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About BigThunderMtn

  • Birthday 10/26/1985

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  1. Those are pretty fantastic views! I'd seen a non-onride photo of the second one years ago and couldn't ever tell if it was real or an altered photo! I guess this clears that up!
  2. Yes, yes, yes... of course Superman is the only thrill worth riding with no peers and no competition and you would be best off just to ride it once and then back reverently out of the park in awe, bowing the entire time... Or not. Superman is a good ride. But to walk through the world with blinders on that only let the Supermans, Kingda Kas and El Toros through is a very good way of ensuring that you'll not be able to enjoy any park you wander into. If you don't live on an ivory tower when it comes to coasters, I think you'll find Six Flags a nice little park with some real gems. Point in case- one of the treats is wholly ignored by many coaster fanatics- Thunderbolt. This tiny wooden coaster (lift hill c. 70') is a really enjoyable ride, smooth as glass but with enough kick and spunk that you won't confuse it for a kiddie ride. Not to be missed! Thunderbolt's big brother, the Cyclone really beat me up, but I'm a little guy, someone with a bit more padding or muscle mass to absorb the shocks might have a more enjoyable experience. The Batman steel coaster is a lot of fun, yes it's been around for a few years, but the thrill of a good inversion-happy toedangler has not worn off. Waiting for the front row may be worth it too; this coaster offers a primo unobstructed on-ride photo opportunity for the front row. Flashback is a good, solid boomerang and although I like Mind Eraser, (I'm wearing a MindEraser t-shirt right now, actually.) I know just about everyone else in the known Universe finds it extremely rough. All I would say about it is don't take their word for it- if a Mind Eraser hasn't slapped you silly yet, hop on and try it for yourself. Additionally, there are some classic flat rides- Chaos and Nightwing are my personal favorites and bits of decent theming here and there (this is still Six Flags after all) and a great waterpark. Bottom line, go in with an open mind, ride everything once and you'll discover your own favorites. And DON'T skip Thunderbolt.
  3. Technically, my first roller coaster was Polar Coaster at Story Land in NH, but my first 'grown-up' coaster was Big Bad Wolf at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. I was only 7 or 8 at the time, and my family talked me onto it by telling me it was just like a monorail.
  4. What a shame, looked like a beautiful lobby, but at least in Dubai there is plenty of money floating around to rebuild it with! The most important thing being that no one was hurt, of course.
  5. Ugh, gum. There's a reason it's not sold in the Magic Kingdom. Nevertheless, one of the weirder days on the job; Splash Mountain is closed so I find myself in the sun on the roof of the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad station building with a sharp stick and a bucket, scraping cemented gum (and the pennies stuck into it) off a (literally) hot tin roof while guests walk by and point and laugh. Ahh, memories. The worst gum wall I've ever seen however was at Six Flags New England, on the last oxbow of the approach queue at Thunderbolt, the cutest little 1941-original, hand-powered station braked, wooden roller coaster you ever did see. It made me so mad, since of all the rides there you could tell this little gem (one of my favorites anywhere) didn't get the custodial attention. I noticed there was no gum in the queue for Superman...
  6. Someone else out there thinks Gwazi is smooth as glass and Scorpion's gives a bit of, well, sting? Nice to know I'm not the only one! Don't suppose you fancy Vekoma Mind Erasers smooth rides too? Great TR, BGA is always an impressive park to see, even in pictures. As for the poor operations debate? Last time I went, Gwazi was slowish, but they only had Tiger side open, so one train=they weren't doing so badly. Kumba was a walk-on, Sheikra was under construction, and Montu had a wicked (pardon the New England choice of word) line. Now Python was super-efficient, but I suppose that's a moot point now...
  7. Most definitely, at Disney it's "Safety" then "Courtesy", then "Show" then "Efficiency" And they stick pretty closely to that order of operations, especially when it comes to keeping that first one first.
  8. ^ I don't think they do... They certainly wouldn't be anything like the ones on the Flying Unicorn picutred; the logs don't have fins to be received. And the logs are moving so fast at that point, I just can't believe they would even do anything.
