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Everything posted by Lareson

  1. The "no single riders" rule is actually a requirement by Chance. It's also why seat belts are now required on them as well. It's better than having metal bars installed on the gondolas like some of them have now.
  2. It not so much they won't work, there's no point on having a modern train that can maneuver curvy, modern track designs more easily, but overkill for a 90+ year old figure-8 out-and-back coaster design. I have a feeling they'll go with the same 3-bench trains, but using the articulating chassis instead of the old fixed. Puts a lot less wear and tear on the track. Knowing Mike Fehnel though, they'll more than likely be keeping the single-position lap bars and not switch over to the ratcheting lap bars. Unknown whether or not they'll be keeping the headrests though.
  3. IOE, or Irvine Ondrey Engineering has been a major contributor to ride control systems the past couple years and are actually based up here in Ann Arbor. They just recently completed a PLC upgrade for Valleyfair's Mad Mouse with a modern PLC system and control panel that should increase capacity and reliability. They're hoping that Cedar Fair will upgrade the other two for consistency, and to replace the aging ArrowVision system since it's extremely hard to troubleshoot now without any support you can call on, for obvious reasons.
  4. Dorney and Worlds of Fun are also not listed, FYI. I do have a feeling though that it'll be another general improvement year for MiAd. I've heard several things will be happening though that'll be beneficial to the associates than guests. For one, the training center will be fully operational and I've also head that a new break area is also being planned. Yes, the park could use another ride, but if the associates are not happy, well, it'll make running a park a bit difficult. The limited-time stuff I can see happening here though for the park's 60th season. I can imagine lots of discounts and 60th anniversary promotions happening. They might wait until after the New Year before they start promoting any of that. Timbers I can imagine will be getting another section re-tracked by GCI, probably the trick-track area since there's a rather bad "pot hole" at the end of it. And of course another coaster/ride could also be receiving an upgrade, much like Corkscrew did this year. Still hoping an IOE-revamped Mad Mouse is on the way in the near future! The water park might receive a splash of color since I heard that some of the slides will be receiving a new color scheme like the Speed Slides did this year. There are plenty of things for the park to work on, just that other priorities can come first and it might not be what we want, but if it means something big will be coming in 2017, that's fine by me.
  5. Those that can/have seen the lot of wood for the track, are there any boards in the lot that are darker, like a dark brown, reddish color, than the standard yellow pine boards? If this is GCI doing the re-tracking, that could be why we haven't seen any of the newly laid laminate have its rail layers on yet. All of the latest images I've seen of it are only of the bottom 6 layers, the two top layers are still not installed yet. I've mentioned this before, but GCI has started using a different type of wood for the two top layers of the laminate for the track. I don't ever remember seeing them do that before (or any wooden coaster manufacturer for that matter) until this year when I noticed it on Shivering Timbers after they re-tracked the helix. It must be a more denser wood, like oak or maple, since those are much denser than the standard yellow pine.
  6. No, that was from a couple years ago in the spring when that whole area had some pretty bad flooding. The whole midwest area pretty much had experienced the worst flooding in quite a few years.
  7. It's the now-standard double-dispatch enable buttons, so both of them must be pressed to advance the mice forward. I did hear that under this new system, the mice will automatically advance to the lift, so that will no longer be required via the operator. The board may look complicated, but in actuality, it's way simpler than it even was before. This should theoretically allow the mice to be dispatched faster, so should allow it to operate near its full capacity. I know that these were designed to run all 10 mice, but I know that at most could only run 8 of them at a time so then the ride wouldn't block-setup itself if the mice were not advancing fast enough. Oh, and there will also be a true control lock-out this time as well since the ArrowVision system never had one. Most parks I know that have them just lock out the control booth if they need to get underneath the ride since there's no way to lock out the control system. And yes, as a former Mad Mouse operator myself, I'm really hoping that the others will be upgraded as well as the old ArrowVision system is extremely buggy and obviously very hard to troubleshoot now since there's no Arrow tech support help line anymore. IOE will do an excellent job bringing these coasters back to their prime. I do consider them one of Arrow's last great coasters they've made as they're really fun little family-friendly rides.
