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Everything posted by dreynolds1982

  1. Forbidden Journey at least has a decent mix of physical effects (such as the Dementors) and video stuff. Still, my favorite rides at the resort are Spider-man (which has a lot of video), Mummy, and Men in Black. Agree 100%. Those 3 (Spiderman, Mummy and MIB) are my favs as well, with HPFJ right up there. If anything I think the screen portions of HPFJ are the weakest parts. The practical effects are so cool and immersive. For Spiderman, it's a great mix and works very well, much more so than Transformers I think (which leans more on the screens and less on sets/effects than spider). And since it's based on the cartoon version of spiderman, the screens actually seem more appropriate and integrate better I think. I was actually pretty underwhelmed with Gringotts (relative to my expectations). The dip at the beginning was fun, but the rest, to me, was kinda meh. Don't get me wrong, it's still an amazingly done attraction and I really enjoyed it, just maybe my expectations were too high. And the hidden door ending was pretty anticlimactic, at least the time I rode it, as the fog/smoke didn't do enough to hide it so you could clearly see the screen get pulled away and seemed to overlap with the dragon visual some, which was odd. I also wish they had done a bigger mix of practical effects similar to HPFJ. Granted I only got to ride it once due to crowds. Looking forward to riding it again next week while I'm there and getting a fresh look at it. I think individually all of these rides are fun though, even transformers and some of the others, but when you do them all in one day for example (which I did the last time I was there, both parks) it starts to wear on you a little bit.
  2. I agree with this re: Soarin'. I really enjoyed it the first few times, and still do when I ride it. But I personally don't view it as worth the extensive waits that it receives. That being said, I've been on it dozens of times and am aware of the other attractions out there now that copy the technology, so the magic and newness has worn off a bit. Easy to forget that the general public, especially at WDW more so than DL, are either first-timers or people who very rarely visit WDW, so they likely have never ridden Soarin' before or if they have, they haven't ridden it much. To them, it is likely a very unique attraction and therefore worth a much longer wait. For the Fallon ride, it sounds pretty meh to me, but then again I don't think it is intended to be some blockbuster eTicket type attraction. So, for what it is, I'm sure it will be perfectly enjoyable. I will say tho, I do think UO suffers from major screen fatigue. I would love to see them go for a more traditional dark ride concept like Mummy with some future rides rather than the screen-based attractions that have dominated the park in recent years. HPFJ was close, and don't get me wrong I love that ride, but still too much with the screens I think.
  3. Agree 100%. I feel like we're getting a rush of these VR additions on coasters simply because they are a small dent on the bottom line (i.e. cheap) and because of the marketing splash they create, and no thought (or very little thought) is being put into the guest satisfaction/operations side of things. I'm interested to see the rumored Wreck It Ralph attraction for MK and how that might play out, since (if rumors are true) it will be built with the VR in mind, rather than an after-thought add-on. Will it give legitimacy to VRs use in theme park attractions, or will it be plagued by low capacity operational issues just like many other VR attractions to-date. One things for sure at least, it will be better than Stitch's Great Escape...
  4. I mean I get it. It's a relatively inexpensive way to refresh an older attraction (though I agree I might try it once but really don't feel the need for it on an already thrilling coaster like Kraken as part of the thrills are the natural visuals associated with the coaster). It is completely optional though, so those who don't want to use it don't have to. The only concern I have with any of these VR add-ons is the increase in load time. With these being included with each seat, that cuts down on it some, but they are still going to have to be cleaned between every ride, and then you're going to have guests who need help putting them on, adjusting them (though I understand Six Flags has implemented a new ratcheting system that helps with that), etc. I am all for optional ways to add new thrills/twists to old attractions, I just hope from an operational standpoint they get it all figured out so it doesn't make for overly long waits or delayed load/unloads, particularly for those who just want to ride the coaster and have no desire to mess with the VR stuff.
  5. I'm perfectly fine with this overlay IF they do it right. As others have said, DCA's Tower was a shadow of the original, so this should inject some life into it. Now, with the six month time frame. I'd imagine the exterior work will begin soon, with scrims in place. Having worked at DHS's Tower during the last major upgrade in 2002 (ToT vs 4 that introduced the randomized drop sequences and additional effects), I can tell you that they can do ALL of the programming changes and drop sequence effects/additions while the ride is still open (when I worked at Tower they would work on the programming after park close and added screens, the translucent figurines, etc. to the drop tower without anyone really noticing, those effects simply were just dark during operating hours). So, assuming all of that, that leaves 6 months to do the physical theming in the entrance, queue, lobby, pre-show area and boiler room/loading area. I think this is totally doable (for example, taking the vats int he boiler room and using those structures and containment devices for the captured guardians). The biggest thing is, unlike say Stitch Encounter but much like Frozen, this is an IP that many people are fairly passionate about, even fanatic about. Plus, the attraction itself is a flagship eTicket for that park (again unlike Stitch Encounter - though that one still irks me to this day b/c AE was one of my all time favorite attractions) and is being used to anchor an entire marvel-themed section of the park. I'd like to give WDI the benefit of the doubt assuming that they realize the need to do this right thematically. Time will tell, but I'm cautiously optimistic.
