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Everything posted by Absimilliard

  1. Unfortunately, Six Flags back when they ran things never gave the park proper maintenance budgets and staffing, so all the rides deteriorated. Star Parks came in, tried fixing things and they sold to Compagnie des Alpes (Pleasurewood Hills in England, Parc Asterix, etc.) all the Walibi parks except Walibi Lorraine (now Walygator) and Movie Park Germany (still owned by Star Parks). Sadly, Compagnies des Alpes is the worst theme park operator in the world. They don't do maintenance until a complete rehab or train change is required. They don't add new rides. They invest on stupid things. All the profits from the park pay for new ski lifts at their skiing resorts.
  2. Unfortunately, Walibi Belgium announced that they will keep their best coaster closed for the 2009 season! Beside losing Turbine, they removed the troubled Vertigo. This is typical of Compagnies des Alpes. They're managing all their parks into the ground!
  3. Morgan wooden coaster trains also have shock absorbers on the wheels. They are a bit too efficient on La Ronde's Monstre as the trains just bounce around the track all the time.
  4. Poor Space Mountain DLP... The ride wasn't that rough until they changed the trains in 2000-2001. The heavier trains caused the track to deteriorate really bad and up until september this year, they never did any trackwork on the ride! Also, DLP just abused the ride, only closing twice a year for 2 days each, to change the launch catapult cable. Add to that 5 trains operation (until 2005) and there was no way the ride was going to stay smooth!
  5. No, what happened in 2004... Early in the season, one of the train, for a lack of a better word, died... The park spent most of the summer with one train and they finally received parts, cars and thus, rebuilt one train with the old train and the parts they received! They also kept one car as a "spare". Now, the new cars they had received were red, so they repainted one whole train dark red and the other (the remaining one) was painted dark blue.
  6. The whole Geopolis building is closed, including the gory (and awesome!) Zombie Paradise dark ride. The Geopanic coaster was removed.
  7. Are you going during the week or on a weekend? During the week, getting fast passes for Space Mountain is NOT worth it as they only run 2 trains and the line gets right to the merge point, making it a 30-45 minutes wait for everyone, fast passes or not. On the other hand, Space Mountain just got some trackwork done and so, it should be a little smoother and more fun!
  8. The "Viper" at the Korean folk village is actually an outdoor clone of the La Ronde Dragon rollercoaster. The point of view confirmed that. Wow... I really need to get that credit next time I'm there!
  9. I loved Tokyo Disneyland Western River Expedition. Due to some law in Japan, they had to make the train a ride with only one station and due to that, it only goes around Adventureland/Westernland. Awesome views and the indoor sections are amazing!
  10. Unfortunately, the Walt Disney Company has little to no control over what Euro Disney SCA (the company that owns DLP) do with their budgets and decisions! For example, they were supposed to do like all the other resorts and add Jack Sparrow to their Pirates... but the budget was cut and it has never been a priority since. In 2005, when Space Mountain was closed for a few months to allow the "Mission 2" makeover, they had the opportunity to replace track. The ride at that point already needed it... They also promised brand new trains. What Euro Disney gave them the money to do? Silver paint over the old trains and that's it! Based on the Indiana Jones coaster at DLP, I would not expect any track change or major rehab on Space Mountain until something bad happens. Don't look too closely at the Indiana Jones coaster loop... It was originally a "temporary", "5 years ride until we can build Space Mountain". Well, the "5 years ride" celebrated its 15th birthday this year! Did you enjoy Crush Coaster? Hope you got the credit as after ONE year of operation, some outside consultant came in, looked at the state of the ride and judged that the ride has already aged 5-10 years! That's what you get you get for buying a portable model, running it year round with 14-15 cars! The sad thing is that Imagineering charged Euro Disney 60 millions euros (close to 100 millions $!) for the Toon Studios expansion.
