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Everything posted by bill_s

  1. Millennium Force -- pure pleasure, I don't even want to think about how it rates among the gigas Maverick -- although possibly overrated Top Thrill Dragster -- although a pretty bad guest experience overall Magnum XL-200 -- nuts Raptor -- in the running for fave invert Gemini Valravn Rougarou -- powerful ride with a few hiccups Gatekeeper Blue Streak -- solid woody but short Cedar Creek Mine Ride -- really a tie with BS Iron Dragon Corkscrew -- NOT rough but very short Wicked Twister -- flat ride Steel Vengeance -- down all day
  2. The basic style drop towers are as exact a simulation as possible of falling to your death. Coasters connect the drop and airtime moments to a larger whole, and the track, at least, forms what in math is called a continuous function. Also drop towers are often designed so you can't see most of the structure that is holding you up from on the ride.
  3. I see Steel Vengeance is back up. It was down, with a train stuck at the bottom of the lift, all day yesterday and was still down when I stopped watching a little after noon today. I didn't get to ride it. Strategically, I made an error in not getting in line just before close on Sunday night, but was tired and did get a MF night ride, plus it might have gone down then. TTD and Maverick seemed to be the troublemakers until that happened, and I did get to ride them. Should have considered trying to stay in town until early entry today, but really would have felt dumb if I still left before it ran and overall am just happy to be back home ... coulda shoulda but at least the driving's done. I think this park sort of breaks the idea that fastpass has minimal impact on guests without it. It's more of a tier system by ride. If Wicked Twister has a line back to the merge point (at least 45 minutes) you should probably just leave. But every more popular coaster from Raptor up has a tremendous posted wait because the merge point is near or at the station, or Gatekeeper splits at the entrance by side of the coaster, and up to half the throughput is devoted to Fast Lane. And even with FL, I ended up not taking a second ride on TTD as the FL line became longer than my desire to ride it again in the time available. P.S. I think "anonymous user" on queue-times has Fast lane.
  4. Let me clarify, this was fastlane-less in mid August (though mid week)?
  5. Is queue-times accurate for this park? Wait times for the big rides haven't particularly changed since a few weeks ago. The lesser rides I think have improved, perhaps that's just the way that works. There has been some user posts of much shorter lines, but one of those was TTD 5 minutes, which wouldn't have been believable even if the ride was open. By next Monday almost every kid in the country should be in school, so I'm hopeful. But still not sure. Considering driving 2 hours more to skip tolls and save for fastlane, but also I'm doing the 2 half-days plan so that will be only the larger half at best. If it wasn't beautiful I'd be reconsidering very heavily.
  6. RMCs use rubberized wheels (any exceptions?) so they have to raise the lift or shorten the coaster, and change the elements towards the end to make them more exciting despite the slower speed. Regarding a mobius loop, even if the train could match the original track, the wood side would have to be completely changed. If the wood coaster was El Toro, which uses rubberized wheels, very little would have to be done, but that's unlikely.
  7. I've become sick enough of the complainers ... Coaster goes up hill, speeds up going down hill, etc. They're all somewhat similar. They're pretty awesome unless you're looking for something completely different from that. If you have a giga near you, it may not be worth traveling long distances to ride another, but that is no reason not to build more of them. This one's not super interesting to me because I have 2 giga's closer by. A lot of people don't. Have you that call it cookie cutter ever actually ridden a B&M giga? I found I232 and Fury at Carowinds significantly different, and liked both of them. I don't know if I232's hills are taller but they feel like it. Fury is a much faster paced ride. One thing I see is NO MCBR. Maybe they don't want to make a big deal out of that because they can't promise it will never have a trim brake but this is different. Candymonium also will have no true MCBR but a kind of weird heavy brake followed by a banked turn into the final brake. Orion does look a bit short and doesn't seem to be trying to outdo the other giga's, but that has to happen sometime. They still build coasters less than 300 feet you know. By my standards that's still kind of negative, but it's better. Re: your "Parks shouldn't be building coasters for enthusiasts" I fully understand my preference isn't the same as their's. * * * Oh snap, CF now will have 4 parks with both hyper and giga, who's next? maybe one with a giga already?
