ATRA World News 2008
What was up in the World of Thrill Rides & Amusement Parks
December 19, 2008
Golden Nugget's Track & Trains Saved By An Undisclosed Person!
Golden Nugget – Substantial Portions Saved For Reuse Trains and Tracks go to Undisclosed Person
It will be fine riding Golden Nugget again in 2009!
December 10, 2008
Wildwood's Classic Golden Nugget Roller Coaster To Be Dismantled!
The Morey Organization announced plans today for a public ceremony in memory of the classic boardwalk attraction -- The Golden Nugget – in advance of a phased removal of the ride from Hunt's Pier.
Geauga Lake Rides Find Home At Kings Dominion
Geauga Lake's Americana Ferris Wheel and El Dorado pendulum ride are being re-assembled at Cedar Fair's Kings Dominion amusement park for the upcoming 2009 season. They join Geauga Lake's former Dominator roller coaster that was moved there last year.
It will be fine at Kings Dominion in 2009!
Click here to see ATRA's last ride on the Dominator at Geauga Lake.....
December 8, 2008
Debt Sale Could Kill Conneaut Lake Park
Summit County's planned sale of a $152,000 debt it's owned by Conneaut Lake Park may end up forcing the amusement park to sell some of it's assets- including land that could then be cleared for developement.
Read more in the Meadville Tribune
It would be fine if Conneaut Lake Park could open again in 2009!
November 25, 2008
New Suspended Coaster from S & S Worldwide, Inc.
S & S Worldwide, Inc. has designed an exciting new suspended roller coaster called Free Fly.
It would be fine to ride a Free Fly coaster in 2009!
November 21, 2008
Conneaut Lake Park Hosting Holiday of Lights
In celebration of the Holiday Season, Conneaut Lake Park is hosting "Holiday of Lights." This drive-through display will feature over 100 illuminated and animated displays of Christmas scenes throughout the park. Hotel Conneaut and The Crystal Ballroom will also be transformed into a Christmas showplace.
Read more at the Conneaut Lake Park website
It will be fine if Conneaut Lake Park could re-open in 2009!
November 18, 2008
Gravity Group Announces New Single-Bench Trains!
Gravity Group engineers have announced Timberliner, the next-generation of trains for wooden roller coasters. Timberliners incorporate new technology- such as magnetic braking and restraint monitoring- that wasn't even imagined when wood coaster cars were first developed. The trains also feature single-bench seat design and the unparalleled ability to smoothly navigate the track for decreased train and track maintenance.
Read more on the Gravity Group website
It will be fine riding in Timberliner trains in 2009!
November 17, 2008
New Hope for Coney Island's Astroland Park!
The Bloomberg Administration is in serious negotiations to buy 10.5 acres of real estate in Coney Island that once appeared unobtainable- a move that would save both Astroland Park and the mayor's plans to revive the slumping seaside amusement district. The mayor wants the deal done quickly, so the city can finally get going on Bloomberg's 47-acre rezoning plan for Coney Island, which includes a nine-acre amusement park.
Read more from the New York Post
It would be fine if Astroland Park could re-open in 2009!
November 15, 2008
All of Cypress Gardens Rides are for Sale
On Monday November 9, ATRA News reported that Cypress Gardens will close the ride and animal sections of the park in 2009. All of the rides will close tomorrow.
It would be great if Cypress Gardens could survive the tough economy of 2008!
Hard Rock Park Up For Auction
Hard Rock Park will go up for auction on December 15, according to court documents filed this week. The 55-acre park opened in April and closed in Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September.
It would be great if Hard Rock Park could survive the tough economy of 2008!
November 14, 2008
Beech Bend Holiday Light Spectacular is Back!
Holiday Light Spectacular at Beech Bend Park is back by popular demand! It is a new Christmas tradition. Holiday Light Spectacular will be open each night December 5 through January 3, 2009 from 5-10PM, with a special New Years Eve Party till 1AM. Kentucky Rumbler will be open each night for "dark" rides!
It will be great at Beech Bend Holiday Light Spectacular in 2008!
It will be fine at Beech Bend Holiday Light Spectacular in 2009!
November 12, 2008
Playland Park Switching to Pay-One-Price Admission in 2009
Playland Park, the landmark 1920's amusement park in Rye, NY is switching to a "pay-one-price" admission system. Admission has been free in recent years, with patrons paying only for rides.
It will be fine with P.O.P. admission at Playland in 2009!
November 9, 2008
Cypress Gardens Will Close Rides in 2009!
Cypress Gardens Adventure Park in Winter Haven, Florida will close November 17 and reopen in March 2009 without it's ride or animal attractions. The park is home to 6 roller coasters including two wood coasters, The Starliner and Triple Hurricane. The Starliner was moved to Cypress Gardens from Miracle Strip at Panama City Beach which closed in 2004.
It will be fine if The Starliner survives in 2009!
November 6, 2008
Funtown USA Adding New Roller Coaster to the Lineup in 2009
Funtown USA in Saco, Maine will have a new roller coaster to thrill guests when they open in May 2009. The Wild Mouse coaster is designed and manufactured by Maurer Sohne of Germany. The Wild Mouse coaster will replace the Galaxie roller coaster, which has been at the park for 30 years.
Read more on Funtown's web site
It will be fine at Funtown USA in 2009!
November 5, 2008
Dollywood Postpones Planned 2009 Addition!
Although Dollywood was excited to announce Adventure Mountain for 2009, the ongoing downturn in the economy has created unpredicted changes in cost and availability of basic materials used to build the new attraction. Therefore, Dollywood is choosing to take the proactive step to delay the Adventure Mountain project.
It will be fine if the bad economy ends in 2009!
October 30, 2008
Family of Cyclone Accident Victim Sues NYC After Death
The family of a California musician who snapped his neck and died in a downhill plunge on the Cyclone sued the city for failing to keep the Coney Island roller coaster safe.
Read more in the NY Daily News
It will be fine if the Cyclone survives into 2009!
October 25, 2008
Branson's Celebration City To Be Closed After Saturday!
