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TheGallophingGhost's Achievements


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  1. I really thought everyone was going to ask for Arrow / Toomer transitions and OTS restraints. Mmmmm. In all seriousness I thought this would be fun and I’m really enjoying everyone’s responses!! Thanks.
  2. If you could add a little something from one designer and company to another of a different what would your “dream”combo be? For me...... restraints by Schwarzkopf, trains and seats by B&M, design by Stengel, creative input and attitude by Toomer, track by B&M, layout by Intamin, launch by S&S (for speed and smoothness) with help from Premier for reliability and themeing by Disney or Universal. I’m sure I’ll change this 100 times especially after reading yours.......Go
  3. Which coasters have a totally different ride day vs night and which do you prefer? Beast. Night.
  4. To be clear 99.9% none of the above will ever happen. It’s just pie in the sky brainstorming. Just being totally honest. Nothing has progressed at this time past throwing out ideas. No manufactures have been contacted specifically regarding these ideas. Of course each major player and a couple of minor players have made their own pitches for things they have been working on—and no I can’t share any of that inside info. Just wanted to frame the reality of everything. Cheers.
  5. As some of you may know from my earlier posts I am involved in ride engineering / maintenance at a senior level for a major theme park corporation. I am often involved (and rarely listened too!!) in discussions regarding new build rides and major re-themes. It works like this...all of the corporate and marketing people pretend to want my insight and opinons because my department and people are liaisons during construction / install and keep the rides running long term. I say pretend because the corporate folks and marketing folks almost always do what they want and I just have to deal with what they have decided. Haha. It’s how the game is played. So...I am in a high level brainstorming meeting with the dreamers...aka marketing, finance and corporate folks and discussing new ride concepts, theming and rebranding opportunities. There is a cycle in the theme park industry where you must introduce new and exciting rides and concepts to keep attendance high. I’m literally the oldest in the room and the old saying what’s old is new really does ring true. I decided to make (2) “new” concept pitches. The fun part for me is everyone actually was really interested in my ideas and yes I immediately pointed out the concepts were actually rather old. Cough. Cough. The point is there was genuine excitement and thanks to some YouTube videos the discussions are continuing. Concept one: Buolding a modern Vekoma Illusion coaster. There were only two ever made one at Opryland and the other at Bobbejaanland. Only the latter continues to operate and sadly not in top form. My pitch was to use updated technology and create the ultimate sensory experience. I showed video of the Opryland Chaos in its prime and the original teaser TV commercials. I really believe an illusion coaster with up-to-date technology would be outstanding and extremely unique. The budget is between $20-30m btw which seems to work since the original Opryland Chaos in 1989 was $8m So many themeing concepts could be done with this ride. I suggested adding a Jo-Jo roll during the ascent and a powered cobra roll / batwing or loop during the decent. The disorienting effects taken at relatively slow speeds would further disorient. Some of the theme concepts that were discussed were time travel, multi dimension space exploration and traveling through a disturbed mind something along the lines of “insanity”. Dreams ...nightmares. There was some talk of approaching the private space rocket companies for sponsorship. I half jokingly suggested a serial killer themed attraction. (That didn’t go well except for our Halloween events hahah). Concept two was commissioning a second generation suspended coaster—possibley launched. Arrow did their best but really didn’t have the computer technology to fully develop what the suspended coaster could have been. BBW was probably their best effort. New technologies in metallurgy and carbon fiber is available today as well. My suggestion was to make it launched and use terrain and themeing that is second to none. I also suggested the ride could be inside a dark building and possibley even include one or more inversions. Arrow was working on a second gen suspended with inversions before X bankrupted them. A dark suspended could really be done well. I closed my pitch w video and info showing Kings Islands Tomb Raider. A simple Huss topspin made amazing with excellent theming as an example of what’s possible. So many coaster records exist what’s the big deal if you are a few mph faster or have another inversion? The coaster industry has matured. Virtual reality hasn’t really been the holy grail as expected. My thought is take an older proven concept, push the limits and create a spectacular ride with unparalleled themeing. Any thoughts?
