---- UNITED STATES DEVELOPMENT NEWS ----
(10/9/15) Texas Bar Salutes Astroworld With Themed Drinks (MORE...)
(10/8/15) California - New Multimedia Attraction Coming To San Diego Area (MORE...)
(10/7/15) Texas - See ZDT's Switchback From The Air (MORE...)
(10/5/15) California - Wicked Lit Haunt Review (MORE...)
Alabama - (2/5/15) If you recall reading about a proposed 5,000 acre new theme park for Alabama earlier this week, the company behind that bogus sounding sounding announcement made an almost identical announcement for a 5,000 acre massive theme park in Fort Worth, Texas back in May 2013, but nothing came of that announcement either. They promise more information will be coming about both project in the near future, but as someone who has seen many a theme park announcement come and go, these just reek of vaporware for the time being. Maybe their net announcement will change my mind...
(2/2/15) Take this with a huge grain of salt right now, as there appears to be little information about this point, other than the dream to build it, but a Texas based entertainment company claims they are looking into building a new theme park in northwest Alabama that would be called DreamVision Soundscape.
Apparently, the company had previously also mentioned plans to maybe build a park near their HQ in Fort Worth, Texas as well previously, but nothing ever came of that plan either. File this under "wait and see".
Arizona - (4/9/15) According to this tweeted photo, the Wildlife World Zoo in Arizona is apparently getting a new coaster and the track has started to arrive. RCDB lists this coaster as coming from Chance Rides and with a 2016 opening date.
(2/19/15) The Granger Group, a company from Michigan who has developed several senior living care developments as well as health care complexes is now looking to take advantage of the new special tax exemtp district in Williams, Arizona and design a new theme park development for the area. Unfortunately they have never build a theme park before, but they are looking at spending between $300-500 million on the project with the hopes that it will see between 2.5 to 4 million visitors each year. (Editor Note: I think these estimates are a little high, as even on a good year Six Flags Magic Mountain only sees about 2.75 to 3 million guests, though being located to take advantage of the Grand Canyon tourist area can be a big help to this project.)
Few details about the design of the actual park were released, as they are still working on the feasbility study through April, but they do hope to include areas themed to Route 66, the Wild West, Mining and a Navajo Nation themed area. In addition to typical theme park rides, they are also looking into interactive exhibtis, animal exhibits, stunt shows, gold panning, archery, rock climbing, kayaking, ziplines and more. Once the feasibility study is complete, they hope to shop the idea out to experienced theme park operators who can manage and operate the park for them. If all goes well on the fast track, they hope to start construction by Spring 2016.
(1/9/15) While no plans for a new theme park or attraction have been announced, the state of Arizona has cleared the way to make things a little more business friendly for any such project in the future, as long as they are willing to build in the northern community of Williams, who has created a special district on the town's northern edge where the properties would be exempt from property taxes. I guess we'll have to wait and see if anyone bites.
California - (10/8/15) Hollow Studios has been contracted by Visioneering
to help develop media for a large mixed-use project coming to the San Diego area by Fall 2017. The $180 million project has been dubbed, "PromisedLand" and will "strive to immerse visitors with the sights, sounds and tastes of Israel." Hollow Studios will produce the media for two attractions within: "Wings over Israel" a film that will take viewers on a epic fly-ver journey around and through the major sites of the Holy Land and "HIStory Dome", a fast-paced 12-minute journey from the Garden of Eden to new Jerusalem in an immersive dome environment. A few images were sent in with the press release showing off an oveview of PromisedLand, the inside of the HIStory Dome Theater and the Arrival Plaza with a "Wailing Wall".
(10/5/15) Our friends at Scary Horror News have posted a great review for a unique and very intimate Halloween attraction in Southern California called Wicked Lit that takes place inside the grounds of a real cemetery in the LA area. Check it out.
(6/16/15) The Queen Mary's Dark Harbor haunt event has announced that it will "rise" once again from the depths this fall from Oct. 1 to Nov. 1, 2015. Dark Harbor will feature a new maze this year called Lullaby, taking guests on an encounter with Scary Mary who has haunted the Queen Mary ever since she drown in the poolroom in 1952.
