Preview: Amusement Parks 2010

Filed under: Places To Go, Holidays, Activities: Big Kids, Activities: Tweens, Activities: Teens, Activities: Family Time, Family Time

Cedar Point Amusment park

Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, dates back to 1870. Credit: Cedar Point

We recently heard about a new theme park in China, Kingdom of the Little People, which employs dozens of performers of the shorter persuasion. While we're not in a rush to make that trip, the report reminded us that amusement-park season is coming. The folks at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions say there are a bunch of new developments in store and they've put together this global preview to entice even the most jaded parent. Here's to funnel cake and giant, stuffed pink flamingos.

North America:

In spring 2010, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay in Tampa Bay, Fla., will welcome families to an all-new, Sesame Street-themed playland featuring Elmo, Big Bird and all their friends. "Sesame Street Safari of Fun" will feature rides, shows and adventures that celebrate the spirit of Africa, including a new "Air Grover" family roller coaster.

Canada's largest themed waterpark, Calypso Waterpark, is scheduled to open in June 2010 in Limoges, Ontario. The park will span more than 100 acres and feature 35 waterslides and a 50,000-square-foot wave pool.

Carowinds in Charlotte, N.C., will introduce a new roller coaster inspired by racing legend Dale Earnhardt. The 232-foot-tall "Intimidator" will send riders plummeting down a 211-foot first drop, then race at 75 miles per hour through more than a mile of high-speed twists, turns and seven more extreme drops.

Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, will open a new 2,100-foot-long water thrill ride, "Shoot the Rapids," which simulates white-water rapids. The three-minute ride will take guests on 10-passenger boats through a ride complete with an 85-foot drop and meandering rivers along the Frontier Trail and Millennium Island.

A $1 million water slide is planned for Dollywood's Splash Country Water Adventure Park in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. Modeled after one of Dolly Parton's favorite childhood activities, the "Slick Rock Racer" will span 300 feet and feature four side-by-side lanes with riders belly down on mats sliding downhill head first.

Holiday World in Santa Claus, Ind., will open the second-largest ride addition in the park's history in 2010. Touted as the world's longest water coaster, "Wildebeest" is one-third of a mile long and will cover more than two acres. The new water coaster will feature four-person rafts in which guests will experience a 38-foot drop at a 45-degree angle and travel up and down seven additional hills, three tunnels and around a helix.

Kennywood in West Mifflin, Pa., will introduce a new roller coaster for 2010. The new launch coaster "Sky Rocket" will take riders from zero to 50 miles per hour in less than three seconds. The ride will feature a 95-foot vertical climb, a 90-degree plummet, three inversions and a corkscrew.

Kings Dominion in Doswell, Va., will also introduce a Dale Earnhardt-themed coaster, the "Intimidator 305." This 305-foot-tall gravity-driven roller coaster takes riders along 5,100 feet of steel track at 92 miles per hour.

"Flying Turns" will open for the 2010 season at Knoebels Amusement Park in Elysburg, Pa. The thrill ride features a train that rides in a trough guided by the curved walls surrounding it. The cars are allowed to freewheel with the centripetal force creating the effect of a bobsled ride.

La Ronde in Montreal, Quebec, will introduce a suspended roller coaster. The ride features five inversions, more than 2,200 feet of track and two 20-passenger trains.

LEGOLAND California Resort in Carlsbad, Calif., will open the world's first LEGOLAND Waterpark this June. The park will include a lazy river, several water slides, a splash tower, spray LEGO models and two beach areas.

Nashville Shores in Nashville, Tenn., will expand this year with new attractions including a 25,000-square-foot wave pool and a 1,000-foot-long lazy river.

Noah's Ark Waterpark in Wisconsin Dells, Wis., will open a 10-story-high looping tube waterslide, "Scorpion's Tail." Riders of America's first looping water slide will zip through the 45-degree-angle loop-de-loop at speeds up to 40 mph.

Quassy Amusement Park will open "Free Fall 'N," a family-friendly drop-tower ride. With a circular seating arrangement, the ride will lift 12 riders to the top of the tower before releasing the ring of seats for a series of thrilling drops.