  8. Millennium Flyers would do Ghostrider wonders, just for the fact that it'll put a whole lot less stress on the track. I have a feeling though the PTC trains won't be scrapped, but split up to be shipped over to other parks to use for spare parts. I'm glad Cedar Fair has stuck with GCI to work on all of their wooden coasters. The work they've done has been very well received. The work on Shivering Timbers alone the past 2 years have brought the ride back to its prime. I do wonder though if they'll be using their new track laminate layout like they did this year on Timber's helix. Apparently they're now using a different type of wood for the rail boards as it's not the yellow pine that's normally used. Unsure what kind of wood, but it's definitely is darker compared to the other layers. I know the helix on Timbers is one of the most stressful parts on the track (was just re-tracked back in 2013, but heard that it was done rather horribly, hence why it was re-tracked again this year) so maybe this darker timber they're using now will help the wear and tear on the track.
  9. Depends on the budget. If this was suppose to happen before the season started and was budget for this year, they have to do it now so then that money doesn't get lost at the end of the year. Not 100% sure what are the laws are concerning this in Minnesota, but it more than likely will have to be re-certified by the state, and I know for sure it has to do 100 cycles per Cedar Fair's commissioning cycle rule due to the upgraded control system. That means every time all of the mice go around once, that counts as a cycle, so 100 could take quite some time that maybe Valleyfair can't budget right now. Very tricky logistics right now, but who knows, could open back up in a few weeks if IOE hands it over to the park and it's all ready to go. I'd imagine a full weekend could get the cycles done on it.
  10. IOE shared a new pic today of them testing out the new Mad Mouse control system. Compared to the old ArrowVision box that used to be there, this is way nicer! Hopefully this will drastically improve the capacity for these Arrow Mad Mouse coasters, as the capacity always seem to be way lower than what it's suppose to be due to the fact that they're never able to fully operate all 10 mice without running into stacking or block setup issues. And for those wondering, this would be why Mad Mouse is closed for the season. Very good excuse, in my opinion.
  11. The gearboxes on the HUSS models are not reliable at all. It's why both Delirium and Maxair have had major downtime the past couple years, considering that they're the only two Giant Frisbees in existence in the US. They'll run fine for a while, but the gearboxes do catastrophically fail after some time.
  12. Wildcat only received one major control upgrade since it was built and that was went it went from skid brakes to fin brakes. Think that was done around 2000-ish. It did receive a minor PLC upgrade a few years ago when the variable frequency drive was installed for the chain, but other than that, it's a very limited control system. But yeah, a transfer track is mainly the big concern with adding a second train. The only style that would be possible would be a vertical elevator system, since there's no other way for the track to move due to the limited space for an extended brake run. The whole entire track structure from the end of the final turn to the exit of the station would have to be rebuilt to accommodate the storage track underneath, but it is possible to do it that way. And I wouldn't read into not having any permits as a bad thing as they're generally filed shortly before they try to start construction on a project since they have to go through township boards rather than city councils like parks that are in larger cities. That's why we've seen the layouts leaked of those projects is because they have to be filed long before construction since they have to go through a longer process.
  13. There is suppose to be a second train for Timbertown by now, but last I knew, it was sitting out in the employee parking lot missing the engine. Considering we've been waiting to see this second train for the past 4 seasons, at this point you'd think they'd get a new one that didn't have such terrible build quality as that's all I've heard of that train. Heck, I'd just go out and buy a second Chance CP Huntington since obviously the quality of that one isn't up to the park's standards. In other news, the new training facility is looking nice when I saw it the other day. Much bigger than I was expecting. Didn't get a chance to snap any pictures of it, but it did have shingles on the roof and the vapor barrier on the outside. Did surprise me that it's a traditional wood structure instead of brick-and-mortar like every other building on the property. Actually, a Windseeker at 200ft would provide some spectacular views of the surrounding area, especially of Lake Michigan since the park is only 8 miles away from the lakeshore. Ripcord does have some pretty great views at 183ft, although it's a bit tough to view since you're laying down and only up there for a few seconds before you have to pull the ripcord. Gondola Wheel is only about 90ft tall, so the views from it are not as impressive as if they were viewed from 200ft.
