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Via Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier's Facebook Page

The IRON SHARK IS OFFICIALLY OPEN! Sharks….the greatest predators in our oceans… they are one of the animals that people fear the most….. Get ready for a jaw dropping shark attack…Are you brave enough to ride and tell the tale of the Iron Shark?

 

Breathtaking 100 foot lift standing 30 feet over the water….a 95 degrees beyond vertical drop…52 miles per hour….Flip upside down 4 times… Iron Shark’s bone shredding forces are not recommended for everyone…..so make sure you’ve read all of the safety information at the entrance. The height requirement for Iron Shark is 48 inches.

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Via Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier's Facebook Page
The IRON SHARK IS OFFICIALLY OPEN! Sharks….the greatest predators in our oceans… they are one of the animals that people fear the most….. Get ready for a jaw dropping shark attack…Are you brave enough to ride and tell the tale of the Iron Shark?

 

Breathtaking 100 foot lift standing 30 feet over the water….a 95 degrees beyond vertical drop…52 miles per hour….Flip upside down 4 times… Iron Shark’s bone shredding forces are not recommended for everyone…..so make sure you’ve read all of the safety information at the entrance. The height requirement for Iron Shark is 48 inches.

There's an offride video of it in action on thier FB page. You can hear them encouraging folks to come ride it over the PA.

Edited by Chittlins
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Went down to the GIHPP last night after work to try out the Iron Shark and have a look around.

First impression: NICE. Everything is all new and shiny, the staff is excited, and it's SUCH an improvement over the old beat up Flagship Hotel eyesore.

 

Parking in the paid premium lot is across the street behind Fish Tales restaurant and is hourly. If you stay awhile, you'll rack up the $ pretty quickly. We were there about 4 hours and it cost $12. Free parking is available along the seawall, but expect a long walk on crowded weekends.

 

Signage is good and the logos for the rides are well done. Everything (except Iron Shark, which was dark) has a great light package, especially the ferris wheel. It was running a nice show of lights, even though the ride is not yet open.

 

Several rides were down: Revolution, Pirate's Plunge, Star Flyer (not built yet), Ferris Wheel (in the construction zone, so inaccessible), Wave Swinger, and even the adult bumper cars. Except for the bumper cars, which broke after we arrived, the other closures were clearly stated at the ticket window, so no saying you weren't warned.

 

Iron Shark is very, very, very short. From top of lift to brakes takes just 19.9 seconds. It is, however, ridiculously intense for its size and offers perhaps the highest thrill-per-foot-of-track ratio of any coaster I've ever ridden. The cars are comfy and the lap bar system is similar to Big Spin/Tony Hawk/Whatever it's Called This Week. The grab bars are perfectly located as well, but without OTSRs, it's just as comfortable not to use them and stick your arms up. A short trip out of the station lines you up for the lift. The car situates itself, the chain motor kicks in, and suddenly you're staring at the stars. Looking back at this point is surreal: the angle seems all wrong, like you shouldn't be in this position at this height, on this little stick of track. Soon, thought, you crest the top and the field of stars begins to move. Just before the horizontal point, the lift nearly stops, giving you an "I think I can, I think I can" moment where you aren't entirely sure if you'll actually get over the top. You do, though, and there's just a split second of "OOOOO, Gulf of Mexico" and a glimpse of the ferris wheel and Star Flyer construction, before all of it goes from OOOOO to OMFG.

The drop is really, really good. Not having shoulder harnesses is the key factor here. In fact, I think every owner of every park that has a Eurofighter should be required to come ride this and then go back to their own parks and work out a plan to get new trains for theirs. I've always kinda hated the drops on these things because they are so uncomfortable on my chest and collar bone. Not so here. Ejector air (even with a tight lap bar) and having your body lean forward at the same time (especially with your arms up) makes this drop pack a serious punch. I'm looking forward to riding it in the daytime (the entire ride was dark last night) to get the visuals as well. That can only make it better!

After the drop, you rise up into a half loop followed by a rollover. This is a similar move to the heart shaped inversion on an SLC. The left-side riders get a wicked little lean off the side of the car during the rollover, which is disorienting and fun. Dropping out of this, there's a quick zig-zag through the supports where the nearly-silent road wheel hum is accented with loud screeches from the upstops making contact. It sounds a bit like a car running over bubble wrap, if the bubble wrap was made of rats. Or not.

An over banked turn follows that, pointing you back at the island, which goes right into something like a banked loop, which ends in the brake run. It's all pretty much a blur, actually, even after nearly 30 rides. On the brake run, right-side riders are treated to a nifty sight. Looking over the edge of the car gives you nothing but water, as the brake run hangs out over the edge of the pier.

