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LiveJournal, after careful consideration I have come to the conclusion that your post editor sucks. - EXCELSIOR, YOU FATHEAD!

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September 29th, 2011


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01:30 am - LiveJournal, after careful consideration I have come to the conclusion that your post editor sucks.
The first thing you ought to know about Goliath, the new-for-2012 roller coaster at Six Flags New England, is that Six Flags went through a bit of bankruptcy last year and has been gasping financially ever since. While it will be adding brand-new coasters to some parks in 2012, they've been on an aggressive ride-swapping campaign to save costs. Last year Great Adventure in New Jersey ripped out the Great American Scream Machine (oh Ron Toomer I am so so sorry), sold it for scrap, and then moved over the stand-up coaster Chang, which had been SBNO (Standing But Not Operating) at the closed Kentucky Kingdom park. They painted it green, called it Green Lantern, and hey presto Great Adventure has a new ride. Next year, Iron Wolf, B&M's very first roller coaster and another stand-up, will be removed from Great America in Chicago and sent to Six Flags America in Maryland under the name Apocalypse. Six Flags America will in turn demolish one of their white elephants, the ill-fated Typhoon Sea Coaster, for the privilege.

Apocalypse is a perfect name for that B&M stand-up, by the way, because unless you board the train and bend your knees slightly while they raise the bicycle seat up to fit you, the ride will be so painful you'll wish the apocalypse would hurry the hell up already.

The second thing you ought to know about Goliath, the new-for-2012 roller coaster at Six Flags New England, is that it is indeed another proud member of the Six Flags ride swap program. It is currently at Magic Mountain in California under the name Deja Vu, and it looks like this:


Image found at parkz.com.au as you can see, though I'm hosting a copy on my own. Just saying.

Deja Vu is a Vekoma Giant Inverted Boomerang coaster. You sit below the track and your legs dangle and you better not be wearing flip-flops. It's a boomerang, which means you start by going backwards up a lift hill. At the top your train is released and you head back down, speeding through the station, going through a cobra roll and then a vertical loop before heading up a steep spike to stop near the top. Then you head backwards down the spike, back through the loop and the cobra roll, through the station and you brake on the lift hill.

The ride has a 177' vertical drop and the inversions are a hundred or so feet tall. Sounds pretty exciting, and it certainly is a big structure, if garishly painted. The Giant Inverted Boomerang coasters were very unreliable when they were first built, and when they broke down, they'd more often than not just stay down. I believe Vekoma finally handled all the technical problems with the ride, so hopefully SFNE won't be getting a busted-ass coaster cause that would be a real jerkwad thing to do.

The third thing you ought to know about Goliath, the new-for-2012 roller coaster at Six Flags New England, is that the park has another coaster in its line-up named Flashback, and it looks like this:

Flashback is a Vekoma Boomerang Coaster. You sit in cars on top of the track and for some inexplicable reason the restraint system involves a rubber hockey puck between your legs. (I am not making this up.) It's a boomerang, which means you start by going backwards up a lift hill. At the top your train is released and you head back down, speeding through the station, going through a cobra roll and then a vertical loop before heading up a steep spike to stop near the top. Then you head backwards down the spike, back through the loop and the cobra roll, through the station and you brake on the lift hill. Wow! I sure am glad I didn't have to type most of that again! Thanks, Ctrls C and V!

This boomerang only has a 116' drop and the model is so ubiquitous in theme parks everywhere that once you've ridden one you've pretty much ridden them all. There are over fifty of them world-wide ("How many have you ridden?" "Too many") although this particular coaster is the only one I know which inexplicably features hockey pucks between your legs. Seriously. I have no idea what they were going for here, unless it's to keep the harnesses from smacking down so much or something. I don't know. Forget it, Jake, it's Six Flags.

The fourth thing you ought to know about Goliath, the new-for-2012 roller coaster at Six Flags New England, is that they won't need to demolish Flashback to make room for the ride. Nope, they'll instead be taking out a water flume called Shipwreck Falls and putting Goliath in its place. Here, I'll show you part of the park map:

See? Shipwreck Falls is there on the right in the square number 74. And wouldja look at that! To the left of Shipwreck Falls, in the square numbered 73, is... huh. Flashback.

So Six Flags New England is installing a larger, inverted version of a roller coaster they already have, a model which has already been replicated to the point of mind-numbing madness, and they are placing the two right next to each other.

