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The layout won't be changing from what we were told, however there is a possibility that some sections could be reshaped. There will be something different about the launch system and the trains are getting some modernization.

Bummer, since Hulk was designed just before B&M began mixing vagisil into the ink they print their blueprints with.

 

I wasn't given the impression that the ride would be toned down at all.

It's probably not what they're going for, but the B&M of today is different than the B&M of old. If they're re-shaping track sections...I'm not an engineer, but I would imagine that the difference between a forceful ride and a fluff ride are not too radical in terms of track profile. It would probably only take a tweak here or there to turn Kumba into Kraken.

 

It could be the first sit down B&M without the snappy transitions if they change the track or layout design.

The last two standard sitdown loopers they built (not including floorless - Wildfire and Led Zeppelin) are 100% snappy transition-free.

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I wasn't given the impression that the ride would be toned down at all.

It's probably not what they're going for, but the B&M of today is different than the B&M of old. If they're re-shaping track sections...I'm not an engineer, but I would imagine that the difference between a forceful ride and a fluff ride are not too radical in terms of track profile. It would probably only take a tweak here or there to turn Kumba into Kraken.

From what I understand this is exactly what is happening. Should be interesting to see just how much the ride feels different, even though the track layout will remain the same.

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I remain really surprised if they are replacing most/all of the track and even the supports solely for wear-and-tear / stress fracture reasons. As others have stated, it is only 16 years old and despite year-round operations, there are many, many more steel coasters with more use. Plus, B&M obviously over-engineers its track and supports and obviously built this ride to last MUCH longer than this. I wonder if something odd is going on in terms of the manufacturing of the steel or something other ride-wise defect has arisen, because otherwise this makes no sense to be occurring at this time span in the ride's life.

 

I would have bet money the layout was significant changing once I saw the amount of ride track and supports leaving.

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it is only 16 years old and despite year-round operations, there are many, many more steel coasters with more use.

Name one. I can't really think of many other coasters of this size that have had this many cycles. B&M has actually said themselves that Hulk is the most cycled coaster they have ever made. Hulk has not had any sort of significant re-hab since it opened in 1999. Other than maybe a week or so to get painted a few years ago before the original Potter land opened, I can't think of a time where the ride has been closed at all.

 

It has run continuously, almost always running three trains, usually fully loaded, 365 days a year, open every private event the park has, since 1999.

 

Outside of some of the coasters at Disney parks, which are less aggressive rides, and which usually get some sort of annual rehab, I don't think there has been another steel coaster of this size that's ran as much as Hulk has.

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I would think there are a couple major steel coasters with the wear of the Hulk (Viper at SFMM comes to mind), but it's a very small number. I feel that this total retracking definitely wasn't necessary, but my guess is since they wanted to do a major rehab/update, they would kill 2 birds with 1 stone and get it all done with the rise already closed. Now they'll be able to run the chain's flagship coaster another 20 years straight, which to me is a huge win!

 

I really can't wait to see what updated theming they include, especially in the queue and launch tunnel. Some fog, green lasers and LED lighting would be amazing in that tunnell.

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Some fog, green lasers and LED lighting would be amazing in that tunnell.

 

I'm pretty sure that's what was originally planned and advertised. Most of it never came to fruition, though. The mist on the launch exit was probably the only thing that survived but even that was a game of chance whether it'd be working on any given day.

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it is only 16 years old and despite year-round operations, there are many, many more steel coasters with more use.

Name one.

 

Sure, I can name a lot more than one. It's only a 16-year-old coaster, and it's not like Islands of Adventure ran insane operating hours or huge volumes of people in the off-season periods for much of its history (recall that it was mostly in the 4-6 million attendance range PER YEAR until Harry Potter's arrival). There were plenty of times in the offseason in the pre-Potter days where they cycled 2 trains and the park's attendance was very sparse. BUT let's assume that given its 12-month operating season and maybe longer summer hours that it cycled at least 60% more per year than say a comparable coaster at a busy seasonal park like Cedar Point or a major six flags park, with a normal 6-month-ish operating season. So, that would put its comparative number of cycles for its 16-year-life span as akin to a coaster running for 35 years at a seasonal park, give or take a few years.

 

There are a ton of steel coasters that are more than 30 years old, and which were built without the benefit of the type of elaborate computer engineering that we have today that can reliably estimate, in much more accurate ways, the actual forces and material stresses, so that the track and supports can be over-engineered to tolerances well above maximum operation conditions - which is precisely what B&M does. Not to mention that the track fabrication tolerances and processes are fundamentally superior in 1999 to what was done in the 1970s.

