, to a place called Six Flags Magic Mountain, with a great coaster, Déjà vu. Déjà vu is special, as it is world’s tallest GIB, which stands for Giant Inverted Boomerang. The GIB was an extreme version of the popular boomerang model by Vekoma. Vekoma designed this model for the Six Flags Parks, and Six Flags placed 4 of them in a short period of time. 1 of them was placed in the Spanish Six Flags Park, Warner Bros. Park Madrid, named Stunt Fall. The other 3 were placed in SF parks throughout the US. All 3 were named Déjà Vu, and were located in Six Flags Magic Mountain, Six Flags Great America, and Six Flags over Georgia. In the end there was only one left over at an American Six Flags park, Déjà Vu at Six Flags Magic Mountain.
But then came the moment when Six Flags Magic Mountain claimed the coaster crown in 2011, and decided to send the GIB to Six Flags New England as part of the Six Flags Ride Rotation Program. Even though Déjà Vu got a major upgrade with a nice repaint, and eventually new trains (just started testing the new trains last week, they’re not operating yet though), the ride was a fan favorite, and is being missed a lot by the Six Flags Magic Mountain visitors.
Déjà Vu was located in the Cyclone Bay area of Six Flags Magic Mountain, and used to share a plaza with the Psyclone woodie before Psyclone got removed. Déjà Vu had v-shaped trains that were unique, and the 2 vertical 200 ft towers gave 2 nice free falls, once forwards, and once backwards. The GIB seemed to get stalled periodically, and seemed to be having some operation errors, and many believe that that is the main reason for the Valencia theme park to stop operating it.
Whatever the reason was, Déjà Vu is being missed a lot by us California Coaster Kings, but we are happy that it found another home where it is a bigger star than it was at Six Flags Magic Mountain. What was your favorite memory of Déjà Vu?
Full Throttle opened up Saturday the 22nd, and of course California Coaster Kings was there. The media day event was on Friday the 21st of June, just one day before its opening to the public. The ride opened early at 8.00 AM for the Gold Pass holders, and opened at 10.00 AM for the general public. Some lucky people got to ride it during the midnight-riders event the night before, for which you had to purchase tickets. Tickets were 50 dollars, and included a meal from one of the 2 new restaurants, and a Full Throttle T-shirt.
When Full Throttle first got announced, mixed reviews started appearing. Many said that the ride was going to be way too short, and many kept teasing with the YOLO theme, which was in the original promotion video. But as soon as the track pieces of the 160 ft. loop and multi-launch rollercoaster showed up, reviews started to turn more positive, and excitement grew for Full Throttle.
Now it finally opened, we can say that this ride really exceeded its expectations, and that all negativity around the ride earlier on has been disproved. Although you’ll always find some bad reviews, most reviews so far totally agree with our opinion, saying that the ride is unique, and is definitely worth the wait. The world’s tallest and fastest looping coaster will launch you from the station at a speed of 70 MPH right into an amazing 160 ft. looping which has an extraordinary period of ‘hang time’. The new ride also features a special effects tunnel with a backwards launch back through the unique dive-loop, and is followed by another forwards launch reaching speeds up to 70 MPH to ride over the outside of the 160 ft. loop, named a ‘tophat’.
All this amazingness is punched in a 1 minute ride, so one can imagine it’s a non-stop action rollercoaster. Due to the opening date being a little early, the tunnel effects, and the station were not done yet, so a future update will include the final tunnel effects, and station roofing. Other than that the Full Throttle plaza is a great addition to the park, as it has ground misters for the heat, a stage where they preform daily, a big screen and tent with amazing lighting and lasers all over the plaza (.Which are used in the Full Throttle Nights show). As well as 2 new restaurants, 2 refurbished shops, and a new souvenir shop with 2 Coca Cola Freestyle machines. The new area has a great audio system, and really made Six Flags Magic Mountain stand out, since there are no other parks out there that have an area that is anything like this.
If you have a chance to ride it, go for it, as the operations are pretty quick, and the lines move fast. Go Big, and Go SFMM, to live it. Be it. Ride it. Full Throttle.
On January 7, 2013, Disneyland Resort’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad closed for what is expected to be a 9 month refurbishment process. This will be the Disneyland resorts third refurbishment of a ride in the past year and a half. Both the Matterhorn Bobsleds and Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye, closed for refurbishments in 2012 and have reopened to mixed reviews.
Although people have completely loved the refurbishment on “Indy”, which has added new fire effects, as well as upgrades to the already existing scenery, Matterhorn, hasn’t had the same success. Although many people have enjoyed smoothness of the new trains, people have claimed that the ride has lost speed, and has lost much of the thrill factor with the minimizing of the bumpiness.
Disney has released that some of the new elements of Thunder Mountain will be new trains, new, smoother track, and a refurbishment of the scenery itself to make it look similar to Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. The ride is also rumored to have new 2 person rows with individual lap bars instead of its original design, of shared lap bars with rows that could fit as many as 3 riders. This update of Big Thunder was somewhat expected after the ride’s brother in Orlando’s Disney World closed for a 5 month refurbishment earlier this year.