In addition Dark Harbor will also show the new Side Show of Freaks and Oddities that will take guests "into the grotesque world of freaks like never before imagined." Other attractions include the Deadrise, Soulmate, B340 mazes, the Voodoo Priestess in the Voodoo Village, The Ringmaster and the Circus maze and much more. Click here for the official website.
According to the PDF proposal for the Return to Aztlan project, the "theme park" seems more like a waterpark project, with slides intended to come off that giant pyramid temple structure as well as a Soaring Eagle Zip Line. Other attractions mentioned include a SkyVenture indoor skydiving experience, train ride, cultural museums, and a "5-D experience" called "The Journey of the Evil Goddess and Sorceress Malinalxochil". One other very interesting thing is when you look at the list of Aztlan's "strategic partners", one major industry player stands out... Schlitterbahn! Yep... looks like Texas' biggest waterpark secret weapon may be smuggled into California as part of this interesting project. We also finally get a good look at the park layout itself, and it does look like the retail will be limited to a small region of the park, about the size of the on-site hotel, with the majority of the project being taken up by this very large waterpark project, full of connecting all the attraction areas with lazy little rivers so you almost never have to leave the water. This this a Schlitterbahn concept called Transportainment. Consider me very intrigued... as Aztlan just got a lot more interesting.
(2/19/15) A new “theme park” of sorts has been proposed for the Indio / Coachella area off I-10 near the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino. With themeing inspired by Aztec and Toltec empires, they are calling it “Return to Aztlan”, the legendary ancestral home of the Mesoamericans. Don’t think of this as your typical massive theme park development, as the site is only 48 acres and in addition to a small theme park area, the site is also to house a 200 foot tall pyramid, a 10,000 person concert site, a 12-screen movie theater, a river walk, hotel, restaurants and ample retail space. Oh… and the developers would like to look into building a functional movie sound stage as well in order to encourage more production work in the area. Soooo… not a lot of room left for a true theme park once you build up all the rest, though I am curious if they plan to put the theme park inside the 200 foot pyramid and make it an indoor park, similar in scope to the Adventuredome at Circus Circus in Las Vegas. There is still a lengthy process to go through to get permission for the project from the city however, but they do already have a tentative 80-year lease agreement for the site however.
Florida - (9/29/15) Over the past few days I've heard about a couple of fantastic independent haunts in Florida outside of the theme park haunts. For starters one popular haunt is The Shallow Grave in Winter Haven, near LEGOLAND Florida, which will open on Friday for their third year. It features two large indoor haunts with "movie quality sets".
Meanwhile you may recall I mentioned the new Vault of Souls in Tampa, and Theme Park University has posted a fantastic review of this haunt experience that about as different from a traditional haunt as you can get. Check it out! I only wish I could have seen it.
(9/28/15) Remember the closed Dania Beach Hurricane wooden coaster off I-95 near Ft. Lauderdale? While the coaster is STILL standing, the local news reports that the developer who now owns the property reports that they will finally tear it down sometime in the first quarter of 2016 to begin work on their new retail project.
(9/17/15) Florida haunt fans may be interested in a new concept opening in Tampa called Vault of Souls in the closed Exchange National Bank building. The attraction is described as an immersive theater event, and Theme Park University interviewed the Creative Director behind Vault of Souls, Scott Swenson, a name Howl-O-Scream fans may recognize as being the former head of Entertainment and Howl-o-Scream at Busch Gardens Tampa.
(5/12/15) A new waterpark project has been proposed for Florida called Lost Lagoon. If they go ahead with it, they are looking at a site in East Manatee along I-75 south of Tampa Bay. Click here to read up on all the details.
(3/9/15) The title of the largest shopping mall in America could move from Minnesota to Florida in the latest plans from Triple 5 are approved. The Canadian developer has announced a plan to open American Dream Miami in north-western Miami-Dade County, a $4 billion / 200-acre entertainment and retail complex concept that would feature an indoor ski slope, waterpark mini-golf, a LEGOLAND Discovery Center, a lake with submarine rides, and more... all at the scale even bigger than the Mall of America.
