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Blue Fire Guy

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Everything posted by Blue Fire Guy

  1. Nice report! I would like to bring something up though concerning Tonnerre de Zeus... I'm not too surprised that you didn't have an amazing ride on TDZ, as I've read nothing but reports (on French coaster forums and Parc Asterix fansite Potionmagix) of it becoming a shadow of its former self in the past couple of years (the reports started in the 2012 season). The park does not maintain the ride properly, and Compagnie des Alpes isn't interested in investing money to take care of rides. Sure, they've invested in some nice attractions like OzIris, the return of a shuttle loop in Psyke Underground, and Huracan, but they never have really invested in taking care of rides that much. A lack of proper retrackings over the years, no grease except for a 3m long straightaway near the station...it all adds up to not only make the ride rougher, but much slower than it used to be. What was once 77 seconds from the first drop to the brakes is now 88 seconds or more, with much of the airtime and out of control pacing (which it was praised for in years past) in the second half gone. It's really a shame to hear all this about Tonneere de Zeus becoming a sort of "French GhostRider" in the past few years. GhostRider got rougher and slower much quicker due to year round op and lack of maintenance in Cedar Fair's Kinzel era, while Zeus managed to hold up for the 2000s. It was one of the main reasons I have wanted to visit Asterix, which I'll finally do this summer...it's just not going to deliver a great ride unless it has downpoured or something. Parc Asterix as a whole looks very nice, but it's sad that it has lost the good Zeus. I made a post a while back in the Parc Asterix thread about this, which has hard proof in the form of quotations (with crappy, but understandable, google translations) from some French coaster forums, as well as mounted POVs showing the slowdown of the ride. Link below. http://www.themeparkreview.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=26595&p=1358771
  2. My family and I are going on a trip to France this July, and while this isn't a theme park trip, we are going to spend one of our days of the trip at Parc Asterix (specifically Wednesday, July 16th). I would like to be able to get all the credits in one day with room for a few rerides (looking at Oz'Iris and Tonneere de Zeus for these) here and there, but I hear the place can get insanely packed with the major rides getting up to 2-3 hour waits in the height of summer. This has led me to consider the purchase of the "Journee Premium" passes, which while pricey looking, could prevent the day from being a total flop. I have a few questions regarding these passes (questions 2-4 are if I do decide to get the pass): 1 (the most important). Are they worth the money? 2. Are there specific queues for Journee Premium guests or do you enter through the exit and then get let on the ride? 3 As far as seating is concerned, do the ride ops let you choose your seat or do they assign you to a remaining free seat? 4 In what order would you recommend riding the non-Journee Premium rides (specifically the two Zierers for credits, and Transdemonium) before riding the ones that do use it? If there are any other tips you have for me regarding important things I might have missed, I would greatly appreciate that. Thanks!
  3. Now if there's an interview I am looking forward to, it would have to be ProSlide. They always have really cool new designs, and Rick Hunter is always very energetic!
  4. This is great news! The remastered TMLR was absolutely fantastic when I rode it during WCB (and that backstage tour was amazing), and to see the park's other classic ride get some love makes me very happy. With Ouimet and Kaprelyan in and Kinzel out, Knott's seems to be really getting it's charm back, turning into a real "theme park" again. I'm definitely going to visit again, and I hope there is another WCB (backstage tour of remastered Calico would be orgasmic), as I had a great time during the Knott's day of the event (I know the Knott's day has always been the superior one). What would make this wonderful renaissance complete would be a full RMC Topper Track (or even traditional, GCI, GG) makeover of GhostRider. Please? Pretty please? At least by December of 2018 (20th anniversary of the ride)? Pleeeeeaase?
  5. Bit late to the party but ahhhh, IAAPA, the theme park and coaster enthusiast's holiday! Easily the best part of the off-season for me, love seeing all the new hotness. As for that HUGE GCI coaster, looks like it'll be a very good woodie. And... THIS!!! Year after year, the water slide companies make my jaw drop with their increasingly bizarre, totally "WTF" designs, especially Wiegand-Maezler's new Slide Wheel! That thing looks seriously messed up (in the best way possible)!
