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Everything posted by snowboard83

  1. You know I've been wondering the same thing. We got a teaser from them in April..then nothing since. I found this article though. Hopefully we hear something soon. http://www.expressnews.com/business/local/article/SeaWorld-San-Antonio-to-begin-construction-on-8379158.php
  2. Lumberhacks was definately a highlight of Howloscream last year, albeit shorter than the average BGW maze. Hopefully weather will cooperate with the park for Howloscream. Tropical systems hitting Memorial Day weekend and now Labor Day weekend are going to leave their mark on attendence this year. Poor SEAS and their luck. I'll be doing my part to help their finances by consuming plenty of alcohol at bierfest!
  3. No, no, no! You are not looking at it properly. This is the most immersive coaster ever. You (the rider) are the pirate that is hiding. That is why you don't appear in the picture you took inside the building. If you ride it again and pretend you are the pirate, it will make perfect sense. Haha. I love those sketchy P.O.S. coasters on the Jersey shore that often leave you wondering if you should have updated your will before riding as you climb the lift. That Interpark model on Funtown Pier was actually a lot of fun! (RIP) That said, I am going to have to put my vote in for Flight Deck at Canada's Wonderland (based on a ride in '11) though some have said it has ridden better the last few years. Soarin' Eagle at Coney Island was terrible this year too for whatever reason, though it typically has been better than other Volares in past years when I have ridden. Georgia Cyclone is my worst woodie, though front seat rides are reasonable. Never had my back feel the way it did after my ride in 09!
  4. OMG, I can't stand these ignorant stupid comments by coaster nerds that know absolutely nothing about what they are talking about. Spare us your idiotic "expert" knowledge and write about something you know about because it clearly isn't about roller coasters or theme park operations. Ok?? Robb im sure you know a lot, but so do I. I just dont run a site. I have connections in parks. So do you. Shouldnt you pick on a person that says i305 was a failure, KD is going out of business etc?
  5. I'm talking about in the eyes of the GP. It could be debated that Millennium Force is the most popular rollercoaster on the planet and Maverick is universally loved by GP and enthusiasts. When they married the two, they only achieved mass amounts of love from the enthusiasts whereas the GP didn't respond quite like they had hoped. I305 may have brought in more attendance. I'm not going to argue that. What it does not have though is the ridership. What we have seen is CF no longer doing business with Intamin after I305. What we haven't seen is anything like this being built in the years since. And these reasons are why I'm saying it was a miss. Because of these reasons are why I'm almost certain we will not see a ride like this in the US in the foreseeable future. I'd love to be wrong, but currently the signs don't point to that being the case. Like I said, I like the ride. You can love the ride, many of us do. But that doesn't mean it hit the mark like they hoped. Intamin isn't used as much as it was before because of reliability, maintenance and design flaws. KD knew what they were getting into when they saw the design and then approved said design. Intamin was likely chosen because they would go where other designers would not in terms of intensity. And don't forget in the late 2000s, KD was being marketed as "coaster capital of the Mid Atlantic." They were going for the extreme. They got it.
  6. It could also be due to an outside factor such as economic recovery. While in a sense this is true, it frequently runs one train. I've only been there twice when it was running 2 trains and every time it is a station wait while running one train. That makes Volcano have essentially the same capacity/hr. Never seen it, personally. I've seen all three have short lines but never has I305 had the longest. Shaky argument, but possibly true. However, respect doesn't pay the bills. Look, I don't want to come across like I dislike the ride. I think it's great and it falls just outside my top 10. The sad reality is this was a flop. We have not, and likely will not see other rides like this in the US, at least not in the near future. Millennium Force hit the mark, Maverick hit the mark, but unfortunately, a love child of the two was a swing and a miss. Fyi.. Not a swing and a miss. I305 is back and forth with Dominator as 2nd and 3rd most ridden attractions in the park (Volcano is indeed #1). Thats not too shabby if you consider the much better location in the park of Dominator.A bit intense? Absolutely. But I think it was meant to be more intense than 99% of coasters, and it achieved (although obviously underestimated intensity in version 1). It is a ride that gets people talking and brings them in from miles around to visit. The economy was really poor until '13, so their great years of '10-'13 were likely thanks to i305.
  7. This year, Alpengeist is running smoother than I have felt it in 4 years honestly! But like Chuck, I never thought it was intolerable, just a love tap occasionally in the cobra roll (my favorite part).
