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Mark Rosenzweig

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Everything posted by Mark Rosenzweig

  1. Some of the key points Mark made during the call: Six Flags, Inc. Mid-Quarter Conference Call Scheduled to start Thu, Jun 22, 2006, 5:00 pm Eastern Key Points Made by Mark Shapiro: a)Goals reiterated of improving park operations, appearance, and overall brand image. b)Season pass sales are off slightly as prices increased, but season pass per caps up 10 percent. c)Discussed how poor the brand image had dropped. New rides opening in June? Not good in Mark’s eyes. d)Season pass sales down 550,000. 62 percent of the total drop (1.3 million) in overall attendance is the 12-17 age group. Parks not acting as babysitters anymore. Increased pricing has attracted more families. e)Part of the attendance drop from last year is the 220,000 lost from SFNO not being open. f)Per capita guest spending up 14 percent through June 18. g)Corporate sponsorships up. Sponsorship revenue (mostly Coke) was $19 million. By end of calendar year 2006, this number projected to reach $29 million. h)Greatest challenge in company is staffing. Need of better quality seasonal employees. Also need of mid level supervisors and trainers. i)Too much reliance on foreign student employee program. These workers don’t speak fluent english in many cases and are not trained properly. j)Big rides are easy to market, but guests return because of the “Disney” type experience. Better overall experience. He referred to Hershey and their new dark ride. People aren’t going to Hershey for the dark ride. They’re going because of the family friendly reputation the park has. k)$10 million less spent in media/marketing. They are going after the “moms”, which cost more to reach. He said he can’t market the new six flags when he can’t yet deliver the new six flags. l)Double edge sword with regards to marketing coasters- $88 million spent on four new coasters this year. If you don’t market these rides to the teens, you’re wasting marketing dollars. By marketing to teens, you’re not marketing to Six Flags' new target audience. m)$3 million over budget on El Toro, and 3 hour waits due to single train op through July. Other late openings- Tatsu at SFMM, Catapult at SFNE, Big Kahuna at SFDL. n)Beginning Monday June 26 through August 1, a marketing blitz will take place. Television, radio, print. Level of discounts the same, but gate prices are higher. o)Land of Astroworld was sold for $77 million. Sold assets of Wyandot Lake to Columbus Zoo for $2 million. Finalized lease of Sacramento waterpark and may look to sell the rides back to the park. Closing both Oklahoma City parks. Gurnee, IL and Eureka, MO selling parcels of extra land. p)Explore options to sell SFDL, Waterworld in Concord, SFEG, Enchanted Parks, Splashtown Houston, SFMM and Hurricane Harbor. Factors: is property in line with stragetic vision, is there value in real estate, has there been interest expressed for the properties? q)Regarding SFMM: there is strong interest in the marketplace, may not fit in with vision of future of company. It’s been marketed as a thrill park, not a family park as Disneyland, Universal, Knotts. Not saying they’re selling the park, just that they will move forward discussing inquiries with interested parties. -Mark
  2. Being that the rest of the park (barring perhaps Chiller) features nothing but rides that actually work, and it'd be your first visit (I'm assuming), I think you'll find plenty to keep you busy. Just keep your eyes off the big, limp blue and green weiner. If Ka is down on your visit, turn right at the fountain and feast on Nitro for the first hour or so. -Mark
  3. When I rode it last May, all of the tricks weren't fully operational, so I can't fairly comment. I will say that the new LED light packages on the Giant Wheel and AtmosFear were mindnumbing, though. This year, Great Nor'Easter was painted all white, soas to star in its own nightime light show which will also utilize LEDs as part of the effects. The new sound system being installed on the piers will allow for the music and lights to work in sync with each other, too. That should add even more visual energy to an already amazing experience. -Mark
