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California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread

P. 476: Cedar Fair sells park land, CGA to close within the next 11 years

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I always felt that the corkscrew was one of the best parts of the ride even when it was still a stand-up. Aside from it being on the short side, I thought it was a decent enough ride before the transformation. I'm sure it's even better now. I hope to be able to get down and ride it before too long.

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So are you guys confirming that a flourless conversion to the vortex at Carowinds would be ok considering the layouts are almost similar? I think Carowinds' version is shorter tho.

 

They're both around 2,000' in track length, with Caowinds Vortex actually being about 100' longer (not that it makes much difference with these two similar coasters).

 

The general consensus seems to be that Mantis to Rougarou was a positive upgrade, and the early reports seem to generally agree that CGA's Vortex to Patriot conversion is also a success, so I'd have to imagine that the inevitable Carowinds Vortex floorless conversion will be a winner as well.

 

Good on CF for breathing some new life into these old rides instead of allowing do-nothing inertia to tighten it's vice-like grip.

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^what if they decide it doesn't have any meaningful impact on attendance and it will take them a long time to get their ROI when another capital expense would make them money faster?

 

They'd be hard pressed to find something better for the cost. I'm guessing buying new trains & changing out some mechanical systems to handle the new trains is fairly cheap compared to other capital investments.

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So are you guys confirming that a flourless conversion to the vortex at Carowinds would be ok considering the layouts are almost similar? I think Carowinds' version is shorter tho.

I could easily see them do a butterless conversion

That would be great for the lactose intolerant guests. I don't know about flourless, though, as the gluten free fad is pretty much over. I would think a gluten free roller coaster would go over much better in Silicon Valley.

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I've noticed Patriot is running very slowly. This may be because it has just opened and needs to warm up a bit or the trains are that light and don't allow for the speed Vortex had. Either way, I've set up a way to watch both POVs at once just so you have an idea of how slow Patriot is in comparison to Vortex.

 

The one of Vortex was shot with a full train (as you can hear), the one of Patriot was shot (I believe) by the park with an empty train before media day (note the load platform at the end still under construction and with absolutely nobody in sight).

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So are you guys confirming that a flourless conversion to the vortex at Carowinds would be ok considering the layouts are almost similar? I think Carowinds' version is shorter tho.

I could easily see them do a butterless conversion

That would be great for the lactose intolerant guests. I don't know about flourless, though, as the gluten free fad is pretty much over. I would think a gluten free roller coaster would go over much better in Silicon Valley.

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I've noticed Patriot is running very slowly. This may be because it has just opened and needs to warm up a bit or the trains are that light and don't allow for the speed Vortex had. Either way, I've set up a way to watch both POVs at once just so you have an idea of how slow Patriot is in comparison to Vortex.

 

The one of Vortex was shot with a full train (as you can hear), the one of Patriot was shot (I believe) by the park with an empty train before media day (note the load platform at the end still under construction and with absolutely nobody in sight).

 

You hit the nail on the head. When the train is full of riders, I highly doubt there is any noticeable difference in speed / duration.

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I've noticed Patriot is running very slowly. This may be because it has just opened and needs to warm up a bit or the trains are that light and don't allow for the speed Vortex had. Either way, I've set up a way to watch both POVs at once just so you have an idea of how slow Patriot is in comparison to Vortex.

 

The one of Vortex was shot with a full train (as you can hear), the one of Patriot was shot (I believe) by the park with an empty train before media day (note the load platform at the end still under construction and with absolutely nobody in sight).

 

You hit the nail on the head. When the train is full of riders, I highly doubt there is any noticeable difference in speed / duration.

 

Exactly. At season pass preview night on Friday it was actually running a little faster than Vortex with a full train.

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If Patriot goes over well (which seems to be the case), I am almost certain we will see the Carowinds Vortex get converted in 2018. I don't see why Cedar Fair would convert two of their stand-ups and leave out the third.