  8. ^^As evident by their Verbolten webcam, the ride is up and running just fine...
  9. Wow Chuck! Verbolten has changed a lot since you and me were on the hard hat tour!! Thanks for the update, I hope to go next sunday.
  10. Not to brag or anything...but I was Facebook fan they interviewed. Was going to post the video, but I figured that would be vain.
  11. Amen to that--the tour was great. Nice meeting you yesterday. Thanks Chuck. You too! Thanks for the positive reviews on our trip reports everyone
  12. Yes they did mention that the vegetation would make it so you would not be able to see the launch tunnel until it is about to happen.
  13. So Today, March 1, was the Verbolten Hard Hat tour for the media, as well as those involved in the Busch Gardens Social Media Facebook contest. I was involved with the later. Busch Gardens decided to select 10 winners (originally 5 winners) from well over a hundred essays written to them about why they should be selected. Apparently I had a strong case! My A's in college writing classes finally paid off! Today was a freakishly warm day for March, as it was pushing 75 degrees outside, under mostly sunny skies with windy conditions. Much better than the very heavy rain eastern Virginia dealt with yesterday. ' Arriving at around 11:15am, I entered through the old entrance used back in the 1990s, which has now become the employee entrance. Once I arrived, I jumped on the short tram (similar to a short bus since me and Chuck were on it) we would be using to shuttle us to the Festhaus area of Oktoberfest. Once in Oktoberfest, we were met with part of the tour team and instructed to pick up a helmet and Verbolten fact sheet. We then walked back toward the ride. Immediately I was amazed by how differently the old BBW station and queue house appeared. The whole line appears like it will be themed in a similar manner to LNM. Something BGW has not done with a coaster since, well LNM. Unfortunately, the line is not ready yet, so no real pictures were taken of most of the line because, well, all that exists is a small room where much of BBWs queue was and lots of dirt. Inside that small room is the "visitor center/travel agents" office. This is where Gerta and Gunter Schwartzwald (long backstory behind these two) try to sell you a countryside cruise in a German Sportster. Lots of luggage from people that have gone into the Black Forest, never to be seen again will decorate the room. One thing I was impressed with was how much better the ride and new structures/revamped structures involved with the ride are making that area of the park look SO much better. Inside the station is beginning to look amazing. Gone is the old wooden floor of the BBW and in is the new concrete floor. The decorations on the wall look great so far, but there is still a ways to go. In here, there were lots of signs talking of facts about the ride that I don't believe were released until today. One thing I noticed from here was how much shorter the brake run and stacking area is on the ride than I expected for a 5 train ride. There are also only 3 train storage areas off of the transfer track. So after the station, we went down to the event building. On the way down, I noticed the enclosed first launch where the driver of the car "accidently turns right" into the Black Forest instead of left. The tunnel looks awesome around the launch. It has the look of an actual rock wall that has been driven trough to get into the Black Forest. Once inside the building, we could see something nobody will see from here on out. All of the track from anywhere in the building. Apparently, there will be so much theming in this building as the final product, there will be no way to see most of the track! Upon entering the building, the entrance track will be very inclosed and as this is happening, you will experience 1.8 seconds of airtime in this tight feeling space! After this you will go around a turn or two, and enter into a helix that is not quite 90 degrees on purpose. Apparently, the park wanted this helix to feel almost like the forces you would feel on a flat ride, so while you are being pushed into your seat, you will also experience 0.5gs of lateral forces. The park has at last publicly announced the drop track section, that we all knew was coming. There apparently will be a lot lightning in this building as you are touring the Black Forest as well. This is where the "bolt" in Verbolten comes from. Sounds intriguing. I wonder how they will create it. After the Inside tour, we marched on to the Italy-Oktoberfest bridge, where we were able to hear facts about the drop and finale, interview the park managers and get interviewed by media, or the park's social media team. Unfortunately, we were not able to keep the Verbolten hard hats, as they would not have fed us lunch if we had. Busch Gardens did a great job with the event, and I thank them for the opportunity! More interesting facts: -Verbolten's running wheels will be spring loaded for a smoother ride. -Verbolten will have at least 3 areas of airtime. -The drop is 10 feet taller and steeper than BBW's. -The inside portion of the ride will be between 30 and 45 seconds. -The ride will be one of the most expensive in Seaworld Parks and Entertainments history, as well as BGW's most expensive. -The