Why can't chains take care of woodies?

Tuesday, November 13, 2001 1:38 PM
Why is it that SF can't maintain a woodie after it's built and CF doesn't like woodies in General? Kennywood appears to be the only good wood chain. What do you think?
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My fellow Americans, let's roll!
I pray that I will never see a Six Flags Conneaut Lake
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Tuesday, November 13, 2001 1:41 PM
What about Hersheypark?!  Comet, WildCat, and Lightning Racer are EXCELLENT!  And they are kept up very well!

I agree that KennyWood is simply the best at maintaining their wooden coasters.  I mean, with Jack Rabbit being so old, yet still being able to pack such a huge punch, it's amazing.  Not to mention the Almighty Thunderbolt!  Ejector airtime, extreme laterals, great positive G's, and sever headchoppers...what more could you want?

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Bomb Squad Technician

If you see me running, try and keep up!

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Tuesday, November 13, 2001 1:54 PM
BigKirby, do you love wooden coasters? IMO steel roller coasters are better but that is my opinion.
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Tuesday, November 13, 2001 1:55 PM

bigkirby said:
"Why is it that SF can't maintain a woodie after it's built "

Viper @ SFGAm
Thunder Run @ SFKK
Wild One @ SFA
Georgia Cyclone and OrGASM @ SFoG
are all coasters i've only heard spoke of highly. I think the proper verb is not "can't" but rather "won't".
jeremy
--Hail, hail Lion of Judah! How wonderful You are!
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Tuesday, November 13, 2001 1:56 PM
Thanks for the sig change :)
Yes, I love wooden coasters but just give me a CCI with a B&M and I'm set for life! Both can mix freely in parks. But the chains can't seem to keep them up.

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My fellow Americans, let's roll!
I pray that I will never see a Six Flags Conneaut Lake

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Tuesday, November 13, 2001 2:00 PM
Woodies are great, but this is the millennium and new things are interesting these parks
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Tuesday, November 13, 2001 2:05 PM
First of all I really don't think Woodies and Steel coasters can be accurately compared. I LOVE them both but find them so very different.

The SIX FLAGS maintenance issue?

...probably just big corporation bureaucracy...woodies take way more maintenance work (which costs money) but also they require more of a personal touch in that work...the best Woody maintenance team is one that stays with the park and the ride for a long time, and that knows the personality and quirks of each one and gives them the attention they need.

This is as we all know, NOT how huge companies behave in any walk of life.....

P.S. The woodies at SFWOA seemed pretty sweet to me last month...but yes, SFGAm is letting theirs really slide....(Eagle mostly...poor girl).

~Tocci

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Tuesday, November 13, 2001 2:05 PM

bigkirby said:
 But the chains can't seem to keep them up.
 

Ride Roar at SFMW and SFA....Ghostrider at KBF.....Viper at SFGAm......Cyclone at SFOG.....etc and see if your opinion changes.  Family parks have poor woodies too.  Throw the well taken care of woodies in a pile, the poor ones in another pile, then sort them by manufacturer/builder.  There will be some surprising matchups....

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- Peabody

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Wednesday, November 14, 2001 3:48 AM
Two of the oft maligned wood coasters at chains that come to my mind are Mean Streak and Hercules (both at CF parks). Not familiar with Mean Streak, I do know a little about Hercules. I do not think it is a problem of CF not taking care of their wooden coasters, but rather "poor" designs of the coasters. In the last section of the book "The American Roller Coaster", they have a section that begins "Medium is a wonderful thing" and they go on to state that most parks find that it is better to go with medium sized wooden coasters, stating that parks are realizing that it is foolish to build a huge wooden coaster for some "short lived worlds record", that the huge ones are very expensive to build and maintain, and that the medium sized ones (around 90-100 feet tall) are often times more exciting to ride. These huge monsters tear themselves apart.

Case in point... I hear people often complain about CP's Mean Streak, but most only have good things to say about its smaller wooden neighbor Blue Streak. Same with Dorney's Hercules... this is one rough coaster that has an annoying break on the first drop... however I'v heard nothing but good things about its neighboring Thunderhawk.

Some one mentioned about Kennywood and Hershey in a previous post. Again, look at the size of those coasters... all would be in the medium range... not these huge wooden monstrosities that are poorly designed and tear themselves apart from excessive speed etc.

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"I wasn't always this cynical, but then I started kindergarden..."

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Wednesday, November 14, 2001 3:55 AM
I don't think its a specific trend among chains.  All parks tend to have lame woodies, and good woodies.  Its just one of those things. 

