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Everything posted by Shavethewhales2

  1. Man, what could have been. The little landscaped fly though looks nice. You know they originally planned for a lot more rockwork, especially around the end of the ride where there were two "mountains" on the original plans. The lack of any sort of vegetation around most of it is just depressing though. I'd say I hope they come back and finish the theming and landscaping, but... you just don't know with DW anymore. I'm sure they'll eventually plant some trees somewhere.
  2. Oof. Hope they are planning a refurbishment. They can rebrand it like Twister II/III if that helps their economic logic. That is legitimately one of my favorite rides and was a massive surprise for me on my 2019 trip up there.
  3. Holy crap those clearances. I know it's been discussed before, but it's pretty wild that they are building a coaster from the ground up in 2023 that you'll have to be careful not to reach out to the sides. I'm sure the trains will have arm guards to prevent this. It's such an old school design and I love it.
  4. Georgia is a famously difficult state to build in. I mean, obviously a lot gets built anyway, but there's tons of red tape. Their stormwater runoff/SW3P enforcement is legendary. They supposedly have teams of people that observe from a distance, even hiding in the woods if they have to, and will perform "raids" if a contractor isn't following their SW3P correctly. Not surprised to hear about inspection issues. There's still time though and I'm sure they'll get it sorted for this summer. No reason not to expect it to be open by Memorial Day unless they really screwed up somehow.
  5. It's honestly amazing that they made this ride last over 50 years with the water and mold constantly waging war against it. I'm sure they "could" have revamped it, but it's a cost/value decision. Obviously building a fancy new ride will provide more ROI vs spending the same or more to "fix" an old ride that people won't really notice. Still hard as a fan to watch something you've grown up with disappear, especially something that spans generations. I hope Blazing Fury lives on forever. I'll probably make a trip out to DW next year or so for it.
  6. They are definitely doing this the right way. Love that they are pulling out all the history and even brought back the ride's theme song. The park really does well putting these things together when they want to, I just hope the new ride is given as much care after it opens. Time Traveler's 'theme' of being a clock factory with a dad/daughter inventor duo is basically forgotten now unless you really go searching for the details, and Wildfire's famous inventor character has been missing for years. The best thing about FITH (and flooded mine) is that it smacks you in the face with rich history and details. So unique and interesting, and so much more than just a coaster in a box. The outpouring of attention they are receiving over this proves they have something special here, and they obviously know it.
  7. It's been a few years since I've been, but between the two I'd probably pick Frontier City. MS has bigger and more interesting coasters I guess, but they are rough and will beat you to hell. X-Coaster is pretty cool, but aside from that it's a woodie that isn't taken care of, a meandering (albeit historic) arrow mine train, and a Vekoma hang-and-bang. There aren't many other rides. The water park is the main draw. Last time I went the place was on it's third owner in nearly as many years and had been given the "landlord special" with fresh paint slopped everywhere instead of actual maintenance and focus on the guest experience. Frontier City isn't amazing by any means but it is a well rounded little park. It's not as nice with the current rendition of SF leadership, but the arrow shuttle is not to be missed and that Schwartzkopf is becoming a rare credit.
  8. Big announcement in two hours. It seems like an odd time to be making an announcement to me, so I wonder if they are announcing FITH's retirement or something else. They have certainly hyped this announcement all over social media and are describing it as "historic" so it must be big. The only other thing that comes to mind is the new land they purchased and our assumption that they will eventually open an on-site resort hotel like DW.
  9. This is excellent. I've never made it to Darien, but the Predator always looked like an excellent layout. This is exactly what I wanted to happen to these vintage wooden coasters so we can keep enjoying them instead of every ride being RMC'd.
  10. ^That is awesome news about the "flying coaster"! Love that Knoebels is still at it! The calendar is a bit disappointing though. So basically every popular weekend is tickets only? Has it been like that long? I haven't been since like 2017 but it's high time I made it up there again.
  11. I rode this thing back in the mid 2000's and it was an awesome experience. Very bizarre first half with the super slow lifts and pointless straight sections that you could tell was all about making it the "world's longest coaster", but the second half was an actual roller coaster and it was indeed pretty wild. Who remembers this thing being represented in roller coaster tycoon? This whole park was such a treasure back in the day. The buried Schwartzkopf wildcat, the one-of-a-kind classic flume ride, the weird bat coaster... such a funky little place.
