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Starliner Construction at Cypress Gardens


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^ Well, that's why I ask if they are making any modifications from when it was at Miracle Strip because it looks exactly the same as it did when it was at Miracle Strip (maybe you missed when I said that) and that version had very little airtime to speak of.

 

--Robb

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But how doesn't it have airtime the hills look perfect, is it slow over them?

I don't know, it just didn't really have any airtime. Little pops here and there but nothing major at all.

 

The last year it ran it ranked #82 in Mitch Hawker's wood coaster poll (was ranked as low as 110 some years) so it's certianly not going to be a coaster to write home about if it stays the same.

 

This is why buying it baffled me in the first place. Why would a park want to purchase a mediocre ride when the park is already filled with mediocre rides? What this park needs is a STAND OUT ride.

 

--Robb "Starliner in it's original form is not a stand-out ride." Alvey

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^Agreed. The purchase of the Starliner makes no sense. When the whole project is over, won't the cost be about the same as buying a new woodie? And it's not like the Starliner is some sort of legendary ride that will draw in huge crowds. Overall, not a wise business decision.

 

dt

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^Agreed. The purchase of the Starliner makes no sense. When the whole project is over, won't the cost be about the same as buying a new woodie? And it's not like the Starliner is some sort of legendary ride that will draw in huge crowds. Overall, not a wise business decision.

 

dt

 

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

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I dunno, I just don't see this ride bringing in people, at least not in the long term. And from what I've seen in my visits and keep hearing from locals, the park is always empty.

 

That can't be good, right?

 

And when I say a "stand out" attraction, I don't mean they need El Toro, but something that will bring in people and make them go "wow", I just don't think Starliner fits the bill.

 

It didn't work for Miracle Strip so why will it work for Cypress? I guess what I was trying to say is that, from what I remember of Starliner, it wasn't THAT much more thrilling than Triple Hurricane.

 

I see the whole "Florida tradition" as a marketable feature wearing off very quickly.

 

I still think that Cypress Gardens is a great little park, but not in Central Florida. I can think of so many other places in the country where the park even in it's current form would be AWESOME, but in Central Florida, what draw does it really have with some of the best theme parks in the world an hour down the road in two directions?

 

--Robb "It might just be me, but I don't quite get Cypress Gardens." Alvey

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From what I have been told about the ride. A small modification was made in the far end turn around. The turn was tweaked a little with a small change in angle of banking and the overall circular shape of the far end turn around has been pinched a little.

 

I have read and heard alot of rumors that I cant confirm.

I have heard new trains, one is done and the second is getting done. The original car is still infront of the park so I guess its new trains. I have heard that they are upgrading the coaster to newer electric brakes and have heard along with new trains come regular restraints. I have also heard that the tunnel may or may not happen, I bet it will. Otherwise from what I have been told, if the ride would have been rebuilt when it was moved back in 04 -05 then it would have been a good purchase. However now they could have done better just with a good new coaster for a couple million.

 

As for the park, I agree that its not a block buster, however I think its as big a ride as the park could go. Will it draw crowds, I dont think so. Will people go out of the way to ride it, not likely. As Rob says the ride is mediocre at best, but with it being new it should provide at least a fun ride experience. It doesnt have much airtime more or less just a fun ride experience.

 

Hopefully I will get a chance to talk with the guys at the site again and maybe they will let me in on a few other things with the coaster.

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Hopefully I will get a chance to talk with the guys at the site again and maybe they will let me in on a few other things with the coaster.

That would be great. Let us know what you find out.

 

I don't mean to sound too negative about the whole thing, I just don't quite understand it. I'm a park and coaster enthusaist and this ride doesn't excite me enough to run out to the park and ride it, and I don't see it being a ride that people will make a return visit for after their initial ride. And that kind of attraction is what I think the park is missing.

 

--Robb

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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.

-Mark

 

Tsunami (aka J2) only costs $4 million and is a signature coaster.

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I agree, it was a good investment for CG to buy and rebuild the "Starliner".

 

The classic wooden coaster was the first of its kind in Florida when it was built in 1963 at Panama City Beach's Miracle Strip Amusement Park.

 

If it had not been built at that time, Florida could of been waiting for many years for their 1st woodie. So the coaster needed to be saved and thankful it was.

 

After you have ridden: El Toro, Balder and all of the top woodies around the world, you can't compare the "Starliner" to them as it's in a "Classic" class of it's own.

 

What "Woodie" coaster did you want CG to buy Robb...?

 

Time to save WG "Cyclone" and the "Blue Streak" at CLP.

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After you have ridden: El Toro, Balder and all of the top woodies around the world, you can't compare the "Starliner" to them as it's in a "Classic" class of it's own.

Sure I can! In fact, I'm probably a better person to judge the quality of a ride versus someone who doesn't have that basis of comparison. And this isn't about comparing Starliner to El Toro, this is more about, "Does the park NEED Starliner to begin with?"

 

What "Woodie" coaster did you want CG to buy Robb...?

