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Everything posted by willski

  1. Generally, yes, that's true. However, upon paying $10 and entering the parking lot (which is Cedar Fair property), you forfeit the right to refuse a search of your car without a warrant. Once you have consented to enter their property (read: paid the parking fee), they have the right to search whoever they want. It's the same way with corporations and private schools, which can search your car at random if they so choose. The owners/operators of private properties don't operate under normal search and seizure laws.
  2. Firehawk was running both trains and both stations on Monday morning. That was the only time I rode it, so I can't say if that held all day. The line was pretty short too-they were barely filling the stations and holding the rest of the line in the queue, but it was only a 30 minute or so wait.
  3. Am I the only one here who thinks that its a waste of power/space/money to have a launch up to 70 mph and immediately brake the train? Just make the launch 50 mph, which would give you space for an extra block in the launch, preventing lift hill rollbacks. Also, less power would be used on the launch, the brakes would not need to be installed (saves money), and there would be airtime on the hill following the launch.
  4. If you look at the webcam right now, it appears as if the crane is holding the final replacement piece as workers install it. It would be great if they finished installing the new pieces today or tomorrow, that way there is a slight chance of Maverick opening by my visit (June 6th and 7th). I'm not holding my breath though...
  5. Well, on paper, SFoG is the better park, Voyage or not. However, the summer heat in Atlanta would be a huge factor for me if I was deciding which trip to take. SFoG will be crowded in July (not packed to the gills, but still crowded), which, when combined with 100 degree heat, high humidity, and smog, can make it a really not fun day. For me, it gets to the point where a 30 minute wait is the most I can bear, especially since a few lines aren't covered (Goliath right in front of the station, S:UF). Holiday World has the free water park and free drinks to help you combat the summer heat, even if it is only 85 out. For that reason, I would pick Holiday World, but it really depends on what your kids want/how tall they are.
  6. All parks have problems with new rides to an extent, but I'm pretty sure CP's problems with Intamin rides are larger than that. WT runs at lower than design speeds and had additional supports added to prevent further stress fracturing of the steel track. TTD didn't run reliably for its entire opening year and had frequent problems with its trains. This is just a continuation of those problems. And also, B&M had nothing to do with Drachen Fire! It was an Arrow design from the start-the entire thing was manufactured based on Toomer's coathanger bending, and it showed.
  7. If the brakes are down because a train about to launch and power fails, the brakes will come up and the train will not go anywhere, since the hydraulic launch motor will not work if it has no power. If the ride is halfway through the launch and the power fails, the same thing will happen. The hydraulic motor would shut down due to a lack of power and the brakes would pop up due to a lack of power. If the train managed to reach the end of the launch track, it would just roll back into the extended brakes. The magnetic rollback brakes on Intamin accelerators are absolutely fail safe, because it takes power to force them down. A lack of power simply causes them to go into "safe" mode, which is the up position. Same for any eddy current brakes that are bracket mounted. They will slow the train every time and are completely fail safe (I say bracket mounted because the ones mounted on calipers can fail due to air pressure loss, as seen on S:RoS).
  8. For what it's worth the special announcement on Cedar Point's web page says: "Maverick will be delayed until early June to make modifications to the coaster's steel track." "IntaRide has already started designing replacement track." The fact that they're apparently back in the design phase suggests that the issue wasn't related to manufacturing or construction. Of course, this announcement is very vague. It's anyone's guess really. Well, I highly doubt that any errors were made in the actual design of the ride, as the track is designed using force-vector calculus. Thus, if an Intamin engineer specified that the heartline roll would have x.x vertical g's and x.x lateral g's, the computer would design the track to have exactly those g forces. The problem most likely came in the fabricators ability to match Intamin's specifications for the track pieces, which, knowing many Euopean engineering firms, probably allow for minimal margins of error. Simply put, Intamin specified track parameters that were not matched by the fabricators, so they are having to redesign that section of the track to allow for easier and more accurate fabrication. It's just a matter of translating equations on a computer into a physical object. Even with computer aid in cutting and assembling track parts, there will be some margin of error caused by humans, no matter how precise the manufacturing process.
  9. The slight shift right is just the ride slipping into the left-hand turn. The ride is of course heartlined, so that's all that is. It might have been a bit off in the animation, but I can assure you that they are replacing the heartline roll sections. As far as the reason for the replacement, I would have to say fabrication/installation error. Even a few millimeters off can cause huge problems, especially at those speeds, putting more stress on the train than is advisable. I'm sure it could run, but I'm also sure that CP doesn't want to replace train components once a month on all the trains, hence the replacement. A good example of moving track a few inches is EuroStar. I read an article about how Stengel was contracted to redesign and refabricate the entry into the zero-g roll. The heartline and track were moved somewhere in the area of 5-6 mm, and the lateral g's in that portion dropped from around .8 to around .5, significantly improving rider comfort and train wear. So, most likely, it's a situation like EuroStar's where a fabrication error was made and the sections will be replaced with more precise ones. If that's the case, Intamin might be looking for a new US fabrication company, especially since they've had problems before (poor structural integrity of the track).
