After visiting CP for my first time this season, I wanted to give some love to "The BOOG" on the Midway, but also to ask a question.
I noticed the screaming and whining of Raptor from the middle of the park and wondered why it sounds like a couple of cats in the alley bumpin' uglies?? Sheesh, Raptor does not have that signature B&M sound of old, but more of a loud scream. Did they install new wheels?
Amorous Feelings: I CANNOT get enough of this ride. The zero G roll and the 2nd half of the Cobra in the back-right seat is insane. When the line is 5-10 minutes (rare), I marathon my baby for hours. This is the gift of the park, that keeps on giving. After 11 seasons, I still believe it's the best ride in the park. Yeah, yeah MF, Dragster and Magnum are speed demons, but BOOG delivers the elements unlike any other ride. (Side note: My father, who hasn't been to the park since 1988, sat, marveled and shook his head at this contraption of insanity. He said, "It's by far the most incredible feat of engineering I've seen")
I have also noticed the ride is much louder this year than in the past. If you listen closely, you can hear it back by Snake River Falls (and no, that wasn't Mantis)
Count me in as a Raptor fan. It's the coaster that introduced me to B&M and the inverted craze. I haven't had a bad ride on it yet. Raptor is responsible for some of the great friends I have now, as crazy as that sounds.
Raptor was my first B&M, too. Jesus, I first rode the thing 8 years ago. Astonishing, it seems just like yesterday.
The thing that makes Raptor such a winner is that
1. There's just so much STUFF they packed into the layout. There may be a couple inverts that I like more, now, but none of them have as much stuff packed into the ride as Raptor. And...
2. Even with all that stuff packed in, all the elements are really high quality. It still has the best first drop of any looping B&M I've been on, the helix is one of the most powerful things B&M has ever done....hell, even the drop out of the MCBR is fantastic.
The first drop is my favorite drop ever. I love how it flings you sideways before dropping. But my favorite part is the "dip-n-flip" and helix at the end. In case you've never ridden it, there's a little airtime dip, followed by a surprising flat spin. It's great. And the helix just keeps piling on the G-forces.
Some of the noise may be attributed to wheels. Nylon wheels are harder and faster, although also louder. Polyeurothane (and yes, I know I don't quite have the spelling right)are softer and slower but also quieter. At least I'm almost certain...every once in a while I mix them up.
Anyways, since its the beginning of the season (slow trains), they probably put on more of the nylon wheels on to compensate. Parks will use combinations of these two types of wheels to control train speeds.
The loud noise existed from Wednesday, May 12 until sometime over the last weekend. Not only was it loud, but it was incredibly rough during the cobra roll and corkscrews. I had one of the worst rides ever on Raptor on Wednesday after having great rides on Tuesday, so I spoke with a ride op about it. He said maintenance had noted it and said it was the supports readjusting themselves on the footers ever so slightly after the winter. It doesn't make sense to me, but it was happening to all three trains and it was not happening on Monday, May 17. I'll be interested in seeing how it is in August.
I'll toss in my two cents and go with everyone else that it could possibly be due to new wheels.
Rides actually run rougher with new wheels until they have worn a groove into themselves. That might not make too much sense, but the ride will run smoother after a few weeks with new wheels than immediately after installation while they get used to making the run over and over.
Our little group of riders at CP on Memorial Weekend started calling it BOOGER while strolling down the Midway after a few pops. This was in 1998 and the name has stuck. The "pops" have stuck, too. It is incredible how elaborate and creative our group gets on Memorial Weekend with food and drink mixtures when we tailgate in the Magnum parking lot at 10am. It's like a Michigan Football game, but without the other 100,000 people. Go BLUE!