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Skycoastin' Steve's 2012 Season Extravaganza!!


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^That whole brake run can park 2 trains, I've seen a picture. I think this would be a fantastic idea!

 

Two trains with one on the transfer, or two trains with both far enough back to allow the transfer to be free to slide over when needed?

 

They can have the exit platform on the left side of the track and the unload station area can still be used as the transfer.

 

Riders on the right side still need a platform to step down onto before crossing to the left to exit. That platform can't be in the way of the transfer piece, so any unload station would need to be located probably 10-20ft before the small turn into the station, which then cuts into that stretch's ability to hold two trains if need be.

 

You can still build a walkable platform on the transfer track... SEE MR. FREEZE. Say if you don't believe that there's not enough room behind the transfer area for two blocks... well why not make the transfer track (only the part that attaches to the station) part of the unload platform. Meaning the platform actually slides to the side with the track as one piece. Premier did it! If they ever needed to transfer trains they would just be sure that no one is on the platform, which parks do anyway. When there's no transfer taking place the platform stands perfectly plush with the load station and the blackhalf of the unload station. Just trying to brainstorm here... where there's a will there is a way!

 

Also for reference from Keystone Thrills:

Edited by vacoaster09
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Because we're not talking about moving the entire train, we're talking about moving a single piece. And because of the winged seats, that piece physically HAS to be outside the station, because you can't move track through the floor people are walking on. And you can't move that piece of track while a train is sitting on it, because the rest of the train won't come with it. We're not talking about an entire transfer track setup like on a B&M or something, we're talking about the kind of transfer track they use for dual stations.

 

Unless you plan on them designing a station where the entire building moves.

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"because because because because..." *sings song from the wizard of oz!

 

Well like I said it was just a brain storm, but my original Idea was just an unload station behind the transfer. As shown in the picture in my last post... there are two trains parked behind the transfer area. The most forward of the two currently has what looks like a maintenance platform... that would be where I am referring to about them turning that into an actual unload platform.

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They built a crappy station. Get over it.

 

Great report Steve. I still have not been to Hersey since they opened Great Bear (yeah, that long), so it's nice seeing a great addition to a much better line up of rides since I last went. I'll get there one day, I think I just might wait a year and let the crowds dwindle down a bit.

In terms of operation, was it BGT bad? It can't be that bad, can it?

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I'd say relocate/modify the ride op control platform. Chances are there is just a small enclosure with a touch screen and some buttons. Not that hard to relocate. Put the stairs in where the current control platform is. Relocate the ride op control panel to a much smaller platform towards the middle of the new unload area, where the doorway is to the train maintenance bay. I wouldn't expect to see any changes for this year though, so just grin and bear it. I do like the idea of the current exit being turned into the single rider line. On a ride like this, where people are going for the choice seating, I think it is almost a necessity.

 

An unload station would require too much work and money, not to mention more operators. My guess is that they will find a way to modify the existing station to load on one side and unload on the other. They did good on the stations for the past 2 Intamins, so I'm not sure what happened this time.

 

I've always found the ride ops at Hershey to be helpful and very sociable. Maybe they just want someone to appreciate them. If they are not filling the cars, I would say that management hasn't conveyed it to them that it is a priority. You have 2 choices. 1) let the people sit where they want and have longer lines. 2) Force them to sit in a seat they don't want to ride in, and then have unhappy customers.

 

Of course the other option is that Hershey will not change anything, but that isn't very likely.

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^If they can figure out a way to scoot the operator booth over, that's the most likely option for a station redesign. Maybe they could move the door to the maintenance bay to the wall facing the track (just keep it closed and locked), the booth to that corner where the door currently is, and the exit where you said. The only thing they would have to work around is the stub of the storage track sticking out of the front of the station. At that point, they could manage a staircase that goes down to connect to the current exit, which is simple enough. There's that garage door to the basement of the maintenance bay, but cars can't get there anyway considering that there's an entire queue in front of it...

 

Another option is to just put a damn locker bank over along the brake run. There's more than enough space, and they can pull a Six Flags and require all loose articles to be put in there - only flip flops and glasses in the (non-working) spin bins. Cheap solution they could easily manage to put together within the next week, if they wanted to.

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Look at all these *GREAT* suggestions and ideas from people that know how this stuff works - US! We ride all the time, we observe, compare and critique operations. Many of us have spent several or more seasons operating rides...

 

SO... who's gonna write the park a formal letter? Who's gonna call the park? If presented in a logical and polite fashion, your suggestions can *really* help.

