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Buckeye Brad

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Everything posted by Buckeye Brad

  1. Thanks for clearing that up Shaggy. And for the "Afterburn" clarification. :^) (To me, AfterburnER was a "ride" that existed in the late ‘80’s, in a Rivertown arcade, where Diamondback was built)
  2. Shaggy, sorry to derail this thread, but I have a question about the Screamin Demon. Seems there is some confusion about whether or not it was at Fun Spot in Angola. For it's worth, I have an old Cincy Enquirer clipping from 1987 that claims it was headed for Fun Spot. Your blog (and RCDB) indicate it went straight to Camden, Furthermore, RCDB states that Afterburn at Fun Spot came from Florida. Did the Enquirer simply get the facts wrong, or did the Demon's plan change after that was written?
  3. In my opinion, if GCI were to build The Beast, (a 7,000' long coaster in KI Rivertown) it would be an amazing coaster. Perhaps even better than the actual coaster that KI built. But it would not be The Beast. It would not likely have the build up, and the long gradual 18 degree drop off of the second lift, and the slam and deafening roar in the helix. Speaking of the 18 degree second drop and helix, is there another coaster in the world with a feature like that? It still amazes me how "tame" it looks from offride, but how it hits the ball out the park every single time.
  4. Wow, your answer is thorough and helpful. Thanks jcgoble3. ;^)
  5. Does the Beach Waterpark have a "passenger drop off" area, or a convenient place to drop off and pick up teens without paying the parking fee? Thanks!
  6. I rode Sheikra last year for the first time, and I understand. If I ride it as a thrill coaster, I'm not as impressed as most of the forces are on the gentle side and the actual coasting time seems brief. If I ride it as some kind of Frankencoaster / Demon Drop contraption with bonus track, I find it way more exciting. The holding brake and mid course brake (just before the second drop) were a hoot, and there was a kind of camaraderie amongst the riders as we hung and screamed together. It also helped that my 10 year old son was nuts for Sheikra. My opinion of a coaster soars if my riding buddies are loving it.
  7. I remember reading an interview with Will about how he went to KI many times as a boy, and fell in love with Beast and Racer. I love the idea that his love for coasters was kindled at KI, and Raven is his attempt to bring some Beast magic to his little park in Santa Claus. To say that he succeeded is a huge understatement. I think he even said something to the effect that he was proud of his Raven, even though it was not even close to the size of Beast. Classy and humble words. I always think of Will Koch when I am lucky enough to ride Raven, and it brings a smile to my face.
  8. My short answer to the original question is, " I doubt it". In the last decade or so, what wooden coasters have switched their trains? I'm missing some, but here are the ones I can think of: Hersheypark Wildcat (PTC to Millennium Flyers) Gwazi (PTC to Millennium Flyers) Son of Beast (Premier to Gerstlauer) Voyage (Attempted PTC to Timberliner, back to PTC) Hades (PTC to Timberliner) Ghostrider (PTC to Millennium Flyers) We've also seen at least 5 wooden coasters convert to steel by Rocky Mountain. The lack of coasters "upgrading their trains", and the mixed results of the ones that have, tell me that there are likely some big reasons why most parks are sticking with their old PTCs. Maybe the new trains are too expensive, or don't ease the track maintenance burden enough to justify themselves? Maybe capacity is reduced too much? For our Beast, I'm thinking that reduced capacity would be a dealbreaker. The current 3 bench PTCs hold 36 riders, I wonder how many an equal length Millennium Flyer train would hold? 28? 30? That all said, the Ghostrider switch (that is happening now) might carry a lot of weight as to whether Cedar Fair (or other chains) consider trading in their old PTCs. Finally, for what it's worth, I rode The Beast over a dozen times this past season (mostly in non-wheel seats). No ride was uncomfortably rough, and most were the SMOOTHEST Beast rides I've ever had.
