Gwazi gets GCI Millennium Flyer train(s)

Monday, March 8, 2010 1:05 AM
CoasterDemon's avatar

Very cool!

http://bgtguide.com/bgt/gwazitrain

I always thought this coaster would be outta this world if it wasn't for the rough ride the PTCs give. It's one of the most convoluted layouts, I remember lots of suprise double ups and double downs. Can't wait to ride it with the new trains!


Billy
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Monday, March 8, 2010 1:31 AM
Raven-Phile's avatar

I'm just the opposite of you. I like my rides to have forces, and though the ride's a bit rough with the PTC trains, I loved it. Same with Hershey's Wildcat. I haven't ridden it with the MF trains, but I'll stand by my liking of that ride with the PTC's. I just can't imagine it has the same intensity anymore.


R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
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Monday, March 8, 2010 1:39 AM
CoasterDemon's avatar

^You gotta point there, Raven. I think it's just b/c I so despise the PTC ratchet lap bars. I guess the GCI lap bars aren't much better. I loved Gwazi, but she always gave me a headache...


Billy
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Monday, March 8, 2010 3:57 PM

Josh,

But that begs the question, "If forces can be eliminated by a simple train-type change, then what was causing the forces in the first place?"

I though Gwazi was a neat coaster (preferred Tiger over Lion) but it was already at the bottom of my GCI list. Not sure the train change will do much to effect that. However, I wonder if this, or the recent management change will cause them to race/duel the trains more often....nah, that's just crazy talk.

Perhaps rollergatorwoodie could add something here.


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Monday, March 8, 2010 5:23 PM
coasterqueenTRN's avatar

The "old" Hershey Wildcat beat the crap out of me. The "new" Wildcat was awesome! Gator thought the opposite, of course. He prefered the roughness that the PTC's provided. Our opinions were like night and day when we visited, which is fine. If we all shared the same opinions life would be boring. :)

I have never been to BG Tampa so I can't compare old to new. I just expect I will love the Millennium Flyers once I visit there someday. :)

I also can't wait to try out the new Timberliners at Holiday World this June. :) I will probably marathon on Voyage a LOT more than I have in previous years. I was only able to handle that thing two maybe three times per ERT. ;)

-Tina

Last edited by coasterqueenTRN, Monday, March 8, 2010 5:25 PM
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Monday, March 8, 2010 5:53 PM

I'm with you, Tina, about the Voyage. While a spectacular ride, and tons of fun, after just a couple of spins you'll find me riding the bench. So, I'm looking forward to the Timberliners as well, in hopes that they make the ride re-ridable!

I'm a fan of the Millenium Flyer trains, I enjoyed them at Hershey, Dollywood, and Branson. I really like vintage look of them, the lap bars are more comfortable than those on PTC, and I think the ride experience is good. I can think of more than one coaster currently operating that would benefit by them.

Gwazi was ok for me, but the last time I was there it felt kinda clunky, or something, like the trains weren't "right" for it. I think this will be an imrprovement.

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Monday, March 8, 2010 6:58 PM
kpjb's avatar

The last time I was at BGT I was warned by multiple employees not to ride Gwazi because it was so bad. I should have listened. If it wasn't for a trip on SFNE's Cyclone this summer, Gwazi would still be my least favorite wooden coaster ever because of that lap.

I rode it when it was fairly new, and I thought it was very intense, but enjoyable. After last year though, I would classify it as so rough, it's unrideable. It literally hurt.

I didn't get a chance to ride Wildcat this year when I was at Hershey, but I always liked the ride and enjoyed its intensity, even with the PTC's. (Although Lightning Racer's still my favorite.)

I wonder if there's any retracking going hand in hand with this. If they'd do both the track and the train, I think they'd have a winner. I hope the new trains can help Gwazi, and I hope the new management lets the ride duel.


Hi

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Monday, March 8, 2010 8:28 PM
eightdotthree's avatar

Wildcat was awful IMO the first year they put on the flyer trains. I rode it twice and my wife rode it once and was done. We both loved Lightning Racers though.

