Prototype rides don't rock...

Monday, June 10, 2002 1:43 PM
i've been thinking recently about the validity of the wave of 'prototype rides' we've been 'enjoying' over the past two years. rides such as X, air and Xcellerator have been promising us much but can they really deliver the goods?

i think no. firstly the rides are un-reliable and have a small through-put. this adds up to longer times waiting in line. x still has shocking 4 hours queues, as does air (if it's EVER working). this results in parks having guests leave disappointed and their maintence costs soaring sky high instead of their roller coasters. you loose out, the park looses out, park ticket costs go up.

secondly, are their respective ride experiences really that great. on air we are told before we even go on the ride that "this is like flying". we sit on the ride and make ourselves believe that "this is like flying". only then we realise that "that if this is flying, then flying can't be all that great". air is a clumsy, slow, badly themed ride experience. it sucks. Xcellerator looks boring too and is tragically short. er, x, well is a great ride to ride (if you ever get the front of the queue that is!). The rides are dissappointing, banal and boring.

On the other hand, it's the more "traditional" (and i use the world loosely) style new coasters, which may not be that trendy but are constatnly knocking out HIT! after HIT! after HIT!. examples: intamin's fantastcally great fun ten looper Collosus at Thorpe Park here in the UK. It's not tall, it's not fast, but it's one heck of a great ride. Millenium Force: it's tall, it's fast, it's one heck of a great ride (Comment: de ja vu anybody? - no, not the ride, the senstation of seeing an echo of what you've just said or thought. /Comment). Millenium Force is classic hands in the air fun all the way round. it's rocks. B&M's new Inverted the shockingly titled "Nemesis : Inferno" at Thorpe Park here in the UK promises to be a triumphant return to form for the best ride in the world...ever!

i'm sure these new prototype rides will given time spawn super-reliable, super exciting younger brothers and sisters, just like many great coasters have. but by then the escalating price tags of the $30m monstrosities will have left parks turning to "cheaper" thrills. And cheaper rides!

Which is why I say we should round up all these prototype rides and send them to the desert grave yard where the Arrow Pipeline coaster lies and slowly rusts...

Right then. I'm off to look for an Arrowbatic coaster's ass to kick...

if anyone made it to the end, thanks for reading...

Monday, June 10, 2002 1:48 PM
You shouldnt judge Xcelerator because you never been on it. Boomerangs are "terribly short" and their good, Coasters dont need to be 10000 feet to be good.

Im the #1 Canobie Lake Park Fan!!!These are my top 3 coasters:
1. S:RoS @ SFNE 2. Yankee Cannonball 3. Cyclone

Monday, June 10, 2002 1:51 PM
a ride has got to start somewhere. we all learn from our mistakes.
Monday, June 10, 2002 1:53 PM

Ride It said:
"a ride has got to start somewhere. we all learn from our mistakes."

yeah, but will parks to continue to pay for these ridiculosly expensive rides?


Monday, June 10, 2002 2:01 PM
What do you call Medusa (SFGRDV) a couple years ago? Isn't the florrless design popular now (althought not as radical as the 4th dimension).
Monday, June 10, 2002 2:04 PM

I'd have to agree that prototypes are problematic. Prototype rides are interesting in theory, but once you get on them, well . . .

They do however, serve their intended purpose. They are truely prototypes. The original Arrow shuttle loops (like Screamon Demon) were slow, and not very exciting. Yet, over time, the experience of those systems gave us better ones. Original suspendeds, sounded too cool, but alas, they are not most exciting coasters. Now we have B&M inverts as their spawn. Togo's King Cobra was a let down, but again, the next generation was awesome.

These rides have a place. Let's just hope the rides themselves don't put the companies willing to take the risk out of business.

Sometimes lurkers speak . .

Monday, June 10, 2002 2:08 PM
UH.... Medusa 1999 prototype. Excellent ride and worth 14mill. Batman the Ride 1992 prototype. Another Excellent ride. Apollo's Chariot, 1998 prototype. HypersonicXLC, Volcano Blast, Flight of Fear (never been but looks good). Dude I think you need to appreciate coasters for what they give you; more than for what you want them to give you. Once again I say, "You try and build something better that parks can afford."
Monday, June 10, 2002 2:11 PM

Mfanzine, you trash AIR, but have obviously not taken Superman: Ultimate Flight into consideration. I have heard only good things about that ride. Besides, AIR wasn't suppoused to be an intense thrillride, but an exciting family experience (or so John Warldley says).

As for Xcelerator, its short, but every second of that ride will be intense and packed with thrills... That can't be said about every ride.

Monday, June 10, 2002 2:18 PM
Damn! Someone is a little edgy today!

