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Everything posted by NYTrojan

  1. Interesting. Ha, I knew someone would mention this. If you look at the thread I was responding to he clearly didn't consider Green Lantern as a "new" ride. There are arguments as to whether it is more of a glorified flat ride than a roller coaster, but the spirit of the conversation was about the addition of full featured 'best in class style' rollercoasters. Like Tatsu. Honestly I think it's a bit unfair given how new TC really is, and full throttle, but I was trying to address the conversation on his terms.
  2. Perhaps, but I'd argue that this is something they HAD to do. They don't have infinite money, so the choices were "build something new or renovate an area and a ride because, well, we need to have SOMETHING new to sell this summer" So instead of a new ride we got Twisted Colossus (pretty much a new ride), a repainted Scream, and a re-themed colossus county fair area. A few years ago instead of a new ride we got Green lantern, a repainted Batman, and a rethemed DC Land. Now instead of a new ride we're getting a reworked Revolution and a rethemed baja ridge. Yes it's been ages since we've seen a Tatsu, and yes that's tough for those of us who went through the coaster explosion in the late 90s, but given the choice between the two, I'd rather they take a few years off to fix the park and then start adding again. Especially if something like Twisted Colossus is what 'taking a year off' looks like.
  3. Visited Magic Mountain for the first time in years last weekend. It was a lot of fun. Some random thoughts: Rode Twisted Colossus twice. The first time through it seemed obvious to me that this thing will NEVER duel. All it takes is one lap bar check... one idiot who thinks she can bring her purse on the ride, one kid who needs to be height checked and it's all over. The second time through I struck gold: The lady who was running the ride was ON HER GAME. Now, she can't help stupid guests, but she can mitigate the problem a bit by keeping the other ride ops moving. Always mentioning when the previous train drops, etc. Even then, while I got lucky and my cars dueled, in the 10 or so I saw go before me, it only dueled twice. I really think some rider instruction would go a long way. A video that plays in the line that talks about the nature of the ride and how if you don't get seated quickly you'll have a lesser experience. That you can help everybody have a more fun ride by being ready and knowing that you can't bring your stuff with you. I don't know, maybe put a little pressure on the riders to be responsible for the fun they have. Just a thought. Anyway, the ride is fun with lots of good ejector hills when solo, but it is really something special when it duels. What a great concept that ride is. Other thoughts: I love how the park is investing in its old coaster inventory. Batman looks fantastic, the whole DC area actually. It's much more fun and bright now that it's going "Big Splashy Comic Book" instead of "Tim Burton's Batman movies" grimdark. Twisted Colossus is great, Revolution is beautiful again, even Scream looks nice... I like that they're acknowledging that 'yes, we let maintenance get away from us, but we're fixing it... bit by bit." Also, with the sad exception of the bathrooms, and that poor pillar on X2 that every idiot wants to throw gum at (yes I've heard the folks at SFMM lament at how often they powerwash the thing) the park was clean! Swept walkways, no piles of garbage or leaves. It was really nice. As someone who went there a lot during the Xtreme Park days it was really nice to see so many families there. Bugs Bunny world looks better than it has in ages. But Apocalypse! What happened to my Apocalypse? I LOVED this ride. My favorite wooden coaster in the west. When it was new it was almost smooth. This ride has REALLY suffered in the desert sun. It's bleached white and really rough. Also I wish they'd just give up on the ride video... It was a neat concept and I give them full marks for trying (and then trying again when they lost the terminator license), but it just doesn't work. The thing cycled 5 times while we waited in the "red room" and all I got out of it is some people are fighting "For the settlement". It just seems a shame to me that what I considered one of the best coasters in the park has taken such a beating in so short a period of time. Also, what's the deal with running X2 with one train? If there's EVER a ride that shouldn't ever run with one train it's X2. We bought flash passes so it wasn't a big deal to me, but what was a pretty darn short line (only 2 or 3 switchbacks after the long walk to the ramps) was 2 hours long! Is something going on? It was a busy enough day in the park to merit full operation. But, on the positive side, they were running both sides of Superman. I don't remember the last time I saw that! Overall, a net positive for the park, and I like the trajectory it's on. I just wish Apocalypse wasn't crumbling like it is.