  14. They also own the 10 acre plot of land on the north side of the property on Whitehall Rd. where the new training center is being built. There's still no vertical construction on it yet, just a foundation and some underground utilities. The building itself doesn't look that big, but its certainly a rather large area they have cleared out. The second train on Timbertown is suppose to solve the 15 minute wait time (in reality, its less than that, maybe only a few min to get from one station to the other) and also solve the ADA restrictions on it, but unfortunately that train has yet to be seen. And for those that haven't seen the new Dodgem cars, they're really nice! They have a very nice LED package on them. From their Facebook page.
  15. Well that's disappointing. Any idea what kind of financial troubles they were in back then? Or did Cedar Fair just give them "an offer they couldn't refuse"... heh http://www.ultimaterollercoaster.com/news/archives/april99/stories/041399_02.shtml Here's an old press-release on the announcement of the steel coaster. It sounded like it was going to run along the north side of Shivering Timbers and would of made quite the spectacle to see 2 giant steel and wooden coasters running along side-by-side as you pulled into the park. It was a combination of the sale to Cedar Fair and Morgan going out that basically cancelled the coaster. The issues with Morgan is also why Be-Bop Blvd was delayed a year since Morgan up and abandoned the project. There's another article I've been trying to find that told the story of how Roger Jourden expanded the park from when he bought it up until the family sold it, but I cannot find it. I think it was just a combination of wanting to retire and being "too ambitious." Not sure if financial trouble had anything to do with it, but I just think it was getting too big for the family to run and they wanted to sell it to a company. I think the article even mention that they rejected a certain other large company to purchase the park and decided on Cedar Fair because the company's ideals were close to what the Jourdens wanted for the park.
  16. http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2015/05/looking_back_at_michigans_adve.html Here's some great nostalgia pictures of the park and it's amazing how much this park has grown. The 1988 aerial pic (dated wrong, as 1989 introduced Giant Gondola Wheel, Trabant, and Falling Star and would of been in the pic) in the slideshow shows that this park basically was a couple rides plopped in the middle of nowhere. 2 coasters, a handful of flat rides, a couple kiddie rides, a Cadillac car track, and the massive Arrow hydroflume was all that was at the park only 27 years ago. I've been going to the park since 2003 and looking back at some of the pictures I have when we went there, it's really amazing what's changed. Went from feeling like a little small family-owned park that was still a bit rough around the edges, to a full fledged amusement park that's ran by one of the largest amusement park chains in the world, and it still has a family-owned feeling to it. And that Morgan hyper, it wasn't rumored, it was actually going to happen if the Jourden family didn't decide to sell the park in 2001. Would of been the grand finale to the 5-year plan that unfortunately never was completed. The Jourden family did at least end up with their campground (well, really a RV resort) across the street, although it took them quite a few more years before it was built. I'm still hoping that the 60th anniversary for the park is going to be a rather big year once again. I'm hoping the park will make an announcement by the end of the season, but if not, then hoping we'll hear about their plans by the end of the year.
