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.

 

Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Dining Pass

On January 16, 2013, Six Flags introduced the offer of a season dining pass.  This pass would allow holders to eat 2 meals a day at the park for every visit.  The pass costs $99.99, plus an extra $25 if you want to add hurricane harbor (this doesn’t include tax). The prices are going up soon so if you’re interested purchase one as soon as possible. The pass offers a variety of meal choices at select restaurants such as pizza, burgers, hot dogs, tacos, etc.  The following will provide you with descriptions of the restaurants, what meals come with the dining pass, as well as the location of the restaurant in the park.
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Katy’s Kettle is located at the base of Samurai, across from Tatsu, and next to the Roarin’ Rapids.  They are known for their grilled cheeseburgers, hot dogs, and turkey legs, which are barbequed right outside the restaurant.  They offer either a hamburger or hot dog with fries, or the six flags strip basket, which contains 4 chicken strips and fries. The food here is okay, but the lines at this restaurant make the food not worth the wait. Therefore there are better restaurants in the park that offer dining pass meals.
Totally Kickin’ Chicken Boneless Wings is located in Cyclone Bay, across from Apocalypse and next to Sling Shot.  The restaurant offers boneless wings in your choice of buffalo, barbeque, or teriyaki sauce and your choice of fries or a salad.  They also offer the six flags strip basket.  The dining pass holders are offered an order of wings with fries, or the strips basket.  The lines seem to be short here, and other than the usual theme-park fries, their chicken is actually really good.
The Waterfront is located between Cyclone Bay and The Movie District, across from Gold Rusher.  The waterfront has many choices, such as burgers, chicken strips, and pizza, which comes from Famous Famiglia Pizzaria.  The dinig pass offers holder, a cheeseburger meal, strips basket, or a slice of pizza with 2 pieces of cheese bread. The meals here are as well as KK, not the greatest, and you could get more and better quality food at other food locations.
JB’s Barbeque features classic Texas Style Barbeque with classics such as tri tip, barbequed salmon, and fall off the bone ribs.  The restaurant is located in the movie distrrice, next to Riddler’s Revenge and Tidal Wave.  The dining pass offers eater’s a tri tip, pulled pork, barbequed chicken sandwiches, or a barbequed chicken salad. This food location gets busy in the afternoon, but at night we advise you to check this place out, since the food is good quality, and there are no lines at night.
Johnny Rocket’s is the all American burger and shake shack that everybody knows and loves.  It is located right outside DC Universe, across from the Colossus County Fair games area of the park.  Dining pass holders are offered either a rocket single meal, or a strips basket. Although it is Johnny Rockets, the food here tends to be lower quality than the actual Johnny Rockets outside of the park, if there are long lines at this food location we advise you to chose another place to eat.
Food Etc. is a fully air conditioned food court area located next to Goliath in Pirate Cove.  It features four restaurants, one that is Mexican offering tacos and nachos, one that is Japanese offering sushi, one that is english offering fish and chips, and an ice cream stand.  It is also the only place in the park that sells alcohol, offering beer at the fish and chips section.  Dining pass holders can get chicken tacos, nachos, chicken and cheese quesodillas, chicken salads, or a fish and chips meal. We personally believe that this is one of the best locations to get food at, since the meals at the mexican place are a really good value, and there is lots of indoor seating with AC, and TV monitors hung everywhere. When seated next to a window you have a great view on the Superman structure. This is also a great place to go eat with a bigger group of people since there is something to eat for everyonne, and there is an additional fries stand outside the building that offers all kinds of fries, and chicken baskets.
Wascal’s is known as America’s finest fast food, and is named Wascal’s in honor of the Looney Tune’s character Elmer Fudd, who cannot pronounce an R sound so instead says it with a W sound.  The restaurant is located just outside of the parks kiddy area Bugs Bunny Land.  Dining Pass owners are offered a cheeseburger meal, a western bacon cheeseburger meal containing onion rings and barbeque sauce on the burger, or a strips basket. This food location has improved over the years, and the Bacon Cheeseburger is a nice meal to try out since it comes with many additional elements that aren’t offered on the dining pass else where in the park. Lines usually move fast at this food location.
Teen Titan’s Pizza is the pizza restaurant located in DC Universe this restaurant offers the same pizza deal for the DP as Waterfront, where you can chose out of 2 kinds of pizza with 2 slices of cheesebread. The portions are rather small so we advise you to check out other places when you’re a bigger eater.
The dining pass meals do NOT come with a drink, so we advise you to purchase a souvenir cup where you can get free refills on the day of purchase, and pay $0.99 per refill after that. Or you can purchase an all-you-can-drink wristband for $4.00 (doesn’t include tax)
The dining pass lunch hours are from 12.30PM until 3.30PM, and dinner hours are from 4.30PM until 7.30 PM.
To purchase a dining pass online, click here.