Some tossing around on a wooden coaster is great when the ride is designed for it and maintained properly but a rough wooden coaster is just not fun to me.

I think the new trains on Gwazi will be great, especially at that park. After riding one of their B&M coasters a rough wooden coaster is hard to handle.


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Monday, March 8, 2010 9:24 PM
rollergator's avatar

Just got home from a family weekend at House of Mouse....

If Mildcat at Hershey is what we can anticipate for the future of Gwazi (Tiger was always the better layout) - then the loss of PTC's could be problematic for those of use who prefer the forceful airtime that PTCs can deliver. Gwazi has always been tempermental - and while I'll admit that the PTCs amplify the roughness - the MFlyers will potentially tame all significant uplift forces out of the ride.

Personally, other than operations, my feeling about Gwazi was the the track looked decent even before the recent major rehab....and the trains were fine, except for the fact that the wheels seem to be replaced once every 10,000 laps or so. THAT is where I've concluded most visitors end up suffering and thinking "Gwazi wasn't all that". ;)

P.S. If they're really putting MFlyers on....why not bring them online WITH the reopening after all that major work? Weird...but that's normal for BGT...*shrug*


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

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010 1:46 AM
Jeff's avatar

Hershey's Wildcat was terrible with the PTC's, and given how well the other wood coasters there are cared for, I'm just not convinced it was a maintenance problem. The Millennium Flyers are a great improvement, but really thinking about the layout, frankly it's just not one of the stronger rides from GCI.

Gwazi was just so off-the-chart rough the couple of times I had been on it that I had no desire to ride it again. But honestly, every GCI I've been on with PTC's did not impress me. I thought their rides were interesting, but didn't match the CCI's at the time. It wasn't until I got on Lightning Racer that I had a truly positive opinion about any of their rides.

So assuming Gwazi is maintained well, or heck, even it wasn't, I can only assume that the new trains would help.


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Tuesday, March 9, 2010 1:56 AM

According to a friend in Florida, the Flyers are already gone. Apparently they were just a loaner set from GCI to test how well they would run.


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Tuesday, March 9, 2010 2:07 PM
CoasterDemon's avatar

^Maybe someone will catch a glimpse of some GG Timberliners now ;)


Billy
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Sunday, March 14, 2010 12:24 PM
Acoustic Viscosity's avatar

Gwazi is one of my top favorite woodies. I prefer it to any smooth B&M, but in all of my visits, I've never found it overly-rough. Gator has been with me when it was in top form (the last two winter seasons) and we couldn't get enough of it. The way the PTC's bounce around a little make it so much more out of control and exciting than the smooth tracking of Millennium Flyers.

Hershey Wildcat was once one of my favorite woodies as well. I never found it to be too rough (although it was certainly rough), and it was loaded with airtime... until the trains were switched to Millennium Flyers. Now it's much smoother, BUT it doesn't do anything exciting. All of the intensity is gone. So what's the point? Lighting Racer blows it away now and it used to be the opposite.

The Millennium Flyers are certainly capable of dishing out a crazy good ride, BUT the layout has to be profiled with them in mind. It seems putting them on GCI woodies that were designed with the more-restrictive maneuverability of PTC's in mind results in a diluted ride. If they are going to switch the trains, they need to re-profile the layout with tighter apexes to make up for the more maneuverable trains so you still get an exciting force-filled ride.


AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010 3:57 AM

Wow, GREAT POSTS Acoustic Velocity, Rollergator, and Raven-Phile!

You basically summed up my EXACT feelings about these trains.

When I first rode Hershey Wildcat during October 2006, I was BLOWN AWAY by both the intensity AND the airtime and it became not only my fave GCI, but landed a spot in my top 5 wood!

Exactly one year later, I rode the GCIs with a completely open mind, considering I enjoy Thunderhead, etc. But sadly, it was like I was riding a completely different ride! The intensity had been tamed considerably, and the airtime severly diluted. Moments of airtime that were crazy-insane in the PTCs were good but no longer as perfectly insane in the GCIs. Moments that were merely solid in the PTCs were pretty weak in the GCIs. Smaller moments of air in the PTCs were not even detected in the GCIs.

