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Mark Rosenzweig

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Everything posted by Mark Rosenzweig

  1. When demand calls, they absolutely will run two trains on Cyclone. The transfer process is as no frills as any in the business- the entire crew pulls the train out of the storage shed onto the transfer track and then pushes it over to the loading area and then promptly loads the train (usually without a single test cycle) and off you go. While I have never personally seen it, several Coney experts swear to me that back in Coney's prime that the ride would run all three of its trains at the same time. As it operates today, they do operate two at the same time, but never have them stacked in load/unload stations together. -Mark
  2. I was going to ask for an official definition, but found this so I think I'm good.... Emo Genre of softcore punk music that integrates unenthusiastic melodramatic 17 year olds who dont smile, high pitched overwrought lyrics and inaudible guitar rifts with tight wool sweaters, tighter jeans, itchy scarfs (even in the summer), ripped chucks with favorite bands signature, black square rimmed glasses, and ebony greasy unwashed hair that is required to cover at least 3/5 ths of the face at an angle. If these people really exist, they probably need to be hit in the face hard a few times to be brought back to life. And people say the '80s were bad. -Mark
  3. Isn't that redundant?!? Back to the new Crows album after I finish up Ben Folds Live, Mark
  4. Chiming in here a bit late with comments, but I'm curious as to what your previous park experience is to have left KW feeling underwhelmed. Outside of SCBB, California has not a single park that could even be considered "traditional" in my eyes. Sure, you have Pacific Park and Belmont Park, but neither are traditional- just modern mini parks in traditional settings if that makes any sense. If a person is of the "need to get every single credit and then be bored" group, then yes, KW will not be your cup of tea. What KW has that nearly every other park wishes it had is soul. Not fabricated or themed soul, but the real deal. Their coasters are fun at best (with great settings), but its things like the Auto Ride, Carousel, Noah's Ark, Whip, Kanagaroo, Log Jammer (last Arrow flume left with the spillway coaster element), etc, etc that makes KW what it is. Also not knowing the group's schedule, if you weren't able to take a stroll around the grounds after dark, that was a big miss as well. It's really all perception in what one gets out of a park experience. Now, if traditional parks aren't your thing, then that's fine. But I get the feeling that after spending two days at a mega coaster park like CP, then to follow that up with KW may have left some underwhelmed because they were so focused on what KW doesn't have, instead of the uniqueness that it does have. -Mark
  5. I too find Disaster to be a "fun" ride. Most of the ragging that people have given it mostly relate to the somewhat wasted investment that was made in enclosing the ride as a quick follow up to Magnum in 1990. Most of what makes a bobsled coaster is the visual of not having a true "track", and how the cars slide up the side of the trough on the turns. Enclosing this takes away this visual somewhat. Also don't forget that this is Cedar Point, where everything is hyped to the max by some of the best marketing and PR folks in the industry. After the "over the top" ride that Magnum delivered a year prior, CP guests and enthusiasts may have had their expectations set to a level that was impossible to meet. That and the "Welcome to Alaska" greeting given at unload did have its share of WTF to it. It's also one of the park's lower capacity coasters with a queue that is typically hidden from view, so it is really impossible to know how long the wait is until you are actually standing in line. -Mark
  6. The photos are of Adventureland's model, but since then Rides 4 U (Moser rep in US) also sold the identically themed model to Wild West World (headed to Wild Adventures) and now Dixie Landing. Two additional Moser models also were sold to Knoebels and Cliffs. I applaud Dixie Landing's modest, yet consistant annual expansions in light of SFNO's unfortunate situation. The park has a very solid mix of rides and one of the most underrated (perhaps because of its out of the way location) waterparks anywhere. They are a small to medium sized wood coaster away from rounding out their ride roster perfectly. -Mark
  7. Exactly. Tis the reason why the single greatest single rider line in existance has been and probably always will be for Test Track. -Mark
  8. I'll give you one. Ironically, it was acquired by a larger corporation called Kennywood Entertainment....up on Connecticut somewhere. Agreed, though. This is a rare occurence when a smaller park is made "better" by a corporate takeover. One could argue that SFNE and Great Escape have a better attraction mix since being acquired by SFI, but then you have intangibles like atmosphere that sometimes are sacrificed. Knott's is a perfect example. -Mark
  9. Must have been handsome ***** as I'm not cool enough anymore. Either way, it was pretty good info. -Mark
