Thunder Dolphin Tokyo, Thorpe park and SFMW trip reports

Associated parks:
None

Monday, August 30, 2004 10:19 PM
Well here goes. Have just got back to Sydney after a 2 week trip thats primary purpose was to go to my brothers wedding in the UK, but as with all trips there is always room for coasters, so a couple of detours later i got to ride a nice batch of new coasters.

Thunder Dolphin:-

Lets start with the name- i thought it was some terrible translation but no the ride is actually called that, in english, with a lightening bolt for the 'i' in Dolphin. It is actually growing on me now, unique!

As not many of you lot have probably seen/heard much about this ride i will try and 'set the scene.' I think this is the newest Intamin hypercoaster out there and it stacks up well against its bigger sisters. The coaster itself is slap bang in the middle of the city, in a small amusement park next to the Tokyo dome (baseball stadium). Other rides there include the first Impulse, a very small spinning mouse, a flume and a big wheel which the coaster goes through. It is a very smart silver colour with 2 trains (yellow and orange). The station starts on the 5 floor so the first drop is not as big as its height (240 feet). The ride is basically an odd shape rectangle with the 1st and 3rd drops running over each other, with the 2nd and final drop parrallel.
After the first drop there is a nice high clockwise overbanked turn to avoid the shopping center in front of you, followed by some bunny hills though the airconditioning steam (bit smelly). The best bit of the ride follows. A sharp clockwise bank though this circle that has been cut out of the side of the shopping center. The 2nd drop follows, into another overbanked turn through the middle of the ferris wheel down the 3 rd drop with a fast air time hill and up over the shopping center. The ride then has its bad part. Its an attempt at a double s curve (i think) but is basically this slow rocking motion from side to side that does not really work, luckily another quick right hand bank to drop follows which livens it up and then the brakes.

All in all this is an excellent ride, the only poor bit was probably due to the total lack of space- its amazing they crammed this coaster in at all. The ride ops were excellent 5 (yes thats 5) all day, smilling and giving instructions (at least thats what i thought they were saying) very quick as well. It was a bit expensive, 1000 yen per ride, so thats 13 aussie dollars or 8 american- i think- Had 3 rides, prefered the back. 8/10

Thorpe park:-

My god this place has grown. I was last here 2 years ago when collosus first opened and the improvements then were huge- keep it going Tussauds.

Collossus- A great coaster, yes a gimmick all those extra inlines, but what a gimmick. Had read that it was getting a bit rough, but i did not find that at all. Not B@M smooth but still totally comfortable. No rattling either. The inlines and the bunny hop down under the shop make this ride for me. Good ride ops all day with 2 train operation. 2 rides 15 mins wait(1 fast track) front seat is best by miles. 8/10

Nemesis inferno- My first time on the sister ride of the coaster that got me addicted to them in the first place. It had a lot to live up to- and certainly did not dissapoint. I loved it. It is everything it should be. Short and intense. You get off felling a little bit wobbly on your feet. The first tunnel effect is great- the misters were definately on, you could not see anything. The inline twist after the first loop that leads to the turnaround is my favourtie part, very very intense. Very happy with this coaster, a great addition to the Uk scene. Rode twice 10 mins wait- Front the best by miles. 8.5/10

Also rode Vortex, Samurai, Quantum, Tea cups (it was raining ok) and the Flume. Samurai was fun although they do need a longer programme. All in all i was very impressed with the direction Thorpe is going in. The staff were excellent, ride ops very quick, place was clean and i did not see any security problems. The only problem was a few of the rides having break downs. Nemesis twice, Collosus once and Quantum. These things happen but i think it is happening a bit too often. The future looks good though with a sky swat and a giant swing next year and then the rocket after that-

SFMW-

My 4th and final SF park of the year (sfmm, sfgadv and sfne the others) and i was pleasantly surprised. It was a steaming day so i was expecting huge crowds, but it was not really, busy yes, but not all there for the coasters. All the coasters were testing when i got there with 20 mins to go except Zonga so that was a promising start ( i had a shocking X experience at the mountain early in the year regarding opening on time).