  4. Hi all, I haven't been to SFMM in ages, but I'm headed up tomorrow. Which ride should I head to first, Twisted Colossus or Full Throttle? I haven't been on either yet so I don't know which one will wind up with the longer lines later in the day. Thanks!
  5. You know what, I think this is an EXCELLENT compromise. If they can work the timing out so that you either race on your first pass through or your second that's perfect by me. That keeps the 90 second window alive.
  6. That is certainly possible, but when the time you're making up isn't 5 or 10 seconds, but likely 25-30 it gets pretty darn cumbersome. Do you really want to spend 90 seconds on a lift? Does SFMM really want to take the reduced riders per hour numbers that will create? Are you willing to wait in a line that is 25% longer?
  7. At first when I heard 30 seconds, I didn't believe it. how could SFMM get stuck in a corner like that? They'd have to know 30 secnods isn't long enough. Looking at this video: it looks to me like this is the timeline: Time in seconds Dispatch: T=0 Reaches Blue Lift: T=30 Reaches Green Lift: T=120 Returns to station: T=240 This gives you 90 seconds between dispatches for the first few trains, but once you reach steady state you're in trouble. Under an ideal situation with 3 train operation: T=0: Train 1 dispatches T=30: Train 1 reaches blue lift T=90: Train 2 dispatches. T=120: Train 1 reaches green lift, Train 2 reaches blue lift. T=180: Train 3 dispatches T=210: Train 2 reaches green lift, Train 3 reaches blue lift And now we get into the spot where we're in trouble. Only 30 seconds turn around for Train 1 T=240: Train 1 returns T=270: train 1 dispatches T=300: Train 3 reaches green lift, Train 1 reaches blue lift. T=330: Train 2 returns T=360: Train 2 dispatches T=390: Train 1 reaches green lift, Train 2 reaches blue lift T=420: Train 3 returns So yes you folks are right. 30second dispatches with 3 trains. I just don't see that happening. Even if you tease the lift hill speeds a bit you're only going to squeeze another 5-10 seconds out of that. This ride doesn't duel without 4 trains. That's what it takes to maintain the 90 second dispatch times.
  8. Oh yes, one more thing... boy has the sun done a number on Apocalypse! At first, from a distance, I thought they had painted the ride white in part of the transition away from Terminator. Is that color change really just from getting sun bleached? I don't recall that happening to Psyclone.
  9. Yeah! I haven't been scared like that in a long long time. I really don't understand why people don't like it to be honest. I spent the whole time laughing my head off.
  10. Thought I'd give a mini trip report and thank the folks who gave me advice for how to attack the park now. My buddies and I had a great time. Followed your advice and hit full throttle first. Fun little ride. Love the way they hang you on the loop. I feel like the ride needs at least one more element though. It falls more into the Superman / Top Thrill Dragster kind of ride in that it has one thing it throws at you for about 20 seconds. Still a fun time. From there we got our flash pass, set it for tatsu and ran on X2. About a 40 minute line at 11 in the morning. Went up around the back to find Apocalypse closed, but rode Riddler, Green Lantern (REALLY enjoyed this one. Didn't expect to but it was pretty darn solid), Batman, Goliath, heard apocalypse was open so we went back that way to give it a shot, and from there just bummed around the park hitting whatever we could while the rain fell. Sadly we didn't get a chance to ride Superman. Once the rain became fairly steady they shut it down for the day. Positive impressions: The park was MUCH cleaner than I was expecting. Hats off to them. I've heard some horror stories about the last few years but if yesterday was indicative of their normal operation then all I can say is anybody complaining about how the park looks must be expecting Disney which isn't really fair. I was pleasantly surprised by how often we were forced to use the... paid storage units (seriously TPR, automatically replacing my words with things like YOLO and fluffy bunnies is a bit immature don't you think?). We chose to use them on X2.... everywhere else (full throttle, green lantern, etc) bins were provided. It was really nice to see the park care about keeping things off the ride but not feel like we were being nickle and dimed away. I was also pretty happy that the park opened Apocalypse a little later in the day. The six flags of the mid 2000s would have quit on a ride that didn't open by noon. But the best, the very best, was that there were FAMILIES there. Almost none of the thug element I had started to just take for granted as part of your SFMM experience was gone. The blatant line cutting was almost non existent. I don't know if it was because of February or what but it was really really cool to see SFMM nice, clean, friendly, and family oriented. Great job