Monday, July 14, 2014

Orange County Fair July 2014 Review/Photo Trip Report - Costa Mesa, CA

It's Summertime, and that means time for some good ol' American Entertainment! Today Theme Park Overload heads to the 2014 Orange County Fair in Costa Mesa, CA to show you all things worth checking out!


Welcome to Costa Mesa Fairgrounds AKA The 2014 Orange County Fair!


Even though this is an online article, I still don't want you to get lost


The midway...It was around 11 AM on a Friday morning, so crowds weren't too high at the time.


Photographing all of the food vendors is somewhat pointless in my mind, because all of the food stands are mostly your standard fair food (Turkey Legs, Funnel Cake, Soft Serve, Corn Dogs, Deep Fried Desserts). One of the few unique food stands I found was this cinnamon roll shop near the live stock section of the grounds. They were AMAZING!


Over to the rides, a portable Dark Ride! Very mildly themed as expected, but still impressive for a fair!


Signature Ferris Wheel shot.


If you're really into the whole "Fair Drop Tower" thing. (I prefer to be plummeted down to the Earth on towers with solid concrete foundations, personally).


The morning/mid afternoon was decently empty for a Friday.


Because you have to pet at least ONE animal!


The goat made me get his good side


On a side note regarding public transportation, I HIGHLY recommend taking the OC Fair Express busses from the Orange County Transit Authority (OCTA) to the grounds. A direct, $2 each way fare from main destinations throughout SoCal take you right to the entrance. I took the Laguna Niguel line (About a 30 minute ride each way) and the bus was practically empty both ways.


*PLUS* If you take the OC Fair Express to the grounds, the driver will give you a $9 OFF coupon for general admission to the fair! $4 roundtrip fare + $3 general admission = $7 total for a great time! (It'll make it a little easier to pay for the $5 bottles of water) 



Overall, the 2014 OC Fair is a great event for locals to spend the day at. I found the food and ect. a little higher priced then your average fair, but overpriced food is just part of the experience! (Right?) That's all for now from Theme Park Overload. My name's Nicholous, and Thanks for Reading!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom Opening Date Confirmed for July 4, 2014 at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ


Welcome to Theme Park Overload! Today, we have some exciting news to share with you....The opening date for Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom at Six Flags Great Adventure has officially been announced for July 4, 2014! This new triple drop tower standing 41 stories, and attached to the iconic Kingda Ka roller coaster structure, will drop riders vertically at 90 MPH straight to the ground. It will take the record as Tallest and Fastest Vertical Drop Tower ride at 415 feet and 90 MPH (Currently held by Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, CA). The entrance will be located in the Golden Kingdom section of the park. 

July 3, 2014: Six Flags Season Pass Holder exclusive preview
July 4, 2014: Official Opening to the public


Check out the Final Piece of Track for Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom being erected into place from a few months earlier:




We can't wait to see the first brave riders take the Drop of DOOM within the coming week! That;s all for now from TPO. Make sure to "LIKE" Theme Park Overload on Facebook to get the Latest News and Exclusive Live In-Park Updates delivered straight to your newsfeed! www.Facebook.com/ThemeParkOverload My name's Nicholous, and Thanks for Reading!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Mt. Olympus Theme Park Resort Review/Trip Report with Hades 360 Ride Design Interview - June 2014 Wisconsin Dells, WI

It's time for our third and final update from Theme Park Overload's Summer 2014 Chicago trip! For our final stop, we headed 3 hours up the I-94 out of Illinois and up into Wisconsin.

After passing through Milwaukee and Madison, we arrived at the Wisconsin Dells. Think of it as the Las Vegas of the Mid-West, as driving down the Wisconsin Dells Parkway strip welcomes you to all the local tourist attractions. But the crown jewel of them all is the Mt. Olympus Theme Park Resort, with water parks and theme parks located both indoors and out. Our trip focused on just the theme parks, and especially the newly renovated Hades 360 wooden coaster! Now it's time for me to stop talking and you to start scrolling!


Interview on Hades 360 Ride Design with Jason Hammond



The entrance to the park was really cool; sets a good vibe for the "Greek God" theming.


 In case you get lost...


 What you've all been waiting for........HADES 360!


 The park's 4 wooden coasters kinda mush all together in the park, which is really neat! It makes it hard to tell any track pieces or segments apart, except for Hades 360's first drop.


