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Everything posted by Lareson

  1. I don't think ANY US parks have bought anything from HUSS since the whole Dollywood and Timber Tower lawsuit. I have seen a new Chinese park build a new Frisbee and Top Spin, but those are about all I've seen. I do have a feeling with Cedar Fair buying rides from Larson and Zamperla, they'll start going through their catalogs and picking out new rides for the chain. I would love to get one of Larson's Super Shot drop towers at Michigan's Adventure since I've heard they've been hesitant about buying a S&S tower because of the high maintenance with the pneumatic system. And a Zamperla Discovery would be a perfect substitute for a Frisbee type ride for Valleyfair and a couple of the other parks in the chain. Heck, even an Air Race would work well for a couple parks. So far, the gaps Cedar Fair has been filling are for family thrill rides with height requirements in between 36" and 46" and so far, the Flying Scooters and Disk-O's have fit that bill pretty perfectly. It's also why Cedar Point didn't add theirs to a kid's area because they wanted them to be "bridge" rides, where the 8-12 year old group were becoming a bit too old for the Snoopy areas, but they might not be quite ready (or tall enough) for the big flats like maXair or Power Tower. By the way, those that have rode Black Widow at Kennywood and one of the HUSS Frisbees, how do the two compare?
  2. If Valleyfair was given a $50 million budget, I'd see a few things come into the park, but probably a bit of it would be spent on infrastructure and it would be spread over at least 3-5 years. At least 1, maybe 2 coasters - an invert roughly costing $15mil first then some sort of family thriller a few years later like something along the lines of a Moto Coaster or Firechaser Express, costing roughly $10mil. At least a couple flats such as a Larson Flying Scooters, Zamperla Air Race, a Chance Freestyle or some sort of pendulum ride like a Zamperla Discovery or a Chance Revolution. (I REALLY doubt Cedar Fair would buy another HUSS Frisbee after the many issues maXair and Delirium have been having the past couple years. Too many blown gear boxes.) A $5mil, 250ft tall WindSeeker, possibly a 32-person capacity one like the one that was installed at Adventureland in Iowa. They're much more reliable now that the bugs have been worked out of them. A rather large water park expansion, moving at least Mad Mouse and Looping Starship, and installing a ProSlide Tornado, a Wild Water West play structure, and of course new tube slides and possibly a mat racer. The rest would be spent on infrastructure improvements such as upgrading bathrooms, (no idea on the condition of them now, but just an idea) removing the remaining black top and replacing it with pavers, an updated front entrance to make it a bit more open (my suggestion was to keep it the way it is right now, but get rid of the gift shops on either side of it to make that part a bit wider) and some of the other minor suggestions people have also suggested. That seems very doable for the budget, but in reality, I only see Valleyfair given about a $20-30mil improvement budget over a few years and that includes only 1 major coaster ($10-15mil,) 1 or 2 major flats, a couple water park attractions, and the rest infrastructure and general improvements. The park really does have some potential in growing in the market, but it really can't grow as quickly as some of you want it to be without overdoing it like what Six Flags has done in the past. This park might be the 2nd smallest park in the chain right now, but it could move up a couple places and potentially surpass Worlds of Fun and CA Great America. Of course it'll never be in the top 6 parks (Canada's Wonderland, Cedar Point, Kings Island, Knott's, Carowinds, and Kings Dominion) but it definitely could surpass CA Great America, Worlds of Fun and maybe even Dorney.
