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Everything posted by DrachenfireOP

  1. I'm not disagreeing with it's beauty, that's why I'm saying I don't want them ripping out more trees in what is already a substantially more sparse area than it was 10 years ago! I know tree removal is part of building rides, which is why I'd rather see it happen in an area that hasn't already had mass tree removal recently.
  2. That said, I'm not thrilled about the rumors inferring more tree removal between the parking lot and festa. I'll be ready to eat my words if it turns out beautiful and have no problem admitting when I'm wrong, but right now I'm less-than-optimistic about a clone coaster just getting stuck right next to AC and taking at even more of those trees AC already took out. Then again, you're talking to the person who wishes they themed the exterior of the Verbolten show building instead of leaving it as a green building (maybe this has changed since my last visit?) I miss the park that added new backs to the Wolf village facades when they built Drachen Fire to keep the theming alive.
  3. ^ You're more than entitled to your opinion if you disagree, but to me one of the best parts of Busch is walking along and them BAM, suddenly you're struck by something new. Rides being tucked away or hidden, and lots of trees was something that makes this park amazing, and certainly in the minority. Every year you can see more and more of the park from further and further away. I'm not sure I really like being able to see France from Scottland. They used to do their best to make sure things like that didn't happen, and it's feeling less and less like that's a goal anymore. Planting flower gardens is all well and good, but there's no replacing dense forest. Taking out the trees between Ireland and Griffon would be a disaster.
  4. Please god no. My one gripe with BGE of recent years is all the trees going away. I LOVED the start of Loch Ness pre-Griffon, and Griffon just striaght out ruined it. Actually, Griffon ruined a lot of visual for the park IMO. Yes, it's a beautiful ride, and fun, but I really would have rather seen it go somewhere else, then to get plopped right in the middle, ripping out Le Mans and all the trees. Alpengeist also suffers a little bit from the addition of Griffon visually, but not quite as bad. If they take out those last trees near the gated bridge, I'd rage quit on that park. It's slowly turning into yet another parking lot with rides, and part of what made that park amazing is that it wasn't. I'm not even happy with where the alleged plans for this are as is, but obviously they need to expand somehow. I wish they'd use pre-cleared land first for new attractions. It does exist on their property, they're just hesitant to use it for a variety of reasons. Fortunately I doubt they'll use that land near Ireland, because of the grade and the fact that the closest part that is usable is directly in the path of the Sky Ride.
  5. I understand why! As you can see by my name, I hold this ride pretty near and dear to my heart. It's probably one of the highest on the list for more coaster enthusiasts than any other coaster, and probably always will be because: 1) It looked really cool, so anyone who sees it wants to ride it. 2) The layout was unique, and two of the elements still have never found their way onto another coaster since. (Well, ok technically the cut back has, but not quite the same way Drachenfire did it). 3) It only operated for 6 1/2 seasons. 4) After it shut down, it stood for 4 seasons, and was readily visible and aesthetically maintained throughout that period, so people saw it and it still looked amazing. I was crushed with the series of events which followed its demise. My last ride on it was about a week before it shut down. I road it in the back, and was going to ride again in the front but it broke down. I went back to the park 2 weeks later and it was closed. When you asked about it, they said it had a major issue and might be down for a while. The next visit I went back the week after that, they said there was a possibility it would be down for the rest of the season, but hopefully not. Then only a few days later when I went back, they said it was going to be modified and wouldn't open until the next year (1999), but by that point they had also announced Apollo's Chariot officially so there was that to be excited about. Then the next season, it was all about Apollo, Drachenfire was still closed, and the park basically acted like it didn't exist. It wasn't on the map, when you asked about it people dodged the subject, and it was this year that they switched from live spiels to pre-recorded spiels exclusively (previously they had started adding pre-recorded spiels in the queue lines on some rides, but the ride ops still used mics for the station spiels). The pre-recorded spiel on the train totally ignored Drachenfire, even though you were going right by it. You could still see the trains on the track (thanks to the fact that for some strange reason, many arrow coasters don't quite fit in the maintenance bay and poke out a bit, and the train parked in the station was visible since the station was big and open), and the track was massive and all around you, but the spiel talked about "and on your right, is a red roller coaster called the Big Bad Wolf," which was strange because you couldn't see it, and it was almost like they were trying to force you to not notice what was right in front of you. The worst part though was 2001. They put Drachenfire back on their website, and were cycling trains on opening day. I was SO excited, because the trains had load testers in, so it was clear they were planning to open! ... and then it didn't... and then they tore it down, but left the track in the station and maintenance bay, and you could actually still see the trains on the track and sticking out even though the rest of the ride was gone. I'm not sure how long the trains stayed there, but it was pretty haunting. I wish the problem was in the trains and not the track. It might have stood a chance if the track wasn't causing such tremendous wear on the trains, and if they could have redesigned the trains like (if I understand correctly) was the original plan, it probably would still be there. But, if the rumors are to believed, the sticker price for over haul was 7 figures and I guess the park just didn't see it as worth it when Alpengeist and AC were proving to be so popular, and they already had BBW and Loch Ness (which, like all arrow coasters, are/were very self destructive) to deal with and just didn't want to keep a problem child around, especially one with low ridership and a history for causing hospital visits...