 Can you say STEEP! Now for a little history on Hades 360. Originally opening in 2005, Hades was a crazy wooden creation from the Gravity Group coaster manufacturer that came with many wooden coaster firsts. Notably, a very steep drop and the world's longest underground tunnel on a wooden coaster (The tunnel runs under the parking lot, as you can see in the photo above). In the fall of 2012, the Gravity Group and Mt. Olympus partnered together again to upgrade Hades. They removed the hill and drop turn around from the isolated part of the ride in the parking lot. (You travel down the first drop seen above, go into a tunnel, come up across the parking lot into the hill and drop turn around I'm describing above, then back underground, and back to the main structure to the smaller hill also pictured above). They instead added a 360 degree full inversion and 110 degree banked turnaround element and purchased a new Timberliner train to run on the ride. It reopened in May of 2013 as the newly renamed Hades 360.


 It drops right into the action immediately after train dispatch. Speaking of dispatch, Mt. Olympus has one of the worst operations department of any amusement park I've ever visited. All 4 wooden coasters only have 1 train, and the stations are understaffed making for even slower dispatch times. I'm lucky I didn't visit on a very busy day, but about 300 people in front of me for Hades 360 still gave me an hour wait! Shame too, because their wooden coasters are pretty good! If only they could get the operations and management side down...


 The answer is..... Yes, that corkscrew is just as crazy as you'd think it is. You go down the first drop, are surrounded by a PITCH BLACK tunnel for a solid 5 seconds, and then thrown into this crazy contraption. Total ride quality wise, Hades (And the other coasters in the park) are a little rougher than the norm wooden coaster, but I still found them very fun and worth riding!


Zeus is the next largest coaster in the park, with a decent 85 foot drop. It's good in the back for air, and better in the front for smoothness.


 BUT WHY! The coveted back row of the Cyclops wooden coaster (Restricted to 18+ riders only due to extreme airtime) is no more. Well, technically I still sat in the "back"...Cyclops is a slightly smaller version of Zeus. Through good, I found Zeus having more air than Cyclops.


This is known as the signature drop for Cyclops, that supposedly would fling the back car riders out of their seat. I still got some decent air on it, and all the fresh wood they put on the ride here made it decently smooth!


Pegasus is like an even smaller version of Cyclops. Think a small step up from Little Dipper at Six Flags Great America. Small drops, decently smooth ride, and a good fit for the younger coaster riders.


They don't call this park "Mt. Olympus" for nothing! It has some pretty decent hills....the one hill up to Zeus reminds me exactly of Six Flags Magic Mountain's "World Famous" Superman Hill, steep!


A little over in the resort, I decided to check out the indoor theme park.


This very obvious empty spot in the middle of the "park" was where the Opa spinning coaster recently stood, until an older man fell and fell into a coma due to the ride's faulty lap bar in March of this year. The coaster is no where in sight, and believed to have been sold and permanently removed.


The indoor theme park was very small and uneventful. It's definitely a nice retreat for the younger bunch, with it's small amusement kiddie rides and arcade, but not anything compared to the outdoor theme park.



That sums up our visit to Mt. Olympus Theme Park Resort, and our entire Theme Park Overload Chicago trip! Thanks to the owner Nick and manager Adam for setting TPO up for the visit. 

Scroll below to read up from the rest of our Summer 2014 Chicago trip, including an exclusive Construction Site Tour and Interview from the new Goliath wooden coaster at Six Flags Great America and our general Photo Trip Report from Six Flags Great America! My name's Nicholous, and Thanks for Reading!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Diagon Alley to open July 8, 2014 at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Orlando Resort

Today, Universal Orlando Resort announced that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley will officially open on July 8 – allowing guests to experience even more of Harry Potter’s adventures in an all-new, magnificently-themed environment.   

Located in the Universal Studios Florida theme park, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley will feature shops, dining experiences and the next generation thrill ride, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. The new immersive area will double the size of the sweeping land already found at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, expanding the spectacularly themed environment across both Universal theme parks. 


Guests will enjoy new experiences and places found in and around London in the Harry Potter books and films.  They will see the Knight Bus as they stroll through London, walk the streets of Diagon Alley and explore iconic shops like Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, dine in the Leaky Cauldron, embark on a thrilling adventure through the Gringotts bank vaults – and much more.  

Guests will also be able to board the Hogwarts Express and enjoy a unique journey as they travel between London and Hogsmeade.


Make sure to "LIKE" Theme Park Overload on Facebook to get all the latest and breaking news delivered right to your inbox! www.Facebook.com/ThemeParkOverload My name's Nicholous, and Thanks for Reading!