 

In any event, how about the following rides to start with:

 

1. Dueling Dragons / Dragon Challenge - it's the perfect control coaster. Same park, probably slightly lower ridership due to location, and with two tracks, probably fewer train cycles, but not by a ton. And it's an inverted coaster -- and if there were a ride subject to tough stresses on supports and track, it should be the inverted coaster because the track and the weight of the trains continually pull away from the supports compared to a conventional ride. (Of course, people will suspect that it's now next in line somehow.)

 

2. Kumba. Open all season. Annual attendance averaging 4M a year (so slightly lower, but competitive, annual attendance figures with IOA for much of its history), same force as Hulk (maybe even more intense in some sections), and opened in 1993: so has six additional years of cycles compared to Hulk. No track replacement in sight.

 

3. Demon. SFGAM or PGA. The corkscrew tracks have been in place since 1976 and never replaced as far as I know -- that's nearly 40 years of cycles. The loops and parts of the drop since 1980 - 35 years of cycles - no complete track replacement. That's a competitive cumulative cycle history with Hulk, but with engineering and track fabrication standards that are 45 years old.

 

4. Lochness Monster - 1978. 37 years of cycles. Same issues as above.

 

5. Mindbender - 1978. 37 years of cycles. Similar issues as above, but non-Arrow issues.

 

6. Viper - SFMM. 1991 - longer operating schedule than most seasonal parks, but obviously not as many operating days as IOA. But with an additional 8 years of cycles, it is probably competitive with Hulk in cycles.

 

There are many more.

 

Does anybody really believe that B&M designed Hulk to have a 16-year track and life support life span? Even the craptastically designed Shockwave at SFGAm made it 14 years without being scrapped (albeit with top of the loops replacements). I honestly can't think of ANY major coaster requiring full track replacement this early in the life cycle, but particularly not coasters as over-engineered for tolerances at B&M coasters -- they knew exactly what the repetitive effects would be on the coaster and designed it accordingly. There is nothing uniquely stressful on the materials about Hulk's operation and there certainly is nothing inherently in the compressive or tensile strength of steel or other materials in the track or supports that somehow would necessarily cause them to fail based on 16 years of cycles? It wasn't like the operating season, dispatch intervals, or train weight were a mystery at the time of design?

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It's not only the stress issues, but the launch system will be a big upgrade.

 

With the old electric motor launch, there were over 200 motors and tires used to launch the train. That is so many moving parts to inspect and keep track of, and because there was contact between the components and the train constantly, there was a lot of stress and need for replacement parts I'm sure. With an LSM launch, there would be no contact with the trains, plus the park will probably be able to reuse their current flywheel system for it.

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it is only 16 years old and despite year-round operations, there are many, many more steel coasters with more use.

Name one.

Sure, I can name a lot more than one...

SNIPPED a bunch of made up stuff that shows he knows nothing about the operations of roller coasters.

 

In any event, how about the following rides to start with:

1. Dueling Dragons / Dragon Challenge

You said it yourself this ride has fewer ride cycles, which is correct. So why would you even list it??? #dumb Not even to mention this ride got a HUGE rehab when the original Potter land was built!

 

2. Kumba.

Kumba has received SEVERAL lengthy maintenance rehabs over the years. It also does not run anywhere NEAR the ride cycles that Hulk does, and I've been to the park when it's so empty, they are only running one train on it.

 

3. Demon. SFGAM or PGA. The corkscrew tracks have been in place since 1976 and never replaced as far as I know -- that's nearly 40 years of cycles. The loops and parts of the drop since 1980 - 35 years of cycles - no complete track replacement. That's a competitive cumulative cycle history with Hulk, but with engineering and track fabrication standards that are 45 years old.

These parks are closed during the winter where these rides get an extensive rehab if needed. The parks are open 6 and 5 months out of the year, respectively, and daily for only 3 months out of the year. So even though these rides are 40 years old, 24 years older than Hulk, they have actually cycled LESS times than Hulk!

 

4. Lochness Monster - 1978. 37 years of cycles. Same issues as above.

This park is closed during the winter where the ride can get an extensive rehab if needed. This park is closed 5 months out of the year and only open daily for 3 months out of the year.

 

5. Mindbender - 1978. 37 years of cycles. Similar issues as above, but non-Arrow issues.

This park is closed during the winter where the ride can get an extensive rehab if needed. This park is closed 3 months out of the year and only open daily for 2 1/2 months out of the year.

 

6. Viper - SFMM. 1991

This ride has not only received extensive rehabs, including having all the track from it's loops and first drop replaced, but also is closed Mon-Fri during the off-season where additional work can be done if needed.

 

There are many more.

