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Buckeye Brad

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Buckeye Brad last won the day on April 13 2021

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    Cincinnati, Ohio

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  1. The log flume “enhancement” at Six Flags over Texas is interesting and encouraging. So many log flumes and water rides have been removed in recent decades, and it’s nice to see one get refurnished, upgraded, and even hyped as a marquee attraction. Regarding Flash at Great Adventure, would be interesting to see the cost difference to add a second train. With all the advancements in “fast track switching” that have come out recently, seems like 2 train ops would be standard equipment on this coaster when installed at larger parks. I could see Holiday World adding one of these in 5 years or so as a “grown up” compliment to Good Gravy. Could even be on the same land.
  2. Another interesting method is using air pressure. I saw a video years ago about the "Skyscraper" ride (usually in tourist areas like Dells, Pigeon Forge, Branson). The main element of the ride a rotating long, slender steel beam with seats at each end. Obviously any crack in the beam could be catastrophic. The video highlighted how they pressurized the steel tubes with air, and the ride system electronically monitored that pressure to detect even the smallest leak instantly. Not practical on large coasters unfortunately, but I thought it was a clever approach.
  3. I saw a news interview with Mr. Wagner where he said the the first employee he told (nearest) was an “elderly gentleman “ parking lot attendant They were presumably within line of sight of the crack, and this employee told Mr. Wagner that he could not see it. Seems unreasonable after watching the zoomed in video a dozen times, but it might be quite reasonable depending on this employee’s eyesight, cleanliness of his glasses, lighting at that moment, etc. Mr. Wagner then proceeded to guest relations, where the 4th employee he talked to (unclear what transpired with the previous ones) asked him to airdrop the video and then walked away to tell someone. Which does indeed sound quite reasonable. On one hand, I can see how the park employees would respond skeptically at first, as a cracked support is very unlikely . On the other, Mr. Wagner’s daughter could have been riding Fury at that moment (she stayed the park), so any reaction short of a immediate E-Stop would seem unacceptable.
  4. KI is my home park, and I am super thankful that we have Orion. The first drop is spectacular, the theme is fun, and overall is a fine addition. That said, here are things that I prefer on Millennium Force: 1. The narrow and minimal train design feels scarier and faster. Every seat has basically “air” to the left or to the right. This is especially awesome ascending the lift hill, sitting left. Nothing but a lake 300’ down next to your lap. 2. Tunnels. They increase the speed perception. 3. The queue flybys at the end increase the excitement for those waiting in line 4. Directional changes. Granted, they are not exactly rapid fire, but they are more in number and intensity than Orion 5. The sprawling layout makes me feel like I’ve travelled further. The views change more dramatically. Even the smells change (Asian food to petting zoo in seconds). 6. Station vibe. Cant put my finger on it, but the arrival of empty trains, the retro future music, and the fast dispatch as the lift cable yanks the train increase the excitement for me. Still very happy to have both giga coasters in my home state!
  5. Kings Dominion has, in my opinion, made the perfect choices to improve their two adjacent wooden coasters. Hurler turned out fantastic as a full blown RMC steel conversion, complete with inversions. Grizzly looks like another Gravity Group resurrection, that's both faithful to the original, and spiced up a notch. Different, but appropriate solutions. Likewise, Kings Island has made the appropriate improvements to Racer and Beast in my opinion.
  6. Your Toronto Skydome comparison is a good one. I watched a game there, and while it a cool structure, it’s huge and impractical for a theme park. Am alternative might be to build a huge coaster outside as normal, but build a sleeve or tube around the track to protect it from the elements. Think if the tube around the launch hill of The Incredible Hulk continued over the entire run, or at least the areas that are high or stick out. Granted, a “tunnel” at 300 feet is one more safety risk and thing to maintain. But certainly cheaper than a Skydome. Many indoor waterparks use a similar strategy where part of the tube slides extend outside the building, yet are still sheltered. Less square footage of climate controlled interior sure required. When I was a kid I thought it would be ideal if The Vortex had a zip together tent like tunnel that would be attached along the entire track run every winter to allow Winterfest rides. A bobsled coasters like Reptilian (Avalanche) at Kings Doninion is halfway there. Just construct the half of the track and you have a “tube coaster”. Protected from the the elements. And faster ride due to less wind resistance.
  7. My favorite guests are ones who laugh on coasters. For example, my wife is not a fan of big scary coasters. But on a family ride like The Racer, after a brief gasp going down the first hill, she starts laughing. Huge ear to ear grin. All the way through. It’s a beautiful thing. When the entire train joins in the laughter, it’s magic. Pure innocent joy with strangers. Rare to find these days. :^)
  8. “Practical effects and optical illusions” One of my favorites is the beginning of the Peter Pan ride at Disney World. Specifically the ride through the bedroom, out the window, through the alley, and into the sky over London. It’s such a simple, low tech effect. There’s no mystery or “How’d they do that?”. But I love it. It has charm and it brings a smile to my face every time. In fact I’d love an entire ride of “flying over London” in the same style.
