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Kenban

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About Kenban

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  1. Except the problem is that photo was not from today, and those are not the general public. It was taken during previews while Disney was testing procedures. This is not representative at all of how the Disney parks are doing. Also this does not look much different then the entrance to Orion frequently did when I was at the park on the 4th. People kept showing up early for their time slot and they were being held outside the entrance and it formed into a queue which looked a lot like what that photo does.
  2. There are two types of wheels, but its more that one is harder for use in colder weather, and one is softer for use in warmer weather. The softer wheels cause more drag so the train losses more speed through the ride but also give a more comfortable ride. On Diamondback you can tell when they swap them since they are different colors.
  3. I find the ride op spiels detract from the experience and prefer parks which just use prerecorded messages. Half of the ops have no idea how to speak into a microphone and its just a garbled mess which no one can understand anyways, if its recorded at least there is a chance someone will understand. Then you have the ones trying to make terrible jokes. My opinion is the only time they should be on the mic is when one of the prerecorded messages is not good enough. Let people enjoy the experience and listen to the screams of riders, and the rides, instead of inane chatter. I actually do not ride Zephyr because I do not want to put up with the annoying ride ops, its bad enough walking past the ride.
  4. This is going to be a long post, I plan on giving my thoughts on all of the giga coasters I have ridden, not just Orion. I was pretty confident Kings Island was going to install a giga coaster pretty early last year, and I already had a trip to Japan scheduled, so I made a plan which would take several trips to pull off. My goal was to ride all of the traditional lift giga coasters in one year, including Orion there are six. The idea being the 12 months would culminate in a ride on the newest and would be able to fairly rank all of them. One last comment on this post, I have been to several of these parks before, these are my overall thoughts on the rides not just a single trip. I am ignoring Red Force due to the ride basically being a Top Thrill Dragster/Kingda Ka style ride just with a different launch system which required it being shorter. I am also ignoring Superman Escape from Krypton, I have no idea how people consider it a strata coaster, the difference in height from the top of the track to the station is not 400+ ft. the tower was built over a downward slope to give it an extra 90 feet, on flat ground it would only be 328 ft tall. My plan fell apart just as it started, at Nagashima Spa Land. Steel Dragon 2000 was down the entire day, but I did get to ride the newest RMC, Hakugei. Steel Dragon 2000 looks impressive, it has this massive support structure, and at over 8,000 feet long is also easily the longest coaster on the planet. The length and its location work against it though. Wind has a cumulative effect, the longer the ride the more that it effects the overall speed, combined with being right on the ocean, the park has wind issues, which cause the ride to valley. What I experienced with Steel Dragon 2000 being down all day is actually pretty common. Currently this is my only trip to the park, so nothing about the actual ride experience, I do not think its fair to use a POV, or others reviews. Next I visited Cedar Point and took several trips on Millennium Force. Its the first coaster of this style, and it set expectations for what would follow. Its fast, and graceful. The location is amazing, and its going to be tough for any ride to top the view. If this coaster was in a barren field, I would likely have a radically different viewpoint. But its a classic and I love how re-ridable it is, I am happy to ride it over and over again and have done so at Coaster Mania. I followed this a few weeks later by a trip to both Kings Dominion and Canada's Wonderland. I305 is every bit as intense as others have described it in the past. That is both good and bad, its an incredible experience, but frankly its too powerful for the average rider. No matter how much some coaster enthusiasts might like this coaster, it was a mistake. The ride was a walk on, and yet the other big coasters in the park had hour plus waits, and its not simply due to capacity. Producing powerful G-forces is fine, but the length of time this ride sustains them was a poor design choice. The ride experience is short and it is the shortest of all the giga coasters but the intensity makes up for it, if it had been longer it could have easily been too long. Leviathan was the first of the B&M giga coasters. It feels like B&M was conservative in the rides design, and it is a return to the more graceful experience of Millennium Force. The wider trains with 4 across riders block a lot of the wind from riders in the center of the train, combined with just how smooth the coaster is it can often feel like your going much slower then you really are. The ride is short and it feels like it. The first time I went on Leviathan I remember hitting the brakes and thinking it was a weird choice to put a mid-course brake run on a giga, then I realized the ride was actually over and this was just how the brakes were designed. I was then incredibly disappointed in the ride. The drop is incredible but the rest of the design feels like your not actually doing anything, I have ridden all over the train but even still prefer to just go ride Behemoth. My plan for Fury 325 was not to finish off the year at Carowinds but it start 2020 there. I wanted to ride it several times