Friday, January 06, 2006

Ride Roundup for July 2005

Copied from my LJ-7/13/05
Ride Roundup - July 2005

Last month a California Supreme Court ruling reclassified amusement rides, making them subject to stricter regulation. The decision could have far-reaching implications and has already contributed to a climate of panic and overreaction in the theme park industry. Six Flags Marine World (Vallejo, CA) recently closed it's Hammerhead ride because a seven year old girl complained of dizziness after riding. The Matterhorn Bobsleds ride at Disneyland (Anaheim, CA) was closed for inspection after a sixty-two year old woman exited the ride complaining of dizziness and nausea (which her doctor attributed it to an existing medical condition). If amusement rides are going to be shut down for causing dizziness, how long before they are all closed?

Disney-MGM (Orlando, FL) closed the Tower of Terror yesterday because a sixteen year old girl complained of not feeling well after riding and later suffered a cardiac arrest in the hospital. Such incidents routinely make the news even though the ride is never at fault. I only mention it here to illustrate how the media needlessly fuel fear and suspicion of amusement rides.

In other news, some moron at a Batavia, IL, festival ended up hospitalized after he rocked the ferris wheel gondola he was riding with his nine year old daughter until he fell twenty feet to the ground. Fortunately the child did not fall and was uninjured.

Holiday World (Santa Claus, IN) has announced they will add The Voyage, a new wooden coaster for 2006. The record-breaking ride will boast over twenty-four seconds of airtime and five underground tunnels. Read all the specs and take a virtual ride here.

You can get a souvenir snapshot of yourself riding your favorite coaster at most theme parks, but how would you like a DVD of your whole ride? Thanks to a development deal between Paramount's King's Dominion (Doswell, VA) and XTREMEX3, on-ride digital video is about to become a reality.

Geauga Lake's Wildwater Kingdom (Aurora, OH) will be taping live casting auditions for Survivor 13 on July 21st. Guests who try out will get a full refund of their admission.

Ron Jon Surfpark, "the world's first wave pool facility built specifically for surfing and bodyboarding", is slated to open next year in Orlando, FL.

Space Mountain of Disneyland (Anaheim, CA) has reopened after a major rehab with new trains, theming, effects and a brand new soundtrack.

Busch Gardens Williamsburg (VA) has launched a new show called Imaginique, running nightly through August 17. Described as an "immersive, French-circus sensory experience", it sounds like a knockoff of what my Mom calls the Circus of Olay.

Dollywood (Pigeon Forge, TN) has announced that their $6.5 million expansion project for 2006 will include Timber Tower, a Huss Topple Tower. It will be the first ride of its kind in North America.

Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point (Sandusky, OH) stalled or "valleyed" on its top hat element last month, leaving riders stranded 420 feet in the air. Dragster's ride control system calibrates the launch force based on the weight of each loaded coaster train, and this has only happened once before with passengers on board. A maintenance worker took the service elevator to the top and sent the train down with a little push, after which the ride continued operating without incident.

Happy birthday to my adorable nephew Heath, who turns three today.

Music: Tim 'Love' Lee-Confessions of a Selector
Mood: Mischievous