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Everything posted by davidmorton

  1. Hi : Earlier today a photographer I follow on t'internet posted a link to someone else's photo's of that event.... you might get a kick out of some of their shots; http://www.scottkelby.com/blog/2010/archives/12267
  2. Video of the "Raiders of the Lost Jedi Temple of Doom - Star Wars Celebration V Disney Last Tour to Endor"
  3. 13th Aug : SixFlags press release viz new Chairman, President and CEO (thats all the same guy though!) http://investors.sixflags.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=61629&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1459818
  4. I was there during the day also; only Q I hit was 30 mins for X2 at opening time... unfortunately I think had eaten some dodgy food the night before and was feeling very ill all day so I didn't get to ride everything (very annoyed at this). Got a few rides in until I could not take it anymore (didn't feel like evacuating my system either upwards or downwards whilst on a coaster) so I just wandered around and left by 3. (Only the first parking lot was full and a few rows in the second). Would have been a good day if not for the Mexican-belly!
  5. Yep, well worth a listen.... even if Robb did sound like he was on a phone-line from the moon a lot of the time! Very interesting to hear so much information from the people right behind the stuff we like (and to hear that once upon a time, they were just coaster-geeks too!)
  6. ^ Tilt-Shift fakes are processed effects like what you'd get if you used a real tift-shift lens. Typically they work well to create shots that look like miniatures (which clearly aren't). You can do it in photoshop; http://www.tiltshiftphotography.net/ but that Diamonback one was actually a cheap dirty quick cheat (I'm not proud of that) using; http://tiltshiftmaker.com/ The non-tilt-shift-faked image (still HDR though) is below.
  7. Diamondback, wideangle lens, HDR processed, faked tiltshifted. Looky at the leeetel peeeeple
  8. Or grab the Google Earth KMZ file off this site (link at the bottom) http://www.coasterclub.org/b2evo/index.php/library.php to plug them *ALL* into GoogleEarth
  9. Yep total agreement, that Prometheus sequence is rather splendid! What sort of exposure time are those? And did you take a tripod in with you for all these? (If not then they are EVEN more impressive!) Dave.
  10. Yup. http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2009/06/15/six-flags-at-half-staff.aspx http://www.thrillnetwork.com/boards/parks-3/54042-six-flags-nj-really-zero-flags.html#post792107 http://www.travelpost.com/hotels/Super_8_Atlanta_Near_Six_Flags/r1145274 ..and that last one is posted on a review of the Super8 motel near SFoG (you know the one that everyone is scared of!) Troll indeedy. (ain't Google clever these days!)
  11. Just to put everyone's mind at ease, I had got half (forget which, the one that starts off going to the left looking at it from the midway) of Twisted Twins in a previous visit. Its just that *any* SBNO coaster is a crying shame (no matter how bad it is/was).
  12. ^ actually I saw a sign that said it was limited to only 5 rides.
  13. ^ clearly not! - The back carriage was roped off* anyway and the furthest back I could ride was 3rd from the back It (the last drop) was better (not as harsh) back there than when I first rode it nearer the front though * - not an uncommon thing at this park, most of the coasters had at least 1 row roped off!
  14. Hey everybody! This thread is simple! Rather than having a million little threads about everything that goes on at Six Flags' many properties, this thread is designed to consolidate it all into one user-friendly thread. Feel free to use it to post updates, trip reports, questions, comments, and of course, general discussion. For pictures and videos of the company's many properties as well as past updates, see TPR's Park Index. Official Company Website Below are some links to past updates from the company, you may be interested in. Enjoy! --Robb _____________________________________________________ 2009 June 15th, 2009 - Six Flags outlines Chapter 11 bankruptcy plans June 16th, 2009 - Company to take $600 million loan, bankruptcy won't affect Six Flags Dubailand June 18th, 2009 - Six Flags wants public image during bankruptcy November 30th, 2009 - Two bondholder factions vying for control of Six Flags December 8th, 2009 - Judge allows Six Flags to craft their own bankruptcy plan in 'good faith' December 15th, 2009 - Six Flags given approval to finance exit from bankruptcy with loans a stock sale 2010 January 8th, 2010 -Six Flags could emerge from bankruptcy as early as March January 13th, 2010 - Overdue payments could allow Six Flags to regain control of Parc Management parks February 17th, 2010 - Resilient Capital Management wants a Chapter 11 trustee appointed to Six Flags February 22nd, 2010 - Several bankruptcy exit plans to be presented to the court February 25th, 2010 - Note holders move to acquire Six Flags ownership March 1st, 2010 - Note holders plan to let go current management if company control is gained March 5th, 2010 - Company-wide attendance down 11% from the previous operating year March 8th, 2010 - Six Flags begins defense of bankruptcy exit plan amidst note holder coup attempt March 10th, 2010 - Note holders consider merging Six Flags with Cedar Fair March 