Why Michigan’s Adventure Should Get Geauga Lake’s Historic Carousel

21 12 2008

Geauga Lakes Historic Carousel

OK, it’s not about roller coasters, but who doesn’t love riding on a carousel?

Cedar Fair closed Geauga Lake’s amusement park section last year (the waterpark is still open) and relocated many of the rides to other parks.  The most notable of these relocations was Dominator, a B&M floorless coaster, which went to King’s Dominion in VA.  The carousel, however, remains on site.  Cedar Fair is going to relocate it to another one of their parks, but is keeping the destination a secret.

The carousel was hand-carved by Marcus Illions.  It was built for the Philadelphia Sesquicentennial Exposition of 1926.  After 10 years in storage, Illions restored it and sold it to Geauga Lake for the season of 1937.  It will now be refurbished a second time and given another brand new home.  Here’s why that new home should by Michigan’s Adventure.

1.  Michigan’s Adventure lacks a good carousel.  Right now we only have a little carousel that feels and looks like it was made out of cheap plastic.  Bring on the hand-carved wood!

2. Michigan’s Adventure is a young park.  It has very little history or identity currently, so it could use a ride that has real history and identity behind it.

3. Michigan’s Adventure needs an iconic family ride.  We have Shivering Timbers sure, but does it appeal to families?  Not so much.

Source: Amusement Park Madness

So there are my reasons.  Have your own?  Please comment.  Don’t miss any roller coaster goodness! Please subscribe via email or rss!





Ring°Racer: The World’s Fastest Roller Coaster

13 12 2008

Last week I wrote about a potential tallest coaster ever.  This week we have the definite fastest coaster ever.

It will go 0-134 m.p.h in 2.5 seconds. That’s all that needs to be said.

The Coaster Critic has more.

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The Tallest Coaster in the World?

7 12 2008

We have recently recieved news of a new park in the Six Flags chain; Six Flags Dubailand.  Following the tradition of abbrv’s in the coaster fandom, I official call this new park SFDb (we cannot use SFDL, because that stands for Six Flags Darien Lake, and that acronym was retired when SF sold the park).  It will be 60 acres and include 40-60 rides with three or four major roller coasters.  Mark Shapiro said that they would be on the order of Kingda Ka, Nitro, El Toro, and X2.

What I am excited about is his mention of a Kingda Ka type ride going to the park.  There has been a rumor on Screamscape that Intiman was building a taller and faster rocket coaster for a middle eastern park, and this just makes it more exciting.

What will the tallest and fastest coaster in the world be like.  Will they just break the record by a couple feet (Kingda Ka vs. Top Thrill Dragster), or will they go for the big 500 (feet)?  I hope that whatever they do, they give it more of an exciting layout than the plain old vertical out and back.  Perhaps something more along the lines of the graceful Millenium Force.

SFDb is one of many parks going in at Dubai.  At this rate, Dubai will be the rightful Coaster Capital of the World in a few years.  Which means of course I will have to visit.

Sources:

http://travel.latimes.com/daily-deal-blog/index.php/six-flags-qatar-3468/

http://www.screamscape.com/html/dubailand.htm

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New “Timberliner” Coaster Trains by Gravity Group!

19 11 2008

Everything the Gravity Group has done has been very exciting. On November 18, the Gravity Group LLC, announced their Timberliner brand of coaster trains. The new trains will use ergonomic styling, shocks, and innovative restraints for increased comfort and safety. They will have “unparalleled ability to smoothly navigate the track for decreased train & track maintenance”. Reduced wear and tear on the tracks is important because wooden coasters have very high maintenance costs. They will also include compatibility with magnetic braking systems, on-board audio systems, and, most exciting of all, launch systems. It was very strategic for the Gravity Group to develop these trains, as they will do much to improve the overall popularity of wooden coasters. Many people complain about how wooden coasters are old-fashioned and uncomfortable, but these new trains will truly take wooden coasters into the 21st century. As for launch compatibility, maybe Cedar Point will finally get that rumored 500′ Intamin launched woodie!

