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Mark Rosenzweig

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Everything posted by Mark Rosenzweig

  1. There already is an El Toro thread for May 29, 2007. Maybe you should have that little of a life to know that. Love, Mark
  2. Kent got the ride for next to nothing. I'd estimate no more than $2-$3 million with the move and re-build to reopen Starliner. For comparison, the largest Vekoma Roller Skater model (like Cypress Gardens and IOA for example) runs about 2.5 million EURO. So multiply that by 1.35 or whatever the Euro is at these days, and you see that this was quite a nice investment for Cypress. In addition, while no El Toro, the ride does offer Cypress a nice "historical" marketing plan, as the ride is a "Florida Tradition". Cypress doesn't need a stand out ride IMO. The park took the right path IMO by adding the small waterpark, and investing money back into traditional Cypress Gardens attractions, like reopening the botanical garden boat cruise. Anyone know if they plan on rebuilding the tunnel on Starliner? Also, I was under the impression that Kent also purchased the Arrow Flume out of Miracle Strip, which he planned on rebuilding at Wild Adventures. Anyone know if there has been any progress on that? -Mark
  3. If you don't have time for a Photo TR, please post your comments on what you thought of the park- operations, ride selection, atmosphere, entertainment, etc. Just curious. -Mark
  4. Again, using reality, how can *anyone* justify a $40 million expansion to a failing park in the wrong area of town when it cost $30 million to build all of Wild West World?!? While Wichita has grown in recent years, it is in no way a market that will be able to fully support three parks (if you want to count All Star East on Webb). Bottom line is this- Joyland lacks the location (with no easy access off the interstate like Wild West World for example), and its reputation is poor at best amongst the city (blame whoever you want for that- the city, or general word of mouth). Conneaut is barely alive thanks to its summer lakeside resort setting- people are there already. Lakeside in Denver is alive thanks to a realistic management who put money into general upkeep but don't blab all over the media about "40 million dollar expansions". Their location right off I-70 helps too. I want to be proven wrong here, but I just can't see Joyland ever operating full time again as it did a few years back. Remember David Rohr? Remember how he spent 30g's painting the coaster, but somehow chose or simply could not keep up with the bills? And now you have these corrupt guys who find the only way to keep the place moderatly profitable is to keep it open all hours of the night with hardly a family crowd in the park- mostly drunk too. Great marketing plan, and great plan to build my confidence in the place as a successful enterprise. -Mark
  5. The bottom line is that even if Joyland did reopen....again.....it would close after a year or two. It is inevitable. Without the city's support, and with Joyland's less than favorable location on the southeast side of town, and with Wild West World opening (and sure to steal lots, if not all of Joyland's group picnic business which is probably all that kept the place open in recent years anyway), the place is done for. Mind you, this is not what I personally want to see, I'm just being a realist here. It's kind of similar to what Conneaut Lake goes through every year, just with differing details leading to the ultimate circumstance- that being the place is on life support year to year, and while it is great to have to open, it simply cannot support itself as a business. If Joyland were a flourishing business, do you really think the Nelsons would have let the place go to crap and then lease it out to corrupt operators? Have any of you heard of what the most recent Joyland management team did to Boblo Island? From the beginning, they wanted Joyland to be a strip mall with dollar stores, check cashing outlets, and pawn shops. -Mark
  6. I'd have to say El Toro's first drop craps all over MF's. While intimidating in height and stature, I've never really gotten much from MF's first drop. The rollover and pullout are almost over-designed to lessen the forces. El Toro uses MF's cable lift system, but for some reason seems faster (perhaps due to the lift being only a little more than half MF's height). Once at the top, the trains take a tight, flat 180 degree turn very quickly with no time for riders to take in the view. Plus, the back of the train begins to get whipped down the drop from nearly the time it crests the top of the lift! The whole lift/first drop sequence of El Toro is flat out FREAKY. The rollover into the drop is stupid intense. -Mark