  11. Elissa- can you (or anyone familiar with this ride) explain what its faults are? As I've never been to DLPR, all I have to work off are photos of a very phallic looking cannon that shoots trains into the mountain. I've never come across photos or video that illustrate the ride's layout, experience, etc. Also never come across "lights on" footage that is out there on the web for other enclosed coasters. All I know is the initial "launch" (if you can call it that) and a mid course tire driven lift hill. I guess this ride has always intrigued me a bit as it was a custom one-off. What's the root of the evil- poor layout? poor track fabrication? lousy trains? harsh transitions? Is the ride up to typical Disney standards capacity-wise? I think I saw a BTMRR/Screamin' style double loading station that tells me they can run 4-5 trains... -Mark I worked on the ride before and know a few current cast members working on it right now, so I'm pretty familiar with the ride. The ride's layout is actually very simple once you see it with the lights... You go out of the station, take right turn into a drop into the cannon. Right now, the current Mission 2 launch sequence launches you from the bottom of the cannon, which cut capacity by removing the ability to run 5 trains. Once you're launched, you crest the top of the cannon then do a drop on the left, dropping down to where the base of the mountain stop. You do a full circle around the mountain, going up and down the side before dropping under the waiting line and into the sidewinder. After the awesome sidewinder, you're then tossed into a 3/4 rising helix to the right. At this point, the train is shuffling like crazy and the pain is incredible. You then enter the block brakes You're lightly trimmed, go through a melting meteorite and turn to the right. You follow the side of the wall before diving under the stairs in the waiting line. A non-standard Vekoma Corkscrew (in that its snap and is not just a regular motion like the rest...) follows and then, a really rough right turn (over the waiting line) brings you into the B lift. The B lift is tire driven, fast and silent. You see blowing supernova and then a tight drop on the drop, a sharp turn (ouch), a nice hill (the spark trench) brings you into the "Tongue". What's the tongue? Its basically Vekoma's take on the Arrow Cutback (Drachen Fire). You then have a rough transition into the ending helix, in a trench at the bottom of the ride. You then go up into the "Electro de Velocitor", which is the themed brake run! You're loudly stopped and then pull into one of the station. Before Mission 2... The ride could run 5 trains, on a 36 seconds dispatch interval. We pulled 2350-2375 guests an hour! As for the roughness, it comes from a few problems... Initially, the track was PERFECT. No bumps, shuffling, etc. Sadly, after 5 years of 361 days a year, 12-16 hours a day operation, the 6 trains died! After investigating, Disney found out that the trains were originally built for the "larger" Space Mountain (as in a mountain 10% bigger with wider turns and transitions, but reduced to the current size after budget cuts) and so, had to replace them. What they did to save some money is that they got brand new chassis from Vekoma, large blocks of steel with little welds and mobile parts. They mounted the new chassis on the old cars. Within a few months, Disney had to literally rebuild and change the axles and wheel supports, as the new chassis are a lot heavier than the old ones... In 2001, the ride was still kinda rideable... Soon after, the ride become unrideable as the new heavy trains just worn the track and eventually, management decided to stop 5 trains operations and the "Mission 2" rehab involved rebuilding each train (again!), removing some of the effects, adding some, change the music and moving the launch to the bottom of the cannon. One side effect of changing the launch was that instead of lasting 6 months, the steel cable for the catapult only last 3-4 months now. So, the guilty parties in this case are the heavy trains and the layout that is too tight and "intense" on the trains.
  12. Hmm, my poor Space Mountain is now torturing innocent guests! Having worked on it, rode it dozens of time with the lights on... I can ride it without hitting my head or getting ANY headbanging. The trick is this: the inversions exits (3/4 helix out of the sidewinder, banked turn out of the corkscrew and entrance into the trench after the Tongue) are the worst parts and sticking your head out is the only way to escape the severe headbanging.
  13. They will run 1 train on everything, except on Goliath (2 trains). That's their new brilliant policy this year! Where will you be coming from? Parking near any subway stations is awful and you'll have good chances of getting a parking ticket... Thanks to the confusing, make-no-sense-whatsoever parking signs on the street. Send me an IM if you're looking at doing that and I'll give you a few hints.
  14. I rode EGF the week before TPR and let's put it this way: my only ride on it left me wondering what all the fuss was about? I rode in the front of the back car and beside the wonderful first drop, there was no ejector airtime or "out of control" feeling. The airtime was merely floater and the ride just slowly and loudly made its way around the track. One explanation maybe... I noticed their Vekoma Corkscrew did not even use original Vekoma wheels, they were instead made by a local german company.... Maybe like Six Flags (who started using Premier Rides to get cheaper replacement parts for certain coasters...), they buy cheaper wheels that don't perform as well and bring out the real Intamin wheels for events and ERT? I'm probably wrong, but its the only reason I can see why a steel coaster would have 2 radically different personalities!
  15. I went to Europe the week before TPR and I also loved Tripsdrill. Holiday Park on the other hand... but that's for another topic! As for Mammut, I went on an empty day and it ran horribly! Thank God the seats are well padded, cause I had never been on a wooden coaster that shuffled and tried to almost derail every time it took a turn. It also washboarded at the bottom of the drops. What happened? I took one ride in the front seat and one in car 4, row 1 and that was it... G'Sengte Sau instead got a ton of rerides from me.
