2011-2013; What we think of the new coasters!

In this special we’re looking at the 6 biggest new roller-coasters that came to CA in 2011-2013. We’re counting Superman: Escape from Krypton too! Road Runner Express is not included, neither is Coast Rider since we just posted a re-cap of it in our Knott’s Update!

Let’s start with a graph! The graph below will show the scores we gave to the 6. These scores rate from 1-10. Below that, we’ll explain why we gave the scores, and what our thoughts are on the ride.

In case the bar diagram is not legible; Bar 1; Green Lantern: First Flight. Bar 2; Superman: Escape from Krypton. Bar 3; Manta. Bar 4; Superman Ultimate Flight. Bar 5; Gold Striker. Bar 6; Full Throttle.

Below you’ll find the quick explanations!

  •  Green Lantern: First Flight We’re not a fan of this Intamin Zac-Spin. The design is creative, but it tends to hurt a lot. It was a fun, crazy experience at first, but it started to hurt after a couple of times.
  • Superman: Escape from Krypton Great make-over of the record breaker, now you can see the ground. Which not everyone likes, but it sure does go higher now! Although it’s a bit short, it’s still a fun ride that you can’t miss! Read about it’s history by clicking here.
  • Manta Manta is a great family launch coaster, with 2 launches. Nicely themed waiting line, but just isn’t extreme. This is great for a family park like SeaWorld, but doesn’t live up to some of the bigger new rides. Read a more detailed article here.
  • Superman Ultimate Flight Our new favorite! Crazy vertical twists, ‘hang’-time barrel-roll on a 150 ft. And amazing ejector time. This all combined with 3 launches. Read a full report here! We’ll be comparing this with Full Throttle later in this post, with more details about the ride!
  • Gold Striker Definitely CA’s best woodie! Great with all the tunnels, head and arm choppers! A must-ride when at CGA! This woodie is the best coaster in the park with Flight Deck, and knocks Apocalypse and Roar over! Great ride, once again. Read the full, detailed Ride Review here
  • Full Throttle The world’s tallest and fastest Looping Coaster exceeded the expectations! Wonderful new triple launch ride with great ‘hang’-time, a Dive-Loop, and crazy ‘ejector’-time! Read the full review here. Below we’ll be comparing it to SUF!

 Superman Ultimate Flight vs. Full Throttle!

Below you’ll see a graph comparing multiple mutual elements, or aspects, of the ride. These are our opinions, and opinions always differ. Therefore don’t take this too serious, you might think differently! Below the graph, you’ll find detailed explanations.

When looking at the triple launch, we choose SUF over FT solely because SUF’s backwards launch is better. They are both triple launches. But we found the backwards launch on FT a bit disappointing. When looking at the tunnels, FT was a let down to be quite honest. The trailer mad it seems extremely cool, but the tunnels is not really what we hoped for. Also the music is hard to hear when in the tunnel. SUF’s tunnel might not have music, but the blue lights, in the form of Superman shields turn on as you, the faster the train goes, the faster the light turn on. It does this for both forwards and backwards movements. The main decision for this rating came when we looked at the tunnels at nigh, and SUF is better. FT seems unfinished, hopefully the park will work on the effects soon! When looking at the trains, we honestly think both trains look kind of awkward, and the restraints hurt on the legs for long people. We honestly think that FT’s train with 3 coaches, 6 each, looks even more awkward than the 2 coaches on FT. Not a fan of either train, 3 by 4 would have worked better for SUF, and 4 by 4, or 5 by 4 would have looked better on FT if you ask us. Ejector is very similar, and really depends on the person. We just think that the ejector on SUF keeps going longer, while vertically spinning 180′ degrees, as where FT hits the breaks. The rarity of ‘Hang’-Time is the best on these 2 California Premier coasters! We love the ‘Hang’-Time equally much on both, and since they’re both combined with different inversions, we can’t choose! And when we look at the length of both rides, although both are pretty short, we’ll have to give it to FT. We love the compact-ness of SUF, but the launch mechanisms in different locations, and the winding track over the terrain on FT of course wins!

