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TheAnimatorOfficial's Coaster Talk

Your best source for any reactions, predictions, or random chat in the theme park industry.

TheAnimatorOfficial’s Park List

This is our (often updated) checklist of parks we’ve been to and want to go to:

  
  
 

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Six Flags 2016 Announcements

On September 3rd, Six Flags announced their plans for 2016 for each park. Unfortunately, it was a more disappointing (actually that would be an understatement) year than in years past. So, what was announced and what are our thoughts?  Let’s find out:

Six Flags Great Escape: Greezed Lightning

Wonder why it’s been a disappointing year? Well one of the reasons is that not only were there FOUR Larson Super Loops announced this year, but they were all classified as coasters! Typical Six Flags laziness and/or marketing scheme! The only park we feel this “coaster” (ugh) type fits is Six Flags Great Escape. It’s a small park, so whatever, it works for them.


Six Flags America: Splashwater Falls

Sigh. Six Flags America has become a punchline turned into a tragedy. The only things this park has gotten since their last NEW coaster in 2001 (Batwing) were a relocated B&M Standup, relocated Spinning Wild Mouse, and a Larson Super Loop. And now their outdated waterpark is only getting a splashpad update. Six Flags, if you’re reading this, either sell the park or just plain bulldoze it!

Six Flags La Ronde: Le Vampire backwards, Phoenix, Gravitor

It’s no surprise that Le Vampire is going backwards for 2016. We are also glad though that La Ronde’a flat ride section is getting updated, especially with two fairly unique rides.


Six Flags Mexico: Justice League: Battle for Metropolis

Okay, this is a fun ride, and a great addition. But Six Flags, please use different theming for different parks. Enough clones.

Six Flags St. Louis: Fireball

Another Super Loop. What a surprise.


Six Flags Discovery Kingdom: The Joker

Finally! The only great attraction in 2016! The Joker looks to be a sick RMC revamp of the already thrilling Roar! Though, we’re not sure why they went with a Joker theme instea of “Iron Roar” or whatever like what Six Flags has done the past few years.

Six Flags New England: Fireball, Superman: The Ride

ANOTHER Super Loop?! Or rather, ANOTHER ‘FIREBALL’? Typical Six Flags laziness. However, we are glad that Six Flags New England is doing away with the Bizzaro theme on their Intamin hypercoaster and returning to a Superman theme with no onboard audio.

Six Flags Fiesta Texas: Fireball, Spinsanity, Hurricane Force 5

ENOUGH WITH THE FIREBALLS!!!! Anyways, thanks Fiesta Texas for upgrading your family section!

Six Flags Over Georgia: Bugs Bunny Boomtown/DC Super Friends

Could potentially be the best kids area out there, even better than Kings Island/Dominion’s Planet Snoopy!

Six Flags Over Texas: Riddler’s Revenge (not the coaster), Harley Quinn’s Spinsanity, Catwoman’s Whip

Memo to Six Flags, COME UP WITH NEW NAMES!!!! Other than that, this seem like a solid addition to their flat ride lineup.

Six Flags Great America: Justice League: Battle for Metropolis

See Six Flags Mexico


Six Flags Great Adventure: Total Mayhem

S&S Free Spins are great rides, but this is a very boneheaded decision by Great Adventure. They are way to small in capacity for a huge park like Great Adventure. Why didn’t they go with the 10 inversion, 220 foot model instead of this one anyways?

Six Flags Magic Mountain: New Revolution

Six Flags is advertising this like it’s a new coaster. Of course. But we love how they are going back to the lap bars instead of the painful OTSRs like the past 20 years.

What are your thoughts? Leave them in the comments section below!

Ride Reviews: Star Tours-The Adventure Continues (Disney’s Hollywood Studios)

Star Tours: The Adventures Continue is a 3D motion simulator attraction located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disneyland, and Tokyo Disneyland; the one in this article is located in DHS. It opened on May 20, 2011, replacing the 23-year-old Star Tours, an attraction the continues to operate this day at Disneyland Paris, and is a guest favorite. So, let’s get started and review this seemingly real ride through the Galaxy!


Themeing: 5 out of 5
The Disney parks are known for their well themed rides, and this one is no exception. Guests enter through an Ewok village on Endor (other versions are themed to space ports), making their way under an Imperial Walker to the entrance, where they become space tourists in a spaceport terminal, with advertisements a large LCD screen advocating the virtues of flying with Star Tours. Seriously man, the themeing is everywhere.


