There’s plenty of news this week for theme park fans, including soft openings, new coaster announcements, park expansions and more. Though these announcements fall outside the Walt Disney World/Disneyland/Universal bubble, these updates are essential knowledge for theme park fans, especially as 2014’s summer season winds down and we all start looking forward to 2015.
1. Falcon’s Fury soft opens at Busch Gardens Tampa
Though this drop tower was scheduled to open earlier this year, a number of construction delays forced this much-anticipated attraction to stay closed all summer. Though the tower still isn’t officially open yet, soft opens began a few days ago, and so far, early reviews are very positive for North America’s tallest drop tower. There’s no word yet on when Falcon’s Fury will officially open to the public, but soft openings seem to be going well, so hopefully we'll hear official word soon!
2. Fury 325 Coaster is announced for Carowinds
Carowinds recently announced a new ambitious project that could put this park firmly on the map for thrill seekers in spring 2015: Fury 325. This new coaster gets its name from its inititial 325-foot lift hill. Once riders get to the top, Fury 325 will drop them at an 81 degree angle, reaching a top speed of 95 mph in the process. In addition to being one of the 10 fastest coasters in the world, Fury 325 will also be fairly lengthy, with 6,602 feet of track and clocking a ride time over 3 minutes long. You can check out a virtual “ride through” video below.
3. Major WaterWorks expansion planned for Kings Dominion in 2015
Kings Dominion will celebrate its 40th anniversary next year with a major expansion to its WaterWorks water park. This extention will be anchored by a 65-foot mega water slide complex containing three seperate slides. Sitting atop the complex will be Paradise Plunge, which will feature three drop chambers that will send park-goers down a high-speed, almost vertical free fall followed by several loops and s-curves. The second slide, Aqua Blast, will send riders through an enclosed chute featuring four 360-degree loops. The third and final slide in the complex, Thunder Falls, is a raft slide that features several drops and turns.