Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park has started its 123rd season with a new family-friendly roller coaster, seven more shows and a third custom-craft beer.
The park's new Blazin' Buckaroo allows cowboys and cowgirls as short as 36 inches high to climb aboard (but they'll need to be accompanied by an adult until they reach 42 inches). While the new coaster may not have the vertical drops or speed of the park's other roller coasters -- Twister 2 and the Mind Eraser -- the Blazin' Buckaroo still makes two full spins around the 360-foot track with a 15-foot drop, several quick turns and hits a speed of 15 mph.
See also: - Radium and roller coasters: A brief, dirty history of Elitch Gardens - Custom beers: Great Divide rolls with Chipotle while the Wynkoop rides with Elitch's - For Your Amusement: Elitch Gardens' summer plans
Inspired by the successful introduction of the Rockin' Tug last year, which allowed kids and parents to ride together, the Blazin' Buckaroo is already a hit with kids of all ages.
"It was scary and cool at the same time," says eight-year-old David Young.
"It's fun and jerks you around a little," adds his dad, Robert Young, both in town from Colorado Springs.
The Blazin' Buckaroo isn't the only new attraction this year. The park is also rolling out seven new shows this summer. Cirque Conjure, the third production in the Cirque series, combines illusion, dance and music with imaginative sets and costumes; it will open on May 25 and run through September 2.
Other shows in the lineup include the Do Right Duo, a kid-friendly act that has superheroes teach the importance of healthy habits, and Motorcycle Mania, an aerial wheel show with sky-high jumps.
To quench adult thirsts, the park has partnered with Wynkoop Brewing Company on a third beer exclusive to Elitch. Like the Elitch Gardens Orchard Wheat and Fire Roasted Amber, the Thrills and Spills Summer Ale will be served at cafes and restaurants throughout the park.
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Elitch Gardens is open this weekend, then will start its seven-day-a-week schedule on May 25. The Water Park is also slated to open on May 25; fireworks are scheduled for Memorial Day and July 4. Information on season passes, day tickets and a complete list of shows are available on the Elitch Garden's website.