And this wasn't based on a one or two ride compairison, either. When I go to a park I power-ride woodies to the tune of 20-30 laps per day, getting both rope-drop morning rides and late night rides, and I spent the entire weekend at the park.

And yet the GCIs, in all of those rides, NEVER lived up to the rides in the PTCs! Perhaps the GCI's weren't completely broken in yet? Nope, I visited the park again in 2008 and it was the same thing.

Meanwhile, the Lightning Racer, which I had considered MUCH weaker than the Wildcat when the 'Cat had the PTCs, now seemed like a better ride! Other GCIs with GCI trains that I had ridden and once ranked lower than the Wildcat now seemed better than the Wildcat as well, for intensity and airtime. Even a maintenance guy admitted that the Wildcat was not as wild or intense with the new trains!

Don't get me wrong, I still like the Wildcat and it's twisted layout - I've NEVER met a woodie I didn't like. I just don't love it as much as I used to with the PTCs.

I think you hit the nail on the head - the forces on the Wildcat were probably computed with PTC trains in mind, not GCI trains. Whereas newer GCI rides like Thunderhead were designed from conception to run GCIs, and those forces were taken into account when calculating for airtime. Which makes me wonder - if PTCs give a "wilder", more aggressive, intense, air-filled ride than GCIs on the same layout, imagine how insane and kick-butt Thunderhead and other GCIs might be if they ran PTCs! Not that there's anything wrong with those rides now, but they might be even wilder, and more intense!

Another thing I dislike about GCI trains is the lap bar default position is "fall down and staple" and you have to spend the whole ride with your arm bent inward in an "ergonomically uncomfortable" position holding the bar where you set it in order to actually experience the airtime designed into the ride. I know the ratcheting PTC bars can have this problem as well, but they don't seem as bad and in any case, they are easier and more comfortable for me to keep them from stapling me.

For all these reasons, as someone who lives seasonally in Florida and LOVES Gwazi just the way it is, I for one would love to see it keep rolling with the PTCs for as long as possible!

Last edited by Frontrider, Wednesday, March 17, 2010 6:27 AM
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Wednesday, March 17, 2010 7:39 AM

I agree frontrider, completely.

I absolutely LOVED wildcat with the old PTC's... I loved the roughness, intensity and insane moments of ejector airtime. It was just the perfect woodie for me. Nothing to controlled, but not painful (for me). My all-time favorite woodie.

When they placed the GCI trains on the track, sure the trains are much more comfortable (I find the PTC lap bars the WORST pieces of crap available, especially for tall people... My legs always were pushed into each other), but the ride experience was not as good. I still love the ride to death, but I miss the PTC "experience" on that ride, minus the lapbars! :)

Same thing I encountered with Raging Wolf Bob's at GL... I LOVED the old tracking, the old horrible PTC's, etc... It was painful, but I had some of the best, most memorable rides on that ride with my closest friends. We had a blast on it all the time. Sure it was bouncy and painful, but it made the layout interesting and fun all the way until the end. Once they retracked and placed the G-trains on, it turned into the most boring and uneventful coaster on the planet. :P

But yeah, I agree with you on Wildcat... I would of rather had them do a track-overhaul then put new trains on! But if it saves money from a financial standpoint, I guess you have little choice.

Last edited by SteveWoA, Wednesday, March 17, 2010 7:41 AM
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Wednesday, March 17, 2010 12:25 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

I'm pretty sure that PTC's would not be able to navigate Thunderhead or any of the newer GCI rides because of their inability to roll.

Other than the weight and length of the train and roll, pitch, and yaw rates, what would a designer do to design a ride differently for PTC's or Millennium Flyers? How would you take into account the "intensity" of one train vs. another in design?


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."