Herschend Family Entertainment announced today in a news release the closure of Celebration City in Branson, due to a shift in business strategy in a tough economic climate. The park will close at the end of day on Saturday the last operating day of the season. Celebration City is home of three roller coasters, including the Ozark Wildcat, a GCI wooden coaster built in 2003.
It would be great if Celebration City could survive the tough economy of 2008!
October 23, 2008
Terminator The Coaster Official Announcement Today!
Six Flags Magic Mountain officially announced the GCI wooden roller coaster, Terminator The Coaster, with a press release, video and artists rendition.
Read the press release
Read previous ATRA News report on this coaster
It will be fine at Six Flags Magic Mountain in 2009!
October 16, 2008
New York City Buys Wonder Wheel Site at Coney Island
New York City has bought the one-acre site of the Wonder Wheel for $11 million as part of the Bloomberg administration's plan to preserve the historical character of Coney Island. The city said that it expected to acquire additional land from local owners in coming months.
Read more from The New York Times
Will it be fine at Coney Island in 2009?
October 14, 2008
Sad News for Joyland Park
For more than half a century, Margaret and Stan Nelson have played a vital role in helping Joyland Amusement Park remain open. But since 2003, Joyland has had two false starts as other owners have unsuccessfully tried to take over and keep the park going. It has been closed since 2006, has had more than 20 break-ins and vandals. Now the Nelson's are putting the park up for sale.
See video from The Wichita Eagle
Notes from ATRA Historian....
Joyland Park's Roller Coaster was built in 1949 by the Philadelphia Toboggan Co. and is one of the last surviving original wooden coasters designed by Herbert P. Schmeck and John C. Allen. The old-style PTC trains with fixed lap bars were the last to operate in the U.S.
Joyland Park also has a Whacky Shack similar to Waldameer Park.
Enjoy other Joyland Park photos in this gallery.
It would be great if Joyland Park could survive the hard times of 2008!
October 8, 2008
Waldameer Park Plans New Attractions for 2009 & 2010!
Waldameer Park's plans for 2009 include expansion of the midway south and adding a Mega Disk'O ride in the lawn area just beyond the Sky Ride turnaround area. Plans also include landscaping, adding more picnic groves, increasing capacity of the concession area, and new games for the midway. In 2010, expansions will revolve around a new Flying Carousel in the northern part of the park in the center of the train turnaround area.
Read more at GoErie.com
It will be fine at Waldameer Park in 2009!
October 3, 2008
Six Flags Magic Mountain to Add Terminator Themed Wooden Roller Coaster in 2009
Demolition crews have begun to clear space for a new Six Flags Magic Mountain wooden roller coaster scheduled to open Memorial Day weekend 2009. The Great Coasters International woodie will be built in the same location as Psyclone, which was removed from the Valencia amusement park in 2006. The ride will most likely carry the futuristic name Terminator: The Ride to tie-in with the upcoming movie "Terminator: Salvation."
Read more at the L.A. Times Travel Blog
It will be fine at Six Flags Magic Mountain in 2009!
September 24, 2008
Hard Rock Park Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection!
HRP Myrtle Beach Holdings LLC, the parent company of Hard Rock Park, today announced that it and certain affiliated entities have filed voluntary petitions for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy code. The downturn in overall consumer spending combined with rising fuel costs have had a significant impact on tourism. In conjunction with the filing, Hard Rock Park has closed for the remainder of the 2008 season to allow management to focus on the restructuring process.
September 19, 2008
Disney Offers Free Admission on Your Birthday in 2009!
Planning a trip to Disney World or Disneyland? The theme parks are offering free admission on your birthday in 2009. If you are already a season pass holder, several other options are available.
It will be fine at Disney Theme Parks in 2009!
September 18, 2008
Though the rides aren't expected to be open, there will be plenty to do. As the event is being billed as the largest Halloween attraction in the northeastern United States. It features six levels of fear: The Fog, The Devil's Gauntlet, Maze of Madness, The Haunted Hotel, The Butcher's Basement, and Clown Town.
The Haunted Hotel is indeed taking place in Hotel Conneaut, and they claim that visitors WILL get to meet the famous Ghost of Elizabeth.
The event is being professionally done by Canfield Productions and they promise that it will be the haunted park of your worst nightmares! It's not recommended for children under 10 years of age.
It's open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, October 3 - November 2, from 7:00 p.m. - 12:00 midnight. Admission for adults is only $15, and kids 12 and under are $10.
It will be great back at Conneaut in 2008!
Six Flags Great America Announces Buccaneer Battle
Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, IL announced that Buccaneer Battle, a new interactive water ride, will be unveiled at the park in May 2009. The pirate-themed attraction incorporates lighting, music, dialog, costumes, set design and special effects. The ride is being built where Deja Vú was located.
It will be fine at Six Flags Great America in 2009!
September 17, 2008
S&S Closes Its Amusement Park in Utah
Logan, Utah's Celebration Centre Amusement Park has announced it is closing. S&S owner Stan Checkettes says the park was not profitable. Three of the largest rides will be shipped to Nevada, including the famous Sonic Boom.
It would be great, if Celebration Centre could survive in 2008!
September 16, 2008
Six Flags New England to "Re-invent" Superman for Next Season.
Six Flags New England announced plans to "re-invent" what has already been named best steel coaster on the planet, according to Amusement Today. In 2009, Superman: Ride of Steel will be redesigned with special effects and newly renovated trains. The transformation will be complete by Memorial Day.
It will be fine at Six Flags New England in 2009!
Monster Plantation to Become a Mansion in 2009
The Monster Plantation ride at Six Flags Over Georgia will cease to exist in its current state when the park closes for the 2008 season. The ride will be totally renovated and unveiled as Monster Mansion in May 2009. Monster Plantation opened in 1981 and has consistently ranked as one of the park's most popular attractions.
It will be fine at Six Flags Over Georgia in 2009!
September 15, 2008
Premier Rides to Build Pepsi Globe Observation Tower at Meadowlands Xanadu
Premier Rides Inc. has been awarded the contract to design, fabricate, and install the iconic Pepsi Globe Observation Wheel to be located at the spectacular Meadowlands Xanadu entertainment and retail complex in East Rutherford, NJ. The Pepsi Globe will be the tallest and most spectacular wheel in the Americas at 286 feet. The ride will last approximately 25 minutes for a full revolution and will offer sweeping vistas of the New York City skyline.
