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Ultimate Rollercoaster > News > Archives > November 1998 News

News November 1998

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November 24, 1998

Knott's To Open A $10 Million Water Park

Buena Park, CA - An article appearing in today's edition of the Orange County Register states that Knott's Berry Farm is working on plans to build a surf-themed water park on the parking lot located next to Independence Hall on the east side of Beach Blvd.

The new water park will be built on a 13 acre site and should include a variety of water based attractions. According to the article the water park could open as early as 2000.

One interesting note about the article. The article states that the water parks working name is Soak City to play off nearby Huntington Beach's reputation as Surf City. I think it was overlooked that Cedar Fair currently operates a water park at Cedar Point called Soak City. Therefore we feel the working name has nothing to do with nearby Huntington Beach.

Knott's Began The Testing Phase On The GhostRider

Buena Park, CA- A reader informed us that the GhostRider, Knott's new wooden roller coaster began testing for the first time yesterday. According to the reader the ride was tested several times and the intial runs went well without any major problems reported. Testing is expected to continue today and with any luck we may see some park officials riding in the next couple of days.

A Hypercoaster May Still Be Built At Six Flags Magic Mountain

Valencia, CA - Six Flags Magic Mountain officials are keeping an extra tight lid, but we have learned through reliable sources that parts and track for a rumored hypercoaster, to be built at Six Flags Magic Mountain may be arriving at the park in the next few weeks.

According to one source, he got word at last weeks IAAPA convention that Giovanola, a European ride manufacturer will still be building the long rumored hypercoaster for the 1999 season. According to his report construction will begin in January, but the ride may not open until the end of summer.

Another source from within the park has also informed us that parts for the hypercoaster should begin to arrive in the next few weeks. According to this source, the opening of the new hypercoaster will not be until early 2000. He also reports that the park will more than likely be building another new coaster by Bolliger and Mabillard for the year 2000, as well as the hypercoaster.

The same source also reports that Premier Parks is planning to invest a lot of money into Six Flags Magic Mountain and if all goes as planned there will be a number of major new attractions built in the next couple of years. This may also be the first time that two coasters are built in one year.

Unfortunately the reports about the rumored hypercoaster continue to conflict with each other in regards to the location and statistics. While nearly every source states that the coaster will be located on the empty land between Colossus and the Superman tower, the location of the station is still up in the air.

Most sources have confirmed that should the park go ahead with the rumored project it will more than likely be a record breaker. A record breaking hypercoaster would also really help Giovanola's entry into the US market, with all the publicity that would surround the new attraction.

The most reliable sources claim the new hypercoaster will be in the 235-250 foot range for the initial drop. Some still claim the ride will travel along the rear side of the park, although we are beginning to doubt those claims.

Disneyland To Begin Serving McDonald's Fries

Anaheim, CA - While this is not the most recent news, it was reported earlier this month that Disneyland will begin serving McDonald's french fries in the near future. According to the report the french fries will be served at a new outdoor food stand in Frontierland.

The idea of serving McDonald's french fries has upset some Disney fans, who claim the park is changing too much. Others welcome the idea, pointing out that the current fries are not really that great. An arguement for McDonald's points to the fact that the park already serves food from other companies, so why exclude McDonald's.

November 20, 1998

Knott's To Begin GhostRider Testing Today

Buena Park, CA - A source from CCI confirmed yesterday that it is likely that they will begin testing the GhostRider today. The testing phase will take several weeks to complete. The GhostRider is the largest woodent coaster in the western US and is the largest attraction ever built at Knott's Berry Farm. The coaster is scheduled to open on December 8.

Company Drops Complaint Against Knott's

Buena Park, CA - Just as the park prepares to open it's largest attraction ever the GhostRider, the park has some additional good news to report. A complaint filed against Knott's Berry Farm for using the name Windjammer on the parks 1997 steel racing roller coaster has been dropped. It is unknown exactly what happened, but the company Windjammer Barefoot Cruises, Ltd., which originally filed a complaint against Knott's for using the name, must have changed their mind.

Following the decision to drop the claim the park wasted no time changing the name of the coaster back to Windjammer. The changes to the park's web site and the enterance to the ride went virtually unnoticed.

