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Time For A New Woodie With A Twist


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OK - we've got steel. darn good steel - and lots of it!

And we've got 3 woodies. Racing, lengthy, and kiddie size.

So now it's time for a new wooden coaster with some kind of unique "twist" that will stand out from the rest of the other parks.

Whether it's stick-built or pre-fab plug 'n play - we've got the space so let's fill it up with something that will be a big draw.

Put on the thinking caps and let's do it!

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I believe KI tried this in 2000. That didn't work so well.

This particular attitude drives me bonkers. No, not all change is good. To try and fail miserably has drastic consequences. From a park losing all kinds of money, lost opportunities for far better rid

two words: Gravity Group

two words: Gravity Group

See, I love The Gravity Group rides. I really do. The ones I've been on (Voyage, Ravine Flyer II, Boardwalk Bullet) are all fantastic rides in their own way. (Boardwalk Bullet was also evil in its own way, but that's another topic for another time, after I've recovered from the traumatic brain damage.) Each of those rides has its own personality; there really is no common factor amongst any of those three rides similar to the way that B&Ms, Arrows, or even Intamins can have.

The thing with Gravity Group rides, though, is that they've all only been installed at smaller parks. And I feel like the (assumed) fairly high maintenance cost has a lot to do with that. Beast and Racer both have their off years, and, dynamically, neither of those rides are too intense for the full duration of the ride. Can you imagine a large-scale corporate park trying to keep a ride like Voyage running well while balancing a maintenance budget for all the rest of the rides in the park? Holiday World seems to balance it well enough, but they're probably the biggest park out there that has a reputation for maintaining CCI/Gravity Group wooden coasters well, and that's with just three "grown-up" coasters. (I know Mt. Olympus has more than that, but I've yet to hear rave reviews for anything that park does for its coasters besides purchase them and pay once to have the biggest one retracked and get a new train.) Gravity Group rides have made this niche for themselves in the U.S. for being these showstopper rides that make small parks a big deal. I think the potentially high ongoing costs of them have kept them from becoming relevant to big parks, whereas a small park is willing to pay a lot more to maintain a ride that's going to keep them relevant versus big corporate parks. Heck, look at CCI's track record--I think the biggest parks with CCI installations are Knott's and Michigan's Adventure. That says a lot, especially when you consider when the parks added them.

I know there are Timberliners to consider, but I start to wonder how Holiday World's decision to not use them and the mixed reviews of Hades 360 affected parks' perception of them. They really don't seem to be gaining traction, apart from places like Quassy and the park in New Hampshire. Then again, Mike Graham said at the ACE event at KI in December that what rough track remained on Hades 360 would be retracked this year, so who knows?

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I would love to have a GCI at KI. The only downside is capacity, as I don't believe any of the GCIs on the list above can pull through more than 800-900 people per hour. Also notice that most of the parks that have GCIs - and the parks where Cedar Fair has installed them - have been small to mid-size parks.

The more interesting question to me is, where in the park would you put it if you had free reign?

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If I had to decide the location, it would depend on whether Dinosaurs Alive is still around.

If the dinosaurs are still there, then I would place it where Invertigo is. (Bye boomerang, I hope you don't come back if I send you away.)

I'd see if they can work around the water ride, and maybe have a portion of the ride hanging over the parking-lot walkway. Keep the trees as much as possible, but have it visible just enough to be seen while walking towards the park.

I would also try to make to the station location in the exact coordinates that it would create a parallelogram shape connecting each of the four wooden coasters.

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I want a wooden coaster with a launch.

There is a park rumored to get a RMC launch coaster within the next two years. Whether some people will consider it wooden is up to them.

Sounds like something Cedar Point would do.

But in all honesty, I don't want CP to get another launching coaster. I want a traditional, chain lift wooden coaster at that park (that is taller, fast and longer than Blue Streak and is...well, not Mean Streak.)

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Hmm that's pretty interesting. I could definitely see something like that going to Dollywood. Only time will tell whether or not that rumor is true, but it seems like it would be a good fit for that park.