You DO realize that new ride concepts must start somewhere don't you? Where would we be today without many of the failures of the 60's and 70's? Companies put forth a tireless effort to come up with new creative ideas, and in some cases give their lives to see them to fruition. Give em a break.
Brad Sherman
BuzzCon Frequent Flyer, helping to train new ride ops properly!
Model coasters and rides

Monday, June 10, 2002 2:31 PM
Don't talk trash until you've ridden it. Most people who DO talk trash like the author of this thread hasn't been on the rides that he is critizicing. Xcelerator...short? Since when did anyone flame HyperSonic XLC when THAT came out? Xcelerator bests XLC with TWO overbanked turns, an equal acceleration rate (0-85 mph in 2.3 seconds, YES it's now 85 not 82), and it has THEME. Not only that, but chances are, it will run better than XLC and it has much better capacity. And try and convince the general public to get on something like X except longer. You'll never do it.

A CoasterForum Member

Monday, June 10, 2002 2:44 PM

Um...Xcelerator looks to be the exact OPPOSITE of boring. In fact, standing next to it last week, I announced that it is the first ride in about 5 years that I am scared to go on. I'm tired of people thinking a ride has to be "long" to be good. Volcano is one of the best rides I've ever been on, and that one is not "long".

Monday, June 10, 2002 3:00 PM

Yes, adding to saviourmachine's post, I would like to say that everytime the mechanics set off a train for a test run, all the people in the entire half of The Boardwalk area stop what they're doing and look straight up with jaws dropped. Whether they be eating, sitting at a bench, at a game, or walking on the midway. You hear a loud pssssst sound and the metal fins retrack down immediately. Then in about 3 seconds, you hear a frightening sound that is a mix of buzzing, humming, and squeeling. Then by the time the train hits the end of the launch flat at the bottom of the top-hat, it ROARS like a B&M and blasts over the top of the hill. And everyone gasps like mad when they see the entire structure sway like that of an Impulse coaster. It's not until after the train hits the brake-run do people take their eyes off it and resume to whatever they're doing. I actually watched this over and over. People just completely stopped in their tracks everytime an Xcelerator car blasted out...

It's utterly amazing.

A CoasterForum Member

Monday, June 10, 2002 3:07 PM

First of all, name ONE ride EVER built that wasn't a prototype at some point...

Boo hoo hoo... I am so sick of the crying from enthusiasts because they can't get a ride on a "prototype" because it's down. Wow, you'd think there weren't more important things in the world to worry about.

The parks don't need to worry about rides like X and Hypersonic, we're doing it for them...

Monday, June 10, 2002 3:15 PM
If prototypes did not exist, we would not have steel coasters, because matterhorn would not be built. That is probably the biggest prototype of all time, the first steel tublar design.

Adrenaline Coaster Design -

Monday, June 10, 2002 3:25 PM

MF was a prototype.

First Giga. First Elevator lift.

The over banked turns and the trains came the same year too.

Prototypes are what keep the entire "system" alive. Inovations almost always translate into money.. thus you will always see new inovations.

Texas Coasters... wow I'm lucky... IM me if you feel like talking about coasters.

Monday, June 10, 2002 3:36 PM

Obviously there has to be a protype for everything. How well the prototypes do varies.

Vekoma Dutchmen - Very unreliable the first season, but gaining reliability and pretty good ride.

Deja Vu - Hardly ever works.

Millenium Force - Reliable thanks to a mojor effort in the early days by CP maintenance changing wheels, and the greatest first drop of any coaster. Did have 6 hour lines, but that was because everyone wanted to ride it.

Hypersonic XLC - Lots of reliability issues. A one trick pony, but it's on hell of a trick.

Magnum - The proto hypercoaster is still a great ride.

The Matterhorn - People still line up for the first tubular steel tracked coaster.

Monday, June 10, 2002 5:48 PM

That has be the worst attitude I have ever seen an enthusiast have.

Chill! Their just roller coasters...yeah, for fun.


Monday, June 10, 2002 8:40 PM
I agree to a certain extent. Rides such as the TA2K, or a launched Intamin ride are cool, but that's about it. I know Hypersonic: XLC and Xcellerator are prototypes, but look at the layout. H:XLC features a hill. Same with Xcellerator. I've never been on Xcellerator, but I sure hope in the future Intamin and S&S throw in a little variety. I know H:XLC provides massive airtime, and Xcellerator looks to do just that, but after that pop of airtime you have absolutley nothing. Don't get me wrong, I'm as excited about Intamin's new creation as the next guy, but I hope they spice things up in future designs.


Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society-Chicago Chapter

Monday, June 10, 2002 8:41 PM

You are relating the first years, but lets go back to one of my favorites

SOB: first year yes, it did have a long wait and it was jerky and hurt. Now, because of the park fixing the mistakes, I have yet to hear a complaint about how rough it is (about the only complaint is because of the trains)

SOB crew in twenty 02

Monday, June 10, 2002 9:37 PM
I understand what mfanzine is talkin about though. Yes, rides have to start somewhere, but in a financial view, why would a park want to be the tester?! I mean, yes, it will attract some new guests, but they are paying millions more than they would if they got a clone. They know the risks involved, and i dont see a reason why they would take it. I'm no GM though.

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