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Posts posted by humphreyhawk

  1. I absolutely loved the old Zinger.....was my very first roller coaster ride and an amazing family thrill ride.  I was still young when the got rid of it and to this day WoF fans still regularly bring it up.  Especially with the much hated boomerang that sites in it original station.  I also hated it when the Orient Express was removed and it kills me to see the Busch Garden sister ride of it still operating strong.  It too replaced by a carny ride with no character.  Ive only been to to WoF 2x since my teen days when I would marathon OE.  All there new rides have just been unremarkable and the park just is sub standard compared to the closer to me SDC.

    So.....got to give WoF some credit.  They must know the love of the old ride and its takes some....uhmmm.......you know....to try to replace it.  Wasn't expecting to like this project at all with I heard GCI was doing it.  As interesting as it is.....it is still a strange coaster type considering the park already has 2 woodies and there are 2 more over at SFstl.  They hybrid part is obviously the most interesting thing about the coaster by it seems like that are going for a more family friendly ride so it won't excite the region that already had Outlaw Run and Texas Giant not too far away.  

    I do love the spiral lift hill.....its kinda silly and fun which ironically imo WoF lacks in it's rides.  I do hope there is a tunnel as the website says....that was a major element on the original.  Diving through a tunnel that looked like you wouldn't fit.  

    Hopefully.....WoF has a plan for a new Orient too......and it doesn't take 10 years.  Plenty space in that old lot for big looping coaster.....something Wof really doesn't have in its lineup.  or a maverick like launch coaster.... Just saying.

  2. Not only I'm a concerned about the Museum going forward.


    I can't image a coorperation being able to build another place like that anywhere else. That entire place is a piece of art. Even if they use the creative team....the insurance and legal departments will never approve anything like that again.


    That place has already proven it doesn't need marketing. An attraction like that does fine by with word of month in the social media age.

  3. A few points to make about this tragic situation,


    1. Two boats where in the water during the storm not too far apart. The lead boat had just made it to shore as the 2nd one was taken over by water. I'm going to assume that the Captain of the 2nd boat was assuming they too would make the last stretch to the shore like the one in front of it.

    2. As mid westerners know....those bow echo thunderstorms hit fast. You can have blue skies one minute and full blown storm 2 minutes later. That is no excuse with the situation....I'm curious how bad the weather was when the entered the water. No doubt their was plenty of warning given about the storm.

    3. The morning after the disaster....Ripley's CEO gave interviews to the press including one on national TV. I got to give him some credit for his leadership post accident. It would have been easy for him to hide behind a generic statement. It was obvious he was shook up and devastated that it happened....even admitted that they should not have been on the lake.

    4. Hindsight being 20/20....they should have put the life jackets on and abandoned ship before taking on water. But again....they where getting close to shore, the other boat just made it, and it took on water fast. Just a horrible situation.

  4. Man... I'm not sure how we all ended up so involved in a tornado conversation in the thread where a Mack spinning launched inverted coaster just opened up. I could understand if this were the Worlds of Fun or Valleyfair thread...


    Branson had a twister hit the the main drag just a couple of years ago. SDC was under a tornado warning last week. Branson is right on the outer edge of tornado alley and the area has had its share of history with them....despite any disputes about the hills protecting them.

  5. I'm from KS...I've seen my fair share of tornados (seriously...5-6 on the ground)...and seen what they can do...both on purpose and not on purpose. I have a healthy respect and curiosity for them. A car is a very danger place to be if you are not paying attention. It's a great place to be if you know about how to watch the storms on radar and know the roads around ya to get out of the path. But I wouldn't mess with trying to see a tornado at night or in the hills. There are reasons why chasers do it on the open plains with plenty of cross roads to escape on.


    I followed the Joplin Tornado into town on that fateful day:( In a mini-van with my family. We actually saw a few funnel clouds in KS near Parsons that day too and took very slowly on the way home trying to avoid the storms. I was driving back to NWA after visiting family just a few miles from a town (Reading, KS) that get hit the night before Joplin. I've got a picture with my son we took the moment that Joplin tornado touched down. We where visiting with the route 66 Mater (Cars movie) truck in Galana just east of town intentionally waiting for the storm to move through Joplin before we where going to stop and eat. It was heart breaking to drive through town....it was only 10-15 minutes after it hit....I didn't know how bad it was and every major street through town was blocked...ended up near the Walmart that got hit....it was a war zone and I felt helpless to help (had my family with me)...a lot of people just wondering around in shock. I ended up driving over power lines and weaving between wrecked semi's and cars to get through. Off topic but I don't get to tell that story often. Ended up spending most of the next week in Joplin helping with the clean up.


