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News & Rumors

SMALL PARKS & ATTRACTIONS

 

 

 

----    THE LATEST SMALL PARK NEWS    ----
    (11/25/22) Santa's Village Adding Four New Attractions in 2023 (MORE...)
    (11/18/22) Funtown/Splashtown Adding Haunted Hotel Dark Ride (MORE...)
    (11/18/22) Steel Pier Now Adding Two Coasters For 2024 Season (MORE...)
    (11/18/22) Playland PNE - New LSM Lightning Train On Display at IAAPA (MORE...)
    (11/15/22) Playland at the PNE - Zamperla Releases Statement About The Origin Of The New Coaster (MORE...)
    (11/7/22) New Playland PNE Coaster Looks Very Similar to Retired Intamin Coaster From Italy (MORE...)

 

ADVENTURE CITY  (Buena Park, CA)

2023 -  Nothing is known at this point in time... and nothing added for the 2016 - 2022 seasons.

 

ADVENTURE PARK (Maryland)

2023 -  Nothing is known at this point in time... and nothing added for the 2016 - 2022 seasons.

 

ADVENTURE POINTE (Near Houston, TX)

???? - New Park - Under Construction - (9/25/22) The last time I heard anything about the proposed Adventure Pointe theme park under construction just outside Houston was 2019. At the time, the owner of the park had filed a $10 million lawsuit against the contractor and others building the park for them for failing to complete the project. Since mid 2019, the owners of Adventure Point have not posted any updated to their social media pages. Considering they were suffering from financial loss in mid-2019 over failing to finish the park, only for the world to be hit by the pandemic in early 2020, chances are that Adventure Pointe is likely dead in the water.
    That said, would you believe that a decent portion of the small 24-acre park was actually built? Aerial footage (see below) of the site shot in 2020 show that the park’s train loop was completed, complete with a run through an building that had some very pirate looking skull rockwork on the side. Scattered through the property you can see some completed pathways, along with other areas where the pathways were framed up and just waiting to be poured. In addition it looks like about 5 or 6 flat rides were partially and in some cases fully assembled, along with the complete buildout of the park’s main entrance structure.
    But is the project really dead? Strangely enough, Google Map’s StreetView images shot in March 2021 and June of 2022 show that some other themed building structures have been added to the property since the aerial footage was shot in 2020. There is also the matter of the changing colors of the park’s Spider flat ride. In a StreetView image from Jan 2019 you can see the Spider’s cars are Green, in the aerial footage in the video shot in 2020 the Spider’s cars have been painted Blue, and then in the StreetView image from June 2022 the Spider’s cars now appear to be Red and Black.
    So is there life still in Adventure Point after all? Anyone in the area happen to know more?

 
    (9/29/19) It has been awhile since we heard anything about the Adventure Pointe theme park project in Texas. The last we heard about the 35-acre park seemed to indicate that construction had started. While construction did begin, it came to a halt, with some rides even semi-setup on the property and some half-built buildings now standing. The owner of the park, Harvey Slusky, has now filed a lawsuit against his former attorney and the teams of architects and builders who he claimed ‘defrauded him’ and ‘lied to him’, taking his $10 million for their own profits rather than building the park.
 
    (12/13/18) After years of waiting, it looks like construction has finally begun on the Adventure Point theme park project just outside Houston, Texas. According to their Facebook page crews were installing the power to the site back in August and just last week they posted pictures of what looks like the park's main entrance structure and gates being installed. It also looks like a few small rides may have been installed over the summer as well, so maybe we'll see it open in some form in 2019. Anyone know more?

