The Western New York Amusement Parks

The Western New York Amusement Parks

Introduction

The month of August 2017 was an exciting one for me! I had successfully graduated from college with a marketing diploma and also visited the amusement parks of Western New York for the first time! My amusement park travels in late August consisted of three amusement parks which are Seabreeze Amusement Park, Darien Lake, and Fantasy Island. Many visitors flock the parks of Western New York each summer for the thrilling rides and attractions. But, there is more to them than just the rides! Two of the Western New York amusement parks that I visited showcase beautiful landscaping aspects. In this article, we will look at Seabreeze Amusement Park and Darien Lake. I will not be covering the landscaping of Fantasy Island since our guest editor, Logan Benjamin had done so earlier this year. Now, let us begin our journey by starting with Seabreeze Amusement Park.

Entrance structure to Seabreeze Amusement Park in Western New York.
The back entrance to Seabreeze Amusement Park.

Seabreeze Amusement Park of Western New York

Near the shores of Lake Ontario, North of Rochester is a small amusement park that attracts many locals each summer. Seabreeze Amusement Park has been operating at the shores of Lake Ontario since 1879. It offers a variety of thrilling rides and attractions for all members of the family. One must also spend time taking in the beautiful landscaping features found around the park. There is a nice arrangement of trees, flowers, and shrubs at the park which we will now take a look at.

Charming Landscaping at Seabreeze Amusement Park

As I have mentioned, Seabreeze Amusement Park is home to many beautiful and charming flower arrangements. Nestled nearby the Bobsleds roller coaster, one may find a beautiful arrangement of varying annuals. The flower arrangements alongside the Bobsleds queue line are particularly beautiful as a stone-like brick wall surrounds them, allowing them to stand out.

Some annuals arranged in a flowerbed in front of the Bobsleds roller coaster.

Throughout other areas of Seabreeze Amusement Park, there are other stunning flowerbeds for viewing. The flowerbed located near the Twirlin’ Tea Cups ride on the main midway is one of those flowerbeds. With the combination of the low-lying shrubs, lambs ear, and other annual flowers, this flowerbed is truly eye catching.

The eye-catching flowerbed located in front of the Twirlin’ Teacups ride.

As we come to a close with the landscaping at Seabreeze, let us take a look at an important feature. As you may have noticed in the photos above, there are a lot of large mature trees around the park. These mature trees not only produce shade for the park visitors during those hot summer days, but they also provide charm to this local amusement park. For decades, the trees at Seabreeze have been a noticeable feature and continue to beautify the park to this day. The continual usage of mature trees also allows older visitors of the park to reminisce about the days of younger as they walk along the midway. The trees found around the landscape at Seabreeze also create some interesting riding experiences. This is especially true for the bobsleds as passengers ‘nearly miss’ the branches of the tree located in the center of the ride.

A view of the midway at Seabreeze Amusement Park.

Western New York’s Darien Lake

Darien Lake is a seasonal amusement park and resort that has been operating officially as an amusement park since 1981. While home to some of of the largest roller coasters in the state of New York, Darien Lake is also home to some great landscaping features. Without further to do, let us begin the landscape tour of Darien Lake.

A view of the front entrance at Darien Lake.

Darien Lake Landscape Tour

Beginning at the main entrance plaza, a line of shrubs and trees greet visitors. These trees and shrubs are a welcoming sight as you walk towards the entrance gates after purchasing your admission ticket.

Once inside Darien Lake, the main pathway leads you to a beautiful water fountain, which has a central location within the park. Shrubs and flowering blooms surround the water fountain, making it a picturesque section of the park for group photos.

The water fountain featured in the central plaza at Darien Lake.
The water fountain featured in the central plaza at Darien Lake.

Continuing North from the central plaza towards the Boomerang roller coaster, there are many small, but beautiful flower arrangements. Whether they are hanging from a wall basket, or planted perfectly in a flower bed, their colors make the area more lively and welcoming. The park’s use of Impatiens and Black-eyed Susans nicely compliments the nearby architecture of the frontier-style buildings in the area.

A hanging side-wall basket at Darien Lake.
A hanging side-wall basket at Darien Lake.
A flowerbed filled with beautiful Black-eyed Susans on a late summer's day.
A flowerbed filled with beautiful Black-eyed Susans on a late summer’s day.

