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Mark Rosenzweig

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Everything posted by Mark Rosenzweig

  1. The wheel at MOA isn't a Chance Giant Wheel, but a Chance Century Wheel on stilts that allows riders to board from the second level of the mall/park. A century wheel stands about 65 ft tall and has 15 gondolas versus the 90 ft tall 20 gondola Giant Wheel. Approx clearance (with a little room to spare) is 90 ft. -Mark
  2. More like 90 feet. The Zamperla Rotoshake ("Mighty Axe) stands 82 ft tall. So, the Euro Fighter could have an 80 ft lift. -Mark
  3. Make sure to stop by the Zamperla booth and ask for me- I've got espresso shots and kangaroos with your name on 'em! -Mark
  4. Apples to oranges, IMO. Think of how many more people (both enthusiasts and non enthusiasts alike) hold Six Flags season passes versus Universal Orlando APs. Heck, I bought my '07 SF pass at SFoT in October for about the price of a one day Universal Studios ticket! Totally agree in the case of places like SFGAd where their Batman theatre has sat dormant for many of the past few years. But in the case of SFoT, they're using their amphitheatre. It's already there, and is also used for concerts (and will continue to do so). Tough call there. As some have said in this thread, SFoT draws far more of a "family" crowd than your average Six Flags park. I personally think this type of show is brilliant from an "out of the box" thinking standpoint. I also think that it was probably strategically chosen to run at SFoT (speculation). As Robb mentioned, SFStl is losing their Sherwood Theatre in favor of a coaster. The Sherwood Theatre is a 500 seat theatre that has been used sparingly at best over the past few years- nothing like the 10,000 seat Music Mills at SFoT. If this concept proves to work at SFoT, SFStl could put on their own version of this Cirque show at the Old Glory Amphitheatre back by the Screamin' Eagle. Now, although this SFoT show will only run for about 2 months (mid June to mid August unless I'm missing something), I think besides keeping day guests in the park longer (along with offering an extra hour of park ops as apposed to all the SF parks that *lost* an hour of park ops late in the summer this year), this may also be just the thing to turn season pass holders from loitering and not spending to "gee, let's go to the park tonight to see the show and have dinner." Again, just speculation and something to thiink about. -Mark
  5. Among the worst: B&M: Vortex- PGA Vortex- PCAR Iron Wolf- SFGAm (shame, as pre-Mantis restraints it rocked) Mantis- CP Chang- SFKK Batman the Dark Knight- SFNE (for whatever reason, Riddler's Revenge and Georgia Scorcher are far more enjoyable/rideable than any of their earlier stand ups). Intamin: Some of the 1980s installs like the twin standups (SFAW/LaRonde) and Flashback. However, these rides were merely brokered by Intamin, but designed by freelancers (i.e. B&M) and fabricated by Giovanola. GCI: Roar- SFA (mostly the PTC trains not being able to handle the curves) Gwazi- ditto HP's Wildcat will be interesting in '07 with Mil. Flyer trains -Mark
  6. The Disney Parks are particularly interesting to see from overhead, as they reveal where and how large some of the show buildings are compared to their facades (i.e. Small World, Haunted Mansion, Pirates). Also cool to see how one huge structure at Magic Kingdom (FL) can border two lands and house attractions for two lands (i.e. the structure that houses Phillharmagic, Peter Pan, and Hall of Presidents). -Mark
  7. A Giant Frisbee would make for an ideal anchor, but how about some kind of dark ride? It didn't hit me until my visit this past September how little the park has in the way of indoor attractions. In a rainy climate like Florida, it amazes me that the park has gone on like this for so many years! -Mark
  8. The mouse in question is the model that operate(d) at Jolly Roger in Ocean City, MD. The park is closing to be redeveloped after the '06 season. The ride operators at the park are all independent (kind of like a permanent independent fair). The owners of the Wild Mouse used to tour with Strates Shows, until they settled down in Ocean City about 5 years ago. http://www.rcdb.com/ig1815.htm -Mark
  9. Come to think of it, it is a bit odd that a large, hilly park like Hersheypark has 3 transport rides that go...nowhere (Skyview, Train, Monorail). -Mark
  10. There's plenty more fruit where that there Tango came from. Then again, the way Derek tore me up on the Whisper's dance floor, its no wonder why he liked the Fruity Tug. -Mark
  11. I may have one or two old postcards that show the ride, but that's about it. As you probably know, the Rhineland station still sits there. While it no longer has cable cars going in and out of it, it is home to the Central PA Kosher Mart! Featuring a Chalet theme, it (it being the Rhineland Skyride station) reminds me of the two SBNO Chalet themed skyride stations in Fantasyland at both Disneyland and Magic Kingdom. Both of them are used as stroller parking lots and/or character greeting areas. As for the ride itself, I vividly remember its path climbing over the Comet's trim brake curve, over Spring Creek, and then down into Minetown on the exact site now occupied by the On Ride Photo complex that services both Great Bear and Coal Cracker. Of note was that this was a very tall Skyride- at least 100 ft tall. Not the longest, though. It may have had 4 main towers or so. -Mark
