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Everything posted by Johnlloyd

  1. Looking at the historical aerial imagery on Google Earth, you can see that not too much of the Salt Water Circus structure exists to this day. The only thing I can see that has stayed the same since its removal in late 2011 is the chemical building which was located at the back of the venue. The pools, tent, and other facilities relating to the Salt Water Circus have seen been removed to make way for Dinosaurs Alive in 2012.
  2. Yes, attractions like this do lose popularity over time as it had never changed over the past six years it was at the park. Over the past couple of years, Canada's Wonderland has offered discount admission to season pass holders in order to make it popular again, but it appears to have not succeeded. Due to Dinosaurs Alive's location, I can only see either a Planet Snoopy expansion or a new family section take over that corner of the park.
  3. Wow, thanks for historical picture of Vortex! I also loved how Skyrider's loop circled the new suspended coaster under construction in 1991. You're welcome! I thought it was a great photo too! It is definitely a view of the past!
  4. Hello everyone! Here is an interesting article from January of 1991 that I had came across in an old former local newspaper. It looks at the construction of Vortex, Canada's Wonderland's Arrow Dynamics Suspended coaster. It is a rather interesting read, so I thought it would be best to share it here with all of you! Vortex Construction Article from Halton Hills Weekend, Saturday, January 12th, 1991 edition.
  5. I agree that Goliath at Six Flags New England is pretty loud. When I had visited the park for the first time earlier this July, it was closed for most of the day, and then had opened later that day. I took a ride on it shortly after it had opened and all you could here was the rumbling and rustling of the track, which was quite deafening! Other loud rides and roller coasters that come to mind are Orbiter at Canada's Wonderland (even though I greatly enjoy the ride, its motor is very loud) and Green Lantern at Six Flags Great Adventure (which had the very iconic B&M roar).
  6. Maybe it is possible that they did not fix the wings on all the seats yet, such as the ones on the inside row as I never take those. But, it was quite noticeable for me that the wings were reduced on the outside row in how much they can pivot since the last time I had rode it back in June as I was always able to flip until I rode it again on Wednesday. Others I know that I had met at the park that day had noticed this difference too. I hope this modification is reversed.
  7. Yes, it is quite horrible. The ride experience was ruined for those who could flip. Maybe they will revert the modifications eventually. But that probably is not likely, unfortunately. At least I enjoyed it for the past two years in its true glory.
  8. Today, I had made my fifth visit of the season to Canada's Wonderland. I had another fun-filled day, but was disappointed to see that sometime within the past month the park had modified the wings on Skyhawk, making it now nearly impossible to flip the seats throughout the duration of the ride as they now only pivot half the amount they use to previously! During my last visit a little over a month ago, I was able to flip my seat continuously throughout the duration of the ride as I usually do. The reasoning for the modification of the wings on Skyhawk is beyond me. Since I couldn't find any information online about other Gerstlauer Sky Roller rides possibly having this modification completed recently, it makes me wonder why Skyhawk had received this modification. It was very disappointing to come across this on an awesome ride such as Skyhawk, which was only installed two years ago. Hopefully this is not the unforeseeable future for Skyhawk! Photo credit: John Brooks via Amusement Views.
  9. Most of those expansions had a substantial part of the bill foot by "cheap" CNL. And glossing over the major expansion of the water park and Motocoaster cost a lot more than Blast Off and a few cheapie rides for Rowdy's Ridge. Even then Herschend with all of its own supposedly deep pockets saw a lot of coasters still running only one train. On another note, no Skywarp but there is a new ride coming. Talk is possibly a Star Flyer/Sky Screamer of some dimension. Newest rumors point away from a Skywarp and more towards a large swing ride like a Sky Screamer or similar. I think that makes more sense as the park has nothing truly similar to that. Lasso and a Sky Screamer aren't that similar of a rider experience, whereas a Skywarp and Super Loop are practically the exact same experience, just one has better capacity. Maybe an installation of a Zamperla Giant Discovery would be possible as there is nothing like it currently operating at any of the Western New York amusement parks. They seem to draw quite the crowd. But, before any future ride installations, Darien Lake definitely needs to improve upon their operations. As many have said, the addition of more trains on the roller coasters would definitely help.