  8. People have been complaining about them since before GCI or RMC existed, so those don't count. Intamin and B&M definitely have made rides as bad (at least after getting some age on them) but they didn't go and make a bunch of identical copies of those rides. I wouldn't call anything Vekoma did worse than most Arrows either, but except for the Corkscrews, which way predated Vekoma, they didn't duplicate those either. I think it's more that people like to complain, or make fun of things, and others bought into the outrageous claims. It's pretty disgusting. Some of the old coasters could hurt you if you let them get you, which might be a valid reason to hate them, except every coaster that did that to me I came back to and rode many more times. Some of those who are big name enthusiasts of course do have reason to skip lesser rides, because they just go on to another park of their coaster tour, but normal people don't have that luxury, if that's really even a better thing than enjoying what is there best you can.
  9. I don't think the standup is a flawed concept at all, I just think that the Togos were their pinnacle. They were small enough to need the gimmick, did every motion desirable on a standup (plus a couple less desirable), and were the right length. If only you could have then immediately been allowed to exit instead of standing there. B&M killed the genre through having no redeeming value combined with the public attitude they could do no wrong and Togo could do nothing right. If B&M actually rode a Togo without the our shit don't stink attitude, refined the good and avoided the bad, they could still be making them. One ride on Nighthawk and you should have a fairly complete list of what's good and bad about flying coasters. Swooping over the lake, excellent, all the tumble dryer stuff, awful. Add to that the airtime pop on Superman going into the pretzel loop, wonderful, and almost everything else about it, horrendous. And yet later designs learned little or nothing.
  10. You could probably do that in the last 3-4 hours of the day, or 2.5 hours on Monday. If you're leaving early though, I suggest going TT and then to FoF. Only the last 15-20 minutes of its queue is fully air conditioned and you're outside if over 30 min.
  11. I think normalcy is a game and weird as anyone, but I guess we need some of it. Plus, most people have their own interests and "thing". But its not just that. I expect many adults have little idea how much coasters have progressed. It was simply impossible to ride this stuff when I was a kid, by many decades. It's amazing how many people when I mention Kings Dominion immediately talk about the Time Shaft. The last time they went there it was still open! And even then it wasn't the most memorable ride in the park except for puking. I expect the first thing most adults think of about amusement parks is hot, crowded and expensive, none of which it has to be. If they went with their kids and enjoyed it, it was because of them because it still was hot, crowded and expensive.
  12. I really liked their wild mouse. 3 years ago when I rode it, Wildcat's main issue was washboarding at the bottom of the first couple of drops, exactly like SFA fixed on Roar. Of course Roar could now use a bit more attention, but that's wood coasters for you. Don't build 'em if you don't want to have to rebuild them. Initial cost cheap for a reason. I also think Wildcat has a better layout than Roar, despite coming first. Love both of them. Of course, to some it's not even about getting something better, they like to hate. Fortunately most parks ignore them out of necessity, but we've still lost some good rides to the complainers.
  13. According to queue-times, Dorney is among the most crowded CF parks other than the Point. Seems I usually hear it's noncrowded. Which is it?
  14. I don't know if RMC can do regular steel wheels, but rubberized -- like El Toro -- may be needed to make a large coaster like that not get rough fast. But then you have to radically reprofile the entire ride. El Toro valleys sometimes as it is, and is down to small coaster elements by the end while still being a shorter coaster. RMC conversions raise the lift and still require sharp little bunnies by the end to keep up the pacing. E.g. Twisted Timbers hits the final brakes slower than Hurler did in its worst days. If anyone's rating Voyage above Toro it's because it's still a traditional wood coaster with steel wheels. Fans talk about how it almost magically maintains momentum. Rubber and Metal Conversion is not a real option.
  15. I felt some sickness from CS also, but didn't consider that the rattle had anything to do with with it. Nighthawk's first drop and swoop over the lake is great, the loop is killer all right, yikes. As all B&M flyers also have loops, I see no reason to say they're good coasters either. That makes sense about the corkscrews, maybe I will try Batwing again, but those were terrible. As to Hurler, you said "Overall, a lot better than the King's Dominion version ever was. " ... while that is technically true 2010 and later, neither when trimmed should be considered in any way representative of those rides and unless you're actually comparing it on the basis of back then, you have no evidence of any use. Hurlers before 2010 and maybe Caro's for a total of 12 weekends since (yours not one of them) were real coasters, popular or not. Again I say turn off the trims and run it to death and then close it or do the maintenance. It serves no real purpose at the moment. There is no reason to invest into it for these results.
