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Messages - shavethewhales

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16
Branson Talk / Re: Bigfoot sues man over review
« on: June 05, 2018, 05:07:48 PM »
I wonder what the other side of the story is. I doubt they simply freaked out over a three star review. Sounds like there is a personal drama going back and forth.

17
Other Parks / Re: Frontier City Developments
« on: May 26, 2018, 04:40:51 PM »
Magic Springs is getting the drop tower this year. Personally, I think it would be huge if we could get a copy of it next year.

FC is at the point where ANYTHING new is very welcome. The new zipline thing looks kinda tacky, but at least it's something new.

A clone coaster like an Iron Shark would go over extremely well here.

18
Hey Dan, do you know if it's OK for me to post about our deal on the FB page, or is it supposed to stay within the smaller community here? Sometimes I forget they have this arrangement for us after all these years. It's past time to show them the love again if this deal is meant to be shared.

19
Other Parks / Re: Frontier City Developments
« on: May 22, 2018, 04:54:05 PM »
Not sure what to make of this... I doubt they will bring the SF branding here, similar to last time, but the pass benefits will be nice for us.

The park has been on such a good track for the last decade. Sure, it's been frustrating waiting for something "big", but the incremental improvements can't be overlooked. It felt like they were on the cusp of something big. I guess that's part of being setup for sale by these REITs though. They were always going to be stingy with the cap.ex. spending.

I just don't want FC to languish again... feels like watching a friend get back with their ex...

If they kick this off with a big new expansion next year though, that would be amazing.

20
I'm not sure why it wasn't left as a sandwich shop... perhaps there was something wrong with the building.

I'm also not sure why they suddenly needed to do demo right now, with the park about to kick into high gear for summer season. Roof collapse or a code violation? 

I'll bet they leave it as open space though. Gotta fit more people in for the Christmas spectacle...

21
General Silver Dollar City Talk / Re: Fire In the Hole/Flooded Mine
« on: May 18, 2018, 02:08:02 PM »
Shave, the hubs is in a group with a gentlemen that worked at SDC for years and years. He retired from a prestigious park character position the year before the corporation took over.  I wish I could've heard the conversation they had.  Hubs came home talking about it.  He essentially talked about most of the things you said in the above post. 

Lol, yeah... listening to the "old timers" can really deflate the way you look at the park these days. There are so many little things that are no longer done, so many traditions lost, so much "non-PC" stuff stripped away... You just have to remember that the park has always been evolving and that this is just the way the world turns. I try not to bitch too much about inevitable change, but I do have a love for the old SDC so it can be tough.

Major rehab on the canals.  Apparently that earthquake we had last year (?) made it rather porous and it loses a lot of water. 

I could see that being the case. We'll see what happens. I'm betting right now their budget is so turned around that they try to do rehab work instead of completely re-doing the whole thing. Then again, maybe insurance is on their case about it. After the Australia accident, I hear it's a lot tougher to keep those rides going even though they are statistically safe. LR is one of the earliest models, and lacks some of the modern features to keep people from falling out. The station is also pretty bad since the boats pound into each other as people are trying to get on and off and you have to be careful not to slip off. 

22
General Silver Dollar City Talk / Re: Fire In the Hole/Flooded Mine
« on: May 18, 2018, 10:20:32 AM »
From the outside looking in, I think the park is slowly allowing the classics to slip away because are gradually getting more cynical in how they manage capital investments and maintenance of things that don't provide immediate, overt ROI. A lot of the things that people complain about on FM and FITH could have been fixed years ago for not a lot of money in the broad scheme of things. They'll spend tens of millions on a shiny new coaster, but neglect $10,000 of cosmetic repairs for a ride that the entire family has enjoyed for generations.

This is similar to how other parks operate, especially Six Flags and Cedar Fair. It's a corporate mindset problem. They are completely focused on the "new", the "brand", the stuff they can show off. Gone are the days when the Herschends kept everything around and refurbished or re-purposed as needed. The whole park has a short shelf life now, and when a piece is deemed "used up" it is unceremoniously bulldozed and rebuilt into something else.

