THORPE PARK UNVEILS SEVEN NEW SCARE MAZES AND HORROR ZONES FOR MOST INTENSE FRIGHT NIGHTS TO DATE

Visitors to THORPE PARK Resort’s 17th annual FRIGHT NIGHTS season, running from 5th-31st October, are being warned that nowhere is safe as the line-up of the terrifying new scare mazes and horror zones has been revealed.

Grisly attractions for the Surrey based theme park will include AMC’s The Walking Dead: Do or Die – a macabre experience filled with nail-biting jeopardy, Vulcan Peak – an intense nightmarish tribal hell where visitors will need their most primal instincts to survive, Dead Creek Woods, a post-apocalyptic fight for survival and a new and sinister version of the Blair Witch maze, situated deep in the woods of the park.

Zones populated by disturbingly real Scare Actors will include Terror at Amity High and Big Top Showtime, a twist on last year’s hugely popular maze themed around unhinged clowns. There will also be terrifyingly encounters courtesy of Fanta’s evil vending machine on selected dates.

New for this year will also be Screamplexx 4D where short indie horror films will be shown. Returning favourites for the season include The Walking Dead: Living Nightmare, SAW Alive, Platform 15 and Containment.

Dominic Jones, Divisional Director, at THORPE PARK Resort said, “This is our most intense year for Fright Nights yet with more scares than ever before. With multiple new mazes and scare zones throughout the resort, literally nowhere will be safe and the season is definitely not for the faint-hearted.”

Cornwall / Devon UK – Milky Way Adventure Park

The next park we visited during our Cornwall / Devon weekend was the Milky Way Adventure Park. This has been a park I’ve been wanting to visit for quite a while, mainly due to their pretty unique roller coaster called Clone Zone (which I’ll come back to shortly). The Milky Way is located in Bideford in North Devon. It’s a pretty low key looking place as you near it but you’ll soon discover one of the biggest indoor areas of family run theme park that you’ve ever seen!

The majority of this park is indoors in a series of interconnected buildings. After entering you pass the gift shop and are presented immediately faced with a huge sign saying “Clone Zone”, Perfect, exactly what I wanted to experience. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite ready to open so I wandered off to see what else the park had to offer.

What I encountered around the next corner was one of the strangest yet really pretty awesome attractions ever. An absolutely massive room containing Science-Fiction Memorabilia! Mainly from Doctor Who and Star Wars. As a huge Doctor Who fan, I was quite happy to see all this. They had a number of life size Daleks, an Ood, a Weeping Angel and a Silent. The Star Wars room was on another level. Figures lined up the length of both walls, full scenes mocked up in booths at the far end and a whole collection of minifigures, comics and action figures in the centre.

After a browse of all this memorabilia, I continued venturing the buildings and discovered some indoor dodgems called Droid Dodgems. It was really dark in here with loud music and disco lights. The dodgems themselves were pretty decent and got some decent jolts and bumps from other people.

After a ride on the dodgems, I managed to find the outdoors and spotted a roller coaster!  Unfortunately the weather from overnight was still looming, therefore it wasn’t running at the time. Back to Clone Zone it was.

Clone Zone had opened so I made my way into the line and we were invited inside to be told that we were to be beamed up to an alien mothership and if we saw any aliens then screaming would have them running away! Good to know!  We wandered through metal ducts in the spaceship and then through a series of caves which led to the Freezer Room. We were warned that there was a sleeping alien inside and we’d best be careful not to wake it.  Unfortunately a child in our group (well, I’m going to blame it on them!) woke it up!   We quickly ran past, over the stepping stones and hopped on our escape bike.  The bike zoomed us around the galaxy, nearing a quick attack from an alien and then we landed. A quick escape down a slide and we were out! Phew!  The coaster itself is a Caripro BatFlyer. Not many of these has existed but this one has been operating since 1997 and it’s a super fun little ride! You do get quite a bit of speed and I’m very glad to finally get to have ridden it. The story led queue is also a very cool idea and is amazing for kids, they all seem just scared enough. Being told that all they needed to do to scare the aliens off, seemed to reassure them though.

At this point, I decided to wander around the outdoor areas as the rain was slowly stopping. The Milky Way has a rather large Maze out the back of the park which I decided to visit.  The ride operators waiting to run the coasters did laugh when I said I was going in the maze as they had seen people enter and then the rain throw it down and see people panicking running back and forth trying to get out.  I decided to brave it and made my way in.  It’s not a terribly difficult maze but took me around 10-15 minutes. Thankfully the rain stayed away.

Finally the coasters did their morning checks and soon enough I hopped onto Cosmic Typhoon. This is an Interpark Galaxi layout coaster which opened in 2007. It’s currently undergoing a paint job into a brand new orange colour. The ride was reasonably smooth and ran really nicely. I took a couple of laps before a quick ride on the park’s Wacky Worm: Cosmic Caterpillar.

Due to time commitments, I had to leave at this point. The Milky Way Adventure Park is a very very unique and interesting park to visit and would recommend it to families with younger children. Clone Zone was by far the best attraction to me at the park and I really do hope they keep it running for as long as is possible!

Cornwall / Devon UK – Crealy Adventure Park

So, last weekend, we did a short trip to visit a number of the amusement parks in Cornwall / Devon in the UK. It’s an area of the UK that really doesn’t get much of a mention in the amusement park area but there are quite a number of smaller family style attractions that are well worth visiting. In all, we visited Crealy Adventure Park, The Milky Way Adventure Park, The Big Sheep and then just up the coast a visit to Funland at the Tropicana and Break Theme Park. Today I’ll write about my visit to Crealy.

Crealy is the South West’s largest theme park for families and is located in Exeter.  They have 60 rides and attractions as well as lodging, camping, entertainment/sports and leisure facilities.

Being Coaster insane, we headed straight for the largest coaster they have: Twister! Twister is an SBF spinning coaster, but not one of those small figure 8 ones. This is a full-scale large version. Unfortunately, it did start raining as I entered the queue but a few minutes of rains came and went and after a couple of test runs it was back in action. Twister opened in 2015 and due to how new it is, it rode really nicely. I thoroughly enjoyed the views from the top over the rest of the park and the surrounding countryside.

After Twister, I ventured into the Lost Word of Atlantis. This is an indoor area of the park with a number of smaller rides (frog hopper and other spinning attractions. The main ride in here is a figure 8 coaster also by SBF (not spinning though) called Shark Bay). The area is really well themed and also has a matching soundtrack playing in the background.