  9. ^ Esactly right, the brake mechanism is so big, that it takes up the bottom 3 or 4 feet of the pit even when it isn't raised. When it's up, it fills the whole thing. The pit is completely undercover in the shot Nat posted, by the time you're out from under the bridge, you're past the pit, the Brake and its mechanisms.
  10. We all hear a whole lot about X2, El Toro, Superman; Ride of Steel, Milennium Force, Kingda Ka and recently Fahrenheit, among many, many others. And surely rides of this type are spectacular tops of their classes. But the parks they inhabit contain many other, special roller coasters which, while they don't provide the newest, tallest, fastest, or most devilishly inverted thrills are a great time in their own right. And sadly, they go wholly unnoticed in the shadows of their super-fantastic counterparts. How many of us have blown past all of the rides in a park to be first in line at the New HyperMegaGigaSuper-Fantastic Death Drop coaster, and then half-heartedly go back and pick up the rest, if they're open. And if not, no biggie. Come on, we've all done it. But I believe we all have a soft spot, a fondness for some certain "backup singer" coaster that will always hold a special place in our heart, even if we can't find a souvenir from it to save our lives. I want to know which out-of-the-way coaster means the most to you, the one which gets no fame but would just lay you out flat if it were demolished. Which coaster do you feel is just underappreciated? (And if it's not a coaster, that's okay too!)
  11. Actually to be honest, I expected a full-blown swift kick to the junk for that one! A kick in the shins beats that any day, I'll take it!
  12. Hmm, I'm puzzled, I'll have to look into it. The runout is as you know 180º curve, which is as tight as the logs can safely navigate, so there wouldn't be any need for brakes at the end in any scenario I can think of. A log going way too fast would ride up on the egress path and beach itself long before hitting them. The Drop 5 zone only backs up with 5 logs before C-lift stops, so it wouldn't be to slow a collision in the case of a backup, and even if they were at the beginning of the runout it wouldn't make a whole lot of sense, in any scenario where you'd need them ramped up high enough to have any effect at those speeds, you'd jsut use the E-stop and the big Brake. The speed plus the pump-powered current there, coupled with the speed they'd pass the brakes at either end, not to mention the relatively slow braking effect of that type of brakes... The logs don't even have fins, or an exposed magnetic surface to maximize efficiency. They are completely smooth on the bottom and sides. I don't disbelieve you, I just can't figure how/why they'd work. You're sure they were brakes? A picture would be helpful. Ya, the Anheuser-Busch Company was able to get some exemption, for both Sea World and BG Tampa, though I haven't been able to unearth any info on what it is or why. Anyone out there know anything more about it?
  13. I'm glad to hear it's back too! I wonder what kind of repairs then? Just broken railings/catwalks, fenceposts, removal of assorted limbs and branches probably. Sorry to hear that, man! I definitely found Hurler to be uncomfortably rough, and Grizzly, Ricochet and Anaconda I could see, though I enjoyed them. But I found Stunt Coaster, Shockwave and Rebel (both sides) to be smooth and enjoyable. Especially Rebel Yell- excepting that one dip right before the big fantail helix. That one spot definitely resulted in serious pelvis-to-lap bar contact!
