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Everything posted by goatdan

  1. Deluge was the ONLY water park investment that was made, unless someone knows something that I don't. The new water park addition had not officially began when Six Flags pulled stakes, so I don't think that you can fairly count it. To be fair, Chaos was removed for a reason that had nothing to do with Deluge (as all Chaos rides were everywhere), but again - unless you're getting one of the giant flat rides, flat rides are not attendance drivers. Water rides, coasters, and even shows are much better than announcing you're adding a new flat, even if it is something awesome. The way that you could see reinvestment being made into the park was by how the park was sprucing back up everything. Chang had a new coat of paint to make it stop looking like it was falling apart. A lot of other things got painted and were looking really nice. The park was really making an attempt to give people a value for their time and money, and Six Flags was really going about it the right way no matter what was said. They were cleaning up the park and making the experience better. Remember Geauga Lake? When they transformed that into Six Flags Ohio, they added the four new roller coasters but upgraded NOTHING infrastructure-wise. The park looked run down and like they had plopped a bunch of random coasters down where ever. I went that year. I knew leaving that I never needed to go back. I had a similar experience with Kentucky Kingdom. I ended up there through a set of circumstances that I literally did not control, and the difference in the park was something you could feel. It was clean. The employees weren't rude. It went from a park I never wanted to go to again to a place that I have quite a fond memory of and a place I would have definitely returned too. Six Flags got dealt a bum hand with Kentucky Kingdom, and just like the bum hand they got dealt with Six Flags New Orleans, they were able to use the bankruptcy as a chance to escape what had become a horrible deal with people who didn't want to negotiate. (And yes, the New Orleans thing wasn't settled during bankruptcy, it was settled because of it though). While it sucks to have people's home parks and memories closed and destroyed like they were, from a strictly business standpoint, the fair board and the fallout from the Superman accident really gave them no other choice.
  2. I love the Batman rides and think they are some of the finest rides ever built. I don't get a headache from their intensity, but I can see how someone can. In the way of inverts, I think that they are the best ones ever made, with Montu being about the same but only when it was unbraked through the midcourse. Having said that, I also fully understand the business of theme parks, and having rides that incredibly intense is not what your average thrill seeker is looking for. And, as I get older, I'm finding my tummy can handle it less and less. Put me on a B&M Wing Rider and I can ride all day. Put me on Batman, and while I will tell you it's a ride that I like far more than X Flight, I can't ride it more than once or twice at a time. I'm actually really excited for Banshee though. I'm very tempted to go back to King's Island to ride it again next year. Even if it's "forceless", having GIANT elements like that in an inverted coaster seems very unique, and I think it will be quite a rush.
  3. I know this is going to sound all shady, and I apologize for that but... Six Flags leaving Kentucky Kingdom was years in the making, but was done abruptly. I know that they had real plans to replace Chang with more water park... That park had (and probably still HAS) it tough because when the state fair is, it becomes a big carny. So, why spend $30 or whatever going to the park to ride Lightning Run when you can wait until the fair and ride it for $2? It makes adding a water park where the intent to go is a lot bigger a much better overall investment. I, uhm, heard from a little birdy that the plan for the water park was years in the making and Six Flags was definitely planning on going through with it, but the combination of the fair board negotiations (or lack thereof) as well as the Superman accident and lowered attendance figures changed everything. Six Flags was DEFINITELY trying to get that park to work. I honestly wonder what would have happened if not for the Superman accident. As for rides like Rainbow and Chaos not getting replacements, when you're talking about a flat ride and your attendance figures are at a flat line, it only makes sense to add big attractions or nothing at all - flats (which the actual carnies can set up right outside the park anyway during the fair) will not by themselves attract anyone new there. They are supplemental in nature, and if you have declining attendance and a lot of flats, they are redundant. (I'm a flat lover too, sorry, it's just true. ) I think that no work had begun on the water park by the time that Six Flags said they were leaving Kentucky Kingdom is that Six Flags didn't want to start spending money on a property that by that point the writing was on the wall for. If they had not been allowed to break the contract though, I do think the water park addition would have been built.