We had a bit of a wander around the rest of the park to see what they offered and noticed Dino Jeeps. This is a Zamperla car ride where families can take an expedition around a number of dinosaurs. Just be careful with indoors, you may not be as safe as you think!!  We did like the idea of the Velociraptor guarding a time capsule that was buried in 2014 at the time Dino Jeeps opened. It’s going to be excavated in 2039. Now that will be interesting!

Crealy seems to have a pretty good 50/50 split on rides and play structures around the park. Some of the play areas were huge and loads of children were having a terrific time exploring them all. The park is also home to a Legoland-esque driving school attraction, bumper boats (with very powerful water squirters on the front!) and also a Log Flume.

At this point, we took a look at the animals. Who knew that Crealy practically had an entire zoo onsite too?  And it’s all included in your one ticket entry cost as well.  We loved the Meerkats and Marmosets and also saw Monkeys, Crocodiles and has an entire barn (near to Atlantis) dedicated to farm animals.

Before, heading off we went to ride the parks third and final roller coaster. This time it’s Maximus and it’s a Vekoma Junior Coaster. Yes, it is the standard layout but quite uniquely it’s Roman-themed. The first drop in a tunnel is fun and had a very full queue all day during our visit.

This is unfortunately where our adventure at Crealy ended.  It’s a great family park with a large selection of rides, attractions, play areas and animals. Well worth visiting if you are around the Exeter area!

IAAPA releases list of new rides coming world-wide in 2018

ORLANDO, Fla., USA (Nov. 13, 2017) – As global amusement industry professionals gather at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2017, the premier conference and trade show for the $39.5 billion worldwide industry, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) releases its annual preview of major new rides and attractions opening in 2018 at amusement parks, water parks, family entertainment centers, science centers, museums, zoos, and aquariums around the world.

The 2018 list includes more than 65 new experiences at the world’s amusement parks and attractions including roller coasters, water slides, games, virtual reality rides, and more.

Below are some of the exciting thrills guests will enjoy during 2018, organized by continent then by nation, state, and/or province. Updates will be posted regularly at www.IAAPA.org/news.

 

NORTH AMERICA

CANADA

Alberta

Calgary Zoo opens Panda Passage exhibit for its two new adult pandas and two panda cubs. Panda Passage enhances the habitat that formerly housed the zoo’s Komodo dragons and rhinoceroses. calgaryzoo.com

Ontario

Canada’s Wonderland in Vaughan opens two new rides and an expanded play and splash area for children. “Lumberjack” is a thrill ride that takes guests to heights of 75 feet on two swinging-axe pendulums, propelling them in 360-degree loops. “Flying Canoes” is an interactive family ride that allows passengers to control their adventure on two-person canoes that rotate around a circuit. In addition, Splash Island’s children’s pool in Splash Works will double in size and feature several new interactive spray features. canadaswonderland.com

Quebec

La Ronde in Montreal debuts Carnaval en Folie, a new family zone where colors and sounds re-create the festive atmosphere of the fairs and carnivals of yesterday. The Carnaval en Folie zone will include three new rides: the “Toubillon” carousel, the “Petite Roue” Ferris wheel, and “Tour du Fou,” a high-flying merry-go-round. laronde.com/fr/larondefr

 

MEXICO

KidZania, the interactive entertainment destination for kids opens in Guadalajara. Children can role-play in more than 100 real-life occupations, explore the kids’ city and have fun, while learning through realistic role-play designed specifically for children ages 2-14. guadalajara.kidzania.com/es-mx

 

UNITED STATES

Alabama

Topgolf opens its second Alabama location in Huntsville. The 53,000-square-foot venue will feature climate-controlled hitting bays for year-round play, a chef-driven food and beverage menu, music, private rooms for corporate and social events, and more than 200 high-definition televisions. topgolf.com/us/huntsville

Arizona

Topgolf opens its third Greater Phoenix location in Glendale. The 65,000-square-foot, three-level venue includes up to 3,000 square feet of private event space and climate-controlled hitting bays that can host up to six players at one time. topgolf.com/us/glendale

California

Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach debuts a 29,000-square-foot Pacific Visions expansion. The new area includes an immersive 300-seat interactive theater, art gallery, and additional exhibition space for live animals. aquariumofpacific.org

California’s Great America in Santa Clara opens “RailBlazer,” a new roller coaster featuring a 90-degree drop, three inversions, and dynamic rotations throughout the ride. Guests straddle the coaster’s single track giving them an unobstructed view of the ground and sky during the off-road adventure-inspired ride. cagreatamerica.com

Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim debuts Pixar Pier a transformed land where guests will enjoy newly themed attractions, foods, and merchandise representing beloved Disney·Pixar stories. disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog

Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park premieres a new steel roller coaster “Hang Time.” The ride towers 150 feet over the park’s boardwalk area. The ride experience includes inversions, midair suspensions, and twisting dives along the track. “Hang Time” will send riders up a vertical lift hill and down into a 15-story, 96-degree drop that gives the illusion the track has disappeared. knotts.com

Legoland California Resort in Carlsbad opens Legoland Castle Hotel, a three-story, 250-room hotel. Accommodations will range from 20 suites to guestrooms themed to knights, princesses and more. The park also opens “Lego City Deep Sea Adventure” submarine ride. Up to 12 passengers board one of eight real submarines as they explore an imaginative underwater ocean world. legoland.com/california

SeaWorld San Diego opens “Electric Eel,” the park’s third roller coaster. The 150-foot-tall ride features a triple-launch with accelerations of more than 60 mph. seaworld.com/san-diego

Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia introduces “CraZanity,” a towering pendulum attraction that seats riders in an outward-facing circle and speeds up to 75 mph as it swings 172 feet in the air. sixflags.com/magicmountain

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo debuts “Harley Quinn Crazy Coaster.” The ride’s two trains seat 32 riders face-to-face as they speed past each other in a dueling adventure. The figure-eight coaster turns riders upside down 12 times. sixflags.com/discoverykingdom

Waterworld Concord introduces “Splashwater Island,” a four-story water play structure with more than 100 features. Guests will ascend ladders and splash down more than nine water slides. waterworldcalifornia.com

Florida

Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark in Orlando introduces “Ray Rush,” a new family raft slide which launches riders through enclosed tubes, a translucent sphere, and an open halfpipe slide shaped like a manta ray. aquaticabyseaworld.com/en/orlando

Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Lake Buena Vista opens Toy Story Land featuring characters Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and Slinky Dog. Toy Story Land features two new attractions: the “Slinky Dog Dash” family roller coaster and “Alien Swirling Saucers,” a flying saucer ride. disneyworld.disney.go.com/destinations/hollywood-studios/toy-story-land

Legoland Florida Resort in Winter Haven introduces “The Great Lego Race,” an attraction that is created by transforming the “Project X” roller coaster into a virtual reality experience that takes riders through a rollicking race. Donning virtual reality headsets and using Bluetooth technology the ride synchronizes virtual visuals with the roller coaster’s twists, turns, drops and climbs, creating an all-new experience. legoland.com/florida

SeaWorld Orlando debuts “Infinity Falls,” the world’s tallest river rapid ride. Each raft will twist and turn through a lush jungle environment as guests experience up to Class IV river rapids. A unique vertical elevator lifts each raft for a dramatic launch into the river, 40 feet below. seaworld.com/orlando/rides/infinity-falls

Topgolf opens its second South Florida location in Doral. The 65,000-square-foot venue features golf games using microchipped balls that instantly score themselves, showing players the accuracy and distance of their shots instantly on a television screen in their hitting bay. topgolf.com/us/doral

Universal Orlando Resort opens Aventura Hotel, a modern and stylish property with views of all three Universal Orlando theme parks. The hotel has a vibrant, free-flowing design, spacious open areas and 600 contemporary guestrooms. universalorlando.com/web/en/us/places-to-stay/universals-aventura-hotel

Georgia

Great Wolf Resorts opens its first Georgia property in LaGrange. Great Wolf Lodge Georgia features indoor water slides, a giant tipping bucket, wave pool, lazy river, and a family raft ride. Additional family-focused attractions outside the water park include the “MagiQuest” interactive adventure game and the indoor Great Wolf Adventure Park. GreatWolf.com/Georgia

Six Flags Over Georgia near Atlanta opens “Twisted Cyclone,” a hybrid roller coaster that goes from a 75-degree initial drop to three inversions at 50 mph. The coaster train, modeled after a classic 1960s sports car, combines a traditional wood coaster structure with a steel track. sixflags.com/overgeorgia/attractions/newfor2018

Illinois

Great Wolf Resorts opens in Chicago’s northern suburb of Gurnee. The company’s 17th resort, Great Wolf Lodge Illinois features indoor water slides, a giant tipping bucket, wave pool, lazy river, and a family raft ride. Additional family-focused attractions outside the water park include the “MagiQuest” interactive adventure game and the indoor Great Wolf Adventure Park. GreatWolf.com/Illinois

Six Flags Great America in Gurnee adds the world’s largest loop coaster, the park’s 16th roller coaster. The 100-foot-tall ride features 32 face-to-face seats and takes daring riders through several 360-degree revolutions. sixflags.com/greatamerica/attractions/newfor2018

Iowa

Adventureland in Altoona opens Bernie’s Barnyard, an area created specifically for the park’s youngest guests with kiddie rides, a playground, arcade games, and more. adventurelandresort.com

Maryland

Six Flags America in Upper Marlboro debuts a new centerpiece for its Hurricane Harbor Water Park, “Wahoo River.” The themed adventure river will have seven water action zones complete with water arches, geysers, surging waves, waterfalls, and tipping buckets. sixflags.com/america

Massachusetts

Six Flags New England in Agawam debuts “Harley Quinn Spinsanity,” a colossal swing ride that reaches up to 70 mph and spins riders up to 147 feet in the air. sixflags.com/newengland

Minnesota

Topgolf opens its first Minnesota location in Brooklyn Center, near downtown Minneapolis. In the 65,000-square-foot venue, guests can enjoy self-scoring golf games using microchipped balls that instantly show players the accuracy and distance of their shots on a television screen in their hitting bay. topgolf.com/us/minneapolis

Valleyfair in Shakopee opens “Delirious” in its nostalgic Route 76 area. The 70-foot looping thrill ride, which features a train that races around the inside of the track, completes 10 revolutions in less than a minute. valleyfair.com

Missouri

Silver Dollar City in Branson debuts the “Time Traveler” roller coaster, the world’s fastest, steepest and tallest spinning roller coaster. The ride features a 10-story, 90-degree vertical drop and three inversions: a dive loop, a vertical loop, and a zero-G roll along more than a half mile of track. silverdollarcity.com/timetraveler

Six Flags St. Louis opens “Typhoon Twister,” in its Hurricane Harbor water park. The hybrid zero-gravity water slide and wave wall sends up to four people barreling down an enclosed 54-foot drop in a cloverleaf raft. sixflags.com/stlouis

Topgolf opens its first Missouri location in Chesterfield. Guests can enjoy point-scoring golf games using microchipped balls that instantly score themselves, showing players the accuracy and distance of their shots instantly on a TV screen in their hitting bay. topgolf.com/us/st-louis

Worlds of Fun in Kansas City introduces “Nordic Chaser,” a new family ride. Guests of all ages will board mini-ships that rotate around a circuit, providing the sensation of rising and falling along ocean waves. worldsoffun.com

New Jersey

Six Flags Great Adventure & Safari in Jackson opens “Cyborg Cyber Spin,” an anti-gravity gondola ride that spins on three separate axes. Twenty four riders sit with their feet dangling as they twist and turn and are propelled up to seven stories above the ground. sixflags.com/greatadventure

Topgolf opens its second New Jersey location in Mount Laurel. The 65,000-square-foot venue features microchipped golf balls that score themselves, providing players with instant feedback on each shot’s accuracy and distance. topgolf.com/us/mount-laurel

New York

The Great Escape & Splashwater Kingdom in Lake George introduces “Pandemonium,” which takes 24 riders at a time on a ride that lifts, spins, and tilts at all angles. At sundown the ride’s colorful light package will illuminate the sky, providing a unique afterdark experience. sixflags.com/greatescape

North Carolina

Carowinds near Charlotte debuts Camp Snoopy, a newly expanded kids’ section featuring new rides, and a climb-and-play area, “Beagle Scout Acres.” Camp Snoopy will feature five new rides: “Camp Bus” that lifts guests into the air and lowers them back down to the ground; “Peanuts Trailblazers” puts guests behind the wheel of a Jeep-like vehicle on a small, round speedway; “Kite Eating Tree” sends a kite vehicle up and down a tree; “Pig Pen’s Mud Buggies” rotates around the popular Pig Pen character while bouncing on a bumpy ride and “Woodstock Whirlybirds” an oversized spinning bird’s nest. carowinds.com

