8 new thrill rides opening in 2010

Whether you’re an avid thrill seeker or just looking to have a little fun, thrill rides and roller coasters offer riders endless good times and plenty of excitement. With the economy on the forefront of most American’s minds, many amusement parks have scaled back or delayed production of new rides. Luckily, not every park is afraid of the economic downturn, and these eight new rides opening this year offer entertainment that refuses to disappoint. Time to strap in and enjoy the ride!


The longest water coaster in the world, the Wildebeest, is opening May 14, 2010 at Holiday World in Santa Claus, IN. Riders splash through the 1,710 feet of yellow tubing at 36 feet per second in just 2 minutes, and 30 seconds on a four-person raft. The Wildebeest has a total of 7 drops, the tallest of which is 38 feet, and features 2 underground tunnels. With no access stairs, this family friendly ride is easily accessible to riders.

Shoot the Rapids
Cedar Point Theme Park in Sandusky, OH will show off this new log flume ride in 2010. Shoot the Rapids features an 85-foot first drop, and a 49-foot second drop. Unexpected special effects advance the playful backwoods, moonshine theme. With enough thrills to get the heart racing, but without the speeds that eliminate certain riders, Shoot the Rapids is a family thrill ride.

The Intimidator
Opening in the Spring of 2010 at Carowinds Theme Park in Charlotte, NC, the Intimidator boasts speeds in excess of 75 mph. The red track and checkerboard patterned landing are in honor of legendary Nascar driver Dale Earnhardt, who was the inspiration for the coaster. The tallest coaster in the Southeast, the Intimidator is 232 feet tall with a staggering first drop of 211 feet at a 74 degree angle. Open-air seating, modeled after Earnhardt’s famous Monte Carlo, allows the rider a clear view of the ride’s eight dips along its 5,316 feet of track for the duration of the 3 minute 33 second thrill ride.

Sky Rocket

Accelerating to 50 mph in only 3 seconds, the Sky Rocket is expected to open in May of 2010. The Sky Rocket is the seventh coaster to be erected at Kennywood Theme Park in West Mifflin, PA. The 2100-foot blue track features a 90 degree drop, two separate G-force pullouts, a traditional corkscrew, an inverted top hat, and a barrel roll. The orange flame accented cars reach the end of the track in 65 seconds.

Scorpion’s Tail
Noah Ark Waterpark in Wisconsin Dells, WI will set a new standard in water slides in 2010. The Scorpion’s Tail is 10 stories high, and 400 feet long. Shooting a single rider through a blue tube at more than 50 feet per second, this thrill ride “might sting a little.”

— The above was written by Chastity Goddard, Seed contributor.

Intimidator 305:
Kings Dominion
in Doswell Virginia will introduce the new giant coaster uses Nascar legend Dale Earnhardt’s nickname Intimidator. The name suits the coaster that towers at the intimidating height of 305 feet at its tallest. The first drop is 300 feet down at a terrifying 85 degree angle (nearly straight down!). The roaring ride hits amazing speeds of 90+ mph and will leaving the rider gripping their seat for the entire three minute journey in the fast lane.

The Dragon Challenge:
New roller coaster ride in Universal Studio’s Island’s of Adventure in Orlando Florida. The ride is a part of the parks newest themed section, Wizarding World of Harry Potter and actually two separate coasters. Riders must choose a ‘Dragon’, the red ‘Chinese Fireball’ or the blue ‘Hungarian Horntail’, each ‘Dragon’ offers a unique riding experience. The coasters seem to battle each other with tracks laid closely to one another simulating near hits to thrill passengers along for the battle ride. The mean ‘Hungarian Horntail’ hits top speed at 55 mph while the wicked ‘Chinese Fireball’ reaches 60 mph.

Revolution 360:
Seabreeze theme park
located in Rochester New York will open the revolutionary ride in the summer of 2010. Riders board a giant disk and sit on pedestal seats facing outward. The track is 123 feet long and u-shaped, the disk is shot up to a height of 5 stories and rotates the entire time it coasts up and down the half pipe track.

— The above was written by Rikki Dahl, Seed contributor.

Explore the The Wizarding World of Harry Potter with your webcam and a copy of USA Today

In Spring, Universal Orlando Resort will open the doors to the The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. In the past couple of weeks, several images have been released, showing a little bit of what you can expect at this 20-acre themed environment.

Universal took things one step beyond boring images, and teamed up with USA Today to bring guests an augmented reality preview of the park.

Augmented reality is a technology that allows for images to appear on top of camera images. To enjoy the experience for yourself, you’ll need a webcam and a USA Today (from today, Thursday January 28th) or you can cheat, and download a PDF version of the map from the USA Today web site.

Once you have the map, point your browser to harrypotter3d.com and follow the instructions. There are several hidden tricks on the site, including the ability to make banners wave faster when you blow into your microphone.

