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Everything posted by bill_s

  1. While not the most forceful, Dominator @KD is fast and fun and has the intense high-G turn at the end. That finale takes the whole ride up a notch, plus the big floaty loop is better than most B&M inversions. I rate it above Alpengiest (in current state of trims). Things like Griffon and Apollo are mostly killer first drops.... I've got to ride a Batman again, but back when I tried both, I thought SLCs (Morey's anyway) were certainly more intense.
  2. The Fun Card is kind of dethroned by EZ Pay .. payments spread monthly (no interest), free parking and passholder benefits, good all year and a whole year (or 2) whenever you buy it (wraps around), can be extended monthly (for example you can do 13 months and get in a week before KD opens 2 years in a row on one "year" pass). I probably wouldn't have a BG pass right now, but it's such an EZ temptation .
  3. I don't think that path is "empty", there's a huge coaster to look at, and the path is pleasant. Not room for anything substantial, maybe a little drink cart would do good business on a hot day (a water fountain or sprinkler would be even better) but PLEASE don't trash it up with games and stuff! I'm too aware of the original park layout to not be thankful for a short cut!
  4. The descriptions of crowds at CP makes me really not that interested in it. Plus isn't going to be practical for me. I am considering SFGAdv this next year, but that was pretty crowded when I last went >10 years ago (probably not a good choice of day though). How crowded are they and what can I do about it? I will say a word about Morey's ... I think seeing how the rides are packed in on those piers is an experience in itself. You can't compare the same rides eleswhere to how they are in that environment. Great Nor-easter is just an SLC but all 5 times you go upside down, you are facing over the ocean, and it's one of the fastest (yes, really) and best maintained ones anywhere. I do have mixed feelings about Great White, it feels much harder than a true woodie, due to its steel structure, still a good ride but if you're prone to believing that is the best coaster there, well that could be a problem. Also, it's all about the night, open 'til midnight, sometimes later. In my experience, NOT highly crowded either, except Wildwood itself, which is ridiculous.
  5. Trailblazer at Hershey is the most boring coaster that's not tiny. Has one nasty bump near the beginning to keep you from relaxing as a bonus. I disagree with almost everything else listed here I've ridden. SLCs, like 'em & GNE is one of my favorites in the world. Manhattan, liked it and it got a full round of applause from the riders. Anaconda has hurt me (3 day concussion) so that does kind of suck but I'd still ride my choice of row before waiting 20 seconds for Trailblazer. Hurler is now pretty bad, I loved it before the trims.
  6. Oh, just thought of also: favorite trim Flight of Fear, vs. the later trimless outdoor version at SFA ... I think it allows the launch to be stronger yet the right speed at the corkscrew, the later version was retuned for OTSRs so now isn't as good, if it even had a chance being outdoors. The trim does bring FoF to a near stop sometimes (complete once actually), but it's kind of creepy up at the very top in there.
  7. The idea of making sure there is enough speed and reducing if necessary is sound enough. The problem is that so many coasters have been about perfect and then trims were added or increased. And a lot of them aren't for maintenance issues as much as customer comfort/compliants (exception: I305). Well, one problem with I305 is they *didn't* leave areas for brakes to be added. That's why they're on the drop, there's no other place they can go before the problem spot of the first curve. There's very few other suitable spots on its layout either (it was suggested to add them on the 150' hill -- not only would that not deal with the problem, they would have to be in an equally airtime-killing location). Also, the original strong trims on the 75' hill did not kill the air on that hill as much as disturbing the flow of the ride so much it was hard to tell much about the hill itself. I did like the feeling of approaching the hill too fast, like when in a car and you suddenly jam on the brakes due to realizing you could die. Except most of their coasters only have good airtime in the rear seats. I remember how good the 2nd drop on Alpengiest was a couple of trim adjustments ago, and Griffon's been slowed down recently as well ... I can think of one ride that could use some more trims: Anaconda (before the loop). Elsewhere at KD, Hurler has been completely ruined, it was an airtime monster that has now been neutered. Many didn't like it, I usually rode 5 times. Now, one thing that seems make trim-haters forget their mission: Vekoma SLCs. No trims (at least the original layout), great "pre-B&M" design :duck:
  8. They're not going to give all the details. There could have been some incident, or a bunch of small ones, or just some analysis. When Drachen Fire closed I managed to finally find out a plausible story by an insider: X-rays showed stress issues. It is very hard to explain to the public that the technology is so good, the ride could be perfectly safe for the time being, and yet soon will require the big bucks, or to be closed.