    I'm a die hard follower of Dan and KNWA....dude knows his stuff. One of these days (maybe when the kids leave)...I'm going to go through the official spotter training.


    Remember folks....SDC has one of the best and biggest tornado shelters in the country on-site with Marble cave.

  6. Yeah I am really not a fan of the mandatory photo booth right in the queue line. Hoping they redo it sooner than later. Or at least make it optional to help with flow.


    It is optional....but most of us mid-westerners are too polite to not take the picture...lol. I too hope it goes away....I'm guessing it might take a season or two before it's gone. Saw I lot of people with those pics running around the park.

    I don't think it is a too polite thing. I think most of them think it is mandatory. The attendants don't ask "would you like to take a picture?" They instead ask "how many?" Then they direct you where to stand.


    I know they don't ask you to take they picture....which is exactly my point that most mid-westerners will just follow directions and take the pic instead of being 'rude' by saying "I'm not interested". I'm guessing after a couple of re-rides a few 'bold' people we start saying "I've already got one" (even if it's a lie) to skip it....then the trend will very slowly grow as everyone starts seeing the regulars skip it.


    btw...this politeness is why I can't leave my wife alone with any good salesperson and why she thinks I'm a jerk when I'm negotiating

  7. I'm not sure I'd ever ride an attraction at a theme/water park that included a signed death waiver and two weigh-in's before you load the ride.


    You have two weigh-ins before you can ride Flying Turns at Knoebels and lots of rides weight you and you don't even know it's happening (like the Great Adventure parachute tower). Tons of water slides have weight limits and many of them are quite low (like King Cobra at Hurricane Harbor in NJ and tons of rides at Volcano Bay).


    I agree that it's sort of insane to want to ride the ride now, but before the incident I don't think I would have been that turned off by that. Most people who rode it claimed that there wasn't a waiver, but if by some chance there was I would have assumed it was either a publicity stunt or just America being America. I mean... we signed a death waiver the other day to go snow tubing. Snow tubing...


    I didn't know other rides did that at established parks. The more you know.


    Well...I'm a chicken with water rides anyway...so I'm not going to pretend to say I would have rode it even without a waiver. I did intentionally pass the park for going to Oceans of Fun (and WoF) twice on KC trips while that slide was open. The trill wasn't that appealing to me and I did question its safety cause their is no way I'm riding a water ride slide that checks your weight. I'd rather locked in on a coaster that has a better record of not going airborne and doesn't use velcro straps.


    Do riders get some type of extra special coaster credit for riding it?

  8. Tragic incident. If they can prove charges they deserve what they get. But...


    Call me crazy, buy I'd still ride Verruckt or any of the park's rides.


    Given the number of loaded rafts that cycled v/s the injuries known, the odds favor a safe ride.


    Sucks that operations (improper loading) and maintenance (worn out Velcro)were so bad. Safety margins could have been better and allowed for more variance in loading.


    Now you have to travel out of the USA to get a similar experience, and unlikely any US park will build a comparable ride before I'm too old to ride it.


    How about I call you insane instead...lol


    I'm not sure I'd ever ride an attraction at a theme/water park that included a signed death waiver and two weigh-in's before you load the ride. If I'm going to do something like that I'd better be jumping out of an airplane, jumping off a bridge, or getting to be in control (drive) of something crazy.


    I could go on about how dumb that rides design was/is...and point to post on other sites where I gave my opinion before it opened....but that all playing Monday morning quarterback at this point.


    I don't see any reason why a reputable ride maker couldn't make a safe slide attraction like that in the near future. I have no idea why a slide like that would need a 'airtime' hill.

  9. Hard not to think about the irony of every other post on this board now talking about this being "insane". Which is German for this rides name Verruckt.


    Here is the Dailymail's summary of the Verrucktity...(get it)...you can see he isn't looking too good...




    and....I'd challenge you all to think twice about going to one of these parks. I glad millions have gone safely and I'm know it's probably true other parks are just as bad or worse.....but I wouldn't support this company until there leadership changes now that we've seen behind the curtain.

  10. Yeah I am really not a fan of the mandatory photo booth right in the queue line. Hoping they redo it sooner than later. Or at least make it optional to help with flow.


