Sunday, April 20, 2014

Knott's Berry Farm Trip Report April 2014 - Calico Mine Train Refurbishment and Knott's Berry Bloom

Today we're bringing you a trip report from our first-ever visit to Knott's Berry Farm! Given the proximity of the park to all the other ones we've visited nearby, it's strange we've never been here before. But, well, that changes today! A look at Knott's Berry Bloom event, Calico Mine Train Refurb photos, and some signature Knott's "goodness" awaits you below!

Good Morning Knott's Berry Farm!

The seasonal entrance for the Spring Event going on currently at the park.

One thing I love about this park is it's SO PHOTOGENIC!

 Moving on to some business, Garner Holt Productions is busy working away on the Calico Mine Train Refurbishment Project!

As they did (Fantastically) on the Timber Mountain Log Ride, Garner Holt Productions will be reinventing and imagining the entire ride with new props, scenes, and animatronics!

 Today crews were pouring concrete for the Queue line.

 Check out that superb entrance sign!

 Scaffolding upon scaffolding.

 The construction reminds me of Cars Land on the rockwork!

 Moving on, Knott's has scattered some Spring-Themed activities for children around the park.

 I really noticed that Knott's, very similar to their neighbor Disneyland, pays close attention to landscaping and detail. The park is a good middle between Disneyland and Six Flags Magic Mountain, as it has a decent mix of thrill rides and overall "Theme" park elements,

 I enjoyed the Timber Mountain Log Ride a lot, very well done. Great Job Garner Holt!

And finally, a promise for the future ahead!

That's all for now from Theme Park Overload! "LIKE" our Facebook page for Exclusive In-Park content and photos (Including all the bonus photos we took at Knott's during the day exclusive to FB) My name's Nicholous, and Thanks for Reading!

Friday, April 18, 2014

New Photos of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Testing at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World - April 2014

Theme Park Overload heads to the Magic Kingdom today to check out progress on the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train attraction. Being the final attraction part of the park's "New Fantasyland" expansion project, this roller coaster/dark ride attraction based on the Classic Snow White film is sure to please park guests of all ages! The coaster is expected to open in 2 weeks during the first week of May, and is currently in final testing phases. Check out current photos taken from the site yesterday afternoon that show the final items and tweaks being put into place!

Special Thanks to Theme Park Overload Correspondent Cole Summers for providing the photos for today's update!

The attraction really does look fantastic.

Some banked track for your viewing pleasure.

Very nature-y environment on this coaster, I like it!

 What's That! A TRAIN!?!?

Those seats should be occupied by now!

Expect to see park guests on this new attraction any day now, as a "soft opening" is expected very soon. That's all for now from TPO. Make sure to "LIKE" our Facebook page to be updated live of new posts and exclusive in-park updates! My name's Nicholous, and Thanks for Reading!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Universal Studios Hollywood announces Springfield Food Court and Fast & Furious Turbocharged opening in 2015

Universal Studios Hollywood announced their new attraction expansion for the 2015 and 2016 park season! Three new attractions coming over the next 2 years are sure to delight park guests, on top of the Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem attraction opening next week! Check out the official press release from the park released earlier today!

Universal City, California, April 8, 2014 – Reaffirming its position as the #1 tourist destination in Los Angeles with one of the most progressive and exciting theme park experiences anywhere, Universal Studios Hollywood, is making an unprecedented five-year investment in revolutionary new thrill rides and expansive themed environments that will radically alter the familiar footprint and landscape of The Entertainment Capital of L.A.

In summer 2013, the interior focal point of the theme park profoundly changed with the installation of Universal Plaza, a visually aesthetic 37,000 square foot art deco styled piazza. This impressive and versatile polygon-shaped entertainment venue sits at the heart of the theme park as a welcoming open air courtyard, architecturally reminiscent of classic Hollywood glamour. Featuring a soaring 70 foot tall tower emblazoned with the word Universal, the venue is large in scope, yet provides a warm and inviting environment to host an array of special events and entertainment.

On April 12, 2014, “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” and “Super Silly Fun Land” will open at Universal Studios Hollywood. Based on Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment’s Academy Award® and Golden Globe Award-nominated film franchise, and created in collaboration with Chris Meledandri, founder and CEO of Illumination Entertainment, “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” will resonate with the same endearing qualities and characters that catapulted the franchise to international blockbuster fame.

The footprint for “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” and “Super Silly Fun Land,” however, will serve as a crucial turning point for the theme park, as the adventure represents its first foray into fully expansive themed environments aimed at immersing visitors from the moment they enter the space. From experiencing Gru’s neighborhood to Miss Hattie’s Home for Girls and the imaginative seaside carnival, this all-encompassing approach is a decisive departure from the park’s more commonly used vignette ride exteriors to create holistic experiences and transport guests to that imaginary place.

2015 will be a momentous year for the theme park with two spectacular attractions debuting as part of the 50th anniversary. “Springfield” an immersive land surrounding “The Simpsons Ride” will open in Spring 2015 and in Summer 2015, “Fast & Furious—Supercharged,” based on the blockbuster film series, will be introduced as the grand finale to the celebrated Studio Tour.

