Chang, Kentucky Kingdom’s former star attraction
Photo by Jeremy Thompson
Ed Hart is at it again. Kentucky Kingdom, Kentucky’s largest amusement park and former Six Flags property, is on track for a 2014 opening if things continue to go as planned.
The Kentucky State Fair Board approved a lease agreement with Ed Hart unanimously, giving Hart’s Kentucky Kingdom Redevelopment Corp. a 50-year lease on the state-owned land and control of 61 acres, 57 of which have been developed. Tax incentives, a portion of the parking income and incentives from the local convention and visitors bureau round out the deal finalized today.
Hart’s group now has 90 days to secure the $45 million in funding, all of which must be invested by the end of the 2017 season. After that, the group is committed to investing $1 to $2.5 million each season in the park, and all improvements will become the property of the Fair Board.
In Hart’s 53-page proposal, he plans on restoring many of the existing rides, with the exception of Greezed Lightnin’, a Schwarzkopf launch loop coaster. Some of the removed rides will be replaced with rides of equal or greater value, with the park’s star new coaster to replace Change being introduced in 2015.
The lease will become effective once all parties sign it, which should be no later than Monday. Hart’s group hopes to have the park open by May 10, 2014.
Photo by Jon Roost
Carowinds has begun work on an expanded special events facility sitting next to Intimidator. Called “The Grove”, it will be able to handle up to 15,000 people every day and offer facilities to handle everything from company outings to family reunions to school field trips. An expanded catering kitchen facility will be able to handle up to 3,000 meals an hour, offering an expanded menu.
Sister park Valleyfair also announced an expanded special events facility for 2013.
The Grove will feature six different outdoor venues, named after the trees found in the Carolinas: Cedar, Oak, Maple, Magnolia, Palmetto and Dogwood. An enclosed and air-conditioned Rose room will play host to more upscale events and offer the ability to do audio and video presentations.
Carowinds previously announced Dinosaurs Alive, a new walkthrough dinosaur attraction found at many of the Cedar Fair parks, for 2013.
Silverwood’s new thrill ride
Photo by Silverwood
If you’re familiar with out-of-the-way theme parks, Silverwood is definitely on your radar. Home to the original Corkscrew coaster, two great woodies and the giant inverted boomerang Aftershock, the park is spending $2.2 million on two new attractions for 2013, one for the thrill seekers and one for families.
The first ride is a creation from VISA International, an Italian manufacturer, which is similar to a giant frisbee attraction. 24 riders at a time will face outwards and experience 3.5 g’s as they swing back and forth up to 104 feet, all while spinning. The ride will sit next to the Timber Terror roller coaster, and cost $2 million to install.
Barnstormer at Silverwood
Photo by Silverwood
The park’s second new ride is called the Barnstormer, and is a biplane-themed ride that will be located in Garfield Summer Camp. It will take 20 riders in a circle, and cost $200,000 to install. The ride is manufactured by Zamperla. Both new rides are expected to open with the park in May.
They’re on their way! The twin 100-foot keyhole towers will provide two near-miss elements during GateKeeper’s zero-g roll inversion. After being fabricated outside of Cincinnati Ohio, they’re now on their way to the park this week.
GateKeeper at Cedar Point’s keyhole towers are headed to the park this week
Photo by Cedar Point
The keyhole towers will be delivered Tuesday and Thursday, and will play a major part in the park’s new main entrance complex. We look forward to seeing the completion of Cedar Point’s latest roller coaster!