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Everything posted by goatdan

  1. I've said this before a long time ago about the inversion debate, and if things like an inclined loop or whatever it is that Chang and Mantis have that isn't exactly upside down are inversions or not. There is also the debate that if a turn is overbanked, is that an inversion? What about drops that are more than 90 degrees? The only definitive source to tell us how many inversions a ride has is the park. Does Mantis have three or four? Park says four, who is some enthusiast to say differently? If the park says that Goliath is a brand new hybrid coaster and there are none like it in the world, then that is what it is. In this case, they say it's a wooden coaster, so it's a wooden coaster. We can debate the validity of their claims all we want, but it's very hard to say that the people that own something have no idea what it is.
  2. In the park with the immediate ejection policy that I described on the second page, if you were six inches over the line, you were leaving the park, so this story very well may be true. The discussion was if they were close, should they still be ejected and the answer was unless the area was so full that people literally couldn't stand in it, if they were close but not in the area they were breaking the rules and should be kicked out. Otherwise, the person doing the 'kicking out' would have to make another judgment call on exactly how far away the guest was, and once that happens you're on a slippery slope to non-enforcement. I'm actually surprised, I managed to visit about 10 parks in the past couple years that were not the park that I'm thinking of, and don't remember seeing one problem with a smoker in any of them, so it's disappointing to hear that it happens so often.
  3. It's really up to the park. I know of at least one park where the decision was made that if you were caught smoking not in a designated area, you were walked out of the park with no refund immediately. The park was completely serious about it too - members of management were told if they were caught not walking a smoker out or reporting it to security to have them walk it out, they could be immediately terminated. This went for all levels of management - seasonal and full time. The park had a daily meeting where they had a running tally of how many people were kicked out of the park for smoking. It started at around 20 per day - which with what people are saying about how much it bothers them is amazing because they had a problem for smoking beforehand and it turned out it was only about 1% of the attendance that were problems - and pretty quickly it caught on with smokers until an average day might have three or four. The figuring by the park management, correctly I believe, was that if those 20 people were left to do it, it was a tipping point thing where you would have other people go, "Well, cool. They don't enforce smoking, I guess I can line jump." or whatever. The thought was the lost guests that the park would have by kicking out the smokers would be more than made up for by the other people who saw the rules being enforced. And it worked, or at least it seemed to. The response to the policy was overwhelmingly positive. I'm surprised that more parks don't see this and do it, probably because it is tough to suck it up and walk a guest out of the park for such a seemingly minor infraction, but it works.
  4. No, he never was. Michael Eisner was succeeded by Bob Iger as the CEO of Disney. Ouimet was the president of the Disney Cruise Line, followed by President of Disneyland Resort. Before that he had done some other jobs for Disney, but in smaller capacities. He was the president of Disneyland during the 50th Anniversary, and is often credited for really sprucing up that park during that time. After his stint in Disney, which lasted about 17 years, he left for Starwood, where he was the president of the hotel part of the company. (I don't even know what else there is with Starwood, I work with Starwood though so I had jokingly asked to meet him to talk about adding rides to some of their hotels.) He left that job for some college thing. After all that, he went to Cedar Fair. I think he's an extremely competent park man, but I wouldn't expect to see a lot of new theming out of him at the parks. Cedar Point has gotten as big as they are with essentially no theming whatsoever, and I think that Ouimet fully understands the client base of the thrill parks is different than that of the Disney parks. Having said that, I have a decent chunk of change worth of Cedar Fair stock, and I was ecstatic when he was named CEO. He was well known for being out and in the park talking to visitors on a regular basis during his days at Disney to see how he could improve, and that more than anything else I think should lead you to what to do. He still does this at the Cedar Fair parks, too. It makes me feel a lot better knowing that he has actual park operational knowledge, and wasn't just some big wig that came from some other big business and is now running a theme park company.
  5. Although from what I understand, they disappeared and then came back in a different way, not just could you get Oblivion condoms in the park when the ride debuted, you could get them outside the park too. From an article at http://www.marketingweek.co.uk, "Orange-flavoured condoms, featuring the orange and black colours of the drop ride, will go on sale in Boots and Superdrug from April." I know that Air had the same sort of thing when it came out, and more recently Stealth at Thorpe Park also sold condoms, "Hard, Fast & Up In Seconds." Merlin has a great sense of humor.
