---- UNITED STATES DEVELOPMENT NEWS ----
(11/26/13) California - Merlin To Open Madame Tussaunds and The San Francisco Dungeon (MORE...)
(11/24/13) Construction Tour of New Sea Life Aquarium in Charlotte, NC (MORE...)
(11/22/13) A monstrous tower attraction has been proposed for Miami… and it isn’t the Polercoaster. (MORE...)
(11/22/13) Demolition Crews Removing Geauga Lake's Raging Wolf Bobs (MORE...)
(11/1/13) Remember that “crazy” guy who climbed the half-submerged StarJet coaster (MORE...)
Alabama - (5/30/13) According to this article the Blue Collar Country attraction area going in along the Foley Expressway in Alabama currently has an office building and preview center under construction. That said... the developers have also stressed that this will NOT be a theme park, “It’s an entertainment destination and resort”. So once again... NOT a theme park. “Here’s your sign...”
(5/3/13) I’m not sure I’d put money on this project actually happeneing, but the Hollywood Reporter claims that the Blue Collar Comedy trio (Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall and Larry the Cable Guy) are preparing to open their own $200 million theme park in Foley, Alabama. The overall 500 acre project is said to include hotels, an RV resort, a retail area and events center in addition to the Blue Collar Country theme park project. I’d be skeptical of the project anyway… but the Alabama location makes me really not have a lot of faith in it as the region does not have the best record when it comes to theme parks. (The downfall of Visionland / Alabama Adventures into a waterpark comes to mind, plus the whole region as a whole wasn’t exactly friendly to Jazzland either back in the pre Six Flags days…) So far the area has mostly been friendly to small waterparks, but not full scale theme parks. We’ll keep an eye on this as it develops for sure.
California - (11/26/13) Merlin has announced that they have signed a deal with the San Francisco Wax Museum at Fisherman’s Wharf that will see the building transformed into an official Madame Tussauds San Francisco was attraction, as well as open The San Francisco Dungeon at Fisherman’s Wharf. This will be the first of Merlin’s infamous ‘Dungeon’ attractions to open in the United States. Both of the new attractions are slated to open by Summer 2014 as part of a $35 million investment.
While the Madame Tussauds was museums are well known throughout the world, the Dungeon attractions are a bit different, as they always strived to bring to live local legends and stories whenever possible, making each of the Dungeon’s a bit unique from the rest. According to the description, The San Francisco Dungeon “will be the ultimate thrill-filled journey through the dark parts of San Francisco’s past. The black comedy of attractions, The Dungeons use a combination of theatrical storytelling by skilled actors, comedy, special effects, rides, jumps and edge of your seat surprises to really involve visitors, and bring history alive in a way that makes you laugh and shiver in equal parts.”
(10/29/13) Westcoaster takes us on a visit to the Dark Harbor haunt at the Queen Mary this year. I’ve heard good things about it this year once again… check it both the new Part 2 and last week’s Part 1.
(10/17/13) I’ve been hearing lots of good things about a haunt in California this year by the name of Delusion: Masque of Mortality. This isn’t your typical haunt… or like anything you have ever seen before. You are given a bit of backstory and sent into essentially what is a living world full of characters, each with a role to play as an even larger story unfolds all around you during the next hour of your life. If you want to know more, give this review a quick read, which is fairly spoiler free. Delusion is costly… but it sounds like you wont experience anything else like it anywhere else.
(10/14/13) Behind The Thrills takes a visit to Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare haunt and freakshow event which features three mazes: Lords of Salem, House of 1000 Corpses and a chance to enter the freaky cartoon world of El Super Beasto in 3D. The entrance of El Super Beasto is a clear sign that this is not an event for the kiddies.
(10/10/13) Theme Park University takes an in-depth look at The Purge: Fear The Night, a new haunt experience in Los Angeles that sounds fairly unique.