Is it good? Hell yeah. Is it top ten? Well, no... it's a 20 second ride. It's one of those things that you ride a couple of times, then go to other stuff... and while you're waiting to do the other stuff, you think, "damn, I gotta go back and do that again!"

The last half hour of operation was dead and the ops let you stay on as long as nobody was waiting for your seat. Most of our rides were done in that time period, like a mini-ERT.

 

Since it was dark, the pics are few. I'll be heading down today to take more.

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Welcome to GIHPP!

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The Sky Shooter. There's a button that supposedly helps the car swing out higher. It takes impeccable timing to make it happen and the result is meh. Doesn't get close enough to the edge to provide much thrill.

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This is why we came! The entrance is easy to miss, sandwiched between two buildings, but the entire queue is under the track. Pretty cool.

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Look ma, no OTSRs!

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Since the ride wasn't lit, this was really the only place where you could get a picture. I'll take more today during daylight hours. Not sure if they're going to install a lighting package on the ride or not.

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Goodbye, GIHPP! See you tomorrow!

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The ride sounds glass smooth in the video

 

It is, and it isn't. The engineering is good, there are no jolts or anything, but you bottom out pretty hard in a few spots due to high levels of positive Gs. The edge seats seem to pull more forces than the center ones. The left side seats are the most forceful... enough to give me a nasty headache after a few rides. I actually prefer the center-left seat for multiple ride sessions.

Oddly, the back row seems to be a bit less forceful in general than the front row. You wouldn't think so with a single-car ride, but it's true.

 

OH... forgot to mention: if the crowds are light, you queue for whichever row you want, although you will be asked to file all the way to the right to fill in the seats. If you want a left-edge seat, you'll have to do some counting to make sure you're the fourth person in. When there's a queue line long enough to get to the stairs (about 3 cars' worth), an attendant will assign you a row based on the number in your group, trying to make sure every seat is filled.

 

I should mention that the ride ops were doing a fantastic job last night, especially considering that the ride had only been open a few hours. They were running two cars and even with a total ride time of about 60 seconds, they rarely stacked up. It was rare to wait on the brake run for the loading car to leave the station. Impressive.

 

The ops on all the rides were friendly and seemed genuinely excited to have guests coming to ride their rides. Most rides had at least one op from a foreign country (I was told that this was intentional). The Jamaican girl on the Sea Dragon was having a ball tryin' to get da paarty goin' and the Andrii from Ukraine would speak to folks in Russian from time to time. He gave me a pretty hard stapling with the lap bar on one ride and the next time around I asked him to "please don't do that again" and he smiled and said, "first day, sorry!" He didn't do it again. We asked him to say, "In Russia, shark ride you!" and he did.... although he had no idea what it meant.

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There were FIVE rides closed today... the ferris wheel and Star Flyer were obvious, as they're in the construction zone. But the log flume is still not working, Revolution (KMG Afterburner-type ride) is still not working, the Fireball super loop was down, and the Sky Shooter had two vehicles roped off, as did the himalaya. The Sea Dragon's back seat was open today (it was roped off on my last visit), but when we rode it, a panel from the back of the seat in front of us fell off and landed on our feet(!) We held it down with our feet until the ride was over so it wouldn't fly out of the car.

 

None of these rides are used and moved here, as far as I know. All of them are brand new and they should work properly. I'm pretty sure the majority of them are Chance rides... what does this say about their quality? If I were the manager of this place, I'd be pretty ticked right now.

 

At least the coaster is running.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Ooooooh, I like how they're setting up the Star Flyer "Indiana Beach-style." Should be a great view! Hopefully within a couple years, the park will be successful and they can add a few more attractions (a new coaster?) and I'll get myself out to Texas.

 

There really isn't anywhere to add more rides on the current pier. They'd have to extend or expand the pier which I don't think is allowed. I know new ones can't be built (old ones can be rebuilt in the same spot) not entirely sure if one can be expanded or not but I don't think so.

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There is an offshoot to the east at the end of the pier behind the ferris wheel. Currently, it's just the base of the original pier sticking out there, but theoretically they could build on it.

The bad news is that there isn't much room on the offshoot... maybe a food stand or something, but the only ride I could even imagine fitting on that little nub is a drop tower, maybe. That would be cool.

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I went down to the pier on July 4. Surprisingly, the queues were short - at most you had to wait one cycle for the flats and two cars for the coaster. The longest line (by far) was for the log flume and even it was only about 10min. While I'm grateful that there have been short waits (or walk-ons) every time I've been down there, it worries me about the future of the place. That said, they should make it up in PARKING. The lot was completely full and it costs $16 if you spend much time there at all. Free parking along the seawall was nonexistent, this being the 4th and all.