Ohio

Cedar Point in Sandusky opens “Steel Vengeance,” a 200-foot-tall hybrid roller coaster featuring a 90-degree initial drop and a Twisted Snake Dive, a maneuver that puts the train into a half-barrel roll, lets it hang upside-down momentarily, before turning back to the direction of travel, just shy of a complete roll. cedarpoint.com

Oregon

Oaks Amusement Park in Portland debuts a new roller coaster that features a 72-foot vertical lift, a heartline roll, 97-degree loop, and top speeds of 45 mph. The public is helping the park name the new ride through a name-the-coaster contest. oakspark.com

Pennsylvania

Sesame Place in Langhorne debuts the “Oscar’s Wacky Taxi” ride. The wooden-steel hybrid family roller coaster has a bright yellow, taxi cab-inspired train featuring Oscar the Grouch. sesameplace.com/philadelphia

The Boardwalk at Hersheypark in Hershey opens two water rides. “Breakers Edge Water Coaster” seats four riders on in-line rafts and rockets them through splash-filled hills, tight turns, and sweet thrills perfect for the whole family. On the “Whitecap Racer” guests ride on a mat through turns and tunnels as they sail down six colorful racing lanes. hersheypark.com

Topgolf opens its first Pennsylvania location in Pittsburgh in the summer. The 65,000-square-foot venue features point-scoring golf games using microchipped balls that instantly score themselves, showing players the accuracy and distance of their shots on a television screen in their hitting bay. topgolf.com/us/pittsburgh

Waldameer Park and WaterWorld in Erie opens two new family-friendly rides. “Balloon Race” in Kiddieland sends riders spinning around and gliding up and down in colorful hot-air balloons, while the “CannonBowl” single- or double-tube water slide has drops, twists, and turns before it sends riders spinning around in a giant bowl. Waldameer.com

Texas

Cinergy Entertainment Group opens a new location in Edinburg in summer. The new entertainment center features cinemas, bowling, multi-level laser tag, elevated ropes course, game floor, escape rooms, premium food offerings, full-service bar, multiple event rooms, reserved ticketing, luxury recliner seating, and the Cinergy Epic auditorium. Cinergy.com

KidZania, a “mini-city” that allows children to role-play in more than 100 real-life occupations, opens in Dallas. From board member to baker and doctor to truck driver, KidZania’s world of role-play is tailored to resemble the city of Dallas, complete with buildings, paved streets, vehicles, and a self-contained economy fueled by a currency called “kidZos.” kidzania.us/en

Schulman’s Movie Bowl Grille adds a 6,000-square-foot location in Denison featuring dine-in movie theaters, 24 Brunswick bowling lanes, an interactive arcade and amusement center, multi-level high-definition laser tag center, full-service restaurant, and a 100,000-square-foot mixed-use retail center. moviebowlgrille.com

Sea Life Aquarium and Legoland Discovery Center opens at the Shops at Rivercenter in downtown San Antonio. The complex consists more than 65,000 square feet of interactive and educational attraction space. Sanantonio.legolanddiscoverycenter.com

Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio opens “Wonder Woman Golden Lasso Coaster,” a single-rail coaster that features a 90-degree drop, zero-G roll, and a 180-degree stall. sixflags.com/fiestatexas

Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington debuts “Harley Quinn Spinsanity,” a 24-seat gondola-style ride that delivers a combination of negative and positive gravitational forces as it twists and rotates on three separate axes in a continuous movement. sixflags.com/overtexas

Topgolf opens its 11th Texas location in Pharr, in the Rio Grande Valley. The 55,000-square-foot venue features self-scoring golf games using microchipped balls that score themselves, showing players the accuracy and distance of their shots instantly on a television screen in their hitting bay. topgolf.com/us/pharr

Urban Air Adventure Park, a trampoline park for all ages and fitness levels, opens two new locations in Killeen and Tyler. urbanairtrampolinepark.com

Virginia

Busch Gardens Williamsburg debuts “Battle for Eire,” a virtual reality attraction featuring a fierce fairy warrior named Addie who leads riders on an adventure through her homeland of Ireland. Addie’s goal is to rescue the Heart of Eire, which represents the magic of Ireland, with a little help from park guests. seaworldparks.com/buschgardens-williamsburg

Kings Dominion near Richmond debuts “Twisted Timbers,” a hybrid roller coaster featuring a 109-foot barrel-roll drop, three loops, and 20 airtime moments. The 3,351 feet of steel track make some maneuvers possible that were previously unimaginable on a traditional wooden coaster. kingsdominion.com

Ocean Breeze Waterpark in Virginia Beach opens a new family raft water ride with a patriotic theme. Riders board four-person tubes at the top of a 70-foot platform before sliding into a dark, enclosed tunnel with a series of unpredictable twists, turns, and drops that lead to a thrilling and refreshing splashdown. oceanbreezewaterpark.com

Wisconsin

Sky Zone opens a new 22,000-square-foot trampoline park in Greenfield. Guests experience “Freestyle Jump,” “Foam Zone,” “Sky Slam,” and “Sky Hoops,” as well as “Ninja Warrior Course,” a “Challenge Zone” that includes jousting pits and an aerial ladder, “Free Climb,” a climbing wall and “Fusion Dodgeball,” a new take on a classic backyard game that uses a trampoline court system as its venue. skyzone.com/greenfield

 

EUROPE

Belgium

Walibi in Wavre debuts a new family-friendly roller coaster. At its adjacent water park, Aqualibi the park opens a 700-square-meter aquatic playground for children. walibi.com/belgium/be-en

Denmark

Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen introduces “Winter in Tivoli,” the historic amusement park’s first winter-season celebration in its 175th anniversary. Operating Feb. 2-25, the park opens an ice-skating rink, shops, and restaurants. Select park rides will operate during the event as well. “Chess – The Musical” will play in the Tivoli Concert Hall. tivoli.dk/en

Germany

Holiday Park in Haßloch opens the Maya the Bee indoor zone with experiences celebrating one of the park’s most popular characters. holidaypark.de/en

Legoland Deutschland Resort in Günzburg introduces “The Great Lego Race,” a ride transforming the “Project X” roller coaster into a virtual reality experience that takes riders through a rollicking race. Donning VR headsets and using Bluetooth technology the ride will sync the virtual visuals with the roller coaster’s twists, turns, drops and climbs, creating an all-new experience. legoland.de/en