The former layout of the park will become unrecognizable when “Springfield” hometown of America’s favorite family, The Simpsons, breathes new life to the sprawling and vibrant space surrounding “The Simpsons Ride.” “Springfield” will capture the spirit of the town and engage visitors and fans of the show in the intensely absorbing and colorful world made famous throughout the series’ 25 seasons.

“Springfield” is being designed to make guests feel as if they are being propelled through their television sets into the accurately depicted city, complete with signature eateries from Krusty Burger to Luigi’s Pizza and Phineas Q. Butterfat’s 5600 Flavors Ice Cream Parlor to iconic watering holes like Moe’s Tavern and Duff’s Brewery.

“Fast & Furious—Supercharged” will be a pulse-pounding, adrenaline-fueled finale to the world-famous Studio Tour. This technologically advanced thrill ride, will catapult guests into the high-stakes underground world of fast cars where they’ll join the cast in a harrowing escapade. The ride will be situated within a newly constructed 50,000 square foot building on the legendary backlot and will reunite stars from the Fast & Furious series in a groundbreaking mega-attraction, conceived as a new installment to the dynamic film series that can only be experienced at The Entertainment Capital of L.A.

The dynamic hydraulic-motion based ride will tell an original Fast & Furious story, incorporating hyper-realistic special effects and state-of-the-art 3D-HD imagery projected onto the world’s longest and most expansive 360-degree screen spanning nearly 400 feet in length to encircle Studio Tour guests in the Fast & Furious universe.

2016 will be a magical year for Universal Studios Hollywood as the theme park’s epic transformation becomes fully realized with the highly-anticipated arrival of “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.”

Inspired by the magical world created by J.K. Rowling and brought to life in the Warner Bros. films, “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” at Universal Studios Hollywood will be a fully immersive land designed for the entire family that brings the Harry Potter fiction and films to life with impeccable detail and authenticity. Similar to the dynamic Universal Orlando Resort themed land that opened in 2010, the Hollywood experience will be faithful to the visual landscape of the fiction and films, including Hogwarts castle that will serve as the iconic focal point of the impressively themed environment. “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” is a collaboration between J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros. Entertainment and Universal Parks and Resorts.

This evolution of Universal Studios Hollywood will also include the addition of two newly constructed parking structures that, combined, will accommodate thousands of additional vehicles. Construction on the second parking structure will be completed in late 2015.

We'll definitely be keeping a close eye on Universal Studios Hollywood over the next few months as the park continues the monumental construction on these new attractions! That's all for now from Theme Park Overload! My name's Nicholous, and Thanks for Reading!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Final Track Piece of Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom Completed on the World's Tallest Drop Tower at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ

The World's Tallest Drop Tower has been officially "topped off" today, as Six Flags Great Adventure installed the final track piece to the new Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom tower ride! Rising 41 stories into the New Jersey sky, Zumanjaro will be the tallest and fastest drop tower in the world at 410 feet and 90 MPH. Construction Crew workers signed the final piece before a towering crane lifted it into place. Check out the video below from our YouTube Channel ThemeParkOverloadHD!

Here's the official Press Release from the park from earlier today:

The final track piece of Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom was placed today at approximately 1:30 pm today. This “topping off” officially breaks the world record for tallest drop ride, with Zumanjaro’s three towers completed at a staggering 41 stories tall. The mammoth drop ride is expected to open at Six Flags Great Adventure this Memorial Day weekend.

Iron workers from Shamrock Construction, the ride’s erection company which is based in Matawan, New Jersey, signed the final orange piece of steel before it ascended to its final resting place atop Kingda Ka’s 45-story tower.

“Today is special because we not only broke the world record by topping off the world’s tallest drop ride, but also because we battled through some incredibly adverse weather conditions. We had the coldest and snowiest winter that any of us can remember,” said John Fitzgerald, park president at Six Flags Great Adventure. “We appreciate the hard work by Shamrock Construction and the rest of the construction team in overcoming those conditions and getting the job done,” he added. “You would not believe how windy it can get up there in a snow storm.”

Following the topping off, the construction, maintenance and engineering teams will focus on installing the lift mechanism (a winch and cable system),  adding the three gondolas that will whisk riders to the top of the tower and installing the ride controls, followed by extensive ride testing, inspections and certification before the first passengers board the ride later this spring.

Connected to the iconic Kingda Ka roller coaster—the 456-foot monster that ranks as the world’s tallest coaster and fastest in North America—Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom will hoist riders 41 stories into the sky and rocket them back to Earth at 90 miles per hour while Kingda Ka trains launch right toward them at speeds of up to 128 miles per hour. Riders will pause for a few terrifying moments 41 stories in the air—even higher than London’s Big Ben and twice as tall as the Statue of Liberty—allowing them to catch a glimpse of the skyscrapers in Philadelphia 52 miles to the south before gravity plunges them back to ground level in less than 10 seconds.

This ride looks insanely fun, and we can't wait to see it dropping its first riders in just 2 short months! That's all for now from Theme Park Overload! Make sure to "LIKE" our Facebook page to hear the latest rumors and coaster news FIRST! My name's Nicholous, and Thanks for Reading!

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