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Everything posted by RandyV

  1. Kings Island Vortex King Cobra SFGAm Shockwave Tidal Wave Turn of the Century (not technically gone, but different than the Demon) Z-Force BGT Gwazi IOA Dragon Challenge SFMM Psyclone Colossus CP Mean Streak Disaster Transport KBP Boomerang SFDK Roar CGA Invertigo Sahara LV Speed - the Ride Stratosphere Tower LV High Roller
  2. Count me in with the Arrow fans who will be sad to see Vortex go. I understand the decision to remove it and we all know a 30+ year old Arrow that tosses you around will never win against any contemporary, modern coaster. The first and only times I rode Vortex was back in 87 or 88 when it was virtually new. It really is too bad there isn't some economical way for the parks to fix the flaws in these old beasts but I am sure the cost of doing that versus building something entirely new doesn't make sense. Just booked my travel out to KI for the first time in a long time to get a last ride. Get your rides in on these old Arrows folks. Love them or hate them, they are only going to continue to disappear and probably at a faster rate than anyone thinks.
  3. I'll never grow tired of the loud CLANG ---- CLANG of the brakes on these Schwarzkopf shuttle loops. Truly awesome.
  4. Great find! It always appeared to me VIper's first drop was not a smooth, nearly constant angle sweeping curve all the way down like the ones found on on Shockwave and GASM. HD POVs of the first drop clearly show (about 1/2 of the way down) the track has a weird (but not violent) change in angle. Now it makes sense. From the videos, it appears the original design of the first drop was indeed a constant radius, consistent angle almost all the way to the bottom. I would imagine the original transition from the first drop curve in to the straight track leading up in to the first loop was one of those nasty Arrow neck snappers. To fix that, they reduced the first drop roll angle mid-way down so the transition was much flatter by the time it got to the bottom. You can really see the transition well in the second video. Mystery solved (for me, anyway)!
  5. Can you share any of those complaints or the number of them? I am purely curious how many complaints the park gets about Viper in a given day, week, month etc. I am sure there isn't. As I said, I understand it's a numbers game. Six Flags is a business, not a museum curator. You seem to be in the know here. Do you know and can you comment if the investment in Revolution this season was made based on it's historical significance or on guest input? My opinion is that Revolution was not more popular than Viper. I'd appreciate your insights in to this.
  6. Correct. All three of the Arrow triplets (Shockwave, GASM and Viper) were built without the cross ties on the tops of the loops. The tops were all replaced after a few years (1993 or 1994 as I recall) with the additional bracing due to structural fatigue. SFGAdv put one of the old pieces in the wildlife partk for the animals to play on. See the TPR thread here and scroll down about half way for the pics: http://www.themeparkreview.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=55756&start=580
  7. Clearly not much love for Viper here but I will stand with that small group people with sore necks who would hate to see it go. Viper really does have some historical significance in the world of coasters -- being the only 7 looper Arrow left in existence. I completely agree with everyone that this is a numbers game. If ridership numbers are low and maintenance is high anyone with half a business brain can figure out what the result should be. That said -- I would argue that before this season Revolution wasn't exactly setting any turnstyle records either. Six Flags just dumped a whole bunch of money into that ride to breathe some new life in to it (and I don't mean the silly VR stuff). I would bet (but have no proof) that maintenance on Revolution can't be far off from Viper (might even be higher) simply because of parts availability. Yes, Rev now has new coaches but I believe the chassis is still vintage Schwarzkopf. S&S still supplies parts for Arrows but I don't know if the same can be said of Schwarzkopf rides of an even older vintage. That means custom fabrication if you need something for Revolution versus buying spare parts off the shelf from S&S for Viper. You can probably make the case that Revolution had historical significance on its side which helped drive the decision to re-invest in the ride. I would argue Viper has a similar historical pedigree, though not going back quite as far as Viper. I also don't think a Phantom's Revenge type overhaul works for Viper. The inversions are what make Viper unique IMHO and are also it's Achilles's heel. Steel Phanton's claim to fame is the second drop in to the ravine. It was easy to keep that and then work with the open terrain to redo the second half of that ride. Viper is really pretty compact if you think about it so I don't see turning it in to some kind of airtime monster as an option. There's just not enough space. It would be interesting for someone with first-hand engineering experience to explain why Arrows go to hell over time, aside from the usual statement about the cg being the center of the coach instead of the rider, etc. Arrow track can be tamed (Tennessee Tornado) so It seems reasonable that a decent engineering firm could make the necessary tweaks to Viper's track profile to really make the ride smooth for years to come. That's probably wishful thinking on my part. I really hope Six Flags considers a Revolution-style re-enginnering on Viper. Although re-imaging a second coaster in two consecutive seasons probably wouldn't go over well with the GP. In the end -- if they do decide to scrap Viper I'll be there for the last dispatch for sure.