As we loop around Fun Lake at Darien Lake and head past the Viper roller coaster, we arrive at the southern section of the park. Many of the rides and attractions in this area nestle between trees and shrubs, offering a sense of seclusion. The trees do not only give a sense of seclusion but also give the park a good amount of character.

The Sleighride surrounded by trees and shrubs.
The Sleighride surrounded by trees and shrubs.

Heading back towards the central plaza, you cannot help but notice the beautiful flowers in front of the Corn Popper ride. The beautiful arrangements of flowers greatly compliment the Corn Popper and the surrounding area.

The beautiful arrangement of flowers in front of the Corn Popper ride.
The beautiful arrangement of flowers in front of the Corn Popper ride.

Landscape Tour of Darien Lake- Wrap Up

Making a return to the central plaza area , it is noticeable that the use of shrubs makes this area very charming. The shrubs and the architecture of the buildings make the appearance of a small community within the bustling theme park.

The Silver Bullet in operation surrounded by beautiful shrubs.
The Silver Bullet in operation surrounded by beautiful shrubs.
The tall shrubs surrounding the Central Plaza buildings at Darien Lake.
The tall shrubs surrounding the Central Plaza buildings at Darien Lake.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the amusement parks of Western New York contain much beauty and attractiveness when it comes to landscaping. Despite their respective sizes, they all have landscaping teams who carefully plan and implement various landscaping features which make the parks unique. As we head into the future, Seabreeze and Darien Lake should only intensify their already wonderful landscape efforts as amusement parks continue to grow as travel destinations. I thank you for reading about the landscaping found at the amusement parks of Western New York. In the meantime, take a look at my trip to Seabreeze and Darien Lake on Amusement Views, my personal amusement park trips blog.

Canada’s 150 at Canada’s Wonderland

Introduction

To begin with, the first of July every year in Canada is a large patriotic celebration. Canada Day (originally Dominion Day; renamed in 1982) takes place every year on July 1st. This day celebrates the enactment of the Constitution Act, 1867 which formed the country we call, Canada. Furthermore, it is the unnofficial start to summer for many Canadians. This year’s Canada Day celebrations are extremely special as Canada celebrates its 150 sesquicentennial of being a country. Many people, business, and attractions are decked out for the huge celebration. Canada’s Wonderland is no exception this year! Their landscaping team has gone all out in order to make the park look beautiful for the big day!

A view of the Canadian decorations and landscaping on display along International Street.
The Canadian decorations and landscaping on display along International Street.

International Street Spectacular- Canada 150 Style

When visitors enter Canada’s Wonderland throughout the month of July, they will notice an abundance of beautiful Canadian decorations. The iconic Canadian floral flag has a new feature this year, featuring a large ‘150’ placed in the maple leaf for this year’s celebrations. Visitors will also notice the red and white maple leaves strung across the fence behind the floral flag, in front of the Royal Fountains. Also prominently standing on both sides of the Royal Fountains are large Canadian themed maple leaf signs celebrating Canada 150. These features truly display and signify Canada’s 150th sesquicentennial. They also lead to picture perfect opportunities as many visitors take in the festivities.

Canada 150 Maple Leaf. The Photo was taken on May 30th.
The Canadian floral flag on International Street has a ‘150’ located within the maple leaf. Photo captured on May 30th.
One of two large Canada 150 maple leaves on display in front of the Royal Fountains on International Street.
One of two large Canada 150 maple leaves on display in front of the Royal Fountains on International Street.

Canadian Floral

The iconic Canadian floral flag on International Street is not the only flower display of red and white this year. Throughout the Action Zone, visitors are in delight when they see the charming floral displays near Backlot Cafe. These flowers sport Canada’s colours of red and white. Meanwhile, they encourage people to get in the mood for the celebration of Canada. Another important flowerbed to take notice of is nearby Coasters Diner. The circular arrangement of the red and white flowers underneath the tree, surrounded by the low black railing fence is a stunning work of landscaping art. It really stands out among the thrills and excitement of Action Zone!

