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Everything posted by TombRaiderFTW

  1. I think the Columbus Zoo has the right idea with it. They have a slow-moving boat ride that flows through their (fantastically themed) Australia & The Islands area and the animal exhibits within. Their animatronic dinosaurs are positioned alongside the boat trough, in scenes where various things are happening. I want to say one of their dinosaurs also lightly spritzes riders? In doing that, there is a little more of an experience to be had. Obviously Kings Island wasn't/isn't going to install animal exhibits for the sake of a temporary animatronic dinosaur upcharge, but turning it into an experience using some kind of ride vehicle (doesn't need to be elaborate) and simple theming would have made it more worthwhile to me. The simplicity of just having concrete paths, information plaques, and the dinosaur animatronics just off the path (even with the motion activation) felt to me like a bit of a cash grab. The boat ride at the Columbus Zoo isn't a must-do, but as someone who has never been a zoo member but who WAS a passholder every year Dinosaurs Alive existed, I've definitely paid more to ride the Dinosaur Island Boat Ride at the zoo since it opened than I ever paid for DA over the course of its existence. But I'm also not a kid (the target audience of DA) and I don't have any kids, so perhaps I'm not the best judge.
  2. I'm heartbroken. Poseidon's Fury was dated and cheesy, and the video projections at the end had laughable costumes, yet the experience was also very charming and family-friendly and had well-done set pieces and effects. It was a must-do for me every single time I went there. In fact, PF was the last thing I did on my last visit to Universal on November 25, 2019. I'd love to be able to experience it once more before it goes, but I don't think I'll be able to make it to Orlando within the next month. The water tunnel will go down in theme park history as one of the coolest modern effects. I also remember being stunned at the disappearing and reappearing walls in the final room my first few times through, though I now understand how it worked. The queue and show building were also just GORGEOUS. The Lost Continent is (was?) my favorite land within IoA, and Poseidon's Fury was a big part of that. I totally understand removing it--I'm among the people who expected it to be removed sooner than it was--but it's still tough to see it go. I really do think that it was a fantastic medium of storytelling that also was accessible to everyone without being a stage show or a ride. That's a very unique concept and accessibility to have combined in an attraction, even 24 years after its opening. For families whose children were picked by "Taylor" to be their helper, it made memories. If there's anything to the rumor that a Legend of Zelda land will replace The Lost Continent, I'm gonna go ahead and get my hopes up that perhaps PF will be reborn as a Legend of Zelda-type walkthrough. It might be naive (read: it's almost certainly naive), but I'd just hate to see the walkthrough show concept go away. This has the same emotional impact to me as if Kennywood were to announce getting rid of Noah's Ark.
  3. Sure, as much as smart business decisions can be thought of as "taking advantage of" something. See also: cartoon/comic book Wonder Woman getting several new Six Flags rides around the same time as the DCEU films, cartoon/comic book Spider-Man getting a few new Universal rides just before the Tobey Maguire era, etc.
  4. (Bolded for emphasis.) For what it's worth, the dark ride appearance of Scooby-Doo was actually licensed through Sally Rides, not through Hanna-Barbera directly. That's how around the same timeframe, Six Flags Fiesta Texas and Six Flags St. Louis had very similar Scooby-Doo dark rides (though St. Louis's actually took place on a boat.)
  5. I love how ominous that looks from that angle. It's Skyline time... or else.
  6. ^ What he said. If you imagine riders having no loose items and being quick and efficient boarders/disembarkers, there being no seatbelt to check, and every train being 100% full, you could theoretically launch a train roughly every 30-40 seconds (approximately the time between launch and clearing a non-trimming MCBR.) That would put the ride at 1,800-2,400 people per hour, assuming it was running enough trains to always have a train waiting before the station and there was enough operators checking restraints. Here in the real world, of course, basically none of those things ever happens, so obviously 2,000+ pph is a pipe dream.
  7. I doubt a modern Virginia Reel could be made with that kind of car. Laws and guidelines concerning restraint design on new installations have come a long way since Virginia Reels last existed, and from what I've seen of them, they basically had no restraints anyway.
  8. Of the ones on that list, I'll take the Arrow Suspended, the Intamin Accelerator and Suspended Catapult, and the Schwarzkopf looper. It's funny to me that anyone would want the Chance Toboggan back. Those things are torture devices. They're not on the list, but I'd add CCI wooden coasters, too. No, S&S and The Gravity Group aren't the same, regardless of staff. I don't mean to be a snob and say that CCI wood coasters and Schwarzkopf looping coasters are where coaster design peaked... but I'd be lying if I said any present-day industry players make rides nowadays that I like quite as much as either of those.