 
    (4/4/17) After not hearing much about this project for the past couple years, BlooLoop reports that at long last Advetnure Pointe has been granted the needed permits to finally start construction on the new theme park. The first permits granted are for the park’s Main Street building and for a Pirate Ship building. Other attractions planned include a mini railroad, go-karts, outdoor ice skating, a pirate ride, boardwalk and an outdoor 1,200 seat performance venue.
    (10/14/16) After not hearing much for the past two years the latest updates about Adventure Pointe posted to their official Facebook page now show off a few images of land clearing now taking place on the site near the Tanger Outlet Mall.
    (10/24/14) Good news for our Texas readers who are longing for one of the new proposed theme parks to begin construction. An official sign promoting that the Adventure Pointe park is “Coming Soon” is now on site. I’m borrowing the photo from their Facebook page, so I hope they don’t mind. On the page they also announce that their list of rides coming to the park is also complete and they hope to kick off a series of announcements about the new rides and park itself very soon.
    (3/10/14) The official website for the proposed new Adventure Pointe theme park in Texas has been updated and has announced the Adventure Pointe Roundhouse in their blog. The Roundhouse is described as a event center dedicated to showcasing how the Slusky family’s historical train collection will be maintained and refurbished. The structure will host banquets, weddings, dancers and more. They also have confirmed that Adventure Pointe will also feature 4,200 SqFt Ice Skating Rink that will be open to the public year round. 
    (12/18/13) More details about the proposed Adventure Pointe theme park coming to the Houston area can be found in a new BlooLoop article about the park. Don’t forget to keep up with things at the park’s official Facebook page as well.
    (12/9/13) A second park project is in the works for the Houston, Texas area called Adventure Pointe. The 25-acre project comes from the family of the man who created Playland Park decades ago and will be located next to the Tanger Outlet Mall on I-45 South. Groundbreaking is slated to happen in Spring 2014 in order for the park to open in 2015.
    (3/18/13) While the Houston, Texas area still lacks a large theme park, the greater area around Houston seems to be flourishing with new ideas for smaller park projects. Back in December we first heard the early rumors of a possible 25-acre mini-park planned to be near the Tanger Outlet Mall near Texas City that would have a tie to the old Playland Park.
    Today a little more information has come out as the city “has confirmed an area physician’s interest in building the park on 25 acres near the Tanger outlet mall, but no plans have been submitted.”  However, a new Facebook page for “Playland Park” has gone live and does outline the details a little more, calling it “Playland Park – Texas City”.  They have named the new park project in honor of Houston’s first real amusement park, Playland Park, and hope to open it by Summer 2015. 
    The park will have a retro-Americana theme to it, and will feature locomotive rides on the refurbished trains that formerly served at the Houston Zoo, but will now make runs around this new 25 acre attraction. The park will also have a Grand Carousel, an Eyerly Monster, Antique Car ride, Tea Cups and a Tilt-a-Whirl to celebrate the classic rides of the past. They will also offer new style attractions such as a “unique roller coaster zip line, an Xtra-ice 'ice' skating rink, and fast though eco-friendly Indy-type electric go-karts.”  There will also be green spaces, a large picnic area, an outdoor amphitheater for concerts and an indoor pavilion to be rented out for corporate events or private functions.
    Good luck to them, I hope this one happens… but it wouldn’t be Playland Park without also offering a wooden coaster as well. Lets hope they include this in the final plans too.

 

ADVENTURELAND (Long Island, NY)

2023 - Nothing is known at this time...

 

ARNOLD’S PARK (Iowa)

2023 - Legend Refurbishment - Planning - (6/5/21) So what’s next for the park? The park’s CEO mentioned they are planning a $1.5 million renovation of the park’s Legend wooden coaster (1930).

 

BAY BEACH (Green Bay, WI)

2023 - NebulaZ - (8/20/22) According to the local news Bay Beach Amusement Park has announced that the next ride the park would like to purchase is a Zamperla NebulaZ ride. According to the article this would be a lightly used and fully refurbished ride from an unknown location built in 2019 that would be purchased directly from Zamperla for $775.000. If the deal is approved, the park hopes to have the new ride installed in Spring 2023.

 

BEECH BEND PARK  (Bowling Green, Kentucky)

icon_STOPPark News - (10/20/22) Beech Bend is a small park that Kentucky that we don’t hear a lot about, but that may change in the near future. According to Screamscape sources the small park may be quietly shopping itself around the potential buyers. Any future deal however may have more to do with the overall property and not the small amusement and waterpark, as Beech Bend is said to sit on a nearly 400 acre piece of property that includes an RV park, as well as a Drag Strip and small Race Track that are home to many events throughout the year.
    More as we find out…

2023 -  Nothing is known at this point in time... and nothing added for the 2017 - 2022 seasons.

 

CALAWAY PARK (Alberta, Canada)

2023 - Nothing is known at this point in time... Nothing added in 2022

 

CAMDEN PARK (WV)

2023 -  Nothing is known at this point in time... and nothing added for the 2017 - 2022 seasons.

 

CASINO PIER (Seaside Heights, NJ)

2023 - Nothing is known at this point in time... Nothing added in 2022

 

CASTLE PARK (California)

2023 -  Nothing is known at this point in time... and nothing added for the 2016 - 2022 seasons.

 

CEDAR VALLEY’S WILD FRONTIER (Michigan)

2023 - Nothing is known at this point in time... Nothing added in 2022

 

CLIFF’S AMUSEMENT PARK (Albuquerque, New Mexico)

2023 - Nothing is known at this point in time... Nothing added in 2022

 

COLUMBUS ZOO (Ohio)

2023 - Nothing is known at this point in time... Nothing added in 2022

 

DELGROSSO’S AMUSEMENT PARK (Pennsylvania)

2023 -  Nothing is known at this point in time... and nothing added for the 2017 - 2022 seasons.

 

DENO’S WONDER WHEEL (New York)

2023 - Nothing is known at this point in time... Nothing added in 2022

 

DIGGERLAND USA (New Jersey)

2023 - Nothing is known at this point in time...

 

DIXIE LANDIN’ & BLUE BAYOU (Baton Rouge, LA)

2023 -  Nothing is known at this point in time... and nothing added for the 2017 - 2022 seasons.

