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Everything posted by GuruGuys

  1. [spolier] UGH. I thought I was going to see E.T. pop out somewhere. What a horrible, horrible ending. I'd like to have had more real stunts (even if Ford can't do them himself), less CGI. Indy + Aliens (and no thats not a spoiler, its pretty clear where it is going in the first 15 minutes, unfortunately) = 6/10. -GG edit: added spoiler tag, after reading some other posts mentioning plot twists (I dont recall any plot twists at all, alas) Ill be a bit more considerate in the future.
  2. Although I just can't justify paying the ACE membership fee (made that mistake before) in addition to the event fee to be able to attend that day, I am curious how the ACErs will be behaved that day. You can always find an ACE'er and ask them to take you as a guest (sans membership fee). One of the things that makes some people dislike ACE is that when you are attending a park sponsored event you are NOT ALLOWED to say anything negative about the ride, ESPECIALLY to the media. You are taught that if you don't like the ride, say some positive spin. Your ACE membership is on the line, therefore ACE'ers at ACE events are very well behaved at events (at the least ones I have been too). Also, its mostly older folks (30's+) at the ones I have been to. I have no problem with the policy as the park gives us great perks and I can honestly usually find something good to say about any coaster. -GG
  3. OK, its clear. I was totally wrong for thinking the new trains were supposed to provide a big improvement in the roughness category. I was wrong, mislead, whatnot. -GG P.S. Yes, I'm really bored tonight & yes, I remember that post you just posted. I wasn't putting words in your mouth. I never saw you clearly state that you had no expectations of the new trains running better than it was running when the ride started the transformation. You have now, and then some.
  4. But you thought it would be smoother than it was? I didn't remember anyone say they though it would be as smooth as a B&M? I do recall Sharktums complaining about the roughness. Ok, I'll say it again now for the third time. The ride *IS* smoother than it was during it's "roughest" years, but it's not as smooth as a B&M and I wasn't expecting it to be. If anyone was expecting X2 to be as smooth as a Batman, Goliath, or Tatsu, well, their stupid. The point that I made was that I am reading the new trains did not meet their objective in being smoother, at least no smoother than the old trains during the last year, from what I gather. I had come to expect after reading posts, watching video, etc, that smoother ride was the main objective. There is even a picture of a sign in the photo report above saying "X2 improvements, lighter smoother trains". I may have been wrong here. I asked if you were surprised it wasn't any better (didn't meet expectations there), you didn't answer. You did repeat what I already agreed with you on, nobody should expect something of that design to be incredibly smooth. So the only thing I can assume is that the new trains indeed did not meet your expectations as far as making it smoother (since you state they are like the old trains in the last year). We were all told at West Coast Bash that the new trains would improve the "reliability" of the ride creating less downtime and they hoped that it would also be a smoother ride. And that it was. So the new trains do provide a smoother ride? I am confused, I thought you said it was the same as the old trains during the last year? It is almost like you can't directly say that yes, it would have been nice if the new trains ran smoother, but they don't. I thought it was ACE members that had to be so PC. As for effects that may or not be on due to certain factors, the same can be said for ANY ride that has effects. I've had plenty of Space Mountain rides without audio. I've seen days where Volcano's fire effect doesn't work. Last time I was at Busch Gardens SheiKra's mist tunnel was off. BIG DEAL! --Robb Perhaps I confused/combined my argument with my statement. I agree with you on the effects, with or without X2 will be a great ride that I highly look forward to. I'd feel I miss out on something if they are down when I ride, and perhaps a different choice of effects would lend themselves to being down less, but I wouldn't degrade the ride because of them not operating. As you say, BIG DEAL about the effects, that was kinda my point. It was the smoother train ride that would have really expanded X2's ridership for those who need a smooth ride, which is why I *had* a hard time understanding it exceeding expectations. -GG
  5. But you thought it would be smoother than it was? I didn't remember anyone say they though it would be as smooth as a B&M? I do recall Sharktums complaining about the roughness. I thought the main improvement was supposed to be the trains themselves making the ride smoother? Everything I have read in the former threads leading up to X2's debut said lighter smoother trains, faster loading times and special effects, yet after reading some of this thread I see that it isn't any less rough, the effects may or may not be on due to wind and other factors, and the audio system is the real main experience improvement? That exceeded your expectations? But with things balanced all out, however, the reason X2 is one of my most anticipated steelies and the reason I will be returning to the park in the near future, regardless of effects, is because of the ride itself. I really don't care if its a bit rough (heck, I'm immune to that after all the rides on the Bullet), it looks like a really really fun ride. I'm sure the added effects do add to the experience, but they don't make me want to ride it any more (or less) than I did before.