  9. OK, in further consideration, yeah they are copies. In the sense of they could have redesigned them, but found it too difficult and unnecessary. Probably not a lot of pressure to build better coasters there quite yet, plus issues of having access to copy and using more advanced manufacturing techniques. Some of them look old already too in close up ... but actually, here in the off-season, looks sweet let's ride
  10. I've missed the 5th coaster in visits to BG more than BBW specifically. However, back in the day I considered it an important part of what the park had to offer and very cool. More recent rides were more hit and miss but still occasionally captured me. It also did look really great, both the village section and the drop viewed from the bridge. The main continuing appeal was the back seats, there is a sort of airtime where the back car tilted up more than the others starting down the drop, due to it being weightless. The loss of a mid-intensity coaster is actually quite serious and one they don't have plans to correct. It is hard to measure these things, more like a non-enthusiast having fun when they didn't really expect to, overall quality of experience vs. headlines. However the ride was becoming less effective even at that. On one of my last rides, a sudden slowdown jerk would have thrown me on the floor had it not been for the restraint. One thing of interest to me is there are concepts within that ride that could be utilized. The motions could be simulated using conventional trains through special profiling of the track, especially using modern design software (in some ways this has been done with some "overbanked" turns)... also movements that an ideal suspended coaster could do but real ones can not. The pacing of a slow section followed by a fast one is rarely used and BBW's method had disadvantages, but launch technology could overcome this.
  11. 3 hours for Volcano year it opened, highly delayed and only running 8 seats. Long time ago, longest wait I endured in 2010 was an hour for Farhenheit and shouldn't have. Ironically, I have since managed to ride Volcano by myself several times, and in 2009 was even allowed to stay on and reride some. The best time to ride a new coaster is -- a lot later. On the subject of wait times IN GENERAL -- I'm older and and more patient but have become accustomed to shorter waits and definitely wouldn't be as into going coaster-riding if the waits were longer. It's not just less waiting or more riding, it's a certain momentum to the experience. You come off a ride happy and enthused. If you can get another ride in short order, your mood just builds. If it's into another long line, by the time you ride again the coaster has to work from scratch. As to the OP's question back in '05, I found Hershey rather crowded on my visit on a Monday mid-August this year. Also they have deals at night resulting in a surge right after 8:00, although I got a couple quick rides on Storm Runner right before close. Some parks are nice and have the money flowing, but I'll take a less crowded but good one 19 times out of 20.
  12. Well 305 is local to me and I do love it, maybe it's that I presume a lot of coasters I haven't ridden are better than they are? What I disagree with is that the 2nd version of I305, was as good as the first. I also just have trouble with the idea that a coaster could be one of the best in the world that has a brake that yanks you out of airtime before it even reaches its peak. It just makes it a lot more likely your itch will be about as effectively scratched closer to home. What it takes away is the MARGIN of superiority which made 305's status almost a no-brainer. And that first version will probably be the only one where it seemed obvious it was too intense to be allowed to remain unchanged. I have a lot of trouble rating coasters, in some ways FoF and Volcano are better rides but for different reasons. Apollo is always going to be better for floater air, that's what it does. I think the high-speed curvey thing of 305 is awesome and I'm so glad someone finally did it. But I also loved the amount of ejector air and that has really been cut back. It is possible the new version will be the best for air yet, even with some braking, by improving how and when the braking occurs. Sure seems like a lot of trouble to go to, to still have a trimmed drop. I would prefer that they not be needed, or 2nd that they be put elsewhere especially later (it's not the drop itself that needs them). But I can see a scenario of that: the first turn is made enough bigger to allow the speed to get air over the hill and be a bit faster through the rest. ~Half the trims are moved back to the 75' hill. Each trim is far less obtrusive.
