Great America Demons and Tidal Wave w/no back spike?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007 12:40 PM
Grew up on these rides, the Gurnee rides anyway. The Demon in CA has a milder drop than the one here. Ours has a visible misplacement on the backbone (it's probably like less than an inch), but the drop is great!

From looking at old pics of the Turn of the Century, it seems that the drop was changed when the Demon as born. Did the CA model have the same drop too, when it was changed to the Demon? Cuz it doesn't anymore (from looking at pics).

I've also heard that the Tidal Waves (CA opened in 1977, Gurnee in 1978) originally stopped in the station w/o going up the back spike. I even saw one comment on here a while ago stating that there was originally no back spike at all! I just rode Greezed Lightnin at SFKK, lucky me, an extra 1/2 credit woohoo!

Is anyone SURE about some of this stuff?

Cool thing is, I was at GA Gurnee a few weeks ago (and will be there tomorrow :) and our Demon now has the original artwork on the train fronts. This was sometimes done for Fright Fest, but looks like its more of a permanent thing now. The yellow train had kinda like yellow-greenish fire; all the decals were slightly different coloring going with each train color.

Fire was also back on the control booth - and barely visible orange flames painted on the 3D sign out front. Someone cares at the park...

Now if they could only get all the lights back up in the tunnel sometime.. and the steam ;) *** Edited 6/27/2007 4:41:46 PM UTC by J7G3***

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007 1:20 PM
My understanding is the drop was not changed during the switch from TOTC to Demon. They did add add some dirt and a tunnel for the train track under the first turn, but I don't think this caused a track reprofiling.

You can see a before and after here. I believe these are both Santa Clara shots.

http://www.greatamericaparks.com/sg/rides/county/toc/toc005.jpg

http://www.greatamericaparks.com/sg/rides/county/demon/demon006.jpg

In regards to Santa Clara Tidal Wave, it most definitely stopped going backwards into the station during the first year of operation. I'm almost positive the back spike did not exist at all (but I'm getting old and my brain is getting fuzzy). I distinctly remember being on Triple Play the second year of operation (before riding Tidal Wave that day) and seeing the train shoot up the back spike for the first time. My friends and I looked at each other with our jaws dropped open, "where the heck did that come from?!!!!" and immediately ran across the park to ride the thing.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007 1:31 PM
For some reason, I can't access those pages by clicking, but I found the shots on the site. Good thing I'm a coaster geek w/o a job, for now anyway :)


That pic of the Demon is the Gurnee ride, says at the top.

Here's the CA Demon: http://www.greatamericaparks.com/sg/rides/county/demon/demon004.jpg

I can't find the pics, but I think I've seen the CA Demon with this steeper drop (like Gurnee) and also with a drop similar to when it was TOTC:

http://www.greatamericaparks.com/sg/rides/county/toc/toc007.jpg

http://www.greatamericaparks.com/sg/rides/county/toc/toc017.jpg

Looks like we can't use 'remote linking' from the GA site. oops, not too web saavy (yet!) *** Edited 6/27/2007 5:33:43 PM UTC by J7G3***

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007 1:40 PM
I'm somewhat amazed that the new SF management hasn't changed Demon's name (ala Hellevator to S:TOP) to make it more PC and "family friendly". Maybe I should keep that to a hush. ;)
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Wednesday, June 27, 2007 1:42 PM
I wouldn't worry about that thrillerman1; they're reformed christians up there. just kidding.

But seriously, we've seen a re-appearance of some of the Demonic themeing in the past few years, moving forward!

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007 3:03 PM
I thought the only change made to the TOTC was the replacement of the camelbacks with two vertical loops.

As for Tidal Wave, wasn't that a first-generation shuttle loop (weight-drop version)? I thought that only the second-generation (flywheel version) shuttle loops sent the train up the back spike?

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007 3:11 PM
^I think somewhere along the line it was decided to allow the weight-drops to go into the back spike a little bit....probably to reduce wear-and-tear by trying to brake them all at once in the station. It's a theory... ;)

....it's also why I prefer the flywheels... :)

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007 3:28 PM
Makes sense. I was always under the impression that the trains never had the momentum to make the climb but maybe that wasn't the case.
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Wednesday, June 27, 2007 3:34 PM
Oh they do. Even with the heavey braking, Greezed Lightnin' at SFKK still gets about half way up the back spike. That return braking really kills the ride though. Flying up the back spike is one of the best parts of the flywheel models. I love me some Monte!
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Wednesday, June 27, 2007 3:57 PM
Aww man...I'm having RCT2 flashbacks of launching coasters over the park. Heh heh.
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Wednesday, June 27, 2007 4:03 PM

Rob Ascough said:
I thought the only change made to the TOTC was the replacement of the camelbacks with two vertical loops.

As for Tidal Wave, wasn't that a first-generation shuttle loop (weight-drop version)? I thought that only the second-generation (flywheel version) shuttle loops sent the train up the back spike?


Nah Rob, the drop on the Demon is a bit different than it was on the TOTC. However, I think the CA version was changed back to the way it was before Demon - kinda what I was trying to find out by this thread :)

Yes, the Tidal Wave was a 1st gen shuttle. All the shuttles use the back spike, some more than others though! On Montezuma's Revenge at Knott's Berry Farm, there are no brakes used on the way back and that bad boy flies up that back spike!

I think KK was running it all the way up for a while, after seeing some pictures - but not anymore.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007 4:38 PM
I don't recall ever hearing something about either Demon's drop being reconstructed but I'm not going to try to discredit what you're saying because I honestly have no idea. If a change was made, I'd be curious to find out the reasons for it.
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Wednesday, June 27, 2007 4:44 PM
No prob Rob. Check out GreatAmericaparks.com

They have alot of pics of TOTC and Demon. I'm not totally sure why they did it. But you can see a difference in the profile of the drop. Damn if my scanner worked, I'd draw a picture...

