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About JT325

  • Birthday July 17

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  1. You used to be able to ride Whizzer with 3 in a seat! With no seatbelt, no airgates and 5 trains. But alas... either way, the ride runs better than new, a true classic (with classic trains). Ride Demon at night (so's you don't carry the headache, unless you can learn quick how to ride a new Arrow). 2nd to back seat (row 11). The drop kicks, enjoy.
  2. Back in the early 90s when I was working on the Cedar Point Blue Streak (when it was a true classic with a single bench seat, miss those coasters so much! Not to mention the fully manual operation), a dad was pulling his kid on the ride. We already saw the kid crying in the queue (inside the front of the once beautiful station) so we were on guard. There were only 3 crew positions on the ride (still managed over 1,200 pph) but we would do our best to intervene when we saw this. The kid was having a real meltdown; the dad plopped down first and was pulling the boy in - in one swoop I grabbed the kid, pushed the dads lap bar down and said "he can wait with me" with a big smile. Off the dad went (we had seconds to load/send a train in those days, if we didn't want a shutdown) and I had the kid step back against the queue fence while I quickly loaded the next train. His tears stopped and he calmed down. I walked the kid down the overlow/chicken exit to meet his dad at the unload. People lining and my 2 co-workers up were happy I got that kid out. Back then you were treated as an authority figure as a ride operator - we were trained that way at Cedar Point. If someone pulled a kid out today - even touch the kid - it could be a huge fuss and perhaps a fight/lawsuit. Times were different and people had more sense. As for my notes on Blue Streak operation - it's too hard to resist as it also required basic common sense - again, things are different now.
  3. ^I'm saving any more big trips for next year myself. After a week in California back in May, I'm keeping it local. Plus, I hate wearing a mask at a park (but do follow the rules). Great America (my home park) was closed all last summer. On August 20th, nearly every single flat ride was closed. We have a LOT of flat rides (a well rounded Six Flags!) In my experience, SF parks are NOT the parks to go way out of my way for. Consistent inconsistency in everything and unpredictable changes. And that when it's not a pandemic. Busch Gardens Tampa!? Yeah, go. I'll take a spin on Whizzer for you, take a ride on Scorpion for me.
  4. Ah yes my first zero-G roll, I remember it clearly. Batman the ride at Great America, 1992. Such a huge deal that new ride was... and the zero-G roll was outstanding. How could it do that without hurting anyone? It was a marvel and we loved it. But Tidal Wave (formerly in the same spot) was still better
  5. ^After the ACE plaque out front (doesn't mean much to many, but come on) and all the recognition, you think they'd have given that a little more thought. Real butthurt indeed, MB has been my #1 steel coaster since 1990. For a while, Superman at SFNE took that spot, until I rode the new trains on that one. Uck. Here at Great America we have Whizzer, another top steel coaster for me. They still have the 5 original trains. Most years since the late 80s through 2019, they would have 3 on the track. Sometimes 2 running with one in transfer, or all 3 running. They always would rotate 2 out and do a complete refurb treatment in the shop. Last week, Whizzer was running better than ever - even in the extreme humidity. The trains look and feel like brand new, down to the dark green upholstered padding (well.. padding was originally red until they painted the whole ride dark green in 1981). You will never see ripped padding on those trains. They even have old fashioned goldleaf-style lettering below the Whizzer logo on each train "Est. 1976." They sure are proud of that ride as they should be. When they planned to remove it in 2002, they found out how many people really loved that ride. It's still one of the most popular rides in the park. I wish the other great SF Schwarzkopfs could get that kid glove treatment.
  6. Those new Mind Bender trains LOOK GREAT - that nice shiny purple. But reclined headrests (with a hard plastic back attached to the back plate, hello pain), bucke-y seats, and a seat divider have NO place running on a Schwarzkopf. It was an improvement for Revolution because it was better than the custom mess that ride was running since '92. I know ... Premier, etc., old rides, parts/availabitly.. blah blah most of it's crap. Take a good long look at Montezooma's Revenge, Fire Dragon, and a few others... those trains were designed that way for a reason. You get the thrill of 70s loop coaster with the freedom (and laterals - where applicable) of a classic wood coaster. If you're a big Schwarzkopf fan like me and you appreciate those old trains (and the remakes of them on the others not at Six Flags) ride Shock Wave while you can. One of my favorite parts on Schwarzkopf loopers was always those curves cuz you get to move around while still being safe with the built-in seat divider those individual lap bars provide. It's a genius design. Sliding back and forth (and perhaps squishing your partner) is much more fun and comfortable than being awkwardly bent sideways over a seat divider. Seat dividers have made many of our kind hate laterals (Legend).
  7. Same as a Skydiver (terrifying!) but with the upright, non-inverting seats you see. Plug-N-Play parts. There aren't many rides you can find that are more effective at being terrifying.
  8. ^Congrats and getting Leap and 180! I love Leap and the rest of Lakemont. A shining and clear example of how a little old coaster can be more fun than a 300+ thrill machine (my words...). It's a theme you will see more and more!
  9. Didn't a guy (developmentally disabled perhaps) fall from the drop tower at Great America (Ca) a few years ago - where they didn't figure out how he got on the outside of an intamin drop harness?
  10. Totally. We have had way too many ride changes since the 90s... rides gone or changed so much they aren't the same/fun anymore. This is a truly horrible thing - either by accident or on purpose. Feel bad for the guy, and all the people (kids!!!) who saw it.
  11. I'm with ya! All the way. Those curves.... mmmmm! The drops aren't half bad either. And that beautiful curved station and curved brakes with skids(!!!). Workmanship! Phoenix is a top 10 for me as well, but this bad boy is higher.
  12. Kudos to Holiday World for not having "pay to cut." They also have a great efficiency/operations (see how that works, Six Flags?).
  13. ^Say it! I try to avoid vest coasters, especially if they are of the "X-Flight tighten and crush" type. Wretched things. Unless they're nice n loose - Thunderbird perhaps.
  14. Yes! Bruises used to be a souvenir from a good ride. I rode Americana's Screechin' Eagle 64 times in one day (as a teen, late 80s... what a great time to be a coaster geek!) and could barely walk at day's end due to flying up into the lap bar, which was already a good 4-6 inches away from the lap. No seat dividers, good times.
  15. Oh yeah, big time! I'll take a little room to move over being pinned in. Unfortunately for me, I just haven't acclimated to the RMC style seats/restraints well (and to a much less degree, GCI). My lower half needs to be able to move at least a little. So grateful we have these woodies at HW, and that they take such great care of them.
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