  9. Premier isn't offering anything better nowadays, IMO. Their Sky Rocket II trains are more comfortable once seated, but getting in or out of them is a nightmare. They're super cramped.
  10. You're not wrong, and it's making me wonder if something is going on behind the scenes at KI, CP, CF corporate, or all 3. The late announcement of Adventure Port plus the fact that it's not looking like it'll be ready for opening day makes me think that something shifted at the last moment in 2022 that made AP happen. Racer is getting a significant retrack and not much has been said about it, which is odd for the park. The International Street Skyline and Chick-Fil-A, which have been there for many years, are being replaced with... something, and that has never been truly addressed except passively by updating the food options on the website--Coney Bar-B-Que got more coverage, despite being announced super late, IIRC. It's like every change for 2023 has taken KI by surprise. Meanwhile, CP just had an enthusiast event where most of the announcements were, "Remember [thing]? Well, [thing] is going away!" If the oddity of 2023 had just been limited to CP, I would sooner guess it's something to do with their new GM... but it's not. I wonder if someone at the top of the chain changed recently.
  11. If I remember correctly, this was basically how the original version of Fun Perks worked back in 2012... I think. I remember there being some confusion about what your point total was--I wanna say you'd semi-randomly get an extra receipt when making a purchase in-park that would give you a free cotton candy, a discount on Slingshot or Skyflier, etc.
  12. The part of me that remembers growing up at KI in the 90's and early 2000's loves Backlot as it is, as it's basically the only remaining remnant of that era, for better or worse. The rest of me had a daydream the other day of Backlot being removed and a new Swan Lake being put in its place as part of a reimagining of that area, in preparation for whatever is coming to Vortex's plot of land. I like the thought of it getting a full retheme, though. Even post-Mystic, I'm not holding my breath that Cedar Fair would give it the Verbolten-esque theming it would need... but it's a nice thought. Genuinely curious: If y'all had to choose between getting a Vortex replacement first or getting a top-to-bottom retheme of Backlot first, which one would you choose?
  13. What am I supposed to take away from this? That it's a bad idea because Six Flags did it? Y'all act like Six Flags has not successfully been in business longer than Cedar Fair has existed.
  14. Six Flags Great Adventure, which is roughly the same size as KI, runs on solar power. If they can do it, I don't see why KI couldn't. More: https://www.nj.com/news/2019/06/six-flags-is-now-one-of-worlds-1st-solar-powered-theme-parks-more-clean-energy-is-on-the-way.html
  15. I don't think I've ever seen a full-size suspended coaster do a corkscrew, but there is a miniature version in this video:
  16. This is pure speculation: I think the idea that inspired the suspended coaster concept was that, instead of having to bank the track, the train would bank itself. As has been pointed out here many times, both the original Bat and Arrow's suspended coaster prototype had the unbanked track. It was only after 1981 that Arrow started banking its suspended coaster track, presumably due to lessons learned at Kings Island. All that to say, I think the existence of the suspended coaster as a concept is inextricably tied to the build and failure of The Bat. The Bat or a ride like it, warts and all, was always where that concept was going to end up, unless someone at Arrow was going to build and continuously operate a full-sized prototype for years and track how the thing aged (which seems unlikely.) Let's pretend for a minute that Arrow designed an unbanked track that could handle what the trains were doing. I wish I could remember who it was, but someone (possibly Jeff Gramke?) said at Coasterstock 2015 that the 6 dampeners that exist at the rear of each suspended coaster car were added on the fly while trying to troubleshoot The Bat. They eventually became standard on Arrow's suspended coaster cars. Those dampeners serve to... well, dampen the swinging of the cars so they go back to their "resting" position under the track more quickly. The more those dampeners have to move, the more quickly they wear out. On the post-1981 suspended coasters with banked track, those dampeners barely move, apart from moments like the swing up into the brakes on the 1993 Bat. On the original Bat, the wild swinging of the cars made them move like crazy. If the track could take the forces, I think the next issue would be parks not wanting to have to replace the dampeners. In other words, I think banking the track was always a likely future for suspended coasters, and the one(s) that had unbanked track probably wouldn't have had as long of a life as the later ones. I don't think The Bat would have been around for, say, 30 years in this scenario. Let's pretend that the track and the dampeners both aren't issues, somehow. Arrow's prototype contained a corkscrew. I've never heard officially why that never worked out, but many have speculated that