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Everything posted by mark549

  1. two "Giant Coasters" Giant Coaster, Crystal Beach, Canada 1916 side friction coaster (only one I've been on) no longer standing Giant Coaster, Paragon Park, Mass. 1917 coaster was moved to Six Flags America, now "Wild One" as I recall (from 1980?) the original was a better ride 1920s: Kennywood coasters Dorney Coaster (Thunderhawk) Lake Compounce Wildcat (rode in 1980s before reconstruction) Mountain Flyer, Holyoke, Mass. (no longer standing)
  2. This looks beyond spectacular. A small question: will the track after the lift hill have a walkway for the maintenance people to walk the route? The only topper track coaster I've been on is Tremors, which is one of my favorites. The only way to tell which part is topper track and which part was not was to sit in the front seat and watch the ride very carefully. But this new coaster is new territory for coaster design.
  3. Some more great views although not quite as good as Hair Raiser Ravine Flyer: sun setting into the lake from the top of the far turn around. It would have been worth sneaking a camera onto the ride just to take that picture -- but I didn't do that. It's a nice memory. Millennium Force: another lake view Griffon: view of James River Wild Eagle: Smoky Mountains Silverwood: nice mountains, although no lake or ocean Tatsu: dry mountains Flight Deck (CGA): nice mountains, but scummy pond. I've been to Glenwood Springs but not the amusement park and it was years ago. The Amtrak route through there is amazing. I've also driven (and biked) near there. Cliffhanger looks like it's got the best view of any US coaster. I've not been to Ghost Town in the Sky but I've been to the Smokies and assume the view from that park is very nice, although their SBNO coaster doesn't look as nice as a floorless B&M overlooking the ocean.
  4. Yes. As much as I'd like them to install super thrilling mega coasters (a reason I like Magic Mountain more than SFDK), SFDK definitely needs another family coaster. I have three young relatives (12, 8, 6) who've been to the park several times. The oldest loves Medusa. The middle won't dare go on Medusa but was willing to go on Big Spin (now gone). The youngest wants to go on Medusa but isn't tall enough (he loves Cobra). They need something between Medusa and Cobra in terms of intensity, especially with the number of families with small kids who mostly go there for the animal shows. The one good thing about Kong is it keeps the other lines shorter.
  5. A small thing. I was at SFDK this weekend and noticed the trim brakes on Medusa were no longer in place. They're on the gap between the lift and the first drop, and also coming out of the zero-G roll. They weren't merely off, the brake pads were not there. Perhaps they've been removed for a long time (I don't get there that often). Superman was pretty intense. Short and powerful. Credit #214. After riding I think that Full Throttle will also be a powerful ride, although Superman seems to be a more convoluted track. The only previous Premier coasters I've been on were the "spaghetti bowl" launchers at Kings Island and SF America (and the KI version rode much better the day I was there than the SF America version). It seems to have the most airtime of any California coaster, although Green Lantern has something resembling airtime although it's in a category of its own. It was bizarre but not quite one of my favorites. It's definitely more intense than Medusa.
  6. I'd be happy if Six Flags and Cedar Fair theme their coasters to "B&M Inverted Ride Number 14" or "Intamin Airtime Machine Number 3," if the rides are good. My favorite theme at a Six Flags park is the polyurethane Giant Sequoia tree at SF Magic Mountain. Granted, it looks a bit neglected, and you can see it's peeling. Sequoia trees can grow taller than Goliath (SFMM) and the tallest California Coast Redwood is almost as tall as the Superman tower. It does look a bit out of place and I wonder how many guests realize that Sequoias really can grow that wide. My guess is the foam tree predates Six Flags's acquisition of the park. Batman: The Ride is a great coaster, I've been on three of them (Chicago, Georgia, MM). The best part of its "theming" was the water under the final corkscrew for the Chicago version, it added something nice to the ride, especially as their plantings around that section have matured. I'm glad I've never been on any of the Batmen on a very hot day, the enclosed queue line looks like it would be unpleasant at high temperatures. I prefer coaster stations that are open and not stuffy. It's also nice to be able to watch the coaster while waiting your turn. I never read "DC" comics and don't watch superhero films. My vote would be for the DC theming to go the way of Thomas the Tank Engine intellectual property rights. I'd much rather see the money for comic books go to fixing the numerous problems with their parks. Most people come for the rides, not the cardboard cutouts of comic book characters. I like the queue line for Goliath (MM), the planting has grown up enough to provide some atmosphere (and shading). A jungle theme, perhaps. Not to beat a dead horse but some vegetative planting is overdue for their other parking lot coasters, Scream is the most obvious candidate. Planting trees is probably cheaper than intellectual property contracts with movie studios.