 

DUTCH WONDERLAND (Pennsylvania)
Owned by Palace Entertainment / Parques Reunidos

Park News - (9/29/22) According to the local news Dutch Wonderland will kick off the park’s “Happy Hauntings” Halloween festivities two weeks earlier than usual this year, starting on Oct 30th. The park will also add a new dive show to the event, featuring the royal rivers in AquaStadium for the first time for a special Halloween themed dive show.

2023 - Nothing is known at this point in time... Nothing added in 2022

 

EDAVILLE USA (Carver, MA)

Park News - (8/22/22) The Edaville Railroad Family Theme Park announced that they will reopen from Nov. 10th to January 1st to offer classic Christmas lights, rides, food and more.

2023 -  Nothing is known at this point in time... and nothing added for the 2016 - 2022 seasons.

 

ENCHANTED FOREST (Oregon)

2023 - Nothing is known at this point in time... Nothing added in 2022

 

EVERMORE (Utah)

2023 - Nothing is known at this point in time...

 

FAMILY KINGDOM (Myrtle Beach, SC)

icon_STOPPark News - (10/2/22) For anyone wondering, the Myrtle Beach area took a lot of damage from Hurricane Ian, which resulted in the small Family Kingdom amusement park being flooded by the storm surge. You can see that the entire park is essentially a foot or two under water in the video clip posted below that appears to have been shot from a nearby hotel tower. The park’s online schedule now shows that Family Kingdom is closed entirely until further notice.
    A second video showing off the flooding and damage caused to various sections of Myrtle Beach can also be seen below and includes a look at Family Kingdom at the start as seen from the other end of the park.


 
    (9/24/22) According to the local news Family Kingdom Amusement Park in Myrtle Beach has been sold. The small park was said to be purchased by Bill Prescott, the owner of the Myrtle Beach Sling Shot ride, and some investors. In addition to the MB Sling Shot, Prescott is said to own a few other attractions in the Myrtle Beach area, and is listed as the “agent” for the management group that runs the rides at Broadway at the Beach.
    What isn’t mentioned at all is if the purchase of the Family Kingdom Amusement Park came with the currently closed Splashes Waterpark, which sits on breach-front property across the street from Family Kingdom. Splashes closed sometime in 2020 and remained closed for all of 2021, with only a notice on the website saying that it was “Closed for the Season”. In early 2022 when the Family Kingdom website was updated, any and all mention of the Splashes waterpark was removed entirely.
    My speculation at the time was that the family that owned Family Kingdom may have been looking to sell the small waterpark, as the beach-front site would have fetched an amazing price from any number of potential developers. The pandemic was not early on any theme park, and was especially hard on many of the smaller family owned parks across the nation, so it would only make sense that the owners might have looked into selling the waterpark to keep the main park financially afloat at the time. So now with Family Kingdom itself sold, the fate of the waterpark site is still an unknown.
 
    (1/20/22) Has Family Kingdom decided to retire their Splashes Waterpark along the beachfront? For the 2021 season it was noted that Splashes did not open at all and was simply listed as “Closed for the Season”. With all the stories about staff shortages due to the ongoing COVID pandemic, it wasn’t surprising to see Family Kingdom focus on their main property.
    However if you visit the updated Family Kingdom website right now, it actually no longer mentions the Splashes waterpark at all, as if it doesn’t exist. Considering the waterpark was actually located across the street from the amusement park, right along the beach, I noted last year how the property would likely fetch a pretty penny from any number of developers if Family Kingdom opted to close the waterpark and sell the property.
    While we don’t know exactly what has happened, it does seem possible that the waterpark just might have seen its last days. Anyone know more about what’s going on?

2023 -  Nothing is known at this point in time... and nothing added for the 2015 - 2022 seasons.

 

FUNPLEX MOUNT LAUREL (New Jersey)

2023 - New Hotel - (10/27/21) According to a press release a new dual-brand hotel is now underway at The Funplex in Mount Laurel, NJ. It will be a La Quinta and Hawthorn Suites dual-brand hotel with 125 rooms that should be ready to open by Spring 2023. The addition of a hotel allows for The Funplex to become more of a small resort experience, and I’m told that The Funplex has also secured a new liquor license for the complex, so they can offer adult beverages at the park as well as the hotel when it opens.

 

FUNPLEX MYRTLE BEACH (South Carolina)

2023 - Nothing is known at this point in time... Nothing added in 2022

 

FUNTOWN USA / SPLASHTOWN USA (Saco, Maine)

icon_STOP2023 - Haunted Hotel Dark Ride - (11/18/22) According to this tweet, Funtown / Splashtown will be adding the ‘Haunted Hotel” Dark Ride for the 2023 season, a fun new dark ride from Sally.

 
    (8/6/22) Something new is coming to Funtown/Splashtown in 2023 it seems. A post to their Facebook page mentions a new banner added to The Fun Factory Arcade building that says “Something WICKED FUN is coming HERE in 2023”. The only other hint you might take from this is that the colors and font styles used on the banner do suggest something haunted or creepy themed is on the way. 
    Some kind of haunted house or dark ride would definitely be a fun new addition.