  6. I know that both Giant Dippers, Colossus, and I hear that the Silverwoodies (which I hear are part of the now mere handful of CCIs that still run well) use Douglas Fir, which is more expensive, yet doesn't get torn apart as easily as the cheaper Southern Yellow Pine. Tonneere de Zeus and GhostRider both are built Southern Yellow Pine, as were many CCI woodies (Silverwoodies, again, being the exceptions). How well a woodie ages depends on many different factors...the natural climate of the region, the length of the season (GhostRider is a victim of this one in particular), how crazy the layout is, what trains are used, and of course, how well it's maintained. And to properly maintain a woodie, a park must give it LOTS of frequent attention, love, care, retracking, greasing...and that all requires money. According to the research I have done (reading the French coaster forums, seeing more recent POVs) Compagnie des Alpes has no interest in keeping grandpa Zeus in good health at the moment, cutting on maintenance. They've invested piles of money in the past few years though with Psyke Underground (always good to resurrect one of His creations), the new Egyptian themed area in Asterix, and some other improvements, but nothing towards taking care of Zeus. I'm really hoping Zeus gets some attention this off season, because it only appears to be a shadow of its former self right now. If it's running like it did before 2012-ish (that is, 77-80 seconds from top of the lift to the brake run, right now it's running at around 90 seconds...) in 2014 (which happens to be the park's 25th anniversary), it could fight Gold Striker for my #1 woodie spot. Doesn't seem like it'll happen, but I'm not giving up hope.
  7. I thought that too, but 3 ops saying it's a CA law and knowing how reliable ride ops are I asked a different ride sup if it was a new Six Flags policy and she said unfortunately it's a CA policy so I would expect them on Disney rides as well as Manta at Sea World, the rides at Discovery Kingdom and the small parks. Well see though but it wouldnt surprise me considering how crazy CA is. One particular coaster I would be surprised to receive seat belts would be SCBB Giant Dipper. It has dispatch times around 45 seconds and rarely over a minute currently. It has been running for almost NINETY years with a single position lap bar (all trains that ran on it use it, Century Flyers, Arrows, and the current Morgans), and if it got seat belts, that would break my heart. It would not only increase dispatch times, but it would take away from the unique "air laterals" of the ride. I really hope that this is just a chain wide thing.
  8. So, I have some bad news concerning Tonnerre de Zeus, the CCI woodie once ranked #1 in the world and praised by many. I know that the ride has had a reputation for being temperamental, but most of the time has reportedly been a great woodie. First, here's Robb's 1997 footage of the ride: As you can see, the ride is INSANE, filled with airtime and laterals, and out of control from start to finish. It even ends with a bang with the violent brake run, which (this is how I think of it) provides a great sense of finality, that the mayhem caused by the wrath of Zeus is finally over. If I rode it in this state, it would most likely become my #1 woodie quite easily. Then, in 2002, during the ECO trip, it wasn't running so well. Here's a couple of quotes I dug up from the forum, from way back in 2005: Source: http://www.themeparkreview.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=17136&start=460 Source: http://www.themeparkreview.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=16885 Source: http://www.themeparkreview.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=21474 Then in 2005, it was running awesome again, and up until recently, I have heard much praise for the ride. Here's the TPR footage from I think 2008: Here, the ride still appears to be running very well with only very few rough spots it appears. And here is where the bad news comes in, starting with this mounted POV from coasters, shot in 2012: You may notice that the ride is much slower in this video than in the previous ones. The squealing sound in the turns indicates a lack of grease, which significantly slows the ride down. Just watching the POV, I can see airtime moments that used to be there (especially later in the layout), but have vanished due to the slowness. And the crazy brake run finish is gone, and while I understand that the new brake fins that were installed are supposed to lessen the violence of the moment, it takes away from the "end it with a bang" nature of the finale. Then I saw this while reading the Parc Asterix thread in the Coasters World forum, and it horrified me: Source: http://forum.coastersworld.fr/parcs-et-attractions/(parc-asterix)-discussion-generale-quoi-de-neuf-en-2013/75/ Translated with Google Translate, crappy