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  1. Robb what are all these magical rehabs that all the coasters I listed are getting in the offseason that prevents their track from being replaced? You know as well as I do that most of the track on most of the steel coasters is left untouched, other than xrays and spot welds on high stress points -- are you saying that IOA purposely refused to do these same checks and routine maintenance on Hulk over the past 16 years? (And why do you have to be so snide over a legitimate discussion? It is unusual for the Hulk track to have a shelf-life of 16 years.)
  2. Name one. Sure, I can name a lot more than one. It's only a 16-year-old coaster, and it's not like Islands of Adventure ran insane operating hours or huge volumes of people in the off-season periods for much of its history (recall that it was mostly in the 4-6 million attendance range PER YEAR until Harry Potter's arrival). There were plenty of times in the offseason in the pre-Potter days where they cycled 2 trains and the park's attendance was very sparse. BUT let's assume that given its 12-month operating season and maybe longer summer hours that it cycled at least 60% more per year than say a comparable coaster at a busy seasonal park like Cedar Point or a major six flags park, with a normal 6-month-ish operating season. So, that would put its comparative number of cycles for its 16-year-life span as akin to a coaster running for 35 years at a seasonal park, give or take a few years. There are a ton of steel coasters that are more than 30 years old, and which were built without the benefit of the type of elaborate computer engineering that we have today that can reliably estimate, in much more accurate ways, the actual forces and material stresses, so that the track and supports can be over-engineered to tolerances well above maximum operation conditions - which is precisely what B&M does. Not to mention that the track fabrication tolerances and processes are fundamentally superior in 1999 to what was done in the 1970s. In any event, how about the following rides to start with: 1. Dueling Dragons / Dragon Challenge - it's the perfect control coaster. Same park, probably slightly lower ridership due to location, and with two tracks, probably fewer train cycles, but not by a ton. And it's an inverted coaster -- and if there were a ride subject to tough stresses on supports and track, it should be the inverted coaster because the track and the weight of the trains continually pull away from the supports compared to a conventional ride. (Of course, people will suspect that it's now next in line somehow.) 2. Kumba. Open all season. Annual attendance averaging 4M a year (so slightly lower, but competitive, annual attendance figures with IOA for much of its history), same force as Hulk (maybe even more intense in some sections), and opened in 1993: so has six additional years of cycles compared to Hulk. No track replacement in sight. 3. Demon. SFGAM or PGA. The corkscrew tracks have been in place since 1976 and never replaced as far as I know -- that's nearly 40 years of cycles. The loops and parts of the drop since 1980 - 35 years of cycles - no complete track replacement. That's a competitive cumulative cycle history with Hulk, but with engineering and track fabrication standards that are 45 years old. 4. Lochness Monster - 1978. 37 years of cycles. Same issues as above. 5. Mindbender - 1978. 37 years of cycles. Similar issues as above, but non-Arrow issues. 6. Viper - SFMM. 1991 - longer operating schedule than most seasonal parks, but obviously not as many operating days as IOA. But with an additional 8 years of cycles, it is probably competitive with Hulk in cycles. There are many more. Does anybody really believe that B&M designed Hulk to have a 16-year track and life support life span? Even the craptastically designed Shockwave at SFGAm made it 14 years without being scrapped (albeit with top of the loops replacements). I honestly can't think of ANY major coaster requiring full track replacement this early in the life cycle, but particularly not coasters as over-engineered for tolerances at B&M coasters -- they knew exactly what the repetitive effects would be on the coaster and designed it accordingly. There is nothing uniquely stressful on the materials about Hulk's operation and there certainly is nothing inherently in the compressive or tensile strength of steel or other materials in the track or supports that somehow would necessarily cause them to fail based on 16 years of cycles? It wasn't like the operating season, dispatch intervals, or train weight were a mystery at the time of design?
