CoasterBuzz Podcast #176 posted

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

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

  • The crew spends a bit of time talking about Facebook and its recent changes, "like" buttons everywhere and privacy. Interested to hear what you have to say, and whether there's any value in adding Facebook features to CoasterBuzz.
  • Six Flags emerges from bankruptcy, and we're all glad that Shapiro and his crew will get an extended crack at making the company not suck.
  • Stratosphere opens a decelerating jump off the tower thing called Skyjump. None of us would do it.
  • Coney Island's Luna Park will open with 19 shiny new Zamperla rides. Gonch says they're well-rounded.
  • UFS sells the Peanuts to a "brand" company and the Schultz family, and in the news release indicates that they're worth a lot more money that we all thought, especially in Belgium.
  • Attendance figures, estimated anyway, say Disney held their own without a single discount ticket. Carrie would like to know what demographics were visiting the parks, especially whether or not they were repeat visitors.
  • Busch Gardens Williamsburg is building a big drop tower. Gonch says that's what really makes a big park a big park.
  • Attention boaters: If you're smaller, get out of the way! A big "duh" at Walt Disney World with rentals.
  • Cops busting ticket resellers again. And why do the finger scanners at Universal Orlando suck so much compared to those at Disney?
  • Congress has a hearing about marine life shows. PETA says animals have feelings too.
  • Walt Disney World vs. Universal's Wizarding World of Harry Potter? It's not a contest, and everybody wins! Plus, thoughts of Grinchmas.
  • Knott's Xcelerator investigation ends, report issued. Conclusion: California sucks at investigating this sort of thing. Also, inspection time on cables questioned. Jeff just doesn't think the hydraulic launch system is practical.
  • Mr. Six has a Little Six, and Gonch is pretty sure he doesn't need to see that.
  • Q Funding is trying to score new people on the Cedar Fair board. Jeff thinks the newbies will win.
  • If you need your club membership card for coming events, please don't wait until the last minute.
  • Check out the growing event list on the CoasterBuzz Club page.
  • You can get the latest headlines on CoasterBuzz from the Twitter. Follow us @coasterbuzz.
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Link: CoasterBuzz Podcast

joe.'s avatar

In regard to using LIMs instead of a cable launch system, I believe I heard that for TTD (for example) needed twice the launch run in order to attain the same speed...

So, it's a space issue, supposedly. Then again, I could be completely wrong.

Jeff's avatar

No, that does sound familiar. Still, I suspect the cost of the extra track has been exceeded many times over with all of the rebuilds, tweaks and downtime.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

mlnem4s's avatar

I have to comparison to the launch system used by the military on aircraft carriers, why is it that the Intamin system seems (for all we know) to have more issues than the military adaptation has? The only difference to my knowledge is steam versus hydraulic motors. If I recall correctly, Intamin based this design specifically off of the military concept in order to achieve such high speeds. Could it be (again) a case of Intamin putting "too much" technology into something that could be a lot simpler?

Jeff's avatar

Intamin doesn't have access to nuclear reactors to heat up steam. :)

But over-engineered? Intamin? It's perfectly normal to outfit a ride with hundreds (thousands?) of switches and sensors!

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

99er's avatar

I enjoyed the discussion about Facebook and privacy. That is a topic I enjoy talking about with people who freak out about their "privacy".

As for the "Like" button being used, I don't see a benefit. At the same time though I do not find a downfall either. I for one do not often use that button when I see it on sites. I like Magnum but I don't need to announce that to the world, not to mention that most of the people I am friends with on Facebook already know I love coasters. So them seeing that I have "Liked" a particular coaster is not too shocking to them.

I don't see the need for you to bring it into Coasterbuzz or Pointbuzz for that matter. I guess if its not a lot of work for you, maybe it could be good for the site from an advertising standpoint but put me in the category of not using it. I guess I don't see the point of it with any application be it photos, coasters or the site itself. Then again, I also think its silly that websites (such as Coasterbuzz) have pages on Facebook. Why should I go to Facebook to see Coasterbuzz when I could just go to Coasterbuzz?:) Not picking on Coasterbuzz here, just using it as an example. For the record I find it funny that all websites have pages on Facebook.

Like I said, I do not find an upside nor a downside to it. I am sure some people out there enjoy using that feature and love letting people know just what it is that they like. I guess it could go either way for the site, Jeff.