Fun Factor: 4.5 out of 5

The ride itself is pretty fun. The various drops, turns, and other things that happen depending on what sequence you get out of 54 possible ones. The best part comes at the beginning, when the storyline (delivering a rebel spy to safety, and this happens no matter what) is revealed and the rebel spy is revealed- a guest chosen by the ride operator, whose picture is presented during the ride. The only negative aspect of this ride is that you might get motion sickness; ride descriptions range from “turbulent” to “tumultuous”, and they’re not kidding- saving rebel spies from the Galactic Empire isn’t exactly a walk in the park.


Operations: 5 out of 5

Operations are smooth, to say the least. The queue offers tons of stuff to look at, from advertising posters to the luggage-scanning droid cracking jokes about the contents, and both lines move pretty quickly, although FastPass lines move quicker.

Our verdict is, if you can conquer that crazy feeling in your stomach from the motion sickness (just close your eyes), spaceship chases through the cosmos can be pretty fun! There’s a reason the ride (both versions) is/was so popular!

Final Score: 5 out of 5! TheAnimatorOfficial Approved!

Canada’s Wonderland, Kings Dominion, and Worlds of Fun Announce 2016 Plans


More Cedar Fair announcements occurred Thursday, August 20th. While the day before had Knott’s Berry Farm and Kings Island announced their 2016 plans, this day had not two but three parks announce what  they have in store: Canada’s Wonderland in Ontario, Canada, Kings Dominion in Doswell, Virginia, and Worlds of Fun in Kansas City, Missouri. So, what will we see from these parks in 2016?

Canada’s Wonderland: Flying Eagles and Skyhawk


Canada’s Wonderland has added two on to their already impressive flat ride lineup. The first is a flying eagles ride, which is common for a Cedar Fair park. Second, they have added Skyhawk; this is an interesting ride. You will be able to control the axis which you fly at, so it’s almost like a Zamperla Air Race with more freedom.

Kings Dominion: Delirium

What a surprise! Instead of getting a disk-o/slingshot combo like most people have been predicting Kings Dominion went with a frisbee ride called Delirium; a Mondial Revolution to be exact. Kings Dominion needed another good flat ride, and this delivers on that need. Now, we still may see a slingshot in 2016 right next to Delirium in 2016, in addition to a new coke building, repaint of Bad Apple (and possibly Drop Tower), and an overall asthetic improvement of Candy Apple Grove. Unfortunately though, the general public is pissed off. I mean REALLY PISSED OFF! Get ready to cringe if you click on the hyperlink.

Worlds of Fun: Planet Snoopy expansion
Worlds of Fun is more of a family oriented park, so it’s fitting to expand its kids area, Planet Snoopy. New rides include Woodstock Gliders, Flying Ace, Snoopy Space Buggies, Linus Launcher, and Snoopy Junction.

What did you guys think of these 2016 announcements? Leave your thoughts in the comments selection below!

Knott’s Berry Farm and Kings Island Announce 2016 Plans

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Today was a rather big day for Cedar Fair, as two of their parks announced what they have in store for 2016: Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, California, and Kings Island in Mason, Ohio. Neither of them announced any new rides, but rather upgrades an other additions. So, what’s 2016 going to look like for them?

Knott’s Berry Farm: Ghost Town 75th Anniversary, including GhostRider refurbishment.

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2016 is the 75th anniversary for the Ghost Town section of Knott’s Berry Farm. More details will come in the following months, says the park, but we can assume that the theming, food, and overall aesthetics of the section will be updated. But the one thing we do know is that GhostRider will be going through a renovation, as predicted by us. Most likely there will be re-tracking to make the ride smoother, theming additions, and (possibly) new trains. The ride will be closing on September 8th, so make sure you get your last rides for the year! Now I know most of you are whining about it not getting the RMC treatment, but did you honestly expect it in the first place? And maybe the wooden look and feel of GhostRider is what fits into GhostTown better than an quiet, ultra-smooth RMC! Unfortunately, the Screamin’ Swing will be closing permanently to make room for the rennovation. Possible pop up at Kings Dominion?

Kings Island: Tropical Plunge, new splash pad area, new toll plaza/parking entrance.

