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Did Summers/Dinn make ANY good coasters?


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I really enjoyed Hercules, the pre lift and drop with turn over the lake were amazing. After that not so much, but just those things made it great. Hercules was originally proposed to have a double down drop.

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I just glanced through the thread, and while it has been touched on quite a few times the obvious thing to me is PTCs are to blame. They just tear apart the rides. They are too bulky and just slam through the turns and tight transitions. This is why some of the new Gravity Groups are so rough now. Hades, Voyage, and Boardwalk Bullet are the 3 that get the most attention for being rough because they all run PTCs on extremely aggressive layouts and those trains just barrel through and rip all the turns/transitions apart. I think Ravine Flyer II stays smooth because it is more drawn out and "graceful" and the one tight transition is the really only uncomfortable part of the ride (the slight slam to the left entering the far turnaround over the highway). The GCIs that once ran PTCs are also the ones known for being rougher...just imagine if Gwazi for example had run Millennium Flyer since it was built??

 

As for CCIs, I think most of them are fine because of the nature of CCIs...they are almost exclusively straight lines and circles, which PTCs can handle fine. Ghostrider seems to be the big one that is know for being rough, but I don't know if it's because it's a pretty dynamic coaster or just suffers from poor maintenance (I've only ridden it once in 200...3?)

 

A lot of people have mentioned DBH also...it's just straight hills and long flowing turns...so it doesn't really get torn apart. However both times I went to ride it there was new wood all over the place, so it was also taken care of very well.

 

As for the Dinn coasters, I also want to blame the PTCs. All of the ones that were highly rated when they opened did have good layouts, they just all deteriorated over the years from what I can gather. The other ones weren't just very good to begin with...

 

I agree with Steve though, I see PTC being obsolete eventually...doesn't seem like many new coasters are being built with them (GCI has their own, so does Intamin and I'm sure GG will eventually get their train situation handled). They will have business restoring trains for a while but I kind of see the number of rides that use PTCs dwindling over the years as they switch trains or deteriorate to the point where they don't even operate any more...

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Charles Dinn refurbished Phoenix. All is forgiven!

 

Seriously, pretty much all Charles Dinn coasters were good for their time. However, many of them have since been trimmed and maintained poorly. Some exceptions are:

 

Grizzly (KD)-It has been maintained quite poorly, and is very rough. However, it has a very exciting layout, with a good amount of airtime

Grizzly (CGA)-While it may be Dinn's weakest coaster, it is probably his best maintained. Aside from a bad slam onto the second turnaround, CGA has done a good job retracking this. It seems ironic, though, that the one Cedar Fair wood coaster that is getting the attention it needs is perhaps the most boring wood coaster

Wolverine Wildcat- Never ridden it, but I have heard it is one on Dinn's smoothest coasters.

Georgia Cyclone-Looks fairly rough, but seems to have a pretty exciting layout

 

Examples of Dinn rides gone bad:

 

Beast- How is this piece of crap still one of the best wood coasters in the world? There is now more trimming on this thing than a hair salon, and it is very rough. People who keep ranking it so high must be the people who have only ridden at night. It really is an amazing ride at night, but, even then, still needs a retrack.

Mean Streak- Instead of maintaining their rides properly, Cedar Fair loves to add trim brakes to rides that do not reduce roughness, only forces. From a distance, you can see the effect the trims add to the drop. However, if you sit in the back, you can actually feel some airtime in some of the spots where it used to be present (I would not recommend this, unless you really want a slightly better idea of what the ride was like before the trims).

Hercules-See above

Old Texas Giant (although not Cedar Fair) see above

Predator- Needs some love

Edited by MrSum1_55
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^I think Beast is still a highly enjoyable experience during the day. The reason I feel it's basically imperative to ride it at night is not ride quality, but rather because it takes advantage of the nighttime atmosphere better than just about any other coaster. During the day it's scenic, but at night it's downright surreal.

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As for the "wood" school, while it does make sense, some GCI rides are made from pine as well.

 

For example, I remember seeing a special on Dollywood and the opening of Thunderhead. I remember Dolly Parton saying something about it being made of Southern Yellow Pine. Although I do not know of how well Thunderhead has stood up, if this fits in the "Good GCI" category, it might throw the whole wood hypothesis for a loop. Although, it may also have to do with Dollywood's great maintenance.

 

I'm more of the "PTC needs to stick to 6 bench cars, damnit." school.

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The Beast is a great ride.

 

I think the problem with these coasters more is that they attempted to have too many high acrobatic moves without enough speed to go into them. They have or had a tendency to crawl through the parts that are at a high elevation. Mean Streak is notorious for this, and Hercules was notorious after the turn on the lake. Hercules momentum was killed right after the turn on the lake. It is poor engineering. I mean what do you say about all of the classic coasters with PTCs? The only Gravity Group coaster I have rode is Ravine Flyer due to geography and the PTCs are just fine on there.

 

http://articles.mcall.com/1989-04-20/features/2694252_1_coaster-world-records-record-drop

 

It is poor engineering. The man was "scared" of negative G's. Something is wrong with an engineer that says that. These were poorly engineered rides. The reason they are trimmed is because they will tear themselves apart, not so much the PTCs.

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Grizzly (KD)-It has been maintained quite poorly, and is very rough. However, it has a very exciting layout, with a good amount of airtime

 

IMO it actually is in the upper end of the sweet spot for roughness. It's rough enough so that it's actually very rambunctious, but not to the point where it hurts. I ride wooden coasters to be tossed around. If I didn't want to be tossed around in that manner, I'd just go on a Mega Lite or something.

 

 

Examples of Dinn rides gone bad:

Predator- Needs some love

 

And love was recently given. Do you remember when the Voyage sold two of its new PTC's to Darien Lake a couple of years ago? They aren't the old versions, and they helped it monstrously. It is still rough, but it is not painful. Again, I feel that that's how wooden coasters should be. And most of the ride actually has some pretty good airtime. The return run of the bunny hops could get some more air, however, but that is how the ride was designed.

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  • 1 year later...

The Predator in the front seat is now really smooth. The back is still rough in certain parts, especially in the first drop and curved drop. The ride has improved a lot, but a lot of people have given it a bad name from past experiences with trailered trains. It is one of my favorite woodies, although it is going to close for a refurb from RMC or GCI.

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