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Photo TR: Texas goes to West Texas


Jakizle
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Yeah that's why I couldn't pass it up haha...i've had to pay 50 bucks for one coaster before (stupid Hi Miler...).

 

I'm swamped at work for the next few days as I work in a grocery store and its the 4th coming up. I'll be alive Monday evening for the final update of Wonderland...a park that really came alive at night.

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Looks like a storage warehouse more than a museum. Nice pics!

 

That's because it is!

 

When Larson first announced that they were donating the space for the museum, the word went out that that was where the final museum was going to be. I'm not sure if that was ever actually the plan (and I don't think it actually was), but from everything I heard during Coaster Con from people who are involved with NRCMA, that's not the current plan. The city seems to want it to be the plan, however, and is conducting a feasibility study in the hopes of convincing them to keep it there. But the people involved who I talked to tried to make it very clear that this is just the storage facility for the museum for now while they work on more permanent plans. I gather that they've gotten a lot of negative feedback from people in the hobby (myself included) who think it's a horrible location for the museum -- so far from other parks enthusiasts are likely to visit.

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Looks like a storage warehouse more than a museum. Nice pics!

 

That's because it is!

 

When Larson first announced that they were donating the space for the museum, the word went out that that was where the final museum was going to be. I'm not sure if that was ever actually the plan (and I don't think it actually was), but from everything I heard during Coaster Con from people who are involved with NRCMA, that's not the current plan. The city seems to want it to be the plan, however, and is conducting a feasibility study in the hopes of convincing them to keep it there. But the people involved who I talked to tried to make it very clear that this is just the storage facility for the museum for now while they work on more permanent plans. I gather that they've gotten a lot of negative feedback from people in the hobby (myself included) who think it's a horrible location for the museum -- so far from other parks enthusiasts are likely to visit.

 

Agreed...I wish they could do it in Arlington as I would like to keep it in Texas. Amusement Today is there too, and we all know about Six Flags. In addition Schlitterbahn has graciously donated thousands of dollars towards it.

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GREAT report! Loved the Joyland pix and the Larson/NRCMA tour stuff is gold. I read the bit about the Texas Cyclone, and thought, "Why would an operating coaster have a track section in there?" Had completely forgotten that Astroworld is gone.

 

Anyway, I am very curious as to what makes the Larson towers so damn scary. Anyone have insights?

 

And Mega-Whirl looks and sounds fantastic. Keeping my fingers crossed a nice little park in SoCal picks one up. Castle Park?

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Those pirate cars you mentioned in your report - Larson did buy out Sellner so their ride catalog is now a part of Larson's lineup. So now you'll see Tilt-A-Whirls and their kid/family friendly rides coming out of Texas (unless they still are keeping the factory up north).

 

What a fascinating look at the museum. A lot of history is in there.

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Looks like lots of fun, can't wait to see it full speed.

 

Yeah, the motor they had hooked up to it was able to run it at 60 hp I believe, but they were only running it at like 16-18. At full speed it would probably be AMAZING! You can see me at :16 in the green car on the very first cycle

 

GREAT report! Loved the Joyland pix and the Larson/NRCMA tour stuff is gold. I read the bit about the Texas Cyclone, and thought, "Why would an operating coaster have a track section in there?" Had completely forgotten that Astroworld is gone.

 

Anyway, I am very curious as to what makes the Larson towers so damn scary. Anyone have insights?

 

And Mega-Whirl looks and sounds fantastic. Keeping my fingers crossed a nice little park in SoCal picks one up. Castle Park?

 

The Larson towers have way more airtime than any other drop tower I have ever been on. They also have very loose fitting restraints. They also go straight from rise to drop, so the drop comes out of nowhere (and you can't see the top because of the car shape) and the change in force from going up to down is greater than going from sitting to falling. In addition, it feels like the car pushes down from the top of the tower when is disengages the lift...and it stops in an extremely short distance. Overall everything is just designed to be as thrilling as possible...

