I was watching a promotional video from Arrow and a lot of the coasters shown are now gone...
Is it size, up keep, ride experience or something else?
also what is the REAL reason for the two coasters above to have been demolished?
I've been sitting on this for a long time. I'm ashamed of it, really, and I was afraid of what other people in the enthusiast community would think if they knew. It's high time that I took responsibility, though, and so I'm finally going to speak up.
It was late spring in 1997 that my family and I took a vacation to the Richmond/Williamsburg area of Virginia. We were there with my cousins and we were missing school for the vacation. Sorry teachers. Anyway, we had planned to spend three days at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and I was really looking forward to that time.
Well, you can imagine my surprise when I disembarked from Drachenfire, ears ringing, head pounding. This wasn't what I signed up for! I was missing school for a good time, not for the same sort of headaches I got while sitting in European History. I was so disappointed with the ride that I couldn't look at it. It had deceived me, see, because it looked so amazing. I was hurt, truthfully -- physically and emotionally.
When we got back home from our vacation, I needed catharsis. I needed to rebuild myself and my relationship with roller coasters. I needed to let someone -- anyone, really -- know that this Drachenfire was an impostor; a ride that promised great things, but instead took your dreams and left you nauseated and with a headache. I did what any good civic person would do and I wrote a letter.
It seemed inocuous enough, I though. I wrote Busch Gardens Williamsburg and explained how disappointed I was with that ride and suggested, somewhat jokingly, that they replace it with something a bit more worthy of their guests' time. I was just being a spunky teenager.
Well, you can imagine my horror when I first learned that they'd begun to act upon my suggestions! I was just dissatisfied with the ride, but I didn't want them to kill it. I was just kidding! Alas, by the time I was able to get back in touch with the park, it was too late and the ride was closed. I wrote more letters. I called. I paced in front of park, carrying signs of protest (send pictures if you have, please), but the park had listened to me and taken my suggestion to heart.
My hobby was never the same. From that day, I learned to appreciate all coasters and the different rides they give. I learned that every coaster, just like every person, is a little bit different. They're all special in their own way. That day, I grew up.
I'm sorry to say, though, that Drachenfire had to die so that I might go on. I wish there were some other way, believe me. I wish it more than anything else in the world.
So, that's it. That's why it was demolished. I can't express enough how sorry I am for my young, brash arrogance. I didn't believe that one person could make a difference, but now I see that sometimes, that's all it takes.
As for Buzzsaw Falls...
Where did ya get the video? *** Edited 7/30/2004 4:21:26 AM UTC by Crashmando***
Drachan Fire was an under-engineered ride that didn't do what Arrow wanted it to. It's too bad about it, and im sad i never got to try it.
Viper at SFMM would be a great... but intense ride if they pulled the damned trims off it, and put new trims in better places. Arrow built coasters to be fun and intense, now we have these overly smooth Swiss rides that feel like a newly paved highway.
Arrows haven't gotten rougher... The new ones have gotten smoother. Thats where the difference lies.
mOOSH [knows all about suc--ah, never mind]
and Moosh I don't want to hear any stories about sucking. That's just gross. :)
Buss Saw Falls - Don't know for sure, but there seemed to be lots of tacked on modifications indicating it had design problems. I also suspect that the park felt that the beautiful view from the location could be better used.
Arrows - I sure that each has it's own story. Though in general, they are no longer as thrilling to people as they once seemed.
Actually, I have a brochure from Arrow that has the blue prints for Drachen Fire's cobra roll and helix on the front and back covers, with what seems to be a list of parts for the rides track and support structure. An interesting little blurb at the bottom of the parts lists reads:
If B&M would have had any part in the design of Drachen Fire at all, I think they would have been mentioned at least once in that information.
Thus drawing is the property of Arrow Dynamics Incorporated and shall not be reproduced, published, or disclosed, in whole or part, without the written consent of Arrow. It it to be used only for production of items for Arrow. This document or copies are subject to reutrn upon demand and are distributed with the understanding that it shall not be used in any way detrimental to Arrow.
Anyway, I've found that maintenence determines how well Arrows age. (Well, really any type of coaster, but we'll stick to Arrow) All three Arrows at PKI are very enjoyable, especially Vortex. While it does have three or four major head banging transitions, the ride itself is very smooth. The same goes for Adventure Express; a few bad transitions, but a relatively smooth ride. Bumpiness from hunting or poor track design is at worst minimal. *** Edited 7/30/2004 5:43:39 PM UTC by CoasterKrazy***
Personally I think bad Arrows opened up bad Arrows.
IMO, it is not a maintainence issue but rather poor design. Arrow did some pretty good mine trains, and some amazing work at Astroworld like the Alpine Sleigh Ride, and XLR8 in it's time.
When they got into loops, and more intense thrills they were the first. They were the pioneers and yes some did go wrong. If you ever saw any of the older coaster shows they would show Ron Toomer bending wire as his method of designing track layouts. Then he would always say I just design them, I will not ride them. Well he did not ride them or he would have known more about a lot of his design flaws.
The model T ford was a piece of junk compaired to todays cars. What product has not gotten better over time? You have to give Ron and Arrrow credit. Someone had to be first, and all of the others learned because of it. There are some things you just cant do in a track and make it comfortable for riders.
Going back to the question about why they are gone....another reason has to do with the way they were built. These days if a coaster is too uncomfortable for park goers, they can be moved, retracked, and remarketed elsewhere. (Thriller, Texas Tornando, Zonga) In early arrow days the track pieces were wielded together, unlike today where they are bolted.
The welded track left very little hope for relocations because it required more time to dissasemble, rebuild, and this lead to $$$$$ , which in turn lead to making it not worth reconstructing.
The model T ford was a piece of junk compared to todays cars. What product has not gotten better over time? You have to give Ron and Arrrow credit. Someone had to be first, and all of the others learned because of it.
Today we would even think of using a Model T except for novelty/nostalgia/car enthusiast purposes. But in 1908 it was cutting edge and people marveled. I think it's safe to say that none of us on these forum could appreciate using the Model T as a viable form of transportation today.
Arrow is similar in this case. They broke that wall down and people went nuts for these cutting edge creations. Now they seem like boring, rough relics next to the superior creations of today and it's hard to justify their worthiness.
Give it another 20 or 30 years and we'll be saying the same things about the coasters we rave about today. Coaster aging and technical advancements will render them obsolete as well.
(Sing it with me) "It's the circle of life..." :)
Actually, Orient Express was a great ride -- UNTIL THE HELIX. I swear I had Kindergartners that could draw better circles then what this helix made. It was terrible and I think that if the coaster would have just made a big "S" curve into the station brakes it would have been A LOT better and easier on the ears.
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