The park had earlier this year renamed the coaster Jammer, because of the complaint.

Dorney Park Proudly Introudces Dominator For '99

Allentown, PA - This past Tuesday Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom announced their capital improvements for the 1999 season. The plans call for a major new thrill ride and parking improvements.

The major new thrill ride planned is a 200-foot tall ride appropriately named, Dominator. This three tower structure will house two incredible thrill rides, built by S&S Sports Power, Inc., of Logan, Utah.

One of the two towers will feature one of S&S Sports Power's incredible Space Shot rides. Using a blast of compressed air, riders will be sent soaring 150 feet up the tower, reaching a top speed of nearly 50 mph. After the intial launch riders will then experience negative G's as they plumet back down and then rebound for one more bounce back up the tower.

The other tower will feature one of S&S Sports Power's Turbo Drop thrill rides. On this tower riders will be slowly raised up to a height of 170 feet. Then again using compressed air, riders will be blasted downwards at speeds of up to 50 mph.

The Turbo Drop is basically the exact opposite of the Space Shot. Upon reaching the bottom riders on the Turbo Drop will then bounce back up the tower, for yet another stomach turning drop.

The third tower on the structure will serve as a support for the new attraction.

Dominator is scheduled to open on May 8, 1999, Dorney Park's opening day of the 1999 season.

In addition to Dominator, the park is finishing construction on an underpass which will ease traffic into the parking lot. Located under Lincoln Avenue, the tunnel will link the park's two parking lots making traffic flow for vehicles and pedestrians safer and more controlled.

Six Flags Over Texas To Upgrade Iwerks TurboRide Theater To 3D

Burbank, CA - Iwerks announced yesterday that after three years of success with it's Iwerks TurboRide Theater, Six Flags Over Texas theme park has upgraded to an Iwerks TurboRide 3D.

The 100-seat TurboRide is equipped to show Iwerks ride-simulation films in both 2-D and 3-D formats and will open to the public in spring 1999. The theater will open with Iwerks' newest 3-D ride-simulation film, "Escape From Dino Island 3D."

"In celebrating Iwerks' continued relationship with Six Flags, we have invited our clients, friends and members of the press to join us for a sneak peak of Six Flags' Iwerks TurboRide 3D! theater, which will serve as a wonderful culmination to our visit to Dallas for this year's IAAPA trade show," said Charles Goldwater, president and chief executive officer of Iwerks.

Steve Calloway, vice president and general manager of Six Flags Over Texas, said: "We anxiously await the opening of our Iwerks TurboRide 3D! theater. We anticipate `Escape From Dino Island 3D' to be an unrivaled success as the images from the film literally pop off the screen, creating an exciting new attraction for our theme park."

November 19, 1998

Classic Carousel To Be Relocated To The Columbus Zoo

Columbus, OH - A Mangels-Illions classic 1914 carousel will be moved from Wyandot Lake, where it is currently on loan, to the Columbus Zoo in the near future.

The carousel will be housed in a special year-round indoor enclosure. As a part of the move to the park, the Zoo plans to completely restore the carousel, including a complete restoration of the 52 original hand carved horses.

According to the Zoo, this Mangels-Illions carousel is a classic since it is one of only a few "portable" machines made by the company. Further the Carousel still proudly uses all of the original horses.

Knott's Offers Special Prices To ACE Members For The GhostRider Opening

Buena Park, CA - Park officials announced yesterday that card carrying ACE (American Coaster Enthusiasts) members will get a special admission price of just $18 beginning December 8, 1998 and continuing through January 3, 1999. The special price is to celebrate opening of the park's first wooden roller coaster the GhostRider.

The press release released yesterday states that under terms of the promotion, ACE members who show their valid ACE membership card with photo I.D. at any Knott's ticket booth get into the Buena Park, Calif. theme park for $18 - a 50% savings over Knott's regular adult admission price. This special price is valid for ACE members only from GhostRider Opening Day, Dec. 8 through Jan. 3, 1999. Only one discount per ACE card. This offer cannot be combined with any other discount.