BOTH FULL THROTTLE AND SUPERMAN ULTIMATE FLIGHT ARE NOW EQUIPPED WITH SEAT-BELTS. READ ABOUT IT HERE.

Throwback Thursday–Original Disney’s California Adventure

In the Summer of 2012, Disney’s California Adventure completed a huge expansion, adding many new experiences to the park’s line up.  The park added 2 new areas, Buena Vista Street, the entrance area of the park that represents how Los Angeles looked when Walt Disney first stepped of the bus there, and Cars Land, based off of the popular Disney Pixar Film series Cars.  Between the parks opening in 2001, and this newest expansion, many attractions at this park have came and went.  The following is a list of attractions that have been removed or replaced by the park: Continue reading “Throwback Thursday–Original Disney’s California Adventure”

Knott’s Berry Farm overall report part 1.

California Coaster Kings went to Knott’s Berry Farm on the 16th of November. The day started off with light crowds, but around noon, long lines started to form. This is not a trip report in which we are going to drag you through our day, but in the 2 parts we’ll tell about part of our day, what was good and what wasn’t, tips, and info. Enjoy!

Boardwalk

The new Boardwalk is a great addition to the park! It looks very nice, and lived up to our expectations! The Boomerang repaint is interesting, but very bright, and colorful fitting the new boardwalk. Coast Rider is a great family coaster, and fun addition to the park’s line-up. The lines for Coast Rider move fast, and riders are not allowed to keep their items on the side (unless it’s drinks). The ride boards 2 cars at once, and does this very fast too! There are constantly cars leaving the station and coming back. Great operations Knott’s!

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The winter season returned, so riders won’t get soaked when riding Riptide. It’s definitely not our favorite flatride, but the public seems to enjoy it. Also, it really works with the new Boardwalk which is nicely decorated with lights, bright colors and palm trees, as seen below.

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The Boardwalk officially starts over at Supreme Scream, which isn’t really noticeable ’til boomerang, from then on the water, lights and colors remind you of the themed-area. The area ends over at Johnny Rockets next to the new flat rides and Riptide. It overs a great view of the rest of the park!

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The new Boarwalk Pier is a really nice addition, and we hope other parks would add something along these lines! There are 2 new rides on this ‘pier’; Surfside Gliders and Pacific Scrambler. The Scrambler is recycled as it used to be housed under the former Windjammer Surf Racer. (Xcelerator area). It looks great at night too! Part 2 will have these pictures!

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This is how deserted it was around 10.45, 45 minutes after the park opened. Good for us! No lines for Xcelerator, Boomerang, Supreme Scream, and Coast Rider!

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TIPS: Try to do Xcelerator in the morning, before it gets crowded, and since you are right next to the new Boardwalk area, do Coast Rider and Boomerang right after since these rides don’t have huge capacities either.

 Fiesta Village

As we rode Xcelerator earlier that day, we noticed one Jaguar train dismantled for refurbishment, next to Xcelerator. So we figured that there was only one train operating on Jaguar. This resulted in the longest line we waited in all day together with pony, that only operated one train two. We didn’t even bother riding Sierra Sidewinder with the 1-1.5 hour wait it had.20131116_103435

Jaguar has our favorite station, you can just feel when lines get bad, when it starts somewhere in the corridors of the temple! Nice building still.

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And the Schwarzkopf Shuttle Loop! Montezooma’s Revenge had a line almost all day, but still not as bad as some other rides, the line for this flywheel shuttle launch was only about 20-25 minutes.

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Since it was a Saturday, La Revolucion had a line too. Still a great ride though!

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As long as the seen below switchbacks aren’t in use for Montezooma’s Revenge you’re somewhat fine. If they are, don’t wait in line, come back later or skip it entirely.20131116_123727

TIPS: Visit Fiesta Village after you’ve done the big rides, preferably before noon if possible. Lines can form when Jaguar operates one train, and of course Montezooma’s Revenge always does. Otherwise try coming back after 4 PM.