  6. This is true of just about anything running empty. I know of at least a couple B&Ms that if you were to ride with no people on them, you'd be surprised just how jittery they become. In order for the train to track properly, you need the weight from the riders also on the ride. To be totally fair, the old design is at fault in ways too. I mentioned this recently somewhere else - most Arrow rides that go into corkscrews enter in the 'wrong' way to keep forces downward and not side-to-side. Since the rides put forces in the wrong spot, they cause a sort of forced shuffling at those spots in the track. I know of at least one Arrow ride that was greatly smoothed out by changing the angles that the train traveled through a few sections of the track. Track was removed, redesigned, and replaced in a way to lessen the side-to-side forces, and it resulted in "fixing" those spots considerably. Unfortunately, the cost to redo an entire ride is cost prohibitive, but inside wheel designs can definitely be done in a smart, smooth way if they want to do so. This thing I expect to track and ride absolutely fine, as the issues that the old track has had are pretty much gone. I think the change is mostly due to the fact that I believe (although am not sure)that an inside design saves steel costs, and therefore fabrication costs too, but I have no doubt that LR is going to be epic for a long time.
  7. While that new design looks pretty amazingly cool, some part of me wishes that the upside down part was through structure with beams seemingly flying right at your head. Having it more open like that will still be cool, and it definitely looks way more awesome off-ride, but I wonder how that would be with it closed up. I guess we'll get to see with that dive loop though
  8. Interestingly, or at least I think so, B&M OTSR are usually relatively accommodating for people with larger bellies, but from what I know there are two groups of people that they don't accommodate very well: 1) Chesty females. If you have a, uhm, well endowed guest, you have to explain that their... endowment may not allow them to ride. I've seen some interesting... chest arrangements that some people have done to be able to fit in the harnesses. 2) Buff dudes. I saw someone else mention that they would stop working out before coaster season, and that does happen for sure. Having said that, if you acknowledge the reason they can't ride in a positive way, they generally take it as a walk of fame. "Heyya, uhm, we're probably not going to be able to send you because your chest is too ripped for you to fit in the harness?" "Really?" "Yeah, I'm really sorry." "No man, that's *awesome*." From what I understand, this usually ends with them walking away sort of flexing as they go to the exit. ...The one time I almost did a walk of shame, I was taking my son on a carny Dragon Wagon - his first "coaster". He had to have someone ride with him, and I only fit in sideways. The operator told me not to even bother with the seatbelt. Of course, I was mashed in, but my son was quite loose (although locked in with my legs, more or less) but it was about the most terrified of a coaster I've ever been. Thanks, church carny guy, next time have me walk the walk of shame for having adult legs.
  9. I get that it's probably for maintenance, but it just seems odd. Keeping three trains around on a ride that can run four and now consistently has some of the longest lines in the park just seems like a better idea. Anyway, if you never got to experience them during the Paramount years, they were similar to the Cedar Fair years except that every couple years you would get some ridiculously amazingly well done theming for a new ride. King's Island always seemed to get the best. Adventure Express had all this crazy stuff like arrows that "flew" above your head and whatnot as you went by, but you flew past so quickly you could just barely notice it. The story is the theming company was told the ride would be going at about half the speed, so they made the theming so it would be seen on that sort of thing, and it just instead ended up being this ridiculous details you'd see throughout the ride. Top Gun had a ton of awesome stuff under the station, with different radars pinging away and whatnot, talking about how you were going to be 'flight tested' on this ride or whatever. Phantom whatever-it-was was a very neat dark ride. The problem is Paramount built whatever theming there was and then just basically started it on day one and when it broke, it was done. I rode the Phantom Theater (??) the year it opened shortly after opening, and it was a real standout ride. I then rode it a couple years later, and 3/4ths of it wasn't working right. Outer Limits: Flight of Fear had effects that worked for only a few weeks before they stopped and as far as I know were never fixed. I always just found it weird that they cared that much about theming the rides, only to basically go, "Well, hey, now it doesn't matter, right?!" as soon as they opened them. I LOVE a well themed coaster (even stupid ones rank way higher than they would if they were unthemed for me), and Paramount was always a tease by opening stuff mind blowing and then letting it rot. Six Flags, at the time owned by Time Warner, for the most part actually kept up with their theming. With few exceptions (Batman: The Ride at where ever, Southwest Territory at Great America) their theming wasn't on par with Paramount, but they at least kept what they did working for a long time. Silver Dollar City is high on the list of parks I want to attend because their theming looks top notch, and their rides don't look bad either!
