Tomorrow Tuesday #5- California Waterparks

Water coasters such as Schlitterbahn’s Master Blaster (the original) have been running since 1994.  These rides  are water slide that travel both up and down, using magnets, conveyer belts, or strong water currents.

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These slides are produced by either of the 2 large Canadian water park producers: Proslide and White Water West.  Unfortunately, only two water coaster slides have opened west for the Rocky Mountains: Maximum Velocity at Wet n’ Wild in Phoenix, Arizona, and Master Blaster at Golfland Sunsplash in Roseville (Near Sacramento), California.

Schlitterbahn Master

 

Wild Rivers Irvine is planning on making a new water coaster made by White Water West, and may also open a water coaster in their newly planned sister park in Temecula, California.  In Garden Grove, about a mile from Disneyland, a newly planned indoor water park known as Great Wolf Lodge, plans to open as the as the Great Wolf Lodge’s chain largest park.

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Although the park hasn’t released a full slide list yet, its newest park next to Kings Island in Ohio features a water coaster.  The next possibility for a new water coaster in California would be at Sea World San Diego’s newly purchased Aquatica park which was formerly Knott’s Soak City in Chula Vista, California.

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Other possibilities for new water coasters in California include Six Flags Magic Hurricane Harbor, whose sister park of the same name in Massachusetts has a water coaster, and Anahiem’s Golfland Sunsplash whose sister park in Roseville has a water park, but these are long shots.

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The point is that water coasters are the greatest technology in waterslide engineering right now, and we need more here in California.

Let the War Begin

Insane Coaster Wars is a television show, produced by the Travel Channel, that first aired in July of 2012.  Each episode shows four coasters, each with something in common like, extreme heights, speed demons, etc.  After riders ride the rides, they are offered the chance to rate the coasters features, like inversions, first drop, etc.  Whichever coaster has the highest score wins for the episode.  Recently, when we have visited Magic Mountain we have seen Travel Channel shooting episodes for their 3rd season at Full Throttle and Goliath.

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In season 1, Medusa of Six Flags Discovery Kingdom appeared in the pilot, themed G-Force Giants, but unfortunately Apollo’s Chariot from Busch Gardens Virgina beat it out.

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In the episode titled Speed Demons, Xcelerator of Knott’s Berry Farm appeared but lost to Top Thrill Dragster of Cedar Point.

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In the 2nd season premier, Tatsu appeared in the Worlds Tallest episode, but lost to Formula Rossa.

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X2 won the 6th episode of the second season titled upside down under, beating out Superman Escape of Australia, iSpeed of Italy, and X-Flight of Six Flags Great America.

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In season 3, as well as Full Throttle, and Goliath, it is predicted that Superman: Ultimate Flight of Discovery Kingdom will make an appearance.

 

Goldrusher @ Six Flags Magic Mountain

A short Off-ride video of Goldrusher at Six Flags Magic Mountain. The ride is the oldest Roller Coaster in the park and opened with the park in May of 1971.

Goldrusher stats:
Length: 2,590 ft
Height: 70 ft
Inversions: 0
Speed: 35 mph
Duration: 2:30
Watch in HD or 1080p!

 

This Show May Make You De’ Illusional

Michael Turco is an American magician, illusionist, and entertainer.  He began practicing magic growing up in New Jersey and doing shows in Atlantic City.  He began performing these shows in Middle School, doing simple card tricks, and just progressed from there.  In 2007, Turco began doing Magic Shows for The Welcome Home Troops Red Carpet Show, for which he still preforms today.  In 2011, Turco performed in the 6th season of America’s Got Talent.

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He has done 2 magic shows in Vegas, 1 at Planet Hollywood, and 1 at Bally’s Hotel, and now has the headline show at the Magic Moments Theater at Six Flags Magic Mountain called De’ Illusions.  This show features, magic, as well as current music by artists such as Adele, Taylor Sift, One Direction, and Fall Out Boy, and choreographed dancing.

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The show opens with dancers coming and pushing some sort of machine onto the stage, that they show is empty. They then close up to empty box of the machine and begin to spin the box, then open the box to reveal Turco.  He then has three hollow pyramid shaped platforms wheeled onto the stage where he holds a blanket over each, and when the blanket is dropped, there are 4 magician’s assistant girls that appear, in the once empty platforms.  There is then a cylinder on stage, that is halved by a piece of steel, that Turco has an audience member come and bang on with a hammer to make sure that it is solid.  He then seals an assistant on one side with a sheet, and gets in the other side.  He then seems to pull the shadow of his assistant into the middle, then pulls her out on the other side.

The act displayed above.
The act displayed above.

