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Everything posted by Condor

  1. Yeah that's what I'm afraid of. Whatever Viper's fatigue life is, I'm sure it's a high mileage coaster that's near the end of it. It hasn't sniffed an actual list of mine for nearly 20 years, but it will forever have a place in my "sentimental top 10."
  2. I have a hard time believing this, especially when you have much older arrows like Loch Ness that are still running strong. I think there were some structural issues with Hulk and that's why they had to do the rebuild. Kumba is 6 years older than the original Hulk and nobody is talking about tearing it down. And it's probably run just as many if not more cycles than the original Hulk. All metal structures and machines have a certain lifespan built into it that can be abbreviated or extended due to stress or maintenance/parts replacement. The USAF has five-decade-old B-52s and KC-135s still flying that have hardly an original part left on the airframe. Different conditions lead to different amounts of wear and tear. Viper is taller and faster than Loch Ness and has longer year round operating hours. Likewise Hulk often opened earlier, closed later, and had higher daily ridership than Kumba. All of these things can contribute to greater wear and tear.
  3. I remember a point in time when I confused the Woodcliff Blue Streak with the Conneaut Lake Blue Streak. I watched a pov one day and thought, "Man, this looks waaaaaaaaaay different than the picture from that book I once had."
  4. I checked the park's calendar and it looks like there's no Aquanura for the entire month of August. Is this correct?
  5. I remember when Shanghai Disneyland was being built and there was talk of how the Chinese government wanted the major rides to all be unique and how they and Disney were concerned about "cultural imperialism." If any of that was actually true, I find it ironic that their most unique attraction is now coming to a US park. That said, as a frequent WDW visitor, I couldn't care less and I'm stoked that Tron is coming!
  6. A double drop would be cool, but it doesn't look like there's enough space to do both that and increase the height to 200+ feet.
  7. I seem to be in the minority, but this looks like one of the weaker wing coasters to me. It's Gatekeeper minus several elements. I think the GCI has a lot more potential. Looks almost like a CCI layout in some ways.
  8. Add me to the Phoenix club (not the Harvard kind). 1. Phoenix 2. Phantom's Revenge 3. Magnum XL-200 4. Lightning Run 5. Mind Bender (SFOG) 6. Superman El Ultimo Escape 7. Powder Keg 8. Tennessee Tornado 9. Revenge of the Mummy (FL) 10. Giant Dipper (SCBB) Good idea for a thread!
  9. I may disagree with just about everything you said of Legend and Raven, but it warms my heart that we agree so much on Rougarou! It's easily CP's most underappreciated coaster. Great insight on all the parks and rides!
  10. I'll echo this. Superman is in my top 10 as it is now, but with t-bars it might have been top 3.
  11. Time for a 2017 update, adding Wicked Cyclone. 1. Medusa Steel Coaster - The strongest airtime plus the best views/setting high above Mexico City. Great visuals everywhere on this one from the lift to the inverting first drop and the brief dash through the trees. My #4 overall steel. 2. Outlaw Run - Great variety of forces on this one plus breakneck pacing and the best first drop of the bunch. My #5 wood. 3. Wicked Cyclone - The most complete layout of them all and possibly the strongest positive g's of the i-box conversions. 4. Twisted Colossus - Racing element is a plus when you get it. Love the length and twin first drops. 5. Iron Rattler - The least complete layout but also the most unique. The barrel roll up over the cliff is in my all-time pantheon of great inversions. 6. New Texas Giant - Still a great coaster, but it lacks the OMFG ejector air and dynamic transitions of the newer RMCs. 7. The Joker - Again, a very good coaster, but nothing stands out about it over the others. Layout doesn't flow as well or have a truly standout moment.