  4. Sorry, I'm like five days behind it seems No problem. I thought it was, but the fact that no one else caught it made me want to correct it just to make sure it doesn't confuse people in the future. I guess it depends on what you consider high I guess on the variations. I think that it is the change in intensity that makes you remember the extreme moments more, but that you really do have quite a lot of sustained Gs on inverts. When I get off certain old inverts, my legs tingle. I haven't had that experience on any B&M hyper, and you sit in more or less the same configuration for that. I've been lucky enough to be in a position where I got to talk with a lot of people about this sort of thing, and the more intense the ride experience is, the more likely you are to hear people say that they won't ride it because it's too intense. By toning the intensity down, you're widening the net of who will ride it. As for your question of any Batman clones being closed down, that's sort of silly as ridership has to do with capacity, and they are still running at capacity as are most major rides at Six Flags parks, however if you did a line wait study of the average wait to go on those particular rides, they are definitely not as popular as they once were. From what I have seen, the "forceless" B&M rides have had a much less measured drop off so far. We'll see if that stays, but it is interesting none the less and something that parks do examine.
  5. Look again if you would. Those could very well be employee insurance premiums, not insurance premiums for insuring the rides and whatnot. From what I believe that I have heard / remember hearing, Six Flags was self insured under Time Warner. When Premier bought the chain, they brought in AIG to insure accidents in the parks, but I believe they actually removed that insurance or made the claim cost extremely high on it. For certain things like insuring yourself against a roller coaster accident, it is actually cheaper to keep it in house. The insurer has to guard against the company not maintaining things properly and then being forced to pay out, thus making the premiums higher. If all maintenance is being done properly regularly, the company can squirrel away some money so that they can pay out when needed, which should theoretically be far less often than the premiums that the insurance company would want. For the other things insurance companies usually help with - disaster mitigation, lawyer fees, and so on - Six Flags already has those positions in house and ready to go. Finally, this doesn't include building insurance premiums and stuff like that, which is much more likely that they may have a claim for something like that. Hope that all makes sense. I truly don't know their current situation, but it would surprise me if they weren't paying the entire $1 million claim (if awarded) themselves. Also, I can pretty much guarantee that it'll never go to court, and they will settle quietly before that.
  6. I know this is sorta old, but it's the sort of thing that I generally randomly pop up, see, correct, and then return to my hole after reading... Actually, Batman and Raptor (and all inverts really) are positive G machines, they pretty much never pull negative Gs. I would also argue that those rides don't have short periods of high positive Gs, they have prolonged periods of high positive Gs - on the Batman rides as an example, the first time you stop pulling high positive Gs on the ride comes after the second loop is over. While I agree to an extent here, you have to remember that this is a little taller meaning that the elements will come quicker, and that Banshee is not using a midcourse break, so where Montu wastes let's call is 100 feet on going straight, Banshee doesn't bother doing that. I don't think it will be very forceful, but I think it will definitely be a decent ride. And, while I like walking off Batman with tingly feet like a lot of people on here do, I don't think that the general public is wanting that out of a ride. Comfort is a much higher priority then for King's Island.
  7. It's hard to compare. As a vacation destination, WDW is a place that I find I need at least six days to take in the resort, and that includes at least one day not in any parks, but just enjoying the free transportation and stuff like that. Cedar Point is at best a two-day destination. Besides that, I don't personally like the coasters at Cedar Point. I'm not a scared of heights type of guy, and I like tight twisty elements, so it just doesn't have the rides for me. Which is fine, I appreciate what they are as a park, it just isn't the park for me. Having said all that, I have a decent shot of dropping in at Cedar Point next year, and next to no chance of visiting WDW for at least a couple years...
