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Posts posted by TurnOfTheCentury

  1. I'm super happy to see Mack really getting more big coasters into the US, but the ending on this one seems a bit drawn out...dare I say "Great Bear-ish". At least the first part of the ride is awesome and long enough that I won't let that ending bother me!


    I thought that a bit too, but it will depend on the speed of it, I think. The POV made everything feel very leisurely (and that may be the most accurate), but the third animation (I think it was a mix of off-ride and some POV) had everything sped up and those turns looked intense, so who knows?

  2. Cool addition.

    I went to this park for the first time last year, and was surprised at how nicely themed it was (and it was clean), and the ride selection was surprisingly good.

    Really liked the Roadrunner Express (before I even knew that it was one of Alan Schilke's early designs), LOVED iron Rattler, really, really enjoyed Superman and others.


    (Sadly Poltergeist was closed, but I heard it's fun.)

  3. I feel sad because I have never had the Magic Gate experience.

    I, however, have a distant memory of a different, decidedly less magical, gate being open at the end of the unload ramps (before you head out into the photo booth area), where you could (climb stairs?) and come back around into the Millennium line without having to do the massive walk around?


    Is that possible? Or am I inventing a memory to compensate for never having had the Magic Gate open for me?

  4. This looks like a really good coaster, and seems to be all things to all men. It looks intense enough to keep thrill seekers happy* but not overwhelming to the point it would put off younger or less-confident guests off. It's not the kind of coaster I would drop everything and travel the world for, but it has such a broad appeal that I can't see it being anything but a huge success for the park.


    (* apart from Sven20)


    Yup. And (some) people forget that the park is building a ride for what the PARK needs. This fits into a good niche for SFMM -- family-ish friendly, but probably has enough thrills to please everyone. I predict it will be a big hit.

  5. Good, good... keep thinking we only eat deep dish while we hide away from the crowds at the good pizza places..



    The best of the best is not far from Wrigley Field - Michael's


    Amen to that. The real slice of pizza bliss in Chicago is it's tavern/pub style at places like Vito and Nick's and Aurelio's. Chicago pizza is way more than Giordano's (which is not even close to the best deep dish around and really just overhyped and commercial!). I personally like Pequod's.


    I won't devolve this into a Chicago pizza discussion (but I will say Bricks and Craft Pizza are good too -- like MyPie a little more deep dish than Pequod's, just cause Pequod's crust has too much cornmeal or something(?) on it, for me at least).

  6. Looks AWESOME. (Actually looks better than Blue Fire, which I really liked).

    I love that the Great America coaster and now this coaster are incorporating air time bumps in their launches (or shortly thereafter) -- cool new development.


    My favorite coaster announced so far, and there have been a lot of good ones (Kennywood's might still be the dark horse, but CW, SFMM, SFGaM and now this one all look great -- and UNIQUE).


    2019 is shaping up nicely.

  7. I'm really pumped for this new coaster! Even though it's my home park, I haven't spent much time at Great America the last few years; however, Maxx Force will definitely get me back there a few times next season. Happy for the park.


    yeah, it's my hometown park as well, but I haven't there very often, unfortunately.

    Having Cedar Point (relatively) close is a competitive challenge.


    But SFGAm's coaster collection is pretty solid, and getting better.

  8. Or have one sitting in the pit stop until the other train gets loaded and ready to launch?


    This is my understand of how it should work. So it should always duel. Unless you're on the very first train of the day, in that case, you only get half a duel. Hopefully it does work this way.


    In theory, if they are running at least 3 trains, you should have the one train unloading/ loading, while the other completes the circuit (1 min?), so hopefully the pit stop won't need more than 30 -45 seconds. But this is Magic Mountain . . . . be prepared for a leisurely pit stop.

  9. Love the little bunny hill right after the launch, and the uniqueness of the layout looks great.

    I also love that it appears to only have lap bars and the cars look cool.

    The only "negative" comment is that it appears to be quite short, although it looks like it packs a lot in (not Dragster short, but as compared to the China S&S launchers, but let's see when the stats come out). But so is Storm Runner, and that ride is awesome.


    great placement in the park.


    Looks like S&S to me.

  10. That certainly doesn't look like the Vekoma "family" coaster that all the "enthusiasts" were fretting over (not that there would have been anything wrong with a "family" coaster). It looks really cool and frames the new area very well.


    Although I get that the mobius / racing element has a connection to Twisted Colossus, they look like totally different ride experiences and layouts.


    This is much better than I was expecting.

  11. I timed it perfectly today, just had gotten off Rougarou and saw a small line forming, waited maybe 10 mins and they announced it was opening and we got on the second car they sent out, went right back around and got the back row after maybe a 15 min wait. Line was getting large after that so we hit up everything else towards the front of the park which were all walk ons since everyone else was heading to Millennium Force. They were running the blue and yellow trains.