19th, 2010 - Six Flags and competing note holders delay trial to reach internal settlement March 19th, 2010 - Six Flags management to be retained as a settlement with the note holders is reached March 22nd, 2010 - Six Flags "super fan conference call" transcript March 25th, 2010 - Mark Shapiro launches "Parent Pass" at all properties April 5th, 2010 - New bankruptcy plan submitted to appease the bondholders April 15th, 2010 - Resilient Capital Management still putting up a fight April 28th, 2010 - Bondholders agree to revised bankruptcy exit plan April 28th, 2010 - Six Flags could exit bankruptcy next week April 29th, 2010 - Six Flags resolves remaining complaints over bankruptcy plan April 30th, 2010 - Daniel Snyder & his team leave the board of directors May 3rd, 2010 - Six Flags emerges from bankruptcy May 12th, 2010 - Mark Shapiro ousted, replaced by Alexander Weber, former CEO of Paramount Parks May 17th, 2010 - Six Flags releases First Quarter Results June 17th, 2010 - Shares to resume trading in the New York Stock Exchange June 22nd, 2010 - Six Flags lays off three more executives August 14th, 2010 - James Reid-Anderson named Chairman, President and CEO of Six Flags September 7th, 2010 - New CFO and General Counsel appointed September 21st, 2010 - Six Flags shares reach 52-week high September 25th, 2010 - Six Flags receives $41 million cash distribution September 27th, 2010 - Six Flags continues management reorganization at park level April 25th, 2010 - Jeffrey Speed, former CFO receives $23.65 million for early layoff May 5th, 2010 - Board approves 2-for-1 split of stock 2011 December 15th, 2011 - Six Flags expands partnership with Mars Chocolate 2012 January 4th, 2012 - Share repurchasing plan expanded by $250 million January 10th, 2012 - Six Flags extends ticketing agreement with accesso February 9th, 2012 - Cash dividend increases to $0.60 per share March 14th, 2012 - Six Flags partners with 7-Eleven to bring Slurpees to the parks March 14th, 2012 - Red Gold becomes the "Official Ketchup of Six Flags" July 21st, 2012 - Six Flags renews deal with Coca-Cola for 10 more years! July 24th, 2012 - Six Flags sees large increases in its 2nd Quarter October 24th, 2012 - Higher attendance & prices boost Six Flags profits November 29th, 2012 - Discover renews partnership agreement with Six Flags 2013 October 25th, 2013 - 3rd Quarter sees growth in admission, food & sales 2014 October 21st, 2014 - 3rd Quarter 2014 results 2015 February 21st, 2015 - 4th Quarter 2014 results 2017 August 31st, 2017 - Company-wide 2018 additions announced! 2018 February 22nd, 2018 - Waterworld Concord becomes Hurricane Harbor Concord May 22, 2018 - Six Flags to run Darien Lake, Frontier City and three water parks 2019 August 29th, 2019 - All of the Six Flags 2020 Announcements! October 22nd, 2019 - Six Flags headquarters may move to Arlington October 30th, 2019 - Mike Spanos to become President & CEO of Six Flags _____________________________________________________ Original Post: Some quick links; http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Six-Flags ... .html?.v=1 A FAQ on the SF site; http://www.sixflags.com/national/footer ... tions.aspx And an open letter to all employees; http://www.sixflags.com/national/footer ... urCEO.aspx Hmmmm
  15. Just returned home to the UK from a not-quite 2 week blast across the midwest. Places hit were; Worlds of Fun Silver Dollar City Six Flags St Louis Holiday World Beech Bend Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom Kings Island Indiana Beach Six Flags Great America Wisconsin Dells And this is roughly the tale! Day1 : Sunday 31st May Starting out here; Was inspired to pay this place a visit, mainly because of the new woody but also because I never hear much about it and it seemed to have a few coasters that I tend to like (B&M inverts and big hyper types). My hotel was just over the road from the park so I managed to negotiate walking along the highway and grass verge to get to the park (Americans don't half make it tricky walking anywhere, no wonder that they are all **insert trite overweight-American quip here**). Park was pretty quiet all day, wandered first off to see Prowler for a couple of stress free first rides of the day; Very good indeed this. Great first drop and then into heaps of speed, no more big hills but lots of little dips and rises and banks and speed and stuff. Really good ride. Very hard to photograph though (a common theme with the day) as you can't really see much of it from the park unless you are riding it! The park railroad gave a few views as well tho'; The drop, no train available at the time tho' Next up (purely for the credit) was the boomer. I really dont like boomers. I recall the first one I went on I really enjoyed.... how times change. Anyway they are always quite photogenic though; Then up to that big ride I could see from the hotel, Mamba the nice big hyper. I like nice big hypers. I like the big Morgans (SD2000, Steel Force, Steel Eel) and I liked this too. Not anything like as impressive as SD2000, but hey its still pretty nice although I think out of that list above they would all edge Mamba for some reason or another. Continuing the loop of the park, I happened upon Detonator - these are always fun. Next up was the old woody (20 this year) - Timber Wolf. This was not good. 20 is clearly not a good age for a wooden coaster. Not the roughest old wood I've