  9. Very happy about all the GG TLC on Racer. That photo shows a transition curve that I always thought was designed a little bit “off”. Like the train struggled a bit through and lost some speed. I wonder if Gravity Group redesigned it, or just retracked it. Either way, I hope that Racer makes it to 100. Halfway there. :^)
  10. Interesting answer. So how did it come to pass that most every other park adopted the individual lap bars? The cost to change over for a park like KI (with 7 trains) was certainly not trivial. I’ve always thought it interesting that even Holiday World transitioned Raven only a few years after it opened, yet Knoebels has not. When it was asked, I honestly wish that PTC would have said, “No, but simply adding seat belts will work just as well if not better”. I really enjoyed riding Hershey Comet last summer with buzz bars. My legs did too. And not to beat a dead horse, but I wish they would have asked about turning a train backwards. My understanding is that Racer and others don’t run backwards because the Manufacturer doesn’t recommend it, but I’ve never understood why specifically, especially since they ran backwards for many years without problems (to my knowledge). In any case, thanks for posting. I enjoy these kinds of podcasts where I meet the great people who make the fun possible.
  11. Very interesting points. My RollerCoasterTycoon brain likes likes to expand beyond every border, but I get the reasons to expand inward or simply replace existing rides. Any actual expansion does require some amount of ongoing maintenance. Every new ride built, without removing an older ride, requires more employee hours to operate and maintain. I’d love if Orion went out and buzzed the Little Miami River, but all that infrastructure in the woods has an environmental impact. As attractions like The Bat, Timberwolf, Congo Falls, Invertigo, and Backlot age out, plus The Vortex plot, and all the grass around the D’back station, I can see decades of “inward expansion” without ever having look outward. My guess is that KI is pretty close to where Cedar Fair wants it to be size and # of attraction wise, with only modest actual “expansion” decade to decade. Thought experiment: Pretend that steel coasters like Screamin’ Demon, the Original Bat, King Cobra, Firehawk, and Vortex had 100+ year “service lives” and no issues maintenance and with getting replacement parts. Now consider that KI still wants to add 2-3 hot and new coasters per decade to satisfy the market. At some point you have 30+ coasters, which is fun for us, but an ever growing burden to operate and maintain. And the bigger the park, the greater risk of losing $ when weather is bad on the next pandemic hits. Take it further: imagine if KI expanded like crazy and added world’s biggest and best attractions every year. Would the potential attendance and revenue increase come close to justifying it? Maybe in Orlando or Dubai, but not likely in Cincinnati. In the first few decades of KI, more aggressive expansion made sense. But now as a “mature” seasonal park in the Midwest, it’s probably a “slow and steady wins the race” mentality. Cedar Point expands inward because Lake Erie prevents otherwise. But it’s likely that even if they magically had more land, they would not be rushing to expand it too quickly.
  12. I rode KD Grizzly this past summer for the first time. Got 5 rides in various seats, and I really dug it despite the obvious need for TLC. I have no doubt that a Gravity Group rehab like KI Racer and Beast would make Grizzly an outstanding destination wooden coaster. That quick headchopping dip into the tunnel is fantastic, and the secluded forest setting enhances the experience.
  13. 1. It's not a "show", but I recommend taking the time to walk through the tower gardens. There are timeline tiles for every year since 1972, and neat photo displays along the way that chronicle the history of the park. 2. Nearby the tower gardens is the Grand Carousel. Yeah, it's just merry go round, but its 96 years old and just had a major renovation this past winter. It looks beautiful, and the Wurlitzer organ is a great original touch and sounds fantastic. If you are like me and appreciate rare historic amusement park things, with a ridiculous amount of ornate detail and love, take a ride. 3. As mentioned above, I strongly recommend Phantom Theater Encore. Get there 20+ minutes before showtime. If you are not familiar with the original ride, watch this official POV from KI before you see the show. Plan to spend a few minutes after the show checking out the cool display on the theater lobby that includes some cool models. 4. The fireworks show at 10PM is well worth your time. This year it celebrates 50 years of KI, and includes lasers, drones, and original music. We enjoyed our view from right inside the front entrance.
  14. I rode it last week. Fun, though my body struggles with the backwards run. I appreciated the Banshee style shoulder restraints (not sure if they are new). The tunnel even had changing scents as you zoomed through. It was all very well done, and a perfect fit for an amusement park that’s all about candy. This ride has a somewhat prominent placement in the park so the redecoration has an even bigger payoff than say Invertigo might.
  15. Shaggy, I also rode SDL last Saturday (my first ever HP visit). You will be pleased to know that it ran just fine. I appreciate these oldies and had a great ride. The smiling riders on my train did too. It almost looks like a toy with it’s tiny track and little orange trains snaking around a spaghetti maze of huge B&M track, log flume troughs, and pathways, and feels like an oversized Junior coaster in a fantasy RCT land. I’m glad it’s still here. Great visuals and a refreshing break from the crazy coasters. :^) My son and I had fun imagining the board meeting to name this ride a name in the ‘70s. I personally would have vetoed “Superdooperlooper” in a heartbeat for something more fierce sounding, but now I’m glad that this name won the day. It’s perfectly ridiculous, honest, and charming.
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