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News September 1998

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September 29, 1998

Planning Commission Recommends City Approve Lagoon's Request

The Farmington Planning Commission has unanimously recommended that the city council approve Lagoon Amusement Parks request to build a 207 foot tall drop tower. The recommendation came after a review last Thursday evening, which faced only a minimal amount of public opposition.

The City Council will now have to vote on the plan, to give final approval to allow the park to exceed the 150-foot height limitation. If approved the park will go ahead with it's plans to build the new $3 million thrill ride.

At last Thursdays Planning Commission meeting only four residents spoke out against the new ride. The few who voiced their concerns discussed issuses about the change in the skyline and the possible noise the ride may cause. The new thrill ride will be the tallest structure in the park if built, standing 207 feet tall.

The Farmington City Council is expected to give the application a final review at the meeting on October 7.

Follow-up To Yesterday's Disney's California Adventure News

Yesterday we reported that Disney may be building the Tower Of Terror attraction at the California Adventure afterall. After yesterday's news a reader reported that the park has already closed the new Timon parking lot. The Timon section was last remaining part of the original Disneyland lot, located in the rear near the corner of Katella and Harbor.

According to the reader the park will be installing the Tower Of Terror in this location, which will actually be the end of the Sunset Blvd in California Adventure. This scenario fits since the Tower Of Terror ride in Florida is located at the end of Sunset Blvd, inside the Disney/MGM Studios.

Further it should be noted that it seems unusual for the park to close this recently redone section of the parking lot so soon. It was only last January that they park repaved, repainted and added new lighting to this section.

September 28, 1998

Turbon Drop/Space Shot Planned For Lagoon In '99

Lagoon Amusement Park located in Farmington, Utah, has asked the local planning commission for permission to build a new 200-foot-high S&S twin tower thrill ride for the 1999 season. The plans for the new attraction were presented to the planning commission last Thursday in hopes that they will allow Lagoon to exceed the 150-foot height limitation set by the city.

The new thrill ride would be the third attraction in the park to exceed the 150 foot height limit. Currently the park's Sky Coaster resides at 180 feet and the park's ferris wheel also breaks the height limitation. The planning commission will review the plans for appearance and potential noise problems before making a final ruling.

The new tower if built will feature twin towers, one with a new Space Shot ride and the other a new Turbo Drop. Each tower would accomodate 12 riders.

The Space Shot tower will blast riders from a stand still at the base up the 200 foot tall tower, while the Turbo Drop will hoist them to the top and then excelerate them to the bottom. Both towers will use compressed air to power the rides and will be built by S&S Sports Power Inc. of Logan, Utah.

Lagoon President David W. Freed said the twin towers will cost the park $3 million.

Tower Of Terror Drop Ride To Be Built At Disney's California Adventure

After being told that it would not be included in Disney's California Adventure, it now appears that Disney may have changed their minds. A reader reports that Disney will soon announce plans to build a replica of the Tower Of Terror ride located at the Disney/MGM Studios in Florida at Disney's Calfornia Adventure.

While the news is unconfirmed the reader claims the park has decided to add the attraction to improve what the park will offer when it opens in 2001.

Psyclone Train Spotted On Colossus Tracks

Recent visitors to Six Flags Magic Mountain have reported seeing one of the Psyclone trains on the tracks of Colossus. Some are suggesting that the park is testing the Psyclone trains to see if they will be safe to operate backwards on Colossus. The park may be considering running one side of Colossus backwards for the annual FrightFest event in October.

Another source in the park claims that they are considering replacing the Colossus trains with new ones for the '99 season and the Psyclone train is being tested as a possibility. As of right now no one is exactly sure why the train is on Colossus, but in any case it is certainly something to talk about.

Kennywood Plans Wave Pool At Sandcastle

Kennywood Entertainment Co. is expected to announce plans to build at 1.2 million gallon wave pool at Sandcastle water park for the 1999 season. The wave pool will dramatically improve what Sandcastle has to offer according to some.

The water park improvements come as no surprise. This past year Kennywood added a water park to it's sister amusement park Lake Compounce, located in Bristol, Connecticut. It seems that Kennywood has discovered that water parks really boost attendance during the hot summer months.