Dollywood sounds like such a great park, and I really want to go there sometime. If this rumor is true, that will make it even better than it already is.

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Thunderhead is my #2 wooden coaster. Dollywood's food is worth the whole trip.

Firechaser Express looks like it might be one of those coasters with no special elements (maybe the backward launch), but will be plain out fun.

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two words: Gravity Group

See, I love The Gravity Group rides. I really do. The ones I've been on (Voyage, Ravine Flyer II, Boardwalk Bullet) are all fantastic rides in their own way. (Boardwalk Bullet was also evil in its own way, but that's another topic for another time, after I've recovered from the traumatic brain damage.) Each of those rides has its own personality; there really is no common factor amongst any of those three rides similar to the way that B&Ms, Arrows, or even Intamins can have.

The thing with Gravity Group rides, though, is that they've all only been installed at smaller parks. And I feel like the (assumed) fairly high maintenance cost has a lot to do with that. Beast and Racer both have their off years, and, dynamically, neither of those rides are too intense for the full duration of the ride. Can you imagine a large-scale corporate park trying to keep a ride like Voyage running well while balancing a maintenance budget for all the rest of the rides in the park? Holiday World seems to balance it well enough, but they're probably the biggest park out there that has a reputation for maintaining CCI/Gravity Group wooden coasters well, and that's with just three "grown-up" coasters. (I know Mt. Olympus has more than that, but I've yet to hear rave reviews for anything that park does for its coasters besides purchase them and pay once to have the biggest one retracked and get a new train.) Gravity Group rides have made this niche for themselves in the U.S. for being these showstopper rides that make small parks a big deal. I think the potentially high ongoing costs of them have kept them from becoming relevant to big parks, whereas a small park is willing to pay a lot more to maintain a ride that's going to keep them relevant versus big corporate parks. Heck, look at CCI's track record--I think the biggest parks with CCI installations are Knott's and Michigan's Adventure. That says a lot, especially when you consider when the parks added them.

I know there are Timberliners to consider, but I start to wonder how Holiday World's decision to not use them and the mixed reviews of Hades 360 affected parks' perception of them. They really don't seem to be gaining traction, apart from places like Quassy and the park in New Hampshire. Then again, Mike Graham said at the ACE event at KI in December that what rough track remained on Hades 360 would be retracked this year, so who knows?

Ten installations in the past four years say otherwise.

Edit: I just re-read your post. There's all kinds of wrong in there. I don't even know where to begin. Pro tip: don't assume.

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^ Yeah, you're right. It does. I was actually thinking mainly of the American CCI/TGG installations when typing that, but I realize I was speaking somewhat broadly. It just seems like it's been long enough that it isn't just a fluke that a Six Flags, Cedar Fair, or Herschend park hasn't bought one yet.

If I were actually right, it does indeed beg the question of why The Gravity Group seems to be the top pick for wooden coasters in China. Obviously, they make great rides, but if maintenance is as prohibitive a cost as I guessed it is, then it seems like they wouldn't be doing as well as they are. (Not that I'm complaining--more Gravity Group rides in the world is never a bad thing.)

For how many rides they're doing in China, I still do wonder about why Timberliners haven't taken off there, though. Again, maybe that will change when Hades 360 is running better this year? I realize Wisconsin is a long way from Asia, but the amusement industry seems big enough for positive news to travel that distance fairly easily.

EDIT: Wait... Where was I wrong? :huh: Literally the only thing I assumed is that Gravity Group rides have high maintenance costs. Everything else there was speculation. I'd really like for this to be a conversation, if you'd be so kind as to oblige.

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two words: Gravity Group

See, I love The Gravity Group rides. I really do. The ones I've been on (Voyage, Ravine Flyer II, Boardwalk Bullet) are all fantastic rides in their own way. (Boardwalk Bullet was also evil in its own way, but that's another topic for another time, after I've recovered from the traumatic brain damage.) Each of those rides has its own personality; there really is no common factor amongst any of those three rides similar to the way that B&Ms, Arrows, or even Intamins can have.