Red and white coloured flowers in front of Backlot Cafe.
Red and white coloured flowers in front of Backlot Cafe.
A stunning Canadian inspired flowerbed nearby Coasters Diner in Action Zone.
A stunning Canadian inspired flowerbed nearby Coasters Diner in Action Zone.

There are more beautiful flower arrangements to see as you walk around the park. In front of the highly thrilling Shockwave, located in International Festival is another charming display of flowers. These flowers also signify Canada’s 150 sesquicentennial as they form a unified sequence of red and white flowers.

Stunning red and white flowers on display in front of the highly thrilling Shockwave.
Stunning red and white flowers on display in front of the highly thrilling Shockwave.

 Other Canada 150 Landscaping Displays

Finally, it is not just all about the flowers this year at Canada’s Wonderland! An immense amount of effort has been put in by park staff to truly beautify the park. The diving platform of Arthur’s Bay within Medieval Faire has taken on a truly Canadian appearance this year. It features lumber-like walls and the freshly red painted metal structural supports. This summer, it is home to the Flying Frontenacs Stunt and Dive Show in celebration of Canada’s 150 celebrations. Also, within Medieval Faire are some attractive Canada 150 decals which are mounted on the lamp posts. They compliment the festivities taking place throughout the month of July.

Arthur's Bay is home to the Flying Frontenacs this summer as they perform their spectacular diving and stunt show.
Arthur’s Bay is home to the Flying Frontenacs this summer as they perform their spectacular diving and stunt show.

Conclusion

Finally, a huge congratulations goes out to the landscaping team of Canada’s Wonderland!  They made the park beautiful and stunning for Canada’s 150 sesquicentennial! They really put in a lot of effort for this large celebration taking place this year! Be sure to stop by this month to take in the Canada Day fireworks show on July 1st at 10pm.  Also, be sure to check out the month long Canada 150 festivities happening in Medieval Faire! The combination of Canadian landscaping and shows truly make Canada’s Wonderland a destination to celebrate a big year. In the meantime, be sure to check out Canada’s Wonderland’s website for more celebration details. Also take a look at the landscaping of Canada’s Wonderland from previous years! Happy Canada Day and Canada 150!

Charming Landscaping of Fantasy Island

Charming Landscaping of Fantasy Island

Introduction

This week on Art of Amusement Parks, we are going to take a look at the charming landscaping at Fantasy Island of Grand Island, New York. Before we begin to look at this wonderful landscaping, let us first get acquainted with the Niagara Falls area family amusement park. Fantasy Island opened in 1961 as a 12 acre family amusement park. In 1974, the park grew to its current day size of 85 acres. Throughout the years, Fantasy Island continues to entertain and thrill children and adults alike through their immersive collection of rides and attractions. Some of Fantasy Island’s attractions consist of the Silver Comet wooden coaster, the Crazy Mouse, and a water park.

 

Although the rides are the major attraction of Fantasy Island, the landscaping is just as attractive and unique as you will discover throughout this article. Before we go on to the photos, I would like to thank Logan Benjamin of The Amusement Parkrats for kindly sending his photos my way for the use of this article.

Indian Village at Fantasy Island

There are many charming landscaping scenes to be found at Fantasy Island. Starting off in the Indian Village section of the park, visitors can see teepees, life-sized Native American figurines, and totem poles.  Visitors can experience the landscaping of the Indian Village while taking a paddle on the canoes or riding the relaxing Iron Horse Train that travels throughout the park. They can also just stroll through the Indian Village on a nearby path on a beautiful summer day.

A totem pole on display in the Indian Village at Fantasy Island. The totem pole is painted yellow and light brown.
A totem pole on display in the Indian Village at Fantasy Island. Photo credit: Logan Benjamin.

The Whimsical Kiddie Land

Another charming collection of landscaping at Fantasy Island can be found in the Kiddie Land section of the park. Kiddie Land features many nursery rhyme and fairytale characters. The characters take older visitors a trip back in time to their childhood. They also allow younger visitors to create new, memorable experiences as they explore the section of the park, dedicated to children of all sizes. Many of the characters found throughout Kiddie Land section date back to when Fantasy Island’s early days. Also, some newer ones have been added over the years only to enhance the experience for the youngest of visitors.