  4. The biggest flaw in PCW's coaster collection is that there are no stand out notable designs that appeal to seasoned park enthusiasts. However, what they do have isn't all that horrible. Wild Beast is a solid woodie, Vortex is among the greatest suspended coasters anywhere (and was custom designed for Wonderland before being cloned at PKI), and even their Togo Stand Up is pretty decent. I know a Zamperla Volare is never going to win a coaster enthusiast popularity contest, but for the locals of Toronto who have never seen a flying coaster, it has proven to be quite popular. Same goes for Top Gun- a model you can find on nearly every corner in the U.S. and Europe. With the large waterpark, and high overall ride capacity, PCW can handle near CP crowds on a day to day basis. Heck, it outdrew CP last year and had the highest attendance of *any* seasonal park in North America- despite a season at least 40 days shorter than CP's! -Mark
  5. Thanks for the TRs, Derek. Both Lake Winnie and Dollywood have escaped my travels somehow. Maybe later this year. BTW, I'm fairly sure Lake Winnie's Wave Swinger was bought out of Miracle Strip. -Mark
  6. I just uploaded a new smugmug gallery featuring the Myrtle Beach Pavilion. Also added recently is a "signs of Indiana Beach" gallery. www.whispers.smugmug.com "enjoy" -Mark
  7. Arrow only built a limited number of Hydro Flumes (incidently, all in the U.S.). They were more expensive than log flumes and designed with capacity in mind (all had turntable stations, longer boats that could seat 5-6, and a double spillway drop. As of last season, only Hershey and CP ran their hydroflumes in high capacity mode (in other words, using both spillways). The only remaining hydro flumes left are Splashdown (Poland Springs Plunge) at SFGAd, Yankee Clipper (Ice Mountain Splash) at SFGAm, Jet Stream (Ice Mountain Splash) at SFMM, and Coal Cracker at HP (only one run the way it was intended from day one). Other hydro flumes included Yankee Clipper's ex-twin at PGA (removed after the 1998 season for Stealth), and PKI's model (removed after the 2000 season to make way for Tomb Raider the Ride). Note how all of the above rides with the exception of Coal Cracker were all second flume rides for flourishing 1970s theme parks, which were overwhelmed with the popularity of their log flume and required additional capacity (the SFGAm/PGA rides opened with the park though). -Mark
  8. It wasn't pulling its weight gross-wise, and you know how tight for space Jersey Shore piers are. -Mark
  9. As Derek mentioned, when the trip gets closer and the park's schedules are released, more specific tips can be given. In the meantime, I'd consider this a list of the "must do" attractions (not neccessarily because they're all great, but more to get the "total" experience). Given that you are on a honeymoon, multiple nights strolling the world showcase at night is a must. The place just screams romance. Plus, Illuminations: Reflections of Earth is still the best nightime spectacular anywhere, even after many viewings. Magic Kingdom -Big Thunder Mountain Railroad -Splash Mountain -Pirates of the Carribean -Jungle Cruise -Tomorrowland Transit Authority -Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin -Space Mountain -Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh -it's a small world -Peter Pan's Flight -Mickey's Phillharmagic -Haunted Mansion -Spectromagic -Wishes If you're an Audio Animatronic fan, don't miss the Hall of Presidents Epcot -Soarin' -Test Track -Mission Space -Living With the Land -Journey Into Imagination With Figment -(name?) The newly refurbished Coca-Cola Tasting Station -Malestrom -El Rio de Tiempo -Pick one of the films in China, France (our fave), or Canada If you're an audio animatronic fan, don't miss The American Adventure Disney Studios -Twilight Zone Tower of Terror -Rock 'n Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith -Lights, Motor, Action Stunt Show -Great Movie Ride -Backlot Tour -Muppetvision 3-D -Star Tours -Indiana Jones (not so) Epic Stunt Spectacular -Walt Disney Story -Fantasmic! Disney's Animal Kingdom -Kilmanjaro Safaris -Expedition Everest -Kali River Rapids -Primeval Whirl -Dinosaur -It's Tough to Be a Bug -Festival of the Lion King More details as you get closer, but for some quick, somewhat different food that doesn't get much attention: -Tomorrowland Noodle Station at Magic Kingdom -Dole Whips in Adventureland at Magic Kingdom -*Awesome* Lamb sandwiches in Morroco Pavilion at Epcot -Screw it- just eat and drink your way around World Showcase It'll also be plenty warm to enjoy either (or both) of the resort's waterparks. I have yet to do either, so I can't give you tips there. -Mark
