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Greatest Amusement Industry Achievement of the Decade?


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In no particular order:

 

1. Evolution of coasters, specifically: Mega/Giga coasters, GCI woodies, Intamin woodies, Launched coasters, Eurofighters, and rides that prove coasters don't need to be taller, faster, or longer to be better.

 

2. Six Flags shifting from extreme thrill parks to more balanced parks.

 

3. Q-bots.

 

4. Proslide's innovations for water park attractions, such as the Tornado and Hydromagnetic Rockets.

 

5. The creation of TPR Trips.

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Plug N' Plays were the greatest achievement, IMO. Intamin really changed the wooden coaster landscape with them. They made wooden coasters that use giga-like cable lifts, 75+ degree drops and provide the craziest airtime on the planet. Oh, yeah... AND their glass smooth! The fact that a woodie is being compared to a modern day steel coaster in terms of smoothness is an achievement in itself! I've heard coaster enthusiasts say that El Toro's airtime actually made them sick! The fact that other parks haven't taken one look at El Toro, Balder, T Express or Colossos and called Intamin is truly baffeling.

 

Another honorable mention is Shapiro saving SF is up there because of the long odds of it happening with the debt and everyone writing them off

 

Sorry, but I disagree. Wooden coasters are supposed to feel like wooden coasters, NOT steel coasters. I have ridden El Toro, and though it was a great coaster with great airtime (it's in my top 20) it did not feel like a wooden coaster, and woodies shouldn't feel like steelies. The ride felt so much more controlled and stable like a steel coaster. I think wooden coasters are meant to have the feeling of impending collapse and unpredictability, as if it has taken on a mind of its own. That is what makes legendary woodies like Raven, the Beast, Legend, Shivering Timbers, Giant Dipper, and Cyclone so great. They had the thrill of a great sense of unease, while not being monstrous. It's why woodies are woodies and steelies are steelies, they are meant to provide their own exclusive experiences.

 

EDIT: Greatest achievements-1. Ravine Flyer II

2. The Voyage

3. Singapore Flyer

4. The saving of the Zippin Pippin

5. Coney Island FINALLY receiving a quality park since the closing of Steeplechase

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These are already kinda cliche but I have to agree.

 

The development of such companies as GCI

The many different kinds of coasters (flying, 4D, hydraulic launch, PnP etc.)

The achievements of roller coasters (surpass 400 ft, speed of up to [i think it's] 148 mph [correct me if I'm wrong])

The development of parks such as Holiday World (what with the addition of Voyage and Pilgrims Plunge)

The rapid development of amusement parks in China (need I say more?)

 

And a whole ton of things I can add to this but I can't seem to think of at midnight

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While I don't know the entire story and I don't know what will happen in the future, I think the turnaround of Six Flags parks is pretty significant. I've heard some terrible stories about how these parks operated in the past, but in the last few years there clearly has been an increase in positive reports. There are still plenty of complaints, but there are also many improvements to celebrate. It's great to see a park like SFDK go from hated to loved.

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I'm going to side with the fact that the media and the general public recognizes that the entire year 1980 was not a part of the 70's, the year 1990 was not a part of the 80's, and the year 2010 was not a part of the 'Aughts. A decade in itself can be any period of ten years, but the most popular way of referring to decades of time are those periods starting with ###0 and ending with ###9.

 

That doesn't change what answer I would put for either 2000-2009 or 2001-2010. The greatest achievement of either of those time periods is The resurgence of wooden coasters. The huge improvements in wooden coaster engineering that began in the mid to late nineties came to a head as CCI folded, building Cornball and Boulder Dash in the decade. Vekoma, GCI, Intamin, and The Gravity Group pushed the envelope further, leading to a Mitch Hawker poll where 12 of the top 15 wooden coasters were built in the last decade. The decade also marked the wooden coaster's entrance into China, as well as new installations all across Europe and the United States. Whereas wooden coasters were basically a lost art from the time John Allen left the scene, what has happened in the past 10-15 years cannot be understated.

