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Rides
Art Attack

From artistic endeavours to creations inspired by nature’s fiercest predators, we take a look at some of the major ride openings happening at visitor attractions worldwide

Kaleidoscape Elitch Gardens Denver, Colorado, US
Meow Wolf
Kaleidoscape has a psychedelic vibe with bright patterns and quirky sculptures inspired by Denver’s vibrant arts scene

Created as a precursor to a blockbuster art exhibition taking place in Denver in 2020, Elitch Gardens’ newest attraction has been created by art collective Meow Wolf and built in a former interactive shooter dark ride, where art is replacing guns.

Originally created in 1999 by Sally Corp, the dark ride started its life as Ghost Blasters – a journey through a themed haunted manor where riders competed with laser guns to get the high score, shooting targets as they travelled through.

In 2008 the ride was refurbished, reopening as Ghost Blasters II. Meow Wolf’s version becomes its third iteration.

Called Kaleidoscape, the reimagined ride opened to the public on 20 April, turning the ageing attraction into a series of mind-bending landscapes.

The installation takes passengers on an interactive, artist-driven voyage "from minimal to maximal and back again". The ride experience says Meow Wolf, "takes a tiny point of light on its journey to becoming a planet-sized hyper being".

Meow Wolf’s team, led by co-founders Emily Montoya and Matt King, took charge of the project, with seven Denver artists – Frankie Toan, Laleh Mehran, Kenzie Sitterud, Chris Coleman, Michael Ortiz, Brick Suede and Katie Caron – contributing.

Jenny Weinbloom acted as executive producer of Kaleidoscape and is also overseeing the upcoming 2020 exhibition.

"Elitch Gardens were ready to do something different with the space," she told The Denver Post. "What made it feel like such a great fit is that we’re best at working with salvaged materials, so when we inherited the facility there were all kinds of crazy items to use in creative ways".

"The ride is filled with unique art scenes," says Lori Kaupp, Elitch Gardens’ director of operations. "Our visitors want to ride it over and over again to see everything that is Kaleidoscape."

Meow Wolf has repurposed Elitch’s 20-year-old Ghost Blasters II dark ride to create the one-of-a-kind experience
Yukon Striker Canada’s Wonderland Vaughan, Ontario, Canada
Bolliger & Mabillard

Yukon Striker is the world’s tallest, fastest and longest dive coaster.

Opened on 3 May, the coaster is the centrepiece of the park’s Frontier Canada area and themed to the Klondike Goldrush, Yukon Striker was designed by Bolliger & Mabillard. It stand at 75m (245ft) and reaches speeds of up to 80mph (130kmph) over a 1,105m (3,625ft) track. Yukon Striker also features floorless trains and in a first for any dive coaster – a 360-degree loop – as well as having the most inversions on a dive coaster, at four.

"Yukon Striker soars through four inversions in the newly themed area Frontier Canada," says Norm Pirtovshek, Canada’s Wonderland general manager.

"At its summit, you’ll stare directly down 245 feet at 90 degrees into an underwater tunnel for three seconds before dropping."

Yukon Striker becomes Canada’s Wonderland’s seventeenth rollercoaster, tieing it with Cedar Point and only topped by Six Flags Magic Mountain, which boasts 19 rollercoasters in its portfolio.

Part of a new land themed on Canada’s Klondike Goldrush, Yukon Striker claims several world records and is now one of the world’s premier rollercoaster experiences
Colossos: Kampf der Giganten Heide Park Soltau, Germany
INTAMIN & Merlin Magic Making

Originally opened in April 2001, Heide Park’s Colossos ride has undergone a major refurbishment and retheming to the cost of €12m (US$13.4m) for 2019.

The ride, which is both the tallest and the fastest wooden rollercoaster in Europe, was forced to close in July 2016, after inspections revealed significant problems with the track. On 19 April 2019, nearly three years on from its closure, it reopened with essential repairs carried out and a major retheming of the ride undertaken by the park.

Renamed Colossos: Kampf der Giganten, the reimagined ride follows the story of a tree monster which had been trapped beneath the old ride, but following the works it has broken free and taken over.

Colossos now incorporates a range of special effects to immerse riders in the experience, including new lighting, audio and dramatic fire effects.

Unlike a traditional wooden coaster, the Intamin-designed ride’s track was originally laser-cut in a factory, with sections of track designed to fit together like puzzle pieces.

This cut costs and sped up construction. The ride reaches heights of up to 50m (164ft), with a max drop of 48.5m (159ft). The track stretches 1,344m (4,409ft), and reaches speeds of up to 68mph (110kmph) on its journey.

Merlin’s Magic Making team was behind the redesign, with MK Themed Attractions carrying out some of the work. The retheming is similar to another Merlin attraction – Alton Towers’ Wicker Man – which was the first wooden rollercoaster to incorporate fire into its design.

