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Everything posted by mark549

  1. It's in Houston, barely acknowledged (yet). Give it a few more days, if large scale testing is started up in Texas. In Washington State the hospitals are already starting to have problems treating people due to difficulty of preventing transmission. In California, just east of Six Flags DK, the Davis hospital had over 100 staff go into quarantine. The overloading of the hospitals is one of the main concerns, that is the reason for the official reaction. In Italy, the ICU wards are totally overwhelmed today in the worst impacted areas. --- here is a positive story today, glad the drug company is ramping up production of this before they are entirely sure it works as they think https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/10/hopes-rise-over-experimental-drugs-effectiveness-against-coronavirus Hopes rise over experimental drug's effectiveness against coronavirus Many see remdesivir as one of few drugs that has reasonable prospect of helping patients
  2. Santa Clara county, California just imposed a ban on gatherings over 1,000 people (like France, Switzerland). While it's not my main priority now, I don't expect to be riding Railblazer again for a while. Anyone's guess how long that will be. Order is for a couple weeks, but if / as cases increase it could be longer that that. Maybe the bigger park chains like Cedar Fair will be able to reattract capital and customers after this passes more than the smaller parks. https://www.sccgov.org/sites/phd/DiseaseInformation/novel-coronavirus/Pages/home.aspx
  3. CDC warns against long plane trips and cruises as coronavirus cases mount The CDC now recommends that travelers "defer all cruise ship travel worldwide." https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/08/cdc-warns-plane-trips-cruises-coronavirus-124153
  4. oh yeah. . that's one serious silver lining. Did you see the cruise I posted for Bill over in the Disneyland thread? Starting at $265-300 for 7 day Caribbean, with ALL perks included free (drink package, excursions, onboard credit. . sheesh). A 7 day cruise for $300 per person?! Such a steal!! Could be a lot more than 7 days if the ship isn't allowed back into port.
  5. The epidemiologists are scrambling to guess what the fatality rates really are. Since so many people will never know they had The Disease, the rates are not that high (whether less than one, 2.3 or something else). The two big problems: - a minority of cases require medical attention, some of them intense hospital stays and no country has enough surge capacity to handle this. - closing things down to slow the spread has already triggered lots of economic shocks, supply disruptions. There is also uncertainty if "recovered" means no lingering health impacts. Perhaps the milder cases won't have that, but the worse cases can have permanent lung damage even they survive the experience. I have thought for years that theme parks would be good places to have adjacent farms. They're usually open only during the growing season. Some have lots of land that could be used for this (rather than depending on food from distant lands). Making things more locally is likely one of the many shifts this will cause. I like the story from Japan about how their rollercoaster operators (some parks, not all?) frequently clean the seats on the trains. The cruise ship industry is probably over for now. Perhaps it will revive afterward if people forget about this time. Sure wouldn't want to be on the ship off San Francisco now.
  6. Seattle is the hot spot in the USA now, although California is catching up. Now that some testing is going on cases are being found all over the country. Wash State public health estimates a couple dozen lurking for each confirmed case. Seattle yesterday had about the number that Italy had on Feb. 22. Now Italy's hospitals in the hot zone are getting overloaded, which makes treatment more difficult. Seattle city urged citizens to work from home yesterday. Too many cancellations happening to count. seattletimes.com has a good list. A couple theme parks are saying they are cleaning more and using sanitizer. Prelude to closures. A conference I was planning to attend this weekend made the "cleaning more" offer just before they realized the situation was bigger and canceled. Brace for impact and help your neighbors.
