U.S. Parks and Attractions Unveil Exciting New Experiences in Time for Summer


U.S. Parks and Attractions Unveil Exciting 
New Experiences in Time for Summer

 

February 28, 2011 (UPDATED May 20, 2011) – Parks and attractions throughout the United States will debut multimillion-dollar rides and attractions to entertain all ages this summer. From innovative roller coasters, towering swing rides, and exhilarating waterslides to saltwater adventures, family-friendly exhibits, and spectacular shows, there is something for the entire family to enjoy.

“Amusement parks from the Carolinas to the California coast are preparing to open hundreds of millions of dollars of thrilling new attractions for families to enjoy,” said Susan Mosedale, executive vice president and interim chief operating officer of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA). “Ingenuity and excitement drive our industry and this year families will experience both in everything from entirely new parks to amazing new rides and waterslides.”

More than 300 million people visit U.S. amusement parks annually and contribute more than $57 billion to the nation’s economy. Each year IAAPA, the worldwide trade association for the attractions industry, provides a preview of what’s new at amusement parks, waterparks, and attractions in the United States. Here are some of the new attractions opening this summer:

Alabama

  • Alabama Adventure in Bessemer, Ala., adds “BuzzSaw Falls. Riders plunge down a five-story chute in a flume creating a spectacular splash that sends walls of water shooting in the air soaking both riders and onlookers. www.alabamaadventure.com

California

  • Belmont Park in San Diego introduces “The Octotron.” Riders control the forward and backward motion as well as the speed of spinning cars as they move along a circular track.www.belmontpark.com

  • Disney California Adventure in Anaheim, Calif., debuts, “The Little Mermaid ‒ Ariel’s  Undersea Adventure” as part of a multiyear billion-dollar expansion of the park. The family-friendly dark ride features characters from the popular movie and guests travel on an underwater journey. http://disneyland.disney.go.com/disneys-california-adventure/

  • Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., debuts a new version of its classic “Star Tours” simulator.Each time guests journey through George Lucas’ Star Wars galaxy they experience one of up to 54 different adventures. Guests never know where the journey will take them or who they will see along the way. Among the options, guests fly through the trees with Wookies and Kasyyk, race across the sand on Tatooine, or attack the Death Star, encountering C-3PO, R2-D2, Jedi Master Yoda, or Darth Vader along the way. Families enjoy “Mickey’s Soundsational Parade” featuring live musicians, dancers, Disney characters, and magnificent floats that bring to life classic Disney movie songs.http://disneyland.disney.go.com

  • Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, Calif., opens "WindSeeker," which features 32 two-person gondolas that climb a 301-foot tower. Once at the top, the ride spreads its arms and swings riders for 60 seconds at a 45 degree angle and 8 rotations per minute.www.knotts.com

  • Legoland California in Carlsbad, Calif., adds “Star Wars Miniland. Guests retrace the major events of the Star Wars saga, through scenes made of 1.5 million Lego bricks. Guests can also pose with life-size Lego models of Chewbacca, and Darth Vader. Interactive buttons allow children to start animations throughout the scenes. www.legoland.com

  • “Splash Zoo, opens inside Legoland Water Park in Carlsbad, Calif. The zoo-themed area features giant Duplo Zoo animals, including a lion, a giraffe, and a zebra. Children ages 1 to 3 will enjoy the interactive spray pads, fountains, and a teeter totter.http://california.legoland.com
  • The Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, Calif., transforms how guests view the oceans with “The Open Sea.  In this new gallery, guests experience new species such as tufted puffins, sandbar sharks, and black sea who nettles along with aquarium favorites such as tunas, stingrays, sea turtles, and the occasional great white shark.www.montereybayaquarium.org