  10. It's not that expensive in the first place, but yeah, Open Skies might help a very small amount. As it stands right now, European and US airlines can't just fly wherever they want to, they first must file for rights from the US, UK, or EU governments. It's really not that difficult of a process, but it does prevent some airlines from flying a few routes. Generally, European and US airlines have already identified and are flying the most profitable, highest-yield routes, and will defend their turf against new transatlantic carriers, which are not as easy to start up because of current regulations. The only real way that Open Skies could help airfares is on point-to-point transatlantic flights on new transatlantic low-cost carriers. For example, instead of flying St. Louis-JFK-Heathrow-Manchester on American and British Airways, passengers could fly STL-MAN directly on an airline like Thomsonfly. However, there is a very limited market from STL-MAN alone, probably in the vicinity of 500 passengers a week. In order to successfully operate this flight, an airline would need to fly an aircraft capable of carrying about 200 passengers 3x weekly. There is only one aircraft that could potentially fit this segment, the 757-200, but operating this flight puts it at the extreme edge of its capabilities. Therefore, the aircraft would either have to always operate the westbound flight with significantly lessened passenger and cargo loads, or it would have to stop, which would entirely negate the purpose of a point to point flight. Either way, the flight is not optimised for profitability, and using a larger plane fewer times a week would simply make it even less convenient. So basically, Open Skies is not going to do much in the way of fare reductions until more capable medium-capacity aircraft are available. Of course it's expensive out of RDU, American has a monopoly on flights, especially international-the only international flight out of RDU is to Gatwick, and it's subsidized by GlaxoSmithKline, otherwise it wouldn't be operating. Dulles and Hartsfield are your best bets from Europe. Get a cheap flight on AirTran to ATL and then fly Delta or another international airline to Europe. You could also check Lufthansa's fares out of Charlotte, they are known for having really cheap economy tickets just to fill seats because the business and first cabins are full.
  11. What is your point? Absolute security is impossible to guarantee. A terrorist attack can occur in any country at any time, so any country with developed tourism is a "target," including the US. Do you really think that the UAE has any less focus on security than other developed nations? No, they have an even greater focus on security because of the region that they are located in. On top of that, Dubai had over 6 million tourists last year, in addition to the tens of millions of travelers visiting the city on business and as part of larger iteneraries. There was not one single terrorist act, and Dubai has a much lower violent crime rate than the US. As others have said, if you're so deathly afraid of terrorism, stay in the US, submit to the fear mongering, and miss out on the rest of the world. Just one less person crowding destinations up.
  12. Wow, nice, this would never happen in the US. Not that it shouldn't...
  13. That's the Burj Al-Arab, the world's tallest hotel, located on its own island just offshore (like a quarter mile) near Dubai. I think it's barely in the top 50 tallest buildings in the world, as it's barely over 1,000 feet. It's designed to look like a giant sail/Muslin crescent, but ironically, the side facing the Persian Gulf looks like a cross. The Burj Dubai is a skyscraper on the mainland. Currently, it's under construction, but the tower is at 1,450 ft. (442 m), making it the world's tallest building (not including antennas or spires). Eventually, the Burj Dubai is going to be something like 2,700 to 3,000 ft. (823 to 914 m) tall, although the spire can be made as tall as the owners want (per the wikipedia article). It will be the tallest man made structure in history by nearly 1,000 ft., pretty crazy stuff if you ask me. Recently, an article was released stating that, with the spire, the Burj Dubai would by nearly 3,600 ft. tall, making it over twice as tall as the world's tallest building at present. http://www.burjdubai.com/
  14. So obviously Cedar Fair didn't pay for the rights to movies, but I was wondering, have they actually removed any theming from the movie-themed rides? For example, Top Gun at Carowinds no longer has any Top Gun music, which is puzzling. Cedar Fair should stop being cheap and at least pay for the rights use the movie songs.
  15. Ummmm....wow, way to display your incredible ignorance in all things related to the Middle East. First off, this project is just a drop in the bucket of a massive development boom throughout the UAE, especially in Dubai, which is now home to the world's tallest building (the Burj Dubai, which holds the title even though it is still under construction). Dubai also has the world's largest man-made port and the fastest growing international airline in the world: Emirates. The park will certainly not have a lack of customers from the Middle East, as the UAE ranks 21st in the world in nominal per capita GDP, just behind Japan and Germany and just in front of Italy. Additionally, the nearby country of Qatar ranks above the United States in nominal per capita GDP (3rd in the world), leaving no shortage of local tourism. Thanks to Emirates, Dubai is now becoming a key stopover on the Kangaroo Route from the UK to Australia, as well as a central hub for travelers from across the globe, creating even more tourism. As for sweltering desert heat, Dubai's climate from November to early April is similar to that of Arizona or Nevada (Las Vegas), with highs in the 90s and lows around 60. The summer heat will be a problem, but the park will most likely combat that problem by having a large number of indoor rides and covered walkways (think USF with a ton of cover). Also, there are virtually no restrictions on alcohol in Dubai. Some of the other emirates (Sharjah) are more strict, but Dubai is like any other modern city. Arab-Western relations are not at an all time low. Not really sure where you came up with that, unless you were referring to Iran and Iraq, which haven't been peaceful towards the West in over 25 years. I'm not even going to touch your last statement, as it is completely incorrect. As for me, I can't wait to visit Universal Dubailand, as well as Dubai and the rest of the UAE. It should be a really great trip/experience.