 GhostRider Re-Tracking

GhostRider underwent some re-tracking a couple of months ago, and we wanted to check out if it really lived up to refurbishment it underwent. Lines were extremely long, backing up to the outside switchbacks, making us nervous. It better be less shaky and bouncy than it used to be, or we have waited too long for no reason. Luckily the re-tracking seriously helped the woodie! Almost the entire track was noticeably improved upon, and you could see the new wood on the track. The first half of the ride, ’til the first block-brake didn’t seem much better, and we feared that the refurb didn’t help whatsoever, but the second half was incredibly good for GhostRider!20131116_155418 20131116_143821

We like the color that the old wood is getting after a couple of years! Also, as you might know, this ride is spectacular at night, pictures of Ghostrider at Night are featured in part 2!

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TIPS: Skip long lines for GhostRider, and come back later if necessary, you must be okay with Viper and Kong in order to enjoy GhostRider. For more info read our GhostRider review by clicking here.

Xcelerator and Supreme Scream

Both ran very well during our visit, although it was the off-season already, Xcelerator ran 2 trains all day. And even Supreme Scream ran all 3 of its towers most of the afternoon! Lines seemed long for both from around 1PM-5PM, but moved fast due to the good operations! We also decided to get some artsy shots of Xcelerator and Supreme Scream. We like the Xcelerator video screens in the station also, they show a funny video of how a roll-back is suppose to look, with an explanation! Supreme Scream didn’t operate more than 1 tower ’til 12PM (noon).20131116_103929 20131116_103723 The Purple train was a bit shaky when we were there, but we rode the red train right after, and at night, and it was better, smoother than the purple. Next up for a refurb; Purple Xcelerator train!

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We like the station a lot, especially due to the fact that it is so open, and only has 5 gates, rather then 10 (1 for each row), this resulted in 4 people boarding per gate per train, and made the line seem to move faster. Also, the way the operators check the seat-belts and restraints is interesting. There are 4 operators, and all check half the seats once, resulting in getting a spot-check twice! Do we call it safety at its best, or overly cautious?

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We wish these towers shot you up instead of dropping. Something S&S Towers are ‘supposed’ to do… Oh well. The down-ward launch is still great though!

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Read our full Xcelerator ride review here!

TIPS: Ride these two as soon as you see a short line, since both Supreme Scream and Xcelerator are very short! People, including us and you, don’t like waiting long for very short rides in general! Also, if both trains are running on Xcelerator, aim for the red train, it’s smoother/ less shaky than the purple train. When you see all 3 towers of Supreme Scream operating, RIDE IT! It’s so much fun to be on the tower when 2 other cars are too! The interaction is amazing.

Well this was part 1! Stay tuned for part 2 next Wednesday! (Wednesday the 27th), it will include the rest of the park, and pictures of the park at night! Also, we’ll have more tips, opinions, and short reviews! Additionally stay tuned for some specials regarding KBF!

BACKWARDS!

blast backwardsDuring Six Flag’s announcements for 2014, Magic Mountain got much exciting news, including what we like to refer simply as backwards. The spring season launches with an exciting twist on two of the  theme park’s beloved coasters. For a limited time, the popular suspended coaster, BATMAN The Ride and the celebrated wooden coaster, Colossus, will run BACKWARDS.  Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2014, the B&M inverted coaster, BATMAN the Ride, will be more intense than ever when riders dare to take on an all new experience going backwards! Continue reading “BACKWARDS!”

Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom vs. Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

The question is; will the new ‘World’s Tallest and Fastest Drop Ride’ beat the then ‘World’s 2nd Tallest and Fastest Drop Ride’? In other words, how much greater do we expect Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom to be, or do we think it won’t be much different… find out now…

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Let’s start with some quick stats of Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom, and Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom.

  • Speed; 85 MPH90 MPH
  • Height; 400 ft. — 415 ft.
  • Passengers per dispatch; 1624
  • Attached to…; Superman: Escape from KryptonKingda Ka
  • Park; Six Flags Magic Mountain Six Flags Great Adventure

Looking at the statistics, we notice that faster and taller quite automatically warms up the enthusiast. Therefore we wouldn’t be surprised that most people would think of Zumanjaro as being automatically better. When looking at capacity, we would have to agree, but with capacity only. Structure and park shouldn’t make much of a difference, so we won’t discuss that.

