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SilverArrow

Certified Ride Geek
If that were the case, wouldn't they just say nothing and ignore the rumor? I feel like 90% of people who go to the park regularly don't even know what Screamscape is.
To be fair King's Island did it with Vortex where they put out a post saying it would stick around and then it went but I don't know the exact timescales.
 

JoshC.

Strata Poster
This might end up being worth split into its own thread soon enough. Some more visuals from Bellewaerde's new water ride:

FB_IMG_1647545698277.jpgFB_IMG_1647545700353.jpgFB_IMG_1647545702316.jpg

Sourced via:

Some extra info:
-Total investment of 13€ million
-Opens 2024
-New mini flume also being included
-Total ride time of approx. 7 minutes
-Manufacturer: Intamin

So this is very substantial for the park. Wasn't necessarily what I expected they would go for for a major investment, but the project as a whole is definitely what they'd need.

Side note: Compagnie des Alpes clearly has a brilliant working relationship with Intamin. In recent years, we're getting / have got: Kondaa, Objectif Mars, Toutatis, this and Walibi Rhone-Alpes' coaster. A proper solid collection there.
 
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richardcrete

Mega Poster
This might end up being worth split into its own thread soon enough. Some more visuals from Bellewaerde's new water ride:

View attachment 16658View attachment 16659View attachment 16660

Sourced via:

Some extra info:
-Total investment of 13€ million
-Opens 2024
-New mini flume also being included
-Total ride time of approx. 7 minutes
-Manufacturer: Intamin

So this is very substantial for the park. Wasn't necessarily what I expected they would go for for a major investment, but the project as a whole is definitely what they'd need.

Side note: Compagnie des Alpes clearly has a brilliant working relationship with Intamin. In recent years, we're getting / have got: Kondaa, Objectif Mars, Toutatis, this and Walibi Rhone-Alpes' coaster. A proper solid collection there.

The boat makes another small splash and thirty seconds later there is a bungee effect, where people with the boat fall down five meters with special effects
 

cookie

Hyper Poster
Walibi Belgium will not go down without a fight on the revoked noise permit, and they say they intend to open their rides as scheduled on April 2nd and keep them operating while they negotiate with locals and authorities. The park argues the issue is a matter of operating hours rather than what rides are allowed to run or not, while locals are zeroing in on the rides. A meeting between all parties on the matter will be held on March 24th.

 

Rein

Roller Poster
Walibi Belgium will not go down without a fight on the revoked noise permit, and they say they intend to open their rides as scheduled on April 2nd and keep them operating while they negotiate with locals and authorities. The park argues the issue is a matter of operating hours rather than what rides are allowed to run or not, while locals are zeroing in on the rides. A meeting between all parties on the matter will be held on March 24th.

They will start a procedure to regularize what has been build the past 7 years. Waiting for the outcome of this, they intend to keep everything open because they think that nothing keeps them from having normal park operations, given the initial complaints regarded noise and the operating hours. The municipality has already said to agree with regularisation of the infrastructure.
Source
 

Matt N

CF Legend
Interestingly, it appears that Lance has changed his tune somewhat on the Kumba closure rumour, and for the first time ever, has shared the message that his anonymous source sent in and is encouraging us to make our own conclusions: http://www.screamscape.com/html/busch_gardens_tampa.htm
Screamscape said:
General Park News - UPDATE - (3/19/22) Today I’m going to openly talk about the Kumba rumour that has gathered much attention over the past week.

Bottom line… is Kumba leaving? Honestly, I really don’t know.
Busch Gardens Tampa did address the rumor however, and has posted messages on social media that indicate that Kumba isn’t going anywhere.

Did I make that story up? Not in the slightest… (and like I have time for that). As with any report like this, the information was sent to me from an anonymous source, asking me to share that information.

Over the past 24 years the point of Screamscape was to share theme park related NEWS and RUMORS with everyone who loves theme parks, rides and various forms of themed entertainment. Screamscape was also set up as a place where people who work within the industry, or have friends and loved ones who do, can come to anonymously share information about things they know or projects they are working on with me, and that I will keep their identities a secret.