 

GALAXYLAND (Inside the West Edmonton Mall Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)

2023 - Nothing is known at this point in time...

 

GALVESTON ISLAND HISTORIC PLEASURE PIER (Galveston, Texas)

2023 -  Nothing is known at this point in time... and nothing added for the 2013 - 2022 seasons.

 

GILLIAN'S WONDERLAND PIER (Ocean City, NJ)

2023 - Nothing is known at this point in time... Nothing added in 2022

 

GILROY GARDENS (Gilroy, California)

2023 -  Nothing is known at this point in time... and nothing added for the 2015 - 2022 seasons.

 

GLENWOOD CAVERNS (Colorado)

Park News - (4/24/22) At last, following the death of a young rider last year, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park has addressed their future plans for the Haunted Mine Drop attraction. According to a local news report the park says the attraction will be redesigned to include new seatbelts, change the “enclosure”, and reconfigure how guests enter the attraction itself.
    I’m wondering if these changes will mean a possible complete renovation of the ride’s restraint system (which already included a seatbelt) to something possibly more like a traditional drop tower ride system. While the changes have been announced by the park, no timeline as to when the revised attraction could reopen have been announced yet, so it isn't’ known if it will reopen this season or not.

 

2023 - Nothing is known at this point in time... though the Defiance coaster opened a bit late in the 2022 season, so they may not add anything major for this year.

Haunted Mine Drop Accident News -
    (2/5/22) The latest update regarding last year’s death of a young rider at Glenwood Caverns on the Haunted Mine Drop ride is one that has angered the family. According to CourtTV the local District Attorney has reported that no criminal charges will be filed regarding the accidental death. According to the statement from the local D.A., his office “cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt any one person or entity acted with criminal negligence or was criminally reckless beyond a reasonable doubt.”
    In the state’s official accident report however, it was determined that the girl’s death was a result of inadequate training and “multiple operator errors, specifically failure to ensure proper utilization of the passenger restraint system (seat belts), and a lack of understanding and resolution of the Human Machine Interface screen error conditions on the control panel.”
 
    (10/23/21) According to the local news the state of Colorado has now fined Glennwood Caverns $68,000 for violations in relation to the accident on the Haunted Mine Drop attraction. The majority of the fine comes from a violation claiming that the park failed to properly train all the ride operators on the standards and procedures for the attraction, including “not providing adequate training on the Human Machine Interface (HMI) screen and indicator lights.”
    The state will not permit the Haunted Mine Ride to reopen until Glenwood Caverns can show that they have proper training procedures in place that covers all safety requirements and operational procedures for the attraction.
 
    (10/21/21) I’m sure this comes as no surprise to anyone, but the family of the young girl who died on the Haunted Mine Ride at Glenwood Caverns has officially filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the park. The lawsuit will be one to watch however, as in the past the park has been able to avoid judgments against it due to a mandatory waiver guests apparently sign upon entry to the park.
 
    (9/25/21) According to the sad details released from the completed accident report regarding the death of a child on the Haunted Mine Drop ride, this entire accident was preventable and unfortunately, appear to be entirely due to operator error.
    According to the report, the girl fell out of her seat during the ride, because she was sitting on top of the seat belt. Apparently the seat she was in was unoccupied during the previous ride cycle, and the belt was left buckled. This would have normally been prevented if the ride ops had checked her belt before dispatching the ride, but unfortunately they did not check the restraints. Both ride operators were new hires, both having been hired within two months of the incident.
Complicating matters more, apparently the ride knew something wasn't ride anyway, and threw an alarm code to the operators about a problem, but the new ride ops didn't know what it meant, or what to do, and simply "reset the system and launched the ride".
 
    (9/11/21) While Glenwood Caverns is supposed to open today for the first time since the fatal incident on their Haunted Mine Drop ride, very little new information has been released about what exactly happened. To my knowledge, the only new information to come out since then was information that included the name of the 6-year-old girl who passed away (Wongel Estifanos) and the initial pre-autopsy findings that only list the cause of death as “multiple blunt force injuries” without any indication of what actually took place.
 
    (9/8/21) In an update from Glenwood Caverns, due to the ongoing investigation, the park will remain closed through Friday and won’t reopen to guests until Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021.