  10. This is the old Arrow Flume that once operated on Funtown Pier in Seaside Park, NJ. While the generic parts don't give much away, the "G" does. The ride had a large "LOG FLUME" sign using that exact font. It was a massive ride, built on the edge of the pier- nearly 100 ft above the crashing surf below. It featured two lifts, and two large drops and was operated as an outside concession on the pier. When current management of the pier took over in 1999, the concessionaire had his contract bought out, and the ride was dismantled and put into storage. Until now, no one seemed to know where. Shame- it was one of the best rides on the Jersey Shore- pretty comparable with the Hopkins Zoom Phloom at Morey's Piers in Wildwood. If I come across any photos of the ride, I'll post a link here. -Mark
  11. January 30th, 2006 URAYASU, CHIBA - The Fantasyland attraction "Cinderella Castle Mystery Tour" will be permanently closed, with its final day of operation on April 5, 2006. The tour began in 1986 as "Tokyo Disneyland Park's" first "walkthrough" attraction, and has been enjoyed by numerous guests in its 20 years of operation. Plans for the use of the space currently occupied by the "Cinderella Castle Mystery Tour" are still in development. -- Source: Oriental Land Company press release. There's the press release. Anyone who has done this attraction- is it a major loss with it closing? Seems it was only offered in Japanese and left many english speaking visitors in *shrug* or *wtf* mode. Seems the Mickey Mouse Revue may also be on its last legs. It wouldn't surprise me one bit if Mickey's Philharmagic took its place. One would think the whole '80s style retro Fantasyland of Tokyo Disneyland is due for a major facelift, no? -Mark
  12. Vekoma was involved in the project- never underestimate their ability to add their own special spice to a coaster project. -Mark
  13. Not sure about how full the fridge was at the time the photos were taken, but that 120 hour IPA was mighty fine.... -Mark
  14. I totally hear what you're saying, Elissa. The biggest shame in all of this (this being the Astroworld situation), is what potential the park had, but was never met. I mean, think about parks like Disneyland. Just *think* how much money that nice little parcel of land off the 5 in Anaheim must be worth. Yet, they somehow find a way to make it justifiable to run a theme park! On a smaller scale, how about other parks like Canobie Lake? That piece of land is primed for residential development on the shores of a beautiful New England lake, yet the park continues to strive on- drawing well over half a million people a year! I was never a *huge* Astroworld fan, but I was always intrigued by the quirkiness of the place. I can think of tons of themers that I'd much rather lose- that lil' park down the street from you guys in Valencia comes to mind... -Mark
  15. Two last visits to Astroworld While the amusement industry and enthusiast community has seemingly come to grips that Astroworld is no longer, I thought I'd take a minute to reflect back to two Friday nights this past October in which I made my last two visits to the park. Friday October 14 had an added element to it by me being accompanied by a first time Astroworld visitor- Jim McDonnell. Jim and I had discussed hitting the State Fair and Six Flags Over Texas the weekend following PPP. Following the September 12 announcement that Astroworld would indeed cease operations at the end of the 2005 season, I made it a priority for him to visit the park. You see, Jim is the source for everything Coney Island (New York). He rides the Cyclone dozens of times a year, and has often told me of his dream to eventually settle down on that famous spit of land in lower Brooklyn. How could it be then, that one of the biggest Coney Cyclone fans could go his whole enthusiast life without riding the Bill Cobb interpretation in Houston? It simply couldn't happen, so with a little reorganizing, Houston was the first stop on a tiring but rewarding tour of Texas flags. Arriving at the park for opening, we walked across the bridge spanning loop 610 and made a beeline