 

Or should we just all spend more time behind our monitors?

 

Every little bit helps...

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In terms of operation, was it BGT bad? It can't be that bad, can it?

 

It was pretty damn close! We both looked at each other many times and shook our heads at what we were witnessing. And the fact that the girl Steve took pictures of and reported last year who had her feet propped up on the Storm Runner controls STILL has a ride ops job speaks for itself.

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Parks read these websites, so I wouldn't be surprised if they saw this at some point soon. Hopefully. Otherwise we can just organize a big grassroots campaign to make the only downfall this ride has go away!

 

I'm sure they look at the coaster geek sites like this one, but I would think a more legitimate form... like letters, filled out forms at Guest Relations and phone calls/emails would get more of an audience on their side (the park's side). Although I'm all for "big grassroots campaigns" there is a step before that. It doesn't have to be an ALL/NOTHING thing. You don't have to go to an extreme to get a point across. Letters, emails, forms at GR, calls... (OK now I'm repeating, sorry)

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^That whole brake run can park 2 trains, I've seen a picture. I think this would be a fantastic idea!

 

 

Also for reference from Keystone Thrills:

 

I retract my comment. They can park two trains by reverse jogging only. It doesn't look like it could park 2 trains in normal operation. The second train needs more space to stop than that.

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In terms of operation, was it BGT bad? It can't be that bad, can it?

Absolutely worse. BGT has actually been better the last couple times I've gone there this year, but HP was historically bad that day. When you combine the ride closures with the incompetency we saw from the entire ops department, it was one of the worst days I've had at a park operations wise. But like I said, they have some kick ass rides, so you kinda have to deal with it to get the reward of Storm Runner, Skyrush, and Lightning Racer.

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^If they can figure out a way to scoot the operator booth over, that's the most likely option for a station redesign. Maybe they could move the door to the maintenance bay to the wall facing the track (just keep it closed and locked), the booth to that corner where the door currently is, and the exit where you said. The only thing they would have to work around is the stub of the storage track sticking out of the front of the station. At that point, they could manage a staircase that goes down to connect to the current exit, which is simple enough. There's that garage door to the basement of the maintenance bay, but cars can't get there anyway considering that there's an entire queue in front of it...

 

Another option is to just put a damn fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo bank over along the brake run. There's more than enough space, and they can pull a Six Flags and require all loose articles to be put in there - only flip flops and glasses in the (non-working) spin bins. Cheap solution they could easily manage to put together within the next week, if they wanted to.

 

It definitely looks they went low budget on that station and its design, especially for such a phenomenal ride. It looks like it was purchased and assembled directly from IKEA. How pressed against the Comet is Skyrush for space? I didn't realize that the space was so tight that an exit staircase wouldn't be possible.

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^Wow, I don't want to believe it. Glad the ride was fun at least! At the VERY least.

 

I was there this past Saturday and on Great Bear they wouldn't even open the loading gates until the other train came back and sat on the brake run for a couple seconds. Then they finally let everyone on and they tripled checked every restraint while walking slow and this repeated everytime. The park was empty for a Saturday and that should have been a 15 minute wait but it turned into 30 thanks to them.

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How pressed against the Comet is Skyrush for space? I didn't realize that the space was so tight that an exit staircase wouldn't be possible.

 

Pressed enough that riders on the right side of Comet actually get a bit of a headchopper from the front corner of the station! It's very close.

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I think the station looks a little better than your average Cedar Fair station (the clock tower is a nice touch), but it is rather generic.

Edited by cfc
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  • 3 weeks later...

It's been a month since I updated this thread, I need to get my stuff together!

 

So after Skyrush's opening day, we still had to get Jen to 300. Skyrush and Roller Soaker got her to 297, and I had a perfect plan to get her to 300! After leaving Hershey in the middle of the day Saturday, we made a pit stop by Adventure Park USA to grab the Wildcat credit for her (I already had it), which would leave her at 298.

 

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Yay!

 

The plan on Sunday would be to get the Go Karts Plus kiddie credit for Jen in the morning to get her to 299, and then grab Verbolten for 300 after that. Everything was going well until we found out on the way to the park that Verbolten would be closed. The whole day. Not to be complete downers about it, we still went to the park for a little while and enjoyed ourselves. The lines were pretty short early on, so we got some rides in on Apollo and Griffon, and we checked out the Celtic Fyre show (which is still my favorite theme park show to this day). I took a video of the "dueling dancers" portion of the show, which you can enjoy right now!

