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Everything posted by Shaggy

  1. I had a terrific time at CS - as always. It really is a top-tier event. IMO it far surpasses other events - due to the comradery. It succeeds in prompting bonding among attendees on a more friendly level. As far as no posts on KIC - the fact the event was jam packed probably had something to do with it. I’m exhausted today! (That’s always the sign of a great coaster event.) Also, as a side note, it seems to me that soooooo many enthusiasts have a personal page, or site, or blog, or Instagram, or Twitter etc. Too many garnering for their own likes, clicks etc. So although there’s probably still demand for central hub of info like KIC, people with their own outlets/agendas likely save posts/pics for that. I don’t really “get” the influencer stuff - but there’s that too I suppose. I personally made a concentrated effort to simply enjoy CS this year rather than trying to photo-document every single second for myself. Makes a big difference when you just soak up the experience. It really was a great time. Looking forward to next year! Kudos to Don and the KI team. The hard work shows!
  2. Doesnt anyone else find it ironic that the "Golden Celebration" sweatshirt has silver lettering? ;-)
  3. Trough is there, its just in-between the running rails and the spine. I added some arrows to a pic of mine to show how the return trough runs down to the motor. The ascent and descent chain troughs are close to each other once the lift starts its climb. There's a cog at the apex of the lift that lies inside the spine, it flips the chain 180 for its return down to the motor.
  4. I personally hope that if KI chooses to re-use the vacant land on which most of SOB existed for another attraction, then they completely re-think the entry/access & queue to that ride (no matter if the station is used or not.) One of the worst things about SOB - that most people dont recall - was it's queue and lead-up to the station. It was not well thought out, completely esthetically un-pleasing and poorly conceived. You had to enter the "exit" of a ride, then stand in a que that was squeezed into a former observation area. The wait through those full queues then up the ramps to the station took much longer than what you expected. There was zero shade.... and it was excruciating. Once you entered the station, there was a 2-row set of switchbacks before you entered a free-for-all loading platform - jam packed with people. It's queues created a bottleneck for those exiting Top Gun... and it also afforded those exiting Top Gun the ability to line-jump. Fights were known to break out over this, so it ultimately led to park security having to regularly staff the area to keep an eye on things. With all the time they spent designing and building SOB - it amazed me that they literally threw together a queue at the very last minute. It was an obvious mis-step. Below is a picture taken (by myself) of the queue on Passholder Preview night April 28, 2000. The media preview had been held earlier that day and then SOB opened late that night (with one train - and sporadic - operation) Entry to the line was cut off around an hour or so after it opened. It operated that night, then It closed the next day and did not re-open for another month.
  5. 2005 "Tree Lighting" ceremony. Terrible quality, but you get the idea. (Pre-smart phones)
  6. And if memory serves me, it was an additional cost - not free with Season passes. I only went once to the 2005 version of WF... and that was the media preview. It was well done (specifically the live entertainment) but there wasn't enough to pull me back in for secondary or multiple visits. The "look" of 2005 WF was a bit thin.... there wasn't even 1/3 of the lights, sights and sounds of the current WF (see the pic I took below.) I would suspect that had Paramount continued ownership, the event would have returned in 2006 (and likely "tweaked" and grown.) However, by the end of the Paramount tenure, Viacom was essentially "done" with the park system. They shuffled them off to CBS who wanted nothing to do with them. So the parks weren't getting a lot of corporate support around the time of the re-introduction of WF in 2005. I will say, however, the current CF version of the tree lighting ceremony is entertaining, but doesn't hold a candle to the visual way they did it during the original incarnation in 1982-1992 and then again in 2005. When the switch was thrown - by Santa - a sparkling rocket shot from the end of the fountains all the way to the top of the tower. The star then illuminated, then the entire "tree." It was a major "oooooh ahhhhh" effect.
  7. HW has a long history of trust issues with enthusiasts dating back to the horrible Stark Raven Mad/Tamar Fellner tragedy. I expect that still plays a part in their thought process for these types of events some 20 years later...
  8. A couple added notes... The wheel's position was changed when installed at Kings Island. At Cincy's Coney it was perpendicular to the water trough, at KI it was installed parallel. The wheel was "refreshed" when the flume was converted to Wild Thornberry's, it revolved when it reopened in 2001. By 2003 the wheel was stationary and no longer revolved.
  9. Seems like they've done this before with other merch shots. It actually looks like that bag was photoshopped onto a background. I don't think its meant to be anything other than an artistic decision. I could be wrong, but it would seem strange to me that the merchandise folks would be the first to "tease" anything. More interestingly... if you look closely at the cell phone - you can make out a dimly lit image of the park/ International Fountains.
  10. Such a sad incident all the way around. I feel so badly for the victim, but I do take solace that there was no negligence involved. I hope the victim can receive some sort of compensation (both physical and emotional) for this horrible, horrible accident. I suppose the park's attention will now turn to continuation of the ride itself. It is, arguably, Cedar Point's most well known and noteworthy ride. However, even before this incident, it was routinely plagued with extensive downtime. At some point, they have to debate the worthiness of its continued operation. The large plot of land on which it resides is extremely valuable real-estate and could be used for another, new, landmark attraction. I suppose they'll weigh options like putting up safety fencing/netting, or re-routing the queue. However, it wouldn't shock me if they opt to pull the plug altogether. Even with the ODoA findings, it leaves the ride with a huge black cloud looming over it.