(10/3/13) I thought that they had given up the dream, but the Long Beach City Council has voted 7 – 1 in favor of starting a 30-day feasibility investigation into the possibility of rebuilding the area’s once famous Cyclone Racer dual-track racing wooden coaster. To do so, they would use the Cyclone Racer plans by Larry Osterhoudt, who claims to have spent $17,000 of his own money to reverse-engineer blueprints for the coaster, as well as use them to build a 1/15th scale model of the front section of the Cyclone Racer.
If Larry’s name sounds familiar, he made the Screamscape news pages quite a bit about 15 years ago when Disney was building California Adventure by starting a proposal (or demand) that Disney rebuild the Cyclone Racer in the (then) planned Paradise Pier section of the park.
I’m all for rebuilding the Cyclone Racer, but I do question some of the facts being thrown about in this report. For example, Larry told the council it would take about $30 million to rebuild the Cyclone Racer, which I find incredibly hard to believe as $30 million will buy you a giant steel monster coaster like Gatekeeper, Leviathan or Intimidator 305. By contrast a top of the line new style wooden coaster like Outlaw Run only cost $10 million, so I think someone needs to double check these figures.
(9/30/13) The latest word from Manteca is that in order to do the proper research to decide if adding a Great Wolf Lodge makes financial sense, it will take an additional year to decide, which will require an extension to the existing exclusive negotiating agreement for the city’s 30 acre site. You can read the rest of the report here.
(8/22/13) Good news for California residents and a ton of top notch haunts will be competition for your attention this fall. The Haunted Hollywood Sports complex is back with new surprises in their Zombie Killhouse (you enter armed with an airsoft weapon to battle the undead) and several walk-through haunted mazes and scarezones.
Blumhouse Productions will introduce an all-new impressive live horror experience at the Variety Arts Theater in downtown LA called The Purge: Fear the Night. This will tell the backstory behind the feature film, The Purge, in a unique horror-theater setting that will encourage guests to explore on their own to discover the secrets of the New Founding Fathers and Purge Night. Tickets are limited, but you can find out how to buy yours here.
It is also worth mentioning that the infamous Blackout Haunted House will return once again to LA (as well as Chicago and New York City) also in the Vareity Arts Center in downtown LA next to The Purge: Fear the Night. This year they will put on “Blackout: elements” taking guests into an intense world of fear unlike anything you have experienced before. After signing a waiver, guests will be forces to enter Blackout all ALONE where they will be forced to interact with a series of twisted characters. The entire experience will last approximately 30 minutes. Click here for details.
Finally I have to tell you about the Sinister Pointe haunt and their fund raising effort to build the Spirit Lounge, a Halloween themed lounge/bar filled with all kinds of fun themed elements from Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion and the famous Magic Castle. Click here to see how you can help through IndieGoGo, along with some fantastic concept art.
(6/17/13) - The San Diego Zoo has announced plans to create an 8-acre new exhibit themed around ‘Africa Rocks’. According to the local news The Conrad Prebys Africa Rocks exhibit will replace the existing Dog & Cat Canyon area and open in 2017. The exhibit will feature a 65 foot tall man-made waterfall to be called Rady Falls as well as the Madagascar Habitat with more lemurs than you can shake a stick at along with more than 50 other African animal species.
(12/14/12) The local news reports that ground has been broken at the former Wild Animal Park (now: San Diego Zoo Safari Park…) on a new 5-acre Sumatran tiger exhibit. The new exhbit will be named the “Tull Family Tiger Trail” in honor of Thomas Tull, CEO of Legendary Entertainment and his family who have donated a significant amount to the project it seems. The exhibit will be a forested habitat with close-up viewing areas of the tigers with rocks for climbing and swimming pods and more. Look for this to be complete by Spring 2014.
Florida - (11/22/13) A monstrous tower attraction has been proposed for Miami… and it isn’t the Polercoaster. They call it SkyRise Miami, which will have a very modern and unique shape to the proposed 1,000 ft tall structure. If built the tower would be the tallest building in Florida, the tallest “tower” on the Eastern Seaboard and second tallest tower in the US, just behind the 1,148 ft Stratosphere Tower in Las Vegas.
