2008 may come to be known as the year of the name change, at least in the coaster world. Due to park ownership changes and loss of licensing, a number of coasters (and at least one park) will have their name changed this year. In northern California, the park once known as Marriott’s Great America, Great America, and Paramount's Great America is now called California’s Great America. Already announced are name changes for several coasters at the former Paramount parks. The Carowinds B&M formerly known as Top Gun-The Jet Coaster will now be known as Flight Deck, and Borg has been unassimilated into Nighthawk. The same name changes will apply to Kings Island's Top Gun (Arrow suspended) and the California B&M—both are now known as Flight Deck. The Italian Job Turbo Coaster at Kings Dominion and Kings Island's Italian Job will both henceforth be known as Back Lot Stunt Coaster. Also at Kings Island, Face/Off has been changed to Invertigo. No word yet from Canada's Wonderland and their Top Gun, Italian Job, and Tomb Raider coasters, but it is unlikely those names will remain.
At Clementon Park the coaster with the short-lived name of Tsunami, then J2 is now known as Puma. In order to introduce three new The Dark Knight coasters, the Six Flags New England floorless looper that was already called Batman Dark Knight, will now simply be known as the overused Batman the Ride (no colon please).
Finally back in California, a little Bradley & Kaye junior coaster is now on its fourth name. Percy the Small Engine will be the new moniker to fit in with the new Thomas Town attraction opening this summer at Six Flags Magic Mountain. The coaster was originally Clown Coaster, then Wile E. Coyote Coaster, and more recently Goliath, Jr.
ACE News Now will keep you updated as more name changes are released.
UPDATE (1/29/08): According to the California's Great America website, Afterburn is the new name given to the coaster formerly known as Top Gun. The name Flight Deck had appeared on the website for about ten days and was suddenly removed.
UPDATE (1/31/08): According to a spokesman from California's Great America, the name change to Afterburn was an error made by the website designer. The Top Gun coasters at Kings Island, Great America, and presumably Canada's Wonderland will be changed to Flight Deck. Top Gun-The Jet Coaster at Carowinds will be called Afterburn. Stay tuned...
UPDATE (2/4/08): The 1992 Zierer coaster that winds its way through Nickelodeon Universe, the amusement park inside the Mall of America, has been changed from (Pepsi) Ripsaw to Orange Streak.
UPDATE (2/12/08): In keeping with the Nickelodeon Universe theme, the Gerstlauer spinning coaster will change its name from Timberland Twister to Fairly Odd Coaster.
UPDATE (2/18/08): We have finally heard from the Great White North. The website for Canada's Wonderland now shows that Top Gun, the park's SLC has, as expected, been renamed Flight Deck. The Zamperla flying coaster previously known as Tomb Raider-The Ride has been changed to Time Warp. Surprisingly The Italian Job has not been changed yet, but we don't expect that name to stay.
UPDATE (2/27/08): As expected, Back Lot Stunt Coaster is the new name for the Italian Job at Canada's Wonderland. That should be the last of the name changes at the former Paramount parks. If we hear of anything else, we will let you know.