Jump to content

Martin Doyle

  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by Martin Doyle

  1. Plot twist. Coaster Jamie is parm pap!! He makes his return after so long!!
  2. I think the youtube videos we are all excited for is Jack Silkstone's walk throughs of each maze where he is getting hounded by like 10 actors at all time for the duration of the maze near enough. I am sure those videos ABSOLUTELY represent the treatment that us commoners get....when we actually pay the 10 quid!!
  3. I also reckon an "anniversary/nostalgia" themed Fright Nights would be quite a cool concept if only for one year!! That as a theme would very much make sense to both veterans who have been to the event since near the start aswell as newbies!! Unless Stitches features a chainsaw wielding teddy bear, would I be right in assuming this will be the first FN to NOT have a maze that utilises chainsaw scares?? (Not including the 2020 event)
  4. *remembers Walking Dead the ride apparently never happening GET YOUR BETS ON BIG TOP RETURNING FOLKS! 😆😆 *but yeah being serious, I just cant see them bringing back Big Top or any decent past maze for that matter
  5. *remembers Steel Vengeance,Velocicoaster and Iron Gwazi exist I think I will politely agree to disagree on this one!! :p
  6. Or the mile long queue at guest services to get the damned thing to begin with. "I cant queue".....or something. Problem now is that Merlin have backed themself into a corner with how they have handled Rap the last few years. They have allowed anyone and their dog to get it which has resulted in people who frankly do not need it taking the *censor* out of the system which has led to ridiculous Rap waits which in turn is hurting those who GENUINELY need it. Those who genuinely CAN NOT queue. The amount of times I've been to towers in particular and seen the rap queue for Oblivion heading right back to the arcade with those in wheelchairs AND those with kids with severe special needs who are clearly stressed with waiting at the hands of those who see it as "free fastrack" is nothing short of an outrage. The issue now is that if Merlin actually did try to strip these people who are too lazy to queue like everyone else who are abusing the system, these people will probably write to the newspapers and rant on social media about Merlin being saying "not disabled enough" which will lead to a PR nightmare for them. So they are between the devil and the deep. Either carry on with the shambles we see at the parks today OR risk a bunch of Karen's crying to the papers and social media. Either way they have backed themself into a corner.
  7. Why dont they just go the whole hog if this is the case and name it Intimidator 236??!!
  8. A positive move for Efteling as frankly, on my last two visits the ride was in diabolical condition and in particular this scene. So hopefully this move makes for a more reliable and efficient show section as opposed to being a dark ride full of broken effects*. *I can get that at Chessington or Pleasure Beach without the need to travel abroad quite frankly
  9. Iron Gwazi- A review Well its been a long time since I did my Zadra review on this page. So what better way to make a return than with a review for yet another RMC hyper hybrid with Iron Gwazi?? Intro. So Gwazi originally opened in 1999 at Busch Gardens Tampa as a GCI dueling wooden coaster. During its opening few years it was quite well liked and proved somewhat popular with park goers until later on in its life it became notorious for offering a rough and unpleasant experience. Full disclosure, the originally Gwazi was actually my outright most hated coaster out of all the ones I have ridden. I found it completely unbearable to ride and just unspeakably rough to the point I was begging for a ride on Furius Baco. So as you could imagine, when RMC made their rise to prominence in the coaster community I was very much one of those hoping to the heavens that Gwazi would be getting the world famous conversion. Sure enough, in 2015 Gwazi finally shut for the last time and instantly the coaster community leaped on the rumours of RMC finally coming to town. Years went by with no activity on Gwazi and then finally in 2019, Iron Gwazi was announced by Busch Gardens. On opening it would become the fastest hybrid with a speed of 76MPH,steepest with a 91 degree drop and would tie with Zadra for the tallest at a height of 206 foot. Originally booked for a 2020 opening, Iron Gwazi would be delayed due to the covid 19 pandemic which saw the entire Busch/Seaworld chain postpone all their new coaster additions across their parks back to 2021. In the midst of all this, reports stated that Busch still owed 9 million dollars to RMC for the construction of Iron Gwazi. So this further delayed the rides opening allegedly. Following a further delay, Iron Gwazi finally opened in the spring of 2022. It would open to rave reviews with many considering it