a week or two before Kings Island opened so it was fresh in my mind before riding Orion. Sadly that was not possible this year. I have been to the park several times and have ridden it a good number of times, but its also been around 3 years since my last visit. When people ask me what my favorite coaster is, my answer has been Fury for several years. The ride is a fantastic mix of intensity, and speed, and is very re-ridable. I have had the pleasure of being at the park at the end of the night and have had employees let me sit in the seat and ride more then once in a row. Finally this leaves the point of this thread, Orion. I think the ride might actually have the best drop of all the giga coasters, its slightly closer to vertical then all of the others and I constantly was out of my seat the whole way down. The helix might also be the best of all the giga coasters. The start and finish of the ride are some of the best from any ride I have been on. The airtime is powerful and it generates strong positive g forces but does not try to hold them for unreasonable lengths of time. I really do think the ride produces more positive and negative g forces then Millennium Force, it cannot touch I305 in that aspect but I am actually happy about that. The ride is short, but most of whats there is fantastic, and at least I do not get the same feeling of where is the other half of the ride I get from Leviathan, but its still not as long as I would like. That is my biggest disappoint with the ride, it has the start and end of one of the greatest coasters in the world, and it just needed more filling. Another 1,000 - 1,500 ft of track with 2 or 3 more elements would have really elevated this. I have no idea how the second element after the drop on what is effectively an out and back design is the turn around. One thing I have been confused by is that the ride has a greater sense of speed in the middle of the train then the other B&M giga coasters. I have been wondering if that is due to having half the seats empty so you have less wind blocks in front of you, so this might change next year. Overall it is a good coaster, I do not think I consider it one of my top 10, but it is good. Night rides, cooler weather, a full train, and maybe some trees, could easily change some of my views. I was at the park on the 4th and I got to see it with the lighting and I will say its easily has the best theming of all the giga coasters. I did have fastlane and could have ridden it as many times as I wanted, and frankly I went on it six times, it could have been the heat, but I never felt a strong desire to hop back in line and ride it again. For anyone wondering why the lift hill is mostly silent without the noise of an anti-rollback, look to the right of where the contentious saw toothed track is located on the lift, you will find a metal fin sticking up. Whats happening is their is something like a magnetic eddy brake attached to the dog on the train. With the speed of the lift it basically lifts up the dog preventing it from impacting every step on the ratchet. Right at the top and the bottom of the lift the train is going slower and you can hear the familiar clacking sound. My personal overall ranking 1. Fury 325 2. Millennium Force 3. Orion 4. I305 5. Leviathan I am pretty sure Steel Dragon 2000 would be number 6 but not having ridden it yet its not fair to try to put it on my list. I rank them based on if the coasters were next to each other and both had zero wait which would I go ride, I do consider re-ridability to an extent, which is mostly why I305 drops so low. I think I might try to pull this off again in a few years, I do want to try out Steel Dragon 2000 sometime, and might as well hit the rest, it would be a fun way to spend a summer.
  5. I like Indiana Beach, I was very happy hearing that it had been purchased, and I love seeing it reopen. So far the work being done by the new owner looks great, and I look forward to seeing what happens in the future. But I cannot support the park right now. We are in the middle of a world wide pandemic. I do not feel that potentially spreading a deadly disease is worth visiting an amusement park operating in this way right now. Seeing large numbers of people without masks, crowding together, even outdoors, disturbs me. The park might have a handful of signs, but its obvious the management does not care about the health of their guests or employees. Its not just not requiring masks, there is not even a small amount of effort to introduce any social distancing, they are filling any rows including the entire train on rides, the picnic tables where guests are eating are too close together, the line with people standing right next to each other is right next to the tables, etc. When the park was purchased I had decided I would visit the park, possibly more than once, this year, and in a show of my support purchase an annual pass, even if it did only get one use. At this point in time I cannot do any of these things, and instead will be actively avoiding the park. I wish it the best in the future but until this situation is over, I will spend my time and money at other parks. If I get sick, it happens, but I do not have to go out of my way to try.
  6. They should be able to already, the park installed a park wide lightning control system as part of bringing back Winterfest. They can synchronize these types of lights across the park. This is the same system that controls the lights on international street for the nightly fireworks shows. I believe they will only synchronize for special events like the nightly fireworks shows which I do not believe will occur this year. While there will be fireworks I doubt it will happen on July 4th though, I suspect that will either be last years show, or a special show just for the 4th.
  7. 11 - 7 is one shift. This is designed to limit the number of employees needed to operate the park.