 

He then asks for a dollar from the audience, and makes it disappear in his palm along with a handkerchief, then makes the dollar reappear in his palm and pulls the handkerchief out of the center of the dollar.  He then does a series of tricks using sharp objects.  First, a small 1 unit by 1 unit by 1 unit cube, is unfolded to human size so an assistant can get in.  The box is then refolded to its original size, and stabbed with three machetes.  The machetes are taken out, and the box is unfolded to reveal the assistant unscathed.  He then places an assistant into a human silhouette, in which the assistant puts both of her hands and one foot into slots in the silhouette box.  The box is then turned on its side, and 8 large razor blades are inserted into the box, and then the box is separated into 8 parts.  The box is put back together, the blades are removed, and then the assistant is removed from the box unharmed. The next trick discusses Stephen Hawkins theory of different dimensions.  Turco gets into 2 octagonal frames covered by sheets that he pushes through, making the shape of his body in the sheets.  he then slowly turns to just a 2 dimensional shadow, and then back into his three dimensional self.  For the finale, a seesaw like structure is wheeled onto the stage.  Turco climbs into a box on one side , which the assistants wheel around, until they drop it on sharp spikes.  The box is then opened to reveal no Turco.  He then appears at the top row of the theater, waving a checkered flag.  At the end of the show as people are exiting,  he shakes hands with the audience and sells a book of his tricks to any customers.  Although these tricks may seem unbelievable, they do happen, and you must see this show next time you are at the park.  It plays Thursday through Sunday (through August 11th), at different times, but the times are usually 12:30, 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30. (There are a maximum of 3 shows a day)

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Flashback

For our 5th Throwback Thursday, we are looking at Flashback.

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Flashback was the blue Space Diver from Intamin that wasn’t all too popular. Flashback was located next to Hurricane Harbor and next to Bugs Bunny Land in Six Flags Magic Mountain. The Flashback was generally closed from May to September when the adjacent water park was open. This was because the noise coming from Flashback distracted life-guards, and wasn’t appealing to the waterpark guests. Even outside of these times Flashback’s operation was very sparse. Since the waterpark’s 2003/2004 off-season, the Flashback never operated. It was demolished in mid-December 2007. Meaning that many may remember the ride, but only few have ridden it.

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Flashback started it’s life at Six Flags Great America as Z-force where it was pretty popular, and to keep the ride popular, Six Flags moved Z-force to Six Flags Over Georgia. After somewhat success there, the corporation decided to move it once again, but this time without much success.

Flashback , Six Flags Magic Mountain , California

Flashback had 3 trains with 5 cars per train. Where riders were arranged 4 across in a single row for a total of 20 riders per train. (capacity; 1100 riders p/hour) The complaint was often that the restraints hurt, by the time Flashback operated at Six Flags Magic Mountain, the trains had restraints similar to the ones on the park’s Revolution. Due to the constant dives to the side, these restraints ended up hurting most of the riders.

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Flashback had a track-length of 1900 ft. and stood 86 ft. tall. The blue with white Space Diver had NO inversions eventhough it seemed like it, they were all side-dives. The ride reached a maximum speed of 35 mph, making it a ride that actually took 1:30min to complete the relatively short track length.

How to be a Disney VIP

Disneyland VIP tours allow Disneyland visitors to explore the entire park care free.  A Disney “Ambassador” customizing a tour of the park using their personal Disney knowledge and insight.

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It also provides access to special seating for shows, parades, and in restaurants.  The tour must be booked between 6 months and 90 days in advance.  Prices are $175 an hour for a regular VIP tour and $295 an hour for a premium tour with a minimum time of 6 hours.  The tour also includes free valet parking at the Disney Grand Californian Hotel lot, free, speedy entrance to the park, as well as shortened ride lines for the premium tour (all VIP tours have unlimited fast passes, unlike the normal ticket which provides 1 fast pass every hour).  The price covers the tour for up to 10 people.  There are also multiple Disney tours that do not classify as Disney VIP, but to offer great experiences.  The welcome to Disneyland tour is an ideal 2 and a half hour tour that offers tips and fun facts to both Disneyland and California Adventure.  Tour guests will receive priority seating at either a live stage show or parade, as well as a reservation at a select restaurant at the park.  On leaving the tour, you will also receive 2 flash passes to any ride that offers flash pass, as well as a special treat before leaving.  It costs $25 a person, but doesn’t include admission.  A Walk In Walt Disney’s Footsteps tour is a 3 and a half tour and lets visitors experience the park through Walt’s eyes. This tour shows a look into Walt Disney’s private apartment at the second floor of the main street fire station, a peek into the lobby of the exclusive Club 33, and a private lunch on Main Street.  It also comes with an a collectable pin.  The tour is $109 a person.  The Discover the Magic Tour is a complete three hour scavenger hunt throughout the park, where participants learn to outsmart Disney villains to find treasure.  All participants leave with a special gift.  This tour costs $59 per person.  The park also offers specialty tours around Halloween and Christmas time.

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Silver Bullet!

This is a ride review on Sliver Bullet at Knott’s Berry Farm.

