Six Flags America has confirmed that it will open its Thomas Town expansion, which will be the largest Thomas-themed area in North America, on June 5, 2010.
The area, based on the Thomas the Tank Engine children's characters, will cover three-and-half-acres and is the park's largest expansion in over a decade. Like other Thomas Towns around the world, it will be targeted at younger children as the park seeks to expand beyond Six Flags' core teen audience.
The opening of Thomas Town will also coincide with the 65th anniversary of the character's creation. To celebrate Thomas' "birthday", Six Flags America will hold a party on the area's opening day, with the first 65 children to enter receiving a free Thomas goody bag. The event starts at noon on June 5.
Six Flags America's Thomas Town will recreate Thomas' mythical home on the Island of Sodor, and will be located between the Superman: Ride of Steel, Joker's Jinx, and Wild One rollercoasters. It will feature a total of 8 new rides and attractions, many of which have been seen before in various guises at other Thomas Towns such as the one at Drayton Manor in the UK.
The area's attractions are all themed around characters from the Thomas the Tank Engine books and TV shows, and include:
- Thomas train ride - a train ride on a Thomas the Tank Engine replica. In common with other Thomas train rides, it is likely to be manufactured by Metallbau Emmeln and will circle the entire Thomas Town area.
- Harold the Helicopter - a themed a Zamperla Mini-Jet ride, which allows riders to control the height of their helicopter.
- Cranky the Crane Tower Ride - a 30-foot Zamperla ride which is a child-friendly version of the popular drop-tower concept.
- Bertie the Bus Ride - another Zamperla creation, this 24-seater "magic carpet-style" ride takes passengers in a circular motion up to a height of around 23 feet.
- Diesel Derby - a diesel-themed version of the Zamperla Convoy ride featuring Iron'arry, Iron Bert, Salty, Mavis, Diesel and Derek.
- Sodor Carnival Ferris Wheel - a classic ferris wheel, as featured in the Thomas TV show.
- Thomas Town Play Structure - a multi-level play area featuring numerous slides and climbing areas.
- Thomas Town Pop Jet Fountain - a water feature that will soak guests.
In addition to the rides, a new character will be added to the park to meet and greet visitors. "Sir Topham Hatt" - who will be better known to older readers as "The Fat Controller" - will be available for photo opportunities throughout the day. Meanwhile, The Knapford Station Shop will sell Thomas-themed merchandise including storybooks and die-cast trains.
Six Flags America's Thomas Town will be the fifth to be built at a Six Flags park, and represents another long-standing children's franchise establishing itself in the theme park arena after Cedar Fair's recent Planet Snoopy conversions.
Meanwhile, the Hurricane Harbor water park will begin daily operations on May 29. Entry to the park is included with a $49.99 ticket for Six Flags America, and new for 2010 is a daily song and dance show, The Hurricane Bay Deck Party.
You can keep up to date with the latest confirmed and rumored opening dates for new attractions through Theme Park Tourist's "New Attraction Watch" section, and by signing up for our weekly newsletter.