  6. I totally agree with you on the back half part, when it was running 78-82 seconds around the time you visited it was a total joke at the end, you literally leaned the wrong way on those last few turns and it shuffled like crazy. Keep in mind the design speed was around 56 seconds, so they are not too far off from that now. I just hope it stays this fast consistently. I also totally agree about the seats, the front row, and back three rows have been the only ones worth riding for me. The middle of the train has never done much at all aside from beating me around. I'm a bit skeptical that even if it does get down to the mid 50's at some point, the middle rows will be too much different than they have been, but I would loved to be proved wrong. This coaster does have a lot of potential to be unlocked, I just hope they find the right key. -GG
  7. I feel very confident that Knoebels will never build a Gravity Group woodie. If you look at their current coasters, all of them were internally developed. The exception of course is Phoenix, which was relocated from Texas. If anything, they would build a GCI woodie, as they are only 15 minutes apart. But if they wanted a GCI woodie, I would guess that one would already be operating in the park. They seem to like doing their own thing. Sorry for crushing your dreams It was my understanding that the main business philosophy differences between TGG and the other wood coaster designers is that TGG gives the park the flexibility to do their own contracting and control the project themselves. This saves the park a lot of money and a park that is used to developing their own products would already have a head start in setting up contractor bids etc. It would seem that TGG would cater more towards a park that is used to doing things themselves, they park would just be contracting out the design. -GG BTW, where is the video from the event, I thought I read there would be some put up a few days ago, and why no front page link on TPR?
  8. I wouldn't say that. At this point we still don't know if the problems have been due to design, construction measurements being off, or both. I don't think anyone involved has deemed the problems unsolvable, but I am sure they will have some more work to go before everything is as it needs to be. The Bullet was running tests all evening and things are looking great. With a full weighted train (water dummies installed) it was 61 seconds!!!! Aside from the opening night in the rain the Boardwalk has NEVER run this fast! A few of the construction crew that rode said it is super smooth all the way down the first drop and curve and you can hear a big difference when the train goes through there, no more "tap tap tap tap tap" as it flies by! When I watched the test runs it flew over the anti-rollbacks towards the end of the ride that it sometimes struggled to go over then sped right past the magnetic brakes and into the station. I heard they are actually going to have to find a way to slow it down coming into the station for two train operation! Should be open tomorrow evening and should be taking on full capacity with full train operation. -GG
  9. Wow, I guess I got very lucky when I visited Knotts'. These are the kind of comments I heard going into my Knotts' visit and was very happy that I experienced nothing similar to the complaints expressed here. I had a great time there, the ride ops were all having fun with their jobs, the staff and maintenance crew were friendly, the park was very clean and the rides were fun. Sucks that they can't seem to provide the service I experienced on a consistent basis. -GG
  10. Yes, much better question, what park isn't hideously busy memorial day weekend? About the retracking, they expected to have it finished and run tests tonight but ran a bit behind. The train sitting on the lift has been filled with water dummies and they are almost ready to go. They only had a few guide rails left to install at the top of the lift when I left this evening. Tests and inspection should run tomorrow which will lead to a Friday opening if things go as planned. Here is a post from one of the lead Kemah maintenance guys from sixflagshouston.com (at the time of that post they thought it would test today): -GG
  11. All of the fanboys of a certain coaster in Texas just died a little inside. I thought The Voyage was the TGG coaster that everyone was so adamantly split on? The Bullet has never ranked very high. I only know of one person on TPR that puts it in the top 10 (Texcoaster). I can't wait to ride RFII. While the Bullet is my home coaster, my anticipation for riding RFII, El Toro and many other woodies I haven't ridden has not died, it has just risen! I'm glad TGG has made a more accessible coaster. From what I hear about The Voyage, and from first hand experience with the Bullet, they are pretty darn rough. The TPR RFII crew would have DIED had they gone 52 laps on either of them. Heck, half of the TPR crew was almost dead after riding The Bullet a dozen times! -GG
  12. Knott's for me has had the best park operations of the parks I have visited in the past year (there are not many, SFOT, SFFT, Seaworld Texas, SFMM & Knotts). The customer service and very friendly ride ops were leaps and bounds beyond any of the other parks when I visited. I see people joke about Knotts' all the time, and this lead me to a pretty low expectation when I did visit the park, I'm glad I experienced just the opposite. I was told a story about how they botched Coaster Con awhile back, perhaps this is where they get the bad rap? -GG
