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.

Advertisements




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!





Today’s the Day!

26 08 2008

At 11:45, Holiday World will begin announcing their 2009 addition(s) via their Twitter.  I will be out to lunch then, so you will know before me, but I will have a followup posted here as soon as possible.

Stay tuned!

**UPDATE**  Click here for my post on the new additions!





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





New for ’09 Kings Island’s Diamondback

20 08 2008

Diamondbacks layout

After much speculation (including on this blog) Kings Island has finally announced their 2009 project.  We already knew that it would be a Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M) hyper coaster, but there was a lot still to be learned.  The general thought was that the coaster would be named Mustang, but we were wrong.  While I do like the name Diamondback, I think that Mustang would be better.  Names aside, this is going to be huge.  The website isn’t exaggerating when they say that this will be one of the best coasters in the world.

The first drop is 215′ from a height of 230′, after which there are five more drops that are over 100′.  The ride is 5,282′ long, reaches speeds of 80 mph and is three minutes long.  The ride length is impressive and so is the ride capacity; 1,620 riders per hour.  The special cars (pictured left) are designed with the rear seats offset so that every rider has an unobstructed view.  These kind of cars debuted this year on Behemoth at Canada’s Wonderland (these are the cars pictured here).

For more information, pictures, an onride video and the latest updates please visit the official Diamondback website or stay tuned right here.

Diamondback will be a great addition to this park.  They have gone too long without a B&M coaster.  I cannot wait to ride it.  See you in April!





Rebuild the Cedar Point Cyclone!

19 08 2008
The Cedar Point Cyclone

The Cedar Point Cyclone

Cedar Point, home of the largest collection of coasters in the world, has been lacking something for a great while.  It should be noted that of their 17 coasters, only 2 are genuine woodies (Gemini and Cedar Creek Mine Ride do not count).  Ever since 1951, a great hole has been left in the park.  Cedar Point has tried to patch it with many rides including Disaster Transport, but has failed.  Nothing could take the place of the Cyclone.

The Cyclone is a beautiful coaster

The Cyclone was a beautiful coaster

We know very little about this ride.  We know that it was a collaboration between two of the greatest coaster designers of all time; it was designed by Prior & Church and built by Harry Traver.  It opened in 1929 and was demolished in 1951.  According to The Walkerville Times, “This monster struck fear in the hearts of many; riding it became a rite of passage for visiting teenagers.” [source]

The 72' drop

The 72' drop

We do, however, have the layout of the ride and an excellent NoLimits simulation of it.  If you own NoLimits, I suggest that you download this track here.  Also check out some of his other sims of classic coasters here and here.  If you don’t own NoLimits yet you can find it here.  The length of the simulated coaster is 2,680 feet and takes 1:45 total time to ride.  The ride appears to have a lot of airtime and a few good lateral g’s (but of course that is all up to the banking of the turns).  The ride is about as long as the Blue Streak, though a few feet shorter in height, so it stands to reason that the ride would be about as intense.  That means the Cyclone would be an ideal middle of the ground ride which would appeal to all ages.

The simple but great layout of the Cyclone

The simple but great layout of the Cyclone

The ride feels like it would fit perfectly in either Great Coaster’s International (GCI) or Gravity Group’s portfolios, which is why I propose that the project be a collaboration between the two firms.  GCI would finalize the design and provide their Millenium Flyer trains, while Gravity Group would actually build the ride.  The Millenium Flyer trains are important because they look like classic Prior and Church trains with their open fronts and articulated cars (for negotiation of P&C’s particularly twisted coasters) and because their heavy wood frames and upholstered seats make for a comfortable ride.  Gravity Group is important because GCI has quite a few projects that they are working on, they build very high quality rides, and they use steel support structures like the Traver company.  The collaboration would also be symbolic because the original Cyclone was designed by Prior & Church and built by Harry Traver.

Millenium Flyer trains by GCI

Millennium Flyer trains by GCI

But where to put it?  The answer is simple: about where it used to be.  The area currently taken up by Disaster Transport would be perfect.  Estimating from the grid in NoLimits editor, the Cyclone is about 160 meters by 40 meters.  Taking a rough measure using Google Maps, Disaster Transport is about 160 by 60 meters.  But what about Disaster Transport, you say?  I say that it is an ultimately forgettable ride housed in a building that is quite an eyesore to that area.  Being in this position, the coaster would also be a welcoming addition to the skyline as visible from the parking lot.  Would you rather look at a big warehouse or a beautiful beach?  This location for the Cyclone would be both beautiful and historically significant.

Disaster Transport is one attractive ride

Disaster Transport is one attractive ride

There are two trends currently that make the rebuilding of this ride realistic now.  One is that Cedar Point and the Cedar Fair chain are becoming more devoted to attracting families to the parks.  The Cyclone would certainly be a roller coaster that would appeal to multiple age groups.  The other is the trend towards constructing new GCI coasters across the Cedar Fair chain.  Both California’s Great America and Worlds of Fun are getting new GCI’s for 2009, and Valleyfair got one in 2007.

The Cedar Point Cyclone was a fun and historically significant coaster.  Today, it would be an ideal addition to the park’s steel coaster heavy lineup.  I’m sure that you can see from these reasons that it would be a great idea to build this ride again.  So this goes out to Cedar Point: Please rebuild the Cyclone!

Readers: What do you think?  Would you ride the Cyclone?  Should Cedar Point rebuild it?  Please comment!

Also: Tell Cedar Point what you think by leaving a comment here.

Please don’t miss a single post of coaster goodness.  Subscribe via rss or email!





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.