Drachen Fire: A Petition

Friday, April 13, 2001 9:38 AM
Let's face it: Drachen Fire has become one of the most controversial topics in the coaster industry as of late and it seems that, even to those who rode it and complained of its roughness, there is still such a great air of mystique about it that we all really wanna ride this thing.

I propose a petition, right here on CoasterBuzz, to have Busch Gardens begin remodeling Drachen Fire.

Think about it: the waste of money by having it sit there could be turned around if it's reopened; after all, low ridership is better than no ridership, even if maintenance costs are factored in.

Secondly, the main problem lies in the difference between the building styles of Arrow and B&M, the two companies responsible for the coaster. I'm taking a stab in the dark, here, but to remodel a coaster, it doesn't cost a whole lot of money (please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong). Besides, the changes only have to be minimal: minor track adjustments, change the rolling stock, etc. Most of the inversions can remain intact even.

Finally, just look at what's happening to the Steel Phantom. It's being remodeled to make it a more exciting and smoother ride (although one could fairly consider it a major overhaul). With the kind of money Arrow should be making from its radical 4D coaster, it should be pocket change to remodel an already decent coaster. Like Phantom's Revenge, it could easily become one of the most anticipated coasters of the next few years.

At this point, the future of the ride is uncertain, but general enthusiast concessions indicate that they want it to reopen. Now is the time to act. If we can get a big enough petition and provide Busch Gardens with a substantial enough reason to remodel and reopen the ride, this could be the big push they'll need to consider our plan.

If you want to sign up and have Drachen Fire remodeled and reopened, send me an e-mail with your name (and comments, if you choose, but keep them brief) or post on this thread. I'll keep track of all the people that participate and keep you guys posted.

Save Drachen Fire now!

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NITRO kicks it into high gear...only at Six Flags Great Adventure!

Got to be Goofy -- June 29, 2001???

My other car is a rollercoaster...
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Friday, April 13, 2001 10:01 AM
Sure. Never rode it, but I love coasters. It'll be a better world with more of 'em in it. :)

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I pledge defiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republicans, which I can't stand, one nation, under smog, indespicable, with liberty for just us, not all.
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Friday, April 13, 2001 10:04 AM
Since when does B&M have anything to do with the ride? Are you sure that isn't yet another myth? In '92, B&M was busy building their first ride, Iron Wolf.

BGW will do whatever financially makes sense with the ride, not what coaster enthusiasts think. Let's give them a little credit; running a theme park is what they do. Doing nothing with it isn't a waste of money when you compare it to maintaining a ride that has poor ridership. Consider a lot of old closed steel plants. It's cheaper to have someone sweep the floors than tear them down.

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Jeff
Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
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Friday, April 13, 2001 10:18 AM
In 1992, B&M were working on their 3rd and 4th coasters, Vortex and Batman: the Ride. Not that I'm trying to validate the rumor that B&M had part in building Drachen Fire.
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Friday, April 13, 2001 10:19 AM
Have you gone here and sent them an e-mail?
Click on "Contact Us", cut and paste your message into their form and let your voice be heard.

http://buschgardens.com/buschgardens/bg_williamsburg/frame.html

From rumors on another site, it was said that the deal between Six Flags and BGW fell thru because of a 1 million dollar moving cost, that neither wanted to pay.

I rode it twice, and on the second time, my 7 year old daughter (at the time), came off dizzy, and the ride ops saw this and we're concerned.
And it wasn't the head banging, it was the elements, she was dizzy.


Now, let's ask the question. Even if they redo the trains with lap bars like FOF, will the ride still be safe with all the loops and barrel rolls?

I think this is the problem. Even if they take away the over head restraints, you still have the elements, which cause some people to go dizzy. They'd have to redesign the end of the ride like Kennywood did with Phantom's Revenge.

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Friday, April 13, 2001 10:35 AM
Jeff, several coaster sites I have visited reported that B&M drew up the plans, but Arrow took over the project. The major problems came because the two companies use different varieties of track and elements, and also utilize different centers of gravity for their trains. So yes, B&M was originally involved in Drachen Fire.

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NITRO kicks it into high gear...only at Six Flags Great Adventure!

Got to be Goofy -- June 29, 2001???

My other car is a rollercoaster...
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Friday, April 13, 2001 10:49 AM
Jeff said:
In '92, B&M was busy building their first ride, Iron Wolf.

Iron Wolf debuted in 1991, according to the drink bottle I bought last year.

I don't know much about Drachen Fire's history, but I couldn't see it having poor ridership. I've heard it was a great coaster back in the day and I see plenty of posts about it. I say bring it back or sell it -- surely there's a park out there willingn to plunk down some money for a well-known coaster like Drachen Fire, even if it does require some remodeling.
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Friday, April 13, 2001 10:59 AM
Iron Wolf opened to the public in 1990. Jeff just confused the years. Batman:TR was 1992.
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Friday, April 13, 2001 11:14 AM
Drachen Fire was originally going to be done by B&M. However, Arrow took over and B&M built Kumba at BGT. If you look at Drachen Fire, you will notice some similarities with B&M. First, Drachen Fire uses the A-frame supports while all other Arrows have the scaffolding. Also, if you look at the elements, they resemble B&M. You have a dive loop, a camelback (which was really to be a zero-g roll), and then a cobra roll. Drachen Fire is the only Arrow coaster with a cobra roll. Also, when we asked Claude about this, he did confirm it that Drachen Fire was originally going to be done by B&M, but instead, arrow took it over.
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Friday, April 13, 2001 11:43 AM
Perhaps a web site should be setup with a simple vote option like Agree, Unsure, Who cares, etc. This way, you can get raw data that shows real numbers.
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Friday, April 13, 2001 11:54 AM
I fail to see how the elements themselves are dangerous. DF doesn't have the most elements, or even the most forceful elements.