  17. Each park is given a budget based on their performance the prev year, I think. So its not really split down the middle. as that wouldn't be fair to pump the same amount of money in to a park that did poorly as you would a park that did great. Its up to that park to use all said budget or not. It's not like one persons makes the decision as to what each park gets, they are installing coasters park by park which is evident when you see some parks not get anything. Each park has it's own business plan as cedar fair is not operated like a mcdonalds franchise. It works like a raise on a job. The company has X amount of dollars budgeted for raises. If I did better than the next man (in the parks case if my overall profits precentage was better) my raise is gonna be higher (im gonna get the bigger chunk of the budget). Then at that point it would be up to that park to decide what they want to get with said budget. This is my understanding of how some things were explained to me so don't take it as pure gospel lol... No, the budget is neither divided by percentage, nor evenly per park. It's all mainly based on what each park will require for the year. This is roughly how the budget has been used the past few years: $25-30mil for one park to receive a major coaster addition. $5-10mil for secondary additions in the chain such as Larson Flying Scooters, Zamperla Disk-O's, or Planet/Camp Snoopy expansions. $8-10mil for all water park additions. $10-15mil for one park to receive a dark ride addition or a coaster. A large percentage can go towards a major chain-wide additions such as the FUNtv system. The remaining amount is divided based on the need for general improvements by a park-by-park basis, such as ride modifications, infrastructure upgrades, etc. The new associate training centers being built at Michigan's Adventure and Valleyfair are a perfect example of what would fall under this category. Basically, all of the parks give Cedar Fair a "wish list," so to speak, for what they would like to happen for the next 5 years (which we're currently in the middle of one right now) then the capital budget will be divided out depending on what each park will need for those years and when Cedar Fair decides what parks receive major additions for that year. Most of the budget planning will be done by June for the following year, so not only do they have to worry about getting a lot of the parks open around this time, but also corporate themselves have to get the budget for 2016 ready as well. So, essentially, since there's no dark ride for 2016 being built, the budget for that can easily go towards another coaster in the chain. Unfortunately, this means that only 3 parks in the chain could receive coasters ($16mil already going to Cedar Point, Michigan's Adventure possibly with $7-10mil needed for theirs, then the other $10-12mil for another park.) So to put simply, these massive coasters many people are speculating for Kings Dominion and Canada's Wonderland for 2016 are not going to happen.
  18. Yep, so far, Cedar Point has the strongest coaster chance for Cedar Fair in 2016. Michigan's Adventure is oddly second with the rumored Hyper-GTX, the GM mentioning "capital to be announced" last year, nothing happening in 2014 and 2015, and they also have a tendency to do major attractions for anniversary years as it's their 60th in 2016 (2006 for their 50th they received Grand Rapids, their Intamin raft ride, the Coasters restaurant and a bunch of other improvements.) So far, the rest of the parks have been pure speculation with very little leads. Canada's Wonderland has already been debunked as plans have been said for 2016 to not have any major capital additions and the obvious SkyRider spot that many people think it's going to go is receiving underground sprinkling so that means nothing's going to go there for the time being. Valleyfair has been just speculation although it's sort of pointing towards 2016 being another major water park expansion and possibly 2017 their coaster year since the park has been stated as the 2nd highest in market potential behind Carowinds. Worlds of Fun and Dorney are both actually near the bottom of the list for future coaster additions. They've pretty much saturated their coaster market as much as they can for their areas and really, I don't see any major coasters coming here in the near future besides maybe family or kiddie coaster additions. Can see maybe major refurbs like the RMC or GCI major refurb being rumored for Timber Wolf at Worlds of Fun, but certainly nothing extravagant like a Banshee or Fury. Kings Dominion I can see having the highlight attraction for 2017. 2016 is just too crammed for the top capital investments if what's being planned for the other parks for a major coaster to be coming here. I know they are not planning any dark rides for 2016 so that part of the $120mil estimated budget for next year is being used for something else, but if anything, between Cedar Point's estimated $16mil dive coaster and Michigan's Adventure potential $7-10mil for their coaster, that's around the same price as the other 4 major coasters since 2012 have used.
