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Kemah Boardwalk and Bullet Discussion Thread


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I was there Saturday. It ran 68-69 most of the afternoon, then dropped into the 66-67 range after dark.

 

Full trains on every ride! Yachty Gras was going on, so there was about a 3-5 train wait.

 

Had friends down who had never been on it. One of them, from DFW, said that it was about time that Texas got a good wood coaster(!)

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Boardwalk Bullet commercial will make it's debut in Houston on cable and on Network television (KHCW, KHOU, KPRC, KRIV, KTRK, KTXH) the week of 3/13-3/20 for spring break.

 

Spring Break is one of Kemah Boardwalk's busiest weeks of the year, if not the busiest.

 

A slightly edited version of the commercial is attached. I still don't think the music is fitting

 

-GG

boardwalk-bullet4.wmv

Final version of Boardwalk Bullet commercial that will start airing in Houston in March 2008.

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Spring Break is one of Kemah Boardwalk's busiest weeks of the year, if not the busiest.

 

The boardwalk might also benefit from the adjusted schedule of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, which no longer has a conflict with the opening of AstroWorld, and runs March 2 through the 22nd. According to hlsr.com, attendance in 2007 was nearly 2 million! (Very cool midway there for anyone considering a Houston visit for Spring Break.)

 

Cool clip, btw. Can't wait to see it broadcast.

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The video footage was filmed before the trackwork was done. It was, in fact, filmed before the TPR video shoot.

 

The music is "O Fortuna" from Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana". It has been used in dozens of movies and commercials. If you like it, I highly recommend hearing it live. It takes a full orchestra, 28 pieces of percussion, two grand pianos, a large adult choir, a boy's choir, and a big stage to hold all of it. The opening is full-on fortissimo and will peel the paint off the walls. For orchestral music, it freaking ROCKS.

 

The Houston Symphony is doing it this weekend. They perform it every couple of years because it's a cash cow. They usually double the ticket prices and still sell out every performance.

 

That said, I agree that it's not very appropriate for a western-themed coaster.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The past few weeks seem to have been the most stable for the Bullet as ride times are remaining pretty consistent at 67-72 seconds. Train #2 rides about 1.5-2 seconds faster than train #1 which leads me to say that they started running two trains on the weekends. This keeps wait times under 15 minutes even at the busiest hours. With spring break in a only a few weeks we will likely see our longest wait times ever but I still doubt they have to use that extra few hundred feet of queue by the parking lot.

 

This picture was taken last week - they are obviously getting ready for the mad Spring Break rush...

 

-GG

Photo_021408_001.jpg.992531698366d22c16d5c1fef473d241.jpg

Anyone guess which rides were still open that day?

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Got in about 20 rides today. The front half of the ride (with the infamous zig-zag) was hella fun and fast, with a fresh coat of grease on the upper bay turn. After the second big drop, though, it just died. The final turn is heavily banked, and you had to brace yourself to keep from falling over sideways as the train crawled around the turn. There was a time or two when I thought the train would stall out completely on the last hill over the brake run. Still fun, though, and GREAT weather for riding.

 

Here are a couple of pics:

traverbullet.jpg.6bdd486a75dbb5268344ebfa88e087b2.jpg

Park your car right next to the coaster so it can watch you ride.

bulletsun.jpg.f74fa6b6e656efd162183b365d3d8006.jpg

A cool effect when you point an iPhone cam right at the sun

bulletreversepov.jpg.c42ea34231a7abcc48d754549e39c528.jpg

A beautiful day for riding alone!

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  • 1 month later...

I have not been posting many updates about the Bullet lately so thought it was about time.

 

First the bad news. The Bullet has undergone more track work and was closed the past week (Monday-Friday evening) to repair a part of track on the upper bay turn. It opened yesterday and ran all day today. About two weeks ago the Bullet was closed for a few days to repair a part of track after the first drop. Both parts appeared to have been repaired by putting a piece of plastic behind the guide rail. Apparently they are still having issues as both of these repairs were done on parts of the track that were completely replaced just a couple of months ago when it was down for winter maintenance.

 

The good news is that they are now using some different kind of track lubricant. They had been using graphite and on the track but the train would run as slow as 88 seconds if they didn't put the stuff on every few days. This caused the train to really stall on the hills, especially when it was running with empty trains. With the new lubricate I have yet to see the bullet run higher than 68 seconds with a full train, and its been averaging 64-65 seconds with no stalling at all on any of the hills or turns. Its really flying into and through the water cooler turn, you can't even come close to counting clicks on the anti-rollbacks. While I've had faster rides on the Bullet, I've never experienced it ride this good for this long of a time. Hopefully the days of showing up to ride to find the train is going 80+ seconds are gone.

 

I ran into CoasterJoe riding a few weeks ago and he really enjoyed the coaster. I ran into SKCfan tonight who was really beat up when he rode it in November before the winter repairs. He wouldn't ride in the back because of his experience in November but I coerced him into row 11. I think he was expecting a beating, but he didn't get it. He looked at me at the end of the ride and said "Wow, that didn't hurt." Heh. Thats a good thing.