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Looks like we were wrong. Kings Islands plans for 2016 are a little more significant. The main attraction will indeed be a waterpark expansion, akin to the expansions at Kings Dominion and then Carowinds as well for 2016. Kings island will be receiving a new drop slide complex called “Tropical Plunge”. It will be an addition that their somewhat-outdated waterpark desperately needs. In addition, there will be an updated kids area of the waterpark with a new splash part, reminiscent of its sister parks. Finally, Kings Island will be updating their toll plaza and parking entrance, again, similar to Carowinds. Their current toll/parking area is ridiculously tiny, so expanding it and upgrading the looks would be a major improvement.

What do you guys think about the announcements today? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!

Coaster Reviews: Shockwave (Kings Dominion)

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Yeah, yeah, we know. Shockwave has closed down already (August 9th, 2015 was its final day of operation). But today we want to tell you guys who haven’t ridden it or have sentimental value to it JUST HOW BAD IT WAS!!!! This is so you don’t go crying to Kings Dominion to bring it back. So without further ado, let’s review this heaping piece of metallic crap.

Theming: 0 out of 5

What theming? Besides maybe a lightning bolt on the logo and the vibrant paint scheme that, admittedly, stands out in Candy Apple Grove, we have no idea as to what this is themed to. There are no images or any props to be found. It’s laziness at its finest.

Experience: 1 out of 5

The drop and loop are (relatively) smooth. That’s it. After that loop, it goes into a rough airtime hill (without any actual airtime) and then drops into a helix that makes the ride akin to a medieval torture device. But it gets worse from there. You go through a series of bunny hops that will throw you around in every possible direction, thrusting every part of your body on hard plastic. After another painful turnaround, you go through those bunny hops again until you jam into the brake run, giving you a concussion. I was crying “ow, ow, ow!” and the “good riddance!” at the brake run when we rode it on its last day of operation, and it wasn’t much better for Jason. Heck, even the lift hill is rough. EVEN THE STATION IS ROUGH!!!! The main reasons why this coaster is unbearable is because one, the transitions were most likely designed by an abused braindead chimpanzee on crack, and two, the friggin trains! You basically sit on a tiny bicycle seat, causing discomfort to your reproductive areas, then a bar comes up to your waist to crush those areas even further, ensuring that you will never have children. And if that’s not enough, tiny over the shoulder restraints are forced upon your shoulders, neck, and chest, once again, crushing you, up until they are further forced upon you by an ultra-tight buckle. I’m surprised nobody has been choked to death by these restraints. Finally, the operator adjusts the height of the seat to further ensure your experience is as deathly as possible. “Good riddance!” is right!

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What have they ever done to you, Kings Dominion?

Elements: 0 out of 5

These are some of the worst “elements” on any coaster in the history of mankind. The loop isn’t the roughest but it’s not forceful or fun either. The hill after that, like I said before, has no airtime. Just pain. After that, you enter the helix of death. pretty self-explanatory. None of those bunny hops I mentioned above deliver even an ounce of airtime either. What a waste of metal!

Thrill Factor: 0 out of 5

If painful meant thrilling then this would get a 5 out of 5. But it’s not. There’s no fun in riding a death machine.

Operations: 0 out of 5

Shockwave always has long lines. And it’s not because it’s popular. It’s because the operations are THE WORST!!!! It takes so long for everyone to get jammed into their harnesses and or the coster to go up its 1 mph lift hill that you end up passing out because of all that time you had to wait in the sun.

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Rest in pieces Sh*twave!

My verdict is, be VERY glad that Shockwave is gone! VERY VERY glad!!!!

Final Score: 0 out of 5 (KILL IT WITH FIRE!!!!)

Disney Pre-Preview

Hey, guys, it’s Jason, and I have some pretty exciting news! Tomorrow night I will be leaving for Orlando, Florida, where I’m going to be spending about a week at the various Disney parks and then a day at the Universal Islands of Adventure. The preview video will be uploaded to YouTube by around 12ET tomorrow, and beginning on Friday park clips (just the parks, no ride POVs, sorry guys!) will be uploaded daily, along with daily blog updates containing ride reviews and general thoughts about that day’s events. Hope you guys are excited as I am, and if there’s anything in particular that you want to see, or even advice about things you recommend, put it in the comments section below, and I’ll try to get back to you. Adios!

