This year VF installed an on ride video system in place of just photos on corkscrew.
As you all may know, it involves a digital camera somewhere on the train cars taking video of you on the ride, and then you buy the DVD.
I've also heard that other CF parks have this feature on certain rides. I think that Raptor is one of them.
I was not planning to invest in this gimmick because corkscrew is not that interesting, and I know that I would look bored on it.
Due to circumstances I won't go into, I ended up buying one to see what it's about.
TOTAL WASTE OF $$$$$!
80% of the video is stock footage of the ride with a few seconds of you riding edited in here and there. After that it turns into this long self promoting montage video of the company that provides the service. Which was longer than the ride footage.
CDRide is the company and I wonder if anyone else here has the same issue at the other parks.
It does seem like a neat feature but it is very poorly executed.
At the start of the season, the video for Raptor actually had lots of stock video from... Valleyfair. Of course the kids at PointBuzz made a big stink and the vendor itself said it would improve the system and use Cedar Point video. I haven't paid enough attention to hear if they've followed up.
I'm not sure why they don't just put more video of you in there, unless there's a technical reason.
You can find an updated version of Raptor's video on You Tube. It is much better now. Though I'm sure there are nitpickers out there who will complain about the tiny details. I think it's a big improvement.
Well that Raptor one looked okay but not great. I don't understand why you don't get your entire ride. They can use stock footage at the beginning and end to show what you will and have rode but, the reverse on-ride footage should be in it's entirety. The parks charge enough for those things that you should be able to see every goofy, scared or happy face you make while on the ride. *** Edited 9/5/2007 12:08:46 AM UTC by RollerCoastin!!!!***
I bought the on-ride video of my son on Woodstock Express yesterday. It's not too bad, though, like Jeff said, I don't know why it can't just be on-ride from start to finish, with stock footage padding both sides.
They have a list of parks on their website, I just googled their name and found it. It looks as Cedar Fair has it at most of their parks, some at Six Flags, Busch parks (I know they have it on Sheikra.) and a few smaller parks. It also has a blatant sales pitch for the system in the "about" tab. *** Edited 9/5/2007 1:01:16 AM UTC by otterkpr***
That Raptor video is significantly better than it was.
I figure there are two limitations to the system. The first is how much video can be stored onboard the train. The second is how fast they can transmit that video off the train while it's in the station. If that's the case, then I suspect it's a matter of the train recording little blocks at specified intervals, then transmitting it off in the window it has in the station.
You're looking at about two minutes of video time 16 cameras. If the quality is going to be "good enough" at a real NTSC TV resolution, I can't imagine it being less than 20 MB each camera. I would also expect they'd record in MPEG in real time if possible, otherwise the assemble-and-burn for the customer would take awhile.
Flight of Fear at Kings Island has the on-ride video. It shows a good bit of your ride, but the problem is you can't hardly see yourself. They really don't have anything much to put any light into the camera shot.
It looks like one of those haunted house/building shows where its dark and they have a tiny light. Your face is kind of fuzzy and static-like, if you know what I mean.
I know they're trying to get a lot of these things installed in parks, possibly to disuade people from sneaking their increasingly smaller digital cameras on to take their own video. But, they should try to get some better technology. With tiny little SD memory cards holding upwards of 4 Gig of memory, digital video cameras going better than 10 megapixels, and increasinly faster DVD burning technology, they're is no reason why a quality video of your ride, especially for the price you pay, shouldn't be available.
However, I have never once spent money in a park on food, merchandise, games or anything other than admission, that was worth the price paid. So it will likely never be good enough.
They have these on Talon at Dorney also. My question is what do they do at night? Is there a night vision mode on the cameras or does it basically turn off during the night? Talon still appears to have the on-ride photo camera still there. I wonder if it would be possible to operate both or if it is just a waste of time.
Unfortunately, we did not get to see an onride video of Raptor becasue the front row of our train did not have a camera. But, we watched the loops of ourselves riding Woodstock Express and laughed our heads off. If the loop is the only thing you get in the video, that would be kind of bad.
When we rode Raptor this year, the front row cameras weren't working either (on all three rides). They sure did install enough tech gear in the station though. In the front row you can see all the access points and cabling on the columns. It looks almost like a small server room. I can only imagine what the back of the photo booth looks like! I'd be surprised if they couldn't capture the entire ride. Well, I'm sure they could, but would they want to pay for the equipment required to do so? For a signature ride like Raptor I think it would be worth it. From looking at the screens of other people, I'd consider buying one of myself. It's really too bad they can't capture the entire row of four people though so you can get one video with all your friends.
I bought one from Thunderhawk at Geauga this year. It was $15, and had a decent amount of footage of the two of us, interspersed with stock footage of the ride. As it was my daughter's first ride, I think it was a good value.
I like Jeff's explanation of why it isn't the entire ride. Figure they're using 54Mb wifi, which usually amounts to about 5MB/s usable goodput. Figure a station dwell time of 2 minutes---which is generous considering the connection setup time required for a wifi connection. You can shove about 600MB during that time, or, on an 8-row coaster, about 75MB per row, ballpark. MP2/NTSC, that's not a huge amount of video.
Why install the system on an SLC? Does anyone really want a video of themselves getting thrashed around? Or maybe that's the point... people will pay to see the looks on their faces while being subjected to pain?
That is the only Vekoma SLC I've ever ridden but if that is supposed to be an example of a smooth one, I'm in no hurry to ride any others. It seemed better four years ago. Must be that stupid little camera dangling in front of my face that was throwing it off.
One thing I've learned is that opinions on Vekoma coasters vary greatly. I've ridden SLCs and Boomerangs that people hate and I've loved, and vice versa. I still think Morey's SLC is the best I've ridden, partially because of smoothness and partially because of visuals.
How come you still haven't ridden a Boomerang, Joe?