TPS Report: How The Busch Gardens Drop Tower & Xcelerator Accident Are Connected

Straight from the headlines of Theme Park Syndicate, here are some of the biggest news stories.

Busch Gardens to Add a Drop Tower
Much like during the creation of Griffon, Busch Garden’s future plans are revealed by a height waiver submitted to the local government. This time the waiver mentions a “thrill attraction of a single tower not to exceed 260 feet above ground level.” Many have already speculated that the ride will open in 2011, but it’s way too early for an official statement from the park so there hasn’t been a specific opening date. The drop tower will be located in Germany next to the swings.

With a taller drop ride, Drop Zone, a few hours away at Kings Dominion I’d expect Busch to find some way to differentiate their new ride. I would imagine that the drop tower will be heavily themed like Busch’s other attractions and may even add some type of World’s first element to the ride.

BGWFans has a snapshot of the height waiver. Chris from BGWFans also speculates that this may not be the only waiver submitted for future attractions at Busch Gardens. If I’m not mistaken, the Virginia Gazette was the first to publish this story.

Xcelerator Reopens at Knott’s Berry Farms
After the September 2009 incident that injured riders after a cable snapped just after launch. The incident went viral after an employee posted an on-ride video of the accident on YouTube. The video has since been removed. While the LA Times Funland Blog reports that Xcelerator has recently reopened, a report blames the ride’s maker Intamin AG and Knott’s Berry Farms for the accident. Allegedly, it had been 19 days since the cable was inspected. Theme Park News Direct has more on the report.

Cables Connect the Drop Tower & Xcelerator Stories
After the 2007 accident where a girl’s feet were severed by a loose cable on an Intamin drop ride, I’ve steered clear of similar rides. However, I hadn’t thought about the cables used to catapult launch coasters like Xcelerator.  I would hope that Busch’s new drop tower is designed by another maker, if there is another player in the massive drop tower market. Doesn’t S&S make drop towers as well? Even if Busch does build an Intamin tower, the park is so well run that I know they would not let inspections go like Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom and Knott’s Berry Farms allegedly have done.

In other News….
Celine Dion’s Back Yard Water Park
News of pop star Celine Dion’s massive water park have been making the rounds thanks to TMZ. The pool area behind her Jupiter Island, Florida mansion includes a lazy river and a three-story water slide. While it’s pretty darn impressive, I wouldn’t really call it a water park.

Son of Beast Closed Indefinitely
Warm up the wrecking balls. Kings Island has removed the troubled Son of Beast from it’s web site and park map. A Coaster-Net article mentions talk of a Texas Giant like steel track rehab, but no one knows for sure the fate of the infamous woodie. All that is known for now is that the ride will not open in 2010.

Expedition GeForce Derails
Holiday Park’s world-renowned Intamin hyper has battled Superman Ride of Steel (now Bizarro) at Six Flags New England for the top spot in roller coaster polls for years. This week, the coaster derailed. Thankfully, no one was hurt. Coaster101 has more.

Here’s a professional on-ride video of Expedition GeForce with some footage of Holiday Park. Ride footage begins at about 2:10:

Note – This video was filmed by a professional with permission from the park.
For safety reason, please DO NOT take a camera on a roller coaster.

For the very latest theme park news visit Theme Park Syndicate. If it’s breaking news it WILL BE on Theme Park Syndicate’s home page.

What’s Your Take?
What’s your take on these recent news stories? Leave a comment below. Image 1 courtesy of CoasterImage. Image 2 courtesy of SplashNewsOnline.