Great Britain

Alton Towers in Staffordshire opens “SW8 – Secret Weapon 8” wooden rollercoaster, the park’s first new coaster since 2013. altontowers.com

Blackpool Pleasure Beach in Blackpool, England, opens “Icon,” a coaster that propels thrill-seekers forward at high speeds at the start of the ride and at a second point halfway through the two-and-a-half-minute experience. blackpoolpleasurebeach.com/icon

Legoland Discovery Centre opens at the Arena Birmingham in Birmingham, England, featuring play areas and adventures including Miniland, an interactive city made of Lego bricks, a 4-D cinema, creative workshops with a master Lego builder, and “Kingdom Quest,” an interactive chariot ride. Birmingham.legolanddiscoverycentre.co.uk

Peppa Pig World in Ower, Hampshire, England, debuts two new rides. “The Queen’s Flying Coach Ride” takes families on a tour around the newly extended part of Peppa Pig World and “Grampy Rabbit’s Sailing Club” which takes guests along a new water route to discover Pirate Island. paultonspark.co.uk/attractions/peppa-pig-world

Sweden

Furuvik in Furuvik debuts “XX,” a dark ride that lets guests compete and collect points by scaring ghosts and other creatures. The park also opens Furuvik Havshotell, a 28-room seaside hotel and restaurant inspired by traditional yacht clubs and classic American boardwalk culture. furuvik.se/english

Liseberg in Gothenberg opens the “Valkyria” dive coaster featuring a vertical 50-meter drop. The ride climbs then pauses at the peak of the life hill briefly before plunging vertically into an underground tunnel at a speed of 105 kph. liseberg.com/en/home

ASIA

China

Little Big City in Beijing is a new family attraction that features interactive, handcrafted miniature locations. It depicts iconic buildings and streets of Beijing city to scale along with special effects and cutting-edge multimedia technology to bring the world class city’s colorful history to life. The attraction also includes more than 6,500 miniature “locales,” created in detail from extensive historical research. merlinentertainments.biz/little-big-city

Japan

Universal Studios Japan in Osaka debuts “Final Fantasy XR Ride,” a virtual reality roller coaster. The attraction, based on the “Final Fantasy” video game franchise invites guests don virtual reality headsets as they board airships to explore various “Final Fantasy” worlds. usj.co.jp/e

Malaysia

Legoland Malaysia Resort in Johor Bahru introduces “The Great Lego Race,” a ride transforming the “Project X” roller coaster into a virtual reality (VR) experience that takes riders through a rollicking race. Donning VR headsets and using Bluetooth technology the ride synchronizes the virtual visuals with the roller coaster’s twists, turns, drops, and climbs, creating an all-new experience. legoland.com.my

 

LATIN AMERICA

Costa Rica

KidZania, a “mini-city” that allows children to role-play in more than 100 real-life occupations, opens in Heredia. From board member to baker and doctor to truck driver, kids can try their hand at real-life occupations. kidzania.com

About IAAPA
The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) is the premier trade association for the attractions industry worldwide. Founded in 1918, IAAPA is the largest international trade association for permanently located amusement facilities and attractions and is dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of the attractions industry. IAAPA represents more than 5,300 attraction, supplier, and individual members from more than 100 with member facilities including amusement and theme parks, water parks, family entertainment centers, zoos, aquariums, science centers, and museums. IAAPA hosts three annual trade shows including IAAPA Attractions Expo, Euro Attractions Show, and Asian Attractions Expo. The association’s global headquarters is in Orlando, Florida, United States. The nonprofit organization maintains offices in Brussels, Hong Kong, Mexico City, and Alexandria, Virginia.

Into the Woods: A trip to Millers Thrillers

Fall was finally starting to peak on Saturday as we drove down the winding road speckled with autumnal hued trees. Nature’s peaceful display almost made me forget the reason we were taking a 40 minute trek deep into central Tennessee.

Growing up loving ghost stories and Halloween, haunted sites and graveyards have always intrigued me. I was eager to snag the opportunity to write about walking through a haunted forest, but it wasn’t until the day of our trip to Millers Thrillers that my fears started to kick into action and my feet to turn cold. Memories of walking through haunted houses in New York with my friends reeled through my head. I was always the first to volunteer to walk through, only to surely have me trying to find someone to cower behind moments later.

At around 7:30 p.m., we followed the glowing markers into a field. The late-October dusk was just beginning to settle as we stepped out of the car and walked up the path to the ticket booth. You could see the warm glow and smell the bonfire, which anchors the center of their entertainment zone, from the parking lot. Music was playing from the stage and spotlights illuminated the sky above.

By now it was dark out, the ticket sign illuminated by a string of lights.The line to pickup tickets moved rather quickly, but I would highly recommend taking advantage of their online ticket options which allow you to skip this line entirely.

 

A few lone clouds still hung in front of the dim, waxing crescent moon; it was the kind of night you’d expect to run into things that go bump in the night. It was hard not to take the ominous hint and begin worrying again.

The main area was a large clearing that resembled a festival: a ticket booth, haunted house fascade, an over-sized chair for photos and a concession booth glowing in black lights. People of all ages began arriving. By the time we left that night, the parking lot would be full and the line for tickets would easily exceed 45 minutes.  Nearby the roaring bonfire was a stage that would host a variety of entertainers from a light show set to music, the “Reptile Guy” , jugglers, and more. Also make sure to check out the amazing fire performers and the super energetic zombie drum line! If you don’t purchase the Slash-Pass the entertainment is a very welcome distraction while waiting to enter the woods.

Into The Darkness

A large facade marked the entrance to the Haunted Woods. A woman stood in the shadows as we approached the end of the line. “Are you two with a group?” she asked. Maybe I imagined it, but she seemed to smirk at the question, her eyes glinting. “Um,” I said, stalling. Survival tip number one: Never go alone.

We locked eyes with the group behind us, a family with a few teenagers, willing them to take strangers under their wing for the night. It was a low point, but fear makes perfectly rational people do crazy things, like sleep with the lights on for weeks after watching a scary movie (this is why you should never watch “Silence of the Lambs”). Besides, we were simply being practical — it’s all about strength in numbers.

At the entrance to the haunted woods— a forest that we were warned takes 30 to 40 minutes to travel through — being first was not our highest priority. So when the hostess asked who wanted to enter first, we took a few steps back.

