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Rastuso

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  1. The launch, if it's doing the full speed launch, is truly amazing. My rides were all in the Summer, so it was essentially like being in a convection oven with super hot, thick, air blowing by, which lessened the ride experience. It's all about speed, and there is a lot, but it's all through swooping turns, and doesn't offer much air, or laterals, and none of the great twisty hills like on Intimidator 305, or the mega lites. It truly is a one trick pony, but it's an impressive trick. -R
  2. Yeah, we took the Nact Tower test ride! I of course had my Vader and Stormtrooper riding a coaster shirt, but it was jacket weather most of the day. As for the two tours. I was told that obviously the big draw of the Ultimate Coaster Tour is the pictures from the top of Griffon's lift. You also get double VIP rides on everything, although we got almost that too. Normally our tour would have included the 3 water rides too, but because of the cold, we got more coaster rides. Normally, we wouldn't have gotten Verbolten, and neither does the UCT, I believe. There is a separate Verbolten tour. I also don't think you get Pompeii and Darkastle tours, instead you get Apollo's maintenance area, I think. And finally, the Coaster tour doesn't include lunch, or either show, which to me is a big deal, since it was a HUGE lunch with app and dessert. For the day we did it, we essentially got both tours, minus the Griffon lift hill experience and water rides. It was a hell of a deal. I'm hoping for a similar deal on the Ultimate Animal Tour soon. C'mon Busch! -R
  3. I'm still accepting free eggs. HawgGnarly.
  4. This place is a joke. At least the tower has AC, but what the hell are you looking at on the East side of Dallas at 500 feet on a hazy Summer afternoon? I love how they say how one horrible taxpayer paid entity, the light rail, will help out this horrible taxpayer paid entity. It will be filled with the folks that use public transit. You do the math. As the above poster said, its a horrible part of town that is only reasonably safe due to huge crowds during the fair. Just go look at the picture of the skyway, knowing it has no AC, and they say you should breath in the view. Breathing will be real pleasant In a glass cube in 110 degrees. They used to torture people that way. You can take in the view of the closed State Fairgound midway! What a beautiful site. This project is the ultimate example in why most politicians need their heads bashed in on the nearest concrete slab. I can't wait for a trip report. Plus, their website continuously assumes my iPad is a mobile device, and won't let me stay on the main site. A huge pet peeve of mine. The single positive continues to be Corny Dogs. -R
  5. When LivingSocial advertised a half off deal on Busch Gardens' Ultimate Insider Tour, I couldn't resist. $80 for me and my son to go to an 8 hour tour, sort of a celebration of his ongoing great grades. Waking up at my normal work time on a Saturday sucked. Waking up then, after seeing Steel Panther last night REALLY sucked. But, our Summer is really filling up, and I don't know when else we can do it for sure, so we did it today. It's a nice change from Houston when I knew each Summer consisted of Schlittercon, and staying inside for air conditioning. We get to the park at 8:15, and wait until about 8:40 for the last folks, who didn't show until later, and missed free cookies, so we left the Tour Center. We had two guides. Kevin and Jarryd. We started by walking all the way to the back of the park, which seemed like poor planning, but did make sense. The bakery is back there, and it was bustling with folks make cakes, rolls, cookies, including a free plate for us, and other various kitchen tasks. They had a huge walk in oven, and were pressing pizza crusts. They must prebake them, at least partially, unless those were just going to wait somewhere. Sorta surprised we could go into the operating kitchen with no hair nets, but who am I to say. We then went to Darkastle for a tour of maintenance. I guess safety rules recently changed, so we didn't get to see a chariot in action, but we did get to walk most of the track, including the projection area. All the projection is from the rear by dual projectors. The sets of course are much more simplistic than you think, but it was still cool. Then we went to the control room for the startup, but didn't get to ride... BOO! We were running ahead of schedule, so were stalled by stories of how bad of a job the glasses cleaning gig is for Darkcastle. THey said thousands of pairs of glasses disappear each year, but they do find real sun glasses in the bins regularly. They also said that they found over 20,000 cell phones last year in the park, which was hard to believe. And that did NOT include smart phones, which they try and get back to the owners any way they can. They have a whole department dedicated to it! Note to self, write wife's cell phone number inside my cell phone battery area. We headed out, and walked passed Verbolten, where one group member, also wearing a Star Wars shirt for May the Fourth, said there is a Star Wars reference at Verbolten. Sure enough, Yoda is quoted as saying "Do or do not, there is no try" in German on a banner. WTF? We also noticed Nacht Tower was testing, and we got to test it for them for our first ride. All throughout the day, our hosts were taking pictures of us, especially on ride, which was nice. We then got a DVD full of pics to take home, for free! Take that, Disney! We walked to Italy, and along the