“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”
― Leonardo da Vinci
We visit theme parks to get away from the humdrum of normality to escape (albeit queued up for hours) into an imaginative realm. Therefore, it’s imperative that the amusement park industry stay ahead on technology so that the experiences they offer surpass what’s available in our own backyards. Hopefully, theme park executives have witnessed the ingenuity of Canadian Michael Davis’s invention:
an authentic, honest to gosh, real-life hoverboard.
It’s almost as if he’s the Green Goblin or an air warrior from the clouds descending to us heathens below on his personal helicopter. Now imagine this technology in play in a stunt show in, around, and above water. Need I say… GLORIOUS! Then once the audience has had their fill of awe, they can be wooed into a high-priced up-charge attraction (complete with “we dare you to sue us” liability forms) where park goers can live out their Back to the Future 2 dreams. Well done Mr. Davis. Now it’s up to you Disney and Universal. (I’m sorry Six Flags, but we don’t need you tinkering with your low budget theatrics.)
Lady Bug Tamer
For my three hundred sixtieth coaster I decided to pull a 360 degree turn. While I visited Marineland in Niagara Falls, Canada for the first time in late May, I purposefully skipped their kiddie coaster. It was symbolic to hold off until the 360th spot became available. If my parents had taken me as a child to Marineland, chances are the Lady Bug Coaster, then called the Tivoli Coaster, would have been my first coaster. I desired to take this special ride back to my childhood. How fitting to hop aboard the Lady Bug Coaster for the first time at #360. I guess you can say I’m a romantic rider.
Teal steel dominates the park's entrance.
Vaughan, Ontario – Canada’s Wonderland opens to the public on Sunday, May 7th with a trump card up its sleeve… Leviathan: a massive sea-themed monster. The roller coaster was the first from Swiss design firm Bolliger & Mabbilard to rise above 300 feet and cost an estimated $28 million (USD). When first announced, coaster enthusiasts questioned Wonderland’s decision to add a coaster which by design draws parallels to the park’s Behemoth built in 2008 also by Bolliger & Mabillard. Both use towering lifts to create speed with neither sending riders upside down. Though these same enthusiasts couldn’t wait to dig their claws into Leviathan. Continue reading
Canada’s Wonderland opened its gates on Friday, April 27th from 5:30pm to 10:00pm. Sneak Preview Night, an exclusive event, gave season pass ticket holders the chance to experience the park over a week before the general public on opening day Sunday, May 7th.
All rides were operational except for Windseeker, Sledgehammer and for weather related reasons Timberwolf Falls, and White Water Canyon. Likewise Splash Works was closed as was the new for 2012 Dinosaurs Alive up-charge attraction. It makes sense that the park would wait to open Dinosaurs Alive when they can command $5 a person. Regardless, Canada’s Wonderland didn’t treat its coveted guests as mere guinea pigs. A majority of visitors were there with one objective: ride Leviathan, the park’s new $28 million scream machine. The park did an exceedingly efficient job handling the crowd. In fact, the gates were and rides were opened at 5:15pm, before the advertised opening time. Officials escorted molded the crowd into lines and then escorted small groups through the Medieval Faire section to the Leviathan queue. In addition, most rides operated to capacity and supervisors were out throughout the night checking in on guests to ensure a pleasant filled night. The only major error park officials made was by not striking a deal with mother nature, for by the end of the night temperatures had dipped well below 40 degrees fahrenheit.
Even the chilling weather couldn’t stop park goers from taking full advantage of the minimal wait times. Especially on Behemoth, which during the regular season can see wait times exceeding an hour, was a walk-on Friday night. Some guests didn’t even have to exit the ride. It’s typical park policy to make riders exit the station and re-enter the line, but on Friday night, all bets were off. “Before we cruised back into the station I just crossed my fingers that no one was in line for my seat,” said one rider.
Overall, Canada’s Wonderland looks to be in great shape for the 2012 season when it will host millions of eager thrill seekers.
“Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.” – Lao Tzu
The Leofoo Tourism Group/六福旅遊集團, plans to drench an estimated 1.5 million park guests in Hsinchu County on the outskirts of Taipei, Tawain. At an estimated cost of NT$390 million (US$13.2 million), Leofoo Water Park/六福水樂園水陸聯票 is set to wet in May, 2012. On roughly three hectares (7.41 acres) adjacent to the existing Leofoo Village, the resort will now possess a two-park punch, perhaps an attempt to compete with Yamay Recreation World’s Discovery theme park and Mala Bay water park.
Leofoo Water Park will feature the country’s tallest water slide at a height of 15 meters (49 feet) which is described by park officials as Taiwan’s first flying Tissot slide. In addition, visitors will be able to enjoy various slides, a wave pool, two lazy rivers, as well as water play areas. Modeled after a Greek island, the water park promises to provide a “romantic relaxing holiday atmosphere” complete with Mediterranean cuisine. The project is an undertaking three years in the making and is expected to create upwards of 300 jobs ranging from lifeguards to on-site attendants. Given Taiwan’s subtropical climate and Leofoo’s popularity, the water park is expected to operate 365 days a year.
Leofoo Village (Chinese) http://www.leofoo.com.tw/village/news.php?news_id=528
Leofoo Village News (Chinese) http://www.leofoo.com.tw/village/news.php?news_id=512
China Times (Chinese) http://news.chinatimes.com/domestic/11050613/122012021300252.html)
NOW News (Chinese) http://www.nownews.com/2011/10/25/11462-2752183.htm
Tapei Times (English) http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/biz/archives/2011/03/17/2003498355