In nervous silence, we were guided into a room by a man dressed up resembling Captain Spaulding.  In the next room, we all posed for a group photo before being lead back into the original room that we entered, but it was completely upside-down. After this we were instructed to head down the path into the woods.

Leaves whipped around our feet in small cyclones that hid roots, making us step carefully in the darkness and ignore our basic instinct to run. Though my awareness was heightened for any type of movement — a sinister shadow lurking behind a tree, the fearful snap of a twig — I couldn’t help but notice the beauty of the woods in the nighttime.

For a while, there was no movement. We kept walking, winding deeper the woods. We knew that there were numerous terrifying employees waiting for us in the forest — but where were they? I almost started to enjoy myself, thinking of our tour as a midnight nature walk. This would go great with some mulled apple cider. I made a terrible mistake, I let my guard down.

Survival tip number two: Never let your guard down. As I peered around the bend, a throaty snarl erupted from a tree just behind me. A creature sprung onto the path, half crawling and jumping toward our group. We screamed and stumbled, running up a ramp that led to a shed.

The wolf-creature left us alone, but the shed — and the other makeshift buildings that would follow it on the trail — brought a new terror: the fear of being in a confined space, with a lurking monster and nowhere to run.  At this point,we abandoned all notions of personal space, clutching each other’s shirts as we entered the shed.

The room was filled with swinging black tubes, like punching bags, their movements warped and disorienting from the blinding strobe lights overhead. Everything was pulsing. We wove through the tubes, gripping each other tightly, our vision blurred — was that movement a person? Or was it just us in here? — when a stranger’s voice shrieked from the corner of the room. He staggered toward us, moving fast and in slow motion at the same time, his clown grin flashing between the tubes. We bolted through the door at last, the lights blinking behind us.

The trail became a conduit of terror, the narrator of horror. It held its own scares: redneck zombies jumped out from behind a tree, setting our eardrums ringing with screams; a deranged girl wailed and followed us; a man was suspended in a tree, screaming for help. Still, we preferred to be scared in the open woods, where escape was easy and the openness offered solace, rather than be trapped in dark haunted houses.

We thought we had reached the end of the woods as we approached a black-light illuminated area that was themed to a circus. We were dead wrong. We were handed 3D glasses and motioned to enter a circus tent. Inside there were multiple paths filled with specially painted murals and props that looked like they were incredibly detailed. The glasses play with your eyes: was that clown really just pointing at me, or is it a stationary prop?

After as few more scenes and after crawling through an actual hearse we approached a western ghost town. From its exterior, the final stop along the path looked no different from the other areas we had walked through. We entered the room cautiously, tugging on each other’s shirts. The room became a narrow hallway, giving way to a twisting maze, growing steadily darker and darker. Soon it was pitch black; the only light came from the ceiling, a tiny sliver of moonlight, shrouded by leaves.

An eerie silence took over as we walked in the blackness. With one hand I gripped the shirt of someone in our group, with the other I skimmed the wall, feeling for passages and corners.“This must be what it feels like to be blind,” someone behind me said. Suddenly, a loud smack from in front: we’d hit a dead end. Someone in our group chuckled, brushing past to backtrack. I tried to control my breathing.

Finally, after what seemed like hours of dead ends, we found the exit. We spilled out into the moonlight, laughing about the maze and the trail, walking to the distant glow of the bonfire and huddles of friendly faces.

Before leaving, we posed for a few pictures with some of the characters in the entertainment zone.  We waved as we walked back to the car, thanking the staff, and wishing the waiting ticket holders good luck.

 

THE SHINING WILL MAKE ITS HAUNTING DEBUT AT UNIVERSAL STUDIOS’ “HALLOWEEN HORROR NIGHTS” THIS SEPTEMBER

ICONIC HORROR FILM THE SHINING WILL MAKE ITS HAUNTING DEBUT

AT UNIVERSAL STUDIOS’ “HALLOWEEN HORROR NIGHTS” THIS SEPTEMBER

 

For the First Time Ever, One of the Greatest Horror Films of All Time Will Come to Life

in a New Haunted Mazes at the Nation’s Premier Halloween Events in Hollywood and Orlando

 

For the first time ever, the psychological  horror film, The Shining, will bring unspeakable terror to “Halloween Horror Nights” in terrifying new mazes opening at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort, beginning this September.

 

The twisted minds behind the nation’s best, most intense Halloween events will bring every gruesome moment and paranormal haunting that fans have seen in the film to life in original, disturbingly authentic mazes.

 

“The Shining” maze at Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights will provide guests with a unique opportunity to relive some of the film’s most iconic, and sinister, moments.  While venturing through the eerie Overlook Hotel, guests will be thrust into the hotel’s tragic history of murder and madness, bearing witness to caretaker Jack Torrance’s spiraling descent into insanity. Nightmarish visions will come to life in this macabre maze, overwhelming guests with the “shine” of the murderous, ghostly entities that lurk around every turn – all while trying to escape the wrath of Jack Torrance as he violently succumbs to the hotel’s paranormal forces.

 

The Shining has been regarded as “a masterpiece of modern horror” by critics and fans alike. Directed by Stanley Kubrick, the film’s enormous influence on pop culture has been captured throughout a multitude of films, television shows, music and more since its disturbing debut in 1980.

 

Universal Studios’ “Halloween Horror Nights” is the ultimate Halloween event. For more than 20 years, guests from around the world have visited Halloween Horror Nights in Hollywood and Orlando to become victims inside their own horror film. The streets of each coast’s event are transformed into highly-themed scare zones where menacing “scare-actors” lunge from every darkened corner. Multiple movie-quality haunted houses are erected throughout the event, based on everything from iconic slasher films to hit horror television series to haunting original stories.

 

Additional details about Universal Studios’ “Halloween Horror Nights” will be revealed soon. For more information about Halloween Horror Nights at either Universal Studios Hollywood or Universal Orlando Resort, visit www.HalloweenHorrorNights.com.

2017 Nashville Wine and Food Festival

Get ready for the Nashville Wine and Food Festival!

Corkdorks Wine, Spirits, Beer will present this year’s festival will be located at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park in the area behind the Nashville Farmers’ Market. It will run from Noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 20. You can enjoy more than 150 wines from 30 wineries around the country, and food from some of the area’s top restaurants. Chefs and wine makers also will present demonstrations. There will be live music, a beer garden, cigar lounge, cocktail lounge, local vendors, and much more!