GhostRider, one of the tallest, longest and most massive wooden roller coasters in the world, saddles up Dec. 8 as Knott's biggest attraction ever. The mammoth wooden coaster looms 118 feet over venerable Ghost Town, offering riders more than 4,600 feet of classic wooden coaster thrills including an initial 108-foot banked drop, 13 additional hills and maximum G-forces of 3.14.

More Details About "The Nightmare" At The Great Escape

Lake George, NY - As promised earlier this week we now have some additional details about the new coaster being built at The Great Escape. According to a reader of this site, The Nightmare is being relocated from Six Flags Darien Lake. The building that previously housed the coaster is going to be used as the loading station for the new Intamin hypercoaster that is being built. Also The Nightmare is a steel jet star style coaster, that was designed by Anton Schwarzkopf.

Universal Studios Islands Of AdventureSM Web Site To Open With An Online Sweepstakes

Orlando, FL - Universal Studios is planning an exciting online sweepstakes with a grand prize trip to Universal Studios Islands Of Adventure, as a part of the new Universal Studios Islands Of Adventure web site launch.

Beginning November 23 and and continuing for five weeks the new Universal Studios Islands Of Adventure web site will be unveiled with a new island opening each week.

To play in the online sweepstakes you must visit the site often during each of the following five weeks, November 23, 30, December 7, 14, and 21, 1998.

According to the instructions posted at http://www.universalstudiosescape.com/, in order to be eligible for our Five Weekly First Prize random drawing, register and pick up the Island piece by 11:59 pm PST during the week a new island at Universal Studios Islands of AdventureSM web site is revealed. Collect all five (5) Island pieces to be eligible for the Grand Prize Package.

More details about the sweepstakes can be found at the new Universal Studios Escape web site. If you don't have the Flash plug-in for your browser, I suggest you pick it up first for the ultimate experience.

November 18, 1998

Six Flags AstroWorld Introduces Serial Thriller For The '99 Season

Houton, TX - Six Flags officials today unveiled their plans to build Serial Thriller, the only suspended looping coaster of it's kind in Texas for 1999.The new suspended looping coaster amounts to a $10 million investment at AstroWorld.

Serial Thriller will take riders to the outer limits with its specially designed trains that will run on the outside of the solid steel track, unlike most traditional coasters. Throughout the extreme journey, thrill-seekers will be securely harnessed, but their feet and legs will be free to dangle through a series of intense spirals, high-speed loops and hairpin turns.

Riders aboard Serial Thriller will climb 102 feet for a spectacular bird's-eye view of the theme park and within seconds, plummet 10 stories before blasting through seven inversions that include three twists, two loops and two spins at speeds up to 55 MPH.

Each of the trains will hold 20 passengers with a unique two-seat design that gives each passenger a phenomenal view and an explosive sensation as the half-mile-long track roars above them. For nearly two minutes, riders will tear through a pretzel-like twist that thrusts the train upside down twice before connecting to a 360-degree loop. The train then speeds into a sidewinder, a spiral that turns riders upside down again followed by a heart- pounding double spin.

Serial Thriller is designed and built by Vekoma International and is scheduled to open in May 1999.

In addition to the new roller coaster AstroWorld plans to build a new state-of-the-art catering facility in the theme park for group outings. The new catering area will include a new kitchen, expanded menu and well-themed area.

AstroWorld is currently closed for the off season, but is scheduled to open the 1999 season on the March 13.

Six Flags To Invest $5 Million Into WaterWorld For 1999

Houston, TX - Six Flags officials also announced plans today to invest $5 million into WaterWorld, Houston's premier water park. The expansion plans announced at the same time as the Six Flags AstroWorld plans call for two major new attractions to be built at the park in time for the 1999 season.

Hook's Lagoon, a multi-level interactive treehouse will feature dozens of hands-on activities, including water slides, tunnel nets, web crawls, a swinging bridge, a water wheel and a spinning tray where one can create different unique designs using water. In addition the structure housing all of these activities will be built with a 1,000 gallon bucket on top, that fills with water and tips over ever few minutes, pouring down on the guests below.

Big Kahuna, the second major new attraction, will be a four-passenger raft ride with multiple high-banked turns that will send riders and their circular rafts spinning through a 740-foot long u-shaped channel.

The rider on Big Kahuna will begin more than seven stories above WaterWorld and end with a big splash when riders plunge into the wading pool at the end.