for the Texas Cyclone. We walked through the clown's mouth, through the 1970s era queue house and up to the station before queuing up for 6.2 (or 3.4 in Coney Island). The Morgan train was hardly warmed up, so our first ride was more of a scenic tour of Cobb's masterpiece. Jim was dazed, confused, and somewhat pleased in that the ride had to offer. Texas Cyclone has always been a well-maintained ride. It has not always run rider friendly rolling stock, however. Or perhaps I should say the rolling stock has not always allowed riders to fully enjoy what this ride has to offer. Since 2001, the 6 car trailered Morgan trains have run sans headrests. A simple move to be sure, but one that has raised the ride experience up several tiers. Cobb followed the Keenan/Baker blueprints closer than any of the other CyCLONES have. While it is missing Coney's magic carpet section, the Texas ride packs a few stellar drops and turns into its mix (granted most have been tamed beyond recognition from the 1976 version). Still, the end result is a ride full of wonderful forces and visuals. It will be sadly missed. During the course of my evening with Jim at Astroworld, we systematically rode every coaster at least once (with the exception of Serial Thriller), and even caught a pair of rides on the vastly underrated Bamboo Chute log flume and Diablo Falls. Being that I was fully familiar with what Astroworld is all about, it was great to see the park through a first timer's eyes, within two weeks of closing. I was sure the two Schwarzkopfs would do their thing, and true to form, they did. Ultra Twister is another ride like the Cyclone that will be sorely missed. Unique, fun, and actually quite intense. After six hours and three laps around the park, we finished our night with two rides on the Cyclone. By this time, the ride had picked considerably in the speed department and was delivering the goods in spades. Jim left after his first and last visit with mixed and random emotions- bewilderment, sadness, who knows. To this day, I still don't think he gave me a firm answer to the "So what did you think of Astroworld?" question. I know it was something along the lines of it not being anything he expected. A week later, I wrapped up my trip to Texas with a solo trip to the park to bid it farewell. As it would turn out, Friday October 21 was to be the last Friday night of Fright Fest as the park cut back on finale weekend hours to just 10-6 both Sat and Sun, canceling Friday's hours. I arrived at the park around 3 hours prior to opening to meet with Kent Maulsby. Kent has been with Astroworld for most of the past 27 years, starting with the park the year Greezed Lightnin' launched into the Space City. A great guy with a true passion for his park, Kent was gracious enough to spend a few hours with me in his office and out in the park, affording me one final photo walk through of the facility before its imminent closure. Seeing the start of demolition in Waterworld was not easy. After driving through an empty wave pool, we ventured over the Mayan Mindbender where I got the first sight of the ride with the lights on. Essentially a first generation Roller Skater with an unusual tandem seat bobsled like train, this little sucker packs a lot of track in a very small footprint. When Kent went to work in prepping the park for opening, I had a chance to venture around the boneyard and warehouse. The Astroneedle sits in pieces awaiting a new home that never came to be. Random ride parts from an Arrow Antique Car to a Togo Ultra Twister car sit on blocking waiting for nothing to happen. I guess my goal for the night (if I had one) wasn't to ride all that much, but more just to walk the park taking in the atmosphere one last time. Of course, I started off with a pair of rides on the Cyclone followed by one last Ultra Twister ride. Passing up Batman the Escape, I headed back to Greezed Lightnin' as the crowds had not yet gotten back there. Up until last year, Astroworld required there be two riders in each row on the two Schwarzkopf coasters, which limited the amount of rides I would personally get on them. With no anti-single rider rule in place anymore, I planted it in the last row for the first of what would end up being 6 consecutive rides. I never really "got" what the big deal was regarding Schwarzkopf shuttle loops. But on this day, I think I