  • Raging Waters San Jose in California debuts “Bombs Away.  Riders step into an enclosed capsule five stories above Raging Waters. A trap door opens, plummeting a single rider straight down 200 feet toward the ground for several seconds of free-falling thrills through an enclosed 360-degree looping flume. The translucent sections of track allow guests to watch their friends and family careen through the thrilling waterslide. www.rwsplash.com
  • Sea Life Aquarium in Carlsbad, Calif., opens “Octopus Garden, an interactive exhibit that introduces families to the amazing world of cephalopods. From octopus to cuttlefish and nautilus, these distinctive creatures amaze guests with their almost supernatural abilities, including camouflage, ink clouds, and jet propulsion. www.visitsealife.com/California
  • “Turtle Reef” opens at SeaWorld San Diego in California. The nearly 300,000-gallon aquarium features an underwater viewing window and allows guests to get an up-close look at more than 60 threatened or endangered sea turtles. “Turtlelink, a touchscreen map that teaches guests about sea turtle tracking, rescue efforts, and conservation. Just outside the aquarium is “Riptide Rescue, which takes up to 24 guests in 12 gondola-style, open-top designed airboats on a rescue mission as the vehicle swings around a central arm. Guests also enjoy “Sea Lions Live, a sketch-based comedy show starring two sea lions and “One Ocean, which includes performance interactions by whales with each other, trainers, and audience members.  www.seaworld.com/sdpressroom
    • B-roll is available from the park upon request.
  • Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, Calif., unveils a 150-foot tower ride,“SkyScreamer. Riders spin in a 98-foot circle at a top speed of 43 mph. The entire park is visible from the top of the ride and at night “SkyScreamer” will be lit from top to bottom. www.sixflags.com/discoverykingdom
  • Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, Calif., adds three roller coasters, bringing its total to 18. The new rides at Magic Mountain include: “Green Lantern,” a vertical-track, spinning coaster featuring three 360-degree head-over-heel spins; “Escape from Krypton, which sends riders backward up a tower for 7 seconds at 100 mph; and a yet-to-be-namedchildren’s coaster that is 679 feet long, with a 28-foot lift hill, and reaches speeds up to 21 mph. www.sixflags.com/magicMountain/index.aspx

Connecticut

  • Lake Compounce in Bristol, Conn., delivers “Rev-O-Lution. Riders sit in motorcycle-like seats that face outward as they spin, twist, and rock back and forth a long a track.www.lakecompounce.com.
    • Images available from the park upon request.
  • “The Wooden Warrior, a 1,200-foot-long wooden roller coaster, debuts at Quassy Amusement Park in Middlebury, Conn. The three-car train reaches a top speed of 35 mph and takes riders down a 40-foot drop and through an enclosed L-shaped turn-around tunnel. www.quassy.com  

Florida

  • “Cheetah Hunt, a launch-style roller coaster, opens at Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay, Fla. The coaster propels riders from 0 to 60 mph in a matter of seconds three different times during the ride. Riders dive 130 feet into a subterranean trench, fly above a simulated Serengeti plain and speed through an artificial canyon. In addition, a new habitat area,Cheetah Run, allows guests to view cheetahs through oversized windows, watch daily cheetah sprints, and use interactive touchscreens to learn about the amazing animal.www.buschgardens.com/bgt/default.aspx

  • Discovery Cove in Orlando debuts a new saltwater environment, “Grand Reef. The 2.5-acre reef has white-sand beaches, underwater grottoes, and a palm tree-lined island. Guests, outfitted in a wetsuit and breathing apparatus, take a “SeaVenture” underwater walking tour along a path 10 feet below the surface through schools of tropical fish and past a million-gallon aquarium with 125 species of fish, rays, and sharks. www.discoverycove.com  

  • Families journey into Pangani Forest on a thrilling, privately guided “Wild Africa Trek” withinDisney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. Guests hang over Nile crocodiles as they travel across rope bridges and come within 10 feet of massive hippos. The VIP Safari provides incredible views of African wildlife.http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/parks/animal-kingdom