That's not to say that redevelopment is always bad, but the apparent mindset bothers me. Too much of the old character of the park gets thrown away without much thought given to it. The newer people don't notice and I doubt many of them would care anyway. Stuff like Flooded Mine was built back when the park was more of a labor of love and the creators enjoyed the process of making it as detailed and unique as they could. It's replacement will be made by a bunch of contractors and designers trying to cost-justify every little thing, and the PTB will be looking for what gimmick they can squeeze in to make it "marketable".


/rant. Sorry, I have to do that every once in awhile. It's cathartic.

Yeah, the day of reckoning is coming for FM and FITH. They are simply getting old, and either mass-refurbishment or replacements are in order. I am a big fan of classic rides, especially these specifically, and obviously I'm super pessimistic that they will be replaced with anything that captures the essence of the originals.

23
^That is perhaps the opinion of most enthusiasts, but the general crowd at large loves it and is eating it up. It is consistently filling it's queue line and has brought a TON of new people to the park. They've gotten so much media attention too... It's definitely been a success in a number of ways for them. Their goal wasn't necessarily to make a coaster that blew away enthusiasts.


In other news, I hear there's some kind of new construction going on in midtown? I'll be there this weekend to see for myself, but if you have photos from today, throw them at us!

24
General Silver Dollar City Talk / Re: 2018 Trip Reports
« on: May 14, 2018, 08:42:59 AM »
I noticed that as well. BBQ&Bluegrass is pretty weak this year, which is sad for me as it's my favorite festival by far. Going on ACE weekend I might have missed a lot of the good performances though.

I miss when they had a couple extra local BBQ stands that came in. That place that was in Aurora was really nice, though I think they closed up. SDC's BBQ can be decent, but I'm not a huge fan of the weirder stuff they've been pushing. I like my BBQ simple.

25
Awesome photos as always.

They aren't ever going to get rid of the stop before the launch unless they go down to two trains though. It's a block section, not merely an issue of programming. Some kind of little tunnel/shed would have made it more interesting, but that ship has sailed.

I agree that the ride experience has gotten better. I don't know if it is from breaking in, or if they've played with the settings, or if it is merely psychological from getting over the initial expectations. Somehow it is more fun every time I ride.

26
General Silver Dollar City Talk / Re: Attendance numbers
« on: May 07, 2018, 10:04:33 AM »
Someone said the new attendance cap is 29,000. I don't know how accurate that is though. I guess with the new food court area + Time Traveler, they can theoretically squeeze a few more people in. Still, they HAVE to figure something out with parking.

This weekend's numbers were insane. Inside the park it was crowded and lines were long, but it wasn't anything worse than at other parks. Outside the park though, it sounds like it was hell. Some people reported waiting 2+ hours in line on the highway to get in, only to turn around and leave. The satellite parking system has always been crazy, but with people coming in from all over the country not everyone knows the gist of it and many people freak out when they are guided through the full parking lots and spit back out onto the road.

I don't know how to fix it... probably need a LOT more signage at the very least... They need to build more parking lots somewhere as well, obviously. Perhaps use Celebration city as a dedicated satellite parking lot, and advertise it as such. I know they were parking buses out there this weekend. Only problem is that they need a direct access route for the shuttles.

27
Other Parks / Re: Frontier City Developments
« on: May 07, 2018, 09:58:23 AM »
It's awesome that they are still pushing more and more improvements. I need to head out there soon and take it in again. I appreciate park management that pushes for quality.

They need a big new ride soon though... all these little improvements all over the place are nice, but it feels like they've been working toward something big that is taking forever to show up. I know the Christmas event is a big deal, but it's not exactly as exciting as a new ride.