  16. Both this and the ride in Uzbekistan have large counterweights, which allows for large bending forces, and small looking swing arms, though decorated enough to not look cheap. I presume they went completely upside down. Most frisbee rides are not like that. The closest I could find by looking around a while was a Technical Park ride with fewer seats, complete inversion but still no large obvious counterweight, just the arm extending past the pivot, along with non-spinning type swing rides. There was that failure of a ride in the US due to corrosion inside a large hollow arm though. Horrifying. It's not that video doesn't look real, the brain says it can't possibly be, but it is.
  17. Rode Firebird. Got a laugh after my second ride, declaring it's exactly the same! Actually the headbanging is not as constant, but the "gotcha" spots are exactly the same such as the double bounce-bang coming out of the corkscrew. Which would be some advantage if it hadn't been 2 years since I last rode it. It looks great though, not just the track paint but the shiny new trains and floors. And you can ride it with bare feet. At least the old giant style standup OTSRs are gone. The loop is good and I kind of enjoy the funky little floorless feel of it but it still hurts your head more than Mind Eraser... speaking of which they removed a row. It does probably shuffle a little less towards the end, when it seemed most of the momentum left was side to side bouncing, but the ride still wants your ears. Roar is getting rougher after the retracking of a couple years ago, but not too much in any spot. Wild One was solid but more popular, and Supes got a rush on the line going towards close, guess that's one thing about closing at 8 in July.
  18. ^^-- I may think of that comment when riding in the future though.
  19. ^^-- that thing looks interestingly close to a single rail, but yeah a fairground ride. Question, if I go to CoasterPoll.com, how do I view the results other than TYPING "/results" after the URL? There are 3 links that send you to where you already are.
  20. This thing's going to have a lot of energy left when it hits the brakes. Or would, if they waited until the ground level.
  21. I was originally planning for a 2 day trip, possibly going on to Dollywood, but the forecast for Sun.-Mon. was bad all week. I was somewhat doubtful of the forecast as a lot of T-storm forecasts have turned into rain, or at least been gentle recently. However looking at the future radar Sat. night and early Sunday looked like the storms were small but almost continuous, with little break in between and many of them concentrated right through Charlotte with the odd east to west movement that day. I did look at a weather map once on Monday and there was a storm over the north side of town, while the park is down at the SC border, so some of that may have been misleading. What with indecision I wasn't really prepared to leave early Sunday, and the original plan assumed normal crowds so I intended to get there late afternoon and stay 'til close, possibly go back next morning. Also indecision about Dollywood made planning a problem, plus I didn't want to spend the money to stay over. Turns out I made a good call because apparently Carowinds closed at 6 on Sunday, vs. the 10 PM scheduled. New plan was to leave early Mon. and do the trip from central Virginia as a day trip. If they closed early, at least I'd get a lot of rides anyway and get home early with a good meal along the way. I didn't. On the trip down, rain was bad enough in Virginia I considered turning around. But it got better and I even saw the sun. It didn't rain a drop while I was at the park, although it started 5 minutes after leaving. They probably would have closed early too, but had no excuse. Arriving around 12:30, I immediately went to Fury 325 and got 5 rides. At this point I found it a fine ride, but didn't feel that blown away, which was a little odd considering I had the rest of the day ahead. Moving on, Hurler was right there. I was certainly curious after hearing some good reports on how it is running this year. This was my second visit to the park, and the first after probably 1997. At that time Hurler was the newest and best coaster in the park, believe it or not. I'm not sure I'd even ridden the KD one after finding it not worth the first year wait, and that trip was when I discovered the ride to be good. Seeing tons of new wood, new upholstery and refurbed trains, I had high hopes. Yet there was no air in the back car on the drop and then the trim brake was back on. Completely pointless ride. A young enthusiast I talked to later on CS said it was really good for the first 2 months this year, and still was worse last year. Moving on, I came by Carolina Goldrusher, their mine train and gave it a spin. This was actually the second best coaster in the park on that first visit, but we didn't ride it due to the line then. It is steel track on wood supports, often a single railroad tie plus track and footers. The restraints are archaic, hand operated and all 3 rows of the car tied together. This is a very edge of your seat ride -- literally, the foam cushions stop almost 2 inches from the edge of the bench and it feels