  13. I saw some people riding alone but they are supposed to try to pair single riders up from what I was told. There is likely a thread somewhere for Goliath vs Titan, I don't want to get that going here and probably shouldn't have mentioned it to begin with. I put a quick and dirty "Chaos" video up at vimeo: http://vimeo.com/1029433 (Mods: is it possible to embed this like youtube, and change this thread to "Kemah Boardwalk Update Thread, subtitle: Bullet planned reopening Memorial Day Weekend?) -GG
  14. The Bullet is on schedule, perhaps a bit ahead of schedule, and they are still planning opening on next Friday if things continue going well. Chaos opened at 6pm today. By next weekend Chaos should get a more permanent look wood rails, queue lines, etc. Just a few pics this time. -GG Chaos is now open! The control panel had a Missouri inspection tag, it came from Silver Dollar City for those who wondered. There are now several layers of wood on the ledgers that were adjusted, the entire work area has at least 2 layers of wood in place, no missing track. Worker holds a layer of track in place while another pounds in nails on the first drop. They were working late into the evening. First ever ticket printed for Kemah Boardwalk's Chaos
  15. And that's kind of the argument. Did they design a coaster that's TOO aggressive, and that will keep tearing itself apart? I guess we'll see if the trend continues. No, the argument that I was responding to was that Gravity Group / M&V will call this general wear and tear, not if the coaster is too aggressive or will continue to tear itself apart. My point was: No, they will not call it general wear and tear. The argument on if the Bullet is too aggressive will simply be answered as time plays out. I was at SFOT today for Tony Hawk media event, so no Bullet updates or pictures. I did get some great rides on Tony Hawk today, the best I've had so far. Giant was actually fun in the front seat, and I confirmed (to myself) that Titan does indeed blow away Goliath (way more airtime on the airtime hill, double up helix has longer/stronger sustained positive gs, etc). I'll update the Bullet tomorrow night and will also ride Kemah's Chaos install, it should be running tomorrow. -GG
  16. Perhaps if TGG and/or M&V want to go out of business. I don't think any park will buy a coaster that needs sections of track totally replaced every 3-4 months. If they can consider this wear and tear, they may as well just leave out any kind of warranty period. Things are still moving along at a fast pace. Memorial day weekend is still the goal to have the Bullet re-opened and at the moment it is apparently on track for that. Pics of todays progress. -GG This area now has some track laid. It takes 4 days for 8 Kemah workers to do what 2 carnies can do in an hour Chance Chaos is being setup. They have started work on the upper bay turn. They are going to try to eliminate what is left of the slam in that area. This is where they are at at the middle of the drop. I believe they will not need to take any more rail or wood off from here. This area has the most work to be finished. Closeup of ledgers showing the amount they are being moved. They are moving almost all of these ledgers some. Although there are still clamps holding it in place while they tweak it.
  17. No, none of the work being done is 'expected wear and tear'. Tearing down large sections of the track and rebuilding it from scratch when the coaster is not even 9 months (and about 2 months of that it has been down) old is not expected wear and tear. -GG
  18. I seriously doubt it will be steeper, if we are lucky it will loose less speed to track shifting and go faster. While you will be a bit disappointed in comparison, the ride has been running very well since the Nov-Dec construction. It has been running in the mid to low 60's and providing nice, albeit brief, airtime on hills past the water cooler drop. It was a lot smoother as well. Its still a fun ride but the back 15% needs to be faster. Don't know which 'they' you are referring to is, but I would find it hard to believe that Kemah is paying for any of this. I wouldn't be surprised if they haven't paid anything yet in fact. The coaster should be under warranty, and I would think that both TGG and M&V would probably extend that warranty once the coaster does run consistently. I have no doubt it is costing M&V and TGG a lot, I wouldn't be surprised if they are trying to figure out who is going to pay. I have no idea if the problems are due to design, construction, perhaps both. I can just speculate as they keep all that very hush hush, and even if I did know I probably wouldn't be able to tell. Yes, but I don't see them having near the crowds, especially on weekdays, that a major park has. I know the Bullet didn't open until after school was back in last year, but I hung out there quite a but during construction when school was out and was not terribly busy on weekdays. I'd love to be proved wrong, but I don't see them getting the same volume as say, a Six Flags. That being said, it doesn't matter, the coaster should run more than a month without requiring downtime and track work. I don't entirely agree here. The bottom of the first drop was missing some lateral force, but I do believe it gained speed and the zig-zag was even better than before, ESPECIALLY in the front. Furthermore, it gave us consistent run times and you got air on the hill before the pop, and the train always sped fast into the under station flyby. You also got ejector going into the water tower turn in the front (one of my favorite parts now). I think Allmightyfire rode right after the work was done, but it actually gained some of the laterals back a month in. Its been a much better coaster IMO after the Nov/Dec work, and I still rode with coaster enthusiasts who thought the first 15 seconds were unreal (ie. CoasterJoe). It hasn't come to a