The drop on Demon is steeper, and does not have 'straight track' between the apex and pull out of the drop. The TOTC had a good amount of straight track. Basically, the Demon is steeper.

The theories I have as to why they did this would be:

1 - make it steeper, its the demon dammit!

2 - they needed more room, and had to kinda 'back-up' the pullout of the drop

both can be argued of course, and there could be other theories I'm not thinking of. Few people would probably not even understand what where talking about (out of non-geekness, this is not a slam). Maybe good ole Ron Toomer would know.

I'm sure someone on here knows :)

I found some pics at RCDB.com where you can see the shape of the drop is different:

http://www.rcdb.com/ig76.htm?picture=6

http://www.rcdb.com/ig76.htm?picture=3 *** Edited 6/27/2007 8:48:54 PM UTC by J7G3***

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007 4:49 PM
I have been doing some research and this is what I found. It appears there are three Shuttle Loop generations (technically four, depending who you ask). The first generations were basically prototypes that featured Lattice Loops and few, but minor, mechanical variations. Second generation is the common weight drop models with the box beam loop and ever so slightly improved launch mechanics. And of course the third, and best generation, of all are the Fly Wheel models like Montezooma's Revenge. From the very beginning all three generations featured a back tower and it was always used. Some parks choice to use a lot of braking and very little of the back tower (both Great Americas) and some parks choose not to use any braking at all, and all of the back tower(Knott's Berry Farm and Six Flags AstroWorld). And in case your wondering the four gen would be the infamous Wiener Looping/Bullet.
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Wednesday, June 27, 2007 6:02 PM
Can absolutely confirm that Tidal Wave opened with a back spike that was delicious. After riding it one fine day in 1978, purchased a very stylish '70's tee that proudly proclaimed, "I Survived the Tidal Wave" and displayed a very a colorful rendering of the coaster and a...Tidal Wave, of all things! Huh. All of my little Jr High mates were quite jealous, needless to say....

I had that shirt tucked away in a drawer for about twenty years, too. Only coaster shirt I've ever owned.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007 6:12 PM

J7G3 said:

I think KK was running it all the way up for a while, after seeing some pictures - but not anymore.


Nope, Greezed Lightnin always braked heavily on the return run. In fact, it has eased up just a little from opening year, but not much.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007 9:09 PM

mudinthevayne said:

J7G3 said:

I think KK was running it all the way up for a while, after seeing some pictures - but not anymore.


Nope, Greezed Lightnin always braked heavily on the return run. In fact, it has eased up just a little from opening year, but not much.


hmmm mudvayne :) I'll have to find the picture ;)
And it surely ran brakeless w/o peeps in it one of the days I was there; it had broken down and the maintenance dude was up there runnin it. He hit something, ran it once with brakes, then told the ops to open it back up.

Here's one with no brakes, I think:

http://www.rcdb.com/ig2216.htm?picture=3

and WITH brakes:

http://www.rcdb.com/ig2216.htm?picture=8

http://www.rcdb.com/ig2216.htm?picture=17

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Friday, June 29, 2007 1:58 AM
The drop on the Demon is the same as Turn of the Century. If you look at the base of the first loop you will see the old (smaller) diameter spine Arrow Development used, as well as the thinner "U-Brackets." While the size of the U-Brackets does not prove that the drop is the original since Arrow used different sizes based on where they needed to beef up the supports, they did not start doing this until 1980 with both Demons and the Orient Express at WoF. They did not need to make the drop steeper to fit the loops, the big issue they has was what to do with the extra room they would have after removing the hills (ala straight sections). You can also see the transition back to old track at the exit of the tunnel when the spine changes diameter again. It isn't a big difference, but the over sized welds are a dead give-away.
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Friday, June 29, 2007 12:24 PM

OrientExpressKid said:
The drop on the Demon is the same as Turn of the Century. If you look at the base of the first loop you will see the old (smaller) diameter spine Arrow Development used, as well as the thinner "U-Brackets." While the size of the U-Brackets does not prove that the drop is the original since Arrow used different sizes based on where they needed to beef up the supports, they did not start doing this until 1980 with both Demons and the Orient Express at WoF. They did not need to make the drop steeper to fit the loops, the big issue they has was what to do with the extra room they would have after removing the hills (ala straight sections). You can also see the transition back to old track at the exit of the tunnel when the spine changes diameter again. It isn't a big difference, but the over sized welds are a dead give-away.

No no no no, sorry :/

The drop is steeper and more abrupt. You are correct about the footings, etc. But the drop's pullout is closer to the apex.

You can even see on the Demon's backbone (movie, ain't it?) the misalignment when the change was made.

I'll put some pictures up, when I figure out how.

Yeah! I'll prove the world wrong, and the world will be mine at last! hahahha :) Ok, now I need to get a job.

But I will try to get the pictures up....

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Friday, June 29, 2007 2:37 PM
If you are going to just tell me no after an honest response, then why ask the question?

Look at the support structure of the first drop, it is the very same as Turn of the Century. The spine of arrow coasters is often offset a little bit as the rails are what need to line up smoothly, if the track wasn't fabricated correctly or shifted during shipping/installation it is possible that the spine will need to be inched over to one side or the other for the rails to line up correctly. Look at the pictures of them building Shockwave on that GreatAmericaParks.com site, they don't even line up some of the supports until all of the track in that area is welded together. *** Edited 6/29/2007 6:37:26 PM UTC by OrientExpressKid***

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