September 23, 1998

Man Charged With Beating Grandson At Amusement Park

A 48-year old man was charged with two counts of domestic violence for beating his grandson when the boy refused to ride the Racer rollercoaster, at Paramount's Kings Island amusement park. The 11-year victim who was reportedly too afraid to ride.

The man, Martin Johnson was indicted on two counts of domestic violence, one a felony and the other a misdemeanor. If convicted the charges carry a maximum penalty of up to a year and two months in jail.

The incident took place August 7 at Paramount's Kings Island, located in Cinncinatti, Ohio. Johnson is accused of shaking his grandson so badly at the ride that the child's head hit metal walkway railings. When witnesses intervened, he allegedly then took the boy into a restroom and beat him with a belt.

Witnesses reported the incident to park security, who then called the local Police Department. Officiers responded to the park and arrested Mr. Johnson.

The Racer rollercoaster is a dual track racing wooden rollercoaster, built in 1972. The ride is aproximately 90 feet tall and has a top speed of just over 45 mph.

September 21, 1998

Thunderbolt May Fall As Stadium Rises

A new stadium and sportsplex planned for the 12-acre Steeplechase park, may be the final blow to the aging, standing but not operating, classic Thunderbolt. Closed since the 1980's the Thunderbolt, has been sitting rotting away at Coney Island. Now a plan to built a new stadium at the site may force the owner to demolish this legendary coaster.

The Thunderbolt is one of only two classic wooden rollercoasters still standing at Coney Island. The other, the classic Cyclone at Astroland continues to operate. For years enthusiasts have been hoping that a park would be interested in buying the coaster, moving it and restoring it. The remaining days left to save this coaster are numbered and it may be too late.

Developer Plans To Build A Thrill Ride Along With Tower

The owner of the Great Mall Of The Bay Area have presented a plan to renovate the mall and build a 330 foot tall tower. The tallest tower in Silicon Valley will be the home to a new restaurant and an exciting amusement park style ride.

The proposed ride would be a 280 foot tall ride described as similar to the Drop Zone Stunt Tower at Paramount's Great America. The Drop Zone is a Intamin Giant Drop 'freefall' ride. The proposed drop ride may infact turn out to be similar to the recently announced Drop Zone ride at Paramount's Kings Island, a new Intamin gyro freefall, if the attraction ever gets off the ground.

When the plans are completed the mall, which is located in Milipitas, will become the largest outlet mall in Northern California. Plans also include a 20-screen megaplex movie theater, new restaurants and aesthetic changes.

Ghost Rider Now Connected Across Grand Ave.

A visit to Knott's Berry Farm this past weekend revealed that construction on the Ghost Rider wooden rollercoaster is moving along at a rapid pace. The section of the coaster crossing over Grand Avenue has now been constructed, thanks to a special steel support structure that holds the coaster up as it crosses over the main drag.

The new wooden coaster is scheduled to open on Thanksgiving weekend. The park has also begun the landscaping around the coaster's station. The Ghost Rider will be the last new attraction to open at a theme park in 1998.

September 18, 1998

Updated List Of Confirmed And Unconfirmed '99 Coasters

The list of confirmed and rumored new for 1999 rollercoasters has been updated and moved to the top of the news and rumors. If you see any corrections that should be made or any more exciting additions, please let us know by e-mail.

1999 Rollercoasters - Sorted By Amusement Park

1999 Confirmed Rollercoasters.

Busch Gardens Tampa
Gwazi - GCI Dueling Wooden Coaster

Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Apollo's Chariot - B&M Speed Coaster (Hypercoaster)

Disney/MGM Studios
Rock In Roller Coaster - Vekoma Launched Indoor

Dollywood
Tennessee Tornado - Arrow Multilooper

Island Of Adventures
Dueling Dragons - B&M Inverted (Two Coasters)
Hulk - B&M Launched Sitdown Multielement
Peterandon Flyers - Suspended

Kennywood
Exterminator - Reverchon Crazy Mouse

Knott's Berry Farm
Ghost Rider - CCI Out and Back Wooden Coaster - (Opening December 1998)

