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Coaster

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Everything posted by Coaster

  1. Maybe for next year they'll refurbish it to Derren Brown's Ghost Train: Rise Of The Sneeze?!
  2. Coaster

    Wicker Man

    It's really dislike that they don't let you choose the rows, I mean fair enough if there's some free and they want to fill them but why force people who want to sit at the back in row 3 and then people who might prefer nearer the front sit at the back? It's a nightmare. On Troy they actually encourage people to sit at the back with a seperate queueing space!
  3. Coaster

    X

    Reload by Sebastian Ingrosso & Tommy Trash? I think they played the instrumental version in X.
  4. Yikes, that's truly shocking to pull them at such short notice once people will have already booked accommodation and planned their visits etc. Have Thorpe been taking lessons from Pleasure Beach? Although in a way this is worse!
  5. We left the Express hotel on Wednesday morning following our first day at Cedar Point to make the trip to Kings Island. The day didn’t get off to the best of starts with bad traffic and road closures, but we finally made it to Kings Island to find that the park was rather quiet. Past the ticket kiosks the park’s entrance area is stunning with the Eiffel tower structure in the distance, fountain and brass band music (The dam busters march was playing as we entered). It’s one of the grandest and most unique park entrances I’ve ever seen, just really nice. The park had a nice clean aesthetic with minimal theming scattered around where appropriate, it was also fairly easy to navigate. Operations were absolutely super across the entire park with all coasters running full capacity with minimal queues; Vortex for example was still running three trains even though it was walk-on. Just amazing. I did find the atmosphere seemed to lack but I’m not sure if this is just because it was a quiet day; the park felt quite flat and soulless which may have been more noticeable due to the charm and vibrance of the two parks we had visited previously (Kennywood and Cedar Point). Kings Island may have just been “normal” rather than particularly dull. One thing to mention is that the Eiffel Tower is a fantastic feature and the view from the top is stunning, definitely make time for this if you visit IMO. Onto the ride reviews; Banshee Banshee is a relatively new B&M inverted coaster and much larger than the others I have ridden, whilst also featuring the vest restraints. This ride seems to receive a fair amount of criticism from enthusiasts but I’m really not sure why, I thought it was brilliant. The ride is on a much larger scale to most B&M inverts so you miss the quick changes and transitions, but the sheer force of this thing was incredible. At the bottom of every drop or inversion you hit a dip which just had the most incredible sensation of speed and power, the helixes were great and I just thought it was a fantastic ride overall. My only criticism is that the heartline roll was awkward and didn’t fit in with the rest of the ride at all. If it wasn’t for that, Banshee would be my favourite of the B&M inverts. Vortex This is the park’s Arrow Dynamics multi-looper and I was excited (and slightly nervous) to see how it rode after hearing lots of different things. I found the ride to be smoother than I expected, but there were a few interesting transitions and moments of discomfort; with that said, I found it much more comfortable than, for example, Colossus, and the moments of roughness feel like part of the ride’s character rather than a negative. The batwing element in particular was insane and produced some very good forces. The Beast I was aware of The Beast’s legendary status before riding, but had very mixed expectations. I absolutely love rides like this, that are a bit different from the ordinary formula, with The Ultimate being one of my favourite UK coasters as an example. The Beast unfortunately is let down by harsh trim brakes on almost every single hill. The disappointment upon hitting the first set of brakes was huge because the ride was just picking up speed and starting to throw us around like a wild runaway mine