  7. Yeah, we should just shut down all of Tampa for a few months. None of the 1.7 million people living in those two counties should show go to work. Yeah really. Kind of tired of the panic over Covid-19 when there are waaaay more serious things to be concerned about, like this year's flu that the vaccine isn't really helping with, or climate change, or a thousand other concerns that are far more pressing. Seattle is shutting down schools, events, sports, etc., they are the epicenter of the disease in the US, today. Their state virologist said a few days ago there might be 600 cases simmering undetected, which means a few thousand today. Since the incubation time is long and most people don't get a bad case, counting precisely is impossible. Lots and lots of concerts, festivals, movie shooting, conferences being canceled or postponed, too many to count and growing exponentially (just like the virus). It's been estimated that Italy may have between 50,000 and 100,000 cases today. Not the numbers officially reported but the ones in latency yet to surface. Their hospitals are getting overloaded with sick people. For those who get a bad case - maybe 5 to 10 percent - it's two to three weeks in the hospital to prevent your lungs from being ruined. That is worse than flu. A friend works for the local hospital and he says they are totally unprepared for a huge surge of sick people. The first few will get good care but the rest won't. There are drugs that seem to eradicate the virus - remdesivir (experimental) and chloroquine (used against malaria, but has side effects). However they are not ready to be loaded on pallets to be sent to hot spots like Seattle, Europe, Iran, South Korea, Japan, Thailand ... so the spread has to be slowed to buy time. This is NOT a political post, merely an observation that theme parks are going to be economic casualties in this. But it is stoppable with behavior changes, even more than technology. There are two ways to catch the carnivorous coronavirus: you breathe someone's cough or droplets when you are close, or you touch some of their emissions and then your fingers inadvertantly transport it into your mouth. I'm trying to be respectful and helpful here, don't want to be banned, but this is more important than worrying about that. Waiting in lines would be a great way to spread it. Sorry. A time-out is needed to stop / slow the spread. it won't be the parks making the decision later this month, it's going to be forced. Sorry. The coasters will still be after the pandemic ends and we can then celebrate the opening of RMC's masterpiece. I like the photo of the last rail. A few health tips (beyond washing your hands). Hot tea inactivates the virus and keeps you hydrated. If you ingest virus by mistake, sending it to the stomach (acids) is better than to your lungs. Elderberry and cordyceps mushroom are thought to prevent its replication, according to Chinese scientists who are very busy right now. Good nutrition, sleep, having a well functioning immune system, staying away from junk food, no preexisting problems, youth are all good factors for having minimal to moderate symptoms. I'm curious how BGT plans to care for their animal during the hiatus. Probably like a hurricane except a longer duration. I'm more concerned about how poorer countries will handle this. India today shut down export of pharmaceuticals that the US health system is totally dependent upon. We could be in for a bumpier ride than an old Arrow corkscrew. OK, dumb joke ...
  8. I think Iron Gwazi's opening will be delayed now. Safety of park staff, RMC crew, customers / guests, everyone is more important than the construction schedule. --- 2 people ‘presumptively tested positive’ for coronavirus in Manatee, Hillsborough Co. Mar 1, 2020
  9. How much "community transmission" Japan has may become clear in the next week or two. Diamond Princess cruise ship probably increased this (some people were allowed to leave the ship without going into quarantine). Their government shutting down schools suggests deep concern. Lots of articles at JapanToday.com - English language Japanese press https://japantoday.com/category/sports/sports-events-held-in-empty-stadiums-in-japan-amid-virus-outbreak Sports events held in empty stadiums due to virus outbreak also Japan schools may be shut longer depending on coronavirus outbreak: health minister https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-health-japan-education/japan-schools-may-be-shut-longer-depending-on-coronavirus-outbreak-health-minister-idUSKCN20M02U Community spread here in USA includes cases this week in California and Oregon seemingly unconnected to travel. The Oregon case today is someone who works for an elementary school in a Portland suburb. The school is now closed until Wednesday (at least).
  10. Thanks for the perspective on SCMP. Best wishes to everyone everywhere on coping with this, especially people on the front line in China. "If you don't read the newspaper you're uninformed. If you do read the newspaper you're misinformed." -- Mark Twain
  11. South China Morning Post https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/health-environment/article/3049150/coronavirus-hong-kong-disneyland-resort-hotels Coronavirus: Hong Kong Disneyland Resort hotels suggested as quarantine centres - Tourism lawmaker calls on government to look at using resort’s remote accommodation for isolation - Ministers are scrambling to find quarantine sites with confirmed infections increasing Kanis Leung Published: 3:42pm, 5 Feb, 2020 Calls grew on Wednesday to use hotels at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort as quarantine centres as the city tackled the deadly coronavirus outbreak. Former chief secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen added his voice to calls from lawmakers and urged the government to look at isolating those caught in the outbreak at the theme’s park accommodation, which is located in a secluded area of Lantau Island. The park is closed because of the outbreak.