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When you enter at the main gates of the park there is a giant red/yellow cobra-roll towering above you. You look the the side and a western-style wagon shows the Silver Bullet logo. You pass under the track at multiple points to get to the ride’s entry plaza. Once you arrive you pass by one of the operators next to the test-seat to enter the line. The line exists out of 2 big sets of switchbacks that are located on ground level, and look kind off boring. They are basically grey switchbacks on concrete located under the transfer track of the ride. But with a little luck, there is no line, and you will be able to wait on the stairwell that leads upto the station. Once arrived at the station, you will have to make a decision on what row you choose to ride in. If you are a larger guest, we advise you to ride on row 4, it has a seat with longer seat belts. Before you get to ride, you have to watch a Silver Bullet safety video that are shown on multiple tv screens throughout the station. Once you enjoyed your view from the significantly elevated station, you get to ride. You sit down in the 32 passenger train, and close your restraint and seatbelt. Right after that, a “cowboy” or “cowgirl” comes by to do a safety check, and off the train goes. You turn to the right before the train hits the lift hill that will bring you to a height of 146 ft., this is followed by a slight turn in which the 109 ft. drop starts. After the drop riders fly into the 105 ft. tall verticle loop, which is followed by a unique overbanked turn. This overbanked turn doesnt deliver many extreme forces, but it gives some nice “air”, and “flow”-time. The train then hits the Cobra Roll in which it will take pictures of the riders, and leaves riders with no time to catch their breath because it immediatly runs through a zero-G-roll. After the rather slow and a little force-less zer0-G-roll, the ride makes a sharp turn into 2 corkscrews before winding up the helix towards the break-run. The helix is one of the highlights of the ride as the train comes close to the water, and has a fountain spray under the rider’s feet.

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Notice how Silver Bullet is the only thing you see when approaching the park.

 

Silver Bullet is a pretty mild B&M inverted coaster, and is good for the daring families. It has nice elements that no other inverted coasters in California have, and it delivers a really nice mix of G’s. The ride’s theming is not the best compared to other Knott’s rides, but part of the ride travels over the water, so much theming isn’t needed for the ride experience.

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This picture shows how the ride interacts with the water it towers over.

Silver Bullet opened in 2004, and was Knott’s last big coaster to be added to their line-up. Riders must be 54 in or taller to ride. And we advise first-timers to ride on the inside seats of the row of 4, since the ride experience tends to be milder in those seats. Silver Bullet hits a top speed of 55 MPH, which is 5 MPH faster than the other B&M Inverted coaster in SoCal, Batman the Ride (Six Flags Magic Mountain). The ride is conveniently located at the entrance of the park, and there’s a tunnel leading from the center of the park to the line.

(the following is an interactive map to follow along, to see what element you are on, simply click on the element.)

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Due to its location in the park, lines can form at different times. The are not too bad in the first hour of operation, but get pretty long from around 11AM-1PM. Most of the guests have found their way to the park by now, and ride Silver Bullet first, because it’s literally right in front of you as you enter. Around 2-4 PM, the lines tend to be pretty short, not even reaching the switchbacks at times, since most guests have made their way into the park by now. But since the park is pretty small, and lines don’t seem to get awfully long anywhere in the park, the last lines start forming when guests decide to ride the fan-favorite Silver Bullet once again, around 5 PM. The park is never very busy after 6 PM, so don’t expect crazy lines after this time, please do realize that when it gets dark lines can format any given time as people like to ride rollercoasters in the dark. We can’t determine when these sudden lines appear since the park is not that crowded at night.

The unique overbanked turn that gives a surprising pop of "flow-time", rather than extreme forces.
The unique overbanked turn that gives a surprising ‘pop’ of “flow-time”, rather than extreme forces.

Silver Bullet is a must try when you are at the park since it’s one of the park’s largest coasters. There are some unique elements and experiences this ride offers that makes it a fan-favorite, and we advise you to ride it as many times as you can since this is also one of the best credits to get while in the park.

 

Tomorrow Tuesday #4—Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

In 2012, Disney World began a huge expansion on its Fantasyland.  It is expected that all attractions in this newly renovated area should be open by the close of the 2013 season.  On May 31, 2012, Magic Kingdom closed its original Snow White ride, Snow White’s Scary Adventure Scary Adventure.

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Construction on the lift hill and structure of the new 7 Dwarfs Mine Train.

 

New Concept Art for the Fantasyland area shows a Snow White featured area, with a walk through of Snow White’s Cottage as well as a new steel Vekoma coaster, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.  A new princess meet and greet area will take place of the original Snow White ride.  The new coaster will travel both indoors and out.

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The track layout plan of the new coaster.

 

Unlike some of Disney’s other coasters like California Screamin’ and Rock n’ Rollercoaster, this coaster will be more of a family ride that appeals to all park visitors.  The ride would be on the track, but the cart itself would be on swinging hinges to simulate a swinging mine car.  Although, there aren’t any speculations yet of a Seven Dwarfs Mine Train opening in the Disneyland Resort, many successful rides at Disney World open in the Disneyland Resort, such as Space Mountain, Tower of Terror, and Goofy’s Sky School.

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A sketch of the indoor part of the ride.

The ride will pass by water, rocks, and it will feature special effects in the indoor-part of the ride. The indoor part will have music from the famous movie; Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

For 2 interesting videos on construction and released animation by the park, see below.