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Everything posted by DrachenfireOP

  1. Oh, sorry to get anyone's hopes up. I thought maybe they changed it this year. Before Verbolten, Alpengeist was open for all of Christmas town. Verbolten does make more sense for the target demographic though. Also, when I worked these coasters, they told me the weather issue was the grease, not the ride itself. Also, I think it is dangerous to run them in the cold. We had an incident when I worked on the Big Bad Wolf where the temperature dropped drastically one night. We got the call to shut down, but a train sitting on the ready breaks outside the station actually got stuck and wouldn't entee the station. If we had waited any longer, we could have had a real problem on our hands. Eventually we had to just wait til the next day, and maintanence even had to take heaters to the wheels to get it moving again. Maybe in normal running the rides produce enough heat to stop this, but in the event of an unplanned shutdown, you might have a train that won't start moving again and needs to be evaced, or worse, you might see a valley. Six flags isn't a company I trust. I don't know if they have clearance to run that low, but I wouldn't be surprised to learn they're skirting the rules. I don't think that companies historic willingness to do shady things should be raised up as a worthy standard. Again, though, maybe they do have heaters or something else that makes it ok. I don't work there so I don't know, buy history has taught us to follow engineers instructions or face the consequences. NASA was warned not to fly Challenger in the cold, but managers overrode the engineers because "it will probably be fine and it's been fine in the past." Obviously roller coasters won't explode, but they can valley or have other issues. Until B&M comes out and says Great Adventure is cleared and within guidelines, I'll stay wary and trust them as a better source on the machine they made than the six flags managers.
  2. Here's the rest! France looks great. Didn't get many or good shots of the new ice show, but it's great and highly recommended! Classic CT spot Blue bells of Scotland Ok, I lied earlier. THIS is my favorite spot of the park at night.
  3. So these pictures are a few weeks old now from opening weekend of Christmas town, but now that I'm back home from visiting family I wanted to share them! Train decked out. Went ahead and did a daytime lap and a nightime later. England looking good day or night... though best at night of course! Wait, what's this? That's not on the map!? I have a soft spot for the bald eagles, so I always go see them. I also have a softspot for the highland cows. That skyride station is going to look great at night! New resident moved in on Griffon now that it's closed. I always find the floating santa heads to fit better with hallowscream... maybe it's just me. Meant to come back at night for this and forgot, glad Chuck got the shot! I love the old fashion feel of some of the signs. Trade winds renamed and with white/blue lights for the season. Well, I tried to get a good shot anyhow. For all the complaints I see of others, Mach Tower is somehow working every single time I go. I don't remember this from other years. Maybe it was there, but I don't recall. Festive arches. Ok, now I seem to remember seeing a certain coaster open that wasn't on the map. Well I'll be, she's running! Best ride in the park. Also the weather has apparently been so warm in VA that not all the trees had changed. Actually for this opening weekend it was a nice warm 65 degrees, with a high earlier in the day at 71! Ok, one lap on the skyride before it gets dark Love these cows man This will look great at night Getting darker... ...by the minute! So exciting! I love how each area of the park has a dominant color of lights. And the trains of course are pimped out too. I don't remember there being lights on the Drachen Fire site in previous years, but here they are now! The animal reserve area actually looked a little creepy, but it was a very pretty green, and the fresh pine smell was amazing! England is my favorite at night though So pretty! Nice blue while entering Scotland. More to come!
  4. Couldn't agree more. Christmas Town is great, but it would be nice to open another coaster or two like Nessie or Alpengeist, especially since it's already snow themed. I guess the lack of coasters being open is due to maintenance, weather and staffing so it's kinda understandable. I went to Christmas Town last year and was able to marathon Verbolten since it was raining and it was a complete walk-on. The Christmas trees at the bottom of the last drop was a nice touch as well. First, great photos Chuck! I made it opening weekend and will have some pictures to add in a few. As to Phil, you might be interested to know Alpengeist is open this year! I was really shocked to see an Alpengeist height restriction at the front of the park when entering, but thought I better not get my hopes up since it wasn't listed on the map, but then BAM! She was running! It was particularly awesome because the normal "lit" areas during night rides for Alpengeist were closed and dark (such as the rhine river, log flume etc) but the lights where on everywhere else. So going up the lift you got a great view of all the lights in the park, then an old-fashion BBW style experience night ride for the rest of it! Best Alpengeist night riding I've ever had, which was a real treat for me since it's my favorite ride at the park. I'll have pictures along shortly!
  5. Including defunct coasters, Drachen Fire was it no question. Big Bad Wolf and GASM aren't far behind it. Of the still-standing coasters, I'd say Magnum is the clear winner now, but I honestly like ALL Arrows, even the less popular ones.
  6. They used to open the countries in stages, where you could get into Scotland and England early, and the advertised opening was when the WHOLE park opened. However, I don't know if they still do this. I don't see any harm in showing up a bit early, but maybe someone from the area knows the "for sure" times. It used to be 8:30 for england, 9:30 for italy/france, and 10 for germany/oktoberfest.
