Saturday, December 5, 2015

AmeriFlora '92 Loof Carousel, Columbus, Ohio

In 1992, an international horticultural exhibition was held in Columbus, Ohio. The event was planned so large that they brought in an antique Loof carousel to grace the grounds of Columbus's Franklin Park and Conservatory Botanical Gardens. The festival looks like it was pretty neat. According to National Carousel Association, the carousel dates back to 1895 and was installed at Fair Park in Dallas, Texas. From there it went to the famed Pacific Ocean Park in Santa Monica, CA, a park that was utilized for the filming of multiple famous tv shows and films, including the finale of The Fugitive tv series and one of my favorite episodes of The Twilight Zone "In Praise of Pip," in which Jack Klugman stars and acts as a father who was distraught from finding out that his son was injured and likely to die in Vietnam.

The carousel would continue on to travel to Spanaway, Washington State, then make two stops in Oregon at the Wilamette and Lloyd Centers. In 1992, the carousel was in Columbus for the AmeriFlora festival. It sat in storage for five years until it was reassembled in Burbank, California at the Media City Center, and then it was moved to its current location in 2004 to the Seaport Village in San Diego, CA.

If you are looking for a great gift for someone or yourself, our 2016 Roller Coaster Calendar is now available through this link.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Holiday Valley Sky High Mountain Coaster, Ellicottville, NY

This past weekend we had the opportunity to check out Holiday Valley Ski Resort's Sky High Mountain Coaster with Brit's family. This Wiegand produced alpine coaster did not fail to impress, as always, when it comes to their creations. 
The best aspect of this coaster is the fact that it is so hidden. This coaster traverses a pretty large mountain, through mature woods, and the layout twists right over a mountain creek for the entire ride. 
 Just getting ready for opening
 No need for snowblowers today! These rides are pretty awesome in the fact that they can operate year round. Riding one of these coasters in the snow is quite a rush.
 I was the first rider, so I got pictures of everyone else. It looks like Brit definitely had a blast.
 Brit's dad
 Brit's Mom
What do we have to say about the coaster? This thing is flat out awesome. So many little airtime hills, lots of tight curves, and the rush of careening through the woods is really something else. It is especially awesome with the autumn chill in the air. If you are around Ellicottville, NY, this is an awesome thing to check out. They also offer zip lining, a sky course, and a plethora of other activities, in addition to skiing and tubing in the winter.
 Our 2016 Roller Coaster Calendar is now available! For more information, follow this link!

2016 Roller Coaster Calendar and Book Prices

Thursday, October 1, 2015

2015 Kennywood Phantom Fright Nights and Friday the 13th in 4D Preview

We were treated to a media preview of Phantom Fright Nights on Wednesday night to see some of the ghouls, and the brand new Friday the 13th 4D theater experience. We were entering the tunnel into the park and the ghouls were already spooking us!
We walked amongst the creatures of the night...
We haven't got the will to try and fight....
 And by the way, the Phantom is up and running!
Here is the new 4D Theater. The tame Ice Age: No Time for Nuts 4D experience for the regular season has been replaced with the pretty intense Friday the 13th 4D experience. It is described as "9 Minutes of Terror," and that is definitely a moniker that describes the feeling of being pursued by Jason. 
The 4D experience will change for the holiday season into The Polar Express. Until then, expect a violently intense experience with Jason and Friday the 13th.
The Volcano Huss Enterprise ride is being completely replaced by the Enterprise that was taken out from Lake Compounce for the new Phobia coaster.

 The new 4D theater is pretty cool, with lots of sensory objects to immerse you into the experience.
 I can't tell you anything more about the Friday the 13th show, but now we will get a preview into some of the makeup work for the ghouls at Phantom Fright Nights.
 Makeup demonstration time!

 The park's very knowledgeable makeup director leads a team that often spends tons of time getting the ghouls ready for the event.

 The custom latex mask on the axe man is spectacular.
 If you like violently intense experiences for Halloween, 4D Friday the 13th is something that you will enjoy.
 Brit looks pretty happy for being in the midst of getting attacked by ghouls!
Our 2016 Roller Coaster Calendar is now available! For more information, follow this link!