cart. I’d go as far as to say it’s an absolute disgrace that a coaster with as much potential as The Beast is completely and utterly ruined by awful trim brakes dotted everywhere around the layout. Every time we picked up speed, we’d be slowed down almost to a standstill, meaning that moments which would have been relentless and intense were merely “okay.” Such a disappointment. With that said, there was one amazing moment on The Beast. The helix in the tunnels after the second drop were incredible and one of my favourite moments on any coaster anywhere. If the rest of the ride was allowed to run at full speed, I’d imagine that’s how most of it would feel. Unfortunately, as it is allowed to run it’s a very long one-trick wonder which did nothing but frustrate me at the thought of what could have been. Diamondback My expectations for Diamondback had diminished somewhat after riding Nitro a few days prior, but I was still looking forward to seeing how it compared and my first experience of the more unique seating position. Diamondback felt soulless and boring, devoid of any character or variation. The ride feels almost too smooth with no stand-out moments, I hardly got any airtime over the hills and even the splashdown wasn’t noticeable from on-ride. The Arrow hyper-coasters are, IMO, far superior to this and Nitro. The Bat Definitely the best of the Arrow suspended coasters I’ve done; the drops were bigger meaning there was much more swing on the corners. Not a favourite, but the best example of its type that I’ve ridden. The Racer A very fun classic wooden roller coaster with a good amount of airtime, interaction with the other side and each of the two tracks had a slightly different layout. The ride felt slightly bumpier than the other classic wooden coasters we rode in America, but nothing that took away from the ride experience too much. Mystic Timbers Just pure quality, top tier GCI from start to finish. I love what this manufacturer has done with wooden coasters, keeping the frantic out-of-control nature of them the same whilst improving comfort and adding in some crazily banked turns. One of my favourite rides at Kings Island, though I wasn’t sure why we were left sat in a shed listening to Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of The Heart” for almost 2 minutes. Made for a good karaoke at least! Invertigo Not as painful as it looked, though the restraints were poor with no room to move your head at all; my ears literally felt clamped between the cushions. Woodstock Express Woodstock Express was a hidden gem at Kings Island, a classic wooden coaster with some brilliant moments of airtime. Unfortunately, in a recurring theme at Kings Island, they decided to ruin the last section by slowing the ride down almost to a standstill with a trim brake. Backlot Stunt Coaster Strange upwards helix followed by a mediocre layout and predictable fire effect, not a favourite. Flying Ace Aerial Chase Ouch. Very uncomfortable for a family coaster. Adventure Express A fantastic Arrow mine train with the signature strange transitions and added themed lift-hill back to the station. Very fun. Flight of Fear Wow, this ride was incredible. The themed queue-line was fantastic and the ride surprised me in every way. Bearing in mind I had no idea what it would do before boarding, I was left almost speechless and thoroughly enjoyed it. Brilliant coaster. White Water Canyon From the ridiculously big waves to staff members using the controls to trap us in the path of huge water jets on more than one occasion, I felt as though I’d jumped in the sea, then ridden Valhalla before standing under a cold shower for 10 minutes. Overall, Kings Island was a nice park with good presentation and superb operations. There was just one main issue I had; the rides. I felt underwhelmed by most of the coasters, and those which could have been good were ruined with trims. The atmosphere also felt flat, but as mentioned above this could be due to other factors such as tiredness and/or enjoying the two previous parks hugely. I wouldn’t advise against visiting Kings Island by any means, it was a good park just not a stand-out for me.
  6. I remember when they said it would get 1,000 people per hour. Lol.
  7. Coaster