crawl after the bay turn for a long time, especially since they changed to that new oil for the track lubricant. It doesn't slow down until the turn after the under station fly-by, mainly the last two hills (double up?) and turn before the brake run. Here are some pictures of the construction progress. Again, not the best quality shots (someone wasn't paying attention and the camera was set to low resolution, but better than yesterday's.) Workers starting to remove the rail on the upper part of the drop. Not sure how many layers will be removed from here. You can see a clamp holding this ledger in place, you can also see a block of wood, about 2", holding it up more. This section of the track will be banked more. It appeared a few ledgers above this were being banked more, and moved in as well which would make the turn tighter at this point. They are using a thin and long piece of wood to help line up and measure for the new track to go on these ledgers. Canadian also tries to cope with the Houston humidity by going shirtless. I don't know how many layers they removed on the section of the turn behind the queue, the valley of the first drop, but it appears they have already added several layers back on. They are working quick, you can see tons of wood laying on the ground there. They have torn off only a few layers near the zig-zag portion after the first drop before the bay turn. Workers appeared to be re-gauging this section. This was one of the first sections of track that was worked on by Kemah maintenance after the Nov-Dec work. They put a layer of plastic behind the guide rail. It wouldn't be long before this... If someone turned on the lift hill chain... Workers are still tearing off track and rail towards the middle and top of the first drop.
  19. They already had wood on site and plans to close Monday regardless of them having to close it Sunday night. I think they were originally going to try to do work in bits so it could be open on weekends, but I am pretty sure it will be closed at least this weekend, and probably next. Ill post some better pictures of the work being done tonight. Ironically, the work they did to the first drop and turn in December made it to where it was no longer rough on the riders, but it was apparently rougher on the track as it held together for a shorter amount of time than the original build. Even with Gravity Group's reputation of making agressive coasters, this is not an 'aging well' problem, the coaster hasn't aged at all! The rest of the track has not been touched. The problem area seems to be isolated to the first part of the ride, the first drop and turn up to the bay side, now mainly the first drop and 'zig zag' before the bay turn. Too bad the city can't give Kemah back the area they took away at the last minute so TGG can build the drop the way it was originally designed. It is clear from some of the early drawings and models we have seen posted that the drop was originally not as agressive, stuck out more to the parking lot side and seemed to go under the water tower (which the queue now winds through). I can't imagine how bad it would be if Kemah was a 7 day a week summer park that had full trains running non-stop like the big parks. -GG
  20. Try: Gimp - http://gimp-win.sourceforge.net/stable.html Its totally free and it is almost as powerful as Photoshop. If you are used to Photoshop, try: GimpShop, Gimp made to look like Photoshop: http://www.gimpshop.com/download.shtml -GK
  21. In addition, we can play this in the queue: P.S. Sorry if I left out your native country, it wasn't on purpose. In honor of the BEST marketing slogan Six Flags has ever given us!
  22. The entire first drop is being torn out, completly, not just a few layers. It appears they are tearing up rail all the way around to the upper bay turn, I'm not sure how far down they will go on those. One of the trains still rests on the lift hill, and it will obviously remain there until construction is done. There were about 20-25 people working on it, the most I've ever seen at once, and I was told that they are going to try to get the coaster back up by Memorial day, but nothing is official. Personally I would be skeptical of that date going by previous 'maintenance' time lines in the past. It will not be open this weekend. On my way in I passed an 18 wheeler carrying the new Chance Chaos ride and by the time I left they were in the process of unloading it and setting it up. It should be open by the weekend. Here are some pics, albeit incredibly poor as I only had my cell phone with me. I'll get some better ones tomorrow. EDIT: http://www.boardwalkbullet.com now states the Bullet will be closed May 12-16th, however, it will be closed longer than that. Backing Chaos into its new home. About an hour later, the track now ends here, about 7 feet further up the drop. A piece of rail lays on the ground. Elsewhere there are tons of small pieces of track wood spread about. Look closely (my cell phone camera is really bad) and you can see the track just ends here.
  23. No problem, I couldn't change the first post subject on this thread to update about the closing so started a new one just in case people would overlook it. -GG EDIT: Title changed!
  24. If you are planning a trip to ride the Bullet in the next few weeks I would check with the park before arriving. The last I heard is that the Bullet will be down for the next 3-4 weeks, possibly opening on weekends only. -GG
  25. When they work on the Bullet you can usually find pieces of wood, bolts, small pieces of rail, etc. laying around everywhere. Because of all the work they have done on it I've almost gathered enough to build a new Boardwalk Bullet -GG
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