parks reused the same footers from BBW in effort to prevent sedimentation downstream and into the Chesapeake Bay. -The new ride footprint did not perfectly fit some footers, so support beams support the footers in some places. These beams are driven about 50 feet into the ground. -Train 5 arrived at the park today, however the park declined to comment on what color it is. -Verbolten has no "lifespan" that is known of because it will not exert the same forces as BBW. Larry Giles commented that BBW was doing things no other suspended designed in that period was doing, and the track was not really designed properly for these forces. The choice for a new, more exciting ride (Verbolten) was made 2.5 years ago. Before BBW's closure was even announced. Hope you enjoyed the report! On to the pictures! There will be 2 parts. The tour begins! Our head protectors! In case the Black Forest attacks, we do not want to lose any brain cells. Spiffy...dare I say...Swag? The revamped BBW station and Verbolten's new gift shop and on ride photo booth. Oh? Whats all this then? Part of the story behind the ride...slightly blurry, hopefully readable More, clearer, theme information Even more info. brakerun! 3 (hiding) trains appear to currently be on the track. Only 3 storage tracks, interestingly. Building theming Ride information for the media More theming information. Didn't realize the flash was going to affect that badly. First launch information more camera flash :/ This one is very interesting to me. Sounds like we may be talking near holding-brake type thing going on here, and theming and such in the bridge perhaps? In station theming looks pretty awesome! Larry Giles speaking to the crowd about the ride This used to look a lot different. The fun starts HERE Meandering through the woods...its a nice drive so far The themed tunnel launch into the building lies ahead, to the right! Part 2!! Just what lies inside that big building? Note: less than 1% of theming is complete inside the building. These views you will never get to see again. Most of the track will not be visible once the theming is installed. That is a big ass building! There is black track inside this building! This hill should give 1.8 seconds of pure airtime! The track gets very close to the floor A lot of dust in here, made pictures hard to take at times. This is looking toward the helix. The drop track! About the best picture you could get of it though. swooop the curve after the midcourse brake and drop. Next stop? Drop track! I can't stand here after the ride opens! Think..roadkill 90 DEGREES??? Almost.. Very "Intaminesque" rapid turns right after the 2nd launch! This looks fun! Final drop bridge under construction in the distance, airtime hill right at the very end, then into the brakes! Final turn! 3 storage tracks off of the transfer track Final drop! Steeper and faster than version 1! Now 99% less swingy. Decrepit bridge roof. Apparently roots and vines from the Black Forest are going to be trying to take over the bridge me posing with sir park President Carl Lum. Great guy. Just like Larry Giles. This reporter from WVEC is interviewing Larry Giles after she interviewed me. Clearly I was more important The winners of Busch Gardens Social Media contest! We were all happy. It was an awesome day. Who is going to be there for Verbolten's opening? THIS GUY! Verbolten is part of this balanced diet! This is the lunch they provided for us. Hope you enjoyed the report.
  14. I just returned from the Verbolten Hard Hat Tour. It was awesome and a few unknown things came up. I will try to have a Photo TR up sometime later today or tomorrow. Until then, Here are a few new facts. -The 5th train arrived at the park today, though the park refuses to release it's color. -The helix inside the event building was designed so that there will be .5 lateral G forces along with positive g forces. -The ride is the most expensive ride to date for BGW, and one of the largest capital investments to date company wide. (Though Larry Giles declined to reveal exactly how much.) -There will be a full 1.8 seconds of airtime as you crest the first hill after the launch as you enter the the building. WVEC channel 13 news was there and interviewed me (Kyle) and I believe, based on the other news crews I saw there, they will have the most extensive coverage of Verbolten tonight. Anyone wanting a sneak peak can follow me on twitter if they wish @snowboardrace.
  15. Hey everyone! I found out this morning that my entry "essay" into the Verbolten hard hat tour was a WINNER! I knew all of those years at college would one day help me out! I will be posting a report on the event on here...that is if you guys want me to.
  16. Wow REALLY? That Arrow shuttle was epic, but the Pinfari was not so much. That Pinfari had a nasty habbit of running into the car in front of it and had OTSRs...on a zyklon... not cool.
  17. I never have had a problem with M├Ąch Tower's restraints. What's the complaint about them?
  18. So, I'm curious Darren, why is that "micro worm" a Jeff Johnson credit and not a coaster for any credit whore? How is it powered? Does the attendent push the train?
  19. Great TR Darren. I hope this park gets a visit from TPR next year! Curious, how tall are you Darren? Hope I could fit in the looping toboggan!
