Coasters having expiration dates?

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Re: Coasters having expiration dates?

Postby Too Fast For Comfort » Mon Jul 01, 2019 6:32 am

disownedpear wrote:
coasterbill wrote:It's cool to say that it's a 70 year old coaster but it's basically a bullsh*t, meaningless number when you're talking about a wood coaster.


I disagree. I see it the same as I would see a 70 year old person, even though they don't retain much from when they were younger I still respect the age. If they completely took a wooden coaster and rebuilt it it would be different, but since the wood is replaced organically over time the age is notable.


Yeah, I think that the scarcity is what gives it its value. There's nothing inherently better or more fun about it, but when almost every coaster is 30 years or younger, if somehow what if the few coasters from that era beat the odds and made it this long, that's something special and interesting. Its why people like collecting toys, coins, and memorabilia with defects or quirks -- they're just different, interesting, and rare.

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Re: Coasters having expiration dates?

Postby BDD27 » Mon Jul 01, 2019 8:37 am

prozach626 wrote:
BDD27 wrote:Another interesting situation is how 2 of the three arrow megaloopers died a rather long time ago while Viper is still chugging along.

You forgot vortex.



There seems to be increasing comments on Millennium Force's bumpiness. I noticed it has a noticeable rattle to it, but it doesn't take away from the ride at this point. That said, I wonder if Cedar Point would replace the track instead of removing the coaster. It's not nearly to that point yet, but I'm talking about when it does get bad enough years down the road. Millennium Force is pretty iconic to Cedar Point, but I've also noticed that each year I visit there seems to be less and less of a line.


I don't believe vortex was considered a megalooper. In a sense it is considering the similar elements, but the only true megaloopers were Shockwave, Scream Machine, and Viper the triple looping coasters.

On the other end of things while rides like Millennium force may develope a slight rattle as they age I don't believe it will ever be bad enough too make the ride disliked even by the gp. It is interesting to see how certain rides hold up and others don't, for example World's of fun only had Orient Express for about 23 years and at that point the ride seemed to be falling apart, breaking constantly and even having a train come off the track. Loch Ness Monster was built right in the same period and has lasted substantially longer

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Re: Coasters having expiration dates?

Postby Invertalon » Mon Jul 01, 2019 8:39 am

prozach626 wrote:There seems to be increasing comments on Millennium Force's bumpiness. I noticed it has a noticeable rattle to it, but it doesn't take away from the ride at this point. That said, I wonder if Cedar Point would replace the track instead of removing the coaster. It's not nearly to that point yet, but I'm talking about when it does get bad enough years down the road. Millennium Force is pretty iconic to Cedar Point, but I've also noticed that each year I visit there seems to be less and less of a line.


Probably because the park gets more and more high caliber rides and attendance never really goes up (and has been level around 3 million give or take, if I recall). Think about it… With rides like Maverick, Gatekeeper, Steel Vengeance, Valravn, etc… Those seeking the “top of the line” thrills now have many options. People are more dispersed.

I would say that is the reason, not that it’s less popular.

Also, the MF 'rattle' is not an 'age' issue at all. It's different season to season. I've had rides back in the mid-2000's that were far more rattly than just last year, for example. It varies each year I assume based on the level of maintenance done in the off-season. Maverick is the same exact way. Years ago it had such a bad rattle all season long I didn't even want to ride the thing. The next year, smoothest I ever experienced that ride.
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Re: Coasters having expiration dates?

Postby RollaroundBadness » Tue Jul 02, 2019 12:37 pm

I wonder why I'm not dead.
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Re: Coasters having expiration dates?

Postby DBru » Tue Jul 02, 2019 2:44 pm

prozach626 wrote:There seems to be increasing comments on Millennium Force's bumpiness. I noticed it has a noticeable rattle to it, but it doesn't take away from the ride at this point. That said, I wonder if Cedar Point would replace the track instead of removing the coaster. It's not nearly to that point yet, but I'm talking about when it does get bad enough years down the road. Millennium Force is pretty iconic to Cedar Point, but I've also noticed that each year I visit there seems to be less and less of a line.


Millennium Force immediately came to my mind when I saw this thread. Even with modern construction practices, all steel/metal has a fatigue life, right? So at some point in the future Cedar Point will have to decide whether to remove Millennium Force or replace the materials. It’s such an iconic coasters, so I can’t fathom that they would scrap it. But at the same time, I can’t imagine them dropping another $30 mil (or more?) to replace the track...

And Magnum? Eek. That seems even more controversial. I can’t see the park removing that coaster either...but some of its support beams are already being held together with zip ties. :lol:

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Re: Coasters having expiration dates?