way would get little nuggets of information about various rides and the gardens, etc. Getting to Apollo's Chariot, we got two VIP rides, one in the front row, and then one in the back row, which was nice, but no big deal for an empty station. Did run into Chuck, the keeper of this thread, in the back row. Then some folks did some spinny rides, and we headed to Escape From Pompeii. We headed up a LOT of steps to the very dark control room where a very quiet asian girl was watching boats go by, and not answering the hosts questions. But, best I could tell, she had to be pushing two dead man switches for the flame effects to go off. We then watched boats approach the drop. ONly one had riders, since it was chilly, but they were excited to see us peeking out the wall. We then headed to Loch Ness Monster, where the maintenance room was locked. So, we did a VIP ride. I'm sure the folks in the front row queue were NOT happy that they watched two trains loaded from the other side. By then the maintenance bay was open, and we got to touch chains and wheels, and perform chain dog porn. We then once again made the jaunt up Heart Attack Hill back to Germany again for lunch in the Festhaus, and the new Entwined show. I never saw it last year, but did see the sparse stage, and fairy outfits. This show had a bigger cast, an amazing gymnast in the "Jacque and the Beanstalk" role, and was overall quite entertaining. We got free food, appetizer, entree, dessert, and drink. I had the very good turkey sandwich platter with fresh chips, mozzarella sticks, and chocolate cake. The boy had a pizza, fries, and Oreo cake. We probably got about half of our money just in the free lunch. What a deal! Now, it was time to ride! First up, VIP for Verbolten, where we took over the front half of a train, but weren't allowed to go to the back row, which was odd. Then Darkastle. Then we took a front row VIP Alpengeist ride. By this time, the VIP rides were all skipping pretty healthy lines, even for a chilly day. And, we could take front row, so we were skipping even more queue. We were ahead on time, so most went for a second Alpie front row ride. Then we went to Griffon for two front row rides. Hell, in about 60 minutes, we got 5-6 hours of rides! We walked to Ireland to get a control room tour of Europe in the Air. It's odd. THere are windows on both sides of the control room, but only one looks into a show room. The other looks at the back of the screen? I really doubt the screen was moved. My guess is that the ride was designed to have the theaters in mirror image positions, but they were ultimately both facing the same way, so the screen blocked the window. They said the seats are the same as they've always been, but they did upgrade the hydraulics for Europe in the Air. I never rode Corkscrew Hill, but did ride Questor. I think it was my first motion simulator, in fact, back in 92 during my post college graduation coaster trip where I hit Busch to stupidly ride Drachen Fire a ton of times, with both corkscrews. But, I also got lots of BBW rides, so that was good. I assume the guide was wrong, unless my memory is off. I recall Questor as being similar to the Star Tours rides, with an enclosed box motion base. CSH and EITA are open motion bases with a large curved screen. EITA sucks pretty hard. I don't recall it bothering me the first time we rode, but I got BAD vertigo. The ride film is obviously sped up for some reason, as you can see in a lot of the action, this causes slight camera wobbles to be very pronounced and nauseating, especially since the camera is much more active than the motion base. I doubt I'll ever ride it again. We were supposed to have table seats for Celtic Fire, but a snafu prevented that. We did get a pass to return to use for a table reservation later this year. Do you have to pay for these? They were making a real big deal out of it. Can't you just show up early for the show? Although, it was basically packed. The babes were hot for sure, and the dancing impressive. This was my first time seeing any "Riverdance" stuff. THis was essentially the end of the day for us. We could have stayed, but the boy was going to Spamalot at his High School tonight. So, we stopped to get our photo CD, and headed out. This was a PHENOMENAL DEAL at half price. Quick Queue Unlimited, which is essentially what we had for 8 hours, is $50 a person. We paid $40 a person for everything. NOrmal QQ, which wouldn't have included Verbolten, or multiple rides is only $20, which does really surprise me. They must heavily limit the sales of those in the summer, or the QQ crowd would be enormous. But, I think QQ isn't the same as VIP loading, and only gets you to the station without a wait. We may buy the LS deal again, for later in the year when family is visiting. For a visit in the Summer, this would be an even better deal. -R Too bad the park didn't stay this empty Free cookies! That's a lotta dough Sexy! They said that the movements in Darkastle are actually pneumatic, not hydraulic. The four bladders on the corners are pumped up or let out as needed. Never noticed the eyes before. Group photo photobomb by Jarryd The dreaded glasses cleaning room Darkastle controls Group shot VIPs baby! No gooses were harmed in the filming of this trip report. Pompeii Real fire! Survived the Arrow Oooooo! Kinky! Virtual coaster Entwined, not Tangled. Very kinetic show. Pompeii controls I could get used to this. 45 minutes, no way! We claim the front row as ours Europe in the Air controls Roller coaster wheels. For Darkastle. ANd they were MUCH heavier than the ones for the coaster, which was a bit scary! Pompeii boat