  6. I love big budget rides, huge coasters, etc. as much as the next guy, but I am a sucker for small, well-maintained nostalgia parks like this one. They just have a feel that you can't get in the big boy parks. Great update, thanks for sharing!
  7. This is my absolute favorite picture from the trip report so far. Agreed.
  8. All of these parks look just amazing. Remind me of BGW. Really, really wish we had more parks in the US with this level of theming, landscaping, attention to detail, etc. I love thrills rides as much as the next guy, but I'm a sucker for theming and attention to detail. Even just a little bit can make a good ride/park/restaurant great.
  9. Great report! BGW is one of my favorite non-Disney parks. It's beautiful, has a really unique layout with all of the elevation changes, twists and turns, and has some fantastic attractions. In contrast to KD and other parks like it, it goes for quality over quantity of rides. Apollo's Chariot continues to be one of my all-time favorite. IMO has some of the best airtime on any coaster I've experienced, and is just so smooth. Verbolten is a lot of fun too and they did a great job with the theming. Food is great in the park as well. Just overall a fantastic park.
  10. Haha I know hence the " " around boat. Was one of the funnier rumors bouncing around for a while though, watching people try to figure out how a boat makes sense in a Star Wars themed ride...
  11. Wow, both of those rides look amazing. The projection effects in Pirates look absolutely stunning. I'd expect to see a similar use of those effects in the "boat" ride coming to Star Wars land. From the looks of things, it appears they done an incredible job of seamlessly integrating the projection effects with practical effects, using the projections as amazing transitions between larger sets.
  12. I knew with the viral buildup for the ride that it was setting up for an inevitable let down. While I'm sure the ride will be fun, it's just a bit meh. My wife is from Virginia so I've always considered BGW to be my home away from home park. They always do a great job with everything though *remembers Mach Tower* OK, maybe not everything, but still, I'm sure it will be a fun ride. Interested to see the layout and also who they incorporate the theming.
  13. I think Big Thunder Mt is still my favorite night coaster. Just something special about it once the sun goes down. Basically any inverted coaster is better at night IMO. Makes the leg chopper elements even better.
  14. I've never been on Manta, but the pretzel loop on Superman:UF at SFGa is one of my all time favorite coaster elements. Just an incredibly unique sensation, unlike anything else I've experienced on a coaster. Hard to describe. Definitely something you need to experience for yourself!
  15. Wow, that place looks amazing. Reminds me of this place in Charlotte, NC I used to go to as a kid all the time, Discovery Place, but on steroids. Very neat way to let kids experience hands-on learning in a fun, immersive environment. Shame (but as you said not surprising) that the concept hasn't caught on in America.
  16. I was thinking the exact same thing. Rumors are already swirling that Universal could remove the Hulk coaster theming as soon as the end of this year. Seems like the timing of this is about right to give Uni and new IP that could fairly easily be placed into the current Marvel section. Also, I know there have been rumors that UO is looking to get rid of the comic strip theming in the land adjacent to Super Hero Island. They could turn the whole area into a Nintendo themed section. As much as I'd love something brand new (a big ticket attraction themed to Zelda would be awesome), I'd more expect a retrofitting/retheming of current attractions, especially given the rumored accelerated time table of the Marvel discussions. I wouldn't expect it to get the level of detail of Wizarding World for two reasons. 1) The world of Harry Potter lends itself much, much more to that immersive, heavily detailed theming. 2) Anything Nintendo themed is going to involve several individual IPs (Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong, Pokemon, etc). To me, that fits more into the way they have the Marvel and Comic Strip lands set up rather than the Wizarding World.
  17. BGW is one of my favorite parks. Will definitely have to get up that way to catch a ride on Tempesto. The park itself is absolutely beautiful and their rides are almost always top notch. The only ride in the entire park, IMO, that doesn't fit with the quality of the rest is the Europe in the Air simulator. I liked it better when it was Corkscrew Hill. Though even that ride is fun (in a campy sort of way), especially on a hot summer day. Oh and side note, some of the best non-Disney theme park food you will find. I do miss the beer sampling stations that they used to have though back when they were owned by Busch...
  18. Agree with this all so very much. It is the same way with movie enthusiasts (and really enthusiasts of any kind). If a highly anticipated movie with a fanboy following comes out, the slightest bit of criticism, accurate or otherwise, is greeted with a the most vile, aggressive and angry responses. Carowinds is my home town park and between visiting it daily and working there, I spent the better part of my youth at that park, so I am beyond thrilled to see it get this kind of national buzz and attention and start getting rides of this caliber. I feel like I've watched the park grow, evolve and change so much over the years that I'm just proud of what it has become. I have yet to ride Fury, but will soon and am sure it will be a blast. Will it hit my top 10? Who knows, but I'll enjoy it either way and will likely ride it again and again for years to come.
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