WaterWorld will also make additional improvments during this years off season to the Beachcomber Restaurant, Sunset Surf Shop and Squirt's Splash, the children's activity area.

WaterWorld and the new attractions are scheduled to open for the 1999 season on May 1.

November 17, 1998

Hasbro Introduces RollerCoaster Tycoon

On November 9, Hasbro Interactive introduced RollerCoaster Tycoon an interactive game combining roller coaster and theme park design with operations. This new PC-based CD-Rom game almost sounds like a dream come true for a theme park or roller coaster enthusiast.

Here is the press release from Hasbro.

November 9th 1998: Hang on to your hats, pleasure seekers, as Hasbro Interactive is about to throw open the doors of an all-new attraction. RollerCoaster Tycoon, which will bereleased next year, invites its players to design, build and manage the roller coasters and amusement park of their dreams.

Created and programmed by the highly-rated game designer Chris Sawyer (Transport Tycoon), RollerCoaster Tycoon is a fully-featured amusement park simulation which concentrates heavily on the fascinating and complex skill of roller coaster design.

"When RollerCoaster Tycoon was first presented to us by Chris we knew we had to have it!" says Barry Jafrato, Senior Vice President of Global Business Development at Hasbro Interactive. "It fulfilled all our fantasies - the combination of building the biggest, fastest roller coaster rides on Earth, together with great, long-lasting game play."

RollerCoaster Tycoon's advanced construction engine allows for the smooth and natural-looking roller coasters, with accurately simulated motion dynamics for the trains and cars. To add variety and depth, the game also incorporates many different types of roller coaster, including inverted, suspended and bobsled rides, each of which has its own unique restrictions and possibilities.

Special track features, including vertical loops, corkscrews and in-line twists, allow experienced users to recreate virtually any real-life roller coaster. And because any real roller coaster design can be improved by the careful positioning of trees, buildings, and other items of 'themeing', RollerCoaster Tycoon also includes a variety of scenery elements.

Once the player has combined a selection of these elements to create a working ride, he or she can then open it up to virtual visitors. This discerning public not only inspects and chooses which attractions to enjoy, it's also quick to let it's thoughts be known. The challenge, therefore, is not only to invent an amusement park which is fun enough to keep visitors coming back for more, but one which is also profitable and can grow.

"In creating RollerCoaster Tycoon, my intention was to satisfy my own desire to be able to design and build massive working rides," says Chris Sawyer. "I'm very pleased to say that the end result does just that. For me, the pleasure in playing RollerCoaster Tycoon comes from constructing an amazing amusement park, making sure the rides work and then seeing their effect on a virtual audience."

In addition to the player's custom-built attractions, RollerCoaster Tycoon also incorporates other non-roller coaster rides, shops and stalls. Players can therefore place their own constructions into the context of a fully-working and populated amusement park - eventually progressing from simple constructions through to monster roller coasters which wind through mountain tops and valleys and plunge through tunnels.

RolerCoaster Tycoon will be published on the Microprose labelfor Hasbro Interactive on PC CD-ROM in 1999.

Does it sound too good to be true? That was my first thought. RollerCoaster Tycoon is already on my must buy list for 1999.

New Entercitement City Theme And Water Park Delayed

Plainfield, IND - Last Friday, the Indianapolis Star/News reported that the $135 Hedricks County theme park and water park project will be delayed until the summer of 2000. According to those involved with the development the opening date has now been pushed back to May 1, 2000.

The Entercitement City includes Garfield's Adventure America a theme park, a 300-room hotel and a water park. According to the report construction stopped in September due to financing problems.

Lake Compounce To Build An Interactive Dark Ride For 1999

Bristol, CT - Last Thursday, Lake Compounce announced Ghost Hunt, an interactive family dark ride with a haunted house theme, to be built at the park for the 1999 season. According to the park's General Manager Tom Wages, work is scheduled to begin on the new, $2 million ride in early December. "Ghost Hunt will be a fun family ride, for kids of all ages."

Guests will ride in a two passenger vehicle, which will be equipped with "Boo Blasters" to shoot at the ghosts who occupy the three story "mansion." Wages explained that legend has it that Finius Fright, a famous ghost hunter, has met his match in the mansion which has been invaded by Lucifer and a band of ghosts. As guests prepare to board the ride, Finius enlists their help in ridding the haunted mansion of the ghosts.

