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Buckeye Brad

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Everything posted by Buckeye Brad

  1. My guess is that the Kings Island wants to preserve the "authenticity" of the first rider auction. Yeah, everybody (including the bidders) knows that park employees ride new coasters first. But if a few hundred employees tell all their friends and post online that "they already rode it", the desire to bid for the first public rides may be lessened somewhat. The auction is up to nearly $84,000, and I'm sure that KI and "A Kid Again" would like to see that number go even higher.
  2. According the Canada's Wonderland website, Behemoth's height requirement is 54". Since Behemoth has the same trains and restraints and is also in a Cedar Fair park, I would expect Diamondback to also be 54".
  3. Upon closer inspection, the seating arrangement may not be that bad. These are my guesses: -Each "car" has 2 separate rows -Each row has it's own gate -Each gate is clearly marked with a sign showing the seat arrangement Granted most guests will prefer to sit together. But the split rows will be attractive for single riders, friends who don't mind being apart, and guests who want to ride sooner (since the split rows may tend to be less popular). Advantages to this design (over Deja-Vu): -Riders in the "split" row can still look across and see their friends screaming face -Less potential for "surprises" as riders board the train (if rows are effectively marked) = Negligible reduction of capacity Are the benefits of this layout worth the fuss? Time will tell. But on paper, I think B&M have a clever idea.
  4. #1 Themeparkreview is so much fun. I never knew that the parks outside the US were so interesting and awesome. Thanks for all you guys do to keep this site fresh, informative, and positive. #2 The videos are great. Have you ever discussed creating them in 16:9 format? I would love to see your DVDs blown up in full 16:9 glory. I just saw the Discovery 2002 top 10 show in full HD and the 16:9 format is just amazing for coasters. #3 My favorite video POV is facing forward from the rear of the train. For some reason these really pull me into the coaster, much more so than the front seat. The drops appear longer and I can get a much better idea of how the track twists by watching the train. Please keep those coming! Thanks again!
  5. I was lucky enough to ride Son of Beast tonight. Surprisingly, it was a great ride. The best of my 20 or so rides since opening year. 1. I rode in the very back, left, red train, at dusk, on one of the last trains of the day 2. This was my first non-kiddie coaster since Holiwood nights 2006 (best rides of my life) 3. I am 5'6", 155 lbs Since everybody is wondering about the roughness: I felt very little. Just a hint of washboarding in the rose bowl (big helix), but not enough to worry about. Not enough to take away form the fun. Speaking of the rose bowl, that was the highlight of the ride. It felt so fast and vertical. Awesome. There was a sniff of airtime over the first two big drops. The mid-course brakes were on quite hard, but the subsequent drop was still fun. I did miss the loop, and wish it had been replaced with a double down, tunnel, trick-track, or something more interesting. The finale was merely decent. i had no problem with the trains, and strongly prefer them to the originals. It was funny to see them because they look so much smaller and shorter than what I'm used to. It's also ironic that like "The Father", the gate corrals no longer match up properly. All in all, I'm delighted that Son of Beast is re-opened. I don't think it will break anybody's top 10 (or 20), and for me it is still not the epic monster I've hoped for since it was announced. But if it continues to deliver rides like mine tonight, I'll look forward to riding it. Summary: A nice improvement.
  6. I asked this same question when the Voyage was announced. The answers I received... 1. Steel structure is cheaper than wood 2. Steel structure is faster to build than wood 3. Steel structure is easier/cheaper to maintain than wood So it seems that these three reasons added up to a significant financial savings. I agree that painting the steel a "woody" color might look nice, but future re-painting would be required and pretty expensive. I do like that the steel structure has a similar design to a typical wooden coaster structure (as opposed to big tube supports like a B&M) -Buckeye Brad
  7. Vortex at Kings Island: "Feel the Grip of Vortex" They also sold buttons that said "I felt the grip". If you have not seen the logo, it is a robotic hand gripping and twisting a section of coaster track, with a train about dive into the tangled mess. The hand itself is shiny chrome and has spikes on it. To promote the opening (back in the spring of 1987), there was a TV commercial with a robotic hand (the one in the logo) and a weird taunting robotic laugh. Quite corny, but fun! At the time is seemed like a totally new way to theme a ride (as opposed to being named after an animal like Beast, Bat, King Cobra). It would have been neat to see a 3-D, 10 foot tall version of the logo near the ride entrance! I will always remember this one because I was 13, and the Vortex was the coaster that forever got me into coasters. Not just the ride, but keeping track of construction (via newspaper) and the anticipation of opening day. Also... Son of Beast: Ride the Sequel Outer Limits: Face your Darkest Fears The Bat is Back! (seen on a billboard, 1983) -Buckeye Brad
  8. Yeah, that is weird. But weird is good! If you've got Cornball Express ranked higher than The Voyage, I am pumped to get to Indiana Beach and check it out! -Buckeye Brad