  10. I'm impressed that no one has mentioned the Oblivion condoms yet. "Don't look down." Man, what you can do with rides in Europe is AMAZING
  11. It doesn't help that when it opened, it could (and would) run four trains so the queue was silly fast, but then they dropped it to two, which is one of the silliest things to do. With separate load and unload platforms, there is SO much waiting on that thing just for it to cycle back to where it is supposed to be, and you see the video way too often now. Does anyone remember when the ride would make fun of you pre-launch before taking off? My favorite line was, "Intelligent life on earth? Then why are you the ones strapped in the harnesses" followed instantly by the launch. It was an actual effect, not a ride op saying it, and from what I know it lasted almost no time at all, but I definitely remember it on my first visit. A lot of Paramount rides were like that though. Adventure Express was mind-blowingly awesome when it opened, but when I went on it this year none of the effects were working except the drummers at the end. I don't get why Paramount bothered investing all the money in theming when they would turn off so much of it before opening year was even over.
  12. Robb, remember - this may not have been his idea - this may have been the park's idea. The example that I have, it wasn't a single park, it was an *entire chain* that decided that they would rather have a fella similar to this get special treatment in return for ensuring that he wasn't in line with the rest of the guests and all that would entail. They also wanted to be able to eject him from the park under circumstances they would never eject another guest for, so the decision was to make a special set of rules for that particular person because it was actually to the benefit of the park. With Knotts celebrating this, someone at the park clearly thought it was better for him to do it. If they didn't want it, they didn't have to. Having said that, I find nothing more annoying then people hopping on a ride next to you from the exit. To be honest, reading the original article years ago and commenting on it now makes me feel like Knotts is a little dirty each time I read it, and like I should go somewhere else when I'm next there because as a person who is often a single rider, I'd really rather not have this guy pop in beside me.
  13. Ha! You're welcome! Like I said, at least on the Great America one, after the truck exploding stuff, they at least added the flashing lights and Batman saying something about how everything's better, so I'll give whomever there credit for bringing that up and at least somewhat fixing it But yeah, sadly, I was so excited for that ride because I'm a huge Batman fan and a huge theming fan and a huge coaster fan, and it was a complete disappointment. It's a decent family ride still, and the 'fix' at the end at least somewhat appeases me, but it's relatively clear that someone took the idea of scenes and forgot the idea of story.
  14. I pay a LOT of attention to theming. A really well themed ride can double the awesomeness factor for me, a poorly themed one can ruin it. But, I am hyper critical of theming - I dislike the actual ride portion of Expedition Everest in large part because you can see light through the tracks in some places. To me, good theming MUST tell a story that has a climax at the ride itself. I'm also okay with theming if it makes sense for the ride, even if the ride is relatively unthemed. See honorable mentions Best theming - I love the Flight of Fear rides, their tongue in cheek theme is really funny to me. I wish the theme was kept up better (a running issue that I had with all Paramount parks, when Paramount owned them), but especially originally, it was great. Honorable mentions go to Big Thunder Mountain, Oblivion, Batman: The Ride (originally, far less so now, true of every one but the one that was in SFNO which had no theming), Hulk, and Adventure Express in it's original configuration. Worst theming - I'm only considering rides where an attempt was made at theming (no 'billboard' rides, that's not theming to me as the ride isn't the "climax" of the experience), and this is an easy one for me: The Dark Knight Coaster in it's original configuration. The lead up was great, and I thought it could easily be one of my favorite rides in the Six Flags chain due to it's theming even with it being a mouse. Everything went wrong when you got on the ride. Someone on here I think once referred to it as a "Batman themed acid trip" which was the perfect definition of the ride originally. You got on to escape the Joker, rode through stuff where the last thing you saw / heard was a van that 'exploded' or something without Batman being around, and then got off "safe" on the same place you started. If you were really running, why not cross over the train and exit? It's been fixed somewhat by Batman saying something like, "Don't worry, you're safe now." at the end, but for all the work that was put into the preshow and lead up, the actual payoff was a disaster.