V2- my second impulse after wicked twister but it almost was not be. They have a height restriction on too tall people?? That was new to me, i just slouched enough and they let me ride. I cant believe they dont have a lowering floor- hell even the vekomas do. A fun ride, the wierd sloping spike actually works, certainly does not wreck the experince, quite fun stopping at a very strange angle. 3 rides, no wait, front best. 7/10

Roar- I am really beggining to like woodies now. This is certainly not the biggest or best, but it is a fun ride. Its smooth enough to enjoy without fear of pain, but it still has enough bite to back up its bark. Is this the best SF woddie out there???? Rank 3 for me in the world after Ghostrider and Gwazi. 2 rides, no wait 7.5/10

Zonga opened up around 1 ish (when the staff said it would). Yuck. is all i can say. Horrible ride. Horrible restraints. not enjoyable at all, ears got bashed, no leg room at all, painful. 2 rides (just to see if the first one was a one off) 4/10

Cobra- How big is that train- so cool. I just had to ride it when i saw that train, its actually quite a fun familly coaster. Fun for all. 1 ride no wait 5/10

Kong- I like slcs, there i said it, but this one is certainly not the best one, actually its the worst i have been on (sfne, ratanga junction and WBMW australia the others) Pretty bloody rough. 1 ride 10 mins wait 4.5/10

Medussa- It was silly in my opinion to have built Scream, as it really takes away the thunder from Medussa. SFMM has plenty of big rides, but building a clone in the same state was stupid. It could have been a drawcard for SFMW to get people to come up to the Bay area, now they dont need to. I do like this ride (my 3rd after scream and medussa in gadv), front seat especially and the inline twist after the dive loop is great on the outside seat. Of the 3 floorless i have ridden this is definately the smoothest. 3 rides, front best 7.5/10

Now onto what i thought of the park. Its very pretty, very clean, great staff, good ride ops, food ok, running multiple trains if necessary, nice selection of water rides,coasters,flats, darks and shows. The shouka show was great. Was it all good i hear you say- at a six flags park??? Here it comes NO. Yes they had to screw it up. Flat rides. They have three big ones a top spin (voodoo), a kmg afterburner equivalant (tasmanian devil) and a flying enterprise thing (forget the name) Only the top spin was working- without the fountains mind you, and it was on the worst cycle known to man.

If those flats were working the park would have got a 10/10. cos it was really that nice. but it only gets an 8, which is still very good.

All in all a great holiday, the wedding was nice as well by the way.

Thanks for reading this essay.

Take care

James

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Monday, August 30, 2004 10:29 PM
Thank's for the report, Thunder Dolphin looks deliciously insane!
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Monday, August 30, 2004 11:36 PM
Just an FYI, but Scream! is a clone of Great Adventure's Medusa, not Marine World's. SFMW's Medusa has an original layout.

Thanks for the TR. I can't wait for the day I get to Thorpe.

-Nate

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Monday, August 30, 2004 11:42 PM
And I can't wait for the day I get to Japan. Thunder Dolphin looks like alot of fun, and I'd like to try the origional impulse, without the twists. But I wonder, how did a wedding in Europe get you to Japan and the U.S.?;)
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Tuesday, August 31, 2004 12:04 AM
I can't tell you how painful it was to see Thunder Dolphin being built and not getting to ride it..I'm SO jealous! :)

Did you have a layover in Tokyo or something on the way to Sydney?

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Wednesday, September 1, 2004 2:36 AM
coasterdude- i was wondering that as it was a bit different after the mcbr, not much mind you, just does not have interlocking loops.

teknoscorpion and Peabody - how did i end up going round the world. Well i live in sydney and a return flight to the UK is only about $300 cheaper than a round the world. So i thought what the hell, go and see some new places and ride some new coasters on the way there. Plus i hate doing a 24 hour flight, rather break it up a bit. Its a hard life but someone has to do it!!!

Thunder dolphin was awsome, if you are a fan of big long drops followed by tight overbanked turns, this coaster is for you. In my opinion not as good as Nitro and very nearly as good as Millennium, better than Goliath and way better than Magnum and Desperado.

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Sunday, September 5, 2004 12:25 AM
Well, that doesn't tell me anything about Thunder Dolphin being fun or not. Not as good as Nitro, but nearly as good as MF? Hmmm... methinks you have much different tastes than I. That's good, though. Curious.... I've seen the trick-track section of TD, and it looked slow. I thought maybe it was just the video. It really is that slow, eh? That first sweep gets awfully close to the edge. Oh well. Thanks for the interesting, albiet brief TR on "the dome."

