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Six Flags Great America (SFGAm) Discussion Thread


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^^Maybe it's just my way of thinking, but I don't really get how this was hyped more than X Flight or Riptide. With those, they were releasing clues and hyping it every day. For this we only got clues once a week. Granted, they were much more creative this time which might have lead to people to believe it was something big, but the clues themselves revealed much less than the X Flight or Riptide Bay ones did.

 

^ Yes the cars are still there. Honestly, I think the original designers would much prefer our park as even though it's changed a lot, ours is so much closer to the park they built than Californias Great America is. Cali's only has two of the original themed areas left, their train is gone, their trolley tracks are gone and I believe we have more original rides left. The only Marriott thing Cali has that we don't that I can think of is the lighthouse.

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They did appear to go a little overboard with the announcement. That said, this company marketed NE's Superman and GAdv's Medusa as new rides based on a new paint job, cardboard cutout theming elements/on-board audio, and Freeze/Superman: The Escape as new rides because the trains were flipped to face backwards. I wouldn't expect anything less from them, and really, they're absolutely in the right for doing so.

 

Something about Jim Reid-Anderson reminds me of Christopher Walken as Max Shreck from Batman Returns- so watching him

next year was especially awesome.
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if anyone is thinking about going today, I just talked to someone in guest relations after waiting about 15 min. She said they're staying open til 9 regardless of weather(read that we can expect T-storms til 5 or 6 in Gurnee). She also told me that they closed at 6 last Sunday because it was the last week with weekday operations, something like that. Didn't make a lot of sense.

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More details about Ignite and how it will change Hometown Square.

 

GURNEE — X-Flight made a big splash when it opened at Six Flags Great America this spring, establishing itself as one of only four wing coasters in the world and the only one featured in the Six Flags network.

 

When officials for the theme-park giant released details of their capital campaign for 2013, the big splashes were designated for places like California and Texas, while Great America was given the more modest role of announcing a new live-entertainment show that will debut next summer.

 

Targeted for Hometown Square, “igNight,” as the stage attraction will be titled, was touted Thursday by Six Flags Chief Operating Officer Al Weber Jr. as “a state-of-the-art show that has new technology, great music, live entertainment combined for a tremendous end-of-the-day, spectacular show for the guests.”

 

Weber, joined by company chairman, president and CEO Jim Reid-Anderson for a conference call with national media announcing 2013 improvements, added that the show will be a daily attraction timed near the park’s closing time.

 

“It’s going to have pyrotechnics,” Reid-Anderson said. “It will use video, laser lighting, sensory effects and will involve guests — what we’re trying to do is literally make people feel like they’ve stepped into a completely new universe at night.”

 

Reid-Anderson added that the experience will “end with a spectacular finish involving fireworks and other attractions. But if we told you everything, then the surprise would be gone.”

 

According to Great America spokeswoman Katy Enrique, installation of equipment for igNight will require renovations to Hometown Square, including removal of the gazebo in the center of the theme area, to allow for a ground-level stage. She added that the target start date for the attraction is early June.

 

In other Six Flags developments, Reid-Anderson and Weber announced that Magic Mountain in Valencia, Calif., will be getting Full Throttle, described as the world’s fastest (70 mph) and tallest (160 feet) looping roller coaster, and Six Flags Over Texas in suburban Dallas is slated to open The Texas SkyScreamer, a 400-foot-tall ride that rotates guests around a 124-foot circle while seated in swings.

 

Also, Great Adventure in New Jersey will add a Safari Off Road Adventure ride to its 350-acre wild animal park; Six Flags St. Louis will be getting the Boomerang, a Vekoma-designed cobra-roll coaster; and Fiesta Texas in San Antonio will open the Iron Rattler, a 70-mph hybrid coaster that will combine a wooden structure with steel tracks and rails.

 

According to Reid-Anderson, the company is proceeding under a plan formulated over the last two years to invest 9 percent of annual revenue in new capital systemwide. While sticking to the company’s policy of holding expenditure amounts close to the vest, he added that with Six Flags revenue topping $1 billion, it can be assumed that $90 million to $100 million is designated each year to the improvements.

 

How that money is invested, he said, is a process specific to each park that includes input from both staff and guests.

 

“We actually look at data across the company by park, and we have our park presidents and leadership teams make recommendations for the next five years, and we update that on an ongoing basis,” Reid-Anderson said. “So we can look out right now and know what’s coming, or at least what’s planned to come, and we set aside the money to invest in that.”