been on (I think Predator at Darian Lake might win that), but still far too much rattling and rough riding for my likeing. (No pix either!) Now this is more like it, the B&M Patriot. Almost very good - probably an element short of that, but the good old B&m formula (Loop, ZeroG, Immelmann, banked turn, airtime hop, wingover,twisty bit, finish) does the trick. Good stuff. Last coaster (since I didn't lower myself to the Wacky Worm!) was the Spinning Dragons which was installed as the replacement to the old signature ride Orient Express... ...well I think the punters were somewhat short changed as this was not great! OK I suppose, but a bit of a filler! Overall a pretty nice place - kinda Busch Gardens Williamsburg-Lite. A lot of the flats are showing their age a bit I think, and theres a bit of repetition in their styles. The coasters are a fair selection though, enough to keep me entertained for most of the day. . . . . Oh yes, by the way, don't go in this building; its a trap. Day2 : Monday 1st June No parks today Drive down from KC to the next port of call, which will not suprise you to know is Branson. What an odd place this is. If I was feeling un-generous I'd describe it as a hillbilly Vegas... (sorry!) Theres a "main drag" through all the motels/hotels/food places, but most of all there are theatres EVERYWHERE, all putting on shows from people I've never heard of (I suspect I'm NOT the target audience tho') and like they are top-billing on Broadway....(Blackpool pier summer show more like). I am being very uncharitable here though, whatever floats your boat really... At the end of the strip is Celebration City. This would have been a good place to kill a few hours instead of being disparaging about the town; but as you well know the place is shut at the moment. This ride will not operate today; Shame, this looked pretty good; More SBNO; Went for an explore, there is a rather nice lake a couple of miles out of town which I did enjoy pottering around taking a few pix thereof; Nice lake though; A tree at the nice lake; The lack of coaster action today means you now get a picture of the hire car. No prizes for guessing what tomorrow brings then! Day3 : Tuesday 2nd June Its Tuesday, I'm in Branson (::shudder: that means it must be Silver Dollar City day Nice place, one of the few places that peeps seem to go to just to go to it (so kinda like Disney and Universal at a push, there is just loads of peeps there just to be there. Am I making sense? The place was full of OAPs, just wandering around (slowly, and its pretty hilly in places, not so easy on the age-challenged). There are loads of shows and shoppes and olde-west type stuff going on that the non-riding public could enjoy. Anyway I certainly don't fit into that category, I wasn't there for the country nor the western music... the olde-worlde-west shoppes held little interest... I can find cheaper ($50 entrance!) ways of wasting a few hours in the heat... but I was there for the coasters! First up was the B&M looper Wildfire. Deceptively hard to find (the whole park is a little hard to navigate to be honest) and interestingly located on the side of a hill, I was looking forward to this! Here they go; Lifty hill Upsidey down Some idea of the view from up here, rather splendid Certainly the location of this ride is excellent, top of a hill looking down into the valley and lake below. The ride is pretty darned good also, big drop into an immelmann, loop, big cobra roll, corkscrew, little helix thats the lot. What it does have is really good, but a bit like Patriot the other day, feels kinda "an element short". I liked it though lots, definatley worthy! Just next door (well down the hill a bit) is Powder Keg, the rebuilt ride. I'm going to have to dig out a Buzzsaw Falls POV that I have at home to see how much of the old ride is left. Again I liked this a lot. Really odd setup where as soon as you leave the station you move sideways (the whole track moves, like a transfer track) up to the launch straight. The launch is good, not stupid fast but fast enough and there is plenty of airtime over the top hat and the first hill - nice. Thereafter its gets all fast and swoopy and ends up with a conventional lift hill and drop right at the end (odd in itself, but not unique to this park - see later). Nearby is an old "classic" (ie "rubbish") coaster Fire in the Hole - basically a cheesy dark ride with a couple of drops in it. Not great. The other serious coaster (there is a kiddy one as well) is an Arrow minetrain type called Thunderation, and that was pretty fun too - 2 cars face backwards which is an odd sensation on this sort of ride - no pics of this though as it is out in the woods somewhat! They have a themed S&S swing - themed like a giant barn! Self powered Giant Drop? And the usual smattering of other rides But what they do have which is pretty non-usual is the reason that the park is where it is in the first place - a giant underground cave system that you can go on an hour's trek through - pretty groovy, and not for those with vertigo as you start out at the top of a huge cavern; I tried to take some shots in the trek but suspect they may not come out very well. Overall a good place, they could do with a better park mascot though Day4 : Wednesday 3rd June I was going to go to Six Flags today, byt the weather was rubbish, I was feeling rubbish and so I postponed until the next day (I