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Official Drachen Fire Thread [Merged]


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I was wondering,has any of you ever ridden Drachen Fire,when it was running. I actually rode it in June of 1997. Everyone else was over at Alpengeist,so my friend and I went over to the station,and it was raining hard,but we rode it,anyway,and the crew let us stay on for a second time. So,I was wondering,if you have any memories of riding it. Thank you SES

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I rode it quite a few time in 1997 and again in 1998 just before it closed.

 

Personally I can see why the ride wasn't popular with the public. If you didn't know what seat to ride in, or where to brace yourself, it could be VERY rough.

 

I never actually had a problem with it because I could see those sharp Arrow transitions coming and I knew what to do to prepare! I actually thought the ride was quite decent, but I can see why it didn't survive.

 

I wish I was taking video back then! Oh well....

 

--Robb

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That ride gave me two enormous bruises on either shoulder and a throbbing headache the first time I rode it. Robb's right about knowing when to brace yourself, but I was never particularly anxious to ride it again, and shed no tears when it was removed.

 

It made a dandy nesting place for bald eagles, though.

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i liked the ride, rode it opening year, i believe may have been 1992 or 1993 and several other years in between. yes the ride was rough and had some bad transitions, but it also had some cool new elements. 2 of witch to my knowledge had never been built. the cut back turn and the first inversion was sort of a dive loop but it was started half way down the first drop, i do miss seeing the ride in the park. i did however find it funny to see this ride have no line but lockness who was like 15 years older have a full one. that was too funny.

 

arrow coasters due have some rough transitions, but some of them remain to be cool rides. oe at worlds of fun was a cool ride. i liked it. rode it in 2001.

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I think we need to remind people about grammar and spelling

 

Then remind yourself to put a period at the end of your sentences, yo.

 

Anyway, I rode it in '97, and I think I remember it being unique but painful. I wish it would have stuck around long enough to get Premiere-style trains.

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I rode it and remember liking it. The ride was at a really out of the way location, and you really had to know that it was back there. I don't think many people just wandering around the park would stumble upon it.

 

dt

 

I agree with that. I was at the park in 1996 (my only visit to the park when the ride was there) and don't even recall seeing the ride but I remember seeing Wild Izzy, Big Bad Wolf and Loch Ness Monster so I'm sure I would have remember seeing it if I did.

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I remember riding it and thinking the beginning was awesome, but the middle and end sucked. It seemed to be a common trait to all the Arrow megaloopers.

 

That, and I remember thinking it was strange that Dana Carvey did the video in the station, which was odd because PKD had just opened their Wayne's World area and the Hurler up the road.

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I rode Drachen Fire the day it opened. I waited 3 hours for it. The line started back up where the games are at in front of Das Festhaus. A few years later, my first job was as a Ride Operator on Drachen Fire. She was much more popular than people give her credit for. I remember one Labor Day, we had 25,000 people ride during the day. The line stretched to where the old souvernier shop was. We usually got numbers close to Loch Ness and BBW. Of course that was before Alpengeist and Apollo.

 

Yes, we did have to have people remove earrings. One day a lady had her left hoop ripped out. It was pretty gruesome. I also saw many people barf after riding. NOTHING was worse than having to clean up an entire train after a dude in the front yaked. Those people were ruined for life.

 

But she was very reliable, as it almost never broke down. The worst part about it was the turn into the mid brakes out of the cobra roll (we called it a batwing). But it had many unique items like the corkscrew dive and the turnback helix. Also the trains had running lights along the sides that people really got a kick out of.

 

It would make an excellent ride it re-designed by B&M (it's original designer, but I'm sure you all know the story) or something. But I realize that won't happen.

 

"Now sit back, and enjoy your ride on the tail of Drachen Fire!"

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I rode DF quite a few times, myself. Sweet layout, but I couldn't handle riding more than twice in a day. My head would hurt so badly after that damn thing, it was just not worth the aftermath. It's really sad to think that we have to know "how to ride" any rollercoaster in order to enjoy it.