the greatest coaster on the planet and the coaster to topple Steel Vengeance for RMCs finest work. So now I shall give my own thoughts on Iron Gwazi. First Impressions First impressions of Iron Gwazi are impressive. It is located right at the front of the park and as such is the first coaster you encounter on entering Busch Gardens. The large lift structure and drop making for one hell of a spectacle in front of you. For me personally it was a nice bonus to NOT have to trek right to the back of the park like you would have to do with Steel Vengeance and even more so with Zadra!! On walking to the plaza area of Iron Gwazi, you are greeted to the massive purple tracked hybrid with its station building which maintains the same aesthetic of the original coaster in a nice tribute whilst also having the rides signature wave turn over station as a centre piece element for those joining the queue. All in all, Iron Gwazi makes for a good and dominating first impression Queuing experiences and operations The good news, Iron Gwazi will not make you walk for 7-8 minutes to reach the front of the queue line like its polish cousin Zadra does. The bad news?? Iron Gwazi utilises a “stereotypical American amusement park queue" of many switch backs that take you from the lower level of the station building, up a ramp which offers nice views of the prelift and lift hill before reaching the station which features more switch backs which slalom towards the airgates to board the ride. So Iron Gwazi has far from the most exciting queue design in the world. However, on reaching the station, the back of the station offers some wonderful views of the coaster in action for you to take in as you await your ride. One positive with the queue is the audio sountrack present. Iron Gwazi utilises a zoned audio system with three soundtracks playing that get more ominous the closer you get to riding. A very nice touch. Iron Gwazi also utilises a paid locker policy for any bags. You WILL need to put bags in the locker and this is quite strictly enforced. For those with smaller items however, Iron Gwazi features zipper pouches under your seat on the train. Now, my negatives of Iron Gwazi are very limited. However one MEGA peeve I had with Iron Gwazi across both days I had at Busch Gardens was the operations. Now anyone who is familar with riding an RMC and have ridden either Zadra or Untamed will be familiar with the loading procedure of the rider puts JUST the seatbelt on and then the ride op does the bar. Well Iron Gwazi is an exception to the rule and allows the rider to do both. Sounds great right??. Wrong!! Once the rider puts his seatbelt on, they are made to await a recorded announcement to place the bar down. This announcement comes AFTER the staff have checked the seatbelt and to top it off, by the time the announcement comes, the previously dispatched train has already concluded its ride and is now sat in the breaks. So in other words, the previous train has navigated the whole layout before the current loading train has even had the bars put down. So dispatches very regularly hit the 5 minute mark. So all in all, the operations on Iron Gwazi was pretty diabolical The ride experience So on boarding the wonderful looking crocodile themed train with its familiar RMC restraints with the lapbar and shinguard which may or may not cause discomfort depending on the body time (RMC restraints don’t seem to agree with larger riders whatsoever), you are dispatched out the station with dispatch audio blasting out to accompany the train out the station. Turning round to the left, the train swoops down a small hop which may catch riders towards the back offguard before heading up the 206 foot lift hill The views from this lift are fantastic with riders able to see both out to the city of Tampa and across the park. As the train hits the top, it will slow down a little to build up some additional suspense before plummeting down the 91 degree drop which yes is the steepest on an RMC hybrid. This drop is sensational. Absolutely sensational!! If you are at the front you will get a nice moment of just hanging there before quickly building up speed and if you are at the back, you are absolutely pulled up and out of your seat. Now one difference the drop on Iron Gwazi has compared to Zadra and Steel Vengeance is that the drop banks out to the right a little towards the bottom of the drop whereas the other two come straight out. The twist at the bottom will slam riders back into their seat with some pretty strong positive G force whereas the straight out exit on the other two allows the rider to be out their seat for longer. So which drop is better will be down to your own preference but for me, the mixture of force on this drop and how it suddenly goes from negative to positive G force coupled with a pretty darn good headchopper towards the bottom with the support beams means Iron Gwazi has my favourite drop on an RMC. On