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


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I didn't think it was amazing but it was certainly fun, Vortex at Canada's Wonderland at night is amazing (at least during ERT on the 2008 TPR BehEMOth tour).

 

So what did I like? Flying over the village was fun, though not intense. The drop down to the river was great and the brief period after that was the only time it really cranked up to Vortex like intensity. That second part of the ride uses the terrain brilliantly too.

 

Hopefully, the new coaster will use the terrain as well (or better than) as BBW did.

 

I liked vortex. To date, it is my 3rd favorite suspended after BBW and Ninja. But Vortex never gave a OMFG out of control feeling swing like BBW did. Even the village made you feel like you were in a story, not just on a ride. I think that Vortex and Flight Deck are fine, but so short with very controlled feeling swinging action. You think Vortex was good at night? You should've ridden BBW at night .

 

In other news, BGW has heard the uproar from BBW fans, and realize they need to build another suspended. They have canceled the multi launch coaster and hired S&S to build a clone of Iron Dragon.

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^I did ride BBW at night, after park close, at least 20 times in a TPR ERT session in 2008.

 

That's I mentioned the time I did Vortex and that it was with TPR because that night it was amazing, the cars were swinging wildly once the train stopped at the end because it had been going so fast. I mentioned it was TPR ERT session because maybe they did something special that night, trust me, it was like someone had pressed the fast forward button. I rode BBW about a week later on the same TPR tour, and I'm not trying to be argumentative, but my BBW rides didn't come close to my Vortex experience. The funny thing is I rode Vortex during the day and it was tame, if Behemoth wasn't late for ERT I wouldn't have bothered with Vortex ERT but what a pleasant surprise.

 

I can only base my opinions on my personal experiences. I've wondered if the way Vortex ran that night during ERT was an aberration. Maybe someone who was on that ERT session and has ridden Vortex at night during general public hours might be able to enlighten us - ***cough Jason cough***.

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^I was there for that Vortex ERT. I'll confirm that it was running amazingly well. That was my best experience with an Arrow Suspended.

 

Good to know it wasn't just me, that ERT session was wild, and to think I was going to skip Vortex in ERT. I wonder if they turned off any trim brakes, that thing was going so fast? I think BBW got to that kind of Vortex intensity at the big river drop and the bit after but Vortex was insane the whole ride.

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I think for most of the local families, BBW was a "rite of passage"--their kid's first "grown-up" ride--hence, all the nostalgia. I liked the Wolf, but I'd rarely wait more than 15 minutes for it (once the line reached that second switchback).

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Anyone remember the video "America's Greatest Roller Coaster Thrills in 3-D"? The only park shown on that video that I had been to before watching it was Cedar Point. A couple years after I saw it, I made my first visit to Busch Gardens, and I remember thinking about how cool it was going to be to finally be able to ride the Big Bad Wolf, as I had seen it on that video. So it was the first coaster that I rode that was on the video (besides the CP coasters)

 

For the sake of it as a ride, I do miss it. It was a fun ride, and the night rides were great. Will I see it as a tragic loss that would make me think twice about returning to BGW? No. Thing is, there were spots where you could tell it was aging, especially in the lower part right after the drop to the river. Sure I would love to be able to get a few more rides in, but if the new coaster appears to be anything like Cheetah Hunt at BGT, then it will certainly be a welcomed addition to me!

 

Also, with regards to the whole "popularity" thing...I could see how it might have been more widely popular when you look at the ages of those who would say it was their favorite, but even with the idea of the whole pulsing thing, I personally doubt it had more riders than the others, especially Apollo's Chariot. When the Apollo crew is cranking them out, they could have the train in the station awaiting to be dispatched before the train ahead of it is over the top of the lift. I tend to think the the dispatches were quicker for it than BBW, and they carried 8 more passengers on each train. Granted, actual numbers would help, but just on observations, I tend to think it would be unlikely, unless Apollo just had so significant down time.

 

-Gary

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Also, with regards to the whole "popularity" thing...I could see how it might have been more widely popular when you look at the ages of those who would say it was their favorite, but even with the idea of the whole pulsing thing, I personally doubt it had more riders than the others, especially Apollo's Chariot. When the Apollo crew is cranking them out, they could have the train in the station awaiting to be dispatched before the train ahead of it is over the top of the lift. I tend to think the the dispatches were quicker for it than BBW, and they carried 8 more passengers on each train. Granted, actual numbers would help, but just on observations, I tend to think it would be unlikely, unless Apollo just had so significant down time.