Much like the Stratosphere Tower, the plan for SkyRise Miami also includes some thrill rides. In addition to an obverservation level and the obligatory restaurant with a view, the tower will include a “flying theater” attraction similar to Disney’s Soarin’, an 800 ft tall freefall ride called the SkyPlunge and a 600 ft controlled descent bungee jump called SkyRise Drop. The structure will also have room for several clubs and lounges as well as a 500-seat ballroom.
I’m sure there will be a lot of red tape and financial paperwork to deal with for months before this thing gets off the ground, but it would really give the city a globally recognized landmark if SkyRise Miami were built.
(8/23/13) According to the local news there are talks to bring two possible theme park style projects to the Zoo Miami complex. One would be called Dinosaur Park International, an open air museum with hundreds of life-sized dinosaur replicas. The company behind this is a subsidiary of a company that owns a similar Dinosaur park in Germany.
The other is said to be called Miami Wilds, which would be a theme park with ties to 20th Century Fox film properties that would also include a waterpark themed to the Ice Age animated films, performance venues and a 400-room hotel. If approved the Dinosaur Park could be open within 2 years and Miami Wilds is looking at a time-table that would see the first phase of the park open in 2018, and the second phase two years later. Concept art showing off more of the Miami Wilds project can be seen in this video.
(8/8/13) World Choice Investments, a group associated with Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede and Pirate Voyage dinner theaters has purchased four parcels of property in Destin, FL, creating a 14+ acre site. While no plans have been submitted for the future intended use of the property, demolition of the existing structures has already begun. The popular line of thought, via connecting the dots, is that a new dinner theater attraction is likely to open up here in the future... which more than likely will be a second Pirates Voyage show given the location near the ocean. The first Pirates Voyage opened in Myrtle Beach in 2011, though it first opened as a Dixie Stampede location in 1992 before they choose to give it a Pirate makeover.
Georgia - (9/18/13) An incident took place involving the Crazy Mouse at the Gwinnett County Fair in Georgia on Saturday. From the sound of things the vibration of a car passing over a section of track caused a security fence to partially fall over a portion of the coaster’s tracks. A short time later a loaded car ran into the fence section, “shearing off one side of the passenger car”, loaded with four riders.
While the ride was immediately closed for re-inspection, it apparently was up and running again by Monday, which isn’t that surprising since the incident was not ride related, but rather caused by a foreign object (the fence) falling into the path of the car. There was no mention in the article about any injuries involved, so I can only assume that the section of the car that was struck was a decorative section. Had to be a scary ride though…
(7/18/13) I’ve been sent a link to pictures on Facebook today showing off the opening of the new SkyView Atlanta giant wheel. Check it out!
Indiana - (10/31/13) Screamscape sources tell us that the Allen Hershel Little Dipper coaster at Fun Spot in Indiana (Safari Kiddie Coaster) has been sold and will soon be sent to a new owner.
No word yet on what might replace it. UPDATE - I forgot to mention that Fun Spot Indiana has been closed since 2008... since the website was still active after all these years I was wondering if it had reopened... it hasn’t.
(9/20/13) Remember the SkyQuest attraction that was promised for the Indianapolis Zoo several years ago? Looks like they are getting closer to getting it finished, but according to this animation posted by Chance Rides earlier this year, the concept has changed a little bit. Instead of the very open looking cars which looked very much like a hot air balloon basket when seen in the previous artwork, have been replaced with a VonRoll style enclosed skyride gondola car that will navigate a circular path around the animal exhibit hanging suspended from some kind of powered track rather than run on just a suspended cable.
If I had to guess, I wonder if they borrowed the new car and drive system from US ThrillRide’s SkySpire concept. I am unsure if this is still on track for a 2014 opening at this time, or if it has been delayed once again.