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the one thing that sticks out in my memory is the great airtime after the drop. The air hill was sweet!At the time, back in the late 90's it was the most i felt on a looper.

 

My fav part of the ride was the drop. the high corkscrew was so unique and packed a good thrill... TO me it was smooth, i remember nothin brutal about it ...i think i rode it like 6 times in one day. 1 ride at night. Anyone esle remember the red lights on the side of the trains?

 

oh yeah, i went to a thrift store a few years ago and found a Drachen fire t shirt for 75 cents! ill post a pic if you wanna see it. its pretty old school!

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I remember riding it in '97. Drachen Fire was pretty rough. You had to know how to "ride" it to avoid going into coma. Well, the roughness wasn't that bad compared to Manhatten Express, IMHO. Too bad it was sold for scrap. It would have been a fantasticly unique roller coaster if it had lap bars or very soft, padded OTSR's.

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I remember riding it in '97. Drachen Fire was pretty rough. You had to know how to "ride" it to avoid going into coma. Well, the roughness wasn't that bad compared to Manhatten Express, IMHO. Too bad it was sold for scrap. It would have been a fantasticly unique roller coaster if it had lap bars or very soft, padded OTSR's.

 

I think that would've helped--sure helped Flight of Fear at PKD.

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Anyone remember the first (well second*) harnesses on Flight of Fear? They were so massive, you had to basically squeeze your head in between them. Softest restraints ever, and they were needed.

 

*I say "second" because from what I heard ages ago, when the two FOF's opened, they had already retrofitted the restraints. The originals were rock hard, like Intamin Giant Drop restraints. I heard an employee say that when they sent out the first train, the train came back and the employees were in so much pain -- one was crying apparently? So, they quickly added all that padding before the coasters opened to the public.

 

If you see the original promo shots, you can see the hard green restraints. The promo pictures are funny because the people on the train are screaming, but their hair is perfectly intact. I guess they took pictures of them screaming in the station (maybe screaming because they had to actually ride it? )

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Drachen Fire was a good ride that certainly didn't deserve to be torn down; there are rougher coasters out there that are still standing, but I believe BGW had higher expectations. This ride had a lot of hype, but compared to the new things B&M was coming up with, it's level of refinement seemed stuck in the 70's . The "new" cars were cramped even compared to the older Arrow cars and a lot of the track layout just seemed wrong. Even so, it was fun, a little rough and looked cool if you knew how to find it.

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I rode it many times from 1992 (the first year it opened) through 1998 (the last year it ran). I liked the cars, especially at night when they would turn on the red LED lights that ran alongside them.

 

I found it to be rough as well, but I also felt it was a bit too slow, and so you were forced to hang in some of the loops, especially the first one off the lift hill. Now if it were shot up that hill (Hulk) I could see that element working better.

 

I am hoping that BGW builds SOMETHING back there since it is a nice piece of land. As much as I would love to see a woodie (aka Thunderhead), I wouldn't mind having a Sheikra like drop coaster either. But just build something!

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I agree about the slowness of the ride; I never understood why Arrow always loved those mid course brake runs that absolutely stop the train. Drachen Fire had one after that cobra element, then the train just seemed to barely make it through the rest. GASM at SFGADV does the same thing after the 3rd loop; stop the train and go slow throught the last inversions.

 

Drachen Fire had a great location, even if it was hard to find. I'm surprised as well that nothing has gone in it's place. I'd take a GCI with LED lights along the train!

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A new coaster back where DF was would be nice, but it won't happen, because Kingsmill (upper-scale resort/golf course/neighborhood) complained aobut the noise from DF, which wasn't even that loud.

 

Also, for the thousandth time, B&M was not involved with DF. The transitions, elements, and everything about the ride screams Arrow. Plus, B&M has confirmed on numerous occasions that they were never involved with DF. Busch considered going with Arrow for BGT's Kumba, but they wanted a loop around the lift, which Arrow could not do. Instead, BGT went with B&M, ushering in a new age of looping coasters.

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