The thing with Gravity Group rides, though, is that they've all only been installed at smaller parks. And I feel like the (assumed) fairly high maintenance cost has a lot to do with that. Beast and Racer both have their off years, and, dynamically, neither of those rides are too intense for the full duration of the ride. Can you imagine a large-scale corporate park trying to keep a ride like Voyage running well while balancing a maintenance budget for all the rest of the rides in the park? Holiday World seems to balance it well enough, but they're probably the biggest park out there that has a reputation for maintaining CCI/Gravity Group wooden coasters well, and that's with just three "grown-up" coasters. (I know Mt. Olympus has more than that, but I've yet to hear rave reviews for anything that park does for its coasters besides purchase them and pay once to have the biggest one retracked and get a new train.) Gravity Group rides have made this niche for themselves in the U.S. for being these showstopper rides that make small parks a big deal. I think the potentially high ongoing costs of them have kept them from becoming relevant to big parks, whereas a small park is willing to pay a lot more to maintain a ride that's going to keep them relevant versus big corporate parks. Heck, look at CCI's track record--I think the biggest parks with CCI installations are Knott's and Michigan's Adventure. That says a lot, especially when you consider when the parks added them.

I know there are Timberliners to consider, but I start to wonder how Holiday World's decision to not use them and the mixed reviews of Hades 360 affected parks' perception of them. They really don't seem to be gaining traction, apart from places like Quassy and the park in New Hampshire. Then again, Mike Graham said at the ACE event at KI in December that what rough track remained on Hades 360 would be retracked this year, so who knows?

First off, your assumption of GG coasters having high maintenance costs is wrong. It's actually quite the opposite when compared to other wood coasters with similar stats. Secondly, why would a small park invest heavily into a wood coaster if they know there are going to be "high maintenance costs?" Logic would tell you they would invest into a wood coaster that is the complete opposite. Going by your logic, large corporate parks would be the ones to invest in a GG coaster because they have more money to throw at it. Also, you can't compare CCI rides to GG.rides. There are/were different owners and different people making the decisions. In regards to the Timberliners not being used at HW, unless you know the whole story, which you don't, you really can't use that as an argument against the Timberliners. As for parks perception of them, I guess the perception is good considering more and more of the GG coasters have them now. The Timberliners are doing what they are advertised to do. I can promise you that

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I'll take an Intamin pre-fab over a RMC

You should of asked a past member here about INTAMIN(INTA-FAIL) products, he would have lent you an ear on the "supremacy of the INTAMIN product".

I'm going to say give me a RMC coaster similar to Outlaw Run except it has a few more cork-screws in the run.

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two words: Gravity Group

See, I love The Gravity Group rides. I really do. The ones I've been on (Voyage, Ravine Flyer II, Boardwalk Bullet) are all fantastic rides in their own way. (Boardwalk Bullet was also evil in its own way, but that's another topic for another time, after I've recovered from the traumatic brain damage.) Each of those rides has its own personality; there really is no common factor amongst any of those three rides similar to the way that B&Ms, Arrows, or even Intamins can have.

The thing with Gravity Group rides, though, is that they've all only been installed at smaller parks. And I feel like the (assumed) fairly high maintenance cost has a lot to do with that. Beast and Racer both have their off years, and, dynamically, neither of those rides are too intense for the full duration of the ride. Can you imagine a large-scale corporate park trying to keep a ride like Voyage running well while balancing a maintenance budget for all the rest of the rides in the park? Holiday World seems to balance it well enough, but they're probably the biggest park out there that has a reputation for maintaining CCI/Gravity Group wooden coasters well, and that's with just three "grown-up" coasters. (I know Mt. Olympus has more than that, but I've yet to hear rave reviews for anything that park does for its coasters besides purchase them and pay once to have the biggest one retracked and get a new train.) Gravity Group rides have made this niche for themselves in the U.S. for being these showstopper rides that make small parks a big deal. I think the potentially high ongoing costs of them have kept them from becoming relevant to big parks, whereas a small park is willing to pay a lot more to maintain a ride that's going to keep them relevant versus big corporate parks. Heck, look at CCI's track record--I think the biggest parks with CCI installations are Knott's and Michigan's Adventure. That says a lot, especially when you consider when the parks added them.