  6. Runner-up tie...... The Bat & Drachen Fire: Engineering disasters that never worked properly or economically. Absolute worst: X2 because financially the provierbial “nail in the coffin” for Arrow as we knew it. It really depends what the definition of “is” is......as said by President Bill Clinton
  7. >>>The park had a policy where "if a ride breaks down more than twice, on the third time it gets shut for the day" (it was the third breakdown that the accident happened)<<< To me an odd policy. Some “break downs” on some rides are innocuous, quickly resolved and not indicative of an emergency or even a trend. Fix, reset, test, restart. Other rides when a fault occurres, of course depending on the nature of the fault, should be closed immediately, including the rest of the day until recrified. Often a root cause engineering analysis should be completed before returning the ride to service. A blanket and blind policy of simply on the third issued shut it did for the day is extremely short sighted imo. It could lead to unnecessary closures but more importantly lead to rides staying open that should be closed because it hasn’t hit the daily trifecta. Certainly a slippery slope. I don’t like it.
  8. No. That's not how rides should be run. You DO NOT run rides or attractions without safety components functioning and in place. Period. End of Story. If a raft has velcro straps that are about to fail, it should be removed from service, and the others that have been inspected and found okay can continue to run, sure. But brakes that are required to keep rafts running at a safe speed are not optional. Even for the rest of the afternoon. If you can't make that repair while the park is open, sucks to suck. Get ready to hand out comp tickets or something, but you don't try and limp through the rest of the day like that. Hello all. I have lurked here for years and finally made an account to post. I have been involved in theme park ride safety and maintenance most of my career. Please understand why I do not wish to identify myself or my current and former employers. For over 15 years up I have been the senior person at two major theme parks regarding operations and maintenance. The above quote is something I have dealt with literally hundreds and maybe thousands of times with rides. It’s a delicate balance. Safety should always be the first priority and I can say unequivocally in my career I have never knowingly or purposely allowed an unsafe ride to operate. I would never place a patron or employee in danger. This isn’t to say I haven’t made mistakes but fortunately none directly causing injuries or deaths. I used to say I’d never let a ride operate I wouldn’t ride myself but have had to change my mantra to I’d never let a ride operate I wouldn’t let my kids ride. Some of the newer rides coupled with my age have caused me to not ride them! There is always a clash between the financial, marketing, sales, maintenance, engineering and rank-and-file worker. My brother is a senior level safety engineer with a major airline and has similar thoughts and stories. If you were to ask an executive in any discipline if they would want a ride that was unsafe operating they universally would say no. They would say safety is paramount. However, when it comes to their department and their job there is sadly jockeying and pressure to achieve their goals. They will say all the correct things regarding safety and they truly mean it but often their goals push them to exert pressure contrary to best practices. Many times they don’t realize the conundrum, stress and issues this causes for other departments or employees. Be assured the stress and pressure to operate, have rides operating and open is huge. It’s truly a balancing act and you better be right every time. Close a ride unnecessarily too many times and expect to be out of a job. Let a ride operate and there is an accident it’s all on your butt. Several years ago at a major park there was a new state-of-the-art roller coaster. It was designed to operate five trains with six blocks. It was one of the most expensive rides ever made at the time but the problem was the computerized block and safety system just flat out didn’t work properly. We couldn’t get the ride to operate more than a few cycles without shutting down. We were already behind and the manufacturer was frantically trying to remedy the problem. Soft opening was a disaster. No one was at risk safety wise but most of the time ride stops were the norm. The pressure was on me to have the ride operating for opening day. It was a complicated situation as the top execs expected the ride to operate but of course safety was important but at the end of the day the pressure and message was clear—make sure the ride was operating for the grand opening. Hopefully you can see my position. A position that exists frequently. I came up with a solution. Disable the automated block brake system and operate the coaster with one train. Throughput truly sucked but the ride was open and open safely. All objectives were met. You can’t have a train hit another train if there is only one on the tracks. Good solution I thought. Most importantly a safe solution. After 3-4 days working with the manufacturer we were able to add a second train. One in the station loading and once operating. After about 6 weeks (we tested at night) all 5 trains were safely operating. The system issues had been corrected. Everyone happy. No one at risk. The pressure was huge.
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