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The skills of todays coaster-designers...


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Hi...

I would like to know your opinion ? Are they doing a good job ?

 

Sometimes, I am missing some kind of creativity. I think there should be more money invested in the theming. It would make the coasters more unique and it would create so much more "atmosphere"...even the subjective "feeling" of speed could be raised a lot...

I would love to see more tunnels, pre-shows, darkride parts, "special-effects", fog and so on...

 

And, in my opinion, there are too many short ones. If a coaster is high and fast, why let it hit the brakes with soo much speed left ? A few more curves close to the ground would add a lot to the ride and would`t be that expensive, I guess. Especially if the people have to wait for a long time to ride the coaster, the ride shouldn`t be over too quickly. And I know that many people LOVE long tracks.

 

Now, what do you think ? How "satisfied" are you ?

 

GeorgeT

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I`d like to add a few positive things...

 

In my opinion Werner Stengel is doing an incredible job (What would the coster-scene be without him ?) and I think that especially some of the European parks have a very good mixture of thrillrides and theming (Alton, Europa, Phantasialand, for example...)

 

AND I think that many woodies have a very interesting layout compared to the steels ones (well, of course there are exceptions)...

 

GeorgeT

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The thing is, a coaster design is not the work of one person or even one group of people anymore. There are so many factors to take into account when engineering such a huge thing as a coaster - cost being the biggest one normally.

 

I mean, look at CP's new ride. Many would like to believe that it could have been a lot more, but as a Civil Engineer, I can't imagine how much work/money they're going to put into securing that lagoon and controlling the water supply. I'm quite impressed they were able to come up with the solution that they did.

 

I'm a HUGE fan of themeing, but in a cost-benefit analysis, how can you defend adding so much extra cost to the project when in most cases it doesn't really affect gate revenues? Same thing with extra track.

 

So it all comes down to cost, and the collaboration between the firm and the park to find the most cost-effective solution to whatever need they are trying to fulfill.

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I know, that it`s the decision of many people...but what I think is, that if you want the people to come back to your park, more than just for riding a new coster once, the theming is a very important factor !

If you create a great atmosphere (and that has a lot to do with theming IMHO) people will stay longer, buy more food, will return more often and hopefully LOVE the place.

 

In the long run, quality is more important than quantity, I think (but maybe I´m wrong with that and it`s just my personal taste)...

 

GeorgeT

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It's all about the money.

 

You find a lot of coasters coming into the brakes with so much energy because the parks want something X feet tall, Y feet long, but only cost Z dollars. It's a very difficult balancing act.

 

Theming is also what the parks want to do with it, and that's based on money, too. Many parks want to put more money into the ride than the theming, and vice versa (see a related thread somewhere around here).

 

Most designers are pretty damn creative given the constraints they are given.

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Well, not everything is up to the designers. alot of it has to do with the parks. especially now that the economy isn't all that great and parks want something safe and cheap rather than some extravagant endevour.

 

Also, a park that doesn't focus on theming wouldnt suddenly insit on paying 2 extra millions just to ahve a ride be fully themed.

 

 

 

But there are plenty of innoventions in the last couple of years. beginning with 4D coasters and moving on to simply innoventive layouts like many of the new intamin rollers.

 

 

I can see where you might be coming from, but we are no longer in the golden age of Coney Island, where every new attraction unleashed upon the market is a breathtaking new phenomenon, the wheel, as well as the upstop wheel, has already been invented.

 

 

 

 

As for the stopping-while-the-ride-has-some-speed thing. A coaster that goes up to 80mph will need a whole lot of track to let it slow down all the way back... even if a park has a nice budget, that's still goping tobe very expensive and require alot of room. Not to mention alot of designers like to keep the rider breathless from the start to the finish.

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^^^^ Everything Evan1127 said times ten.

 

Money talks. Money drives the world.

 

"We want the world's tallest coaster in the entire world and we want it to go reeeeeally fast, but we only have $X.Y million to spend, so make the track 1200 feet long. 'K thxbye."

 

All sad, but true.

 

Eric

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Perhaps this is the time to revisit the thread about what inspires coaster designers to arrive at interesting layouts?

 

http://www.themeparkreview.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=46024&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=120

 

The inspiration for Efteling's new ride has to remain - by contract - a secret, but the method used to generate this layout involved photoshopping a couple of pizzas and an old millstone onto a picture of a mixing station / railyard then tracing the resulting combinations of positive and negative confluence lines onto a wheatfield.

 

But like I said, the methods are always kept in the strictest confidence.