  12. Went to SFNE on Saturday the 10th. This was my second time at the park with my first being back in 2012 in the bleak, dystopian days of Bizarro, the castrated version of what was once the Riverside Cyclone, and an S&S Sky Swat, aka Catapult. Needless to say, things are a lot better in 2017 with Superman's dignity restored, Wicked Cyclone, Sky Screamer, and Joker. General thoughts: This park is among my favorites in the chain along with SFOG, SFOT, and SFGAdv. Recent additions have turned it into a full-day park whereas before it felt like something you could knock out in 5-7 hours. Having two destination coasters can do that for you. I could easily marathon Superman and Wicked Cyclone all day long and barely touch anything else if I wanted to. I've only been here twice, but I feel like this place has a worse reputation for operations and atmosphere than it deserves. While not all of it, sections of the park actually felt quite nice and the only truly slow operation I witnessed was the constant stacking on Superman. The restraints clearly have something to do with it, but I still don't think there should ever be stacking with only two trains on a 5,400 foot long coaster. All the other coasters dispatched quickly enough for the standards I apply to Six Flags. I saw far worse last year at SFOG and SFFT. Superman was also down until about 4pm. It apparently blew out its lift motor the day before, but they had it up and running again for the rest of the night and even had passholder ERT on it from 10-11pm after the park closed. I have no idea if this was scheduled beforehand or not. The park was just crowded enough to make our gold Flash Passes worthwhile and the longest standby queue looked to be around 45 minutes for Superman. And is it normal for Wicked Cyclone to only have a queue down the first switchback on a summer Saturday? Granted throughput seemed high since the crew looked like the park's best, but the wait for it was much shorter than what I've seen for the other Six Flags RMCs. In addition to the coasters, we also went on Sky Screamer, Blizzard River, and whatever they call the Vekoma Madhouse here ("Houdini's Escape from the Summer Heat" for all intents and purposes). This was my first time on the 400 foot Star Flyer model since SFOT's was closed on my visit. These are the only rides out there that still manage to unnerve me. And I love it. Coasters: Superman The Ride (x12): I honestly wasn't impressed with this when I rode it in 2012. I think it was still tracking #1 in the Hawker poll at that time, so I went in expecting a world-beater, but what I actually got was a sluggish, rattly hyper coaster that I liked less than Nitro which I rode the following day. Before this visit I had read on here that in 2017 it was running the best it has in years. This is absolutely true. I feel like I finally got to experience the legendary Intamin that others have raved about for over a decade. Good airtime on every hill and some "hold onto your butts..." insane ejector air on the third cammelback leading into the g-packed helixes. And you barrel into the breaks with a similar sensation of excess speed as you get on Millennium Force, a product of the tunnels and tighter trackwork. Superman jumped a good 20+ spots up my steel list to #7, behind only Skyrush, Maverick, I305, Medusa Steel Coaster, MF, and Fury. Wicked Cyclone (x12): It takes a special coaster to keep me away from something like Superman and Wicked Cyclone is one of them. I've always thought this had the best layout on paper of all the RMC i-box conversions. In practice I'll still say Medusa Steel Coaster is the better ride, but WC has the kind of perfect pacing and linear organization to its elements that always makes a big difference to me (Superman has this as well). There's not one stretch of track that isn't either violently bucking you out of the seat or shoving you back into it. RMCs aren't known for their intense positive g's, but on one lap in the front row my friend and I both actually grayed out exiting the big overbank. Definitely did not expect that. My third favorite out of my seven RMCs after Medusa and Outlaw Run and now my #13 overall steel. Batman The Dark Knight (x3): Still a good mid-tier floorless and one that I much prefer to my local floorless, Scream. The compact layout feels unique for its type. I wish B&M built a few more in the US like this one. It's developing a bit of the vibration that at least to me seems isolated to the floorless and wing coasters, but it's nothing painful, more so mildly annoying. Thunderbolt (x2): Another one that left a bad taste in my mouth from 2012. Before that visit, I recall comments about what a local favorite it was and how the park kept it in remarkably good condition. Then I actually rode it only to have one of the drops jackhammer two or three of my vertebrae into a coarse sand. I don't know what happened on that visit, but this year I really enjoyed it. Smooth enough and even some mild traces of airtime. Side note - I liked Thunderbolt about as much as The Comet at Great Escape (a coaster I had much higher hopes for on this trip, but was sorely disappointed by and won't even bother writing about). Thunderbolt had none of that burden of expectation, so I came away from it very pleased. Goliath (x1): What happened to this thing? I was one of those who kind of liked it back when it was SFMM's Deja Vu, but it's definitely not the same ride nowadays. Might be the new trains, might be its age, I don't care. It beat us up worse than any of the three standard boomerangs we rode that weekend or the park's now shockingly comfortable SLC. Don't think I'll ride this next time. The Joker (x1): No way was I going to pay up from Gold Flash Pass to Platinum just for rerides on this, even though I quite like the S&S free spins and rode SFFT's Batman several times. I recall watching every Joker car before and after ours get at least 2 inversions, then ours somehow got zero. Not a big deal. These are solid little coasters and that's just sometimes what you get with them. I'll always give them at least one ride, queue permitting. Mind Eraser (x1): The new trains do wonders for this. Not a lot to say other than this was the best single ride I've ever had on any SLC. Still won't catch me doing VR on it. Nope.