  9. I am proud of the presence Cincy has in the amusement design/manufacturing industry. Clermont Steel Fabricators, Gravity Group, and another I recently learned about called Magna Machine. If you hunt through their website you will find some familiar things, including steel plates that look suspiciously like the ones at the ends of B&M track. http://www.magna-machine.com
  10. My family and I endured the crowds for an evening at KI last night. Despite the longest lines and biggest KI crowds I've seen years, we enjoyed a rare front seat ride on Racer. I forgot how much fun Racer is in the front. Another surprise was the "Off the Charts" show. It was a random thing for us as I've not been in the International Showplace in decades. To be honest, I wasn't expecting much (late day, late season, not my musical taste) But it was a great show. Huge cast of band members and singers, and every single one of them was high energy, all smiles, and performing at a high level. Nice mix of a few oldies with the current pop songs. Great job! Despite the crazy long dollar days food lines, the Sweet Spot was a "walk-on". ;^)
  11. Thanks for the fast, helpful reply JCGOBLE3.
  12. My last visit was before 2000. Considering going tomorrow (Labor Day 2015) Two questions: 1. Is the ride formerly called Hidden Rapids open? I didn't see it on their website, but all the names have changed and I may have missed it. 2. I've read lots of comments about the park being understaffed and ride closures. Should I expect all of the big rides to be open at some point during the day, or are some closed all day? Thanks!
  13. We waited in that Beast line from 10:30 to 11:00. After that, we went to Diamondback and it was walk on city. 3 train wait for the front seat and empty gates for the rest. Then we went back to The Beast at 11:30 and it was a walk on too. All in all great night, for great night rides, on 2 great coasters. We could have ridden The Beast 2 more times after our 11:30 rides but we were done for the night.
  14. Had a nice visit to KI last night. Wanted to mention that my ride on The Beast was the smoothest I can ever remember. Not just my smoothest Beast ride, but as smooth as my best rides on any major wooden coaster. It was B&M, baby butt, butter bliss. We sat somewhere near the middle of the train, middle bench. Kudos to the folks who keep our Beast running great.
  15. In addition to the two factors that The Interpreter mentioned, I believe there were two more. 1. Water Park profits 2. Fiscal conservatism 3. Will Koch was a coaster fan. A serious coaster enthusiast. I read he was a fan of The Beast. I'm quite sure building a great wooden coaster at his own park was always a goal of his. In fact, back when Voyage was being built, I remember hearing a podcast where Will reminisced about hiking with his dad through the Holiday World woods and property, dreaming of someday building big, amazing wooden coasters there. 4. An affordable proposal from Custom Coasters Inc. I read an article describing the initial meeting between the Kochs and CCI at IAAPA and how both parties worked hard to arrive at a price tag of around 2 million dollars. Both parties were trying to make a name for themselves, and both parties swung for the fences to create a great, affordable coaster. Unlikely that another vendor at the time could create a similar coaster for that price. Without any of these four factors, I think its unlikely that anything as revered as the Raven gets built at Holiday world in the mid '90s.
  16. I was lucky enough to ride Millenium Force and Leviathan within a week this past August. Both in the morning and at night. To be honest it's hard to pick a favorite. I had an absolute blast on both. The open 2 across trains on Millenium Force feel a little faster than Leviathan's 4 across. Then again, Leviathan had more wicked curves and blends between the different elements to give it this beautiful feeling of flight. I did miss the lack of a proper finale on Leviathan, but like Holiday World's Raven there is no wasted track and it left me breathless nonetheless. Fury 325 looks to have expanded the finale so that shouldn't be an issue. One big advantage to Leviathan (and hopefully Fury 325) was the operations. The line absolutely flew, with dispatches just over 60 seconds and a lift ascent nearly as fast as Millenium Force. I think B&M really nailed the blocking and hourly capacity with Leviathan, as with Banshee. Bottom line: if you like Millenium Force, and if Fury 325 meets/exceeds the quality of Leviathan, start planning your trip to Charlotte. ;^)
  17. My family and I were probably 10 minutes early. We did see Mr. Don Helbig on the platform as we exited. Our Beast ride was amazing! In car 5, row 1, it was as smooth as I've ever ridden it. The chilly air, the near complete darkness from the straight shed and through the hillside tunnel, and surprisingly efficient crew made for a Beast ride as great as I've ever had. I've never kept track, but I've probably taken about 200 rides since my first in 1985. I've also escorted many first time riders over the years, including my brothers, close friends, our Brazillian exchange student (who still talks about it 25 years later), and both of my boys. It's great that after all these years The Beast has endured as a fantastic coaster, and an astonishing night ride. I can't wait to ride with my grandkids in 20 years!