 

Anyway, all rides were running except for the Star Flyer. It's up with chairs attached, but the queue area is still under construction.

 

Revolution (afterburner) was even running, but it has the tamest ride cycle of any that I've ever been on. The pendulum motion was good and it went well past 90deg on the swings, but it rotates very slowly and stops spinning completely every other swing.

 

Pirate's Plunge was the surprise hit of the day. The logs are designed to push a LOT of water out to the sides. While this makes for endless entertainment watching unsuspecting folks get wet (surprisingly, a huge "SOAK ZONE" sign goes unnoticed by many) from the big drop, it's the smaller drop at the front that gets the riders, thanks to a wall on the right side of the channel. It keeps the ride ops from getting soaked, but the water ricochets off the wall right back into the log. It's evil and very effective.

 

Galaxy Wheel has a nice location out at the end of the pier with full views of the pier and the beach looking north and nothing but water out to the horizon to the south, dotted with lines of tankers heading out to sea, having just left the Port of Houston.

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Iron Shark riders just about to experience 20 seconds of utter mayhem. Pic taken from the Galaxy Wheel

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There's a live music stage at the wheel. Not sure what the schedule will be for bands there, but we saw at least two different groups this day.

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The wheel has a great computerized light package. Iron Shark had lights attached to it (finally) but they weren't working yet.

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Perhaps Revolution is set to spin so slowly so you'll have time to notice you're swinging out over the water.

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A busy but not overly crowded 4th of July at the pier.

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Some people learn the hard way what "Soak Zone" means.

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It's a shame that the Afterburner isn't running with lapbars.

 

This might explain it -

The pendulum motion was good and it went well past 90deg on the swings, but it rotates very slowly and stops spinning completely every other swing.

 

...

 

Perhaps Revolution is set to spin so slowly so you'll have time to notice you're swinging out over the water.

 

Slow rotation means that there probably isn't enough backward acceleration to keep guests against the seat backs. With the lap bars, guests' upper bodies would probably uncomfortably/unsafely flop forward. The shoulder harnesses give them something to fall forward on comfortably.

 

If they spun the seats faster, it wouldn't be an issue; but they probably want to give guests the experience of being almost held face-down toward the water.

 

Or, maybe I'm completely wrong and it's just a pre-owned ride that already had the old harnesses fitted to it?

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Anyway, all rides were running except for the Star Flyer. It's up with chairs attached, but the queue area is still under construction.

 

Does anyone know the estimated opening date?

 

Pirate's Plunge was the surprise hit of the day. The logs are designed to push a LOT of water out to the sides. While this makes for endless entertainment watching unsuspecting folks get wet (surprisingly, a huge "SOAK ZONE" sign goes unnoticed by many) from the big drop, it's the smaller drop at the front that gets the riders, thanks to a wall on the right side of the channel. It keeps the ride ops from getting soaked, but the water ricochets off the wall right back into the log. It's evil and very effective.

 

I loved the design of the log flume, from the splash wall to the soak zone dousing clueless patrons.

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^It does sound devilishly clever.

 

They put up a wall behind the soak zone to keep the tidal wave off the main part of the pier... and to make sure that those IN the soak zone get the initial wave plus the ricochet from the wall. Some of the water goes over the wall(!) as well, dousing folks on the main walkway.

 

The cleverest bit, though, is the little bench on the walkway, several feet away from the soak zone and the blocking wall. You'd think that you'd be safe to sit and have a bit of a rest there, right? Wrong.

 

Anyone who sits down without wondering why the bench is wet probably deserves what they get...

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That hair won't be standing up for long!

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^Say Goodbye to Dry!!!

 

AS for the location of the Star Flyer, I do believe that Indiana Beach has their Swing ride right out into the lake, where you must walk across a bridge to get to it. The same thing to the Scrambler and the Paratrooper, although they are right at the water's edge. When you ride it and see yourself surrounded by water, you tend to think that you're on a island. A lovely way to ride ( And I'm going to be at Indiana Beach in a few short weeks! )!!!

 

Yesireebob, this is the cure for anyone that's hot and tired on their feet.

 

"Ahem! We pillows are also the cure for anyone who's tire on their feet, but don't want to get wet!"

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^Say Goodbye to Dry!!!

 

AS for the location of the Star Flyer, I do believe that Indiana Beach has their Swing ride right out into the lake, where you must walk across a bridge to get to it. ... And I'm going to be at Indiana Beach in a few short weeks! [/i][/color])!!!

 

It USED to be like that. Now it's just up at the front of the park on a slab like any other swing ride. I was just there last month.

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