  3. I remain really surprised if they are replacing most/all of the track and even the supports solely for wear-and-tear / stress fracture reasons. As others have stated, it is only 16 years old and despite year-round operations, there are many, many more steel coasters with more use. Plus, B&M obviously over-engineers its track and supports and obviously built this ride to last MUCH longer than this. I wonder if something odd is going on in terms of the manufacturing of the steel or something other ride-wise defect has arisen, because otherwise this makes no sense to be occurring at this time span in the ride's life. I would have bet money the layout was significant changing once I saw the amount of ride track and supports leaving.
  4. It's actually not as complicated as one think when you start looking into the diagram. This is very representative: Thanks - I couldn't make heads or tails out of the diagrams, color coded sections, etc... That looks very cool, with all the tunnels and turns -- looks Cheetah Run-ish type intensity to me, maybe a little bit more. Not a lot of air, assuming that is accurate, but lots of very fun elements.
  5. In fairness, Phantasialand and the Disney parks have slightly different demographics. Just because we're looking at potentially a world-class Intamin coaster and going gaga over it doesn't mean that will be better to everyone. The coasters in the Disney parks, with a few exceptions, are designed for insane mass appeal - low height restrictions all around, ride movements that won't make you sick, and the wonderful ability to take your stuff with you while you ride. Taron likely won't have any of those, but that's okay because it fits Phantasialand. Wasn't really criticizing either park (or type of coaster). I love most Disney coasters, but especially the ones immersed in cool scenery, like Matterhorn and Big Thunder. My point was more that it's very cool and unusual to have a more-intense coaster ride coupled with great themeing: Nemesis, Taron and others are the exception -- and I can't really think of a comparison one in the US off the top of my head. But it's the best of both worlds,for me.
  6. That remains my favorite family coaster. (although the lines are also due to turtle dispatch times.....) other honorary mentions: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (anywhere) Puyallup Fair Coaster
  7. I went for Raptor because it still remains a pretty intense ride, but, surprisingly, Gatekeeper is sneaking up - I love the view and really enjoy the first half of the ride. (I haven't been on Rougarou.....)
  8. TARON! (unlikely to get to it in 2016) Lightning Rod (will actually ride that one) Valravn (will ride it as well)
  9. wow, this is Disney-level themeing (with better-than-Disney coaster design). Very impressive. It may one of the few coasters I can say may benefit from less-than-break-neck-pacing. As someone else said, something between a Maverick and a Cheetah Run feel might be perfect here.
  10. I would never consider any ride with a pretzel loop to be "meh." That has to be one of the most batsh*t crazy ride elements ever -- seriously intense and amazing. That said, I tend to agree that the rest of the ride experience on Superman (the only flyer I have been on) tends to be pretty "meh."
  11. It's definitely the oddest of the bunch yeah, I have mixed feelings about it -- turning that high up is actually somewhat cool, with your feet dangling. I find Grizzly at PGA to be more offensive - in all departments.
  12. forwards part looks awesome. backwards part looks decidedly less awesome. cool overall design, but I might have given it a little boost up the ramp to have less of a backward crawl?
  13. Yep, that sounds about right for the late august/September BAFF days given my experince with them in 2014 and 2015. You got 2015 and 2016 pass users all vying to use it. This sunday is the last in this round of BAFF not to mention being the parks first GLBT day as well. Watch out for the cheer jamz thing during like the two middle sundays of fright fest. Maybe I just find it annoying but I never had a good time when I accidentally encountered those. Is attendance typically pretty strong on weekend at SFDK or just during special events? I haven't been there in years, but I always assumed it had lousy attendance given that it has seemed very neglected in the ride department after that initial blast of Medusa, Roar and the impulse coaster in a short period of time.
  14. Lmao!! We need to start a thread on Griffon's awkward spray! That damn Griffon sprays all over! Please do start that thread. Or maybe even a petition requesting that BGW reconfigure the track and/or the splashdown layout to stop the awkward spray. Enough is enough.
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