That sounds cool. Too bad it won't be done for me when I visit in march! Guess I'll have to go back down next year! ;) And as much as I hate to say it, Screamscape actually had this whole thing right. Guess you get lucky every once in a while.
I agree with the whole Mantis thing. Ever since I heard of that idea, I liked it.
Said it before and I'll say it again, Screamscape is more correct regarding rumors than any other rumor source, site, person. Not that it is correct all of the time, I am just saying it is more accurate that what a lot of people give it credit for.
Even in the event Mantis could go through a Floorless chassis conversion, it would be the most boring Floorless coaster in operation. Keep in mind stand-up layouts are more drawn-out between maneuvers to keep excessive G's to a minimum -- Mantis is a perfect example. With Floorless coaches and a lowered heartline, Mantis would be tamer than Superman Ultimate Flight.
So what's it to be? A relatively boring and uninteresting Floorless? Or a mediocre stand-up? :)
Yes, I have been on Mantis. I rode it Summer 2002. Ride wasn't as bad as people made it out to be (roughness wise), but it wasn't a very engaging or inspiring layout.
Large sweeping first half with a lot of excess "nothing" track between maneuvers consisted mostly of large pullout sections to reduce G's on riders' legs...and the second half was the complete opposite --- maneuvers were overly tight and rapid --- almost as if the ride was confused as to what it wanted to do with itself. Floorless coaches would somewhat improve the ride, but not enough to justify the cost of the modifications.
With a lowered heartline, the G's exerted that would normally be felt strong on a stand-up would feel weak on a Floorless chassis. My two cents. :)
Conversion to floorless platforms shouldn't hurt capacity. Those platforms switch very quickly. Although I've never seen this with Dominator, I would imagine they can be prone to breaking down occasionally, which would put a bit of a damper on throughput.
Nice press release. I haven't been on Sheikra yet. When last I went to BG, they were still building it.
There just better not be any delays, I hit Tampa the 24th and check into the HRH @ Universal the 25th so the 24th is my only chance to ride it. Cant believe they actually sprung for the new trains, yet again Busch Parks exceed (enthusiasts) expectations!
I might be wrong on this but I think the trims on Mantis were being used in full force back in '02, which would have given you that dull first half you experienced. The last two seasons it was a rare occasion to hear those trims kick on during the first drop. Mantis can be pretty intense without the trims and I think a change to a floorless train would be a really good change for the ride.
On topic though, I'm completely surprised that they are really doing this to Sheikra. From what I've heard (I have yet to ride it), it was an awesome ride, yet the park is going to make changes to it to make it a better ride two seasons after opening. Although I'm on the "change the Gwazi trains" bandwagon.