And SFdlDude, thanks once again for trying to change the subject......

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Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2001 4:40 AM
If anybody can maintain a wooden coaster its gotta be SFA.  The have the Wild One.  The park first got it when it was Wild World in the 80's.  It had been moved from Paragon Park in Boston and it was originally built in 1917.  SInce they have gotten it, they replaced the old skid brakes with friction brakes, retracked the entire thing, rebuilt the helix when it was moved, put air gates in the station, rebuilt the turnaround, and put new trains on it.  If this isn't preserving a coaster, then I don't know what is!
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So...you can't handle a rollercoaster huh? Well...you ARE the Weakest Link! Goodbye!
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*** This post was edited by scoaster on 11/14/2001. ***

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Wednesday, November 14, 2001 4:54 AM
Mean Streak used to be quite the ride. When I rode it this year, it was awful. They break it almost to a stop before the drop mid-way through. It's boring. And Viper at SFGAm is the same. What used to be a good ride has been braked to death. snore......I can't even mention American Eagle.....one of my favorites at SFGAm, and last month it was a horribly disappointing ride......sniff......

can someone tell me if Twisted Sisters is a wooden structure with steel supports like Villan? How does everyone think this compares to a full wooden structure in ride feel? I've ridden Villan, and to me, I can't really tell the difference.

Liz

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"The only real limit to height is what people are willing to get on." - Ron Toomer

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Wednesday, November 14, 2001 5:12 AM

live4MF said:
They break it almost to a stop before the drop mid-way through. It's boring. And Viper at SFGAm is the same. What used to be a good ride has been braked to death. snore......

I'm a bit confused, as this is the second mention of breaks on Viper that I've seen in about a week.  In all the years I've been riding the thing, I've never noticed any breaking, and it seems as great as ever.  Am I missing something?

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"Something that's factual at this moment proves not to be factual in retrospect. That doesn't mean it wasn't factual at the time." - Campbell Gardett, Department of Health and Human Services

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Wednesday, November 14, 2001 5:21 AM
What you said about Eagle I can understand, but about Viper? No way, that ride is still AWESOME :-)
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Wednesday, November 14, 2001 5:49 AM

live4MF said:
can someone tell me if Twisted Sisters is a wooden structure with steel supports like Villan? How does everyone think this compares to a full wooden structure in ride feel? I've ridden Villan, and to me, I can't really tell the difference.

Yes, the Sisters are wooden track with steel support structure. These types of coasters really DO run like woodies, for the most part (most people don't even REALIZE that the Coney Island/Astroland Cyclone is another such combo!)


Woodie maintenance is a spotty thing. I'd agree that Kennywood Entertainment does a great job at all their parks (Kennywood and Idlewild for sure, and I've heard Lake Compounce is good as well). The larger chains like Six Flags and Cedar Fair, it's a spotty thing. For example Mean Streak may not run well at times, but it's certainly not for lack of trying -- if I recall, Cedar Point has 6 carpenters full-time on that one ride! Roar East and Wild One at SFA certainly seem to be kept up rather well, but Rolling Thunder at SFGAdv is almost a textbook example of how to let a ride go bad...

So it's not a chain thing, it's a park thing, or even an individual ride thing.


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--Greg
"Beat the rush, sign up for your post-Mean Streak MRI now..."
My page  My other page  And my coaster page

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Wednesday, November 14, 2001 5:57 AM


2Hostyl said:

Viper @ SFGAm
Thunder Run @ SFKK
Wild One @ SFA
Georgia Cyclone and OrGASM @ SFoG
are all coasters i've only heard spoke of highly. I think the proper verb is not "can't" but rather "won't".
jeremy

2hostyl, let's see what we've got there.  Viper - SFGAm, never been on, can't speak to.  Thunder Run...basically the same type-out-n-back layout as the Hurler, easy to maintain.  Wild One - OLD coasters (from the first Golden Age) DO seem to age rather well, and again, out-n-back layout, the helix at the end was the weakest part IMO.  GASM @ SFoG was just re-tracked last winter, out-n-back, GREAT ride!  Ga. Cyclone - I got to ride it a while back, and it was...ROCKING!  This fall, however, entirely different story - not that you could have heard it over all that screeching.  Not quite down to the level of Rolling Chunder or Twisted Squeakers, but still....now I don't know about anyone else, but to me the pattern seems pretty clear.  Family parks, HERCO, and Kennywood Entertainment seem to care more for their woodies, EVEN those hard-to-maintain twister types.  Large Chains...SF, CF, PP...do fine with the RELATIVELY care-free designs that go up and down, but don't seem to have the time and inclination to really keep up the terrain twisters.  What bums me about that is that MS and The Beast used to be my two fav woodies, and that was a couple years ago...the "tearing the track/structure apart" argument is HOKEY, and good craftsmen would tell you so EVERY time!
Important to note that BoulderDash, Boss, Roar, etc., have not had time to "age"...
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the buzzer formerly known as gatorwoodie
Son of Drop Zone - PKI CoasterCamp I Champions!!!