 
    (9/7/21) A few more details have been released regarding the incident at Glenwood Caverns Park. According to further news reports, it was confirmed that the person who passed away was a 6-year-old girl. This has led some to speculate that perhaps she was not tall enough for the attraction, but as the Haunted Mine Drop has only a 46” height limit, there is a good chance that the height limit was not the problem.
    For those interested in the ride system itself, it was a custom built system for the park from Stan Checketts, that does feature a unique sealt-belt only style restraint system. Keep in mind this is not a car-style seat-belt that can be released by the riders at any moment, it is hard locked into the ride vehicle. Based on pictures of the ride system, I’m assuming that it was based on his Soaring Eagle company’s Daring Drop ride system. You can find a similar, but outdoor, version of this drop ride system in use in two places at the Mountain Monster attraction in Pigeon Forge. In the case there was some kind of failure of the ride system or restraint, it is fairly common for other rides that use the same hardware to be notified and requested to be shut-down while the investigation takes place, such as when the Jersey Devil coaster at Six Flags was shut down after there was an incident with the Stunt Pilot sibling ride at Silverwood. To this end, I discreetly put in a call to the Mountain Monster ride in Pigeon Forge and was told that their rides,  including the drop tower, were all open for business.
    While we still don’t know the exact nature of the incident, it does point us in the possible directions that it could have been purely medical in nature, or that perhaps an object (from the ride, from the theming, or a rock from the cavern itself) may have also struck the girl during the ride cycle, causing injury.
    A new update from CNN has also posted a statement from the coroner’s office that, “Immediately following the incident, Glenwood Caverns employees initiated first aid until paramedics with the Glenwood Springs Fire Department arrived and determined the child had died”. Given that Haunted Drop Tower does 120 feet down into a deep cavern, having immediate access to the child to perform first aid would have been difficult if the restraint system had failed, so I can only surmise by this that the ride system did return her to the load/unload platform at the end of the ride cycle.
    HOWEVER... a new update just sent in has first responder dispatcher audio claiming that “a party fell out of the shaft ride” and that “The party’s at the bottom of the shaft”, which seems to paint a different picture from what we’ve been hearing so far. They also report that a witness told them that the girl was not in her seat when the ride returned to the platform.
    Regardless, our sympathies go out to everyone involved in this horrible tragedy.
 
    (9/6/21) According to a post on the Glenwood Caverns Facebook page the attraction will be closed today and all of Tuesday as well to conduct an investigation after a “fatality” took place on Sunday night involving the park’s Haunted Mine Drop ride. No details have been released yet, but for those who aren’t familiar with the attraction, Haunted Mine Drop is a custom built drop-tower style attraction where the riders actually board the ride vehicle seats at the top of the structure (ground level) and then  it drops down a mine-shaft 120 feet deep into the ground, and then brings you back up again to the surface.

 

IDLEWILD (Pennsylvania)
Parques Reunidos

2023 -  Nothing is known at this point in time... and nothing added for the 2017 - 2022 seasons.

 

JOLLY ROGER (Ocean City, MD)

2023 - Nothing is known at this point in time... Nothing added in 2022

 

JOYLAND AMUSEMENT PARK (Lubbock, TX)

icon_STOPPark News - (10/20/22) Amusement Today has confirmed that Joyland Park in Lubbock will be saved. According to their announcement the longtime owners of Joyland have confirmed that they are selling the property to two local business couples. According to Joyland’s David Dean, “We are so excited that the Evans and Holland families will continue to make Joyland a family-friendly amusement park for years to come”.
    According to the article the Dean family will stay active with the park through the 2023 operating season to ensure a smooth transition to the new owners, Jim and Kai Evans and Darryl and Stephanie Holland. The new owners are said to have experience in preserving and promoting legacy businesses in Lubbock and were excited to be able to save Joyland who has a rich history going back to when it first opened in 1948 as Mackenzie Park Playground.
 
    (10/14/22) It seems there could be hope yet for the future of Joyland Amusement Park in Lubbock, Texas. While the long-time owners of the park announced that this last season was the last for the park, they also said that barring some kind of offer to purchase the property, it would be going up for auction on Oct. 27th. However the other day the planned auction was suddenly canceled.
    According to a local news article, the auction house has confirmed that a private offer had been made to purchase Joyland, which was accepted by the owners. No details have been released yet about who has made the purchase, or what will become of Joyland going forward. More details as we find out.
 
    (9/16/22) While Joyland in Lubbock, Texas has closed for the 2022 season, the park’s owners have sadly announced that unless they can find a buyer to take over the park by the end of the month, Joyland will be going up for auction about a month or so afterwards. Joyland as you know it, is now officially retired after the completion of 50 seasons.
    This isn’t a sudden choice for the owners, as they’ve quietly had the park up for sale to prospective buyers for the past two years, but just haven’t been able to reach a deal with anyone yet. The past couple years have been very challenging for Joyland, which has suffered through not only the pandemic, but flooding, vandalism and labor-shortage issues.

 

KEANSBURG AMUSEMENT PARK (Keansburg, NJ)

2023 -  Nothing is known at this point in time... and nothing added for the 2015 - 2022 seasons.

 

KEMAH BOARDWALK (near Houston, Texas)
Landry’s Restaurants  (SAT MAP)

2023 -  Nothing is known at this point in time... and nothing added for the 2015 - 2022 seasons.

 

LAKE WINNEPESAUKAH  (Chattanooga, TN)

2023 -  Nothing is known at this point in time... and nothing added for the 2019 - 2022 seasons.

 

LAKESIDE AMUSEMENT PARK (Denver, CO)

2023 -  Nothing is known at this point in time... and nothing added for the 2019 - 2022 seasons.

