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Everything posted by Olsor

  1. Great stuff as always, Shane. Watching the older Six Flags commercials, it really strikes me how far away they got from that "warm fuzzy" angle. The older commercials had jingles, they showed families and little kids, and they made it seem like a day at the old theme park was something really special. Then fast-forward a few years to Mr. Six, throngs of teens, and overpriced everything. I guess a few billion in dollars in debt will wipe the special off of everything.
  2. Excellent pictures, Jeff! What kind of camera did you get? And what's up with the girl in the last row of Griffon in that one picture of the train at the top of the first drop? Talk about making an already scary drop even scarier.
  3. Scott - it's not close to the Hemisfair area. It's on the far northwest side of town, at I-10 and Loop 1604. And SeaWorld is about 10 miles southwest of Fiesta Texas, just off 1604. Apparently, about 15 years ago, this was the boonies. The city's grown like crazy since then.
  4. ^^ and ^^^^ just made me feel older than dirt. Great stuff, Coasterdad! I already subscribed to your page. Looking forward to seeing all your clips.
  5. More goodies from the shoebox. Here's a clip of the debut of the backwards Eagle at Six Flags Great America in 1991.
  6. Great stuff, Shane! I still remember the old Great America jingle. And the ever-present Twicket. I wonder at what point they decided to quit pushing for a next-day return trip in favor of just promoting the season pass? Here's a much less charming commercial from 1991.
  7. And I remembered that about five minutes after I clicked "Submit." Dammit. Gonna go fix the caption now. I'm making a "Pump up the Volume" reference in my next TR. Usually when I post pictures, I up the color saturation just a little bit to make them look more vibrant. Goliath rendered that completely unnecessary. That school-bus orange was messing with my camera. Now that I think about it, and maybe someone has the pictures to back me up, but didn't the early press-release materials for SFOG's Goliath have a similar color scheme? It might have shown it with blue supports and yellow tracks, though. Can't remember.
  8. Goliath officially opened today with all of the expected fanfare. Which would be none. I was on the second train of the day. The ride was silky smooth, even after all the trauma it's been through. They're definitely anticipating long lines for Goliath--the queue is ridiculously long. Alas, they already scaled it back to one train operation by midday. The park was absolutely dead. Saw a few field trips and out-of-towners, and that was pretty much it. Rode everything once, except for Boomerang and Rattler, because I value my spine. I hadn't been on Tony Hawk yet... spinning is not my thing. But my first ride was pretty gentle. The worst part was when we were in the brakes waiting to get back to the station and the car kept spinning. Definitely a great family ride and a needed addition to the park. Goliath just put the icing on the cake. SFFT has a solid lineup of rides now. Enough chat... onto the pictures! And, as you can see, I ripped a hole in the time-space continuum by taking a digital photo of an LCD screen. Thanks for reading! When do I get my Gleaming the Cube ride? (Thanks, Billy) I'm Superman, and I approved this big ass loop. Through the cliche. I can has spine damage? Why are we doing this? Didn't ride it. Poltergeist threading the needle. For those about to get headbanged... we salute you. Such a pretty ride. Such a horrible headache ensues. In case you forgot. It's business time. The mass of humanity waiting to get in. And by "mass," I mean about 100 people. Goliath testing before the park opens.
  9. Today's entry is a Bill Kurtis piece on Physics Day at Six Flags Great America in 1991. Be on the lookout for Tidal Wave in its last season at SFGAm (and especially the Tidal Wave ride op uniforms), Hypercolor T-shirts, some physics, and best of all, Bill Kurtis riding the American Eagle. Physics Day at Six Flags Great America 1991
  10. Very cool - in the Flashback commercial, they use footage of the ride when it was Z-Force at SFGAm. Haven't seen that since the mid-'80s.
  11. More from the archives: here's Chicago news coverage of the debut of The Rattler at Fiesta Texas from 1992. I remember wanting to visit San Antonio so badly just to ride the Rattler. Didn't make it down until 2000, and by then, it had undergone major surgery. Now I live 15 miles away from it, and I have no desire to ride it. Unless I'm hankering for some spinal injuries. Rattler's debut at Fiesta Texas
  12. I never got a chance to ride Flashback when it was Z-Force at SFGAm, but I remember my older siblings and their friends talking about how brutal the headbanging was with the restraints. I wonder if the original design wasn't supposed to incorporate OTSRs? You wouldn't think Intamin would build a new ride knowing it would inflict head trauma on its passengers. Vekoma, sure, but not Intamin.
  13. ^You need a better internet connection. Same thing was happening to me, and it turned out my modem was shot. Today's clip features a pre-scrap metal, freshly-painted and moved Flashback at SFMM, along with the rest of the SFMM stable of rides circa 1992. Unfortunately, there's more Wil Shriner daytime TV antics. Lots of POV, though. Flashback (and others) on some lame daytime TV talk show
  14. ^^Ah, now I know which one you're talking about. You were probably thinking of how it resembles a spinning top... not a top hat. They show that one in pretty much every video on classic roller coasters. My guess is that the trains were on separate tracks altogether.
