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Dollywood Gives Peek at New Coaster

Pete Owens, director of communications at Dollywood, shows cars for the new Lightning Rod roller coaster on Wednesday

February 4, 2016 - Daniel Westfall

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When Dollywood kicks off its 2016 season March 18, it will do so with a new roller coaster that's like nothing park visitors have ever seen. Lightning Rod will not only be the world's fastest wooden roller coaster, but the world's first launching wooden roller coaster as well, said Pete Owens, Dollywood's director of communications. The coaster, which will have a drop of 165 feet and a length of about two-thirds of a mile, has a wooden structure, but some advanced features designed to improve the ride, Owens said. He described the experience as riders start up for the first hill. Continue article...

Schlitterbahn: World's Tallest Water Coaster Coming To Galveston

The new ride, MASSIV, will be 926 feet long.

February 4, 2016 - Sam Natcher

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As Schlitterbahn Waterpark gets ready to celebrate 10 years in Galveston, the company has announced the construction of the world's tallest water coaster on the island. Called MASSIV, the German word for "massive," the water coaster remains a bit of a mystery since its opening day has not been set and its exact height won't be announced until spring, the company said Wednesday in a news release. But this much is certain: MASSIV will be 926 feet long, twice as long as any waterslide already in the park, according to the statement. A water coaster is more varied than a traditional, gravity-based water slide and has the feel of a roller coaster, the company said. Continue article...

Universal Acknowledges $130 Million Property Purchase

Comcast Corp. revealed the purchase in an earnings report released Wednesday morning.

February 3, 2016 - Daniel Westfall

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Universal Orlando's corporate owner says it paid $130 million for property that appears to be a large tract of land near International Drive and the Orange County Convention Center. Comcast Corp. revealed the purchase in an earnings report released Wednesday morning. Comcast has other Universal theme parks, including another in Hollywood. Executives did not say which city the property is in but the timing and the size – 475 acres – indicate that it's the same Orlando tract that an LLC closed on in December. The property was transferred through a simple quitclaim deed Dec. 18 to the obscure Delaware company and the price was not revealed at that time. Continue article...

Universal Studios adopts 'demand pricing' before its Harry Potter world opens

Universal Studios Hollywood is putting a price tag on the demand for fun.

February 2, 2016 - Daniel Westfall

The theme park is anticipating huge crowds for the April 7 opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. If you want to be one of the first to experience it, be prepared to pay more than if you want to go, say, on a slow Tuesday in September.

So-called demand, or variable, pricing is nothing new to airlines and hotels. They have long charged higher prices on holidays and during popular seasons. Uber and Lyft charge higher rates during hours when the car-hailing services are in most demand. (Remember New Year's Eve?)

CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY Continue article...

Will Widespread Drone Ownership Influence Theme Park Design?

Parks utilizing new tech to improve park experience

February 2, 2016 - Andrew Rybarczyk

2016 is poised to be the year of hot new technologies, from the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset to the increased use of drones in theme parks. We’ve already discussed how Disney and Puy du Fou are using (or planning to use) drones to bring their nighttime spectaculars to life. That space is heating up and recent developments have raised an interesting question: could drones be incorporated into rides themselves or for interactive activities in theme parks? There’s already some interesting applications in the field. For example, a recent article profiled work done by Tippett Studios using a 3DR Iris+ drone to capture video footage. Continue article...

Cedar Point adds park-wide WiFi for 2016 season

No sense in burning all your data uploading selfies at Cedar Point. Those days are done as the Sandusky scream park is unleashing park-wide WiFi in the 2016 season.

January 31, 2016 - Daniel Westfall

SANDUSKY -- Valravn isn’t the only new feature coming to Cedar Point for the 2016 season.

After much anticipation, Cedar Point Vice President and General Manager Jason McClure says free WiFi will be available to guests throughout the entire park.

“WiFi is good to go,” McClure tells WKYC. “Those guys are installing it through the winter, and we fully anticipate park-wide WiFi for Valravn premiere weekend.”

Kings Island, which is Cedar Point’s sister park near Cincinnati, debuted its free park-wide WiFi last year.

CLICK HERE TO SEE FULL STORY Continue article...

Disney Set to Unveil Star Wars Theme Park Plans

Harrison Ford to host TV special in February

January 28, 2016 - Danny Miller

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Harrison Ford, famous actor who plays Han Solo in the Star Wars series, will host a television special on February 21 that will unveil part of the plans for attractions coming to the Disney parks in Florida and California in relation to the Star Wars franchise. The special will be broadcast by ABC and will focus on celebrating the 60th anniversary of Disneyland. According to Disney CEO and chairman Bob Iger, the land coming to both American parks will be about 14 acres and will consist of several iconic characters and features from the series, but the land will be based on a new planet not yet seen in films. Continue article...

Man Arrested with Guns near Disneyland Paris

Suspect said guns were for his protection

January 28, 2016 - Dwain Sponseller

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A man with two firearms and ammunition was arrested Thursday at the entrance to a hotel near Disneyland Paris, and investigators are looking for a woman who was with him, police said.

The 28-year-old Paris man was arrested as he tried to go through security at Disney's Hotel New York, just outside the Paris-area amusement park, said Michel Le Prevost, deputy chief of criminal police of the French city of Meaux.

French media reported that the guns were pistols and that the guns and ammunition were found in a suitcase.

FULL STORY Continue article...

Lake Compounce Faces 18 OSHA Workplace Safety Violations, $70k In Fines

The company has 15 business days to respond to the findings.

January 27, 2016 - Sam Natcher

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The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Lake Compounce Family Theme Park for 18 serious violations of workplace safety standards following a six-month investigation. In its report, OSHA determined the company exposed employees spraying coatings on park equipment and working with caustic chemicals in the park’s paint room to chemical, burn and respirator hazards. Lake Compounce is a sister company of Palace Entertainment Holdings LLC, Newport Beach, Calif. “These conditions exposed Lake Compounce Family Theme Park employees to serious burn, fire, chemical burn, electric shock and eye, face and hand injuries,” said Warren Simpson OSHA’s area director in Hartford.” FULL STORY Continue article...

Joker Takes Over Total Mayhem

Six Flags Great Adventure announces re-naming of 2016 attraction

January 27, 2016 - Danny Miller

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Back in the fall, Six Flags made a joint announcement as they have in previous years that announced the new attraction(s) coming to each of their parks for the coming season. For Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey, that attraction was the Total Mayhem 4-D Free Fly Coaster, the first of its kind on the east coast. On Wednesday, Six Flags officially announced that the ride would no longer be called Total Mayhem, and instead will open as The Joker. Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in California will also open a coaster called The Joker, but that ride is a refurbishment being done by Rocky Mountain Construction of the wooden coaster formerly named Roar. Continue article...

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