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Shaggy last won the day on August 23 2017

Shaggy had the most liked content!

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About Shaggy

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    KIC Platinum Member
  • Birthday 12/22/1971

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    Louisville, KY

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  1. I've always wondered how they got all those SOB footings removed. There were THOUSANDS of them. The rose bowl even had pilings driven hundreds of feet in the ground. I cannot imagine the work it took to pull all of them up... if they did... and how they did it... or if they just covered them up. For several years, the larger footings that supported King Cobra over the access road/former safari monorail tracks were still there long after the ride was removed. I believe these were removed when Banshee was built. At the very least, the former SOB footings on the precise parcels of land in which Banshee was built had to be removed as well. I guess they use a backhoe to dig them up and then toss them in a dump truck? If so after about 5, they'd have to get a new truck due to weight restrictions. It baffles me and is something no one ever talks about when a coaster gets demolished... what happens with all those concrete pillars! When Geauga Lake was demolished, all the footings were left. No doubt because removal would have been too costly. They've since been removed, from what I hear, but again... how'd they do it? Here's a pic...
  2. Entertainent Tonight 1987 Vortex Promo Video

    Pay attention... you see a bunch of lopped-off Bat supports and footers as the train exits the station.
  3. Lion Country Safari Mauling: An Untold Story

    AFAIK The Lion Country Safari was never opened year-round at KI. It was intended to, but never did. The park issued a press release the first week of October 1974 indicating the attraction would be open weekends only through November (originally intended for daily operations) and then closed for the winter months. (Mostly because the area was bracing for a hard winter - predicted by the farmers almanac.)
  4. Many forget, and recall PT through rose-colored glasses... but by the time Phantom Theater closed, well over half the effects were no longer working. The ride definitely showed its age. Although I would have loved it if the ride had been upgraded using the same theme, the issue was that many of the animatronics would have needed to be completely replaced. The change to SDATHC was largely due to the fact for less money than a refurbishment, the park could install a brand new, marketable experience. Simply fixing Phantom Theater would not have allowed them to market it as a new attraction. Interactive rides were HIGHLY popular, and the park saw the chance to add something that brought a new "twist" to the genre. For instance, many do not know this, but the character faces/hands in Phantom Theater themselves were very thin rubber skins that had to regularly be replaced. They stretched and melted with time and the park had to call the manufacturer to order new.... the manufacturer had to recreate them using the original molds, then have an artist paint them, then ship them, then they had to be re-installed. It was just part of the cost in keeping the ride operational. When a ride loses it's marketability, the land/building on/in which it exists is viewed by parks as "real-estate." If an aged attraction escalates in upkeep and dwindles in ridership, then the value of the land on which it resides outweighs the revenue it's helping generate. When it becomes expensive to maintain - much like a car - then the park pulls the plug for something new, marketable and cost effective.
  5. KIC interviewed by Cincy Magazine

    The writer of the article is misinformed. They state: “But as some companies have a way of doing, Paramount Parks, which owned KI back then, tried to milk more and more profits out of the event. Predictably, attendance fell and, after a decade, they discontinued it.” That couldn’t be more inaccurate. Winterfest’s original run never had anything to do with a Paramount. By the time Paramount purchased KI, the park had already decided to end Winterfest. Attendance had fallen and interest had wained in the final 2 seasons. Winterfest concluded in 1992, and Paramount took over for the 1993 season. I don’t think the Paramount deal was even finalized until Nov of 1992... Paramount never in no way “milked more and more profits from the event.” Now in 2005, that’s a different story. The event was very commercial- and too expensive - and that was very much due to Paramount. Frankly, as hard as this may be to hear, Winterfest was ended because the park was in transition, but also because of guests.... or lack of. It wasn’t supported attendance-wise in the final years of its original run. And, frankly, a lot of the soaring attendance were seeing at this new Winterfest - as well as the overwhelming interest in it - is directly related to it being gone for so long. If it is not supported, making a profit, or a worthwhile endeavor for the park, it’ll go away again in a few seasons. Next year will likely be a crucial year in determining its staying power - since the “newness” will have worn a bit in its sophomore season.
  6. Official: WinterFest 2017

    For those that attended this past weekend... what were crowds like? (I am selfishly hoping big - I want KI to experience a great reward for their hard labor!)
  7. Official: WinterFest 2017

    I don't think many know the basic stuff that has to happen before decorating. Back during the original Winterfest, landscaping crews actually pruned all trees and bushes before lights could be strung. But the most amazing thing was... on International Street, they hand picked/snipped off all remaining leaves from the trees. Not sure if they still do it, but even so, its a massive undertaking. Part of my amazement this year was how quickly they managed to pull it off. Yes, they did a lot of prep work - but 75% of the decorating was done in a 3-week time period. That's craaaaaazy.
  8. Official: WinterFest 2017