While passengers make their way through the 15-room mansion, they will seek out and shoot ghosts who have inhabited the structure. A score for each rider will be displayed on the passenger vehicle. "There is," Wages said, a "element of competition as each rider will compete against the person they are riding with."

Ghost Hunt will use elements of animation, black lights and sound to create an atmosphere of spooky fun. The ride will be located between the Wildcat, the park's 1927 wood coaster, and the Rotor. Retail shops, food, and games will be located on the first floor.

The new ride will be, according to Wages, one-of-a-kind in that it will be the first interactive dark ride to use a haunted mansion theme. Ghost Hunt will be supplied by the Sally Corporation, the building is being designed by Bruce Robinson Associates who specialize in theme park design and actual construction will be done by local contractors.

More than $35 million in new rides and attractions have been added at Lake Compounce, the nation's oldest amusement park, in the last two years. The park will re-open for the '99 season on May 29....Memorial Day weekend."

The Great Escape To Built A Coaster For 1999

Lake George, NY - The Great Escape amusement park introduced "The Nightmare", an indoor, in the dark roller coaster to be built for the 1999 season. According to the report received from the reader exact details are still unknown. We are currently looking into this one for more information about the type of coaster and the details.

Busch Gardens Helps Clear Up Drachen Fire Rumors

Williamsburg, Virginia - A reader was nice enough to forward this letter he received from Busch Gardens Williamsburg, regarding Drachen Fire.

Thank you for your interest in Busch Gardens Williamsburg.

Drachen Fire is closed while ride engineers study modifications that would heighten the overall experience of this exciting world-class roller coaster.

Wehave not yet finalized decisions for Drachen Fire. If you planning to visit Busch Gardens next season and would like to call the park prior to your next visit, you may contact the Park Operations office at (757) 253-3200.

From the sounds of this letter it now seems that the park intends to keep the ride at the park and with some modifications will reopen the ride possibly next season. This is good news for Drachen Fire fans.

November 12, 1998

Paramount Announces A New $350 Million Park In Australia

Melbourne, Australia - Docklands will soon be the home to the largest theme park in Australia. Set to open in 2001 the $350 million park will feature at least one roller coaster, a number of other high-tech thrill rides and a movie studio.

The roller coaster will be a replica of the recently built Volcano: The Blast Coaster which opened this past year at Paramount's Kings Dominion in Virginia. Riders will be blasted out of the top of a giant volcano at speeds of up to 65 mph.

Other attractions announced include Top Gun. It was unclear in the announcement whether Top Gun will be a roller coaster similar to the ones in the US or a simulator ride. Another attraction Star Trek World, will be a themed adventure beaming guests on to the Starship Enterprise where they will battle Klingons.

Two other attractions mentioned include a simulator ride themed after the James Bond films and a "Drop Zone" stunt tower freefall ride.

The park will be built with five themed areas. In the announcement Paramount Parks senior designer indicated the park will be family oriented and one of the sections will be for children.

Paramount also plans to offer a backlot tour of the working film studio. The park will not be entirely a thrill ride park. The neighboring film studio will be a major part of what the park has to offer.

The entire project was approved last August. The project is currently in the final design phase and Viacom and local officials are securing the financing for the project to begin. If all goes as planned Melbourne will be the home to the newest high tech thrill park in 2001.

Knott's To Open The GhostRider December 8

Buena Park, CA - Almost three months ahead of schedule officials at Knott's Berry Farm earlier this week announced that they will open the park's new wooden roller coaster, the GhostRider on December 8.

The GhostRider when complete will be the largest project ever completed at Knott's Berry Farm. The new wooden coaster has already claimed the title as the tallest, fastest and longest wooden coaster in the western US. The GhostRider was designed and build by Ohio based Custom Coasters, Inc.

Six Flags Over Georgia Building A New Stand-Up

Atlanta, Georgia - This past Tuesday the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that Six Flags Over Georgia is building a brand new "stand-up" steel coaster which will open next spring.