If the name sounds familiar, it should, because Triple 5 has been working to revive the stalled out Xanadu mall complex in New Jersey for a few years now, and will reopen it as American Dream Meadowlands when it finally opens in late 2016. The New Jersey project is also supposed to feature many similar attraction concepts to the new Miami proposal.
While a project of this size would be daunting for most developers, Triple 5 actually has the most experience of anyone to pull these things off, having built the massive West Edmonton Mall in Canada as well as the Mall of America itself in Minneapolis. For now, they just have to get the go ahead from the local politicians.
(1/17/15) If the proposal for the Fox themed Miami Wilds theme park plan didn't have enough obstacles in front of it, now the environmentalists have gotten into the act. It seems a group believes the plot of “pine rocklands” intended for the theme park as well as a new Walmart store, apartments and more nearby is home to some rare plant life, so they will protest any development of this property. The developers say the description of the property is not accurate, and that it has been used for various purposes over the years including military testing, medical research, incinerators, blimp bays, animal storage as well as home to previous commercial building properties.
(11/11/14) The Miami-Dade County Commissioners approved the $13.5 million grant money the developers behind the Fox Miami Wilds theme park concept requested to move forward with the park’s development.
Georgia - (7/14/15) According to the local news, the owners of the Skyview Atlanta wheel are hoping to build a new drop-tower ridecalled Skyfall Atlanta in time to open for Summer 2016.
(3/2/15) It isn't a secret that here at Screamscape, I love a good haunted house! With that in mind, an interesting new haunt is trying to start up in the Metro Atlanta Area called The Honey Shack Haunted House and they have launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund their efforts. If your a fellow haunt lover who would like to see another haunt open in the area this Fall, check them out!
(6/6/14) I don’t know much about this, but it seems a new development is moving forward in Jasper, Georgia to build Port Royal, a $145 million Waterpark Resort & Conference Center. Themed after the city of Port Royal in Jamaica, the resort will have a tropical Caribbean theme.
The 176-acre resort will feature 400 hotel rooms, a day-spa, restaurants, a sport bar, conference center, 16,000 seat amphitheater and both indoor and outdoor waterparks. They are planning to break ground before the end of 2014 and open sometime in 2016.
It sounds great, though my biggest concern would be the location, and only because I’ve never heard of Jasper, GA. I admit, I’m not familiar with the ins and outs of Georgia, with my primary experience being driving in and out of Atlanta a few times, or passing through along I-95, so forgive me if I’m out of touch with this particular area of the state. Jasper is located an hours drive to the north of Atlanta, but not along the busy I-75 freeway, but instead lies to the east in what appears to be a less populated area. Given the location, it is still close enough for the local Atlanta market to make the drive and stay for the weekend, so they do have access to a vast market of locals who can drop in.
On another note… not too far away in Emerson, GA the local residents have been complaining for some time about the proposed PolerCoaster project announced for the LakePoint Sporting Community. The residents who were behind the LakePoint sports park project at first because it also was supposed to have a waterpark, which was later replaced by the proposed 250 foot PolerCoaster. Apparently the proposed PolerCoaster for LakePoint has been cancelled, because there is no longer any mention of the project on the official LakePoint website. In fact if you look at the list of what’s coming soon to the site, not only is there no mention of a PolerCoaster at all, but instead they are not working on a waterpark once again, along with ropes course, zip lines, mountain bike trails, a movie theater, bowling alley and more to go along with the rest of the huge and impressive sports complex.
Illinois - (6/25/15) The wheel at the end of Chicago's famous Navy Pier will be taken down this fall and replaced by a much taller wheel with enclosed temperature-controlled cars that will open in 2016. The new wheel will stand 196 feet tall, almost 50 feet taller than the current one.
Indiana - (8/4/15) The unique Skyline aerial tram ride at the Indianapolis Zoo has had quite a troublesome run since it opened last year. It first shut down with and was forced to evacuate guests in October 2014. That incident saw the ride closed for months of inspections and repairs until finally reopening last month... only to break down once again with guests on-board on July 30th. According to the zoo, the Skyline ride will remain closed until further notice while they determine what the issue is and are sure that it "has been identified and fixed".