  8. Zippin Pippin if I can allow it on a technicality, otherwise SCBB's Giant Dipper probably takes the cake for best one still operating, Big Dipper at GL would probably be next, but it's obviously no longer operating, and that was more for the location than the ride itself.
  9. Every flying coaster that I have been on that isn't named Air I have been really excited for, and thought they all sucked bad. Superman is dreadfully dull, Tatsu is the same, and I couldn't imagine FireHawk at King's Island being as bad as it is (and the lift dog sounds, holy hell). They all made me feel like I was being hung like a piece of meat, not flying.
  10. You seem to get some interesting info, and some not so much... Nah-uh. A "gap" between your back and your seat will not allow you to fall out of a ride by itself. Next time you're on a B&M hyper, you can lean forward as far as possible the entire ride, and I *guarantee* that the gap between your back and the seat will not allow you to fall out. Also, Six Flags will not dismiss this as a case where a rider didn't heed the warning signs and paid the ultimate price because of that. Parks only really play that card when accidents occur that are due to pre-existing conditions that the park could have had NO idea before the accident. If you have a weak heart, the ride operator can't see it to tell you to not ride. But, if you have a gap between yourself and the back of the seat, any ride operator worth their salt should make you sit properly before dispatching. And, the restraints on the train should ensure that you are not allowed to slip out. I've said it before, this really sucks because it's a totally blameless accident. The ops seem to have been operating exactly like they should be. I don't believe that the entire train's restraints were screwy like the lawsuit claims, and if that was the case it was operating as designed. A design flaw that no one could have imagined allowed this to happen, and *of course* the family is going to sue, as well they should. But *none* of this was due to any negligence (unless the claims of the train not being properly maintained come true, in which case the lawsuit should be for WAY more than what is mentioned), nor due to the fault of a rider who was restrained as far as everyone knew properly.
  11. Just saw this comment... You'd think, but the news is either more or less smart than you're giving them credit for, depending on how you're looking at it. When the Superman accident happened at Kentucky Kingdom, every park with an Intamin Giant Drop had the news out filming it. I think my "favorite" article that I saw after that was by some Chicago paper that had a picture of Great America's Giant Drop and Kentucky's Superman side by side and the headline was something to the effect of: RIDE CHOPS OFF FOOT: Great America Ride Unsafe Didn't matter that the rides were not named alike at all... nor was the headline fair at all.
  12. A lot of these it seems that people pick because you don't like the ride, but they did what the park was hoping for. Having said that, Son of Beast from the moment it was being constructed, was a bad addition. Paramount fired RCCA during construction due to issues they had. There is seemingly little information on this now, but it opened, ran for a day and then was closed for about another month because they had to re-brace a big portion of the ride. I remember it clearly, as I was following it very closely because I was headed to the park, and it opened the day after we planned on being there, so we returned in the morning to ride it - I want to say early June. It was known more for the accidents and reprofiles to try to "fix" it than for being good at all. It wasn't an overly popular ride. And, after less than 10 years of standing (not even operating), the multi-multi-million dollar investment was torn down. It doesn't get much worse than that. The Deja Vu trio is the only other thing that I can think of that comes close. A large outlay for rides with insanely low capacity, coupled with some of the worst design ever (pick what you'd like...), and the fact Six Flags was silly enough to buy three of them at once combine to make this one of the worst choices. A lot of the info about these things out there only scratches the surface of the issues that they had. The only saving grace to me is that both Great America and Magic Mountain basically had other things built at the same time (V2 and X), and Deja Vu wasn't known for hurting people like Son of Beast was. My favorite Deja Vu memory will always be that there was (and perhaps still is) a picture in the McDonalds directly outside Six Flags St Louis of it - and oddly, of a bunch of Great America rides - and the picture of Deja Vu that was in the entrance was of an empty train on the ride course. It could have been valleying, for all we know.