translation, but enough to let you know what's going on. In the later pages of the forum, there were many complaints of how Zeus ran this year: Once again, crappy Google Translate translation, but at least it can be understood. Here's another mounted POV, this time from 2013, and it appears the speed (and therefore the amount of grease used) hasn't changed much from the 2012 season: I know Ghostrider become rough quickly due to a lack of proper maintenance, but to see Zeus hold up so well for so long and fall from grace in just the past couple of years is really saddening. I put the blame squarely on La Compagnie des Alpes for refusing to spend the money on proper maintenance of this (by design) masterpiece. And I am not alone in saying that, here's some more quotes I dug up: Source: http://www.themeparkreview.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=22263&p=712801 Kudos to that! Compagnie des Alpes is probably one of the most uninterested and boring theme park operators in the world. They make absolutely no effort to change what they consider already 'good enough,' and have extremely poor guest relations/support. Source: http://www.themeparkreview.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=39800&p=484112 All this really saddens me, as I am going to visit Parc Asterix for the first time in July of next year. Unless La Compagnie des Alpes puts a pile of money into retracking Zeus (I don't care who does it, be it in-house, GG, GCI, RMC, anything to retrack it), restoring the original leather seating, and greasing it properly (very slim chance of that happening), Tonnerre de Zeus will not deliver to me or anybody who rides it from now on unless the track is soaked in rain before taking a ride. Parc Asterix as a whole looks very nice, very well themed, has a very cool collection of rides and attractions, and I really looks forward to visiting net summer, but to see its star attraction and main draw for me join the other "fallen CCIs" disappoints me. Considering CdA's habit of doing only the amount of maintenance needed to keep things running, I also wonder if they are to blame for Oz'Iris being so rough and SCL-esque when TPR rode it back in 2012, just something to think about.
  9. It certainly looks "loco"! Nice to see a different layout (though from what I see, the progression of elements is the same) from previous El Locos. I'm particularly interested in the rising turn after the first drop. It looks like there could be a bizarre moment of airtime and laterals combined, a sensation I really love, as it feels like I'm being literally spilled out of the seat. So far, SCBB Giant Dipper is the only coaster to have provided me this weird (in a good way) sensation.
  10. Just did the acronym quiz (23/25, didn't post score), and I seriously LOLed at the B&M question! Those who took that quiz most likely know why.
  11. I've seen some completely bizarre, WTF water slide designs (Polin Spheres come to mind) but this takes things to a whole new level. What I see from the video is that the raft will not actually be moving most of the time, with the rotation of the wheel guiding it along the layout (think Fishpipe and an ordinary slide had a love child), providing the illusion of movement to riders. Still, the design of this thing makes my jaw drop to the floor.
  12. I've always wanted to visit Lagoon not only due to it being closer to me than most major non-California parks, but it really looks like a very nice park with an eclectic collection of rides, the big draws for me being the John Miller woodie, Wicked, the two Schwarzkopfs, the Bisch Rocco flyers, and the recent Zamperla Air Race (these things look nucking futs). Cannibal is quite intriguing, and looks like it will be a wonderful addition to the park's collection. But with it being in-house and having an elevator lift and all, I can't help but worry that this could be the next Flying Turns, or worse, Orphan Rocker. Worries aside, I'm looking forward to see what the ride looks like and will make a trip to Lagoon when it opens. Lagoon Is Fun has got some construction pics up, with some track already onsite. This thing is going to be awesome to watch getting built. Source: http://www.lagoonisfun.com/showthread.php?tid=4053&page=38
  13. ^ I went to Wiener Prater in August 2012 and let me tell you, Prater Turm is indeed terrifying. I find it to be an "extreme observation tower". You are nearly 400' up, dangling from tiny little chains, and the winds can turn your chair 180 degrees from facing the tower to facing directly away! As for Black Mamba, I wouldn't consider it as scary as it is intense. Most of the flat rides at Prater are extremely intense because they either are intense by design (Black Mamba, Extasy, and the unique Tornado) or they are common flat rides (HUSS Top Spin and Breakdance) that run INSANE "never in America" programs, and furthermore their cycles are 5-6 minutes long!