  7. Having been at the grand opening of Wild West World last Saturday, I drove down Hillside to have a look at Joyland myself. The park is done. Finished. No more. Rides are being dismantled, the midway has weeds and cracks everywhere the dark ride building looks as though it will cave in any moment, and the coaster will never run again. The Coaster is deteriorating by the hour. Given that it couldn't pass an inspection last year (and nothing further has really been done to it to get it in running condition), it's done for. The biggest loss isn't the ride itself, but the last-of-their-type retro PTC trains with fixed lapbars. The only hope that ride had was if Thomas Etheredge could have worked out a deal with the Nelsons to buy and move it to Wild West World. There is no more "Save Joyland". Joyland really should have closed in 1999 when the Nelsons leased the park to David Rohr. It has been one corrupt and deteriorating place ever since. Like watching someone die slowly from Cancer. -Mark
  8. Thanks for the photos. Small point that probably no one really cares about, but LaRonde's "Spiral" Tower looks great in its new paint. The thing looked horrible last season when we visited. Nice to see attention to detail has extended its way north of the border. Be sure to keep us up to date on the "new" antique carousel being brought back into the park. -Mark
  9. Golden Tickets are a heavily rigged poll, as their voter base is somewhat pre-chosen. This isn't anything to take away from the poll itself, as it serves the general amusement industry fine. But really- MF number one steel coaster for how many years? It was perhaps the greatest investment CP ever made- but best steel coaster? Hardly. Most overrated steel coaster- yes, IMO. If you are looking for the purest poll, it's Mitch's wood/steel coaster polls. -Mark
  10. While Balder appears to be Phoenix with SFNE SROS airtime, El Toro appears to combine several attributes of Balder and Colossos (much the way Nitro combined attributes of Apollo's Chariot and Raging Bull when it opened in '01). So I guess my question is....El Toro or Colossos? -Mark
  11. Great photos. Amazing to see a traveling operation outside of Europe or North America with such large pieces from Huss and Mondial. The Zamperla Power Surge was the model that spent about 4 seasons at Coney Island's Astroland in Brooklyn. -Mark
  12. While the park is pretty much a "one ride park" with Katun kicking serious ass and the rest being merely....meh, Mirabilandia does have a few quirky rides that should be check out.... Auto Splash- probably my second favorite ride in the park. A real bizarre flume ride with car themed vehicles. Part of the ride takes you through a car wash! The splashdown finale has cars skimming the surface (so its not a soaker). The visual effect for onlookers is that cars are hydroplaning. Monosaurous- you like the idea of meandering pointlessly around a monorail track in a giant dinosaur egg? Me too! Giant Wheel- Italy's answer to the London Eye. It's a great way to check out the park and surrounding countryside from the sky. The park's rapids are also pretty slick. Not a soaker either. -Mark
  13. Number of trains that are run on Toro means squat unless they have more than two attendants checking restraints in the station. With just two attendants, that means each has to staple 18 people (while making sure all bars are in an acceptable locked position in the eyes of Mr. Computer) before dispatching. From my two visits last year, that averaged anywhere from 6-10 minutes per train. With an actual station to ready brakes cycle time of something like 1:30-1:45, that makes one or two train op a moot point in terms of capacity. -Mark
  14. There really wasn't anything about the WG Cyclone that was "OMG Amazing". It's strongest attribute (along with the rest of that classic place) was simple- comic relief. I mean, come on- from the pointed curve off the lift chain to the innocent looking, but devilish bounce track after the far turnaround, that thing was f'n hilarious. The whole park, really. From the train that randomly ran *through* the picnic groves nearly running over random kids to the need to see it to believe it magic show to the "hike 1/2 mile through the woods into some random guy's backyard" Schwarzkopf Wildcat (which reopened this weekend BTW at Adventure Park USA in Maryland) to the "Lazzer Tag" church. Williams Grove flat out rocked. Sure, it illustrated how *not* to run a park in many ways, but come on, that place was a blast with a large group. It felt as though I climbed into a Simpson's episode and had the ability to ride the real life Tooth Chipper! -Mark
  15. No, it was pretty ghetto. Any place where you buy your tickets in someone's garage, signage was done on construction paper using magic markers, and you go sit on plastic patio furniture to go eat lunch you brought with you in your cooler....it's pretty ghetto! The coverted garage "ticket booth" = Ghetto! --Robb "But we did have fun there!" Alvey Yeah, not quite a Disney Parks operation, but quite a funky, unique 2 hour stop off enroute to or from the Dells from Chicago. Loved the Herschell Mouse, and the Chance Toboggan was particularly brutal (not sure why I love those things so much, and this one was the actual prototype from Chance). Other "standouts" included the bizarre monorail, the easy to miss walk thru Haunted House, and the amazing train ride. -Mark
