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Water Country Makes a Big Splash, While Both Canobie Lake and Maine's Palace Playland Get New Rides

Maine's Palace Playland Added New Rides for 2023
The park has steadily been upgrading its rides and attractions over the last several years, including the SBF/Visa Compact Spinning Coaster themed Wipeout that was recently added.

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New England's, largest water park is making some splashy changes for the 2023 season. Water Country, located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is entering its 40th season, and to welcome this milestone, they are upgrading two of the park's existing tube slides, making them into highly potent, cutting-edge attractions.

The 26-acre park is taking tube slides called Black Hole and Warp Eight and making them sparkle with what the park calls “next-generation technology.” The tech is provided by iSlide, which will be creating light and sound experiences that are packed with thrills and surprises, the park's PR department attests. Sounds, lights, and projections are all a part of the mix.

Along with the new light and sound packages, the rides will be renamed. Both are dark ride slides, so new theming will make things brighter for thrill-seekers seeking exciting sensations with their splashing. The park describes the new experiences as electric journeys that take riders “down and around the pulse of vivid light and dynamic sound.”

According to Water Country's general manager Matt Hehl, the park will be providing the “only next-gen water slides featuring bold lighting and thunderous sound” in New England. “We're really excited to ramp the ride experience up to eleven with sights and sounds that surprise the senses, the centerpiece of what will be the best season in Water Country's history.”

The waterpark is already well known for the range and variety of its water attractions. Thrill rides such as Dr. Von Dark's Tunnel of Terror, and the Patriot, a mammoth a 58-foot slide, draw guests from around the region. For visitors seeking a more relaxing experience, there's the lengthy Adventure River lazy river attraction which encircles the park, and tamer slides such as Thunder Falls and Wild Canyon. The parks renowned wave pool, which is New England's largest, is another key attraction. Little paddlers are not forgotten, enjoying rides such as Olly Octopus and the gentle Pirate's Pool and Lagoon.

Along with the rides, the park hosts a variety of eating options, including its Adventure Pizzeria and the sandwich and snack options at the Coastal Grill, which has updated its offerings to include a veggie burger. Guests are also invited to bring in their own food, and picnic on the grounds.

The park opened in 1984 as a family-owned property, which was bought by Festival Fun Parks in 2000. Now under the ownership of Palace Entertainment, the park's four decades will be celebrated beginning on May 27th, when the park opens for Memorial Weekend.  Season passes include a multi-park platinum option for $219, and the Gold Pass, priced at $139.99 for a full summer of fun at the park.

Also located in New Hampshire, Canobie Lake Park in Salem is bringing something new to the summer scene as well. The park will be introducing a new land attraction, a flat ride for its 2023 season. The Nebulaz will be thrilling guests for the park's opening date a week prior to that of Water Country, on May 20th. The ride is said to be a Zamperla attraction a version of which was on display at a recent IAAPA trade show.  It is the first attraction to be added to the park's attraction quiver since its double-decker Venetian Carousel opened in 2019.

And elsewhere in New England, off the rocky coast of Maine, the oceanfront Palace Playland amusement park has finalized its new 2023 ride, from Italian ride manufacturer, Preston & Barbieri. The ride, HyperJump, was delayed from last year. But now, the HyperJump is ready to soar. The new attraction seats up to 36 riders at a time, and at 30-feet in height should pack a thrill with a view.  

The attraction marks the beach park's second ride from Preston & Barbieri, who brought the Sea Viper roller coaster to the location in 2018. That coaster has attracted a strong following. Sea Viper is the first Anaconda 2.0 model to debut in the U.S., with the only other operating iteration located in Romania to date. Palace Playland positioned the ride along the ocean for great views of both the shoreline and the park itself. It takes riders to heights of 70 feet and speeds of up to 42 miles per hour racing along a 1500-foot track. The ride's success made a future collaboration with Preston & Babieri a solid proposition.

In adding HyperJump to its roster, Palace Playland has once again debuted a new ride for Preston & Barbieri in the U.S. It will be a signature attraction for the park, and a unique one as the first in the country, one that should draw new guests to the amusement park from beyond the region.

The HyperJump creates exciting up and down action for riders, as well as both long and short-wave boost experiences. The ride's colors and lights are bright. Palace Playland is making good use of the lights package, offering 12 different sweeps for park visitors to enjoy. Park president Paul Golder says that “We expect this thrill ride to be an exciting addition to our park, it will appeal to a wide range of riders.”

The venerable 120-year-old park offers over 25 rides as well as the largest indoor arcade in Maine. And, speaking of the arcade, Palace Playland always adds a new game or two each year to the 20,000-square-foot-space, and Golder says this year will be no exception. Currently, the park offers over 200 games including vintage machines such as the fortune telling Zoltan and the equally omniscient classic, Grandma.

Let summer in New England begin!
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