(9/11/12) I’m told that the SkyQuest project is indeed still alive at the Indianapolis Zoo, it was just delayed a bit longer than expected for budget / funding reasons with the rest of the International Orangutan Center project. I’m happy to report that the project just broke ground last week with a timeline to be open by May 2014. SkyQuest has since been renamed as “The Skyline” and new concept art can be seen here.
(9/10/12) Anyone know what ever happened to the SkyQuest attraction that should have opened at the Indianapolis Zoo this year? I haven’t heard even a single peep about this project since it was announced at IAAPA in 2010. Did it die or was it delayed?
(11/17/10) US Thrillrides has announced the sale of a SkyQuest attraction to the Indianapolis Zoo for the 2012 season at the IAAPA show. SkyQuest is the new concept from Bill Kitchen, which will be the “crown” of the zoo’s new Orangutan habitat, giving each rider a very up close experience and birds eye view of the animals. The 15-20 minute long adventure will load four passengers into gondolas, similar to a hot-air balloon basket, and move a mild 1mph through the attraction. The artwork sent out was a little raw, but it reminds me of a mini Skyride style system. You can see some other odd artwork for the ride system at the official US Thrillrides website, where they show off a more thrilling version that has riders strapped into a Skycoaster style harness, as well as options to hook up promotional “banners” to make their way around the track as well.
Louisiana - (8/27/13) I received a special message from a reader and former Six Flags New Orleans crew member today, who wished to share this with everyone.
On this day, August 27th 2005 on a Saturday morning, Six Flags New Orleans was preparing to open for the day. I had done my time in ride ops and now moved on to running Park Services. I was at the front gate when Sheri approached me and informed me we will not open the park.
I questioned why.
She said because of Hurricane Katrina.
I said [I had] been busy and not watching the news, where is it heading?
Sheri said, Direct hit.
At that moment it was as if someone punched me in the stomach.
I was born and raised in New Orleans being there through every storm since Betsy.
I stood in shock speechless for a moment and then she said she would call me with further instruction.
We received a storm info packet and commenced readying the park for a Hurricane.
Megazeph had already been inspected and tested to run for the day.
That would be the last [ever] runs on Megazeph.
August 29th Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, and Six Flags New Orleans would be devastated never to open again. In July 2005, on a day off, I shot video for a documentary and a detailed shoot of Megazeph. Never finished the docu shoot due to heat and working 6 days a week. On this 8 year anniversary, here is the old Megazeph Video. Likely the last film of this operating coaster missed by many local New Oleanians.
(8/19/13) While most of us have seen the images of the former Six Flags New Orleans theme park left to decay and rot following the flooding caused by Hurricane Katrina in late August 2005. Most of those images you’ve previously seen were taken by select adventurous souls in the years that followed, after the park had suffered from various acts of vandalism.
A new video has surfaced showing images shot within the park just days after the flood waters receded. These images were shot by someone who was allowed on site who acted as a “security” member in the days that followed, allowing access into the property for the various inspection crews who needed to assess the overall damage done not only to the park itself, but to the various rides to determine what might be salvageable. So take a moment to revisit Six Flags New Orleans, when the paint was still bright, the floodwater mark on the walls was still fresh and before the vandals had their way with it.
Mississippi - (10/23/13) A Mississippi man has a dream to develop 1200 acres of property into a new attraction for Biloxi that would include an concert amphitheater, a retail mall area (Trader Village) and the musical themed Mississippi Sound theme park. You can see more about this in the video below.
New Hampshire - (8/29/13) According to the official website, Six Gun City reopened for business on August 4th. While there are only a few more days left in the summer season, the park will post fall hours for a Haunted Six Gun event very soon.
(6/3/13) One of our readers decided to try and visit Six Gun City this week, only to discover than the Jefferson, New Hampshire park is now closed. A message on the park’s website says that after 56 years the Brady Family has decided to sell the park and is currently in negotiations with interested parties.
New Jersey - (11/1/13) Remember that “crazy” guy who climbed the half-submerged StarJet coaster that was sticking out of the Atlantic after Hurricane Sandy? During the anniversary event of the storm, he climbed another Seaside ride and placed another American flag… this time on the Slingshot. He was promptly arrested again upon coming down. It should be noted that he was full equipped with proper climbing safety gear, so like the coaster, this was intentional and not an aborted suicide jump.
