From the mind of the editor ...
Today we are having some fun and an article that I started writing on October 14, 2014. And at the time the trend of making old things new again was still sort of new.
In the 16 months or so since then, it has grown from even that. And this is a trend that just doesn't seem to be stopping.
Written by Gregg Condon
It seems that the amusement park industry has finally caught on to the fact that they have a vast amount of existing rides that the public still loves, that if they breathe new life into the public will embrace.
Think back just a few years. If a new ride was going to be built, more times than not, an existing ride would be replaced. The list is pretty much endless.
Log Jammer at Six Flags Magic Mountain is now Full Throttle
Great American Scream Machine at SFGAdv is now Green Lantern
Big Bad Wolf at Busch Gardens Williamsburg is now Verbolten
Iron Wolf at SFGam is now Goliath
The list goes on. But a few recent announcements from a few different chains have us thinking (hoping) that the new trend of making things new is something we'll be seeing more of.
Of course, the biggest trend in recent years has been converting older wooden coasters into "hybrid" coasters to give them new (amazing) lives. This started with New Texas Giant and is continuing in 2016 with The Joker at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and Storm Chaser at Kentucky Kingdom.
But even more than that, 2016 is seeing two amazing classic coasters in Ghostrider at Knott's Berry Farm and Revolution at Six Flags Magic Mountain undergoing EXTENSIVE rehabs with new track (Ghostrider), new paint (Revolution), and new trains for both. And the audience in Southern California is eating it up.
Now, this could just in reaction to Wizarding World opening in 2016 and the parks knowing that no amount of investment is going to keep up with that, but we like to think that it goes beyond that. And in the case of Knott's, this is certainly par for the course for the past few years.
And we hope even more of the recent trends we're seeing are going to continue.
We hope beyond hope that Ghostrider is successful for Knott's this summer and beyond, and that in the years to come it remains in great shape and turns out to be a great investment for the park and chain. Because there are a LOT of coasters out there that could use a similar overhaul.
A few of the potentially great woodies we'd love to see re-done. Some of them could benefit from getting an RMC Overhaul (Wildcat and Grizzly) but some just need to receive a great overhaul similar to Ghostrider.
(hover over pics to see comments - click for larger versions)
Just last week it was announced that the SLC at Morey's Piers (considered one of the worst SLC's) is getting all new track and new trains while using the existing supports.
Now at first glance this seems to be akin to putting lipstick on a pig, but when you start to think of the technological advances made since that SLC was built 21 years ago it's not hard to think that maybe, just maybe they can keep the same layout of the SLC and make it an actual good ride.
The layouts of these rides aren't terrible, it's the execution. And if this ride does become successful and the park can extend the life of this ride, bring in new riders and guests to the park and prove that it's something that can be done ... imagine the possibilities of simply replacing all of the track on an older ride with track designed and manufactured using today's technology.
Universal Studios Orlando is already doing this on The Hulk, a ride that probably didn't need it, but again, extending the life of this ride BEFORE there is a problem is something that many parks should take under advisement (ahem, Disneyland's Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain).
A few of the potentially great steel coasters we'd love to see re-done:
No conversation about re-doing an old ride should not include The Matterhorn. Even if none of the other rides we mention below get re-done, if this one does, it's all worth it.
(hover over pics to see comments - click for larger versions)
Of course, this is all speculation and a BIG IF depending on how the SLC at Morey's piers turns out.
But obviously Universal Orlando thought it was beneficial to them, so we don't need to just look at Vekoma's or Arrow's, any coaster has potential to be "saved".
And if coasters weren't enough, Cedar Fair just made a HUGE investment to bring some classic flat rides from Europe into it's parks here in North America. For the cost of maybe 2 or 3 modern thrill rides they've been able to bring in multiple rides for multiple parks that are going to really round-out their collection of flat rides.
So what do you think? Do you like this trend of old becoming new again? Do you like to see the classics stick around, or are you all for "new is better"?
What classic rides do you want to see stay or go? Let us know in the comments below.
One of our favorite parks has always been Legoland California. While sure we aren't the age range for this park it's just awesome to have a park dedicated to our favorite toy and we love any chance we get to head to this park.
Last week we were at the premiere for the all new Lego Movie 4D (be sure to check out our review if you haven't yet) but we also had some fun in the park prior to the premiere and were able to get some pics of the all-new Ninjago land that's opening later this spring.
Written by Gregg Condon
We'll start off with a look at Ninjago which kind of to our surprise is going to be located very close to the front of the park.
We really love this new trend that parks have of doing entire lands around new attractions.
Some of the Ninjago characters
No date on the new ride/land has been announced, but it will be this Spring.
Below on the map you can see the area where the new land is going just to the right of the main entrance of the park.
A few weeks ago the park sent us some sneak peek pics of the ride building and the new vehicles. Be sure to check it out here (and some of the pics below).
New since our last visit is the all new Lego Heartlake City addition.
It's definitely an area for the girls.
The Carousel was very large and oddly didn't play any music, just clopping of the horses.
Nice characters of the Lego Friends.
We are definitely not the intended audience for this area of the park, but we thought it was very nicely done.
Before we move on into the rest of the park be sure to check out our HD POV of the Fairy Tale Brook at the park. It's a great little ride. We'd also taken some video of Mini-Land but we didn't really care for the way it turned out. Next time we're at the park we're going to spend some time getting some great video of Mini Land. We've got some cool ideas on how to pull that off.