  16. I read somewhere that the 2 trains for the SLC at Great Escape were actually shipped off to SFNE to be used on their Mind Eraser. So, if that's the case, they'd need to get new trains from Vekoma anyway!
  17. I can believe it when they say the trains and the track need work... Supermanege at La Ronde, which is a clone of Corkscrew (and opened in 1981) is in horrible shape. They had to spend the last 2 years with one train, as the other one was just in too bad of a shape to run. This year, they finally "rehabbed" the 2 trains, but, it can't run 2 trains anymore as the computer and sensor system just... died. Vekoma trains are very fragile. The Vekoma trains on Space Mountain DLP were replaced in 2000 (after 5 years) and were completely rebuilt in 2005. Goudurix got its Vekoma trains completely rehabbed after 7-8 years.
  18. Sorry, but it just doesn't make sense that some rain would literally cause brakes to not work, unless you're talking about wooden coasters with skid brakes, where you have to go down to one train operation until the brakes dry up. Disney run their coasters with 5 or 6 trains in the rain and snow. Yet, the brakes still work! Even better, Matterhorn Bobsleds includes 2 lakes to brake the cars and unlike what CP would do... they run 10 cars on each track. It also was built back in 1959, with blocking system added in 1978.
  19. I got the answer from a park maintenance manager. Vekoma originally built their coasters with a variable 4 millimeters in regard to the space between the track and side wheels. In the 90's, they improved their building methods and reduced that space to 2 millimeters. Plus, SLC also got the problem of having the seats not rigidly fixed to the chassis...
  20. Regarding the Formule 1 coaster, seems like Pax went a bit too cheap with the brakes! The tiny brakes could not stop a car a few years ago and it caused a car to rear end another car. The coaster remained, but Soquet had to come in and replace the brakes hardware with large B&M style brakes. Who's Soquet? Usually the cheapest bidder when it comes to coasters in Europe! The Mer de Sable Train Du Colorado is an example of their great "engineering".
  21. The Woobang Towerland sky jump was awesome! It was cheap too... due to the wristband, it was only 20000 (around 20$?) to do it. The freakiest part was when they tie you up, check you 2 times to make sure you're safe... then ask you to walk over the ledge! You're hanging there, Mission Impossible style, they take a picture of you... The guy then releases the cable and a few seconds later, you have a pretty rough landing on your two legs at the bottom! I don't regret doing it... I only had to miss a Boomerang credit for it!
  22. Sadly, I think Cedar Fair and the new buyer are in for a major surprise when they try to take it apart. When Bobbejaanland removed their Looping Star back in 2003, they wanted to move it somewhere else in the park. But, since the ride was made to be portable and it was not taken apart in over 20 years, all the track joints had corroded together! They litterally had to physically force the sections out and that pretty much made moving the ride cost prohibitive, since all the joints had to be rebuilt... So, they scrapped the ride and sold the trains to Walibi Belgium for use as spare parts to keep the Turbine going.
  23. Reading all that... I'm hoping Disney never build a clone of Crush Coaster at the Disney Hollywood Studios! You'd be so dissapointed! Crush Coaster has a small dark ride portion at the beginning, where its mostly static stuff and a screen... You go up the enclosed lift, with a shark that barely moves and then... the coaster. Theming? What's that? Oh, you must refer those faint bubble lights projected on the walls and the screen at the end that shows Crush! By the way, thanks for waiting 90 minutes! So see? Six Flags ain't that bad and in the genre, I think they got Disney beated easily.
  24. Indiana Jones was turned back forward at the end of 2006... It just wasn't very popular when it ran backward!
  25. La Ronde in 2006 on the Vampire... Me, my cousin and his girlfriend were having a good time. Ride ops were kinda efficient and everything was running 2 trains... At around 3-4, the ride ops were getting tired and decided to remove the second trains from every ride that had one! We waited nearly an hour in line for the Vampire at that point and when we got to the station, I saw why. The 2 idiots that checked restraints took 3-4 minutes every time they saw a cute teenage girl on the train to flirt with her! People were starting to grumble and mumble and one guy asked me: What are those guys doing? I answered, it doesn't look like they care about us! The guy then raised his voice to be heard and then asked what they were doing and commented that we were waiting in line for nearly an hour! The ride op turned around, loudly commented that he was doing "Customer Service" and then asked the girl at the dispatch console to call security! Security comes in, he makes up a big story and it ended with the guy who dared say something getting escorted out of the park! Seeing how stupid they were, I didn't say anything, gave them some dark looks and then got their names and found the most important manager in the park and gave him the situation as it happened, as I didn't trust the customer service employees to do anything.
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