  15. Again, agreed. Which is reflected in the group. If you were posting pictures of you standing on rides or explanations of how to defeat security systems, new people to the site would try to top you with crazier things. Those type of people get shot down, and go find somewhere where that sort of thing is appreciated. And then they don't understand why this group gets the perks and ins that it does.
  16. I wasn't trying to single you out by any means. I tend to use the word crazy, instead of the other words that were used like insane and creepy. It was more of a case of us using the same word then anything else. That having been said, I actually was introduced to you at one point when you were not doing TPR stuff just as a regular park guest. I definitely didn't get a "crazy" vibe from you. ...and that was my point exactly. As for the special treatment, again - I highlighted a few reasons why a park might grant such perks. Having said that, to be fair, wouldn't ERT be asking for a special privilege not granted to normal park guests? Perspective We're all a little crazy in our own right, it's just how well we hide it from others. And, for the record, the people on TPR *tend* to be much more adjusted than "other" coaster groups in that right, and those coaster groups might still seem far more adjusted then this guy. And seriously, that probably comes from the seemingly totally normal people who run the site / group. It's reflected.
  17. Actually, in two train operation you can release a second train before the first has hit the final brakes as long as the train that is hitting the final brakes is to clear those final brakes before the train in front of it drops off the lift. It's a blocking system, and it's top of lift to the end of the first brake that needs to be clear to send a train. If the block in front of it is clear, you're good to go. B&Ms have such good capacity because B&M designs for capacity. Arrow rides, which were also two across, have ridiculous capacity too because that company more or less came into existence thanks to Disney, which was huge on capacity for the longest time (when they ran ride tickets, the more capacity a ride had, the more money it made). The big thing is how quick it is to check trains, and that is where B&M rules the roost in most cases. Think of your average B&M hyper load / unload - you get in, lower bar, quick check, and go. For Intamin hypers, there is a seat belt that needs to be checked too. That adds load time and decreases capacity. Two train op on longer rides does the same thing.
  18. Robb kind of said this, but it's perhaps a dirty little secret that most parks have various visitors like this. It's sort of a balance that needs to be struck - the guest has every right to be there, but their needs (or wants) really shouldn't interfere with anyone else. I know of a handful of people, most of whom had their own nicknames too, usually given to them by ops at the park, that did similar things. In most cases, the parks did work with them to sort of help them do what it was they were more or less addicted to. They also did have rules put around them, but they were different. For one in particular, the chain knew which days he would be in which park. He did certain things the exact same at each park, only rode a specific ride at each, and was sort of insulated because of it. The park would get the call that he was coming, and they would let him watch the ride's opening procedure from the line and then be the first to ride. In turn, he was told the rules for his riding, and if he disobeyed that it was understood it was an immediate removal. Why get extra rules? Because without them, he'd be bothering the regular guests in line, leaving a bad impression on them, but wouldn't cross the line to get himself removed so would just be a horrible pain in the neck. It was way easier to work with him and give him some special privileges and sort of insulate him from the rest of the crowd then it was to kick him out. Can you imagine? '[Park] kicks out person for riding ride too much!' I'm sure that Mantis Man is similar. From what everyone says, it sounds like he isn't a ton of fun... but perhaps by letting him hop on from the exit, the park shields the regular guests from spending more than just a ride with him, and he gets the benefit of riding more often. I'm guessing he doesn't do anything that would get him tossed from the park. Sounds like almost the exact same scenario I was part of... Also, to be fair, while some people are calling this guy crazy and he should have moderation because he's rode one ride 20,000 times, there are a lot of us on here that have been on hundreds of coasters, which is not necessarily a ton of moderation for us either.