  3. Yep, those are the kind of people that ruin it for others. It's why about 10 years ago now, low-zone area fences were introduced to parks across the US because of "accidents" like these. It's all 100% of the stupid person's fault, but it's unfortunate that parks have to do these low-zone fences now when previously, there was no need for them. I don't know why people risk their lives for a stupid little hat. This is certainly not the first time we've seen something like this, and I don't get why people get so protective over something that they put on their head. I see it so often ride operators asking guys to take their hats off and 90% of the time they say no, take it off and put it back on when that ride op is no longer in view, or just turn it around backwards. And then they complain if it flies off during the ride and then they do something stupid like that guy. I know I don't want to be behind someone on a roller coaster that doesn't want to take their hat off because I don't want to be hit by it, especially on high speed coasters. ------ The 2nd lift hill won't really be an issue. I believe someone else mentioned, The Beast has the train starting to go up the 2nd lift at a pretty decent speed and that has done that for 35 years now. I'm not quite sure what they have planned for the transition to the 2nd half now that it's been physically built and we can see that it's different compared to the animation. With variable frequency drives controlling the speed of lift hill chains these days, I don't think it'll be an issue or cause excess wear and tear. The train will speed up the lift and when it starts slowing down while on the chain, the chain dogs on the train will grab the chain and carry it up like normal. If the animation hold up in that perspective, the green side chain should only start about ¾ of the way up the lift so it doesn't start at the bottom like a regular lift hill.
  4. I was wondering when they were going to refurbish that old Dodgem building. That one was the newer of the two Dodgems, built in 1970. The original one, which was about where TTD's tower currently stands, was torn down in 2001 and the cars moved to Michigan's Adventure. Those 40 cars I believe were purchased in 1967, if I remember correctly. I did hear MiAd was looking to replace those cars finally because the past couple of seasons, there's been less and less cars and a lot of them no longer working. While I don't think Cedar Point would be replacing their cars anytime soon, the building though could of used some work. I wouldn't doubt though that some ADA upgrades are part of the Dodgem refurb as well since most of those upgrades in 2013 were kind of shoe-horned in for the bumper car rides since most of them in the chain were built way before ADA was a thing.
  5. Boomerang at Worlds of Fun and Woodstock Express at Cedar Point was purchased by Cedar Fair from Vekoma. Cedar Fair has worked with Vekoma directly when they relocated their coasters, bringing in all new control systems and refurbishing the trains, or in the case of Carolina Cobra at Carowinds, all new trains. They even call Vekoma to have someone come out and work on their coasters if issues come up. They also do provide parts for some of the Arrow coasters in the chain. So it's easy to say, they have a working relationship with each other. Like I said previously, it's not out of the realm of possibility for an SLC to be built here. If the price is right, they know what it could bring to the park and they know that it'll be a big hit with GP. I know that if you ask most of the guests at Michigan's Adventure what's their favorite coaster, majority of them will say Thunderhawk even though we enthusiasts know the top coaster is Shivering Timbers. Considering that there are no inverted coasters anywhere in the state of Minnesota, they'll easily be able to market it as the state's only looping roller coaster. They could also order one of the other models as well, it doesn't have to be one of the standard 689M SLCs.
  6. Nope. Both of you must be Platinum season pass holders in order to get in early. They might do it on the bring-your-friend discount days, but normally only the pass holder is allowed early entry.
  7. The early admission works by you pretty much going through the turnstiles with your Season Pass a 1/2 an hour early before the normal opening time. Looks like Carowinds does it ride specific, so only those 2 rides that day you'll be able to get on them a 1/2 hour early. The list of what rides will be available for early entry is right here, but looks like the page is broken and is still showing the 2014 early entry rides. https://www.carowinds.com/events/plan-a-visit/special-events/Early-Ride-Times Not entirely sure about Kings Dominion's early entry as their season pass page doesn't list anything but "exclusive ride times" and early entry to the water park. Cedar Point's early entry, works the same way with Platinum pass holders as resort guests, you get to enter the park an hour early and they'll have a few coasters and rides available to ride. The list on Hotel Breakers is still for the 2014 season, but that'll probably be update in a couple months for the 2015 season. Probably expect the same rides, but more than likely Rougarou will be listed instead of one of the other coasters. https://www.cedarpoint.com/places-to-stay/hotel-breakers
  8. Yep, the 20th is Physics Day. It's normally about 90% schools, although there are a few season pass holders that will come in. There are some years where they start on that Wednesday and take Thursday off (for some unknown reason) and then say that Friday is when the park is "officially" open. While some seasons, they still open on that Wednesday, but won't do Thursday off. This has always been a rather weird schedule. Things have changed since Rock the Coast, a rather large Christian music concert event, was stopped by the organizers (they said they'd rather focus on their big Unity music festival than having to worry about this event) as normally Rock the Coast would run that Thursday and Friday, but they changed that in 2013 to be Memorial Weekend, then the event was dropped in 2014. The schedule for this park is probably one of the few parks that I know of that the schedule is usually never the same year-to-year. I know one year (think it was 2010?) where they tried to stay open until 10p on Fridays during July and August, but the following year it went back to only 10p closings on Saturdays. Also if anyone is curious about this, there is no early entry this year. They tried it last year, but a majority of the people don't get to the park until after it opens so it was kind of pointless as there was nobody using it. I remember one morning I went into the park to try it and I think there might of been a grand total of 10 people who went through. Was nice though getting an early walk-on ride on Shivering Timbers before the horde of people.