 

 

Before leaving BGW, we stopped by guest services to ask about Verbolten's status for the next day, and they said it should be open, so we were hopeful for Memorial Day! We also made one more quick pit stop before heading back to my parents' house.....

 

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More credit whoring!

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I got this credit last year, so Jen went solo to get herself to 299!

 

So on Memorial Day, BGW posted on their facebook page that all was well with Verbolten, so with a couple hours to kill before we had to fly back to Orlando, we went by the park again to try the ride out and get Jen to that 300th coaster milestone! I also actually brought my camera in with me this day since the ride would be open and I would finally be able to take some pictures of this beautiful new attraction while it was operating instead of being built.

 

As for my opinion on Verbolten, I think it's a very impressive attraction for the park. Many others have already said that the theming is top notch, and I agree with that assessment. For the ride itself, it fills in a glaring gap in BGW's lineup for a family coaster, and still even has a little bit of "extremeness" to it for thrill seekers. As far as thrills were concerned, it honestly wasn't THAT thrilling. The outdoor portions were pretty tame, while the indoor section was a lot of fun. Indoor coasters that properly utilize special effects and lighting (Verbolten, Mummy, Aerosmith, Space Mountain) are MUCH better than ones that are "coasters in a box" (FOF, Skull Mountain). The effects inside Verbolten's building were particularly awesome with the different story lines. Our first ride was in the front row and we got the big bad wolf story line, and our second was in the back row with the spirit of the forest story line. Even though I knew the freefall drop was coming, it still surprised me when it happened, and was a lot faster of a drop than I thought it would be. It was definitely the highlight of the ride. I also liked the sound effects going over the "bridge."

 

Overall, Verbolten isn't going to be winning any "best coaster" awards, but then again, it wasn't built for that reason. BGW has itself a fine attraction with this one, and it's a great replacement for BBW. Now if only they could get the thing running every day without having major downtime...........

 

More thoughts to come in captions, enjoy the pics!

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We got to see the new baby Clydesdale that had been born a few weeks prior. Cute!

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A little wobbly legged, but he'll be a graceful animal one day.

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While this line is quite intimidating, the wait from the end (we were at the end of the bridge) was only about 50 minutes for the front row. Awesome capacity with one less train than it should have had!

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Someone needs their drivers license revoked......

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Poor car.

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Gibberish German FTW!

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Love all the theming on the building.

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And apparently the freak show was in town this day.

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Punch buggy!

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Any Germans reading this report? What does this mean?

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Only one word matters in this picture: Oktoberfest. mmmmmmmm.......beer.

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Drunk monk!

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Nice little tribute to BBW.

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Once again, no idea what it says.

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This is the train that started the nuclear holocaust, raped dozens of women, killed Obama, and shoplifted a crate of post-it notes from Staples (all according to the BGW fansite's webmaster and his sources).

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Baby!

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They just take all the lost luggage from the Newport News airport and put it on this belt for theming.

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Nothing a little Round Up can't fix.

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Beautiful trains!

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Cue rimshot.

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Our first ride (in the front row) was in the gorgeous green train.

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In the worlds of Arnold: "DA BRIDGE IS OUTTTTTT!!!!"

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I was really expecting this to be a great drop, but it just wasn't. Not even in the back row. :(

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The sun wasn't cooperating today, so some of these turned out blurry, and I was too tired to care or sit there and wait for the sun to come out.

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Orange train doing its thing, looking good.

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More blurryness, but hey, at least it's not a trip report using cell phone pics taken with a Razr!

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It's safe to say this car won't run ever again.

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Looks like an Orlando driver got behind the wheel.

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"I've come to enforce the guarantee!"

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Finger, or nipple? You decide!

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Now this was cool. Before the ride would dispatch, the operators had to place their fingers on this proximity censors. I've seen foot pedals before, but never finger censors. Pretty neat!

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Rest in peace, old friend!

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Red train full of brave souls going out to conquer the Black Forest.

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I like how this picture turned out.

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Yay Verbolten!

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And yay Jen for getting to 300 credits! Tim Tebow would be proud!

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The detail they put into Verbolten is amazing, the trains, the que, the stations, the story, the little BBW references, everything about this attraction is full of win. Looks like a great addition to one of the best parks in America.

 

Awesome report once again, but Tebowing in Georgia colors? You guys must be Dawgs fans....

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Awesome report once again, but Tebowing in Georgia colors? You guys must be Dawgs fans....

 

NOOOOO!

 

I should have planned that a little better, but #300 was supposed to happen 2 days before it actually did so my wardrobe choices at the end of the trip were limited.

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