 

Exactly why I mentioned Apollo (IMO) may be the only coaster that may have passed BBW numbers.

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^I did ride BBW at night, after park close, at least 20 times in a TPR ERT session in 2008.

 

That's I mentioned the time I did Vortex and that it was with TPR because that night it was amazing, the cars were swinging wildly once the train stopped at the end because it had been going so fast. I mentioned it was TPR ERT session because maybe they did something special that night, trust me, it was like someone had pressed the fast forward button. I rode BBW about a week later on the same TPR tour, and I'm not trying to be argumentative, but my BBW rides didn't come close to my Vortex experience. The funny thing is I rode Vortex during the day and it was tame, if Behemoth wasn't late for ERT I wouldn't have bothered with Vortex ERT but what a pleasant surprise.

 

I can only base my opinions on my personal experiences. I've wondered if the way Vortex ran that night during ERT was an aberration. Maybe someone who was on that ERT session and has ridden Vortex at night during general public hours might be able to enlighten us - ***cough Jason cough***.

 

I agree with what you said. I was completely blown away by the Vortex ERT. It's one of the best coaster experiences I've had. Then when we rode BBW I was kind of disappointed. I had wanted to ride the coaster for so long because of the America's Greatest Roller Coaster Thrills video POV. And what I remember most from that ERT session was KerryB's horror movie scream. It was certainly a fun ride, but I'm really looking forward to seeing what BGW has in store for 2012.

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^I did ride BBW at night, after park close, at least 20 times in a TPR ERT session in 2008.

 

That's I mentioned the time I did Vortex and that it was with TPR because that night it was amazing, the cars were swinging wildly once the train stopped at the end because it had been going so fast. I mentioned it was TPR ERT session because maybe they did something special that night, trust me, it was like someone had pressed the fast forward button. I rode BBW about a week later on the same TPR tour, and I'm not trying to be argumentative, but my BBW rides didn't come close to my Vortex experience. The funny thing is I rode Vortex during the day and it was tame, if Behemoth wasn't late for ERT I wouldn't have bothered with Vortex ERT but what a pleasant surprise.

 

I can only base my opinions on my personal experiences. I've wondered if the way Vortex ran that night during ERT was an aberration. Maybe someone who was on that ERT session and has ridden Vortex at night during general public hours might be able to enlighten us - ***cough Jason cough***.

 

I agree with what you said. I was completely blown away by the Vortex ERT. It's one of the best coaster experiences I've had. Then when we rode BBW I was kind of disappointed. I had wanted to ride the coaster for so long because of the America's Greatest Roller Coaster Thrills video POV. And what I remember most from that ERT session was KerryB's horror movie scream. It was certainly a fun ride, but I'm really looking forward to seeing what BGW has in store for 2012.

 

Hmmm. Maybe I only have ridden Vortex on "sucky" days, because I was extremely disappointed in it after hearing some say it was better than Wolf. Wolf had "sucky" morning issues, where the shocks were not warmed up yet and the trains didn't swing as much as they would later in the day, but I assume this to be the case with all suspendeds. Anyhow, with the exception of going into the brake run, I can not remember the train swinging all that much on Vortex or Flight Deck. One friend of mine raved and raved about Vortex being so much better than Flight Deck...and I did not get the promised experience...at all. That said, they are both fast moving, enjoyable coasters, but the changes in direction are no where near BBWs S-curve's 180 degree+ change in direction in under about 20 to 30 feet going around 50mph. The maintainence whorishness of that section (i.e. welds, fractures) kind of speaks for it's self I feel.

 

And trust me...I am ecstatic for what ever is happening in 2012 as well. I just wish it was not at the cost of losing one of the best of an already rare breed.

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I have been on

Big Bad Wolf, Vortex, Flight Deck/Top Gun and Iron Dragon. My first of the 4 was BBW. I find BBW the second best out of the 4 behind Vortex. BBW seemed like more of a complete ride experience then the rest of them. Iron dragon was slow and downright unexciting, Flight Deck seemed way too short to be enjoyable and Vortex had a little more length then Flight Deck (RCDB doesn't completely agree with that) Vortex also boasted more speed then the rest as well as intensity. BBW seemed like a full ride but was kind of mild leading up to the drop over the water. This made it seem like a full ride though. The 2 different, definable parts of the ride gave it a more complete feel to me.

