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Everything posted by AllenA07

  1. Holiday pay isn't a thing? Maybe I'm wrong but I could swear I got time and a half when I worked on Thanksgiving. Then again it has been like 15 years since I worked at the park, so it's completely possible I'm wrong.
  2. Watching that video, I'm not really all that convinced this is going to be a tame coaster. Sure there are no big drops, but there are several points where I can see the potential for some ejector airtime.
  3. Was at Disneyland a few weeks ago with my whole family and seen kids scribe their names into the rock work on Indiana Jones. I let my mother handle that because she is a B*&^%. and let me tell you. Those kids felt like crap after her verbal beat down. One kid try to talk back but my 6'4 260 pound brother got in his face. If I had been in line with my wife and kids (or honestly, even by myself) and saw this encounter it would have made me deeply uncomfortable. I would probably report everybody involved to security. An easy rule of thumb, don't vandalize stuff. If you see something like this going on, alert an employee and move on with your day.
  4. Racing, west coast themed roller-coaster? I'm putting my money on a launched version of Windjammer.
  5. I really don't think there is anything the park could realistically add that would be able to compete with Star Wars at Disney. SFMM is dealing with a regional crowd base. Disney is working with a global crowd base. You add something as iconic as Star Wars into the mix and the competition is over before it begins.
  6. I don't agree with this, Flashback just wasn't that good of a ride as it stood. Like I said, even had they replaced the awful trains, and moved it to a spot in the park where it could operate, it wouldn't have changed the fact that the ride was redundant with a complete lack of elements. I've never been on a roller coaster and found myself saying "Gee this ride could use more straight sections." That was what Flashback was, interesting drops and long stretches of straight track. And sure the hairpin drop was cool the first time, after that it just became repetitive. If they had wanted to save Flashback I think the best option would have been to enclose it and add special effects to try and make it more exciting. Even then, I don't really know if it would have been enough to really make it a good ride, and I certainly don't think the park would have seen a meaningful return on the investment had they chosen to go that direction.
  7. It has always been interesting to me that Flashback, a ride which bearly operated in the last several years of its actual operating life is at the center of so many myths and legends. When it was open there was the popular rumor that once upon a time it had been an enclosed ride or that it was at least meant to be enclosed. While I can't comment what the original intentions of Intamin were, the ride never spent a single day operating inside an enclosed building. The other popular rumor was that there was a second space diver roller coaster out there just waiting to be built. If it exists, I never once saw any evidence that Flashback had a twin. As for the ride itself, it had a lot going against it. First, when Hurricane Harbor was open, Flashback had to be closed due to the noise. This means that basically for the entire Summer season Flashback was SBNO. Even during the months when it could operate, the ride really didn't. The last time I had seen it running was late 2002. I understand that it may have operated in the early Spring of 2003, but after that, the ride was SBNO until it's demolition. Between 1998 and 2003 even during the times the ride could run, it was almost always closed. Even when it was open, it was basically always a walk-on. The ride was difficult to find and never got much attention. I didn't hate Flashback, but I would stop well short of calling it a fun roller coaster. The drops were interesting at the time, however, the vast majority of the ride was just straight track in between the drops. There were no elements (other than an upward helix at the end) and very few hills. Most of the time you just traveled along a perfectly level track in a nice straight line. The trains were terrible, they were horribly oversized, uncomfortable, had restrictive views, and just were all around bad. By the end, the paint was in pretty bad shape on both the ride and the trains, to the point where you could easily see the old blue Z-Force layer of paint on the trains in spots. The trains always felt so incredibly overweight, you could seriously feel just how sluggish the ride was through that final helix. Back in the early 2000's I had some pretty decent sources telling me that there was some real talk about relocating the ride to a different part of the park, retheming it, replacing the trains, and giving it another shot at life. This had been a rumor floating around during that time, however, the people chatting with me about it back then did make me think that some actual thought may have occurred. Had the ride been relocated they were looking at the spot where the Cyclone 500 sits, or possibly something adjacent to that. While I'm confident that there were any considerations of moving the ride, I never was sure how serious those discussions were. Had Jim Blackie at one point said, hey we should move Flashback and let it drop, I suppose that counts as a consideration. Either way, the plans obviously never went anywhere, which honestly was probably for the best.
