Monday, August 18, 2014

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Photo Trip Report with Undertow Ride Review - August 2014

TPO hits the beach today as we check out the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk! We take a spin on the new Undertow spinning roller coaster, and check out other happenings from the boardwalk. 

No other amusement park (arguably) has a better view than this!

The park was decently packed for a Sunday afternoon.

Now fore some new hotness, Undertow! Northern California's only spinning coaster (Sorry Pandemonium).

There's a nice tester seat at the entrance too.

Yes, that 90 degree banked U is just as crazy as it looks!

The coaster is butter smooth, and the vibrant yellow and blue paint job go perfectly with the park!

The trains pick up a good amount of speed for a compact coaster like this.

The crew was doing a fantastic job with operations, and were sending off a train about every 30 seconds.

While not some mega thrill monster, Undertow is a pretty well rounded coaster. The ride is moderately thrilling, and the unique outward facing seats feature some fantastic views of the neighboring ocean. The coaster has a good ride time, as it doesn't seem too short nor long. Their are plenty of twists and tight turns, with a headchopper effect or two thrown in for good measure! 

I know some park guests were hoping for more of a thrilling ride, but SCBB is a special type of park. The management doesn't want to ever add a ride that beats their main attraction, the Giant Dipper, in popularity or thrill. For goodness sakes, that coaster is literally the anchor of the park! Undertow is comparable to the coaster it preceded (Hurricane) as it understandably doesn't top the Giant Dipper, yet still makes for a different and thrilling experience. I think it was a good addition for this park.

Moving on, unfortunately the new model of the Crazy Surf ride from manufacturer KMG that opened last year was closed. Next time!

Because you can't have any SCBB article WITHOUT the Giant Dipper!

Some *interesting* new displays line the Giant Dipper queue, and pose some serious questions!

Are all these rhetorical questions giving you anxiety too?!

And a final stop to one of my most favorite flat rides out there, Wipeout, sums up our day.

Make sure to check out the "Videos" tab in the display bar above to check out the latest HD POVs and Construction Updates from our YouTube channel ThemeParkOverloadHD! My name's Nicholous and Thanks for Reading!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Six Flags Fiesta Texas's 2015 Attraction is a 4D Free Spin Prototype Flat Ride

Everyday, it seems, there's another rumor or hint swirling around in the Amusement Park industry. Theme Park Overload tries to stick to being a "news" website, and that's why we don't report on every little hint or speculation that comes out. But, this rumor today is something I've been hearing for almost 7 months now, and I'm just about positive it's correct.

Confused? Sorry, sometimes I get deep into all that lingo word-play stuff...let me explain:

Six Flags Fiesta Texas has been teasing their New for 2015 Attraction for a few weeks now, using the hashtag #SFFT2015 on their social media accounts for clues. The park has only confirmed that the new 2015 Attraction will happen in the Rockville section of the park. and that the old Motorama ride closed on August 10, 2014 in preparation of the new ride. But...what's going in to the newly opened plot of land in Rockville for 2015? An S&S 4D Free Spin flat ride prototype. 

Photo © Theme Park Review

Designed by popular Amusement Park manufacturer S&S Worldwide, the 4D Free Spin pictured above is the prototyped version the company has built and installed at their facilities in Utah. Similar to their 4D coasters like X2, riders are situated in 2 abreast seating over the left and right sides of the track.
Photo © Theme Park Review
The individual pairs of seats are able to independently rotate off the the main coaster car chassis, creating a unique free spinning experience. Momentum and gravity control how the seats will spin, creating a never-identical ride experience.

Why do I think this First-Of-Its-Kind prototype flat ride is coming to Six Flags Fiesta Texas in 2015? Well, besides a very credible individual tied to this project that I talked to earlier this year confirming it to me, all of the hints and statements publicly released from Six Flags Fiesta Texas seem to point towards it. Here's the proof:

1. S&S has Officially Confirmed a 4D Free Spin Installation
Last month, S&S Worldwide confirmed that they'd sold one of these new 4D Free Spin flat rides to a U.S. Amusement Park. The 38 MPH, 1,265 feet long prototype has been confirmed to open "By April or late May of next year, the 4D Free Spin will debut at a yet-to-be-named amusement park somewhere in the U.S" So that narrows it down to opening in 2015 in a U.S. Amusement Park.