  12. I visit a fair bit and have been doing so for the past 20+ years, and I know a lot of people who do the same. My opinion isn't based on a single "off-day". A lot of it is growing pains and difficulties with the current economic/job market. Some days are better than others, obviously. They always seem to do better in the Fall and early summer. Christmas time can be hit and miss with the huge crowds, weather, staffing levels, rides being more temperamental at the end of a long season, etc. I have been told that the last week was pretty difficult with large crowds and rides misbehaving. There's a lot more growth coming to the park over the next decades, and we have all enjoyed their high standards for so long, so you can see why I'm nervous about how it's being managed. You start talking to people in Branson and so many have such a negative view of the park because of experience working there or knowing others that did. SDC has never had a large employment pool to draw from, so they are increasingly running short staffed. Hopefully the new year and improvements the park is making will fix some of the complaints.
  13. The park is still struggling in so many ways. So many older, experienced employees have either died, retired, or been so PO'd that they left never to return. Management is basically running the place on prayer and duct tape. Several restaurants and food stands such as Percy's and the Mine have not opened since 2020. Rides are more temperamental than ever, and they have less experienced maintenance staff to keep them going. Mystic River Falls is still running at a fraction of the capacity it was supposed to have and still breaks down constantly, not to mention Time Traveler still having constant issues and missing it's third train. The lights really distract people from how much the park has fallen off in recent years. The new employee dorms will allow them to bring in some fresh bodies I guess, but the root of the problem is management. I hate to see the park suffer this decline. I know they have big plans for the place with resorts and all that, but if they can barely keep the park functioning as it is, how will growth help?
  14. Aw, that's unfortunate. Coaster Christmas is always an interesting event, but most of the time it's a bit warmer. You never know if it's going to be in the 70's or 20's this time of year around here, and it can be both across a weekend. I was hoping they would say more about the new indoor coaster, and maybe even provide a construction tour, but I guess that will come next year hopefully. I'm surprised that it was still crowded with it being so cold and the rides down. People sure like lights. In the old days people would still come for the shows, but I didn't think they were as much of a draw anymore with all the changes they've had to make.
  15. lol, it's a saying, but not what I would say after an accident with people injured... This whole thing is crazy. We don't know the cause, and I don't want to speculate too much, but this train has been in operation for 60 years now without any other major incidents that I know of. I wonder if some of the track sections are simply worn out from the years and near-constant use. I know they've done maintenance and some track work over the years, but as with everything else there may have been some things that slipped. Who knows what the lead time is on new train rails these days... Glad to hear of no serious injuries, which is incredibly lucky when you have such a huge group of people being literally tipped over together. The people on the left edge might have been thrown a good way. I wonder how quickly it happened. Going to be a tough Christmas without one of the biggest attractions.
  16. They've had the Indian Ridge property for a bit now. It's been a satellite parking lot this season. I believe they started knocking down the half-built mansions recently. It's great that they are bringing back the furniture shop complete with the demonstration area. What's probably most telling in the announcement is what isn't mentioned: no new ride, and nothing for White Water. That means the mystery box behind fireman's landing is now a 2024 attraction and White Water's future remains ambiguous. I can't even recall the last time they invested in a major new attraction for White Water.
  17. Great news about the wooden coasters. What is the status of Triple Loop though? It's at the top of my list for a 2023 roadtrip, but at this point I'm wondering if they'll ever get it done?
  18. Yes, we noticed shifts in priorities at SDC when the corporate move to Atlanta happened and it has picked up steam over the years. A lot of it is simply generational though. All the old timers who kept the unspoken rules of the parks are gone now. Current leadership more or less follows conventional business practices and doesn't care so much about the nuances of the parks. It's all so corporate now. Even within the parks you have different departments that operate like separate companies almost. It feels very cutthroat and political, and has led to a lot of people retiring and leaving the parks. That's one of the major reasons you hardly see any of the people that work there for 20+ years anymore. A lot of people will say "no one cares about theming" or "I'll take 500ft of track over some extra theming" or some such things, but in this case especially the ride would actually be made by the theming. The ride experience itself will be quite mild (not a bad thing). The theming would have made it into a complete experience, but now it's just another kids ride that will be fall to a mid-tier ride at DW in a few years when they add the next rides and the novelty of being new wears off. That whole back corner just seems unappealing compared to the rest of the park. Some trees at the very least would go a long way at bringing the smokey mountain ambiance back. Also, this addition really does make the loss of all those trees feel even more ridiculous. It's not like they are using all the space they flattened and cleared off at all. There's so much empty void space between this and the train tracks.