  8. What department did you work in? I was working in the Entertainment department 15 years ago.
  9. I wonder what condition their other parks are in. I would imagine that we are looking at a systemic failure here. I could be wrong, but I struggle to see one park in a chain with so many critical deficiencies, and the other parks being steller examples of safety.
  10. Fun fact, Roaring Rapids has the highest power consumption of any ride in the park.
  11. Articles posted online show 13 injuries in 182 days of operation. That's an injury once every 2 weeks. Not a number that really fills me with confidence. I spent two days this Summer at Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels. I loved the park, but admittedly with eveything here I would be at least hesitant to go back. I'm curious what the correct actions are for the chain in this situation.
  12. I would caution anybody from reading too much into an indictment. There is an old saying that a good prosecutor could indict a ham sandwich. I can also tell you that in my experience, indictments are always going to sound pretty awful, they are after all a list of charges. There are a few things to keep in mind when reading it. Now before I start, I should point out that my area of expertise is criminal law in Texas, however, these things tend to be pretty universal throughout the Country (with some exceptions). The first thing to understand is the very basics of how the grand jury works. The entire thing is controlled by the State, there is a relatively limited amount that the defense can do, if anything at all. Unless the District Attorney specifically invites a defense attorney to Grand Jury, they don't even have the right to be in the room. In the past 8 years of practicing, I've been invited once, it is exceptionally rare. Likewise, keep in mind that the burdens are different. Everybody knows that for a criminal trial we are dealing with beyond a reasonable doubt. During grand jury, the burden drops to a much easier to obtain level of probable cause. The biggest concern I would have is a large number of counts. Anytime you exceed 20 or so counts, it's a clue that the State is out for blood. In this case, they are right on that line. As far as hearing anything directly from Mr. Henry, like an apology, if he were my client I would be very strongly encouraging him to shut up and not say a word to anybody. Talking is literally the worst thing somebody can do when facing criminal charges. As for Schlitterbahn, their best move to distance themselves as quickly as possible from all of this. What's good for the company is probably not good for Jeff Henry. Purely speculating from my experience, I would bet that the State is really only interested in that first count. The rest of the counts are leverage. I wouldn't be at all surprised if you see a situation where there is ultimately a plea agreement on Count 1 with a dismissal of the other 19 counts. That is a pretty common tactic as it gives the State some flexibility in case of an unexpected acquittal on some of the charges. During negotiations, the State can use the extra charges to justify making a higher offer. Finally, I will say that this is the most detailed indictment I have ever seen. Normally indictments are, intentionally, pretty bare bone.
  13. I love podcasts, though admittedly I don't really ever leave my comfort bubble. All of the ones I listen to are history related. Always: The History of Rome: One of my favorites. Mike Duncan covers both the Republic and the Empire phase of Rome and goes out to 476. This is such a well-done job that it has actually lead to a book deal. The History of Byzantium: Picks up the story of the Eastern Roman Empire and takes it out through 1453 (though to this point we are only through 1000). It's a great podcast if you're looking to see the entire journey of the Romans. Revolutions: Another Mike Duncan podcast, and my personal favorite. This podcast covers the Revolutions of the 18th and 19th century. His series on the French revolution was extraordinarily well done. For those of you who have studied the French Revolution, it's one of the most complicated and convoluted events you can imagine. Mike Duncan does a good job of breaking it done and providing an excellent narrative history. The History of England: Jury is still out on this one for me. Where I am at this point we are just finishing up the Anglo-Saxon era. I, personally, have never been a giant fan of dark age English history, however I think it will get moving once we reach William the Conquerer. Sometimes: Hardcore History: It's the gold standard for history podcasting. I enjoyed the WWI series, however, I'm not a big fan of Dan Carlins style. If you're not somebody who is really into history however and you want to try a history podcast, this is the one for you. Dan Carlin is much less like a professor rattling off facts, and more laid back and conversational. When Diplomacy Fails: A podcast that looks at the reasons why diplomacy sometimes doesn't work. 10 American Presidents: A very well done podcast that hasn't been updated since June. I'm hoping for more episodes from this one in the future.