  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., debuts “Disney Junior – Live on Stage!” Popular characters come to life with captivating puppets, bright visuals, whimsical scenery, and catchy songs. Preschoolers join the gang from Disney Junior shows like “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,” “Handy Manny,” and “Little Einsteins” to dance, sing, and play. Dozens of Disney Pixar film characters entertain the crowds with a street parade on Hollywood Boulevard in “Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun!” Older kids can join mom and dad on the remodeled “Star Tours” attraction that features new interstellar routes in the Star Wars galaxy and 3-D destinations. http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/parks/hollywood-studios
  • The 150-acre Legoland Florida theme park opens this fall in Winter Haven, Fla., and features more than 50 rides, Lego models, and other family-oriented; interactive elements. Visitors choose from 10 different lands, including Fun Town, Miniland USA, Land of Adventure, Lego City, Imagination Zone, and Duplo Village. The park is located on the site of Cypress Gardens, Florida’s first theme park. www.LEGOLANDFloridaResort.com
  • SeaWorld Orlando debuts “One Ocean. The show entertains, inspires, and educates guests with a unifying message of one world. The whales interact in new ways with trainers, the audience, each other, and even the set itself as they play amid giant fountains. The show features multiple whales performing simultaneously, and spectacular special effects. The underlying message of caring and respect for the world we share with animals is woven throughout the show and it encourages guests to make a difference in their everyday lives.www.seaworld.com/orlando

Georgia

  • Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, Ga., debuts “AT&T Dolphin Tales, an 84,000-square-foot, two-story indoor expansion that includes interactive displays about conservation efforts, a viewing window, and auditorium. Visitors first encounter the dolphins through the 25-foot-long underwater viewing window on their way to the 1,800-seat state-of-the-art theater. In “AT&T Dolphin Tales” actors and dolphins take guests on an interactive journey across the oceans and create a greater understanding of dolphins. www.georgiaaquarium.org 

  • “Dare Devil Dive” opens at Six Flags Over Georgia in Austell, Ga. The roller coaster features a vertical chain lift that pulls riders up 10 stories and a beyond-vertical drop where the coaster angles inward as it comes down at 52 mph. Riders careen through a combination of diving loops while executing three inversions before catching air on a zero-gravity hill, and swooping across a vertical U-turn stretched high above the ground.www.sixflags.com/overGeorgia/index.aspx
  • Wild Adventures Water and Theme Park in Valdosta, Ga., expands Splash Island with two water rides: “Hakini Rapids” and “Kona Cliffs. Guests journey down the five-story “Hakini Rapids” navigating twists and turns in round rafts that hold three to five riders. Riders travel three to five at a time down “Kona Cliffs,” a speed-slide with three drops.http://wildadventures.net

Idaho

  • Silverwood Themepark in North of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, adds “Ricochet Rapids. Four to six riders cascade down a 40-foot hill into a 30-foot valley ricocheting side-to-side before dropping into a 20-foot-diameter enclosed Mega tube. www.silverwoodthemepark.com

Illinois

  • Guests view “Jellies” at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Ill., and learn how sea jellies survive in the ocean. The exhibit combines spectacular videos and more than 10 species of jellies showcasing how the animals hunt, feed, and grow. www.sheddaquarium.org
  • Hurricane Harbor at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Ill., expands its waterpark withRiptide Bay that features a double-sided surf simulator, a Caribbean-inspired activity pool, additional waterslides, and luxury cabanas. www.sixflags.com/greatAmerica/index.aspx  

Indiana

  • Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari in Santa Claus, Ind., introduces “Rudolph’s Round-Up.This one-of-a-kind family-friendly ride allows older siblings and parents to ride along with smaller children, who can control how high their sleigh will rise as Rudolph takes flight. After dark, the ride lights up, including Rudolph’s red nose.www.HolidayWorld.com

Kansas

  • Schlitterbahn Kansas City Waterpark in Kansas, adds six attractions, nearly doubling the physical size of the park. The additions include a surf ride, “Boogie Bahn”; two head-first mat slides, “Comal Express” and “Loopy Luge”; and a fully enclosed tube slide, “Der Bahn. Guests can also ride “Blitz Falls, a whitewater rapids tube chute, or “Rapids River,a series of rushing rapids on the park’s longest river attraction.  www.schlitterbahn.com/kc 

Kentucky

  • Beech Bend Park in Bowling Green, Ky., adds “Tiki Island. Visitors enjoy the four-story, interactive water tower which features seven slides and a giant tipping bucket.www.beechbend.com
  • Newport Aquarium in Newport, Ky., overhauls the “Kroger Kingdom of Penguins” exhibit. Guests enjoy new seating, expanded gallery space, new interactive elements, and a live show, while the penguins experience an improved habitat. www.newportaquarium.com  

