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coasterbadboy

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Posts posted by coasterbadboy

  1. BeemerBoy, it's all your fault. I am no longer concentrating at work; I'm dreaming of a Star Wars theme park. Thanks a lot! (Mmmmm...stunt show at the Great Pit of Carkoon with Jabba's barge as the main stage.)

     

    Wow! I didn't realize that TPR had so many qualified literary critics and English professors! It just goes to show that you can't judge a person by his or her screen name.

     

    I'm okay TWWOHP as long as the quality is high, the attention to detail is elaborate, and the attractions are of immense quality. Based on the concept art, my hopes are high. Whether you're a fan or not, I think we can all enjoy fully immersive, fictional environments. That's what a theme park is all about, right?

  2. If you notice in the concept art I belive Dragons is vaguely represented under the word Harry.

    Looking at the high-res version, it's actually The Flying Unicorn that is vaguely represented. On the far right of the high-res is the current castle queue (with some additional tents) for Dragons.

     

    Based on this layout, that puts Hogwarts castle in the large area between Jurassic and The Flying Unicorn. (See Page 1 of this thread; it looks like the castle is gonna go right where Robb put his big question mark.)

  3. Two other quick things now that I'm thinking about it...

     

    Since the cars are round, there are huge gaps between the trains where you could fall into the track below. The cars weren't spinning too much yet, but if they really start to spin, Knotts is going to have some very dizzy people unsure of their footing. A little worried, I am...

     

    Second, when the train comes to a stop, it stops a few feet ahead of the air gates. So when the air gates are open, the gates point at the middle of the train (not good when the cars are round), making the third row look like it's supposed to load into the forward-facing fourth (and last) car rather than both sides of the third car. Weird and confusing.

     

    All of these problems (and the ones from above) really are design flaws (in my opinion). Short of closing it and redoing parts of it (which isn't going to happen), I think Knotts needs to create new procedures for loading and unloading this new coaster to ensure guest safety, especially kids.

     

    (Oh no, I sound like that chick from The Simpsons: "THINK OF THE CHILDREN! )

  4. Rode Sidewinder on Monday. Here's a little Ride Report for ya'll.

     

    Queue: Waited an hour. With a one-train operation, the line moved very slowly. Not that I hold this against anyone in particular. It's a new ride with a new crew on Memorial Day weekend. So, what can you expect? The queue had some nice theming (miner's equipment, country-esque lighting fixtures, raw lumber queue rails). There are two concrete footers without anything on them yet, but wires have sprouted from them. I'm guessing they'll install video monitors so that you can see how the on-board cameras work (and try to sell you on the idea). However, it needs more shade! Desperately!

     

    Loading/unloading: Sometimes the dispatch times were good and sometimes bad. Again, to be expected on its third day with a very rushed opening/training timeframe. Two problems in the station.

     

    The biggest problem in the loading station was the actual design of the trains and lapbars. A small boy, who just made the minimum height requirement, got into the train with his dad. Dad helped him secure his belt. Once all the belts are secured, the ops call for the locking of the lapbars. They lock, and then the ops push all of them down. (Think Excelerator.) Anyway, one of the ops, who shall remain nameless, wasn't even watching what she was doing. She was just pushing down the lapbars while talking to the the op opposite her. Well, the little boy had his hand on the outside of the lapbar. She pushed it down and wedged his hand between the bar and the fiberglass body. She didn't even notice until people started pointing out the problem. She tried to release the bar manually (there's a pull tab that releases them), but it wasn't working. By this time the whole crew was trying to help. They finally called for the booth operator to release the bars. With a little finesse, the bar released and the little guy was free. He didn't seem to be injured, but he was definitely shaken up.

     

    The second problem was the booth operator. We will call her Miss Thing. She was so busy listening to the guy responsible for entertaining the crowd with statistics and jokes (we'll call him Lame Joke Dude) that she wasn't even paying attention to the loading and unloading. There are times when the train was ready for dispatch, but Miss Thing was in La-La-Land listening to Lame Joke Dude. Miss Thing didn't even realize what was happening with the little boy, even though every op in the station was surrounding one train.

     

    The Ride: Fun. Twirly. Once you come off the lift and your vehicle starts spinning, there's a real sense of surprise. While standing in line, you forget that if the track is curved and train is facing the ground during a turn that you'll be facing the ground. It's a weird and exhilarating experience. Reminds me a little of X at Magic Mountain in the fact that you become so disoriented that you don't even know what's happening. The helix rocked! We were through the whole thing! Wicked! The S-curse from the helix was very, very cool. A fun ride.

     

    My advice to Knotts: Institute new loading procedures. First, make it a policy that Lame Joke Dude (or Dudette) should not 'perform' during loading and unloading. Loading a train is a serious business, in my opnion, and shouldn't be taken lightly. These people are responsible for keeping guests safe. As adults, we can take care of ourselves, but kids cannot. No more joking. Jokes and dialogue should only be used when the train is moving through the course. Second, after the belts are checked, then Lame Joke Dude should call for 'hands up.' Everyone in the train should raise their hands in the air and the ops then come by and push down the lapbars. This would keep small children from having body parts lodged between the bar and the car. A bad design, IMO.

     

    Anyway. Fun ride. Nice queue. A good addition.

  5. I spent my teen years at Great America and my adult years at Knott's Berry Farm.

     

    I'm going to have to go with Knott's winning--if I had to choose to visit one over the other. I enjoy the Old West theming/Mine Train/Log ride as well as their new coasters (but not Ghostrider--I'd rather go on the Grizzly, believe it or not. Oh yeah, and I like Silver Bullet more than Top Gun, but I'm not all that into super intense rides. I like mine a little more floaty.)

     

    But the ultimate decider is Great America's removal of The Whizzer. From that point on, the park was dead to me.

  6. This is the best news to come out of Epcot since Norway. And when was that 1988?

     

    Sounds like they are staying true to the message on Epcot's dedication plaque rather than introducing another character overlay. I'm seriously shocked about this. I fully expected to see them add Aladdin's Genie to every scene in various disguises narrating the history of communication. "Oh look," the Genie might say, "the cavemen are painting on the walls. Stay in the lines! Stay in the lines!"

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