Family Kingdom Amusement Park Sees Crowds Build as Summer Season Gets Underway and New Rides Are Added

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Seaside amusement park's Twist 'n Shout, Kite Flyer, Flight School and Frog Hopper bring park's total number of rides to 37.

Family Kingdom, Myrtle Beach's only seaside amusement park, is seeing an increase in the number of families and others coming to the park as the summer season gets into full swing. The amusement park recently added four new rides for the 2013 season, bringing the total number of rides in the park to 37. The new rides are Twist 'n Shout steel roller coaster, the Kite Flyer hang-gliding ride, the Flight School mini-airplanes, and the Frog Hopper bouncy ride. They join long-time favorites such as the Giant Wheel, the Log Flume, Sling-Shot Drop Zone, and the famous Swamp Fox wooden roller coaster.

“The new attractions we've added have generated a lot of interest, and the Twist 'n Shout is especially popular,” said Donnie Sipes, general manager of Family Kingdom Amusement Park. “The Kite Flyer is also a big hit. And, it's especially nice to see how much the younger children are enjoying the Flight School and Frog Hopper which have room for parents to ride along. When Mom or Dad ride with them, it gives the kids some added confidence. Those are great rides for introducing the smallest ones to the fun of amusement park rides.”

Home of the legendary Swamp Fox wooden roller coaster, Family Kingdom's addition of the steel Twist 'n Shout has increased the park's appeal to coaster enthusiasts visiting Myrtle Beach. The two coasters deliver distinctly different thrill rides. The Swamp Fox has a four-car passenger train that rumbles, shudders and vibrates as it travels over its classic figure-eight wooden structure. The Twist 'n Shout is a “wild-mouse” style steel coaster with independent cars that each hold four passengers. Wider than the coaster's steel track, the cars make sharp, quick, flat turns that keep riders on the edge of their seats.

“There are only 115 wooden coasters still in operation in all of America and only four in the Carolinas,” said Sipes. “A wooden coaster's ride can be influenced by the way the wood responds to the elements like temperature and moisture in the air. Every ride can feel different. Steel coasters are relatively constant in what they feel like. But our Twist 'n Shout is unique that it is close to the ocean, so the ride is not only breathtaking in its thrills, but also in the views that you get from way up there.”

The new Kite Flyer is for all ages and provides the fun of hang-gliding as riders lay on their stomachs with feet dangling. The ride platform rises and falls in mid-air, providing the sensation of free flight, as riders soar in a giant circle around the ride's core.

The smallest park visitors can now enjoy the Flight School and Frog Hopper. Each two-seater plane on the Flight School ride has a front and rear seat, and both are spacious enough to accommodate an adult who wants to accompany a child. The Frog Hopper is a low-speed, ride that also accommodates adults accompanying their children; seated riders are taken straight upward, then “hopped” gently down to the ground.

“Family Kingdom is a favorite among visitors to Myrtle Beach because we have such a great variety of thrill rides, family rides, kiddie rides, and free entertainment, as well as an awesome midway that has games and the best in carnival foods,” said Sipes. “The park is a great value for families because it's one of the few remaining parks in the U.S. that doesn't charge an admission fee. People can come in and enjoy the park and buy individual ride tickets for whatever rides they prefer. Or they can get an All Day Unlimited Ride wristband and come and go throughout the day and evening, enjoying rides as much as they like. It's also a plus that we are conveniently located on Ocean Boulevard where most families like to stay.”

More information about Family Kingdom and the four newest rides, is available at http://www.FamilyKingdomFun.com.

About Family Kingdom

Located on Ocean Boulevard in the heart of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Family Kingdom has been a Myrtle Beach tradition for locals and visitors for more than 40 years. Opened originally as Grand Strand Amusement Park in 1966, it was rechristened “Family Kingdom Amusement Park” after being purchased in 1992 by the Ammons family, owners of the landmark Sea Mist Oceanfront Resort. It has 37 rides.

Family Kingdom is the home of the legendary Swamp Fox wooden roller coaster, the Giant Wheel, and over thirty-five other great rides and attractions for all ages. Four new rides were added in 2013 — Twist 'n Shout steel roller coaster, Kite Flyer hang-gliding ride, Flight School mini-airplanes, and Frog Hopper bouncy ride. Family Kingdom Amusement Park offers a complete amusement park experience with midway games, family entertainment and traditional park temptations such as funnel cakes, cotton candy and corn dogs.

Family Kingdom is also home to “Splashes,” a beachfront water park located across Ocean Boulevard from the amusement park. Splashes features exhilarating water slides with breathtaking drops of as much as 100 feet; open and enclosed wet and wild flume rides; and a spacious 425' long lazy river with waterfalls. There are also splash pools, eight kiddie slides and two rain trees.

More information about Family Kingdom Amusement Park and Splashes is at http://www.FamilyKingdomFun.com.

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Jamie Wilburn or Samantha Flannery
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