  10. Thanks! I greatly enjoyed my time visiting Knoebels and taking photos of the park as it is quite photogenic! Thank you! It's awesome that you will be going again in a little over a week. Yes, 1001 Nachts was running great. Unfortunately during my visit, Fandango, Over the Top, and Italian Trapeze were down for visible maintenance as they were partially taken apart. But, there were reports that Over the Top (new for 2017) was up and running earlier this season. Maybe it'll be running when you visit! I have always enjoyed looking at other people's photos of Knoebels over the years. It is awesome to have finally visited! I really want to try to get back this Fall as I can only imagine that the foliage surrounding the park is truly beautiful and very photogenic.
  11. From July 5th to July 9th, my Mom and I had visited four amusement parks in the US Northeast, those being Great Escape (Six Flags), Six Flags New England, Six Flags Great Adventure (Day 3 & Day 4), and Knoebels. Below is my trip report for my first ever visit to Knoebels on July 9th, 2018. Going to Knoebels on the final day of our trip was an excellent way to end our trip! They have an amazing collection of roller coasters and classic and vintage flat rides. I greatly enjoyed Knoebels and definitely want to visit again one day soon! After arriving at Knoebels and redeeming my all-day ride wristband I had rode the Flying Turns wooden bobsled coaster and the Log Flume. Both were very fun and enjoyable! Here is an on-ride photo of me on the Log Flume at Knoebels. Once I had finished riding the Flying Turns and the Log Flume, it was time to go ride the legendary Phoenix. As many of us know, the Phoenix dates back to 1947 where it had opened at Playland Park of San Antonio, Texas as the "Rocket". It continued to operate there until the park closed in 1980. Thankfully, Knoebels had purchased and relocated this classic wooden double out-and-back Philadelphia Toboggan Coaster in early 1985. By June 1985, the Phoenix had opened at Knoebels and has been thrilling riders ever since. it sure has an abundance of airtime due to the combination of airtime hills and buzz bar restraints! After a ride on the Phoenix and a few classic rides thereafter, it was now time to ride the Twister. As the name implies, this is one twisted wooden roller coaster! While many twisted wooden roller coasters can be rough, the Twister was very smooth as Knoebels takes pride in maintaining and preserving their wooden roller coasters. The Twister is a high speed wooden roller coaster that is modeled after the defunct Mr. Twister at the original Elitch Gardens of Denver, Colorado. I found Twister to be an amazing wooden roller coaster as it has 3,900 feet of twisted track consisting of two lift hills, a drop of nearly 90 feet, and a maximum speed of approximately 51 mph (83 km/h), making for a fast-paced ride! Knoebels is home to many classic and vintage flat rides. One of them is the amazingly fun Allen Herschell Looper! Here I am pictured on it as the ride begins to spin. Although I had to wait a while for another single rider in order to ride the Looper, the wait was definitely worth it! I had managed to flip upside down about six times, which is not bad for a first run! After a few more classic rides, I went over to the Black Diamond. It was a fun and unique dark ride/ roller coaster, which I greatly enjoyed. I am glad that the Knoebel family saved this one of a kind Philadelphia Toboggan Company steel roller coaster from being scrapped! Here I am taking a spin on the beautiful and classic 1913 Grand Carousel, which has been operating at Knoebels since 1948. Here is the Grand Carousel under its shelter from a distance. It is very detailed and nicely maintained. Of interest, it is one of only a few carousels to have an operational brass ring dispenser which passengers can try to grab as they ride around on the Grand Carousel. Here is another rare vintage thrill ride, the Satellite. The Satellite is a Roll-O-Plane ride that was manufactured by Eyerly. Riders are loaded into one of four two-passenger cockpits. As the ride begins to operate, the arm holding the cockpits rotates in a vertical clockwise and counter-clockwise position, allowing the cockpits to swivel and dive-bomb without flipping upside down. After that, the arm holding the cockpits then positions horizontally to allow for more side-winding, dive-bombing fun. The arm the returns to its