Maryland

  • Six Flags America in Bowie, Md., introduces “Zoomazon Falls,” a complex of four half-mile body slides that twist and turn as they pass through a simulated jungle.www.sixflags.com/America

Massachusetts

  • Six Flags New England near Springfield, Mass., adds the steel roller coaster “Gotham City: Gauntlet Escape from Arkham Asylum, bringing its coaster count to 10. Riders board the four-person cars and climb five stories; once at the top they are sent through a maze of 17 hairpin turns, winding twists and turns,  and unexpected dips.www.sixflags.com/newEngland/index.aspx

Michigan

  • WildWater Adventure Waterpark at Adventure Amusement Park in Muskegon, Mich., introduces a giant interactive water play attraction, “Beach Party.” It features a giant geyser, that blasts water more than 90 feet in the air. Guests enjoy more than 150 play features, including eight water slides, water jets, water curtains, pipe falls, and water wheels, they can drench one another with fire hose jets and interactive water guns.www.miadventure.com

  • Visitors to Air Zoo in Kalamazoo, Mich., enjoy a nine-hole disc golf course, which features nine par-three holes. Later this spring an additional nine holes will make it an 18-hole course. www.airzoo.org
  • “Dinosauria” opens at the Detroit Zoo in Detroit, Mich., and features 30 life-like animatronic dinosaurs. Visitors enter “Zoorassic Park” and wind along a three-acre“DinoTrail, which recreates prehistoric life.  Kids can experience what it’s like to be a paleontologist at a dino dig site or fossil sifting station. www.detroitzoo.org

Minnesota

  • Valleyfair in Shakopee, Minn., introduces “Planet Snoopy!” Featuring 20 rides and attractions, this Peanuts-themed area provides fun for the whole family! For more information, please visit www.valleyfair.com.

Missouri

  • “Encore!” and “Funny Fiddles” debut at Showboat Branson Belle in Branson, Mo. Janice Martin, the world’s only violin-playing aerialist, brings her high-flying skills to the stage for “Encore!” “Funny Fiddlers” features comedian and musician Chris Pendleton.www.showboatbransonbelle.com
  • Silver Dollar City adds “Half Dollar Holler” in Branson, Mo. This super-sized play area for kids up to age 7 has treetop fun houses, climbing nets, box crawls, slides, mini-wave swings, and truckloads of sand for play. At the center is the updated hand-carved carousel featuring woodland creatures. www.silverdollarcity.com

  • Six Flags St. Louis in Missouri introduces “SkyScreamer, which towers 236 feet above the ground. Guests sit two across in an open-air swing as they climb to the top of the tower; at full swing they soar in a 98-foot circle at 43 mph. www.sixflags.com/stLouis/index.aspx
  • The Track Family Fun Park in Branson, Mo., celebrates 30 years with the addition of a 1,200-foot-long go-kart track, “Heavy Metal High Rise. The state-of-the-art steel and concrete structure is more weather-friendly and offers a completely different experience than its wooden counterpart.  Drivers spiral up four stories before zooming down a three-tiered slope. Guests can also enjoy a new road course-style track with tighter and higher-banked curves. www.bransontracks.com

  • White Water in Branson, Mo., offers more than 12 acres of a tropical-themed river adventure at “Aloha River” at Hula Hula Bay. Guests float in tubes along more than 800 feet in 300,000 gallons of water, Aloha River at Hula Hula Bay is White Water's longest ride. The area offers new seating options, plenty of shade, and more cabanas to enjoy.www.bransonwhitewater.com
  • Worlds of Fun in Kansas City, Mo., unveils a restored carousel, a catering pavilion, and“Planet Snoopy. Planet Snoopy is home to more than 20 rides, shows, and attractions, including a new balloontower ride, car and truck rides for children, and a spinning tugboat adventure for the family. www.worldsoffun.com