 

Honorable Mentions:

 

 

1. Waterparks gone wild: From what was a stale genre in the 90s and previous to what we're seeing in parks today, it has been a CRAZY decade for waterparks. Every company has realized the massive profits that can be found in adding or adding to waterparks, and Proslide/Whitewater West have delivered the goods.

 

2. Intamin: The whole Company. From the world's tallest and fastest, the wooden coasters, the ball coasters, and several other innovative designs, the hype surrounding their company was unmatched and the ideas brought forth will be seen everywhere in the future.

 

3. Lo-Q. The biggest single product in the industry of the past decade.

 

Also, the biggest achievement of this decade so far(by my count, only this year), is far and away The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I expect that in nine years, we'll all say that International Growth was the biggest achievement of the decade.

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In terms of sheer park substance, it's Tokyo DisneySea. Disagree, and you're wrong. The sheer achievement that that place is and continues to be is indescribable. Wizarding World of Harry Potter is the Valencia Mall ghetto fair by comparison.

 

LO-Q has to be awarded for most brilliant industry accessory. Every day they make thousands of dollars selling absolutely nothing but sheer, intangible convenience.

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The increased use of serious technology in rides, specifically:

 

Magnetics and propulsion technologies, such as LIM / LSM, Hydraulic. (And contact-less "always on" brakes).

 

'Cause when you think about it, you can always not go fast, but at some point, you gotta slow down and stop! (Takeoffs are optional, landings are mandatory.)

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Sorry, but I disagree. Wooden coasters are supposed to feel like wooden coasters, NOT steel coasters. I have ridden El Toro, and though it was a great coaster with great airtime (it's in my top 20) it did not feel like a wooden coaster, and woodies shouldn't feel like steelies. The ride felt so much more controlled and stable like a steel coaster. I think wooden coasters are meant to have the feeling of impending collapse and unpredictability, as if it has taken on a mind of its own. That is what makes legendary woodies like Raven, the Beast, Legend, Shivering Timbers, Giant Dipper, and Cyclone so great. They had the thrill of a great sense of unease, while not being monstrous. It's why woodies are woodies and steelies are steelies, they are meant to provide their own exclusive experiences.

 

That may be, but as a woodie fan myself, I also have to acknowledge that most coaster fans today WANT smoothness over unpredictability. Airtime has pretty much become the be all, end all indicator of quality on a classic sit-down coaster among enthusiasts today. You need only look at what's posted in coaster reviews around here as an indicator of that fact.

 

This is why Intamin pre-fabs are indeed the greatest achievement of the past decade. Yes, some folks like rough-riding woodies, but they're largely in the minority these days among enthusiasts. As a fan of any kind of woodie, it makes me proud that a company like Intamin is stepping up to take the concept into the 21st century. Without them, you'd be seeing nothing but steelies at parks these days, I guarantee it. Plus, from what I've seen, even Intamin woodies provide that great sense of wild adventure that every good woodie should.

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I agree that Lo-Q and magnetic brakes were fantastic developments over the last 10 years. The wooden Intamin pre-fab technology certainly seems right up there too (although I *still* haven't ridden one!).

 

I also want to put in a vote for the awesome small coasters that seem to have become popular in the second half of the decade - aside from the Raven-style wooden coasters we also got Eurofighters, and a lot of the Maurer Söhne stuff.

 

And yes I have to join the brown-tongues and say TPR forums too; for the consistently high-quality discussions, no ads, great trips and freaking amazingly awesome people.

 

Cameron.

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If I had to throw in my hat...

 

In no particular order:

- development of the twisted wooden coaster

- further development of the launch coaster

- creating the full-circuit 300 and 400 ft. roller coaster

- development of fast-pass, quick queue, and Q-bot systems

- development of more select park events to encourage travel

- rise of the internet

- many more...

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