  6. I think the older people should get the eggs first!!!
  7. Thanks, man! I'm contemplating if I want to start turbo visiting towns to get the Stadium. Got a lot to do this weekend. Steel Panther tomorrow, Busch probably Saturday, and family stuff SUnday. Why did this have to be so tedius!?! -R
  8. Thunder Dolphin is an awesome ride, imho. Yeah, it's not Intimidator 305, but it's not supposed to be. The views are amazing, the track path is very unique, and the queue is filled with Japanese babes. The old parachute drop tower provided unbelievable Tokyo views at night. I was blown away. -R
  9. I'll take free eggs. I'll get teh snake today, and feel I'm hopelessly far away from the Colosseum, which is all I'm gunning for, since Quimby doesn't get a "Poling the electorate" mission. Since I can only play on my iPad in the evening, I can't get everything, and I can't visit towns while at work . I'll be sooooooooooooooo happy once whacking day is over. If the next holiday gets even more tedious, as they have been trending, I just don't see it happening. I'm HawgGnarly, and am already friends with many on this board, including Derek. -R
  10. i realize I'm probably in the minority, but not having Timber Mountain open for Haunt as a different attraction really blows. It was always a high point to me, and something no one else ever did. -R
  11. How high are folks on snakes? I just got the snake stone at 2000, and it seems like Duff Stadium is a pipedream, unless EA gets their act together, fixes the bugs, and lets me get on via my Android from work. Even then, I don't see it happening without LOTS of time spent looking for snakes in towns, which I'm just not willing to do. Duff Stadium is free in theory, but unless you are a power player, it could be the most expensive, cool item in teh game, if you buy a whacking license, rocks, logs, etc. The hotel with Mrs. Springfield seems anticlimactic, unless Mayor Quimby gets a task "Poling the electorate", which I doubt. One site says you need to be around 4000 snakes today to be able to get everything. Although it also says you get 2 snakes every 8 minutes. I need to check on snake generation. It's definitely easier to get them in my town than others, since finding 5 in a huge town is a royal PITA. I also need to see if I can glitch extra snake rocks. -R
  12. These issues aren't as bad as Big Thunder, simply because they don't seem to impact guest safety. But, it will never be an individual problem. If it's a Disney employee, and they screw up, it's Disney's fault. There are some places where this can be a bit different, such as a Disney Professional Engineer signing off on a design that kills someone, but even that would be very difficult to pin on the PE. Disney chooses to employ the people, they take the blame. That is why a good safety culture is so important. And why it amazes me how many companies still don't have a good one. But that would get me started on reenforcement based safety, and I'll go on for hours, so I best not start. -R
  13. Exactly, like I said, OSHA is very much a reactive organization, not proactive. They created the STAR system to let many companies do enough work to prove they are less likely a problem, and they will never get audited, unless there is a cause. Some folks seem to think everything is grandfathered. That isn't the case. Disney could build something up to code, and one year later need massive changes. That is rare, but the changes made to fall protection were pretty severe, and very unusual. However, they are based on fact. Many people have died from a 3-4 foot fall, especially if it is backwards. And again, Disney's history shows they are hardly a top notch company when it comes to safety. Big Thunder, Mark Twain, the guy who slid down Space Mountain (which would be hella fun to do, if you knew you would not get hurt). There very well could have been an letter from someone. That's by far the most likely reason. One simple letter from a disgruntled employee that sounds reasonably intelligent can trigger a very large OSHA investigation. -R
  14. i'm not comparing them in magnitude, but in the simple fact that things are missed by all companies, including Disney. And that the attitudes are similar. If Disney's maintenance attitude that led to the Big Thunder incident were put into a plant environment with dangerous chemicals, it could be ugly, and easily lead to very bad incident. And that is absolutely not overblown. I know a thing or two about chemical plant operational safety. Disney barely got a slap on the hand for Big Thunder. Probably because they are Disney. They aren't an evil oil company. -R
  15. Why does everyone always assume Disney is a perfect company, and are always shocked when things like this happened? They killed someone on Big Thunder due to shoddy maintenance. Disney is a typical penny pinching company. It's very hard to catch all safety issues in your facility. Even companies with the absolute best intentions have things happen that they never thought would. Fall protection rules have changed dramatically in recent years. It's damn near to the point that if someone uses more than a step ladder, they need fall protection. With all the catwalks and such that rides have, I'm surprised so few rides were effected, honestly And the "nothing has ever happened" belief is the worst possible way to do business. The Bhopal incident had never happened, until it did. Unsafe conditions present the possibility of injury. However, luck, and shear chance can let dangerous situations exist for a long time. However, sooner or later, the inury will occur. As an example, most likely the cause of the explosion yesterday in Waco has existed for many years, but the perfect storm finally happened. And if people think OSHA inspects all worksites, and catches everything, they are laughably out of touch. I've been involved in many OSHA audits, and they are all cursory at best. OSHA is mostly a reactive group. Likely, someone at Disney filed a complaint, which led to the inspection, which led to this. And I'd bet damn near anything all the rides weren't inspected. -R
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