    Slammer

    Again though that just shows how poor Merlin are. Capitalising off the work a family park put into securing an IP years ago and copy-pasting it across their UK (and overseas) parks puts them further behind. They're supposed to be ahead of the curve yet they're copying something a small family park pulled off years ago, it's laughable.
  8. Coaster

    Slammer

    If we're lucky maybe we'll get some trampolines to go with the bouncy castle next year! Whoopee!!
  9. Coaster

    Slammer

    So when can we have Slammer back? My favourite flat ride still sat there rusting away
  10. I still can't believe they took out the live scene, the only good part of the entire experience.
  11. Those photos make me sad. Fright Nights used to be such an incredible event, what happened?
  12. Number 4 was the name of a Goosebumps book I think... Goosebumps maze confirmed. The situation with Big Top is ridiculous, it was the crowd pleaser in the same way that Asylum used to be - ludicrous really that the park can't (or won't) deliver what everyone wants.
  13. The retheming of some attractions is at least some investment, but the nature of the rethemes has taken the park further from its roots IMO.
  14. Why can't we just have Big Top?
  15. It'd fit into Thorpe better then too!
  16. Saw was in an awful state on Sunday; gun sound effect not working, queue TV's too quiet, swinging axes still not illuminated (broken since start of the season!) and water spray not red. Lots of smaller effects were also broken.
  17. The other multi-launch coasters I have been on are Taron, Icon and Helix. The only one that comes close to Maverick for me is Taron, the Mack ones feel as though they're missing something IMO (it's probably down to the fact that I generally prefer rides with more "kick" to them rather than the smooth graceful nature of Mack coasters). The trim brake did annoy me on Maverick, other than that I couldn't really fault it.
  18. We left Kennywood in high spirits and made the three-hour drive to Cedar Point, the most anticipated park of the trip and one that I’ve been waiting to visit for years. Since I started enjoying coasters, Cedar Point has always stood out to me as the ultimate “bucket list” park and one that I never envisaged I’d actually get the chance to visit. Yet here I was, in a car on the way to Cedar Point? It just felt so surreal. Driving into the park at night was an incredible experience as all the coasters were lit up despite the fact the park had closed hours ago, there were coloured chaser lights on the lift-hills and the skyline was just incredible. I really have never seen anything like it and I was giddily excited despite having been on the road for 3 hours and being tired from the previous days. We stayed at the Express hotel and whilst it was very nice with excellent rooms, we would book earlier and stay in Hotel Breakers if we visited again for the convenience. (One thing to mention is we spent three days at Cedar Point with a visit to Kings Island after the first day, this review will cover the general park and I will write a separate review in due course for Coaster Mania). Onto the park itself; Cedar Point is unlike anything I’ve ever seen, it’s difficult to describe but I was in a state of amazement walking around taking in all the huge coasters around us. Everything feels like it’s placed perfectly, the rides all look spotless and the park atmosphere is great with the parkwide music playlist and some rides having their own audio. Of course, there isn’t a lot in the way of theming, but as it’s an amusement park we weren’t expecting this. I was surprised by how well themed some areas were, actually! The roller coasters are what Cedar Point are famous for, but to me they aren’t what makes it (IMO) the best amusement park in the world. The thing that stood out to me, and that makes Cedar Point the best, is that despite having some of the world’s biggest coasters, they still take care of their older attractions. There’s a steam train, numerous vintage flat rides and an old-style cableway, all in perfect condition. In all the reviews of the park I’ve read nobody seems to talk about this, but I found it incredible that a park with so many huge rides and coasters still cares enough to look after their old-style rides like this. UK parks would do very well to take a leaf out of their book with regards to this, in my opinion. Much like Kennywood, they were happy to tell you how old the rides were with signage outside many of them. Another thing I loved was the collection of Arrow Dynamics coasters. With Arrow being my favourite manufacturer, it was fantastic to see five operational coasters and other rides throughout the park and again, they all looked in near-perfect condition. For Magnum to run the way it does when it’s 30 years old is just amazing. Operations were fantastic for the most part and you feel as though the staff all have genuine enthusiasm for the job they’re doing. Even towards the end of long days they were still talking enthusiastically through the microphones, checking restraints as fast as they could and it was just incredible to see a park that puts so much effort into guest experience. Magnum’s operations were particularly fantastic, it ran three trains on the Friday and they were dispatching one after the second had reached the bottom of the first drop. No faffing in the station, no Speedy Pass slowing things down, it was fantastic and highlighted to me how an Arrow hyper-coaster should be run. Onto the ride reviews; Magnum XL 200 After years of holding The Big One in high regard I was incredibly excited to ride Magnum. It holds a sentimental spot for me for being the ride that inspired Geoffrey Thompson to build a hyper-coaster at Blackpool, but I also think the importance of Magnum in the industry is often overlooked. It was the world’s first hyper-coaster, kickstarted the “height-wars” across parks and inspired so many parks to build bigger rides. Onto the ride experience itself, I absolutely