had capacity in my schedule to do this, luckily!). So I just drove up to St Louis. Day5 : Thursday 4th June So after yesterday's bad weather imposed delay (I went off to the flicks instead and saw that Terminator film - "meh"), it was off to Six Flags over Mid-America for me (I do prefer that name somehow?). I've been here before, back in 2003, but they have kindly added a couple of new coasters since then, so it was worth a looksee. And to be fair, the time I went here before I really enjoyed the place so was well up for a revisit. First up was theire new (to me) GCI woody "Evel Knievel". Not quite as imposing as WoF's Prowler, but still pretty sweet. Was a really good ride, smooth, fast, floaty, twisty, excellent! Them GCI guys are really getting into the swing of this coaster malarky! Evel Knievel I did notice these signs all over the place as well... a reaction to that stupid Georgia incident from last year? These signs were every few yards on a lot of the fences around the place. Electric Six (Flags)? Next up was the other new (to me) ride - quick digression; how many other coasters are named after real people rather than superheroes or film tie-ins? And here I am going on two consecutively, bizarre. Tony Hawk This was a bit "meh" though, better than the similar Spinning Dragons at WoF, but nothing too great. The big woody here is The Boss, which I remeber being a bit evil (but fun), today it was still a bit evil but running well - one of the better "big woods" I think. T'Boss Their drop ride is new-ish to trhe park, but not new to me since I rode it when it was in Houston, themed to Olde-England there, Superman here. ex-Astroworld Also on the menu is a nasty old Arrow looper, which I think has one of the best head-choppers going; when you twist underneath the chain return bit about halfway through the ride, gets me every time! Ninja When you ride all these coasters, its always good to take a moment to realize how utterly brilliant the original B&M invert is. Revolutionary at the time and stands the test of time fantastically. St Louis's is odd in that it is a mirror image of all the other clones, but still an excellent ride; far superior to many that have come afterwards. ediR ehT:namtaB The last coaster I rode for the day (also rode the mine train ("meh") and the old woody Screamin Eagle which hurt me badly 6 years ago, but I made it through OK today) was Mr Freeze. I do like Mr Freeze's, I recall riding Texas's in the dark once and that was wonderful being lauched straight up into the stars. No start today though (bright sunshine) but still a great ride. Mr Freeze Rest of the day spent pottering around the park; Colossus Park Final "best buy" tip - if you are Brit, and off to these places on holidays then try to get an "out of market" season pass (you'll have to ask for one) as these are HUGE discounts - $45 for a Six Flags pass that will get me into any other SF parks I may encounter in the next few days, and just because I'm foreign-like! Cool! --- So all in all; really good. The park was clean, employees (in their bright new day-glo uniform) were generally good, and despite the park not being busy they were running 2 trains on all the rides even with mininal lines - well done Mr Flags. This is a really good park which (to me) just doesn't get the credit some of its (slightly) bigger brothers get. This place was the third Six Flags park (after Texas and Georgia) and was purpose built as such. Its not quite as big as those two (or the other big Six flags "purchased parks") but still very worthy! Me like. And just some messing about on the way out Day6 : Friday 5th June Another day, another park Well actually two, but more of that later... I'd stayed about 40 miles away from the next place since the next place is in the middle of nowhere, Indiana... yes its Holiday World today! When I got to the (free) car park, it was the easily the busiest one I'd seen yet on the trip, clearly family-friendly parks in the middle of nowhere Indiana are popular - the park itself was also the busiest I'd seen so far this week. I'd been here before in 2003, but since then they had gone and built a new monster of a ride, so first up it was a brisk walk down the hill to the rather imposing Voyage. Clearly this ride has been lauded by the coaster-geek community, but that isn't always a good sign (take Raven for example, coaster-geeks love it, to me its "ok", a bit "so what" in fact) so I wasn't quite sure what I'd think of it... well it was bloomin' FANTASTIC! Big scary lift hill - check. Lots of airtime hills - check. Lots of suprises - check. Lots of speed - check. Not too rough - check(ish). This is a truly amazing ride, loads of air, loads of tunnels, drops in the tunnel, and the most amazing thing to me was that it just gets faster and faster. The end third of the ride is truly scary stuff, racing back into the station complex picking up speed all the time when any sensible coaster is griding to a halt. Utterly utterly impressive. Loved it. Downsides - you can't take many pictures of it as most of the ride is off in the woods and its a shame its a hybrid structure and not "all wood", but I'm quibbling a bit here. --- Now it takes a special moment for me to start to do water rides - it has to be hot and they have to look good... now HW had gone and built a new "worlds tallest", so I had resigned myself to having to give this a go... But it seems