One of them was formerly named Deja Vu, and the other is named Flashback.

I don't think anybody will notice.


(37 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:tyopsqueene
Date:September 29th, 2011 06:40 am (UTC)
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But they...

that can't...

why did...

whu...

*adds "theme park manager" to the Great List of Jobs I Could Probably Do After All*
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:September 29th, 2011 06:45 am (UTC)
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I have two theories:

1. The General Manager has somehow concocted a scheme to obtain a golden parachute, or

2. Someone over there has an unconscionable taste for irony.
[User Picture]
From:clickie
Date:September 29th, 2011 07:19 am (UTC)
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All's I know is that boomerang-style coasters always have horrible lines, since they only have the one car. Maybe they wanted two so that each one would have shorter lines? Seems efficient to me.
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:September 29th, 2011 08:43 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, that's always a sticking point. Boomerangs (and inverted impulse coasters, liked Wicked Twister at Cedar Point) have extremely low capacity. According to RCDB (which is an invaluable resource in my opinion) Deja Vu's trains take 32 riders, and their hourly output is 870 riders per hour. RPH! I love coaster metrics!

That's only slightly better than Flashback, which has 28 riders and handles 760 riders per hour.

By contrast, a majority of the standard B&M coasters, when running with at full capacity with three trains and an efficient crew, can average anywhere from 1200 to 1700 riders per hour. Dragon Challenge (which is what I dislike calling Duelling Dragons) at Islands of Adventure, with two trains running per each cycle, is the King of Capacity, churning out 3600 riders per hour. (Recently, though, they've stopped "duelling", with one train sent out slightly before the other due to accidents where it looked like someone was deliberately throwing stuff at the other train. Rat bastard caused a few injuries, so they're keeping the coasters from approaching as closely as they do.)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:September 29th, 2011 08:21 pm (UTC)
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It looks like fun, to be honest, but I'd think they'd have given it to a park which didn't already have a Boomerang (or which used to, perhaps.) That would have been a better use of the ride, and unless there's been technical issues with Shipwreck Falls I don't know about, I'm not sure why they decided it had to go.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:susskins
Date:September 29th, 2011 04:40 pm (UTC)
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He did mention that the post editor sucks.
[User Picture]
From:mmcirvin
Date:September 29th, 2011 11:30 am (UTC)
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More generally, taking out a flume to put in another coaster at a park that already has many, many coasters seems like not such a good idea. But I guess Six Flags parks need to have the big new rides to advertise.

According to Wikipedia, Ed Markey used the initial announcement of Goliath as his opportunity to call for unified federal oversight of amusement rides. That may be a good idea, but using a decade-old transplanted ride, which is big but not that extreme by today's standards, as your example of the worrying march of more and more extreme rides seems tin-eared.
[User Picture]
From:bluesauce
Date:September 29th, 2011 11:34 am (UTC)
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Man, I can't believe that they pulled out the Scream Machine.
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:September 29th, 2011 08:31 pm (UTC)
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Me too. It was the first thing you saw when you drove into the parking lot (nowadays I guess Kingda Ka is the first thing you'll notice -- I haven't been since 2003) and it just looked so cool.

But even in 2003 the ride was showing its age. The maintenance department was doing their damndest to keep those trains in shape, but by that time they were patchwork jobs, using parts from other Arrow trains. They're standardized, more or less, so that at least they won't go to waste when their coaster they're on is demolished. Another park will happily take them. The Loch Ness Monster's trains are doing well because of this.

The ride itself was rough. The first half was exhiliarating, but by 2000 they'd started braking it almost to a stop on the midcourse brake run. The cutback inversion right after is why, I think--it's painful at any speed and not many coasters have it--but then you lose the speed through the final corkscrews and plod to an end.

Still, I loved it and enjoyed the Extra Ride Time we got on it at at least one ACE event.

My favorite thing about the Great American Scream Machine, besides the fact that you giggle every time you see its acronym GASM, is that they once rehabbed the ride's loops and gave part of the old track to the monkeys at the Safari for a jungle gym. You can sometimes see it from the top of Medusa (er, Bizarro now). Sometimes people would see it from up there and get all excited, thinking they'd spotted new track for a secret unannounced new ride and ALERT THE NEWSGROUPS!! (Oh, sure, it's a brand-new ride, but it's for the monkeys.)