guys! The only downside to yesterday was just how many rides were operating with just a single train. Apocalypse (though I can forgive that one since it only opened later in the day), Gold Rusher, Batman, Ninja, Viper... all running one train. The worst offender however, was when we rode Viper in the late afternoon we saw the X line was really short. Just the straight away from where they split your group up. We decided to give it another run. Turns out X2 was running single train in the afternoon. That minuscule line took an hour to get through. I can forgive most of those rides on the list... many of them are very very short or poorly attended... but X2 should never run single train. You really should have 2 or just close the darn thing. Any trip report wouldn't be complete without me calling out poor rider behavior, however. The things people will do never cease to amaze me. On Full Throttle a little girl was a solid 4 inches too short to ride. What does mom do? Point her daughter, who is doing her best but not QUITE succeeding to keep the tears at bay "Wait over there" alone while she rides by herself. There was no other family with them. Grr for parenting fail. Also when X was running single train, my friends and I split ourselves into two rows at the station (there were 4 of us). We found two rows that also only had 2 people so we figured we could ride together o n the 2nd train. The two guys in front of me rode one rider at a time, leaving a seat empty, so the other guy could hold their stuff. How selfish can you be? It's a dollar. You're wasting everybody's time behind you over a dollar. Grr for considerate ride optimization fail. All in all I had a great day and was really very impressed with SFMM and how they're currently running the park. It was clear that, for the most part, they were giving a darn about whether we were having fun and you know what? We absolutely did.
  11. Thanks everybody. I appreciate all the info. It's also good to know that I shouldn't rely on February to protect me from the lines as much as it used to. Think I'll head to Throttle for starters and see how it goes. Question re Flash Pass: Do I have to get gold? I can get the plain old regular one and ride rides while it pseudo-waits in line for me yes?
  12. Thanks again, exactly what I was hoping to learn. Anybody been in the last weekend or two? Has the park been busy?
  13. Thanks! How bad is Throttle's line normally? We talking hours here? Ditto X2 and Tatsu now a days? Nice to hear they're cleaning things up again! I really enjoyed watching the park come back from a real low in the 2009-2010 timeframe but it seemed to dip again shortly afterwards. Nobody expects Disney (or you shouldn't anyway. You're not paying Disney prices either). Excited to finally hit the mountain again. Any other suggestions? They're all appreciated.
  14. Hey guys. Going to SFMM tomorrow for the first time in about 3 years. A few questions if you don't mind: What's the best way to start at the park now? Should I make a straight line for X2 or does X2 have reasonable lines in the afternoon now? Same thing with Tatsu? How long are the lines for Full Throttle usually? It wasn't in the park the last time I went (Was JUST starting construction) How long are the lines for the Drop tower? For those that go regularly, are a lot of rides closed right now? I understand Colossus is gone, but are there other rehabs I should know about? I saw somewhere Scream is getting repainted. Is closed right now too? Any new/good places to eat around the park in the last 3 years? How's the park doing now a days with general cleanliness and ride upkeep? Lockers: Are they still a big thing on all the rides? Should I bring a lot of $1s with me? Any other suggestions? I used to be a season pass holder at SFMM, going 7 or 8 times a year for years... but when they started putting advertisement skins ON the trains and wouldn't let you ride Terminator/Apocalypse with so much as a fanny pack (really guys? How is that different than a belt?) I got a little frustrated and haven't been back in years. It's time to make another run but I'm curious as to what I should be planning for. Thanks!
  15. First thought: AWESOME! Second thought: hmm, how will they ever synchronize this up? They can't rely on dispatch times right? I wonder if they'll have a system like Dueling Dragons that slows/stops the chain of one of the trains to keep them even Third thought: Sigh, even Dueling Dragons doesn't duel anymore... due to some idiots throwing things at each other... and if there's one thing MM is known for it's the idiots that go there. If these are synchronized up you can bet they won't be for long due to some a-hole throwing pennies at the car below them. I applaud MM for taking on such an interesting project... and I sincerely hope they prove the doubters like myself wrong about the whole "never duel" thing... but even if they do I don't know how you get around that third thought.