  10. Having ridden both, I'll give my thoughts, mostly because of how relatively disappointed I was with Griffon. Not that Griffon is a *bad* ride, but...read on.... SheiKra was the *perfect* addition to BGA at a time when the Florida theme park market's coaster wars had dried up. It added a much needed thrill to the park, and in my mind re-generated the coaster wars in that market which we will see over the next 2-3 years, proving that a major coaster is a needed investment every so often, even in a destination market. The installation and theme design done for SheiKra is nothing short of spectacular. Midways interact with nearly every portion of the ride's circuit. The monstrous station stands nearly 5 storeys tall, with the double load feature strangely left out on Griffon. The second drop into the tunnel offers another signature element Griffon lacks. Griffon's unique element that won me over was perhaps the speed hill prior to the splashdown trim. BGE's installation was impressive, but mostly thanks to nature and less thanks to design/theming. It needlessly cost the LeMans Raceway its life (I could be off base, but they could have easily kept the Raceway and let it sprawl under Griffon's trackage). Griffon's only theming is its miniscule loading station that was horribly designed. There simply was not enough contained queue designed into it. There is no reason why even on a slow day that the queue should have to spill out onto the ride's plaza. Having not ridden SheiKra with Floorless Trains, I would have to say the Floorless feature did little to affect my opinion one way or the other. SheiKra was fine with the original trains. But since this is a ride versus ride survey... First drop to mid course block- virtually the same ride experience with slightly different layouts. Second drop to splash trim- SheiKra dives into tunnel and out into banked 180 degree turn before hitting splash trim. Griffon dives at far less of an angle (perhaps a 75 degree drop) into a smaller immelman in the exact same direction as the first one. On a ride where trackage is mega costly per foot, why would one design the same exact element in the same exact direction into the same exact ride? As mentioned above, Griffon earns points for pre splash speed hill, but not enough to make up for the unoriginal nature of its design. I think when it comes down to it, had Griffon been the first ride and SheiKra the second, I probably wouldn't have been so down on Griffon. It's just that with two years between the rides and with BGE's history for doing some amazing terrain inspired (and awe inspiring) custom coaster layouts, this one left a lot to be desired IMO. Again- not that it is a bad ride, just not up to BGE's standards based upon their past work. So in the end, even while I personally like BGE leaps and bounds over BGA as a park, I give the nod to SheiKra. -Mark
  11. I would like to hope that you won't lose sleep over this critical matter.
  12. The only park that makes remote sense is Carowinds, as they lack any type of shuttle coaster. They also have that new plot of land that was formally occupied by the Setpoint Swing Thing coaster. Also, with SFoG losing Deja Vu, that would pretty much make this ride the only shuttle coaster in the region. -Mark
  13. Photos from today's auction at Williams Grove are now up at www.whispers.smugmug.com Enjoy, Mark
  14. I'm not so sure the Intamin coaster was anything more than rumor. It is for sure, however, that the original S&S Thrust Air launch coaster was slated to open at PGA in 2001, but for unconfirmed reasons (corporate neighbours IMO), Paramount opted to put the ride into PKD last second. Because the spot PKD chose for the ride was not able to accomodate the original configuration, S&S had to make last second changes to the ride's layout (actually shortening the track leading to the awkward track layout that Hypersonic has today). Seems the Great America has pretty much free reign to do what they want on the eastern edge. It's the western edge (Grizzly-Demon-Whitewater Falls) side that borders those office buildings that the park has the hardest time working with (where the S&S coaster was slated to go). -Mark
  15. Great overview, Derek. While at the west coast Great America for the first time in 2000, it was an almost spooky experience as I too had visited the Gurnee version many times prior to that. Everywhere I looked, I kept trying to compare the two parks. Funny that even under different management, they got lots of similar rides (B&M inverted, B&M stand up, Vekoma inverted boomerangs in different sizes, etc.) Perhaps the biggest bonehead move made at Great America was the removal of their train. As you probably saw, the front berm where the hometown square station is at SFGAm was leveled and is now home to the Zierer Wave Swinger (which came from Carowinds). Many of the park's coasters had custom supports incorporated into their designs to allow for the train tracks to pass under them. Your photo of Vortex from the skyride illustrates this perfectly, as you can see the old trackbed under the ride. Even Stealth had funky custom supports to allow the train to pass underneath, and less than 3 years later, both rides were no longer at the park! The supports can still be seen on Borg at Carowinds. Biggest factors that have held back development/new coasters at Great America are: a)Low height restrictions in most areas of the park due to the San Jose Airport being down the road. b)Nasty corporate neighbours who the city of Santa Clara have to bend over to make sure are happy. The city of Santa Clara still owns the land that GA sits on, and leases it to the park operator (long term lease, and something in it that says the property *must* be used as a theme park). Without that guarantee, you know the park would have been swallowed up by the tech boom that was pretty much born out of the surrounding Silicon Valley. Heck, if not for Santa Clara stepping in to buy the park after Marriott got out in the mid '80s (they had no problem selling the Gurnee park), the west coast Great America would have bitten the dust long ago. -Mark
