Written by Russell Meyer
Published: December 1, 2004 at 10:01 PM
Cedar Point formally announced their plans for the 2005 season, which include the installation of a Huss Giant Frisbee named “maXair.” The rotating pendulum ride will carry up to 50 passengers on a swinging, spinning ride at speeds approaching 70 miles per hour and forces approaching 5 g’s. The ride will be located on the Cedar Point Midway near Disaster Transport, Troika, Wicked Twister, and Chaos. The addition of maXair will also bring a complete overhaul of the nearby arcade, building façade, and marquee. In addition, Cedar Fair announced a $7 million capital investment into Worlds of Fun which will include a multi-level children’s play area and a “luxury” camping complex (nothing says luxury more than pitching a tent in some grass!). The play area will be located in the Camp Snoopy section of the park, and the camping complex will feature cabins, cottages, RV sites, and will be the first overnight accommodations provided by the park.
It was pretty widely known that Cedar Point was going to add a large flat ride for 2005, but what is interesting is that they picked the giant frisbee, despite having Delirium, which was installed at Paramount’s King’s Island in 2003, in the same state. The renovation to the arcade was sorely needed, but if they eliminate all of those classic arcade games, Cedar Point will have some explaining to do. They probably have one of the largest collections of 80’s arcade games I’ve ever seen, and many are still in great condition. The loss of those classic games would be tragic.
Thorpe Park Blasts Off
More details have leaked regarding Thorpe Park’s new roller coaster for 2006. The park has already announced plans for “The Slammer,” an S&S sky swatter, for the 2005 season. The new coaster, still being referred to as “Project Stealth” or “Rita,” has a profile very similar to the recently announced Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure with a top hat element and air time hill on the return trip. The size of the coaster will be about half the size, at 65 m/213 feet and with a launch speed around 100 kph/60 mph, but it will still be the tallest and fastest launching roller coaster in Europe. The theming of the coaster bears a striking resemblance to Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point with a grandstand and “Daytona-style” design elements. It’s good to see that the creative teams at Intamin AG are so hard at work coming up with ideas. The rocket coaster layouts, aside from Storm Runner, are becoming increasingly predictable. Is it really that hard to sit at a computer and come up with some interesting maneuvers instead of a boring down and back design?
Disney Sued for Thunder Mountain Crash
Los Angeles Times 12/1/04
A passenger who was aboard Big Thunder Mountain on September 5, 2003 during its fatal incident has filed a lawsuit against the Walt Disney Company for unspecified monetary damages. The suit not only alleges negligence against Disney, but also claims that the company continues to endanger the public by maintaining the operating condition of Big Thunder Mountain. Don’t get me wrong, I feel that the passenger is entitled to compensation equal to her medical expenses and any permanent injury the accident may have caused. However, for some lawyer to tell Disney that they are running a “defective” attraction, especially after the State of California has gone over the ride thoroughly and deemed it safe, is nothing short of slander.
Mary Poppins Turns 40
With all the glitz and glamour of a major Hollywood premier, Disney celebrated the 40th anniversary of Mary Poppins Tuesday night at the El Capitan Theater. The event featured the reunion of many of the cast members, including the immortal Julie Andrews and charismatic Dick Van Dyke. It was also complete with chimney sweeps, oom-pah band, sidewalk chalk artists and penguins. The affair was staged to not only honor the stars and longevity of one of the greatest family movies of all time, but also to promote the upcoming release of Mary Poppins to DVD on December 14. The movie has been restored to its full brilliance, and should be a real treat to see on DVD in a couple of weeks. Mary Poppins is a movie that has truly lasted the test of time. Like the Wizard of Oz, The Sound of Music, and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, it will continue to appeal to kids and adults alike for many decades to come.