  7. There is absolutely no way Grizzly is faster than Gold Striker. Grizzly is 17' shorter than Gold Striker, there just isn't enough momentum to pass Gold Striker. from RCDB: Demon - 102 ' high, 90' drop, 50 mph Flight Deck - 102' high, 91' drop, 50 mph Gold Striker - 108' high, 53.7 mph Grizzly - 91' high, 55 mph Vortex - 91' high, 40 mph Some of these figures may be true, but I doubt the Grizzly mph figure is true. When I rode Grizzly in the back seat it slowed down enough going up the hill after the first drop it wouldn't have surprised me to get a rollback / valley.
  8. I have been to Hot Springs (the nearby town) but I haven't been to Magic Springs. I rode their wooden coaster when it was in Florida. It wasn't bad but it wasn't good. X-coaster looks interesting and bizarre. If you go to Hot Springs, find some hot water to soak in. It's the only town I've been in where the water fountains in the downtown run hot and cold. Voyage is my #1 wooden coaster.
  9. If you're flying, Six Flags over Georgia and Six Flags Great America (Chicago) are both accessible via public transit. GA - Marta to westernmost station (Holmes), bus connection to the park entrance. Several hotels in walking distance. Chicago - Metra to local bus, several options. Libertyville station is what I've used. There's a bus stop next to the American Eagle, walk about a kilometer to the entrance. I haven't been to SF New Jersey but I think I've read there's a bus from New York to the park. Superman at Six Flags America is a good ride, almost great (if the helixes were better and there wasn't the straight track) but otherwise the park isn't that great. I wouldn't make a trip just to go there. Kings Dominion and Busch Gardens are each near Amtrak stations. For KD, Ashland Amtrak is one exit away, perhaps a cab would not be too costly. Busch is also not far from Williamsburg Amtrak and there are local public transit buses that go from downtown Williamsburg to the park. I think Hersheypark is also accessible via transit from Harrisburg and you can either fly or take Amtrak there. Skyrush and Storm Runner are much better than SFA's Superman.
  10. Giant Dipper's speed does vary by a wide margin, but I do believe it reaches 55 mph on a hot day after the ride has been running for at least a few hours. The only place it would reach that speed is at the bottom of the first drop. I don't think a ride 38 feet shorter than Gold Striker could be slightly faster. There have been many rides whose owners exaggerate the speed for marketing purposes. My imperfect understanding of the math suggests that Giant Dipper isn't tall enough to reach 55 mph under any condition (unless the chain was running as fast as the lift on Skyrush). RCDB states the Lake Compounce Wildcat, a ride of similar age that is slightly taller, goes 48 mph. RCDB also lists the San Diego Giant Dipper, a ride almost the same age and height, as supposedly 55 mph. I dob't expect either 55 mph claim will be tested scientifically.
  11. Superficial and vacuous - in southern California? I'm glad I never heard the acronym YOLO before today, although I have been to Yolo County. I'll reserve judgement on the ride until I've ridden it, but today the Rocky Mountain coasters are more interesting to me. Full Throttle looks like an aborted game of No Limits. I like the idea of their 2014 or 2015 attraction being track continuation for the second half after the big drop, that could easily marketed as something unique, too. I agree with the comment that they may eliminate the backwards launch at some point, it would be a lot cheaper to run the ride with two (1 1/2?) launches. I can only imagine what their electric bill is. The only Premier coasters I've been on are the spaghetti bowl launchers at Six Flags America and Kings Island. The KI one was in great shape, not a top ten ride but it was fun. The SFA model wasn't running well when I rode it, it was very bang-y. One and done for me, comparable with their SLC "Mind Eraser."
  12. I don't "hate" Roar but I don't like it that much, either. I've been on both Roars and Roar West is in better shape than Roar East (at least for the one time I rode the Maryland version). Perhaps it's the MF trains that make Roar West a better ride than Roar East, but every time I've ridden Roar West it always felt overdue for some track repair. I never had airtime on my Roar rides, Medusa's back seat has more airtime. I haven't been on Superman (SFDK) yet which seems to have much better airtime. The first drop of Apocalypse is my favorite for a California wood coaster. Perhaps GCI will recreate the Rye "Airplane" some day ... The speed bump after the first drop on Au13 looks like it will be immediately next to the station, which is similar to a station fly through although probably not as loud for the ride operators.
  13. According to RCDB.com it will be the tallest GCI coaster in the US and tied for speed with Dollywood's Thunderhead. The low curves and speed bump at the bottom of the first drop look great. It's 38 feet (11 meters) taller than Santa Cruz's Giant Dipper, so I doubt it will be slower than that. I don't believe the 55 mph / 88 kph statistic for the Giant Dipper, it's not tall enough to reach 55. I look forward to deciding whether I like Gold Striker more than Apocalypse. It looks like it will have more airtime than SFDK's Roar, which is not a ride I like.