Edited at 2011-09-29 08:33 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:ruthling
Date:September 29th, 2011 12:27 pm (UTC)
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just reading this makes me want some dramamine!
(Deleted comment)
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From:derspatchel
Date:September 29th, 2011 08:18 pm (UTC)
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I'm sorry, I can't hear you over the sound of these first-world problems around me.
(Deleted comment)
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From:bedfull_o_books
Date:September 29th, 2011 02:52 pm (UTC)
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I wish they'd replace the Escape from Arkham Asylum coaster with something. That ride's boring....
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:September 29th, 2011 09:00 pm (UTC)
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Trust me, I rode the indoor version at Great America (the one SFNE was supposed to get a few years back) and having it outdoors at least gives you something fun to look at. Inside, we twirled around generic Gotham City bad guys until a Batman mannequin appeared on the last drop and The End. Plus the queue theming was hilariously bad.

But... yeah. A compact ride oughta be a bit more fun. Look at Pandemonium. Tons of fun because it's got a simple little gimmick. Ah well. Low budgets mean rides that might not be totally spectacular. At least it keeps people out of lines for other rides, eh? Silver lining?

Edited at 2011-09-29 09:00 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:daisyglaze
Date:September 29th, 2011 06:50 pm (UTC)

boo!merang

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I suggest that this is just part of a dire plot to change SFNE into Six Flags BOOMERANG!, replacing all the rides in the park with the boomerangs until there are none left in the world except for at SFB!
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:September 29th, 2011 08:56 pm (UTC)

Re: boo!merang

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Some of the Boomerangs around use the slogan "Coast-to-Coaster", which now sounds more like an insidious plot than a clever pun.

By the way, I hear that California's Great America or whatever it's called out in Santa Clara has gotten a reprieve, even if it is the 49ers who will be owning part of it now. That's a good sign, cause I hear that poor park has been struggling for a while now.
[User Picture]
From:wring
Date:September 29th, 2011 07:29 pm (UTC)
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I enjoyed this.

Let me know when you plan to visit that gigantic roller coaster in Japan so I can tag along. I'll bring adult diapers.
[User Picture]
From:susskins
Date:September 29th, 2011 08:31 pm (UTC)
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I like where this movie is going.
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From:beloitst
Date:September 30th, 2011 02:38 am (UTC)
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I had no idea you were such a roller coaster enthusiast. Have you been to King's Island in Ohio? (And if so, when, as it was a vastly different park under Paramount than before and after).
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:October 5th, 2011 04:56 am (UTC)
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Late on this, but I've never been to Kings Island apart from driving past it a few times in the winter. I'd been to Kings Dominion during its Paramount days so I've got a bit of context. They're sister parks and share a lot of the same features: dual-tracked racing coaster, similar layouts, a giant Eiffel Tower thing in front of big fountains, though I think the Brady Bunch went to Kings Island only. (I know I will be slightly disappointed when I finally do get to Kings Island, because I know I won't be able to win a set of architectural plans in a midway game.)

Both even have/had white elephants in the early part of the 2000s: Kings Island had Son of Beast which was an Ambitious but Rubbish idea in retrospect (200-foot-tall wooden coaster with a newly-engineered loop) and Kings Dominion had Hypersonic XLC, the S&S Air Power launched coaster which was apparently loud and cranky a lot. Son of Beast has been closed down and modified and the loop removed and I'm really not sure of its current status right now; Hypersonic was eventually just removed outright.

Love KD and I'm pretty sure I'll enjoy KI when I go. I've always wanted to ride The Beast, even if they brake it obscenely at times.

My favorite park in Ohio, though, is and was Geagua Lake. The Big Dipper was a wonderful old coaster, and even when Six Flags came thru and Flagged it, it held on to its oldschool charm for a little while. One simply can't forgive Dick Kinzel at Cedar Fair for buying the park out and then killing it off to reduce Cedar Point's competition.

oh hey hi roller coaster enthusiast here
[User Picture]
From:mmcirvin
Date:September 30th, 2011 12:05 pm (UTC)
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Are there any stand-ups that don't regularly hurt people? This seems to be the common theme in descriptions of the things, and I'm thinking maybe the whole category was fundamentally misconceived.
[User Picture]
From:gee_tar
Date:September 30th, 2011 03:47 pm (UTC)
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Man, I'm hankering for some roller coaster action now. We should go to Six Flags sometime...even if the management does suck.

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