Today I’m going to do something that I’ve never done before, and I will openly reveal the exact message that served as the source of this story to everyone. In a series of four screen captures, I will only block out their email address and a couple of words where they ask to protect the source. I have also highlighted a couple of sections where the ask me to share the information with the readers of Screamscape, and actually give me permission to share any and all of the information they provided.

So please, read it all, and then ask yourselves, do you think Kumba is closing?

At this point, I don’t believe Kumba is closing. Every so often, someone with malicious intent will send in a completely fabricated story to Screamscape, hoping that I’ll post it. This is different from someone sending in just a “bad rumor”, as there is no ill intent behind them. On the other hand, these fabricated tales usually end with a “HA! HA!” moment at the end, as the source will often reveal themselves elsewhere, taking pride or a twisted sense of satisfaction in the fact that they fooled me into spreading their tale.

It happens… and in no way is everything posted on Screamscape correct. The reports are called “rumors” for a reason. Nothing is ever completely true until there is evidence to say otherwise. At the same time, Screamscape also does not “make up” our rumors, the information is simply relayed as sent in from various sources. So when I received a message asking for help to spread the word about the possible demise of Kumba, I did just that. The goal was to raise awareness of the issue, and as asked, allow fans of the ride to plan trips to the park to ride it again. I know I was invested, as I was making my own travel plans as well.

As for Busch Gardens Tampa… if this was a complete fabrication, I do apologize for the fuss this story caused. However, it did prove that there are a lot of Kumba fans out there who love that roller coaster and like myself, they were making plans to visit the park, buy a ticket, and ride all their favorite attractions, including the new Iron Gwazi.

I’d like to be able to say that nothing like this will ever happen again, but I can’t. I’m not perfect, and there are some really great liars out there able to con even the best of us. There will always be good rumors, bad rumors, and those who just want the world to burn. The world is just a different place now than it was 24 years ago.
In terms of the message, as Lance refers to it directly; it was as follows:
Lance’s source said:
Lance,

I’m writing to you from a different account to protect the identity of [REDACTED], because it’s big. Typically I do not like to spoil planned surprises because I think parks have their timelines planned out for a reason and I try to respect that. But this time feels different. Sadly it isn’t great news.

As you know, B&M was on site to inspect the replaced track on SheiKra recently and while they were there, they did check-ups on Kumba and Montu as well. The result was corporate being notified in writing that Kumba has been deemed to have reached the end of its lifespan.

It had been indicated to me a few months ago that “something was up” with Kumba, as refurbishment plans for it had very abruptly been scrapped by corporate, offering the park team no explanation when asked. While Montu got fresh paint and a big tune-up, and SheiKra got partial new paint and new track sections, Kumba got nothing. In fact, it got less than nothing; it got reduced to one train operation almost daily, with very rare exceptions. Even when both SheiKra and Montu were closed at the same time for an entire month, Kumba ran a single train and, at times, racked up as much as a 60 minute wait (for a ride that almost never garnered more than 15 minutes previously in recent years). I now know from my source that regarding Kumba’s repaint (and yes, garish new colors were planned just like Kraken, Montu and Alpengeist got) - the reason it was canceled is because the park was notified in advance from B&M that they don’t want them doing anything to add layers to the steel until they were able to inspect it this past February while they were there for SheiKra.

And the reason it’s been regulated to almost exclusively one train operation is even more bad news; two of the ride’s four trains have been deemed by B&M to be at end of life already. This would not be solved by simple new wheels, shoulder restraints, seats, belts etc, that come from annual maintenance by the park. This is the full on chassis/bodies that need to be scrapped. To get the ride back to three train ops would literally require a brand new fleet of trains to be purchased from B&M.