    It is optional....but most of us mid-westerners are too polite to not take the picture...lol. I too hope it goes away....I'm guessing it might take a season or two before it's gone. Saw I lot of people with those pics running around the park.

  11. We'll see what happens. The burden of proof lies heavily on the state. As the article said, it will be difficult for the State to prove this. The state comes out hard with their facts and the defense can't afford to reveal their cards. Often times this makes the accused party appear guilty before the trial, when the defense could have substantial evidence in their favor. These are accusations with little information from the defense. From a publicity standpoint, this always presents an uphill battle. The verdict will tell the real story. Anything up until that point is a bit premature, but I know all too well that accusations are enough in modern times. Especially when the press is looking to make a buck.


    Just my $.02 based on my experience working with prosecutors and also being a victim in a falsely accused lawsuit. Our local media made it sound like several of our officers mercilessly beat the sh** out of a suspect. I was named in the lawsuit, despite not even being present during the altercation and my name was slandered in the local paper. It was awesome getting calls and text messages from family and friends as the one sided accusations portrayed us as savage criminals, only getting the side of the story that would get the most attention. Clear cut video almost immediately killed the lawsuit to the point where the plaintiff didn't even get any pity settlement money. Not a peep from the media when the charges were dropped.


    Both men also disregarded a consultant's advice that riders be at least 16 years old. The indictment alleged that Henry and Schooley contemplated an age limit of 14, but decided the day before the slide's grand opening to do away with age restrictions altogether, using stickers to cover age restriction language on signs posted at the attraction.

    Seems more like an insurance/liability protection measure to me.


    Again, it's important to withhold judgement until after the trial. Grand jury decisions are not nearly enough.


    As I’m going through this thread since the indictment dropped and things picked up dramatically, this post stands out as excellent commentary. It’s very important to remember who is saying what in any legal matter. Each side is going to portray their case to be as one-sided and clear-cut as possible, and in the end a jury will sort out the facts and a judge or panel of judges will rule on the law. It’s very easy to read the indictment and think that Schlitterbahn was grossly negligent over a period of time and ignored a variety of warnings about this, but that all must be proven at trial. (generally "beyond a reasonable doubt" in criminal matters like involuntary manslaughter, which is quite a high bar to reach)


    *edit* Just want to tack on this post to say thanks to AllenA07 for a highly insightful post from someone who actually practices law in Texas on pg. 38.


    I completely agree.... but the smoke if pretty thick with this one that a manslaughter charge at least is a feasible outcome for at least one or two people. I want to know...can the company get charged criminally?

  12. Ok thanks! What about on the other roller coasters, particularly Outlaw Run, Wildfire, and Powder Keg?


    My general advice for SDC is to go to Powder Keg at rope drop....or Outlaw run...both at the back of the park. PK has the slowest operations/capacity and can get backed up even on slower days. Time Traveler kind of messes up that strategy if ya want to steal a quick ride on that first.


    PowderKeg - is a good ride on all cars - airtime is more forceful in the back as you get pushed and pulled over the first hill - the front is an amazing view and extremely fun to get push over that first hill.

    Wildfire - imo - very underrated B&M with a great first drop. Seats are mostly the same. capacity is high and usually is a short wait even with a line as long as 2 trains are going.

    Outlaw Run - Back car is INTENSE - but the whole train just flies through the course. A short and fast rush of adrenaline of a ride.

    Thunderation - pick a non-wheel seat - it's not very rough but does help a bit with smoothness. Usually is a walk on but is getting more riders this year with TT next door.

    TT - Remember this is a family ride....the forces are not designed to be intense....wait till you see how slow it goes through the large loop. Super fun ride full of unique sights and feelings due to the slow spin.


    Don't pass on the SDC homemade classics Fire in the Hole and Flooded Mine - they don't make rides like them anymore. Find the Mill right behind the downtown area and grab a Cinnamon Bread!!!

  13. I'm just curious, but what is the flip side of that

    "I rode the revolutionary...." sign say? The "rode" part of it?


    Glad you enjoyed yourself and shared it here.

    You can flip over the "rode" part and it says "didn't ride." Although, I'm not sure who would want to take a picture advertising to their friends that they didn't ride the "revolutionary Time Traveler!"


    funny you post this. The group of 2 families that I went with last week was slit in half between riders and non-riders. So it was fun to take two pics of the groups at that sign and send out on social media.

