Today, I was walking through Southridge Mall in Milwaukee, and saw a kiddie ride that I thought was cool. It was a ride that small kids (ages 2-5 or so) could sit in, and had a video screen. You could choose either Blue Streak or Gemini from CP. As the POV video played, the car followed with pneumatics. I thought it was really neat. I'd not seen one of these before.
There are 2 versions (and an upcoming 3rd version shown at IAAPA) of the ride. The original is the 6-ride CoasterRider with all-CP rides (the manufacturer has since gone out of business). The kiddie version (with Gemini and Blue Streak I think) was picked up by another company (I.C.E.)
The 3rd version is a full-size being made by ICE called "Thrill Ride." It has 4 rides from different parks (IIRC, it includes Viper, Phantom's Revenge, and 2 others). It is supposedly vastly improved over the problem-plagued CoasterRider, including a new mechanical system, a new safety system, and a hard drive instead of DVD for the video. They had 2 on the first day of the show, then one mysteriously disappeared by day 2 (either sold or "kaput").
So far, ICE still has no info on their website, and it's possible that it will not go into production at all. I'll ask them about it next time I call them :)
I saw the CP Gemini and Blue Streak ride in 100 Oaks Mall (here in Nashville) just last week for the first time. I watched a couple of kids ride it, and it looks very fun! I want a bigger version in my house hehe. The one I saw was made by I.C.E. too.
There is one at Gurnee Mills mall. I rode it for 1 dollar I think! I am 5'3 and I could barely get in it, let alone get out of it! Haha! It was actually kind of fun! It made my day since sfgam was closed!
Actually, when I see kids riding this, they get a little bored. Especially when they choose Gemini as the coaster to ride. All of the turnarounds on this coaster are slow and take forever to get to the next drop. This is mostly because the kiddie version of this only moves forward and backward so when you enter a turnaround on Gemini, the ride doesn't move.
I saw the kiddie ride at Southridge myself. I am sad to say that I actually contemplated how I could fit my fat ass in the thing and try riding it!
I watched a group of kids do the Blue Streak sim and noticed it was on a day when the park was completely empty because there were no cars in the parking lot. I did notice a truck drive by on that one road that runs along the side of the coaster, however ;)
I do remember seeing a much more comprehensive machine a few years back up at Bay Beach Amusement park in Green Bay, WI. It was adult sized and had several coasters from Cedar Point. The machine has since been removed (I look for it every time I am up there ;) )
These are incredibly boring IMO. Although I have ridden the "old" Beast one that Dukeis#1 mentioned, and you could see the Bat in the background... very cool.
The Space Needle in Gatlinburg, TN, has a spinning video ride that twirls very quickly to produce real G-forces. I believe the video is one of flying through space, but wouldn't it be cool if they did this with a coaster video?
Incidentally, that ride replaced the much cooler Sega R-360, a version of Afterburner that actually turned you in any direction, upside down included.
I've also ridden the coaster simulator where you design your own fantasy track. Also lame, although I like going upside down front first. But my local GameWorks smells like puke half the time because of it.