SeaWorld’s Aquatica Orlando will open Riptide Race, Florida’s first dueling racer waterslides, on April 3. 

Riders will board rafts that hold up to two people, racing through 650 feet of slide — with certain sections featuring low walls so the two dueling teams can see each other. 

The slides will have a minimum height requirement of 42 inches with anyone riding with a companion 14 years or older, or 48 inches when riding alone. A weight limit will also be imposed: no more than 250 pounds for single riders or 400 pounds combined for double riders.

Ahead of the April 3 opening, Aquatica passholders will get early access from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on April 1 and 2. 

Riptide Race was originally supposed to open in 2020, but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The last addition to Aquatica, KareKare Curl, debuted in April 2019

New Jersey’s Clementon Park expected to reopen after $2.3 million sale 

The 114-year-old Clementon Park appears to have saved from permanent closure.

The Camden County, New Jersey amusement park (and its Splash World water park) were sold at auction for $2.37 million Tuesday. According to Capital Recovery Group, which sold the foreclosed property, the new, unnamed buyer intends to reopen the park.

“We had a lot of interest,” Bill Firestone, chief executive officer of CRG told NJ Advance Media. “I was basically very happy of the result, especially because someone is going to buy it and going to open it. My indication is he wants to move very quickly.”

The park had been owned by Oklahoma-based Premier Parks, which operates Denver’s Elitch Gardens and Magic Springs in Arkansas. Without warning, Clementon Park had closed earlier than scheduled in September 2019 and has not operated since. 

Jim Cora, Disney Legend and parks veteran, dead at 83

Disney Legend Jim Cora died at the age of 83 on Sunday, according to the Orange County Register

43 of his 83 years were spent with the Walt Disney Company, starting as a part-time attractions employee in Disneyland in 1957. According to Cora, when working at the Matterhorn, he kept a binder with notes on how to improve training at the park. This caught the eye of Walt Disney himself, who reportedly sent him to Disney training guru Van Arsdale France with the message: “Tell him Walt sent you. I think he may have something for you.”

That led to a long career in Disney theme parks for Cora, from organizing a leadership program for the 1971 opening of Walt Disney World to managing operations during the planning of Tokyo Disneyland to heading up site research and planning for what would become Disneyland Paris. He was later put in charge of creative direction for Tokyo DisneySea, the second park at the Tokyo Disney Resort. He retired in 2001 as chairman of Disney International. 

Current and former Disney executives paid tribute to Cora.

Current Disney Parks chairman Josh D’Amaro said in a statement on Cora, “His dedication to bringing Disney magic to people around the world was only matched by the passion he exuded throughout his career and for the many years that followed. I always loved hearing Jim’s thoughts about our business. He was one of our last connections to Walt Disney and he will be missed dearly.”

More Theme Park News:
Disneyland theme parks reopening on April 30 following long COVID-19 closure
Theme parks retain COVID-19 safeguards even as some governors remove them
California governor won’t release findings of state employees’ Disney World COVID-19 trip

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