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About orangeblue

  • Birthday 08/01/1989

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  1. Booked - first time visiting SFMM and Knott's (and driving in LA traffic)!
  2. Thanks everyone for the advice! Don't mind waking up early too much, and it's less of a hassle to me than switching hotels. Not having a hotel to go back to in the middle of the day could be a bit of an annoyance, but considering it would be my 1st time to SFMM, I'd probably want to stay at the park as long as I can.
  3. Sounds awesome! What do people typically do for lodging? Both Knotts and SFMM have hotels within walking distance, but the parks are almost 1 hour, 15 minutes apart (without traffic). Does it make sense to just stay by Knotts and drive over to SFMM for the day? Would the Sunday morning drive to SFMM from Knotts be pretty hectic?
  4. Went to BGT yesterday - overall the park looked good, but was very packed. The tower is around 100ft now, and I'm guessing that the crane is close to the final 300ft. It will definitely make for an impressive focal point for BGT when it's finished next year. Took a final ride on Gwazi in the back row (bad idea). Shame seeing the deterioration over time, but for the first few years of operation, it was a pretty great ride. Gwazi was never a top 10 coaster, but it was once a thrilling ride that the whole family could enjoy and offered some variety from the park's B&M-centric lineup. The park's operations were actually not too bad given the crowds, though there were a few issues: 1) Quick Queue lines on Sheikra and Cheetah Hunt got backed up (around 20-25 minute waits). Clear sign they're over-selling them. Would really like to see BGT switch over to QBots, though that goes for all parks . 2) No station entrace managers at Montu or Kumba. Despite full queues, they had no one regulating the flow of guests in to the stations (they did at Cheetah Hunt and Sheikra). Instead of relatively orderly lines for each row, the stations were essentially giant mosh-pits. Considering a single ticket sale could pay the salary of one employee standing guard at the station entrance, this was quite annoying (could be forgiven on a slow day, but they had to be expecting the crowds given the holidays). Saw some construction on the building behind that theater from the sky ride (no idea if it's related).
  5. Definitely interested in either the West Coast or the Texas tours. Pacific Northwest doesn't really have that much to offer as far as coasters go, so I'd probably pass on that. Out of the two remaining trip options, if I had to make a choice, it would be the West Coast trip. West Coast: + longer tour + all new parks compared to the 2013 Midwest Tour + several major new credits that haven't been featured on a TPR tour yet (Gold Rusher, Superman, YOLO Coaster) + overall, very good park lineup - more expensive than the Texas option Texas: + cheaper + includes 3 major credits we missed on the 2013 Midwest Tour (Iron Rattler, Texas Giant, Shockwave) + SFFT and Sea World were both worth revisiting + would be very excited for Boardwalk Bullet and Iron Shark - shorter tour - Texas is hell in July / August - 3 parks repeated from the 2013 Midwest Tour - SFOT was less than stellar this year (may improve next year)
  6. Mini-Hotness is a definite for me! Scandinavia sounds incredible, but I still have so many US parks I need to visit first before venturing on to Europe (though, I'm almost certainly in for a Europe trip next year!). Would likely consider doing a West Coast + Mini-Hotness combo. My honest preference would be for a mini North East tour to go with Mini-New Hotness (in place of West Coast), but I'm guessing you guys are planning on doing a full North East / East Coast tour in the next couple of years anyway. At any rate, looking forward to doing at least one awesome TPR trip next year! - Zach Edit: As someone else pointed out, a Mini-Southern tour featuring Dollywood and Silver Dollar city would also be a very nice option! I loved SDC enough to go right back there next year, and I hear Dollywood is just as great.