 

MIAMI WILDS (Miami, Florida)

???? - NEW PARK - (10/23/20) After all this time, I’m surprised by this outcome, but it seems Miami-Dade has approved the plans for the Miami Wilds project next to Zoo Miami. The plans include a waterpark, a small hotel and shopping district, along with room for some future expansion plans such as a second hotel down the line.
 
    (10/15/20) According to the local news next week the Miami-Dade County Commission will cast votes on the proposed Miami Wilds water park project. There is quite a bit of opposition to the project now ranging from policial to nature conservationists who claim the site is home to one of the most endangered bat species in the state and this project could cause an extinction. If the project does not get passed for approval, this could likely be the end of the proposal.
 
    (9/12/20) Would you believe that the shelved plans for the “Miami Wilds” project are have resurfaced once again? According to the local news the plans for the theme park project next to Zoo Miami are being pitched once again by a ‘hedge fund manager and team of developers” that would add 200 hotel rooms, 25,000 sqft of retail space, a water park and additional parking lot space to share with Zoo Miami.
    We haven’t heard much about Miami Wilds since it was proposed back in 2013. At the time it was also backed with themeing from 20th Century Fox and would have had a lot of themeing based around the the studios various properties, including a proposed water park themed entirely to the animated Ice Age film series.

 

MODELLAND (Santa Monica, CA)

icon_STOP2022 - NOW OPEN - (10/7/22) Just before the start of the pandemic you may recall that super model Tyra Banks had set a plan in motion to open her own interactive attraction concept in California to be called ModelLand. ModelLand was actually set to open to guests in 2020 before COVID shook the planet, and put any plans to open the new attraction on hold.
    Over the past couple years the concept was revised and refined and according to the reports ModelLand actually did open to guests last month in Santa Monica. Dress up, learn to strike the best poses, walk the runway and enjoyt ModelLand’s eight themed rooms, as well as a taste of Tyra Bank’s own SMiZA ice cream brand frozen delight.
    So has anyone had the opportunity to give ModelLand a try for themselves? I’m curious to hear more about this unique attraction experience. Otherwise, you can check out the official website for details on how to book your own visit.
 
    (1/10/21) Current Status Unknown, has not opened due to COVID-19 Restrictions in California. Check at Official Website for official updates.
 
    (2/28/20) The latest updated on Tyra Banks ModelLand attraction concept now say that it will be ready to open on May 1st and will be located in Santa Monica. You can sign up for more information from the official website which is now preselling tickets starting at $59 for adults and up to $1,495 for a “Fantascene Dream” package. This mega-package includes a photoshoot, a person consultation with fashion and beauty experts, plus a styling and wardrobe change.
 
    (2/17/20) Apparently Tyra Banks was dead serious when she said she wanted to open her own themed attraction to be called ModelLand and they’ve got an official Instagram posting all about it. The idea is that it will be a themed experience where every member of the family can experience what it is like to be a model and include some special shopping and dining experiences as well. According to the posts it will be a “story-driven attraction” showcasing a “fantasy version of the modeling world”, but it is not a theme park, or a museum.
    The plan is to open ModelLand in California sometime later this year.

 

OAK’S PARK (Portland, Orgeon)

2023 - Nothing is known at this point in time...

 

PACIFIC PARK (Santa Monica Pier, CA)

2023 - Nothing is known at this point in time... Nothing added in 2022

 

PALACE PLAYLAND (Maine)

2023 -  Nothing is known at this point in time... and nothing added for the 2019 - 2022 seasons.

 

PHARAOH’S ADVENTURE PARK (California)

2023 -  Nothing is known at this point in time... and nothing added for the 2015 - 2022 seasons.

 

PLAYLAND at the PNE (Vancouver, Canada)

2023 -  Nothing is known at this point in time...

icon_STOP2024 - Zamperla Lightning LSM Coaster - (11/18/22) Attractions magazine has posted a series of images from the IAAPA showfloor from when Zamperla revealed their new Lightning Train car for the first time. I believe this is the prototype for the new train design that will be used on the Lightning LSM coaster going to Playland at the PNE in 2024. According to Zamperla, the train’s restraint system was designed for rider comfort and with the ability to accommodate guests across a wide range of body sizes.

 
    (11/15/22) Screamscape reached out to Zamperla to find out any more details about the possible link between the new PNE coaster project from Zamperla and the former Senzafiato roller coaster from Italy. The following statement was sent to Screamscape from Zamperla.
    “The track was Senzafiato’s before receiving a full refurbishment, the track and columns were initially designed for infinite life. Zamperla engineered and manufactured a new LSM launch system, the cutting-edge Lightning train and new control and electrical systems. All of these improvements will make for an even more thrilling ride, improved uptime and an all-around better ownership experience for Playland at the PNE.”
 
