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Everything posted by coasterer

  1. It's definitely a noticeably lackluster year for new rides. It doesn't really affect much, as others are saying, there are still plenty of good rides and new-to-me coasters to hit. But I think the biggest bummer about having a down year is just not having any new projects to follow. Following construction updates, building hype and anticipation, waiting eagerly for new reviews - that's a big part of what makes this hobby enjoyable, especially during the off season. i miss the days when Intamin built new coasters stateside. Those were all a lot of fun to follow.
  2. Wow, what a fascinating discussion! Super good points so far. I wonder what the cost associated with a minor track change is to a steel coaster, especially if any modifications to the supports need to be made. I'm somewhat speculating here. But I mean, remember when they smoothed out that little sudden dip right before the third 90 degree turn on Voyage? That was a perfect example of a smart slight track modification, but in that case the support system could remain pretty much intact, because the existing truss-like support structure could handle a slight elevational change in the track without any major difference in force distribution. And also notice, that any alterations to wood coasters (generally) are confined to vertical shifts (smoothing out hills / drops), or axis shifts (banking). It's really hard to make any lateral displacements because you'd have to rebuild or shift the whole support structure. In this way, RMC can make make dynamic changes in layout to wooden coasters, but you can't really move a whole airtime hill to the right 20 feet (for example), or enlarge the radius of a turn, without completely rebuilding the structure. But let's say B&M wants to make an elevation change to a certain part of one of their coasters. Those supports are pretty specifically designed for the force distribution as is, and would (likely) need to be redesigned if those forces were significantly redistributed, even if it was just a vertical displacement. Those large, angled supports would have to be re-angled and the length changed, if you understand what I'm saying, to match up with the new track. That's probably a fair amount of money. Then look at Intamin's track modifications. The barrel roll on Maverick was replaced with a relatively simple double-banked straight piece of track. They didn't have to alter too much in terms of footers and supports. But then you look at I305's first turn, it turned out to be an enormous headache to re-profile and it still is probably more intense than the park would like. The really big missed opportunity in my mind is the fact that Hulk didn't receive any layout modifications at all. It seems like it would have been the perfect opportunity to modify portions of the second half of the ride or make minor transitional changes, given that the entire structure was being rebuilt anyways. But, I'm no expert. Interesting conversation though. I would love to see track changes and layout improvements on steel coasters, when problems become large enough and fixable.
  3. ^ ^^ Ha! Guys! Thanks for dredging this back up. Now come to think of it, there has been a ton more like this I could share over the past few years. I did largely stop taking photos though when it became somewhat of a detraction from the actual experience for me, and I have grown out of some of the drama of my old college self [only a little though], but maybe if I'm in the mood I could throw some things together...
  4. Mean Streak bears so much resemblance to New Texas Giant in terms of scale, size, similarities in layout and length, etc. It's very exciting to me to think that RMC now has had 10 additional goes at coaster design and however many years of experience to rectify whatever might be lacking in New Texas Giant in terms of ride experience. It's like they almost get a second shot at their prototype model, taking what they've learned from their most recent (and arguably more thrilling) products (ie Lightning Rod, Wildfire, Medusa Steel, etc). Given the amount of height and length they have to work with, and their recent successes, I have no doubt this is going to undeniably be cream of the crop after they've had their way with it, and it will be so cool to see how far they've been able to come. Whichever year they open it. Count me as giddy-school-girl level excited, regardless of whether they open it tomorrow or in 2025.
  5. While there are a number of rides in addition to this that would be swell to get to at one point or another, these are the top remaining major coasters I would reeeeally really like to ride in my lifetime, the ones I would consider going substantially out of my way for. They are all outside of the US. I know some of them are weird choices, but these hold the most appeal for me. Expedition Geforce Wildfire (Kolmarden) Pyrenees Wood Coaster (Knight Valley) Anaconda (Gold Reef City) Flying Aces Tonnerre de Zeus Sky Car (Mysterious Island) Dragon Khan Wild Train (Fantasiana)
  6. Just went to the park the other day after a decade, terrified same as you that Thunderhead, the ride I remember so fondly, was as rough as everybody says it is. Oh my gosh, I was so relieved! Was it a tad bumpy in spots? Sure. Did it rumble slightly as it charged its way around its spectacular course? A bit, maybe. Did that teency bit of vibration detract at all from how brilliant this ride is?? No way no how. I love this thing, and agree with you completely. Still my favorite GCI after all these years. Great report!!! Looking forward to the rest.
