Starliner....and a little Cypress.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008 9:10 PM
Finally got on Starliner a couple weeks ago. Got there with less than two hours until closing, and hadn't made it to the park since they got Starliner fixed after making a fruitless trip on the ride's opening weekend. Since I had little time, and had ridden everything else at the park, I was there to power-ride. Did I ever....LOL! I don't count laps, but with the offer on the table to "step out and wait for oncoming riders to choose their seats", I worked it :)

Quite an aggressive little outward run on that sucker now, hehe. The landings on the drops in the back seat were as strong as anything, I was immediately in love. This is different than the expereinces I remember from Miracle Strip. Even though I miss MSAP and thought it was a great ride there (and I REALLY miss the dragon's mouth tunnel), I think the RIDE itself is better at Cypress. Stronger, more aggressive. As for those "pothole landings", I'm sure they'll get complaints and "fix" them. Saw a couple of the older guests daringly take on the back seat and wincing a little when they got off. Kinda a bummer for me, I love hard-hitting drops. I'm getting mixed reports on its return. Let's remain hopeful that the new owners see the value in upgrading the experience of their star attraction. "Pulling an X^2", so to speak. :)

The spiraling turnaround was quite an improvement over the "John Allen special", a high flat (boring?) 180-degree turn. Maybe I'm just not a fan of what some euphemistically call pacing. ;)

Then there's a small below-grade dip that gathers up speed for the return leg. Some nice floats on the way back to the station, with one of the hills shaped REALLY well for sustained air in front and a "nightcap drop" reminder for the fans of the back seat. Like me... ;)

P.S. A few pics I found:
http://www.pbase.com/rollergator/bga_swf_cg__dec_07&page=10

*** Edited 1/18/2008 2:11:51 AM UTC by rollergator***

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Thursday, January 17, 2008 9:38 PM
Something else notable about the ride, is that the station is straight as opposed to the curve it was on originally.

It no longer uses skid breaks.

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Friday, January 18, 2008 12:59 AM
I think this ride is pretty good. After the turn around though, I wish the drops were a little better like the first two, but what can you do?
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Friday, January 18, 2008 11:55 AM
It's funny, but the one thing I *don't* like about S:ROS-NE is that jackhammer landing. That thing just resonates up my spine...guess I'm getting "soft".
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Tuesday, January 22, 2008 10:58 AM
Hi kids! Back from visiting Disney - my nieces' FIRST trip to the Magic Kingdom (and any theme park). Definitely got a taste of "the Magic" through THEIR eyes. Anyway, back to the discussion at hand.

From what I gather, the curving station was something that pretty much HAD to be sacrificed - maybe it was space constraints at Cypress? I *know* the hand (skid) brakes were an insurance issue.

Those first two drops are pretty awesome - hard to keep doing THAT throughout a whole circuit, LOL.

Brian - yeah, you're getting "soft"....hehe, just kidding. :) MOST people don't favor those kind of landings. True Georgia Cyclone aficianados *get* that kind of ride though..."the leather crowd"... ;)

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008 1:58 PM
You can't use clamp brakes on a curved station, Thus the reason for the change.

Thanks for the report Gator, Not only am I glad the coaster was saved but upgraded, Many old Alans have dead spots that Miller who preceeded him didn't.

Chuck

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008 3:23 PM

Charles Nungester said:You can't use clamp brakes on a curved station, Thus the reason for the change.

D'Oh! :)

Thanks Chuck...something that I had BEEN made aware of...but it must've fallen out of my brain over the weekend. I blame Cinderella...or Snow White...or maybe Cruella DeVille... ;)

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008 4:53 PM
So the return run is lackluster or just weak in comparison to the powerful out run? It's a real buzz-kill when a ride starts out strong and then crawls home.
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Tuesday, January 22, 2008 11:36 PM
Glad you had a great time RG. I drive by Cypress Gardens on my way to Sebring pretty frequently.....hopefully one day I'll stop by and take a spin.
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Wednesday, January 23, 2008 11:11 AM
^^AV, for you (like me), those first two drops will almost be "too good to be true". By no means does the ride *crawl* home, there's a little float here and there on the return leg along with the one *good* drop....but nothing on the return leg is like those first two. Picture Screechin' Eagle in reverse... ;)

^delan, do yourself the favor. But if it's your first trip to CG, you'll need 4-5 hours at least....and that's *without* the gardens.

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Monday, January 28, 2008 4:59 AM
Damn, I need to make the drive up there. Being in Florida for the last 9 months and only visiting BGA is killing me.

Only parks that interest me in Orlando is IOA and to some extent Sea World.

Cypress Gardens will take first dibs over both of those parks.

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Thursday, January 31, 2008 12:52 AM
Nice report, Gator.

Living in Florida seasonally, I too just got my first laps on it over the Christmas holidays.

Having visited MSAP *several* times it's final season, I can say your take on the new Starliner is pretty much the same as mine.

While I miss the tunnel and the MSAP version had a classic aesthetic charm with the classic station and skid brakes, my first impression of the CG version is that the ride simply kicks more butt now!

The out leg was never tame to begin with at MSAP, but it's even more aggressive now at Cypress, with more aggressive air!

And I don't recall ANY air on the back leg at MSAP, wheras now at Cypress there is some - particularly on the second to last bunny hop, which is smaller than the others on the back leg.

Kudos to all who saved this ride!

For what it's worth, I was told rebuilding the tunnel is still a possibility down the road.

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Thursday, January 31, 2008 4:54 PM
I hope the "tunnel hop" was preserved as that was some very intense ejector air. Since it threw me on top of the seat divider, it easily compared to Phoenix's finer moments.
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Friday, February 1, 2008 2:34 PM
Yep, it's still there, probably even stronger than before!

There are four solid, powerful moments of air on the "out" leg - one for each element (large hill, small hill, large hill, small hill - classic Allen pacing)

1) The first drop. Solid air going down the drop in the back. Feels stronger than at MSAP, and more noticible in the first 2 seats of the last car than at MSAP, where I felt it mainly in the last seat. Although the last row (9, aka 3.3) is still the most potent

2) The small 2nd hill after the first drop. A big change in the new version. The last season at MSAP, this was a series of rapid-fire jackhammering. At Cypress, it gives nice sustained floatage, felt all over the train.

3) The 3rd drop. Solid ejector air in the back, as you would expect, like at MSAP. What I don't remember at MSAP is getting air in the FRONT seat going down this drop - but it is THERE at Cypress, just as the drop reaches it's steepest angle, you get yanked out the seat in the front!

4) The small 4th drop (formerly tunneled at MSAP). Still providing vicious ejector all over the train; seems even more potent and powerul than I remember from MSAP.

The back leg, while not as extreme as the out, is taken with more speed than at MSAP and therefore has better air than it did at MSAP, particularly on the second to last bunny hop.

Starliner is IMO a classic overachieving coaster that gives a lot more bang that it's "stats" would indicate. As it's running now, it's certainly the most aggressive rides I can remember getting on a John Allen out and backer of any size.

And the fixed position lapbars make it easy to experience all that great air!

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