(9/18/13) According to this news article, the owner of FunTown Pier in Seaside Park has vowed to rebuild it again… making it bigger than it ever was before Hurricane Sandy and the fire decimated it, with hopes to extend the pier an additional 300 feet. There is no set timeline to rebuild and reopen, but at this point they will likely have to demolish all that is left and rebuild everything from scratch.
(9/16/13) Quick update on the boardwalk fire… I had several facts wrong it seems. It was Seaside Park that sustained most of the damage from the storm, Funtown Pier had never reopened after Sandy and Casino Pier had the coaster that fell into the ocean. That said… it was Funtown Pier that was on fire, but I’m told that most of what burned was already damaged from Sandy. All together some reports claim as many as 40 businesses burnt to the ground along with a fairly old carousel.
(6/10/13) According to this article the Keansburg Spook House in New Jersey that was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy will reopen in 2014 after a complete renovation. Great news for sure!
New York - (8/16/13) A 5-year old boy suffered serious injury to his leg at Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park when he decided he was going to jump out of the Sea Serpent kiddie coaster in mid-ride. He was riding with his older sister at the time but somehow crawled out from under the lap bar to make his ill-fated escape and upon jumping from the train got his leg caught beween the car and the track. For those wondering, he did meet the height requirement for the Sea Serpent, he just got so scared he was willing to escape by any means necessary.
(8/2/13) Our friends at Laff In The Dark take a look at the restoration and return of the Coney Island Spook-A-Rama following near total destruction from Superstorm Sandy last year.
(6/26/13) Theme Park University takes a look at the Jekyll and Hyde Club’s new location in Times Square and points the finger at a few problems in addition to what makes it so unique. It looks like they will be linked to the new Times Scare haunt on the way this fall, so you may want to know what you are in for.
(6/19/13) A reader pointed out that New York City also has another year-round haunt called Times Scare NYC, which also has a restaurant, two bars and a “haunted burlesque show“. You can find the official website for it here.
(6/18/13) According to this report a new year-round haunt is planned to open this fall in New York City called Jekyll and Hyde’s Chamber of Horrors.
(3/4/13) The local news reports that ground breaking has begun for the new Staten Island Ferris Wheel project, which hopes to be the biggest giant wheel in the world (625 feet) when it opens in 2015. Full scale construction wont start for awhile as the crews are currently starting with soil tests to determine the placement and style of foundation needed for the huge wheel.
(9/28/12) New York Mayor Bloomberg appeared at an announcement with the heads of New York Wheel LLC to announce the plans for the New York Wheel, a new giant wheel which promises to be the world’s biggest when it opens. The New York Wheel will be built on the north-eastern side of Staten Island and stand 625 feet tall. It will have 36 capsules, each able to hold 40 passengers, and take 38-minutes to make a complete trip. You can find the official website for the project at NewYorkWheel.com.
I have two thoughts about this project. For starters, it seems odd that they would try to build this, when I thought there was still a plan in place to build a giant wheel at the American Dream Meadowlands project (aka: Xanadu). Second… why call it the New York Wheel? Why not just paint it red and call it The Big Apple?
North Carolina - (11/24/13) The local news was invited in to tour the construction progress of the new SeaLife Aquarium opening in the Charlotte area at the Concord Mills mall in Spring 2014. You can watch the video report below.
(10/28/13) Bad news from the North Carolina State Fair as a ride named Vortex suffered a malfunction and injured 5 riders on Thursday. According to the early reports, the ride had ended and passengers were getting off to leave when the ride suddenly started to move again, spinning and flipping upside down, causing passengers still on-board to fall out. The ride in question is a Technical Park Vortex ride and you can find a clip of a similar ride in operation below.
