Wednesday, September 5, 2001 6:38 AM
Day three of the big Mid-Atlantic tour landed us at Paramount's Kings Dominion. By this point, after SFGAdv, Dorney and BGW the previous two days, we were pretty fried. Originally, we were going to hit SFA this day was well, but since there really wasn't anything new there (we've been on X-Flight... close enough), and the recent reviews on operations have been less than glowing, we decided to cancel that visit.
So at PKD we were only planning to ride Hypersonic. That evening we'd be visiting friends in Baltimore and could arrive any time. Tired, that seemed like the best plan.
First off, the midway where they put Hypersonic looks a hundred times better than it did with the cheeseball Wayne's World theme. Much better. We were pleased to see that the park was far from crowded, though I suspected this would have little impact on our wait time. I was right.
Our total wait time was two hours, half of which was standing still as the ride was closed and test trains cycled. It didn't bother me that much, because from what people described, this was the norm. They were using only two trains, and it would appear to make more sense if they used one station for unloading instead of the current arrangement. I've heard it said many times that there would be some reprogramming of the operation logic, so let's hope that's what they do.
As for the ride, it is the single most intense launch I've ever experienced. Makes the Permier and Intamin rides feel like kiddie rides. I absolutely loved it.
Unfortunately, the joy turned to pain at the top of the tower. I don't attribute the problem to the forces themselves, but rather the lap bar. I'm guessing under that padding that there is a round bar. That round bar puts all of your weight (times whatever number of G's you're getting) all on a single point on each leg, and it hurts like hell. What would make more sense is a flat bar rounded at the front and back, about six inches deep, coated with a more dense foam. That would at least help distribute your weight better.
The next day I could seriously feel it in my legs. I even had the lap bar pulled down pretty tightly. I dig the ride, but this has to change.
Anyway, we planned to hop on Volcano, but dispatches were three minutes apart. Not good.
Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
"From the global village... in the age of communication!"
Watch the grass grow!
Wednesday, September 5, 2001 6:53 AM
There were four of us who rode Hypersonic, and three weren't enthusiasts. No one complained about any pain in their legs. Was it related to where you sat (none of us sat in the front row)? Second, Volcano was launching at very consistent intervals on August 15. It only took an hour to get through the line. It's possible they didn't have their "ace" crew since it's back to school time. Lastly, Volcano's launch felt no less intense after riding Hypersonic.
Wednesday, September 5, 2001 9:46 AM
I agree, IF, I haven't heard anything but praise for the H:XLC lapbars. I was cussing them when the train SLAMMED into some brakes and smashed my lower rib/stomach area, but I was ready the next time, although the train seemed to stop in a different area. But, different things do different things to different people. Do the headrests still fly away? As among some the other debris flying off passenger-less trains?
I, too find the Volcano blast very powerful, especially the second launch! Even after being blown away! They are not as insane, but they will be getting the job done. Three minute intervals, they had that going on for like an hour while we were there, but it cleared up. A third train was put on and after lunch, it was a long line shrinking for the rest of the day:).
Wednesday, September 5, 2001 11:02 AM
The lapbars on H:XLC are very heavy. Maybe I am a wimp, but everytime I have ridden, I can't lift the bar up when exiting. The ride op has to come pull it up for me, and sometimes he has to struggle. I agree with Jeff about re-designing it and I also think it should be of a more lightweight material. But this is constructive criticism...I'll keep riding regardless of any changes.
Yes, p_c_r, the last two times I have been, the headrest pads were flying out of the test trains as they went over the top of the tower and also when they were going around by the on-ride camera. Good times. I wouldn't be surprised if one ended up on E-Bay.
Wednesday, September 5, 2001 11:56 AM
Very strange... those lapbars were perfectly comfortable for me. Could it just be differences in body dimensions?
Knowing others is intelligence, knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength, mastering yourself is true power.
Wednesday, September 5, 2001 12:55 PM
Maybe the discomfort is different for different people. I had no pain or discomfort after (and during) 3 rides in the back seat earlier this season.
Wednesday, September 5, 2001 1:27 PM
I agree with Jeff that the launch on Volcano does not even compare with Hypersonic. I can remember just the pure force of hypersonic and how the first time I noticed where I was we were starting to ascend the tower.
As for the lap bars it very well could be related to the height of the person. I found them very comfortable, but I don't discount what you say. Like Lorrie stated they were very heavy and I had to help my wife lift hers when exiting the ride.
IGGY "KING OF COASTERS"
Wednesday, September 5, 2001 1:57 PM
No problem with the lap bars here? The restraintes were very heavy and hard to lift to exit the train. I felt Volcano was a bit of a let down , I did like it over all but I was expecting it to be one of the best inverteds ever? cool and smooth but short and un-intense. .........................Zero to 80 in 1.8 seconds ............now thats a launch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hypersonic ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thursday, September 6, 2001 11:50 AM
Volcano seems hit and miss with people. Those are my favorite kind of inversions, and those trains really let you feel like you're upside down, and much less secure feeling than a B&M. The second launch is the best. I don't mind short and to the point rides, like a shuttle loop or something.
Has anybody seen an on-ride photo from Hypersonic with fliers in the background? It looks like the people fly right into the background. The headrests may be the problem! They can't keep enough of them around(j/k)!
With those handles there, they knew it had to be heavy, but one seat I rode the restraint came off easy when I pushed it, I thought I was going to be trapped again. WD-40? Might not be a good idea.