  11. Let's have some fun and share one or two of our memories of our first visit to Kings Island. I was 10... and distinctly recall certain things from my first visit. My parents took me (we lived in Virginia, so I had been to Kings Dominion prior.) Specifically, I remember "The Bat" was new - and at the height of its frustrating issues. (It was like nothing I had seen before - and I was amazed. I am certain I saw it in action, but didn't ride it. ) There was a sandwich board outside the park that said "The Bat will not operate today." However I believe it was actually open part of the day. I remember that because my Dad and I watched it from the midway and then rode the Zodiac to get an over-head look. Later, I saw workers welding track at a joint on one of the supports. So, it may have just been testing - I don't specifically recall seeing people on it - that part is fuzzy. So - now what are yours?
  12. I believe Scooby's Ghoster Coaster holds the distinction of being #2 on the list of shortest operational lifespan of all the coasters designed for KI. The Bat being #1, of course. (Bavarian Beetle actually operated 1 year less than SGC at KI, however it had a 2-year operational life at Cincinnati's Coney Island prior. Also, like Firehawk, it wasn't uniquely designed for KI.) The irony is, both The Bat and Scooby's Ghoster Coaster featured bat-themed cars - and both fell under the "suspended coaster" design moniker. Caipro had built two outdoor single rail coasters prior for parks in Europe. However SGC was their first foray into the US market - and it was their intention to expand to numerous coasters across America and further develop the single rail technology to larger layouts. That didn't happen. Scooby's Ghoster Coaster was plagued with a huge challenge from the start... it was EXTREMELY low capacity. If memory serves me, it only had 3 cars (each holding a max of 2 riders) Its main capacity issue stemmed from the fact that due to KI's operational requirements, a car could not enter the elevator lift until the preceding car had cleared a sensor located about 3/4 of the way through the course. This meant that waits often surpassed an hour even on slow attendance days. It also required an adult rider for kids that fell under a certain height. I cant recall for sure, but I also think that (at least in the early years) adults could only ride with a child. (I personally did not ride it until I was "sent" to help operate the ride and took a spin after hours.) As others have mentioned, the ride had a very abrupt ending - so much so a trim brake was used near the course's final turn to buffer the speed before the final stop. But in addition to the abrupt ending, the coaster also suffered from a jarring effect as a result of the track style. The track had a "fin rail" welded above and below the tube to help control the swinging of the ride. Much like The Bat, that design caused a left/right jerking sensation when the coaster took an unbanked turn. (There was one 90-degree curve that followed the 270-degree turn off the lift where this was most apparent.) Overall, the ride had a very low rating on a multitude of levels - guest satisfaction, enjoyment, capacity etc. Caipro designed one other "Baflyer" for the US (Spellbreaker at Legoland in CA.) That one lasted only 3 years even though it featured a dual track in order to curb the capacity issues SGC faced. Soon after, Caipro fell bankrupt and was bought out by Vekoma. So replacement parts/repair likely became an issue, and no doubt fed into its demise. In 2001, Kings Island invested in another family suspended... ironically made by Vekoma... so that pretty much made SGC obsolete. I've always heard the rumor that SGC was "stored" for a while at the park, which could be true I suppose, however I never saw it with my own eyes. There are pictures online that claim to be the dis-assembled ride in storage, however none of the ones I saw show the unique tubular track design with the rail fins I described above. I do know, however, that the themed bats from the top of the cars were retained and later sold at an in-house auction. At least two are in the hands of a single collector. Finally, the location of Scooby's Ghoster Coaster is always described as the current location of Snoopy's Surf Dog. This is only partially accurate. The facade/entrance to SGC was where the grassy area in front of Surf Dog now is. There is a round games stand that is still located there - and it sat directly behind and to the side of that. Surf Dogs spike - closest to the main midway - is essentially where the track lived. It's final turn circled what is now the Snoopy's vs Red Baron ride, which at the time was called Dick Dastardly's Bi-Planes. When Nick Universe was added, Boo-Boo's Baggage Claim (kiddie tumble bug) was removed and the Bi-Planes were relocated to that spot and re-themed. Fun fact - Adults constantly hit their heads on the wings of the overhead bats when loading/unloading. So much so, signage was added and ops were required to warn them.
  13. Remember... There were 5 marching bands including a huge drumline at Kings Islands Grand Opening on May 27th, 1972...
  14. Maybe not, but there's been worse. There used to be a swimming pool display in The Beast's plaza for a time in the late 1980's - early 1990's. It was an above-ground pool... fully assembled and filled, re-circulating... and it was white.
  15. I still can vividly recall the "jingling" sound of KCKC's conveyor lift and the recording that played redundantly... "Please remain seated throughout your ride, Thank you.", "Please remain seated throughout your ride, Thank you.", "Please remain seated throughout your ride, Thank you.", "Please remain seated throughout your ride, Thank you.", "Please remain seated throughout your ride, Thank you.", "Please remain seated throughout your ride, Thank you.", "Please remain seated throughout your ride, Thank you."...
