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Everything posted by sirloindude

  1. I've enjoyed going for new credits simply on the basis that I've wound up coming across parks and rides that wound up far exceeding my expectations. For example, I went out to the San Francisco Bay Area on a credit run and found 1) Flight Deck at CGA to be among the best inverted coasters in the US and 2) Six Flags Discovery Kingdom to be an absolutely amazing park. SoCal, for obvious reasons, gets far more attention, but to focus on just what are considered some of the "greatest hits" parks and rides is to miss out on a lot of relatively under-noticed gems. FYI, I tacked on Canobie Lake in New Hampshire to that Bay Area trip and found it to also be a great park, with Yankee Cannonball actually being a pretty spectacular ride.
  2. 56/62 North America (missing Banshee, Valravn, Thunderbird, and Wildfire for the US, and the two at La Ronde for Canada) 58/101 World (add Silver Star and OzIris to my NA count)
  3. I'm absolutely thrilled for this. It'll be nice to see the combination of projection and pyrotechnics that the other Magic Kingdom/Disneyland parks have had for a while. It makes for a more spectacular, impressive experience.
  4. They shipped a B-TR clone from Japan to New Orleans. I don't think that moving Kanonen stateside would be unprecedented. Now, moving it to Darien Lake on the other hand...
  5. Having spent years visiting SFA, maybe I just have low standards. My visit was in 2009. I actually thought the staff there were quite good, at least as far as Six Flags parks went in those days. Regarding the rides, again, I can never get enough of Batman - The Ride, and it was actually my first lap on the St. Louis model that pushed the Batmen so high up in my rankings. In my eyes, it is the ultimate looping coaster. I loved several other rides as well. I just had an absolute blast there, and were it not for the fact that there weren't so many other parks for me to visit or that were, understandably, more amazing, I'd have had no qualms about going back.
  6. I agree that there isn't much to pull in out-of-towners (the same can sadly be said of St. Louis itself, even if I rather enjoyed that trip a good bit), but I can assure you that us out-of-town enthusiasts don't bring in nearly enough money to justify the cost of some monstrosity of a signature coaster. However, what you and I and a lot of other enthusiasts would consider a signature coaster varies widely, and certainly is of a higher caliber than what most people would consider one. Ultimately, we all look at these installations in a global, or at least national, context, and that is not the same context as the one that drives business decisions. To the citizens of St. Louis, maybe The Boss is their signature ride. Maybe it's Batman - The Ride. Maybe it's Mr. Freeze. In the eyes of people who aren't as intensely passionate about these things as we are, they have some outstanding, incredible rides, and there are several that could be considered signature coasters. Also, Six Flags St. Louis doesn't really compete with any park in any meaningful sense, as the nearest major parks are all hours away and while I'm not completely sure of the population distribution, I can't imagine that there's a large market located in between St. Louis and Kansas City or Branson or Chicago whose citizens have to decide which park gets their money. Ultimately, if your own market isn't big enough or if there isn't much in the way of a market in which you compete, it's pretty hard to justify spending some exorbitant amount of money on some sort of megacoaster, or at least there hasn't been enough justification yet.
  7. It could be any number of reasons. The Boss is rough, but perhaps it doesn't tear itself apart quite the way the Texas Giant did. Also, consider the markets. The DFW metroplex is a substantially larger market than St. Louis. San Antonio is pretty huge in its own right. We may never know the specifics, but I'd venture that the ROI on modified versions of the Texas Giant and the Rattler pretty substantially blows the ROI on a modified Boss. Simply put, there was likely far more money to be made (and potential maintenance cost savings) to justify the cost of converting the Texas wooden coasters to steel coasters as opposed to converting The Boss.
  8. I thought this idea was a pretty clever nod to the park's guest height labeling system, but I admit that such nods become questionable when you're investing in ride technology of this sort. The progressive height differences don't seem significant enough to make enough of a difference from one tower to the next. I would think the increments would need to be more substantial.
  9. I actually found Six Flags St. Louis to be one of the best Six Flags parks in the chain. Even if it didn't have a statistically superior coaster collection, it had Batman - The Ride (my #3 coaster overall), Mr. Freeze, American Thunder, and the Boss (which I only rode in the front row due to all the bad reviews I'd read, and wound up finding it to be an absolutely incredible ride), which is, at least in my opinion, a rather impressive quartet in its own right. The park itself also seemed quite well-rounded, and were it not for some new-to-me parks that I really need to experience, I'd go back in a heartbeat.
  10. Montu is phenomenal for its first half, but the intensity certainly drops off for the second act. For example, the turnaround after the loop looks, on paper, like it should be really forceful the whole way through, but the train seems to bleed off too much speed.
  11. I rode it at Astroworld, and to be honest, it wasn't half-bad. It wasn't earth-shattering, but it was actually pretty decent as far as stand-ups went.
  12. I wasn't there, but it sounds like the frequently-shirtless-in-kids-areas guy from the Scandinavia tour pressing for his lift walk probably has to be somewhere up there. Oh, you meant THAT kind of controversial moment...
  13. I've not been to a park that uses VR yet, but what have you all been seeing as far as usage? Do a majority of riders seem to want to use it, or is there still a respectable amount of riders who opt to pass on the system?
  14. I thankfully haven't missed any on a permanent basis (at least to my knowledge), outside of maybe some kiddie coasters. I'm also one of those who tries to hit everything once. Some rides have eluded me, in some cases for several years, but with the exception of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland Paris (went down for the day on my first visit and closed for refurbishment on my recent honeymoon) and GoldStriker (I went during the post-media day but pre-actual opening time frame), I've picked them all up over time.