One of our favorite parts of Legoland are all of the quirky little Lego figures.
The Dragon coaster which if you haven't ridden it is basically a Lego version of Revenge of the Mummy at Universal Studios. Those who have ridden will know what I mean.
One of these days we'll try and arrange it with the park to get some POV of this great fun family coaster.
Legoland also has one of the best Splash Battles we've seen.
Don't forget to head down to the park and check out The Lego Movie 4D ... NOW OPEN!!!
Thanks again for checking out the update and for all of the incredible support.
Saturday February 6 is the grand opening of the all new Lego4D movie at Legoland, CA (the movie previously opened in FL).
Below we'll share our review of this fun movie as well as share some great pics and fun-facts about the attraction. Be sure to head down to Legoland soon and check it out. It's a great addition to an already great park.
Also, be sure to check back next week as we'll have a general Legoland update with a look at the new Ninjago land and the rest of the park including some fun videos.
Written by Gregg Condon
The movie opens with a kind of refresher for those who haven't seen The Lego Movie (or haven't seen it in awhile). And if you haven't seen it, what's up with that, it's a great movie.
Anyway, the movie opens with our hero's Emmet, Wyld Style, Unikitty, Benny and Metal Beard winning a contest and tickets to Legoland. Upon arrival however it turns out the tickets are for the non-official "Brick World" run by President Businesses less expensive brother "Risky Business" played brilliantly by the always hilarious Patton Oswalt.
And of course, to nobody's surprise there's an evil secret plot to destroy our hero's which sets them on an awesome adventure throughout Brick Land.
Brick Land actually has some awesome looking attractions that they should totally consider building at the actual Legoland and it's fun going through this Lego sized adventure with these great characters.
The voice talent of the movie is of course spot on as it was in The Lego Movie although unfortunately Chris Pratt doesn't return for this adventure ... but to be honest, I didn't even notice until I read the cast list. The remainder of the original cast featured in The Lego Movie has returned.
We obviously don't want to give too much away, but expect to be wildly entertained for 12 1/2 min. The 4D effects are plentiful but consist mostly of water and smoke effects.
The theater is definitely set up more "Stadium" style than most 4D movies are. The seats essentially benches with cushions on them. But that doesn't distract from the fun of the movie at all.
If I had one very small critique it's that the volume of the film itself wasn't loud enough. I'm not sure if they just need to kick it up a bit or if it's because the theater is so much bigger and open than other theaters that show these types of films. Either way it made it hard to hear some of the dialogue.
But that's very minor in the grand scheme of things.
Overall I'd put this towards the very top of 4D movies in terms of story, fun and comedy. Some other movies have more effects than this one, and this easily could have just been a 3D movie and I would have enjoyed it just as much. But we all know a simple "3D" movie wouldn't fly in today's theme park marketplace.
All said we'd give the attraction a 4.5 out of 5 on the "Fun Scale" and a 3 out of 5 on the "effects" scale.
Be sure to check out some facts about the attraction below as well as some additional images of the premiere. Make your plans to get out and enjoy this great attraction.
‘The LEGO® Movie™ 4D A New Adventure’ Fact Sheet
“The LEGO® Movie™” was a worldwide blockbuster that delighted kids around the world with the crazy antics of Emmet, Wyldstyle, Unikitty, Benny and MetalBeard. In an all-new theatrical attraction developed exclusively for LEGOLAND® theme parks and LEGOLAND® Discovery Centers, the familiar heroes reunite at the invitation of a shady new character, Risky Business.
What: “The LEGO® Movie™ 4D A New Adventure”
When: Open now at LEGOLAND® California Resort
Where: LEGO Showplace Theater, which recently underwent a transformation in preparation for the new attraction with new door design, movie theater artwork and expanded entrance area
Duration: 12 ½ minutes
Presentation: 3D computer animated film plus “4D” effects such as wind, water and fog
Frequency: Several times a day; consult a park Show Guide for exact times
Capacity: 425 guests per show
Written by: Adam Pava (“The Boxtrolls”) and Rob Schrab (“The Sarah Silverman Program”)
Edited by: Michael D. Black
Music by: Eric Wurst & David Wurst
Creative Consultants: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller and Dan Lin (“The LEGO® Movie™”)
Executive Producers: Jill Wilfert, Keith Malone – LEGO Systems AS
Paul Harvey, Heather Moyer – Merlin Entertainments
Produced by: Joshua Wexler and Leslie Barker Pure Imagination Studios
Directed by: Rob Schrab
Wyldstyle: Elizabeth Banks (“The Hunger Games,” “Pitch Perfect 2”)
MetalBeard: Nick Offerman (“Parks and Recreation,” “Fargo”)
Unikitty: Alison Brie (“Mad Men,” “Community”)
Benny: Charlie Day (“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” “Horrible Bosses”)
Risky Business: Patton Oswalt (“The King of Queens,” “Patton Oswalt: Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time”)
Emmet: A.J. LoCascio (veteran voice actor)
Number of “4D” moments during each showing: 9
Number of LEGO® pieces required to build…
Risky Business: 4
*According to LEGO® Set No. 70807, MetalBeard’s Duel (2014)
For more information, visit www.LEGOLAND.com and www.LEGOLANDDiscoveryCenter.com.
Additional images of the premiere, click to view a larger version of these images.