Postby Mike240SX » Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:23 pm

DBru wrote:Millennium Force immediately came to my mind when I saw this thread. Even with modern construction practices, all steel/metal has a fatigue life, right? So at some point in the future Cedar Point will have to decide whether to remove Millennium Force or replace the materials. It’s such an iconic coasters, so I can’t fathom that they would scrap it. But at the same time, I can’t imagine them dropping another $30 mil (or more?) to replace the track...

And Magnum? Eek. That seems even more controversial. I can’t see the park removing that coaster either...but some of its support beams are already being held together with zip ties. :lol:


And at the same time, there are 40+ year old steel coasters that out there still chugging away that haven't had full track replacements (see: any permanent installation Schwarzkopf). Some of them probably have higher peak G-force numbers than MF too.
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Re: Coasters having expiration dates?

Postby Invertalon » Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:22 am

Machines are typically designed with fatigue of materials in mind, it is called the "endurance strength".

Basically, engineers design structures or mechanical devices with the fatigue accounted for. Some figure is typically used based on the material, such as 10^6 cycles (1,000,000 cycles) for steel. Which basically means beyond that many cycles (load/unload occurrences), failure due to fatigue should not occur. However, this is just one aspect that can cause wear/tear. I’d assume that in any case, rides never have an issue with this. Steel is a very predictable material and can be easily over-engineered to never have an issue with this.

Then you have structural deformations, such as the foundations settling or shifting. So stress risers in various points of the structure can potentially pop up. Supports that should support “X” load may change slightly to support more/less. I’m not a civil engineer, so not sure how the foundations and such hold up over time with ground settling and stuff. I’d assume that they have a grasp on this and it’s not a source for serious issues over time.

You also have vibrations due to the ride vehicle, which depending on the magnitude and frequency of the vibrations over time, can cause damage. Back out fasteners, cracking at the welds, etc… These would then be repaired as needed.

Environmental is probably one of the bigger issues, especially in say, Florida. Coasters are made of carbon steel, which require the primer/paint to prevent corrosion. Over many years, this can cause the steel to weaken. Florida is not the most friendly environment for steel structures, but this is also why Florida parks are usually on their game to repaint and protect their coasters.

Then the weather of course. Thermal cycling can also stress the structure quite a bit, especially those seeing large temp swings.

Don’t forget the “human factor”. You have guys in a steel fabrication shop hand welding most of these track pieces or whatever else. I’d assume they are doing non-destructive testing to an extent, but do they do it 100% or spot check along the way? Just another factor to consider.

I’m sure there are more potential design considerations I am not thinking of, but at the end of the day you could have two identical rides built in different parts of the world and the same amount of ride cycles, but have completely different end results in terms of the upkeep on the structure and the amount of wear due to all the other factors at play.

So to assume a ride is worn out, or not, due to age alone is silly. Too many factors. Even at B&M, those designing the rides are not perfect and there could easily be “oops!” areas of the design that prematurely compromised the structure itself to bring on its demise.

Just remember these rides are designed, fabricated and assembled by humans. There will be mistakes made, corrections required and lessons learned for the next time. Dragons could have very well had some design or manufacture flaws that required it’s early demise. It’s way too complicated to assume one thing or another, IMO.
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Re: Coasters having expiration dates?

Postby A.J. » Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:15 am

RollaroundBadness wrote:More to the point: couldn't they have figured out anything else in regards to a "compromise" with Rowling?

The "compromise" was that Dueling Dragons wasn't removed in 2010 when Hogsmeade was built.
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Re: Coasters having expiration dates?

Postby RCjunkie » Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:00 pm

DBru wrote:Millennium Force immediately came to my mind when I saw this thread. Even with modern construction practices, all steel/metal has a fatigue life, right? So at some point in the future Cedar Point will have to decide whether to remove Millennium Force or replace the materials. It’s such an iconic coasters, so I can’t fathom that they would scrap it. But at the same time, I can’t imagine them dropping another $30 mil (or more?) to replace the track...


It's Cedar Point, the 'Flagship' of their amusement park fiefdom. Of course they will find $30 million or what ever it takes to refurb Millennium Force or replace it when the time comes. This isn't MiA or VF. They may even sell one of those two parks just so they can get the money to do that. :lol:

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Re: Coasters having expiration dates?

Postby jedimaster1227 » Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:07 am

Invertalon wrote:Dragons could have very well had some design or manufacture flaws that required it’s early demise. It’s way too complicated to assume one thing or another, IMO.


Even if that were the case, Universal has already proven that they were willing to rebuild a signature steel coaster from scratch to maintain (if not pluss) the experience. There is nothing to say that they couldn't have done the same thing if they really wanted these coasters to live on... This situation is simple enough to pin it to the factors that are apparent--Universal and JK Rowling made the determination Dragons no longer had a place in The Wizarding World and the land was more valuable to be used for a different attraction. End of service life was an excuse to pull the plug despite the fact that they extended the service life of a comparable attraction in the same park without challenge less than two years earlier.
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