  7. Totally agree about Dollywood's line up, it's pretty special. What stands out to me is that aren't any real duds. Every ride is worth riding (except maybe Blazing Fury if that's not your thing). And it's pretty amazing that Wild Eagle, Mystery Mine, and even Thunderhead are all supporting coasters now to the park's crown jewel, Lightning Rod. Their line up has more meat than most, and it does it with only 6 main coasters. Not many parks can match that.
  8. Gosh this is tough 10. Storm Runner, or Shanghai's Mega-lite, don't make me decide 9. Fury 325 8. El Toro 7. Katun 6. Boulder Dash 5. T-Express 4. Goliath (Walibi World) 3. Lightning Rod 2. Medusa Steel Coaster 1. Voyage Just missing the cut were Outlaw Run, Shivering Timbers, and Nemesis
  9. We've been pushing back our visit all summer to wait for Lighting Rod, and we just got back from the park! Lightning Rod is unbelievable. Worth the wait, my goodness. It's up there towards the top of my rankings, I just want to sit on it for a while to figure out exactly where to put it... The ride opened about 30 minutes after the park opened, with a line of around 20-25 minutes most of the day. But it started drizzling in the afternoon, which cleared out the park, but the left the rides open. And let me just say, Lightning Rod in the rain is magical. The quadruple down at the end is just otherworldly. It just doesn't let up at all (unlike Outlaw Run, which kind of fizzles out towards the end). Managed to get 6 rides over the course of the day, 3 of which were more or less walk ons in the rain. Wow what a great ride. Also wanted to say that I was worried about Thunderhead - now, I adore this ride, but I had last ridden it in 2007, so I was worried about the roughness. While definitely noticeably rougher (and I know the GP thinks it's rough, they all talk about it), I didn't feel that the roughness was bad enough to significantly affect my opinions. It's still one heck of a ride. For the group that I went with, Wild Eagle was the clear favorite interestingly enough, until people rode Lightning Rod a second time. While the first time was a little too rough, once they knew what to expect, they warmed up to it.
  10. If I didn't know any better, I would guess that this ride was built about 20 years ago. It just looks strangely old-fashioned.
  11. To answer the original question, (I also love lists and numbers), I did a quick scan of my count and found that if I took out clones, my count decreased by a little less than 40%, give or take. Rough estimate. I agree that a hobby should really only be about what you enjoy doing. I also don't really spend time in the larger enthusiast community, so I never really engage with people where comparison is a thing. I go to parks with my wife or my close friends, and I keep my numbers and count pretty much to myself. I have my own way of doing things, and my own standards of what's worth it to me and what's not. I will generally ride everything I can when I'm at a new park, but I will generally only go to parks that have standout attractions, which to me are primarily any B&M, Intamin, RMC, or wooden coaster. Any parks without an attraction like that, or one-off kiddie coasters, aren't worth it to me. Now I will say that I've spent a good amount of time in developing countries, and in those countries my paradigms change. If I'm in an obscure part of the world and there's a small park or kiddie coaster nearby, I may indulge if I have the time (though not always). They're cheap, they're fun, the parks themselves are somewhat culturally interesting, it's often an experience even getting there - I enjoy that. But If there are a lot of options, I prioritize with the biggest draws, and will generally limit myself to a few of the bigger parks and ignore small single credits. And at this point in my life, I will usually only go to parks when I have a good excuse to be in that area/city. Rarely will I go to a place JUST for the roller coaster - if that is the case, then it's usually a top-notch attraction.
  12. Beer, coasters, culture ... This is my kind of TR! Very nice, thanks for sharing. Call me crazy, but the few times I've ridden Bizarro at SFNE, I was so turned off by the Bizarro theming, loud noises, and general sluggishness of the big trains that I actually preferred Darien's model out of the three, with this one being not too far behind. Much cleaner. And the straight segments and large helixes with head choppers, while maybe not ideal and perhaps a little on the dead-space side, all things considered, do in fact give a nice sense of speed, especially over the lake and long grass. Thanks for this!!
  13. My wife and I visited the park yesterday for closing day. It was our first visit so we can't compare it to its old self, but the attention to guest experience and customer satisfaction was really noticeable, and made for a really positive experience. It was a refreshing change of pace from a lot of other parks. And Rampage is so fun - such a great quality ride, and it was awesome to see the care and upkeep the park has put into it. It totally exceeded my expectations (and I love old CCIs). It was intense from start to finish, with a perfect balance between speed, old-school airtime, and great laterals, pushing the limits on intensity without crossing the line toward discomfort. I love how long it feels, and how it continues to build towards the end. What a great ride. So glad I finally got out here to ride this thing. Looking forward to seeing how this park continues to grow and develop!