  14. So right now I'm thinking of making a competitive 6th gen Pokemon team based off of sandstorm conditions, with Hippowdon, Lucario (mega slot), and Aegislash being key players. But today, I just found out something that really depressed me and probably depressed all the competitive battlers who rely heavily on weather based teams. In Gens IV and V, the ability Sand Stream (only Hippowdon and Tyranitar have it) summoned a PERMANENT sandstorm that would continue until stopped by a 'mon with Drought, Drizzle, Snow Warning, or anything that would alter the weather. In Gen VI, Sand Stream no longer summons permanent sand, but only 5 turns of it. The same thing goes for Drought, Drizzle, and Snow Warning. Weather was such a dominating presence in the Gen IV and Gen V metagames, but now it has had its balls cut off. This is just about as "balls cut off" as Ghostrider's MCBR being turned on full power, Revolution getting OTSRs and trimstations, and other infamous "balls cut off" events in the world of coasters. With this new battle mechanic in place, I wouldn't be surprised to see 'mons like Hippowdon and Politoed get bumped down to the "UU" tier from where they currently stand in the "OU" tier (the tier system was implemented by well-known competitive battling site Smogon, the Overused tier is the standard tier for competitive battling while Underused is...you should get the idea here). This is a very sad moment for people like me who relied so heavily on weather teams in the past.
  15. ^ CarnEvil and MMMM were the most efficient mazes of last night (they had to be due to the crowds). MMMM was pulsing very fast (they'd send you in as soon as you told them how many were in your group) and CarnEvil had an unregulated, continuous flow. The size of CarnEvil's line was intimidating, but it felt like I was in a line at WDW or Europa Park it went so fast. Slaughterhouse on the other hand... I'm glad that CGA is getting insanely packed for Haunt though, this whole season has been very successful for the park. Money for new rides, more improvements and repainting, just about anything that'll continue the wonderful renaissance that the park is going through.
  16. At long last, it's open. However, I'm not sure if it'll be running all weekends for limited op. I know that some 'walk rides close when the weather doesn't cooperate, yes, but as for closing for limited op purposes and limited op purposes alone...I'm curious to find out how things play out over the off-season. Is it safe to assume that it's too late (full op is over come the end of this month) now for this thing to be an effective draw? If that is the situation here, then I feel sorry for the 'walk as they are the only park to receive a Maurer spinner as of now to have this terrible luck. I mean, MS has had over a decade of experience making spinning coasters and yet they mess up on this one in particular? How can something like that happen with that much experience making the same product? Now if Undertow does manage to draw crowds (assuming it is open almost every if not every single weekend of limited op) in the coming months then that of course would be better for the 'walk and would heal some of the financial wounds inflicted by the ride's nearly four month long delay as well as the costs of running and maintaining it in the off-season. Again, I'm just very curious as to how things are going to play out for the 'walk through the off-season and am not coming to any conclusions here, just something to think about.
  17. Lovely looking coaster, just watching the testing vids I can just FEEL the extreme ejector air! Looks like it'll be a great addition to Adventure World, nice to see lesser known parks getting put on the map. I am however a bit worried about this Eurofighter having OTSRs, as I hear that most Eurofighters that have them get brutal, fast.
