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I just love the feel of a wooden coaster. More out of control. The ride changes as the seasons change. It feels more like a living breathing entity to me rather than just steel and rails. I love watching them bend and flex as the train runs the circuit. It's so graceful as the whole structure sways up and down as well as back and forth. Like it's dancing.

They realy are the art form of engineering.

 

My father was an engineer and loved coasters. I remember He and my brothers used to go to the Giant Dipper at Belmont park in San Diego and just watch it run before we rode it. We would walk around it and he would describe everything technically. From the negative and positive G forces to the structural engineering. They realy are very nostalgic for me.

 

I also love the look of wood. It feels much more natural to me. As a kid I thought it looked like a giant spider web that you could slide on.

 

Nothing beats a Great Wooden Coaster. I will take one over any piece of steel and wheels any day of the week.

 

 

Guy "I'm just sayin'" Koepp

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For me, I'm not a huge fan of woodies, but I'm excited about the one we're getting at SFGAdv because I like a smooth ride, and my understanding is INTAMINs woodies are almost as smooth as steel (and smoother than some steel coasters). So far I haven't been dissappointed by any of INTAMINs coasters, and to have the first of their woodens ones built in the U.S. is like getting the first of a new model of Mercedes.

 

Now on top of that comes official word that it will break at least one record, and will be part of an entirely new section of the park, just like Kingda Ka was last season.

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The only rides I'm really following closely are The Voyage at Holiday World, and Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom. The Superman rocket coaster at Movie World also looks really great, although, I think, technically, is for 2005.

 

I'm also interested in seeing what the Great Adventure wooden coaster, and Magic Mountain flying coaster will end up like, although I don't know enough to be very excited, yet.

 

I'm looking forward to The Voyage because it looks to have a fun, intense, and unusual, layout, and Holiday World seems like a great park.

 

I'm looking forward to Expedition Everest because it's Disney, basically, and because Yetis are probably the greatest "mythological" creatures ever. It also seems like it will have a few fun moments, and the theming looks wonderful.

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Thanks one again for all your help.

I notice, there are quite a lot of Woodie on everyones list and would be interested to know a bit more about the appeal of new woodies as opposed to steel.

Just in case some people might have missed it, please post your thoughts as to what is the appeal of a wooden coaster versus steel.

 

For me it has a lot to do with how 'free' you feel on most woodies. Using Holiday World as an example, seems like just about every train on Raven or Legend you see has the entire trainload with people hands up and huge smiles on their face. That's the sign that you're doing something right.

 

You know that on a wooden coaster, your ride is much more 'hassle-free'. No over the shoulder restraint to worry about, all you have to think about is having fun.

 

And there is that 'classic' feeling of wooden coaster. It's intersting how most people don't realize that woodies are still being built today. I hear from people all the time about that "old wooden coaster down at Knott's" I tell them, you know that was just built in 1999, right? And they are all "no, it's been there FOREVER!!!"

 

So a lot of people instantly get that 'old rickety' thought in their head no matter how new it might be! I wonder how many people might go to Holiday World or Six Flags Great Adventure next year for the first time and swear those woodies have been there since the 60s!

 

There also seems to be a certain level of certainty that comes with a wooden roller coaster. Most 'general public' (read: non-enthusiasts) have a very good idea of what a wooden roller coaster will do before boarding it. And that idea is very familiar to most people. They don't have to worry about inversion after inversion, etc. Most wooden coasters also have a much lower height restriction (42" to 48" in most cases) so that removes some of those fears ("bigger, faster, scarier coasters are only for older, taller kids, right?")

 

What they don't know is that most wooden coasters are equally as thrilling, in many cases more so, than most steel coasters, but they enter the ride with a much less 'scared' frame of mind and I think that actually allows them to have a better time!

 

I end up at parks with a lot of 'non enthusiasts' and while many people won't ride the Batman's of the world, they will not hesitate to step into the train of a woodie.

 

I think there could be a great psychological study on this!

 

Anyway, those are some of my thoughts...sorry if I sounded like I was rambling!

 

--Robb

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^I completely know what you mean. The general public has some idea put in their minds that wooden coasters are more tame than steel coasters. They don't know that little hills can cause a lot of airtime. I think that this comes from the idea that because wooden coasters came before steel coasters, that wooden coasters are built like old, tame coasters.I'm guessing that's what they think. Even though some old woodies weren't so tame themselves. (Such as the Crystal Beach Cyclone.)

 

I think that the GP is starting to learn more about coasters, which is why they are more open to wooden coasters now. A little more open, at least.

 

Also, I am looking forward to Black Mamba. Need a new good B&M Invert.

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The Discovery channel couldn't have picked a better source to research the show. I've found the information here invaluable. The enjoyment of many of our family trips to theme parks has been enhanced by the insight shared by the members here.

 

On to the subject at hand... Like many other members, I most anticipate the opening of Expedition Everest. I'll echo many of the sentiments relating to the fact that it's a "Disney" ride and therefore we can expect detailed theming and an engaging storyline along with the ride itself. In addition, it's the ride that I'll personally be most likely to actually ride. Perhaps not in '06, but we are doing our best to plan to a Disney World trip within the next year or 2 (or 3). My perspective is from that of a "casual" coaster enthusiast. I'm more into parks for the overall family experience, rather than the impressive statistics or g forces of a particular ride.

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I notice, there are quite a lot of Woodie on everyones list and would be interested to know a bit more about the appeal of new woodies as opposed to steel.

 

The appeal is simple: wooden rollercoaster companies are building better rides.

 

Why?

 

I don't know.

 

I do know that if The Voyage, for instance, was made out of steel (it practically is, anyways), I'd be just as excited! It doesn't matter.

 

Maybe it's an issue of economics. A major wooden rollercoaster costs about 5 - 10 million dollars, while a major steel rollercoaster can cost over 40 million dollars!

 

So, a park can get more out of a wooden rollercoaster than a steel, especially smaller parks.

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^^^I also think many people have memories of Wooden coasters as their first major rides. I'm betting most people lose their coaster "virginity" on woodies. (Yikes... that probably won't make it into the special, eh?). So there may be a certain nostalgia (or distaste, depending on the experience).

 

I also agree that wooden coaster designers are just putting out better product overall-- we've seen a recent surge in creativity from steelies (Hydra, BoosterBike, Storm Runner, Powder Keg), but wooden coaster companies seem to be getting better and better at making similar products... they're refining their craft, rather than reinventing it, and it really shows... specifically, GCI has taken it up a notch, and I think Gravity Group are really doing their impressive best to impress as old timey newcomers.

 

It's important to note, I think, that the curiosity about the GAdv Intamin woodie is more about newness and reputation (Balder & Colossos) as opposed to the interest in the Beech Bend and Holiday World woodies, which is this refinement BS I was talking about.

 

I'm actually really curious as to see if a new intamin hyper ever shows up-- they seemed to be getting really mindblowingly outstanding (SROS SFNE, Goliath, E:GF, MF), and then.... no new hypers.

 

I wonder if parks demanding innovation go to steel coaster designers, and those wanting good old fashioned fun go to wooden coaster designers. It might be market driven rather than supplier driven, but either way... I think there's a touch of love and class coming from GCI and GG that I don't detect in today's steelies.

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