exiting the drop, the train flies up into the rides outerbank turn. Comparions with the outerbank on Steel Vengeance are inevitable here. Now, whilst I personally prefer the Steel Vengeance outerbank, the violent side to side action you get on this one can not be sniffed at and it is a very good moment of airtime offered in both front and back rows. On exiting the outerbank the train goes through another moment of strong positive G force before heading up into the rides signature element and what I personally regard as the best inversion on the planet (sorry Velocicoaster and the Mosasaurus roll!!), the death roll!! The death roll is absolute amazing. With you leaning one way, the death roll whips you VERY STRONGLY in the other direction down a barrel roll drop which is both disorientating and incredibly violent. If you are in the back row, you are really going to get whipped through this violently it is simply the best inversion I have encountered. Following the death roll, the ride goes into its “second" inversion which is a cutback/overbanked turn (whichever you want to call it) which again offers a nice moment of airtime on the exit of the element as the train is pulled down towards ground level. This is one of the three advertised inversions that RMC and busch say the ride features. It is very much another inclined loop on the swarm style ones in regards to if you do or do not consider it an actual inversion. Nonetheless another good element before the train whizzes from this into another great element which is the wave turn over the station. This wave turn is manys favourite element on the ride and with good reason, the riders are suddenly thrown to the right with some amazingly strong sideways airtime before having yet another cool near miss with the rides lift hill. This is a much better wave turn than the one found on Zadra as its more sustained and allows riders to take it in a little more whereas the Zadra equivalent ends before you can really take it in. Another strong airtime moment follows as does another wave turn in the other direction before the train enters a zero g stall. This zero g stall whilst the least picturesque out of this,Zadra and wildfire is actually my favourite stall on an RMC with how it rides. The train still takes the element quite fast whilst also offering a really nice hangtime moment which personally I found a pretty weird but awesome combination. On exiting the stall, the train navigates a series of very strong airtime pops before taking a turn with yet more good positive G force before finishing with a bang as the train enters arguably its strongest airtime moment as it navigates a final airtime hop through yet another incredible headchopper before slamming into the breaks to conclude your ride on Iron Gwazi. Whilst it would have been nice to end with an inversion like Zadra or Untamed, I still thought this finale was a nice way to cap of the experience. Each airtime moment delivered with each getting stronger before the final one which was incredibly strong. So your ride on Iron Gwazi has ended. The train will then go past a nice tribute to the original Gwazi with the car fronts hanging on the wall of the shed on the right of the rider. After a long wait due to the ops, you return to the station to offload and go back round again...because why wouldnt you want to ride this incredible coaster as often as possible!? Final thoughts I really don’t think any compliment I can pay Iron Gwazi will do the ride its full justice. It is a pure elite level coaster. It is fast,intense,airtime filled and relentless from start to finish. Every element flows so well from one to the other with each element offering a different sensation from the last. It is most definitely the most violent and intense coaster out of the RMC I have done and yet also manages to be the most rerideable of them. In regards to front row or back row. Honestly?? They are both as good as each other. Where Steel Vengeance is definitely a back row coaster and Zadra is a front row coaster, Iron Gwazi is every bit as amazing regardless of front or back. The front row offers the greater sensations of speed and intensity where the back offers the more whippier and stronger airtime experience. Iron Gwazi offers front and back seperate queues so it is easy to get your desired row if you are willing to wait longer and I definitely recommend trying both. The use of headchoppers and near misses on this ride also massively add to the experience. It is simply one thing that RMC have perfected in their coaster designs. The drop and wave turn offer arguably the best headchoppers on the ride and when you have hands up, you do genuinely feel you are inches away from smashing them off the supports. This coupled with the rides ferocious 76mph speeds really does make for some incredible moments. Even though the drop to break duration is around 45 seconds, Iron Gwazi by no means feels short when you