TheAnimatorOfficial Rating System

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When we review of any coaster, attraction, or theme park, we implant a rating system that will vary per type of medium we are reviewing, composed of different categories. The rating for each category will be on a scale from 0-5 (yes, we do do zeroes). It may be relative to the intention of the ride/park at times. Some scores will be multiplied due to importance. Our categories are below:

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Coaster Reviews:

  • Theming
  • Experience (smoothness) (x2)
  • Elements (x2)
  • Thrill Factor (x3)
  • Operations

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Attraction Reviews (dark rides/other non-thrill rides):

  • Theming (x2)
  • Fun Factor (x3)
  • Operations

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Park Reviews:

  • Theming (x2 for theme parks)
  • Location
  • Ride Selection (x3)
  • Operations
  • Experience (landscaping, cleanliness, food, etc.) (x3)

At the end of the category rankings, we will find the average of the scores by doing the multiplications if needed, adding up every score to get a number, and finally dividing that number by the number of categories. Whatever we are reviewing will receive a final score, rounding to the nearest whole number. We will also provide an overall message for the score it earns as follows:

0: KILL IT WITH FIRE!!!!

1: Don’t bother.

2: Do it once.

3: Worth your time.

4: Cherish forever!

5: TheAnimatorOfficial Approved!!!!

TheAnimatorOfficial’s 2016 Cedar Fair Predictions

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It’s that time of the year again. Parks are preparing to announce what they have in store for the 2016 season. While some have already confirmed their attractions (MAKO at Seaworld Orlando, Cobra’s Curse at Busch Gardens Tampa, Storm Chaser at Kentucky Kingdom) others have waited until the very end of summer to spill the beans. Cedar Fair, who runs a total of 11 theme parks, falls into the latter category. Now some parks such as Carowinds, have hinted heavily on what they are adding, while others, such as Dorney Park, haven’t been as transparent. TheAnimatorOfficial is here today to predict what’s to come to all 11 Cedar Fair parks, going from smallest park to largest park. There are a few rules however: One, no park will be receiving a TrioTech dark ride this year (as stated by Cedar Fair themselves). Two, there will DEFINITELY NOT be an RMC (Rocky Mountain Construction) coaster or treatment coming to any park. RMC is booked and Cedar Fair has not aligned themselves with them. Yet. Maybe by 2018 we’ll see the first coaster from them at Canada’s Wonderland or Cedar Point. Three, these are just predictions and/or speculations and are NOT 100% confirmed in any way, so don’t attack us if we turn out to be wrong. Okay, now that we have that covered, let the predictions begin!

Michigan’s Adventure: Electronic trash cans

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We know for a fact that these brand new talking electronic trash cans are sure to be an improvement on the old, stinky conventional trash cans, both economically, environmentally, and aesthetically. Okay, we’re just screwing with you. But seriously, we (sadly) see another year without anything added. Still, as the hometown Detroit Lions say, “There’s always next year…” Too bad “next year” is never any different.

Valleyfair: Waterpark expansion

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Valleyfair is beginning to clear land around its waterpark and waterpark entrance, leading many to believe that the complex will be expanded. Now, for this to happen, their mine train roller coaster Excalibur would have to be removed. But for those concerned about Valleyfair’s coaster count, no worries, because they are rumored to be receiving a B&M invert some time in the near future. But for now, a better waterpark should suffice.

California’s Great America: Floorless conversion of Vortex

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Last year, Cedar Point announced that their standup coaster, Mantis, would be converted into a floorless coaster with a new paint job and name, Rougarou. All signs point to California’s Great America doing the same with their standup coaster, Vortex, and probably the Vortex at Carowinds in 2017.

Worlds of Fun: New family rides

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World of Fun is more of a family park than an all out thrill park, so it would make loads of sense to upgrade their family ride selection. Now what could be added? We’re thinking a disk-o “coaster” (not really) and a flying eagles. These two are popular attractions at Cedar fair parks, so we would assume that Worlds of Fun is next.

Dorney Park: (Maybe) some kiddie additions

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Dorney Park is another one of those parks Cedar Fair loves to avoid, even with its good coaster selection. They will go another year without anything major, but we think that some kiddie rides are possible. Dorney is rumored to get a GCI woodie in the next couple of years, but we wouldn’t hold my breath on that.

Knott’s Berry Farm: Ghost Town upgrades plus GhostRider refurbishment

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The Ghost Town section of the park, while still well-themed, is becoming outdated and not that present to look at. We expect Knott’s Berry Farm to update it to make it more aesthetically pleasing. But the biggest part to this is GhostRider. Now GhostRider has a very good layout but unfortunately it has a reputation for being brutally rough. We believe that Knott’s will re-track it, give it new trains, and make the experience much smoother while retaining the feel of a wild wooden roller coaster. And if you’re asking about an RMC treatment on it, the answer is a resounding: HELL NO!!!!