  19. For those armchair quarterbacking, I'll argue two different things... 1) In "this spoiled America", Six Flags and Gerstlauer are going to have to find a way to legally resolve this issue by getting to the bottom of it. I don't know, maybe I'm crazy, but someone fell out of a roller coaster and died, I'd like to figure out what exactly was to blame. Finding the blame will allow them to fix the issue for the future, and a court case is a tool in that. 2) The other problem here is you're claiming that Six Flags in some way "wrecked" the car, which you have no way to know. If you buy a car, and you get in it and it blows up with you having done nothing wrong to it, you (or more realistically, your family) can absolutely sue the automaker. At the heart of this is that you have a ride that was supposed to be completely safe. If Six Flags operated it in the exact way that they were told to operate it, and in the same way Gerstlauer told them too, and the accident happened then it is Gerstlauer's fault. If Six Flags overcame security measures that Gerstlauer had implemented to run it in a way not in the manufacturer's handbook, then Gerstlauer should absolutely sue Six Flags. Both companies are going to lose multi-multi-million of dollars due to the accident. I do agree that the chain running other rides with the same trains after the accident will hurt their case, but that's for Gerstlauer to argue in their argument. In the end, whether you like Six Flags or Gerstlauer more, or you just feel that the suing system is broken in the US, it forces people to get to a better place. Not a lawyer, not offering my opinion on who should win, but the lawsuit makes sense and so will Gerstlauer's one.
  20. I don't like Mantis quite as much once they added the drop trim as it is a little jerkier now, but I don't find it to be that bad. My favorite stand up ride was actually Chang, which was like Mantis' slightly larger brother without the brake, and I never feel like I had a bad ride on it. I thought that Iron Wolf beat the crap out of you though, although it was amazing when it first opened. Regardless, I actually meant from that comment more about the fact that people don't pay attention to boarding procedures much any more - seriously, why the hell are you taking off your shoes for a stand up ride - but it does also come from people not understanding how to move their bodies for the motion. When rides like Iron Wolf, Mantis, and even Riddler's came out, people were used to Arrow loopers like Shockwave, Corkscrew, and Viper - rides that you had to ride defensively. Now, with few exceptions rides are so much better constructed you don't have to worry about it, which makes stand ups with your head so far away from the track tougher. But what sucks is you get a ride like Riddler's that because of guests that don't know how to board the thing, combined with a tough system to operate, and you're looking at an average capacity less than 600 people per hour. Which is nuts. A decent crew on most other similarly sized rides can hit 1000 per hour, so why would you spend a ton of money on a stand up when you could buy a Wing Rider or whatever for the same amount and move nearly twice as many people through it? Having said that, it can be done. Not long before it was removed (a year or two? Not sure) I was at Great America and I was floored because they were not stacking train after train after train on Iron Wolf, and it has only about a two minute cycle.
  21. I went on Mantis after it had seat belts when it was running three trains, and it so depended on the crew. A great crew would mean you were barely stacked, but a bad one meant a lot of stacking. Amazingly, Iron Wolf was intended to have three trains when it opened (you can see the spot for the block brake near the loop on the track still today on Apocalypse) but someone correctly figured out that was insane and it was never installed. Technically speaking, I believe there are three different control schemes for B&M stand ups - one for the Intamin B&M stand ups and Iron Wolf, one for the Vortex to Mantis B&M train era, and one for the ones after that. They all have their eccentricities for operating. As for the seat height strictness, it definitely does make a difference, although it depends on how it is done. I haven't visited Mantis lately, but I know when I rode it originally they had someone explaining it when you got near the station - sit in your seat, it will adjust, it will be locked, don't jump or you'll end up being uncomfortable. I don't blame the ops at all, because I'm fascinated to watch people take off their shoes for stand ups, and 10 years ago even that NEVER happened. I think that might be what actually kills the stand up - we seem to have gotten so poor at knowing how to ride them, why bother investing in one to get a miserable capacity? Regardless, Riddler should run two trains as much as possible
