One of the most anticipated family coasters of next year is without a doubt Slinky Dog Dash at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Florida. This Mack launched coaster will be part of an all-new section of the park themed to Toy Story. We’ve previously seen the track, but check out these incredible ride vehicles!
This image comes courtesy of Reddit user golf4miami, and it shows everyones favorite spring-loaded canine in all his coaster glory.
As you can see, the ride vehicles feature his trademark spring between the cars, which is thin enough to not obscure the views of its passengers.
Its cartoonish appearance makes it resemble a kiddie coaster more than a thrill ride, but this coaster is said to be much more exciting than a typical kiddie ride. Think less Barnstormer (Magic Kingdom) and more Firechaser Express (Dollywood).
Im oersonally a sucker for a good family coaster with incredible theming, and this ride looks to deliver the goods in 2018.
In a surprise announcement today Universal Studios said on their official blog that the iconic Dragon Challenge roller coasters will close for good on September 5th. Well this has been predicted for quite some time it is still undoubtedly came as a shock for fans of this attraction. While the rumor of Dragon Challenge’s closure has been buzzing around for a while, not many people expected the closure to be announced this soon. However, considering that fellow Orlando resort Disney World announced several major attractions just weeks ago, it’s clear that Universal wants to one-up the competition.
Originally opening in 1999 as Dueling Dragons, this ride experience was quite innovative for its time. It featured two B&M inverts named Fire and Ice with awesome dragon-shaped trains going head to head. However, in 2011, the park stopped dueling these coasters after several instances of park guest being hit with flying objects from the other train. The incident that sealed this rights fate occurred when a fifty-two-year-old part guess lost his eyeball after being hit in the face with an unknown object. Comments made by the law firm representing the man implied that it was a penny. Naturally, if something as small as a penny could cost someone an eye, these coasters were deemed too much of a liability to keep dueling.
Dueling Dragons at Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure
In the years following this incident, Universal installed metal detectors in the queue line. While lawyers said that this was a step in the right direction, it’s clear that it wasn’t enough to have the dragons duel again. So after the removal of such a major attraction, what will replace it now?
Well, while the park will be losing two coasters, it’s at least going to gain another one. Universal confirmed earlier today that Dragon challenges replacement would be quote ” one of the most highly-themed coaster experiences we’ve created. It will combine a new level of storytelling with an action-packed adventure…and a few surprises along the way.” Universal didn’t give many details about what kind of coaster it would be, but a popular rumor going around is a Mack Powered coaster. Something like Arthur at Europa Park. This is a family coaster that lends itself to heavy theming, which fits the few details given on Universal’s blog.
I feel a rumor going around it’s a Mack powered coaster something like Arthur at Europa Park. This is a family coaster that lends itself to heavy theming which fits the few details given Universal’s blog. In addition, it’s rumored that the ride will be theme to the Forbidden Forest. Either way, Universal implied that it would be fun for the whole family. The idea of taking two major thrill rides like Dragon Challenge and replacing them with the family ride is a bit odd, and it’s always unfortunate to see a coaster bite the dust. At the same time though, we could be in for something really special. Escape from Gringotts and Forbidden Journey are fantastic, and despite universal’s recent reliance on screen-based motion simulators there’s always room for innovation.
Fun Spot may not be the biggest or most nationally-known amusement park chain out there, but they certainly are a force to be reckoned with. Just weeks after the opening of their impressive new Gravity Group woodie Mine Blower, the chain announced that they would be buying another park to add to their roster. In addition to Fun Spot’s two Florida locations in Orlando and Kissimmee, the chain will now have a new location in Fayetteville, Georgia.
Fun Junction USA, formerly known as Dixieland Fun Park, is a smaller theme park that’s about a half-hour away from Six Flags Over Georgia. This is just like how Fun Spot Orlando and Kissimmee are located close to bigger Florida parks like Disney World and Universal Studios.
Also like Fun Spot’s other locations, Fun Junction has go-karts, bumper boats, and a few small flat rides. However, while the Fun Spot locations in Florida both have newly-built wooden roller coasters, the only coaster at Fun Junction is an E&F Miller Hi-Miller named Scream’n Eagle (not to be confused with the PTC woodie at Six Flags St. Louis).
Scream’n Eagle at Fun Junction USA
This ride is similar to a Schwarzkopf wildcat and was actually named Wildcat at its previous location at Nevada’s Wild Island. Considering that this is the only coaster at the park, would it be possible for Fun Spot to add an all new wooden coaster here? If this is the case, then we can expect the first Gravity Group woodie to come to Georgia. Though since the park was just recently acquired, we may not see a new coaster go there until Fun Spot decides how good of an investment it would be.
Either way, it’s exciting to see a small chain like Fun Spot grow. I recently paid a visit to their Orlando location and was very impressed with the staff, the late hours, and of course, White Lightning itself. Hopefully they can bring the same excellent service to Georgia, it could very well end up being a hit with the locals.
Just in time for the first weekend of summer, Fun Spot Kissimmee’s newest coaster is set to open on June 23rd. The park confirmed this by sharing the image above on social media.
This will be the park’s first roller coaster since 2012 and their first ever original roller coaster. Kiddie Coaster was re-located from Illinois’ Enchanted Forest, and the Rockstar Coaster was re-located from Legoland Florida.
Mine Blower is a very impressive looking Gravity Group wooden coaster that was announced by the park last year. Its most defining feature is a unique corkscrew/barrel roll inversion. This will be the second Gravity Group woodie in America to have a corkscrew with the other one being located at Wisconsin’s Mt. Olympus Theme Park.
I got the chance to visit Fun Spot Orlando last year and had an incredible time. White Lightning was an immensely entertaining GCI and I’m confident that Mine Blower will be another home run for the company. Hopefully I’ll get around to checking it out soon.