ride it. A lot of shorter duration coasters can somewhat leave you feeling short changed when you hit the breaks. Iron Gwazi is certainly not one of those coasters. You very much do feel you have got great value out of the coaster when it concludes. There are two big questions that often associate with Iron Gwazi. Is it the best RMC and is it the best coaster in Florida?? For as great as Iron Gwazi is, the answer to both is no. Velocicoaster for the sheer package offered with that to go with the already immense coaster means I lean more towards Velocicoaster for Floridas finest. That being said, Iron Gwazi joins Velocicoaster and to a certain extent Mako at seaworld in making a trio of elite coasters to be found on any Florida outing Now in regards to best RMC, the sheer length and amount of airtime found on Steel Vengeance still means that remains my top coaster. However, Iron Gwazi compares VERY favourably against the similar Zadra. Does Zadra have a better drop than Iron Gwazi? – No Is Zadra more intense than Iron Gwazi? – no Does Zadra have better airtime? – no Are the inversions on Zadra better? – no Is the wave turn better on Zadra? – no So all of these means that to me whilst Zadra is also an amazing coaster, it is completely outgunned by Iron Gwazi. That being said, all three of the RMC hyper hybrids offer an amazing ride and despite all having similar height and speeds, excel in their own area. Steel Vengeance brings the airtime and length, Zadra brings the speed and pace and Iron Gwazi brings the intensity and variety. They are amazing coasters and no matter which one you prefer, the others will also amaze. So awful operations aside, Iron Gwazi definitely lives up to its hype and is an absolute must with any visit to Florida!! It takes its place as my third favourite coaster behind Steel Vengeance and Velocicoaster and will likely be a top three for a long long time!! 10/10
  10. Post Florida top 10s Coasters 1. Steel Vengeance 2. Velocicoaster 3. Iron Gwazi 4. Zadra 5. Untamed 6. Taron 7. Mako 8. Millennium Force 9. Hagrid 10. Maverick Dark rides 1. Tower Of Terror (Florida) 2. Rise Of The Resistance 3. Harry Potter And The Forbidden Journey 4. Amazing Adventures Of Spiderman 5. Harry Potter And The Escape From Gringotts 6. Avatar Flight Of Passage 7. Tower Of Terror (Paris) 8. Symbolica 9. Phantom Manor 10. Pirates Of The Caribbean (Paris) Water Rides 1. Valhalla (in its prime!! Not even top 10 today) 2. Splash Mountain 3. Chiapas 4. Popeye 5. Dudley Do Rights Ripsaw falls 6. Jurassic Park River Adventure 7. Journey To Atlantis 8. Infinity Falls 9. River Quest 10. Vliegende Hollander Parks. 1. Cedar Point 2. Universal Orlando 3. Phantasialand 4. WDW (all four combined) 5. Europa Park 6. Energylandia 7. Efteling 8. Seaworld Orlando 9. Liseberg 10. Busch Gardens Tampa
  11. Been going to the Howl since its first year. Aside from a disastrous visit last year, it has always been amongst the highlights of the scare season. Squealers Yard and The Shed are two fantastic scare mazes and the set designs of Red (that damn giant wolf), Attic and now Howl Valley High are fantastic. The roaming actors are also highly entertaining to a similar level of their sister event at Tulleys farm!! Well worth visiting during october!!
  12. Lack of actors!!?? But...but... Mr Silkstone had LOOOOOOADS of actors around him in his videos!! I'm sure thats got NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with the fact he and all the "celebs" went on press night.....RIGHT!!??
  13. Part of me genuinely always wondered what Derren Brown would say if you bought him to a pub, offered him a good ole drink and asked him his actual thoughts on that ride. But seriously, the best thing Thorpe/Merlin can do with DBGT at this point is to just say "enough is enough" and throw in the towel. Once the budget allows, I am fairly certain the space could be used to do either a more reliable and with that cost effective dark ride or some other form of indoor entertainment that would be better received than Ghost Train has been. I don't think anyone with a shrink of sanity in them would argue the fact that for the money spent on it, DBGT has been nothing short of a disaster. It costs an arm and leg to maintain it and staff it, it hardly ever works fully and from what I can see its reception is mixed AT THE VERY BEST!! So I'd say its time to put the big White Elephant to sleep and start thinking of what new thing can be done with the space.
  14. RIP to that absolutely incredible launch!! Even though Red Forces launch couldnt knock the skin off a rice pudding (meaning weak), I would personally still rather see that launch implemented to Dragster as opposed to ripping out a coaster that is visually iconic not only for Cedar Point but the coaster community as a whole. This could also be good for the rides reliability as its a monsterous understatement to say Dragsters hydraulic launch is far from reliable.