  13. I don't think they're increasing the height by around 40 feet only to make the track length 1,000 feet shorter.
  14. Great photos and insight as always! I feel a lot like you do about IOA. Theming ranges from spectacular to Chinese-knockoff depending on the area and attractions are still a little sparse for a nearly twenty year old park. I usually take one day to hit the best of both parks. That's all you need once you've already visited unless you go on an overly busy day.
  15. Just because it's compact doesn't mean it's small. According to GCI's site, it's 111 feet tall and 3,345 feet long. That's right in line with their usual size and in fact slightly larger than a good many of them. http://greatcoasters.com/?p=Chengdu I think this one looks great!
  16. Looks good but one thing stood out to me. The layout does almost the exact same thing three times in a row after crossing the river on the "out" portion. It climbs straight, does an elevated right-left s-curve, then drops. For all I know each segment might feel different from the last while on the ride. The repetition just looks odd to me from the pov.
  17. Amen to this. Without this trick, Magnum would be as painful as child birth. Or you know, you could just work out and build up your quads.
  18. ^Agreed. Bringing Japan's The Flying Dinosaur over would certainly mitigate the loss, but that seems like a long shot. Does anyone have the ridership numbers? Dragon Challenge never has much of a wait but I figure at least part of that is because it's also a capacity monster.
  19. Finally at the point where I have only a few left in North America. Outside of that I haven't exactly gotten around much N. America: Lightning Rod - Dollywood Shivering Timbers - Michigan's Adventure Rampage - Alabama Adventure Comet - The Great Escape Wicked Cyclone - Six Flags New England Storm Chaser - Kentucky Kingdom Cannibal - Lagoon Europe: Nemesis - Alton Towers Smiler - Alton Towers Tonnerre De Zeus - Parc Asterix Expedition GeForce - Holiday Park Karacho - Tripsdrill Taron - Phantasialand Black Mamba - Phantasialand Colossos - Heide Park Kärnan - Hansa Park Fluch Von Novgorod - Hansa Park Goliath - Walibi Holland Helix - Lisberg Balder - Lisberg Twister - Grona Lund Wildfire - Kolmarden Rutschebanen - Tivoli Gardens Dragon Khan - Port Aventura Shambhala - Port Aventura iSpeed - Mirabilandia Katun - Mirabilandia Altair CCW-2024 - Cinecitta World Storm - Etnaland Asia: Flying Aces - Ferrari World T-Express - Everland The Flying Dinosaur - Universal Studios Japan Steel Dragon 2000 - Nagashima Spa Land Fujiyama - Fuji-Q Surf Coaster - Yokahama Sea Paradise Pyrenees - Parque Espana Flash - Lewa Adventure Parrot Coaster - Chimelong Ocean Kingdom Bullet Coaster - Happy Valley Shenzen Dauling Dragon - Happy Valley Wuhan Fireball - Happy Valley Shanghai Jungle Trailblazer - Oriental Heritage Wuhu Time Travel - Hot Go Park Python in Bamboo Forest - Wanda Park Nanchang Coaster Through the Clouds - Wanda Park Nanchang Soaring with Dragon - Wanda Park Hefei My spreadsheet version is actually far longer but I don't feel it necessary to post all that!
  20. 50/101, so #6 so far. All of mine are in the US but I'll get to add all the German ones plus Baron 1898 this summer.