  22. Parks take the manufacturer's suggested height and then change it to fit their requirements (or they don't), only of course making it stricter. So, if B&M said hey, a 50" tall person can ride a hyper coaster, a lot of parks would say, "Well, our next requirement is 54", so that's what it will be." I had the pleasure of hearing one of the two guys from B&M (I think Bolliger, although I forget) explain how they make their seats specifically, and he did it in a public format so this information is out there I'm sure not from me, but... The idea behind what they do is that if a ride is sent with the harness in the loosest possible position, a person who meets the height requirement will not be able to fall out of the ride, period. So, if you are 54" tall and you hop into a hyper coaster, put the harness down so that the line shows up and the computer says you can send it, it doesn't matter if you're 90 pounds or not, you can't fall out. Theoretically, a person who is shorter would not have enough body dimensions to be able to be restrained in the same manner, thus the height requirement that is in place. In particular, B&M is ridiculously good about their safety (I don't believe they've ever had someone fall out of one of their rides), so it may seem like it's over the top, but that is why parks pay them the big bucks to build their rides. It's actually a fascinating science to keep people locked in place properly during a ride, and B&M seems to balance it perfectly. As for rides like the Arrow loopers that vary from 42" tall to 54" tall with seemingly nothing different but the ride itself, remember - those were made before the age of computers, so their harnessing system was built more on trial and error than anything else, and height requirements were often based on intensity (or perceived intensity) of the ride itself. Now, so long as the rides haven't had any issues restraining people (and I can't think of any Arrow looper in the last 20 years that has), the requirement is totally up to the parks themselves. Hope that was in some way interesting. Now back to seemingly weird height requirements... I'd like to put forth the Matterhorn, which was 37" for the longest time, and got refurbished and went up to 42". That's a BIG difference for young 'uns.
  23. It's not due to any one ride in particular, but Nick Universe at the Mall of America made my head swim as a parent recently because they have so many different ones. As I recall, they have... 36", 39", 40", 42", 43", 46", 47" and 48" height requirements. It seems to me like even if they made them go up by an inch or two, having three or four height requirements would be way better than having however many they have. It's one thing that I do appreciate about the Six Flags parks in particular (never paid quite as much attention at other chains, haven't taken the kiddo to those yet), you have four basic height requirements there that are pretty easy to figure out - 36", 42", 48" and 54". Even if some things are higher then what seems to make sense, at least it's really clear.
  24. *Technically* speaking, the last new flat ride that was added was Lex Luthor's, although most people don't think of drop rides as flats, but they are considered that. It's not really the average attendance that counts, it's the what happens when they don't build a new coaster. If they gain nothing by adding a new coaster, but lose 250,000 by not building one just for instance, it makes sense they are going to build a new one.
  25. I was obsessed with Alien Encounter for a while. I managed to be in the park when they were doing tests for it and I got to ride it during test and adjust when there were *zero* signs outside explaining what it was, and no one knew what to expect. Riding it like that, it was absolutely crazy. I remember people around me being absolutely terrified by what was going on. The real problem I think with Alien Encounter was that it wasn't re-rideable (watchable?) Once you knew what was going to happen next, there wasn't a huge point in going on it multiple times. From what I understand, it was partially the complaints about it being too scary that made them take it away, and partially the fact lines had dwindled on it. Other things I miss: Original Journey Into Imagination - There is nothing like riding with your 3 year old through the world of Figment now and having to continually say, "Don't worry, he's not trying to be so scary, he's trying to be nice." At least the remake is slightly better than the first remake they did, yeesh. Tram Ride @ MGM Studios - I don't even know it's exact name, but I LOVED the huge tram ride when Disney MGM Studios opened. To spend about 30 minutes on a tram, seeing different scenes and feeling like wow, stuff can actually be filmed here (even if the majority was low ranking B cable shows) was so great. The boneyard was awesome. Now, I find the whole park to be rather disappointing. Kongfrontation - I get why they got rid of it, but I thought the way they themed this with you looking down into the roads was absolutely amazing. I wish they had kept it and built Mummy too - I think if the same option was on the table today,that's exactly what they would have done. Back to the Future: The Ride - It was cheesy, but I am a huge BTTF fan and the ride was pure goofy fun, even if it was a ridiculously violent simulator. For roller coasters: Big Bad Wolf - I love all suspended rides, and this may have been the best. King Cobra (KI) - Togo stand up rides are ridiculous with how they say, "Hey! You're standing up! Let's mess with you!" I'm most excited to ride SkyRider at CW this summer above everything else because of how silly fun I find these.
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