No, actually there are not. There are NOT many more rides that have had the same amount of ride cycles in the same amount of time as Hulk WITHOUT getting any annual rehab. Your attempt at making a point is impressive. It's just a shame it's all totally incorrect. Nice try, though!

 

Does anybody really believe that...

SNIPPED a bunch more embarrassing stuff that shows you don't know how coasters work... I love how someone in Chicago is trying to tell me what the operating practices of coasters in Orlando are. Like, how do you even know??? It's clear that you don't.

Edited by robbalvey
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Robb what are all these magical rehabs that all the coasters I listed are getting in the offseason that prevents their track from being replaced?

You know as well as I do that most of the track on most of the steel coasters is left untouched, other than xrays and spot welds on high stress points -- are you saying that IOA purposely refused to do these same checks and routine maintenance on Hulk over the past 16 years?

 

(And why do you have to be so snide over a legitimate discussion? It is unusual for the Hulk track to have a shelf-life of 16 years.)

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^ I can think of one or two in Korea that are year-round and super old and as far as I'm aware have never really had an overhaul or big rehab.... and they can be really rough and that's with one or two trains, so that's still probably less cycles than Hulk even though they are older. Lots of parks in Asia are year round and though, unlike Hulk, these get rehabs now and again, they don't have track replaced and you always here people describe the older coasters here as "good" and almost never as "great". Here in Korea, with some of the older ones, I think the Boomerang is now SBNO and Childrens Grand Park tore out their looper and replaced it in the end. I know other rides that replace trains and just do little jobs on the track where the ride has only a few days closure and then runs on the busier days of the weekday/weekends and they are still rough after all the weekday work.

 

I'm glad they are doing such a big rehab instead of just a couple months closure to do spot-work.

Edited by Garet
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Robb what are all these magical rehabs that all the coasters I listed are getting in the offseason that prevents their track from being replaced?

You know as well as I do that most of the track on most of the steel coasters is left untouched, other than xrays and spot welds on high stress points -- are you saying that IOA purposely refused to do these same checks and routine maintenance on Hulk over the past 16 years?

 

(And why do you have to be so snide over a legitimate discussion? It is unusual for the Hulk track to have a shelf-life of 16 years.)

 

Are you serious? It's not any magical rehabs in the OFFSEASON...it's the fact that there's an OFFSEASON resulting in many fewer cycles! IOA did not take the ride down as much as they could have which would have lengthened the lifespan of it. Instead they chose to 'run it into the ground' with almost no stops for 16 years, equalling out to something similar to a 25-30year life span. Robb is probably being 'snide' with you because of your attitude and not listening.

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Robb is probably being 'snide' with you because of your attitude and not listening.

This. I'm happy to have a discussion with someone if the discussion is based around logic and actual REAL information about rides. But if you're going throw out some made-up "facts" in an effort to prove me wrong when all you're doing is showing everyone how you know absolutely NOTHING about what you're talking about, yes, I'm going to be snide with you in my response to show you just how stupid you're being. And if you don't like that, there are other forums to post to and we won't miss you at all.

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I don't think Hulk necessarily NEEDS so much of its track replaced, but they're doing it because it's probably the most economical solution long term. The coaster is such a workhorse for the park for all the reasons mentioned, and Universal were probably at bit of a crossroad in that do they throw money at it papering over the cracks, or do they just bite the bullet and do it properly. It's like when your car starts becoming unreliable. You can try and keep on top of fixing it, but sometimes it's just best to say 'yeah, I'll get a new car' rather than throw money into a bottomless pit. With the launch needing work I guess they're killing two birds with one stone.

 

BTW I'm pretty sure track on Nemesis has been replaced over the years, particularly on the helix. So a lot of track replacement probably happens on a lot of coasters that we don't even know about. I think with Hulk being so popular it makes sense for them just to do a root to tip rehab on it so that it's reliable and doesn't need much work over the next few years.

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So a lot of track replacement probably happens on a lot of coasters that we don't even know about.

THIS! I know there have been quite a few coasters that have replaced sections of track over the years (California Screamin' loop for example), but parks don't make a big deal out of it, because it's just part of routine upkeep, and a lot of times it's done while the park is closed, so there isn't any real media around it.

 

This one just happens to be VERY visible and the park itself has issued press releases about the improved version of the ride so of course it's getting a lot of attention.

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This one just happens to be VERY visible and the park itself has issued press releases about the improved version of the ride so of course it's getting a lot of attention.

That's the one disadvantage of having a coaster that runs over and interacts with guest areas - you can't do any major rehabilitation work without the public knowing about it. It's pretty tricky for places like the Universal Orlando parks that rely so heavily on a consistent guest experience. Something has to give!

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  • coasterbill changed the title to Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

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