BALTIMORE, MD - PREMIER RIDES, INC., considered one of the world's most innovative theme park ride providers, has been awarded the contract to design, fabricate, and install the iconic Pepsi Globe Observation Wheel to be located at the spectacular Meadowlands Xanadu entertainment and retail complex in East Rutherford, NJ. The iconic wheel will be leased and operated by Merlin Entertainments Group, the world's second biggest visitor attraction operator, who also has The London Eye in their portfolio of over 60 attractions.
"We at Premier Rides are extremely honored to have been selected to design and build such a visionary attraction that the Pepsi Globe Observation Wheel represents," said Jim Seay, President, Premier Rides, Inc. "Being part of the group that creates a signature product is both an honor and a significant responsibility. Merlin Entertainments Group and Meadowlands Development are leaders in the development of high quality experienced based visitor attractions, entertainment and retail centers and we are proud to be part of their team."
The electricity used to power the Pepsi Globe, the tallest and most spectacular wheel in the Americas at 286 feet, will be 100% offset with renewable energy certificates. In addition, the aluminum used for the ferris wheel sign and many of its components will be made with 95% recycled content.
Merlin Entertainments Group which is rapidly building its US business, with 5 new attractions to open in the next 12 months, will offer a unique experience during the Pepsi Globe ride, which will last approximately 25 minutes for a full revolution and offer sweeping vistas of the New York skyline and the Hudson River. Groups of up to 20 visitors each will enter 26 glass-enclosed, climate controlled, capsules for the ride of a lifetime.
The Pepsi Globe promises to be among the most outstanding tourist attractions in the New York City metropolitan region.
Premier Rides is currently designing, fabricating, and installing five to six major attractions every year both on a domestic basis and at international locations such as Dubai and Singapore. "The Pepsi Globe at Meadowlands Xanadu is a signature project and one of the most important in Premier's history. As a company that focuses on unique custom attractions, we strongly believe in the Xanadu business model and believe there is amazing potential for iconic type attractions like the Pepsi Globe," Mr. Seay said.
It will be fine at Xanadu in 2009!
September 10, 2008
Carowinds Announces Carolina Cobra!
Carowinds announced plans this morning for it's new Carolina Cobra attraction, the park's 12th rollercoaster, expected to debut in early spring of next year. This new attraction is the Vekoma Boomerang from Geauga Lake and it will utilize a new train.
It will be fine at Carowinds in 2009!
September 4, 2008
Coney Island's Astroland Amusement Park Closing Sunday Forever!
Coney Island's world-famous Astroland Amusement Park is set to shut down on Sunday forever. After months of bickering with developer Thor Equities over the renewal of a lease, Astroland owner Carol Hill Albert announced she had no choice but to pull the plug.
Read more from the NY Daily News
It would be great if Coney Island could survive in 2008.
September 3, 2008
Backer Writes Off Hard Rock Park Investment
An Israeli Company that is a major investor in Hard Rock Park wrote off its investment in the park last quarter because of problems stemming from poor attendance. Hard Rock Park officials will not give specific attendance figures but have said that the summer has been "tough." The park has already started scaling back it's hours and days of operation and will likely continue to reduce it's schedule.
It will be great, if Hard Rock Park survives in 2008!
Serpent Coaster Delayed To Ensure Safety
Kokomo's Family Fun Center in Saginaw, Michigan, had hoped to have The Serpent coaster opened by June 2008, but next summer seems more likely. Park owner Hal Shilling says "the main thing is safety and we want it done right." The Serpent was purchased from the defunct LeSourdesville Lake Amusement Park for $250,000.
Read more in The Saginaw Times
It will be fine at Kokomo's Family Fun Center in 2009!
September 1, 2008
Worlds of Fun Announces Prowler for 2009!
Beginning in Spring 2009, guests at Worlds of Fun amusement park in Kansas City, Missouri, become prey to Prowler, a beast of a wooden coaster tangled within the park's forested terrain. Prowler is custom designed and built for the topography of Worlds of Fun by Great Coasters International, Inc. of Sunbury, Pennsylvania. Prowler is the seventh roller coaster at Worlds of Fun and construction is currently underway.
Read more at the Prowler web pages
It will be fine at Worlds of Fun in 2009!
August 27, 2008
Holiday World Announces World's Tallest Water Ride for 2009!
Holiday World has announced the world's tallest water ride for 2009. Pilgrim's Plunge will be a classic shoot-the-chutes ride with an open-air elevator to take you higher than any other water ride in the world- 135 feet! Also new in 2009, HoliWatches, a free service to help families and large groups to locate each other.
It will be fine at Holiday World in 2009!
August 23, 2008
Big Dipper Fans Still Hopeful As Cedar Fair's Land Sale Stalls.
It's been just over 60 days since Geauga Lake's Big Dipper roller coaster was auctioned off for $5000, although it would take about $1 million to dismantle and move it. And no one, including Cedar Fair, has learned who the real Big Dipper buyer is. Cedar Fair's chief executive told financial analysts they think the land is worth more than the three bids on the parcels at Geauga Lake. That means that the sale on the park land is on hold indefinitely. That could be good news for those trying to save the Big Dipper roller coaster.
Read more from wkyc.com
Read more from cleveland.com
It would be great, if Big Dipper could be saved in 2008!
August 19, 2008
Dinner Impossible Visits Morey's Piers
Chef Michael Symons heads to the Wildwood beach in Wednesday's episode of Dinner: Impossible on the Food Network. His mission is to take everyday boardwalk food and turn it into a gourmet spread.
Read more at the Food Network
It is great at Wildwood in 2008!
August 15, 2008
Woman Falls From Motocoaster station at Darien Lake!
A woman is recovering from back injuries after falling ten feet from the loading platform of the Orange County Choppers Motocoaster at Darien Lake.
Darien Lake is great in 2008!