  16. Good question. I'm not sure I'd put money on that though. Looking at the other animations on the page, they all seem to have his signature style of other rides (in a pretty accurate depiction) in the background and buildings nearby that seem to go along with all the settings. But, it seems as if the detail is just short of what I've seen Keith do. Usually you'd see much more movement in the background of other rides, people, etc... I also noticed that the Griffon vid had no chainlift. I don't think that Keith would leave something like that out. Who knows. Then again, the detail may be lacking due to the limitations of using flash as opposed to mpeg. (Just a theory, as I have no clue if there are any real differences in using the two to display videos.) I haven't talked to him or Joe since I met up with them in Fl. for Sheikra's public opening in 2005. It's No Limits+ (Pro). GG used it for their Voyage animation as well. Looks relentless, with some good turning pops of air too. Should be a good one (would you really expect anything less?).
  17. 99.7 (99X) in Atlanta. That's really about it, I just listen to my CDs mostly.
  18. ^Not really. The vast majority (99.5%) of colleges have stupid people who got in because of athletics, affirmative action quotas, insider connections, parents who went to the college, the good ol boy system, etc. And those are just the upper-end colleges, like major state universities and Institutes of Technology (Georgia Tech, Virginia, Michigan, Cal-Berkeley, and other big name schools). The middle of the pack and lower end colleges are a joke for the most part, at least around here, where people take 6 years to graduate due to HOPE (cough...UGA...cough). The only hope for going to a school with no idiots whatsoever is one with entirely merit-based admissions, such as a CalTech or MIT. Those are truely the only two schools I can think of that are entirely merit-based, because most Ivies/"elite schools" will let you in if you have family/money connections (case in point, one of my best friends got into Yale because his family has gone there since about 1790 and the vast majority of his relatives are in some way connected there). Anyway, best of luck to you at Disney.
  19. Got mine at Carowinds for $89, which wasn't bad, considering it's way more at CP, PKI, Gl, and MiA (all parks that I'm visiting this summer).
  20. ^Looks pretty good. I think the helix before the MCBR will be more like Mantis' helix-a sharp rise, then a fairly flat top, then a sharp drop again. Sorta like this one behind the corkscrew: http://rcdb.com/ig275.htm?picture=4.
  21. I don't really hate any class in general, but there are some that I've liked less than others. Honors Algebra II, which I took the first semester of my freshman year in high school. It was difficult because high school is a huge adjustment from middle school and also because our teacher had a baby 3 weeks into the semester, went on maternity leave, and then decided she wanted to stay with the baby instead of teach (she retired). We had a substitute who was an art major trying to teach us Algebra II. It didn't go well. Also, Vector and Differential Calculi are bitches, there's no way around that. But I guess that's what I get for taking advanced math at a non-engineering college (UGA). The only good thing about those classes is that we have finals in 2 weeks. Whooo!
  22. Ohhhh...what a rebel! You must think you're sooooo witty. Looks awesome, but I can't help wondering if there is going to be much air with all the turns. I'm sure GG will do a fine job though.
  23. ^Hahaha. Good point, but I still think white and gray/green aren't very "metal" colors. How about black and maybe some silver?
  24. Well, as it was being presented to the media by the park, I wouldn't say it is crude. You can most certainly understand the layout from the model. Personally, I think it is a very bland and boring layout, especially the part after the MCBR. There is an MCBR after the helix (not inclined loop, it is a helix). Following the MCBR, the ride executes a 270* downward turn that leads to a corkscrew and a 450* helix. That's it for the finish. I don't even know why they bothered to put in an MCBR, it's not even going to allow that much of a capacity increase at its position, but whatever. They'll be able to run three trains, but the MCBR is too late into the ride (both length and time wise) IMO. I also agree on the poorly done colors. Seems to me like they could have done something a bit more gaudy and outrageous, especially considering it's Hard Rock Park.
  25. Wow, that sitdown is weak. No dive loop? Plus, the ride will garner the same complaints as Hulk: a weak finish. Loop to cobra roll to zero-g roll to loop to helix is all good and well, but the ride will tank after the MCBR. It only has a few truns (a helix or two) and a single corkscrew, which reminds me a lot of the Hulk's abismal ending. Plus, they didn't even bother to spend any time on the rendering, it's obviously not done by anyone in the coaster industry, much less anyone who has ever used NL before. The track is definately off, as are the supports. They didn't even bother to remove the "No Limits Coasters" label from the front of the train. Mark me up as disappointed with their flagship attraction. The rest of the park should still be pretty cool though.
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