  14. Nat, the show scene is the Drop 4 "Brake", the Drop 4 "Break" was the 15 minutes we all spent sitting around in Tower while maintenance was pulling the duck feathers away from the sensor that E-stopped the ride The Drop 4 Brake (alternately: Creature from Br'er Lagoon, JAWS, the Tourist Trap, Chamber of Destiny, (sound familiar, ECZenith?) PHRED-A's little helper etc.) has always been there for use in emergencies, lurking just below the surface ready to apply heinous levels of friction at a moment's notice. There are just some occasions when you don't want a log flying around at 40+ mph. But it has been replaced (partly, and in full) on more than one occasion, perhaps that's what you are thinking of? As the ride normally functions, you are not braked at all at the bottom of Drop 4 by anything other than pressure exerted by flume water except in the case of emergency. As Nat correctly explained, the Brake is a fickle and finicky creature, and it's no easy task to reset it, so we don't wake it unless we have to. And just forget about Autopia/Indy Speedway! Actually another reason for not pushing a log full of guests out of the Drop 4 Brake is the danger to the Cast doing the pushing. You're pushing a log at Bear Behind (one of the many scenes where Br'er Bear treats you to the deluxe view of his posterior,) and you slip and fall in, you're wet and possibly have tetanus, but you're okay. The channel's only 3 feet deep. You fall into the Drop 4 Brake, and maybe not. As much as the Brake's fierce nicknames are humorous, it really is a dangerous, forceful machine, with lots of pieces to get tangled in, not to mention the pit it lives in is 9-12 feet deep. Big time potential ouch! A third reason not to do it is simply because if the brake is activated, the log is sitting on it, and not in the water, and those darn things weigh more sitting than floating and it's easier to push a two-ton log without another 800 lbs. of guests and turkey legs inside. As for a little WDW-version Splash trivia: When you are sitting in the station approach queue, (where "Ev'rything is Satisfactual" is painted on the barn wall ahead of you,) look up. The massive section of wooden ceiling cutting through the rock at a 45º angle high overhead is C-lift, the one going up to the Big Drop! If the music seems a little louder in here, it is- to disguise the rumbling of the chainlift rotors on the other side of the wall to your left! In the scene where Br'er Gator is fishing, Br'er Frog should be sitting on his back, but often isn't due to maintenance problems with the AA. Whether he's there or not, he keeps on a'singing. Listen for the booming bass voice without a body. The turtle's name isn't Br'er Turtle- it's Br'er Terrapin. The guests' overwhelming favorite effect in the entire ride, measured by number of comments to the Cast- the beehives with the spinning bees between Drop 2 (the roller coaster drop) and Drop 3 (the little spacer drop before the Laughin' Place). The animated characters from Song of the South that didn't make it into the ride? the Tar Baby, of course, the Sis (female version of Br'er) Moles and Sis Hummingbirds. The above three characters, along with Br'er Bear were the only ones from the movie to make cameos in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. There is no Br'er Buzzard- the Top Hat-wearing vultures at the bottom of C-lift were original characters from America Sings; the Boothill Boys. Ironically, they are often claimed by Disney to be the most memorable of all the characters in Splash- moreso than Br'ers Bear, Fox or Rabbit! Imagineering has in the past conducted spot-inspections to make sure the Cast is using official, approved spiels! Scary! The reason Splash Mountain (and Pirates and iasw and Maelström etc.) Don't have restraints is because at the time of construction, Florida state law prohibited any ride where boats are floating in a channel from restraints of any kind (lest the boat flip over or sink, you can't trap guests in the vessel.) The law has changed since, allowing Kali River Rapids, Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls and their ilk to restrain away! Three questions which will instantly earn you the fiery, white-hot loathing of a thousand suns from any Splash Mountain CM: 1. Will I get wet on this ride/Is this a water ride? 2. No, really, which seat gets the wettest? 3. Does this ride go upside-down? (Seriously. All the time. Hence the quote in my signature) And finally, the most widely-known story of how the guest died on Splash, including (check that, especially) the version on Wikipedia are wrong. The man exited his log before Drop 2, (the rollercoaster) to take a picture of his party sitting in the log. As he attempted to get back in, the muscular conveyors at the edge threw his boat over the drop. He tumbled to the bottom of the dip (where there is no water) and was subsequently crushed by the next boat. Several CM's who were on duty that day still work at the attraction or resort at large, from ops to maintanence, security, emergency response, merchandise, custodial and more, and their independent first-person accounts verify this version of the events to be true. After the death, the intrusion (security/guest monitoring) system was revamped, and the opening of Drop 2 was narrowed to be just wide enough for the flume itself and an accompanying egress path to dissuade guests from getting out and trying to get back in before the Drop. Unfortunately, due especially to the lighted 'exit' sign and exit hallway there, it is still a frequent spot for intrusion by guests who've decided they don't want to ride anymore. In general, getting out of the boat is a bad idea, and dangerous for all involved. So, from the Cast, P-P-Please don't flings us into that Briar Patch! Wheeee!!!
  15. Is Grizzly okay? Was there any damage to track or superstructure or just branches in the way? Grizzly was a pretty good ride, I really enjoyed it, and definitely didn't find it as rough as Hurler.
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