  14. Renovated bumper cars? Does that spell the end for the last remaining sign of the troll mascot in the park?
  15. This one might be a little outside of what people are thinking of, but I'll share it because it is fascinating and located in Florida. If time permits take a tour of Amelia Island. There is a lot of awesome history there about how Florida was very briefly kind of (but not really) a sovereign nation called the Republic of Florida. The "nation" was founded by Gregor MacGregor who seized a fort on Amelia island and then basically named himself the ruler of his now sovereign kingdom. Nobody, other then the 75 or so men at his command, really supported MacGregor in this endeavor, however he was liked (for a while at least) by Simon Bolivar and did have a small role in the Spanish American Revolution. When the going got rough, MacGregor literally boarded a boat while his baffled solders wondered where he was going. Slaughter ensued. Nothing to do with Florida, but later in life MacGregor wound up running one of the greatest cons in history selling huge amounts of land in the nation of Poyais. Never heard of Poyais? That's because it's not actually a place. It was a totally fictional nation that people immigrated to and tried to settle while MacGregor took in huge profits. I know it isn't a theme park, but if you're in Florida and have time check some of this stuff out. It's a very fun bit of history that virtually nobody really knows about.
  16. Nice work on the trip report. While I've never personally been there is some very cool history at the British museum. It never fails to fascinate me how a museum in London holds so many treasures from Egypt that were discovered and collected by the French.
  17. What makes me feel old is remembering visiting the site in the Geocities days.
  18. Many years ago when I was running my Magic Mountain site one of the most common things that I was told was that the park was considering removing Viper. I heard this from multiple people who had always proved reliable. My understanding is that the park was always concerned about rising maintenance costs and how the ride would age long term. The ride always has had a decent capacity and moved a lot of guests, so it had that in its favor. Keep in mind these rumors I was hearing go back to the early 2000's. As far as I'm concerned, I have assumed for a while that removing Viper has always been a foregone conclusion. It has always been a matter of when not if.
  19. Thankfully the world is filled with lawyers and insurance companies who make sure things like this can't be true. The ride may have started in a Ron Toomer like fashion of bending paperclips, but ultimately I can promise you actual engineers were brought in to design the ride. And yes, I know Ron Toomer was an engineer.
  20. First, let me preface this by saying that I'm not trying to be a smarta$$ when I ask: Does anything seem wrong with that statement? Yes, there is a lot wrong with that statement. It's the unfortunate reality though of how the system works. Of course, there will be lawyers on the other side trying to put things back into the correct context, I'm just not sure that's a battle I would want to wage.
  21. I was reading about the accident this morning and came across this quote (Buzzfeed quoting USA Today) "“It’s dangerous, but it’s a safe dangerous now,” Schlitterbahn Waterparks & Resorts co-owner Jeff Henry told USA Today in 2014." The lawyer in me says that if it were my case I would be heading to Office Depot and getting that printed out on some poster board for a jury to see. Considering the previous delays there are some bad days ahead for the park when it comes to liability in this situation. The best possible outcome (from a liability standpoint) is if the cause of this incident is in no way related to the video of the rafts flying off the ride. Before it comes up, I know that statements by Mr. Henry in 2014 were largely said for the sake of marketing, but at the same time I can tell you that in a courtroom statements like that are going to be used with the most literal meaning possible attached, regardless of how out of context it is in reality.
  22. I'm sure rides are different, but I can give you the perspective of the rain policy when it comes to the Entertainment department. When I was working at the park (mind you this was 12 years ago, so things might have changed) the call to proceed with a show belonged to the Sound Mixer. I always tried to be as consistent as possible with making the call. Typically, if we had anybody (literally, one person) waiting to watch a show I would continue with the show on schedule. If there wasn't anybody in the theater I would delay the show by 5 minutes, if somebody showed up we would run it, if nobody did I would cancel it. The only time I actually ended up cancelling a show due to weather was during Fright Fest. We were up on Samurai Summit doing some haunted cooking show, and my gear was located behind the rock wall in the trees. There had been a lot of rain that day, but I had built a nice make shift shelter out of a tarp and managed to keep the equipment dry. When a lighting storm rolled in however I decided that my dedication to the next show was less then my desire not to be struck by lightning as I'm hanging out under numerous large trees. We ended up cancelling a single show and got going as soon as things improved.
  23. I would imagine that this is the beginning of the end of Seaworld having live animals. I think it will be gradual, but over time there will be fewer and fewer live animal shows and attractions and more rides. Ultimately the only thing that will likely survive is the theme, SeaWorld itself is going to be a very different place.
  24. This thread reminds me how much I loved Ghostrider when it first opened. To this day I still rank Ghostrider circa 1998 as my #1 wooden coaster.
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