    (11/7/22) Sometimes it’s funny how one rumor leads right into another one, but while mentioning in another story about Zamperla’s rumored involvement in the upgrading of the Dragster coaster at Cedar Point, it also came up that Zamperla was rumored to have bought the closed Senzafiato coaster from a closed park in Italy. Like Dragster, Senzafiato was an Intamin Accelerator launch model ride, and according to the rumor Zamperla was going to update it to use a new LSM launch system, add all new trains, and install it in a new location.
    A reader pointed it out a few hours ago and I’ll be damned if I don’t agree that the layout of Senzafiato looks identical to the new coaster announced for Playland at the PNE in 2024, and it is also exactly 59 feet tall. The main difference is Senzafiato is listed as being 1312 feet long, while the PNE coaster is just slightly shorter at 1245 ft, but with a change in the launch system, along with some potential changes to fit the available footprint at PNE, that could explain some adjustments to the track length if they are the same ride. You can see a POV of Senzafiato below for a comparison.

 
    (11/6/22) A teaser animation from Zamperla shows off what their new LSM Launch coaster project for Playland at the PNE may look like in 2024 when it opens.

 

2024_LightningCoaster_PlaylandPNE-art

    (11/5/22) Zamperla has announced that a new Lightning LSM Coaster will be installed at Playland at PNE in Vancouver in 2024. They will be revealing the Lightning train for this new coaster project at IAAPA Expo Orlando later this month.
    The new coaster will actually be a family launched coaster, reaching a top speed of 72 km/h (45mph) for the run over 1,245 feet of track and hit a maximum height of 59 feet. Look for it to rise over the next 18 months on the site of the park’s former Corkscrew roller coaster.

???? - Future Expansion Plans - (6/27/21) A little bad news for the future re-development of Vancouver’s Playland amusement park. According to the latest reports the planned overhaul and upgrade of the park that was expected to take place over the next decade may be scaled back quite a bit from the previously announced plans. A new report was released saying that the “significant capital investment” required to complete the plans for Playland is now “exceeding the available funding sources.”
    In other words… the project as previously envisioned, is going to cost a lot more than the budget they were planning to spend. They also believe that the multi-phase project would now take longer to complete than they had originally anticipated. As such, the current redevelopment of Playland is now paused in order to revamp and present a new plan in 2022 that would be scaled back.
    While the plans for Playland are now on hold, plans to build a new $70 million covered outdoor amphitheater nearby were approved this week, with construction to begin in 2024 and the venue to open no later than 2026. Follow the link to see several pieces of concept art and layout plans for the paused Playland expansion project.

 

PLAYLAND’S CASTAWAY COVE (Ocean City, NJ)

2023 - Nothing is known at this point in time... Nothing added in 2022

 

SANTA’S VILLAGE AMUSEMENT & WATERPARK (Dundee, Illinois)

icon_STOP2023 - New New Attractions - (11/25/22) In a Facebook post promoting new season passes for 2023, Santa’s Village Amusement & Water Park has confirmed the addition of four new attractictions: Farmers Fling Coaster, Peppermint Twist Water Slide, Pirates Revenge Swinging Ship and Bumper Cars.
    While this should be accurate, the park has also had a history of announcing plans to renovate and open two other used rides in the past few years that have failed to materialize at all. Those plans involved building a new dark ride based on the hardware of the former Escape from Dinosaur Beach dark ride they purchased, and then there was the Yuletide Plunge flume ride plans, that were based on the purchase of the former Log Jammer from Kiddieland.  (See below for those mystery ride entries that are still listed as “Status Unknown”)

???? - New Dark Ride - Planned / Failed To Open / Status Unknown - (11/19/21) In a fun news story, the former Escape from Dinosaur Beach dark ride from the New Jersey Boardwalk has been sitting in storage since 1998. IRM Rides has announced that the ride has now been sold to Santa’s Village Azoosment & Water Park in East Dundee, IL who is planning to open a new version of the ride in time for the 2022 season.
    According to the report Santa’s Village will “provide a new theme for the attraction”, so I’m not sure what, if any aspects of the old attraction’s theming may be repurposed, other than the ride system. Either way, it is exciting to see yet another dark ride announced for the 2022 season, especially one coming to an unexpected location like this, so we wish them well and can’t wait to hear more about it!

???? - Yuletide Plunge - Planned / Status Unknown - (12/1/19) Santa’s Village (Dundee, IL) has announced plans to open Yuletide Plunge, a log flume ride, in time for their 2022 season. The ride hardware was purchased from IRM Rides and is actually the former Log Jammer ride that existed from 1992 to 2009 at the Kiddieland park in Melrose Park, IL. The OD Hopkins flume ride is 1,100 feet long, stands 40 feet tall with a 35 foot drop and able to handle 600 riders per hour. (Click here to see a couple of pictures of the ride just before it was closed down forever.)
 

