Rocket Coasters? Why not 4d's?

Wednesday, August 4, 2004 11:37 PM
With all the trouble coasters such as TTD, Xcellerator, and Storm Runner have been having and now a possible rocket going into SFGADV. It makes me wonder why parks keep on buying them. X has been running steadily since the rides beginning. So why rockets and not 4ds. Rockets have alot of down time and costly to maintain.
Wednesday, August 4, 2004 11:39 PM
X runs steadily? Is there another X than that one at SFMM that I've missed?
Wednesday, August 4, 2004 11:46 PM
I think that is a pretty good question. I know that Storm Runner is reliable. I have heard that Knotts runs pretty efficiently as well.

I think TTD is less reliable because of the overall size of the ride itself, and the speed that it launches at. Sure that is going to require more maintainance then HP with Storm Runner's 72mph launch. I think CP is doing the best that they can to keep the ride running as best as possible, and you can't knock them for that.

I would love to see more 4D's. I still haven't gotten to ride X. I am hoping to make it out there next year, but it would be easier just to have one here on the east coast to ride. ;)

Wednesday, August 4, 2004 11:48 PM
I believe the smaller-scale rocket coasters have been running fairly well and TTD has been doing better. At least they have somewhat decent capacity unlike X.
Wednesday, August 4, 2004 11:55 PM
Um...X has not been running steadily since it's beginning. That little 4 month downtime during the summer of 02 comes to mind.

When it does run the capacity is much so that no other park, especially a major park wouldn't want to touch it. The rockets usually have over 3 times the capacity, which is VERY important to a park like, say Cedar Point.

On top of this, there is cost. For 20mil+ those parks want a ride that can deliver more than 400pph. The rockets have good capacity, Storm Runner and Xcell have pretty good reliability, and even TTD has good uptime this year. (Evough to rivel and likely beat X)

In the end it comes to this:

There are only 5 or 6 parks (non-Disney) in the world who will build 25+ million dollar rides. You can bet your butt that SF Inc won't buy another, so that eliminates one or two parks. Cedar Fair won't buy anything low capacity and I'm sure they are really gun-shy about reliability now. Paramount is not in the biz like that, nor is Disney, Universal....that's not their bag. Foreign Markets? Japan's parks are struggling now, so eliminate them (no big coasters since 2000/2001). Europe? Likely not right now too. *** Edited 8/5/2004 4:02:08 AM UTC by Peabody***

Thursday, August 5, 2004 12:45 AM
Wait a minute, X was so expensive for several reasons. A. SFMM wanted a massive version of the ride, which is what caused the downtime, B. the standard sized versions would probably equally expensive as the Rockets C. they probably cost the same to operate or if anything the 4D is cheaper to run.
Thursday, August 5, 2004 12:52 AM
Evne if the new version (which is different....shorter trains, etc) I still don't think any will stated above, one of the main issues is capacity.
Thursday, August 5, 2004 1:02 AM
Why don't people buy more Vek flyers? Because, like X, they suck in pretty much every aspect. Granted, I loved X when I rode it and it's definitely in my top 10 steel, but it took me three cross country trips to get to ride it and capacity was awful (though thankfully, the one day I did get to ride it, they were doing really well with it). Not to mention the ride needed to be redesigned, opened an entire season late, and had extensive downtime. The ride was designed to run three trains, if I'm not mistaken, though I've never heard of it coming even close to running two trains regularly.

Rockets, while not capacity hogs (unless you double block/double station), are still more reliable, less maintainance prone, and run more or less as designed. Not a hard choice in my mind.

Not to mention that the 4d has been resdesigned and is in in the hands of a different company. I'd want to see a working prototype of some sort before dropping much cash on a new design of an already shaky concept.

Thursday, August 5, 2004 6:06 AM
I think we'll see more at some point.

First, it's a good ride. Maybe not executed well, but the concept of it is sound.

Second it's unique and most of the bigger parks have one of each kind of other coaster so they are running out of new ideas. Sure they could always build a classic woodie (and some should!) but parks like to give guest something new and different all the time. X is it.

Third, whatever problems X has had, can be ironed out in a new version. Capacity really shouldn't be an issue on this type of ride. It would be very wide, but making a side by side load/unload (a la Storm Runner and so many other rides now) would work better then what X uses I think. Then as soon a track was clear a train would be ready to dispatch. Also if you get rid of the slow seat roation in the station, things should be able to move pretty quickly I would think.