August 14, 2008
Demolition of Geauga Lake Almost Complete
Cedar Fair closed Geauga Lake in September 2007 and auctioned off the rides and equipment in June 2008. What's still standing? Basically, just the historic Big Dipper roller coaster, the Raging Wolf Bobs roller coaster, the Skyscraper observation tower, and the main entrance building. The true fate of the Big Dipper is still unknown.
Read more & see video from WKYC/Cleveland
It would be great if this never happened to Geauga Lake!
August 12, 2008
Coney Island Future Uncertain Again!
Coney Island's historic Astroland will close for the season in just a few weeks- and when it does, it may be closing for good! Astroland's operator Carol Albert still doesn't know if her landlord Thor Equities will renew her lease for another year. Thor Equities is in a battle with the Bloomberg Administration over the future of the entire amusement area at Coney Island.
Read more at The Brooklyn Paper
It will be fine if Coney Island survives in 2009!
August 11, 2008
Troubled Times for Hard Rock Park!
Hard Rock Park has suffered from a tough economy and low consumer confidence since it opened in April. The park has already reduced operating hours and lowered ticket prices. Earlier this week, Hard Rock Park laid off 25 to 30 employees.
It will be great if Hard Rock Park survives 2008!
August 6, 2008
Kings Island Announces New B&M Coaster for 2009
Kings Island announced the biggest and most exciting new ride in their 36-year history. The new ride is a B&M steel hyper-coaster called Diamondback which will make it's debut in April 2009. Diamondback will be 5,282 feet long with a first drop of 215 feet and speeds in excess of 80 MPH.
See a POV video
It will be fine at Kings Island in 2009!
August 1, 2008
Former Bell's Amusement Park Owner Wins County Commissioner Primary
Randi Miller got clobbered by Sally Bell in Tuesday's District 2 Republican Primary in Tulsa. How could a woman who had never run for office defeat a longtime, well-known local politician in such a convincing fashion? Because of Miller's role in controversial issues at the fairgrounds that shut down Bell's Amusement Park in 2007, after 56 years.
Read more in Tulsa World
It will be fine, if Bell's opens at a new location in 2009!
July 29, 2008
New Hope for Conneaut Lake Park!
Better days may soon be ahead for financially-troubled Conneaut Lake Park. A lease agreement is in the works for portions of the 116 year-old amusement park. Key areas of the park are expected to be in operation for Pumpkin Fest in October!
Read more in the Meadville Tribune
It will be great if Conneaut Lake Park can open in 2008!
Dorney Park's Laser Sold!
Used Ride's website has updated it's listing for Laser as sold. Get your last rides this season on this classic Schwarzkopf Double Looper at Dorney Park. The future location of this coaster is unknown.
Read more on UsedRides
It is great riding Laser at Dorney Park in 2008.
July 26, 2008
Offer Made for Six Flags New Orleans
Southern Star Amusements has offered to pay the city $20 million for the now defunct Six Flags New Orleans. If purchased, Southern Star would also spend $100 million to repair and upgrade the park, which has been closed since the Katrina flood. Work is set to begin in August to allow for a 2009 opening.
It will be fine, riding Mega Zeph in 2009!
July 23, 2008
A Part of Kings Island History Brought Back to Life!
The Wild Animal Habitat and Lion Country Safari operated as a monorail attraction at Kings Island from 1974 to 1993. The monorail was purchased in 1998 by Jungle Jim's International Market in Fairfield, Ohio. It was relocated to this unique supermarket and should be operating by the end of the year. The monorail will be free of charge!
It will be great, at Jungle Jim's in 2008!
July 21, 2008
Pocono Lightning Is Now Open!
The Pocono Lightning Roller Coaster is now open at Pocono Play Park!
Don't forget to get your credit on your next visit to Knoebels!
It will be great, if we get the Pocono Lightning in 2008!
Editors Note: Sadly, the Pocono Lightning coaster was removed at the end of the 2008 season.
July 20, 2008
Kennywood Celebrates Thunderbolt's 40th Birthday
Roller coaster Enthusiasts came together at Kennywood today to celebrate the 40th Birthday of the Thunderbolt, which opened in 1968. Park officials unveiled a new Kennywood National Historic District sign on the site. Everyone at the ACE KennyKon event celebrated with birthday cake and ERT. ATRA members Fred & Kathy Wink and Marshall Flickinger were in attendance.
It will be great, at Kennywood Park in 2008!
July 16, 2008
Schwarzkopf Roller Coaster Comes Back to Life!
The Wildcat operated at Bell's Amusement Park in Tulsa, OK from 1974 to 1997. A Florida carnival purchased the ride in 2002 but the ride never operated. The Wildcat has been refurbished and setup at Jolly Roger Amusement Park in Ocean City, MD. A Schwarzkopf classic is reborn!
Click here for the RCDB listing
It is great at Jolly Roger Amusement Park in 2008!
July 15, 2008
Worker Struck by Star Jet at Casino Pier!
A ride operator was struck by the Star Jet at Casino Pier in Seaside Heights, NJ on Sunday. The employee, Stanislav Nikolaev Draganev, was trying to retrieve a lost hat.
July 17, 2008 Update
It was reported this morning that Mr. Draganev died as the result of his injuries.
July 10, 2008
ACE Issues Statement On Geauga Lake Big Dipper
Entertainment News from PR Newswire
ACE Clarifies Position on Geauga Lake Big Dipper
AURORA, Ohio, July 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The purchase and subsequent closure of Geauga Lake by Cedar Fair, LLP evoked concern within the enthusiast and preservationist communities from almost the moment it happened. At the forefront of this concern was the future of the venerated park's classic Big Dipper roller coaster, which is the country's seventh oldest roller coaster. American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE) has made saving this coaster a high priority. Although the park was home to two other wooden coasters, it was Big Dipper that attracted preservationists' attention due to its age and status as an ACE Coaster Classic. Almost immediately, members of ACE's Executive Committee began a dialogue with government officials, business leaders, and Cedar Fair executives, hoping to come to an agreeable solution to save this highly regarded coaster. Possible solutions included dismantling the ride and reconstructing it at another Cedar Fair property, dismantling the ride and storing it for future erection, or keeping it onsite as part of a new, multi-use development. There is currently a submitted bid for the property from a Cleveland developer that would preserve the ride on site, yet no decision has been made by Cedar Fair or its real estate agent, Colliers International.