The latest word as of Sunday evening is that the ride operator who was running Vortex at the time has been officially arrested and changed with three counts of assault with a deadly weapon after investigators had determined that the ride had been tampered with and the safety systems compromised. From the gist of what is being reported, they seem to think that the operator had overridden the automatic safety systems on the ride to allow it to continue to operate for riders.
(10/2/13) OZ fans within traveling distance of North Carolina will be interested to know that the long closed Land of OZ park site built near the top of Beech Mountain will open for two days this year, October 5-6, for the annual Autumn at Oz event where past guests and former staff will gather to tour the site and reminisce. Land of OZ was open for about a decade from 1970 to 1980 allowing guests to walk the yellow brick road, see characters and walk-through themed buildings. Space is limited, so if you are interested in walking the yellow brick road yourself, read all the official details at AutumnAtOz.com.
(8/27/13) I visited Concord Mills over the weekend and spotted this billboard covering the entrance to the former NASCAR Speedpark. The new SeaLife Aquarium from Merlin Entertainment is now slated to open in Spring 2014, but appears that it will only take over the two level interior of the old NASCAR Speedpark building. The exterior with the 3 go-kart tracks and mini-golf course has reopened as ‘The Speedpark’, with an outside only entrance from the parking lot.
(3/15/13) Construction on the new 30,000 sqft. Sea Life Aquarium opening at the Concord Mills mall just outside Charlotte, NC will begin in July with the goal of opening up by Spring 2014. Click here to read more.
(2/9/13) Just as predicted when the mall announced plans to build a SeaLife Aquarium on their site, NASCAR SpeedPark at Concord Mills in North Carolina announced on their website that they were now closed for good. The switch from a pay as you go FEC style system to adding gates and turnstyles and a Pay-One-Price system seems to have failed PARC Management’s run. I don’t expect that the three others sites (Pigeon Forge, Myrtle Beach or St. Louis) will fair much better unless changes are made.
(1/25/13) According to this news article, Concord Mills (just outside Charlotte, NC near the Great Wolf Lodge and Charlotte Motor Speedway) is signing a deal with Merlin to build what seems to be a $10 million SeaLife Aquarium attraction that will be attached to the mega mall. This was part of a deal that would provide Simon, the mall owner, with a 85% property tax discount for the expansion project that Simon will build and Merlin will operate. The article also mentions that the new aqurarium will take over the current site of the existing NASCAR SpeedPark attraction and open as early as Spring 2014.
What is really interesting however is that when I tweeted about this development earlier today (follow @SCREAMSCAPE on Twitter for the latest!) NASCAR Speedpark’s Twitter account responded with the following message, “We have not rvd a formal notice & are seeking adt'l info related to this. We'll continue our normal hours of operation. Thanks!” Curious to see where this goes, though I bet the phone call that must have transpired today between NASCAR Speedpark and Simon was an interesting one for sure.
On a side note… if Merlin is coming to Concord Mills… I do have to wonder how much longer it will be until they decide to install a Lego Discovery Center attraction at the mall as well. We know Merlin loves to group their smaller attractions close together when possible.
Ohio - (11/22/13) The latest reports from the remains of Geauga Lake say that the Raging Wolf Bobs are now almost completely demolished as crews are on site taking it down. You can see a picture here.
(10/16/13) A pair of brother developers have teamed up and are now seeking investors to try and redevelop the closed Chippewa Lake Park in Ohio as a new outdoor entertainment venue. They are planning an 8000-seat outdoor pavilion with plans to host 30 musical acts a year, 300 campsites, an open-air market and want to try and feature a couple of classic amusement park rides as well.
(9/5/13) Geauga Lake fans will want to see the video below… featuring an aerial video fly-over of the park as shot by a RC quadcopter. The ruins of various structures are scattered all about the former amusement park site, with the remains of the Big Dipper as the only really large attraction left behind, somewhat still intact though the trees and plants are starting to grow up into the structure. I believe the footage was just shot in August a couple of weeks ago.