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010 12:47 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

I rode Wildcat for the first time last June and I wasn't impressed. Don't get me wrong, I liked Lightening Racers, LOVE Thunderhead, and Kentucky Rumbler is a top wooden coaster for me. But Wildcat was just meh.

I've only done one GCI that I can think of with PTCs, Roar East, and I love it. My last ride was Labor Day weekend 2009 and it was running very well. It still had more forceful airtime than any of the GCIs that have MilF trains that I've ridden.

That's one of the reasons I'm going to HWN this year. If the Timberliners on Voyage make it anything like Wildcat (and I'd heard nothing but great things about Wildcat before the change), then I'll be disappointed, but at least I'll know.


cebeavers.tumblr.com

Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010 1:12 PM
Acoustic Viscosity's avatar

ApolloAndy said:
Other than the weight and length of the train and roll, pitch, and yaw rates, what would a designer do to design a ride differently for PTC's or Millennium Flyers? How would you take into account the "intensity" of one train vs. another in design?

The roll, pitch, and yaw are the elements I'm thinking are the reason behind this discussion. The track path is designed around the limits of the trains' maneuverability. Since the GCI trains are more maneuverable, the track path has to be more aggressive to test the limits of the trains. Testing the limits is what makes a ride feel out of control IMO. Voyage with PTC's is supreme ruler in that department.


AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010 2:24 PM
CoasterDemon's avatar

ApolloAndy said:


Other than the weight and length of the train and roll, pitch, and yaw rates, what would a designer do to design a ride differently for PTC's or Millennium Flyers? How would you take into account the "intensity" of one train vs. another in design?

I would think that many old defunct woodies (Riverview Bobs, Crystal Beach Cyclone, etc.) had a good amount of airtime with single bench trains. Those old rides were many times designed with 'circles and lines' (as a modern coaster designer distastefully noted) - but those circles and lines translated to real roller coaster rides, with real airtime, etc.


Billy
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Thursday, March 18, 2010 7:13 AM

SteveWoA said:

Same thing I encountered with Raging Wolf Bob's at GL... I LOVED the old tracking, the old horrible PTC's, etc... It was painful, but I had some of the best, most memorable rides on that ride with my closest friends. We had a blast on it all the time. Sure it was bouncy and painful, but it made the layout interesting and fun all the way until the end. Once they retracked and placed the G-trains on, it turned into the most boring and uneventful coaster on the planet. :P

Being from the south, I never made it to Geauga Lake until the Bobs was running the G-trains, so unfortunately I never experienced the PTC trains on it. Did it have airtime with the PTCs? I didn't get any with the Gerstlauers. In fact it's one of the only Summers/Dinn coasters I've been on that I don't recall any airtime. Still, I enjoyed it for what it was, it just didn't make the strong impression on me that Big Dipper and Villain did. In hindsight, I'm glad I got to ride it at all, because when I went back for Octoberfest, 2007, it was already down for the year.

I absolutely loved my visits to Geauga Lake. It was a beautiful park, I loved the lakeside setting, atmosphere, woodies, and overall ride package, and those two Octoberfest weekends I got to spend there remain special memories to me of a special place.

When they placed the GCI trains on the track, sure the trains are much more comfortable (I find the PTC lap bars the WORST pieces of crap available, especially for tall people... My legs always were pushed into each other), but the ride experience was not as good. I still love the ride to death, but I miss the PTC "experience" on that ride, minus the lapbars! :)

Yes, I'm on the tall side as well. I'm often a single rider, and I find it helps the trains feel "roomier" in those cases to kind of cross my legs over into the other half of the train. If I'm in the left seat, I hold the grab bar with my left hand and keep the ratcheting lap bar in the position it was set with my right hand on the end of it, near the seat divider. If I'm in the right seat, I do the same thing, just with the hands reversed. Using this technique, the trains feel roomier (when I ride solo, at least), and I get to feel all the airtime designed into the ride because the lap bar doesn't ratchet down further than where it was set. When I ride with other people, there is less leg room, but the lap bar technique still works!

Last edited by Frontrider, Thursday, March 18, 2010 7:32 AM
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