  12. new photos at Reddit, hope it's ok to post ADMIN EDIT: Nope! Will not support that reddit group.
  13. It looks similar to Zadra for sure, just spread out a little more. I still can't figure out the layout and what's left to be completed either to see how it does differentiate itself from Zadra or Hakugei or Steel Vengeance. Although RMCs are so similar, I really feel like I can separate all that I've experienced. Only Storm Chaser at Kentucky Kingdom was the least memorable to me since it felt like it was just dropped in a cat's litter box across from a Pepsi factory Don't get me wrong Storm Chaser is fantastic, but to me it's less memorable than Twisted Timbers, Outlaw Run, or even Twisted Cyclone. I think RMC is getting better at emphasizing different elements and not just relying on reverse banking or sideways airtime hills. Hakugei stood out to me because of the inversions, first drop/pre drop, pre lift, and mix of laterals. Twisted Cyclone seemed to get faster and more intense as the ride went on. Twisted Timbers is just an insane airtime buffet. It looks like the IG finale includes two "trick track" sequences. The first starts at the exit of the stall. Turn to the right at the bottom of the stall, slight bank left on a straight track, then bank right while cresting a small hill. Then a weird helix type trick track - big right turn, little left, then another big right. Maybe some of those direction changes have elevation changes, too, maybe not? Followed by an airtime hill, possibly like the El Toro "rolling thunder" hill (I hope) and then a sharp left through the structures into the brakes. I've been on 6 RMCs (all in USA) including SV. My guess is this will be even better than SV despite being a shorter ride (or because it is shorter?). I don't rank all my "credits" but SV is by far my favorite, although I didn't like the bunny hops at the end, a bit gratuitous for my tastes. Railblazer is my second favorite RMC (after SV) because it is non-stop intensity. IG looks like it will be non-stop intensity on a grander scale. I like that the second hill will be the RMC version of a top hat. I also like how apart from Railblazer / Wonder Woman, all of the RMCs are unique. Collect them all!
  14. A B&M wing coaster would be great over the water where Anaconda is. Anaconda might have its fans but I doubt it would be missed much. It would also free up more space than the demise of Volcano. I agree a less crazy ride than i305 would be very popular. I thought X-flight was the second best coaster at Six Flags Chicago (after Goliath) and I liked it more than Wild Eagle (great views) and Gatekeeper (graceful but didn't do much for me). I hope the rumored "no competition" clause that B&M supposedly had with Busch Gardens is either not true or is expired, so KD could get this if they want it.
  15. My guess is wooden coasters hold up better in places where it rains in the summer (unlike California). Roar, Goldstriker, Apocalypse suggest a pattern. I don't know what the problem is with Hersheypark Wildcat, maybe it was just an early build and didn't work right. It's a shame, since GCI's racing coaster next to it is great. Maybe Hershey will RMC Wildcat. (RMC is also a verb, right?)
  16. My guess is yes, you can ride all three in an hour if it is the first hour. Flight Deck has good throughput. Goldstriker's is OK. Railblazer's is not, but it's awesome. I recommend riding Railblazer first, partly due to the line and partly because it is by far the best. Railblazer is also worth riding front and back seats. The back is breathtaking. Flight Deck is short and intense, an old B&M with forces. Gold striker is better in back on the first drop, the rest of the ride doesn't seem to matter where you sit. Enjoy.
  17. I haven't ridden these coasters, but I did have a solo back seat ride on El Toro, without any issues. Although I liked the front seat of the last car more ... Wasn't the point of adding the seat belts to prevent ejection of passengers, partly from redundancy but more because someone too large to fit would not be able to get the seat belt buckled?
  18. I-80, the main highway around SFDK, is closed just south of the park due to a new fire. Much scarier than some actors pretending to be zombies. https://www.sfgate.com/california-wildfires/article/vallejo-fire-cal-maritime-sig-alert-14566182.php the park's online schedule says they're open today (?!?) but not tomorrow.