  12. Guess besides the $100 you also want me to feed you, pay for gas, and even get you VIP line skipping privileges. Wait, you aren't editor of Park World..... -Mark
  13. I'm curious as to whether the mountain itself will be rebuilt, or if this thing will turn into a giant pile of scaffolding and track like its cousin that reopened in Russia.... -Mark
  14. Not sure if this was posted yet, and crossover amongst different boards with posters using different names makes it difficult to tell... Who's headed to the PA hill country this weekend for some Freak watching, Rib-A-Ques, cable snapping, and phoenix phlying? -Mark
  15. Knoebel's High Speed Thrill Coaster of Death sets the bar. All others draw inspiration. -Mark
  16. Having never ridden any of these uphill waterslides, any of you have any comparison opinions on the zipcoaster/conveyer belt uphill launches that Proslide and Whitewater have used versus NGBS water propulsion? The conveyers seem to use less power and don't have the leakage issues either. Regarding extended Tornados, Funtown/Splashtown USA will be the first that I know of to have some additional slide after exiting the funnel portion. I'd love to see one of these with more than one funnel and an extended tube section between them. -Mark
  17. Photos and perhaps a more detailed report will follow within the next week or two, but I did want to give my impressions of Italy's two largest parks after my first visit to each last week during the IAAPA Summer Meeting... Mirabilandia is clearly Italy's "Cedar Point". Aside from the beautifully themed entrance plaza, the rest of the park consists of meandering paths, wide open concrete plazas, and a far more sterile feel than Gardaland (which I guess I'd call Italy's "Disneyland"). Now, by sterile in European Park standards, I guess that'd equate a nicely themed park here in the states. Mirabilandia is relatively compact (maybe a little bigger than Astroworld was), but does feature several stand out attractions: Katun rocked. Not going to overhype it saying its the end all be all of coasters, but I'll say this- if you like Raptor and Montu, its basically like the two of 'em had a baby. Best first drop of any invert (steep and straight with a swoop off the lift). All the elements are shelf items, but taken with great pacing and with some strong forces. The finale features a second straight drop off the mid course block, with flatspins in alternating directions separated by an underground tunnel. Easily Italy's best coaster. Sierra Tonante (collaboration between Stengal and Cobb) was forgettable at best. The bizarre SDC trains (inspired by Morgan's trailered fiberglass model) took the course well enough, but the design just lacked inspiration. No airtime to speak of, and way too much time spent high in the air at low speeds. A decent mid course helix didn't do much to save this forgettable woodie. Also took rides on the Mack powered coaster and the Monosaurous monorail (riding in a dinosaur egg). Other notables were the Intamin Autosplash flume ride, Intamin's Rio Bravo Rapids, the new Haunted House ride through, and the huge PAX 300 ft tall EuroWheel. Due to rainy conditions, the Schwarzkopf Katapult never opened. Passed on the Vekoma Roller Skater, L&T kiddie, and L&T Mouse. Gardaland is probably more along the lines of a typical European theme park (from what I've seen). While the overall ride package is bizarre and lacking in some departments, the park is incredible. Landscaping and food that is on or above the level of any Disney, Busch, or Universal park. Theming that was great, but somewhat bizarre in terms of lack of transition between areas. While Disney and Busch have done a great job in telling guests where one section ends and another begins, Gardaland just sort of plops amazingly themed attractions and buildings everywhere with little to no rhyme or reason. Coasters? Somewhat forgettable. Blue Tornado (Vekoma SLC with extended helix finale) was actually...rideable. Took 3 rides and couldn't get over how smooth the ride was (not B&M smooth, but you know, not SLC rough either). Magic Mountain is your typical Vekoma double loop/corkscrew that seems to be a twin of Python at Eftling. Sequoia Adventure is one of 3 operating S&S Screaming Squirrels. The ride is actually pretty fun for what it is, but fails in that while the "over the edge" element/visuals work well, this really acts as but one element of what should be a more complete coaster. As this model stands now, most riders exit with some kind of "that's all?" face. Still, not much else that could have fit where this thing was wedged (that being inside of Magic Mountain's footprint). Gardaland shines in the dark ride and water ride department. Colorado Boat is a really well done Mack/Arrow Log Flume that features a nice windy course through the woods and plenty of theming. Jungle Rapids is just a notch below Popeye/Kali/Grizzly in the theming dept for rapids rides. This amazingly long ride comes complete with volcano, whirlpool section, and animatronic scenes! Fuga Da Atlantide is a one-of-a-kind ride from Intamin that features two cable lifts (each about 40-50 ft tall), two coaster drop splashdowns, and long stretches of nothing inbetween (allowing for time to absorb the amazing theme package I suppose). The ride runs eight 16 passenger boats with no lapbars- just a seatbelt. La Valle Del Re features an Epcot-esque continuous ride system from Intamin. Some interesting effects, and I'd say a dozen or so animatronics too. The storyline is as follows (according to park media): The Pharaoh's treasure has been found. Many thousands of years have