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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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.

Click here to read on.





New 2009 Kings Island Coaster Update!

9 07 2008

**Update! Click here to see the latest on this coaster!**

I was wrong.

The 2009 Kings Island coaster will be a Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M) “hypercoaster” rather than the dive machine that I predicted.  This is according to the Dayton Daily News and you can read the article here.

Behemoth at Canada\'s Wonderland
Behemoth at Canada’s Wonderland is a similar model of coaster.

Am I disappointed?  No; this is a great addition to a park long lacking a B&M coaster.  According to the article, which references plans filed at the City of Mason Planning Department, the coaster will be 4,200′ long and have three loops.  Lets look at these stats.  4,200′ is a very satisfying length for a coaster, but three loops?  First of all: loops are ambiguous.  Are we talking about just vertical loops or corkscrews, barrel rolls, or other types of inversions?  Many types of B&M coasters have loops, but no models of this type feature them.  It is also possible that the reporter was mistaken.  Vertical loops from the top look like stretched ‘z’s, while a loop looking layout would indicate a helix turn.

Goliath at Six Flags over Georgia

B&M hypercoasters are widely acclaimed for being great rides.  In Mitch Hawker’s 2007 steel coaster poll, Goliath at Six Flags Over Georgia (pictured above) ranked 7th, Nitro at Six Flags Great Adventure ranked 9th, and Apollo’s Chariot at Busch Gardens Europe (Williamsburg) ranked 12th.  While King’s Island’s new coaster will be average to shorter than most B&M hypers, it will be unique in having a water splashdown feature.  Most tend to sport incredibly steep drops (80 degrees on Behemoth at Canada’s Wonderland) and out and back layouts.  The new coaster at King’s Island will likely be similar to Nitro because of its largely forested layout (pictured below).

The new coaster\'s layout may be similar to Nitro\'s.

Pictured below is a prediction for the layout of the new coaster.  The layout has some elements that are very similar that of Nitro.

Possible layout of the new coaster.

As for a name for the new ride, there are only rumors, but one sign around the ride suggests that it will be named “Mustang”.  This name is fitting because along with Raging Bull (at Six Flags Great America) and Apollo’s Chariot these ride names reference the bucking hills and intense airtime that characterize these rides through ‘wild animal’ imagery.  This name also fits with the ‘wild west’ motif of several other recent coasters in the Cedar Fair family of parks including Maverick at Cedar Point and Renegade at Valleyfair! (Minnesota).  Whatever this ride is named, I’m game for it.

**Update! Click here to see the latest on this coaster!**





The Coasters of Cedar Point, Part III

2 07 2008

Maverick10. Maverick.  This ride, while not as graceful as Millennium Force, is fun in its own right for being a wild ride.  It packs a punch for only being 105′ tall.  The unique feature of this ride is the 95 degree drop, the most intense for its height that I have been on.  After the drop, the ride moves through a series of tightly banked turns, camel backed hills, and crazy inversions.  Just when you think that it has run out of steam, the train is accelerated intensely to 70 m.p.h.  This ride doesn’t let up until it hits the break run.  When Maverick was announced, many enthusiasts expressed their disappointment with the ride.  They were expecting a 500′, 150+m.p.h. record breaking coaster.  Instead they got what they thought was a “family” coaster.  They were wrong.  This intense coaster plays for keeps from the magnetically launched lift hill to the break run.

Mean Streak

11. Mean Streak.  This monster of a roller coaster is impossible to miss once you are at the back of the park.  This 161′ tall coaster was the tallest wooden coaster standing at the time of its opening.  This coaster is notoriously hard on its riders and unfortunately has a trim break on the first drop, slowing down the ride considerably.  As a result, there are always short lines for this ride.  For those who want to brave the tracks of this woodie, the ride turns out to be rather long and satisfying considering the short wait time.  This ride will be fun for anyone who loves woodies, but even so, beware the back seat!