Interactive Landscaping Fun

Children can also take a slide down a shoe, or taking a peer into the iconic whale mouth. The youngest of visitors can even find Humpty Dumpty and Jack and the Bean Stalk (featuring the giant and Jack; climbing the beanstalk) while in Kiddie Land at Fantasy Island.

The giant awaits for Jack's arrival atop the beanstalk in Kiddie Land section of Fantasy Island. Photo credit: Logan Benjamin.
The giant awaits for Jack’s arrival atop the beanstalk in Kiddie Land section of Fantasy Island. Photo credit: Logan Benjamin.
Humpty Dumpty waiting for a photo opportunity in kiddie Land. Photo credit: Logan Benjamin.
Humpty Dumpty waiting for a photo opportunity in kiddie Land. Photo credit: Logan Benjamin.
The Shoe slide and the iconic whale attracting children of all ages throughout the years. Photo credit: Logan Benjamin.
The Shoe slide and the iconic whale attracting children of all ages throughout the years. Photo credit: Logan Benjamin.

Other Charming Landscaping Features

Throughout the rest of Fantasy Island, visitors will immediately notice many other landscaping features which are beautiful. Trees found around the park, including some very fascinating small trees make up the additional landscaping. Once they do bloom in the late spring, they make way for a picture perfect opportunity. Historic features at Fantasy Island make way for an excellent rustic sensation. These features consist of fences and even an old train tunnel, to remind visitors of the park’s wonderful past.

Chain link fence with brown privacy patches. Photo credit: Logan Benjamin.
Chain link fence with brown privacy patches. Photo credit: Logan Benjamin.
A look down the formal train tunnel at Fantasy Island. Photo credit: Logan Benjamin.
A look down the formal train tunnel at Fantasy Island. Photo credit: Logan Benjamin.
The beautiful trees in the springtime that dot the landscape at Fantasy Island. Photo credit: Logan Benjamin.
The beautiful trees in the springtime that dot the landscape at Fantasy Island. Photo credit: Logan Benjamin.

Conclusion

That wraps up the look at Fantasy Island’s amazing landscaping features. This park may be small, but it sure is has many highly attractive and charming landscaping features that perfectly compliment the rides and attractions. I would like to thank Logan Benjamin for sending his great photos of Fantasy Island our way! In the meantime, be sure to check out the latest news of Fantasy Island by making your way over to The Amusement Parkrats website!

A Sneak Peek at Early Season Landscaping

A Sneak Peek at Early Season Landscaping

Introduction

This week on Art of Amusement Parks, we are going to take a look at some early season landscaping at Canada’s Wonderland. Season Pass Sneak Preview Night is an event held for Season Pass Holders to visit the park before the general public on opening weekend. Season Pass Sneak Preview Night also allows us to see some amazing landscaping efforts early in the season.

Here is Wonder Mountain at Canada's Wonderland standing at the end of International Street during Season Pass Sneak Preview Night.
Wonder Mountain standing tall after a cold Winter during Season Pass Sneak Preview Night.

International Street Sneak Peek Springtime Landscaping

After a long winter season, Wonder Mountain continues to stand tall overlooking the Royal Fountains. It is a beautiful sight to see, especially as the trees on International Street begin to grow their leaves. Not only do the leaves on trees begin to grow, but so do the leaves on the shrubs that line the beautiful Royal Fountains. This all makes way for a picture perfect moment, especially once the darkness of the night rolls around later in the evening. But, before darkness rolls around, visitors should look at the prettiness of the pansies that sit in place of the Floral Canadian Flag early in the season.

New Landscaping of International Festival

As we venture off of International Street, into International Festival, a new ride known as Soaring Timbers awaits. Along with a new thrill ride, comes some very amazing and stunning landscaping. Soaring Timbers operates where the Pro Putt Mini Golf had operated for 23 years. As many park goers know, willow trees surround the area, which creates tons of shade during the hot summer months. With the removal of some of the older willow trees to make way for Soaring Timbers, new willow trees were put in place nearby. But, it’s not only the willow trees that surround Soaring Timbers. A beautiful water fall formation, along with spectacular cedar rail fences were added in front of Soaring Timbers to relate to the theme of the ride. Also, Soaring Timber’s sign is a piece of the landscape as well as it is held up by strong cedar timbers.