got it. Partially the amazing genius of Anton in how he was nearly 30 years ahead of his time, and partially the amazing launch, and air on the reverse spike after racing unchecked backwards through the station. During the course of the night, I also took rides on Serpent, Viper, SWAT, XLR-8, Bamboo Chute, and Dungeon Drop. A real treat for this night was that the park was running its Steam engine. Two locals with an enthusiasm for steam trains were the engineers. Several old time Astroworld employees opted to sit up towards the locomotive nearly all night as the train circled the park. They periodically pointed out tid-bits of history to passengers behind them (like a Mini Golf Course that once existed where the Mayan Mindbender sits today). The park was quite crowded, and queues were very full. Eventually, a second train was added on Cyclone and Viper, which helped quite a bit. With about 40 minutes left before closing, I entered the Cyclone's queue. I boarded somewhere near the middle of the train 30 minutes later with hopes of walking around for one last ride. Beating the queue closing by mere seconds, I got back up to the loading platform and got in line for 6.1. After re-arranging with other folks so that they can ride "together", I was sitting in 6.2 for what looked like would be the second to last train of the night. Seeing me sitting alone, one of the seasonal attendants who had never built up the courage to ride the Cyclone jumped in with me for what was to be her first ride on the legendary coaster. As an added bonus, we arrived back in the station (after an amazing ride full of the best that the Cyclone had to offer) to find two people waiting for the front, so off we went again for what was ultimately my last ride at Astroworld. The realization hit me as I walked down the exit one last time. Astroworld would be no more. This once historically significant park has been reduced to a teenage hangout, where families stopped going. The sadness I felt wasn't so much that of "I'm going to miss this place", but more of what could and should have been. Astroworld had everything- amazing location, huge population base, and no competition. The "what ifs" (owned by another company, built further from downtown, etc) continued to mount in my head. The whole closing of Astroworld is tragic, despite the current state of the park. It's sad that Houston no longer has a theme park. It's sad that one of Houston's largest seasonal employers is no longer. But above all, it's sad because the park didn't have to close. I'll remember Astroworld as a quirky park with a unique, lived in atmosphere. It didn't have the best of anything, but it also never had the worst. It held up with pride against the odds. Above all, the faithful management that stuck with the park through the years showed their class in going out with a bang. In the end, Astroworld served Houston well. It will be missed. -Mark
  16. Why is that a problem? Outside of Disney and Universal, I can't think of too many dark rides that come anywhere near 800 pph. Think about the average Sally Dark Ride with two or four passenger individual cars on one track (i.e. SFFT, LC). They have capacity in the 250-400 range, which results in dreadful wait times. Hershey's ride will probably pull 45-60 min max on most days, which is about the max wait time you'll find for Storm Runner (also about 800 pph). Plus, we're talking about Hershey here, so they will squeeze every drop of capacity they can out of the thing by having both tracks and as many cars running as possible. -Mark
  17. Sounds like a very cool concept- kind of along the lines of a poor man's MIB. Either way, a great fit for HP (although the whole concept is still a bit out there for me- smell it?) -Mark
  18. Hi All, I have just put up photos taken over the past two weekends at Six Flags Astroworld. They include behind the scenes shots of the boneyard, Greezed Lightnin', and Mayan Mindbender. Check 'em out when you get a chance at: www.whispers.smugmug.com Enjoy, Mark