  15. Given Doom Town is Shocktobers 1st "10 scare rated" haunt, I am somewhat curious to see how much it differs in style to their 9 scare rated ones. I still firmly believe the use of touch scares would be a nice thing for Tulleys to potentially explore the possibilities of. Even if it is just with Doom Town and possibly even Hellements. On the note of ticketing, I am doing the first night of the year with a fastrack 11 ticket and then the finale fireworks night with VIP. So be interesting to see if VIP is worth the additional price for what one gets in relation to next tier ticket down. As much as I want to be positive about all tickets entitling guests to unlimited haunts, there is a huge alarm going off in my head saying its going to be a nightmare now in regards to the queue management and size of waits on the busier nights. I also feel unlimited somewhat diminishes the VIP value. Those with standard tickets with no fastrack already was up against the tide in trying to get all the haunts done and now coupled with inevitable longer waits due to the fact people can do the haunts as much as they want to, they have next to zero chance getting a now sizeable 11 attractions done in the one night even with marching between them one after the other with zero time inbetween to just enjoy the event atmosphere.
  16. 1. Plan Plan Plan!! > these days the Disney parks take in a fair amount planning even for trivial things like getting on rides. So familiarise yourself with the "Virtual Queue" system that newer rides like Cosmic Rewind use. You also need to be aware you need to RESERVE park visits on top of buying entry. 2. Give yourself enough time> If you can allocate two days for Magic Kingdom and Epcot than do so as these parks can be unpleasant IF rushing around 3. Be prepared for some long long waits at the Disney parks 4. If budget allows, make the use of Express pass at Universal and quick queue at Busch!! Worth every penny!! 5. Be sure to dine at Yak&Yeti at animal kingdom and Mythos at IOA. Two of the best theme park restaurants going. 6. Avoid the Busch free shuttle like the plague. It gets you there well after park open and you have to get back on quite a bit before the park shuts. So UNLESS its the only option for Busch, avoid. 7. Scout the landscape of restaraunts on International Drive. Some really nice and affordable options can be found. 8. Dont rush. Its a once in a lifetime holiday so take time to REALLY enjoy yourself Always happy to answer any questions!!
  17. What you on about?? This is true Disney killer quality!! I have actually now decided after careful consideration to cancel my october outing to Walt Disney World. I dont see ANY point paying a small fortune and then flying 9 hours across the atlantic to go ride Rise Of The Resistance or Flight Of Passage when we have the super detailed pinnacle of theme park theming in the form of Trawler Trouble at our very own chessington!
  18. Did....did I just read Drayton Manor AND Europa Park in the same sentence??!! I must be high or something!!
  19. All in all I see this being a great move for the park. Spookslot may be an aging attraction and dated by Symbolica standards, but it is a huge part of the parks heritage. So to see Efteling move for a newer dark ride whilst keeping the theme of Spookslot just sounds a win in the sense of keeping the park moving with the times whilst also preserving park heritage.
  20. And once again us mere mortals are given a gift from the gods.....well RMC anyway....which is much the same thing. Now whilst this excites me majorly given I have yet to ride one of their single rail coasters, I do believe the jury is still very much out on this design and that is largely/entirely down to the throughput. I just feel unless they really run it like clockwork, its going to be a nightmare at shifting queues ESPECIALLY when the busy halloween fright nights season kicks in. Nonetheless, very exciting news and I look forward to riding in 2024!!
  21. Two of the worlds best parks yet two very different parks so heres my two pennys worth. I am a coaster over theming/experience person Cedar Point has got FAR better coaster quality than what Europa has. So therefore I personally go with Cedar Point. It is however the classic "amusement park vs theme park" debate. If you are somebody who likes theming and all that malarkey, Europa will probably be the better park in your eyes. I however find Cedar Point untouchable to ANY park on the planet.
  22. 40 on Untamed Yes really. Had the fastlane which shaves off 90 percent of the wait, it was an 11pm closure and Untamed is the only ride in that park I find any sort of great!! I was in LOADS of pain after mind!!
  23. Heres the PERFECT solution Somebody in charge FINALLY accepts that its the biggest white elephant project in the history of the theme park industry, cuts their losses,says "time to throw in the towel" and just rip the damn thing out!!
  24. Anyone for a pleasurewood hills meet!!!??........
  • Create New...