HW have other ideas... Anyway, not sure I missed much, it looked a bit weedy in the shadow of the mightly Voyage next door - didn't look much "worlds tallest" to me, I'm sure a few normal splash rides are that big, and how about things like the Mack supersplash? But who am I to question park marketing? Other "worlds tallest" at HW include their shot tower; And other coasters are the aforementioned Raven Which is good, just not fantastic like you are lead to believe (and too short and they were only running 1 train, slowly). and the Legend (which I prefer to the Raven anyway) Its a popular place this, loads of family groups - queue patterns are weird here as well, I waited probably 30 minutes for the Raven in the morning, but an hour later it was almost walk on (same for the Legend). Nice enough place, but a bit limited in its offerings (since I don't do the water park). So after a few rides on all the wooden beasts the park doesn't really hold much else for me... So hop in the car, drive 2 hours, make it to the next place for twilight (half price) admission and here I am at Beech Bend! There is clearly only one good reason to come here (if you are not a local as it did seem like a good enough place just to "hang out" at) and that reason is another GCI masterpiece, the Kentucky Rumbler. Not quite as excellent as Prowler was and maybe lightly behind EvelK but still an excellent ride indeed. An interesting thing about it was that the station is buried right in the middle of the ride, so waiting for the train (there is only one) to come around you get three station fly-pasts, wonderful stuff. But the park is so quiet, that I only every get to stand and wait for the train once! The rest of the park is a bit dull to be honest - its really a whole lot of travelling rides plonked down on some tarmac. But so what, nice enough atmosphere, the staff were all pretty friendly, the place is clean and it is cheap! They also have one of those common spinning Wild Mouse rides; And a truly evil looking Pinfari looper; (and a Dragon kiddly coaster (which was a bit rough (oops let slip that I rode it, never mind (+1)))) So by no means a full day park, I laboured to spend 2 hours there, but it was empty so eveything was walk-on. I had originally planned to go here tomorrow (Saturday) when it might be busier I guess... So now I'm running ahead of my schedule.... hmmmm. Day7 : Saturday 6th June So today was a "bonus day"; because I went to Beech Bend yesterday, I now have an extra day. I usually try to avoid big parks on Saturdays (hence why BB was planned) as they are always heaving, but today was a "bonus" so off I went. [ Bonus = not planned Bonus = place with coasters Bonus does not necessarily = a GOOD place with coasters though ] to here; I'd been here before as well, and this time they have managed to REMOVE rides since then - the park has a whole section fenced off which contains the Twisted Twins dual coaster and the shoot the chutes water ride. Very poor Six Flags IMHO. Because of this (and the fact that I didn't really rate the place anyway) I was not planning to stop in, but given my "bonus day" I felt that at least the old Schwartzkopf deserved some love. Good ride as always from these machines, this one only slightly spoiled by being right next to the road that runs RIGHT THROUGH THE MIDDLE OF THE STUPID PARK; Oh well, no accounting for park design then? The only other decent coaster here is the big B&M stand-up Chang, which is pretty good in fairness. Chang They just don't make 'em like they used to. I guess this must have been the BIG SIX FLAGS investment to drag the park upscale a dozen or so years ago when Six Flags were going for broke! Anyway its quite pretty and a decent enough ride - I've done all the B&M standups and this one is one of the better ones. The park also has a little waterpark slap bang in the middle of it (!!) which is popular with the locals on this hot summers day! The other coasters inculde an early SLC named T2 (not Terminator themed at all though) This isn't great, but as with all SLCs they are a bit better to photograph than actually ride (back seat, bouncy head = bashed ears). And stupid single train ops on this mean I have to queue for an hour for the priviledge of getting my ears bashed And they have a Hurler-like woody called Thunder Run, which is also not good, when the pre-lift hill bit shakes you up you do start to worry for the rest of the ride. Ouch. The closed off section is just behind this woody, so as you race around the one ride you get a great view of the other rides that they have closed off. Boo! You can clearly tell from a lot of those photos that there is a large big wheel here as well, which I take my customary shot of; Not a lot else to report really. Slow ops, busy park, (poor park to be honest) but it was an agreeable enough way of spending a few "bonus hours". If you are passing by, don't have the credits and have a spare couple of hours then the place is worth a visit. But I wouldn't be recommending it as a destination of any kind since it really does not have any stand out features! Kinda suprised that Six Flags have not got rid of the place to be honest, can't see what it adds to their portfolio! Day8 : Sunday 7th June Right then, the serious stuff is on now. Its Sunday, it must be; A top day at a top park riding some top coasters - I've had a nice time today! Clearly one has to start at