it might be hard to guarantee consistent and safe navigation across all temperatures and weather. (The train takes the corkscrew too slowly because it's cold or windy? The car/cars presumably might fall to one side or another, which might not be comfortable and/or safe for the riders.) Eleven years after The Bat, B&M made their first inverted coaster. It's a similar concept (you hang below the track) but they can do inversions, which is a big selling point. Sure, as coaster people, we know that inverts and suspended coasters are of course very different rides, but that's not a nuance a lot of parkgoers are concerned with. Flashiness is the name of the game and always has been with coasters. All that to say: Had the original Bat had a track that worked and the dampeners somehow weren't a deterrent, I think it wouldn't have made a massive change to KI's future or the industry's future. Perhaps Arrow would have sold more suspended coasters elsewhere in the 1980's if their first big showing of the model hadn't flopped. And if we already had a functioning suspended coaster in 1992, perhaps we would have gotten a B&M invert when all the "cool kids" were getting them instead of 20 years after the fact like we did. At most, maybe Arrow would have beaten B&M to the punch on inverts and Banshee would have been an Arrow invert located where the current Bat is. I think suspended coasters are a neat, unique glimpse into a pre-CAD bit of coaster history, and we are unlikely to ever see anything quite like them again--Vekoma has/had their own version, yes, but they're very different layouts compared to Arrow's and haven't been sold in several years. But that's just my opinion!
  17. Boy, have I got news for you about how businesses work. I don't know if this was true in every presentation or just in mine, but Tony did admit in ours that part of some of the decisions that were made for 2023 were based in staffing and trying to consistently offer quality in what remains. I don't think that's mutually exclusive with, "We're trying to save money." I've had kind of a vibe from Cedar Fair recently (minus Kings Island and Carowinds) that they aren't particularly sure of what they are right now, and WCO 2023 only solidified that feeling for me. Cedar Fair post-Ouimet is giving me Disney post-Walt vibes--they seem to know that what was done 7-11 years ago worked but don't fully understand why, so they keep doing it in hopes that it'll keep working. I think that's why rides keep disappearing at Cedar Point and restaurants pop up in their wake, and why live entertainment hasn't moved past music revues (which has been standard amusement park fare since the 70's) and circus acts (which appeared circa 2012.) LARP-style attractions (Ghost Town Alive, Forbidden Frontier) were an interesting step in the right direction with a lot of potential, but CP was always an odd choice to me for one, and they basically hid it from plain sight. You had to look for it, unlike at Knott's, where you'd easily stumble into it (since Ghost Town is effectively their International Street, for the purposes of this conversation.) I'm not shocked it wasn't pulling numbers (Tony's words, not mine) and it's gone. It's a shame that Forbidden Frontier seems to have put a bad taste in CF's mouths about the entire concept. Cedar Fair circa 2012-2017 was redefining what the seasonal amusement park experience was, and it seems like we've faltered. Cedar Point's 2023 strategy being "we're adding a wild mouse and removing a bunch of other stuff" makes me feel like no one knows what to do with where things stand. Putting Tony Clark in the spotlight to have to break that news in person to a bunch of enthusiasts was an odd move at best, and at least in my presentation, it showed. Tony was very subdued and even the littlest bit sharp with people. It's unsurprising to me that they did a "text your question to this number" system for the Q&A, because that gave him the ability to ignore disgruntled questions.
  18. The water effects can be seen in that video. There's a real-life POV after the animation.
  19. I'm excited to see more. I appreciate the detail work that has gone into them already, but they did seem a bit "clean" compared to the overall vibe of Adventure Express.
  20. Or even paint it. Not shades of blue like the Royal Fountain, but a deep blue, aqua, or even black would be a nice change from the concrete, whose light gray shows the gunk easily.
  21. I expect that Fast Lane will be sold at a higher price this year. Frankly, this seems like another decision rooted in them selling too many Prestige passes for 2023. That, and selling too many of the all-year Fast Lanes. Gotta cut down on FL demand somehow.
  22. That's too bad. If Knoebels, Dorney, and Kennywood didn't already have their respective Whips, I'd hope for it to go their way. If KI wanted to, say, reimagine Coney Mall to be more like the Coney Island of old and kick that off by snatching this up, I sure wouldn't mind!
  23. So sorry to hear this. Ed was a crucial part of the park's history for years, across many additions. He will be missed.
  24. Yeah, it won't be Fun, Fireworks, and Fifty. It'll be Fun, Fireworks, and Fifty One.
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