  9. Regular wood track or RMC topper track? Yep, looks to be the normal 8-layer stack. Looks to be only 7 on there right now, just missing the top ply. I didn't think this park had a carpentry team still on staff after the Texas Giant conversion.
  10. I do wonder if GCI and Cedar Fair will continue working on their wooden coasters. They worked on Shivering Timbers, Hurler (at Carowinds,) and Grizzly (at CA Great America) last year so I do wonder if the other parks in the chain will also be requesting them to come out and do some track work on them since they did a great job. Minebuster and Wild Beast would be great candidates for re-tracking and possibly some re-profiling. I do know the work they did on Shivering Timbers with the turn-around was great. They even corrected the banking coming out of the turn to a more heartline-like banking. You can check it out in the TPR POV of Timbers. I do hope that will lead to another GCI coaster being built somewhere in the chain. Canada's Wonderland would be an excellent candidate for one since their current wooden coasters are a bit lackluster and dated.
  11. That is the strangest set of hours I've seen here. May 22nd is a rather odd time, 10a-4p, as it's usually a 10a-5p day when they do the Thursday off week. Also the 3 days in June its 10a-6p is also unusual. Only thing I can think of as to why the hours are like that is maybe school is getting out that week or something, but it's just a rather strange schedule. Here's last year's calendar for comparison. That glitch you're seeing though for the first week of the month, I'm not seeing it, looks normal for me. I'm using Chrome by the way.
  12. Nothing too much has been said about the trains, but from what I remember, there's a chance they're not going to be Vekoma. There's only a few manufacturers that could build new chassis for this SLC, but really Vekoma or Kumbak are really the only ones that could make decent trains for this, unless they decide to bring in Premier to design the train, then we're all in trouble.
  13. Yep, looks like sewer/drain work. You can see the concrete pipes to the right of the hole dug. Probably about time some of that needed to get upgraded if it's some of the original infrastructure.
  14. I can confirm that there will be no new rides this year, as what I've been told. I don't know about any of the other improvements, such as the tearing down of the arcade or the remodeling of the water park entrance though. Those probably won't be announced until a much later date, probably once construction can start, which hopefully will be by the end of February if the weather cooperates. I've been meaning to drive by the park to take a look, but the weather up here took a bad turn this past weekend. I won't be back up in the area for quite some time. The only new thing for rides I can think of would be the 2nd train for Timbertown Railway. I know it's been in the planning stages for a few years now, but I'm hoping this will finally be the year it'll be completed considering they built a shed for it last year. The train wait would finally be cut in half and the capacity doubled, which is a good thing for that considering on busy days, you might have to wait another cycle before you can ride because the train would fill up.