  15. Next up is a CBS News segment on coasters from 1992. Lots of footage of Kings Dominion, and there's even some shots of Flashback, back when it was freshly painted and not a pile of scrap metal. Be on the lookout for: a younger, gainfully employed Dan Rather, John Pierce explaining why Rattler sucks so badly, a 70-year-old enthusiast showing a timid correspondent the ropes, and two bachelor-of-the-year contestants who also happen to be Cyclone ride ops. CBS News segment on roller coasters
  16. ^Ah. This would be how they load without colliding:
  17. What do you mean by Top Hat coasters? And I'm getting my videos onto YouTube in the least efficient way possible. This started when I bought a VCR/DVD recorder so I could record all of my old videotapes onto DVD. Once I got them onto DVD, I ripped the DVDs to .avi files using freeware (this is so I can also put them on my Creative Zen Vision). After that, I used Windows Movie Maker to reduce the file size to something usable on YouTube. There are much easier ways to get video onto the Internet, though.
  18. More from the archives. This one's a short segment from a show called Fantastic Facts from 1991. There's the obligatory piece on coaster history, then it launches into a montage of the coasters debuting in the early '90s. It also has some footage of both the scale and full-size Arrow pipeline prototypes. The scale model looks NUTS. Be on the lookout for: Merlin Olsen. If you're between 40 and 50, you'll say, "Oh, the football player." If you're between 30 and 40, you'll say, "Oh, the guy from Little House on the Prairie." And if you're under 30, you'll say, "Who???" The video quality is particularly poor on this one. This is what I get for buying cheap blank tapes from Walgreens. Fantastic Facts segment on roller coasters
  19. The corkscrew in action is at the bottom of this page. I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say that those pictures of the flying turns and looping suspended prototypes are the coolest things ever on the face of the Earth. Ever. Ever. Thanks, Scott! Incredible stuff.
  20. Yep, it's the Eagle. You can always tell by those ridiculous arm guards on the sides of the train.
  21. And now, for your weekend enjoyment, a lengthy, two-part segment on coasters from National Geographic Explorer from 1990. This one devotes a large amount of time to the first tests of the Arrow pipeline prototype. Be on the lookout for horrible audio editing, Sam Kinison (WTF?), and Mr. Wirebender himself, Ron Toomer. National Geographic Explorer segment on roller coasters, Part 1 Part 2
  22. Ah, jeez... the "roughness" debate again. Yes, wooden rides shouldn't be as smooth as a brand-new B&M. The charm of wooden rides is that you can feel the vibrations of the ride. A wooden ride, however, should not make you feel like you just spent a round in the octagon in a UFC fight. Mean Streak gave me multiple bruises on my back, and it knocked the snot out of my nose. (I actually enjoy old Arrow loopers, too. Mean Streak < old Arrow loopers.) That said, wooden rides give vastly different rides depending on the time of day, day of the week, month of the year, etc. I totally understand that there are folks out there who have had good or even great rides on wooden coasters that are generally reviled, for various reasons. Voyage and El Toro top my rankings, but I've also had spectacular rides on American Eagle, Zeus, and Cyclone and Thunderbolt at SFNE, none of which rank highly in Mitch's poll. I think that the rides at the top of that poll tend to be the ones that give the most consistent rides.
  23. Awesome stuff, Shane! I'd always hoped to see some coverage on the RailBlazer accident. I had thought that that accident happened on the ride's media day. Secondly, Bill Kurtis for the win. This will not be his last appearance in this thread, by the way. All my prior knowledge of the Lightnin' Loops accident had come from that 1987 Popular Mechanics article on ride safety. It was strange to see how people at the time had so much difficulty articulating what had happened.
  24. It's tabloid Thursday! (Shut up... I realize Tuesday would've worked better). First up, we have a segment on roller coaster safety from Entertainment Tonight (WTF?) from 1991, shortly after "Black Sunday" at Kings Island. Lots of good stuff in this one. Be on the lookout for a hilarious Cedar Point training video, a maintenance worker named Udo, and the awesomeness that is John Tesh. Entertainment Tonight segment on roller coasters And because you're special, here's another segment from 1991. This one is from Inside Edition. Paul Ruben brings his "A" material, and we get to see an awkwardly coiffed, pre-Fox News Bill O'Reilly. Yes... he hosted Inside Edition before he became a famous blowhard. Inside Edition segment on roller coasters
  25. Today, appropriately enough, the shoebox gives us a look back at the debut of a ride that's already been turned into toothpicks. Here we see Wil Shriner yuk it up to the delight of the many housewives in attendance at some lame daytime talk show hosted by Gary Collins. From 1991. I apologize for the poor quality. Of the video and the ride. Psyclone on some lame daytime talk show from 1991: (and I promise it's not a RickRoll)
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