the big newbie - so at opening hour a brisk walk to the new ride (cunningly hidden in the kiddie-zone !?!?!?). There is a very convienient single-rider entrance which meant I got to ride it 3 times in the first 20 minutes of the day, on a busy Sunday with the rest of the queue-line packed. The single-rider was not running all day, but when it is I suggest you abuse it! So what of this new popular ride... well it was OK, nothing revolutionary. Certainly not a world-beater, but definately a crowd-pleaser. I think that Nitro is better in terms of similar rides, but I prefer Apollo's out of all the B&M hypers I've rode (not been on any of the recent Goliath/Behemoth ones tho') The splash is a bit pointless when you are riding; unless you are on the back row when you arm will get wet, and if you turn to look at the splash from the back row, turn INWARDS for a good view because if you turn OUTWARDS (like I did), then you get a wet face! However the view from the queue line overlooks the splash zone, so it adds to the queue experience (although I never queued for the ride really). So a really good, big ride. But nothing earth-shattering. I grabbed the other credits that had appeared since I was last here (and a couple of the minor rides I missed last time I was here); The not-Italian Job was fun but a bit lame (I've been on Wonderlands too and this one seemed a bit better but that could be my imagination!) Any ride that is themed after a multi-story car park is struggling a bit; Next up was Firehawk (which I had rode as XFlight in a former life), this was OK, but rather spoiled as it broke down while I was on it, basically they could not re-right the train after we got back into the station! So I was stuck in the "down" position in the station for about 20 minutes while they tried to mend it, eventually they gave up and manually released us all from our prison (which you can imagine is a bit of an experience given the rather bizarre restraint system on these things). Anyway that pi**ed me off for a while, especially as they didn't even apologise after they released us, thought I'd at least get an exit pass or something, but they just let us go and sent us off down the exit. Anyway its still a pretty coaster; After a bit of a stretch and recovery from my ordeal, I resumed on the mine train Adventure Express, which is fun, then a bit of not-Top Gun, which is cool too And that had got me limbered up enough to attempt what was one of the most painful coaster experiences ever for me on my previos visit... yes it was time for the (loop-less) Son of Beast... perhaps its neutered Son of Beast? Well it certainkly was not as bad as last time I went, but it is a bit of a pointless ride IMHO, just big and fast with not a lot of fun. Much better is its Daddy, which I really like. Probably my favourite ride in the park! Not because its a great ride (its rough, has some awful trim brakes on it), but its 30 years old and still great fun! Hard to take a picture of though as its all out in the woods; Next door to Beast is a mega looper (and mega painful) Vortex, back in the day when lots of inversions were the vogue, this thing must have been the business; 2 loops 2 corkscrews a bat wing thingy... today it looks its age and hurts a bit! Loads of other coasters were ridden (they have 14, and I rode all but the tiny kiddy ride which I did consider for a moment; shame on me!) Invertigo; Swing thing; Gyro-Drop (these do still scare me, not the drop but the climb) So overall a great day at a great park! It was busy, but its a big place and the longest I had to Q for was Firehawk at about 40 minutes (before I broke it). Day9 : Monday 8th June Next stop was here; Didn't quite know what to expect of this place, I had managed to miss it out the last time I was around here, so it was going to be all-new for me (which is always a good thing). I thought Holiday World was in the middle of nowhere-Indiana, clearly I was mistaken, turns out Indiana Beach is REALLY in the middle of nowhere- Indiana! Anyway it is an odd place - kinda one-part charming, one-part tacky - overall its a bit like a mini-Blackpool, but nicer!?! The biggest coaster there is the Hoosier Hurricane, which dominates the park somewhat, running most of the length of it and what you always see in the pictures of the place. Intertwined with that is the much better Cornball Express, which is a bit more twisty than the rather out and back Hoosier. Neither ride is amazing, but pretty fun - and its quite impressive how they have squeezed them into rather limited space. Unfortunatley the other woody (The Lost Coaster...) was not running today so no rides for me this looked a bit interesting as you could see the older structure that it was built on top of. Bonkers! Most of the flat rides are on little platforms out over the lake itself, this one was groovy; And somehow they have managed to squeeze in a Splash Battle in there! Aerial shots come courtesy of the skyride or the big wheel (which ain't so big to be honest) And theres a steel coaster (Galaxi) in here somewhere; Clearly the major attraction of the place for me was the new (last season) S&S steel thing - you'll be expecting a load of pictures of that then will you not? Ok after that lame joke, here we go then; ...I really liked this by the way... ...I tried not to watch it first so the layout actually caught me unaware after the first drop... ...and I