According to the article the new coaster will be twice as long as traditional rides with a ride time of about three minutes. The article also stated that the coaster will be aproximately 100 feet high and feature a top speed of 54 mph.

Work has already begun on the coaster and it was already known that the park had removed the Raging Rivers water ride to make room for the new coaster.

An official announcement about the new coaster including the name and theme are expected to be made on December 1. The new "stand-up" roller coaster will be the park's seventh coaster.

Premier Parks Reported Strong Results For Q3

New York, NY - Premier Parks Inc. announced it's third quarter results last Tuesday for the three months of operation ending September 30, 1998. According to the results the company exceeded many investors expectations.

Revenues for the three months ended September 30,1998 increased $326.4 million , from $120 million in the prior year period. The revenue increase resulted from record performance at the thirteen parks controlled by the Company prior to the 1998 season, and from the inclusion of the results of Six Flags and Walibi, acquired this year. Total operating costs and expenses increased $182.6 million, from $70.0 million, arising from the inclusion of the newly acquired parks plus additional depreciation and amortization costs and other expenses at the Company's parks owned prior to the 1998 acquisitions.

Adjusted EBITDA for the three months, including the Company's share from the partnership parks (Six Flags Over Texas, Six Flags Over Georgia and Marine World), was $243.3 million for the third quarter, as compared to $55.7 million for the third quarter of 1997.

"We are extremely pleased with the third quarter and full season performance," stated Kieran E. Burke, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Company. "We have continued to see dramatic growth at the 13 parks we controlled prior to this year's acquisitions. For the full 1998 season, which is now complete, those parks delivered same-park growth of 14.4 percent in attendance, 6.1 percent in per capita spending, and 21.4 percent in revenue. This superb performance was spread across the chain, with nine of the thirteen parks achieving year over year revenue growth of over 10 percent.

"Our major market parks, which will receive the Six Flags brand for 1999, performed exceptionally well. And Kentucky Kingdom, our park in Louisville, Kentucky, which received the Six Flags brand mid-year, delivered an attendance increase of over 200,000, a per capita spending increase of 14 percent and single year revenue growth of over 35 percent.

This is especially good news for investors. After last quarters report the stock feel to a price of around 16 dollars a share. In the past week the stock has risen back to the mid 20's.

November 5, 1998

Voters Approve Height Restriction Changes

San Diego, CA - Voters in Tuesday's election approved a measure that removes the 35 foot height restriction on buildings and structures at Sea World Adventure Park in San Diego, California. The new law which was passed by voters allows the park to now build structures and buildings up to 160 feet high. Although this will make it legal to build taller structures, it does not eliminate the park from having to go through the normal city planning process.

After the approval speculation quickly began as to what Sea World may be planning for near future. The fact that the measure was put on the ballot for the voters is an indication that the park may be planning to follow in the foot steps of it's sister park in San Antonio and build some rollercoasters. It is more than likely that the first one may come for summer of 2000.

Six Flags Officials Unveil Batman The Ride

Arlington, TX - Yesterday officials of Six Flags Over Texas unveiled their plans to bring Batman and the Gotham City to the park in 1999. Called the most innovative roller coaster design of the 20th century, Batman The Ride will be the featured attraction in a new 2-acre expansion of the popular Texas theme park.

Batman The Ride and the new 2-acre expansion to be known as Gotham City, are a part of $14 million in investments at the park for next year, which is owned and operated by Premier Parks, Inc.

The new inverted rollercoaster will feature two sleek black 32-passenger trains that will be suspended from the track above. Riders will ride with their feet dangling free beneath the trains. Batman The Ride will be 2,700 feet long, feature six inversions and a top speed of 50 mph.

The ride begins from the themed batcave as riders leave and begin their climb up the 100 foot tall lift hill. Upon reaching the top riders will plumet 108 feet down a twisting drop and into the first of two vertical loops, followed by a one-of-a-kind heartline spin. Four more exciting inversions will follow the first two in the heartstopping ride.

Batman The Ride is designed and manufactured by Swiss designers Bolliger and Mabillard. The coaster will be the park's 10th and is slated to open next Spring.