Well, that was kind of my whole point. I'm not sure they needed to buy ANY wood coaster. IMO, from my memory of Starrliner the ride wasn't much more than the woodie they already have, Triple Hurricane.

 

And while Triple Hurricane would be considered a "junior" woodie, Starliner is only 70 feet tall, and the layout of the two rides are fairy similar and I don't think people will notice much difference between the two rides.

 

Now on a positive side, they might be making some changes to Starliner to make it a better ride, and as it was pointed out it does have the "traditional" aspect going for it. But how much leverage does that have?

 

I'm not conviced that the right people are going to care enough about "Florida's Historical Starliner" to keep coming through the doors. I mean, lets face it, not even all enthusiasts seem to care about the ride's history, so why would the random local Joe care about a wood coaster from a defunct park 400 miles away that they probably never heard of?

 

Good example, Elissa's parents, who have been Florida residents for 16 years who travel ALL OVER the state and who's daughter is a coaster enthusaist, have never heard of Miracle Strip nor did they realize there was an amusement park in Panama City!

 

I highly doubt many Florida locals will even care about the ride's history.

 

So did the park build it because they felt they NEEDED to new big thrill ride? I'm not sure. I know they got it "cheap" as Mark pointed out, but just because it's cheap does that make it a good invenstment?

 

Again, I'm not convinced that the ride will generate many "repeat visitors" and I kind of think the park NEEDS a ride that will make people want to return to the park to ride again.

 

For example, could that $3 million dollars have been better spent on a really elaborate Sally dark ride, like the one at Walibi Belgium? Or if they felt it was a big coaster they needed, how about a Gerstlauer Eurofighter? Or how much would a brand new coaster with a design that's NOT similar to the woodie they already have cost?

 

Again, they problem they are going to run into building any coaster is they will automatically put themselves into competition with Busch, Universal, and Disney.

 

And being that the only woodie in the area is Gwazi, which is not very good, makes sense to build a woodie. But why spend that money on yet another "not very good woodie."

 

So I see everyone's point about the ride being historic, and it's great to save it and all, but this is a good example of my argument to "why save the mediocre rides?" If this does the park well over time, then GREAT! I'll be the first to admin I'm happy to be wrong.

 

But if saving this "historic" woodie doesn't do anything for the park in the long run, then I ask the question, "Would the park have been better off NOT saving it?"

 

--Robb

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To be honest Robb, I feel kind of split.

 

Cypress Gardens is practically one of Florida's most historic attractions, in a way, Starliner fits in with the park because its historic.

 

But then it goes down to marketing, and longtime residents such as Elissa's rents and my parents (living in the same town for 25 years, I've lived with them my entire life) have barely heard of Miracle Strip or Starliner as a matter of fact. Maybe the park should have installed something that is cheap and marketable, like say... a Volare. Crappy ride, but with a marketable punch such as:

 

"Hey Florida, [insert FL park here] does not have a ride where you can FLY LIKE A BIRD!"

 

Oh well, at least the ride is finally being built.

 

Now lets take bets on when it will open, $100 Schrute bucks on August!

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^ I agree. If the ride was going to go anywhere, Cypress Gardens is the best place.

 

But I also agree with Robb, It's probably not the smartest move for attracting and bringing back guests. I've never been to Wild Adventures but they seem to have some "bigger coasters", maybe Cypress Garden should follow in their footsteps.

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My two cents.

 

Honest, I still cannot believe the park is even still open.

I for one do not like the Wild Adventures & Cypress Gardens parks. They are just to blah and blah.

 

I too hope they make some modifications on this ride, but also agree it seems more like as someone had said, they found a great deal and choose to put it in approach for no reason other then the deal.

 

Who knows if they actually have new trains just maybe and hopefully it will make a difference.

 

This is just a cheap company, and instead of investing into their properties they go for the cheapest approaches. Heck why not grab the old blue prints for Wild Cat “Idora” or another cyclone clone. A park like this needs quality to draw attention not here and there’s.

 

Cypress was a gamble property to begin with, but to truly even try to draw anything from the Orlando market Kent Buescher “Wild Adventures” was not the right person to do it. No offense to him but he does not run high end/quality parks.

 

Time will tell.

 

At the least Florida’s collection of wooden coaster’s is finally growing. Now we just need some actually good ones

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A park like this needs quality to draw attention not here and there’s.

Agreed. If they were going after the "rescured woodie" angle, why not something like Americana's Screechin' Eagle? At least that ride ranked in the top 20 at one point in it's existence.

 

And wasn't that ride recently restored like 3 or 4 years ago? I can't imagine that Starliner had a lot of work put into it in it's last few years of existence.

 

Anyway, I guess my whole real beef to this whole thing is "why save a mediocre ride?" I'm all about saving GOOD rides worth saving, but just because it's old, or just because it's made out of wood, or just because it was designed by a classic designer IMO doesn't mean is *HAS* to be saved.

 

A saved mediocre woodie is still a mediocre ride.

 

--Robb "All the ACErs into preservation will flock to it as soon as it opens...and the immediatly forget about it until it's in danger again." Alvey

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A saved mediocre woodie is still a mediocre ride.

