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IndyGuy4KI

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IndyGuy4KI last won the day on March 7

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About IndyGuy4KI

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    Moderator
  • Birthday 09/24/80

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    Indianapolis
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    Going to Kings Island.

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  1. KICentral had the opportunity to talk with Adam House from GCI, the designer of Mystic Timbers. We got a lot of information from him starting from the design of Mystic Timbers all the way to constructing the ride. We hope you enjoy this great interview. KICentral wants to thank Adam House for taking time out of his day to talk with us. 1. Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you got into coaster designing? I am originally from the Northern Kentucky area and went to Kings Island more times than I can count through grade school and high school. After riding rides like The Beast and The Vortex, something clicked in my head that designing roller coasters was something that I had to do. When I got to college, I attended the University of Louisville and received my mechanical engineering degree. While attending UofL, I was required to take on various professional internships as part of my degree. After reaching out to several roller coaster manufacturers, Great Coasters found a place for me as one of the first Great Coasters Interns helping to build Millennium Flyer trains in Sunbury, PA. Upon graduation, GCI brought me on full time and I have been with the company since. 2. How long have you worked for GCI? I started with GCI in 2007 as an intern and started full time in 2009. 3. Have you designed other coasters, if so which ones? I have been a part of the team at GCI now for several years and have touched various projects in several different ways, but one of the first rides I actually got to play a true design roll in the centerline was GhostRider at Knott’s Berry Farm. 4. What is your favorite part of designing roller coasters? Just the challenge of balancing all of the various constraints and still being able to deliver something that is both thrilling and maintenance friendly is one of my favorite parts of the design process. 5. For those interested in designing roller coasters on KICentral, what degree and background do you have? What recommendations would you give on where to start down that career path? I would say that a degree in either mechanical or civil engineering is a must. The next best recommendation I can give is getting some real world, hands on, experience. Whether it is an internship or working as a ride mechanic at a park, understanding how things work in the real world is invaluable and something you can’t learn in the classroom. 6. Does GCI make a coaster from scratch when approached by a park, or do you have concepts already thought of beforehand and make changes to fit the land? It depends on the constraints of the park. GCI can handle the situation either way. Some parks, like Kings Island, don’t really have a flat plot of land for a cookie cutter or clone ride, while some parks can save money on design by choosing something already designed. We have utilized both instances for different customers in the past. 7. Did you design the trains as well or just the coaster? So, I actually got started on the design side of things at GCI by being a part of the team that brought the Mini-llennium Flyer trains to fruition for Legoland in Florida. Mike Boodley is really the mastermind behind the original Millennium Flyers, although we are constantly redesigning and updating components on the trains. The biggest, most noticeable change to have recently taken place on the Millennium Flyers is the change to seat foam. We find this holds up better over time and allows the park several more years of service out of the seats. 8. What was your inspiration for the design for Mystic Timbers? Really, the inspiration for Mystic Timbers came from a few different facets. We wanted to fill in that gap for a modern day wooden roller coaster, but not take anything away from the already great collection of wooden coasters that Kings Island already has. Additionally, we wanted to help revitalize both Kings Island and Miami Valley railroad and White Water Canyon by designing the perfect complement for both rides. At the end of the day, I believe we captured all of this with Mystic Timbers. 9. With the Train, White Water Canyon, and the terrain how did that impact your design for Mystic Timbers? Ultimately all of these factors played a role in shaping the layout of Mystic Timbers that you will see on opening day. 10. What element on Mystic Timbers was the hardest to design? This would definitely be the lake/lagoon crossing. We wanted to be able to cross this lagoon and still allow the park to fill it during the season so that WWC could remain operational. Additionally, we didn’t want a lot of foundation in that area to give some great visuals and allow the appropriate fill volume in the lagoon. At the end of the day, this element is going to be visually appealing and functional and was well worth the challenge. 11. How long did it take you to design and present the layout of Mystic Timbers? For Mystic Timbers, this process took about 3 months. We typically start off with a preliminary layout that we then work with the park about dialing in to exactly what they want. Altogether, I think we went through 3 or 4 different layout revisions. Without a doubt, the final product that will be opening next month is superior. 12. How often are you onsite once construction starts? I am typically on site for new rides around once a month. This allows me to answer any outstanding questions from our field guys and follow along with the installation of the coaster. 