Fact Sheet

Description - BATMAN THE RIDE, combines state-of-the art thrill ride technology with Batman moviemagic. In ski lift-style chairs suspended from the track above, BATMAN THE RIDE sends riders flying at intense speeds countless times over the outside of hairpin turns, vertical loops, corkscrews and a one-of-a-kind zero- gravity heartline spin with nothing but air beneath their dangling feet.

Storyline - BATMAN THE RIDE, is the centerpiece of the theme park's newest themed land -- Gotham City. After entering through the Gotham City portal, visitors stroll through Bruce Wayne's beautifully landscaped Gotham City Park complete with ornate stone sculptures and an ongoing concert of nature's symphony. As unsuspecting Guests venture further, the streets ruled by Batman's arch enemies. Visitors will encounter a crashed police car, broken fire hydrant and accompanying sound effects. Once in the underground tunnels beneath Gotham City, Guests will finally escape through the Batcave to be whisked away on Batman's newest crime-fighting device BATMAN THE RIDE.

Ride Features
Speed -- 50 mph
Height -- 109 feet; 6 inches
Two vertical loops (77-feet and 68-feet tall)
One-of-a-kind heartline spin with a zero-gravity force-feeling of weightlessness
Gravity forces -- Maximum of 4Gs
Track length -- 2,700 feet
Two single corkscrews (each 40 feet long)
Six inverted elements
Two flat spins
Capacity -- 1,400 riders an hour
Manufacturer -- Bollinger & Mabillard, Monthey, Switzerland


State Of New Jersey Closes Bungee Rides

Seaside Heights, NJ - Following an accident earlier this summer the state Department of Community Affairs has ordered bungee rides manufactured by Rides 'R Us to be closed and dismanted at once. The order comes after an investigation into the accident that occurred earlier this year on the Steel Fear bungee ride in Atlantic City.

The state of New Jersey has issued $60,000 in fines against the designer, the manufacturer and the engineer. According to reports the DCA has found the tower to have a faulty design and bad welds. The report states that the ride was a danger from the moment it opened until the agency ordered all of them closed after the accident. A total of four rides will have to be dismanted as a result of the order.

November 2, 1998

Knoebels Announces New Wooden Coaster For '99

Elysburg, PA - Knoebels Amusement Park today announced their plans to use the original Mister Twister plans to rebuild the John Allen classic wooden coaster which formerly operated at Elitch Gardens in Denver, Colorado from 1964-1994. According to the announcement Knoebels intends to slightly modify the original plans to fit the site.

Check out the press release.

Twister

Using the plans from Mr. Twister, a famous and highly regarded roller coaster which formerly operated at Elitch Gardens in Denver CO, Knoebels will build a new, world class wooden roller coaster.

Originally designed by John Allen of the Philadelphia Toboggan Company, Mr. Twister was built at Elitch's in 1964 by foreman Frank Hoover, the same gentleman who had overseen the construction of dozens of roller coasters over five decades including the Rocket at Playland Park in San Antonio. The Rocket was moved to Knoebels on 1985 and renamed the Phoenix.

In 1994, a lack of space for expansion led Elitch's to move to a larger site in Denver. The original Mr. Twister was left behind and a new coaster, Twister II, graced the new park.

Knoebels had been contemplating the addition of a second wooden coaster for some time. The Phoenix continues to serve Knoebels and its guests well, consistantly ranked on a number of top ten lists. Thus, any new coaster would have to compliment the Phoenix and live up to its high standards. After long investigation and much careful study, Twister emerged as a great match. It provides a different type of coaster riding experience than the Phoenix that will be equally exciting.

Mr. Twister will not be moved from Denver; rather a new ride will be built using John Allen's original plans. John Fetterman, of Knoebels staff, and Dick Knoebel have been working extensively with the plans to determine how best to bring the ride to Knoebels and where to place it. Once a site was selected, it was determined that minor modifications to the plans were necessary due to site limitations. The goal has been to preserve the Mr. Twister ride experience even though the ride will not physically look the same. However, the differences in appearance will be most obvious to coaster enthusiasts and will be virtually invisible to the causal rider. The important news is that th famous Mr. Twister ride experience will be preserved.

Twister will be built by Knoebels using a number of local contractors and Knoebels staff. The project will be managed by John Fetterman and Dick Knoebel, president of Knoebels. Dick commented "We have the staff and know-how to do this ourselves. With the plans from Mr. Twister, John's modifications and our experience, we beleive we will create another world class roller coaster for our visitors to enjoy."

