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Congrats Colin! Also, I have a question. I saw in your GCI blog that you're going to Dollywood to do some work on Thunderhead. I'm planning a trip there over Labor Day weekend, so I was wondering if Thunderhead will be down for you guys to work on it during that time. Any idea? Thanks in advance!

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Congrats Colin! Also, I have a question. I saw in your GCI blog that you're going to Dollywood to do some work on Thunderhead. I'm planning a trip there over Labor Day weekend, so I was wondering if Thunderhead will be down for you guys to work on it during that time. Any idea? Thanks in advance!

 

This should not effect the normal operation of Thunderhead. Enjoy it over Labor Day weekend!

 

I also posted a new blog entry today. Feel free to check it out, it covers a few interesting things that people don't necessarily think about when it comes to building a roller coaster.

 

Check it out here!

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Does anyone have any questions at all? I can't imagine that out of everyone here that nobody does! While speaking about future projects might be a little touchy and sometimes not possible to answer, I'd be more than happy to answer questions pertaining to being an intern. Even questions about the industry, how to get in to the industry, etc. I'd love to give info on.

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^I think a post about how you got this position would make for a good read. I'm sure there are a lot of people that read this site that would love to be an intern at some sort of theme park-related company, and any tips you could give about getting involved in the industry would be appreciated.

 

dt

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Your blog already touches on this a little bit...but I think people would like to know more about how manufacturers are consistently involved with their rides after they have been built and delivered. Warranty, parts supplier, tech consulting, rehabs, etc.

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This is probably something that you can't talk about in to much detail but I'd be interested to hear what GCI's opinion of the new topper track and iron horse style wooden coaster track is. Do they like it, hate it, are they developing any type of their own version of it, do they think the technology will somehow revolutionize wooden coasters or do they think it is just a fad that will be gone in a couple of year? Also if a park wanted to re-track a GCI with topper-track to reduce maintenance costs, would the millennium flyers be compatible and would GCI allow it?

 

Congrats on the gig by the way, and good luck with everything.

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Your blog already touches on this a little bit...but I think people would like to know more about how manufacturers are consistently involved with their rides after they have been built and delivered. Warranty, parts supplier, tech consulting, rehabs, etc.

 

GCI provides "turn-key" rides, whereas most other companies do not and they use many different companies to produce one ride. We stock all parts for basically anything, and can even provide parts and hardware to other wooden coasters if need be. Staying involved makes sure that not only are the rides taken care of, but also so we can learn how to improve our rides for the future. Having the supplier involved also makes sure that things are done correctly; you wouldn't build an Intamin and go to Vekoma for parts after!

 

I can't really say much about warranties, tech consulting, or rehabs, but that's mostly because I really am not familiar with the process yet from our point of view. Maybe Evan can chime in on this one?

 

This is probably something that you can't talk about in to much detail but I'd be interested to hear what GCI's opinion of the new topper track and iron horse style wooden coaster track is. Do they like it, hate it, are they developing any type of their own version of it, do they think the technology will somehow revolutionize wooden coasters or do they think it is just a fad that will be gone in a couple of year? Also if a park wanted to re-track a GCI with topper-track to reduce maintenance costs, would the millennium flyers be compatible and would GCI allow it?

 

Congrats on the gig by the way, and good luck with everything.

 

That is a pretty tricky question to answer, and I think this also might be a question that Evan can answer, if at all.

 

We do provide some of the smoothest and most twisted rides available, and with proper maintenance they can continue to stay that way. I mean Lightening Racer is still butter smooth even after all of these years!

 

I can't really answer your last question. I will say that if a ride meets the requirements to run the Millennium Flyers that it is an option to replace their existing trains (like Gwazi and Hershey Wildcat). However these requirements are very strict, and some modification is required to run the Millennium flyers.

 

Speaking from a personal standpoint, I did really enjoy the topper track on Georgia Cyclone this year vs last year when it literally tried to kill me! I had to go back to the hotel and nap for most of Deep South Bash!

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  • 2 weeks later...
So if I am getting a degree in mechanical engineering is that along the right track to design roller coasters and theme park attractions? Also when is White lightning supposed to start showing up?

 

A mechanical or civil engineering degree is probably your best bet when it comes to ride design. Civil will be more structural work and ride layouts. Mechanical will have more to do with the design of the trains, braking and lift systems, etc.

 

Thank you for politely asking about White Lightening. I can't really give you an answer on that one to be honest, just be patient!

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^He goes back to his sad and pathetic life here in Orlando?

 

Seriously though, I'm sure if he does well GCI will help him in the future either with a job with them or a similar job out there. They will also tell him what he should continue studying in school and what he should be working on as a side project.

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Here is a question that I have always been curious about but why does GCI use a "solid concrete slab" for the footers on some coasters and "individual" concrete footers on others? What are the benefits to the solid slab over the individual footers?

 

Solid slab on Apocolypse

 

Individual footers on Kentucky Rumbler

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This was asked recently on our Facebook page:

 

Our response:

There are many reasons to consider when to use each, but what it basically comes down to is what is simplest, given the site, terrain, and soil conditions.

 

A slab foundation will typically be used if the terrain is flat or nearly flat. Slabs tend to be simpler to construct/form, and they are especially helpful where we have a lot of structure anchoring close together. The soil conditions will sometimes indicate that a slab is better suited, but that is not as common.

 

The individual footers you see are actually connected underground with what we call "strip footings" or "grade beams". You will see these primarily when the ground is not as flat and it is impractical (or impossible) to use a slab foundation.

 

Aesthetics comes into play sometimes, too, but that is not typically a major factor.

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