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Kenban

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Everything posted by Kenban

  1. I think a Disney merger with Apple was possible 10 years ago, but not today. Steve Jobs would likely have been a required piece to make this happen. When Steve Jobs died in 2011 he was Disney's largest shareholder due to his investment in Pixar and its later acquisition by Disney. Bob Iger was CEO of Disney and also a member of the Apple board of directors at the time.
  2. The majority of benefits started this year. Preferred parking is one of I think 3 benefits that does not start until 2023, the others being a preferred entrance and the waterpark VIP area, neither of these currently exist, so it made sense why they could not start immediately. This suggests to me there is something changing with the preferred parking beyond just giving access. My assumption is the preferred lot will be expanded into what is currently the bus and RV parking, I expect to see at a minimum the fence and access booth moved. Although I suspect we might see more changes since maintaining access for large vehicles to the service road that goes around the park is important.
  3. None of the above, Baynum confirming they have a contract to paint Diamondback...
  4. Written by someone who does not know the history of the coaster, or the park. PTC did not design or build it, they had already stopped building coasters several years before this. They have the designer correct, Curtis Summers. But they worked for KECO, Kings Entertainment Company, owned by Taft Broadcasting, the company that owned the park and built the park. This coaster just like The Beast was done in house. Then they go on to credit coaster designs to Summers he did not design, including The Racer, Racer 75, and Woodstock Express. Which were all actually built by PTC and designed by John Allen.
  5. Intamin has a long history with building motion simulators, and a long history of announcements like this that no one ever purchases. For instance they built the old Back to the Future ride at Universal Studios, but when it was updated for The Simpsons, Universal instead went with Oceaneering. Go take a look at Intamin’s website and it’s got I believe 5 completely different styles of screen based motion rides, none have ever been built. Before anyone asks this appears to be just small enough to fit inside the old TRTR building with enough room for the screen. I just doubt Cedar Fair wants to buy an attraction like this or one from Intamin. I do think a screen based attraction would one of the best uses for the building, because it’s just not big enough for anything larger than a flat ride. But with the majority of park guests being locals not sure how popular a screen based ride would be long term without having new movies produced.
  6. I see three possible track types, Gravity Group with their precut wood track, or I could also see a move to steel using either Titan Track or 208 ReTrak. I just doubt we will see traditional track work, its always possible but parks want to reduce maintenance costs and improve the ride experience, plus this does not feel like a regular retracking. Gravity Group did a fantastic job over the last two years at Kings Island. Keeping the relationship going and having them do more work at other parks in the chain seems like the most likely option. But does the park or corporate care if the ride stays a traditional wood coaster? If it does not why not just use steel track instead. GCI did install some titan track in Michigan earlier this year and is building Zambezi Zinger at WOF. The other possible steel option is 208 ReTrak from RMC. It replicates the entire stack of traditional track using steel, and frankly makes a lot more sense to me than topper track ever did. The Ledgers have been removed in the areas that are being worked on, and I suspect we will be seeing minor design changes like what The Racer and The Beast had done. As soon as we start seeing any new track, we should have an idea of what company is working on this project. I would also think there would be a report of pallets of wood if this was going to be a traditional retracking.
  7. Give it a few more years I am sure Diamondback will need the splashdown replaced long before the rest of the coaster. Sheikra at BGT had its splashdown track totally replaced earlier this year due to damage from the water.
  8. Parks with the attendance, size, and profitability of Kings Island almost need annual additions. The number of years where almost nothing happened in the entire history of the park is very short. They don’t need to be large in scale but there is almost zero chance there will be nothing in 2024 or 2025. But I am expecting something much larger than this one of those years. The longest gap between coasters since the park opened in 1972 has been 5 years and it’s only happened twice, between Diamondback and Banshee, and after the park initially opened to when Demon opened in 1977. 2025 will have been 5 years since Orion opened. Typically it’s 3 years between coasters although the pandemic has changed plans and schedules, I would be extremely surprised if we don’t see a new coaster in either 2024 or 2025.
  9. Fresno is really not a great location for a park. It’s too far to any of the major population centers in the state. It’s the center of the state but it’s mostly farm land, total only 2.8 million people live within a 100 mile radius of Fresno. LA, San Jose, San Francisco are all more than a 3 hour drive away. If Cedar Fair wants to build a replacement, and I am not sure if they do, a park outside a larger city on cheaper land makes more sense, look at Six Flags Magic Mountain for instance. I could also see somewhere like Stockton working, it’s not a huge city, but it’s only an hour drive to Sacramento and an hour and half drive to San Jose or San Francisco. Total it has 13 million people living in a 100 mile radius (straight line not driving distance).
  10. The contract for CGA was designed to give the park several more years of operations and one year at the end to remove attractions. It’s way too early to be removing attractions whatever is happening at Kings Island it’s not attractions from CGA.
  11. After Carowinds and Kings Dominion announcements, I predict it’s just year round operations starting weekends in January.