    Had a fantastic start to the day too with early entry, got a back row and front row ride on Steel Vengeance in that first hour and headed over to Maverick for a 15 min wait.


    We are here for a few days so did the water park as well, we got so much stuff done and we didn't even rush at all. I've been all about buying Fast Lanes when I visit parks that aren't that close but it doesn't seem like it's needed yet and we aren't going crazy with marathoning anything.


    Steel Vengeance is absolutely awesome and I'm beyond thrilled to get on Millennium Force since it wasn't looking like it was going to happen this week. After all these years that ride still is absolutely so much god damn fun. I love everything about it.


    Does anyone know why it isn’t running all three trains? I know the two days I was there, although it was down, from the CP&LE RR I could see there was always one train on the transfers. Something up with the block sections?


    I don't know, but same thing was I was there 2 weeks ago-- on a VERY busy weekend they were running only 2 MF trains. I have no idea why, but I can't imagine it was the block sections because I can't recall the last time I saw them dispatch a train from the station before the last dispatch train had cleared the first block leading into the unload station.

  12. Valravn isn't the kind of ride where you're going to go to the park and have it be closed all day, it's just the kind of ride that's going to break down constantly for stupid sh*t throughout the day. It's not unreliable, it's just unreliable for a dive coaster.


    Queue Times has this cool new feature where it shows the uptime percentage for the last 7 days (which does include weather delays to be fair) and Valravn is down almost twice as much as (say) Maverick. 11.8% of the time for Maverick vs 20.1% of the time for Valravn.


    ... Jesus, I think I've hit my coaster-dorking quota for the year now.



    Interesting stats. One would have thought that Maverick would fair outpace it, but no.


    Overall, I have always been impressed with the maintenance staff and the ratio of uptime for Cedar Point rides. Other than Dragster, I am hard-pressed to think of another ride that has been down a full day for mechanical issues (vs. wind) when I have visited. I am actually surprised that Millennium has been struggling, since it always seemed be very reliable.

  13. I don't typically rank, much less in order, but will try to make this somewhat according to preference:


    1. Steel Vengeance. I am an air time, steep hills, out-and-back junkie, and this coaster had all that (well, except the out and back part) AND cool inversions and twisty stuff as well. AND it was comfortable. Is there anything it can't do??! A dream ride.


    2. El Toro: The opening drop, and then the ejector air on those two hills is heaven - a 1-2-3 punch to the gut. And then the low to the ground finale is excellent. It really does ride like a bucking bull, trying to throw you out of the train. My mind was blown when I first rode it. Naturally, I envisioned carbon copies of this all over the amusement park world. Naturally, I was dead wrong, as usual. No one can explain to me why (perhaps the Merlin people can?)


    3. SFNE Superman/ Bizarro - For the air. And the scenery. And the shitty one-train operations, of course.


    4. Wodan - Europa Park. I know there are "better" woodies out there, but there is just something about the crazed pacing of this that feels out of control and always puts a smile on my face (and a bruise on my ribs). The surprise hit of the park for me.


    5. Millennium Force - I have come to love it over time (when I didn't at first). The view, the first drop, the length, the speed. It's "easy" in a good way. Even graceful . . . .


    6. Iron Rattler - SFFT. Too short, but it does what it does well in that short period of time, and that twisting first drop is epic in the back seat, and then the final drop into the tunnel off the quarry wall is nirvana.


    7. Thunderbolt - Kennywood. Love the use of the ravine, the air, and the beginning of it, especially. A classic. Rides like history.


    8. Coaster - Vancouver Playland. Can almost ride it standing up. Love the smell of grease, and the massive air on it. Deceivingly good.


    9. Maverick. Sometimes good things come in short packages. But not often. (oh, that didn't write well....) You know what I mean.


    10. Matterhorn Bobsleds. Because it's the best themed coaster in the world and reminds me of childhood wonder. And the left side has one great moment of ejector air in the back!


    Honorary mention: Magnum. Sentimental favorite and the King of coasters for me for many years. It's the high school girlfriend. But it just ain't the same anymore.

  14. I need to get back to Skyrush and re-ride it: I only got to ride it once, in the back, on a very busy, hot day (when they had sold out of "fast passes!"), with 2-minute dispatches causing an hour+ wait, and, to cap it off, a woman barfed in the line directly in front of me. Putting that parade of horribles all together, it may have affected why I wasn't as impressed with the ride as I felt I *should* have been: loved the first drop and the air, but it seemed over very quickly?