La Ronde, Montreal, Canada
Coaster Works Junior Wooden Coaster

New Marine World Theme Park
Roar - GCI Twister 'Clone' Wooden Coaster

Martin's Fantasy Island
CCI Wooden Coaster

Myrtle Beach
Coaster Works Junior Wooden Coaster

Paramount's Canada's Wonderland
The Fly - Vekoma Wild Mouse

Paramount's Carowinds
Top Gun - B&M Inverted

Paramount's Kings Island
Face Off - Vekoma Invertigo

Sea World, San Antonio, TX
Steel Eel - Morgan Hypercoaster

Silverwood
Tremors - CCI Twister Wooden Coaster

Six Flags Great Adventure
Medusa - B&M Heartline

Six Flags Over Texas
Batman The Ride - B&M Inverted

Universal Studios Florida
Woody Woodpecker Coaster - Steel Junior

Valleyfair
Arrow Mad Mouse Coaster

1999 Un-Confirmed Rollercoasters

Adventure World
Premiere Rides Mad Cobra Clone

Darien Lake
Giovanola Hypercoaster

Geauga Lake
Premiere Rides Mad Cobra Clone

Holiday World
CCI Wooden Coaster

Knoebels
GCI Wooden Twister

Old Town
GCI Wooden Coaster

Six Flags Fiesta Texas
Vekoma SLC

Six Flags Great America
El Toro - B&M Speed Coaster (Hypercoaster)

Six Flags Over Georgia
B&M Stand-Up

Six Flags Magic Mountain
Giovanola Hypercoaster

Whiskey Pete's
GCI Wooden Coaster



Coaster Zombies To Invade Adventure World

All coaster club members are invited to attend the Coaster Zombies annual invasion of Adventure World on October 24. The event begins at 10 am with check-in at the main gate. The highlight of the event will be one hour of ERT of "exclusive ride time" on Roar from 11am until Noon.

Cost of the event is $25, with a $5 discount to season passholders. The event includes free parking to those who register by October 10, admission, exlusive ride time and a picnic style all you can eat meal.

Those interested in attending should contact the Coaster Zombies though e-mail or visit their web site.

September 17, 1998

Tower Of Terror Vehicle Malfunctions Injuring Seven

An accident on the Tower Of Terror ride at the Disney/MGM Studios in Orlando, Florida resulted in seven riders being sent to local hospitals to be treated for back and neck pains. The accident ocurred during an private party after park hours.

According to reports the ride malfunctioned causing the vehicle to drop in the elevator shaft, before being stopped by an emergency brake. The elevator shaft, one of four used to carry riders up the tower is closed while Disney checks on the problem. The car was carrying 20 passengers when the incident occurred.

Paramount Considering New Danger Signs

Park officials claim they are considering installing different signs around the area where the individual was killed after being hit by a riders leg on the Top Gun rollercoaster. Officials at the park defended their safety precautions, but are considering putting up new signs with pictures to warn those of the dangers.

News Report Claims That Cedar Point May Announce New Ride

A news article appearing on the Columbus Dispatch's web site claims that Cedar Point will announce another multi-million dollar ride in the next few months. The article dated September 13, reads as follows:

Another new, multimillion-dollar ride is expected to be announced later in the fall by Cedar Point, which this year added Power Tower, a ride that blasts riders up or thrusts them down a 240-foot tower. The park is owned by Cedar Fair L.P.

We believe that the news article is incorrect. Sources claim the coming announcement will be about the park's new Camp Snoopy children's area. Depending on what the park decides to do the new section could cost several million dollars, which would make the article partially correct.

Last month when park officials announced the Marina expansion they said, that they would have another big announcement later this year. If the park plans involve Camp Snoopy, we think this would definetely be classified as a big announcement. In any case it would not make sense for the park to say that they have a small announcement. Such a statement certainly would not generate any interest.

VisionLand GM Fired By Chairman

Larrry Langford, VisionLand chairman announced last Wednesay that he decided to fire General Manager Frank Thompson. Thompson was replaced with Rob Langford, who was currently the park's director of operations and second-in-command. Despite the same last name the two are not related.

Larry Langford claimed his decision was based upon Thompson's recent work. According to Langford, Thompson had not solved several problems that had been brought to his attention when the park opened. He also stated that Thompson had failed to provide necessary financial data to the park's bond holders.

September 15, 1998

Identity Of Man Killed In Coaster Accident Questioned

The identity of the man who was killed over Labor Day weekend at Paramount's Great America is being questioned. An investigation is currently underway by Santa Clara County authorities to find out the true identity of the dead individual after they discovered he was not who his identification claimed he was.