SANTA’S VILLAGE (Jefferson, HN)

Park News - (8/31/22) The local news has released a few more details about the employee injured at Santa’s Village. According to the report the 51-year-old employee was operating the park’s Poogee Penguins Spin Out Coaster (SBF / Visa Group) when he was somehow struck by the train that knocked him off the platform, falling about 6-8 feet to the ground.
    According to a statement by the Fire Marshal, “There was something that happened that made that operator step out on that platform in a unique way that wouldn’t normally be the case.” Otherwise the ride was running normally and as it should, and was actually loaded with passengers at the time of the incident.
    The nature of the operator’s injuries were not disclosed, they would only say that he was still in the hospital and considered to be in serious condition.
 
    (8/28/22) The local news reports that a 51-year-old employee at Santa’s Village in New Hampshire was injured over the weekend when he apparently fell from a platform at one of the park’s roller coasters. While the article does not name the ride, the park only has two small family size roller coasters, a Zierer Tivoli and an SBF/Visa Group spinning coaster, and neither is what I would consider extremely high off the ground.
    The article does say that the ride was in motion at the time and that he was taken to the hospital with ‘serious injuries’, so I’m hoping he didn’t fall onto the tracks or get struck by the train.

2023 - Nothing is known at this point in time... Nothing added in 2022

 

SEABREEZE (New York)

2023 - Nothing is known at this point in time... Nothing added in 2022

 

SELVA MAGICA (Guadalajara, Mexico)

2023 -  Nothing is known at this point in time... and nothing added for the 2015 - 2022 seasons.

 

STEEL PIER (New Jersey)

icon_STOP2024 - Two New Roller Coasters - (11/18/22) It has been announced that Steel Pier in Atlantic City will be adding two roller coasters from Premier Rides in 2024. The big one will be a Sky Rocket II launched coaster. The second is actually the new small spinning mouse coaster that was originally revealed in artwork in June of 2022 as coming in 2023, but it now looks like has been delayed.


 
    (6/18/22) A new posting from IRM Rides on Facebook shows off a poster for Steel Pier promoting a “New Spinning Coaster” coming for the 2023 season. In addition to a curious “Premier Rides” logo in the lower right corner (who I don’t believe have made a spinning coaster before), it mentions an upcoming contest to name the coaster.
    The previous rumors about Steel Pier retiring their Crazy Mouse coaster were not only true, but they didn't even wait to open it again for the 2022 season. RCDB now lists the Crazy Mouse as being closed for good. One odd thing is throwing me off a little, as the concept art in the posted for the new coaster looks exactly like the now closed Crazy Mouse, just that the old Crazy Mouse logo has been replaced with a new one that says Steel Pier.

 
    (1/27/22) I”m not sure how accurate this is, but I’m told that Steel Pier may be planning on retiring their Crazy Mouse (Reverchon Spinning Mouse) at the end of the 2022 season. If this proves true, look for some kind of new Mouse style coaster to replace it for the 2023 season. In the meantime get your last rides in on the Crazy Mouse while you can, just in case.

 

STORY LAND  (Glen, NH)
Parques Reunidos

2023 -  Nothing is known at this point in time... and nothing added for the 2015 - 2022 seasons.

 

STORYBOOK LAND (New Jersey)

2023 - Cinder Roller Coaster - (8/24/22) A reader who visited Storybook Land in New Jersey noticed work under construction at the park to make way for some kind of new coaster near the front of the park. They think it may be for some kind of new spinning coaster, but if it spins, this is likely a family spinner that will be low to the ground.
    In fact RCDB lists this as the Cinder Roller Coaster, which will be an SBF Visa Group Spinning Coaster / MX609 3 Loops model. It should look similar to the Happy Loops at Energylandia.

 

TRIMPER’S RIDES (Ocean City, Maryland)

2023 -  Nothing is known at this point in time...

 

WESTERN PLAYLAND (Sunland Park, New Mexico)

icon_STOPPark News - (10/30/22) The local news reports that the small Western Playland Amusement Park in the El Paso area has been sold to Traders Village Marketplace. The new owners are known for running three popular flea market sites in Dallas, San Antonio and Houston, each of which also offers a collection of rides for guests to enjoy during their visit.
    The Dallas location actually just opened the Prairie Screamer roller coaster in 2022, a 90ft tall E&F Miler steel rollercoaster, which was bought from Southern California where it was formerly known as the Scandia Screamer, located in an amusement section that goes under the name Prairie Playland.
    So as the new owners point out, Western Playland has 60 acres and 26 rides on site already, Western Playland should merge quite well into the Village Marketplace brand of locations. “Traders Village plans to expand and install more rides, food and drive choices, concerts and other seasonal events” at Western Playland going forward, with the park set to reopen in late February 2023 for the new season.

2023 -  Nothing is known at this point in time...

 

WILD WAVES Theme & Water Park (Seattle-Tacoma, WA)
(Formerly known as Enchanted Village and Wild Waves)
Owned by EPR Properties
Managed by Premier Parks, LLC

2023 - Nothing is known at this point in time... Nothing added in 2022

 

WONDERLAND PARK (Amarillo, TX)

2023 - Nothing is known at this point in time... Nothing added in 2022

 

 

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