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!

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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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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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King’s Island Trip Report – Day 2 (1/2)

29 08 2008

On the second day of the trip, I started out by going straight to the back of the park.  We really wanted to get on the Firehawk, but the line was 2 hours long, so we decided to ride the Flight of Fear.

3. Flight of Fear ***1/2

As soon as we got in line, it began to pour and the t.v.’s warned of thunderstorms in the area.  We were glad to be under a roof in line for an enclosed ride.  The air conditioned warehouse where most of the line is was quite a relief.  A well-concealed mirror makes the whole warehouse look twice as big.  The themeing on the line is very good including a U.F.O which houses the station.  Once you are in the station, it is no relief to watch the trains in front of you get blasted out of the station (and come back empty).  The ride itself was better than all the themeing and took a few members of our group by surprise.

The rain had stopped by the time we left Flight of Fear, and our group decided to head to The Crypt.  When we got to the ride, we learned two things; first, this is a ride where you have to put your stuff in a locker; and second, it was broken down.  We learned the second thing as soon as we stepped in line, so we were not that disappointed.  I suggested that we ride the Beast since it was close by, and everyone agreed.  This turned out to be a much longer wait than last time, but it was worth it.  I think that riding it after the rain made the coaster go faster, making for a wilder ride.

4. Flight Deck ***1/2

After a walk across the park and a long (but scenic) wait, we were on the Flight Deck.  My only other hanging coaster experience being Iron Dragon, I was surprised at the intensity of the ride.  The faster pacing and changes in terrain make this a better ride than the “Draggin’ Iron”.

5. Adventure Express ***

This mine-train style coaster is above average in both theming and layout.  We appreciated the Indiana Jones music that played in the station.  Above all, it was a fun ride that didn’t hurt like some other mine-rides.

After that, we had lunch at the nearby Subway.  Prices were inflated as usual and selection was limited, but we both got a 6″ sub for $6.  I got a free cup of ice water to drink.  This is one service that every amusement park should have and I compliment King’s Island for doing this.





New for ’09 at Holiday World – Pilgrim’s Plunge

26 08 2008

O.k.  It’s not a coaster.  But it’s the world’s tallest water ride, and that deserves some recognition.  A cool, dual elevator will take you up the 135′ lift.  You will attain speeds of 50 mph on the 45°, 131′ drop.  The boat will create a splash 90′ wide and 45′ tall.  The park’s website places emphasis on how this ride is an update of the classic Shoot the Chutes ride.  Intamin will build the ride.  They have built many similar rides to this, including Perilous Plunge at Knott’s Berry Farm, which was the previous record holder at 115′.  Overall, Pilgrim’s Plunge looks very impressive.

Pilgrim’s Plunge is not the only new thing coming to Holiday World.  They are also adding the Holiwatch, which was the free service hinted about in the blog.  It is an RFID powered wristband system, which will help family members locate and send messages to each other.  This is a great new service for families because it is often difficult to communicate and locate each other when visiting a park.

Even though many of us were hoping for a new roller coaster (myself included – hey, I write for the coaster blog), I think that these additions are very good for the park.  I will have to try and get out there sometime soon!





Holiday World Rumor Season – A Guide to the Madness

24 08 2008
The Voyage

The Voyage

A visit to the Holiblog these days can be exciting, excruciating, and most of all confusing.  It seems that Paula is playing with us all – and having a lot of fun doing it.  I’ll help you examine the hints and give you some of my theories.

The 2009 attraction is currently shrouded in mystery and could be practically anything.  We do know that the budget is 8.5 million; approximately what The Voyage cost.  That doesn’t mean that the new attraction will be a coaster, but it doesn’t eliminate that possibility.

Hints about riding a simulation, riding “in the back”, a lift, and a drop seem to suggest a roller coaster.  Still it could be a cross-park aerial tram ride, but that would leave a good chunk of the budget wide open.  One post mentioned the visit of a Gravity Group employee, claiming that the purpose was just to “ride the Voyage“.  Sure.  That post also made a reference to his physical height by calling him “The World’s Tallest Coaster Designer”.  This could be a hint that he has designed the world’s tallest coaster.  Of course, I do not think that the Gravity Group would build a 500′ or even 250′ (to be the world’s tallest woodie) wooden coaster, or that 8.5 million would buy it, or that Holiday World would choose that to be their next coaster.  It is, however, a prime example of how the HoliBlog has fun at the expense of coaster enthusiasts. Someone did point out in the comments that the Gravity Group also designs waterslide complexes, so it is possible that they are getting the world’s tallest waterslide or water coaster.

Vertigo

Vertigo

A very interesting post claimed that the name ‘Vertigo‘ was already taken.  I did some digging on RCDB and found that there was only one coaster in the world with the name Vertigo.  It was a Mountain Glider with an elevator lift, which would fit one hint.  The ride seems to be similar to a zip line, but with fixed track. Even though it fits many of the hints, I do not believe that Holiday World would build one of these rides because Vertigo was so problem ridden that it is currently SBNO (Standing But Not Operating).

