This week Cedar Fair announced exciting additions and improvements for six of its twelve amusement parks! The 2023 additions mark some of the largest chain-wide investment we’ve seen since Covid-19 put a damper on the amusement industry. We’re excited to see Cedar Fair continue to invest in their parks and look forward to experiencing many of these offerings next year.
All verbiage and images are courtesy of their respective parks unless otherwise noted.
Continue reading “Cedar Fair 2023 Additions and Announcements”
This past summer Alex, Sean, and Sven recorded an episode of Coaster Kings Radio discussing attractions they consider the weakest link at many major theme parks. Inspired by this episode we’ve decided to expand the concept to more parks starting with the Cedar Fair chain. Do note that we’ve decided to exclude kiddie coasters/rides while they might not be the best attractions, they do serve an important role at most parks.
Continue reading “Weakest Links of The Cedar Fair Chain”
Santa Clara’s California’s Great America has a fascinating history: from having some of the coolest prototype coasters ever made, to one of the most impressive coaster lineups, to neglect, and now an impressive glow-up. Let’s see what has become from the park.
Continue reading “California’s Great America – Crown Rating”
Paramount Park’s 13 year foray into the theme park business resulted in a significant number of successes and industry oddities. The application of Paramount theming in existing regional parks gave us two significant B&M Top Gun inverts and the world’s first major linear induction motor launch coaster, Flight of Fear. However their tendency to experiment and take additions in different directions also resulted in a string of failures and disappointments. Kings Dominion opened the late Volcano, The Blast Coaster in 1998, a prototype Intamin inverted catapult coaster that never seemed to run reliably throughout its 20 years at the park, and the ill-fated prototype air launch coaster Hypersonic XLC in 2001. Carowinds opened a Setpoint suspended water coaster in 2000 called Flying Super Saturator which lasted less than 10 years. Canada’s Wonderland still has an odd collection of mid-size coasters for the world’s most popular regional park including 1995’s SLC Top Gun and 2004’s Zamperla flyer Tomb Raider, The Ride. The chain’s flagship, Kings Island, received one of the most notorious failures of them all, 2000’s wooden hyper coaster, Son of Beast. That same year the chain would add a unique prototype to Great America, the world’s first major flying coaster, Stealth.
Continue reading “Lost Coasters of California – Part 9: Stealth”
Last week we focused on Windjammer Surf Racers and how it was a product of Knott’s Berry Farm’s attempt to navigate the space between the family and thrill market. It faced the problem of Magic Mountain dominating the thrill market with major coaster additions, many of which we’ve discussed here, and Disneyland’s hyper detailed themed experiences. Northern California in the late 90s had a far less competitive theme park market. After the construction and runaway success of Tidal Wave in 1977 Marriott’s Great America, eventually Great America in 1985 and then Paramount’s Great America in 1993, had remained consistent with coaster trends. In 1986 they opened the wooden Grizzly, 1991 saw the addition of the B&M standup Vortex, and 1993 saw the addition of the still-beloved B&M invert Top Gun. These consistent additions, despite changes in ownership, resulted in a solid coaster collection any regional park could be proud of.
Continue reading “Lost Coasters of California – Part 8: Invertigo”
As we discussed in the last article on the Whizzer the Marriott’s Great America parks were bold designs that applied many lessons learned at other regional parks. Part of this was a plan and specific plots designated for expansion. In 1977, a year after its opening, the Santa Clara park was the first to receive a major coaster addition, the Tidal Wave.
Continue reading “Lost Coasters of California – Part 3: Tidal Wave”
In Part 1 of this series we explored Corkscrew which left Knott’s Berry farm in 1989 but lives on at Silverwood. Today we look at another steel classic that left the state a year earlier in 1988 and also lives on, albeit in spirit, at a different park.