 

Those pirate cars you mentioned in your report - Larson did buy out Sellner so their ride catalog is now a part of Larson's lineup. So now you'll see Tilt-A-Whirls and their kid/family friendly rides coming out of Texas (unless they still are keeping the factory up north).

 

What a fascinating look at the museum. A lot of history is in there.

 

Ah, now that you mention it I do remember. It's just hard to remember all the details when all I have on me is my camera

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Anyone know for sure if this is a picture of the original Rattler from it's opening year? That first drop doesn't look what I remember the original drop looking like. I know the first drop was slowly re profiled every year for about 4 years until they finally re-profiled the drop and the first turn. This picture looks like the turnaround is still original but the first drop has been modified and is not nearly as steep as it looked in the pictures and videos from it's opening year. The Rattler has always been one of the most fascinating wooden coasters to me, always looked like it had lots of potential but never really lived up to it's billing. I rode it in the late 90's after all of the re profiling had been complete and I thought that the opening 45 seconds of the ride (first drop and turn around) kicked ass but the rest was just really dull. I'd love to see this thing get the Rocky Mountain treatment in the future.

 

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^^ I really think it is the original. The steepest part of the drop is hidden by the drop off of the MCBR...It had a very gradual increase in steepness. The overhead angle makes it looks even wider.

 

In this photo you can see what I mean:

 

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Yeah I still can't tell, I do see what your saying about the drop being gradually steep but that black and white picture still looks a hell of a lot steeper that the aerial shot. The aerial shot has such a strange angle I don't think if there is a way to know.

 

Look at this video at 2:34 seconds, the shed at the bottom of the drop in that video looks like it has a much steeper entrance and exit than the picture does, but maybe it's just me. There was an ACE magazine one year that had a featured on the Rattler and had a timeline breakdown of all the rehabs it went through over the years. I'll have to see if I can find it somewhere.

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Yeah I still can't tell, I do see what your saying about the drop being gradually steep but that black and white picture still looks a hell of a lot steeper that the aerial shot. The aerial shot has such a strange angle I don't think if there is a way to know.

 

Look at this video at 2:34 seconds, the shed at the bottom of the drop in that video looks like it has a much steeper entrance and exit than the picture does, but maybe it's just me. There was an ACE magazine one year that had a featured on the Rattler and had a timeline breakdown of all the rehabs it went through over the years. I'll have to see if I can find it somewhere.

 

Yeah, I see what you mean too, but that aerial shot definitely makes everything look wider than what we're used to seeing in videos and stuff. Angles are really, really tricky. Interested to see what you can find!

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The Larson towers have way more airtime than any other drop tower I have ever been on. They also have very loose fitting restraints. They also go straight from rise to drop, so the drop comes out of nowhere (and you can't see the top because of the car shape) and the change in force from going up to down is greater than going from sitting to falling. In addition, it feels like the car pushes down from the top of the tower when is disengages the lift...and it stops in an extremely short distance. Overall everything is just designed to be as thrilling as possible...

 

Wow. That does sound pretty intense. Will have to look for one of those bad boys.

 

Looking over all the shots of the Museum again, I gotta give ACE a big round of applause. They put a lot of years into making that a reality and it's finally happening. And even this temporary set-up is pretty amazing. Well done.

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Thanks! I'll get it up tomorrow. I've just been so busy with work again and I come home and sleep. Plus Monday is the perfect day for the last update!

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Final Part! After about a 90 minute ride from Larson we had arrived in Amarillo, TX, which is home of the Big Texan Steakhouse and Wonderland. Here we go!

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After going through the city (annoying highway thing with traffic lights) we found Wonderland on the north side of town

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Wonderland!

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We entered the back through the side entrance, which is next to the parks large Galaxi thingy.

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First we headed to the back of the park for a group photo. On the way back I couldnt help but notice the fudges up loops of the famous Texas Tornado.