The 25-year-old victim was originally identified as Hector Mendoza. The identity is now being question after authorities found out that Hector Mendoza is alive and living in Mexico.

Authorities claim that the unidentified individual stole the driver's licence and social security number of the real Hector Mendoza.

The unidentified individual was killed after he jumped a fence and entered a restricted area to retrieve a hat he lost while riding the Top Gun rollercoaster. The family of the victim have retained an attorney and plan to pursue a legal case against the park as a result of his death.

Premier Closes Funtricity Family Entertainment Park

Premier Parks Inc. and Rainbow Hotel and Casino announced last Friday that the Funtricity Family Entertainment Park, which is managed by Premier Parks' Six Flags subsidiaries, would close on September 11, 1998.

The facility was insignificant to Six Flags' consolidated operations. Rainbow Hotel and Casino will purchase the ground lease and existing buildings and is presently exploring alternative uses for the facility.

Wyandot Lake's Negotiating Expansion And Sea Dragon News

Wyandot Lake located in Columbus, Ohio is currently negotiating with the Columbus Zoo to obtain surrounding property that is owned by the zoo for future expansion. The park which is managed by Premier Parks, Inc. would like to expand and build additional rides and attractions.

In other Wyandot news, we have recieved word that the park may be updating it's 1956 John Allen classic junior wooden coaster with a modern breaking system. The new system if installed for the 1999 season will replace the coaster's original manual breaking system.

We are speculating, but feel that the decision to replace the manual system, may in part be a result of the accident that occured on Clementon Park in August. In that accident the ride operator disabled the breaks which caused the train on the Jack Rabbit to jump the tracks. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured.

September 14, 1998

Construction Begins On New Marine World Coaster

A reader reports that construction has begun on the new GCI wooden rollercoaster at Marine World USA in Vallejo, California. The new wooden rollercoaster will be a replica of the popular "Roar" rollercoaster which opened this year at Adventure World., another park operated by Premier Parks.

According to a report from the park fencing has already gone up around the area where the coaster will be built. On the fence a banner reads, "Hear The Roar, Marine World Spring 1999." Roar is the first new coaster project announced for California in 1999. The hyper coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain still remains a rumor.

Batman The Ride Confirmed For Six Flags Over Texas

Batman The Ride will be the second inverted rollercoaster in Texas when it opens next year for the 1999 season. A reader reports that while the park has not made an official announcement, posters announcing the ride for 1999 are already on sale in the park which confirms that the park is building a B&M inverted coaster.

Sources tell us that this clone will be a mirror image of the other Batman The Ride coasters. In other words nothing new and exciting here. The park is expected to make the official announcement in November.

SFGAdv Coaster Celebration A Success, So What's Medusa?

This past Saturday Six Flags Great Adventure held their annual Coaster Celebration. Many coaster enthusiasts turned out for the event which was heraled a success by the enthusiasts. Those fortunate enough to attend got exclusive ride time on many of the parks coasters, behind the scenes tours and a special lunch.

During lunch according to one reader in attendance, the parks general manager said that next year they will have Medusa. Earlier this year we reported that Six Flags Great Adventure will be building a brand new B&M prototype, called a "heartline" coaster.

The e-mail also mentioned that he was surprised that the general manager mentioned the name, especially after the park's public relations person quickly commented that they have not made an official announcement yet.

While this does not confirm the name of the new coaster it does give us a strong indication of what it will be. Another enthusiast who was in attendance at the event wrote to tell us that ground work has already begun on the new coaster. Expect an official announcement from the park in the late fall.

Disneyland Electrical Parade Off To Florida For '99

Disneyland's Main Street Electrical Parade will turn on the lights once more, this time in Florida. According to Walt Disney World's general manger, Dave Vermeulen, the parade will begin at the park in 1999, using all of the original floats except Pinocchio and Snow White. The missing floats are currently in use at Disneyland Paris.

The parades 26 floats have been transported to Florida and are being outfitted with new lights and upgraded sound systems for the introduction. It is still unclear whether the Electrical Parade will replace WDW's nighttime parade SpectroMagic. According to one source SpectroMagic may actually be coming to California in the near future.

The return of the Electrical Parade is stirring up a comotion among Disney fans, many of whom feel they were cheated by Disneyland's claim that it was the "Farewell Season." Many fans feel the park promoted the last year as the final one ever, never to return again, anywhere.