Alton Towers’ Wicker Man
Tigris Busch Gardens Tampa Tampa, Florida, US
PREMIER RIDES
Tigris is the ninth rollercoaster at Busch Gardens

Florida’s tallest launch coaster, Tigris, has now opened at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, boasting a 45.7m (150ft) skyward surge and an inverted heartline roll, getting riders up to speeds of more than 60mph (97kmph).

Opened on 19 April, the steel launch coaster is the ninth roller coaster at Busch Gardens, and has been designed to mimic the agility of a tiger, running through a series of looping twists with both forward and backward motion.

Tigris sits in the Stanleyville area of Busch Gardens, adjacent to Jungala, which is home to the theme park’s endangered Bengal tigers. The ride’s queue is lined with educational material about the plight of wild tigers and the action conservationists are taking to protect them – part of a larger initiative by Busch Gardens’ parent company, SeaWorld Entertainment, to create ‘experiences that matter’.

"This ride is unlike anything we have in our rollercoaster collection," says Stewart Clark, president and general manager of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.

"Tigris is a testament to our continuing investment in the park, and to bringing new and innovative experiences to our guests."

Copperhead Strike Carowinds Charlotte, North Carolina, US
MACK RIDES
Copperhead Strike simulates the harrowing chase of getaway cars racing through rolling farmland

Debuted as the anchor attraction for Carowind’s new Blue Ridge Junction area, Copperhead Strike is the Carolinas’ first double-launch coaster, going from 0 to 68kmph (42mph) in just 2.5 seconds.

Custom-designed by Mack Rides for Carowinds, the new coaster – the first major rollercoaster to arrive at the park since Fury 325 in 2015 – pulls out a series of fast, tight, close-to-the-ground manoeuvres, including five inversions.

The ride is themed after a visit to ‘Old Granny Byrd’s farmhouse’.

According to the story, Granny has been making jam for more than 40 years, but her farm is filled with signs warning trespassers to leave and watch out for snakes. As it begins, riders happen upon a moonshine still in Granny’s shed and flee when she comes after them.

The addition is the 14th rollercoaster to come to Carowinds, with only four theme parks in the world now having more.

Blue Ridge Junction is a new immersive area inspired by nature and culture of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the eastern US.

In addition to Copperhead Strike, the area also features the new Blue Ridge Country Kitchen restaurant and the Mountain Gliders family ride.

"Each year we’ve added events and attractions for guests of all ages, and this year represents our biggest investment to date," says Pat Jones, Carowinds’ vice president and general manager. "We’re excited to bring all these experiences to Blue Ridge Junction."

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Jobs . News . Products . Magazine
Rides
Art Attack

From artistic endeavours to creations inspired by nature’s fiercest predators, we take a look at some of the major ride openings happening at visitor attractions worldwide

Kaleidoscape Elitch Gardens Denver, Colorado, US
Meow Wolf
Kaleidoscape has a psychedelic vibe with bright patterns and quirky sculptures inspired by Denver’s vibrant arts scene

Created as a precursor to a blockbuster art exhibition taking place in Denver in 2020, Elitch Gardens’ newest attraction has been created by art collective Meow Wolf and built in a former interactive shooter dark ride, where art is replacing guns.

Originally created in 1999 by Sally Corp, the dark ride started its life as Ghost Blasters – a journey through a themed haunted manor where riders competed with laser guns to get the high score, shooting targets as they travelled through.

In 2008 the ride was refurbished, reopening as Ghost Blasters II. Meow Wolf’s version becomes its third iteration.

Called Kaleidoscape, the reimagined ride opened to the public on 20 April, turning the ageing attraction into a series of mind-bending landscapes.

The installation takes passengers on an interactive, artist-driven voyage "from minimal to maximal and back again". The ride experience says Meow Wolf, "takes a tiny point of light on its journey to becoming a planet-sized hyper being".

Meow Wolf’s team, led by co-founders Emily Montoya and Matt King, took charge of the project, with seven Denver artists – Frankie Toan, Laleh Mehran, Kenzie Sitterud, Chris Coleman, Michael Ortiz, Brick Suede and Katie Caron – contributing.

Jenny Weinbloom acted as executive producer of Kaleidoscape and is also overseeing the upcoming 2020 exhibition.

"Elitch Gardens were ready to do something different with the space," she told The Denver Post. "What made it feel like such a great fit is that we’re best at working with salvaged materials, so when we inherited the facility there were all kinds of crazy items to use in creative ways".

"The ride is filled with unique art scenes," says Lori Kaupp, Elitch Gardens’ director of operations. "Our visitors want to ride it over and over again to see everything that is Kaleidoscape."

Meow Wolf has repurposed Elitch’s 20-year-old Ghost Blasters II dark ride to create the one-of-a-kind experience
Yukon Striker Canada’s Wonderland Vaughan, Ontario, Canada
Bolliger & Mabillard

Yukon Striker is the world’s tallest, fastest and longest dive coaster.