  9. At HoliWood Nights last weekend, I heard tons of comments regarding people's coaster rankings. This got me thinking... When (if) you rank coasters, what criteria hold the most weight? What criteria are absolute deal-breakers or home-runs? 1. Layout (out-and-back, twister, etc) 2. Elements (ejector airtime, laterals, tunnels) 3. Setting (woods, water, midway, parking lot) 4. Park a rollercoaster is located in 5. The typical (year-in-year-out) perfomance of a coaster 6. The best ride you've even gotten on that coaster 7. "Dead" spots (does one dead spot penalize an otherwise perfect coaster?) 8. Re-rideability (e.g. Voyage vs. Raven) 9. "Bomb" /underdog factor (Son of Beast had a huge budget, huge specs, reputable park, and high hopes; Cornball Express surprised many) 10. Others...? #6 is interesting to me. Let's say a coaster is in your "top 10-15". One day that coaster happens to deliver an unbelievable ride, the best coaster ride you've ever had. This might be due to rain, grease, recent trackwork, darkness, etc. Might that coaster jump to your #1? I'm not really trying to start a poll, just interested in the method to your madness. I've only ridden ~50 coasters (13 wood), so ranking them doesn't do much for me personally. I just think in terms of "Awesome", "Fun", and "Better than Nothing". Thanks for your thoughts. -Buckeye Brad
  10. I forgot to mention that the entire Voyage station (upstairs and down) was kept nice and chilly. There are fans and air vents following you every step of the way. Everybody really appreciated this, since the weather outside was quite hot and muggy. -Buckeye Brad
  11. I was there for the whole event, and the reports of 10-40 minute waits (Voyage) are all valid. During the peak times the lower level of the station house was full, but the line was really moving. It was actually hard to hold a conversation with the peole behind us because the line was moving so fast. That wait was around 25 minutes (for random seats) We also got a 10:30PM ride on Voyage with the basement empty and a 10 minute wait. Gobbler was 10-15 minutes. There were hoards of folks just hanging around Thanksgiving, chatting and/or recovering. Yes, Raven and Legend were walk-ons for basically the entire weekend, day or night. We never waited more than 10 minutes, usually just one or 2 trains. At 11PM Saturday, our train left Raven's station to the sight of 2 people in "line". Yes, 2 people. By the time we got back there were maybe 10. This also happened on Legend several times Saturday, day and night. It was an awesome event, and the short waits were a great surprise! -Buckeye Brad
  12. My super scientific "equations" are just guesses based on approx. 1000 riders per hour. The good thing is that for me anyway, the wait times will be well worth it regardless. Heck, if i only get a handful of pitch black spins on Raven, the whole weekend will be worth it. -Buckeye Brad
  13. OK I'm just thinking out loud here. These are just my guesses... Lets say that 2000 people will attend HoliWood Nights. 1700 people might be there each night. 1400 people might be in line for the coasters. 50% in line for the Voyage= 700 people = 40 minute wait 25% in line for Legend = 350 people = 20 minute wait 25% in line for Raven = 350 people = 20 minute wait Am I way off here? These wait times look pretty decent actually. -Buckeye Brad
  14. I will be there for both nights, along wiith my "coaster rookie" wife Kristine. Can't wait to meet everybody! By the way Robb, you might want to edit your post. You may have offended a few people... -Buckeye Brad
  15. With all the buzz about El Toro, I was thinking: would it make financial sense for a park to retrofit an existing woodie with Intamin pre-fab track? I read all the time about how much time and money parks spend to maintain their wood coasters (especially the big ones like Mean Streak and Sonny). Obviously parks would have a hard time marketing the investment to the GP (new for 2006: all new smooth track on Son of Beast!). But from a maintenance cost savings aspect, it might be interesting. Kind of like football stadiums tearing out grass and installing the new artificial turf. It's a huge investment, but saves money long term. Despite the huge price tag, even high schools are doing it all over the country. The new may not have as much "personality", but its always reliable. Even if it were an option, coaster fans might have an interesting quandry. Take The Beast. With new track it might be able to run at full speed, but it would likely lose some of that rockem, sockem, rumble that makes woodies so unique and beloved. A good trade? Just thinking out loud, -Brad
  16. My favorites: HW Legend: the four corners of death! Raven: scream like heck through the trees Flight of Fear: the last corkscrew is a nice "gotcha" PKI Vortex: I love the boomerang and how it nearly kisses that retaining wall (the final helix is just an afterthought though) Not so much: Son of Beast: the big drops, rose bowl, and loop are at least ambitious. The ending is just not very fast, forceful, or memorable. PKI Racer: I really loved the final dip, too bad it had to go.
  17. Well this morning around 8:00 eastern time I tried the main page and had a time warp back to last March. The what's new, video downloads, and forums had content from March 2005, nothing newer. Actually there were just a few current forum topics, but everything else was March.
  18. Some of my favorites... The Beast - ambiguous and scary Legend - Holiday World's version has a double meaning Shivering Timbers - corny but original; it just works for me Vapor Trail - sounds like a great Intamin hyper instead of a vekoma junior Shooting Star - classic name for an out-and-back Cyclone - ubiquitous now, but still great. It looks good on a big neon sign, rolls off the tongue, suggests power, speed, and an out-of-control feeling. Plus it requires no theming to be effective. Chase though the Clouds - a mouthful, but this just summons visions of the grand old parks of the first "golden age" Voyage - didn't excite me too much at first, but I think that when taken in the new Thanksgiving area, with a (hopefully) sailing-ship themed station, Voyage will work nicely.
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