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New for 2008 at Worlds of Fun – Prowler

15 11 2008

Great Coasters International has proven itself to be a very creative roller coaster design firm.  From their first coaster, Wildcat, to Lightning Racer, Thunderhead, and their latest, Prowler, GCI has shown its ingenious and twisted imagination.

Prowler is World’s of Fun’s (MO) new coaster for 2009.  Prowler is a 3,074 foot long out and back style terrain coaster.  It begins with the classic GCI spiraling drop of 85′, which turns you around past the station again.  The out and back portion is very twisted and low to the ground.  There is a total elevation change of 102′ with speeds reaching 51 m.p.h.  The back half will be very exciting with low to the ground, high speed twists and close encounters with trees.  Millenium Flyer trains will ply Prowler’s rails.  These are easily the best and most comfortable coaster trains I have ridden in.  Make sure to check out the POV video below.  While the design looks like an out and back, the ride feels very much like a twister.  For the latest on Prowler, visit the official site.

What do you think about Prowler’s design?  Post your thoughts in the comments.  If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe via email or rss.





New for 2009 – Manta

7 11 2008

Manta's graceful layout

SeaWorld Orlando is building a cool new flying coaster for ’09 – Manta.  At 3395′ long and 140′ tall it is very respectable in size.  The trains will reach up to 56 m.p.h., while swooping less than 10′ from surface of a lake.  This coaster is an evolution of flying coaster design. It incorporates swooping drops, ground flybys, a pretzel loop (see bottom right), and a wing dip (where the coaster touches and sprays water) into its twisted layout.  The color scheme of dark purple, ultramarine blue, and cobalt, as well as theming will enhance the total experience.  The ride will be only a part of a entire world

Construction on Manta

Construction on Manta

themed to rays featuring artwork and floor-to-ceiling ray aquariums.  No one can build a coaster to embody the grace and fluidity of a ray like Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M) of Switzerland.  B&M have constantly been on the forefront of coaster innovation, design, and quality, which they reaffirm in this new coaster.

a pretzel loop

a pretzel loop

I have never ridden on a B&M flying coaster.  I have ridden on a Vekoma Flying Dutchman model, however, the restraints were awkward and the ride was a bit rough.  I will be interested to see how B&M handles flying coasters, because I know them to make the smoothest coasters and most comfortable restraints in the industry.  Hopefully I will get to ride their Tatsu at SFMM this January.

Sources:

http://www.johnnyupsidedown.com/manta0.html

http://rcdb.com/id4190.htm

http://rcdb.com/document292.htm

Readers:  Is Manta a new stage in coaster design, or rehash?  Post your thoughts in the comments!  Please don’t miss a single post of coaster goodness.  Subscribe by rss or email!





Man Struck by Roller Coaster at Six Flags

31 08 2008

A man was hit by a roller coaster on Saturday, August 30th at Six Flags Magic Mountain.  At approximately 4:00 P.M. the man was struck by Ninja, an inverted roller coaster (pictured above).  Michael Rohrer, a 20 year old from West Hollywood, CA, had climbed into a “visibly restricted area” in the act of retrieving his hat.  He was found unconscious, attended by park first aid within 2 minutes, and was airlifted to the UCLA Medical Center.  He died around 2 AM.

The Ride

Batman: The Ride

The ironic thing about this accident is that the same thing happened earlier this summer at Six Flags over Georgia.  A 17-year old was decapitated by the Batman: The Ride train while attempting to retrieve a hat.  The parks are in no way at fault in either case.  In both cases, there were 6′ fences with warning signs surrounding the ride.  It seems that it would be hard to get hit by a roller coaster, but at 50 m.p.h. (the speed that Batman: The Ride was going during the accident) a coaster can sneak up on you.  Perhaps it is best to know that without caution, a roller coaster can take both your hat and your life.

Sources:

ThrillNetwork.com

MSNBC.com

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