2. Snakes are involved
The park has been teasing with the fictional "Rockville Reality" by talking about a "Snake Infestation" and putting up a sign with phone number to the "MK Bozer" snake wrangler. Though the recorded message to the number has recently changed from a few weeks ago to a different recording, the original contained MK Bozer talking about how "Busy he has been with the snake problems at Medusa at Six Flags Mexico and Goliath at Six Flags Great America". What do those two have in common? They are both the work of roller coaster manufacturer Rocky Mountain Construction. And though the new 4D Free Spin flat ride itself is designed by S&S Worldwide, the actual Coaster Track itself is I-Box Steel and Wood coaster track made by Rocky Mountain Construction.

Next, the park used the "Wood" and "Steel" phrases on their Facebook page. The I-Box track used on the 4D Free Spin prototype from Rocky Mountain Construction is just this; a proprietary hybrid track design. The top layers of the track are steel, where the bottom layers are made from wood.

Finally, the park Tweeted a photo of the Iron Rattler with the hashtag #SFFT2015. Why would they put the #SFFT2015 hashtag with a random picture of the completely different Iron Rattler roller coaster located elsewhere in the park? The Iron Rattler is also a creation of Rocky Mountain Construction, and utilizes the same I-Box Hybrid Wood/Steel track.

3. Catchy Lingo
Throughout different Social Media postings and the real phone number from "Rockville Reality" playing the recorded message ((210) 697-5478), interesting keywords have been thrown around. "Flying", "Out of Control", "Flips", and "Be Apart of History in the Making". The first three terms can describe the spinning and winged seating aspect of the prototype flat ride, as the design included randomized spinning and flipping controlled by gravity and weight of the riders.. The last term could be in relation to the prototype aspect of the ride, as it IS the First-Of-Its-Kind and very unique.

Still a little skeptical? Well, I want to emphasize that this still is considered a "rumor" and won't be officially confirmed by Six Flags Fiesta Texas until August 28, 2014 when all Six Flags parks announce their new additions. You can stay Up-To-Date with ThemeParkOverload by "Liking" our Facebook page to get the latest on Six Flags's 2015 announcements, and many more interesting Amusement Park articles delivered right to your inbox! My name's Nicholous, and Thanks for Reading!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thunderbird - New 2015 Launched Wing Rider roller coaster at Holiday World in Santa Claus, Indiana

Holiday World has just announced their New Attraction for the 2015 Season, Thunderbird! Being a $22 Million Dollar expansion, this marks as Holiday World's largest expansion ever!

 Using B&M's current Wing Coaster, the 20 seater car will launch riders from 0-60 in 3.5 seconds out of a fog filled special effects tunnel using LSM Magnetic Technology! Riders will be thrown immediately up and into a 140' Immelmann Loop into the first of 4 inversions.

Without skipping a beat, riders will be brought back down to near ground level and into the second inversion, a 125' vertical loop!

After 2 Overbanked turns, the ride enters a Zero-G Roll for its third inversion.

The train enters a very unique "Double Fly Through" element that wraps around a set piece. Coming off of a headchopper element for riders, the train performs its 4th and final inversion, a 360 degree barrel roll

The ride's total length will be 3,035' and reach a max height of 140 feet. It will be the First Ever Magnetically launched coaster built by B&M, Thunderbird's Manufacturer. It has an expected opening date of Spring 2015 inside the Thanksgiving section of the park.

That's all for now from Theme Park Overload! Make sure to "LIKE" our Facebook page to recieve future updates from Thunderbird, and all the other 2015 New Attraction announcements coming in the next few weeks for Amusement Parks Nationwide! My name's Nicholous, and Thanks for Reading!

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!
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