The all-new for 2017 Soaring Timbers. Here you can see the spectacular waterfall feature in front of the ride. Soaring Timbers painted brown and green and has yellow seats.
The all-new for 2017 Soaring Timbers. Here you can see the spectacular waterfall feature in front of the ride.
The Soaring Timbers sign supported by cedar posts. The sign is light brown in colour.
The Soaring Timbers sign supported by cedar posts.

The Old Yet Highly Attractive Landscaping

As we venture around Wonder Mountain, more shrubs sprawl throughout International Festival. The smaller shrubs growalongside the paths nearby Klockwerks, complementing the wooden German themed fences. There are also more shrubs around Wonder Mountain to give it a ‘natural appeal’ while making the park highly attractive. The smaller shrubs truly start to grow once the temperature begins to rise as the summer season nears.

Here are the shrubs placed beside Klockwerks in International Festival during Season Pass Sneak Preview Night. The shrubs are green and Klockwerks is red, yellow. and blue.
Here are the shrubs standing beside Klockwerks in International Festival.

Nighttime Landscaping Spectacular

As the sun begins to set for the evening, some landscaping features come to life as they illuminate at night. This is especially true with International Street as it becomes a magical world of illumination for all visitors to see. The Royal Fountains are truly spectacular as they rise and lower in the multi-coloured light show. International Street is a magical place as the attractive lights string around many trees along the paths.

A beautiful sunset provides an orange glow on the beautiful landscape at Canada's Wonderland. The sky is orange and pink with some wavy clouds.
A beautiful sunset provides an orange glow on the beautiful landscape at Canada’s Wonderland.
A view of International Street looking from the entrance to Medieval Faire. The trees are strung with white lights.
A view of International Street at night looking from the entrance to Medieval Faire.
Here are the Royal Fountains glowing blue and some semi-lit pansies on International Street.
Here are the Royal Fountains glowing blue and some semi-lit pansies on International Street.

 

The Royal Fountains sporting red lights.
The Royal Fountains sporting red lights.

Landscaping to See at Night

But, it isn’t just International Street that is a spectacle to see when catching thrills at night. The Medieval Faire fountain located in front of Wonderland Theatre illuminates with red lights causing for an eye-catching display. When you venture to Planet Snoopy during this evening, you will notice the attractively illuminated water fountains. These are just a few of the highly attractive landscaping features which are prominently visible while spending an evening at Canada’s Wonderland.

The Medieval Faire Fountain illuminated by red lights at night.
The Medieval Faire Fountain illuminated by red lights at night.
A fountain fully illuminated at night nearby the Planet Snoopy bridge.
A fountain fully illuminated at night nearby the Planet Snoopy bridge.

Conclusion

That ends an evening of Season Pass Sneak Preview Night. I hope you enjoyed taking a peek at the amazing landscaping efforts put together by Canada’s Wonderland’s landscaping crew. Visiting the park in the evening will amaze you as the landscape appears in spectacular illumination. Until next time, be sure to check out more photos of Season Pass Sneak Preview Night at Canada’s Wonderland thanks to Amusement Views.

Springtime In the Carolinas

Springtime In the Carolinas

Introduction

This week here on Art of Amusement Parks, we are switching gears and looking at the beautiful springtime landscaping at Carowinds located in Charlotte, North Carolina. I would like to extend great thanks and appreciation to Ann Marie Palencik-Mickel for submitting all the photos for this week’s post!

Spring Is In the Air!

First, let us take a look at the early Springtime season at Carowinds. You know it is springtime when the place where the Carolinas come together begins to spur for the season! Not only do visitors begin to fill the park as rides begin to operate, but the park begins to beautify as a season of thrills begins. Let us take a look at these rather beautiful landscaping features that the landscaping staff at Carowinds puts together each and every season.

Orange coloured tulips starting to bloom in a flowerbed at carowinds in the Springtime.
Orange tulips blooming in a flowerbed at Carowinds. Photo credit: Ann Marie Palencik-Mickel collection.

