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Everything posted by Lareson

  1. I find the Thunder Road removal highly improbable considering that they just completed a 5-year long rehab with GCI in 2013, with rebuilding a lot of the coaster from the ground-up again. Unless the coaster has somehow fallen into entire dis-repair again in the past 2 years, I still see Thunder Road staying around for quite a while. Now, I can see them doing some slight modifications to the structure to accommodate new pathways for the potential new water park expansion coming next year, but not a complete removal. That doesn't make a whole lot of sense to have spent all that money on a 5-year renovation, only to tear it all down.
  2. Actually was just repainted in 2012.The colors on it previously were much worse...
  3. Not always the case, but if something unexpected comes up, then removal is possible. Falling Star was actually painted the season before it was removed, so painting doesn't really give any notification whether it's staying or not. Mechanically, Trabant is one of the most simplistic rides the park has. It's an older ride, but it nowhere near as mechanically complex as Falling Star was. So if something were to go wrong with it to have to be removed, the only thing that would be is something structurally. It's all pretty common parts on it, or they can still be purchased from Chance. Chance's new Freestyle ride is actually a Trabant/Wipeout based ride. Besides using mainly electric motors and apart from the ride disk, the arm and spinning base are pretty much lifted from the Trabant and just re-engineered to work with the Freestyle design.
  4. Did you go to the park at all last summer? Trabant received a new top-to-bottom paint job last year. The seats, the frame, and the center was repainted and was pretty vibrant. You'd almost though it was brand new. I'm wondering if it's been sent to Chance this year. Normally during the refurbs, major parts are sent to the factory, so if the hub and hydraulic system was sent in, then the whole ride would of had to be removed from its concrete slab. That could be where this rumor came from. http://www.chancerides.com/services/images/chance_refurbish_brochure.pdf While I was browsing Chance's website, did find their refurbishment brochure that features the Giant Gondola Wheel going through the refurb process. Must of been a weird winter going by the park in 2004-05 when it was sent over to Chance as the wheel would of been missing from the skyline.
  5. Don't forget that IOE is also redoing the PLC system for Mad Mouse! Can you guys explain to me exactly how this Mad Mouse differed than the other ones? From what I've heard, Valleyfair was using a custom system versus the ArrowVison system that the other Mad Mouse coasters have, which is why IOE is coming in and completely redoing it with their IOE touch system. Whatever they have in mind, I really hope it'll drastically improve the way these coasters are ran and maybe will be ordering for the other 2 if it brings the capacity back up to where it should normally be at.
  6. Yeah, the rumors were pointing that more franchise food options were coming this year, but so far, nothing has been announced. There were rumors that the Arcade was suppose to be coming down to make way for a new Chickie's & Pete's sit down restaurant. The park is looking for a new food and beverage area manager, so that could have something to do with that. Auntie Anne's pretzels was a pretty big hit for the park's first franchise food, so adding another unique food place like Chickie's & Pete's would help diversify their food selection. The park does have a pretty good history with Chance, since most of their rides are from them and they do send major components for the rides to Chance every few years for refurbishment, so I'm really hoping there are talks to add a couple of their flats and a potential new coaster as well. All that this park would need is a pretty good steel coaster and it'll be well-rounded for other improvements to come in.
  7. Well, there was some debate on what was going on with Falling Star's spot. First, Lakeside Gliders was suppose to go there, then when they decided the Go-Kart track was going to be taken out, they moved it there. The beer garden was then also suppose to go there, but they decided to move it next to Lakeside Gliders to not leave that area so empty. From what I've heard, they even started prep work for the beer garden on Falling Star's spot, but obviously it's still a grassy field. I didn't get to drive past the park this off season and I don't think I'll be able to now until the park gets close to opening for the year. (And I also have no idea what part of Timbers is going to be re-tracked this year, and still hoping they're having GCI do it again.) I do believe a Camp/Planet Snoopy is on the way in the next couple years, more than likely it'll be going in the current kiddie area near Zach's Zoomer, but as to what will take over the Falling Star's spot, it could be anything at this point. I'd just be rather disappointed if Trabant goes this year, just for the fact there was no replacement for it. The website is not a very good source to go off of. It's not kept up-to-date as some of the other parks. Heck, it still listed Go-Karts on there until partially into the 2013 season. The park's 60th anniversary next year still has some very strong leads as to what could be appearing, but all I've been hearing is that it's going to be a major addition. They pushed their 50th anniversary pretty strong when Grand Rapids was installed in 2006, even going as far as putting it into the ride spiels. I understand why parks like Kings Island and Kings Dominion didn't have very many major additions for their 40th anniversary, but look what they received in years before and after. I just thing as a marketing strategy, it works just to promote the anniversary years and what's happening with those, whereas small parks like Michigan's Adventure where they're not able to add major additions for long spans, it's easier to market an anniversary year and a new attraction.
