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Everything posted by orangeblue

  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).
  15. Damn, I just said in another thread that Cedar Point should get this, and the next day, here it is (though, I'm guessing it's been rumored for a while)! Interesting that Mantis isn't on the list; I remember from my last visit that it's station was pretty small and out of the way, so perhaps they couldn't fit a separate queue. Wicked Twister is probably absent due to capacity, which is understandable. Definitely looking forward to getting a chance to visit them again! Being able to marathon Dragster, MF, and Maverick in the middle of the day will be awesome.
  16. Great to hear another park is getting a line skipping system! That only leaves a few major parks (*cough Cedar Point) that don't have one. I would encourage people that don't like them to give it a try. Visiting a theme park is so much less stressful when you don't have to wait in line for hours or rush around the park to beat the crowds to the major attractions. Skyrush looks beautiful to me, even though I'm not a fan of bright yellow. Can't wait to ride it someday!
  17. Short answer, no; I'm to the point where I would consider NOT going to a park if they didn't offer some kind of Fast Pass system or I was just by myself with no one to keep me company in line. I loved Cedar Point, but the thought of waiting 45+ minutes for most of the main coasters would likely convince me to go somewhere like Six Flags Great Adventure, where I wouldn't have to spend the majority of my day in a crowded line (this last sentence was a hint to any Cedar Fair employees that might be here to hurry up and get a line skipping system ).
  18. Went to the park yesterday and it was very crowded; Quick Queue definitely helped as it wouldn't have been enjoyable otherwise. Got to finally ride Cheetah Hunt at night and found it to be pretty cool, though I still think night rides on Montu are a little better due to all of the inversions - seeing the city / park lights spin all around you as you flip upside down adds some extra craziness to the ride. Weather at the park was great, and should stay that way for at least another week. Miscellaneous notes: - Montu now has Quick Queue merging at the station instead of through the exit, so you get to pick your row. - Sheikra's crew was a lot faster than in past visits, with little to no stacking (4 trains running), though the person at the turnstile could do a better job at keeping the row lines more organized. - Cheetah Hunt's crew was doing a little better, though the ride suffered quite a few short periods of downtime throughout the day. Most of the slow boarding issues seemed to be guest related, but the crew at least seemed to be trying to go as fast as they could. - Gwazi is still getting rougher despite the new trains, but at least the lift hill was smooth! This was the second visit in a row that they were dueling; hope that stays the norm. - Guests seem to still enjoy pounding on the glass to the annoyance of the cheetahs.
  19. I'm going tomorrow and already have the Quick Queue Unlimited purchased. Should be worth it with the park closing at 8:30, giving me ~2.5 hours for night rides on all the coasters. Also, apparently the park is open today if you want some Christmas credits!
  20. One issue I have with the layout is the insanely long break run at the end. It seems they could have easily squeezed in another airtime hill there where the flat section of breaks are, and just used a sloping break run like on many of the other modern B&M mega coasters.
  21. As awesome as this looks to be, I have to wonder about the decision making. CW is in much more need of a good looping coaster (an SLC and old Arrow don't count). A custom B&M flyer, a Maverick style Intamin, a wing-rider - all would make for a much more well-rounded coaster lineup for that park. Don't get me wrong, this looks like it could be incredible, I just don't understand the logic behind having two very similar rides at a park when they're lacking in pretty much every other coaster metric besides number of rides.
  22. Hmmm....while I'd like to believe this is one of the press materials, there just isn't anything about this image that screams OMFG to me like some of the I-305 concept images did. This looks more like something that someone threw together in No Limits, applied some photoshop filters to it, and then spread it around the internet saying it was "leaked." Perhaps if this is one of many images, but I can't imagine this would be "key art" for the ride. Thoughts? If that's NoLimits, then they added a lot of custom 3d work on top of the photoshopping. The style looks really close to the custom animations Cedar Fair has used in the past to preview their new rides, including Behemoth and Diamondback. If I had to bet, I would say it's real.
  23. Good point. Haven't really looked at the track much. Dive machine track is pretty distinctive due to its wideness. All I can say is this project will be very interesting to follow! Edit: It's really hard to tell the track width from the angles of the pictures. More wait-and-see I guess. ^ Edit 2: Didn't think of that with the pullout. Griffon and Sheikra both have large pullouts and their drops are only ~200ft.
  24. Calling it now: B&M Giga-Dive Machine. It's the only way they can differentiate it from Behemoth and the 'relatively short' + 'splash effect' pretty much seals the deal. There's also no way I could see this being a launched giga-coaster. We already know B&M is leery of incorporating launches into their rides. Adding in the fact that this will be a giga-coaster (a first for B&M), I just don't see them pushing the envelope that much with one ride. The other side of the coin is the fact that this project comes from a Cedar Fair park. They've had a good relationship with Intamin, which is much more well suited to handling a launched giga-coaster based on their experience. So the question would come down to, why would Cedar Fair and B&M go for such a risky venture?
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