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Everything posted by KevinM

  1. ^Any group of 2 or 3 between 400 and 550 pounds total is permitted to ride. I am pushing 300 pounds (was around 270 when I rode Verruckt) and I rode with my friend and one empty seat. I think our combined weight at the time was about 480, and they did look for a very small kid to fill out the group but it just wasn't going to happen.
  2. I think what FKA is trying to say is that small children are often placed on Verruckt because they help bring groups into the weight tolerance. The 400-550 pound range is pretty narrow. Let's say you have two adults a little above average at 190 pounds each, the two of them are too light. But if you have three of them? Too heavy. I have been to Schlitterbahn KC and rode Verruckt, and it can be hard to ride with the people you really want to. Typically what happens is that they will break groups of adults into pairs, and then pull a small kid from the line that brings the weight into the allowed range. If you are a child of that small size, you can ride Verruckt as often as you'd like. That explains in part why Caleb was riding with two strangers.
  3. Speaking of the other people in the raft, it seems their injuries have been overshadowed by the death of the young boy. This article gives a bit more detail on them. All three guests were hurt. That leads me to believe that this accident was caused by something more than just the small size of the boy. However, it seems like the survivors are not going to be great witnesses, so the investigation may not be able to reveal exactly what happenend.
  4. What? I think Reverse Blast has been a major improvement. The only major difference is going up the tower face-down, which I find to be far far more thrilling than face-up. (Sure, the launch is different, but IMO that launch is so weak, it's inconsequential.)
  5. ^As for your wi-fi information, they used to have a "cyber cafe" which is now "Go Fresh Cafe" at the front of the park in Orleans Place. (Around the carousel to the left) I don't think they've ever offered wi-fi anywhere else, and I'm not even sure if they offer it in Go Fresh any more. I wanted to jump in on the conversation about the single-use Flash Pass. Anyone complaining about the price is coming at it from a guest perspective and not a business perspective. It benefits Six Flags to make a lot of money off of fewer people. If they had, say, twice as many people for half the price, it would be much more strain on the integration person, and it would further slow down the standby line. Personally I am grateful when skip-the-line systems are highly limited. On the rare occasion that I use one, it makes it a greater value for me. On the other hand, as a non-user, having a limited and expensive system means that my wait times are more reasonable.
  6. Something about this whole thing does not add up. He doesn't charge any money, and even if he did, so few people participate that it wouldn't come close to paying for all of that stuff. This guy says he's... a wedding DJ? And I've heard estimates that he has spent $500,000 on his "manor"... how? But at the same time, I'm not sure what he stands to gain from perpetuating a hoax, either. It just doesn't add up.
  7. ^The temperature restrictions are to prevent valleying. There are a few points on the Boss where the train really crawls at low temperature, and under the right (or perhaps wrong) mix of factors, it will valley.
  8. ^ I severely doubt it. Honestly, Outlaw Run is such an intense coaster, it kind of needs to be short. Just watch people on the brake run, they are always either all smiles or out of breath (or both). I would take Outlaw Run as it is instead of it being less intense or having a slow finish. As for why it only ranks ninth, it's because of the methodology of the poll. It's a simple poll where voters are asked to give their top ten. (I think it's ten.) If a voter has not personally experienced a coaster, they will not rank it on their list. Branson is a relatively remote place, I'm sure there are a number of voters who haven't made it out there yet. Every voter has probably been to Kings Island, which is why the Beast sticks around on the poll (in addition to its historical significance).
  9. As someone who worked in challenge park for a summer, I can tell you, Magnum XL-200 is freaking LOUD! Most guests don't really realize it because it's tucked away in the back of the park, but that lift is one of the loudest out there. It would feel eerily silent when that coaster went down during the day.
  10. As far as RMCs, I can only speak to Outlaw Run, which has undergone many changes. Prior to the Texas Giant incident, I don't recall ever seeing a walk of shame. As a tall guy, I was consistently uncomfortable due to the hard shin bar (which has been altered). But I never had to worry about fitting. About a week after the Giant incident, they adjusted the go/no-go sensors to require a much lower position. Rumor has it that there was a walk of shame nearly every train. (There are a lot of big folks in the Missouri/Arkansas area, self included...) Just before TPR went to SDC last year, they revised the sensors yet again adding about an inch of room. I also went to the park in this time frame. I was never denied a ride, but there were several times I was asked to push in order to turn the light green. This year, the restraints have been heavily modified, and seat belts have been added. They aren't very long, but they aren't Millennium Force short. (They use the same Stubai buckle which seems to confuse the GP.) It seems to me that they raised the go/no-go position again, as I have not once needed to staple myself in order to dispatch.