Last edited by 99er,


Jeff's avatar

Yeah, I agree. I'm using Facebook and Twitter as kind of an alternate RSS feed, if you will. I really don't know what the state of RSS subscribing is in the general sense (360 people subscribe to our news feed here), but I know that a lot of people use Twitter as the source of links to new stuff. I personally don't find it to be great for that, but others do. There is a negligible number of people who come to CB because I posted something on the FB page.

An extraordinary 70% of traffic to CoasterBuzz is direct, repeat visitors. You can only infer that it's a very dedicated audience, or you're doing a crappy job of making yourself discoverable.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

James Whitmore's avatar

As for adding a "like" button on coasterbuzz pages, I don't see many benefits. Neither for the site nor the users. Although I can't really speak too intelligently about it. Seems to me that more traffic would be drawn away from coasterbuzz to facebook then the other way around. I guess that's the question Jeff will have to ask himself.

Your discussion about Facebook's privacy setttings did get me to review (and tighten) my options. Thanks.

Vater's avatar

I've tried to get into the Facebook thing, but I can't. Occasionally I'll find myself responding to people's statuses, but for the most part I don't update my own because I just don't find that my life is interesting enough that I need to tell everyone about it. The people that I want to know about my life already do, and not through Facebook. I understand the appeal, wife is on it several times a day (and hey, we all have our own things we're into--CBuzz and a few other forums are my time wasters on the internetz). I guess I'm just more of a private person than most.

I do want to know, however, how Carrie did on the 80's quiz. :)

My take on the privacy thing is simple: if you put something on a computer, you have to assume that it's being read by some large fraction of the 6B people on the planet.

That said, I've really found a lot of value in FB. In the past eight months, I've reconnected with three different people in the "real world" that I never would have seen again had it not been for FB. Just last week, I ended up going to the Wings @ Sharks game with a friend of mine from my days at Berkeley, 20 years ago, all stemming from a "The Red Wings just checked into my hotel" FB post.

rollergator's avatar

"...why do the finger scanners at Universal Orlando suck so much compared to those at Disney?"

From what I've been told, Universal (and just as bad or even worse, Busch) use more "points of idetification" on their scanners. At Disney I've always passed within a few seconds, and there have been times where the lines at SeaWorld, BGT, USF/IoA seem to come to a complete halt to get thru those things. It would probably be easier to check IDs, LOL...

You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

Carrie M.'s avatar

Vater said:

I do want to know, however, how Carrie did on the 80's quiz. :)

I was righteous. :)

"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

ApolloAndy's avatar

The other thing about LIM's is that as you increase speed you get less payoff per cost. A train accelerating from a stop is going to spend about a second in each LIM motor. A train going 115 MPH is spends a fraction of a fraction a second to pass each LIM and so you'll need a whole hell of a lot of motors to actually push it up to 120 MPH.

With the cable driven system, you just get one giant motor and it does all the work the whole way down the track.

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

I enjoyed the brief Skycoaster discussion (one type of ride that uses cables without issues :))

To my knowledge there has only been one case of serious injury on a Skycoaster which is pretty similar to what you guys mentioned. Some employees at one of the installations got drunk after work and decided to go back and fly themselves after close, but neglected to move the rolling platform (different from the hydraulic platforms you find at most installations) out of the way. I imagine that collision would hurt quite a bit.

And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

99er's avatar

Jeff was correct on there never being a ride related death on a Skycoaster. There have been on similar rides but none on a Skycoaster brand ride. You are correct Chris about the most serious being the one you mentioned. There have been other injuries but most, if not all, have been related to rider error or employees being careless after hours. Nothing very serious involving guests. They literally are the safest high thrill ride out there.


Facebook/Myspace will be the fall of Facebook/Myspace. Being the pioneer of things also leads to better innovation on the parts of others.

$100 for Sky Jump is not really that bad. That's like taking a cab from the strip to Fremont St. and back 2 times....I think if you convinced yourself that you were committing suicide it would be one of the most defining moments of your life! If your into personal insight...

"Our prices discriminate because we can't"----The best thing I've heard all month!

In Michigan you need a license to operate a boat.

Last edited by JoshuaTBell,
Lord Gonchar's avatar

JoshuaTBell said:
"Our prices discriminate because we can't"----The best thing I've heard all month!

I'd love to take credit, but it's from The Simpsons.

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