  18. Right now I'm playing through some new hotness, Pokemon X. I got my first badge already and on my way to Ambrette Town. As it is right now, here's my team: -Braixen lv 25 Modest natured -Lucario lv 23 Adamant natured -Honedge lv 16 Adamant natured (in process of level grinding this one) -Bibarel, the best "HM Slave" in the series My full team (no HM slave) will consist of the following: -Delphox -Lucario w/ Lucarionite -Aegislash -Clawitzer -Salamence -A good fairy-type 'mon
  19. Morey's Piers woodie opening. A ride on Hades 360 or a root canal?
  20. Saturday cannot come soon enough! This week has been progressively feeling slower and slower to me...something I've come to notice with waiting for new hotness, be it the release of a new game I'm excited for or the opening of a new ride. I want it to be the 12th NOW!!! The version I picked is X. I prefer Xerneas to Yveltal, Mega Charizard X to Mega Charizard Y, and you can't go wrong with a cotton candy pokemon (Swirlix). Can't wait!
  21. FireChaser Express looks lovely! Good terrain usage, see some airtime moments here and there, the immersive atmosphere, it overall looks just plain fun!
  22. ^ It was stated a few pages back that Maurer Soehne poorly manufactured Undertow's track, which led to the pieces not fitting together, which forced SCBB to have a local company literally bend the track so it would fit. Maurer Soehne has been making spinning coasters for over a decade now, yet they somehow messed up on this project. Undertow is also not that tall (the important part is it isn't taller than Double Shot), so size issues can't be the source of the delay. As for what you said about California being the worst place (at least one of the worst places) to build a new coaster, I agree 100%. EVERY NorCal park (CGA, SFDK, SCBB, excluding GG) has a height limit. SFDK has a 150' limit imposed by the city of Vallejo (reason why V2 got shortened), CGA can't build over 200' in some spots due to its proximity to SJC airport, and SCBB has its height limit enforced by the California Coastal Commission on behalf of Santa Cruz's citizens. CGA also has additional limitations created by it being on top of the water table (no underground tunnels), and don't forget those lovely "prudes". SCBB was actually going to build an S&S Space Shot (180' I believe), and because of Santa Cruz citizens complaining that it would be too tall (and the fact that the CCC had enforced a height limit), the park had S&S build a 125' tower with a Double Shot ride program in order to comply with the height limit enforced by the California Coastal Commission. As for SoCal, the most infamous example of limitations on building coasters would have to be SWSD. SWSD has the same situation as SCBB, except with a much more anal 30' height limit enforced by the CCC on behalf of even whinier citizens, which is the reason why Manta is so low to the ground most of the time and has a trench drop. As for Journey to Atlantis, after a long and bitter legal battle a proposition was just barely passed that would raise the height limit of a small portion of the park to 160' (the opposition was understandably vehement), allowing for the ride to be built.
  23. Thanks for the pics! I've always wanted to go to Silverwood, though it's off the beaten track. It's west of the Rockies, so it isn't terribly far from me, and the two CCIs look amazing (and well maintained). And yes, ARM/Larson drop towers are absolutely insane. I rode a stubby, innocent looking 70' version at a ghetto carnival, and I thought even that was better than LL:DOD!
  24. Getting to my favorite park in the world, Europa Park, is insanely difficult as it is located in the middle of nowhere. From the highest points of most coasters there, you can only see farmland. Farmland as far as the eye can see. To get to EP from the west coast (applies to me) you must: 1.) Find a flight to FRA, and as is the case with any overseas flight (especially from the west coast), it's NOT cheap. 2.) After an exhausting and expensive 11-hour flight, catch an ICE train from FRA's Fernbahnhof (preferably one that stops at Offenburg, as that means only one changeover). 3.) Change over to an RE train at Offenburg that's heading towards Freiburg. Ringsheim is the bahnhof you'll want to get off at. 4.) Catch the shuttle bus (not free BTW) that travels between Ringsheim bahnhof and EP, where it will stop at two locations (hotels and main entrance). 5.) You feel like crap, but the same time, you're ecstatic. Be proud that you've overcome the long, complicated, stressful, and exhausting ordeal of making it to one of the best parks in the world! Honorable mention: SCBB. Even though it's close to me, there's HWY 17 to deal with. In the daytime, it isn't so bad. But the return trip back home at night is terrifying. There's very little light, it's windy and twisty, and people like to haul A$$ like they all have the most important meeting in the world to get to.
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