The coasters were advertised as being for sale in November 2007 although no real offers surfaced. With the publication of the auction flyer, the Big Dipper was initially not included. It was however added to the listing by Cedar Fair management in late April 2008.
The timing of the auction coincided with ACE's national convention in Georgia, where all of the members of the Executive Committee were expected to be present. Two of the committee members did, however, attend the auction. ACE officers and others present were stunned when the auctioneer mentioned ACE before the bidding started, erroneously stating that ACE had declined a donation of the Big Dipper. ACE's past president verbally refuted the comment and drew much attention to what has since continued to be an ongoing controversy. The coaster sold for $5,000 to Apex Western Machinery Movers represented by Tom Woosnam, who told media in attendance that he was in the business of removing structures and machinery but made this purchase as an agent for an undisclosed party who wanted to preserve the structure as a non-working ride. He went on to also purchase the Raging Wolf Bobs for $2,500. Just four days after the auction, he contacted ACE and stated that his client would donate both the Big Dipper and the Raging Wolf Bobs to the organization, free of charge, with the provision that ACE could only use Apex for the removal. Subsequently, ACE officials grew wary of the offer when questions were not fully answered, deadlines were pushed, and inquiries about the possibility of certain parts being donated to ACE were met with disparaging comments from the winning bidder. In addition, Apex had no known experience dismantling coasters, and their estimate was two to three times higher than an evaluation provided by a company professionally experienced in moving wood roller coasters. Furthermore, ACE learned that the bidder had been involved in a situation following a 2006 auction that resulted in a court case entitled State of Ohio v Woosnam 2006-Ohio-6327.
ACE wants to save Big Dipper. But as a modest non-profit organization, despite being rich with enthusiasm, ACE's resources are limited. Mark Cole, ACE's president, explains, "ACE has money in reserves that is earmarked for Preservation and Museum/Archival efforts. Even if these funds were enough to cover the cost of dismantling Big Dipper, there are the issues of transporting it, the massive amount of space it would take to store it, and the question of what ACE would ultimately do with it. The coaster has already been shopped to other park operators, and there haven't been any takers. This is a most unfortunate situation." If the Big Dipper structure were to be razed, ACE is still very interested in obtaining the trains, blueprints, and other key parts for archival purposes and even possibly future use. Naturally ACE would prefer the ride to remain intact and on site, because of its historic significance to the community.
Founded in 1978, ACE is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization dedicated to the preservation, promotion, appreciation, and safe enjoyment of roller coasters. With close to 7,000 members in 50 states and 12 countries, ACE is the largest amusement park enthusiast organization in the world. Members of ACE receive newsletters and magazines, as well as the opportunity to attend events.
For more information contact: John Gerard
July 9, 2008
Steel Hawg Opens To The Public!
It will be great, at Indiana Beach in 2008!
No More Mystery- Kings Island Building A Hypercoaster!
Kings Island filed drawings with the city of Mason Planning Department which provide new clues about the ride that park management has been trying to hide. The plans describe a coaster 4,200 feet long, based on scale drawings. It will span from just behind International Street and the Eiffel Tower and over the Rivertown area, between The Crypt and Potatoe Works and over to what appears to be a wooded area. The ride is designed by Switzerland-based Bolliger and Mabillard and it is listed as a "hypercoaster," according to the plans.
It will be fine, at Kings Island in 2009!
July 7, 2008
Cause of King Kahuna Malfunction Discovered
Kennywood Park officials have discovered the cause of a ride malfunction that left 20 people hanging upside down on Saturday. Inspectors learned that a spec of dirt the size of a grain of sand caused the problem. The ride went back into operation at 5:09PM.
Read more at KDKA.COM
ATRA brought you this exclusive story from KDKA at 5:21PM. Other websites have not covered this story at all!
ATRA is great in 2008!
Joyland's Future Rests on Lawsuit
Joyland Park in Wichita Kansas has been closed for two years. Lawsuits may keep the park closed and in disrepair for a while, as owners and former park operators prepare for a long battle in court.
It would be great, if Joyland Park would re-open in 2008!
July 6, 2008
King Kahuna Closed After Malfunction at Kennywood
About 20 riders at Kennywood were left hanging upside down when King Kahuna stopped in the wrong position on Saturday. King Kahuna will remain closed to the public while park officials figure out what caused it to malfunction.
Read more from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Read more at KDKA.COM (includes video clips)
It is always great, at Kennywood Park in 2008.
Steel Hawg Update
Steel Hawg did not open at Indiana Beach on July 4th as planned. S&S was not yet satisfied with the ride and would not release it to the park. State inspectors gave the ride the OK and it is scheduled to open this week.
Click here for a video of Steel Hawg testing
It will be great at Indiana Beach in 2008!
July 3, 2008
Man Responsible for Closing Bell's Amusement Park was Fired!
The Tulsa Fair Board fired Expo Square president Rick Bjorkland over missing rent checks at the Fairgrounds. Bell's Amusement Park was forced off the fairgrounds and owner Robbie Bell thinks there needs to be more answers. The park sent the fairground checks since 1951 and none of them ever sat around for six months. Robbie Bell believes their plan was to get rid of them and make it so they could never set up the park again.
It would be great, riding Zingo again in 2008!
July 1, 2008
Steel Hawg to Open on July 4th
Indiana Beach reported today that Steel Hawg is now complete and testing is ahead of schedule. They are planning on opening the ride on July 4th.
It will be great, at Indiana Beach in 2008!
Hershey Announces Boardwalk The SEAquel for 2009
Hersheypark announced today that Canyon River Rapids will be replaced to make room for a new wave pool & lazy river. The expansion will be called Boardwalk: The SEAquel.
But how can you have a Boardwalk without an ocean???
It will be great, at a REAL Boardwalk in 2008!
June 29, 2008
Boy Decapitated By Roller Coaster at Six Flags Over Georgia
Batman The Ride roller coaster at Six Flags Over Georgia remains closed as authorities continue investigating the death of a teenage boy who jumped over two fences and was struck by the ride.