  14. Great report, thanks for sharing! I went to college on the East Coast but haven't been up there during coaster season since. Never made it all the way out to Canobie, but it's on the list! Wildcat also stands out to me as one of the worst coasters I've ever been on. And I think I prefer Boulder Dash to El Toro. Insane ride.
  15. This is great news! Having credit whored my way around Southern Vietnam, I'm excited to hear this. Thanks for keeping us thoroughly updated!
  16. Congrats on getting down to less than 10 US woodies left! I have the same goal. Thanks for the update, I enjoying reading your TRs!
  17. Was at the park this morning, and operations for Superman were some of the worst I've seen on any ride, let alone a major(ish) B&M. One train ops with multiple seats in multiple rows not functioning. The crew seemed to be as over it as I was, doing the bare minimum to get trains out at all, let alone full and in a timely manner. No bueno.
  18. Great report, you have a great writing style. I cracked up at your use of the phrase "the following overbank hints at intensity". Kennywood is one of those parks that takes a little bit of maturity and nostalgia to fully appreciate - like you said, it isn't a giant 20+ coaster mega thrill park - but it's great to see you guys had such a good time. My wife is from Pittsburgh, and Kennywood was our first 'date'. Phantom's Revenge blew me away (I can be a bit of a B&M/Intamin snob), and the old woodies are great fun. Looking forward to the rest of this! Also, I've heard people from Western PA consider themselves the midwest. Growing up in Chicago, we still considered Ohio part of the midwest for sure.
  19. ^Not to MENTION that triple down, which is everything.
  20. I'm really enjoying this report, thanks so much for taking the time to write it up! Your time at Dollywood looked amazing. I'm in Atlanta now, a few hours away, and haven't been to the park in nearly a decade. Glad you had a chance to ride Lightning Rod, and I'm hoping to get on it in the fall. Thunderhead is still one of my favorites after all these years and I'm hoping it holds up next time I go. Looking forward to reading the rest of your report, really loving your perspective!
  21. I feel like Wildfire is to RMCs as T-Express was to Intamin Prefabs nearly a decade ago... sort of the culminating crown jewel of the collection, really putting everything together and pulling out all of the stops in one giant ride. Can't wait to hear full reviews and hear how it stacks up against other RMCs and wooden coasters! Awesome pictures
  22. Now that we live in GA, Yuengling Black & Tans have become my staple go to. Relatively cheap and adequately delicious. Also loved your TR, Fury is such a breath of fresh air. Easily one of the most well-rounded and impressive rides out there.
  23. We were at the park yesterday too! First time. The theming absolutely blew us away. So much detail and character. The BBQ and Bluegrass was a great touch too. This place was probably the most quintessentially American place we've ever seen. When we ate BBQ up in the big hall my wife leaned over and said "So THIS is where all the Trump supporters are. We found them." Outlaw Run is really really great. That twisting hill after the first outside overbank is seriously wild, one of the most intense spots on any coaster. It's a tiny bit short for my taste, and the double barrel roll was surprisingly weak (everybody always said this but I just couldn't imagine it... and now I understand). The noise the coaster makes on the sideways airtime hill is the most amazing thing. Also, the last row was really rough and the second to last row was wonderful (but I was expecting this). I don't think it's better than Medusa Steel, and I'm not sure I can put it above El Toro, Boulder Dash, Voyage, or T-Express. But it really was great. Wildfire was a real treat too. It's one of the most beautiful, photogenic coasters I've ever seen, and that air in the back on the first drop is really great. I really enjoy B&Ms in general, but what really helps make a good B&M great and set it apart in my opinion, are the little turns and transitions in between the bigger inversions. Wildfire starts to do that just a little bit, providing great twists and pops - nice little touches to help make the ride a little more special. And it was sooooo smooth. Powder Keg was nice but it's not really my style. Overall, this place is truly special. It will be nice if they do get a new coaster next year. One more big ride would help round out the collection nicely.
  24. Loved these reports too. Great writing style, and I think pretty similarly to you. Fury is a total game-changer, and Afterburn has held up so well. Congrats on completing the US inverts!! That's exciting. I'm getting there, but still have a few gaping holes in Montu and Banshee. And I totally agree with Goliath - it's great, and probably the best US hyper, but after riding Fury, it doesn't hold up quite as well. I haven't ridden Thunderhead since 2007 and in my mind it's still one of the best. i'm nervous to see if it still holds up when I go back to reride it, especially compared to it-that-must-not-be-named. Great stuff!!
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