2016 Roller Coaster Calendar and Book Prices

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Columbus Zoo, Jungle Jack's Landing, and Zoombezi Bay

Today we go to a different kind of attraction, Columbus Zoo. The attraction was en route on our road trip back to Pittsburgh from Holiday World and Kentucky Kingdom. The dry amusement park section of the zoo is Jungle Jack's Landing, named after the famous director emeritus, Jack Hanna. Jungle Jack's Landing was once the amusement park area for Wyandot Lake/Gooding Zoo Park/Scioto Range Park. The waterpark side of the zoo, Zoombezi Bay, consists of modern waterslides on the old waterpark side of Wyandot Lake and picnic groves. Wyandot Lake was merged into the zoo in 2006 when it was purchased from Six Flags in the midst of the heavy restructuring of the Six Flags company within that decade due to mounting company-wide losses. 

Wyandot Lake became a Funtime park in 1983, with Geauga Lake in Aurora, OH, and Darien Lake near Buffalo, NY. Funtime Parks was sold to Premier Parks in 1995. Premier purchased Six Flags in 1998 and would later go on to assume their name. In the midst of all of this change, Wyandot Lake continued to be a steady regional park, while the corporate ownership prolifically expanded the other parks in the chain. The end result with the acquisition of the park by the zoo is the addition of one of the country's most successful waterparks in Zoombezi Bay and the addition of a nicely balanced small amusement park that helps to create a well rounded destination for families. 
 It is nice seeing the families enjoy this small amusement park.
I was extremely excited to see these inner tube bumper cars. I had a great time riding this style of bumper cars when they were at Dorney Park. They were removed from Dorney when Demon Drop was added. 
The gem of the amusement park area, and the main reason that we came to visit, was the 1956 vintage John Allen PTC Sea Dragon. Originally known as the Jet Flyer, this was one of the first three John Allen coasters, of which the other two are defunct. Hazleton, PA's former Angela Park Valley Volcano and Wildwood, NJ's former Hunt's Pier Flyer were both very similar to the Columbus Zoo Sea Dragon.
 It is always nice to see the classic manual operations going on these old wooden roller coasters.
  This is a delightful junior coaster with some fun pops of airtime. It was certainly a hit with a bunch of kids that were going back and forth to do marathons riding the coaster. 
A neat aspect of the amusement area is that they have incorporated interactive exhibits where visitors can get up close and pet some of the animals, including flamingoes and stingrays. The staff is also extremely friendly and it is clear that they truly love what they are doing with the way they interact with the animals and the people that come up to interact with them. Columbus Zoo really has an excellent staff.
Lots of duckies hanging out by the pond!
 More flamingoes! 
 The gator catching some shut eye
"Hello, I'm awake now!"
 "Let's readjust"
 And over the Penguin habitat
"You are here now too? Let's frolic around! Two's company!"
 "And three's a crowd!"
Columbus Zoo is also home to a priceless Mangels/Illons carousel. This 1914 machine is absolutely spectacular. The carvings are spectacular, the paint remains fresh and glossy, the running boards remain as exposed wood, and the carousel is beautiful beyond words. The carousel was built for the former Olentangy Park on the other side of Columbus. It was later moved to the Scioto Ranch, the park that would eventually become Wyandot Lake, in 1938. In 1999 the carousel was taken apart for a full restoration and was placed into a brand new, climate controlled, carousel shelter within the Columbus Zoo grounds for the 2000 season. 
 More penguins!
 Lots of snakes! We were getting a kick out of the animals. 
The Columbus Zoo is a pretty awesome place to visit. We stopped at the park as a rest stop during our trip back home from Holiday World and Kentucky Kingdom and spent about three hours. We could have probably easily spent an entire weekend at the zoo, for there is so much to do between the zoo, dry amusement park, and waterpark. This is a well balanced attraction that offers a ton of different experiences. This is truly a world class zoo facility that everyone should check out. We definitely would like to get back here sometime and spend some more time checking everything out. 
Now available is our 2016 Roller Coaster Calendar!

2016 Roller Coaster Calendar and Book Prices