Read more in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
June 20, 2008
Six Flags St. Louis Debuts New Evel Knievel Roller Coaster
Six Flags St. Louis announced today the grand opening of the highly anticipated, one-of-a-kind Evel Knievel wooden roller coaster. The ride was unveiled during a special ceremony attended by friends and family of the famed daredevil. This $7 million compact twister is a Great Coasters International design and offers the type of intense, high-adrenaline thrills one would expect from a coaster bearing the name Evel Knievel.
It will be great at Six Flags St. Louis in 2008!
June 18, 2008
Another 50th Birthday Party!
Next week, ATRA celebrates Pete's 50th birthday at Knoebels. Last Tuesday, The Pacific National Exhibition celebrated another 50th birthday for Coaster, which was also born in 1958. Mayor Sam Sullivan dedicated it a site of "special significance" to the city of Vancouver and free rides were offered to the public. Coaster is also one of Pete's Top 5 wooden coasters, out of 806 total roller coaster credits.
It will be great, at PNE Playland in 2008!
June 17, 2008
Geauga Lake Auction Begins and Controversy Erupts!
The Norton Auction began today at Geauga Lake, the 119 year old amusement park in Aurora, Ohio. Many rides were sold as scrap, including The Villain, Double Loop, and the Skyscraper Tower. The park's centerpiece roller coaster, The Big Dipper sold for $5000 to Apex Machinery Movers of Akron. Apex's Tom Woosnam said he was bidding for a buyer that he could not disclose. Norton Auctioneers told the crowd that Cedar Fair had offered The American Coaster Enthusiasts the ride before today's auction. ACE officials claim that is not true.
If you would like to see and hear what was said about the coaster being offered to ACE, here is an actual video of The Big Dipper being auctioned on June 17 - Play video
It would be great, if Geauga Lake were still open in 2008!
Maximum RPM Opens at Hard Rock Park After Delay
Hard Rock Park allowed guests onto it's prototype roller coaster, Maximum RPM!, on Sunday. The ride is a combination Ferris wheel-roller coaster. The cars are first picked up, placed on the Ferris wheel and then released onto the roller coaster track.
It will be great, at Hard Rock Park in 2008!
June 14, 2008
Geauga Lake Auction This Week
Nine months after Cedar Fair closed it forever, Geauga Lake Amusement Park will hit the auction block on June 17 & 18. All items will go to the highest bidder and there will be no minimum bids. The Big Dipper has not been sold and will be part of the auction. It was made available to The American Coaster Enthusiasts a few weeks ago at no cost, other than dismantling, re-locating, and reassembling, ACE has not accepted that offer, which would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Note from ATRA Historian... Cedar Fair will charge a $10 admission fee for each day of the auction! All other amusement park auctions have had NO admission fees! Ridiculous!
It would be great, if Geauga Lake would re-open in 2008!
June 10, 2008
Parc Management, LLC to Purchase Magic Springs
An agreement has been made today by Parc Management, LLC to purchase Magic Springs and Crystal Falls from the current owner Magic Springs Development Co., LLC. Located in Hot Springs, AR the park will join a group of seven other family oriented parks purchased by Parc Management in 2007 from Six Flags, Inc.
It will be great, at Magic Springs in 2008!
June 3, 2008
Dorney Park Laser Roller Coaster For Sale!
It is true! We suspected it at Dorney's Coaster Madness on Saturday....Laser is for sale!
Description: 1979 Schwarzkopf LOOPING COASTER. THIS COASTER WAS BUILT TO BE PORTABLE. IT WILL LOAD ON 26 TRAILERS.
This ride is 93 feet tall, 2,200 feet long, and has two vertical loops. This coaster first operated in 1979 as Cobra at Parque de la Ciudad (translates to "City Park") in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It was moved and opened at Dorney Park in 1986 as Colossus. It was renamed Laser a few years later.
ASKING PRICE IS $1,200,000.00
Contact: TOMMY COFFING at 888-522-6091 or TOMMY@USEDRIDES.COM Ad Owner: USEDRIDES.COM
Ad Posted: 5/28/2008 Ad Category: Spectaculars Ad Reference Number: 34676
It's still not too late to ride Laser (again) in 2008
May 18, 2008
Ravine Flyer II opens at Waldameer Park!
Finally, it flies!!! ATRA members and coaster fans were on hand at Waldameer Park for the debut of Ravine Flyer II yesterday. After waiting 17 years, everyone in attendance agrees that this new wooden roller coaster exceeds all expectations!
Read more in The Erie Times....
Riders thrilled with Ravine Flyer II
New coaster creates excitement, wonder
93-year-old goes on a ride for ages
ATRA Members Pete Turrill, April Bogdanski, and Dave Althoff can be seen in this Erie Times Video news report
It will be great, at Waldameer Park in 2008!
May 17, 2008
Yo-Yo ride accident in California
Twenty-three people were hurt Friday night, three of them seriously injured, when a Yo-Yo Ride malfunctioned at the Calaveras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee in Angel's Camp, California. As the riders were falling, they became entangled in the chains and were slamming into each other simultaneously!
Read more and view video at ABC-TV News
May 16, 2008
ATRA launches it's new Web Domain!
Thanks to ATRA member Jason Monroe, we now have new server space that allows us to use our all new new domain name, AmericanThrillRide.org!
If you haven't updated your links yet, now would be a good time!
Thanks again Jason!
It's great, at the new ATRA domain in 2008!
May 15, 2008
Kennywood Shareholders Approve Sale to Spanish Company
A majority of Kennywood Entertainment's owners, who are the 76 descendants of the park's two founding families, approved the sale of the company to Parques Reunidos, pending approval of the FTC and Connecticut. The sales agreement, which was struck in early December, had been expected to close by March, but will now be completed by the end of May.
Read more in The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
It will be great, at Kennywood Park in 2008!
April 22, 2008
Darien Lake's New MotoCoaster Teamed with American Chopper TV Show
Darien Lake Theme Park Resort announced today it will team up with New York-based custom-motorcycle builder Orange County Choppers. The park's newest roller coaster, a motorcycle-themed ride, will be named the Orange County Choppers MotoCoaster. Darien Lake opens for the season on May 3, and the new coaster's grand opening is on May 16.