  14. Back in 2014 I think, The now defunct website Grantland.com published a piece about Jeff Henry and the founder of Wet n Wild "The Men Who Built the Great American Waterpark". I loved reading the piece 4 years ago, the author's description of Henry at the time made him sound like kind of a loose shoot from the hip fun kinda cowboy “What’s really interesting about my family is, we don’t really work for the shareholders,” he said. “We actually work for the people who buy our tickets …”, but looking back on it comes off a little differently.


    The article is still available, check it out if you want.




    Last paragraph....wonder why he didn't have any engineers help him....seems like he got overconfident and it caused an unsafe ride.


    “I don’t really care at all about the manufacturing side of the industry,” Henry said. “They’re a bunch of losers, anyways. My friends that run the parks, own the parks, and build the parks — they’re good guys and they matter.” He looked up at his slide and said, “This just gives ’em another reason to live.

  15. I would caution anybody from reading too much into an indictment. There is an old saying that a good prosecutor could indict a ham sandwich. I can also tell you that in my experience, indictments are always going to sound pretty awful, they are after all a list of charges.


    There are a few things to keep in mind when reading it. Now before I start, I should point out that my area of expertise is criminal law in Texas, however, these things tend to be pretty universal throughout the Country (with some exceptions). The first thing to understand is the very basics of how the grand jury works. The entire thing is controlled by the State, there is a relatively limited amount that the defense can do, if anything at all. Unless the District Attorney specifically invites a defense attorney to Grand Jury, they don't even have the right to be in the room. In the past 8 years of practicing, I've been invited once, it is exceptionally rare.


    Likewise, keep in mind that the burdens are different. Everybody knows that for a criminal trial we are dealing with beyond a reasonable doubt. During grand jury, the burden drops to a much easier to obtain a preponderance of a doubt. That's the same level that we have in civil cases. The biggest concern I would have is a large number of counts. Anytime you exceed 20 or so counts, it's a clue that the State is out for blood. In this case, they are right on that line.


    As far as hearing anything directly from Mr. Henry, like an apology, if he were my client I would be very strongly encouraging him to shut up and not say a word to anybody. Talking is literally the worst thing somebody can do when facing criminal charges. As for Schlitterbahn, their best move to distance themselves as quickly as possible from all of this. What's good for the company is probably not good for Jeff Henry.


    Purely speculating from my experience, I would bet that the State is really only interested that first count. The rest of the counts are leverage. I wouldn't be at all surprised if you see a situation where there is ultimately a plea agreement on Count 1 with a dismissal of the other 19 counts. That is a pretty common tactic as it gives the State some flexibility in case of an unexpected acquittal on some of the charges. During negotiations, the State can use the extra charges to justify making a higher offer.


    Finally, I will say that this is the most detailed indictment I have ever seen. Normally indictments are, intentionally, pretty bare bone.


    Thanks for your legal insight on this. That all makes a lot of sense. It's pretty obvious that they know they are in a lot of trouble and where using the press release to start communicating a defense. I don't believe they wanted to kill anyone but this information is damning to them in an argument that they did seem to care more about reputation and profits that opening and keeping this ride open would give them....then in providing a safe ride for their customers.

  16. ^Be aware that SDC uses a different system than DW. I haven't used them before myself, but I believe the trailblazer passes have limited uses on TT. The standard issue only gives you one use on it, or so I've heard.


    I saw the limited use on Time Traveler. I plan to try and rope drop it once, hit it midday with the Timesaver, and ride it again around closing.


    Does their Timesaver let you wait for a specific seat or do they pre-assign you a row?


    With a trailblazers pass...you get to skip the line up to the point they assign you to a row. On the day I rode....one of the trains had one car that had broken restraints and wasn't being used (last car). So the pre-assignments didn't matter since every 3rd train had to skip 2 pairs of assignments.


    I'd highly recommend the back two cars....start facing forward for the best chance to hit the drop going backwards. I went down sideways and it was great.

  17. I don't see a way that they can charge anyone with murder....not with the info that was released to us. As horrific as I see the situation I can't image that they acted with intent to kill....seems like manslaughter would be the most appropriate charge. That being said....they say they where expecting the charge? Where they expecting a murder charge? or was that a media slip-up to get rating for it? Still feels like we are not seeing the larger picture.


    Sounds like the defense is going to be centered around....well we let our own family ride it....so we couldn't have been neglectful. yikes.

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