(11/1/12) The Columbus Zoo has broken ground on a new $30.4 million attraction called Safari Africa that will open in May 2014. The huge new project will cover 43 acres and simulate the sights, smells and sounds of the African savannah as well as including a new marketplace, restaurant and more. New animal encounters are planned, as well as a Zip Line across the savannah, as part of a new master plan project for the zoo from PGAV Destinations, well known for their work designing beautiful environmental attraction for the SeaWorld and Busch Gardens parks over the years.
Oklahoma - (10/10/13) According to the local news Bell’s held a fundraising event to help renovate and reopen a few of the park’s bigger rides. While the fundraiser fell $40,000 short of their goal, the $19,000 they did get will go towards getting the Tilt-A-Whirl, Scrambler and Spider rides back up and running at their current location in West Tulsa at Swick’s Flea Market.
Pennsylvania - (10/2/13) Another new preview video for Scarehouse has been released this week… and it is very creepy.
(9/25/13) ScareHouse is back with a a bit of holiday cheer from Creepo.
(9/19/13) Scarehouse is back with another new preview video, promoting this year’s latest terrors.
(9/18/13) The rules have changed this year at Terror Behind the Walls, a haunt inside the Eastern State Penitentiary. Visit the official website to find out how it will be more frightening than ever before in 2013… Darker… Bloodier and much more!
(9/10/13) ScareHouse is going underground and maybe a little over the line in 2013 with the addition of “The Basement”, an extreme adults only and much more personal haunt experience. If you are 18 and over you can either enter The Basement alone, or with one other victim, where you will experience an environment of adult content, explicit language, crawing, handcuffs, physical contact with “disturbing characters in disgusting situations.” And you must sign a waiver before you may enter.
Entrance into The Basement is an additional charge and not included with regular ScareHouse admission. Purchasing admission in advance from the official website is only highly recommended as they expect The Basement to sell out frequently.
(8/29/13) ScareHouse is back with another video paying homage to their location, inside a creepy 100 year old building with a history of both paranormal activity and all kinds of secret social and club events.
(7/30/13) Our friends at The Scarehouse in Pittsburgh wrote in to tell the Screamscape readers what’s new. They tell us that their new haunt in the Scarehouse is called THE BASEMENT, which is a separately ticketed, reservation only, extreme experience that will be placed, appropriately enough, in the massive basement of the nearly 100 year old building that is home to The Scarehouse. You can either choose to enter alone or choose just one friend to experience THE BASEMENT with you. However... “unlike other haunts of this nature, you must also sign a waiver allowing touching, restraining, and other extreme fear techniques.”
Keep your eyes on the official SCAREHOUSE website for more updates on this new haunt as well as all the official information about the 2013 season. Sounds incredible... I can’t wait to hear more.
South Carolina - (12/4/12) The local news reports that Ripley’s Aquarium in Myrtle Beach’s Broadway at the Beach center will be expanded in the near future. Not a lot can be said just yet, but construction will begin after Labor Day in September 2013 in time to be finished by Summer 2014. They mention that Ripley’s will spent a bit more money in the Myrtle Beach area as they plan to refresh and overhaul their other attractions along Ocean Blvd, with a focus on the Believe It or Not Museum. Ripley’s Moving Theater attraction received an update earlier in 2012 however.
Tennessee - (9/27/13) Could a new park or attraction be on the way to Tennessee? According to this article a town hall meeting has been set up in Lake City, TN (about 21miles North of Knoxville) with local businessman Buddy Warren. Warren owns several companies including Rocky Top Beer, Rocky Top Moonshine and even the legal rights to the name “Rocky Top Tennessee”, and would like to propose relocating his bottling company, brewery and distillary companies to Lake City, along with plans to build a theme park, sports museum, live music theater, restaurants, a lodge with an indoor waterpark and more. Could be a very interesting proposal...
Texas - (7/1/13) According to this news article the developers behind the EarthQuest attraction project outside Houston are not ready to give up and believe that it is only a matter of “when” and not “if’ the park will get built. They claim that they are currently in talks with nine different investment groups to fund the project with commitments of over $100 million at this time. I’ll give them this… they are persistent.
