Thursday, March 12, 2015

Off Season Trip Report 3/12/2015

Well if I had to choose one word to describe this off season-tour it would be… infrastructure.  Basically once the park is open you are not going to see a whole lot of change, but its there, which I think makes this off season review probably more insightful.

So sad... The old octopus cars lined up.  From what we were told they will be sent to Valleyfair to be used as parts for the "octopus" ride there.  :(

Scrambler cars, with a new paint job.  Scrambler will be moved from its Planet Snoopy location back to its original Scandinavia location, and renamed Scandia Scrambler

The hub for Scrambler

As I drove up to the park the first thing I noticed was the Scramber sitting in E lot, it had a bright new paint job, and was sitting along side some rather forlorn looking Octopus cars.  The writing was on the wall last year, but I still had a hope that maybe Octopus would be once again put in storage like what had happened in 1997.  No dice.  Sadly, Octopus is going to the great scrap yard in the sky, making it Worlds of Fun’s first ride loss in eight years (last was Rockin Reeler in 2006, last ORIGINAL 1973 ride removed was Zambezi Zinger in 1997).  Scrambler will be moving back to its original Scandinavia pad, and will be renamed its original name, Scandia Scrambler.  I also believe I heard it will be receiving a new light package.

The arms and hub of Octopus are still in Scandinavia.  We were told Scrambler should be up and running on opening day.  I know they can accomplish a lot in a month..

Since we are talking about Scandinavia we might as well talk about another feature of Scandi, Viking Voyager.  Infrastructure work continues on it this year too, with it receiving a few (probably virtually unnoticeable, but VERY important) updates.  Number one, Voyager’s old filtration pumps located in the flat building located next to Octopus/Scrambler exit (yes THAT is what that is!), haven’t worked in well… a long time.  This year, they will.  Second Voyager’s water holding pond is receiving both a substantial patch job, and in the run-off area, complete replacement.  For those that notice details may have noticed that Voyager’s water holding pond has been leaking A LOT these last few years, especially last year water was literally flooding out into the grass and gravel surrounding the ride.  It hopefully won’t be doing so much of that this year, and the park won’t be loosing as much water.

Some work for the isolation valves in Scandinavia, I believe Wayne told us there were three?

 Run off/Water holding pond work on Voyager.

Talking about water, anyone remember the fiasco at Cedar Point last year were the park experienced water main break, and the park and resort ended up being closed for the entire busy weekend?  That spured the rest of the park’s in the chain to take a close look at their own plumbing.  To no one’s surprise…Worlds of Fun’s needed just a little work.  Worlds of Fun’s has been updated with isolation valves, so that if one section fails, they don’t all fail.  Again not exciting, or mind blowing, but important non-the-less.

A flower bed dug up for new plumbing from the Voyager filtration pump house, to Voyager.

 Last update in Scandinavia, is the old Swedish Sipping Chalet, or the kiosk previously known as the Britannica Encyclopedia kiosk.  It will become the third Coca Cola Refresh station in the park.  I had a thought.... wouldn't it be cool if they renamed this the Icicle? (anyone remember that?)

Swedish Sipping Chalet

There were a few minor updates through Africa, Congo Clearing/Gorilla Grill received a new concrete pad, and new tables,  not so minor, but again not obvious to the casual observer, Boomerang is finally getting a new control system and panel.  Coasters is receiving new paint both on the interior and exterior, and there are a few new landscaping walls being repaired replaced, near the Nile railroad trestle.  
New concrete, Gorilla Grill/Congo Clearing will also have new permanent tables (like the one's in Scandinavia)

work on Boomerang, this is actually "bob" the pulley for the initial lift.

After moving past Nile, we headed into Oceans since that is were the vast majority of updates are heading this season.  Monsoon is receiving some work this off season, both to its pumps, as well as its old loading gates which are being replaced.

Well there WAS a hill there.  Now it will be a well hidden pump house for the new water play area.

 A look at the lake beyond.

Of course the new for 2015 attraciton is the new splash area at Coconut Cove and paddle boat/kayak lake.  I was really surprised to see basically the entire hill behind Chickie and Pete’s removed to make way for the pumps/filtration system for the new splash area.  As you can see below the lake where the new swan boats will call home is receiving a lot of work too, there will be a whole new dock and loaded area.

Calypso Cafe, the old basement (that was dead space, and not used for anything anyway), will feature 4-5 new family restrooms.

Not advertised but a nice addition to the area is that the park is adding 4-5 new family restrooms to the basement of Calypso Café. Previously parents had to make their way up the hill back to the bathhouses above, and with the water play area spreading out even further, this new addition though relatively minor in the grand scheme of things should make for a better experience for families.

Moving up to Americana, we noticed the WOFRR cars uncopled near Taxi’s.  Wayne told us that he had a railroad specialist out to take a look at the passenger cars, who, found some work that needed doing.  This is still a work in progress, so no further details available at this time. 

The old Incred-O-Dome pad/Scrambler pad, the pad is still there, the walkway to it has been demo'd

Another water line shut off valve placement in Americana.

Up in Planet Snoopy, the old Scrambler pad has been cleared out, and the walkway from the main Planet Snoopy area down to Scrambler has been completely removed, which is nice, to make a clean break of the area. (so it doesn’t simply appear abandoned)

Moving into Americana, Wayne told us of the work going into both Thunderhawk and Steelhawk to make the both up and operational for opening day this year, Thunderhawk received a new motor.  Steelhawk also received a new motor, the corporate back up from Cedar Point, we were told that water and weather had worked themselves into what is a elevator motor, and caused the malfunction that lead to Steelhawk’s downtime late last season.  That issue has been atleast partially resolved, so they (and us) are hoping to see less downtime on both rides this year.  Here’s hoping!

I have to admit on first sighting of these next images I let out not one but two involuntary cries.  Completely involuntary, I felt horrible. Still those who know me know how I feel about my trees and landscaping in general. (sigh)  Given the reasoning behind the tree removal, I guess I can somewhat rationalize the removal (guest flow), still this kind of thing is hard, I need a tissue.

I am going to cry... really.  

A new train trestle bridge.

One of the two new kiosk's in the Orient
Moving on, as we moved from Americana to the orient, we looked over and saw this new train trestle.  Ah maybe THAT’s were the trees went! (joke!).  In the orient these nice, THEMED kiosks made me smile, and made up for the trees… almost. 
So that’s it for today.  It’s always fun to get out in the off season to see what’s going on, but no matter what opening day is always that much better to see everything done (mostly), and some additional updates always make their way in.  Looking forward to April 11th!  See you at the park!



Erric Schultz said...

Just a little bit of information, déjà vu is going retro! It will no longer be a $5 under store.

jmerritt said...

Thanks for the report. Kind of sad seeing everything so torn up. I Agree 100% about the trees. How is cutting them going to "improve guest flow?" Are they going to pave over the entire planting area?

Jennifer said...

Eric, thanks for bringing Deja Vu up I was told about it, but forgot to mention it in the blog. It will also have historic photos from WOF in it.

Jeff, part of it is "guest flow", a few other tree islands have been demo'd for this reason, the one in front of zulu, the one in front of Bamboozler, Europa still has all of it's "mini islands" because it doesn't have the traffic flow issues. Not that I am happy about it of course.

Chelsea Wilson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chelsea Wilson said...

Hi Jennifer,

Where have you found these photos?! They are amazing. I work for Burns & McDonnell in Kansas City, Missouri, and am very interested in the first photo of Oceans of Fun in 1981.