Coasters have always been 'rider beware'.
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Friday, April 13, 2001 11:59 AM
I don't understand poor ridership on this ride. I've heard many stories of people who never got to ride because they "couldn't find it". So wouldn't it be much better for them to advertise the ride with arrows, signs, etc. showing where the ride is and even advertise it as a new ride. I personally think it looks like one of the coolest coasters ever paint especially with the paint unlike any color I've ever seen. I really hope it opens back up. Somewhere in the US, although it fits more than perfectly into BGW.

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PKI-Midwest's Premier Theme and Water Park-Wooden and Kiddie Coaster Capital of the World!
You are the Weakest Link! Goodbye!!! 4-9-01:Hyperbuzzer
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Friday, April 13, 2001 12:39 PM
I really don't think they keep this ride closed to just to antagonize coaster buffs. They've probably already looked into all the obvious solutions. It may look like a "waste" but I think the parks pretty much know what they're doing.
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Friday, April 13, 2001 7:40 PM
I rode it once when it had 6 inversions and I loved it. When I went back in 1998 I almost cried when it was closed. Little did I know that it would remain closed. It was a great ride and it was the first ride I ever rode that did more than just a loop. It was an exciting ride. It would be great if something was done to reopen it. It would be even cooler if it was demolished then the ride was rebuilt by B+M with floorless or sitdown trains! Same design but B&M= way better coaster!

Just a few random thoughts...

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Talon 2001

'Nuff Said
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Friday, April 13, 2001 7:51 PM
B&M had very little to do with Drachen Fire.

Busch Gardens proposed their idea of a coaster (with all their elements made up, i.e. 120ft tall inversion vertical loop [ended up as the corkscrew drop because Arrow didn't like to do large loops]; zero g element, was originally the zero g roll but again, Arrow doesn't do that and there came the airtime hill; not sure where the cutback came from...) to B&M and they told BG they would design it but needed a year to do it and BG said they wanted it - FAST. So they turned to Arrow who modified the layout not too greatly.

Arrow built the coaster quickly and didn't care if it was rough, et al.; they just cared about the money.

When B&M finished designing their version of Drachen Fire, it ended up at - you guessed it - BGT as Kumba!

But staying on the topic - I don't want DF to go! It was my very first coaster when I was 7 years old and it had 6 inversions when I rode it! Unfortunately, it took me 5 years to go back to BGW. After 5 years after my 1994 ride, I freaked out seeing that it was closed!

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The Jet Coaster ROARS!
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Friday, April 13, 2001 8:20 PM
Look at it this way, Is BGW really loosing anything from it being closed? People are still going, most could give a care less if its open, and the park isn't in shambles. The last time I checked they seemed to be doing pretty good without it open.

Of course I, like anyone here is probably upset with this. If anyone cares to know, there have already been movements to "save" Drachen Fire. Here is a site were you can sign petitions, read rumors, ect.

http://www.angelfire.com/nc2/drachenfire/
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Friday, April 13, 2001 9:10 PM
Is there anyway possible to see it from or in the park. Last time I went, I really didn't know it was there. Is it as hidden as the claims say?

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PKI-Midwest's Premier Theme and Water Park-Wooden and Kiddie Coaster Capital of the World!
You are the Weakest Link! Goodbye!!! 4-9-01:Hyperbuzzer
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Saturday, April 14, 2001 10:09 AM
When I rode Drachen Fire it was not difficult to find due to clear signs, though it is not in the central part of the park like the other coasters. Certainly I had more trouble finding Grissly at Kings Dominion yesterday, which had a good crowd despite a nearly hidden entrance.

However Drachen Fire the last couple years of its operation was a walk on because people didn't want to ride it, not because they couldn't find it. As I recall in a 2 day visit, we rode Drachen Fire once and didn't want a second ride, Nessie 3 times, the mouse 2 or 3 times, Big Bad at least 6 times, and my daushter tried to wear out a seat on Alpengeist she rode it so many times.
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Saturday, April 14, 2001 10:15 AM
Was there a reason you didn't like Jim or just didn't want to ride it? Headbanging? Too far out of the way? Anyone else who has ridden it feel free to comment too. The only time I've "ridden" it was on AGRCThrills video. I would watch it again but I can't find it.

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PKI-Midwest's Premier Theme and Water Park-Wooden and Kiddie Coaster Capital of the World!
You are the Weakest Link! Goodbye!!! 4-9-01:Hyperbuzzer
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Saturday, April 14, 2001 10:59 AM
That is a good plot of land over there. It is very possible that Drachen Fire will just be wiped out or bought out and it will be outta there. I wouldn't be suprised if BGW threw in a sweet woodie or a remake of Drachen Fire overhauled by B&M. Too bad we'll just have to wait and see........

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Coasters- a little slice of heaven
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