  13. Wow. This is the best explanation, and also is pretty disheartening. I went on Space in Florida this summer, and was SUPER uncomfortable, opting not to walk back on it with another Fast Lane pass because I found it so uncomfortable. I can't imagine sitting in these now. And the height requirement SUCKS. I hope they look into re-modifying these to make them better. I thought the Matterhorn was jarring and uncomfortable last time with the old trains, this sounds like pure evil.
  14. They aren't exactly a popularity contest, but they aren't exactly perfect either... The problem with calling them a popularity contest is that you still have oddities. Yearly as I think most of us know, the most people in the US visit the Magic Kingdom (at least I think that's still right), and then it goes down from there. What I've always seen is that the GTA awards are actually more of a park PR award. Those parks that are great at getting the word out about the rides / attractions / whatever that they have are the parks that win. Just as a for instance, if you're not around Sandusky, if you ask a random person what the best roller coaster park in the US is, Cedar Point seems to always be named... because for years, they have had rides that went national due to a great PR campaign. The smaller parks get themselves talked about from the sentimentality standpoint, and again build some great PR that holds up with these polls. The parks that are the best at promoting that their [whatever] is the best are the parks that get these particular awards, and the industry plays along because it reinforces publicly that they have the best [whatever], thus making it easier for them to continue to win that award. I'd be really curious to know how many people who voted actually voted for things that they actually did, versus what they just heard about.
  15. I have no idea why, but Medusa at SFDK takes the cake for me. The setting sucks, the theming sucks, but I just really like it. I've been on a bunch of them too, but only Medusa stands out to me at all.
  16. I somehow managed to be on the first public train out after the first fix they did for Son of Beast. It was a totally random set of circumstances that led to that. Honestly, the first ride was surprisingly smooth and we were amazed by it. Everyone on the train was talking about how smooth it was. We re-rode it again immediately following after about a 45 minute wait, and the ride managed to brutalize us. I've also been in the right place at the right time for a bunch of Disney stuff. Most memorable there was I rode Alien Encounter during test and adjust when they had up no warnings whatsoever about the intensity of the experience. I had heard rumors about what to expect, but the experience itself was pretty surprising to me. There was something about the sheer terror of the people around me that made it even more hilarious too, and that got me to ride (experience?) it multiple times that day. It was also neat because they were testing slightly different scripts in the ride, and I know the maintenance guy sequence was similar but presented totally differently in the two rides that I had. Outer Limits: Flight of Fear was another ride I managed to get on when it opened. The entire build up back then was amazing, and the theming and whatnot was even more effectual than it is today (and it still packs a good punch today). The trains returning empty and the abducted family jokes were really funny. The biggest thing that I remember though, and I'm curious if anyone else does - when the ride very first opened, they used sound in the station more. There was a jet sound that revved up before the ride took off, but the thing that was taken out is the "aliens" used to make fun of you for riding. I believe there were three statements that cycled, but the one that I clearly remember being said was, "Intelligent life on Earth? Then why are you in the harnesses?" followed immediately by the launch. I believe that these were there for only a few weeks opening season, but it was absolutely hilarious... if you weren't really stunned by what was about to happen with the launch. ^ Oh, and hey... I managed to ride Mantis opening year too. I didn't think it sucked back then. Then, someone at Cedar Fair had the bright idea to add trims to the drop, and the thing is brutal now... I miss the original thing though.
  17. I've seen this queue full on a number of occasions, too. It doesn't really fill any more because of Fast Pass, which is too bad as it makes a lot of the really cool stuff that they did in there stuff that you just walk by. Before that point, it filled constantly, and it would probably still fill up on many operating days today. I've heard brief talks about them making a secondary Fast Pass queue so that they could reclaim a large portion of the outdoor queues that are kept because of the walk back. Another interesting factoid about this one - IJA has (or maybe had) a queue that can be directed to the roof of the Jungle Cruise for overflow control. Imagine waiting in *that* queue when the ride opened.
