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Everything posted by CoasterKrazy

  1. Looks like this is an attempt to get back in the good graces of Cedar Fair from nearly all parties. The Images Gallery on Interlaced Productions' website exclusively features photos from the old Iron Dragon midway show at Cedar Point.
  2. I don't know about supports, but I know that some rails on Vortex have been replaced. Magnum too, I think. If roller coaster are designed like bridges, the number of loading cycles to which the structure is subjected will be taken into consideration. It is possible to design a structure in such a way that, theoretically, it can be subjected to an infinite number of cycles without fatigue becoming a problem. But, as others have said, there's really no incentive for parks to pay for a ride that will literally last a lifetime. Vortex will be replaced at some point, but not because of poor design. Either the ride will come to the end of its design life, or its marketable life. In the end, it comes down to money, and the point at which it no longer makes sense for the park to maintain the ride.
  3. I think this reveals a number of holes in Kings Island's operations, and poor public relations. If there was no policy change and the child was previously allowed to ride, the park needs to do a much better job training its employees, especially ride operators. The park is incredibly lucky there wasn't a serious accident during the boy's previous trips to the park. With unclear and legalistic ride admission policies, it's up to the park to ensure that its employees can implement all safety requirements. Based on this case, it doesn't appear this was adequately done in the past. Regarding public relations, I'll give Kings Island the benefit of the doubt and assume the mother misunderstood when the park allegedly accused her of using a forgery. But this? This response, if quoted correctly, is completely unacceptable in my opinion. I generally dislike the corporate-speak we normally see in statements regarding accidents (where nothing is really said, and the public is left to their own devices to come up with an interpretation of events) but to accuse a customer of lying, especially one who probably has the benefit of public opinion, is a major misstep. While this incident should not have happened in the first place, I'm sorry Kings Island has to deal with the Legal Director of Disability Rights Ohio. Here's hoping her initial statements were just a knee-jerk reaction, and she'll do some research on ride safety before making any more misguided comments.
  4. I don't think it's fair to compare Intamin and Arrow Dynamics. Arrow failed because, for whatever reason, they did not respond quickly enough to the market's demand for more innovative and comfortable rides (I would imagine being the industry leader for some time had something to do with this). As far as I know, though, their rides are generally reliable and safe. Intamin, which is arguably the most innovative coaster design firm today, produces unreliable and comparatively unsafe rides. They are two very different firms that failed (are failing?) for very different reasons.
  5. So has the black and white "The Bat" image on the KIC homepage been discussed?
  6. SPOILER The Professional Engineer's stamp shown in the video is legitimate. A search for Daniel Peak results in an active license.
  7. "Concrete" is most definitely not "concrete." It is a highly variable artificial stone that can be designed in any number of ways to accommodate different environments and loads.
  8. Thanks for those great photos, and a great report! Tokyo Disney Resort really is fantastic. I had the opportunity to work for one of the engineering and constructions firms that helped design and build Tokyo Disney Sea. I can't remember exactly, but I was told the guard rails alone through Mysterious Island cost around $300 a foot. Also, the massive animatronics in Mediterranean Harbor that are the stars of the nightly show at Disney Sea are so complex they were designed by a department that normally focuses on nuclear power plants. Enjoy your time in Tokyo! It's an awesome city in an amazing country!
  9. Has anyone had a chance to try out the new Splash River? Based on the photos, it doesn't look like they really did much as far as improvements.
  10. Has anyone else had problems with the KIC front page? Whether I'm on PC or Mac, using various browsers, there is "code" above each news topic, and above the list of latest forum posts. Just wanted to point that out.
  11. I'm glad I'm not the only one that feels this way. Cedar Point's version, while not truly spectacular, is much better than that at Kings Island. With the trees and secluded nature of Frontier Trail, it adds a nice ambiance to the area. Cardboard cutouts and burnt out LEDs on a poorly vegetated path, however, just don't cut it. It was nice its first year, especially with the Tower's lighting package, but with no upgrades (or even maintenance, apparently) KI's Starlight is a waste of energy. , on the other hand, is awesome.
  12. The conditions of the figures aside, what other effects went missing through the years? I can remember the effects lost on Flight of Fear, Tomb Raider, and Italian Job, but while I did ride PT its opening season, I was only five at the time. Thanks!
  13. Since the entire ride experience (not just the Tomb Raider aspect, but the sequence, effects, and general theme as well) is patented, it doesn't surprise me that Cedar Fair removed the vast majority of themeing from the ride.
  14. Enthusiasts are dissappointed and teenagers couldn't be angrier (based on the park's Facebook page). Looks like Kings Island is still headed in the right direction!
  15. After watching that video, I wouldn't be surprised if additional modifications were made to WindSeeker to reduce the movement of the arms. At the very minimum, I hope they would reduce the wind speed at which the ride can operate. Those seats appeared to get awfully close to one another, which I imagine could result in injuries.