  7. I rode Hades opening year 2005 and it was fantastic! I really enjoyed it...and I do NOT like rough rides at all. Then I rode it in 07, and it was rough and dropped quite a bit in my mind. When we went to the park in 2010 I was warned not to ride it as it was pretty far gone. Last week I rode it hoping for the best and was quickly killed. It was by far the roughest ride I've been on EVER, and I've been on a lot of terrible rides (SOB, White Canyon, Gouderix, SLC's, Outer Limits with OTSR's, etc.). I was honestly offended and horrified that the park would leave a ride like that operating. To think that six and seven year old children could be put on that ride not quite knowing that the 'Hades is running agressive today' sign is a nice way of saying 'stay away!' scared me. When you bring a group of 93 enthusiasts to the park for ERT and most give up after one ride, and nearly all after the second ride, something is wrong. Even people that 'love rough rides' thought the ride was too rough! I was having to beg people to go ride again so Robb could get footage. What bums me out is that the ride has a ton of potential. It's a fantastic layout and setting, you're just in so much pain you can't enjoy it. As someone who found The Boss rough but still enjoyable (rode it the day before three times, including in the back), and would even put Gwazi in my "not too bad" category, Hades 360 was just agonizing. I would not be surprised to see someone get a severe injury from this coaster in the next year or two without some kind of intervention. I have no idea how Gravity Group could even sign off on this ride - it needed a complete re-tracking to have any chance of being good. Honestly, this is giving Gravity Group a bad name and if I were in their position, I would not have agreed to do the Hades 360 modification without a contractual obligation from Mt. Olympus to maintain the ride properly. As for the Timberliner trains, I'm now really concerned about seeing them on rides like Voyage. They should be really comfortable on a smooth coaster, but without anything to brace yourself against (the grip area on the lapbar is pretty awkward to hold), any rough sections of track will be painful. Still had a good time at Mt. Olympus despite its sketchiness (Zeus in the front, and Cyclops in the back were amazing), but Hades 360 was quite a disappointment. As Elissa said, so much wasted potential...
  8. This one is even worse! So many wrongful things, the click, her falling out on the drop...ugh I wouldn't be surprised if Six Flags sues several of these media outlets for slander. The information is clearly wrong and is harming their reputation while making one of their prominent coasters look unsafe to the point of negligence on Six Flag's part for ever opening it.
  9. Would this be a good event to attend as part of a first time visit to Knott's / SFMM? I recently moved to the west coast, and have been planning on taking a trip down to L.A. to hit up these parks sometime this year. While this sounds like a great event to plan my trip around, I'm not sure if I'd have time to do all the major rides at SFMM in a day, along with all the event activities (even if I buy a FlashPass). Seems like it would feel a bit overwhelming / rushed. What do you guys think?
  10. It's funny, in 10-15 years, the existence of Son of Beast will sound like some crazy urban legend that only the locals who frequent the park will believe. "You mean there used to be a 200ft wooden coaster here, with a loop?! Yeah, right, nice try!"
  11. I think the problem with your reasoning is that airline travel is, in a lot of cases, a necessity for many people. They pretty much already have a lock on your sale if you need to travel a large distance, so there's very little stopping them from nickel and dimming you, especially when all their competitors do so too. For theme parks, this is hardly the case. Sure, us coaster enthusiasts take going to a theme park as a given when planning a trip / vacation, but for a lot of people, theme parks are just another entertainment venue. Get pissed off over insane prices? Just go to any number of other tourist attractions in the area. Theme park operators have to work, especially in this economy, to keep people going out to their parks.
  12. Sorry if this has been discussed before, but how is this coaster going to handle capacity? Twelve riders per train, launching every 3 minutes or so (a lenient estimate) would have terrible hourly capacity. It's so low that it seems like it would have to be an up-charge attraction just to be viable (or else face 5+ hour lines).
  13. I actually agree with the FL queue having 100% priority over the regular queue. If I have a FL ticket that's advertised as eliminating the wait to get on a ride, I don't want to have to wait in a FL line, even if it's shorter than the regular line. Waiting in the station is fine with me since I get the added benefit of choosing my row (versus having a predefined car). The parks appear to be overselling their FL tickets right now, which is the main cause for delay with the regular lines. I've used the QuickQueue option a few times at Busch Gardens Tampa, and although they appear to be giving the QQ line 100% priority, due to the limited number of QQ passes available, this doesn't seem to significantly alter the regular line, or bring it to a complete stop as others have mentioned. The worst case would be Cheetah Hunt, where I would estimate about 1/3 of the people entering the station used QQ. With all of the other rides, QQ people came so sporadically that it could hardly affect the normal line. As for different implementations, merging at the station appears to be the best option. Roping off individual rows and having people use the exit, almost doubles the dispatch time in my experience (this was on Gwazi, which as some of you may know, doesn't exactly have fast dispatch times to begin with). Also, as I mentioned earlier, this gives you the chance to choose your row, while also giving all guests equal access to all rows.
  14. Guess I didn't here the rumors about the Cedar Point version (I haven't been keeping up with the latest coaster news, it being the off season and all).
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