  8. This is what I have heard over the years. Treat it all as rumors but put it all together and it seems to make some sense, I disagree with the choices that have been made but I can understand why. Coney Island has long relied upon surveys of their existing pass holders to help make decisions. They would not look for information from the general public, potential guests, or guests who were just purchasing a single day ticket. My understanding is that the results were extremely clear that the pass holders at least were mostly only at the park for the pool and other water attractions. I am certain some pass holders did value the rides and likely many did ride them but the surveys at least suggest it was not enough to justify keeping them. The park considered building a gravity group wooden coaster a few years ago, and while I have forgotten the price, I do remember it was very cheap. It would have been similar in size to Kentucky Flyer. I believe they had already decided not to build the coaster by the time I learned of the plans. Part of the reason why it was not built was due to the parking spaces which would have been lost. The park is right next to Riverbend and parking for events is done at the park. Which I was told the park makes more money off of parking then operating the park. Expanding the park would have been risky and there is no way to know it would have made enough to justify the expense and the loss of parking revenue. When park expansion is less important then the parking lot, I am not surprised it was decided that the dry rides were not worth keeping. I feel like building the coaster would have been worth the risk, but that was also likely the beginning of the end for the dry side of the park, because they placed a higher priority on other revenue streams. Without the pandemic I would not actually have been worried about the long term viability of the park, because of Riverbend. Everything I have heard suggests they make a lot of money from events. Now I have no idea what is going to happen.
  9. Competition is complicated, frequently in the amusement park industry competition helps both parks. Not just by pushing them to do better but by drawing in new guests, and causing people to visit parks more frequently. Orlando is the easy one, executives at both Disney and Universal are on record stating new rides at their competition actually increase attendance. They draw more guests to the area and cause them to stay longer. I have seen interviews with executives at Disney stating that they saw attendance go up after the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened. Amusement parks are competing with the entire spectrum of leisure activities, everything from Netflix, to Video Games, to a movie theater, and even parks like Universal and Disney. Anything that you could be instead be doing is competition. To an extent having more parks, giving potential guests additional reasons to think about the industry. Creating new enthusiasts, providing a reason for people to come to an area and stay for several days visiting multiple parks helps everyone. The number of guests visiting parks, and the number of days they are visiting is not static. This is a lot more complicated then if a guest is going to visit one or the other. Kings Island might have lost a few guests, but how many has it gained? I understand why it might feel like for one to gain guests the other has to lose but its just not true. Someone has to lose, because time and money are finite, but for the majority of guests its another activity entirely.
  10. Japan requires all park guests and employees to wear masks including on rides. From what I have heard masks have not been a problem on rides like Steel Dragon 2000, Hakugei and Do-Dodonpa. If none of those are causing issues I have no idea what coaster would.
  11. I have no idea who you have spoken with, but based on multiple conversations I have had with friends who live and work in Orlando, and have been actively visiting Disney Springs, City Walk, Fun Spot, and the Universal parks since reopening, this is only accurate if your talking about Volcano Bay, or inside a restaurant. Universal has a policy of not requiring masks on water rides, and obviously you cannot eat or drink with a mask on. But they are enforcing it more then you seem to think. Even on Jurassic Park River Adventure, the employees require guests to be seated before they can take off their masks. You cannot enter a store, or a ride queue without a mask on. People can get away with taking a mask off while walking the midways but as soon as you want to do most things in the park, you will be required to wear a mask, or will be turned away.
  12. They should be able to hire and train before they are open to the public. The two weeks from today is the earliest day they can open for guests.
  13. I am not convinced that either Cedar Point or Kings Island has a maximum capacity, or if they do that it is even possible to reach those numbers. What I have heard and been told before is basically the park self limits itself by running out of parking. If there is no reasonable way to get to the park they have reached capacity, but if you do have a way to get to the gate you can still get into the park.
  14. I am remembering a comment from likely a month or two ago, and I really do not remember if it was from someone in Ohio or not. But basically they were outlining reopening priorities and they flat out stated attractions which draw in guests from out of state were not a priority and should consider themselves last to reopen. Basically they did not want out of state travelers from a hot spot. I have no idea if that is what is going on here but it feels like it. An FEC, playground, or zoo is less likely to get large numbers of travelers then Cedar Point. You are correct if you assume all attendees are the same and have the same chance of being infected, an outdoor amusement park with restrictions is safer then some of the businesses and organizations which have been allowed to operate. It is very difficult to spread the disease outdoors and with some basic restrictions, including masks, and distancing, and limiting indoor areas, there is no reason why an outdoor park should not be able to operate safely. My understanding of how transmission of the virus works is that gift shops, indoor dining, and the restrooms are likely to be the most dangerous areas of the park, and frankly all of those are already open outside of the park.
  15. I have to give Six Flags credit when they deserve it. That video and the policies I have seen are fantastic. I have been an advocate for using thermal imaging for temperature checks, and its great seeing a park implement it. This is exactly how it should be done, it has already been proven due to previous outbreaks and frankly it is likely more reliable then trying to use the handheld laser thermometers that Universal has been using. I hear way too many stories about people who read so low they should be in a coma or dead. Also that will be a giant upgrade for their gate security. Its going to come down to implementation and frankly there is a real chance they Six Flags their policies into a steaming pile of garbage. But so far I am impressed, and I am actually looking forward to trying it out at one of their parks later this year.
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