Opened on 3 May, the coaster is the centrepiece of the park’s Frontier Canada area and themed to the Klondike Goldrush, Yukon Striker was designed by Bolliger & Mabillard. It stand at 75m (245ft) and reaches speeds of up to 80mph (130kmph) over a 1,105m (3,625ft) track. Yukon Striker also features floorless trains and in a first for any dive coaster – a 360-degree loop – as well as having the most inversions on a dive coaster, at four.

"Yukon Striker soars through four inversions in the newly themed area Frontier Canada," says Norm Pirtovshek, Canada’s Wonderland general manager.

"At its summit, you’ll stare directly down 245 feet at 90 degrees into an underwater tunnel for three seconds before dropping."

Yukon Striker becomes Canada’s Wonderland’s seventeenth rollercoaster, tieing it with Cedar Point and only topped by Six Flags Magic Mountain, which boasts 19 rollercoasters in its portfolio.

Part of a new land themed on Canada’s Klondike Goldrush, Yukon Striker claims several world records and is now one of the world’s premier rollercoaster experiences
Colossos: Kampf der Giganten Heide Park Soltau, Germany
INTAMIN & Merlin Magic Making

Originally opened in April 2001, Heide Park’s Colossos ride has undergone a major refurbishment and retheming to the cost of €12m (US$13.4m) for 2019.

The ride, which is both the tallest and the fastest wooden rollercoaster in Europe, was forced to close in July 2016, after inspections revealed significant problems with the track. On 19 April 2019, nearly three years on from its closure, it reopened with essential repairs carried out and a major retheming of the ride undertaken by the park.

Renamed Colossos: Kampf der Giganten, the reimagined ride follows the story of a tree monster which had been trapped beneath the old ride, but following the works it has broken free and taken over.

Colossos now incorporates a range of special effects to immerse riders in the experience, including new lighting, audio and dramatic fire effects.

Unlike a traditional wooden coaster, the Intamin-designed ride’s track was originally laser-cut in a factory, with sections of track designed to fit together like puzzle pieces.

This cut costs and sped up construction. The ride reaches heights of up to 50m (164ft), with a max drop of 48.5m (159ft). The track stretches 1,344m (4,409ft), and reaches speeds of up to 68mph (110kmph) on its journey.

Merlin’s Magic Making team was behind the redesign, with MK Themed Attractions carrying out some of the work. The retheming is similar to another Merlin attraction – Alton Towers’ Wicker Man – which was the first wooden rollercoaster to incorporate fire into its design.

Alton Towers’ Wicker Man
Tigris Busch Gardens Tampa Tampa, Florida, US
PREMIER RIDES
Tigris is the ninth rollercoaster at Busch Gardens

Florida’s tallest launch coaster, Tigris, has now opened at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, boasting a 45.7m (150ft) skyward surge and an inverted heartline roll, getting riders up to speeds of more than 60mph (97kmph).

Opened on 19 April, the steel launch coaster is the ninth roller coaster at Busch Gardens, and has been designed to mimic the agility of a tiger, running through a series of looping twists with both forward and backward motion.

Tigris sits in the Stanleyville area of Busch Gardens, adjacent to Jungala, which is home to the theme park’s endangered Bengal tigers. The ride’s queue is lined with educational material about the plight of wild tigers and the action conservationists are taking to protect them – part of a larger initiative by Busch Gardens’ parent company, SeaWorld Entertainment, to create ‘experiences that matter’.

"This ride is unlike anything we have in our rollercoaster collection," says Stewart Clark, president and general manager of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.

"Tigris is a testament to our continuing investment in the park, and to bringing new and innovative experiences to our guests."

Copperhead Strike Carowinds Charlotte, North Carolina, US
MACK RIDES
Copperhead Strike simulates the harrowing chase of getaway cars racing through rolling farmland

Debuted as the anchor attraction for Carowind’s new Blue Ridge Junction area, Copperhead Strike is the Carolinas’ first double-launch coaster, going from 0 to 68kmph (42mph) in just 2.5 seconds.

Custom-designed by Mack Rides for Carowinds, the new coaster – the first major rollercoaster to arrive at the park since Fury 325 in 2015 – pulls out a series of fast, tight, close-to-the-ground manoeuvres, including five inversions.

The ride is themed after a visit to ‘Old Granny Byrd’s farmhouse’.

According to the story, Granny has been making jam for more than 40 years, but her farm is filled with signs warning trespassers to leave and watch out for snakes. As it begins, riders happen upon a moonshine still in Granny’s shed and flee when she comes after them.

The addition is the 14th rollercoaster to come to Carowinds, with only four theme parks in the world now having more.

Blue Ridge Junction is a new immersive area inspired by nature and culture of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the eastern US.

In addition to Copperhead Strike, the area also features the new Blue Ridge Country Kitchen restaurant and the Mountain Gliders family ride.

"Each year we’ve added events and attractions for guests of all ages, and this year represents our biggest investment to date," says Pat Jones, Carowinds’ vice president and general manager. "We’re excited to bring all these experiences to Blue Ridge Junction."

 


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