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SeaWorld Unveils New B&M Coaster, Mako

Opening 2016

May 27, 2015 - Andrew Rybarczyk

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PRESS RELEASE: Quick Facts: Opening summer 2016, Mako will be the tallest, fastest and longest coaster in Orlando. Mako will be a hypercoaster, designed for speed and relentless "air time." SeaWorld Orlando will now have a portfolio of 5 thrill rides: 3 distinctly different coasters, plus 2 family coasters. The 2-acre realm of the park will now be fully themed around sharks: including Mako, Shark Encounter, Sharks Underwater Grill, themed gift shops, shark and shipwreck theming and educational experiences. Surfacing summer 2016 at SeaWorld Orlando will be Mako, a 200-foot-tall hypercoaster that will reach 73 mph along 4,760 feet of steel track — nearly a mile long — and leave riders feeling both breathless and weightless. Continue article...

Mountain Coasters Offer the Newest Fun in Tennessee

More new coasters expected to open soon

May 26, 2015 - Andrew Rybarczyk

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Visitors to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park by way of Wears Valley Road in Pigeon Forge might notice long lines of people in front of one of the newest and most popular attractions in the Smokies: The Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster. The attraction features a winding stainless steel rail that twists and turns up the face of the mountain to an elevation of 2,000 feet. Cars similar to bobsleds on the rail provide a safe and fun ride for riders. Each car holds one to two riders. Once the riders are safely seat belted in, the car is pulled up the track and up the mountain by a cable. Continue article...

Beat the Beast Coasterstock 2015 at Kings Island is Live!

May 25, 2015 - Andrew Rybarczyk

The newest episode of Beat the Beast is live! This week we talk all about the newest enthusiast event, Coasterstock hosted by Kings Island. In this show we discuss the event, the rides but more importantly the hints that were dropped as to what Kings Island's next ride might be! Will it be a dark ride, a GCI coaster or maybe even a B&M wing rider? Find out what we think by watching the show!
Continue article...

Raptor Encounter Open at Islands of Adventure

New attraction will allow guests to get up close and personal with the dino

May 22, 2015 - Andrew Rybarczyk

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I’ve always dreamed of getting up close and personal with a dinosaur. Now my dream has finally come true! Velociraptors have arrived at Jurassic Park in Universal’s Islands of Adventure! That’s right—starting this weekend, you’ll get the chance to see these magnificent creatures face to face in an all-new experience: Raptor Encounter. The encounter is located between Camp Jurassic and the Jurassic Park Discovery Center. Your experience begins when you approach a paddock where the raptor will be contained. You’ll learn some cool facts about the dino that you may not have known—like that an adult Velociraptor can reach upwards of 96 kilometers per hour in the open! Continue article...

Making sense of Disney and Universal's messy joint custody of Marvel

Could the relationship be changing?

May 22, 2015 - Andrew Rybarczyk

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With the recent news of Universal partnering with Nintendo, many in the theme park fan community have once again begun speculating about the future of Marvel at Universal Orlando. With all of the rumors, speculation and recent news, I’m going to attempt to summarize what we know, what we think we know, and what we have no clue about in regard to this whole Marvel in Orlando mess. Here's What We Know: Back in the 1990s, long before Marvel was acquired by Disney, they signed an impressively tight contract with Universal for the rights to the characters in use within theme park attractions. Continue article...

Jack Returns to Halloween Horror Nights

Universal will double down on Halloween Horror Nights scares this year

May 22, 2015 - Andrew Rybarczyk

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It's no surprise that after the gangbuster business Universal raked in last year for its Halloween Horror Nights, the theme park announced it is expanding the scare-fest to a record 30 nights and doubling the number of actors roaming the park to startle visitors.

Universal Orlando on Tuesday fired off an early Halloween Horror Nights 2015 tease, complete with video of Jack the Clown, an insane clown serial killer who has been a popular icon of the event over the years.

"Did you miss me?" he says.

FULL STORY Continue article...

Six Flags Over Texas Debuts Justice League Battle for Metropolis

New dark ride impresses park guests

May 22, 2015 - Andrew Rybarczyk

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On, Tuesday, May 19, 2015, Six Flags Over Texas previewed its newest attraction, Justice League: Battle for Metropolis, to the media, contest winners and local park enthusiasts. This world class attraction combines state of the art motion vehicles, 3-D imaging, targeting technology and animatronics to give thrill seekers the opportunity to help the Justice League save Metropolis. “We are excited to partner with the popular DC Comics characters to bring this level of unmatched, interactive thrills to our guests this season,” said Park President Steve Martindale. “Justice League: Battle for Metropolis is like no other ride we’ve ever built. The technology is second to none and guests will be fully immersed in the action from start to finish.” FULL STORY Continue article...

82-Year-Old Man To Ride 95-Year-Old Coaster 95 Consecutive Times

Kennywood Amusement Park's Jack Rabbit roller coaster opened in 1920, and will mark its 95th anniversary with help from its biggest fan.

May 22, 2015 - Andrew Rybarczyk

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One of the world's oldest roller coasters will celebrate a landmark anniversary in style--with the help of its biggest fan. Kennywood Park's Jack Rabbit, a wooden coaster built in 1920 by legendary designer John Miller, marks 95 years of thrilling riders this season. To celebrate the birthday of the fifth-oldest roller coaster in the world, Kennywood fanatic Vic Kleman will embark on 95 consecutive rides of the Jack Rabbit on Sunday, May 24. Kleman's marathon ride will begin at approximately 10:30 a.m. and is expected to take 6-8 hours to complete. Kleman, a native of Pittsburgh, minutes from Kennywood, has kept track of how many times he's flown down the Jack Rabbit's famed 'double-dip' hill since his first ride in 1959. Continue article...

Ferrari Land at PortAventura to Feature Europe’s Highest Vertical Accelerator

PortAventura Resort is investing in the region of €100 million on Ferrari Land, a brand new theme-park dedicated to the world of the iconic Italian racing brand.

May 20, 2015 - Andrew Rybarczyk

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The addition of a third theme-park makes the resort unique in Europe and reflects the company's commitment to creating a world-class destination. The new attraction will cover an area of 75,000m2 and is set to include family-oriented offerings and a variety of adrenalin-fuelled Formula 1 inspired experiences. Ferrari Land is, according to Port Aventura, the single most important project in the resort’s history and by far their largest investment to date on a single project. Over 50 companies will be involved and, once opened, the new attraction is predicted to create up to 150 jobs both directly and indirectly. The key destination for F1 fans will be the 112 metres-high vertical accelerator. Continue article...

How Nintendo's Landmark Theme Park Deal With Universal Happened

Satoru Iwata explains why Universal was the right partner.

May 20, 2015 - Andrew Rybarczyk

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Last week, gaming giant Nintendo and theme park behemoth Universal Parks & Resorts announced a landmark partnership to bring Nintendo's iconic characters to its amusement parks. The announcement paves the way for Mario to sit alongside Harry Potter, The Simpsons, Transformers, and other major media franchises that already have dedicated areas at Universal parks around the world. But how did the major deal come to be? Nintendo chief executive Satoru Iwata offered an explanation during a recent earnings briefing with analysts, the English translation of which was published today. He said discussions with Universal executives began in April 2014, when the theme park first proposed the idea to Nintendo. Continue article...

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