New Hampshire

  • Canobie Lake Park in Salem, N.H., launches the compact Euro-Fighter roller coaster“Untamed. Grizzly-bear-themed cars take riders up a 75-foot incline to a beyond-verticle drop curving in at 97 degrees before experiencing a compact series of banked curves, loops, twists, turns, and zero-gravity rolls. www.canobie.com

  • Story Land in Glen, N.H., debuts the family-friendly ride “Splash Battle Egypt. Riders move continuously through a 300-foot long waterway in Egyptian-themed boats as they use cannons to blast water at other vessels. Shoreline guests can also exchange blasts with the riders from water cannons along the attraction’s perimeter. www.storylandnh.com

New Jersey

  • Clementon Park and Splash World in Clementon, N.J., launches “Torpedo Rush. Two 60-foot-tall identically designed speed-slides stand side-by-side and launch riders into a thrilling adventure. Guests stand in clear, fully-enclosed capsules to begin the experience. When the countdown clock hits zero, riders feel the bottom drop from beneath their feet and free fall down the giant tubes until splashing into the pool below. www.clementonpark.com
  • Morey’s Surfside Pier in North Wildwood, N.J. unveils “it. This spinning swing ride takes guests to heights of 65 feet above the ground. www.MoreysPiers.com
  • Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, N.J., launches “Green Lantern, a stand-up roller coaster. The two-minute, thirty-second ride begins with a 45-degree vertical drop before rocketing riders through five inversions, including a 121-foot-tall loop, a 103-foot dive loop, a 72-foot inclined loop, and twisted double corkscrews. “Green Lantern” stands 15 stories high is made of over three quarters of a mile of twisting green steel.www.sixflags.com/greatAdventure/index.aspx

New York

  • Coney Island in Brooklyn, N.Y., opens “Scream Zone, which features four new thrill rides, including “Soaring Eagle” and “Steeplechase” roller coasters. Guests experience a spiral lift, hairpin twists and turns, and several drops along the 66-foot-tall “Soaring Eagle.” The 65-foot-tall “Steeplechase” takes riders from zero to 40 miles per hour in less than two seconds before twisting and turning along 1,194 feet of track in six-car trains with horse-shaped vehicles.
  • The Coney Island History Project opens two exhibition centers at Deno's Wonder Wheel Park in Coney Island, N.Y. Visitors view historic artifacts, photographs, maps, and films from Coney Island's unique past. The steeplechase horse from the legendary ride that gave Steeplechase Park its name is among the treasures on display. In addition, guests enjoy a series of tours and special events. www.wonderwheel.com
  • Darien Lake Theme Park Resort in Darien Center, N.Y., doubles the number of “Brown Bear Cabins” with village style cabins that share a children’s play area. Guests enjoy up to six new shows, including “Thomas & Friends Full Steam Ahead Live!” an interactive show in which kids join in Thomas’ adventures, and “Sea Lion Splash: A Family Affair,” where sea lions entertain families while educating guests about conservation and animal behavior. Additional shows include “Legends of Rock,” “Jump, Jive and Swing,” “Countdown to Fun,and “Midway Dance Party Blowout. http://godarienlake.com 
    • SplashDown Beach Waterpark in Fishkill, N.Y. adds “Splash Works. The Bob the Builder-themed 1,600-square-foot spray and play area is designed for children ages 1 to 5. It contains more than 50 interactive features, including two slides, tipping buckets, dancing water, and a tool shed play area. Bob the Builder also greets guests daily at the park.www.splashdownbeach.com
    • Splish Splash Waterpark in Riverhead, N.Y., opens “Kahuna Bay” a body-boarding wave pool that features continuous four-foot waves. The area around the attraction also features new cabanas, expanded seating at Splish Splash Diner, and more than 100 lounge chairs.www.splishsplashlongisland.com