 

At one point, a Dallas-area journalist asked Reid-Anderson why another wing coaster like X-Flight wasn’t on the list of expansions for 2013. Reid-Anderson indicated that more such rides might be included in a five-year plan for capital improvements.

 

“We have had great success with X-Flight, (and) we’re very happy with it,” Reid-Anderson said. “We’re not announcing any future plans beyond 2013, but you know that we’ve got those plans in place, and at some point we’ll come around with news about other new attractions.”

 

http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/14854630-421/ignight-will-ignite-six-flags-nights-in-13.html

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if anyone is thinking about going today, I just talked to someone in guest relations after waiting about 15 min. She said they're staying open til 9 regardless of weather(read that we can expect T-storms til 5 or 6 in Gurnee). She also told me that they closed at 6 last Sunday because it was the last week with weekday operations, something like that. Didn't make a lot of sense.

 

Thanks for that heads up. Because of what you said I decided to hit the park after work and arrived around 6:30pm. The lot was empty, and people just kept leaving. I dealt with no rain, and it actually turned out to be a great night. Raging Bull was a walk on, and for a single rider, re-rides could be had forever. I even rode V2 because the lines weren't even out of the queue. I couldn't believe how dead the park was considering it was a Saturday, and labor day weekend on top of that. The short lines were just unbelievable, and they even had Indian food for sale right outside of Raging Bull! I feel like I dreamt all of this haha. For only 2 1/2 hours at the park I rode Raging Bull 10 times, Batman 4 times, V2 once, and X-Flight twice. I could have done more too if that damn Indian food wasn't there!

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Didn't go Sat or Sun since rain was forecast, but looks like I should have. Made it out there yesterday for a little bit. Long lines to get in. The GSA was checking every bag. Also got some paper on the rules from the parking attendant. Front lot full sign was up but we got a decently closed space. There were others open even further up. Looked like a good amount of people there but the lines weren't very long. Longest on the chart was Pretzelman with 45 minutes. Mainly went back to get another Roaring Rapids ride in and try Buccaneer Battle. RR's line was basically back to the end before it would spill out. Took maybe 15-20 min. Another good ride. Wish it was a tad longer. The last couple cannons didn't go off. Not that I'm complaining. Next we tried Batman row 8. Line was back to the inner queue. Moved pretty well. Maybe 20-25 minutes. Row 8 was awesome. My favorite so far. My enthusiasm was back. Maybe the heat makes these things run faster. You definitely feel the pre-drop kick and the drop with more force than row 7. I'm not sure if I greyed out on the first loop. It felt like I sorta drifted off, but it could have just been the blinding sun in my face pushing me to close my eyes too. These inversions are noticeably more intense in the 8th row. BB was fun but comes short of being good. The cannons require a lot of effort like I read elsewhere. They aren't capable of shooting far enough to get a lot of the targets too. We wanted to go on X Flight again but had to be at Allstate Arena. I didn't feel any brain freeze type headache so I felt game for all the coasters. Demon was a walk-up from what we saw on the train. X Flight's line went back underneath the tower, so probably a half hour wait. Whizzer had one of the bigger lines there. We didn't check Southwest territory.

 

Figured out a good solution to the security issue. Got a waist pack from K-Mart for $9 last week and used this waterproof pouch we bought from the Gurnee Walmart last year. Water never really got into the waist pack, even on BB. We just used a smart carte for the Blue bottle while I kept the pack on the last few times. Those smart cartes have messed up on us 3x so far this year. That probably amounts to 15-20% of the time it won't open or eats the money.

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We went this weekend for 2.5 days. Lines were not that bad, and had great weather minus the roughly 3 hours of rain we had on sat. Was able to take advantage of the great deal they have on season passes right now(hear that cedarfair?) as well.

 

They had banners all over the park for the new "ignite" show next season.

 

Full photo trip report to come soon.

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New show for 2013.

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Made it out to SFGAm on Saturday for the first time in a couple of years. I was there for the out in the park event (gay day). It was a good deal $35 got you parking and entry into the park and at 9pm the GP had to leave and we got the park to ourselves until 1am. Other the the hour of rain we had from 9pm until 10 it was a really good time. Most of the coasters we walk on's with the exception of Raging Bull and Xflight. I don't if if it was a combination of the rain and the dark but it felt like most of the rides were flying around the track!

 

I was not sure what to expect with Xflight after reading some of the reviews but I thought is was really fun. I rode in the front right and I thought the ride had great pacing and a nice mix of elements in a compact layout. I can't wait to get to Cedar Point next year to ride Gate Keeper.

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Great America posted a huge update of lots of Fright Fest prep.

