CoasterBuzz Podcast #174 posted

Posted Monday, April 12, 2010 12:39 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Jeff, Gonch and Carrie review this week's news in the amusement industry.

  • Gonch has a birthday, Jeff hangs some roller coaster photos.
  • Intimidator opens at Carowinds to a warm reception. Compared favorably to Diamondback and Behemoth.
  • Intimidator 305 opens at Kings Dominion. Jeff thinks it's an awesome ride, but falls just short of the best ride ever due to the defensive riding required. Kings Dominion overall is looking like a great park compared to nine years ago, and has a great general manager.
  • Cedar Fair and Apollo deal fails without the vote even being considered. What's next?
  • Herschend CEO appears on reality show, Jeff thinks it wasn't terrible, Gonch says every show is the same, Carrie says it's all contrived.
  • Circus is coming to Coney Island. Does anyone still go to the circus? Gonch is indifferent because of the evil clowns.
  • Shocker: Freestyle Music Park won't open this year. It gets the Price is Right horns. No Plinko for you. Drew Carey was hanging out in Seattle because he's a part owner of the Sounders soccer team. Jeff doesn't care for soccer. Carrie thinks that sports that anticipate scoring don't do well in the US. Freestyle still won't open.
  • Autopsy of SeaWorld Orlando trainer comes back with expected results.
  • Walt Disney World suffers a series of bus accidents, the most recent enough fatal for a boy at the campground.
  • Silver Dollar City turns 50. Good story about how the park came to be, from a Chicago newspaper, no less.
  • The Wild West World fraud case is finally over, as Etheredge gets five years in jail.
  • Universal's marketing for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter draws criticism from those who booked spring vacations. It's also strange how many media reports paint it as a full theme park. Will the blurry message bite the park in the ass? Gonch and Carrie are not that familiar with the Harry Potter books or movies.
  • Japanese firm wants to license the Paramount Pictures stuff for a theme park in Osaka. Jeff explains how this is just a licensing deal, not "Paramount" trying to get back into the theme park business.
  • Walt Disney World nerds freak out over the "TRONorail," a monorail wrapped in a big Tron movie promo. Try on your souvenir T-shirts before leaving, please.
  • Jeff contemplates putting a podcast player in the CoasterBuzz Feed.
  • Check out the growing event list on the CoasterBuzz Club page.
  • Plugs for Coasterimage.com and Vimeo.
  • You can get the latest headlines on CoasterBuzz from the Twitter. Follow us @coasterbuzz.
  • CoasterBuzz Club is $25 per year. You can join or renew today. Enjoy CoasterBuzz with no ads.

Link: CoasterBuzz Podcast

Monday, April 12, 2010 8:50 PM

I don't even know who the GM at Kings Dominion is, but the one train operation on Volcano and the Bobsled ride last Friday were pretty disappointing. They were running one train on a bunch of other rides too, but the waits on these two were way too long (probably an hour or more - 3x as long as for Intimidator 305). I agree with you about Intimidator 305. Good ride, but not great, mainly because of the OTSRs. That monster trim brake is a buzz kill too. I'd rather see a couple smaller trims spaced out than that one huge one.

Intimidator at Carowinds is a B&M hyper and I've yet to find one that really does it for me (I'm too much of an ejector air snob), but I rode Apollo's Chariot last Thursday too and honestly, I still think it's the better ride.

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Monday, April 12, 2010 11:38 PM

I haven't been on Apollo since, I think the same year I was at KD (2001 maybe). I'm anxious to get back to compare.

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Monday, April 12, 2010 11:50 PM

Jeff,

I agree with you, re: Kings Dominion. It was a great park until around 1992. From '92 until 2009, it pretty much blew large chunks. It was dirty, even when they actually tried to clean it up, it still felt dirty. Many of th attractions appeared run down and Rebel Yell really went to hell. The wonderful Carousel fell into disrepair and old Scooby Doo Ghoster Coaster was looking pretty rough. What happened? PARAMOUNT happened. They really blew a golden opportunity to cross promote their movies.

Cedar Fair comes in, cleans the place up, puts Flight of Fear back to together, did lots of little things, took down Hypersonic (which was a great ride the first two times I rode it, then it just got old and felt rickety towards the end.) The park has become a pretty enjoyable place to go and, this year, CF put a greater emphasis on cleanliness. Walking around, you see lots of nice young ladies (I assume there guys too, I only noticed the young ladies) in BRIGHT yellow outfits sweeping and picking up trash. Quite a change. Now, if they would give Rebel Yell some love and fix the damned parking lot, it could be a top notch regional park.

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Monday, April 12, 2010 11:56 PM

Oh yeah, what's wrong with the restraints on I305? I rather liked them. I keep reading posts (by those who are, no doubt, more enlightened than I am) about how bad they are. Still don't get the problem with them.