  19. Yellow is generally a gas line marker. Canada uses the same colored surveying system that we use here in the US so in general: Orange - telecommunications (phone, fiber optics, etc.) Yellow - natural gas (pretty much any flammable gas/liquid) Red - Electrical Blue - Water Green - Sewer Pink - General survey markings or unknown/undetermined utilities If there's a lot of blue stakes (more than likely they're flags for this case) in patterns in the former SkyRider spot, then it's for underground irrigation. If they were going to be marking out footers or other structures, they'd use the pink markers. So for now, I wouldn't bet this is anything more than just underground sprinkling being installed to water the grass that'll be there for the near future.
  20. It's for timing and means that the operators are on top of their game and made interval. The train on the first lift cannot go up and over until the train on the 2nd lift goes over, so that's why it creeps for a majority of the first lift. Essentially think of the 2nd lift as a very long and slow block brake and the train on it must be clear of it before the next train on the first lift can advance to the next block.
  21. Actually, we can probably expect the former Crypt building to be used for Kings Island's dark ride when it comes sometime in 2017 or later. Could see them doing a coaster/dark ride hybrid like what they did with Guardian, and would have plenty of room to do it entirely indoors. There's already a basic crypt theme to it so if they expanded the theme to be based around a central creature like they've done with Guardian and Voyage, then add some sort of thrill factor to it to differentiate it from Boo Blasters, would be a rather successful hit. Certainly not a replacement for a Giant Top Spin, but certainly better than letting the building sit unused for majority of the season.
  22. I am confused about this. The worst case scenario is that the train will not launch due to no power. Is there something that I am missing? Has to be something in Indiana's law about applications that have the chance to brown out the power grid because of a large power draw, and those generators have to be in place in the event it does start to brown out the grid. That's the whole reason why the flywheel system was built is to prevent that from happening, but considering that this is the first launched coaster in the state, its the first time that these weird laws are seen by us. All I know is, Indiana does have some strange laws and I wouldn't doubt that this is one of them.
  23. Yes, the parks have to submit plans and register for permits to build any major attraction or any change done in the cities they're in, but not all of them are available online. Bigger cities tend to have their planning permits and stuff like that available to the public online, hence why we've seen plans for Banshee and Fury long before the park makes their public announcement. Townships and smaller cities like that tend to not put anything on their websites related to planning because there isn't a demand or most of what they do is still stuck in the 20th century so you'll actually have to visit the township offices to look up any plans. Those ones are harder to access because the township can have them non-accessible. Not sure if these kinds of things are covered under the Freedom of Information Act or not.
  24. That video was from 2010 when Ed Hart was presenting his original plans to reopen the park, so those plans have more than likely been changed. I personally don't plan on seeing an RMC conversion happening with this coaster. For one, the coaster really can't have any major height changes because of the airport's airspace. I believe someone even mentioned that the coaster is actually above the restricted height limit. What I do think will happen is that they'll have Gravity Group come in (since majority of the people at Gravity Group are actually former CCI employees) and they'll completely redesign the layout and bring in 2 brand new Timberliner trains. I think this was even previously mentioned as the highly probably plan back before this RMC fanfare started.
  25. For the first time in nearly 10 years, Cedar Fair finally updated their corporate website. Not only is this a vast improvement over the old site, but it's debuting a brand new logo as well. https://www.cedarfair.com/ The new logo! The site is really interactive and features a bunch of new videos and a lot more information than the previous site ever did. They're now stating they own 14 parks in total, throwing the 3 separate gated water parks into the count now. This is also where those artistic skyline paintings are coming from as all of the parks, except for the 3 water parks and Knott's for some reason, have them. I do wonder if this is the new artistic direction the company is planning on taking with their websites and media. I know the logo is a bit generic, but considering how long they were using the old rectangle one, it's about time they updated it. Even their investment relations site looks very sharp with the same design. http://ir.cedarfair.com/investor-home/default.aspx By the way, the yellow inverted coaster on the front page, don't read too much into it. It's really just Banshee, but they changed the track to yellow to give the page a pop of a warmer color.
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