  16. Can't decide if I love the superman renovation or not. I love the new cars and paint job (Are they new cars, or renovated old cars?) I hate the OTSRs. Part of what made superman so thrilling was the fact that only a lap bar held you in. Some musings/questions The cars look to be redesigned, smaller, more streamlined (As I imagine they'd have to be to run in the other direction)... does this mean there might be some reduction in the noise created when the things launch? ANY reduction in that racket would be appreciated like nothing else. Any idea if the renovation includes a launch system upgrade? I remember in a WCB years ago it was mentioned that it was the computer system that prevented the ride from reliably hitting 100 mph and maybe someday they'd get the cash to renovate the deal and crank it up there again. Computers have come a ways since the 90s. In the end, this is definitely a positive development for the park. I'm not too worried about the 'turning into an XTREME park again' bit... these plans were likely in development years ago, even under the 'let's bring families back' days. Do I think we still need some quality flats? You betcha, but this feels a lot more like a 'We need to fix what's there, but we can't market updated Superman and a kiddie ride... what can we do that will be exciting, still relatively inexpensive, and let us hit the marketing hard?'
  17. Can't say I saw or smelled anything like that but it's a huge area. I was in Blue. If so, that's pretty terrible & I feel even worse for the CMs. Those poor guys aren't responsible, they're just sent out to clean up the mess.
  18. All I can say is call guest relations. The more of us that complain the more likely it becomes that they'll have to do something about it. The number is 714-781-7290
  19. The 10:15 showing of World of Color was canceled last night. It was a pretty nasty situation. Some pipe broke in the fountain in the middle of the viewing area (in the preferred dining section) that flooded during the 9:00 show. They still moved the audience into position for 10:15 as they swept lots of water around the fountain area, I believe to make room for the 11:15 folks who were queuing up. At about 10:20 they sent CMs into the crowd to inform us of the cancellation. Nobody believed them when they said it was canceled. Eventually they sent higher level managers (A fellow named Cameron who I believe said he runs the Paradise pier area?) and lots of CMs to absorb the wrath of the mob and send them on their way to make room for the 11:15 viewing... if they could ever get things fixed in time for it. I really felt bad for the CMs. Nobody knew anything, nobody had a strategy or plan for what to do with the horde of angry guests, and all they could offer was an ear for the crowd to shout at. The guest relations line was enormous and very slow to move. Eventually we saw that if you were an annual passholder you were being given a front of the line day pass for a return visit (but no blackout day ticket) and if you were a ticketholder you were being comped. They also told us that as the line was very very long we could go home and contact guest relations this morning. Sadly my wife and I took them up on the offer. I have just been told by a lady at guest relations that there is no compensation to be given to anybody. The whole situation is extremely disappointing. On the positive side for others, she also informed me that the 11:15 show did go off at 11:30, so I imagine they have the problem fixed and this was a one time deal. Sadly for me I am now blacked out the remainder of the summer and will have to wait in the 1.5 hour viewing ticket line again in the future after having already wasted half my last Disney day trying to see the show. On a personal side, if you happen to have the contact info (just email perhaps) for someone like Mary Niven or George Kalogridis or anybody really above your basic guest relations person I would really appreciate the ability to forward my complaint. Things break. I understand this. It's how we deal with our emergencies that determines how we are judged. Disney has never let me down before when technical difficulties have sent me out of line and have always worked hard to make things right. I can't believe that now after such a huge time investment for one show they aren't willing to try to recover the visit. That's just not the Disney I know.
  20. 1. I'm Curious as to who likes them 2. You fall into the trap of "Negative talk is still talk, which is still good" which isn't really true. Negative word of mouth is a very powerful thing. Just ask SFMM who is STILL trying to convince people that the park isn't filled with gang bangers or is closing. A better example are the weird starburst 'enjoyment poses'. Sure they were strange, but they weren't offensive and were a little quirky. That got people talking, posting pictures online, and not in a negative way. "Hey guys, look at this weird thing" is good. "Hey guys, look at how they ruined viper" isn't. 3. It's not a win for SFMM if it leaves people with a bad taste in their mouth. I get that a significant part of the new business plan is to bring in advertisements for their 'captive' audience... but there is something to be said for subtlety. Viper's new ads take subtlety and stab it in the throat.