  15. When I thought I heard the 2016 coaster budget getting split up, half of it going to CP was not what I had in mind. While I know Valleyfair is on the "to do list" for coasters, it looks like the coaster might happen until 2017 then if CP is going to be getting the other coaster and if there's also another water park expansion happening in 2016. All I know is that starting in 2016, Cedar Fair will start to annually invest around $120-140 million into all of their parks since a large chunk of the 2015 budget is going to be spent on Hotel Breakers and Fury. It's also why there's no other coasters being built for 2015 as there was no other room in the budget for one. I don't know where this rumor about Canada's Wonderland getting another larger coaster in 2016 came from. So far there hasn't been any solid leads about it and most of it is just enthusiasts being optimistic or guessing and I certainly haven't heard anything that would say a coaster was coming. If anything, I can see a Zamperla Disk'o, a Larson Flying Scooters, or some other family friendly rides going in. They do seem to be lacking in the family thrill department though with newer rides.
  16. Gemini haven't ran 3 trains in at least 20+ years, if I remember correctly. Someone told me about that not too long ago, but I do know it's been quite a few years since it has. The safety brakes are the main reason why the 3-train operation ceased. From what I heard when I worked there, because the brakes are located immediately out of a turn, they're very unexpected for the riders and they stop pretty hard. I do wish though that the 2 spare Gemini trains would of been installed onto CCMR. There was even a picture posted of the blue train running on it a couple years ago, but as we know, it never came to be. If I heard correctly, they couldn't get approval to run them because it would of required Arrow's authority, which as we all know, is impossible. I also heard parts were an issue too, because if those 2 trains were moved to CCMR, it would of meant that they couldn't part it out, which I believe they started to do now. I've heard something similar about Magnum's new loose article policy, but not sure since I didn't get a chance to go down to CP in 2014.
  17. I noticed a few of them starting to pop up last year (were mainly foreigners who had them) but this summer, it's going to be a big pain for all parks with the recent popularity of them. I have a feeling most park managements will tell guests to put them away and to never have them back out and I have a feeling the consequences will be worse if they pull it out during a ride. I'm all for banning these. I know I do usually spend a couple hours walking around a park taking pictures in between riding rides, but I'm using a DSLR and not getting in people's line of sight with a box on a stick above their head. This "selfie" generation is going to find out the hard way about being narcissistic and it's going to end up biting them in the butt, IE: they're going to post a stupid picture of themselves on the internet and it's going to lead toward consequences such as losing their job.
  18. Considering Magnum got a new control system, does that quirk still exist? Last I knew, the new control system has this all automatically done. I know that the old block set up system, which had someone run to a button on the brake run outside of the station and push to prevent it from setting up, that was fixed I believe sometime around 2010-ish as I know I didn't have to worry about it when I worked on it in 2012. This new system, from what I've heard, it's all ran like all new coasters are, no longer have to worry about a bunch of extra stuff like the old '89 system had.
  19. Well, not entirely sure what part of the track that is. Station? I don't even know if that's a piece of track. This is a whole new track design so some of these pieces are going to be strange looking. This is for sure one coaster that's gonna have to be kept an eye on during construction.
  20. I like Magnum, but it's certainly showing its age. If the trains were updated with a more ergonomic lapbar design, the ride would be much more comfortable. The trains have that late 80's space-age design that is unique to the ride, but the comfort level is certainly not up to new standards. Designing a new restraint system wouldn't be too bad while keeping the same look. I do wonder if Arrow gave Magnum a life expectancy. 30 years is sounding like it's the average lifetime that Arrow has given some of their rides, but of course CP will do what they can to keep this historic coaster up and running. Personally, I think if the company that made Lightning Run's trains were to create a retrofit model for Magnum with new wheel bogies and restrains, the ride would be much better. It's not out of the realm of possibility either, since the trains that are on Magnum were based on the same design as the ones used on Gemini (and essentially the mine train coasters) and not exactly sure how well they were meant to hold up to the forces that Magnum exhibits. Was a good move for them though to replace the padded upstops with wheels not long after the coaster was open.