  11. That being said, Paula did mention on the podcast tonight that they paid for a new power substation to be installed across the street from the park & thought it was interesting that none of the enthusiasts noticed it with as anal as they were being with investigating the footers. Interesting. It is quite possible that the flywheel/LSMs need to be supplied with a different voltage than the rest of the park, which could be the function of this substation. I have doubts that the grid can support Thunderbird's launch every single time without the use of the flywheel.
  12. I just wanted to weigh in with a guess as to why they are employing a flywheel. (I have an electrical engineering degree, so it's at least an educated guess.) As most of us know, any sort of magnetic launch requires a very large amount of power in a very short amount of time. I suspect that Santa Claus Indiana's connection to the power grid might not have enough capacity to safely accommodate the spike that Thunderbird will require. (The park has to account for a worst case scenario. If they were to create a spike when the rest of the area was already drawing a lot of current, they could cause a blackout.) Many parks build their own power substations, but Santa Claus is relatively far from a major city, which would make the cost of running extra power lines to the closest power plant(s) VERY expensive. ($1 million might get you 2-3 miles of line) The flywheel gets "charged up" at a relatively constant rate, and is able to release its energy into the LSMs very quickly, creating the necessary spike without greatly affecting the grid. And I must say, I got a little teary-eyed at the "Will power" bit.
  13. To be honest, I think it could be said that my opinion of Verruckt is "disappointed". Yes, I liked it, but I was also disappointed because I know how much better the ride could have been if only it weren't chucking rafts. If they had built a larger second hill (hindsight is 20/20) the drop could have most likely remained without the trims, and would have been out-of-control the whole way down. For over a year I watched them build an untrimmed drop into a perfect camelback hill, and what we got was very different. Good, but disappointing.
  14. ^1 and 2 are correct. If you want to ride right away, be there by 9:30, in swimwear. If you have valuables you don't want to get wet, I don't really know what to tell you. Leave them with a non-rider if possible. There is no time to stop at a locker, and there wasn't even a person available to sell us one. As far as I know, Schlitterbahn will open Verruckt as soon as they can. They were ready to run as soon as they let us in. Reservations are available for 11 and later because 10 AM is filled immediately. You are not allowed to sign up for 10:00 and leave, you must be ready to stand in the line when you arrive. However, if you are okay with a later ride time, you may request one. Because we needed to leave the area to change and lock up, we were forced to reserve a time, so we took the very first one on the list, 11 AM.
  15. We showed up to the parking lot at about 9:15 on Sunday. Not a ton of guests, but a line was forming. We were allowed into the gift shop to get our admission wristbands at 9:30. Ten minutes later, the rope was dropped and there was a mad dash to Verruckt, although most guests were courteous and did not run. We got to the reservation table early enough to ride in the first hour. Unfortunately for us, we were not changed out of street clothes. That essentially forced us to take the first available reservation, which was at 11. The reservation line grew very long and stayed that way until 11:30, when reservations filled up and were officially closed. As for making weight, they will do their best to accommodate you. If your group is too heavy, they will split you up and add single riders as needed. (Single riders are generally in the "walk-up line". Most aren't at the park alone, but they know that the only way to get on Verruckt without a reservation is to volunteer as a single.) If your group is two people and is too light, they will add a single rider to round it out. There can be some tricky situations because the weight range is really narrow, but if you show up on time, they will find you a group.
  16. I was at Schlitterbahn KC yesterday, and I rode Verruckt. Unfortunately, the 400 riders per day estimate is pretty accurate for the current operational conditions. There are so many little things that slow down the interval that they would only book about 15 groups an hour. Here's why: There were only three boats in service. The conveyor belt could only handle one boat at a time, and had to be manually loaded. The conveyor belt was slow, and appeared difficult to unload at the top. The air pressure was checked every cycle. I saw them topping off almost every boat up top. They took their time loading us in the boat, securing the straps, and giving us final safety instructions. Most critically, nothing in this process was "pipelined". Our boat was not even on the platform by the time the slide was clear. This is a shame, because they have a gate preventing the boat from entering the slide until the operator dispatches it. There is so much potential for loading guests while the previous guests are exiting the slide. If they are firing on all cylinders, I can see them sending 60 boats an hour, for a theoretical 180 people per hour. (They are very vigilant about adding single riders, although our group of two was 460 pounds and they could not find a willing third person under 90 pounds.) As for the slide, it is indeed very thrilling, but the trims hit hard. It's surprisingly rough for a slide. I'm glad I experienced it, but until the process gets smoothed out, I do NOT want to go back.