 

I do believe that it has been over praised somewhat because it is gone this is partial to people taking it's existence in the park for granted. It was a solid fun ride nothing overly spectacular and just had it's small area dedicated that will feel a little strange to me in future visits. (I visited in 2009 about 2 months before closing.) Before anything is built it will seem a little empty and it feel a bit strange to see the new coaster in that spot.

 

I have a feeling (I'm sure a lot of others too) that it will be a very similar type of ride to Cheetah Hunt.

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I have only ridden 3 suspended coasters: Ninja at SFMM, BBW at BGW, and Iron Dragon at CP. I would put BBW right in the middle of these three with Ninja in first and Iron Dragon in last. BBW had some nice theming at the beginning, but the second lift just killed the ride for me, and the segment after it wasn't very long.

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Flight Deck/Top Gun swings to the 90* mark or beyond a few times. I wish it was longer though. I'd love to see a new suspended coaster pop up...especially something like Eagle's Fortess....damn that ride looked nucking futs! Iron Dragon has one nice little swing at the end...which is still weak compared to Top Gun. Fun though!

 

I've been wanting to go to BGE ever since I learned about theme parks and coasters. I have a book I got from 1998 that raves about Alpengeist, Wolf, and Lochness. Still am dying to go there even though it's gone, but now they have Griffon and they're talking about this new launched coaster..so I can wait. (But not really!)

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(Please note that I have not ridden this coaster.)

 

Although I do tend to get emotional about historic and classic coasters, there's no way I would avoid visiting BGW just because they took out Big Bad Wolf. However, I'll admit it's a bit disappointing because it sounded like something I would enjoy.

 

Do I think people's sadness is weird because the ride wasn't highly ranked? Not at all. Many of the rides I enjoy rank outside of the top 50, all the way down to the bottom 5 in Mitch's poll. (Dragon!) I know of plenty of rides ranked in the hundreds that are well-liked for what they are. So I agree that its rankings are influenced by its age and style, the nostalgia factor, and simple difference of opinion.

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A little off topic...why is it that everyone thinks Vortex at Canada's Wonderland is awesome, and Flight Deck at King's Island isn't? They both have the same layout!

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Anyone remember the video "America's Greatest Roller Coaster Thrills in 3-D"?

 

I have that one on DVD! That's why I was hoping to get to BGW to ride it! But hey, there are still (from what I'm hearing) amazing coasters there, plus I'll always have a BBW POV on that DVD!

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Amazing or not, it was certainly more entertaining, interesting and FUN than MOST every B&M I have ridden (minus Great Bear, Kumba, and Apollo's).

 

It was a rough ride, kinda, and could have been greatly improved as the worlds first Arrow suspended to be converted to lap bars only. Imagine that I thought it was kinda lame - the reasons the park gave for taering it down. It was VERY popular...

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A little off topic...why is it that everyone thinks Vortex at Canada's Wonderland is awesome, and Flight Deck at King's Island isn't? They both have the same layout!

 

I've been on both, and I think speed is a big factor in the arrow suspended ride experience. During the day at CW in 2008 it was tame and then at night, it was set to warp speed. Flight Deck was okay but I didn't experience going at the speeds Vortex was going at on that magical ERT session. If you look at Eagle's Fortress, it has a listed speed of 40 mph, but I think they would have been running it a lot faster than that to produce the ride experience that everyone raves about.

 

BBW offers 2 very different ride experiences in the one coaster, it's more Draggin' Iron the first part and then Vortex the second half. Wow, I just realised I've been on every operating Arrow Suspended in North America, and the world if we exclude Vampire at Chessington.

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I thought it was kinda lame - the reasons the park gave for taering it down. It was VERY popular...

 

I don't think they would've gone to the trouble and expense of ripping out a major ride just for the hell of it. The park no doubt weighed a number of factors (like maintenance costs, as well as popularity) when making the decision to remove BBW.

 

It seems to me that the Big Bad Wolf was never more popular than in the season when the park announced its removal. I liked the ride, and was a little sad to hear that it was going. But I'm really looking forward to seeing what replaces it.