  18. I used the iPhone's Passbook app for Canadas Wonderland last months for 4 admission tickets and a parking pass. Fast and efficient. The next night I used the same app to go to a Toronto Blue Jays Game. Worked great. I believe if you load the tickets into the app beforehand, you don't need to use any data to display them later. Interestingly, at a St. Louis Cardinals game in June they refused to scan any phone barcodes whatsoever. Luckily we had printed copies as backup.
  19. Just speculation on my part...but I can see a scenario where B&M has developed a new and improved "sit-down" train with the vest-style restraints found on Banshee and their Wing Coasters. Perhaps they want to sell these to parks with existing B&Ms (stand up and sit down) and retrofitting Mantis is a perfect way to showcase their new product. With new trains, fresh paint, and name change, the parks get to market a "new" coaster for a fraction of the cost, and the guest experience is better because of increased comfort. And B&M has another product to offer their existing customers, some of whom might not be in the market for a new coaster. is there really market potential for new trains with vest restraints? I don't know, but somebody thought it worthwhile to put them on the Wing Coasters and Banshee, when the standard over-the-shoulder restraints would have been likely cheaper and perfectly functional. That said, last month my family rode Mantis for the first time since 2001. I expected the worst and made sure restraints etc. were all adjusted properly, and kept my legs "shock-absorber" throughout. Result? We all loved it. A bit rough, but not enough to detract from a great ride. I'm glad my last ride on Mantis was a good one. If they do switch to sit-down trains, I selfishly hope they have floors because my wife won't ride "feet danglers" (even Diamondback).
  20. Here is a video from 2010 where Will Koch explains the Timberliner/Voyage/Raven train situation. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1Lpc8L77qkA
  21. I was lucky enough to ride Leviathan a couple of weeks ago. My boys and I all loved it. A great compliment to Behemoth (and our Diamondback). Based on my Leviathan rides and the Fury 325 videos, I'd say Carowinds is getting a breathtaking coaster next year. I'm a fan of the name and theme, the colors, and the way the underside of the track is painted a different color than the top. That should give it a nice visual pop and highlight the twists and curves.
  22. I believe many folks are doing it this way: If you get nominated, you must do either: 1. Donate $10 AND dump the ice bucket Or 2. Donate $100 Of course many are doing both, and likely donating even more. My kids got a kick out of watching Robert Downey Jr. do it, then challenge Chris Hemsworth. I'm quite confident that they, along with the Holiday World and Kings Island teams, gave very generous donations.
  23. Regarding the "hundreds of millions", maybe they are considering other things like: 1. Money paid to local contractors to build the museum 2. Utilities paid by the museum (their monthly power bill, water bill, etc.) 3. Income taxes paid by employes 4. Guests who theoretically came to the region for the museum but did other things too like Reds Games, Kings Island... Still likely an exaggeration, but maybe if they round up maybe they can legitimately claim $200,000,000. Maybe. I wish them well. It would be nice to see a new theme park succeed.
  24. I'm making a series of posters for my wife's 3rd grade classroom that feature great teams. The Big Red Machine, Lewis and Clark, NASA team that saved Apollo 13, etc. I'd like to include the team that designed The Beast. Can anyone help me find a picture of them? I found a few random photos of John Allen and Jeff Gramke, but none of Al Collins or of the group together. Thanks!
  25. I was lucky enough to ride Denver's Lakeside Cyclone around 8 years ago. I really like the the way the layout starts out twisterish and then breaks out into out and back mode for the finale. A true classic, from the architecture of the station to the original trains. Don't judge the park, or the Lakeside Cyclone, until you've experienced both at night. The Whip was a delightful surprise. Speaking of Denver, I also enjoyed Twister II at Elitch Gardens. Good size, great tunnel, and overall much better than I expected.
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