Since 2014, the annual Nashville Wine and Food Festival has brought the community together around local artisanal products and world-class wineries, all with a goal to benefit the Nashville Symphony. In addition to great wines and food, this festival also seeks to educate attendees and will feature food demonstrations from local chefs and wine seminars by winemakers from all over the country. The event will serve as a more intimate affair where consumers can interact with chefs, wine makers and food artisans.

Tickets are now on sale. General admission tickets can be purchased for $85. For more information on the 2017 Nashville Wine and Food Festival and to buy tickets, visit http://www.thenashvillewineandfoodfestival.com.

Silver Dollar City’s New Festival of Wonder Leads 2017 Events: A Most Amazing Entertainment Experience!

The all-new Festival of Wonder in April, a new summer concert series and a big new Christmas expansion top the lineup for Silver Dollar City’s 2017 season, designated the Year of Food and Crafts. The Year of Food and Crafts celebrates the art of American fine craftsmanship with new handcrafted treasures, and presents new signature dining experiences with over 200 new specialty foods throughout the season.


The Year of Food and Crafts kicks off with the park’s opening ride event Spring Ride Days March 15-26, then the new Festival of Wonder opens April 6 with amazing acts of curiosity and larger-than-life performances, all billed as “A Most Amazing Entertainment Experience.” Featuring the world’s largest playable stringed instrument, the Earth Harp Collective has strings stretched the length of Red Gold Heritage Hall, vibrating above the heads of the audience as it plays,  creating a multi-faceted music experience. The Earth Harp is just one of the show’s beyond-believable instruments from visionary instrument creator William Close, an America’s Got Talent finalist. The festival also features the Flamenco Kings, seven brothers whose stunning performances are a fusion of flamenco, tap, martial arts and acrobatics; Balancing Wonders, presenting gravity-defying performers in an extraordinary balancing show; plus Speed Painter Dan Dunn, glass armonica music and incredible wind instruments.

New foods for the Festival of Wonder take an outrageous turn as well, including Curious Kabobs with shark or alligator on a stick, and the World of Bacon with Bacon Cannoli and Chocolate Covered Bacon. The festival runs April 6-30.

In May, the popular festival Bluegrass & BBQ brings in top bluegrass musicians, including a special concert with Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder. Skaggs, winner of 14 Grammy Awards, 8 CMA Awards, 11 IBMA* Awards and 2 Dove Awards, headlines Memorial Weekend, with a concert on May 28. Also among the festival’s top performers are Rhonda Vincent & the Rage, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Flatt Lonesome, The Gibson Brothers and The Grascals. A huge new BBQ Pitmaster Courtyard offers savory barbecue feasting, with new foods including layered Barbecue Sundaes, a “Ribs Spectacular,” and Mason Jar Desserts. Bluegrass & BBQ runs May 4-29.

June brings a new Echo Hollow Summer Concert Series, presenting concert fun from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s with performances by Poco, Rare Earth, The Association, The Spinners and The Lovin’ Spoonful. Concerts are June 2-4 and 9-11.

June also brings the family-focused festival Star-Spangled Summer, featuring the Harlem Globetrotters, with 9 new Guinness World Records for trick shots, in the final year of The Globetrotter Experience show. The festival also presents stunt dogs, champion cloggers and cartoon characters, June 3-July 16. Food Days lead into and top off summer events with wild new flavors. The park’s night ride event Moonlight Madness, July 15-30, brings back ride-in-the-dark fun and evening street dances, performances by international touring group Rockapella.

The top names in Southern Gospel fill the stages for Southern Gospel Picnic, August 24-September 4, including Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, Dove Award winners The Booth Brothers and Jeff & Sheri Easter, Greater Vision, The Hoppers, Legacy Five and The Isaacs. The food spotlight is on Southern cuisine, as Southern cooking expert and food blogger Christy Jordan presents all-new recipes in The House of Chicken & Fixin’s.

Concerts featuring country music icons Restless Heart, Diamond Rio and Lonestar are presented each evening during Silver Dollar City’s Country Music Weekend, September 8-10, and the National Crafts & Cowboy Festival features the nation’s finest craftsmen and authentic cowboys, September 13-October 28. The festival presents the popular Wild West Show with trick riders, ropers and a world-champion Native American Hoop dancer; Western music, a barn dance, and 125 visiting craftsmen. Cuisine includes Cowboy Beef Stew and Dutch Oven Dessert

An Old Time Christmas is brighter than ever, debuting the all-new Christmas in Midtown, a 70,000 sq. ft. area filled with new light displays 9 stories high, including 30 angels, animated reindeer pulling a sleigh, 3 light tunnels, two 40-foot long moving trains, dozens of stars and snowflakes, and a 50-foot tree, all created at Silver Dollar City. Christmas in Midtown adds 1.5 million new lights, bringing the park’s total to 6.5 million lights. The festival also presents “Rudolph’s Holly Jolly™ Christmas Light Parade” led by the most famous reindeer of all, with musical lighted floats and dozens of costumed characters, plus two original musical productions: It’s A Wonderful Life and A Dickens’ Christmas Carol. Ranked as one of the world’s top holiday events, the park dazzles with the acclaimed 5-story special effects Christmas Tree and an encompassing light-and-sound show on the Square, plus new holiday foods, November 4-December 30. Also new this year is aNew Year’s Celebration December 31 and January 1.

The park presents more than 40 rides and attractions, including the world-famous wood coaster Outlaw Run, named Best New Ride of 2013 worldwide and featured in Guinness World Records 2015. The new Year of Food and Crafts spotlights the park’s 100 craftsmen demonstrating America’s heritage crafts, hundreds of new food specialties are added to the dining options, and shows fill the stages throughout the season. The 1880s-style theme park is open March 15December 31, 2017 and January 1, 2018www.silverdollarcity.com.

Six Flags Magic Mountain and Six Flags Discovery Kingdom to Debut The New Revolution Galactic Attack: World’s First Mixed Reality Experience on a Virtual Reality Roller Coaster

Six Flags Entertainment Corporation, (NYSE:SIX) and Samsung Electronics America, Inc., the “Official Technology Partner” of the world’s largest regional theme park company, today announced its renewed collaboration on virtual reality roller coasters with the unveiling of a bold, innovative twist on the experience at Six Flags parks. Last spring, the two companies joined forces to introduce North America’s first Virtual Reality (VR) Roller Coasters using Samsung Gear VR powered by Oculus, and now in 2017— for the first time ever, riders will be offered a one-of-a-kind mixed reality experience that only Six Flags can deliver. Another world’s first—complex gameplay, where riders make key decisions during the course of the ride that can affect their scoring at the end. The New Revolution Galactic Attack makes its world debut at Six Flags Magic Mountain, near Los Angeles and Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, near San Francisco, offering park guests a thrilling, fully immersive ride of their lives as they battle to save the planet from an impending alien drone invasion.