  16. That's like finding the one edible thing on a menu at a totally crappy restaurant and saying you love the restaurant despite most reviews. Running with the metaphor, if Gwazi were a restaurant, its food would be decent at best, and nothing to write home about. The horribly slow service would be its biggest downfall. -Mark
  17. The video made me kind of sick to my stomach. It's way beyond a below average wood coaster coming down. It's the pointless politics behind the east coast's version of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk getting demolished with no firm, immediate plans of what is to take its place. Not too far off from what will likely become of Coney Island after the 2007 season. -Mark
  18. Dang, that slide looks awsome. It seems that you just fall down not even shoot out. Where is it, I might stop by it the next time I will be there? Mountain Creek in Vernon, Valley, NJ (formally Action Park) is easily the "diabolical water attraction" capitol of the U.S. The older section of the park features an amazing collection of concrete slides all carved in the mountainside, and all containing water cold enough for more than the average guy's share of nad shrinkage. In addition to crazy slides like the Cannonball, there's such simplistic attractions like swinging on a tarzan swing or jumping off a nearly 20 ft high cliff! This is also the park that once attempted (unsuccessfully) to introduce a looping waterslide back in the mid '80s. http://www.mountaincreekwaterpark.com/pages/attr_et.html -Mark
  19. Cyclone is not going anywhere. It has been owned by the NYC Parks Dept and leased to Astroland ownership since the late 1970s, when it reopened after several years of SBNO status. The Alberts family (owners of Astroland) renewed their ten year operation lease on the ride last year and have stated they intend on sticking to it. -Mark
  20. Could be a second gate for the Hong Kong resort. Speaking of which, Miceage reported recently that Hong Kong Disneyland will soon be expanding Adventureland beyond the railroad to include their version of Haunted Mansion, and the most elaborate Pirates attraction yet (from what I've heard, it may use the Splash Mountain flume system!) Of course this is all 4-6 years down the road, what with the new Disney Character infested Small World is due to open next year. For those counting, this would also keep the streak going for having Mansions in different Magic Kingdom themed sections. The only standard lands without one would be Main Street USA and Tomorrowland. -Mark
  21. 9-14-00 Suzy, Drowned, Crosseyed Jam "It's really fun playing under this big tent" I wasn't there (saw the Japanese Antelope a week later in Chitown) but know of this amazing show...just curious if you were there...as I know you were once a big Phan But yeah...Six Flags...good stuff :>) Only went to one Phish show at the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center back in 1996 or 97 can't recall. Living on Long Island made it more convenient to hit gigs at the Jones Beach Theatre- another amazing outdoor concert venue, with the benefit of being right on the ocean. The best location had to be at the Brooklyn Cyclone's stadium back in '04, though with the Parachute Jump hovering over the venue. I went to college at SUNY Oneonta, and even from there Corfu is a good 4-5 hour drive. -Mark
  22. All joking aside, I don't understand all of this "sell Magic Mountain" talk! Magic Mountain's biggest downfall is its current condition, general operations, and other various entities all the fault of prior ownership. The park is still a cash cow, it is a great property in the second largest market in the country, and is far from beyond repair. I'm willing to take a wait and see approach, giving Shapiro and Co one more year to be hero or zero. This will be their first real season, having the full offseason to put their plans in order. -Mark
  23. Yeah, boo to Six Flags for succeeding in dumping a whole slew of second priority properties so that they can better focus on their more marquee parks that have acted as cash cows even with questionable operations. It's amazing to me how some enthusiasts act as though they were in Times Square yesterday looking over financial records. Bottom line- this deal (provided it goes through which looks as though it will) is the smartest/best move the new management team have been able to put together. SFDL is the only park I may have looked into keeping, but that's mainly due to the stellar concert facility and on site lodging. The others were weights holding down the rest of the chain. This is *far* more of a smart deal than the tragic dumping of Astroworld over a "parking lot" issue. Not only does it seriously take a bite out of the debt, it gives them more capital to (hopefully) invest in sprucing up parks like Magic Mountain, Great Adventure, Over Georgia, Over Texas, and Great America- you know, parks that already make boatloads of money in their current state! Just an opinion. -Mark
  24. Great stuff. Also reminded me how nice Epcot's simplistic gardens looked just inside the gates enroute to Spaceship Earth as apposed to those hideous polaroid walls. -Mark
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