13. What challenges have you faced while building Mystic Timbers? Even though we have had a fairly mild winter, weather is always a bit of factor. I think we had 24 days of rain in January, so you can imagine that there were some hurdles there. Additionally, working out the construction logistics of the lake/lagoon crossing was a challenge. At the end of the day, everything will be well worth all the blood, sweat, and tears. 14. What signature GCI elements are used in Mystic Timbers? Mystic Timbers will feature 16 airtime moments throughout the ride, a mid-course tunnel in the turnaround, and a double camel back trick track. Additionally, it will feature several high speed directional changes, and let’s not forget…#Whatsintheshed! 15. What new elements will we see in Mystic Timbers? As I eluded to before, we are excited for the double camel back trick track which will be two back to back bunny hops that switch directions up and over each element. There is also a quadruple S turn going back into the mid-course tunnel that will catch everyone off guard. 16. What design element are you most proud of that you incorporated into Mystic Timbers? I think Mystic Timbers does a great job at capturing some typical GCI elements, but still throwing in several new and unique elements. Mystic Timbers will be smooth enough for everyone to enjoy, but thrilling enough to make thrill seekers rejoice! Pictures provided by Don Helbig
  2. The floral clock was operational last year, along with every year before that.
  3. I can not think of anything that was falling apart or not functioning last season. Can you elaborate?
  4. It is almost hard to compare the two at this point. To me KD has a warmer charm to it. It seems more isolated. I realy fell in love with it last season. Now park layout, KI has KD won by a mile!
  5. Rcwizard13 is correct. Any further site issues can be posted here. Topic closed. https://KICentral.com/forums/index.php?/topic/32598-forum-software-upgrade/
  6. Chain lift working!
  7. Everyone's criteria will be different. I see them as a parental guide, not for an enthusiast.
  8. Let's keep this discussion in the construction thread for now. Topic closed.
  9. Great PTR Smurf! I really enjoyed looking and reading about your adventures. Great pictures!
  10. I am team Tilt-a-whirl!!
  11. That is shaping up very nicely! Looking forward to seeing the finished product.
  12. I agree with silver. Why would they need to include it? The only exception would be a coaster club doing a POV and posting it later.
  13. Web cams have been tested by others and links provided. This thread will be closed.
  14. What thread where you on?
  15. As we come close to another exciting season at Kings Island for 2017, we are also celebrating Kings Island's 45th anniversary season. Kings Island Central had a chance to talk with Don Helbig about the construction of Mystic Timbers. Here is what he had to say about the process of building Mystic Timbers this past off-season. What has been the biggest challenge with building Mystic Timbers? The ride is being built in the middle of the park and interacting with a couple of existing rides with White Water Canyon and the train. When a ride is being built in an expanded area such as Banshee was, there is more back road access to get trucks and machinery in the construction location. How has the public responded to the announcement of Mystic Timbers? We’ve had a great response to the ride. With each construction image we post on our social media channels, the anticipation and excitement continues to grow. What is left to finish before we see trains testing? There’s still areas of the track where steel needs to be placed, the station and queue area needs to be completed, and there’s electrical work to do before trains will be placed on the track and we begin the initial series of test cycles. How has the mild winter helped or hurt the construction of Mystic Timbers? The mild winter has helped. There haven’t been any delays due to snow, ice and extreme cold conditions. What was the inspiration for the themeing of Mystic Timbers (besides Rivertown?) Once the name was selected, the backstory and ideas for theming began to develop. For guests that have not ridden a coaster designed by Great Coasters International, what can they expect from the ride experience on Mystic Timbers? Mystic Timbers is a modern day wooden roller coaster, a ride that will be both thrilling and fun for our guests. It will be non-stop action from the time you plummet down the lift hill through the end of the ride with lots of twists, turns and an abundance of airtime. Everyone wants to know: #WhatsInTheShed. What are some of your favorite guesses from fans, and has anyone come close to figuring out the mystery? A wide net has been cast with the guesses we’ve seen. The variety of guesses would be my favorite. People haven’t zeroed in on one particular idea. What types of testing must Mystic Timbers be ran through before it can be certified by the state? (Examples: test runs, track checks, electrical testing, brake tests.). The ride will go through a series of operational, mechanical and electrical tests before it’s certified to operate by the state. Every ride in the park will go through the same process before the park opens for the 2017 season on April 15. One of the things we're most excited for in 2017 is Mystic Timbers' interactions with White Water Canyon and the KI & Miami Valley Railroad. What interactions with the rides do you think guests will enjoy the most? The number of times the ride crosses over water is something riders on Mystic Timbers will enjoy. The ride experience on White Water Canyon and the train will be a lot different with it now being a different setting you’re traveling through. Many KICentral members are taking part in the First Riders Auction to be among the first to experience what's in the shed. How is the Andy & Jordan Dalton Foundation using the funds raised for the event? The Andy and Jordan Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing life-changing experiences to seriously ill and physically challenged children and their families in the Cincinnati area. The funds raised from this event will help provide those life-changing experiences for a number of families. It’s a great cause and gives being one of the first riders a whole new meaning.