It will be great, at Darien Lake in 2008!
April 15, 2008
No Dark Knight Coaster this year at Six Flags New England
Citing construction delays, Six Flags New England announced that it's new Dark Knight Coaster will not open in 2008. Construction was delayed by Agawam building officials and issues with the state. The park will introduce a new parade for the 2008 season instead.
Read more on Mass Live
ATRA News first reported that work was stopped on the coaster on February 21
It will be great at Six Flags New England in 2008
April 9, 2008
Dreamland Scenic Railway Destroyed by Fire
A fire destroyed one-third of the structure of Dreamland's Scenic Railway as 80 firefighters battled the blaze in Kent. The historic roller coaster was built in 1920 and is believed to have been the third oldest of it's kind. The future of the Dreamland site is uncertain, but planners and campaigners want it to become a heritage amusement park as part of a redevelopment scheme for Margate's seafront.
Read more from the BBC
See video of the fire on You Tube
It would be great, if Dreamland re-opens in 2008!
April 10, 2008
Updated Info from the Kent Messenger Online. The fire appears to have been arson!
April 6, 2008
Man Charged with Arson in Conneaut Lake Ballroom Fire
A Hartstown, PA man has been charged with arson in connection with fires destroying Conneaut Lake Park's historic Dreamland Ballroom on February 1, causing an estimated $1.5 million in damages. The arrest was a result of a joint investigation between Pennsylvania State Police and agents of the Federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms.
Read more in the Meadville Tribune
Local Reaction from the Meadville Tribune
It would be great, if Conneaut Lake Park re-opens in 2008!
April 4, 2008
Sea World Orlando Announces New Thrill Ride
Sea World Orlando is preparing to build a roller coaster billed as the theme park's most ambitious and expensive attraction yet. It will be part thrill ride and part animal attraction, a theme that visitors will experience from the time they take their place in line until the time they leave the post-ride area. Few other details were disclosed- not even a name. The coaster is set to open in 2009.
Read more in the Orlando Sentinel
It will be great at Sea World Orlando in 2008!
March 28, 2008
Good News for Trimper's and Jolly Roger's Amusement Parks
Maryland state lawmakers have approved legislation allowing local officials to grant tax relief for two Ocean City amusement parks. The bills will allow Trimper Rides and Amusements & Jolly Roger Amusement Park to sustain themselves and benefit the local economy. The Trimper Family announced last year that it might close permanently unless it could get a break on its $900,000 property tax bill.
It would be great, if we could get more good news like this in 2008!
March 19, 2008
Universal Studios Florida to Get New Roller Coaster in 2009
Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rocket Coaster will open at Universal Studios Florida in 2009. It will be the first big outdoor thrill ride for the Orlando theme park. Rockit will rise 167 feet and will feature numerous loops and corkscrew turns. The ride will run along the boundary between Universal Studios and Universal's sound stages, then rise over the fence to twist over the sidewalks of Citywalk, outside the theme park
Read more in the Orlando Sentinel
March 14, 2008
Geauga Lake to be Auctioned!
Norton Auctioneers will be at Geauga Lake on June 17 & 18 to auction the entire park!
It will be great, if Geauga Lake is saved in 2008!
March 10, 2008
Kennywood Owners Divided on Foreign Sale
The sale of Kennywood is proving not to be as smooth a ride as management had bargained for. The deal to sell the traditional amusement park and four sister parks to Parques Reunidos of Spain awaits approval from the Kennywood founders' dozens of heirs, but many are not ready to sell.
Read more in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
It will be great, at Kennywood Park in 2008!
March 5, 2008
Gilroy Gardens Changes Hands
Council members rallied together late January to unanimously approve the purchase of Gilroy Gardens from Cedar Fair. Final closing of the purchase was on February 29th.
It will be great, at Gilroy Gardens in 2008!
Conneaut Lake Ballroom investigation continues
Some suspicious incidents at Conneaut Lake Park have brought state police troopers to the historic amusement park. The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives have also joined in the investigation into the month-old fire at the Dreamland Ballroom.
Read more in the Erie Times-News
It will be great, if Conneaut Lake Park re-opens in 2008!
February 29, 2008
Ocean View Rocket Car Restored!
The front car of the Ocean View Rocket has been restored and will be put on display at the Ocean View Station Museum at the Pretlow Library in Norfolk. Ocean View Amusement Park closed in September 1978. A few months later, the demolition of the roller coaster was filmed for the movie "The Death of Ocean View Park" for ABC-TV. The car is the centerpiece of the Ocean View Park exhibit and is surrounded by other park memorabilia, including a "Do Not Stand Up!" sign from the roller coaster.
It would be great, if Ocean View Park did not close in 1978!
February 21, 2008
Six Flags New England told to stop work on Dark Knight coaster
Apparently Six Flags New England began work on the new indoor Dark Knight coaster before getting final approval, so now the city of Agawam has ordered all work to stop.
Since this story, Six Flags has said the coaster will be delayed only 2 weeks. A local resident informs us that Agawam "has always had a reputation for standing in the way of Riverside/Premier parks/Six Flags..., " but she expects construction will soon continue.
February 20, 2008
Serpent Roller Coaster Lives On in Michigan!
Five years after LeSourdesville Lake Amusement Park closed in Middletown, Ohio, The Serpent roller coaster will run again in Saginaw County, Michigan. It is expected to debut this spring or summer at Kokomo's Family Fun Center, 88 miles northwest of Detroit.
It will be great at Kokomo's Family Fun Center in 2008
It will be great if LeSourdesville Lake Amusement Park re-opens in 2008!
February 19, 2008
Indiana Beach sold!