  8. Thumbs up for the POV on the Hollywood Tower. I love Intamin Freefalls and that one sounds particularly noisy. I loved it when the steam effect went off after the car got stuck. Kinda of added to the moment. Very cool video.
  9. Man this makes me feel old. My first official B&M (under their own banner) was Iron Wolf when it opened in 1990 at SFGAm. As part of Giovanola, it would have been Z-Force at SFGAm in 1985.
  10. GhostRider needs serious retracking - period. The ride was awesomely smooth when it was new and has just fallen apart over the years. This last week I was at the park and the ride experience significantly better than it has been in past years, but it was still a far, far cry from where it needs to be. IMHO, the the layout does not need to be changed as much as the ride itself just needs to be smoothed out and less jarring. Topper track would take care of that.
  11. Truth! The parks really were pretty identical back in the day. Gurnee is still way closer to it's original roots than Santa Clara. The California park is a shadow of it's former, original self. I hope Six Flags leaves Gurnee in tact. Those were some great pics the Tribune posted. I was just as Magic Mountain this past week and spent a lot of time on Viper reliving my younger days riding Shockwave when it was new. I really wish they could have tamed Shockwave somehow. That's still my favorite lost ride from Great America. The Edge too. Loud, noisy and pretty scary for its day. There are much taller and better drop towers of course, but I will always have a soft spot for those original Intamin Free Falls.
  12. I understand why Goliath is a crowd favorite. It's tall, smooth, the drops and turns looks scary but are not too intense (except for the spiral). Kind of reminds me of Silver Bullet at KBF. A big ride that is gentle. IMHO, I like Goliath for those reasons. It's a solid ride that doesn't take a toll on you. Replacing it with a giga makes little sense to me. You'll have something taller, faster and maybe with some better hills and turns (if B&M does it) but I don't think that's enough to justify the investment over Goliath. What's interesting to me is that the trend seems to be moving toward better ride elements versus just going taller and faster. FullThrottle and even Twisted Colossus are good examples. Yeah, FT has the whole "worlds tallest loop" claim but the ride itself is short and has some great, simple elements to it. Twisted Colossus is using a similar formula. It won't be the tallest or fastest by a long shot, but the elements being put in to it looks to make it one heck of ride. SFMM needs a B&M Dive Machine. That's another perfect example of a ride that has some great ride characteristics without relying on height and speed alone.
  13. Ahhh -- the much unloved Space Diver. The original otsrs on the ride (when it opened at SFGAm in '85) were much better than the later ones. The originals were a much softer (and probably not as durable) material than the now-standard, hard-plastic orange monsters they use today. I'm not sure when the change was made but I believe it was done once the ride got to SFMM. I'm almost certain the trains and restraints were the same at SFOG as they were at SFGAm. But it's been a long time. A shot of the originals is below. Notice the pivot point of the restraint relative to the headrest on this shot and compare it to later ones of the trains at SFMM. The pivot point is higher (middle of the headrest) on the SFMM trains, which means it's higher on the head and closer to the ears. You can also clearly see the lower position in this video from 1985: The ostrs are no where near the head. The Space Diver was one of my personal faves and was a great, unique ride. It was actually pretty smooth in its early years. It's a shame how Six Flags let the ride deteriorate. I last rode it in 1996 at SFMM and it just looked and felt neglected. It's too bad they weren't willing to invest a few bucks to restore and save this one of kind ride from the scrap heap.
  14. My top three of 2013 would be: 3. Sheikra (BGT) 2. The American Eagle (SFGAm - sentimental fave - rode it again for the first time in 20 years in 2013) 1. Raging Bull (SFGAm - new credit for me) Looking forward to Goliath at SFGAm in 2014. Happy New Year TPR!