Facts about the new coaster:

  • 2 and 1/2 times as much lumber as the Phoenix
  • 101' 7" high!
  • 89' 7" Drop!
  • 3900' of track
  • 2 minutes and 10 seconds ride time
  • Two PTC 24-passenger trains

The announcement of the new coaster is exciting news for all coaster enthusiasts. This additional coaster to Knoebels will bring another world class wooden coaster to this well liked park and make next falls Phaul Phunphest twice as fun. Way to go!

Six Flags Flagship Park To Build Three New Coasters

Jackson, NJ - Last Friday the Asbury Park Press reported that Six Flags Great Adventure located in Jackson, New Jersey will be building three new rollercoasters including a prototype coaster for 1999. The news comes as some surprise since it was believed that the park would only be building one new coaster for next year, not three.

The total investment in Six Flags Great Adventure will total $40 million, the most ever spent in one year.

The highlight of the three new coasters will be the coaster currently known as "Medusa," a Bolliger and Mabillard prototype "heartline" steel coaster. Work has already begun on Medusa and the park is expected to make an official announcement in January.

In addition to the new prototype coaster the Asbury Park Press reported that the park plans to build one childrens type of coaster and a family coaster.

On an interesting note, Six Flags Great Adventure plans to count both "The Chiller" and "Rolling Thunder" coasters as two next year, bringing the parks total number of coasters to 13. According to the report the park claims that with 13 it will tie Cedar Point for the park with the most coasters in the world. Unfortunately, according to our calculations this is incorrect, since if we count "Rolling Thunder" and "The Chiller" as two, then Cedar Point should count "Gemini" as two thus giving them 14. Nice try Six Flags.

Elitch Gardens To Build A New Coaster and More For '99

Denver, CO - Shortly after the name change announcement last week, the newly named Six Flags Elitch Gardens announced their intention to build a new rollercoaster, stunt show and childrens section for 1999.

The main new attraction for next season will be a brand new Boomerang rollercoaster built be none else than Vekoma. Seems as if next year will again be another year of the Boomerang, now easily the most popular coaster built in the 90's. The Boomerang as usual will send riders upside down six times in just over a minute.

In addition to the Boomerang the park plans to add a Batman Stunt Show and Looney Toons Movie Land for kids. While next years additions may be a little lacking compared to some of the other Six Flags parks, it will still give the mile high park a much needed boost.

Snoopy To Set-Up Camp At Cedar Point

Sandusky, OH - Last Thursday, Cedar Point officials unveiled the final part of their plans for the 1999 season. Yes you read right Snoopy and the whole Peanuts gang will be setting up a new camp at Cedar Point Amusement Park in time for next season.

The new section themed after the famous Peanuts characters will be designed to appeal to both children and adults alike. The new section will be very family oriented, which is a slightly different direction for Cedar Point, which is better known for it's huge collection of world class rollercoasters.

Opening on May 9 the Peanuts gang will set-up camp across from the Gemini rollercoaster. Camp Snoopy will feature a collection of eight rides including a new rollercoaster. The new family themed coaster will bring the park's total to 13, giving the park another coaster to maintain it's title as the park with the most coasters in the world.

With the addition of Camp Snoopy, Cedar Fair's investment in Cedar Point will top more than $25 million, the most ever spent in one year in the park's history. Earlier this year Cedar Point unveiled plans to add on to the popular Breakers hotel and to add new docks and other improvements to the Marina.

The Peanuts gang first appeared in the very first Camp Snoopy which is located at sister park Knott's Berry Farm located in Buena Park, California in 1983. This past year Cedar Fair L.P. purchased Knott's Berry Farm and the rights to use the Peanuts characters.

It is known that the purchase of Knott's from the Knott family had two sides. Cedar Fair not only wanted to enter the lucrative Southern California theme park business, but also they wanted to obtain the rights to the Peanuts characters, which they viewed as extremely valuable since their existing parks lacked the identity with a well known character.

The Peanuts characters which were created by Charles M. Schulz are the most widely read syndicated cartoon strip in the world.

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