Overall, it’s a fantastic ride. Right now it feels a little out of place, but a year from now after the trees and brush have grown back, the station is fully painted, and it’s seen some wear and tear, it’ll feel a lot nicer. Also, the track still feels a bit rough in spots. I expect that to wear down and smooth out in the next few months.
She starts out pretty slow in the mornings, but warms up fast and delivers a hell of a punch. Make no mistake, this is a very intense ride. There’s been a lot of talk about the airtime and the hills, but this ride is really all about the lateral Gs.
Front or back? Well, most people would probably like the back better. The front has more floater air over the tops of the hills, but the lateral forces are *much* stronger in the front. You really get thrown around quite a bit, and as you’ve no doubt seen in the POV footage, there’s a very high number of sudden lateral changes. Keeping your hands up while you ride is very difficult and can lead to a bruised rib or two if you’re not careful. Doesn’t mean I didn’t do it, though. :-)
The back seat gives you more time to brace and adjust to the lateral forces, and overall feels like a smoother ride. The airtime is different, though, as you don’t float as much. The airtime in the back is less prevalent, but when it’s there, it’s real ejector air, and it’s fantastic. If you ride in the back, you’re out of your seat the whole way down the first three hills. Amazing.
A few things you can’t really tell on the video:
1) The third drop in the triple-down is steeper than expected and delivers a great pop of ejector air.
2) The tunnels are much cooler than the outside air. Feels gooooood.
3) There’s a really cool little zig-zag at the bottom of the third hill after the triple-down.
4) You can see it in the on-ride POV, and it goes by really fast, but it’s very unexpected and feels really cool.
5) The 90 degree turns feel weird. It’s a strange sensation to feel your head go one way and your butt go the other.
6) If you turn around at the top of the lift, you get an amazing view of the Legend.
7) On-ride camera is right before you go flying over the lift track.
8) You can see maybe only a third of the ride from in the park or out on the road. A lot of it is hidden by the trees, and makes for some good surprises.
The gift shop’s got some cool Voyage-related swag, and there are some good camera angles all over the Thanksgiving plaza for you shutterbugs. The entrance and exit to the Voyage are within feet of each other, making it very easy to run back on for another lap. They’re also very close to the Pepsi Oasis and the Gobbler Getaway. Expect the little plaza area to be a popular hangout. Also, the new path gives you some new views of the Raging Rapids, and is wider than expected. I also think I noticed a new smoking area behind the Gobbler Getaway, but that area was closed off today.
Overall, Media Day was a blast. They stocked the Oasis with muffins and fruit all day, and drove us on golf carts from the parking lot to the Voyage station all day. (They didn’t want people wandering the park, but it *felt* like we were VIPs!) We even got to meet the HW crew as well as a bunch of people from both the Gravity Group and PTC, and rode it with two of the GG guys.
All told, I got in 15 laps in just under 3 hours before we had to go.
Kris and Matt.....you both SUCK! :-)
Then again all you guys get to break in Voyage for me. :-)
*** Edited 5/5/2006 5:16:55 AM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***
Don't worry Tina, you only have 21 days. Come to think of it, that must suck. I'll grab a ride for you.
Night rides on this thing will be amazing. After the track has had a chance to warm up all day, it will be flying through the course. Also, unless you're near the station/lift, there's no lights out there. There's some conduit on the walls of the tunnels, which makes me think they'll get lighting eventually, but it'll be pitch black out there this weekend.
Also, they're framing out the entrances and exits of the tunnels. Instead of leaving them as concrete boxes, they're building wooden facades to make them look nicer. They're not all done yet. The entrance to the triple-down is missing a roof, and looks pretty cool that way.
The station is three levels, and you enter on the middle level. The train boards on the upper level, and the lower level is used for the main queue. The lower level was off-limits yesterday, and that's where the glass-walled tunnel is, so I didn't have a chance to see that in person. The tunnel's roof is see-thru as well, though, so we did get to see that. The entrance and exit ramps go over the top of this tunnel.
The station is still missing about 2/3 of it's hand rails. The ones that are installed are not yet painted -- they're still scorched from the welding. Also, the lockers are not yet installed.
The seats on the trains feel smaller than Raven and Legend. I have no proof of this, and forgot to ask the PTC guys, but they might be a bit narrower.
Anyhow, I'll find out in three weeks.
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