particlularily liked the second inversion (counting the first drop as the first one)... ...so there you have it, what Flamingoland in North Yorkshire has to look forward to in the very near future... ...really groovy! Day10 : Tuesday 9th June ...count the flags then... Yep, its Great America today. I've been here a couple of times before, so there was not much "novelty" involved, but its another GREAT park so how can one resist? I had a bit of a trek up from my overnight stop and the Chicago traffic was a pain so despite a stupid early start I didn't get into the park until 11 and the sight of a car park full of school buses gave me some dread! The place was reasonably busy, lots of school trips (call this an education, I don't think so, no wonder standards are slipping, anyway get out of my line you bratty oiks) but the queues seemed to be moving pretty quickly. First up I grabbed the credits that they had built since my last visit, which were the earth shatteringly exciting sum of TWO mouse coasters FFS. Firstly wa sthe mouse-in-a-box Dark Knight, which was unsuprisingly just a mouse, in a box, with a bit (not much) of themeing. The queue was better themed than the ride. And not a sign of a Batman anywhere (or did I miss that?) Then the slightly older (spinning) mouse Rajin Cajun. This was exactly the same as any other spinning wild mouse... apart from it was the only ride I saw a single rider line on so at least I didn't spend much time on that! Therafter I spend the rest of the day wandering around all the other nice coasters they have there; V2 Got wood? (American Eagle - they were only running one side of this ) Got even better wood? (The excellent Viper - the best cyclone clone that I have ridden) Raging Bull - has always been a bit of a fave of mine, lots of people dont rate it much, but I really like it! Different type of mega B&M to Diamondback so unfair to compare them (think I prefer the Bull to the Back though) Totally original photo of the old Demon A bit of the original Batman (which I have raved about earlier in this thread - excellent stuff!) And some not-yet-Bizarro:Ultimate Flight And DejaVu looks a bit different these days... (a splash battle sits there now, the shame the shame) And what is this all about, all over the park and on all the PA announcements at the rides they kept on goping on about the place being the "Worlds Cleanest Theme Park"? Who says? How did you measure that? Lets see those statistics please? Are you just having a laugh? And then they say the "Hurricane Harbour" is the nations best water park... I'm not water park expert, but I highly doubt that as well. No wonder the GP are confused when parks feed them such tosh all the time! Day11 : Wednesday 10th June Right then, after yesterday's "big huge corporation" park, today was a trip up to the "family owned but turned into a bit of a monster"; Mount Olympus at the Wisconsin Dells. Its a bit of a monster as its an older "carts and coasters" park, joined together with an older "outdoor water park" and another "indoor water park" - physically they joined it all together by buying the hotel that sat between them all and demolishing it - cool, theres vision for you! I worked my way "upstream" here, started off with the indoor coaster, which is another of those annoying spinning mice things; Housed in a big tent-like structure, not so cunningly hidden behind this big pile of themeing; Next up was the junior woody Pegasus, which is a bit of a triangular out and back, on a "family coaster" scale. Fun enough and an evil last turn into the station. Moving up the food chain to Cyclops, which has a scenic drop towards the end that looked like it might give some satisfying airtime... ...but it didn't so much. Now we are starting to get serious, next up is a true out and back woody, Zeus. This was a bit rough on my first ride, but the next time I was prepared and it was pretty fun. Nicely warmed up then... now we are cooking. The real draw for this place is of course none of the above, but rather this monster; Hades Nice big huge first drop... Straight into a long tunnel all full of unspeakable evilness that races off under the car park (how cool is that!) before emerging in the distance only to turn around and do it all again Thereafter it does a few ups and downs (one of them REALLY rough) and speeds back into the station. Great stuff. They didn't let me go on this one though; As well as these FOUR wood coasters (and the lame steel), the place is full of go-kart tracks, so I had a few circuits of them as well. I swear they gave me the slow kart each time though? Pretty interesting place all told, limited diversity of rides - if you don't like coasters or karts you are stuffed for dry things to do - but quite clean and well themed. Ride operations sucked a bit though, very borted looking foreign kids running the coasters (often on their own), with very little regard to throughput or customer experience. Oh well. Day12 : Thursday 11th June Did a very pleasant boat trip up the river today, and had a quck play on the other coaster of merit in the town; Avalanche/Hell Cat (which doesn't seem to make up it mind what it is called - they were still selling Avalanche TShirts at the kiosk?). No pics of this though, but was a fun ride. Day13 : Friday 12th June Drove back to Chicago, got on plane, got off plane, got into taxi, came home, posted this (by now its the next day!).