Picture Perfect Entrance Sign

As visitors approach the entrance to Carowinds, they are greeted by the beautiful entrance sign. The Carowinds entrance sign was constructed for the 2015 season as an upgrade to the main entrance. This upgrade also involved the addition of the Fury 325 roller coaster. Fury 325 passes underneath the walkway to the entrance as it thrills its passengers and awes onlookers.  The entrance sign makes a perfect photo spot for visitors. It not only features the Carowinds logo but also features a beautiful display of miniature shrubs.

The carowinds entrance sign in the Springtime. The sign features large white letters that says Carowinds. The wall the sign is mounted to is light brown with small shrubs in front of it.
The Carowinds entrance sign early in the season. Photo credit: Ann Marie Palencik-Mickel collection.

Beautiful Flowerbeds

Once visitors enter Carowinds, they will immediately notice the beautiful usage of flowers throughout the park. The landscaping team at Carowinds plants hundreds of flowers each and every season. Their hard working efforts help enhance the park’s landscape from Spring through Autumn. Visitors to Carowinds are treated to beautiful arrangements of very colourful tulips that liven up even the dreariest Spring days. Now, let us take a look at more stunning flowerbeds at Carowinds.

Stunning tulips that line a flowerbed at Carowinds. The tulips are red, yellow, and pink in colour.
Stunning tulips that line the flowerbeds at Carowinds. Photo credit: Ann Marie Palencik-Mickel collection.

Stunning Kaleidoscopic Tulips

Throughout many sections of the park, multi-color tulips treat visitors to a stunning display along the paths in flowerbeds. These tulips also accompany many wonderful shrubs and bushes which line the back of the flowerbeds. The shrubs greatly add emphasis to the beautiful landscaping at Carowinds. Some of the other flowerbeds throughout the parks feature tulips which are of a stunning orange. They really begin to “pop” as the sun begins to shine on them. The tulip is a simple but highly attractive flower that is easily recognizable by even those who are not seasonal horticulturalists. This is due to the distinct “cup” shape that the pedals create.

A beautiful arrangement of tulips at carowinds. The tulips are red, orange, and yellow in colour.
A beautiful arrangement of multi-colored tulips that stunningly display themselves for all visitors of Carowinds to see. Photo credit: Ann Marie Palencik-Mickel collection.

Beauty After the Spring Season

Throughout the rest of Carowinds, there are some parts of the landscaping that just begin to come alive in the late Spring. Deciduous trees dot the park’s landscape, only creating shade as the hot Carolina Summers begin to arrive. Also, the varieties of flowers found around the park change every season. The change of flowers is in accordance to the temperatures that each season brings. It is noted by park visitors that Carowinds has a stunning flower display all season long.

Excitement Yet to Come

There are some other landscaping features at Carowinds which are present throughout the whole operating season. These landscaping features typically generate excitement in the springtime as summer approaches. These landscape features include some of the park’s attractive, over-sized post cards. These over-sized post cards advertise the beauty of the Carolinas and the park itself. Another landscaping feature includes the animatronic dinosaurs which awe the youngest of park visitors. Carowinds visitors can view the dinosaurs in the Dinosaurs Alive section of the park. The final landscaping feature worth mentioning is the decorative sign which indicates the North Carolina and South Carolina border. The state border surprisingly slices through the center of the park, making it the only park located in two states!

A large animatronic dinosaur on display at Carowinds' Dinosaurs Alive Display.
One of the many Dinosaurs that fill the landscape at Carowinds’ Dinosaurs Alive attraction. Photo credit: Ann Marie Palencik-Mickel collection.
The decorative state border sign at Carowinds. The sign is white on a black pole.
The decorative state border sign at Carowinds. Photo credit: Ann Marie Palencik-Mickel collection.
An artificial shark hangs off one of the billboards found throughout the landscape at Carowinds.
Here is one of the many billboards on display throughout the park. Photo credit: Ann Marie Palencik-Mickel collection.

Conclusion

I hope that you greatly enjoyed looking at Carowinds’ beautiful landscaping features in the springtime! I would like to thank Ann Marie Palencik-Mickel once again for submitting her wonderful photos of Carowinds. Until next time, be sure to check out Journey Through Coasters’ trip report from July 2015 which shows some of Carowinds’ landscaping during the summer months.