Ralph to the Rescue?

2 Jul

Ralph to the Rescue?

Upcoming Animated Feature Well Suited for Disney Attraction

By Stephen “Crave” Cravak

Pixar’s Brave audiences were treated to the first glimpse of Walt Disney Animation Studio’s next theatrical production, Wreck-It Ralph. Slated for release on November 2nd, the movie promises to be a hip departure from folk-lore inspired classics. From the 2 minute plus trailer, there also doesn’t appear to be a damsel in distress. Instead, the hero of the story is a donkey kong-esque villain who dreams of being a hero. In many ways, Wreck-It Ralph promises to be the “Toy Story” of the video game world pitting original main characters within an existing world of pop icons.

When it comes to turning movies into attractions, or attractions into movies, Disney has a resume long enough to empty your ink cartridge. Especially with the ability to include classic 80s and 90s villains from Super Mario, Sonic, Pac Man, and Street Fighter, Wreck-It Ralph would lend itself well to any Disney park. The film’s pixelated logo has a nostalgic look and would look appealing on a T-shirt. A hyper cast member could easily jump into the costume of the title character or the mario-esque Fix-It Felix. While there is a Sonic Spinball themed coaster in Tokyo, the amusement industry has long ignored video games as potential tie-ins. Wreck-It Ralph provides Disney with the chance to strongly promote one of its own, non-Pixar films, while tapping into a lucrative industry.  Continue reading


Hot Off the Presses: AppleSeeds Features Amusement Parks

25 Jun

AppleSeeds magazine launches a thrilling issue this summer with “How the World Works: Amusement Parks.” While AppleSeeds is a social studies publication geared towards grades 3-5, this installment is the perfect read for coaster enthusiasts of all ages.

CraveCoasters’ own Stephen “Crave” Cravak had the honor of serving as the consulting editor ensuring each article accurately represented and portrayed the wonderful world of amusement parks.

Special thanks to AppleSeeds, editor Susan Buckley, and all of the writers, photographers and contributors for delivering a fresh, unique, and informative look into the amusement industry.

  Order a copy now!

Amusement Park Writing Prompts

25 Jun

For those who like to explore their artistic side, be sure to check out sister site CraveWriting’s “Amusement Madness,” a recent imagicise featuring amusement parks. Imagicise is a writing workout for the creative or not-so creative minded.

Magic Kingdom Becomes Less Scary

4 Jun



1971 – 2012

Snow White may have ransacked her way through theatres Friday June 1st, but the animatronic version at Disney World has bitten the apple. Walt Disney World is revitalizing the Fantasyland section at the Magic Kingdom. With new rides such as the Little Mermaid, comes a price. Snow White’s Scary Adventures, a staple dark ride attraction since 1971 is no more of Wednesday, May 30th. Though fans of the 1937 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, first full-length animated feature, can still “ride” its glory as the park plans to unveil the Seven Dwarfs Mine Coaster in 2014. For those still loyal to the original ride, have no fear; riders can still experience similar Scary Adventures in California’s Disneyland, as well as Disneyland Paris and Tokyo Disneyland.

First Ride: Leviathan Unleashes Its Fury

29 Apr

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

Leviathan Opening Day Photos

29 Apr

CraveCoasters was at Canada’s Wonderland on Friday, April 27th when the park gave the world its first rides on its new 306 foot tall Bolliger & Mabillard giga coaster. Check out our photos below. Enjoy!

Photos are copyright 2012 Crave Cravak. Please do not copy, publish, or distribute without permission from CraveCoasters.com.

Fun With Photos: Leviathan

29 Apr
To welcome Leviathan, Canada’s Wonderland’s 306 foot tall creature, to the coaster community, we’ve remixed some of our favorite photos. Enjoy!

Photos are copyright 2012 Crave Cravak. Please do not copy, publish, or distribute without permission from CraveCoasters.com.

Canada’s Wonderland Sneak Preview Night 2012

28 Apr

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.

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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.

Hangover 3: Sea World Australia

24 Apr

Breaking into Mike Tyson’s estate stealing his tiger is perfectly fine because it was caught on film, for a fictional movie. It’s another matter when you pretend your Goldilocks with a video camera and break into a beloved Australian marine park to swim with the dolphins and snatch a fairy penguin from its rightful breeding grounds. Three British tourists, aged 18, 20, and 21 decided to add to the negative stereotype of UK travelers being rowdy drunks by breaking into Sea World theme park in Gold Coast, Australia. Thankfully, they posted their “Hangover” exploits on Facebook allowing police officials to track them down. As for Dirk, the kidnapped male penguin, he had quite an adventure after being dumped in a shark filled canal before locals discovered him on the shore. In the end, the dolphins probably aren’t scarred from the skinny dipping intruders, Dirk is back with his mate Peaches, and the three tourists are in the hands of justice. It’s a shame Aquaman doesn’t exist, or he would have surely kicked the pearls out of these hooligans.

For more on this story, read the following articles: Huff PostAOL Travel, and CBS News.
Special thanks to Screamscape for bringing this news to the coaster community. If you haven’t already, make sure to bookmark Screamscape, the best site for amusement park industry news, today!


16 Apr

The fine folks at CWMania are pulling out all the stops for arguably the season’s best Coaster Event: Leviamania! This year, Canada’s Wonderland unveil’s Canada’s first 300 footer, a Bolliger & Mabillard (respected steel coaster designers from Switzerland) hyper coaster. On Sunday, May 27th, Leviamania will force open Canada’s Wonderland’s gates at 7:30am for mind blowing exclusive ride time (meaning the rides are open for event goers only!) on Leviathan, classic Arrow Dymanics looper Dragon Fire, Intamin Drop Tower, and the revered wooden twister Wild Beast. If that wasn’t enough, seasoned coasters and even a novice enthusiast will faint during the Wonder Mountain walk-up, behind the scenes tour of Leviathan and Dinosaurs Alive (incl. admission to this brand new pay extra attraction), and a Q&A session with park officials. Your stomach will also be treated as an honored guest with breakfast, lunch, in addition to classy coffee and cake. In case you show up topless, you’ll even receive a Leviamania T-shirt! But that’s not all, there’s even more exclusive ride time in the evening on 200+ hyper coaster Behemoth, the launched Backlot stunt coaster and Skyrider stand-up coaster.

As a teacher in Florida, I served as Activities Director and organized heaps of events. Just looking at this itinerary, I’m aware of how much blood, sweat and tears have gone into putting on this event. As fellow amusement park enthusiasts, we all should show our appreciation by getting in on the action and registering today for Leviamania!

Registration is open now until May 6th. To register for this event simply visit CWMania. PayPal, Mastercard, Visa accepted. Spots are filling up fast, so be sure to sign-up today! Please note, you must first active a CWMania membership (absolutely free). Be sure to join their Facebook page as well.

For construction photos and video of Leviathan click here.