Next we went to Phantom's Revenge. This was a great ride whose only problem was that it was too short. The peak speed is higher than the one launched coaster I've been on, Stormrunner! The train came back surprisingly fast for the length of the track. This was also our largest drop so far, beating Steel Force because of the terrain. The station provides a great view of Thunderbolt, the river, and the steel plant across the river:
On to Thunderbolt, which didn't live up to its hype for me. It wasn't a bad ride, but the airtime and laterals didn't seem at all to be as extreme as everyone says they are.
While we were in the area, we rode the Gold Rusher, a mine-train-themed haunted house with cars that are almost like coaster cars. The decorations were well done but we didn't find it at all scary, and it wasn't totally dark.
After a stop for Potato Patch fries, which were great but the extreme heat and humidity of the day kept us from having a big enough appetite to finish them, we started across the back of the park. The railroad was a nice long ride in the shade with narration of local and park history. Then it was time for the log flume. From the queue entrance we couldn't see how long the queue was (we should have guessed, due to the heat), but we waited it out. This was a nice flume that splashed a lot without soaking, and it was also the first flume we'd seen that has an uphill coasting section!
The Racer was next. This wasn't a high-thrill coaster and the seat belts seemed unnecessary, as did the big "Do Not Stand Up" sign at the crest of the lift -- the first coaster we've ridden with one of those. But it was cool riding a Moebius track, and at least one person while we were there was surprised about coming back to the opposite side of the station.
Completing the coaster circuit, we came to the Jackrabbit. This too has gained seat belts, although here at least there's one moment when you could argue for them. In the front seat we weren't too impressed with the fabled airtime on the double-down, but in the back seat it's a whole different story. Anyone who doesn't wait for the back of the
train is missing the whole reason to ride this. Too bad it only has one hill like that. Underneath that hill, I noticed about a dozen lost hats that had been lined up on display on one of the supports, and recently-lost stuffed animals scattered around.
Next we rode the carousel, which in addition to the unremarkable horses has a large lion saddled with an antelope hide: http://www.pbase.com/jim_shaffer/image/81336551
Then we rode the Kangaroo, a unique ride where individual cars are pulled around a track with a hill and a drop, giving a nice bounce: http://www.pbase.com/jim_shaffer/image/81336552 The historical sign calling it the last Norm Bartlett ride is wrong though since Knoebels resurrected a Looper.
Since we were in that corner of the park we went to Garfield's Nightmare, which had an entrance that was hard to find until we realized that we were meant to follow the paw-prints on the ground. This is a dark boat ride built in the old days by PTC. The tape loop
that plays in the queue gives the history of it. Unfortunately, all the previous themeings of it sounded a lot better than what it is now. You're given diffraction-grating glasses that make fluorescent orange elements of the cartoons that line the walls pop out, which is trippy and the only interesting part of the whole experience.
After re-rides on Racer and Jackrabbit since we planned on spending the rest of our day on the good coasters on the opposite end of the park, I rode the Cosmic Chaos, their new Zamperla Disk'o with an oversized track and extensive alien themeing. A nice touch was that the tape loop was done in the voice of an alien, with sound effects and scrambled speech. While I was in line, someone took offense at the part that informed riders that the aliens aren't responsible for loose objects sucked into a wormhole, yelling "There are no wormholes!" This would be only the beginning of the oddball happenings for the afternoon. My girlfriend didn't ride, which was probably just as well because the alien restraint system doesn't seem to be designed for species with mammary glands:
http://www.pbase.com/jim_shaffer/image/81336567 About the time that picture was taken, someone to the left of me screamed about her chest getting crunched, much to the amusement of that side of the ride.
Heading back to Phantom's Revenge, we took a detour so I could ride Pitt Fall, my first full-size drop tower and quite a large one at that. This was a little scary even without the inevitable in-line conversation about Kentucky Kingdom.
Phantom's Revenge by then had grown a long line, due to still only running one train. By the time we had got into the station and opted to ride the back seat because the front seat line was so long it was almost blockading the entrance, a thunderstorm was spotted and they shut the ride down. Thunderbolt continued to operate until it got closer, then it went down too. While we were waiting, the nearby Turtle, a Tumble Bug, continued to operate in the rain until apparently the track got too slick for the cars to pull themselves over, which led to comments over the PA system from the Phantom staff: "Way to go, Turtle! They valleyed the Turtle! Who's working over there?"
Eventually the storm moved far enough away that they reopened Thunderbolt, so we headed over there. About the time we got there, the rain started again but they kept running, only loading half the train. After a long wait we got a wet-track ride, which seemed a lot more forceful than our ride earlier in the day.
Finally after the rain quit again Phantom's Revenge opened. When we got into the station, heading for the back seat again, the people in front of us were talking about a previous rider losing a bag of marijuana out of his pocket while climbing out of the car. (The cars have a weird lap bar that makes it awkward to get in and out of the seats.) While they were debating whether he would have the guts to come back looking for it, the police showed up to collect the bag, leading to comments of "Great, now the cops are going to smoke all his weed."
After two great back-seat rides, we decided that we weren't going to wait in that long line again (it was about half an hour, and it was getting late), so we went and rode Exterminator again twice, with still a short line but lots of line-jumping by families trying to get their kids organized, before leaving.
In light of recent events at other parks, I should remark that Phantom's Revenge had the most safety-conscious operators I've ever seen. Even while the ride was shut down, the crew on the station floor wouldn't cross the track without clearance from the man at the controls, and they insisted that someone be present on the entrance and exit sides of the platform at all times. *** Edited 7/20/2007 6:45:06 PM UTC by Jim S.*** *** Edited 7/20/2007 6:47:48 PM UTC by Jim S.***
Shame you didnt try Noahs Ark, its a walkthrough fun house that is one of only 2 remaining in the world, really unique and unlike anything you have ever seen before, I assure you.
In short, the ride can only run two trains when the line is long enough to guarantee that every train goes out full. I forget the exact reasoning, but I think the problem is that lighter trains take a while to move off the back brake because of the magnetic brakes, which can pose a problem if another train is going up the lift. The park installed new magnetic brakes last season, but I suppose it's still a work in progress.
As a matter of fact, we were at the park before opening earlier this year and saw it testing without anyone or anything in the train. I find that explanation difficult to swallow.
So it takes an extra few seconds for the train to make it past the brakes, at least the line isn't half way down the ramp. That's my biggest complaint, when they have a completely full station and the line's 1/2 way to the outside queues, they still only have one train running.
Super Loopy said:
So it takes an extra few seconds for the train to make it past the brakes
Phantom's Revenge only has one block behind the station; therefore, the second train needs to completely clear that block before the first train can clear the lift. If the second train crawls into the station, then there's a chance that the first train will have to get stopped on the lift, which is a big no-no.
Raven comes to mind.
coastin' since 1985
I guess I should have specified "more" or "longer" in my post.
Slow the lift down for a longer period of time so that the other train has more than enough interval to clear the brakes, unload and load.
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