  19. It's a great looking ride and obviously the park is really developing well for the younger kids/family demographic which is really smart. Really like the idea of a bigger coaster that is still appealing to non-thrill seekers. This is a great encore to Firechaser, which is a very popular ride. I second everyone's disappointment about the apparent theming budget cuts though... the second half of the ride looks... odd, especially with Dragonflyer right there. It's going to look very Six Flags back there. I was kind of hoping HFEC would keep pushing the bar on theming, but I understand that things are too damn expensive right now. SDC poured a ton of money into rockwork for Mystic River Falls, and it looks fantastic, but I'm sure the ROI is questionable. At least in SDC's case it was a central location and affected a wide area of the park.
  20. Flooded Mine is over 50 years old. I think one of the reasons you think it's in such bad shape is that you are comparing it to more modern attractions. Some things were intended to be static, and others work intermittently. It's been a long time since everything worked all at once. In the old days there were very few moving parts as I understand it. The guns and targets were added in the 70's and changed the nature of the ride. It used to just be a ride through with a bunch of themed scenes. It's just an old ride though and the scenery inside is still incredible even when all the moving parts aren't working. SDC maintenance is suspect sometimes though. It's true that they haven't given it the attention it deserves. I had a friend that used to work on it some years ago and he was constantly running around fixing things but he had little support from management, no budget, and the dysfunctional politics of the place eventually ran him off. They have such high turnover these days and the people coming on don't know how to do all the little mechanical tasks that a ride like this requires. It really is a wildly popular ride that literally anyone can ride. I remember riding it with my grandmother and baby nephew at the same time years ago. Being air conditioned and high capacity are also big plusses. I don't think SDC is capable of replacing FM with anything similar. They are always too tempted to do something crazy to make it more marketable, such as the drop they added to Mystic River when the previous raft ride was already super popular without it. I'm sure the new FITH will have something wild in it too.
  21. The building looks pretty impressive. Here is the most recent update that was posted to reddit: I guess it's harder to get excited because not only is it hidden inside a building but it's also a replacement ride for a long standing favorite classic attraction. It's a tough gamble by the park because everyone will be comparing it to the old ride rather than allowing it to be a brand new experience, but I applaud them for trying and not just junking FITH for another random coaster. As far as updates on here goes... a lot of us who still use forums are simply too old to deal with it anymore. I used to have a lot of fun with the speculation, keeping an eye out for markers, and going to the parks sometimes just to see construction progress. These days though I just don't have the time/energy/money and would rather spend what I have on other things - even though I still enjoy aspects of amusement park fandom occasionally. The kids who are coming up into the fandom who care about that kind of stuff are all on instagram/tiktok/youtube. Forums like this one aren't as appealing because it's a different type of interaction and quite frankly can be a little insular and hostile as KBrylczyk's comment displays, lol.
  22. Hard to come up with suggestions for kids that young, but the Aquarium and Wonderworks are probably nice. Branson Landing is pleasant too, with lots of things like the arcade, bowling alley, and other little attractions, but that's a lot of walking. The Promised Land zoo has a mix of drive through and walking zoo areas. Our big thing that's also cheap is the fish hatchery at the Table Rock Lake dam. Bring some quarters and your kids will have a good time without much effort or expense on your part.
  23. I would assume it's an RMC. They compete heavily with SDC, and an RMC would be different than their other two wooden coasters. The only reason they would go with a "traditional" wooden coaster is if GCII gave them a good deal on their new track system or something and it turned out to be much more cost efficient than steel. I don't think the public would be too excited about a new wood coaster based on how they let Prowler fall apart. Hopefully WOF gets their own version of Goliath.
  24. There were several times he spoke of fixing things up and getting certain things running "next year". The tumble bug especially - it was supposedly pulled apart to be "fixed" and then it was suddenly scrapped. Basically every time he said something would be worked on and fixed it ended up being demolished instead. I don't fault him for ultimately electing to demolish the park, but he definitely got the local community and enthusiasts excited about the possibility of him actually fixing things up and keeping the park around, and then he pulled the rug. And you know what, there were several times before the park was sold that they actually did draw some pretty good crowds. The place did have potential. Look back at some of the posts from 2018/2019 and you'll see that the preservation group that had the park beforehand was almost there. There was a lot of work left to do, but they were making progress every year before the pandemic hit. So close but so far...
  25. Like I said months earlier, a lot of it has to do with how he communicated. If he had been clear from the start that his intentions were to raze the property and do different things with it, we would have been disappointed and there would have been some gnashing of teeth from some, but in the end the shock would have faded and it would have been easier to come to terms with. The stringing along and false promises and BS is what makes him hate-able.
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