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Here is the other messed up loop for good measure!

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While waiting for the group photo in the back of the park, we took a ride on the parks really messed up drop tower. And I mean REALLY messed up.

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For the group photo we walked around to go inside Hornet.

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POV!

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For those that didn't know, this ride used to be an indoor coaster at Astroworld (RIP). It makes a lot of right turns. It is build on half street, half grass.

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More POV goodness.

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It is a pretty cool tangle of track though, which is now invisible. When it was inside and pitch black you couldn't tell what was going on.

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Now that that is taken care of, time to explore the rest of the park!

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getting the credits was most important of course, and what a better way to start than with the really screwed up Hopkins looper.

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Wasn't sure how this thing would ride so I opted for front row first time around. This ride is an upcharge by the way.

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I took the pic late, but Greg and Byron started off in the back seat (this would later be a great choice)

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It starts with the lift hill...

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Ok this looks REALLY bad...

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Jesus, the bottom of the first drop and that little turn look way too tight.

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Survived the drop and first loop with no injuries! it was actually very smooth and forceful, wtf!?

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WHY IS THIS SO SMOOTH AND FORCEFUL?

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Ok, the second loop ended up being kinda fudged up. The track wiggles a lot but it was only painful in the front...weird.

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Moving on! Next we rode the parks dark ride (also an upcharge)

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It's pretty awesome and 2 stories. Great long ride!

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I think the guys enjoyed it.

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As compared to Joyland, this park actually had a permanent installation and a good looking log flume!

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But we passed in order to ride the insane Miler Mouse!

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Classic.

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I love the simple station. And check out those tight curves.

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Lift hill enthusiasts, I deliver once again.

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The mouse turns at the top are actually pretty enjoyable...

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..but once the hills start the ride goes NUTS! Remember these cars have ZERO form of restraint device.

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Wheeeee!

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The reaction by the end is a mixture of laughing at the ridiculousness and yelping in pain!

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Anyways, one more credit to get...Mouse Trap???

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Last lift hill picture of the trip (:

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From up here you get a good look at the park.

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That first drop is serious!

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And here is most of the layout. The one at Joyland was far better

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MAG BRAKES??? They were installed sometime between last year and this visit says Byron. It used to be fully manually operated!

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lol @ the down hill brake run with mag brakes

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Next we at lunch, and I picked up this road wheel for Texas Tornado for 20 bucks because I wanted a roller coaster wheel.

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I SWEAR IT DIDNT COME FROM THE RIDE

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The park also has a round trip skyride like Joyland. We decided to take a ride at sunset

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Fantastic Journey....from the air!

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We see you over there Cyclone.

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Rainbow! More on this later...

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The south end of the park was very "cute"...never walked down here though.

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I love this time of night for pictures!

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One more...I really like how this turned out.

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Ok, question for the experts...on this map, only seen from the skyride, there appears to be a coaster that has never been at the park. Any ideas???

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As night fell the park really came alive for me and I liked it a lot more. We rode the swings...

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And we rode the drop tower again. I like how it has 4 separate entrances haha.

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The reason this was so freaky...the op had to send us up as soon as the restrains came down or else the sensors would misbehave...so he didn't even check them. They came down and right away we went up! It's quick too, great ride.

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Although we had the credit from Astroworld, we rode Hornet for good measure.

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I skipped out on this for a bathroom break but the guys tell me they rode to Rock Me Amadeus! Awesome.

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We got the last ride of the night on the Rainbow! Seriously this thing was INSANE. We rode solo and were getting tossed from side to side! Amazing.

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At the end of the night adult beverages and ERT on all 4 coasters was offered. I spent the time marathoning Texas Cyclone because it really is a GOOD ride! Smooth and forceful and perfectly wacky.

 

It was a great trip! The West Texas parks are far out of the way but lots of fun is still to be had. I will go back someday!

 

Thanks for looking, comments are appreciated (:

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