  21. Can't disturb them golfers There's actually a funny story to go along with this. Beach Party, the recently built play structure that has the 90ft+ geyser on it, well a horn goes off to signify the geyser. The first year it was open, the horn was rather loud and could be heard from across the park. The following season, the horn became rather quiet and can now be heard only in the immediate vicinity. I have a feeling a couple golfers complained to the park about that horn going off every 15 minutes. Gotta get those birdies!
  22. It's a Fruitland township ordinance, which unfortunately is where a majority of the rides are located. The only exceptions are Grand Rapids, Shivering Timbers, and Timbertown Railway, which are in Dalton Township. The park can ask to extend the "quiet hours" as the township calls it, but they have to get approval to "run the park" beyond 11p. Fruitland township extends from back behind Wolverine Wildcat and goes all the way out to the lakeshore, but I know it's not in any form a densely populated township. I have no idea where the complaining comes from either. I think when Rock the Coast happened in 2013, people complained about the "noise" of the concert and the park had told people about it months in advance. I do know that Dalton township, which is their most problematic township in terms of dealing with expansion and why there's only 3 rides on that side of the property, one of the officials that was giving the park trouble when trying to add anything, was elected out recently, so I'm hoping that does signify that hopefully they'll start expanding out to the east.
  23. That's a very good question. It's no longer listed under the Challenge Park page, so I do wonder if it's leaving, either being scrapped or moved to another park. None of the webcams have moved in that general direction so it's hard to say what's going on with it. But if it's gone on the website, could be a good chance it's leaving the park.
  24. Visually, it looks ok, but from what I've heard, Arrow only gave the fiberglass trough and boats a 30-year lifespan and it was built in 1983 so the 30-year mark was in 2013, so yeah, it's time is about up. I also heard that something was suppose to happen with it in 2014, like a complete trough rebuilt, but the pumps were the only thing that were refurbished. The boats though I know are in bad shape, as I remember going to the park early this year and there were not very many boats in the water so there was a long dispatch time. Staff, location, and a sound ordinance at 11p are the big reasons why there's no Halloween event. There's also no big university near the park that can provide park employees during the fall season. The nearest one is Grand Valley State University and that's a good 45-minutes away. I know the park in the early 2000's used to stay open a weekend longer than it does now in September, but that seemed to have been cut around 2005-ish. The sound ordinance in one of the townships (can't remember if it's Dalton or Fruitland) also puts a big hamper on the park as that's why they don't stay open any longer than 10p. Also this was a rather mild fall this year, but the park is not too far from Lake Michigan so the weather can turn south very quickly, even with chances for snow in October. Hm... I haven't heard about the FUNtv expansion into the water parks. I know that the interactive park maps with wait times that Kings Island installed late last year are more than likely coming to the parks, but I haven't heard anything about expanding it into the water parks. I'm excited for the interactive maps and wait times though. It's something I've been hoping Cedar Fair would do with the FUNtv networks since I heard that the wait time feature was going to be added. I mean, with how much Cedar Fair invested into installing those for over 120 rides in the entire chain, it's something that's only going to be expanded upon.
  25. Those are pretty much in-line from what I've heard too. And I have to agree, the park might have something big coming for its 60th anniversary. This park has a tendency to do bigger things for their anniversary years, like Grand Rapids for their 50th anniversary in 2006. I know some people say that anniversary years don't mean anything, but every park is different on how they celebrate. For a small park like MiAd, 5-10 years are good spans to install larger attractions and why not market it at the same time as the anniversary of the park's opening. So, I got bored one night while looking around for a house in the area and I stumbled across a property map for Muskegon county and come to find out, the park had bought a section of property. I know previously that chunk of land had an abandoned house on it and was up for sale, but I think as of last year, the property was bought and the house torn down, but just didn't know who bought it at the time. Could open up a few possibilities though, such as expanded employee parking, or maybe a new HR building to give a bit more expansion room for the water park where the current HR building is right now. Red is what the park owned previously, green is the new section of property on Whitehall Rd.
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