 

For the whole album, go here:

 

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Walk the Roaring Rapids in the new for 2012 Wicked Woods.

 

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Guests will face various urban legends of the forest.

 

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All the pipes used to create the rapids will be removed.

 

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This is where guests will exit. A ramp will be built to take them to ground level.

 

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SWT will transform once again into Tinseltown Terror.

 

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Replacing Studio 13 is the new for 2012 Massacre Manor.

 

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Six Flags Scientific Investigation team is trying to unravel the mysteries behind the Massacre Manor

 

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Massacre Medical Center returns for 2012. Last year, this room had a great effect in it.

 

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Necropolis taking shape.

 

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Mausoleum of Terror returns once again. I believe this has been here since year 1 of Fright Fest.

 

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Hometown Fun Machine becomes Reactor Core.

 

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It looks like the Fright Fest budget has been upped, as this all looks great! Look for more photos to be uploaded every Monday.

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FOX Chicago News) -

A man whose daughter fell while being chased by a character at Six Flags Great America's Halloween-themed Fright Fest last year filed a $30,000 lawsuit Monday against the Gurnee theme park.

 

Marian Pieczonka claims his young daughter Natalie was at the park Oct. 9, 2011, for Fright Fest at the Hunted Trails when a character jumped out of a port-a-potty, frightening her, and shot her with a water gun.

 

She tripped and fell as the character began to chase her, leaving her with scrapes, cuts and bruises, the suit claims.

 

Her father blames Six Flags Great America for encouraging employees to frighten and chase patrons inside the park, despite the presence of tripping hazards, the suit said.

 

A spokesperson for Six Flags did not immediately return messages Monday evening.

 

The one-count suit seeks $30,000 in damages.

http://www.myfoxchicago.com/story/19507215/father-suing-great-america-after-girl-fell-during-fright-fest-scare#ixzz26CRN6AUf

 

 

 

Good luck with that suit.....

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^Has the whole world lost it's head? Or is it just me? I guess I don't know all the details since I wasn't there... but come on..

 

I was there for the out in the park event (gay day). It was a good deal $35 got you parking and entry into the park and at 9pm the GP had to leave and we got the park to ourselves until 1am. Other the the hour of rain we had from 9pm until 10 it was a really good time.

 

We left at park close. Would have liked to stay for "Out in the park" but times are tough and that $45 is needed elsewhere! I wonder if the organizers would consider giving a discount to season pass holders next year? I'm not sure how those private events usually work. But even if they let in an additional 2,000 season pass holders at a discounted rate (for example) there would still be big profits and no lines. I heard it rained until 10:30; the ride ops got everything up fast and a great time was had - for those who waited the rain out.

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Got back from Cedar Point. While I'm not interested in turning this into a CP discussion, I see how going to different parks can be useful in learning about the overall general theme park experience. They had some promotion my wife signed up for. Buy one ticket and get another free. Something like that. Guess Sat was the legit ticket and sunday was the free one. Might've been an evening ticket. Someone there told us Sat afternoon that we could swap the days since we'd be arriving late. That we could go to the park when we arrived Sat night. The hotel worker said she couldn't give us whatever to go to the park for the last hour Sat unless we paid extra, but that we could at least go all day Sunday. Given how late it was and how far their equivalent of GA's guest services is from Breakers, I didn't see a point in arguing as we'd get maybe 5-10 min at the park at best. Haven't had any real trouble with GA's guest services. Most of what we rode were trains full of empty seats as everything was a walk up aside from Maverick.

 

I think I'm going to havta try Whizzer in the very back. Iron Dragon is sort of like CP's equivalent, and it was kinda dull in the middle. In the last car that thing was running way faster, enough to give some legit roughness in a couple spots. If we hadn't done the second ride, I'd have a very different opinion of the ride. I'm so glad we have Batman instead of Raptor. The first drop on both gives some mild floater air in row 8. We did row 7 for the first ride and it was kinda dull in comparison to 8. Batman's first loop is much more intense. Raptor just soars over it with no real intensity. Once it gets to the cobra roll, it kinda loses its momentum whereas Batman hits you with another intense loop. For some reason it seemed like the mid-course brakes didn't slow Raptor much the first time, but it did the second. It would really suck if Batman had those. I'd havta ride Raptor more to give a more valid opinion on the corkscrews vs Batman. They felt more spaced out, which I didn't like. Toward the end of Raptor those spirals get very intense. Got that same grey out type feeling that I got in Batman row 8 on the 1st loop. So far in my riding history, these inverted coasters seem to push the G-forces the most of everything I've gone on. Having more experience on coasters since I first went to CP has really helped to accurately notice the rides.