  7. Since we're on the topic, can we talk about a ride that USED to have the best queue ever, and is now mediocre to poor? DRAGON CHALLENGE! When it was Dueling Dragons, the queue was a work of art. I remember taking more pictures of the queue than the actual ride when I went in 2002. I assumed they would keep it mostly the same, and was very disappointed to learn that they took all the AMAZING themeing out, and replaced it with some mediocre-at-best HP themeing. Between that and the fact that the ride doesn't duel anymore, I think I can safely say that the park took one of the greatest themes and rides of all time, and ruined it in just about any way possible.
  8. +1. I was kind of let down for some reason. It was almost too much to ride over and over again. Great experience and coaster for the bucket list, though. Yeah. I like this ride a lot, and it's in my top 10, but it's a "I have to be in the mood" kind of coaster. I'll never say "oh I don't know right now" about MF, Maverick, Alpengeist, Fury 325,etc. (unless they have an ungodly long line), but i305 and TTD are two I could pass on if the rest of the group wasn't strongly interested in riding. I have the credits, I enjoy them as rides, I enjoy the intensity, but it's not as much of a "OMG I HAVE TO" kind of coaster the way I feel about certain other coasters out there. Ready for my extremely unpopular opinion? If Anaconda is less than 5 minutes wait, and i305 is a 45 minute + wait, I'll go ride Anaconda a few times and hope the i305 line dies down later in the day.
  9. I actually don't usually dislike any B&Ms or Intamins. I can't think of a single one I wouldn't re-ride. I don't like the new age "forceless" B&Ms like Banshee and Gate Keeper as much as I like the old ones, but they're still great rides. I also like standups, so w/e. There's a few now-defunct coasters from these companies I'm glad are gone (Gwazi and Roar for example), but honestly even GCI rides are things I like. If I HAD to pick, I'd say B&M: Oblivion (it's just a little dull by modern standards, and dwarfed in all ways by newer DMs, though it's not a bad ride by itself). GCI: Roar (the surviving one, hopefully RMC is in it's future). Intamin: Green Latern: First Flight.
  10. Verbolten's is pretty amusing. In the voice of Gerta: "Get outzen ze vay! Verbolten ist drivink!" That's awesome! I actually have never heard the Verbolten track tones since it was built after my time, and I don't make it to the park but once a year these days. I wonder if they even bothered with Tempesto track tones! I could see that ride not really needing it, but then again, they are an EXTREMELY safety oriented park.
  11. ^ Track tones are warnings that play before a roller coaster starts operations warning workers to clear the track area for moving trains.
  12. I agree it's sad to see them in the dumpster. I bet there are some enthusiasts out there who would love to own one that would pay for it. Also, why not send a train to the roller coaster museum? That's what it's there for! They even sent Mantis there, and who the hell is going to go have nostalgia for Mantis?
  13. 4.5 hours for Volcano back when it only had 4 rows. The day before, we got 2 hours in when it went down for the day due to a roll back. Not fun! That was a rough era for PKD. OTSRs for FoF, and only 4 rows on Volvano. Yuck!
  14. ^ and ^^ Fortunately the restraint release is easy, and the ops could have just done it themselves. There's a kick pedal to open them manually on the back side of each car. In fact, up until the 1980s, that was the ONLY way to open Arrow restraints, and corkscrew at CP still operates thus way. Lucky they just went the lazy route and let you ride again! You can see the kick pedal pretty clearly on the lower left in this picture, with the pedal currently in down "unlocked" position.
  15. I was shocked to learn that the skyride at BGW has an AB panew in all stations now too. When I worked there, you basically had a simple panel in France/Germany with an e stop and a mode select for the trip timer, and England had a slightly more advanced pannel which told you which station had a trouble alarm if the cable stopped, then a simple secondary pannel for starting the cable which had 4 buttons plus a power key and an e stop, and a wind alarm. Sometime between when I left and now, they upgraded all of the above to some crazy modern stuff that involves and AB screen. Not really sure it was needed, but I suppose it's cool.
  16. BGW was always odd to me because only maintanence could add or remove trains. This made sense on a ride like wolf, where before 1996 you could accidentally crash a train into the ground (until it happened during green tagging and then they invented a safety system to prevent it) But CP ops don't seem to have any problem adding or removing trains. However, even though ops don't do that on coasters at BGW, they DO add/remove boats at the log flume, which involves putting on waders, standing in the trough, and physically pushing the oncoming boat away lol. They also cross th trough by stepping on a boat, and while you can't walk a coaster lift without locking out, the flume requires ops walking the catwalks while the ride is going. But that's how they do it, as having been a person standing in the flume trough in waders many times, I must say it was my favorite ride in the park other than Le Mans!
  17. BGW: Big Bad Wolf Drachen Fire Wild Maus/Izzy BGT: Gwazi Python Six Flags New Orleans BTR (does this count since it was relocated and is a clone?) Jester Mega Zeph (worst than Mean Streak) Zydeco Scream Muskrat Scrambler Myrtyle Beach Pavilion Corkscrew Mad Mouse Hurricane Kennywood Steel Phantom Knobels High Speed Thrill Coaster Whirlwind Six Flags America Python Twoface Six Flags Great Adventure Batman and Robin Great American Scream Machine Rolling Thunder Viper (actually really miss this unique ride) King's Dominon Hyper Sonic XLC Shockwave Canada's Wonderland SkyRider Dorney Park Hurcules Laser Cedar Point Wildcat I think that's all of them. Longer list than I thought it would be.