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Speed

When looking at speed, we obviously notice that Zumanjaro is 5 MPH faster than Lex Luthor with a speed of 90 MPH. But how much different will a drop feel when the maximum speed is 90 (Z) or 85 (LL) MPH? Good one, right? Yes, we don’t believe it makes too much of a difference, and this is just for the name or statistics. It will be interesting to see how people will look at both rides when it comes to speed, especially after both are open, and if they have ridden both or neither.

Height

Then there was the height. Just like the speed, both rides deal with record breaking, extreme heights. But how much is 15 ft? A difference of 15 ft is not to much either, would it even be noticeable that you’re up 400 ft (LL) or 415 ft (Z)? We think not. We do agree that a drop ride with the world record of 415 ft in height sounds cooler than a 400 ft tower, and we’d agree with the public when that’d become an argument. But will it make much of a difference in the experience of the ride?

Capacity

Okay everyone, after believing that the rides are mostly the same, here’s capacity kicking in… Oh yeah were giving this to Zumanjaro, if we estimate the ride time to be about the same as Lex Luthor, then it would be able to cycle 150% of the LL passengers. Which is a big win! Waiting long periods of time for a drop that takes 4-6 seconds is not ideal, and therefore a faster operating ride is ideal.

 Overall Experience

When we recap all we said, but factor in the location and structure this time, we might get surprising different views of both rides. As known, Lex Luthor is attached to the sides of the Superman: Escape from Krypton structure. Zumanjaro will be attached to the front side of Kingda Ka. Looking at the surroundings, Magic Mountain is surrounded by mountains and hills. Great Adventure on the other hand has no mountains, or hardly any terrain height-differences close by. This results in a view that stretches farther for Zumanjaro. We’re not judging the nature/ landscaping around both parks, because the opinions can differ. But one of the biggest factors is the structures of the rides. We are going to say that Lex Luthor will still be a more thrilling experience when both are open because of the following; Both drop cars are positioned on different sides of the tower, back to back. This means you can’t see the other gondola, and you have nothing on either side of you. Zumanjaro has 3 cars next to each other, not having that effect of being solo. Then, perhaps, the greatest difference comes in. When Kingda Ka launches, it will launch over head, creating a feeling that you’re not all the way up, on LL there is nothing above you but the sky. Additionally, when Kingda Ka launches up the tower, the tower will shake, but since you’re not on the side this won’t make much of a difference. With LL on the other hand, the cars are located on the sides, and Superman: Escape from Krypton will launch up the tower without reaching the very top, this results in the cars pulling the tower forward a little when on their highest point. This results in the structure swaying 3 ft both ways, which means the drop cars sway to the left and right too! This is very thrilling, for you guys who haven’t experienced it, this is one of the most thrilling aspects of the ride.

That all said, perhaps Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom and Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom are nearly the same, and it won’t be much different. Or perhaps Lex Luthor is more thrilling although the records all go to Zumanjaro… Who knows?

SEAT-BELTS ON GOLIATH

Goliath at Six Flags Magic Mountain now has seat-belts! They were installed last week and are in use already. We have no clue why this is necessary after 13 years of injury-free operations. The seat-belts are very similar to the ones on Xcelerator at Knott’s. ‘Intamin’ seat-belts…

These are most likely installed because of the New Texas Giant accident earlier this year.

Photo credits to @AwesomeCoaster on Twitter
Photo credits to @AwesomeCoaster on Twitter

Knott’s

Hey there!

We went to Knott’s Berry Farm yesterday. (November 16th). And we have lots of interesting info and pictures. We will do 2 overall reports, one will be posted Wednesday the 20th, and the other on November 27th! Also, we’ll have lots of Ride Reviews, and additional info on rides such as Coast Rider, and GhostRider (re-tracked). So stay tuned, because we’ll go all Knott’s the next couple of weeks!

Comment any questions, or requests, for what we cover, talk about, or post!

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