like you could end up in the floor. But it's a very cool coaster for what it is, and occupies a lot of ground in the center of the park with sights of the rest of the park. Even though GAdv's RMT is larger and a good night ride, this is my new favorite mine train. I took another spin later. On to Copperhead Strike. I can see how this complements the rest of the park, because their other coasters with inversions are older and there's little ejector air. It's a fun coaster but super thrilling. The most intense element to me was a Stengel dive, a sharp curve-hill combo. It also reminds me of TTimbers with its sharp small yank on the last hill, but with the smaller yank into the brake run of TT's back rows. The comparison is somewhat apt also because they're both very active to ride, but not very intimidating or fast. The trains look great but the lap bar is huge. Comfortable but blocks the breeze. Line was short but all on the unshaded section -- maybe they didn't consider it hot by their standards -- so by the third ride I was starting to feel the slight queasiness from the heat and power riding that would be an issue much of the rest of the day. The bumper cars looked cool, shaded and oddly a perfect circle. There's even an island in the middle where you can leave your bags. The cars looked new, matched and have the logo for Marathon gas stations on them, oddly. They also sucked or they turned down the power because no one obeys the (odd) clockwise traffic pattern. If 2 cars even touched each other, they'd both stop until someone could figure out how to get clear. Coming out of there, I was still hot and collapsed a moment until seeing the Rita's. I splurged and had an Italian Ice and Rita's for the first time, in Copperhead Strike flavor (mango pineapple). I've never had brainfreeze that burned before. One advantage of not upgrading my dining plan to Platinum, try something different. Afterburn went down right as a sat down to eat in the shade, but came back up right after I finished. I rode it 3 times, but none in front and didn't warm to it, inverts are subjective. Hot again, I tried Plants vs. Zombies. This is pretty fun. After the seat belts of Action Theater, it seems odd the little horsies are easier to fall off of and have no restraints at all, although they don't move a lot. The guns are kind of heavy and somehow I gouged my thumb, but would do it again to escape heat. This concluded my flat rides for the day. Intimidator was pretty good, I really like the tilted helix, strong Gs. It is a little weak after the MCBR, but it is late in the ride, like I305's it makes you wonder why they have one at all. The staggered seating makes it the only B&M I know of with 16 row lines, and it's really good when riding alone. At the this point I was considering it maybe better than Fury, with its tall hills. After a chill session in one of Starbuck's chairs, I went back to Fury for my first front row ride. Dayum. Fury doesn't have the forces of I305, but it does have its blistering pacing. The lower hills don't slow it down much at all and the elements come at you fast, bam-bam-bam. At this point it was time to GTHOOTP a while and get some cheap lunch too (it was late afternoon). Found a Jack in the Box, which I've eaten at maybe once before. Good stuff, at least hot and fresh as this was. There is a Wendy's near the entrance but my exit through the almost endless parking lot didn't send me that way. Back at the park, I think I rode Intimidator again. Kitty Hawk was finally open, their older Vekoma family suspended. The tiny track and trains were cute, but it doesn't do much, more like something to get the kiddies used to the idea of coasters. Also the strange (new looking) OTSRs distracted me half the ride -- if I was much shorter the top of my head wouldn't even touch them. I'm not sure why I didn't ride again -- would have earlier -- but was starting to feel the time running short. Another round on Afterburn, starting with front row, was much better. I like the trenches and the second was running mist this time. It's not as intense as Batman or huge as Alps but is still very good. Station looks old though. (Looks like they were giving the other train a brake pad job, guessing they'll want it ready by July 4.) Another round on CS and Goldrusher. Finally found the Ricochet entrance. This is different than KD's, with lots of intense little bunnies, even one dip-hop after the first brakes before the final brakes. Rode Flying Cobras, wow a Boomerang with vest restraints. Laughed at some kids that sounded like they'd never ridden it before, been a long time for me and was really fun with no headbanging, but they can be a bit sickening and no way was I reriding. Took my second and third rides of the day on Vortex, not sure why. The corkscrew headbangs like crazy but I like the low to the ground turns. These were solo rides, mostly they were sending around empty trains. My first B&M haha. I'm not sure when I rode Carolina Cyclone, the Arrow corkscrew, but actually enjoyed it and rerode once. Do watch out for banging against the headrest. I like the airtime pop into the curve. One coaster left, Nighthawk. I kept missing the entrance, which is practically right inside the front