 

And for what it's worth, I think every designer has a sort of system that results in a recognizable dynamic signature in each of that designer's creations.

 

I just hope my system of photoshopping onto Jay Leno's face is something that continues to bear fruit.

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Well coaster designs are MUCH better 20 or even 10 years ago,

 

By that I mean smoother transitions, better materials, better energy use, and better wooden coaster design.

 

Compare Georgia Cyclone (1990) to Thunderhead (2004)

and even Wildcat (1996) to Thunderhead (2004) then compare that to El Toro (2006)

 

Also steel companies started to turn clunky prototypes into smooth machines of fun and/or terror

 

Example:

Intamin:Superman: The Escape to Top Thrill Dragster

B&M: Iron Wolf to Chang/Riddler's Revenge

 

But even great designers like Werner Stengle have fallen victim to poor judgement for record breakers:

 

Such as Son of Beast, Steel Dragon 2000, and even Goliath (SFMM) to some extent...

 

But overall, designs have gotten much safer, more creative, and better!

 

Cant wait to see whats next!

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I, for one, would like to see fewer record breakers and more innovation, theming, intricacy, etc. Look at log flumes, for instance, California has a lot of really good ones - Splash Mountain is amazing with the story, Timber Mountain Log Ride (Knott's) is dated, but still has some cool theming, Log Jammer at Magic Mountain is an incredible flume ride with the way it uses the terrain for the layout. None of these rides are record breaking - or were they ever. But they're effective because they're unique and interesting.

 

I'd like to see more old school techniques coming back, too, like terrain coasters. We have VERY few of them in California, even though we have a lot of places to do that. Magic Moutain certainly got it right recently with Tatsu - the dive off the side of the hill is awesome - and how it intertwines with Revoution is also great. I'd really like to see more of this kind of thing.

 

Space Mountain also comes to mind. It's not super high. It's not super fast. It's themed - but really a lot less than most attractions at Disneyland. But it's SUPER EFFECTIVE and always really fun.

 

I'd really like to see more of this stuff happening again. More just fun rides rather than trying to break records. I'm sure that the gen. public would disagree, though.

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I think we don`t have to talk about Blue Fire...look at Black Mamba, Nemesis, Winjas, Colorado Adventure, EuroMir...people LOVE well themed coasters...

 

Some people may think, that you have to build record breakers to make money...but hey...Europa Park is growing faster than any other European park as far as I know...they`re making loads of money...and why ???

Because FAMILIES love to go and stay there (often for several days)...THOSE (!) are the people, who bring the MOST of the money. Why do they choose Europa Park ? Because it`s beautiful/well themed and the whole family can do nearly everything together, because it has fun-rides/fun-costers instead of (just) thrill-ones...

 

(For me, it`s hard to explain all that in english...sorry...)

 

I`d like to add, that I was dreaming all my childhood of visiting the USA to ride all their huge coasters...but now, to be honst, I´m not interested anymore. Cause by now I think, that we have probably the better parks and the better coasters...of course thats just my personal taste...(and I remember many TPR`s raving about them, too)

I love great landscaping, I love great theming...and that`s what I find in MANY European parks.

The happy valley concept is what makes me want to go oversea...not huge record breakers standing "naked" somewhere in the pampa...

 

GeorgeT

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Listen, while it's undeniable that screeching past ravines of blood and monster entrails into a corkscrew is fun in coasters like "Nemesis", a simple, themingless coaster, with a borderline plain looking layout like the Voyage or El Toro can be alot MORE fun. Just because you don't feel like you're dodging metallic robot aliens in the depth of the amazon doesn't mean the ride itself isn't breathaking.

 

Granted, alot of rides are made better by it, but sometimes there's simply no need for theming.

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Plain and simple, advances in technology allow coaster designers to do things differently today.

 

I really don't think too many of today's designers would want to throw out their computers and programs and try to compete with Harry Traver or John Allen.

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^ I really don't think they could.

 

In my opinion, being able to design a safe, thrilling ride by the "seat of your pants" without relying on a compter takes a lot of talent. And many of today's rides, despite being designed by computers still produce rough, uneven rides. Of course there are other factors involved, but still...

 

Eric

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I think it all comes down to what the parks wants, thus they tell the designers what they would like. Still, as what was mentioned, Stengel and Wardley have done a great job with the terrain as did Anton Schwarzkopf when he was alive with Rev and Lisbergbanan.

 

I would like to add Tim Burkhart to that list for his amazing Tatsu design!

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