Speculation has already begun suggesting that Disney is reviving the parade to boost attendance, after a slow year at all of their parks. The decline in attendance is being blamed on the weather, lack of major new attractions and the problems in the Asian economies. One Disney fan claims that Disney has forgotten how to make a buck and is instead trying to capitalize on old things.

The final year of the Main Street Electrical Parade was the last banner year for attendance at Disneyland. Since then sources say the park's attendance has slipped. One source says that Light Magic was not well recieved and while Tommorrowland got favorable reviews, attendance never really picked up. The closure of the new Rocket Rods ride which remains closed, did not help things either.

I don't usually add personal comments here, but I can't resist. During the final year I commented to many friends that I felt the parade would return. They, some of them cast members, swore up and down that it wouldn't return. Huh!!! Now who's right.

Silverwood Broke Ground Last Wednesday On Tremors

Silverwood Theme Park in Athol, Idaho broke ground on it's new CCI wooden coaster last Wednesday. The new wooden coaster will be "bigger, faster, and taller," according to David Norton, Silverwood's general manager.

Tremors will be the forth rollercoaster at Silverwood. The park also features another wooden coaster Timber Terror, the former Knott's Berry Farm Corkscrew and a kiddie coaster.

The new wooden rollercoaster will be built by CCI, Custom Coasters Inc. The ride will have a first drop of around 100 feet and a top speed of 60 mph. The unique part of Tremors will be the tunnels. The ride will drop underground into tunnels several times, including a unique plexiglass tunnel through a gift shop.

The coaster's name is supposed to reflect the rumbles and shaking of a wooden coaster and the feeling that guests will feel while they shop in the parks gift shop as a train passes through. Tremors is the first major attraction to be built at Silverwood since 1996 and the park hopes to have it ready to open by the first day of the 1999 season in May.

September 11, 1998

CEDAR POINT NEWSLETTER GIVES HINTS ABOUT '99

The latest Cedar Point season passholder newsletter gives a little hint as to what the park may be doing for 1999. The newsletter reads "We promise you a dog-gone good time in 99!" This short teaser sort of hints that Cedar Point may be building something related to Snoopy for the next season.

Last month we reported that Cedar Point will most likely build a Camp Snoopy children's attraction for 1999. It is still unconfirmed and we are unsure how elaborate their plans may be. Expect to hear an official announcement from the park in the next few weeks.

STUDENT WILL BE TRIED FOR LASER INCIDENT AT HERSHEYPARK

The Philadelphia Daily News reported yesterday that the 21-year-old Michael Woods, a Maryland college student will be tried for assualting a ride operator at Hersheypark. He will stand trial for simple assault, the charge of reckless endangerment was dismissed.

Woods allegedly shined a red laser beam into the eyes of Kevin Stage, 17, one of five ride operators on the Great Bear rollercoaster on July 4. Stage experienced blurred vision and a tingling sensation which interfered with his ability to operate the ride, when laser beam pointer was pointed into his right eye.

Woods was charged with simple assualt and reckless endangerment. He spent the a night in jail and was released on a $10,000 bond.

TWO PREMIER PARKS MAY RECIEVE MAD COBRA CLONES IN '99

A reader reports that both Adventure World and Geauga Lake may be building Mad Cobra clones for 1999. The rumor also states that both of this parks are expected to have their name changed to Six Flags for next season. Details about the new coasters are still unclear, but expect an official announcement in the near future.

September 9, 1998

REMAINING FIVE SPLIT $50,000 AND ARE OFF TO HAWAII

The remaining five riders in the record 70-day long rollercoaster marathon are now $10,000 richer and off to Hawaii. The vacation will be a perfect opportunity for the five to heal their bodies, after the abuse they suffered from riding the Giant Dipper rollercoaster 18,151 times.

The five contestants Robert Cromer, Lee Vath, Mary Amoroso, Debbie Arnold, and Krys Golanski were each given $10,000 after taxes yesterday. Today they are each being picked up by limousines and are off to Hawaii for relaxing and healing trip with a friend of their choice.

The trip to Hawaii was an unexpected bonus. The five riders known as the “Party Of 5” were the final riders of twenty two original contestants that began to ride the coaster on June 30.