 

Row 1 is still the best seat on the train IMO, it gets all kinds of ejector air going into the hills and going up to the water cooler turns gives you a nice positive to negative G boost that until recently didn't happen (did I mention its now flying through this turn?). Stay away from rows 2-9 unless you just want a beating. Rows 10-12 are "rough but worth it" with row 11 being the least rough of those.

 

They had rows 9-10 roped off tonight on so the lines were running a bit longer than normal at 30-40 minutes wait from 7-11pm. The weather was great and I ran into several coaster enthusiasts including a 77 year old ACE member (now the oldest Male ACE member) who flew from Florida to ride it this weekend. Like most people who have ridden it, he has mixed reactions about the Bullet. Insane first half, but really dies down at the end, and is a bit rougher than expected for a new coaster.

 

If anyone plans on riding the Bullet during the weekday I highly suggest calling to see if it is running due to the amount of downtown it has has in the past few weeks.

 

-GG

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I ran into SKCfan tonight who was really beat up when he rode it in November before the winter repairs. He wouldn't ride in the back because of his experience in November but I coerced him into row 11. I think he was expecting a beating, but he didn't get it. He looked at me at the end of the ride and said "Wow, that didn't hurt." Heh. Thats a good thing.

-GG

It was very cool to run into someone that I've read posts by and seen a pic of on this site.

 

I was in line for my third ride of the night when Guru ended up in line behind me. I'd seen him earlier, but, he was about to board the train at the back and I was still in line up toward the front of the train.

 

While chatting with him in line, he did indeed talk me into row 11. I wasn't too fond of the back of the train after a few past rides that were very rough. I basically decided after those rides to stay toward the front of the train as much as possible.

 

However, after the track work done during the winter break, the back rows are no longer as nasty as they used to be. It was quite a pleasant experience to get yanked down those hills in row 11! It wasn't anywhere near as rough as it was on my last rides there in November.

 

I got a total of four rides in last night:

1st: Row 2R

2nd: Row 3L

3rd: Row 11R

4th: Row 1R

 

My favorite two of those four were without a doubt the third and fourth rides. They are kind of two sides on the same coin for me. I like the unrestricted view of row 1, but, I equally like the slightly stronger G's of row 11.

 

It was nice to hear Guru agree that the right side of the train is the best side to be on. I'd discovered that in my past rides on the Bullet.

 

I had to call it quits after four rides because I had over an hour and a half drive back home. I had made several pit stops around the Houston area and got to the Boardwalk around 6:30 or so. After getting my wristband at about 6:50, I knew I was going to be limited in the amount of Bullet rides I could get in due to the length of the line. All four rides averaged about 20 to 25 minutes or so to get on. That wasn't too bad at all considering the amount of people there. The thing that really made the wait times totally bearable was the weather. It was as close to perfect for me as you could get. It wasn't too hot or cold and there was a good strong breeze to keep you cool.

 

This was definitely a fun evening with the Bullet and Guru. It was nice to ride it again after about five months and after the winter track work. I wish I could have gotten more rides in, but...

 

(1) I didn't break a sweat due to nice weather

(2) I paid for my wristband with my four rides

(3) I didn't get beat up in row 11

(4) I got to meet Guru

(5) I had a lot of fun

 

So, I guess you could say, "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!".

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Is 30-40 minutes the typical wait for Bullet on a Saturday evening? Is that the way it is all day Saturday, or is it less if you get there in the afternoon?

 

The Bullet usually opens around noon-1pm and there isn't much of a line if one at all until about 5pm when it backs up to about 15 minutes or so. Around 7pm on it is anywhere from 20-40 minute wait until closing. On Sat they have to close the line to the Bullet at about 10:20 because they have to finish the last ride before 11am or risk being fined by the city for the noise ordinance.

 

Sunday is similar but the peak is from about 4-8, overall it is not as busy as Sat, especially at the end of the night.

 

-GG

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  • 4 weeks later...

I visited the Kemah Boardwalk to ride the Bullet tonight and noticed the area in front of the main ticket booth was blocked off and the land was being worked on. With a little bit of prowling I discovered the area is being prepped for a Chance Chaos to be installed in the very near future.

 

Kemah Boardwalk is basically a "Have a meal then ride the rides" type of place and most of the rides there are pretty easy on the stomach. This addition, however, makes me think they will have more results of 'stomach queasiness' to clean up than all their other rides combined

 

-GG

 

P.S. It had been over 4 weeks since I had ridden the Bullet, it was riding great, but I noticed a lot more track work had been done in that time.

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I wonder if they got it used. Seems to be a lot of parks have removed those over the past couple of years.

 

--Robb

 

I think you are on the money there. Not sure if it was from a park or a traveling model being converted for permanent placement.

 

-GG

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I was there Sunday at the park is wonderful on that day. I didnt notice any construction but they do need a new ride. I heard a while back that it was supposed to be a log flume ride. Why do you think that they are being removed in such high numbers?

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I was there Sunday at the park is wonderful on that day. I didnt notice any construction but they do need a new ride. I heard a while back that it was supposed to be a log flume ride. Why do you think that they are being removed in such high numbers?

 

I think the log flume was just a rumor floating around. While it would make great sense in the summer, Boardwalk is a year round park and not sure if they would want a dormant ride in the off season. Who knows though.

 

-GG

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