  16. Ummm... 12 then. (assuming the list changed at some point (from reading this thread), otherwise 10 )
  17. Just add my 2pth... I was at HW&BB Friday then KK on Saturday (PTR will follow when I get home )... but the simulator film was a bit odd - some guff about libraries and adventurous books, pretty slow and confusing pre-show then the main film was OK; all rattling around in a "Lost Temple" or something like that. Overall it did the business, but didn't make much narrative sense (but these things never do do they!)
  18. Not wishing to spoil your fun too much.... but just to spoil your fun the link at the bottom of this page will get you a file for the whole world; http://www.coasterclub.org/b2evo/index.php/library.php
  19. Some snaps from yesterday at the park. Overall I thought it was a pretty good ride, not the best coaster (but not bad at all), and the themeing works well. Probably not worth the ~4.5 hours I spent in the queue for 2 rides though Saw'd Saw HDR'd Sunset Saw edit; and... Waiting to be Saw-d
  20. I usually hate myself in pix, despite being a fan of taking pix... this turned out OK tho' (I think)
  21. This is the only other fake-theme-park-minature-shot I have processed; Mini Kings Island (Theres a few other general fakes if you click thru the image to my flickr page)
  22. The trick seems to be; get a picture looking down, try to get one with no (or bland) sky in it. White Cyclone
  23. My most processed shot ever; Fujisan and Dodonpa (Psuedo-HDR) The unprocessed shot; JPEG off the camera I editted the photo like this; Removed an errant bird that was annoying me Removed the crane Then played with the levels in PS to get some colur in it (the original was just too grey), then a little HDR-ish (not real HDR) processing in DynamicPhotoHDR to get a bit of drama. Personally, I think once you have made the mental switch from just taking JPG "snaps" to taking RAW "photographs" then you pretty much expect to be processing every photo you take to some extent. What you are doing in the software is exactly what you would have done back in the day with a film camera in a darkroom. For the record tho', I tend to agree with Ed about that blur effect.
  24. Its a mess FujiQ's site... BUT I have noticed this... If you go to Google and look for FujiQ you end up at this link http://www.fuji-q.com which is where it all goes wrong for you, as that site (and the English linked subsite) don't appear to have changed since 2004. But if you go to the Japanese link it takes you to http://www.fujiq.jp/ which is MUCH more up to date (still looks a bit old tho). You would imagine that the majority of the people looking for FujiQ on t'internet would be locals and so they would get to the Japanese site first off. (i.e. its only us geeky foreign coaster-geeks that would be hitting the 2004 English translation). Still, they should sort it out! Dave.
  25. Good PTR - thanks... as for... ... yep thats pretty much right. That area was all called the Springfield Centre (not a Simpsons theme!) and had an twin alpine slide thingy running all down the hill to the bottom, where the Cine2000 sat. The original Pirate Ship (now Blade) was there also just above the Cine2000, I remember a bunch of water-spray games there as well. There was a mini-golf course where most of Oblivion is now (mini Eiffel Towers and the like). But Dinosaur Land actually only stood where the Black Hole tent is now, it had a big (well it was big to me back then) fence around it so you couldn't see in from the outside and it was a nice little walk through around a windy path amongst all the big plastic dinosaurs. When the Black Hole appeared (!!) the dinos all moved to the log flume to rot away in the woods. I liked dinoland. I was under 10 once. edit - looking at that TowersTimes site, I may well have been over 10 when I went to Dinoland, oh dear!
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