    Re: Winterfest hours... Many don't know (or arent old enough to recall) that original Winterfest was open all day, every day (weather permitting) in the first 10-year run. During weekdays it was open from 2-10, Saturdays 10am-11pm and Sundays 10am-9:30pm. In the last two seasons (if I recall) the weekday hours were shortened to open at 4. I guarantee that this year's Winterfest hours had everything to do with the park dipping their toes in the water carefully. Based on crowds, and what is no doubt an overwhelmingly positive response, I would not be surprised to see hours extended (at least for next season.) When I attended last Sat, I was baffled by the mad rush to Mystic Timbers. It was an immediate 2-hour wait. I figured it would be bombarded and there's so much else to do, I wisely skipped it to take in all the stuff I cannot see or do during normal park operations. I returned to MT just before closing and the line was only like 30 minutes long... so I got a ride. As far as what you should do first: My advice is, enjoy the Winterfest-specific things. I was there from 4-until close and didnt get to do half of what I wanted (not because of crowds - rather because there's so much to see and do.) One other thing of note from an "original pre-Paramount" Winterfest attendee.... I was blown away at how HUGE this version was... all the previous incarnations only utilized like 1/4 of the park.... this one is spread over 75% of the park. I distinctly recall maxing out, or doing most everything during the original 1982-92 incarnation in about 3-4 hours. This one far surpasses it and left me wanting more. It almost requires a return visit. They've really done a banner job - seriously, it's an amazing experience. I'll be back! P.S. I will throw in this caveat... attendees that just want to ride, ride, ride will likely be disappointed. Winterfest isn't, nor has it ever been, about the amusement attractions. It's meant to be a festive holiday atmosphere. Getting to ride an attraction is just an added bonus... but the focus lies on the overall event experience. I encourage everyone that attends to look past the obvious - there's a lot of joy and beauty to be seen.
  9. Clearing Up "Black Sunday"

    Kings Island's Flight Commander was indeed relocated to Flamingo Land. Intamin built 4 "Flight Trainer" rides in the USA: Kings Island's (Flight Commander), Kings Dominion (Sky Pilot), California's Great America (Skyhawk) and Knott's Berry Farm (XK-1) The KI version was closed following the 1995 season and sold. The Knott's version operated through 1997, the KD version operated until 1998, and the Great America version until 1999. Knott's version was sold to Seibuen Yuenchi (a park in Japan) and was called simply "Flight Trainer" (the Intamin Catalog name.) Kings Island's was sent to Flamingoland where it was called Top Gun. The clincher is that this version was the only one that included a larger octagonal box at the top. When re-located to Flamingoland, it was painted to resemble the windows of an Air Traffic Control Tower.
  10. 2018 Construction in Coney Mall

    The ice rink has always been built on temporary platforms above the fountains. It was always a popular myth in the early years of Winterfest that they froze the fountains. But that is simply impossible since the fountain is not built to be frozen - even if it had feezing coils and piping installed, the concrete would crack, electrical fail, fountain plumbing would be compromised etc. Personally, I'm curious to see where the staging platform will be (where you put on/take off your skates.) In the original years of Winterfest, it was at the end nearest to the main entrance. For the 1-year return during Paramount, they installed permanent access walkways and placed the staging area at the end nearest to the bandstand - opposite the previous set-up.
  11. If I may, Canada's Wonderland - for nearly 20 years now - has been a near perfect model of additions and capitol expenditures season to season. It is easily one of the most well-balanced parks in the world. They have continually upped the flat offerings, while still doing the 3-year mega coaster cycle. As with most of the original KECO parks, the theme has long been compromised. However as far as rides, it is the epidome of "something for everyone."
  12. "The Bat's" complete history

    I truly appreciate the encouragement. Frankly - that blog was waaaay too long. But how do you tell the story of the most infamous coaster in KI history in 4 sentences? LOL! I'll let you all in on a little secret. I had to shake off a lot of the responses on FB, because even so, some went on and on in their comments about how it killed people, fell of the tracks etc. Hoo boy ;-) LOL!
  13. "The Bat's" complete history

    LOL! Yes, 37 years ago, people had to suffer the painstaking process of "patience." In today's world of instant news demand, can you imagine the furor? I remember hearing that people speculated that the entire ride was upside down - since the track was inverted. They didn't comprehend the hanging concept until it was announced. Looking at the track, it appeared back then that the trains would ride upside down the whole time!
  14. There's a TON of myths, questions, rumors and mis-information about Kings Island's most notorious ride "The Bat." In honor of the 37th anniversary (to the day) of it's announcement, my latest blog is live on Kings Island's website. A true labor of love for me to write, click here if you'd like to read the true, fascinating story of the legendary, original suspended coaster... "The Bat." Happy Halloween! https://www.visitkingsisland.com/blog/2017/october/the-sporadic-erratic-flight-of-the-bat
  15. How was drachen fire?

    A headbanger, yes. Worst coaster ever? No. I rode many, many times. I never understood why it received the overall hate. To me it didn't head bang any worse than most other Arrow multiloopers. Heck - the long defunct Shockwave at SFGAM, or GASM at SFGAdv were worse IMO. Drachen Fire's downfall... was very poor placement... and the fact that it wasn't the ride BGW really wanted (B&M.) By default, it had one of the best elements on any Arrow - the inversion immediately off the lift - that only came to pass when Arrow took over the failed B&M contract. Do I miss it? No. But it was a pretty cool coaster when it was first built.