  20. Love these TRs! Question about Fisherman Warf, does it look like the looping toboggan is still operating or look like it has been SBNO? Actually, I guess every coaster in a small park in China looks SBNO that is actually operating. I was considering flying in early for the Shanghai TPR trip for some of these random unusual credits. Did you hear about/see the tidal bore that hits the coast near Fisherman Warf at high tide? That and that creepy ass looping toboggan are the only reasons I think I would want to be in that part of town in sounds like. Hopefully might be a BONUS CREDIT with the TPR trip.
  21. If the mid-course brake before the lift didn't exist and it was just a turn straight into the lift, the cars would most certainly swing going up a portion of it. You're right that they would eventually stop, but with no barrier the swinging cars are at the mercy of gravity. If you have more weight on one side of the car than the other, it's going to bank, and the barrier wouldn't be able to go up because the car wouldn't be exactly centered. I'm not saying that my idea is perfect. The point I'm trying to make is that the horrible braking prior to the second lift and then the lift itself make for a really boring middle section of the ride, and that it could have been designed better than it was. Can this entire thread just die already... LOL.. Ok, the brakes at the midcourse were NOT always like that. The cars DID continue swinging, or did not have enough time to "reset" to the centered position and the cars would SLAM into the rails underneath going onto the second lift many times. Around 1995 or so is around the time they began to stop the train to the extent it did for the rest of the ride's existence. Now, on to the issue with the final drop trims. This was NEEDED. The swing was 110 degrees at almost 50 mph WITH the trims through the S-curve at the end. Without the trims, that were not originally planned, the ride could have been dangerous with the forces on the train and track. Lets face it...the drop was "underengineered" and a classic Arrow "whoops." The ride's opening was delayed for months due to this braking issue. You think the "rumors" of the ride tearing itself apart even with the trims was bad, imagine how it would have been without. The Wolf would not have lasted anywhere near as long as it did. The only other suspended that I am aware of that took an extreme swinging turn at the speed BBW did is Eagle Fortress. I have ridden every other North American Arrow suspended (excluding the Bat) and NONE go from, or did go from, a 100 degree or so swing from one side to a 110 degree swing to the other side at the speed and short distance of BBW (approx. 25 ft.). EF I'm sure beat the hell out of BBW, and notice it lasted 8-9 years fewer than BBW did. It was not designed to do what it did. It was another Arrow "whoops," or the park choosing not to take Arrows advice in installing trims, as is also rumored. Ninja doesn't even come close with the extremity of the swings (although there are more), but is the closest to BBW I have personally experienced. But that ending is horrible! Ninja reminds me of a larger, and maybe better first half of BBW. But the 2nd half of BBW sealed the deal for me. Flight Deck and Vortex sort of just "list" their way from one side to the other and eventually make it to 100 degree or so swings at high speeds, causing nice G's yes, but not feeling like an out of control swing at any point. Iron Dragon...is a joke. Hayabusa was a great drop, but slow turns. Vampire...eh...nice try in the tunnel-underground thingy, but I hear it can be painful. IMO, BBW was a GREAT coaster. Not many places on Earth could you experience the sensation of a swing such as what was experienced on the last drop of BBW. We should not view BBW as second fiddle to EF, or not a good ride. It should be viewed as a rare, dying experience as more and more suspendeds run through their so called "life spans". BBW is in my home park, yes. However I always ranked it higher than LNM, Apollo, and Griffon. At night, I even would enjoy it more than Alpengeist. Some of the above is personal opinion, yes. A personal opinion that comes from a lot of experience riding suspendeds (one of my favorite ride types) and will not be changed by rebuttal to this post!
  22. Wow. I am loving this trip report, thanks for sharing! I really hope Chuanlord Holiday Manor is a park on the Shanghai section of the China TPR tour. Would love to see this messed up place for myself!
  23. Wow Darren...I just somehow located a POV of that suspended coaster. It might be the most screwed up coaster I have seen to date... I dunno if that thing can be deemed safe! The thing has to suffer from Bat-like problems! No banked turns! Also...with the cars trying to torque the track, it seems like the ride would need a spine. Ive never seen track like that before. Can't be a ride that will last too many years. Yet, I want to ride it badly! For anyone wanting a look at this crazy awesome suspended coaster, click the link. http://video.sina.com.cn/v/b/44960104-1892895763.html
  24. If I did do Pre-Italy, what airport does it appear participants would fly into?
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