  13. Interesting coaster. I've never seen a Vekoma with that layout, hope they ran simulations instead of relying on it looking similar to other coasters ... It is a 2-wide inverted coaster (10 rows though) with "C" section type tracking. The seats do look styled similarly. The corkscrew looks more like Intamin or Premier. As to your comments re: SLCs, I like them. Not new though.
  14. I agree it's still a great coaster and definitely adds to the park. But as far as a coaster that "craps all over" all other coasters of its type, worth making a point to travel long distances to ride, with real "wow" factor, trimmed it just wasn't enough of that. The drop was no longer really better than Griffon or Apollo or any of the many others at that level, the 150' hill was one step short of lame. Especially with the straps, it did become much more a coaster you could relax and just enjoy though. I don't mind it becoming, and staying, something my body can handle. As to the Ocean View coaster, I remember passing by it many times, but my parents wouldn't stop. It did look a bit scary. That video is really stupid.
  15. The turn was very intense. I met a girl that passed out on the trimmed version, by which I mean she didn't remember anything from the curve to the final brake run. That has happened to some people on lots of different coasters, so doesn't mean so much except again, that was with the drop trimmed. I came the closest to that happening to me on the untrimmed version, when I was hot and not feeling that good. Almost every other time I rode it untrimmed, I was sure to ride Backlot first to make sure I was up to it, also sometimes made sure to get a snack if I felt a bit low blood sugar-ish. Thing was the duration of the force. Think of the strongest Gs on a coaster that last longer than a second, maybe not even that strong, but make them last 5 times as long. A weird thing I've experienced on Backlot's helix is to start graying out right at the top -- the force is decreased by that point but not enough after surviving the rest of the helix. You could be fine halfway through 305's turn and still start graying out at the end -- or a lot of times more a "tunnel vision" where you lose all peripheral vision, which seems different than shorter duration high-G response. It's not something a lot of people can't handle, but why have your most expensive coaster not ridable for some people that fine on everything else? But don't forget about the wheels. Not only was wear high, a wheel would get rough like it lost a little chunk and then went downhill from there rapidly. There was bits of melted wheel on the back of a rear seat for a while, and I think that was post-trims but before the wheel sprayers. Trying to operate the thing in hotter weather was hard on both the wheels and the passengers. It will be worse once the track gets some age on it, too. They downplay this concern but I think it really was deciding factor. I wouldn't mind so much if there was a trim right after the drop. It wouldn't interfere with airtime and you'd hit 95 MPH for .1 second. But the speed does neeed to be increased on the 150' hill to at least "floater" air, so the turn still needs improvement. It would be very prudent to include some new spots suitable for brakes, even if not used, you can't put them on a turn or twist and there are almost no suitable spots that don't affect airtime. If there were 3 different trim locations, they really could each be almost unnoticable. Another approach would be to make sure the part of the track replaced doesn't need them, but have provision near the the end of that section. Again, this would allow less braking at the 75' hill -- and also maybe putting those after the hill in the valley or the next rise. Anyway, yeah, I'm somewhat concerned the changes won't be enough to avoid trims on the drop completely. I don't think either will be the case. The left turns would give more "work" for the turn to do so no way. The drop starts banking before any turning starts, so unless they want to rebuild 1/3 of the drop (which might require starting by removing the top of that hill and working down), it won't be straight coming out of the drop either, but the banking could stop increasing at whatever is the "cut" point and a lot shallower curve could be used for the pull-out from the drop. I think the entrance to the 150' hill is where the track will be a lot straighter and more of the connect-the-pieces adjustment will be. Seperating the vertical accelerations from the turn itself will probably be part of the improvement. The latest pics show less of the track removed from the bottom of the drop than expected, which really says the changes won't be that large, but I think this just might reflect the difficulty of messing with the drop. Once the track arrives, they might add temporary braces and a crane on the drop, yank that stuff out and put in the new as fast as possible. I must love to type or something ....
  16. (first post ... Hi!) RE: attendance, definitely was more crowded. Still plenty of times it wasn't actually crowded, but comparatively, absolutely. I think change started as soon as the announcement in '09, oddly enough. Yeah but here we're talking about something like 500' of track being replaced by 600' of track! One thing to consider is it is in Intamin's benefit to try experiments and learn from them, although this is a biggie. 305 certainly isn't that last gigantic or intense coaster they intend to build.
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