gate. Get distracted by Intimidator and you could miss it. The initial swoop over the lake was great and and for a second I thought I could come to like flying coasters. Then it flips you back to your back for the loop and the torture begins. I might would have liked the top of the loop if I hadn't already felt crushed and was dreading the next part. Then it just seemed to flip you the whole rest of the ride. By the point they leave you laying there waiting for the seats to tilt back up, I was so assimilated I almost didn't care. If they're going to build flying coasters, why not just let you fly? This is mostly a pretty park, with a series of (blue dyed) ponds. One exception, they use the infields of their biggest B&Ms for Scarowinds storage, which looks a bit Flagsian. It has a compact circular layout, broken up and not always obvious of course. At this point I collapsed in a big rocking chair for awhile, then the Busker Jam Band show started in front of me, which was OK/silly. On to night rides. I had been told CS was good due to the headlights. I never saw them on though. Even after 9 PM it really wasn't very dark. This park is unusually close to a big city and surrounded by warehouses and suburbs. Finally, more Fury. I was almost too ragged to appreciate it, but like B&M hypers dark does give it that extra edge. However, again it doesn't get all that dark, so even with a night ride I'm not sure I like it better than I305. If it is better, it's by the amount it is longer. It does have a lot more elements and the intensity is closer than I expected. I have to wonder if that first ride of the day would have been more impressive if their positions were reversed, though, with Fury being the coaster I already knew. By this point my running total, if correct, was at 41 rides for the day and I got off the ride not sure I could handle any more. And then this song came on which I dislike and can stick in your head, so with hands clamped over ears and going la-la-la I went back to the coaster hoping its noise would drown out that other one. Shared 2 front row rides with an enthusiast from Minneapolis and then really had to stop. As I was walking out, the park closed. I somehow made a left coming out so cut across the grass under the now silent Fury 325. Dinner was Wendy's chili at exit 58 in VA at 3 AM. Got home at 4:30 and immediately passed out.
  22. A lot of people have said I305 didn't draw the crowds because it doesn't get long lines etc., I think its big effect lasted 7 years, and on. I see KD at times of minimum crowds, and 2009 was really dead a lot. 2010 brought the gigacoaster and not a huge jump, but was followed by several years of increase during a run of non-coaster improvements and no I don't think it was just those things, the new coaster was the base. 2017 was weak and then they did TTimbers. When a park is already successful, it might be enough to just keep that going and not let it slip away.
  23. "Expiration date" seems a little too definite, but nothing lasts forever. I think park management thinks about it a lot, and it explains some things. Also most big parks are mature, with limited usable space (not the same as owned), so ride replacement and upgrade becomes important. It's a good thing in that people have trouble comparing a big motley collection of rides with a smaller quality good lineup. If you're looking at a major repair on a large item, you have to look at whether the rest justifies the repair, or what it would take to make that right also. I repaired a transmission because the repairs modified it enough it fixed the original problem and the car had a lot left in it. I haven't replaced any engines on cars that got a semi-normal lifespan already. There's also what other options there are. In the case of Big Bad Wolf, I think it was losing popularity and especially draw. Therefore it may not have been worth it to spend, for example, half the cost of a (normal) new coaster. Verbolten may not be as good as they hoped, but it got more people in the park. Volcano was never what it was intended to be. I saw the original artist's conception in the park after first announcement and it didn't look anything like what they got (it didn't look workable either; I don't think it's anywhere online, it was handpaint on canvas). The overall experience was poor due to capacity and it was starting to get worse looking and rougher. I think they were looking at refurb of all 3 components: coaster, launch system, mountain, probably in order to justify fixing the launch. I also think they already had a good idea of what they're going to do by the announcement last February. Consider if they did spend the price of a normal coaster on Volcano. Certainly many would be criticizing that decision in 5 years. As to Dragons, the only person I know who rode it was unimpressed. I said inverteds are subjective and of course there's the loss of dueling. It's such a high level park I can see not wanting a flawed attraction. It probably was aged enough it was only marginally worth relocating (and maybe they didn't want to sell it to Six Flags). OTOH, even though it was meant to duel, it could have made 2 parks better.
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