  21. Mini Trip Report: Took a spin around the mountain for the first time in several months (Since Termination Day actually) Some positives and negatives I'll start with the negatives so I can end on a high note 1. I'm sure this has been covered before, but I absolutely hate what they did to poor viper and the hair glue ads. I am fine with ads on banners, television sets , in stations, in the queues... but keep it off the rides. It makes the park feel like a European 2nd tier hockey team. Cheap, tawdry, and 100% sold out. For those that don't know, they've put huge decals on one of the viper trains, turning the whole train into an advertisement for hair glue. 2. The line operator for Terminator wouldn't let us even wear a fanny pack on the ride. Fanny Packs had to be stored in (I guess I'm not allowed to say the word, but in high school you kept your books in them) before they let you get on the ride. I get the purses, stuffed animals... heck I even get the cups (esp on this ride where it isn't fully enclosed)... but a fanny pack is attached to you! I might as well not be allowed a belt too. What is the point of that? The only argument that makes even the smallest amount of sense is that the ride has a shared belt, but it's not like you can't position a belt such that a fanny pack isn't in the way. Nonsense! As I was exiting this head of the line operator was getting an earful from a number of very upset mothers. I felt bad for him, but really you have to wonder of this kind of policy is worth the animosity you are developing in your customers. 3. While I applaud the line ops in Terminator, there was one incident that was rather unpleasant. A line op held people back in line by the 2nd set of misters but before the doors to the preshow. One preshow's worth of people was allowed to queue in front of the doors (by the cow catcher truck) at a time. This was great because it kept us in the misted shade instead of the hot sun by the preshow. When we were sent to the preshow doors, we waited a little bit, and then a group was taken into the preshow. We didn't make it in. No big deal, small miscalculation in the number of people who goes into the preshow. Instead of waiting right by the doors in the hot sun, the folks ahead of us had the idea to go back under the track (but not all the way back to the mist) to stand in the shade. Great idea! Until a ride op told us we had to stand by the doors. 'We have to make room for more people'. Note that when they sent 'more people' they only sent about a dozen or so. All of us, including the extras they sent, could have stood in the shade under the track. All could have been comfortable, instead none were. This is a minor quibble to be sure, but I figure it is worth noting. 4. Q-bot. You are now only eligible to purchase a flashpass for X2 and Terminator if you buy the gold version of Q-bot. Neither version was really needed Sunday, but this feels like another 'let's squeeze them for all they're worth' move to me. 5. Everybody knows about the bathrooms so I won't dwell on it, but I feel they need to be brought up in every 'negatives' list made until corrected. Okay, let's wash that bad taste out with some good news! 1. 3 train 2 station operation of Tatsu. Absolutely fantastic. At least during the time I was in there, relatively good speedy operations (for Tatsu) as well. Can't say how nice it was not to hang in the stacking area for minutes. 2. With the exception of the person manning the line for Terminator (the no fanny-pack guy) the service was very very very friendly. Everybody and I mean Everybody we encountered, from the young ride ops working Riddler to the little old lady in the candy store were full of energy, smiles, and really seemed to care. Absolutely zero monotone mumbling 'keep your hands and arms...' types of people. No cell phone conversations. Everybody moved quickly, with purpose, and with a smile. 3. Terminator was FLYING. Absolutely tearing around the track. That ride gets better and better. 4. More families than I ever remember at the park. 5. Clean clean clean. The park was darn near spotless. The rides (outside of Viper) looked good, the trees well kept, the leaves swept, the gum picked up, the trash, in trash cans. Just like the bathrooms, I know people know that the park is clean now, but I think this too belongs in every 'positives' list because they really deserve to be commended on fixing what was very very very badly broken.
  22. I remember one day when I simply said to myself "No. Nobody is cutting in front of me today for any reason" I was threatened with violence twice in line for the first ride of the day. People run and run and run to get to the ride, leaving friends and family behind, and then try to get you to let the rest of their group pass you by. It got to the point where the confrontation was ruining my day more than the line cutting. ah well... It is what it is. For some reason SFMM is an absolute magnet for the dregs of LA. in an attempt to get this back to Terminator, what have the lines been like during the week, and especially today? I'm considering going by for my first ride tomorrow and am curious as to what the weekend terminator traffic is like now that Memorial Day is over
  23. What does it say about me that even though I saw the Terminator Movie and wasn't terribly impressed (I'd give it a B-) I still want it to do really well because of the work Magic Mountain has put in here?
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