vertical position in order to unload and load passengers. The Satellite is a very fun and somewhat intense ride which I would recommend to anyone who is into classic rides like I am! Here is a look up at the 110 foot Giant Wheel. The gondolas are most definitely colourful! In addition to the Log Flume, another water ride at Knoebels is Sklooosh!, a large splash boat ride that gets passengers and by-standers soaked! It was quite fun and sure cooled me off! After taking a ride on the classic Merry Mixer, 1001 Nachts, and a ride on the modern Power Surge, it was time to slow things down a bit with a ride on the relaxing Scenic Skyride. After taking a ride up the mountain in a ski lift chair, you crest the top of the mountain to turn around and head down again. As you go back down the hill on the Scenic Skyride, the views only begin to get better... Since my Mom doesn't like heights, I made sure to get some great views of Knoebels from above for her to check out safely on the ground! Here is the Twister from the Scenic Skyride. To my left you could see the compact and fun Impulse steel roller coaster with the Giant Wheel standing prominently behind. To my far right you could see a bit of the Phoenix poking out above the surrounding trees. Also from the Scenic Skyride you could see the 1001 Nachts ride rise high above the trees, before it lowers, providing some stomach flipping fun! In addition to classic rides, Knoebels is home to some more modern thrills such as the StratosFear. This drop tower, manufactured by ARM stands 130 feet tall and drops without warning. While on the smaller side, it still provides a great amount of airtime! Knoebels also has some very nice landscaping, including these planters placed along the fence of Flying Turns. Another unique attraction at Knoebels is the Christmas Cottage, a gift shop selling various types of Christmas decorations. Out front is an 'authentic North Pole' made using real ice! I just had to make sure my Mom got a photo with it! The Flying Turns was my first roller coaster ride at Knoebels earlier that day. The Flying Turns is a fun and unique wooden Bobsled coaster that no one should miss when visiting Knoebels! Here is the truly amazing Flyer, one of the fastest Flying Scooter rides in operation! You sure get a lot of swooping and diving one these ones! The Flyer is definitely a classic and iconic ride at Knoebels. Speaking of iconic rides, be sure to check out the Lusse Auto Scooters (Bumper Cars) during your visit to Knoebels! They are the most violent bumper cars around! You won't be disappointed! Here is a look at the Zierer manufactured steel roller coaster, Impulse. The Impulse opened at Knoebels in 2015. It features a 98 foot tall vertical lift and drop and four inversions within its compact layout. While the vertical lift hill may seem intimidating to some riders, the first drop on Impulse is quite intense and filled with some airtime! As the sun started to go down, the park came alive with many lights on the rides and buildings. Shortly before this photo, I had met up with some friends at the park and rode the Twister together. After my second ride on the Twister, we got a photo of ourselves in front of the Twister. Another unique attraction is the Sky Slide, a Spiral Slide that has operated at Knoebels for many years. It gives a nice ride on a mat as you spiral down towards the ground. Here is a look at the night life at Knoebels with the Downdraft and 1001 Nachts two of the many rides that stand out after dark in the park. Here is the fun and thrilling Power Surge. This ride flips passengers heads-over-heels many times throughout the duration of the ride. The Power Surge also has a very nice light package. Here is the Twister with its chaser lights turned on full tilt! Watching them made it seem as if someone had hit the fast-forward button! With only 40 minutes left before closure, my Mom and I made our way over to the Phoenix so that way I could get a night ride on it before heading out! Here is the iconic neon Knoebels sign found along the path. After catching an amazing night ride on the Phoenix, it was time to leave and head to our hotel for the night. The chaser lights definitely make wooden coasters look like true classics! On our way to the parking lot, I captured this fast moving shot of the Impulse in the dark! The car was just a blur as it passed through the loop! I hope you enjoyed looking at our first visit to Knoebels!