  18. Wow, hadn't seen this topic before. Maybe at some point in the future, I'll dive into this more, but as for who killed Geauga Lake... Geauga Lake (pre Six Flags) had a big role. So did Six Flags. So did Sea World. And so did Cedar Fair. While we're at it, both municipalities that the parks were in didn't help matters, and should share in the blame. The entire thing was a disaster on so many different levels, but no one can be blamed individually. To just give a taste of how deep the entire thing goes (and why I should go to bed instead of writing a book on it until the wee hours of the night ), George Millay talked about how the ownership of Geauga Lake was misrepresenting stuff to him as they were trying to attract Sea World to the area in the 60s, this was before they sold to Funtime, and then Funtime convinced Sea World to build across the lake... on land leased by Funtime. And that's all stuff 30 years before the park got rebranded to Six Flags. Obviously, it wasn't all screwy, but the history of Geauga is particularly strange. Ultimately, I think that the downfall of the property can be attributed mostly to one thing - the incredible egos of many of the people higher-up involved with it to believe that more to it could be done than there was. (Oh, and random note... I visited the year that it was Six Flags Ohio. My only regret was not getting to ride The Edge... *ahem* Dr Jekyl's Nasty Fall, which managed to break down as I got on to ride it THREE DIFFERENT TIMES throughout the day. I'll also note that my visit there is still a vivid memory of the obvious mismanagement going on, as they had just opened four new coasters for whatever stupid reason they decided to do that, but the park was so severely understaffed that they had partitioned off about 1/3rd of the park and just closed it. Good ol' Premier Parks management for ya.)
  19. Believe it or not, there are good reasons on the park side for keeping weird queues like this. At least usually. It's why you end up with some really wonky queue configurations. I'll also say that a long queue is fine if it is themed, or if it interacts with the ride in some neat way. I have no issues walking back to Indiana Jones at Disneyland since the whole thing is hyper themed. I also don't have any issue with rides that have extra queues that can be opened, but are bypassable. I think it's better to build enough in the first place, and then not need them much than to not build them and have a line all over the midway for years, or have to reroute the line in a silly way once you figure out how popular the ride is (see: Batman at Great America's queue line - no longer used - where the entry moves from the park area, to the snack place next door, to ALL THE WAY in New Orlean's Place behind some rides. That hasn't been used in a while, but I've waited in it, and it is SO poorly put together... ..but the regular queue there is actually outstanding, they just had no idea that Batman would be the sort of hit that it was. I'll also say that it wasn't unnecessary, just poorly implemented.
  20. Cool topic, been on more than I care to admit all alone. My favorite though wasn't a coaster, but the Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland. It was a slow day at Disney, and at the end of the night there was no line. I asked if I could not walk the quarter mile queue to re-ride, and they said they would put me back on it. I got one ride alone, and then one ride where a cast member came with me and explained to me how everything works, where stuff was, and so on. For someone like me who always enjoys the "how stuff works" of the rides, it was absolutely amazing. As for roller coasters, it's particularly amusing if you ever get to be the only one on a train between two full trains. I've had that happen a number of times.
  21. I have always wondered why something similar to this was done on Drachen Fire, and then was basically never done since then. The Wing Rider drops are kind of similar, but how it took B&M 20 years to try something even sort of similar to that baffles me. I often wonder if Drachen Fire had actually been constructed by B&M, would they have developed the relatively "formulaic" looping coasters that they did since then. Regardless, nice to see the innovation that was in that ride finally starting to pop back up... 20 years later. Looks as amazing as it did on Drachen
  22. These are both good reasons for building early, but there are reasons that you wouldn't start this early too... the biggest one being accounting. There is also some sort of belief that if you head to the park early in the year, you're going to see the new thing that isn't yet open and want to come back, and / or you are going to be attending with a group (school group, usually) and then whine to your parents to take you back to ride ____ for the next three months. Whether or not there is any truth to this is another matter altogether.