 

That makes me think how cool it would be if they changed up the design a little. They would be "saving" the coaster, but could update it and make it more appealing.

 

Has that ever been done to a wooden coaster? It would kill a lot less trees than a brand new woodie!

 

Sorry if this has been answered, but are they going to include the tunnel?

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^The opposite has been done.

 

A prime example, Twister II at Six Flags Elitch Gardens. Built wilder the second time around my foot... Even though I never rode the original, I heard the original was wild. But Twister II was LAME, only one pop of air and thats it. Mediocre at best...

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Thanks everybody, as for why keep an old coaster. They have been able to reuse about 35 percent of the lumber as most has rotted in the field.

 

LOL! I JUST read this! I love it, because they delayed soo long on getting that coaster up, now they have to pay MORE money, more money that they don't have! I love this place!

 

-Ryan

If you do some research, you'll find that most relocated wood coasters end up needing at least 50% of the wood replaced anyway. Just look at the Comet going up at Little A-Merrick-A, that thing looks 100% new!

 

I have heard though, that there might be some modfications to this coaster to make a bit more thrilling. I really, *REALLY* hope those rumors are true because IMO, the Starliner at Miracle Strip was mediocre at best. I don't think there was a single hill on it that was worth writing home about.

 

It reminded me a lot of Lake Winnie's Cannonball or SFOT's Judge Roy Scream. Fun ride, yes, but easily forgettable.

 

And that's not what Cypress Gardens needs, IMO, they need a *STAND OUT* attraction, and unless some chagnes are going to be made to Starliner, once the "we saved the coaster" buzz wears off, they'll be left with a fairly mediocre ride.

 

--Robb

 

 

 

Because it is 100% new, I can go and look at the old one anytime. The only thing that isn't there anymore is the trains.

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Agreed. If they were going after the "rescured woodie" angle, why not something like Americana's Screechin' Eagle? At least that ride ranked in the top 20 at one point in it's existence.

Wow I forgot about the Screechin Eagle.

Good call, and that coaster would actually stand out as a good ride.

 

Is that even for sale or does the camper guy still think he’s going to reopen the park? It has been a while since I have heard anything about that park since closing?

 

That makes me think how cool it would be if they changed up the design a little. They would be "saving" the coaster, but could update it and make it more appealing.

 

Has that ever been done to a wooden coaster? It would kill a lot less trees than a brand new woodie!

 

Sorry if this has been answered, but are they going to include the tunnel?

 

As for changing the design, good question but you are going to be paying some nice cash for all the re-engineering required. (This company is very cheap) And most the lumber is replaced anyways.

 

Top of my head I know of wood coasters that have been modified:

*Wild One “SFA” had a modification a long time ago over the original design I believe when it was relocated. (someone can prob. remember what?)

*Thunderbolt “Kennywood” Aka the Pippin was also largely expanded on.

*Jack Rabbit “Idora, defunct” was largely lengthened.”

 

Hope those where examples you where looking for.

 

Tunnel question:

Can't help.

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No modifications to the ride structure and track except in the turn around. I was told that the only tweaking of the ride was in the circle part of the turn around. The turn is more oval now then circular. I have learned that the turn around banking has also been increased but it was something that was originally tweaked at the old park. They added shims under the track to increase the banking a couple of degrees. So with the redo and tweaking the turn around they went with a better angle to produce a better flow.

 

Reason why all the delays and why it was tweaked. Remember all the permit delays, all this was caused by the ride extending just a little bit into a public property area. So instead of bug the neighbors for a variance on the code. Cypress Gardens decided to go the other way and tweak the ride a small bit. Remember back when the park was getting built, all the locals didn't want amusement rides. So Cypress felt they couldn't ask the neighbors for a variance because they wouldn't have gotten it and they felt it would have taken even longer..

 

The station is still round. There doesn't seem to be any footers for what would be a transfer track or work area. I have heard that they are only going to run one train anyway.

 

Now I do wonder about the new trains. Are they 6 seaters like the original or are they more traditional with 4 seater cars in the trains.

 

As for why move a mediocre ride. Well cause he could I guess. I guess at the time with a very low cost and a contract that would have had the coaster rebuilt for a low fee, it was worth it. That is if the coaster had been rebuilt in 05 with all the existing lumber. Now with about 70 percent new lumber in the structure and all new track, new trains, upgraded restraints, new updated braking system it hardly makes for a classic or historic coaster or a cheap move of an old coaster. I figure they thought it was a good idea back in the day and I think they had the best intentions but things just didn't work out. Now they just want to get it done.

 

As for why build that particular coaster at the park or why they felt this was the thing for them. Your guess is as good as mine. One of those business decisions or just the fact the Beuscher owner of the park Could buy it and move it.

 

Lets not forget about the Arrow water ride or flume that was also purchased from MSAP and moved to Wild Adventure and subsequently rotted in the field. See the coincidence here. If it weren't for Cypress Gardens filling for bankruptcy and reorganized there debt, Starliner would still be in the field rotting away.

 

Heck it will be fun for a few rides anyway even its an over priced mediocre ride.

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