  19. Went on Friday. Haven't been for a little while. the main "new" thing is almost the entire parking lot is now a construction site for the overhead solar panel system. It will be great on hot sunny days and rainy times. One oddity - the solar array is nearly flat (most arrays are closer to the angle of latitude) and aimed to the west more than the south. The parking lot is sloped that way but solar panels work best when aimed to the south. Joker and Medusa had short lines until sunset.
  20. Went on Sunday (fright fest). I think Railblazer is the most intense coaster on the west coast, although perhaps the Xcelerator launch or the Ta tsu pretzel loop may be the most intense moment (debatable). Joker and Twisted Colossus are also great but they're more of a hands up ride. On Railblazer most of the hands up riders are hands down after the dive loop. I don't want to ride Demon again. Rides like a 40 year old Arrow. Shuffling and vibrating into the loops. Demon was a walk on while Railblazer, next to it, had an hour wait all night. Flight Deck was as it always has been, short and very punchy. Back row right seat is my favorite. Goldstriker is probably my least favorite GCI. A good drop, good speed bump and then shaky shaky shaky. Patriot was closed (not a loss). As a floorless it's not as bad as it was, but nothing noteworthy now. CGA could use a big, not shaky coaster as a compliment to Railblazer. The rumored B&M hyper would be awesome for the park -- in between the kiddy coasters (Grizzly, Mouse) and the old worn out coasters (Demon) versus Railblazer's extremeness. Rumors also that this is not going to happen. Railblazer is so extreme that everything else in the park seems meek in comparison. Back seat on the first drop rivals any other drop - it's at least as ejector as Skyrush, Steel Vengeance, i305, El, Toro, several beyond 90 degree drops. It would not surprise me if Jersey Devil will have more intense airtime than El Toro, especially at the front and back ends of the train. It will also not surprise me if it will have the longest wait time at SF NJ.
  21. There should be a Sinclair gas station in that town (their logo is a dinosaur). http://www.sinclairoil.com Some recommendations: Here is a nearby odd adventure (which I have done): https://manhattanprojectbreactor.hanford.gov Afterwards you could drink a Plutonium Porter at https://www.atomicalebrewpub.com/on-tap.html (didn't go). I recommend seeing some site that highlights the Missoula / Ice Age floods which scoured that whole region. https://parks.state.wa.us/298/Sun-Lakes-Dry-Falls "Dry Falls is a geological wonder of North America. Carved by Ice Age floods more than 13,000 years ago, the former waterfall was once four times the size of Niagara Falls. Today, the 400-foot-high, 3.5-mile-wide cliff overlooks a big sky and a landscape of deep gorges and dark, reflective lakes." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missoula_Floods I'm surprised that Silverwood doesn't theme one of their water rides to this, the largest known floods anywhere. They are next to the inundation zone.
  22. They're not a museum. If you want to gift them a not-even-remotely-tax-deductible 10 million dollar donation to keep it running for a few more years then they might reconsider. If the ride is costing them more money to maintain and operate than they believe that it's making them (which is obviously hard to quantify) then they're not going to keep it. Why would they do that? It sucks that they're removing it but they're a business and unfortunately that's how it is. Oh, and by "it sucks that they're removing it" I mean that it would suck if the ride was good but I actually don't care at all because we're talking about Vortex at Kings Island which is an awful ride. My guess is if a new ride replaces that coathanger coaster the park will keep the station (historical continuity and cost reduction). Wasn't the station originally built for the original "Bat" (great idea that didn't quite work). Last time I went to Kings Island I made a side trip to this historical site, close enough to KI it might be visible from the Orion lift hill. https://fortancient.org Fort Ancient State Park now that's historical ...
  23. Orion's brake run looks like the angle of Racer's lift, and Orion's lift looks like the angle of Racer's drop. Coaster evolution.
  24. Two and done for me (front / back seat). The coathanger transition into the MCBR - ouch. Maybe Vortex could literally be melted down into Orion track.
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