The contest was called to end by the radio station on Monday evening at 10:30 p.m. The station exercised their right to end the contest after the specified date that was written in the contest rules. The “Party Of 5” were allowed to go home to spend the night with their families and were told to return to the coaster by 8:00 am the next morning or they would be disqualified.

A large crowd of fans and the media came to the event on Tuesday morning to hear the final announcement and celebrate the victory.

September 8, 1998

GUEST KILLED AT PARAMOUNT'S GREAT AMERICA

A 25-year-old man was killed after climbing over a fence and into a restricted area today at Paramount's Great America in Santa Clara, California.

According to news reports, the man was hit in the head by the leg of a rider, riding the Top Gun rollercoaster. Reports say the man lost his hat while riding Top Gun and then decided to jump the fence to collect his lost belongings.

The incident occurred shortly after he jumped the fence, when he was accidentally hit by the leg of a on board rider, as the Top Gun train passed by overhead. Top Gun is a inverted rollercoaster, where passengers ride in trains suspended from the track with their legs dangling free beneath the seats.

Paramedica arrived on the scene within two minutes of the report. The man died later at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center from severe head injury. The woman remains hospitalized with leg injuries.

AFTER 70 DAYS, SAN DIEGO COASTER MARATHON ENDS

Star 100.7 officials exercised their right to end the Whirl Til You Hurl 2, rollercoaster marathon last night at 10:00 p.m. Five riders remained after 70 days, which is now the unofficial coaster riding record.

According to reports the riders have been sent home tonight and will return to Belmont Park tommorrow to determine if they will get a share of the $50,000 prize that was at stake. According to the official rules, the remaining riders will get an even share of the grand prize which would amount to $10,000 each.

RIDE OPERATOR FALLS TO DEATH AT PNE

A rider operator doing a routine inspection of an amusement ride fell to his death Sunday at Playland Park at the Pacific National Exhibition in Canada. The operator who was killed was inspecting the Ring Of Fire attraction when he was knocked off the ride by one of the cars.

According to a report from the scene, the individual tried desperately to hang on, but soon fell to the ground. He suffered severe head injuries as a result of his fall. Paramedics called to the scene were unable to save the individual.

The Ring Of Fire was an added attraction to the Pacific National Exhibition by West Coast Amusements. The individual who was killed was an employee of the amusement company.

Playland is an amusement park located in Vancouver, British Columbia. The park is also the home to the Pacific National Exhibition, a fair which is held every year in the end of summer. This was the first death at the Pacific National Exhibition in it's 91-year history.

KNOTT'S DOLPHIN AND SEA LION SHOW CLOSES

Yesterday, was the final day of the Dolphin and Sea Lion Show at Knott's Berry Farm. The show is closing after Knott's executives decided not to renew the contract with Marine Animal Productions, which expires on September 17. The show made headlines nearly every year when Animal Rights Activists held a yearly protest over the busy Memorial Day Weekend.

Officials claim the decision to end the show was not entirely based on the past protests. Knott's plans to use the Pacific Pavillion to expand their Halloween Haunt event in October. The sea lion and two dolphins will be returned to their owners in the next couple of weeks.

Friday evenings show was an especially sad one for the evening trainer who put on her final performance with the dolphins. Friends and family brought flowers and a balloon, while Knott's employees congratulated her for her work on the show over the past year.

DISNEYLAND'S SUBMARINES ARE GOING TO DRY DOCK

The Disneyland Submarines are being docked for good tonight. The second oldest attraction operating in the park will become a part of Disneyland's long history of long gone attractions after 9:00.

The Submarines have become victim to the high-tech age. The rides technology can no longer keep up with today's rides and guest expectations. Declining ridership and increasing maintenance costs are blamed for the rides demise.

Disney officials plan on replacing the aging attraction with a new high tech thrill ride in the year 2003. According to sources the ride will most likely be a new high tech submarine ride themed after an underwater city named Atlantis.

Yesterday was also the final performance of the Hercules Victory Parade at Disneyland. The parade which has been performed daily for the past two summer and weekends during the off season, is being replaced by the new Mulan parade. Mulan which began in June will continue to be performed Friday through Tuesday through Thanksgiving.

KENNYWOOD MAY REMOVE LE CACHOT DARK RIDE

Kennywood Amusement Park closed for the season yesterday and Le Cachot a haunted castle dark ride may have closed forever as well. Last week a reader wrote that Le Cachot will be removed at the end of the season.