Kentucky - (6/17/15) Construction on the controversial Ark Encounter project is Kentucky is said to be under way now. How far along are they? Apparently, they’ve just started, but that hasn’t stopped them from setting up a nearby building where they are trying to lure in tourists to view the construction site for $20 per vehicle.
Michigan - (8/11/15) The Detroit area will be getting a coaster in 2016 at the C.J. Barrymore's Family Entertainment Center. The $5 million expansion plan will see a small coaster with a single loop added (looks like a carnival style Pinfari), a drop tower, zip line, and an elevated go-kart track and more.
Missouri - (6/8/15) Coaster fans! If you find yourself near Independence, Missouri, you might want to check out this new one-of-a-king museum that will be right up your alley. It's called The Roller Coaster Model Museum and it features both working and static scale model roller coasters, historic memorabilia and much more. The new museum just opened on May 23rd and the Museum Director (Randal Strong-Wallace) is actually a long time Screamscape reader as well, so drop in and say hi! Visit the official website to read all the details, hours and directions.
New Jersey - (7/24/15) According to the local news an 81,000 sqft indoor waterpark project was approved in Atlantic City, along with a second 27,000 indoor waterpark that will be part of a new casino/resort project to replace the closed Atlantic Club casino.
(5/29/15) According to this article, the developer of the Skyplex / Skyscraper (Polercoaster) project in Orlando, FL is also looking at building a smaller copy of the tower/coaster ride concept in Atlantic City, NJ on the site of the former Sands Casino. Of course, I think they need to actually need to start and finish the Orlando version before they dream about making copies elsewhere, but that’s just me...
New York - (6/25/15) Great news for our friends at Ride Entertainment this week. The Ride Entertainment Operations Division was awarded the operating contract for the Pier 62 Carousel located at Hudson River Park in Manhattan, New York. The carousel features 33 unique looking creatures (sea horses, a fox, a deer, and even a Unicorn) and 1 chariot.
(5/23/15) Coaster fans... are you feeling trapped in New York City? If you live in NYC and love theme parks... you know the problems you face, especially if you don't have access to a car. While you live in one of the world's biggest cities, it also strangely is lacking in having a large local amusement park within close range, other than the small Luna Park at Coney Island.
One of our readers is involved with a big solution for all your coaster riding needs. They call it The Coaster Bus and they offer "ready-to-go day trip packages from New York City to area amusement parks. Included in each package are round-trip, luxury transportation, entry to the park, an in-park lunch, and snacks for the bus rides."
Currently they have trips scheduled to visit Six Flags Great Adventure, Lake Compounce, Dorney Park before now at the end of June, with more scheduled trips to come. They also appear to offer "Bus Only" package options for those with season passes to the parks. Check out the official website for the latest information - www.TheCoasterBus.com
Ohio - (9/18/15) So what does the abandoned Geauga Lake amusement park site look like today after being closed for 8 years? A great quality drone-cam fly-over video was posted recently to YouTube and you can really see how the years have taken a toll on the remaining structures on the property, along with a great view of the Big Dipper coaster which is still standing.
Pennsylvania - (10/9/15) The latest Behind the Screams of ScareHouse video has been posted. Check it out below!
(9/17/15) Today we get a first peek at the “Trick ‘r Treat: Hallowed Grounds” haunted attraction coming to ScareHouse.
(9/16/15) Our friends at ScareHouse have some special fun in store for the fans this year with the release of some new secrets they've been hiding. They've been working with Michael Dougherty, Weta Workshop and Legendary Pictures on a new haunted attraction based on the upcoming film, Krampus. They will also preview a new attraction themed around the film Trick 'r Treat as part of the same partnership. Admission this year will get you into both of those attraction as well as the return of "The Summoning", which will feature new scenes this year. A teaser for The Summoning is below, along with the trailer for the Krampus film.
(9/3/15) Another teaser about what's in The Basement at ScareHouse has been released this week. Check it out below.
(8/31/15) Our good friends at the ScareHouse have sent out a couple of new preview teasers ahead of their big announcement. All I know so far that that ScareHouse is expected to premier two new haunts this year, as well as a new theme for The Basement experience. Check out the teasers below, especially the second one showing off an old VHS tape found in The Basement of the ScareHouse.