loved it. The first drop has an amazing “floaty” feeling in that it keeps getting gradually steeper, meaning you float further and further out of your seat as you descend. It’s very effective and much better than it looks on pictures/videos. After a forceful dip the crest of the second hill provides a moment’s pause before you dive into the tunnel, into the third hill which provides another incredible floaty sensation as you’re “not quite” in the seat throughout the entire hill. The turnaround was very forceful (especially in the morning and night rides with no trims!) and felt very smooth for a 30-year-old Arrow coaster, following which you enter the airtime hills. These hills are MENTAL. The first few provide moderate airtime, as you would expect, but after you’ve turned to face the station you hit hill after hill with the airtime getting more intense and prolonged with each one. By the last three we were literally standing up in our seats, which is then combined with a “special effects tunnel” for the last hill. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever ridden before and the restraints allow for such unrestricted airtime, it beats any modern coaster IMO. Magnum is my favourite roller coaster and I think it’ll be very difficult for anything to top it now for me. It’s just perfect for what I enjoy in coasters, it has a lot of character, isn’t glass smooth (yet I never found it uncomfortable), has varied styles of airtime, force and Arrow-ness. From the float-y hills at the start to the insane airtime at the end it never fizzles out and just feels like a perfect, well-rounded coaster. A special ride. Millennium Force I thoroughly enjoyed Millennium force and think it’s a fantastic coaster as long as you don’t expect too much. The cable lift-hill is cool and it certainly felt strange to ascend the first hill so fast, cresting the hill is also amazing as it feels as if you’re never going to level out with the change in angle (to a steeper drop) being so gradual. There isn’t much time to prepare for the drop but instead you get a surreal feeling of it being a continuation of the speed you already have, before getting faster and faster as you continue to drop. The ride is essentially 2 minutes of travelling at 90 miles per hour, and it’s one of the biggest rushes I’ve ever experienced. There isn’t lots of airtime but it didn’t feel like it was missing anything, the ride is about height and speed and it achieves this perfectly. The force on some of the turnarounds was fantastic and I found there to be an amazing floaty sensation over the hills if you sat towards the front of the train. I did prefer the first drop in the back, however. The last small hill (alongside the station) gives an unexpected pop of airtime before you enter the final turnaround and then hit the brake run. I really liked the futuristic feel of the ride and it has such a huge presence in the park. The station audio is great and it’s probably my third favourite ride at Cedar Point. Steel Vengeance This ride is insane. I was unsure after my first ride but after a fair few rides after three days, it’s my second favourite coaster at CP. It’s difficult to describe every element but the first drop and hills that follow provide some incredible prolonged airtime, following which you reach some inversions, some quick moments of intense airtime and then the second half which is just pure insanity. Diving through the structure you get intense airtime, overbank, inversion, overbank with airtime, inversion, and then the last few airtime hills which are just crazy. It’s such a brilliant sequence of elements and seems to just go on-and-on, truly a magnificent ride and I can see why it gets so much praise. There was however unfortunately a downside to the ride, which was that I absolutely hated the restraints. I tend to get achy legs anyway, so having my lower legs forced into an awkward position with clunky clamps and the lap-bar forced heavily onto me felt very uncomfortable; especially on a ride with so much intense airtime. It’s a shame as I was very aware of the discomfort when going around the layout, it took away from the ride so much for me and ruined what might have otherwise been my favourite ride. I can’t accept a brand-new coaster having such terrible restraints when a 30-year-old Arrow hyper-coaster has far superior and more comfortable trains. A shame. Operations were also very slow on this, who’s idea was it to have the phone and wallet holder on the trains?! Maverick WOW. Incredible. This ride puts any modern multi-launch coaster to shame, the fast pace of the turns, the force, the airtime and everything else is far superior. Some of the highlights were the first few turns after the first drop, the two inversions which are taken very quickly and don’t feel drawn out or sickly, the second launch and the two Stengel dives. It’s just such a ridiculous ride and the restraints make it very comfortable despite throwing you around like mad. So, so good. In any other park I’ve visited this would be the best ride without a doubt. Top Thrill Dragster A fantastic coaster and the best of the three of these style rides that I’ve been on (this, Kingda Ka and Stealth). The launch feels so much more forceful than the others with it being an instant acceleration rather than phased, ascending the tower is unnerving with the lap-bar restraints as I found you felt as though you were falling backwards, then you just float down the twisted drop before landing in your seat. I actually found the sensation of being slowed down by brakes on a straight piece of track was better than having an airtime hill, it really highlights the sheer power of the speed you’re travelling at when you gradually slow down rather than it being over an airtime hill (without any airtime because you’re being slowed down). The ride ran 5 trains which was crazy, I really like the lap-bar restraints and the “ready to go” song was amusing. If you’re going to make a coaster short, this is how to do it. Brilliant ride. Raptor