  16. Great TR, Derek. As a youngin', my family would vacation up in the Lake George/Schroon Lake area for the 10 days leading up to Labor Day every summer. Amazingly enough, I can't speak highly enough for the job Premier/Six Flags has done at TGE thus far. As your photos illustrate, most of Charlie Wood's influence is still alive and well. The only questionable installation in my eyes was probably the Boomerang- and that's more an issue of placement within the park, as that area used to be home to an amazing Dentzel Carousel, and several rare family attractions (i.e. an Arrow Development powered trackless train from Freedomland). And yes, even after all the whining over that one reprofiled section after its second drop, Comet continues to be the most underrated/overlooked woodie in the country IMO. Unlike Phoenix, it is a bit tempermental and really turns it on after dark. As for LaRonde, "worst Six Flags property" may only apply to their questionable operations. Looks like going on a busy day while the park is in full throttle is the way to go. I actually really enjoyed the park. It is anything but cookie cutter with its bizarre layout, random remnants still around from Expo '67, and the rare flat ride collection. That monorail is an amazing attraction in itself, as it give a full aerial tour of the entire property. Amazing also to see La Monstre running all four of its trains- despite its "meander" feel, I really enjoyed that ride. For whatever reason, it just intrigues me- something about the massive structure, twisting/overlapping trackplan, and maybe the fact that rides like that were far and few between at best when it was built all factor in. Their old Arrow Log Flume, while far from stellar, is also worth seeking out. Like the Arrow Mini Mine Train, it dates from the Expo. These days it another noteworthy feature is that it is running a set of bamboo themed boats that came off of Astroworld's old Bamboo Chute. As for Le Dragon, we got most of Iron Maiden's "Bring Your Daughter to the Slaughter" for our cha-ching. -Mark
  17. Enjoying your series of PTRs, and to each their own, but it should be noted that save perhaps for the SCBB Giant Dipper and Coney Cyclone that *no* shore resort amusement park is "for" the coasters. The Ocean City, MD portion to me says you rode the three coasters and left, which would have been a shame as Trimper's has *four* dark ride/walk thru attractions. At Morey's, the amazing Zoom Phloom is probably the best ride on the entire Jersey Shore. Shore parks are more for atmosphere and quirky rides/attractions then coasters. Always has been that way. The $41 band at Morey's is more than worth it, as just taking in the dark rides and other anchor attractions (i.e. Giant Wheel, Condor, Go Karts....) you can easily rack up over $75 in rides- with or without Great White (which is one of the poorer CCIs in the first place). -Mark
  18. Got unconfirmed news today that Raging Wolf Bobs at Geauga Lake derailed either late yesterday or early today. Supposadly the ride is done for the year and somewhat serious train and track damage took place- it was the last car of one of the two trains that derailed bringing the train to a slow, grinding hault in one of the ride's mid course turnarounds. ??? -Mark
  19. I'd say its pretty much limited to KBF specifically, though. None of their other parks have this type of idotic queue design. -Mark
  20. It's amazing to me that parks don't realize that while they may be saving maintenance dollars by trimming wood coasters, that they are creating a safety risk in two major areas: a)Some trims are abrubt and can/have caused rider injuries (see DP's Thunderhawk- specifically the hard stop at the end of the circuit). b)By trimming speed, the train is now taking the course at too *slow* of a speed, and the original banking designed into the ride actually works against the rider. Timber Wolf suffers from the same issues as rides like Mean Streak and (RIP) Hercules. The last turn on Hercules was probably banked 20-30 degrees, and with the trains crawling through the turn at no more than 25-30 MPH, I always found myself sliding towards the inside of the turn. In other words, totally defeating Summer's reasoning for banking that turn in the first place! This was probably not an issue before that trim was installed at the top of the ride's 148 ft first drop. Then again, I'm not so sure I would have wanted to experience that "less than butter smooth" lake skimming banked turn without the trim. On the other hand, a ride like SFStl's Screamin' Eagle saw the opposite, which was having its turns banked from their original near flat design, but not having a single trim installed on the course. -Mark
  21. I was under the impression that the current trains on Timber Wolf are the original rolling stock that were simply modified with the removal of the buzz bars in favor of individual ratcheting bars, and the addition of headrests. The original rolling stock also had two bench six car PTC trains. When the modifications took place exactly I'm not sure, but it had to be when the ride was only a year or two old, probably not too far after the rider was flung to their death on the first lift cut through lateral air hill. -Mark
  22. It is quite the tasty coaster. Just thinking about a healthy helping of Bull makes me hot.
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