Kings Dominion: New flat ride(s) plus SlingShot

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Ah, now to our home park. With the removal of Shockwave, Kings Dominion is hoping to put in something more testicle-friendly. What comes to mind in terms of what will fit is a flat ride or a flat ride package. What they could install is a HUSS Giant Frisbee or a an S&S Screamin’ Swing. Or, alternatively, they could install multiple smaller flat rides, like a newly updated HUSS Enterprise and a Disk-o “Coaster” (still isn’t). But the one thing that for sure will come is a SlingShot, according to anonymous sources at the park. Now, there has been speculation on a B&M hyper coming to the park in 2016 because of a photo on Kings Dominion’s website that contains a red and green hyper tucked away in the left corner. We don’t think that photo is hinting at anything and we don’t think we are getting a coaster in 2016, not even in Shockwave’s spot (too small). Kings Dominion would be much further along in the project if it truly was happening. There is no track sightings, footers, or hints besides that misleading photo. However, there is land clearing occurring behind Rebel Yell and Intimidator 305. It’s a VERY large amount of land, meaning that Kings Dominion is almost certainly getting a coaster in 2017 (We’re predicting a B&M launched wingrider named “Valravn”- hear us out on the name!), unless they are bringing back the safari monorail. Or it’s the world’s largest electronic trash can.

Carowinds: Waterpark expansion (Carolina Harbor)

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Boo hoo. The classic wooden racer Thunder Road has been completely demolished. A moment of silence…

Alright, now that we have that accomplished, let’s talk about what’s going to be in place of it: a mega-waterpark expansion. Carowinds is undergoing a mega-investment by Cedar Fair which started out with a mega-coaster and a mega-front gate upgrade. Thanks to the blueprints released, we now know that Carowinds will be getting a major expansion of their waterpark, similar to Soak City at Kings Dominion. However, there will also be a new entrance DIRECTLY into the waterpark from the proposed new parking lot. Sounds pretty damn amazing! Though, looking at the blueprints again, we don’t see how they couldn’t have fitted this all while retaining Thunder Road. Oh well.

Canada’s Wonderland: New family rides

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Most people we know have been predicting a B&M launched wingider named “Ziz”, but that’s not going to happen this year, or heck, even 2017. There is nothing going on in Skyrider’s former spot and the construction going on near Minebuster isn’t big enough for that wing rider. So we’re going to predict that Canada’s Wonderland will get some sort of family ride package, probably in a similar fashion to Michigan’s Adventure. We think 2018 is Canada’s Wonderland’s year for an RMC of one of their woodies.

Kings Island: Park appearance improvements plus minor waterpark additions plus removal of Dinosaurs Alive.

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Let’s get one thing out of the way: KINGS ISLAND IS NOT GETTING A GIGA COASTER FOR A VERY LONG TIME!!!! Now back to 2016. Kings Island is not going to get a big waterpark expansion that everybody wants; merely minor additions. We also see park appearance improvements like its sister park, Kings Dominion. But the big thing going on in 2016 in our opinion is that Dinosaurs Alive will be removed. Yes it wasn’t open that long, but it’s cheap looking, expensive, unpopular, and a plain waste of space. Other parks will follow suit in the upcoming years. They provide a GREAT deal of land to put future attractions on.

Cedar Point: B&M dive coaster (unknown name)

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We all know what the biggest park in the chain is getting. It’s been leaked as far back as January: a B&M dive coaster. Now we don’t think this is the best fit (we’d MUCH rather see a GCI woodie, as Cedar Point does not currently have a good wooden coaster), and we even question the orange paint job, but it is what it is. This massive ride will be over 200 feet tall, go up to 80 mph, and contain 3 inversions (Immelmann, Dive loop, Zero g-roll/Corkscrew combo-thingy). To finish things of, let’s address the elephant in the room: the name. “Valravn” (a mythological bird) was trademarked a few months ago by Cedar Point and was for sure going to be the name of the coaster, but recently a moron died from being struck by Raptor after (*sigh*) climbing into a restricted area (thoughts on the incident here). Cedar Point now has to push the announcement back from August 18th and they will now have to rename the damn thing so that they don’t offend the family (Valravn is a bird of death).

Alright, so those are our 2016 Cedar Fair Predictions. We will probably be wrong about most of these in the near future, but that’s why they are called predictions. What do you guys think is coming? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!

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