I enjoyed this but I much preferred Batman at Six Flags Great Adventure. Raptor felt like it had some very good elements such as the corkscrews, the final helix was also incredible with so much force. I found however that there were some awkward moments where not much happened throughout the layout, there was also a horrible jolt as you turned into the final brake run where the entire train seemed to shake. Almost felt as though B&M had taken the last day off construction so Arrow or Vekoma had stepped in to finish the last turn. Not a bad coaster, but one of my least favourites at CP. Valravn This was one of the rides I was least excited for because the pacing looked fairly slow off-ride, but I really enjoyed it. The ride is more about prolonged force than anything else, however the views from the top are incredible with you getting to see the skyline from a unique viewpoint. The drop is incredible, the force on the dips is great and the overall ride was much better than I expected. My only criticism is that it didn’t feel right having a dive coaster without a tunnel! Blue Streak A fantastic classic wooden coaster with airtime, speed and it felt very well maintained. The layout was great with some of the hills being much lower than others and therefore full of airtime, it had the right amount of bumpiness without feeling painful and the trains are good. It’s one of the best rides at the park IMO and it’s great that they have kept it operating alongside their newer coasters. The ride had a fantastic lighting package with the chaser lights across the beams, it’s almost as though the parks over here are actually proud of their classic woodies rather than stripping them of their charm and “modernising” them like we do back home? Gatekeeper Much better than I expected, very forceful and the keyhole element was great. It wasn’t one of my favourites at the park but that’s more telling of how good everything else is rather than Gatekeeper not being a good ride. I did find that the last helix felt a bit slow, though. Rougarou Quite good with some very different elements, it definitely felt bumpier that most B&M’s but I didn’t find it uncomfortable. I think with this it’s a case of it being overshadowed by much better rides at Cedar Point, if you put it in a UK park it’d be one of the best rides. Iron Dragon Plus; it’s an arrow. Minus; it’s not a very good Arrow. Still keep it though because the mist is cool. Gemini Gemini is brilliant and an extremely underrated coaster, IMO. I absolutely loved this ride. The ride is incredibly smooth for an Arrow and the retro style of the trains/station is brilliant. There is a lot of unexpected airtime depending on which row you sit in; the racing element is fun and it’s just an all-round great coaster. The last helix made me chuckle, after a perfectly smooth ride they couldn’t resist adding in an Arrow-style square corner at the end! Corkscrew A fun ride, not my favourite Arrow coaster but it’s visually impressive with the corkscrews taking place over paths and looked really well lit up at night. The paint job on the trains was fantastic and like everything else at Cedar Point, it looked perfectly maintained. Wicked Twister I had been intrigued by this type of ride for years and it was good fun, not a stand-out ride but there wasn’t anything negative to say about it either. Just fun. Wind seeker Terrifying, a “get me off this now” type of ride. Not even the views of Magnum made up for the sheer terror of this. I enjoyed hearing the Harry Potter and ET film scores though. Cedar Creek Mine Ride This ride had hilariously square corners, awkward hills and it’s strange that the lap-bars run on the same mechanism per carriage (meaning it has to be in the same position across three rows). But, it’s an Arrow, so that makes it great. Keep it. Skyhawk Similar to Rush at Thorpe but much better. Snake River Falls Wet. Fun though. Thunder Canyon Possibly the most ridiculous rapids I’ve been on, rivalled only by Kings Island’s. You essentially either come off dry, or end up completely engulfed by one of the waterfalls meaning you come off looking like you’ve had 10 rides on Valhalla. Then they had this weird exit path with water running down it (that looked intentional) meaning you had to walk through a puddle and get wet shoes (or step on the sides and avoid it)? Why would anyone want that? Weird. Cedar Downs Racing Derby was good, it was nice to see that the racing feature of the horses still worked. I prefer having an organ to the commentary, though. The park had many classic rides such as the Antique Cars, Cableway and the Scrambler alongside many others. We enjoyed these however there were others we didn’t have time to do, unfortunately. Overall, it’s difficult into words how much I loved Cedar Point. Driving into the park is breath-taking with the skyline coming into view, it’s an amazing enough experience in itself. The big coasters are incredible and that combined with the park’s respect for their older rides is what makes the place, for me, the best park I’ve ever visited. It feels as though there’s depth to the place and it’s definitely about more than just coasters.
  19. Quantum is down today.
  20. Haven't read that article but I'll bet there's a "this comes just four years after the Smiler ride crashed" somewhere in there.
  21. Magnum's restraints had new padding this year so were very comfortable, that said I've always found The Big One's restraints comfy to the point where you don't really notice them on ride. I think it's because it's such a small bar rather than overly-padded and bulkier like most modern lapbar restrains systems.
  22. I will get round to this in my Steel Vengeance review but I also felt that the restraints ruined the ride massively. It just isn't comfortable having your lower legs restricted like that and when you have a 30 year old hypercoaster with much more comfortable restraints than something that's brand new it's a bit of a joke really.
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