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Let's be honest here... Big Bad Wolf wasn't THAT amazing...


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I may be alone in this, and I can't remember for certain since I've only ridden each coaster a few times (my one and only trip to BGE was back in 2004), but I don't recall thinking Loch Ness Monster was really any better than BBW. In fact I think I enjoyed BBW more than LNM. I especially hated the double up entrance to the second lift hill.

 

As far as BBW is concerned, I think my biggest problem with it was how much the train was slowed down going into the second lift. If Arrow could have figured out a way to let the train turn into the lift with all the speed built up before hand, it would have greatly helped maintain the adrenaline factor as well as the pacing by eliminating the giant dead spot dividing the two halves (if you can even call the section after the second lift half) of the ride.

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I may be alone in this, and I can't remember for certain since I've only ridden each coaster a few times (my one and only trip to BGE was back in 2004), but I don't recall thinking Loch Ness Monster was really any better than BBW. In fact I think I enjoyed BBW more than LNM. I especially hated the double up entrance to the second lift hill.

 

Don't worry, I liked BBW more than LNM too.

 

I liked the first half of the ride. It wasn't very fast or intense compared to the second half, but you were traveling through the village. If you traveled any faster, you'd miss most of the theming. My first time riding, I got a pretty good kick out of that tiny first drop too. Unfortunately that went away after subsequent rides.

 

The second half was awesome diving toward the water and the high speed portion in the forest.

 

Pacing itself wasn't that bad. The first part was a little slow so that you could see the little details in the abandoned village. The second half was the high speed finale. The middle was the breather that let you take in the nice scenery from the river. Granted they could add a bit more to that area (maybe extend the village a bit) but I don't have an issue with the other lift.

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I think we need to agree on what it was supposed to be in order to judge it properly. As a thrill ride, no, it wasn't that great. As a family ride, it definitely was. Just like Cheetah Hunt.

Whether it was a family coaster or a thrill ride is irrelevant. Regardless of style there are certain things that take away from a coaster's overall experience. One of those is a giant dead spot right in the middle of the ride. Now I don't know if there was any difference from when the ride first opened to when I rode it, but I remember feeling like I had hit the final brakes halfway through the ride and in my book that means there is no way that this ride could be "great" as so many consider it to be. Great means nearly/completely flawless. The train nearly coming to a complete stop in the middle of the layout definitely is a pretty considerable flaw.

 

Now I don't doubt that this coaster has a pretty considerable nostalgia factor, that being said, if these coasters weren't so rare these days, I seriously doubt that everyone would be giving this coaster such praise. Especially with the way in which it's big thrilling conclusion was neutered.

 

Just my two cents, take them or leave them.

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Regardless of style there are certain things that take away from a coaster's overall experience. One of those is a giant dead spot right in the middle of the ride. Now I don't know if there was any difference from when the ride first opened to when I rode it, but I remember feeling like I had hit the final brakes halfway through the ride and in my book that means there is no way that this ride could be "great" as so many consider it to be. Great means nearly/completely flawless. The train nearly coming to a complete stop in the middle of the layout definitely is a pretty considerable flaw.

One problem though - in order to get up the lift, the trains had to be centered on the swing (so the trains wouldn't swing around if they had to be evacuated from a lift). If you were swinging around while moving at high speed, it would have been extremely uncomfortable (painful even) to experience a sudden jolt where the rod on the bottom hits the barrier to center the trains.

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Regardless of style there are certain things that take away from a coaster's overall experience. One of those is a giant dead spot right in the middle of the ride. Now I don't know if there was any difference from when the ride first opened to when I rode it, but I remember feeling like I had hit the final brakes halfway through the ride and in my book that means there is no way that this ride could be "great" as so many consider it to be. Great means nearly/completely flawless. The train nearly coming to a complete stop in the middle of the layout definitely is a pretty considerable flaw.

One problem though - in order to get up the lift, the trains had to be centered on the swing (so the trains wouldn't swing around if they had to be evacuated from a lift). If you were swinging around while moving at high speed, it would have been extremely uncomfortable (painful even) to experience a sudden jolt where the rod on the bottom hits the barrier to center the trains.

 

It does not take very long for the shocks on the cars to dampen and stop their swinging. At the end of the ride the rails that kept the cars stationary didn't begin until the train entered the station. The train stops swaying long before it reaches that point. If an emergency evacuation were needed on the second lift, the trains would definitely not be moving any longer by the time crews made it out to the lift and started evacuating people. At this point a retractable barrier could be raised to keep the cars locked in place for the evacuation.

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I think we need to agree on what it was supposed to be in order to judge it properly. As a thrill ride, no, it wasn't that great. As a family ride, it definitely was. Just like Cheetah Hunt.

Whether it was a family coaster or a thrill ride is irrelevant. Regardless of style there are certain things that take away from a coaster's overall experience. One of those is a giant dead spot right in the middle of the ride. Now I don't know if there was any difference from when the ride first opened to when I rode it, but I remember feeling like I had hit the final brakes halfway through the ride and in my book that means there is no way that this ride could be "great" as so many consider it to be. Great means nearly/completely flawless. The train nearly coming to a complete stop in the middle of the layout definitely is a pretty considerable flaw.

 

Now I don't doubt that this coaster has a pretty considerable nostalgia factor, that being said, if these coasters weren't so rare these days, I seriously doubt that everyone would be giving this coaster such praise. Especially with the way in which it's big thrilling conclusion was neutered.

 

Just my two cents, take them or leave them.

 

I'll take them, you have a good point. However I was more referring to the complaints about how thrilling the ride is, such as "The first half is too slow" or "The trims ruined the finale". But yes, I agree, coming to a complete stop does greatly diminish the ride.

