I was lucky enough to attend Wild Adventure's media event this past Saturday (4-17-2010) and I wanted to share with all of you what the park shared with me. This is now the 2nd full season that Herschend Family Entertainment has owned the park and they continue to make huge improvements to the park. Just like my visit in 2009, all of the attractions were open and staffed with cheerful employees. Last year, the main focus of the park was to expand and improve the waterpark as well as fix many broken attractions.
New for the 2010 season:
1. Three new attractions include a new coaster (Viking Voyage), flyers (Falcon Flyers), and a scrambler (Whirling Wildcats). 2. Hundreds of trees has been planted throughout the park as well as 350 tons of concrete have been removed for additional landscaping. 3. Cheetah has had a million dollar renovation. 4. The old tiger show, "Amazing Cats", has been replaced with a new tiger show called, "Tigers of India". 5. Added many more concerts as well as to have a more diverse selection of musical acts.
For me the biggest surprise of the day was Cheetah. Cheetah used to be near the very bottom of all wooden coasters I have ridden. It used to be a VERY rough and unpleasant to ride. Now I can say that it is now one of the smoothest wooden coasters I have ever ridden. I was able to spend some time with park general manager, Bob Montgomery, and in the video included with this report he explains on what it took to bring Cheetah back to its now amazing level. They did look into the possibility in using the trains from the defunct Ozark Wildcat as well as looked into the purchase of a brand new Timberliner trains from Gravity Group, but in the meantime they have stuck with the older Gerstlauer trains. I normally really dislike the Gerstlauer trains, but honestly they were running really well after all of the track upgrades.
All of the new landscaping really helped to improve the overall look of the park. I have always felt that Herschend parks aspire to be the most beautiful parks in the country, and it is great to see them incorporate this philosophy into Wild Adventures. I think that landscaping is much more preferred than random slabs on concrete, don't you? Did you know that one of Jack Herschend's lifetime goals is to plant one million trees? During the off-season, he personally visited Wild Adventures specifically to mark spots where he wanted trees to be planted. He ended up marking close to 600 spots all around the park.
I really think that Wild Adventures is heading in the right direction. I am sure that they would be happy to hear that, several times during the day, I heard guests commenting on how much better the park looks. Many guests were also getting back in line to re-ride Cheetah as well. I also overheard many times that guests thought it was really cool that the park was featured in the hit movie Zombieland last year. Several new and exciting attractions will be coming in the future, but they could not reveal any those plans at this moment. If I could make a couple of suggestions. They really do need one more large attraction (A Intamin Mega-Lite would be perfect......okay I can settle for something more along the lines of Powder Keg or Mystery Mine) to really put themselves on the map. Also I recommend that they have more Canadian bands as well as Blue Oyster Cult for the next concert season. Anyways, onto the photographs. (Some photographs were taken by Wild Adventures as well as Ken Johnston.)
Wow it does look like they're really making the park look better!
I always liked this park as it has a ton of rides, attractions, and shows, but I agree everything had that plopped down on concret county fair type feel. Seems like Herschend will clean that up for sure!
Those robots ALSO came from Celebration City, is there anything left there other than OzCat? So sad.
I can't believe Cheetah is smooth!!! Hopefully it stays that way and the Gerstlauer trains don't kill all of the hard work and money they put into the ride.
New coaster... meh. To me the most exciting thing about Wild Adventures this season is that they finally added TREES. Seriously, if they take the time to invest in their landscaping they could eventually have a much more enjoyable park; natural shade would do wonders for that place. Nice job Wild Adventures.
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