Millenium Force

12. Millennium Force.  This is easily the best coaster at CP.  It is utterly graceful and thrilling, the result of 100’s of years of coaster design evolution and progress.  This coaster, being the second highest at CP surprisingly spends most of its time close to the ground, relishing its speed, then soaring again over hills filled with glorious air time.  This coaster is the smoothest coaster I have ever been on.  There is not a false note over its 6595 foot course.  The front seat is worth the wait (but avoid it in the evening, when the coaster becomes a 90 m.p.h. flyswatter, trust me, I know this from experience).

Raptor

13. Raptor.  This coaster is an intense and wonderful inverted coaster from Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M).  It is a lot of fun because the sensation of having no tracks or car below you is amazing while the coaster soars along its course.  As any B&M coaster, it is incredibly smooth with a creative and twisted layout.  The front seat is a must for the full experience.





2009 Kings Island Coaster Revealed?

27 06 2008

Griffon

According to this article, Kings Island(KI)’s upcoming coaster may be a Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M) Dive Machine.  “It’s going to involve floorless seats. We think there will be some water involved with it,” said Dennis Spiegel, a theme park designer and roller coaster expert. Many sources, including Screamscape, had already speculated that the new coaster would be from B&M, would be a hypercoaster, and would feature a splashdown effect (this was obvious from the construction photos).  This article is unique, however, in that it suggests that the new ride will be a Dive Machine model, similar to Griffon at Busch Gardens Europe (Williamsburg).

Griffon

Dive Machines are quite unique coasters from B&M.  They feature oblong, floorless trains and 90 degree drops.  At the top of these drops, a special second chain “lift” holds you in place, so that you may observe and comprehend your fate for a few seconds before release.  There are five currently in the world.  The first is Oblivion, at Alton Towers (UK); followed by Diving Machine G5 at Janfusun Fancyworld (Taiwan), SheiKra at Busch Gardens Africa (Tampa), Griffon at BGE, and Vertical Coaster at Chimelong Paradise (China).  Griffon, the coaster which KI’s is being compared to is 205′ tall, has 2 inversions, and reaches speeds of 71 m.p.h.  All pictures in this article are of Griffon.Griffon

Whatever the new coaster is, it will be lots of fun and very exciting.  KI Spokesman Don Helbig says, “…It’s going to be the most exciting attraction in the 36-year history of the park,”

GriffonUpdate!  Click here for the latest on this coaster.





Coaster Blog Summer Preview

6 06 2008

Here is a preview of what parks I will be visiting this summer:

In July: Kings Island

In August: Hersheypark, Knott’s Berry Farm

Expect to see trip reports and individual ride reviews, so keep reading!

I am currently most anticipating riding Fahrenheit.  I also anticipate the wooden coasters at all three parks (notably The Beast, Lightning Racer, and Ghostrider.  This will be my first time at Hershey and KI, so I cannot wait to check these parks out.  I went to KBF a few times as a child.  This was my first amusement park (I will write about this later, perhaps in conjunction with the KBF trip report), but I was too scared to ride on any of the larger coasters so it will be basically a new experience for me.  I am excited about KBF’s Ghostrider, Sierra Sidewinder, Pony Express, Xcelerator, and most of all Silver Bullet.

Well, thats all for now.  I will keep you posted!





CP vs. SFMM part II

4 06 2008

Today, I saw a coupon for a Cedar Point day ticket.  The price?  At a discount of  $8, $34.95.  It helps to get some relative prices to understand just how good a deal this is.  General admission at the park we often compare to CP, Six Flags Magic Mountain is $59.99 (that’s almost twice as much, by the way).  We have conceded scientifically (OK, it wasn’t actually very good) that CP=SFMM on the coaster quality front.  Therefore, whichever park is less expensive must be the better park.  Now it really isn’t fair to compare these parks like they are actually wholly competing with each other because there is a large geographical divide (they’re on opposite ends of the country), and therefore look for very different markets.  While I have not been to both parks, I can say that from trip reports and park reviews that Ive read, that CP offers a much more satisfactory experience than SFMM.  In the end though, it is really only your opinion for you to decide.