  16. Kentucky Kingdom hiring... https://www.whas11.com/article/news/kentucky/louisville-jobs-hiring-kentucky-kingdom-amusement-park-2022-summer-jobs/417-dff03af4-4fb5-4900-ba28-502dcc8ae355
  17. I agree... I enjoyed the added effect of the music on the first lift (and growl.) It was originally added to "Paramountize" the ride - to give it more of an "movie experience" feel. After CF purchased KI, I was pleasantly surprised that it was one of the hold-overs. Of course as time passed... it disappeared. I kind of chalked it up as probably one of those "CF didnt renew the rights to the music..." things. (I have no idea how that stuff works as ownerships transfer.)
  18. It’s the modern day version of a gum wall/gum tree. Thank goodness that fad is over. Ive never understood why, in the off season, no one climbs up there with a broom.
  19. In the 1980's - there was a large surge in water attractions within most theme parks. They were very.... no, not very.... IMMENSELY popular. The addition of one rivaled a coaster in draw. The year(s) after WWC opened at Kings Dominion, the line would routinely stretch to International Street - outside the Old Virginia area of the park. Kings Island's followed suit, and just like its KECO predecessor, the line would routinely snake all the way out of Rivertown. (Trivia... Dominion's uses a conveyor-style loading platform... but due to the popularity and long waits, Kings Islands was given a turntable for speedier load times.) I rode both Dominion's and KI's WWC the years they opened - and the years following - and waited hours each time.) The "rapids" attractions set the "get soaked" trend in motion, and other dry-park water attractions followed suit - mainly modern-day shoot-the-shoots rides (I think Intamin coined them "spillwater" rides.) As the decade ticked on, the popularity of those water rides gave birth to a surge in waterpark additions. The spillwater rides didn't retain the novelty the way rapids rides did - most people found them a one-trick pony. (I recall my friends and I being super stoked to ride "Diamond Falls" at Kings Dominion... the commercials were great! But then when we got to the park and saw it, our reaction was "That's it?") Obviously, with time, the popularity of many of the dry park water rides has waned. Partly due to people's general hesitation to walk around wet in non-bathing attire, but also the general "aging-out" of the rides. Specifically, the single novelty of just getting splashed/soaked has caused a noticeable drop in ridership of the shoot-the-shoots rides. But having a sizable hourly capacity, short lines can deceive the mind when judging a ride's popularity. Personally, I am surprised that Congo Falls has lasted as long as it has. I thought for sure it was headed for the scrap heap back in the early Paramount Action Zone days. When Diamond Falls bit the dust, I again thought Congo's days were numbered. But it seems to be chugging right along at the Island. Its saving grace has likely been good hourly ride counts, relatively low cost/maintenance, and placement in a non-prime piece of real estate. (The plot of land it sits on is, essentially, land locked. Unless of course its used for a smaller flat ride addition or Timberwolf/Invertigo etc meet their demise with it.)
  20. Agreed! Knotts is what I refer to as a "big small park." It can be said that the most charming area - Ghost Town - is also historically the most neglected (in terms of ride installations.) Another signature attraction in that area of the park would further revitalize it and draw crowds away from the Boardwalk area. So many guests tend to ignore that side of the park (with the exception of Ghostrider) and its actually (IMO) the area that makes Knotts unique and unlike anything else at any other park in CA. There's so much to love at Knotts.... Calico Mine, Calico River (the re-theme is superb!), Calico Train (the absolute best train ride at any park in the world), authentic horse-drawn wagon Rides, Timber Mountain (the best flume in the country) the original (and best) Camp Snoopy, Mrs Knotts Chicken Dinner Restaurant and so-on and so-on... they are real gems.
  21. Orion's installation included a major overhaul to a dated themed area. Those changes factored into the overall budget for the capitol expenditure. The park has been very forthright about that when discussing the entire Orion project. My personal opinion is that they made the right call in spending a good deal of effort, and money, to flesh out Area 72, and not just install a coaster. Re: Knotts... I'm glad to see there's a proposal on the table for another signature attraction. But remember, until its announced, things can drastically change (or not happen at all.) I love Knotts as a park - its highly underrated. But there's some overall infrastructure issues the park needs to address - parking is a HUGE issue there. With competing parks upping the ante (Disneyland, Magic Mountain... even LegoLand and Sea World SD) a coaster installation would no doubt be a move to keep them vying for local & tourist dollars. However they also need to continue to concentrate of overall amenities at the park - and most notably the horrible rooms at the Knotts hotel - to keep tourists there for more than a day visit. Now back to the original topic... KI's 50th... I cant remember the last time I was this excited for an upcoming season. The concentration on improvements, and the focus on infrastructure and amenities at the park for 2022 is fantastic. The people overseeing KI are making great decisions.
  22. I agree. While a paint chip may seem inconsequential to some... a bolt, or a piece of wood or a piece of track tubing may seem just as inconsequential to others. I readily shelled out the $ for the Eiffel Tower and glad I had a chance to do it. I think its fun and quirky.
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