  6. Ones I would like another ride on: BBW (I have literally thousands of rides on this, and even worked on it, it was my first coaster, and I miss it greatly) Drachenfire (I'm one of the rare people out there with over 100 rides on it, but I never minded the headaches and the line was always short!) GASM Steel Phantom Jester at SFNO (This was the first steel coaster I rode that had backwards trains, rode it about 3 months before Katrina). Ones I never rode but wish I did: Son of Beast (I know you all hate it, but it was SBNO by the time I got out there) Shockwave (Same story. I actually LIKE old rough arrows, I mean BGW was my home park growing up so I learned to ride coasters on 3 arrows in the 90s!) Iron Wolf (I know people didn't like it, but it was a historic ride and it's weird to me to think there's a B&M I will never get a chance to ride). Batman and Robin: The Chiller Also I wish I could ride LNM one last time when the trains could go through the loops at the same time. I understand why they changed it, but I miss that! It was a real blast if you were lucky enough to be on a train when that magic timing happened.
  7. I disagree. More does not equal better. They did more with the station/queue, that's for sure, but the ride themeing itself is...erm... lacking at best. And the exterior of the "show building?" They didn't even try. I miss flying through that fake village, especially when the audio effects and misters after the final drop were still in. Still, my favorite themeing at that park is definitely Alpengeist, and it's going to take a lot for it to be topped imo. The Loch Ness queue theme is neat, especially for it's day. They didn't even try with Apollo/Griffon (or Drachenfire for that matter, although the station was beautiful before they boarded it up for Hall-O-Scream), so I can say Verbolten is better than those, but once you leave the station, the themeing of Verbolten just doesn't do it for me at all.
  8. So as someone who hasn't been on a wing rider yet (Gatekeeper was down on our last CP trip sadly) I can't help but think people are crazy to complain about inline twists and zero G roles. The COG isn't where the riders are! Surely that's intense as hell, at any speed! Also, I'm now curious about the B&M contracting as well. I read somewhere that Werner Stengel has designed some B&M coasters, and I was led to believe that he designed it and B&M produced it. This makes me think B&M designs and produces their own stuff, but also sometimes contracts out depending on the park, country, and timetable they have. It's been a few years since I last spoke with Walter or Claude, I wonder if I'll have a chance to see them soon and bring it up.
  9. So in the teaser videos, I can't help but notice they include a "clicking" sound when the trains go through zero G or negative G elements. On a normal coaster, that would be the sound of chain dogs and role backs bouncing up in the zero/negative Gs and then back down when positive Gs return. Kinda funny since I would assume this coaster won't have them! It's probably just stock audio B&M has on file. That said, with the "fairly silent" trains/track B&M made famous, and no need for chain dogs/roll backs, I think this ride has the potential to sound reeeeaaaally cool (as in, as close to silent as a coaster can get!). I can't wait!
  10. ^ Oh awesome! I'll need to check into that. Once I find the tape, I'll likely upload as much to youtube as I can (it's a family home tape so some will need to be edited of course). I haven't found any footage of gladiator's gauntlet anywhere, and some of the shots of Drachen Fire I have are pretty rare too (I have night footage, which was cool since it had red trim lights on the trains and no lights on the track!) Also, I have Drachen Fire footage from 1992 when the role-backs were louder than Loch Ness, and I believe some of the footage is from in the queue. There's also some fun footage of thread needle fair too! Now the real problem is going to be converting VHS to digital...
  11. Oh man Questor! That was without question the best thing in that building. I don't think Europe in Air is the worst though, that honor definitely goes to "King Arthur's Challenge." I actually made an on ride video of Questor when I was young and didn't know better. I wish I could upload it somewhere now that it's long gone, but there's no way Busch would be cool with that. Actually, I should really go dig that tape out. It has LOTS of long gone off-ride footage, like Drachen Fire, The Spider, Gladiator's Gauntlet, The Sea Dragon... I'll need to go look for that.