  14. I don't think Cedar Fair has any control over the Knott's grocery store product line. I think they are owned by Smucker. If Smucker's is the contractor for Knotts / Cedar Fair they could tell Smucker to take out the corn syrup (which is made with a bit of sulfuric acid, among other things that are not good for you). I'd love to see a small berry patch somewhere at Knott's showing people how berries are grown, perhaps with samples of fresh berries when they are in season. They could even sell berry plants in the gift shop. I don't recall seeing any rides at Knott's Berry Farm themed to berries. The Raspberry Rollercoaster? Boysenberry Bumpercars?
  15. I am too. I just wish it had more than 16 seats. Looking at Kings Dominions drop tower a couple of weeks ago, which holds something like 50 people, and then thinking back to the capacity of Lex Luthor at one of the busiest parks in the chain just makes me shake my head.... The low capacity does match the low capacity of the ZacSpin they installed last year ... I'd love to see a MaxAir type frisbee and a large Screaming Swing as their next "flat" ride acquisitions, which have lots of seats and are better than many coasters. I wonder how much extra work is needed to install them to cope with seismic design requirements.
  16. SFMM seems to me to be a roller coaster museum, with nearly every type of major coaster represented (absent, of course, an airtime machine from Intamin). I'm glad they added a thrilling non-coaster ride this year and look forward to riding it this winter.
  17. Xcelerator is excellent, although I like Storm Runner more for the obvious fact it does more after the launch and top hat. Montezooma was running great, I hope they're able to keep it going for decades to come. (My first upside down coaster was King Kobra at K.D., so it's sentimental.) Ghost Rider was not fun. There is a lot of potential there, I'd rather see Knotts invest in Topper Track than build a new coaster. Six Flags, for better or worse, is trying to remedy some of their deteriorated rides, it would be nice for Cedar Fair to fix some of their not-so-good behemoths. I read a review of Silver Bullet that called it the "family mine train of inverted coasters." My favorite inverted in California is Flight Deck, it's not as G-force intense as Batman but it almost has a great first drop (in the back seat) and I like the pacing more. Silver Bullet doesn't do much for me although the overbank is nice. I was surprised by the minerals shop, there were some unusual rocks and fossils in there. It wasn't was I was expecting to see in an amusement park. If Cedar Fair is planning to improve food offerings I respectfully suggest they redo the recipe for their jams and jellies. I grow several types of berries in my garden and wanted to try their "famous" berries. I was going to buy some but then noticed that high fructose corn syrup was an ingredient, a substance I don't eat. See the film "King Corn" for details.
  18. I've been on all of the US stand ups except Chang / Green Lantern. 6 of the 7 B&Ms and the Togo at Kings Dominion. Riddler at Magic Mountain is excellent when it's running well, although my last ride on it was not pleasant (I guess the train was overdue for maintenance?). Georgia Scorcher was the best designed of the bunch, I think B&M must have finally gotten the math correct. It even has my favorite type of airtime on the first drop if you ride in the back row, and the pacing is great. A ride that combined its design with the giant loops of Riddler would be amazing, although I don't expect that would ever happen. Long load times and newer designs (wing rider) probably ensures the design style is over. Of the 30 B&Ms I've been on (all in the US), Vortex at California's Great America is the only one that I think should be scrapped and recycled. Ouch ouch ouch. Even Vortex at Carowinds had some redeeming qualities although it was my least favorite of the 3 B&Ms there. Mantis and Iron Wolf were OK, not great, worth a couple rides. Shock Wave (Togo) at Kings Dominion was "one and done," especially with I-305, Volcano and Dominator competing for my time at the park.
  19. I rode the Beast in its opening year and rode it again last year. It was running well last year, not too shaky but it was very trimmed. A ride with trims on the first drop is clearly not living up to its potential. The final helix was fun and a bit intense although I enjoyed Diamondback much more, in part because it actually has negative G airtime. The only Rocky Mountain track I've been on is Tremors at Silverwood. It has topper track on the big helix and the far turn, it didn't remove the "wooden coaster" feeling at all. I never went on Tremors before the topper track but I can imagine it was a maintenance headache for the park. Tremors isn't the best wooden coaster I've been on but it's close. Night rides on it are better than night rides on the Beast.
  20. The Wall Street Journal had a profile of Six Flags engineer Larry Chickola ("Mastermind of the Mega-Coaster," October 29, 2011) that was largely focused on the construction of New Texas Giant. A photo included in the article showed his engineering calculator and a sketchbook with drawings of a drop over a cliff. The Rattler wasn't mentioned but the drawing couldn't be for any other ride. The "current profile" is shown along with Option A and Option B. Option B is listed as "max thrill - get close to cliff wall - big surprise running over cliff - my preference."
  21. There is a MARTA option from the Airport direct to Six Flags Over Georgia. Take the Blue line to Holmes station (end of the line on the west side). You can take either the Marta 201 bus (when SFOG is open) or the CCT 30 bus. I did this last year when I went to SFOG, it worked well (no rental car needed). SF Magic Mountain, SF Great America and SF America are all reachable by bus. I couldn't find any public transit that goes to SF Great Adventure.
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