I know there are Timberliners to consider, but I start to wonder how Holiday World's decision to not use them and the mixed reviews of Hades 360 affected parks' perception of them. They really don't seem to be gaining traction, apart from places like Quassy and the park in New Hampshire. Then again, Mike Graham said at the ACE event at KI in December that what rough track remained on Hades 360 would be retracked this year, so who knows?

First off, your assumption of GG coasters having high maintenance costs is wrong. It's actually quite the opposite when compared to other wood coasters with similar stats. Secondly, why would a small park invest heavily into a wood coaster if they know there are going to be "high maintenance costs?" Logic would tell you they would invest into a wood coaster that is the complete opposite. Going by your logic, large corporate parks would be the ones to invest in a GG coaster because they have more money to throw at it. Also, you can't compare CCI rides to GG.rides. There are/were different owners and different people making the decisions. In regards to the Timberliners not being used at HW, unless you know the whole story, which you don't, you really can't use that as an argument against the Timberliners. As for parks perception of them, I guess the perception is good considering more and more of the GG coasters have them now. The Timberliners are doing what they are advertised to do. I can promise you that

*Italicized for emphesis.

So how come Hades 360 bombed? I've heard pretty terrible reviews of it.

I think it comes down to the track design over trains. You can have the best wooden trains imaginable, but the way the track is designed is key. Woodies that are taller, mainly ones with higher curves taken at higher speeds tend not to do well. Wooden coaster structures (wood or steel) sway a lot with that combination of elements, creating rough spots. John Allen was a HUGE believer in this. That's why I'm pretty sure Timberliners wouldn't have saved Son of Beast and they'd probably fail on Voyage as well. Timberliners (nor Millennium Flyers for that matter) are not an instant cure for bad wooden track design. Pre-fabs like El Toro or special wooden track designs like Outlaw Run are exceptions.

As for the Intamin fail thing BB1 brought up, Intamin deserves some credit, their wooden coasters opened with little problems and are stellar designs. If Cedar Fair and Intamin get back on the same page, I'd be entirely happy with an Intamin wooden coaster.

The problem with Kings Island getting another woodie, as many have brought up, is capacity. Then again, Kings Island does have the likes of Backlot, Firehawk and Invertigo which aren't exactly stellar in capacity either. Sometimes you have to forego capacity to add in a little variety, which for another woodie or something unique like a spinning coaster or a wild mouse, I'd be entirely okay with.

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Think about what the newest wooden ride at Kings Island is. How do you build something groundbreaking without being reminded of the last experiment of this nature? Do you play it safer with a less radical design? How safe is so safe that it becomes boring and less successful?

Something I'm reminded of is Gwazi. The idea seems very cool. In reality it's not efficient whatsoever, and last I heard (rumor or not) there is a debate on whether it's worth keeping. The ride experience was not that great and I was sad I devoted a good portion of my day at that park to said ride.

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No one knows how anything will be until they try.

It may work.

It may fail.

But if you just sit and do nothing, nothing is exactly what will happen.

And SOB was built 15 years ago - so were 2000 model year Chevys, Hondas, and Toyotas. Cars have come a long way since and engineering has also come a long way as well.

Stagnant will get you no where.

And din't I mention thinking caps in the start of this thread?

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This is a little more out of the box, but something I thought of would be the wooden equivalent of Maverick coming in. And by that, I mean a woodie with a lift and a launch. The launch could act as a MCBR of sorts (for more than 2 train operations), the coaster wouldn't need to be very tall (in other words, it'll be more comfortable for the long haul), and it would turn some heads as no one has attempted a launched woodie yet (launch coasters are a bit more reliable now than from the days of Flight of Fear's opening). Maybe put in 2-3 inversions, plenty of airtime, and you might have a winner.

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