  8. Diamondback's staff sped up quite a bit by the time I went last year. If Kings Island could, they'd enforce the new loose article policy on Diamondback like they did for Banshee and soon to be Fury (basically, you can't get in line with anything besides what can fit inside a zippered pocket) but I kind of didn't mind the staff taking bags and cups from everyone while they stepped into the train on Diamondback. Helped the load time quite a bit.
  9. Uh oh, that's not a good rumor. I knew Trabant's days were rather numbered, but I didn't think it could be this soon. I believe this was one of the former Boblo Island rides, as was Falling Star, but this was one of the rides that was solid in terms of reliability, but ridership haven't been that great. Unless something structurally unsafe was found, then I can't imagine why they'd take it out. If this does become true, I'll be rather disappointed since it didn't get replaced this year. Someone could shoot the park an email as I know that's how we got confirmation that Falling Star was being removed.
  10. I also used to take my glasses off for a ride before I got a strap, but I found the ride much more enjoyable with my glasses when I'm able to have depth and see what's going on, rather than everything being a fuzzy, blurry mess and only able to focus on what's 5 ft in front of my face. I haven't had any problems with ride ops requesting to remove my glasses with a strap on. I've learned my lesson this past summer riding Vortex at Kings Island, where my glasses were knocked off because my head hit the back of the seat because I didn't have one at that time. But yes, having a nice snug glasses strap on is highly recommended for glasses wearers.
  11. A couple things: You're more than likely going to run into school crowds until around 5p, but other than dealing with a bunch of pre-teens and teenagers, it probably won't be too busy. FastLane Plus is a rather huge cost if it's only going to be a couple people, especially if you're only going to be saving 5-10 minutes from waiting in line. Wait until you get to the park to determine if you guys want to buy FastLane. You'll know when you pull in how busy it is by how many buses are parked near the gate and how full the front 2 lots are. Start with Firehawk and Flight of Fear early in the day, those lines get fairly long as the day goes on because of the lower capacity. You can save Banshee, Diamondback, and Beast for anytime of the day if you want because those lines move fairly quickly, since they're people eaters. Even if the park isn't busy, still do Firehawk and Flight of Fear first.
  12. Even though I've ridden coasters without my glasses strap and my glasses stayed on, when I'm visiting other parks, a strap is a must for me. I used to have an a cheap $3 elastic one that kind of pushed my glasses into my face, but I dealt with it while I had it since I'm not a fan of the loose ones Cedar Point offers. When I went down to Busch Gardens Tampa recently, I didn't have my strap, but I did end up finding a much better adjustable one at a Walgreens from Cablz. I really liked it because I didn't even notice I had it on the whole day! Was a bit pricey, but if I keep track of it, it should last me forever. Here's the one I got, but I'm sure you can find it cheaper online somewhere. http://www.cablz.com/store/product.php?id_product=13 And as someone who has worked in the industry, please, use a glasses strap if you have glasses or sunglasses that are kind of loose and expensive. Was almost a daily occurrence of someone losing very expensive glasses because they were knocked off during the ride.
  13. Not quite sure how rust is orange paint. If you've ever looked at any worn steel track after an off season, it'll be that bright orange rust color. I'm gonna say, the Rio Grande Train is receiving an expansion, but other than that, you guys are reading into this WAY too much.
  14. No, it could be because they couldn't add the ability to have it have FastLane. Back in 2012, the parks were given a budget specifically for FastLane and ADA improvements, and it could of been too expensive for them to add the separate FastLane queue with its location. It was the same thing with Corkscrew at Michigan's Adventure. Was originally one of the FastLane rides when they announced it, but in the end, they couldn't add a separate FastLane queue because there was nowhere to connect it up to the station.
  15. Tony posted a new blog post yesterday all about the progress so far on Rougarou. https://www.cedarpoint.com/blog-article/online-fun/Friday-Funday Short summary: Rougarou still has a ways to go before testing can begin. They're completely re-wiring the ride via their own internal electrician team; usually is standard for upgrading a PLC system like this, less issues. 2 of the 3 trains are there, #3 has yet to arrive. My guess, we won't be seeing testing done until early April, since they're still working on the wiring at this point. Not surprised though, since it's harder to re-wire something that's already been standing for nearly 20 years versus wiring something for new construction. Can run into a few surprises such as broken conduits.
  16. I was pretty happy that they added Maverick to FastLane Plus. It should of been done in the first place due to its sub-par capacity, but it's on there now so that's good. I do have a feeling though that once the new coaster comes in (whenever that will be) Gatekeeper and Rougarou will probably be taken off of Plus. Maverick and Dragster though will always remain. FastLane changes periodically, as I remember seeing Gatekeeper not on FastLane Plus early in the season, then they re-added it later. It really doesn't need the Plus bottleneck as we've seen it can easily push 2mil+ people a season, but because it has the newness factor to it, it'll stay on there until the next coaster rolls along.
  17. Yep, Screamscape shared this pic and yeah, it's gone. Would not be surprised to see at least a majority of these Top Spins gone in the next 5-10 years.
