CoasterBuzz Podcast #99 posted

Posted Monday, December 31, 2007 5:41 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Jeff, Richard, Rob and Pat review this week's news in the amusement industry.

  • Six Flags and Tony Hawk: Is the 40-year-old skater the ultimately marketable guy?
  • Heart attack victim on Disney's Everest probably only made the news because it happened at Disney. Richard says that the forces on Mission: Space, which has had a couple of deaths related to natural causes, is pretty intense.
  • Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom accident that severed girl's feet becomes a little more clear, and maintenance manager says now that there should have been a stop mechanism when cable broke.
  • Dubai getting the ultimate dinosaur park. Richard says that Middle East is being marketed to Europeans for tourism to a certain degree because it's getting easier to visit compared to the US.
  • New monorail train shows up at Disneyland, and there are a whole lot of monorail enthusiasts out there.
  • Jeff feels vindicated when a non-US resident makes fun of our huge cars.
  • The Six Flags turn around is a three-year experience, according to the brass. It's still kind of a wait-and-see, but at least the current management is honest about what they don't do well, unlike Burke and company who acted like everything was fine.
  • The guys talk about the cultural and staffing impact of year-round operations in various countries. The traveling fair phenomenon is something uniquely European.
  • Sally Corp. has a nice niche to fill since so many parks don't have the product they offer.
  • Cedar Fair might not have a ton of clout, but they sure have the contract that gives them the upper hand in Santa Clara in dealing with the 49ers.

Link: CoasterBuzz Podcast

Tuesday, January 1, 2008 2:50 PM
The monorail at DL is much more of an attraction than *just* transportation there. The new design adds a lot of kinematic appeal to the park.
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Tuesday, January 1, 2008 3:17 PM
The Disneyland monorail is an attraction with 2 stops. One over the Nemo Submarine ride loading dock in Tomorrowland and the other in Downtown Disney. So, you got turnstiles and a bag check area at that station! In the morning, I believe they restrict the Downtown Disney station to guests of the 3 Disney resorts and later on, anyone can ride it to arrive in style at Disneyland.
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Tuesday, January 1, 2008 5:08 PM
For the monorail, there is really no point to have one. When the monorail was experiencing temporary delays, we walked from Disneyland to Downtown Disney, and it is pretty darn close. Maybe, it was a whole 5 minutes or so.

Jeff, you said that you haven't been to Disneyland. The difference between the monorails at Disneyland, and the ones at Disney World is the fact that Disneyland's are sitdown. You can't stand up in the monorail at all. Thus, that means less capacity. Those monorails don't have high ceilings. You would have to bend your head down if you had to stand up, I believe. I believe that they also have open windows on those monorails whereas Disney World does not. Disney World has air-conditioning, and heat instead.

I was quite unimpressed of Disneyland's monorails. I like Disney World's a lot, but Disneyland was just not that great. At Disneyland, Wikipedia says that Disneyland runs 2 trains at a time. However, they were running 1 train for I don't know how long when I was there 2 years ago. That's because they were fixing something, or maybe it was because of a new attraction. The colors were red, purple, blue, and orange.

When I was at the Magic Kingdom, they had 3 trains on both Magic Kingdom lines (One is a hotel line), and 2 on the Epcot lines. For busier times, they probably usually more of them, but I was looking at the colors they had. It was later at night.

There are 12 monorails at Disneyworld.
They are a darker blue, purple, black with red stripe, dark red, gold, lime green, regular green, orange, magenta, peach, neon yellow, and gray.

I personally like darker blue, purple, dark red, black with red stripe, lime green, regular green, and neon yellow.

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Thursday, January 3, 2008 2:41 AM
The skater that Pat refers to is named Rob Dyrdek. He has his own reality show called "Rob & Big" on MTV. The 'Big' refers to his bodyguard who is quite large.

In one of the episodes of the first season, they showed the two of them going back home to Kettering, OH and they showed the park. It's massive and is dedicated to the street skater--which is what Dyrdek specializes in. In that same episode they went to King's Island.

I too find it amazing that Tony Hawk has managed to be as popular for as long as he has. I think the fact that he has managed to keep active in the sport has definitely helped. On the Tony Hawk Boom Boom Huck Jam tour, he put in a considerable amount of skating for the stop at SFA in 06'.

His continued involvement with the X Games on ESPN as a commentator has also kept his name out there. And he's just not some guy--this guy knows how to call all the tricks that people are throwing.

Why the majority of U.S. parks closedown (my opinion)
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Richard was asking why most of the parks in America are closed at this time of year. I think besides staffing, it all boils down to weather. Things can get absolutely brutal in many areas of the country. Whether it's relentless snow due to the lakes, or storms that come down from Canada, there are also a lot of states that wind up in that in-between phase where they get a lot of ice.

The other reason is a lot of parks go into heavy-duty maintenance mode. Some rides are completely taken apart and inspected, Six Flags America (and I'm assuming many other parks) send their PTC trains back to PTC. Other rides get shrink-wrapped.

The bottom line is that I think a lot of people get to that point where they've had enough of riding in the cold weather and they'd rather due something else warmer.

The European Fair Phenomenon vs. America
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I was talking to some guys this summer who had been to Oktoberfest and they mentioned that the rides are about $10 a piece (ouch!) But, if you look at a YouTube clip of the ride cycles, you're getting your money's worth, plus all the fancy lighting. I'm not really sure I'd want to be on some of those rides for that long--particularly the "Flying Circus" and "Vortex."

The longest ride-cycle I ever experienced was on a Huss Flipper owned by Reithoffer Shows. They were running it for about 7-8 minutes and some people were revisiting their dinners.

In America, you might see a special (expensive and/or big ride) or two at some fairs, but that's about it. It's rare to come across a fair that has a whole lot of big rides, unless you happen upon a fair like The York Interstate Fair or The Great Frederick Fair (both supplied by Reithoffer Shows), where their budget is obviously bigger.

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Thursday, January 3, 2008 12:18 PM
To echo Spinout re: the DL monorail, it's really more of a in-park ride than anything else. It just happens to drop you off outside the park if you wish. You could consider it a lot like the CP&LE RR, there's half to get you somewhere (CP: Main Station -> Frontier Town, DL: Tomorrowland -> Downtown Disney) and the "ride" half (CP: Boneville, DL: over and around the Submarine Voyage lagoon and Autopia). At DL, some of the clearances it has to make when the track figure-eights around are pretty tight so naturally the trains have to be quite smaller than their WDW counterparts.

Check out the layout on Google Maps

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Thursday, January 3, 2008 1:28 PM
What the hell is a 'Snoqualmie?' :)
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Friday, January 4, 2008 10:10 AM
Sally isn't building the Ghostwood Estate dark ride at Kennywood next year.

The effects are being done by Halloween Productions Inc, the trackless vechicles by ETF ride systems, and the guns by LaserStar.

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