Pipe down Xen. Almost all coasters are built before they are themed. Some coasters are greatly themed(Montu and Alpengeist),while others either dont or does not require it(Does Millennium Force have a theme?). Albeit Six Flags parks aren't doing great jobs, you must concern of what they deal with. I live in NJ and I admit theming in SFGAdv is losing it's touch. Skull Mountain(built in 95) has terrific theming, but not far is Nitro, which itself cannot be themed(how does Movietown and Nitro have to do with each other?).Truly theming is something you leave the designers. Remember, theming adds to, but doesn't take away from, the ride experience.
I suppose I should have made myself clearer...I'm actually more bothered about where/how the ride is built. Eg...Nemesis sunk into the ground, goes over, under, through. It's nested into the earth as opposed to being fitted together and left resting above the ground. It just seems odd seeing a whole coaster only twisting through itself. Not sure how to express is clearly.
The only reason Nemesis was built into the ground was because of the regulations that all rides had to be kept below tree-level, right? Alton Towers has some pretty unique rides because of that rule that you won't find elsewhere.
Sure, many coasters go underground in tunnels or use the natural terrain like ravines, but not all parks can accomodate that feature: some parks' are flatter than a pancake. Also, when you start running out of places to stick giant rollercoasters, you can bet that at least part of them will be built over a parking lot or something similar.
------------- Benjamin Jones | Yet another coaster-craving yuppie
If you do, we Americans like our themeing just fine, but it is sorta hard to theme a ride like Millennium Force, which has a techno-esque type theme. don't you dare say, "Let's stick Millennium Force in the ground..." :)
I think I know what Xen is saying. MF does not have a theme but the ride does have some landscaping (trees, the lagoon, etc.) When a ride is placed on a big slab of concrete with no landscaping it looks bad. For example, take a look at Steel Dragon 2000. While the ride looks great, it’s built in the middle of a parking lot. Would rides like the Beast or Raven be the same if they where sitting in a big open space with no tree? I think parks need to preserve whatever natural landscaping they can when they build a coaster.
Shockwave at SFGAm is a fine coaster, but it's in the parking lot. I enjoy the ride, being in the parking lot does not distract from the ride. But a ride like the Space Mountain or the Grizzly (PKD) or Big Bad Wolf gets a little extra "oomph" from being set in a more scenic location.
I happen to like a ride that is sometimes set in a parking lot. While Millennium Force does have a little theming, I think that it has something a hundred times better than themeing. Go up that lift hill at sunset, look at the sky, it is absolutely breathtaking. Way better than any themeing...Now, Flight of Fear is good because of its themeing, if it was outside, it wouldn't be that great.
I'm not saying theming is a bad thing, I'm not saying all of it detracts from the ride, that would just be stupid. Some rides don't need theming, normally the mono-featured (impressively high, new element etc etc) because they fend for themselves and thrive on publicity alone. Fair enough. Others do.
As RPM twigged, position/location of a ride is what I was aiming to talk about. I just think that it kind of a waste to just bolt a highly impressive piece of entertainments equipment plain on top of a flat lump of concrete. I suppose you could (almost) compare it to putting your TV in some back alley and having to go watch it there; rather than having it in a plush, warm, comfortable lounge.
My point in generalistic, it's not exactly sunk under the ground now is it? The majority of rides I've seen about are just sat on top of the earth, maybe a tunnel at most for interaction with the ground. I just think rides are improved by having high-level interaction with objects and the floor, especiall objects that are natural (like trees) as you know that they are there from nature not so much that it's been put far out of reach.
There's something about swinging down into a rock valley (out of a barrele roll on an inverted) that I can't imagine as being the same as rolling out of barrel roll into midair.
Am I speaking Japanese or something or is everybody just not hearing me?
I hear ya, Xen! People may think I'm exaggerating, and it may not be fair to compare B&M with Vekoma, but I rode an SLC after riding Nemesis and it hardly seemed thrilling at all. Very little sensation of speed.
I don't even care about theming itself, but what is so enticing about Nemesis, is the way it's built into the ground. It makes you just want to run towards it and ride the thing.
And where you might look at an ordinary coaster and say "there's a drop into a vertical loop", with Nemesis, it's a drop into a pit into a vertical loop...it just emphasises every element.
This is not about Themeing I guess, it is about Landscaping. Two different things. And I agree, I hate seeing something sitting in the old parking lot. Put some grass and trees or water around it. Raging Bull and Shockwave and Viper are good examples. Shockwave is a parking lot, not very pleasing to the eye, sure it may not affect the ride experience, but it ain't pretty. Bull and Viper are set in landscaped areas, dirt, grass and trees, plus the other rides and shops that they are close to. Whizzer is the best example, you might think they did not cut a tree down at all to put that ride in, great landscaping. But Whizzer never heard of a theme, and that is fine, I like the ride cause of landscaping and scenery.
------------- ---------- Any resemblance to living or dead people is purely coincidental.
Some coasters don't need theming. I found that Steel Dragon 2000 being located in the middle of a parking lot didn't make the ride any less enjoyable.
But I know what you're saying. Here's another great coaster of the type you like: http://customcoasters.com/boulderdash.html . It's located at Lake Compounce, CT, and it's built on top of a hiking trail. CCI knows how to build them.
When I first saw Steel Dragon, I thought "What a waste." It's such a great looking ride, but it's in the middle of a parking lot... how drab. I thought the same thing about X when I first saw it.
I think part of what I like about terrain-interactive coasters is the element of surprise. If the next drop or loop is behind a patch of trees or through a tunnel, it makes it all the more exciting not being able to see what your getting yourself into.
----------------- "Computer games don't affect kids; I mean if Pac-Man affected us as kids, we'd all be running around in darkened rooms, munching magic pills and listening to repetitive electronic music." Kristian Wilson, Nintendo, Inc, 1989
I think I understand Xen, but are my thoughts on it. Sure, a coaster out it the middle of a parking lot looks kind of hokey. But, who really cares? I don't care what landscaping/theming it has, it's the ride. To me, coasters, as well as theming, are like cold pizza. No bad, just some better than others.
------------- Tim Schroll
*** This post was edited by MFRULES on 9/19/2001. ***
X is built on natural ground. About 3/4 of the entire ride was footered into small gradual sloping hill in front of Viper. The return run is anchored in PART of a private access road adjacent to the pull in drive way of the park. So NO X is technically not a parking lot coaster. SFMW's Roar! and Medusa ARE, that's for sure. And it doesn't look too good IMHO.