S&S "Spin Shot" tower retrofit

Monday, October 19, 2020 2:16 PM
Jeff's avatar

In the category of obvious opportunities I couldn't think of, S&S is offering a flippy seat thingy as an option for the pneumatic launch towers. And they can do it on an existing tower.

http://s-s.com/rides/spin-shot-tower/

I think that would be pretty neat, and frankly more "scary" than the original version, and maybe better than the goofy stand up thing that Intamin has.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

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Monday, October 19, 2020 2:22 PM

The model looks nice! At least it won't be as bulky as the launch towers before this one.

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Monday, October 19, 2020 3:28 PM

Seems like a good idea for Power Tower.

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Monday, October 19, 2020 4:15 PM

I was thinking the same thing. This could be a fun way to (in Disney speak) "reimagine" Power Tower as a marketable new attraction while saving money on a "from the ground up" ride in these financially uncertain times.

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Monday, October 19, 2020 5:12 PM
Jeff's avatar

And on that one, with four towers, you can just retrofit two and still have the original experience.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

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Monday, October 19, 2020 6:48 PM
Raven-Phile's avatar

I actually had an idea for this floating around in my head when I was younger and the towers were just getting popular. Glad to see it a reality now. I’d like to see one close to home.


R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
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Monday, October 19, 2020 7:02 PM

Maybe this tower could come to that open space that Busch Gardens in Williamsburg has in say...2022 or 2023.

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Monday, October 19, 2020 7:36 PM

So it's the ride that their "Absolutely In_ane" catapult tower should have been in the first place. For those who remember, that was Vertigo, er, I mean, Vertigone at Cedar Point. It was a neat ride, but far too complicated to operate. Capacity was so low that it could only operate as an upcharge, complexity was so high that it needed a huge crew to run it, and popularity was so low that there was no way for it to make its nut as an upcharge. I said at the time that it needed to be a different kind of seat so that it could be self-loaded, and to further simplify it the gondola should be attached to a Space Shot tower since that could deliver a ride action nearly identical to what the rope launch was doing, but with far less complexity in operation.

For v2 (see Magic Mountain), S&S simplified the seats to something not entirely unlike what we see here; now they're putting it on the tower. Not sure it's my kind of ride, but this configuration has made sense for a very long time.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.


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Tuesday, October 20, 2020 1:09 PM

I loved Vertigo! I did it several times while it was at CP. The original restraints were great because they didn't make you feel secure at all. It felt like you could easily fall out. That's why I loved it. The different programs was also nice touch. My favorite (don't recall which #) was launching face down and then turning upright as you reached the top, coming out of your seat at the same time. I would choose the side facing Magnum. :) Glad to see them making it available for retrofit on older shot towers.


Jerry - Magnum Fanatic
Famous Dave's- 206 restaurants - 35 states - 2 countries

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Tuesday, October 20, 2020 3:11 PM
Tommytheduck's avatar

Re Vertigo at CP:

I think another part of the problem was it's location. Challenge Park at CP was a bad idea all around because you had to exit the park to even get to it. I'm willing to bet most patrons who aren't looking at paper maps had no idea it was even there. Could you see it from inside? I can't remember.

Further evidence of this is that the current Slingshot upcharge ride seems to be doing well. There's always people riding it, and a decent amount of spectators too. And it's in a great location, you simply cannot miss it.

Would this addition to Power Tower make Slingshot obsolete? As in similar enough that you no longer need to pay for Slingshot?

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Tuesday, October 20, 2020 4:26 PM
bjames's avatar

I'm not a fan of the nosedive style drop tower rides. I found Falcon's Fury uncomfortable and way too intense for me. It definitely would have been red in the "intensity rating" section of an RCT ride haha.

I'd give this a chance but I doubt I'd enjoy it. I'll take a classic drop tower any day, the one at Carowinds sticks out in my mind as particularly fun.


"The term is 'amusement park.' An old Earth name for a place where people could go to see and do all sorts of fascinating things." -Spock, Stardate 3025

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Tuesday, October 20, 2020 4:49 PM

I never rode Vertigo but I did the clone of it in England – and loved it.

Stand-up drop towers are okay, but the floorless ones are horrid beyond belief. There's a fundamental anatomical problem that arises on hitting the brake run – why Intamin thought that was a good idea is anyone's guess.