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I really enjoyed BBW. I was very glad that I got to ride it before it was taken out and I'll be bummed from here on out that I won't be able to take a trip down that second drop again. Times are changing and the cost per rider to maintain these older rides is becoming too much. As much as I'd like to see it happen, if Big Dipper is ever saved and rebuilt, after it's first year the ridership will severely drop and it'll be harder for which ever park to maintain it.

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I rode it for my first and last few times on July 1st & 2nd, 2009, shortly before it was announced that it was closing, so I think I was fairly unbiased. Personally, I thought it was a great ride, and maybe only one or two brackets below their B&M's in quality (versus 5 or so with Nessie). It certainly wasn't an amazing top ten thrill ride, but I thought it was a lot of fun (suspended coasters are one of my favorites of the "less popular" varieties), fairly smooth (I've never had a problem with suspendeds, except for some clunkiness), and very rerideable. It became my favorite suspended, with Flight Deck and Ninja a little further behind. One of favorite ride experiences is from it, during a night ride in the front seat where all I could see were the fireflies around the car.

 

Since its closing I've been to the park about half a dozen times, and while the park is still great for a day here and there, it's lack does hurt revisits. Don't get me wrong, the three B&M's are great rides, but besides them, what else in the park is really worth riding more than a couple times on a slow day? DarKastle? Loch Ness I've probably only bothered to ride three times total. The park has a fair amount of things to do, but for attractions it's a little sparse considering the spread out park layout, and anything missing hurts, especially with one of their signature rides. It's loss certainly hasn't kept me from visiting, but I do miss it once I'm in that corner of the park.

 

So in short, it's not necessarily just the quality of the coaster, but also the quantity at the park. If a comparable ride at a larger park got removed, I don't think people would care much largely because there are still plenty of things to compensate. I think it's removal would instead be more on par with Mt. Olympus removing Cyclops, SWT removing Steel Eel, or Dollywood removing Tennessee Tornado, where it's a fair sized chunk of the park, unlike if KI were to remove Flight Deck, SFMM removing Ninja, or Hersheypark removing Great Bear, where it wouldn't significantly hurt the park experience.

So don't cry me a river when a "not-even-top-100-coaster" gets the axe. Eagle's Fortress was at least ranked #2 in the world, and no one really seemed to notice.

Regarding Eagle's Fortress, I'm not denying that it's the best coaster on the planet, but no one really seemed to notice probably because virtually no one had actually ridden it. I would estimate maybe under 0.1% of enthusiasts have ridden it, versus a fairly large percent for BBW (30%+?). Plus, even fewer people would actually notice it's absence, given their likelihood of revisits.

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Regarding Eagle's Fortress, I'm not denying that it's the best coaster on the planet, but no one really seemed to notice probably because virtually no one had actually ridden it. I would estimate maybe under 0.1% of enthusiasts have ridden it, versus a fairly large percent for BBW (30%+?). Plus, even fewer people would actually notice it's absence, given their likelihood of revisits.

 

Remember, the beauty of Mitch's poll was that it placed rankings based on "head-to-head" comparisons.

 

You still need to understand that the people that have ridden both, still rank Eagle's Fortress significantly higher than Big Bad Wolf, and MOST EVERY coaster in general. Granted, the ones that have, have traveled very extensively. Robb's closing in on 1500, and it's in his top 5. Elissa's over 1200, and it's in her top 10. Richard Bannister is over 1600, and has it ranked #1 (at least last time I talked to him). George Greenway is over 1700 and has it at #3. Personally, I have it at #2 (I'm at 993).

 

We were so blown away by it on the TPR Southern Japan/Korea in 2007, that when we did the TPR China/Northern Japan trip in 2008, we decided to squeeze in 2 days in Seoul to get the new T-Express credit AND Eagle's Fortress was a big selling point to get us to want us to go back!! (Along with another visit to Lotte World!)

 

Point being, we decided to add 2 days in another country to revisit a park with a great coaster, and a new woodie. And if you're thinking that we went mostly for T-Express, next year's Japan trip isn't making a side trip to China to go ride GCI's new woodie at Knight's Valley (which LOOKS damn awesome!).

 

BBW was a fine ride. Went to BGW (BGE) 3 times (1999, 2002, 2004) and outside of an ERT sessions in 2002, never waited more than 20 minutes for it.

 

My .02

 

JJ

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