X2

Welcome to our FIRST Ride Review. What other ride than the world famous X2 could we start of with…

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After making the walk past Six Flags Plaza, riders make their way up to the Baja Ridge section of the park.  This area houses Revolution, Viper as well as the famous X2.  To enter the line you must pass over a bridge that crosses over the walkway that leads up to top section of Baja Ridge, viewing X2 and Viper staring back at you.  The first part of the line are switchbacks, that go through a tree covered shaded area, with signs asking if you are type A or type X.  After the first set of switchbacks, the trees open up to show Viper’s batwing on the right, and X2’s lift hill on the left.  After the second set of switchbacks, you are separated to either the left or right side of the station.  The left side has a ramp that leads up to the station, from which you can see some of the park.  The right side features a more shaded stairwell that faces out to the valet-parking lot, and the general parking lot entrance.  Once riders enter the station, they are greeted by a large screen showing what seems to be a magma covered waste land that X2 has grown from.  It also features signs that boast 4 of the rides slogans “Behold the Thunder” “Here You Stand, a Gladiator in the Coliseum of Thrill” “Total Sensory Deformation” and “Closing Your Eyes Won’t Make it Go Away”.  Once seated in the 20 ft. wide train, you hear voices whispering the rides name, followed by a louder voice asking if “everybody is in” and then that the “ceremony is about to begin”.  The rides seat stabilizers release, and and the seats slowly move until riders are on their backs.  Then the ride exits the station to a loud bell noise.  Turning a corner from the station towards the lift hill, the classic jazz song “it had to be” you performed by Frank Sinatra.  Once heading up the lift hill backwards, the seats rotate more upright and riders get a panoramic view of the park.  The original song breaks away and gives way to an instrumental version of enter sandman by Metallica, with lines such as “are you ready” “the truth you can’t handle the truth” from Jack Nicholson’s character in a few good men, and “who’s idea was this”.  There is then a countdown followed by go go go go go, then nothing but a heart beat three time.  The the music kicks in with lyrics from Aerosmith’s love in an elevator as riders go over the first small hill and then up and over the edge of an 88.5 degree hill flipping the riders’ seats head over heals into a monster Raven Turn.  The ride then dives back to earth, passing a camera, then flipping the seats 360’degrees once again while experiencing 0 G’s in a camelback, into an overbank turn.  The ride then hits a Lie to Fly turn, flipping the seats from an inverted position to a laying position whilst the track turns upright as well, this is turning riders backwards again to see the rides fire effect coming right at them.  The ride then hits another smaller Raven Turn, to end in the station, where it finishes by stating that the ride was “one world crazy insane experience just like jeckyle and hyde you know”.

The fire blasts into the faces of the riders as they approach the second Raven Turn
The fire blasts into the faces of the riders as they approach the second Raven Turn

The ride offers a unique experience that is totally worth the lines the ride normally has. The best time to visit X2 is around 2-4 PM. It seems that most guests have found their way to the other side of the park, and the lines can get really short, even on busy days, to a wait of a bout 20-25 minutes. X2 is crowded and has crazy lines for the first 2-3 hours of operation, and the last 2 hours ofoperation. The first hours of its operation, people try running to X2 first thing, because they want to avoid the lines for this immensly popular ride, this ends up causing long lines, because most guests think the excact same. If you are entering the park 15 min or later after opening we advise you to not even try, and wait until 2-3PM. X2 has long lines in the evening due to the ride’s special effects (mainly the Flame Throwers) being very popular in the dark, and the ride offers a totally different experience at night. When you visit in the winter, lines may seem short, but can be awfully long since Six Flags Magic Mountain often only runs 1 train in the winter while the other trains are getting refurbished.

