Thursday, August 21, 2014

Carowinds Announces Fury 325, the World's Tallest and Fastest Traditional Coaster, for 2015!

We've been speculating for a long time now about just what Carowinds has been hinting at and today they finally made their big announcement. This new announcement for 2015 puts the cross-hairs on the park and definitely makes them a major regional park, as if they weren't already.
This morning Carowinds announced the tallest and fastest coaster in the world, Fury 325, as their newest coaster addition!

The new coaster will open in 2015 and feature 325ft tall lift hill, will be 6602 ft long, have an 81 degree first drop, and reach speeds of 95mph over the 3:25 minute ride length. The coaster will turn and bank completely sideways 190 feet in the air in a barrel turn, a 90 degree horseshoe turn, dive underground under a new guest entry bridge, and features an 111ft airtime camel back hill.

The park will be revamped from top to bottom to celebrate Carolina culture including new rides and attractions, signature Carolina food offerings and entertainment. Opening in Spring 2015, Fury 325 will be the centerpiece of a new 8.2 acre main entrance plaza that includes a state–of–the–art ticketing and season pass processing area and expanded guest service facilities.

Here's a look at some of the renderings showing off just what the newest record breaking coaster will look like, including the ride's full layout!

Not enough for ya? Here's the full rendered POV video of what to expect from the newest monster coaster at Carowinds!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

First Piece of Thunderbird Track in Place at Holiday World!

Well, that didn't take long as just last week the first sections of track for Holiday World's newest scream machine, Thunderbird, arrived. Today, the Holiblog posted up a few pictures showing the first piece of track going into place for their newest and first ever steel coaster.

Thunderbird is not only the park's first all steel coaster, but also the world's first ever launched wing coaster as well.

Have to say, the orange track is going to be incredible to see snaking through the woods, and night rides are going to be insane. Anyway, the first section of track to be installed, as pictured below, is for the station and as they say "only 76 more to go!"

Check out the Holiblog, Holiday World's official blog for more pictures here!

Stay tuned for more updates on the construction of Thunderbird and we can't wait to get a chance to take flight in April of 2015!

Centurion vs Fury 325 - What is Coming to Carowinds in 2015?

Okay, now we can officially say that we're confused. We know it's a coaster and we know it's likely to be from B&M, but outside of that, no clue at all. Carowinds has leaked yet another logo out there somehow and it's not Centurion. This time it's for Fury 325 and it seems a little more official since their main website even has a similar honeycomb/hive pattern on it as well. Of course, this could be all one giant ruse to throw us all off again before the announcement this Thursday.

So, we're back to square one here it would seem. Well, not entirely since we do have two logos which are both possibilities for the name of the new coaster now. That's more than we had at the start of this whole thing as well. The only question is which, if either, will be the name.

There's a good case to be made for both, so let's take a little look at just what evidence we have to support both. Centurion leaked first and it's a good a place as any to start this off here. Something Roman themed would make sense in quite a few ways.

For starters, there were the banners seen inside the park as well as columns and even Roman numerals out there.

I mean come on, the thing even says "Rome wasn't built in a day..." right on it followed by the date of August, 21st, 2014 in roman numerals right below. If that's not a good indication, then I don't know what is. The fact that the Centurion name was also trademarked by Cedar Fair makes a strong case for this as well.

So, there's that much of things and then there's even more evidence to support the whole Centurion name with the columns going up in the construction area and even a website leak showing the countdown with logo and and all too. Interestingly enough, the website leak, sporting the countdown splash page image below, was after the whole beekeeper thing.

However, this is just the first side of the puzzle and the website that was leaked had a little of the old publishing trick of "Lorem Ipsum" going on with at as well. So, while it looks like Centurion is coming for sure...there is another way. A much more...stingy way.

Just released was another logo image this time featuring the Fury 325 name with a hornet over top of a honeycomb/hive background. Before this was another series of clues that had some people thinking that it could be themed after the Charlotte Hornets. Phrases like "You can't stop it, only contain it" and other clues led folks to believe that was happening.

However, the one thing that really had people wondering was the bee keeper deliveries that happened on and around August 6th. This was the first thing along with the quote above that happened which was really against the Centurion/Roman theme that had been hinted at all along.

The boxes that were delivered had the same quote on them and inside was a net and a card, the writing on it not known at this time at all. Though, it's probably nothing of significance here either.

Around the same time, the splash image on Carowinds website showed up with a honeycomb/hive background. So, it would appear that whatever is planned has something to do with bees or hornets from the looks of it.

Curious indeed. It seems as if there's two entirely different things happening here and none of us here at ISI can make heads or tails of this. Is it possibly two new rides coming, like Kings Island did with The Bat and Banshee, or is it just a very complicated distraction to throw folks like us off? Again, not sure at all.

The new logo that's shown up today definitely fits with the new line of images and events, but until Thursday there's just no way of knowing.

However, that's not all that's been going on either. There's been even more clues and hints as to possible elements and other things going on from the park too.

Three days after the whole beekeeper stuff was going on, another image was sent out via Twitter from the park and this time they were talking about, what I assume is a ride element.

Definitely seems like they're talking a possible tunnel or something else going on with the coaster. Which, if the earlier fan made video based off of the blueprints of the ride are any indication will be part of the layout and this sign at the park entrance just seems to confirm that.