past since human footsteps have trodden on the sands of the desert that has covered and protected the magnificent tombs of the Pharaohs. Today, numerous explorers are on the traces of this ancient civilization. Their tracks will lead us to discover the Valley of Kings. The real crown jewel of Gardaland is their Pirates knock off "I Corsari". Being that Gardaland has been given such strict height regulations, they have dug into the ground to house many attractions, including this one- where the boarding area is 15 meters underground! The ride vehicles are modified Intamin Spillwater boats, linked in sets of two (40 people dispatch at a time!) Not quite up to the Disney rides, this thing is still amazing, and probably the best ride in the park. Other notables include an Intamin Flying Island, the Space Vertigo Intamin (not so) Giant Drop, and the Fantasy Kingdom area complete with giant fantasy tree and Vekoma Mad House in the basement. I hope to have photos and a more complete report up as time allows. -Mark
  18. Yes it is. Also apparently Disney's inspiration for the design of the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa at WDW. -Mark
  19. Just the hierarchy of budgets. Florida gets the most, San Antonio the least. Because San Antonio already has a log flume, a shoot-the-chute deluxe was the way to go. An extended version of this larger ride system would probably be cost prohibitive. I think the biggest dissappointment regarding this install is that supposadly it will lack the speed bump after the big drop that the installs in Norway and Germany have. Just a drop down into the run-out like any other shoot-the-chute. Personally, I would have nixed the seemingly pointless turntables in exchange for this speed bump if it came down to a budget issue. SWSA is experiencing record attendance these days. They'll probably come close to or break 2 million guests this year. Of course, extending the schedule helps too. -Mark
  20. It was, however, fabricated there. Not sure if that's good versus American "craftsmanship", though. -Mark
  21. There is a really good reason why Kennywood doesn't have a B&M coaster to begin with ... they cannot afford it. Kennywood is a great park, but without any MAJOR changes in the way traffic is routed there, their numbers just don't grow. They have been at the million mark for years. It's the stagnant Pittsburgh population that is really holding Kennywood back. Ask any upper at the park, and that's what they'll tell you market studies have found. Everyone in Pittsburgh and within a 50 mile radius knows about Kennywood, and knows where it is. -Mark
  22. After a long day at work trying to sell pretty italian pieces of art to wife-beater wearing, half toothed carnies, I returned home to find some extra padding in the 'ol mailbox. A large padded envelope caused a bit of a clog, as one of Amanda's graphic design mags was half hanging out waving to the world. However, when I looked inside and saw the return address was on "everybody's favorite theme park" parkway, I knew my summer dose of coaster porn had arrived! With barely enough time to drop the briefcase and crack open a Shipyard Summer Export Ale, the first DVD was popped in, and off we go. Now, I wasn't quite drunk enough yet to listen to Hilary Duff, but that's fine. As has been the case with the rest of TPR's "coaster season" style productions, disc one flows real well, and has a great balance of ride footage (more than just coasters) along with group antics, catchy music, and general regional footage as well (showing cityscapes, etc.) All of Robb's patented "weeeeeees!" and "OMG that hurts" were there, as were Elissa's trademarked giggles (most prominant during the spinning dragon of death segment). Volume 7 is not only an international production, but also the coaster video with the greatest amount of climatic variance. Whether it's coasting through the summer heat, or corkscrewing mere inches above ice and snow, it's here. Blackpool in the snow and sleet? It's there too. The obscure Japanese park segments were great. Particularly seeing the amazing lights of Tivoli, Kobe Porto Potty Lane mere months before closing, the quriky looking Space World, or the zany Hello Kitty theming at the Sanrio Park. Hong Kong Disneyland was represented well with a nice segment, highlighted by a lights on ride on board Space Mountain...."have a magical day" works in any corner of the Disney World of parks I guess. The closing segment highlighted the crew's marathon run through the parks of the Tokyo Disney Resort over the 2005/2006 New Year- I still can't get over how amazing the Tokyo Disney Parks look, or how many people they handle in such an efficient manner. All in all, typical great stuff. Can't wait for the next installation. -Mark
  23. Just put up three new galleries of Idlewild, Kennywood, and Conneaut Lake. You can see 'em at: www.whispers.smugmug.com Enjoy! -Mark
  24. Just added a new gallery featuring Adventureland Park in Des Moines, IA. Check it out at the link below. Enjoy! http://whispers.smugmug.com/gallery/1662643 -Mark
  25. You don't really believe they wouldn't sell it due to size of the park, do you? It's all about the value of the land the park sits on. At this point, many seaside parks are closing due to the land being worth more than the park can generate in revenue. The park simply can't be justified. SFMM is one of several theme parks that fall under that same umbrella. The Santa Clarita valley is a hotbed of residential development of late. -Mark
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