BTW, did you do the drop tower at Korakuen? If not, why? I want to hear your opinion! :)

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Sunday, September 5, 2004 2:17 AM
When I was in Japan last month I really didnt enoy TD as much as I thought I would. It looks cool but it lacks speed.

And Linear Gale is closed most of the time like every other impulse coaster.

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Monday, September 6, 2004 5:45 AM
Nasai:- I did prefer Nitro to Millenium force, not by much but a little ( i only got one ride on MF so maybe if i get more rides it will go up on my faves list). The trick track section was poor, very slow and unexciting really, but did not detract much from an excellent coaster. Its a lot of fun, especially if you like straight drops and fast overbanked turns. The location of the ride also adds another dimension to the coaster than others really dont have. I cant think of another coaster (maybe Manhatten express at a push) that interacts with buildings as much as Thunder dolphin does.

I did not do any other rides unfortunatley as i had aleardy bought my 3 tickets for TD before i realised i could have paid only 1000 yen more for a all you can ride ticket. D'oh. It looked like an intamin second gen like the ones here in Australia at Wonderland (now closed) and Dreamworld. Is there anything special about it??

Code823- I thought Td had plenty of speed especially the 2nd and 3rd drops. They were great. Linear Gale was working both times when i was there. It just did not look very interesting as it is shorter than the newer impulses and it does not have any spirals so is very 'straight" and as i had V2 at SFMW in a weeks time i thought i would save my cash.

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Monday, September 6, 2004 10:30 AM
gyjdnb,

If you think Zonga was uncomfortable you should of rode it when it was Texas Taz Tornado or when it was thriller. Marine World actually increased the height of the loops to tame it down.

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Monday, September 6, 2004 12:36 PM
gyjdnb: The drop there is amazing....it's situated against the enge of the building so yoiu swear your feet will hit the roof before you hit the brakes. It's amazing!!

And about the Linear Gale comment that kid made....I'm thinking he went to Tokyo, New Jersey or something. (Smells like when CPNUT was talking about his trip to Nagashima ;) ) *** Edited 9/6/2004 4:46:13 PM UTC by Peabody***

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Monday, September 6, 2004 12:48 PM
^Now I am really beginning to wonder what the hell they did to Thriller! You rated a bad SLC higher than Zonga?! That hurts this little Thriller-Fanboy (me).

I understand that you seem to be a very tall person, so you could be a tight fit in those cars. But I guess that they absolutely didn´t do anything to improve the restraints, which were the only bad thing about old Thriller.

Thriller was a wicked, totally awesome ride after it was re-tracked in the late eighties. Before that it was a wicked, totally frightening ride :)

SF didn´t exactly increase the loop diameter. They placed them higher and shortened (and redesigned) the brilliant drop, which was one of the best parts of the ride.
I never understood why they placed Zonga next to Medusa in the forst place. They should have sent Zonga to one of the smaller SF parks with a moderate climate.

At Korakuen you seemed to have missed their underground coaster "Geopanic" as well. The only thing worse than a headbanging Togo is a headbanging Togo which runs in complete darkness. But it has very cool special FX which I have never seen on any other indoor coaster.

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Tuesday, September 7, 2004 4:56 AM
TrickTrack:- i was really dissapointed with Zonga as well. I really wanted to like it as had heard a lot of positive things about it. The cars and restraints were the worst i have ever been on. I am 6 foot 2 ish and there was literally no leg room at all, my knees were up by my chin!!! When the seat next to me was occupied we were rubbing legs together the whole time. The restraints were big and very uncomfortable and on my second ride they actually dropped another notch or 2 from tight to causing pain in my leg for the whole ride. I am not sure why Six flags modified it but they should have smoothed some of the transitions out while they were at it. Oh well, it will probably move on in a couple of years, as it still looks very temporary.

Geopanic did not really excite me in any shape to get me to ride. The building its in is small so i reckoned that it was not that thrilling and it had monster OTSR which they show on the park map, that really made me not want to ride it. So i did'nt!

Peabody:- That trick definately works on those drop rides. They do it on the giant drop at Dreamworld and it gets me everytime- Yeah i am not sure the kid has been there as the park was very well run, all rides operating and very efficiently too.

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