Le Cachot has been at the park since 1969. The building which houses the attraction has housed many dark rides since the 1950's. The removal is still unconfirmed, but several reliable sources are unfortunately reporting the same story.

If this ride is going to remain it may be up to the fans to contact the park to encourage them to keep the attraction. Kennywood has a web site at www.kennywood.com.

September 4, 1998

BUSCH GARDEN'S WILLIAMSBURG UNVEILS IT'S FIFTH ROLLERCOASTER

WILLIAMSBURG, Va., September 4, 1998 From the legends of mythological gods comes a tale of adventure like no other. What many consider as just a popular myth turns frighteningly real at Busch Gardens Williamsburg this fall as the park unveils its fifth world-class roller coaster, Apollo's Chariot.

Ancient myth meets modern-day technology aboard Apollo's Chariot. This thrilling new hypercoaster will achieve incredible rates of speed and heights. Apollo's Chariot boasts nine pulse-quickening drops, the first of which plunges passengers down 210 feet of steel track. Guests will experience periods of weightlessness, or "air time," as they race up and down the camelback humps at 73 mph. Another unique element of the roller coaster is the seating. The passenger seats are elevated above the car's frame creating a "free-flight" sensation.

Apollo's Chariot is shaped by a seemingly endless track on which three trains may simultaneously operate. Passengers board one of nine "chariots" which seat up to four riders. Climbing 250 feet above sea level, the trains reach the top of the ride where the exhilarating adventure begins. Passengers are propelled by gravity through a succession of nine "camel backs" before returning to the station.

Once aboard Apollo's Chariot, mere mortals will be challenged to take the reins and drive Apollo's steeds across the sky. Without the strength of a god, they will climb into the heavens but without the strength of a god they then plunge down to earth at speeds in excess of 70 mph. The winged horses wheel back toward the sky and plummet unsuspecting passengers back to earth again and again. Guests are powerless to control these mythical steeds as they take on 825 feet of breath-taking drops – more than any other roller coaster in the world.

"Apollo's Chariot is a thrilling addition to our lineup of award-winning roller coasters," said Joe Fincher, executive vice president and general manager of Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Water Country USA. "This exciting new ride once again breaks another record in attraction design. Apollo's Chariot is the answer to our guests' desire for high-tech, state-of-the-art family entertainment," Fincher said.

Apollo's Chariot will open in the Festa Italia section of Busch Gardens Williamsburg in Spring 1999. Construction of the new roller coaster is already underway.

APOLLO'S CHARIOT FACTS

Attraction :

Theme:

Special Features:

Apollo's Chariot will open in the Festa Italia section of Busch Gardens Williamsburg in Spring 1999. Construction of the new roller coaster is already underway.

Maximum Speed: 73 mph
Ride Duration: Two minutes
Number of Trains: Three
Number of "Coaches: Nine per train
Number of Passengers: Four per coach, 36 per train
Length of Track: 4,882 feet
Height of Drops: 1. 210 feet, 2. 131 feet, 3. 144 feet, 4. 102 feet, 5. 48 feet, 6. 87 feet, 7. 38 feet, 8. 16 feet, 9. 49 feet
Opening: Spring 1999

PARAMOUNT'S KINGS ISLAND ANNOUNCES $40 MILLION IN CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS

Yesterday Paramount's Kings Island located in Cinnicinati, Ohio announced plans for over $40 million in capital improvements over the next two years. The expansion plans for next season include two new rides and a 20th anniversary celebraton of The Beast, the world's longest wooden rollercoaster.

The first of two new attractions announced for 1999 is a 315-foot tall free-fall ride, called the Drop Zone. The Drop Zone, will be the world's tallest gyro drop, which is the next generation of free fall-rides. The gyro drop or Drop Zone will lift and spin 40 riders up a 26 story tower and then drop them at 67 mph to the ground.

The Drop Zone will give riders the sensation of flying, as their feet dangle free and air blows by from all around during the drop. A high-tech magnetic breaking system smoothly controls the speed of the ring as it comes to a stop near the base of the tower.

The second new attraction is named Face/Off and will be the Midwest's only face-to-face inverted rollercoaster. Face/Off will be Kings Island's 12th rollercoaster (we only count it as the 11th). Face/Off is the second Vekoma invertigo in the US. The first was built this year at Paramount's Great America in Santa Clara, California.