 

I never rode Iron Wolf and I'm not sure if GA will ever get another standup coaster, but I don't know that it's a completely obsolete type of ride just yet. I'm still figuring out a lot on these things. First thing I noticed is that on my 2nd Mantis ride I was able to still adjust the restraint. I pulled the harness closer when on the lift hill(and this happens a lot on GA rides too) and the ride allowed me to stand up some more before the thing behind me locked. I thought the thing was supposed to lock altogether before the lift so you couldn't stand up more or slouch down. I liked row 3 better than 7 on this. 7 was more intense but on this ride it gives some light ear-banging and more force pushing my legs into the floor. 7 had that pre-drop B&M kick that 3 did not. That's one thing I really like about the B&M inverts. If there were trims on the first drop, I couldn't hear them or notice any deceleration. I need to ride Green Lantern and Riddler's Revenge. I wonder if Iron Wolf got fixed up in its new home. I've heard over and over about how much of a headbanger it turned into.

 

If GA puts a new coaster in the place of IW, something like Maverick may not be a bad choice. Wish they'd put these type of restraints on all the rides with some kind of lap bar. It's like a combo of lap bar and OTS but better than both. I just wish the handles were on the OTS and not on the lap portion. It's a rush type of ride like Batman. I think there's a good amount of room for improvement too and an improved version is something I wouldn't mind seeing here. First time on this I rode row 2. Held the handles. Got some neck-banging. It wasn't too enjoyable. That was puzzling bc I liked it in July. Something happened that they had to manually unload everyone at the end of the ride and we all had to give our names. Overheard something about a leg injury. Anyone I directly asked just said "mechanical issues". It was up and running later and we went on again. This time row 4. Much, much better for me. I held the OTS where handles would be on a B&M. No neckbanging. Hard to say whether I'd take Maverick row 4 over Batman row 8. If GA could get something that was longer with more inversions and air which also never lost momentum, they'd really have something.

 

Brings me to another thing. I hate ejector air in the back of Viper on some of the drops bc of the lap bar. Just lets my torso smack around too much and allows too much force to yank my body downward. Maverick has ejector air but the OTS seems to prevent the discomfort I get on lap bar coasters. Blue Streak at CP is sorta like Viper in some ways. Not the ejector air but the constant up and down which just does a number on me. Lifting me out of the seat, crashing back down. Smacking my torse back and forth on the seat behind me. I'm thinking an OTS harness would prevent this. Only rode BS once in the back this time. Last time I didn't feel beat up by it so it may be like Viper in that I need a tamer ride in the front.

 

Gatekeeper looks like a monster of a coaster that should trounce X-Flight. I'm not sure that it will, but it's 2:40 and has more height and near misses. I forget how many inversions. We'll see if it generates a buzz. I don't think the general public gets as excited about new coasters nowadays. Not like what I remember in the heyday of Shockwave, Iron Wolf, and Batman.

 

How I wish they'd kept GA raceway. This time we rode the raceway type ride that's near Maverick after our 2nd ride on it. That was a lot of fun. It's great to have a tame flat ride to go on after a high speed coaster. Unfortunately, GA seems to have done away with anything remotely tame unless it's in the kid's section. CP's Roaring Rapids type ride was closed, so I couldn't ride that. Looks like GA already drained RR here too.

 

Rode Corkscrew in the back. This time I noticed the supports on the inversions. Makes it look like Shockwave Jr. Those supports might make Demon a better ride. Corkscrew has these seats that have extra padding or something in the middle sticking out. I didn't like that. My wife claims Corkscrew doesn't have the roughness that Demon does. I found Corkscrew to be a tad bumpy where we were. My head clears the OTS for the most part so there's little chance of me experiencing headbanging on these Arrow coasters, although I've heard a few other complaints about Demon doing that. I've also read that people thought Shockwave would've been better with lap bars. I've never ridden an upside down coasters with lap bars, but it doesn't sound fun. Maybe I'll try that one at Castle's and Coasters next time I go to Arizona. Corkscrew also got stuck on the lift a bit later on. A ride op walked out and then a few min later the ride started back.

 

Onto more about lap bars. Magnum XL. It's like Raging Bull meets a brutal wood coaster. First 2 drops felt a lot like the first drop on RB. I think MXL only goes 48 mph though. I didn't feel like it was slower. That part was good. Toward the end it becomes unbearably brutal. Lots of thigh-smashing for me and abdominal-smashing for the wife. Looks like it even bruised the back of my right thigh. The guy from Incredible coasters was saying how that part was so fun you won't care what it does to your thighs. I think we rode this one toward the front. 3rd row maybe. I can't say for sure what would happen if it'd be better with an OTS harness. Shoulder-smashing? I'm thinking it wouldn't be too bad.