    Ohio

    • Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, unveils “Windseeker. Riders spin nearly 30 stories above the Lake Erie shoreline in two-person swings that allow riders’ feet to dangle. They rotate slowly in a circular motion as the swings ascend the tower. At the top, the swings spin at speeds between 25-30 mph, flaring out almost 45 degrees from the tower.www.cedarpoint.com
    • Kings Island in Mason, Ohio, adds “WindSeeker. As many as 64 riders in two-person gondolas slowly rotate as they ascend 301 feet in the air. At the top, the swings flare out at a 45-degree angle and spin, reaching speeds up to 30 mph. “Dinosaur Alive!” debuts in an outdoor Jurassic forest setting with six main scenes and nine thematic exhibits along a 4,000-foot-long path. Guests experience science and technology through the interactive attraction that features more than 60 life-size dinosaurs. www.visitkingsisland.com


    Oregon

    • In June, Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville, Ore., opens Evergreen Wings & Waves Waterpark. Guests enjoy nearly 70,000 square feet of educational fun, including four waterslides, a wave pool, and a children’s museum dedicated to teaching students about the power of water. Visitors learn about the importance of water and its impact on society through dozens of interactive exhibits and learning experiences.www.evergreenmuseum.org

    Pennsylvania

    • Camelbeach Mountain Waterpark in Tannersville, Pa., opens tantrum slides “SandStorm”and “Dune Runner. Guests twist and turn their way down the “SandStorm” dropping into two funnels along the way. Riders’ speed builds along “Dune Runner” as guests experience three drops before plunging into the waters below. www.camelbeach.com

      • Knoebels Amusement Resort in Elysburg, Pa., opens “Black Diamond,” a steel-track indoor roller coaster. Riders experience thrills on the three-story, haunted coal mine-themed ride with four lift hills. The ride is named for the regions’ long, coal mining history.www.knoebels.com

      • SoakZone in Ligonier, Pa., unveils “Wowabunga Family Wavepool. The 280,600-gallon wave pool features a zero-depth entry and reaches six feet at its deepest point. The pool experience includes waves for older guests to ride with intermittent periods of calm for kids play. Guests can also enjoy the beach-like surroundings, relax on the chaise lounges, or escape the sun in new cabanas. www.idlewild.com

      • Waldameer in Erie, Pa., expands and opens the North End where families enjoy “Flying Swings;” a flying carousel, “Wendy's Tea Party;” a spinning tea cup ride, and the “SS Wally;” a rocking tug boat. Beautiful gardens, welcoming benches, an eight-foot tall water fountain and a twenty-foot arch provide a relaxing, carefree atmosphere. The Waldameer train features a new engine as well as wheelchair accessible coaches. www.waldameer.com

      South Carolina

      • Pirates Voyage replaces Dixie Stampede in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The 300,000-square-foot arena includes a 750,000-gallon, 15-foot-deep indoor lagoon, three pirate ships, interactive show elements, and a 35,000-gallon outside animal habitat. The Pirates Lair and Crow’s Nest provide interactive experiences for guests before they move into the main arena. Guests enjoy a five-course feast as the pirates battle one another in a show that consists of more than two dozen aerialists, divers, dancers, and singers. www.piratesvoyage.com        
      • The “SkyWheel” opens in Myrtle Beach, S.C. offering views of the Grand Strand beaches. Taller than the standard Ferris wheel, “SkyWheel” stands 175 feet tall with 42 glass-enclosed, temperature-controlled gondolas that hold six to eight people.

      Tennessee

      • “Barnstormer” opens at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. The swing ride has two pendulum arms that seat 16 passengers each. The swing takes riders progressively higher reaching a peak of 81 feet in the air. The 60-second ride travels 45 mph and has a 230-degree rotation. A barnyard-themed play area and pig pen water play area surround the ride. www.dollywood.com
      • Nashville Shores Waterpark in Nashville, Tenn., opens “Kowabunga Beach.” The four-story tall attraction contains thousands of gallons of water in more than 70 interactive features, including four waterslides, a tipping bucket, water jets, ropes bridges and tunnels, water guns, and other fun-filled elements. www.NashvilleShores.com