    Agreed that a B&M hyper would feel very different than Skyrush: I initially thought there would be some redundancy, but totally different layouts and feel, as others pointed out. And I am glad I am not alone in being confused by Cedar Fair essentially building larger versions of existing B&M hypers at the two CW's


    Finally, it is interesting how B&M owned the '90s in terms of innovation and intensity, but never really pushed the envelope with their hypers in terms of intensity or airtime? I have only been on the "first generation" B&M hypers (e.g., Raging Bull, Apollo's Chariot, Silver Star, Nitro) and they all felt like essentially very similar profiles -- enjoyable rides, but designed to provide nothing more than floater air. Are the newer generation hypers/ gigas more aggressive in airtime? (e.g., Fury 325 or Diamond Back or Mako).

  15. I second the vote Vancouver Playland coaster mentioned above -- the restraints when I rode (which was well over 20 years ago) allowed you to almost stand during some of the airtime. Not sure it's the "best airtime" for me, but it's great.


    Steel Vengeance probably takes my "best airtime" vote, but we are in limerence right now. (El Toro remains close by, as does Superman/ bizarro / whatever the hell it's now called at SFNE).

  16. This is a shot in the dark but I’m wondering who here - maybe Robb himself - remembers the evolution of SFDK as a random interesting animal park in Redwood City CA......before it shut down and moved to Vallejo....even before that Vallejo park was Six Flags....I remember many trips to Redwood City to see this park and then they added the water slides....that was great...Robb?


    Would be great if they brought back the hot water skiing chicks that were a staple of the old Redwood City Park.....so great


    I have a very specific memory of this (growing up in the Bay Area). It was Marine World (then Marine World/Africa USA) originally. I went once as a kid and remember it as sort of like an old Sea World kind of park: animal focused, but then added a couple additional things, like a waterslides themed to a mountain (tiger mountain slides, I think?) and a few more rides (I can't recall exactly). No coasters ever, I believe. I remember the waterski women, and for some reason I was mesmerized by being able to jump into the "pools" filled with colored plastic balls.


    With silicon valley slowly expanding in the mid-1980's, the land was sold and marine world moved to Vallejo under a similar model. Eventually, migrated over to what we have now.

  17. I can't make heads or tails out of these teasers.

    I thought for sure that the tearing down of the Pictorium meant that they were going to open up a direct path to the water park right from near the Sky Trek tower, which would make a lot of sense, as opposed to needing to walk all the way back to Viper.


    Perhaps they are doing both: opening a direct path and having a coaster that using some of that land and perhaps the "old" water park entrance pathway.


    In any event, it's fun that we don't know about SFMM and SFGAm's plans this late in the game.


    If their goal was a more direct path to the water park, they already could have easily done that without removing anything by using the area by Sky Trek Tower (and didn't they actually have an alternate entrance down that way already at one point for 'early access' or something?


    Sorry, I don't know if they ever had a path (I've only gone to the waterpark a couple of times). I thought the Pictorium was basically "the area by Sky Trek Tower," but I get your point: the path did not require them to tear down anything, could have just circumvented it.


    I still wonder if they will do both in that area.

  18. Nice report.


    Valravyn 3x- I absolutely love this coaster and don't understand the negative opinions. To each their own but it seemed as good or even better to me than Sheikra and Griffon. The splash down has never done anything for me other than its aesthetics.


    I actually really came to enjoy Valravyn last trip. I mean, I always liked it, but for some reason I really enjoyed the drop in the back row this time and found the airtime hill and inversions to be a little more interesting. Who knows why. It's funny how some rides can be experienced a little differently from time to time, maybe depending on expectations and mood. As I get older, rides don't necessarily need to be so bat shit crazy to be enjoyable.


    I will say, however, that although Valravyn's layout is better than Sheikra and Griffon, I think the second drops on those rides are better experiences. Specifically, dropping into a tunnel and into a ravine, respectively, makes the drops feel a little more intense, to me at least. I like all three of them for different reasons.



    Gatekeeper 2x- This was my biggest question mark of the trip. What a beautiful coaster and I love the entire gatekeeper plaza. I will say that I absolutely loved the ride but totally understand the criticism of the MCBR and what follows. Seems like they were so creative for most of the ride and then got real tired and just wanted to finish up the design in order to go to bed. Still an amazing ride.


    I actually don't get the criticism of the MCBR and what follows. It's not a "mid-course" anything --- it's basically an almost-end-of-the-course brake. The vast majority (what, 80%?) of the ride happens before the MCBR, and it's lots of cool stuff over thousands of feet of track. There is only a little turn /helix and then a little bump hill into the final brake. To me, the "MCBR" on Gatekeeper is almost (but not quite) like the brake on the final tunnel exit from Magnum. So, if you didn't like what preceded the MCBR on Gatekeeper, so be it, but that's where the ride is actually located.


    I love Gatekeeper as a change of pace, re-rideable, just "fun" ride. The right front outboard seat is cool, with that insane hanging upside down first drop and soaring over the airtime hill, with those views. Must be a sign of old age.

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