  12. Something I've seen both as a guest and a ride op that drives me nuts is when people either EXCESSIVELY over-exaggerate, or outright lie about ride shutdowns. "Oh man, we got stuck IN A LOOP UPSIDE DOWN FOR 3 HOURS EARLIER!!!!" ...no you didn't. "Oh man, we were stuck at the top of the lift for 6 HOURS" ...no you weren't. "Oh man, my harness flew up MID RIDE and I had hold on for dear life! ...and you survived to tell the tale? Crazy! "Oh man, I rode the Bat at Kings Island back in the 80s and the one right in front of me FLEW OFF THE TRACK AND INTO A TREE!!" ...and that didn't make the news? "Oh man, I was riding a drop tower at and a girl's hair got caught in it and it ripped her head clean off!" (Seriously, is there a park in the world without this urban legend?) "Oh man, the last time I was here two trains crashed into each other and like 20 people died!" The saddest part is, you would think it's young children exclusively saying these kinds of things, but I've seen a shameful number of adults make such claims. One time as an Op when we had to do a walkdown, someone tried to convince me they had been stuck there for 2 hours, as if I somehow wouldn't know exactly how long it had been... having been there the whole time... for all 20 minutes of the shutdown...
  13. ^ I'm not saying this is a good reason, but it's to avoid a lawsuit. Different parks have varying levels of safety as they see fit. Knoebels seems content not to have gates in front of their trains for guests, and to simply have people obey the yellow lines. Honestly, that should be fine in most instances, because most people should theoretically be smart enough to stay back, and keep an eye on their kids. I think a lot of parks just don't want to take on the risk. The little girl in that video would have given a lot of park GMs a heart attack since she was swinging out while the train started moving. When I was working as a ride op, I saw a LOT of guests do VERY stupid things and get injured. (Like a guy getting med-evac'd out of the park because he stood up on the log flume going down the drop, fell out, and broke his leg in the trough). It's frustrating that some of the policies in place make the dispatch times longer, and sometimes I think the go a bit far overboard (for example parks that make their employees stand inside a sensor-locked gate and hold a presence button at all times while a train is moving is a bit overkill IMO) but the bottom line is, the larger the park, the more they view themselves at risk for law-suits and take precautions accordingly.
  14. Hey guys, I'm afraid unless something very drastic has changed in the past few years, or is planned to change, there won't be a train station going there. The reason this couldn't happen is that there is actually a fairly steep uphill grade on the train tracks from the trestle all the way to Caribou station. In fact, if the train needs to stop for any reason in that spot, in most cases they will actually need to back the train up and get a running start as the grade is too steep for them to gain momentum. Unless this is/has changed (upgrades to the engines themselves, reworking the track to follow a different route etc.) I'm afraid a train station there is impossible I would love to see a new country go back in that area starting with the Drachen Fire site and heading out east, but two things to keep in mind which would prevent this are that the people who live in those houses just south of the park HATE when Busch Gardens expands (Drachen Fire had it's entire rollback system overhauled because they were complaining about noise too much, [in 92 and 93 those rollbacks were as loud as Loch Ness. They removed them and created a rather ingenious new system that would remain disengaged unless the train back to actually roll back, and which point they would ratchet down into place and lock in. To my knowledge it was a one of a kind system, like so many other aspects of Drachen Fire.] every time Busch files for a height permit they go to city hall and fight it, etc. The park has had some pretty amazing sounding plans squashed by those residents in the past: Example 1 Example 2 Example 3 (And those were just for Alpengeist. They do this every time. Why people would move in next to a theme park and then complain about said theme park is beyond me, but people move in next to airports and complain about jet noise too, so sometime people are just like that I suppose.) Also, out east of Drachen Fire you can see on the map "Boneyard Road" and the Boneyard itself. This is where Busch stores it's defunct rides (and sometimes rides they intend to put back in. Katapult has lived back there more than once, as has the spider, the sea dragon, Gladiator's Gauntlet, Drachen Fire's Trains, Wolf's Trains, Le Mann's cars, name a former or temporarily-removed ride from the park, and it's probably spent time in the bone yard). Obviously they could just move it somewhere else if they were going to expand, but BGE seems more interested in taking rides out than expanding into that area. (Griffon easily could have gone on the Drachen Fire site, but they choose not to do so. Obviously none of us will ever know why, but a strong educated guess is to keep the Kings Mill people happy). Additionally the greenhouse is just down south of there, so that whole area would have some issues if a new country goes in. Obviously, every issue in this post could be overcome (some more easily than others), but historically BGE hasn't appeared to be interested in doing so. A new country really would be a fantastic addition to the park, but if Ireland/Hastings, Wolf/Verbolten, Griffon/Le Mans etc. are any indication, a new country would involve the removal of an old one, not an increase of surface area most likely :/ Hopefully I'm wrong though, a new country would rock, and I am by no means affiliated with BGE or their design process! One other thing to keep in mind is that
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