I'm curious if we will see an Iron Shark clone like DL is getting. I would much prefer something a little bigger or more unique, but since FC is small, Premier is cheap, and they don't have a lot of land to work with, it would be very fitting for them.

28
General Silver Dollar City Talk / Re: 2018 Trip Reports
« on: May 07, 2018, 09:51:37 AM »
The ACE conference was outstanding. The parks always rolls out the red carpet for ACE, but this was especially nice for the spring conference with hundreds of people from all over the country flying in to check out Time Traveler. It is even more commendable that they did so much for us on a record-setting weekend with one of their biggest corporate customers coming in for their own special event.

Friday was pretty chill during regular park hours. Our group trickled into town and everyone had a fairly easy time getting on most of the rides (Time Traveler still had a huge wait of course). That evening kicked things off with the big ACE reception in RGH where Brad Thomas and Lisa Rau spoke about Time Traveler and ACE stuff. They brought out a Bluegrass group to sing us a song for the ACE 40th anniversary which was a really nice touch. After that they gave us the most fantastic spread of food that I've ever had at a park. Basically, it was an all-you-can-eat buffet of entrees from every restaurant in the park with cake and ice cream at the end. Amazing.

After stuffing ourselves, we rode Time Traveler over and over again for two hours, getting some of the first night rides in. It's pretty good in the dark, though with the lights on the launch segments it's not totally dark. The segments after the loop are pretty disorienting in the dark at least though.

Saturday started off with yet another amazing food spread of SDC breakfast foods before a quick marathon of Outlaw Run and then a little park wide ERT shared with Mercy. They gave ACE trailblazer passes for the rest of the day, which was a saving grace for those coming from far away due to the intense crowds. As for myself, I wandered a bit with my group and had a nice meal at the Mill before heading out in the early afternoon. Leaving the park you could see cars piled up all along the road... It sounds like some people waited in line for 2+ hours to get into the parking lots, then got turned away to go park in the far-off satellite parking lots, but some people revolted or didn't understand what was going on...

They had a nice event on the Branson Bell that night, but my group went to Coulee's instead, which was fantastic. Great steaks and a neat live band that featured a jug and a washtub guitar contraption.

Sunday we had yet another Time Traveler and Thunderation ERT session followed by yet another awesome food spread in RGH that featured brunch BBQ items. A calmer day, though they seemed to be having a lot of downtime on the rides, and then a little rain squall moved in and closed everything down again. Probably a lot of stress on the rides after such a hard weekend. I know the employees were wore out... Here's to a restful Monday to everyone!

29
General Silver Dollar City Talk / Re: Webcams? yes or no..
« on: May 07, 2018, 09:34:01 AM »
Parks that have webcams usually have them for the benefit of coaster fans. They can kind of be a minor advertisement for the park's coasters. Cedar Point's webcams are often referred to by enthusiasts, and I know a few people that leave them up on their second monitors at work.

I mean, they can be interesting. When a storm or something is rolling in, it's fun to check how it looks at the park, or to check how it looks on a day you expect to be crowded, or even just to see how the new coaster is doing. 

30
Yes, this weekend really exposed the fact that they didn't make much improvement crowd-control-wise to that area. They did what was necessary to squeeze Time Traveler in, and the new food setups are nice, but why on earth did they not make wider pathways a priority after going through all that?

The pinch point next to the TT gift shop is especially egregious. There's a pointlessly large flowerbed that sticks out and makes the pathway just barely wide enough for the parade to slip through. I'm curious if they'll come back in and reshape that this winter... or even before.

Whatever though, it's still an overall improvement I guess, and it looks great.

Time Traveler continues to be a huge hit. It is honestly more fun every time I ride. My first few rides I was kinda disappointed by the lack of intensity. Once you get over that though, you start to appreciate it for what it is. If you have a group of people riding with you it is even more fun because you can interact with them in the neighboring cars throughout the ride. Sounds like it still has plenty of teething issues with intermittent downtime, but at least it operates almost every day instead of being simply down all the time like LR was.

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