Face/Off delivers a sensation of 5 G's as riders face each other on this amazing inverted rollercoaster. On an invertigo pairs of seats suspended from the track above face each other. Riders ride with their feet dangling free as they are towed up a 138-foot tall lift hill, and then fly through a boomerang with two inversions, a 72-foot-tall loop and up another lift hill at speeds reaching 55 mph. Then riders do it again, but this time backwards.

Both of the new rides will be located in a newly-themed area of Paramount's Kings Island called the Paramount Action Zone. The area will be located in the northwest side of the park and will be made to look and feel like a movie studio Backlot. Other rides and attractions such as Top Gun and King Cobra will be included in this new section.

In addition to the new attractions, Kings Island will celebrate the 20th anniversary season of The Beast. Elizabeth Williams, vice president of sales and marketing for Paramount's Kings Island, explains, "The Beast is a world record-holding classic coaster; the benchmark by which all coasters that followed it have tried to reach." The Beast remains the best wooden roller coaster of all time, according to USA Today, and to many coaster enthusiasts throughout the world. It is still rated as the world's longest roller coaster by the Guinness Book of World Records.

In yesterday's announcement the park also mentioned their expansion plans of the year 2000. The plans for that season include a new thrill ride, which will be announced at a later date. Tim Fisher, executive vice president and general manager of the theme park said, "This is only the beginning. Our next announcement will be appropriate for the magnitude of the millenium."

This statement by Fisher makes one wonder. What are they planning for the following year. Could it be another rollercoaster? Time will tell.

September 3, 1998

PARAMOUNT'S KING'S ISLAND TO ANNOUNCE NEW RIDES TODAY

Today Paramount's Kings Island is expected to make an official announcement about their plans for the 1999 season. According to an aticle in the Cincinnati Enquirer, the park is planning to make a $35 million dollar investment for next season, which will also be the 20th anniversary of The Beast, the park's giant wooden rollercoaster, which remains the world's longest.

According to the paper the park will receive at least two new attractions, which is causing speculation among thrill seekers as to how many new rides the park may be getting. One of the new attractions planned will be a new freefall style ride and the other a rollercoaster, but specific details about the individual rides have yet to be announced.

The new attractions are a part of King's Islands plans to expand. The $35 million investment is more than the original investment required to build the park back in 1972.

VALLEYFAIR ANNOUNCES NEW COASTER IN PASSHOLDER MAILING

A reader reported that season passholders have received a mailing from Valleyfair that announces a Mad Mouse rollercoaster to open for the 1999 season. The coaster will replace the Rails coaster, which was a portable steel attraction.

"Mad Mouse is a switchback coaster with four-passenger cars designed to give guests the feeling they are falling from the edge. It's a real thriller!" We have added the Mad Mouse to the list of 1999 rollercoaster below.

September 2, 1998

News has been a little light these past few days. So don't worry the site is not being neglected.

REMAINING RIDERS IN COASTER MARATHON BREAK THE COASTER RIDING RECORD

The five remaining riders in the Whirl Til You Hurl 2 coaster marathon, broke the unofficial coaster riding record on Saturday, August 29. Today will be day number 65. The previous record was 61 days and was set at Six Flags Over Georgia this past spring.

On Monday radio station DJ Mark Jagger, offered each of the contestants $5,000 if they would get off the coaster and leave now. All of the contestants refused the offer, instead choosing to stay and continue to ride for the hopes of winning the $50,000 grand prize.

If the station calls the end prior to the last remaining rider then the prize will be evenly divided among the remaining ones. With five riders left each of the contestants is guaranteed $10,000 each, it is just a matter of when the contest will end.

Rumors floating around Belmont Park, claim that the station will call the contest to an end on Labor Day, September 7. According to the official rules, the station has the right to evenly divide the prize among the remaining riders after 10 pm on Labor Day, September 7, but it does not say for sure if the contest will end then or not.

1999 CONFIRMED AND UNCONFIRMED NEW COASTER LIST

Since the news has been a little light over the past few days, we have decided to post the confirmed and unconfirmed new rollercoaster list for 1999. If you see any additions or corrections, feel free to e-mail them to us.

From the looks of this list it appears that 1999 is going to be another incredible year for new rollercoasters.

The list has moved to September 18, 1998, click here.

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