  18. Interesting to see how different parks handle things slightly different. At BGW we can start our own coasters from scratch, so no problem taking the power key out. However, we cannot reset any fault, so if an e-stop was hit, we can't reset that without maintanence. Also ops don't usually do morning track walks, that's done by maintanence as part of green tagging each morning. We basically show up with the correct number of starting trains already on the track, but the power is off. Sometimes if green tagging is running late they'll just hand the ride off as is so we can get the line opening, but that's rare. Also there are some add-on procedures to save time for safety concerns. For example, LNM has more evacs than normal coasters, but the access to the two lifts and block brakes are in fairly remote, difficult to get to locations. So they actually have remote lockout stations at the bases of the lift hills, so supervisors from other areas of the park can come assist with the evac, and they can do multiple trains at once, with every cast member still locked out. I'll try to dig up a picture of the remote lockout station when later.
  19. I wonder what this means for track damage and maintanence too. Something not many enthusiasts consider is that the tracks do rust, even with proper car, and small segments are repaired as needed. With traditional track, you simply cut out the bad section, then replace it with a good section, and repatch the cross tie to a slightly different position. If you look up close to older B&M track, you'll see places where it looks like someone took a bite out of a cross tie, and spot welded a new one a few inches down. This is simply part of the life of the track. Seems like it would be much harder to do on this type of track, since it's all one solid piece. I wonder how they've accounted for longevity on this design.
  20. This looks interesting. I wonder what the benefit and application of a monorail system is? I wonder what will be different in terms of design limits vs. Normal track, or if this is just a different shape for the same function?
  21. ^ the dispatch lock is an interesting idea. At BGW, we weren't allowed in the ride area unless power was off, so our lock out box got the power key inside it. I think the rationale is that trains could move under certain circumstances if power was still on, so station dispatch wasn't enough. Of course, they had an employee death in the ride area in 93 so they take lockouts very seriously there.
  22. I have always found Magnum's airtime to be extremely painful and unpleasant. That being said, I actually don't find Skyrush's airtime painful at all. Used to agree, but sucked it up because the ejector was fun. However, since adding the seatbelts, I find that a tight seatbelt relieves this problem. The seatbelts put this ride back in my top 10. You don't get this type of ejector on MF or a B&M!
  23. ^ I guess it depends on when it is though. If I don't need to be up til 9, but my alarm goes off non stop starting at 5am, I might have a problem!
  24. Anyone remember Axis at Knoebels? That was probably my favorite of all time! I also sorely miss the Sea Dragon at BGW. As far as rides that are still open, The Whip and Downdraft at Knoebels are definitely the two! I was shocked at how forceful downdraft was the first time I rode, and the whip is INSANELY fun, again amazing considering when it was built! As far as I am concerned, Knoebels has historically, and continues to have, one of the greatest flatride collections in the world!
  25. Devils advocate: actually the "worst" noise comes early in the morning. At BGW the green-taggers (graveyard shift maintence staff that certify the ride to open, literally every single day the park is open) start work around 3am. As far as coasters go, they usually start by looking over the trains, then walking the lifts/brake runs to check lightbulbs, PA systems, and ride phones (there's usually 2-3 phones per lift or brake area, and phones at many service gates to enter a restricted area, all of which must be tested daily), the cameras, etc, as well as inspect the lift chains and grease wells etc. Depending on the ride, they might start moving trains as early as 4:30-5am, and usually 7am at the latest. When it's the dead of night or early in the morning, and everything is still and quiet, if you live within 10 miles of BGW, you will be able to hear noise. I remember coming in to open wolf when I worked there, and from all the way back in Oktoberfest, I could hear LNM testing/the music from Scotland playing, since the music in Germany wasn't on yet. I've also heard the Alpengeist "track tones" from outside the park's boarders when arriving in the morning. When Drachen Fire was there, they got SO many complaints to the city/police in 1992 from morning testing, they actually re-designed the anti rollback device to make it silent. Also, the "track tone" spiels which play over the ride area track for all coasters are designed to be so loud that they can be clearly heard when the park is open, and bustling with guests/moving rides. However, when it's 5am and everything is still/quiet, they can be heard vividly from well outside the park. BGW of course is interested in being good neighbors, so they design their green tagging to make the "loud" parts as late in the morning as possible, but they need to open on time, and at peak, the park opens pretty early. Now, with all that said, I feel like moving in next to a theme park and complaining about noise is about as silly as moving in next to an airport and complaining about the sound of planes landing (as in, you knew the noise would be there before you moved in, so don't live there if you don't like it), but again to play devils advocate, I think they are THAT loud, and the worst of the noise comes between 6-9am. I can just imagine some poor sap buying a house in November for some reason, not realizing what they were getting into, then being shocked when spring rolls around Again though, why move within earshot of a theme park if you are looking for peace and quiet?
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