  15. I have found that interesting as well. My two visits out to the mountain were fantastic. Granted, I went in the hardcore offseason so crowds were light, so the trip was already set up for success in that regard, but I really enjoyed it. I did feel like some of the coasters could've or should've been a bit...more, if you will (I feel like Tatsu should've been longer, Scream could've been something unique and maybe more in the park, etc.), but overall, it was far and away one of the coolest parks I've ever visited. It really is like a greatest-hits collection of some of the grandest accomplishments roller coasters have ever achieved, and honestly, the setting for the park is just amazing. It's almost surreal in its landscape and also in its skyline.
  16. I had a front-row lap on Kraken the other day and wow, was that ride battersome. Usually, the front row is the beacon of hope on even the worst rides, but yikes, there was jack-hammering all over that track. I hope that it gets some much-needed TLC when the VR gets installed. It's a solid ride that deserves some care. But hey! There's always Mako. I have to say, that ride is growing on me. I feel like sitting near the front is practically mandatory to get the most out of the ride, but it's certainly a nice addition to the park and Orlando in general.
  17. I'm not so concerned about cloning. For example, I wish every SF park had a B-TR (not that it would help me out much in Orlando, but I absolutely love that ride). I guess I was more curious about how popular they were, especially at the larger parks where there are more "substantial" thrills. That being said, if they're popular, good for them. I admit I struggle to look at what a ride for what it is, and that's probably why these mini-4Ds don't hold any real appeal for me other than bolstering my track record.
  18. I don't know. I feel like yes, those brakes on Kingda Ka's hill eliminate much of what would have been the greatest airtime experience in all of coasterdom, but there's still enough airtime to make it a noteworthy maneuver.
  19. I just wish they'd focus the new-ride-every-year mentality more onto their flats. The Justice League rides seemed like a stroke of genius and I was excited to see Six Flags embrace the ability of non-coaster attractions to make an impact, but then I see rides like these Joker mini-4D coasters and the Larson loops going into parks like SFGAdv and SFGAm and I wonder what the heck Six Flags is thinking. I just feel like for the type of guest those rides are going to attract, you're better off saving the money and building a better coaster several more years down the road. Six Flags has built some of the best thrill rides anywhere and while I admit I look at things from a different perspective, I would imagine that it's hard to get excited for these mini-coasters in parks with Batman - The Ride, Kingda Ka, Raging Bull, Goliath, etc. For those that have been to these parks, though, what have been your observations on the Larson loops and the Joker coasters? Do they appear to be drawing a more family-style demographic, or is it pretty much just the thrill-seekers?
  20. I'd say Dominator. To me, it's the only one that really embraced transitional maneuvers that lead from one inversion to the next, and it has blistering speed and fierce intensity to boot. I have to say that I'm excited for Rougarou. It is the only floorless left in the states (until Patriot opens) that I have yet to ride in that configuration, but as far as I'm concerned, at least from the movement of Dominator until Banshee opened (which I admittedly have yet to ride), it was the best B&M in Ohio. If my expectations of it are anywhere near realistic, I'd presume it would likely be my #1 or #2 floorless.
  21. If I have to wait until I get into the park to use the new system, I confess that I don't see much point to it other than sparing me from having to run to an attraction to pick up the Fastpass for it. Sure, that's a nice perk, but not enough to get me to pay for it. I will say that, given the annual passholder population for DLR, I'm glad they don't have a MyMagic+ system, of which this seems like a stripped-down, upcharge version. It'd be darn near impossible to get any halfway decent Fastpasses if there were a system like WDW's in place. I guess I just don't really see much point or value in this one, but hey, if DLR can generate some sort of decent ROI on this, good for them.
  22. We only ever ran two trains (this was 2005). I don't think we even had the third for spare parts, but it's been so long that I can't remember.
  23. I did stints at GL, SFA, and CP. I was on X-Flight at GL, which led to Batwing at SFA (moved back to MD for the school semester, but wanted to keep working weekends). Vekoma flyers are fun as they present a challenge to get quality dispatch times. I enjoyed that, because honestly, as low-capacity as those rides were, it was nice to try and help the line move even just a little bit quicker. X-Flight was particularly fun because we had a fantastic crew (the ops department at GL was very much a family, and many remain close to this day), and given the reliability problems of Mr. Hyde's Nasty Fall, that ride would sometimes remain closed all day and that crew would join with us and we'd run both stations. At Cedar Point, Top Thrill Dragster was my main ride. I loved that ride and loved that crew. There were a lot of different positions and the spacious nature of the load/unload areas made things feel less confining. I cross-trained for a week on Millennium Force, and that was almost as good. There was just a good bit of variety to those rides with the separate load and unload roles, so it made for a good time. Beyond that, I'd say Dominator was pretty cool too, but it was definitely more simple than the Vekomas and Intamins.
  24. It depends. Silver Star, blue fire, and Wodan are as thrilling as any of their counterparts elsewhere, and some would likely say the same regarding Euro Mir. I can't speak too much to the flat ride aspect, but honestly, there was such a ludicrous amount of stuff to do that even those seeking out massively intense rides should have no problem occupying themselves.
  25. PKI's Drop Zone. Has the nice pause up top, but a good long fall. Basically, anything but an S&S Space Shot. Well, Superman-Tower of Power was good.
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