 

“Six Flags is proud to be partnering with Samsung to develop the newest, most innovative thrill ride experience in the theme park industry,” said Brett Petit, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales. “This mixed reality technology is truly groundbreaking and like nothing our guests have ever experienced. Six Flags and Samsung changed the game last year with VR on twelve roller coasters and now we are breaking new ground yet again.”

 

“Our strategic partnership with Six Flags enables millions of consumers to experience virtual reality for the first time by bringing Gear VR to real roller coasters at theme parks across the country. We are always aiming to create immersive, never been done before experiences with our Samsung VR ecosystem as the focal point, so these new experiences at Six Flags are completely complementary to that key objective. We are thrilled to continue to work with Six Flags and bring VR to the mainstream,” said Marc Mathieu, Samsung Electronics America’s Chief Marketing Officer.

 

When riders board the coasters and don their Samsung Gear VR headsets, they will be introduced to the device’s passthrough camera functionality, instantly making riders aware of their surroundings, by allowing them to see the “real world,” including the person seated next to them— along with virtual content. As they get settled into the ride, a heads up display overlay on the passthrough camera view will show data like current status of weaponry, time codes, fuel cells, and a countdown clock. Cresting the lift hill, a massive, swirling wormhole comes into view. As riders drop at high speeds, the mixed reality view changes to a completely immersive, virtual reality environment and a fighter spaceship cockpit materializes and envelops the riders into a tunnel of light. At the bottom of the first hill, riders are launched into the middle of a space battle, coming under attack from flying drones firing lasers and missiles. After swinging through tight channels, narrowly dodging drones and artillery fire, riders are brought into one of three drone bays, each of which offer a completely different gaming experience and three different endings.

 

To commemorate the opening weekend of The New Revolution Galactic Attack on February 18-20, both parks are “attacking” hunger by hosting a food drive. Every paid guest or season pass holder who brings a full bag of non-perishable food items to support local regional food banks will be given an exclusive opportunity to enjoy the VR ride experience before it opens to the public the following weekend, February 25-26 at Six Flags Magic Mountain and February 20 at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom.

 

Guests at Six Flags Magic Mountain will experience Galactic Attack on The New Revolution, the world’s first looping coaster built in 1976 and North America’s first VR coaster in 2016.  At Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, The New Revolution Galactic Attack VR will be experienced on Kong, the park’s floorless looping coaster.  VR is free with park admission.

 

The New Revolution Galactic Attack is one of 19 roller coasters in Six Flags Magic Mountain’s world-class coaster collection. The Valencia, CA park holds the Guinness World Record for most coasters in a theme park, including adrenaline-pumping coasters like Twisted Colossus—the world’s longest hybrid coaster; Full Throttle —the world’s largest looping coaster; Tatsu—the tallest, fastest and longest flying coaster in the world; X2—the world’s first and only 5thdimensional coaster; and Goliath—the “giant among giants” mega coaster.

 

The New Revolution Galactic Attack at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, located in Vallejo, CA, will be featured on the park’s floorless looping coaster, Kong, which joins other thrilling rides such as The Joker, Superman Ultimate Flight, Medusa, and SkyScreamer. Family and kids rides, along with animal shows and encounters, wildlife exhibits and educational programs round out the variety of fun offerings for guests of all ages.

TALLEST AND FASTEST ROLLER COASTER IN SEAWORLD SAN DIEGO HISTORY SET FOR 2018 LAUNCH

SeaWorld® San Diego unveiled plans today for its 2018 attractionthe Electric Eel roller coasterfeaturing multiple-launch elements, high-energy twists, and heart-pounding loops. It will expand the park’s new Ocean Explorer realm set to open later this summer as part of the park’s largest new attraction premiere in its history.

Following the unprecedented opening of three new major attractions in 2017Ocean Explorer, the new Orca Encounter and the all-new summer nighttime extravaganza Electric OceanElectric Eel will cap a 24-month period of the most robust growth since the park’s opening more than five decades ago.

“Electric Eel will bring a whole new level of excitement to SeaWorld in 2018,” said SeaWorld San Diego’s Park President Marilyn Hannes. “This new, first-of-its-kind coaster at SeaWorld will give riders the rare opportunity to feel what it’s like to move like an eel as they twist and flip along nearly 900 feet of undulating track.”

Electric Eel will feature astounding loops, twists and airtime.  Multiple-launch experiences will propel riders forward and backward as they speed through the ride’s station house accelerating to more than 60 miles per hour in seconds. Riders then rocket skyward nearly 150 feet where they will brave an inverted “heartline” roll and a twisting loop for an exciting feeling of airtime as riders crest the top before breathlessly returning to the station.  This adrenaline-pumping coaster will offer riders the only upside-down view of Mission Bay.

SeaWorld continues to evolve the next generation of marine-life experiences, setting the standard for combining immersive and innovative ways to engage with ocean animals with flat-out family fun for children and adults.

“The future is bright at SeaWorld and we remain committed to long-term investment in the park,” said Hannes. “We always strive to provide new reasons to visit SeaWorld and give our guests experiences that matter with a blend of exciting rides and incredible animal and educational experiences. We want our guests from around the world to not only have a great time, but be inspired to care about the ocean and the animals that live there.”

Complementing the Electric Eel roller coaster is the anticipated Ocean Explorer experience opening in 2017which will include a hypnotic live eel habitat featuring one of the world’s most extensive collections of moray eels. Through large viewing windows, visitors will plunge into the world of the eel as they swim and dart through the caves and crevasses of their naturalistic deep-ocean environment.

With Electric Eel, SeaWorld’s Deep Blue creative design team will fuse the visceral thrills of a contemporary coaster with a compelling interactive and educational eel experience. Using innovative state-of-the-art technologies, this interactive experience will allow guests to discover fascinating information about these mysterious animals, including their unique predation skills and diets, growth rates and sensory abilities.

Electric Eel will join Manta® and Journey to Atlantis® as the third coaster-type ride experience at SeaWorld San Diego. It will be constructed on an approximately two-acre site on the eastern side of the park between the currently under-construction Ocean Explorer attraction and Journey to Atlantis. The ride is expected to open in summer 2018.