So, we have two possible names, and a bunch of clues that support both. We also know that it's likely going to be built by B&M, who also built Intimidator. The whole bit about lightning striking twice could be that it's is another B&M hyper.

The 325 in the newest name could also be hinting at the height, which would make it the tallest traditional non-launched coaster in the world as well, topping Millenium Force at Cedar Point and Leviathan at Canada's Wonderland.

UPDATE: A Cedar Fair Coaster Construction Facebook Fan Group has posted up this image of track being spotted at the park. Teal with green/yellow and white supports...yeah, at a total loss here too.

And there ya have it, pretty much everything we know and have speculated on so far as Carowinds has slowly streamed out the info to us. Anything is possible here and either name/theme could easily happen at this point.

Stay tuned as we'll be bringing you all the information from Carowinds on Thursday, August 21st as they reveal to the world just what they're up to. Be it Fury 325 or Centurion, based on what we know it is going to be truly awesome either way!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Falcon's Fury at Busch Gardens Tampa Surprises Guests with a Soft Open Today!

Image courtesy of
It looks like the wait is finally coming to end for Busch Gardens Tampa fans. There's been a series of delays for their newest drop tower, but it looks like all the kinks have finally been worked out. It might be National Roller Coaster Day, but that's not stopping the park from doing a soft open for it's latest mad creation, Falcon's Fury.

First GP riders! Image via @mist3rm4tt on Twitter
Guests at the park today have spotted Falcon's Fury taking it's first general public riders on it's death defying plunge. Earlier this week there were reports of increased employee testing going on and it looks like the official full opening won't be too much more of a wait.

So, for all you drop tower adrenaline junkies out there, keep an eye out as it seems you could get lucky and score a ride before the ride officially opens what's likely to be the within the next week or so. Of course, with any soft open, the ride will open and close at random, so you'll have to be quick!

Curious as to what those lucky riders are experiencing? Here's the official POV!

Canada's Wonderland to add Typhoon and Splash Station to Splash Works in 2015

Canada's Wonderland has announced that they will in fact be expanding their water park, Splash Works, in 2015. A new slide, Typhoon, and an interactive and wet children's play area, Splash Station, will join the other attractions in the 20 acre water park.

Typhoon will feature a pair of mini "Tornado funnels" and hairpin turns as riders slide through it's twisted layout. As of this time, not much is known as to what Splash Station will fully include, but I'm going to bet it'll be similar to other structures at Cedar Fair water parks.

So, just where will these new additions be going? Well, it looks likely that both will be located in the former area that held Wipeout, which closed in 2004. It's highly doubtful that either will go in the space that's being vacated with the removal of SkyRider.

Not only would that be outside of the current water park area, and require lots of other things to happen, but the promotional image clearly gives hints as to where Typhoon will be going in. Definitely looks like the right angle to be the old Wipeout location.

Just what will go in the former SkyRider location is a mystery right now, but all signs point a new coaster of some kind of in 2016. We've got some time on that one, so we'll just have to wait and see what hints or clues the park gives us over the next year.

Curious to see what Typhoon will look like? Look no further, here's a promo image from the park!

Friday, August 15, 2014

SeaWorld San Antonio Getting More Improvements as Part of Blue World Project

While SeaWorld was announcing their Blue World project earlier today, they also included some other major upgrades coming to SeaWorld San Antonio specifically. (Check out our full coverage of the announcement here.)

This is definitely some interesting news and it seems that the updates will be bringing the Texas park up to the level of SeaWorld Orlando and SeaWorld San Diego. That said, it definitely feels like more influence is coming from Florida on this one.

So, what can guests expect to see in the future in San Antonio? Not only will the park be getting the massive upgrade to their Orca enclosures and habitats but there's quite a few other changes and modifications coming to the park as well.

An all new Sea lion and Otter show along with a new sea lion habitat is coming as well as a new coastal dolphin habitat and even an all new restaurant will be included in the park's expansion and upgrade plans.

The only information we have so far is the concept art, to the left, that shows what the new sea lion habitat will look like. There's no word on the new show or dolphin habitat as of yet. Some are saying the show could be a version of Clyde & Seamore Take Pirate Island, however.

As for the dolphin habitat? Both +Carrie H.C. and myself feel that it likely will be similar to the one in Orlando. It would make the most sense and definitely fits the bill of a "coastal habitat", so it's probably a safe bet there. The restaurant is a complete mystery for us, we're not sure if it could be an overhaul to something existing or an entirely new dining experience.

So, while the big news is the Orca habitats getting their major overhaul over the course of the next few years, SeaWorld San Antonio is shaking things up in other areas as well. So stay tuned as more information about all of these projects comes out!

Cedar Point- Gatekeeper is Down

 Cedar Point- Gatekeeper is Down with Broken Chain Lift.

 News is reaching out today the Cedar Point's newest roller coaster, Gatekeeper is down.

 While Cedar Point has yet to confirm this, riders are reporting the ride has been down for several days and are siting a broken chain lift on the attractions lift hill to be the cause of issues. Gatekeeper seems to have been having many issues since it's opening day, including numerous breakdowns and computer glitches which have caused the ride to close for hours or an entire day.  This report seems to be the first major downtime the ride has faced a little over a year since it's opening.

 More updates on Gatekeepers Status as they become available!