  16. Unless after (apparently) taking a page from Bat's book, WindSeeker will follow The Crypt and have a much less intense ride cycle than advertised. I hope they are able to run the ride as originally depicted in the animations, but that video doesn't make me any more confident it will.
  17. For those who are interested, you may want to check out Screamscape for some photos of additional hardware on WindSeeker up at Canada's Wonderland. It looks like they may have another Bat on their hands.
  18. Probably for the same reason I think parks (namely Cedar Fair) go for Intamin coasters despite their terrible safety record and unreliability: their rides are the best there are...when they work.
  19. In my opinion, the $5 upcharge hurts what would otherwise be a very unique and exciting attraction. It also worries me that the press release refers to this as a "long term investment." Paramount themeing aside, the park doesn't seem to be able to maintain its current thematic elements, let alone something of this scale. Boo Blasters and Snoopy Starlight were noticeably lacking in sufficient upkeep by the end of last season, so I can't imagine something like this will be any different. I hope Dinosaurs Unearthed requires that the attraction be maintained to a certain standard, otherwise I don't imagine this will be very attractive for any extended period of time. I am impressed that they considered something like this, and I think this is a step in another good direction (along with improved park cleanliness, appearance, and attractions). I just hope the animatronics are kept in working order, and that the upcharge doesn't turn away too many guests (although if it did, perhaps it would reduce the price in the future).
  20. Then what about rides like Mystery Mine, Daredevil Falls, Splash Battle, and Barnstormer at a little park called Dollywood? They're not necessarily big, but they are well-themed and are at a regional park... I've never been to Dollywood, but from what I can tell, the rides you mentioned do have very good themeing. But like you said, they aren't nearly the same scale as what can be found at Disney and Universal.
  21. Given the fact that Paramount Parks patented the entire Tomb Raider experience, I would imagine your source is spot on. Not only were the Tomb Raider namesake and theme in question, but literally everything down to the fog and loose item pouches used during the ride are included in Paramount's patent. I'm no lawyer, but I imagine Cedar Fair's hands are tied, and they could do very little themeing even if they wanted to.
  22. There aren't big, well-themed rides at regional parks like Kings Island because, unlike Disney, they don't have 100 million dollars to spend on a single attraction. As destination parks, Universal and (to a somewhat lesser extent) Busch Gardens aren't comparable to Kings Island or the other Cedar Fair parks (with perhaps the exception of Cedar Point, although that is debatable). I don't know if you've been to Tokyo DisneySea, but based on my experience there, I would say that park is far from meeting in the middle. It has both spectacular rides and amazing themeing, and having worked for one of the companies that built that park, I can assure you they paid a huge sum of money to make that experience. Money that Cedar Fair simply doesn't have, and money that Paramount/Viacom wasn't going to spend.
  23. I think the "if it doesn't shake, it'll break" saying is a little misleading. Yes, structures are designed to be ductile (meaning they will flex when necessary) but that doesn't guarantee one way or the other that those deflections will be visible. Think about Wicked Twister at Cedar Point. When it first opened and the excessive sway of the towers was noticed, "shake or break" was thrown around quite often, some of which I did probably did myself (being a high school student at the time, and having no familiarity with structural engineering at all). Despite that, the ride was retrofitted to go from this to this.
  24. I spoke with an engineer who worked for Paramount Parks in the 90s, and I believe he said the parks at the time assumed that a steel coaster would come to the end of its profitable lifespan after 12* years. At that point, the coaster was supposed to have paid for itself, but no longer had any kind of significant draw. I do not know, however, how this related to the structual lifespan. *I had this conversation several years ago, so sadly, I'm pulling this number from a foggy memory. From a design perspective, that depends. Assuming steel bridge design and steel coaster design fundamentals are similar (and I don't see any reason why they wouldn't be...) engineers are able to design structural steel members for a given fatigue lifespan. Basically, as long as a member is never subjected to anything more than a certain tensile (pulling) load, the design life is infinite. Theoretically, no matter how many times the member is subjected to a load less than the threshold, it will not fail in fatigue. In order to reduce material costs, however, an engineer can decide what an acceptable number of cycles is based on the client's desired lifespan. If the client only wants the structure to last 20 years, why design it to last forever? So, design based on clients' needs dictates how long a steel structure will last. This is based on current design standards, however, and I do not know what was used when Vortex was being designed.
  25. As much as I would hate to see Vortex go, it wouldn't surprise me if the coaster is reaching the end of its design life. From what I understand, some track work has been done over the last couple of seasons replacing rails, which to me indicates that fatigue is becoming an issue. Given the age of the ride, this is not surprising. Unless the park is interested in extended maintenance (which they could be for all I know) I don't imagine Vortex will be around in 20 years, or even 10.
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