  12. Of all the times I have visited Canada's Wonderland in my life (I go often throughout the season), I have never heard anyone call Vortex "Polar Vortex". I personally do not think an icy blue paint scheme would work on Vortex as the red and grey works well and painting it icy blue would only make it stand out like a "sore thumb". But, they did re-paint the trains this year to look like mine cars, so I suppose you could say it now holds a "Canadian" theme.
  13. As of August 2017, the oldest coaster that I have rode is the Jack Rabbit at Seabreeze which opened in 1920. I found it to be a fun and enjoyable wooden roller coaster, especially with the bit of airtime in the tunnel!
  14. I can agree that Darien Lake's landscaping was very well maintained when I had visited last August for the very first time.
  15. I will agree with you that the parking does appear to be confusing by just looking at the map. While there is parking at the back of the park, there is also parking near the toll booths where you enter, just before going under the Jacques Cartier Bridge. So, there are two parking lots available for parking your car at La Ronde. If you do park in the back parking lot, there is a secondary entrance which you enter known as the Village Entrance. So, there is no need for a shuttle to take you to the front entrance from the back parking lot.
  16. Great photos once again of PNE Playland. I really need to travel out there sometime to visit Playland and ride the classic Roller Coaster. It looks like an amazing wooden roller coaster! Also, the ride collection they have there looks phenomenal for the size of the park. By the way, BIA stands for Business Improvement Area.
  17. I greatly enjoy Canada's Wonderland, but I hope next year's roller coaster has a greater name than just "Ziz". A few years ago when the rumours began to swirl, I had no idea what Ziz was. In my opinion, the name does not sound mighty, in comparison to Behemoth and Leviathan. But, whatever the park decides to call next year's coaster, I just hope it provides an amazing ride experience! It is definitely going to be huge based on the amount of land they are using. Below is a photo I had captured of the construction taking place from when I had visited this past Wednesday (June 13th). Photo credit: John Brooks via Amusement Views.
  18. In my opinion, yes. Do you enjoy hot and humid weather?
  19. Hey Jamor, below is a photo I had captured on May 23rd of some of the construction taking place where SkyRider had once operated. A few more photos of construction from previous visits can be found on my blog. I hope this helps. Photo credit: John Brooks via Amusement Views
  20. It would be great to see them add a second train to Ride of Steel again as it's capacity was awful when I had visited Darien Lake for the first time last August. As for Six Flags New England's old Mind Eraser trains, they were recently shipped to La Ronde to potentially be used for spare parts on their Vekoma SLC, Ednor. I saw them sitting in the boneyard at La Ronde during my first visit last weekend while walking up the stairs to ride Vampire. They did not have restraints on the seats.
  21. Most rides and attractions continue to operate in light and moderate amounts of rain. Rides only close in heavy rain, high winds, or lightning storms.
  22. Hey Larry, I had visited La Ronde for the first time over the past weekend and managed to capture a photo of the new for 2018 ride, Tourbillon. It is a brand Tilt-A-Whirl ride located in the Avenue Adventure section of the park. I hope the photo is okay for use as it does show the signage and some of the ride. Hopefully another member gets a better photo of the ride itself.
  23. I agree with you on this. I had made my first visit to Darien Lake and the other two Western New York amusement parks last August and I found Mind Eraser to be more enjoyable than Flight Deck at my home park, Canada's Wonderland. Keep in mind though that the Mind Eraser at Darien Lake is slightly newer by two years (1997) than Flight Deck (1995) at Canada's Wonderland, so the design of the coasters could have possibly changed slightly to provided a smoother ride within that time. Probably likely that CW's has been run a lot harder than DL's. Factoring in two trains, longer operating schedule... etc. Flight Deck may have given twice as many rides in the same period. That is quite possible as well. I also found it interesting how Mind Eraser's lift hill was quieter than Flight Deck's lift hill, which was nice.
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