  12. I have been expecting the announcement for Carowinds, a little surprised by Kings Dominion also going year round. This might be a response to Busch Gardens Williamsburg which has moved to year round operations a few years ago and appears to be seeing a lot of success. If I counted the BGW calendar correctly it is only closed 96 days of the entire year. Cedar Fair really needs to work on building more indoor attractions.
  13. https://www.post-gazette.com/news/crime-courts/2022/10/06/kennywood-shooting-arrest-fall-fest-security/stories/202210060109 Here is an update on the shooting. The police have arrested and charged a 15 year old boy in connection with the shooting. Turns out the police have evidence that there was more than one gun in the park, and are still looking for the second shooter. It also appears the police are still investigating how the weapons got into the park, I find it interesting that the only possibilities listed in the article are thrown over the fence, and carried over the fence by someone who climbed it. I have read the park trimmed bushes and trees near the fence after the incident. Although I have to believe they are also investigating the security checks at the front gate. I would think the park has security cameras at the entrance, and should have recordings of every guest that entered the park through the front gates. They now know what the guest was wearing and what they look like. They should be able to figure out if they went through the gate or not.
  14. Except that is not what I said. The problem is not adding companies, its that not a single company was removed between the version from 2019 and the 2022 filling. I went back and looked at the 2016, 2018, 2019, and 2022 versions and compared them. You used to see companies drop off the list. But the 2022 version which we are discussing is quite literally the 2019 list with a few companies added at the end before the "and Bolliger & Mabillard". Someone opened the old document added a few new companies at the end, added the addresses of the new companies, changed the names from Jeff Gramke to Jared McFadden, and swapped out the property description. The ONLY new additions are Zamperla, Jack Rouse Architects, Abercrombie & Assoc, Beacon Electric, CaptiveAire, F G Schaefr Co, Gravity Kraft, M&E Roofing, Neyra Paving, Piqua Steel Co (PSC), RSL Commercial Architects. Except for those the company list is identical to 2019. Jeff Gramke retired between the last time this document was prepared and now. My guess is Jared McFadden did not remove companies whose work at the park is complete. I find it extremely hard to believe not a single company between 2019 and 2022 finished their work at the park. You can find the documents online at this site for Warren County. If I set that link correctly it will automatically search for the property ID for Kings Island. Open the notices labeled 2019-039065 and 2022-030467, feel free to compare them for yourself.
  15. I have been thinking about this, the percentage of the list which is identical to previous years feels way too high. While our reading of the document is accurate, I suspect the park is purposely not removing companies after projects are complete. In essence hiding what is really happening using a bunch of old information. It’s technically correct since the park has contracts with these companies, just they are not doing anything in the listed time period. A coaster is still possible, maybe they are reusing the same companies, or it could be Zamperla, they are making the wild mouse for Cedar Point. I hate to say it, but I think this document might be pretty limited in its usefulness.
  16. I feel like its important to answer this question. What does it take to make it on this list. The park has a signed contract with these companies, discussions are not enough. This document is intended to mark the start of a major project, the companies on this list will be providing goods and services to the park that will result in an improvement to the property. Regular maintenance, something that you can just call up a company, order a replacement part, and have park employees install will not be on this list. For instance, a lift chain or motor is just not enough to make this list. The company has to actually be doing something substantial for the park. I could see modifications related to fixing the jolt after the turn around on Diamondback being enough, but I don't think that is what we are looking at. This document and list screams the park is getting a new steel coaster. The document is extremely similar to what was filled before Orion, the park quite literally modified that document to add additional companies. I pulled up this document and the last one from 2019 and put them on my monitor side by side. The list of companies, starts out being identical for a long ways down the list, the majority of the companies on this document are the same as Orion. The changes are down towards the bottom where Zamperla, and Gravity Kraft are listed. The only conclusion I can draw is the park is getting another B&M. Still tons of options, wing, dive, flying, floorless, or stand-up. But I feel confident either someone screwed up, or we are looking at the start of a coaster.
  17. I do not believe new passes receive the bring a friend ticket, only renewals. Also it excludes Saturdays, so it only works Friday evenings and Sundays through the end of the regular season. There is no actual ticket, it’s all digital and loaded on the card, you must be present and you present the pass at the front gate and tell the person scanning your annual pass you wish to use the bring a friend ticket and they handle everything.
  18. Rumor is the gun did not go through security. The individual supposedly threw the gun over a fence, then retrieved it after they entered the park. This is completely unconfirmed and might not be correct.
  19. The same thing happened during Haunt at California’s Great America in 2019. That park cancelled Haunt and transitioned to a family friendly event this year. I expect Carowinds will implement a chaperone policy. I would also not be surprised to see it spread to more of the chain. But I also guarantee executives will have discussions about possibly ending haunt events at more parks. Haunt brings in crowds and money. But at some point it’s not worth it.