  17. Dollywood does this at Mountain Slidewinder, but the full group (for a particular boat) is weighed at once. As far as I know, the host does not see a number, just a color.
  18. Six Flags St. Louis has some really quirky queues. I think Batman and Boss have been mentioned already. They have excessively long portions that cannot be "expressed" (you have to walk through the whole thing). Even Mr. Freeze has a long, non-skippable queue because you have to cross over Thunder River. In the case of the Boss, the entire queue is not expressable. It is built over natural terrain so this is sort of understandable, but it could have been avoided. Batman is ridiculous as they have the line snake through "the garden" for a ridiculous length... it can take around 3-4 minutes to walk through. Then the rest of the queue is labyrinthine, so squirrelly that people frequently get lost. There is a "handicap entrance" halfway through the queue, I have no idea when if ever that was used, or how. Also, the flash pass entrance seems like it was just cut through the queues. There is also a small area where you can plainly see SF's entire stockpile of Gerstlaur wooden trains, SFNO logos and all. (The Twisted Twins are in there is well.) They make zero effort to hide or maintain these parts... backrests are just strewn everywhere. I think they were compensating for the Original B:TR's queue that was too short, but they seriously overcompensated. There are rumors of an express path being cut through the garden, but that has yet to happen.
  19. It wasn't just the weight. They clearly increased the friction around the low point of the scale model. Verruckt itself also has what appears to be rubber at the low point, presumably to slow the rafts down. I'm sure they were satisfied with a wide range of weights before they put themselves on the scale model. But in the full-scale, the rubber wasn't enough. These things happen. You can calculate and model as much as you want, you're probably not going to get all the variables right. At some point, you just have to build it and see what happens.
  20. For those of us without cable, the Verruckt episode of Xtreme Waterparks is now online! In particular, it's currently free on Google Play TV. https://play.google.com/store/tv/show/Xtreme_Waterparks?id=u_3dL8O_24c For anyone with a Chromecast this is a great way to get the show on your TV.
  21. And it's not so nice for the other 99% of park guests. I don't mind the existence of Flash Pass, but I absolutely cannot stand being subject to extra wait time once I've queued for a row. (ADA compliance I can deal with, although I wish we could come up with a better way to handle that.) When Flash Pass is done right with merge points just prior to the station (not up the exit), I don't mind it. But flash pass via the exit (see SFSTL) and double rides are upsetting to me. In general, brand new coasters and single-train coasters at SF do not offer double rides. The capacity is just too low and it inconveniences the rest of the guests too much. I assume the reasoning is similar for Giant Drop. I wish they would just get rid of double rides.
  22. Are we just gonna gloss over the fact that the author of that article thinks a 1,000 foot tall slide can exist? And that it would only require 540 feet of slide? *smh*
  23. Well the answer would have to be what is my favorite coaster period, which just happens to last right around 45 seconds: Outlaw Run. If you take a look at the official park POV from opening day ( ) when the coaster was at it's slowest, any meaningful speed is contained right at 45 seconds. The dip begins at 0:25 and the train is essentially stopped at 1:10, exactly 45 seconds. And it's only gotten faster with time, so it easily falls within the category. As for the coaster itself... it's non-stop pure RMC craziness. I don't care that it's only 45 seconds... it packs in more thrills than many coasters at twice that length.
  24. You'll have to ask RMC about that. I really liked Outlaw Run's original hand grips because they were made of real tan leather. While animal rights people probably weren't too keen on that, there is an abundance of leatherwork going on at SDC and it just made the coaster feel like it was handcrafted. At some point, they switched to a black leather, not sure if it was real or imitation (it felt real). This leather felt a lot more durable than the original tan... a likely reason for the switch. When I went to SDC this season, the grips were totally gone, leaving the threading for the screw exposed. Anyone know if they were brought back?
  25. I feel bad for the kids living in Cedars/Golds! Do people still live in Cedars/Golds? I did in 2011 and I would never have traded it for living in Commons (which I did for my first two weeks). But at that point it was mostly internationals who wanted to save every penny they could (as I did) and people processed in late and had no choice. For those who aren't CP insiders, Cedars and Golds are the dorms for men and women (respectively) that are on the peninsula. Commons and Bayside are the ones you pass just as you enter the causeway, and shouldn't be affected by the water main break. Cedars and Golds are infamous for having no air conditioning. Top that off with no water... that is downright dangerous. Hopefully they are being provided with water and the ability to shower at Commons. Unless things have changed in the last few years, there is not enough room for all the employees to sleep in Commons/Bayside.
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