  19. Yep, Paramount Parks is continuing to baffle me with their ride selections for each park. One would think this ride would fit right in over at Carowinds, what with the park having *no* launch coasters. But in Doswell, it will be the fourth. But to answer your question Elissa, they had the record with 3, and they will have the record with 4. PKD also has 4 wood coasters that squeal like biatches. They also have an old school and a new school flying scooter. They also have the worst placed in park waterpark in the business, now with Rebel Yell dividing it in half, with a 10 mile hike between each half. The big positive here? At least enthusiasts and the park itself knows what to expect out of the ride, as apposed to the gimmicky prototypes that have popped up over the years. -Mark
  20. TR: PPP Weekend 2005 The Phoenix Phall Phunfest sure has grown. It has gone from a very humble start to an event that draws nearly overwhelming crowds. In recent years, the event has grown due to two main factors: a)Well, it's Knoebels b)Word of mouth, which has drawn locals out to the park for what is now essentially an extended schedule to 10PM. This year's routine was going to be very different. Most of us that attended knew this, as weather websites predicted Elysburg to be along the lines of Atlantis. Would the peak of Twister emerge from the water? Does pizza float? Do patch jackets shrink in the rain? I guess we would all find out in due time. Hitting the road around 4PM from Parsippany on Friday afternoon, I knew we were in for some fun. Your average Friday rush hour heading west on I-80 was accompanied by a pretty nice downpour. So, 10 miles of stop and go finally opened up. Crossing the Delaware was a cinch. It's still raining, but we're doing all right. Jim McDonnell warned of something that was seriously wrong right around the Buckhorn exit, and that we should exit onto Route 11 and head west to Danville that way. Only problem was that whatever this something was caused a massive 15-mile standstill back up on I-80. Finally onto Route 11, it appeared as if everyone else did the same thing. Bottom line- it took nearly 90 minutes to get from the Susquehanna crossing on I-80 to BJ's Steakhouse in Danville for some much needed brews and vittles. Would it be the Chicago Steak? Twin Slabs? Prime Rib? Didn't matter. Adam Revesz, Ellen Whitman, Derek Ruth, and Amanda made sure we had just enough laughs with dinner to overcome that drive from hell. Friday night was to be the popping for several Whispers Virgins. Dave "Heartbreak Kid/Flare" Fraser, Adam, Ellen, Derek, Rollergator and I headed over around 9:30 while Moosh, Amanda, and Jim made their finishing touches to our Devo meets Fascination wardrobe for Sat night. Gettin' Er Dun was never easier as it was Friday night. Putting a few back while taking in the classic Whispers décor made everything in life seem right for once. Waking up Saturday to a nice bit of rain, we headed over to Knoebels in search for some breakfast around 10 or so. Getting a spot at Camp RRC, we spotted a few brave souls warming around the fire dreaming of days with less water. After hooking up with Adam Sandy and finding nothing in the Covered Bridge Fair, we headed off for the International Food Court for a few plates of breakfast oddities. Knowing full well rain and Knoebels don't mix (what with like 6 covered rides and midways made of gravel), it was off for the first of several Fascination Jaunts. While the rain was a bitch, it never really down poured. During the day, we would take a ride or two here and there on the carousel, scooters, flyers, and phoenix. It should be noted that despite the dismal weather and lack of crowds, that every ride scheduled to operate did just that. The swap meet was considerably smaller this year, as several venders probably feared their goods floating down roaring creek and into the unknown. Lunch was your typical graze fest in the fair sucking down a few Rib-B-Ques, periogies, and a tri-tater or two. 5:00 rolled around and our group of Moosh, Flare, Jim, Amanda, Adam Sandy, and I found ourselves back at Camp RRC and changing into Fascination Team. Bright red lids on our heads echoed the droplets of water, as our nicknames adorned the back of our jerseys with not-so-sticky stickers creating the image of the Fascination board on our front-sides. As the moisture set in, and night drew to a close, not one dot remained- but they could be spotted all over the park! After a ride on the Haunted Mansion (where was everyone- only 5 minute wait at 5:30) it was time for Pizza. With the parade set to march off at around 7:30, we opted to wait up at the food court as any riding would have surely ripped off our dots and