(3/27/13) EarthQuest is still hitting the occasional headline, where this week they confirmed they still don’t have the funding they need, but they are still out there seeking a lead investor to back them and willing to drop half a billion on the project.
(3/18/13) While the Houston, Texas area still lacks a large theme park, the greater area around Houston seems to be flourishing with new ideas for smaller park projects. Back in December we first heard the early rumors of a possible 25-acre mini-park planned to be near the Tanger Outlet Mall near Texas City that would have a tie to the old Playland Park.
Today a little more information has come out as the city “has confirmed an area physician’s interest in building the park on 25 acres near the Tanger outlet mall, but no plans have been submitted.” However, a new Facebook page for “Playland Park” has gone live and does outline the details a little more, calling it “Playland Park – Texas City”. They have named the new park project in honor of Houston’s first real amusement park, Playland Park, and hope to open it by Summer 2015.
The park will have a retro-Americana theme to it, and will feature locomotive rides on the refurbished trains that formerly served at the Houston Zoo, but will now make runs around this new 25 acre attraction. The park will also have a Grand Carousel, an Eyerly Monster, Antique Car ride, Tea Cups and a Tilt-a-Whirl to celebrate the classic rides of the past. They will also offer new style attractions such as a “unique roller coaster zip line, an Xtra-ice 'ice' skating rink, and fast though eco-friendly Indy-type electric go-karts.” There will also be green spaces, a large picnic area, an outdoor amphitheater for concerts and an indoor pavilion to be rented out for corporate events or private functions.
Good luck to them, I hope this one happens… but it wouldn’t be Playland Park without also offering a wooden coaster as well. Lets hope they include this in the final plans too.
(12/18/12) While they don’t say exactly what they will do with it, the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo board will buy 48-acres of the former 92-acre Astroworld theme park site which will include the bridge across the freeway to the parking lot. The deal will allow the HLSR more room for growth as well as flexibility as they move forward for years to come. The total purchase price is said to be just shy of $43 million.
For those not local to the area, the innocent sounding event is actually said to be a major force in Houston. They occupy space at the Reliant Stadium and surrounding area for about a month, and the event itself is an odd mixture of a major event show, a rodeo, a convention and Houston’s version of a State Fair all in one, featuring headline concerts almost every night, a large assortment of quality carnival rides (via Ray Cammick Shows), fair style livestock events and much more. From what I’m told they’ve been eyeballing the property for quite some time.
(12/7/12) A small update about the new small amusement park project in the Houston area by the Tanger Outlets has been posted by the local news. They say that 25 acres have been purchased by a man with “ties” to Houston’s old Playland Park which was open from the mid 1940’s to 1960’s. Could we see the return of a new Playland Park in Houston?
(12/3/12) According to this article, land has been purchased near the newly opened Texas Tanger Outlet center in the Galveston/Houston area, with the intention of building “an amusement park”. As we have heard nothing about this before hand, I do have to wonder if they are confusion an Amusement Park with something smaller, like a Family Entertainment Center style attraction instead. Anyone else have any insight into what may be planned for the area?
Virginia - (10/24/13) Is Merlin considering opening another full scale Legoland theme park in the US? According to this article the local government officials may be in early talks with them regarding a possible incentive package to build a third US park near Fredericksburg, VA.
For those who may have forgotten, a Virginia location was in a head to head race against California to be the location chosen for the first Legoland park in the USA back in the 1990s before LEGO opted to go with the West coast. VA was also intended as the site for Disney’s America theme park concept as well, before local opposition turned Disney away from the state. For one reason for another, VA just hasn’t worked out in the end of a number of proposed park projects over the years, but with a Legoland in Florida as well as California, I’m still thinking VA may not be the best location for a third Legoland, as opposed to something more in the middle of the country. If it were me calling the shots at Merlin, I’d be looking into a Texas location myself... either in San Antonio or in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.