Tuesday June 18, 2013
Let's return to New Braunfels, Texas, shall we? Last week I posted a review of Schlitterbahn, one of the first water parks in the world. Today, I have some photos to share with you so you can get a sense of why the water park is not only one of the oldest, but also among the biggest, most popular, most unique, and quirkiest parks as well. I visited in May near the start of the season, and parts of the park weren't open. That allowed me to get some rare shots of water slides and other attractions without guests -- or water for that matter. See my pictures of Schlitterbahn.
Photo:© Arthur Levine, 2013. Licensed to About.com.
Monday June 17, 2013
The second season of the television program, Insane Coasters Wars, recently premiered, and I've been enjoying the improved format. In its first year of episodes, the show grouped four coasters together, seemingly at random, and asked viewers to vote online for their favorite. Somehow Aftershock, a perfectly fine -- if unremarkable -- inverted boomerang ride at Silverwood in Idaho that is essentially a clone of similar coasters at other parks, won the "Hang 'em High" category over far more deserving (IMO) contenders such as Manta at SeaWorld Orlando. This season, the groupings appear to be more equitable, and the voting process seems to be handled better.
Friday June 14, 2013
It's been seven years since the last Superman film, and today the highly anticipated Man of Steel, the latest Hollywood ode to America's premier superhero, opens. So how is it? How the heck should I know? I'm the Theme Parks Guide.
But I do know a thing or two about coasters and rides based on the Man of Steel. Six Flags has the exclusive park rights to the DC Comics characters (which also includes Batman), and many of the chain's parks feature Superman attractions. My all-time favorite steel coaster is Bizarro at Six Flags New England, which is named for Superman's alter ego in an alternate universe according to comic book lore. It is a tour-de-force and a highly acclaimed thrill machine. Read my review of the Bizarro coaster.
Other Supes-themed rides:
Photo: © Arthur Levine, 2006. Licensed to About.com.
Thursday June 13, 2013
Busch Gardens Tampa just announced Falcon's Fury, its new attraction for 2014. At a daunting 335 feet, the drop tower ride should unbuckle a few knees -- especially since its passengers will face the ground as they freefall from dizzying heights. The park is playing a bit fast and loose with its marketing, however, by billing it as "the tallest freestanding drop tower in North America." That's true in fact, but not in spirit. Read my preview of Falcon's Fury and my take on the questionable hype.
Photo: SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. Used with permission.