ruined the effect of the costume. As it was, we didn't find out about winning second prize until Brian and Rick Knoebel informed us of it up on the Twister platform around 9:00. I think Amanda and Jim were quite happy that their hard work paid off. After a few more insane Twister rides (man was that thing smokin') and one or two laps on the Phoenix (also running in great form), 10:00 rolled around, and we looked like shit. Tired, wet, grumpy, whatever. We were sure we'd hear of the announcement the next day anyway, so we retired to the hotel after hitting the Sheetz for some MTO goodness. Sunday is traditionally PPP hangover day, but today I felt awake and ready to go. No rain, cooler temps, but who cared? After a hearty breakfast at Mom's Dutch Oven (or was it Kitchen?), we were back at Knoebels for Jim was ready to golf. He assured us that all night, the kind and friendly 80 year old Knoebels mini golf staffers were out with their shop vacs clearing the course just for us. Truth be told, I can't confirm if it was the 80 year olds or some wild squirrels, but someone/thing was out there cleaning up and the course was quite playable. Aside from one relatively flooded pin, the rest of the course was fine. With no crowds to speak of in the park and no rain with temps in the low 60s, we knew it was going to be a great day. We hit nearly everything in the park from the HSTC to the Sky Slide to the Cub Cars. A few wicked cool Flyer rides with Trench Coat Willy yelling away "Don't Whip it so Hard" coupled with more Fascination and everything else that makes Knoebels great all made Sunday the best hangover day I can remember (which of course followed perhaps the worst PPP day). Had a great chargrilled prime rib sandwich for lunch with some more fried goods and a quart of Apple Cider to wash her down. 5:00 came around all too fast, which meant another PPP had come to a close. It was great to see (if all too briefly) Tim Melago, Dave Sandborg, Jannandfucker, Dooley, Buddy, Dana, Rob Ascough, Wolf, Rideman, Aunt Rose, and everyone else who knows who they are but whose names aren't in my melted brain at this exact moment in time. Thanks to the hearties who didn't let a little rain stop them from driving out to the best park in the land. Special thanks to Amanda and Jim for making us all believe in Devo and Fascination. Here's to toes and atomic Phoenix bombs. -Mark
  21. Hey Guys, Just put up photos taken this past weekend at LaRonde and Great Escape. You can check 'em out at: www.whispers.smugmug.com Also on the page are galleries featuring Oktoberfest 2003, Williams Grove, a SFGAm/PGA contrast/comparison, and MFI/SFDL/Seabreeze/Sylvan Lake. In case you were wondering, the GE Comet is still a top tier kick ass ride. Only the first lateral air hill (following the third drop) was modified. Everything else remains as was. If anything, the ride picked up speed thanks to the first modified hill. Perhaps the most forgotten/underrated ride in the country. -Mark
  22. I would call 24 normal for a woodie. There may be others, but this is the first 36 seater I've heard of. (Balder and Colossos have 30 seats per train) I'm sure they made El Toro 36 seats to keep the long lines moving, since Great Adventure has a very high yearly attendance. As far as I know, there are only two other woodies with 36 passenger trains, and they both reside at PKI- Beast and SOB. As was mentioned, the other two Intamin pluggers feature two 5 car trains, while ET will feature two 6 car trains. In the PTC realm, most two bench car trains consist of six cars, while some (i.e. Mean Streak) have seven. Most three bench trains have four cars while some have five (i.e. Rebel Yell, PKI Racer). Of course, there are also shorter trains like those running on Hades, Avalanche, and JR2. The two bench car Gerstlauer trains that popped up all across the US around the turn of the century all feature six car trains, except the two seven car trains on Twisted Twins at SFKK. The two bench trailered fiberglass Morgan trains all have two bench cars. Most of these trains are made up of six cars (i.e. both California Giant Dippers), while some have seven car trains (i.e. LaMonstre), while at least one has a five car train (Seabreeze Jack Rabbit). Bottom line- a 36 passenger train on a wood coaster is NOT commonplace. -Mark
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