  20. From what I understand, the 2023 announcements for the chain were largely intended to be the 2022 changes. The pavilion at Cedar Point, the hotel renovations, etc. Basically projects got pushed back a year. Kings Island was likely not going to get anything this year beyond the 50th anniversary, so our lack of projects gets pushed a year and suddenly the park has nothing really planned and no anniversary. With the pushed projects and both Worlds of Fun and Carowinds having 50th anniversary celebrations next year, the budget is likely gone. Kings Island will do something, building renovations, paint, something. But likely nothing worth announcing in advance.
  21. It takes years for categories like this to move and change. People may not be voting based on experiences this year because how often are they actually getting to these parks? The awards are voted on by enthusiasts, its a select group because you have to apply, and have a certain level of travel to be even considered. Its people who go out and travel and visit parks who vote, although that does essentially mean the people who vote are typically older individuals with the time and money to travel. From what I have heard but have no way to confirm there is a lot of overlap between ACE members and the voters. All of this means enthusiast events might be how they experienced the park. Plus its very common for parks which host a big ACE event like coaster con, which was at Cedar Point this summer, to suddenly see a lot of movement in the rankings. Its possible this really is a reflection of how people felt about an event this summer. I was at Coaster Mania this year, personally I felt it was pretty bad and was definitely the worst Coaster Mania I have ever attended, but I don't want to turn this post into a complaint about one event. I really wished I had gotten an invite to Holiwood Nights instead because I am confident I would have preferred that. How many people have stories about terrible staffing during the start and end of the season? The terrible lines for food and rides during the fall, especially during Haunt? I have a friend who visited during Haunt in 2020, and had the worst experience they have ever had at Cedar Point and I believe one of the worst experiences they have ever had at an amusement park. Even if the park improves next year I do not expect to see it back in the top 5 anytime soon, once you lose the spot on any of these lists, earning your way back up is difficult. You cannot be better for one or two years, you have to really improve and be better then the competition for a long time.
  22. I personally think they should keep the bottled beverages. The pass price is high enough to pay for a lot of drinks. The park is purchasing them directly from the distributors and is definitely getting special pricing. Also I don’t know what the contract with Coke says, but if they can get away with giving away bottled water without a company name on it, generic bottled water with just Cedar Fair and the park(s) name on it would be dirt cheap. It used to be less than 10 cents a bottle in bulk. Since they would not be selling it, they might be able to get away with this. But I have gone back and looked at marketing emails and checked the pages for the Prestige Pass. As far as I can tell it only promised refreshments but never promised what they would be. I also find it interesting it appears the park no longer sells VIP lounge access on its own. It’s only either park of a package or the prestige pass. They did update the package listing to say the lounge has water and snacks. I feel like the park could and should do more, but frankly building an indoor lounge with air conditioning would be more of a VIP experience then bottled beverages. The outdoor lounge does not feel like a long term solution.
  23. Intrasys used to provide the LSM and LIM launches for Intamin before some employees left and formed Indrivetec. Intrasys was the company behind Superman the escape later renamed Superman escape from krypton and tower of terror II. So actually both of the big LSM providers have hit 100 MPH.
  24. Wicked Twister had a dedicated 34kV power line installed. It was the only attraction in the park on that power line. There also has to be a decent amount of power at TTD already to power the hydraulic pumps, likely enough with a storage system. I am VERY interested in what coaster company is doing this. Because I am doubting it is Intamin. First Cedar Fair has been very reluctant to work with them on anything for several years and has been steadily removing rides they built. But Intamin, recently within the last few days, removed TTD from their website. Maybe it’s because the name will be changing but it’s a marketing website, and normally they remove attractions when they close, but it’s definitely not because the launch might be changing they already listed it as an LSM launch and have for several years. I remember that people were seeing markers in the woods behind TTD. The assumption was a rerouted queue. But I am not ready to rule out ride design modifications. Could just be a new transfer track and storage so that the trains are no longer stored in the middle of the ride. Could be adding some elements to utilize the speed and add something extra to the ride to help justify the expense and make it a more marketable change. New trains, a new launch, paint, changing the name, etc does not feel easy to market. Add elements and they can market it as a new coaster. It would also fit with the idea of reimagining the ride. I would think being able to market this work as a new coaster will be important. What I would do is a wide sweeping turn to the right where the brake run starts right now. Follow the shore around the water past Iron Dragon. Airtime hill over the water onto Adventure Island. Go around the outside of the island, have a few elements and finally an airtime hill back across the water into the brakes. Would need to go through, under, or over Millennium Force, but there is tons of space to do so safely. Just put a metal tunnel around the track. The other big issue feels like the rafts which were built where shoot the rapids was located, it comes really close to the edge of the island. That and the trees that would need to be cut down to do this. The goal would not be to make the longest coaster in the world, just make it so it’s no longer 17 seconds long, right around 40-45 seconds from launch to brakes would be perfect.
  25. The TRTR building is roughly one quarter of the size needed for even a ride this small. The building really only has height going for it, the only type of coaster that would fit inside the building is a kiddy coaster, like the great pumpkin coaster, which even then I believe might need to go diagonally to fit.
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