Seabreeze Amusement Park in Rochester, N.Y., will open "Revolution 360°." Guests will face outward aboard a giant disk, which rotates 360 degrees in both directions five stories high.

Silver Dollar City in Branson, Mo., kicks off its year long 50th Anniversary celebration with the opening of "Tom & Huck's RiverBlast." Raft riders and spectators, armed with water soakers, battle each other raft-to-raft and raft-to-shore.

Opening Memorial Day at Six Flags Great America near Chicago, Ill., is the new "Glow in the Park Parade," featuring state-of-the-art floats, intricate light design and Cirque-style music. The "Glow in the Park" nighttime parade will start in Hometown Square and will take approximately 30 minutes to wind through four themed sections, including Carousel Plaza, Orleans Place and Mardi Gras.

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor in Jackson, N.J., will open "Tornado," a seven-story water ride that will send passengers plummeting down a tunnel into a 60-foot-wide funnel.

Inspired by J.K. Rowling's best-selling novels, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, a multimillion-dollar project at Universal's Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Fla., will provide visitors with an immersive experience. Opening in spring 2010, the new world within the park will transcend generations and bring the wonder and magic of the amazingly detailed Harry Potter books and films to life.


Alton Towers Resort in Staffordshire, England will open "Thirteen," a roller coaster that will take riders into the Dark Forest.

The "Cobra" coaster will open at Conny-Land in Lipperswil, Switzerland. The shuttle coaster will travel at 52.8 miles per hour and feature more than 705 feet of track with a 118-foot-drop.

De Efteling in the Netherlands will open a new dual wooden roller coaster, "George and the Dragon." Two separate tracks, "Fire" and "Water," will comprise the coaster, each a total 700 meters in length, with a maximum height of 21 meters.

The newly-reconstructed Grand Pier in North Somerset, England will reopen in the summer of 2010. The attraction will feature a 90 meter-high panoramic tower providing up to 40 guests at a time a spectacular view of the town. The pier will also introduce a new fun house, go-kart track, surf board ride, laser room and mirror maze.

A mine train-themed coaster, "Tren de la Mina," will open in Isla Mágica park in Seville, Spain.

At Nürburgring in Nürburg, Germany, the new "Ring Racer" will take guests from zero to 135 in 2.5 seconds. The Nürburgring is a motorsport race track known in Germany as "The Ring, " and the new roller coaster is part of a new entertainment area created in 2009 called "Ring Werk."

A "Monster" is coming to Walygator Parc in Lorraine, France. The coaster features loops, a zero-gravity roll, cobra roll and two corkscrews.

Zoosafari Fasanolandia in Puglia, Italy, will open the "Euro Fighter," a steel sit-down coaster that travels at 43.5 miles per hour and features three inversions. The park touts the attraction as a revolutionary roller coaster suited to an audience of real daredevils.

Middle East:

With more than 20 rides and attractions, including the world's fastest roller coaster, Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi is set to be the world's largest indoor theme park, sitting under a roof designed in the style of a classic double-curve body shell of a Ferrari GT car.


In January 2010, the World Chocolate Dream Park opened in Beijing, China, featuring a life-sized edible Terracotta Army, a replica of the Great Wall of China, and chocolate versions of famous paintings. The park is located at the Olympic Green, which includes the Bird's Nest stadium and the Water Cube aquatics center used during the Beijing Summer Olympic Games.

Universal Studios Singapore, a new theme park opening this year, will include a dueling roller coaster and state-of-the-art attractions. "Battlestar Gallactica," themed after the popular television series, will feature one inverted track for thrill seekers and one sit-down for families. "Madagascar: A Crate Adventure," will bring DreamWorks Animation's blockbuster movie "Madagascar" to life with an innovative indoor boat ride featuring animated figures, digital projection, evocative sound and special effects. Far, Far Away Castle - from the movie "Shrek,"- will house attractions such as "Shrek 4-D," "Donkey Live," and "Magic Potion Spin."


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