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X2’s pre-drop is a small bump before the actual big drop. This scares many first-timers since they think that it’s the actual drop, but the opposite is true, riders go up, and the seats rotate having all riders face the ground while they are in free fall, until the seats rotate, and you are suddenly laying on your back, sky rocketing upwards into the giant Raven Turn.

After the little pre-drop, riders face the ground far beneath them while starting the big drop.
After the little pre-drop, riders face the ground far beneath them while starting the big drop.

In this Raven Turn the riders are on the inside of “Half Loop” looking element, as where at the last Raven Turn they swing on the outside. When riders past the photo cameras they will experience a short period of weightlessness while rotating 360′ degrees backwards to then enjoy the view of the park before swinging around the corner where you will see the massive structure that you will be chasing by next. The Fly to Lie turn is a movement that leaves every one confused. You start hanging with the track above, then you end up on the opposite side with the track below, whilst on the opposite position of the train. Then the last Raven Turn is a little rough, and was designed to be the intense ending, and it definetly is. When seated on the outside of the trains on X2, your ride experience will be a bit more rough, and a little more extreme, as where the inside seats offer a more smooth ride. So we advise first-timers or smaller passengers to ride the inside seats on X2. If you are a larger guest, we advise you to ride in the outside seat since there tends to be more room, for a comfortable ride.

Here you'll see both Raven Turns, notice one has the track+ riders on the inside of the "Half Loop" structure, and the other one, the small one, on the outside.
Here you’ll see both Raven Turns, notice one has the track+ riders on the inside of the “Half Loop” structure, and the other one, the small one, on the outside.

X2, together with Tatsu and Full Throttle, is the park’s most popular rollercoaster, and you shouldnt be surprised that when you leave the park an hour after closing, you’ll still see it run as you drive by. X2 is located on the side where all cars arrive for either drop off or parking, and you can’t do anything but stare at the super structure that delivers thrills for the real thrill seekers. The red and black giant started its life as X, the world’s fist 4D coaster, and closed without warning or announcements in 2007. The park announced it would become X2 for the 2008 season adding all kinds of effects, installing new trains, and a repaint. The Fog-effects are no longer in use, but it doesn’t affect the ride experience much at all.

This is the unique Fly to Lie turn as described above.
This is the unique Fly to Lie turn as described above. This is the last movement before the Flame Throwers blast fire!

If you have a chance to ride X2, do not be afraid as it is said to be more of a unique experience rather than ultra-extreme. And these rides are very rare, so unless you travel to Japan or China very often, you won’t experience anything else like it. For the shortest wait and the optimal experience at SFMM, please see the part above describing the lines. X2 is the world’s only 5D coaster (named that way because of effects such as audio and fire), and is definetly a ride YOU need to experience.

 

Zonga- SERIOUSLY Twisted!

Our fourth Throwback Thursday is Zonga.

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Zonga started it’s life as Thriller at Gröna Lund. It was originally purchased by German showman Oscar Bruch.  It debuted as the Thriller on May 17th, 1986 at the fairground in Freiburg, Germany.  For the next 11 years it mostly traveled the German fair circuit before coming to Six Flags AstroWorld. It started operating in SF Astroworld in 1998, and operated for about 2 years. After that, it stood there (SBNO) non-operative for another 2 years. It then got moved to Six Flags Marine World (Six Flags Discovery Kingdom). When the Thriller was moved from Six Flags Astroworld to Six Flags Marine World, some track modifications were made by Premier Rides.  The most significant was increasing the elevation of the first two loops.  The affect of this change would be reducing the Thriller’s top speed and lowering the g-forces during the first two loops. Zonga is Swahili for “coil” or “loop”. (source rcdb.com)

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Zonga started it’s operations in the Vallejo themepark in April of 2003, and operated for about 2 years, it then stood there SBNO for 2 years, until it got removed to make room for the new Tony Hawk’s Big Spin roller coaster. Zonga was then sent to Isla San Marcos Parque Temático. The ride started operating here in 2008 under the name Tsunami.