One comment about Planet Snoopy and Kidzville...much better than I had anticipated, but I had rather low expectations anyway. Boo Blasters is a rather lame. Everything about it is generic. They didn't even bother to try to hide the fact that the cars still look like the Mystery Machine.

The big Snoopy in an astronaut suit looked rather cool, towering over the trees, just before you enter the area. Of course, if I were 4, it would probably scare the crap out of me.

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010 12:35 AM

(once again, Dave responds to the thread BEFORE listening to the podcast...)

Universal's marketing is ridiculous. And when I visited the park back in November, there was not a single souvenir item available with an Islands of Adventure logo. It's as though they built that massive park ten years ago and then forgot about it. Now they're promoting Potter almost as if it is a new park, as if that property could support a third gate.

Oh, and I just read a breaking news release: Freestyle Music Park is still not opening this season.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010 6:23 AM

The last time I visited Kings Dominion was the first year that Cedar Fair took over and all the Paramount theming was still intact. There is a big difference from then to now as far as cleanliness. They seem to have gone above and beyond to get the park back into tip top shape.

I was really impressed with the Planet Snoopy conversion. The themes are well done. Wasn't sure they'd pull that off. Boo Blasters was a disappointment. Seems like there were less targets to shoot at then before. I miss the Scooby Doo theme on that ride.

I didn't think the restraints detracted from Intimidator. Hershey being my home park I am used to the restraints and the defensive riding needed. In the front seat the ride was perfect. In the back seat it required a little more defensive riding, and block brake hit hard.

The single train operation was disappointing. After waiting 40 minutes to ride the backlot stunt coaster I skipped the rest of the coasters with single train op. Volcano's line was rediculous.

Overall I am really Impressed with the park, and Cedar Fair has done an excellent job.

Last edited by Coasterfantom2, Tuesday, April 13, 2010 6:25 AM
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Tuesday, April 13, 2010 8:15 AM

Pre CF take over, as a local, I would agree that KD was a bit on the dirty side. It was a common joke among some of us locals that you had to get vaccinated prior to every visit there. Its been my local park (1h away) since '84 and I will definitely say that CP has turned it around in a lot of good ways.

Though I still chuckle that Virginia has yet to replace the informational sign so you still see the blackout of Paramount on the I95 sign. But that's our transportation system in action.

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010 12:45 PM

I noticed that too on my way in. It's so obvious even in the dark. At least they didn't just use spray paint. What are those vanity plate fees paying for, anyway? :)

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010 1:16 PM

^To answer your question about the pictures that hang in Hogwarts, Jeff. They will indeed be interactive just like in the movie.

Check out this video from Orlando Attraction's Magazine. It show's a quick shot of the pictures coming to life.

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010 3:14 PM

Jeff said:
What are those vanity plate fees paying for, anyway? :)

Very little as they are pretty cheap..

Can I pick up CB Lover Jeff?? :)

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010 4:20 PM

Not if you don't want to be molested by truckers.

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010 5:23 PM

ok.. I hate to LOL a thread.. but LOL!!

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Sunday, April 25, 2010 11:52 PM

Now that I have actually listened to the podcast in question--

o As for how the Harry Potter stuff will play for people who are not familiar with the Harry Potter books and movies, I suggest this: Aside from the fact that it is a cool flume ride, can you truly appreciate Splash Mountain if you are not familiar with "Song of the South"?

(I pick that one because a large number of people who ride that thing have probably never even heard of "Song of the South") Can you still enjoy the storyline given in the ride? By the same token, over at IOA, what about Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls for someone who has never watched Rocky & Bullwinkle (you poor soul)? Either way, I think the rides work, even for people who are perhaps unfamiliar with the source of the story, the attractions are constructed so that they will stand on their own, even if the basis for the attraction is long forgotten.

o Glad to hear the "love" for the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The movie wasn't bad, and neither was the book, but the absolute best version, in my opinion, was the radio series, especially the first radio series. Oh, the other thing to note is that if something is "almost, but not quite, entirely unlike" it actually implies a *dis*similarity. It indicates perhaps an intended comparison that doesn't actually work ("a warm liquid that is almost but not quite entirely unlike tea" is more likely to be coffee...but the negative comparison to tea implies that it isn't motor oil). Likewise the unusual use of the negative ("they hung in the sky in exactly the way that bricks don't") or even unconventional imagery ("like having your brain smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped 'round a large gold brick"). It is clear, though, that at some point all the versions except for the movie kind of 'ran out of gas' as the series popularity outlasted Adams' repeated attempts to end it. And to bring this back on topic, I'd like to see a "Restaurant at the End of the Universe" movie, particularly since I think Milliway's would be a cool theme park restaurant. :)

o Apparently the Disney snobs are monocoastal. All those complaining about the Tronorail...where were they when Disneyland turned one of their monorails into a giant submarine to billboard the Finding Nemo attraction?

o I see the return to weekly podcasts worked out real well. :) (But hey, you can see how I am about keeping up with them!)

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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