Morgan RV Resorts today announced the acquisition of Indiana Beach Amusement Resort in Monticello, IN. The purchase includes the resort's entire operations including Indiana Beach Amusement Park and Waterpark, Indiana Beach Camp Resort, Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Campground, Beach House Inn Hotel & Motel, Lakeview Penthouse Suites, The Beach Club Resort, Hoosier Point, Shafer Queen Paddlewheel Boats, The Fun Zone Beach, The Skyroom Restaurant, and multiple dining and retail operations. The resort has been owned by the Spackman Family since 1926, It will open for the 2008 season on May 3rd with a new roller coaster, Steel Hawg.
It will be great, at Indiana Beach in 2008.
February 9, 2008
Rye Playland Dark rides will stay in Park!
The Zombie Castle and Flying Witch dark rides at Playland Park in Rye, NY will still be thrilling patrons when the park opens for the 2008 season. These dark rides are a very important legacy of this historic park and will not be just a sad memory.
Read more from Laff in the Dark
It will be great, at Rye Playland Park in 2008!
Majority of Conneaut's Ride Motors NOT Destroyed in Fire!
Although the historic Dreamland Ballroom, maintenance building, and seven adjacent midway buildings at Conneaut Lake Park were destroyed a week ago, the fire did not destroy all of the 116-year-old amusement park's ride motors, as previously believed. Only three of the motors were destroyed in last Friday's blaze. The rest were not in the building and were not destroyed by the fire. That means if the board had the money and chose to open the rides, the motors for nearly all of the approximately 30 rides are available.
Read more in The Meadville Tribune
It would be great, if Conneaut Lake Park re-opens in 2008!
February 1, 2008
Fire destroys Dreamland Ballroom at Conneaut Lake Park
More than 15 Crawford County fire crews were called to the scene of Conneaut Lake Park at 2:30AM Friday morning. Fire broke out at the Dreamland Ballroom, with flames shooting more than 100 feet in the air. Shortly after, the ballroom collapsed to the ground and the building is a total loss. The building consisted of a second-floor ballroom and a first-floor maintenance area, storage area and food and games booths. Park General Manager George Deshner said the maintenance area contained motors and other components of most of the park's rides. They were all lost in the fire and the building was not insured.
Read more at GoErie.com (Erie Times-News)
It would be great, if Conneaut Lake Park re-opens in 2008.
January 29, 2008
New S & S Power coaster to set new record!
A new S & S Power compressed-air launch coaster will open in 2009 and set a new record for speed....134.8 MPH in 2.5 seconds. The roller coaster will be called Indianer-Achterbahn and is being constructed at Heide-Park Soltau in Lower Saxony, Germany.
It is great, that S & S is building roller coasters again in 2008.
January 23, 2008
Silverwood to get Déjà Vu in 2008
Silverwood Theme Park in Athol, Idaho announced today plans to purchase the Déjà Vu roller coaster from Six Flags Great America. This will be the park's largest and most expensive attraction ever. It will be reassembled and open at Silverwood in July.
It will be great, at Silverwood Theme Park in 2008
January 21, 2008
No wood coaster for Quassy Amusement Park in 2009
Quassy Amusement Park, celebrating it's 100-year anniversary this year, was the subject of a Planning and Zoning Commission public hearing on January 3rd. The park is proposing the addition of two new rides. At last month's public hearing, Quassy's proposal brought before the commission consisted of three new rides- a roller coaster, a 100-foot-long, 28-feet-high slide, and a 35-feet-high pirate ship. Residence in attendance at the hearing expressed concerns about noise, traffic, and property values. Attorney Michael McVerry, representing Quassy, acknowledged their concerns and said his clients want to withdraw the new roller coaster application without prejudice.
It will be great, at Quassy Amusement Park in 2008.
January 15, 2008
Zippin Pippin may be saved!
Save Libertyland! Inc. announced yesterday afternoon that the group has agreed to let the Erickson Group move and renovate the Zippin Pippin rollercoaster as part of Greg Erickson's $250 million plan for The Pyramid, Mud Island, and the surrounding waterfront. The 85 year-old wooden roller coaster would be in an amusement park to be built on Mud Island, which will be re-named Harbor Island.
The Save Libertyland! group is in a legal dispute with the city of Memphis over who owns the roller coaster, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. The roller coaster was sold at auction to the amusement park company Carolina Crossings, which then gave it to Save Libertyland! The city claims as part of the legal dispute that since Save Libertyland! didn't move the structure off the fairgrounds property in five days, ownership has reverted back to the city.
Ericson is scheduled to present his Pyramid Harbor proposal to Memphis City Council members Jan. 22. He presented the plan to County Commission members in December. He also hopes to move Libertyland's Grand Carousel to Mud Island as well.
Read more in The Memphis Daily News
It will be great, riding Zippin Pippin again in 2008.
January 12, 2008
Zamperla Motocoaster coming to Darien Lake
It's been reported that the Batavia NY Planning Board has approved the construction of a 1200 foot long, 44 foot high Zamperla Motocoaster at Darien Lake Park for the 2008 season. According to Park World, this is the prototype from Italy.
Read more from Park World
January 11, 2008
Tsunami renamed again!
Clementon Amusement Park, now under new management in 2008, has renamed the park's S&S wooden roller coaster again. The coaster opened as Tsunami on September 18, 2004, but was renamed J2 in 2005, after the tsunami disaster in December 2004. The Indian Ocean Tsunami was the deadliest in recorded history. When the park opens on May 23rd, the new name for the coaster will be Puma.
Clementon Amusement Park
It will be great, at Clementon Amusement Park in 2008.
January 3, 2008
New Attractions for Cedar Point in 2008
Planet Snoopy will feature seven rides, including a mini-tea cup-style ride, miniature train, 4 x 4 trucks, a bouncing tower, spinning balloons, rocket ships and a crazy sub ride. Planet Snoopy will also feature games, themed décor showcasing Snoopy's worldly travels and special live appearances by the PEANUTS characters. Planet Snoopy's 1.25 acres will also feature a family center with changing stations and private areas to feed children in a quiet atmosphere.
There will also be four new live shows and the former aquatic stadium will now have an "All Wheels Extreme" BMX-type show with skilled stunt bikers, skateboarders, and roller-bladers.
Macaroni's Restaurant will also be re-themed to a new children's restaurant.
It will be great, at Cedar Point in 2008.
A Tour of Parks Lost Since 2000
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