  21. 1. What is the farthest distance you've traveled to specifically visit a theme park? Will soon be California to Germany, but in a hypothetical world where I die before then... I guess Mexico City. 2. Your favorite coaster in the state you live in? Twisted Colossus. 3. Would you rather wait in line for a boomerang (at any park) or a VR coaster @ a Six Flags? Boomerang 4. Have u ever been the only person in a train during a coaster ride? Sure. 5. What is your favorite thing to do at your home park that does not involve riding something? At SFMM? Nothing, because there are no other suitable activities. 6. Better time for ERT: Early morning or late night? Night. 7. Name some theme park food that *sounds* gross, yet is oh-so-delicious? Coke. 8. Name your top three "bucketlist" coasters you have yet to ride. Expedition GeForce, Taron, Time Travel @ HotGo Park (China) 9. Have you ever been E-Vac'd? Did you receive anything if you did? Stuck on Millennium Force's final brake run on last train of the night. Free front of the line pass for next day. 10. What is the longest length of time you've waited for a coaster? 2.5 hours for MF opening season. 11. Worst flat ride ever. Name it. Probably not the worst but the most disappointing was Kennywood's Aero 360. 12. Your favorite SWEET treat at a park that is NOT your home park. Dollywood is not my home park so cinnamon bread by default. 13. Congratulations! After aggressively gambling on the Plinko game you finally won a front of the line pass. Which ride do you use it on? That needs it? I guess Maverick. 14. If you could have a lifetime fast pass to ONE attraction what would it be? Again, that needs one? Maverick again. 15. Have you ever been next to someone that puked on a coaster? Guy puked beer all over the car in front of us after hitting the brakes on Fury 325. 16. Your home park is getting a new B&M and YOU get to pick what type. Do you want an invert/hyper/dive/floorless/flyer/wing/standup? All of the above is not an option. Knotts: hyper SFMM: wing 17. Name your favorite Vekoma. Firehawk. I think it's awesome. 18. What water ride delivers the most unacceptable amount of wetness? Almost all of them. 19. If you were able to help design a coaster would you want it to focus on airtime or inversions/positive G's? Airtime. 20. Most comfortable trains/seats for a coaster are... B&M straight-across hyper clamshell 21. Choose one: Unlimited front-of-the-line access to your favorite coaster at your home park for one season OR $1,000 cash? Since my home parks are Knotts and SFMM, I'll take the cash. Though Twisted Colossus is tempting. 22. You just got drowned by a flume/rapids/chute-the-chutes. Do you pay the $$ for the dryer machine or do you continue on with your day trudging around like soggy dog? Dryer. 23. What is the worst food you've had at your home park? Orange chicken at Chop Six. 24. You're at Cedar Point. You have a one hour ERT session on ONE coaster of your choice. You choose... Magnum. Not my favorite at the park, but the best to marathon. 25. Favorite (non-clone) dark ride? Mission Space. 26. What was your favorite park you visited in 2016? Busch Gardens Tampa. 27. What's your current credit count? Don't be shy. 289 28. Winner winner chicken dinner! You just won a trip with hotel and airfare included. The catch is its only good for Six Flags America or Mt Olympus. Which do you choose? Mt. Olympus. I imagine it would be more absurd than infuriating. 29. What is the best Intamin coaster you have ridden? Skyrush. 30. Your home park has to remove one coaster and one flat for an expansion. Which two rides would you be OK with losing? Knotts: Coast Rider, Sky Cabin SFMM: Green Lantern, any 31. Song/music you've heard playing at a park that absolutely has not business being played in a theme park? N/A 32. There's 5 minutes before the park closes. You choose to: Reride your favorite coaster in the park, OR get the new kiddie/junior coaster credit? Reride favorite coaster. 33. Do you visit the waterpark if it's connected to the amusement park? Only Splashin' Safari. 34. What 2017 addition are you most looking forward to? Mine Blower. 35. What was the most disappointing addition to your home park in the past 10 years? Knotts: Coast Rider SFMM: Green Lantern (very tempted to say Full Throttle. I can't stand it.) 36. The most overrated coaster ever is... Banshee. 37. What ride makes you wanna vomit? None. 38. What is the best consolation prize you've won at a games booth? Don't play 'em. 39. And the worst? Don't play 'em. 40. End this questionnaire by posting a picture of your favorite light package (coaster/flat).
  22. Steel: 1. Skyrush 2. Maverick 3. Intimidator 305 4. Medusa Steel Coaster 5. Millennium Force Wood: 1. Voyage 2. Boulder Dash 3. El Toro 4. Phoenix 5. Outlaw Run I might actually see some movement on this list for the first time in a couple of years when I head to Germany and the Netherlands this summer. Expedition GeForce, Taron, Goliath (Walibi), Karnan, and Colossos are all contenders.
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