*** This post was edited by rollergator on 11/14/2001. ***

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Wednesday, November 14, 2001 6:57 AM
the reason I say that about Viper is I remember riding the year it opened and it was great.....fast and fun. Now it's slower than the Eagle (before the breaking).....50mph compared to 66mph, and not as high either......so, IMO, Viper now is not all it was and could be.....and it seems to take forever to get on that ride.

I don't think Mean Streak runs badly, I just think they slowed it so much it's no longer a thrilling ride. It's too inconsistent. Just when you get some speed going, you slow down.

GregLeg: thanks for the info! I'm all for steel supports on the woodies if it makes a stronger structure so they don't have to break the ride to death.

Liz

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"The only real limit to height is what people are willing to get on." - Ron Toomer

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Wednesday, November 14, 2001 7:49 AM
live4MF. The Viper has always been slower than the Eagle. I cant figure out where you noticed any braking on Viper except into the station house.
Viper= 50mph(has always been that way)
Eagle= 66mph(has always been that way)
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*** This post was edited by Chitown on 11/14/2001. ***

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Wednesday, November 14, 2001 7:56 AM
Well live4MF, I'll just invoke the "agree to disagree" clause because I think you're way off base, but if those were your experiences, fine. Mine were drastically different :)

to rollergatorwoodie: Viper and GaC are of course CI-clones, as twisted as it gets. The fact that you had a *bad* ride on GaC, might have been due to the fact that it was late in the season, I dunno *shrugs*. And while we are discussing twister types, let me throw in Texas Giant. I know Legendary thinks it's an over hyped piece of crap, but it WAS voted the world's best coaster as recently as 1999 (Amusement Today magazine). Admittedly, there simply are NOT many twisters *in* the chain (since you want to discount the "young'uns" ROAR (x2), BOSS, and I assume Medusa)

Two, personally, I thought Twisted Sisters was fine. It didnt seem to be 'out of whack' in any sense. They were good, not great, but good.

Finally, to compare Thunder Run to the Hurler coasters is a direct *SLAP* in the face to the SFKK maintainence staff. I dont know about the one in Carowinds this year, but Hurler @ PKD was absolutely TORTUROUS! Ask anyone who's been to PKD & SFKK this year which is the better maintained ride ('cept maybe GregLeg as he's a Hurler Hyper) and by far you'll hear TR. *IF* a triple out and back was so *easy* to maintain as you imply, why is Hurler so bad...better yet, what's wrong with the forwards side of Rebel Yell!!!

And one more thing, how can you say HERCO can handle wooden twisters? Lighting Racer is newer than the ROARs and Wildcat is only a year or so older than the ROARs. Furthermore, anyone will tell you that Wildcat is the roughest out of all the GCI coasters (unless ROAR-West is really bad as it is the only one I havent ridden). So if those our out, then no reason to put HERCO up there *yet* either.
jeremy
--sometimes rides just...suck!

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Wednesday, November 14, 2001 8:22 AM
Last time I rode a Hurler was Summer 2000 (both of 'em), and I certainly don't mean to *slap* anyone's maintenance.  TR was a really good ride when we got ERT after SRM, and certainly the best ride there for me.  But I really DID like the Hurlers,  (note:  I didn't say I LOVED 'em, and they really just needed the bunny hops that TR has).  Rebel Yell wasn't *that* bad either, but certainly could have used some TLC.  As far as HERCO, I can only say that I SAW their coasters from outside the fence, and they LOOKED really nice- (haven't been inside the park in about 25 years), and I also haven't been to LC...YET!  Ga Cyclone - even the park people talking with us at Viper's farewell said it was in need - it WAS really good last year, but NOTHING compares to the original CI Cyclone!

PS...the title really should be "why WON'T chains...."

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the buzzer formerly known as gatorwoodie
Son of Drop Zone - PKI CoasterCamp I Champions!!!

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