      Texas

      • Schlitterbahn New Braunfels waterpark expands with the addition of the new  “Tubenbach”area that includes four attractions. Guests enter “The Falls” at several no-wait locations. The 3,600-foot-long whitewater river filled with raging rapids, careening waterfalls, and giant waves features a ride up a conveyor belt, back to the beginning of the ride. “Deluge Whirlpool River” twists tubers through a serpentine river that connects to “The Falls,” offering a never-ending water ride. “Boogie Bay Hot Tub” offers a hot spring, while theBoogie Bay Kids’ Area includes a dragon slide and several body slides.www.schlitterbahn.com
      • Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark in Texas opens “Shipwreck Harbor Wave Lagoon.” Guests experience three-foot waves in the 100,000-gallon wave pool. The area also features a new beached ship kids’ slide, a whimsical clam shell slide, large lifeboat shade structures, additional lounging, and more picnic tables. www.schlitterbahn.com
        • In July, Sea Life Aquarium opens in Grapevine, Texas, features Texas marine life as well as aquatic creatures from around the world. The 45,000-square-foot, two-story facility includes an auditorium with a glass floor and a 360-degree glass tunnel surrounded by sharks and other sea life.
        • SeaWorld San Antonio in Texas unveils Sesame Street Bay of Play and “One Ocean.Families enjoy Sesame Street Bay of Play, three-acres filled with rides, shows, and play areas. The attractions include “Big Bird’s Spinning Reef,” a Ferris wheel; “Elmo’s Dolphin Dive, a vertical drop ride; and “Abby Cadabby’s Rocking Wave, a ride that rocks forward, backward, and to the side; “Little Bird’s Splash” offers 22 water elements, including bubblers, geysers, and dumping buckets; and “Happenings” a stage area featuring musical performances with Elmo, Abby Caddaby, Zoe, and Cookie Monster. “One Ocean” brings to life the message of one world as whales interact with trainers, the audience, and each other. The performance includes simultaneous high-energy leaps and spectacular special effects.www.seaworld.com/sanantonio

        • Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington, Texas, marks its 50th anniversary by bringing back a faster and steeper “Texas Giant. The classic wooden coaster gets a $10 million makeover with a new track that allows for a steeper first drop, more severely banked turns, and faster speeds. Three new “Giant” trains resemble the DeVille, complete with their unique shape, metallic colors (aqua, black, and red), grilles, headlights, and tail lights. Throw in new tunnels, and “Texas Giant” looks and feels like a whole new ride.www.sixflags.com/overTexas/index.aspx

        Utah

        • Lagoon Park in Farmington, Utah, unveils its ninth roller coaster, “Bombora. This family-friendly ride allows parents to enjoy the coaster with their children. www.lagoonpark.com/attractions/rides

        Virginia

        • Busch Gardens Williamsburg in Virginia opens “Mäch Tower. Guests enjoy beautiful views of the park as they spiral up the 240-foot-tall tower. Once at the top riders experience a rush of wind as they drop back down to the ground below. www.buschgardens.com/Bgw
          • Water Country USA in Williamsburg, Va., adds a new drop slide “Vanish Point.” The 75-foot tower offers riders two ways down. Guests can plunge from a skybox when the floor drops out beneath their feet, or lay horizontally on a 300-foot-long speed slide and drop straight down as soon as they enter. www.watercountryusa.com

          Wisconsin

          • Bay Beach Amusement Park in Green Bay, Wis., adds the 2,500-foot-long roller coaster“Zippin Pippin. The 90-second ride takes guests over several hills with drops as high as 70 feet at speeds up to 40 miles per hour. http://baybeach.org

            About IAAPA
            International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) is the premier trade association for the attractions industry worldwide. Founded more than 90 years ago, IAAPA is the largest international trade association for permanently situated amusement facilities and attractions and is dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of the amusement industry.IAAPA represents more than 4,000 attraction, supplier, and individual members from more than 90 countries. The association’s global headquarters is in Alexandria, Virginia, United States. The association maintains regional offices in Brussels, Mexico City, and Hong Kong. IAAPA is online at www.IAAPA.org.

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            Editor’s Note: Every effort was made to ensure the information included in this release was accurate at the time of publication. For the most up-to-date information, including the opening date of the new attraction, please visit the attraction’s website listed with each entry or contact the facility directly.

            Images and renderings are available at www.iaapa.org/pressroom/WhatsNewImages2011.asp.

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