Here’s the problem. BGT doesn’t see Kumba as marketable. Thurman has said in a meeting at corporate HQ, “that ride just isn’t iconic.” Like. What?!?!? I’ve already been able to confirm the park will not be giving Kumba the Hulk treatment. They do not plan to rebuild it. They will not retrack it. Kumba is done. Corporate is pushing to get a few more months of life out of it because they feel that it would be a really bad look after choosing to delay Iron Gwazi by two full years to immediately follow it up with closing a major coaster. They’ve made it clear that the park needs to “find any way” to keep it healthy enough to stay open through the end of summer, and what they really want is to get it r through the Howl-O-Scream season. Internally, November 1 is it. Hard stop. Will not operate the day after Howl-O-Scream ends and will never operate again.

My problem is, as disappointing as it is to lose such an iconic coaster (whether or not the park president agrees that it is) the choice of how this information is going to be communicated with park guests and passholders will not facilitate any sort of “last ride” tribute. Again, blame for that goes back to Iron Gwazi. They know that people figured out by now Gwazi was ready all along, and that they just let it sit closer to try and make more money off it. And because for the first time in two years, there is actually a positive tone when people talk about BGT, they want to keep it that way. And in hoping to keep it that way, they’ve actually put out a memo across corporate that no one at the park beyond Thurman should be included in this conversation. Staff is going to show up to work on November 1 and find doors to the control booth and maintenance shed locked. That’s how they’re going to find out.

They’re literally not going to announce that Kumba is closing. It’s just going to happen, completely unannounced, no warning and then it’s gone. If you didn’t happen to ride it during Howl-O-Scream, you never get a last ride on it. They think that’s more important for optics. And frankly, that’s if the ride even makes it to Howl-O-Scream at this point.

I want to be clear that Kumba is safe — no one is at risk when they ride it, nor will they be any time soon. As I’m sure you already know, B&M has a policy to “End of Life” a ride at minimum 18 months earlier than the actual lifespan of the steel used to construct it. So really, the steel is good until August of 2023. But you know B&M operates in an abundance of caution, which is of course the best way to do it for all involved parties. The problem is, with two trains already permanently removed from service (and banned from even stripping them for parts because of their End of Life designations) and maintenance issues mounting for the remaining two, it’s just going to be a matter of time before the park says forget it and stops stressing over a ride that they’ve solidly deemed “not iconic”. I was told that there’s “no way” Kumba makes it past Memorial day with two trains as even an option - so best case scenario - it goes through all of summer, 4th of July, Labor Day and all of Howl-Scream as one train operations. IF it even gets that far.

This whole thing has really floored me. Kumba was such a big deal for the park, and for the industry, and for B&M. It was such a massive piece of my childhood. It informed what I like in a coaster. All these years later I still compare new looping coasters to it. It breaks my heart that corporate isn’t going to give people a much deserved chance to say goodbye, which is why I knew I need to do everything I can to get this to you so you can share as many details with your readers to give them time to plan trips. It doesn’t change the fact that we’re losing a favorite (which IS iconic no matter WHAT anyone says) - but at least let people appreciate it one last time and say good bye on their own terms in their own way.

And because I know you’re going to ask - yes, there is already something planned to replace Kumba. Corporate is pushing for fall/winter 2023 opening. Their hope is that opening two new rides in one year would deflect attention away from removing a classic, and that guests will view it as a net positive between this and the Screamin’ Swing. But, that timeline seems ambitious if we’re being honest. I’d bet spring of 2024 for the Kumba replacement. I can’t really go into what it is yet, but I will soon, as long as there’s no backlash from leaking this to you. I just want to give it a week or two to make sure I don’t get called into the principal’s office, so to speak. I’m sure you can respect that. I’ll just tell you it’s not going to be what you expect it to be.

I wish I had some better news for you to share on the site, but thank you for getting the word out to all your readers who, like me, grew up with Kumba and look at it as a key part of why they love this industry today! You of course have my permission to share any/all of this with your readers , just please leave it out that it came from [REDACTED].