  23. Based on the pictures, I'll make the guess that it IS reusing Z-Force's old station. Which would be awesome. This looks to me like the wooden version of Batman. Not much in the way of negative Gs, but a ton of positive Gs. And I'm totally okay with that.
  24. While I like these drop rides in theory, the business side of me says... Take out more family friendly ride (even if it is painful) with HUGE capacity. Install non-family friendly ride with small capacity. Profit? Reminds me a LOT of Six Flags circa 2001.
  25. No, no and no. I snipped some of the qualifying statements you made at the end, but... no. If the restraints fail to restrain a rider when everything about the restraint says that it is a go, something wrong happened. I've said it before, and it's true - it's about as blameless of an accident as you can get. The train was designed to keep people in, and there is no way a designer would want to design a train where people could fall out, the system was made so the train couldn't dispatch unless the harness was in the correct location, and the ops made sure that it was. Ultimately, the court system will place blame somewhere, but you can't make the argument that if you have the same body proportions as this person, you'd fall out of any ride, which is what it sounds like. If any park is using a ride that has the same harnesses, they absolutely should be looking at the data from this accident and doing their best to ensure that their ride does not have the same accident happen on it, because there was clearly some sort of flaw in the system or someone wouldn't have fallen out. To be clear, I am NOT saying that this could have been anticipated, but it happened, and no sensible park is going to continue to run a ride using the exact same harnessing situation without doing their best to increase the safety in some way... if they do and god forbid someone else falls out, then the park is most definitely negligent and the party to blame... Along these lines with an older post: B&M Hypers (and for that matter, Flyers) are not about to get more restrictive restraints. Adding more restrictive restraints in this case was due to an issue that was found, and these more restrictive restraints are there to ensure like I said above that it doesn't happen again. If B&M Hypers start having people fall out of them, I wouldn't expect to see a change. The fact is that Six Flags didn't put these seat belts on the ride to give people the "illusion" of safety, but because they feel like it will prevent another case like what happened on the Giant from happening again. If the seat belts do not work and god forbid someone else is ejected and it comes out in court that they knew the seat belts wouldn't make it any safer, but they thought it would be fine, again - the damages that they will receive in court as well as from the general public will VASTLY outweigh the short term benefit of re-opening the ride. Six Flags is an amazingly safety conscious company, and I do trust them quite a bit on this stuff. Sort of. The restraints don't release randomly ever unless about ten things have catastrophically gone wrong first. Everything has multiple redundant safety systems to ensure that you stay where you are supposed to stay. Again, having said that, technically according to everything, the restraint on the Giant *was* being used properly. In NO way should the lady riding be blamed for the issue. And, that actually makes this one of the rarest types of amusement park accidents, the one where the guest is really *not* to blame. Those are the ones that get magnified, because the moron that defeats the safety system and falls out because they are taking a picture of them with their feet up in the air, or the idiot that runs into the ride area after being told not to and gets hit with a train while trying to retrieve a hat, or whatever... THOSE people are idiots, and no matter what the news system, Markey, or whatever anyone else wants to say about that situation, no normal person is going to have a ton of compassion for the dude that figured out a way to unlock his own harness and stand up or whatever. Oh, and to whomever said that the seat belts will kill the air time, I rode Voyage recently and always, *always* try to not be an idiot and ride with the harnesses in any way loose. I synched my seat belt down, locked my lap bar as close to me as possible, and had the most amazing "airtime" feeling that I have ever had on a coaster ever. If you're purposely trying to defeat the safety systems to get a bigger thrill out of "almost" falling out of your seat, I'd suggest stopping and thinking about what you're doing before you actually do fall out someday. Coasters are JUST as thrilling with the harnesses properly restraining you, and saying anything to the contrary makes you sound like a 2000s era ACEr. Anyone that read this far deserves a cookie.
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