One of the upcoming attractions – Ollivanders Experience (Ollivanders is the Wand shop in Diagon Alley)

From the attraction description:

“When guests visit Ollivanders, they will instantly feel like they’re in the shop from the films. It’s an intimate, single-windowed building, with the same signs, colors and other details read about in the books and seen in the films,” said Alan Gilmore, art director of the Harry Potter films and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. “But more importantly, visitors to Ollivanders will experience for themselves the magical moment that forever changed Harry’s life.”

Inside Ollivanders, visitors will be surrounded by thousands of multi-colored dusty wand boxes stacked on shelves from floor to ceiling. They will be welcomed by an inquisitive Wandkeeper, who will guide them through an enchanting experience to find their very own wand. First the Wandkeeper will ask the guest a few special questions and then select the first wand for them to try. Just like Harry, the guest will be prompted by the Wandkeeper to give the wand a wave, and a series of magical mishaps will occur until the right fit is found.

Of course, no Harry Potter park could ever be complete without its own Hogwarts Castle!

In addition to the magic featured in Ollivanders, guests will experience many other magical happenings at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, including a Howler featured in the Owl Post shop front window whose ranting can be heard by guests as they pass by; The Monster Book of Monsters in Dervish and Banges that will snarl and growl at anyone who tries to get too close, and the Hog’s Head which can be seen puffing his jowls at visitors who visit the Hog’s Head pub.

Resorts World Sentosa opens four hotels; Universal Studios Singapore to open next

Grab your fairy dust and put on your glass slippers: the opening of Resorts World Sentosa four hotels at the site of Universal Studios Singapore will commence on Jan. 20, with the Festive Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel Singapore, Crockfords Tower and Hotel Michael. The hotel openings will set the stage for more reveal during the following 30 days.

Part of the Resorts World Sentosa, Universal Studios Singapore has been in production since 2006. The magic of movies will come to life in one of the seven ‘themed zones’: Hollywood, New York, Sci-fi City, Ancient Egypt, The Lost World, Far Far Away, Madagascar. In each zone will live a host of attractions and rides specific to the theme, such as:

  • Broadway-style theater and a Walk of Fame replica (Hollywood);
  • Pizza parlors, neon lights and city-scapes (New York);
  • Dueling roller-coasters and Battlestar Galactica facades (Sc-fi City);
  • Pyramids and mummy attractions (Ancient Egypt);
  • Water parks and dinosaurs (The Lost World);
  • Fairy tale characters comes to life in Far Far Away land and;
  • Zoo animals and river rides hit the streets in Madagascar.

Like any good theme park, guests of all ages will have the opportunity to go on wild rides, fight villains, channel their favorite celebrities and dine with your favorite animated character. The resort will feature 24 different attractions on the 120 acres and include six hotels upon completion. As you would expect, there’s plenty of shopping and dining to be had in this magic land of make-believe.

The cost to enter the new playground: Adult passes begin S$32 (approximately $23 USD) for a senior-citizen day pass to a S$118 (approximately $85 USD) for a two-day adult pass.

The experience: Priceless.

High-tech bridge to connect Singapore’s Sentosa Island

Construction began Tuesday on a 620 meter boardwalk that will connect Sentosa Island with Singapore’s mainland.

The resort’s annual 5 million guests will be able to access the island on foot come November 2010. A series of covered travelators will be capable of transporting an estimated 8,000 guests per hour in each direction.

The boardwalk will be lined with retail, food and beverage outlets and be divided into five garden theme areas – mangrove, rock garden, terrain / hill, coastal flora and rainforest.

The development is expected to cost USD $48.6 million, and will accomodate a surge in visitors next year when Resorts World at Sentosa opens. The island currently features two five-star hotels, two golf courses, and will be home to Universal Studios Singapore when it opens in early 2010.

And if all that isn’t enough to pique your interest, then maybe our list of Summer festivals in Singapore will.

More tech specs can be viewed via the Sentosa Leisure Group’s official press release.

Universal Studios Orlando unveils Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit

Universal Studios in Orlando just released plans and animations of their new ride, the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, a state of the art roller coaster ride with all sorts of new features.

The experience starts before you even get in the ride vehicle. People movers have been integrated into the launchpad to streamline vehicle loading and unloading, meaning more launches and faster lines. Once you get into the vehicle (pictured) you have a personal bucket seat and Guest Interface Panel, where you can select a soundtrack for your journey that plays through integrated speakers.

Vehicles are staged in stadium style seating, meaning everyone gets a front row seat — which is important, because 14 cameras along the ride will be filming you. At the end of the journey, clips from each camera will be beamed to the video desk on the way out, so you can purchase a custom tailored video of you screaming your head off.

The Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit represents the newest, most cutting edge technology in roller coaster design. We can’t wait to get onboard.