  15. OMG - does the track actually change direction during the loop? Insane....
  16. I'm late to the party on this thread but what a great topic. As an Arrow fan boy myself, this is great stuff. Regarding the ties, I'm no engineering expert, but I suspect the reason for the change was increased structural strength. My money says the rounded lower edges are structurally stronger than the square ones and transmitted the load from the tie to the main support better. As Arrow coasters got bigger and faster, everyone knows there were problems with stress fractures, especially in the loops. If you look at the picture of the original GASM loop in the monkey cage, you'll notice one of the ties near the top is primered. That has to be a fracture repair. I would argue that the design of the square ties meant the load from the wheel rail had nowhere to go or was not as easily carried through the tie and to the main track beam (which is ultimately what needs to carry the load). Since all that energy had now where to go (or wasn't allow to go where it needed to go efficiently enough) the ties ultimately fractured right at the top. Take a look at the "new" track on Phantoms Revenges. Exactly the same shape as the later Arrow ties, although the Morgan ties are one piece instead of a three piece welded design like Arrow used.
  17. If they are planning to retrack it, I like this idea, really. Not sure if it's viable to redo only one side if they need to reprofile for the topper track. I sure it can be done, but at what cost. Not really sure how I feel about redoing the whole ride. I know, Colossus is getting old and a bit rough around the edges, but it's not nearly as bad as some of it's newer wooden cousins that truly beat the crap out of you (I give you The Boss at SFStL -- now there's a ride that NEEDS topper track). I'm waiting for the big announcement that parks are going to start re-tracking classic Arrows with wood. Might actually make some of them smoother...
  18. IMHO, Canyon Blaster is a smaller, faster version of the Demon with a different ending. It's definitely more intense because the pacing is much quicker. You blast from the two loops right into the corkscrews without the tunnel and MCBR the Demon has. Canyon Blaster is much smoother than the Demon and I'd bet is one of the smoothest Arrow loopers in operation. Hopefully that means it'll be with us for a while because it sounds like older Arrows may be on the endangered species list in the coming years. I suspect CBs smoothness lies in the fact that Canyon Blaster is almost 17 years newer than the Demon and has lived its life in a climate controlled building. The ride has never been subjected to seasonal heat and cold cycles of an outdoor ride or any type of rain or snow. CB also runs Arrow's G2 trains, but I doubt that really has an effect on ride dynamics. I was in Vegas earlier this year and my daughter and I rode CB probably 15 - 20 times back to back. Not sure you could do that with many other Arrow loopers without getting a headache.
  19. Let me first say I never had the change to ride SOB, but it certainly sounded brutal, and there is no denying ride certainly looked the part. I've been reading up on it the last several weeks and when it opened it was intended to break and set all kind of records, which it did. However, I'm not sure I agree with the statements that if CCI or GCI had built it whether or not it would have survived. I use The Boss at SFSTL. That's a CCI that is by far the worst wooden coaster beating I have ever experienced in my very long coastering career.
  20. 100%, Grade A Urban Legend. For the record, when The Edge failed at Great America, there was no car crushed at the bottom of the shaft. The car was a little past 1/2 way up and the next car was not in the shaft yet. The three kids had minor injuries (not even any broken bones) and were in and out of the hospital in under a week. The only real visible injury on one of the kids was a black eye. SFGAm is my home park and I followed that story closely when it happened back in '84. After the accident, Intamin added larger anti-rollback brakes in the tower and changed the ride programming on all free falls so the next car didn't enter the shaft until the previous car had completed its run down the track. The change lowered capacity and eliminated a great visual "fear" element. Under the original ride program, one car was going up the shaft while the other was going down. So as you were on your way up, you saw the other car flying down the track right in front of you at what seemed like inches from your face. The new programming, of course, did away with that. The car dropped, then and only then did the next car start up the tower. Back on topic -- The Edge at SFGAm was the first ride I remember that truly scared the crap out of me the first time I rode it. And that's when it was new. After that first ride, first gen Intamin free falls really earned my respect. I can't put my finger on it exactly -- but the experience is just so cool. Something modern towers haven't really matched IMHO. The ride to the top of the tower and seeing all the girders flying by in front of you really gave a sense that you were going way up, then sitting out over the edge for a few seconds just knowing what's coming next -- it hasn't be matched. It's really too bad there are only a few of left, but they were (and still are) pretty harsh rides.
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