Everything from a vertical impulse coaster to a water slide has been suggested.  Here’s my two cents:  Another Gravity Group coaster would undeniably win them the title of ‘Wooden Coaster Capital of the World!’ and would not be disappointing, but would be somewhat redundant with the already well-rounded collection of woodies at the park.  A recent post suggested that the ride would be “a leg up on the competition”.  I suggested that it could be a racing coaster, which would be a unique and fun addition to the park.  If they get a new woodie I hope that it is a replica of a classic ride such as the Rye Playland Aeroplane Coaster or the Riverview Bobs.  This hasn’t been hinted at, but what I think the park needs right now to round out their coaster collection is a nice B&M inverted, flyer, or hyper coaster.

If you have any ideas about the new ride please post them in the comments and stay tuned this Tuesday for the announcement!

The Voyage

The Voyage





Kings Island Trip Report – Day 1

17 08 2008

Here finally is my trip report for Kings Island.  I was there for one partial day and one full day.  Sorry, but none of the pictures are mine as I forgot a camera.  I will go into depth on individual coasters in a later post.

We got to the park around 2 p.m., impressed by the wide tableau of rides that can be viewed from the park.  Son of Beast makes a particularly remarkable showing in the skyline.

To start as a group we headed for the nearest coaster…

Invertigo at Kings Island

Invertigo at Kings Island

#1. Invertigo ***

I was not expecting much, but this Vekoma inverted boomerang model really delivered.  It is a quality ride, but as it is a shuttle, it has terrible capacity, so expect long waits.

Congo Falls at Kings Island

Congo Falls at Kings Island

Feeling the afternoon heat, the group rode the adjacent splash boat ride Congo Falls.  This ride is a pale shadow of much taller rides at Cedar Point and Hersheypark, but still manages to kick up a lot of water and give the riders a pleasant misting.  We dried off in line for our next ride, Delirium.  This ride, a twin of MaxAir at Cedar Point, is my favorite non-coaster amusement park ride of all time.  The spinning disc-on-pendulum ride very much makes the rider feel like Spiderman, swinging from building to building.

Delirium at Kings Island

Delirium at Kings Island

The group then decided to pack it over to the waterpark, Boomerang Bay, which is included in admission.  Walking from the far end of the park to the waterpark turned out to be much more of an ordeal than expected.  It should be said that the park map greatly underrepresents the distance required to walk between the two parks.  We came in our swimsuits so that we did not have to change at the park.  Two lockers were purchased at great expense, and we headed off into the Australian themed waterpark.  The first thing we did was to ride one of the three body slides in the ‘Down Under Thunder’ complex.  While waiting, I was impressed and shaded by the great number of trees in this area of the waterpark.  At the top, several members of our group were turned back for having metal rivets in their swim trunks.  This is something that I hope every waterpark visitor is aware of before they get in line so that they are not disappointed.  After a pleasant but not particularly special ride on the water slide we took a relaxing ride in

Awesome Aussie Twister at Kings Island

Awesome Aussie Twister at Kings Island

the Crocodile Run lazy river.  Finishing that, my friend dragged me on to the Awesome Aussie Twister, which involves two small tubes that continuously twist over one another.  This insanity of waterslide sent my speeding body every which way, kicking up water as I went.  This airborne water made it impossible breathe, so I held it in and hoped for the end to come soon, which it did.  Since I don’t enjoy not being able to breathe, this a nonreccomendation for me.  We couldn’t find the rest of the group after that so we headed to the Great Barrier Reef wave pool and swam for a while.  The group met back at the lockers, dried off, and took the train back to the main park.  We had to be back at the amphitheater at 8:00 for the last concert of the night and were leaving after that, so I knew that I didn’t have much time left for this day.  Seeing that the group was heading in the other group was heading in the other direction, I dragged my friend off with me.  After all, how could I resist being so close to and not riding…

The Beast at Kings Island

The Beast at Kings Island

#2 The Beast.****

Your first time on the Beast is historic for any coaster lover, and it was certainly memorable for me.  The golden evening light made the experience radiant.  I knew the basic idea of the coaster, but no picture could prepare me for the shocking second half.

Walking back towards the amphitheater, we stopped at several shops to examine food prices.  They were scary.  Being thrifty, we began to search for deals.  I spotted Skyline Chili, which being a local Cincinnati restaurant intrigued me.  The prices seemed to be more reasonable so we ordered there.  I got three coneys (hot dogs) with chili while my friend got a chili sandwich.  The reason for the low prices was very small portion sizes, but the food was very good and is therefore a recommendation.  After the concert, we left at a regrettably early 9:30 (the park closes at 10:00).  We were camped about 15 minutes away.  After a few games of Mafia we hit the hay in anticipation of the big day ahead.

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