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It does not take very long for the shocks on the cars to dampen and stop their swinging. At the end of the ride the rails that kept the cars stationary didn't begin until the train entered the station. The train stops swaying long before it reaches that point. If an emergency evacuation were needed on the second lift, the trains would definitely not be moving any longer by the time crews made it out to the lift and started evacuating people. At this point a retractable barrier could be raised to keep the cars locked in place for the evacuation.

If the mid-course brake before the lift didn't exist and it was just a turn straight into the lift, the cars would most certainly swing going up a portion of it. You're right that they would eventually stop, but with no barrier the swinging cars are at the mercy of gravity. If you have more weight on one side of the car than the other, it's going to bank, and the barrier wouldn't be able to go up because the car wouldn't be exactly centered.

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It does not take very long for the shocks on the cars to dampen and stop their swinging. At the end of the ride the rails that kept the cars stationary didn't begin until the train entered the station. The train stops swaying long before it reaches that point. If an emergency evacuation were needed on the second lift, the trains would definitely not be moving any longer by the time crews made it out to the lift and started evacuating people. At this point a retractable barrier could be raised to keep the cars locked in place for the evacuation.

If the mid-course brake before the lift didn't exist and it was just a turn straight into the lift, the cars would most certainly swing going up a portion of it. You're right that they would eventually stop, but with no barrier the swinging cars are at the mercy of gravity. If you have more weight on one side of the car than the other, it's going to bank, and the barrier wouldn't be able to go up because the car wouldn't be exactly centered.

 

I'm not saying that my idea is perfect. The point I'm trying to make is that the horrible braking prior to the second lift and then the lift itself make for a really boring middle section of the ride, and that it could have been designed better than it was.

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It does not take very long for the shocks on the cars to dampen and stop their swinging. At the end of the ride the rails that kept the cars stationary didn't begin until the train entered the station. The train stops swaying long before it reaches that point. If an emergency evacuation were needed on the second lift, the trains would definitely not be moving any longer by the time crews made it out to the lift and started evacuating people. At this point a retractable barrier could be raised to keep the cars locked in place for the evacuation.

If the mid-course brake before the lift didn't exist and it was just a turn straight into the lift, the cars would most certainly swing going up a portion of it. You're right that they would eventually stop, but with no barrier the swinging cars are at the mercy of gravity. If you have more weight on one side of the car than the other, it's going to bank, and the barrier wouldn't be able to go up because the car wouldn't be exactly centered.

 

I'm not saying that my idea is perfect. The point I'm trying to make is that the horrible braking prior to the second lift and then the lift itself make for a really boring middle section of the ride, and that it could have been designed better than it was.

 

Can this entire thread just die already... LOL.. Ok, the brakes at the midcourse were NOT always like that. The cars DID continue swinging, or did not have enough time to "reset" to the centered position and the cars would SLAM into the rails underneath going onto the second lift many times. Around 1995 or so is around the time they began to stop the train to the extent it did for the rest of the ride's existence.

 

Now, on to the issue with the final drop trims. This was NEEDED. The swing was 110 degrees at almost 50 mph WITH the trims through the S-curve at the end. Without the trims, that were not originally planned, the ride could have been dangerous with the forces on the train and track. Lets face it...the drop was "underengineered" and a classic Arrow "whoops." The ride's opening was delayed for months due to this braking issue. You think the "rumors" of the ride tearing itself apart even with the trims was bad, imagine how it would have been without. The Wolf would not have lasted anywhere near as long as it did. The only other suspended that I am aware of that took an extreme swinging turn at the speed BBW did is Eagle Fortress. I have ridden every other North American Arrow suspended (excluding the Bat) and NONE go from, or did go from, a 100 degree or so swing from one side to a 110 degree swing to the other side at the speed and short distance of BBW (approx. 25 ft.). EF I'm sure beat the hell out of BBW, and notice it lasted 8-9 years fewer than BBW did. It was not designed to do what it did. It was another Arrow "whoops," or the park choosing not to take Arrows advice in installing trims, as is also rumored. Ninja doesn't even come close with the extremity of the swings (although there are more), but is the closest to BBW I have personally experienced. But that ending is horrible! Ninja reminds me of a larger, and maybe better first half of BBW. But the 2nd half of BBW sealed the deal for me. Flight Deck and Vortex sort of just "list" their way from one side to the other and eventually make it to 100 degree or so swings at high speeds, causing nice G's yes, but not feeling like an out of control swing at any point. Iron Dragon...is a joke. Hayabusa was a great drop, but slow turns. Vampire...eh...nice try in the tunnel-underground thingy, but I hear it can be painful.

 

IMO, BBW was a GREAT coaster. Not many places on Earth could you experience the sensation of a swing such as what was experienced on the last drop of BBW. We should not view BBW as second fiddle to EF, or not a good ride. It should be viewed as a rare, dying experience as more and more suspendeds run through their so called "life spans". BBW is in my home park, yes. However I always ranked it higher than LNM, Apollo, and Griffon. At night, I even would enjoy it more than Alpengeist.

 

Some of the above is personal opinion, yes. A personal opinion that comes from a lot of experience riding suspendeds (one of my favorite ride types) and will not be changed by rebuttal to this post!

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Oh yeah, sure. Half the reason Arrow Suspended coasters last as long (maybe "as short" is a better phrase) as they do is because so much un-necessary stress is put on the track.

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This topic has been beaten to death, tied to the bumper of a car, and dragged around the block about a dozen times. This is all I have left to say about it:

 

Big Bad Wolf, Rest in Peace.

 

Bring on Verbolten!

 

Thank you.

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