South Carolina - (8/26/15) A staff member fell 25 feet from a small carnival coaster at North Myrtle Beach on Monday night. Seems the supervisor had gone to help another employee when the a car on the coaster stalled, and the employee on site decided to climb up and try to free it when he fell. He is currently receiving medical attention.
(12/19/14) The local news reports that local big developers, Burroughs & Chapin have plans to perform refurbishments to their Broadway at the Beach entertainment and retail mall in 2015, as well as a refurbishment to Barefoot Landing. The exact nature of these plans wont be released until sometime next year.
Tennessee - (3/20/15) It sounds like a proposal to build a waterpark next to the Gaylord Opryland resort in Nashville is under consideration again. A guest survey was sent out to get feedback on the proposal for what they are calling an "UPSALE WATERPARK COMPLEX" that will be connected to the hotel and only open for resort guests on a 3-4 acre site. The project is described as being open year-round and would include a series of water slides, a lazy river, wave pool, splash pads and a water coaster as well as more peaceful adult only pools and seating areas.
Texas - (10/9/15) Most Texan theme park fans will remember visiting Six Flags Astroworld over the years before it was demolished in late 2005. Now a local Houston bar named Moving Sidewalk has created a new drink menu with beverage creations all named after rides and attractions from the closed theme park. Care for an XLR8? Tidal Wave? Dungeon Drop? Ultra Twister? There are at least a dozen creations on the menu. Take a look here.
(10/7/15) Switchback sure looks like one crazy compact coaster and now All American Thrills has posted a new video of aerial drone-cam footage showing off the ride in action from an all new angle. Check it out.
(10/5/15) A great front row POV video of Switchback can be found posted to Facebook.
(10/3/15) ZDT opened their new Switchback wooden shuttle coaster for a little preview for a tour and preview ride and based on the review posted here, it flat out blew them away and looks amazingly intense for such a small ride. Check it out!
(7/15/15) ZDT’s Amusement Park announced this week that their new wooden coaster opening next year may be small, but it will set a new world record for having the “steepest incline” on a wooden coaster at 87º as the coaster hits the “Grand Spike” at the end of the ride, before the train begins to fall backwards. (Note: The track itself will rise up to 90º (vertical) on the spike, but the best guess is that the train will only get up to 87º before rolling back.)
It’s too early to set an exact date for the ride to open just yet, but they are looking at possibly having it ready in time for Labor Day Weekend.
(6/29/15) According to the latest photo update on CoasterChitChat, the ZDT Switchback coaster will not be open this summer... though they are hoping to get it open to the public sometime before the end of the year if possible. Just take a look at the photos and you will see they are making great progress on this coaster, which has some awesome looking and very twisted track sections already in place.
(11/19/14) The Gravity Group has confirmed Screamscape’s rumor that a new wooden shuttle coaster will be coming to ZDT’s Amusement Park in 2015. They are calling it the Swithcback and you can see a video of this amazing new compact layout in action below. Note: while the animation doesn’t show how the ride ends, the straight piece of track after the first drop will likely bring the train to a stop on the return journey and turn into a switch-track, sending the train back into the station.
The themed Timberliner train for the for the new ride was also shown off at IAAPA a few hours ago, themed as a black locomotive, which you can see posted in a video from our friends at In The Loop were also on-hand to interview Gravity Group and the owners of ZDT about the new Switchback.
Utah - (5/13/15) According to the local news, the creators of Evermore are putting the Evermore project on hold while they are dealing with financial and property use issues, and instead they are now pushing their latest concept which we mentioned last week... The Void.
(5/7/15) An amazing bit of technology and some serious dreams are trying to build a new kind of virtual theme park experience in Utah that could open in 2016 called The Void. The plan is to have guests put on VR headgear while wearing special vest and gloves that will provide both some form of tactical feedback as well as allow the players to interact with the virtual objects in the environment. Meanwhile the actual real-world park they are in will feature a range of special environments, the kind of "4D" effects common to theme parks and other complex hardware to help sell the story, such as physical stages, motion simulators or game pods.
While visiting the official website I also noticed one more interesting item... that Evermore is listed as a partner. Yep, looks like the same Evermore... as in the Evermore Adventure Park project also set for Utah, which you can read about in previous articles below.