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Zonga was a Schwarzkopf designed by the world famous Ing.-Büro Stengel GmbH. Zonga was 115 ft. tall, and had a 98 ft. tall drop with a max. angle of 70’degrees. Zonga had a lenght of 3,675 ft, in which it had 4 inversions, and reached speeds upto 54 MPH. Zonga’s 4 loops, were not all perfect vertical loops, making this ride so unique. The first loop was 91.5 ft tall, the second was 80.6 ft tall, the third was 56 ft tall, and the fourth was 48 ft tall. Zonga had 5 cars per train(riders are arranged 2 across in 2 rows for a total of 20 riders per train), with a max. capacity of 720 riders per hour.

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California’s Great America

Marriott’s Great America, built by hotel and restaurant operator Marriott Corporation, opened to the public on May 20, 1976. Less than two weeks later on May 29, the company opened a second Marriott’s Great America – later known as Six Flags Great America.

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The park, though profitable, was still an earnings disappointment for Marriott, leading the company in 1983 to explore options to sell. An interested party, Caz Development Co., appraised the land value at US$800,000 to $1 million per acre. Marriott also involved the city of Santa Clara in negotiations, which was already leasing 55 acres (22 ha) of parking space for the amusement park. The city eventually acquired the park for $93.5 million from Marriott, which retained 20 acres (8.1 ha) from the sale for development. Caz Development settled and was allowed to build a hotel and office near the park, which the city renamed Great America. Kings Entertainment (Kings Island and Kings Dominion for example) Company, who owned and operated other amusement parks, was hired in 1985 to manage Great America for the city.

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Paramount acquired Kings Entertainment, and created Paramount Parks. Viacom, the parent of MTV Networks (including Nickelodeon), then bought Paramount in 1994, allowing Nickelodeon theming and merchandise into the park as well. During the Paramount era, attractions from the Action FX Theatre, Nickelodeon Splat City (later Nickelodeon Central), Drop Zone Stunt Tower, Invertigo, and many more modern thrill ride attractions were added in. In 2000, the park added the first flying coaster in the world to their coaster line-up, Stealth. Stealth was a Vekoma Flying Dutchman, and was extremely popular among guests. The park had to remove the fan-favorite in 2003 to make room for their in-park water park Boomerang Bay. Stealth got moved to Carowinds, also Paramount by that time, and has since recieved a make-over and is currently named Nighthawk.

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After Viacom and CBS Corporation split, Paramount Parks became part of CBS. The merger did not last long, as CBS announced plans to sell the theme park division.

In May 2006, it was announced that Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. would be acquiring the entire amusement park division from CBS. The transaction includes licensing agreements with Nickelodeon and Paramount, providing the park the option to retain its Nickelodeon and Paramount theming for several years.

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The park seemed to have had a hard time the last couple of years, with removal of Invertigo, and Cedar Fair wanting to sell the park. The last new coaster before Gold Striker opened in 2001, Psycho Mouse, and many were delighted to see the park add a new big ride in 2013. The park seems to be ready for the next couple of years.

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Below you’ll find a list with all current rollercoasters the park operates. Click on the name of the ride to get the statistics from RCDB.com .

  • Demon is an arrow looper, that started it’s life as ‘Turn of the Century’. The track got altered along the way to add a double loop into it, and got renamed Demon.
  • Flight Deck is a unique custom designed B&M inverted coaster. It has a relatively small layout, and is definetly one of the park’s major attractions. It used to be named Top Gun, with the Paramount License still active.
  • Gold Striker is the park’s newest addition, and is the longest wooden coaster in nothern CA. It is a GCI that had some noise problems, but these have been solved and the ride is running smooth. It is believed to be CA best wooden rollercoaster.
  • Grizzly is the park’s first wooden rollercoaster, and is believed to be rough now-a-days. It is still a fun classic woden coaster ride.
  • Psycho Mouse is the park’s wild mouse coaster made by arrow. This is one of the last arrow coasters to be opened.
  • Taxi Jam is a coaster for the younger visitors of the park.
  • Woodstock’s Express is too.
  • Vortex is the 2nd B&M coaster to be built. The ride is similar to Vortex from Carowinds, which opened as 3rd B&M, but has some significant differences in the track layout. Vortex is a stand-up coaster.

 

A Ride through Space in a Magic Kingdom

The first Space Mountain opened in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom theme park in Orlando, Florida in 1975.