Continue reading “Lost Coasters of California – Part 2: Whizzer”
It’s been 2 years since our last comprehensive countdown of California coasters, so for 2020 we bring you now a Top 20 for the Golden State. Things in California have changed a LOT in 2 years, and the landscape and hierarchy of its coasters is no exception. Continue reading “Coaster Kings’ California TOP 20 – 2020”
America has a few regions that are “hotspots” for roller coasters, regions with 2 or more parks within a short distance from each other. The most famous include Central Florida, Southern California, and Eastern Pennsylvania. Though long outshined by the plethora of parks surrounding Los Angeles and San Diego, Northern California holds the distinction of being a region with three parks with major thrill roller coasters. The roller coaster landscape of Northern California has changed dramatically just within the past 10 years.
Continue reading “The Evolution of Northern California’s Coaster Landscape”
Sean: The unique collection of Cedar Fair parks are home to some of the world’s greatest and biggest coasters. While all parks are currently closed due to COVID-19, now’s a good time to discuss the company’s best coasters: Continue reading “The 5 Best Cedar Fair Coasters”
Derrion: Wow! In all my years living in Southern California, I finally was able to get to California’s Great America. This was my second Cedar Fair park, behind Knott’s Berry Farm, and I could not have been more blown away! Lets take a look at some of the highlights from my first visit.
Continue reading “California’s Great America Park Update- Mid September 2019”
Alexander: Welcome to our comprehensive countdown of Cedar Fair parks! Before we begin, let’s talk about the two Cedar Fair parks that are not featured on this list, and why:
Continue reading “Cedar Fair Parks – TOP 10”
Sean: Every year we rank the coasters in the state of California – based on how they’re running that year as well as their significance among other coasters in the state –while also taking in account newcomers! This year’s Top 10 features some new additions and some surprise coasters! Continue reading “California Top 10 Coasters – 2018”
McLaren: Typically, people start their day with a cup of coffee to get their energy levels up to an adequate day-starting level. Last week, however, the coffee wasn’t needed until much later in the day as California’s Great America provided an ever more effective way to wake up… RailBlazer. Continue reading “RailBlazer- Now Open at California’s Great America”
Alexander: On the last day of Passholder Preview for Railblazer, Sean and I made the journey to California’s Great America to see what all the fuss is about and to do a general update on the park. Continue reading “California’s Great America Update – June 13, 2018”
Byron: We were invited by California’s Great America to come experience the all-new Backyard Bands and BBQ event this past weekend, and it was an absolute delight. From delicious food to live music, the event provides a unique and relaxing atmosphere that we hope to see return in the future. Below we’ll detail what specifically we liked about it and how it fits into the new identity this park is creating for itself. Continue reading “Backyard Bands and BBQ at California’s Great America”
Byron: California’s Great America opened for the 2018 season this past weekend, and of course, we were in attendance for opening day. It was a pleasure to be back at the park and take an extended look at this changing and growing park. Below we’ll discuss how the rides are running, general park improvements, and of course the phenomenal progress of Railblazer. Continue reading “California’s Great America – Opening Day Report 2018”
Sean + Alexander: Annually we have released a full California Top 50, but we decided to take it down a notch and really focus on what the top 10 best coasters in the state are, and why we think so. This year brought us Patriot, the state’s only major new coaster experience of the year, but every year again we completely find a new ranking appropriate. So sit back, and enjoy our end-of-the-year coverage finishing with The California Top 10 of 2017! Continue reading “The California Top 10 of 2017!”
Sean: WinterFest has returned for a second year and has proven to be fair competition with the rest of the state’s major Holiday events, managing to offer a unique experience while limiting guests to just three of the park’s major coasters. The event offers quality entertainment, awesome lights all around the event, and unique attractions such as ice skating, character meet ‘n greets and faux snow of course! McLaren and I hit up the event, and would love to show off what the event has to offer! Oh and there’s a little RailBlazer construction for you all. Continue reading “WinterFest at California’s Great America – 2017!”