 

Yep. The pattern over the last handful of years for CF regarding their stand-up coasters has become crystal clear:

 

2014 - CW's Skyrider is closed and sold to some park in Italy

2014 - CP's Mantis is closed and is reborn in 2015 as floorless Rougarou

2015 - KD's Shockwave is closed and scrapped

2016 - CGA's Vortex is closed and reborn in 2017 as floorless Patriot

 

It's quite clear that CF is making a concerted effort to get out the the stand-up coaster business by converting their B&M's and removing their Togos.

 

I'll be shocked, SHOCKED, if we don't see a floorless conversion for Carowinds Vortex within the next year or two. If Carowinds already had a floorless or traditional sit-down looper from B&M, the issue might be more complicated, but it doesn't, so it's not.

Edited by Steely Dan
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I think a Carowinds Vortex conversion is almost a foregone conclusion. At this point they do have a virtually endless supply of "free" spare parts for the existing trains which might make it kind of appealing for them to keep it running in it's current state but that doesn't seem like something this chain is overly interested in doing.

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Honestly it kinda sucks how SF will probably never convert their stand ups. Although I really liked Scorcher, Green Lantern and Riddler are stuck as they are because of Bizarro and Scream. I could only barely see Apocalypse being converted and that's a stretch based on how SFA is treated.

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Honestly it kinda sucks how SF will probably never convert their stand ups. Although I really liked Scorcher, Green Lantern and Riddler are stuck as they are because of Bizarro and Scream. I could only barely see Apocalypse being converted and that's a stretch based on how SFA is treated.

 

I'm actually happy that Six Flags will likely not convert theirs (okay, maybe Apocalypse would be okay...). I think that stand-ups need to live on at least in some places. And it helps that Six Flags generally has better stand-ups than Cedar Fair does. I hope they stay as they are for a good, long time.

 

Honestly if I were Cedar Fair I'd keep Vortex at Carowinds as it is too. I think it's fine. But I'm sure they'll get around to converting it.

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It would be fun to see B&M modify their hyper trains to include some sort of shin restraints like RMC. A set of those trains of Riddler would be pretty damn amazing.

 

Until I got to the Riddler part, I was deathly afraid. Their hyper trains on gigas/hypers are perfect and shouldn't be modified.

 

Honestly if I were Cedar Fair I'd keep Vortex at Carowinds as it is too. I think it's fine. But I'm sure they'll get around to converting it.

 

Of the stand-ups, I thought Vortex at Carowinds was the most uncomfortable. The sooner it becomes a floorless like what happened with Vortex/Patriot, the better.

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Honestly it kinda sucks how SF will probably never convert their stand ups. Although I really liked Scorcher, Green Lantern and Riddler are stuck as they are because of Bizarro and Scream. I could only barely see Apocalypse being converted and that's a stretch based on how SFA is treated.

 

I'm actually happy that Six Flags will likely not convert theirs (okay, maybe Apocalypse would be okay...). I think that stand-ups need to live on at least in some places. And it helps that Six Flags generally has better stand-ups than Cedar Fair does. I hope they stay as they are for a good, long time.

I agree. Riddler is the only good standup coaster I've ever been on (although I haven't been on that many standups tbh, and I thought Mantis was okay before it became Rougarou). The difference is quite interesting between CF and SF with their standups, and yeah it'd be a shame to see these types of coasters completely die out, so I'm at least glad SF is taking good care of them.

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Just came from the park on Sunday, I've got a full review of Patriot for you. Here ya go!

 

The ride itself was more fun than I thought and, in my opinion, a great improvement. First off, of course, it's much smoother. There's no headbanging, pressure on your legs, and, most of all, the new wheels make for a glossy smooth ride with no rattling. I did get a little headbanging maybe twice during the ride, but it was nothing bad at all. Speaking of rattling, all of the elements almost feel nonexistant because of the smoothness. The result is that you can enjoy some of the lateral turns, specifically right after the vertical loop.

 

The corkscrew is an inversion for good hangtime, and while this was one of the two moments where I banged my head when exiting, it's much better than the whipping of Vortex. The only problem I have is that while it is smoother, it feels a bit more forceless. However, it's not supposed to be intense and more on just being fun and smooth. If I had to rate it, I'd give it a solid 7/10, compared to giving the original Vortex a generous 4/10.

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