Signed,
A friend
 

Peet

Giga Poster
Interestingly, it appears that Lance has changed his tune somewhat on the Kumba closure rumour, and for the first time ever, has shared the message that his anonymous source sent in and is encouraging us to make our own conclusions: http://www.screamscape.com/html/busch_gardens_tampa.htm

In terms of the message, as Lance refers to it directly; it was as follows:
Well I'm glad both Lance and his "friend" kept it brief and to-the-point 🤣
 

cookie

Hyper Poster
Beginning this spring, both Bobbejaanland and Plopsaland De Panne will be introducing paid skip-the-line options for their more popular attractions. The pricing and offerings at either park are as follows:

At Bobbejaanland, the "Express Pass" — originally set to be introduced in 2020, but the pandemic outbreak stalled those plans — will come in three flavors:
  • "Small" (€12) lets you skip the line at any of the select attractions four times, and can be shared with other people
  • "Medium" (€21) lets you skip the line once per ride, totaling eleven times
  • "Large" (€29) grants the user unlimited access to the select attractions
The rides included are Fury, Typhoon, Naga Bay, Dreamcatcher, Oki Doki, Sledgehammer (the Huss giant frisbee), El Rio (Hafema rapids), Indiana River, Wild Water Slide (the park's outdoor log flume), and Revolution. Separate entrances for most of these rides were already put up last year, though they were not in use at the time:

0302boblasisjep.jpg





At Plopsaland, the €35 "Express Pass" will let you skip the line at nine different attractions nine times. It's not made clear if the park will let you use the pass on the same ride multiple times or if it's once per ride, but the included rides are Ride to Happiness, Anubis, De Draak, DinoSplash, Heidi The Ride, K3 Roller Skater, SuperSplash, De Grote Golf (the Zamperla Disk-O), and Het Bos van Plop (indoor dark ride). During Haloween, this pass will also grant access to the park's scare mazes.

This is in direct contrast with a stance that Plopsa's director Steve Van Der Kerhof took in 2013 — when Walibi Belgium received criticism for introducing their own paid passes — that it would be "unjust" to include such an option at Plopsaland, which mostly saw families with young children visiting at the time. He mentions that the park's target audience has changed now with the arrival of Ride to Happiness, claiming that "more teenagers and adults" are visiting the park than ever before, and that demand for a skip-the-line option has increased as a result.

 
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Will

Strata Poster
Beginning this spring, both Bobbejaanland and Plopsaland De Panne will be introducing paid skip-the-line options for their more popular attractions. Lotsofwords
Needless to say I'm not a fan - but there again, those prices aren't horrendous and baring in mind these aren't parks I'd visit often, I guess I'd still pay - and I'll forgive them trying to recoup some of the 2020-21 losses.

Seems like good news on the WB front - I won't pretend that's not been worrying me - I've already cancelled that trip twice and would end up being a VERY expensive zoo trip if the creds remained closed!
 

Will

Strata Poster
I guess it's tolerable, provided they only sell a few hundred of them rather than ending up in a ridiculous state where even the fastrack entrance/purchasing has long queues like SOME parks I could mention :p

There's a certain amount to be said for the teens learning to wait in line like we all used to - but again, there's profit to be had :)
 

Freak Planet

Roller Poster
Last Saturday Puy du Fou Spain began its second season and Erwan de la Villéon (CEO) gave some interesting information such as that they're considering creating their next park in Tuscany or London. In Mexico they have also been asked to reproduce the show walk through 'Allende la mar océana'.

He left you the video with the statements, it has subtitles in English.
(From minute 5.02 he talks about the new countries where they value expanding)

 

Indy

Mega Poster
Sorry to double post, but there is a Sartori Energizer Pinfari XP56 set up at the F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in Jeddah this weekend. I found it rather interesting as I thought Tivoli Friheden's was the only installation aside from the brand new one that recently emerged at the factory.

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TilenB

Strata Poster
Sorry to double post, but there is a Sartori Energizer set up at the F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in Jeddah this weekend. I found it rather interesting as I thought Tivoli Friheden's was the only installation aside from the brand new one that recently emerged at the factory.

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View attachment 16785
Are you sure that's an Energizer? To me it looks more like a Pinfari XP56, probably the one that's owned by Freij Entertainment, as the color scheme appears to match.
 
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