Cedar Fair Entertainment
Park News - (10/25/2023) Cedar Fair has changed their mind about offering year-round operations at three of their parks after just switching over to weekend operations during the colder months just last year. This list would include Carowinds, California’s Great America and Kings Dominion.
The official word would seem to be that all three parks failed to attract enough attendance on those new dates, which are mostly weekends in January, February and some of March. However, based on guest reactions from those who did attend on those dates, guests frequently reported encountering those parks with what appeared to be a limited staff, a good number of rides unable to operate (due to a mix of limited staffing or maintenance closures) and a couple of days where the weather was just too iffy and the parks opted to close early for the day.
Of course, all of these reasons were also anticipated to happen when Cedar Fair first announced that these parks would be switching to year-round operations, so I’m not entirely surprised by this move. After all, even in Los Angeles where competitor Six Flags operates Magic Mountain year-round, but only on weekends in the colder months of the year, that park also suffers from many of these same issues, but in an environment that typically offers better weather.
Now if any Cedar Fair park was going to have a good go at it, I’d give the nod to California’s Great America, but the park’s attendance numbers have always been a little limited, and some potential guests may be less likely to visit with a pending permanent closure looming by 2033, limiting the number of new attractions we might see added there. Carowinds stood a chance as well of making it happen, but as I live in the region, the off-season weather can be a little fickle… sunny and warm one day and freezing cold, feeling like snow is about to fall the next. So the success of off-season weekends at Carowinds would definitely be something that varied from year to year. Kings Dominion in Virginia is a bit further North and East from Carowinds, so I’d expect even colder weather with a greater possibility of snow.
So according to the park schedules posted for the months after WinterFest, look for Carowinds to open for the 2024 season on March 9 where it will begin Fri/Sat/Sunday operations, and California’s Great America and Kings Dominion will begin weekend operations two weeks later on March 23rd.
2024 - Nothing is known at this time...
???? - Jungle X-Pedition Phase 2 - Rumor - (7/11/22) While we know that eventually in the next couple of years the plan for Kings Dominion was to replace the former Volcano: The Blast Coaster with the park’s next major roller coaster, but we honestly don’t know when. The addition of Tumbili was sort of a Post-COVID stop-gap measure to buy a little more time for this project by adding a smaller coaster and by creating a little new theming in the form of the Jungle X-Pedition area.
To be honest, having just visited the park myself, the Jungle X-Pedition area actually looks pretty great. Nice theming all around the new Tumbili area, including the transformation of the former Avalanche coaster into Reptilian along with turning the Scrambler into Arachnidia. Along with the new light theming to the restaurants, food stands and the rest of the infrastructure in the area, this area of the park looks pretty good right now and even Anaconda fits the overall theme.
Around the one corner you do have the slight oddity that is the plaza that features both Flight of Fear and Intimidator 305, but I’ll let that one go for now. The one attraction that does sort of stick out like a sore-thumb is the Backlot Stunt Coaster (formerly The Italian Job: Stunt Track). While as a coaster, the ride still works great and is a lot of fun, but the theming has been better days. Currently most of the ride’s once highly-touted special effects are dead and broken.
But would you believe there may be a plan to change all that? According to a new rumor sent in, there may be a “Phase 2” of new theming and additions planned for Jungle X-Pedition to come before the next big coaster project. Our source claims that this could possibly include importing the Berserker (Bayun Kurve) from California’s Great America as a way to bring back Kings Dominion’s lost Mt. Kilimanjaro attraction. Even more exciting however may be a possible plan to revamp the Backlot Stunt Coaster to have new ‘jungle’ appropriate theming, new effects and to retheme the cars to look like off-road jeeps instead.
Just a rumor at this point, but I think it would be great to see more additions brought to fill out this section of the park if any of this ends up happening.
???? - New Large Roller Coaster - (2/28/20) No details known, but the next big coaster is expected to replace the park’s Volcano: The Blast Coaster site, but this wont happen until a couple of years after a smaller coaster is added in 2022 to replace The Crypt.