I have high hopes for this new seat design.


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Tuesday, October 20, 2020 5:01 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

I like the Intamin Gyro drops. It might be because you're that much further away from the tower or the capacity is that much better or something, but I find them to be the best of all the various permuatations.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Tuesday, October 20, 2020 5:32 PM
Jeff's avatar

I did Vertigo once, because it was free, but not in flippy mode. That seat and restraint with the locking pins was unnerving. I would have been happy to do flippy mode if it was this restraint.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

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Tuesday, October 20, 2020 7:19 PM

Richard, there's a reason why some of us looked at the design of the seat and nicknamed SFOG's ride, "Viagraphobia"! Lucky for me, the ride was closed the day I visited, so I never got to ride it.

I also rode Vertigo once, not in flippy mode, because someone else bought me the ticket (he "called" me on my reluctance to ride and lost that bet. He didn't believe it was just because I didn't want to pay the upcharge. It was.)

The saddle-like seat was a neat idea, but the restraint was a boneheaded design from the outset. People talk about not trusting the pins, but the locking mechanism on those pins is pretty much exactly what lots of coasters use for their lap bars. It's a proven mechanism, and it's the system S&S has gone back to after the continued issues with the hydraulic cylinders. It was even a failsafe design, in that air pressure was required to release the pins. Once locked in, they were not going to come out.

What was boneheaded about the design was that it needed the direct attention of an attendant to set all of the pins, plus they had to have that block in any empty seat...the whole system was too complicated and time consuming. They could have gone with a semi-rigid (think like the current shoulder bars on Maverick) pair of restraints across the thighs as a primary restraint and if they really thought it necessary, a safety belt across the chest similar to what Cedar Point used to use on their bumper cars, or the belt on a Chance Yo-Yo, to support the upper body. Simple. Minimal. Safe. Fast. And absolutely terrifying. Getting rid of the separate harness would have cut the staff requirements in half and probably doubled throughput. That would have allowed the ride to pay for itself.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.


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Tuesday, October 20, 2020 9:22 PM
Jeff's avatar

It's not like people were knocking down the door to ride the thing anyway. A Skycoaster isn't particularly fast to load or operate either, but as another up-charge for a particularly unique experience, does it matter?


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

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Tuesday, October 20, 2020 9:53 PM

This idea reminds me of the ABC Rides Face Down Bungee, which was launched earlier this year. Picture 12 of the Intamin Sky Jump seats (Falcon's Fury at BGT) in a single row car, with two cars hanging on each side of a 100 feet tall tower. The ride will feature a bouncy up and down program with variable cycles. Will the S&S seat be as comfortable as the Intamin seat?

https://www.abc-rides.net/facedownbungee-double


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Wednesday, October 21, 2020 11:12 PM

Jeff, that was sort of my point. Vertigo was...what...$10/head to ride? That's $60/load if you can run it full (which they generally couldn't even at $10), and a cycle time that was approaching ten minutes. Six shots an hour. That's revenue of $360/hr if it runs full, which it generally didn't; average might be closer to 50% so that revenue is only $180/hr. I think I counted 8 people needed to run the ride, plus one more to sell tickets. Not sure what they get paid, but if we round up to $10/hr that's $90/hr just for the labor. Add in whatever the operating costs are for the machinery, and it would be a challenge for that ride to ever make its nut. If it hadn't fallen over, I suspect it wouldn't have lasted very long.

There are three ways to fix that. First is to make the ride more efficient so that it operates at a lower cost. As a more traditional ride they could probably run it with two people plus a ticket seller. Second is to increase demand but the only real way to do that is to either make it a better ride or make it a cheaper ride. But while making it cheaper might fill all the seats, it won't bring in the necessary revenue. The third option is to increase the capacity and efficiency enough that it can operate as part of the P-O-P package. Then its operating costs are covered by the general admission just like everything else, but to do that the cost per rider has to be forced down, which means high capacity. That's what the Spin Shot should be able to do.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.


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Thursday, October 22, 2020 12:30 AM
Jeff's avatar

The fourth way to fix it is strap those seats on to the side of your existing tower ride.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

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Thursday, October 22, 2020 2:58 AM

The UK version was run by a single person as I recall.


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