  18. From what I've been hearing, not very well, although it's not the park's fault, it's HUSS for creating a faulty ride. A lot of the Top Spins were hit or misses and this one was definitely a miss.
  19. That's quite the oxymoron you got there. Neglected, but yet maintained. Just go back a few pages and you'll find out that this park is far from neglected. While the Turnpike cars would be a good move, their also fairly old with most of the cars dating back to when the ride first opened in 1959. Unless they go under a very heavy restoration, I don't see it happening. It's the same thing with Hang Time. It's one of the older HUSS Top Spins and they're very expensive on their maintenance costs and unless it goes under a heavy refurbishment, I don't see it being relocated. Be-Bop really is not in that bad of a shape, it just needs a very good overhaul of the PLC system and the cars completely refurbished. It probably would be in much better shape if Morgan hadn't decided to shut down and give the park a bunch of trouble as it was being built.
  20. Yeah, I'd have to agree, Xtreme Swing will be staying around for a while. Sure Skyhawk has had its fare share of issues the past couples of years, but those were really just random flukes. The many other models of the Screamin' Swing around the US have pretty much been operating without a hitch. They're a bit higher on the maintenance costs compared to other flat rides, but it's one of S&S's remaining non-tower flat rides and more reliable than anything else they used to make. They're a pretty fun flat ride. Just unfortunate that they're a bit expensive. This was pegged at $6mil when Xtreme Swing was built in 2006, and I've seen $5.5mil for the models around 80ft tall. That's WindSeeker pricing there!
  21. Yep, Grand Rapids, their Intamin white water rafting ride which was the largest addition to the park before Thunderhawk, was built for the park's 50th anniversary in 2006, along with the extension to Timbertown Railway to the new Grand Rapids Junction station, and also when the Coasters restaurant was built. Now of course we saw Thunderhawk built in 2008, but that really was just part of the quick ride additions in the chain from Geauga Lake closing and I don't really think that cost the park the $8mil that they state. There has been a custom coaster in the works for several years, going back to the Jourden's original 5-year plan after Shivering Timbers was built. Just the issues with Morgan closing and then the park being bought by Cedar Fair put those plans on the back burner and eventually the design was put on hold. Now that bring us to what may happen next year. There are several options: The rumored Chance Hyper-GTX with hopefully a new custom layout different than Lighting Run. The put-on-hold hyper coaster, built by Chance and layout is updated to modern standards. A major flat ride addition, which could be various of things such as a WindSeeker, a drop tower, a Zamperla Disk'o or something different. A massive Camp/Planet Snoopy addition, which the park also could use. Or something completely left field such as one of the B&M Vortex coasters being located here and converted to floorless. We'll just have to see what happens, but everything has been pointing towards a major addition in 2016 with the park's recent trends the past couple years.
  22. IOE just announced via their Facebook page that they're coming to Valleyfair to re-program their Mad Mouse and add their IOE touch system! I've always heard that this Mad Mouse was the odd one out of the Arrow Mad Mouse coasters in terms of operations and how the coaster was programmed. If I remember correctly, I believe this one had a continuous loading system that the mice moved continuously through the station. All of the other Mad Mouse coasters are programmed so they must be advanced by a secondary dispatch panel and also the main control booth and stop in specific blocks in the station with each one advancing to the next after the dispatch button is pushed.
  23. Fully agree. This park has done very well under Cedar Fair and if that wasn't the case, it would of been sold off long ago. I've seen what this park used to look like around the time CF bought it and it was what it was: a small, family-owned park that really didn't offer much besides a few roller coasters, some flat rides, and a pretty big water park. I'm glad the Jourdens decided to sell the park to Cedar Fair cause I couldn't see it any other way. To me, this park feels half-way between the family-owned feeling and a corporate park. It has all of the benefits of being part of a chain (season passes, discounts, licencing, marketing, etc) while the park still feeling like it's still owned by a family. CF has helped this park flourish and is one of the top tourist destinations in the state of Michigan. And I've said a few times already, expect something major coming into the park for its 60th anniversary next year. Whether it's the rumored Hyper-GTX, a Camp Snoopy, or some new flat rides, it's going to be rather big addition to the park. All of the rumors and past trends this park has done has pointed to 2016 being a rather big year for additions.
  24. To put simply, unless there's a sound ordinance where "noise" can't exceed a certain decibel level, they don't care how their rides sound as long as it "runs safely." Bad or cheap wheels are usually what makes a coaster sound terrible. For example, most of Arrow's trains use a hard poly wheel (usually the wheels are yellow, red, or cream in color) that's quite common, but also result in a more louder sound and can be a bit more rougher. There's also another option that uses a softer material (usually a gray color) that from my experience, results in a more smoother and quieter ride, but is less common.
  25. I posted that a month ago and that's actually the image I put together. I didn't send the tip to Screamscape, but that's OK.
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