 

We went on the mine train this time. I remember reading the incredible coasters dude comparing Pretzelman to a mine train and there did seem to be some similarities. My wife was saying the blue power tower wasn't as forceful as Giant Drop. Guess the red one shoots you up fast and drops you slow. I don't know that I care to go on Giant Drop again since it's such a freefall but the variety of Power Tower might lead me to try that one at some point.

 

I'd still take GA over CP despite CP being better in some ways. Hopefully I can make it to Fright Fest 2-3 times or more.

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There is no comparison between a lap bar and an OTSR of any type, for me. I can't think of one OTSR coaster that wouldn't benefit comfort-wise from switching to just a lap bar.

 

With rides like Dare Devil Dive at SFOG where you get serious "hang time," there is no reason to NOT go with a lap bar. The new Vekoma 'vest' things are worse than the original shoulder bars. You don't head bang, but you get held BACK and DOWN and will endure every bad vibration and transition of those rides. Imagine how worse it will be when those new trains wear out. The back pack restraints on I-305 hold me back and down and all that 'gear' blocks my view.

 

 

I can't help but think what a GREAT ride Maverick would be with lap bars. Of course, I always get pelted with "I think Maverick's restraints are just fine." Can you say kool-aid? In many of the Maverick pictures I've seen - you can see people actively defending themselves against those OTSRs.

 

I think (*thankfully*) with Gerstlauer, Mack, Premier and Rocky Mountain, the industry is finally seeing that we really have no need for shoulder bars on a coaster. And on the coasters that have forward/down forces entering the loop, that is more of a "where to hold on" issue:

 

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If a ride has to have an otsr, then they should go this route...

 

Oh god please no! Those are the worst!!! I can barely breath by the end of the ride.

 

I guess they could be comfy for someone who is 5 foot, I dunno. Every time I've ridden X-Flight, I just think how fun it would be with out that awful stretchy-vest. It would be similar to Dare Devil Dive with out them, which would be just right.

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I can't think of one OTSR coaster that wouldn't benefit comfort-wise from switching to just a lap bar.

 

 

OTSRs in some cases are probably also there for liability reasons. I would imagine rides with QDCs would have the potential for pretty bad neck injuries if a rider wasn't prepared for them (aka most people). I'd imagine parks would prefer OTSRs if it reduced the chances of litigation.

 

And let's not forget people who think that inverting rides without OTSRs are dangerous. I've met some. They're real. Some of them were actually quite smart otherwise.

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OTSRs in some cases are probably also there for liability reasons. I would imagine rides with QDCs would have the potential for pretty bad neck injuries if a rider wasn't prepared for them (aka most people). I'd imagine parks would prefer OTSRs if it reduced the chances of litigation.

 

There are rides, like flyers, that clearly need them. I guess I'm speaking more about stuff like Maverick, etc etc etc... There is also the other side of the argument - where OTSRs actually cause more injuries.

 

And let's not forget people who think that inverting rides without OTSRs are dangerous. I've met some. They're real. Some of them were actually quite smart otherwise.

 

Ha! Yes, I run into that all the time. My friend (whom is attempting to become a coaster geek) still thinks he needs his eyeglass-strap thing when he goes on a looping coaster. I've told him 10 times, I'll just let him figure it out for himself now.

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If a ride has to have an otsr, then they should go this route...

 

Oh god please no! Those are the worst!!! I can barely breath by the end of the ride.

 

I guess they could be comfy for someone who is 5 foot, I dunno. Every time I've ridden X-Flight, I just think how fun it would be with out that awful stretchy-vest. It would be similar to Dare Devil Dive with out them, which would be just right.

 

Yeah, Wild Eagle's restraints can squeeze you like a python sometimes. I can still enjoy the ride just fine, but it does constrict my breathing some.

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We must be the odd ones then.

 

No sqweezing, headbanging or discomfort for us on x flight. And I am just over six feet tall.

 

Nahh... I don't think so. Most people are fine with X-Flight. There are a percentage of us that dislike those vests, though. But I do see a LOT of folks complaining about stuff like Maverick - if only they took a few minutes to fill out a "form" in Guest Services. Might be a stab at a change. If no one complaints - nothing will change. Enough complaints got Premier to retrofit all but one of their US looping coasters with lap bars That was cool.

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