Thursday, August 5, 2004 6:47 AM
It was reported in an issue of The European Coaster Club magazine a coupl eof issues ago that a park in Japan had brought a 4D and it would open in the next couple of years.

Also there are rumours floating around in the UK that Blackpool Pleasure Beach has cancelled it's contract with Intamin for the record breaking Rocket Coaster for 2007. They may go back now to S&S as they originally got S&S to do a design for them that was 450ft tall and went out to see, again there was a picture of it in First Drop of couple of issues ago. This launched coaster from S&S was also a 4D design.

Thursday, August 5, 2004 10:29 AM
Capacity could be drastically increased on X if they DIDN'T use the unload station. What takes the most time is rotating the seats from reclined to upright (to unload) then back to reclined (to move to load station) then back to upright (to load) and back to reclined. (to dispatch)

Or when running 2 trains, they both could load and unload without moving from one station to the other. Use each station for unload and load. It would take SO much less time, and they'd probably be able to break the 1000 pph mark.

Thursday, August 5, 2004 3:34 PM

aflack said:
It was reported in an issue of The European Coaster Club magazine a coupl eof issues ago that a park in Japan had brought a 4D and it would open in the next couple of years.

Not really anymore..the Japanese 4d isn't going to happen, just like the cancelled S&S Screaming Squirell for Japan. Japanese parks are not having a good couple of years right now.

BPB seems to be a mistery, there are so many rumors floating about that we can't believe anything at this point.

Thursday, August 5, 2004 4:04 PM
Next on *mist*ery theatre: "floating" rumors reported at Blackpool. Cause unknown, and only you can help find the culprit! Remember to conserve water ...
Thursday, August 5, 2004 4:20 PM
I agree with soggy, in that the rotations of seats to come in and out of the stations takes a bunch o' time. I wondered if they would be better of on future 4ds to keep the seats in the upright position, and have the floor drop like on inverts. The floor moving is seems much quicker than the seats rotating.

I don't think they could load/unload in the same spot, because of the lack of 'traffic control' of the peeps. I think it would get too cluttered and congested.

Thursday, August 5, 2004 4:21 PM
Is it in any way related to "Bling", Brett?;)
Thursday, August 5, 2004 4:25 PM
He must be talking about the long-rumored "Humidifier: Xtreme Mist of Thrills: The Ride;"
Thursday, August 5, 2004 4:38 PM
Maybe parks are waiting for the rumored B&M 4D. New coasters are usually in the works for 2 - 3 years. I don't remember Xcelerator having too much trouble when it was built. HP and SFGadv probably ordered their rockets before TTD was completed or started to have major troubles and while Xcelerator was running good. On the other hand, X had problems pretty much from the beginning and scared off any potential customers.
Thursday, August 5, 2004 5:37 PM
You don't remember Xcelerator having trouble? Were you in a cave? :P

The reason X has to have serial stations and can't unload/load from the same station is that it loads both sides of the train. The ops would have to wait for all the exiting guests to leave the station before opening the gates. In MM's current config, it would also require putting in new stairs and all kinds of other gates and rails.

With the separate load/unload stations, if the ride ran three trains, it'd be fine. Load will always be the bottleneck and the additional rotations in the unload block wouldn't affect capacity. Even with 2 train op (In my experience) the bottleneck is still load station, which is not especially affect by the seat rotation.

Of course, with 1 train op the extra rotations drastically affect the outcome.
But nobody designs their rides with less than full trainage in mind, anyway.

A 4D with parallel and serial stations (SR style, but with separate unload/load for each platform) would be great, capacity-wise but would cost a pretty penny.

Anyone have a guess/thought on how much additional capacity the unload station on MF brings? Seems to me that if you have a well designed exit gate and you open the air gates as the restraints go up, a single load/unload station should perform almost just as well.

Thursday, August 5, 2004 5:54 PM
Well, another reason for doing it all in one place is that I noticed exiting riders running back to the entrance area to grab the belongings they left with friends. The ops have to wait for them to run over, make their transaction, and clear the area before even moving the train to load.

Come to think of it, I think they could run it in one spot without adding stairs...the station seemed to accomodate the riders fetching their stuff...why couldn't they exit from there too? They'd just have a slightly longer walk.

Thursday, August 5, 2004 8:08 PM
Oh. I see where you were going. You mean 1 single station doing both load and unload. I thought you meant using both stations simultaneously for both load and unload (kinda like TTD, but unloading on the same station).

Single station load/unload would work, but I'm not sure if the platform is set up to allow that many people out the back onto the unload platform and down the stairs in any reasonable amount of time.


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