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The ride opened as a response to the success ‘The Matterhorn Bobsleds’ had received when they opened at Disneyland in Anaheim, California in 1959.  The Matterhorn Bobsleds ride was Disney’s first thrill ride, and they realized that thrill rides brought a wider range of people to their park, so the idea of Space Mountain was born.  In 1965, Walt Disney partnered with Arrow Dynamics for the second time, the first being with Matterhorn, to build Space Mountain.  Unfortunately, Walt passed away in December of 1966, and the main focus was on completing his Disney World project, so the Space Mountain project was suspended.  Disney World had huge success, and planned to build a new thrill ride due to its large population of teenage and young adult visitors in 1971.  A new Matterhorn was thought of, but the park in Florida didn’t have enough space, so Disney Imagineers went back to designing Space Mountain.  Although the park had enough space to build the ride, they chose to build it off park property and have RCA sponsor the 10 million dollar project.  It opened on January 15th, 1975.  The ride features many elements that have come from defunct rides in the park, including Epcot’s Horizons and the Submarine Voyage, as well as pieces from the old Disney Lounge at LAX airport.  The ride features single file seats, similar to Disneyland’s Matterhorn. This Space Mountain exists out of 2 nearly the same tracks (mirror) that have a height of 90 ft. maximum speed of 27 MPH, and the ride has a duration of 2 mins and 35 seconds.

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Due to its large success Disneyland started construction on a second Space Mountain shortly after the first one was completed.  After 2 years, Disneyland’s 20 million dollar Space Mountain complex was complete, with a stage/theater, a restaurant, and the Starcade, as well as the coaster.  Many famous astronauts such as John Glenn and Alan Shepard attended the opening.  The ride featured many high tech updates over the early years, including a moving sidewalk at the entrance of the ride, and, when FedEx became the sponsor of the ride, new scenery were added, such as TV screens with looping safety videos and FedEx robots added for scenery in the loading area.  In 1996, the ride added on board music, by composer Aarin Richards and show producer Eddie Sotto, which was explained as a combination of horror, sci fi, and surf music.  In 1997, the dome structure holding Space Mountain was repainted green and gold.  In 2003, the ride closed for track renovations, due to the tracks instability.  It reopened in 2005 for Disneyland’s 50th anniversary, with new track, new effects, and a new storyline.  Although the track was new, it was the same original layout as its predecessor.  The ride was dedicated to Neil Armstrong on its reopening.  In 2006, the park added a new on-board soundtrack featuring a remixed version of the 1989 Red Hot Chilli Pepper’s song Higher Ground.  During the month of October from 2007-2008, the ride operated as Space Mountain: Nightmare Nebula.  Nightmare Nebula was never a large success, so it was change to Ghost Galaxy in 2009.  Ghost Galaxy features different lighting and scenery on both the ride and in the queue, and has been a large success.  This Space mountain has a ride duration of 2:48 min, has a track length of 3,459 ft. and has a top speed of 32 MPH. Riders will enter the dome and reach height by traveling through tunnels and special effects over 3 lift hills. While in the dome, projected stars will disorient riders as they travel down in repetitive motion, being confused by sudden twists and small drops. Before getting back to the station the ride makes another sudden movement and will slow down in a special effects tunnel.

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Space Mountain in Tokyo opened in 1983.  The ride is a clone of Disneyland’s Space Mountain, but in 2006, the rides theming was renovated, to make the ride seem more futuristic.

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Space Mountain of Disneyland Paris opened in 1995, and was originally called from ‘earth to the moon’. This Space Mountain is the only one with inversions. In 2005, it changed to Space Mountain: Mission 2, with upgraded theming.  The ride was the first ride to feature synchronized on ride music.  The ride’s crowning jewel is the large cannon on the outside of the mountain that launches riders in.  The new ride, although having the same track was to be considered a sequel to the original ride instead of a replacement.  Ex Disney CEO Michael Eisner said that this ride was the thing that kept Disneyland Paris alive. The ride begins with the riders (seated in a big rocket-like train) going around the corner entering the huge canon. (Based on Jules Verne’s “A Voyage to the Moon and a Trip Around It”.  In the story, the astronauts are launched from Earth by a giant canon.) The canon side closes, and some effects including fog simulate the launch. Just as the cable launch catches the car from underneath, the fog appears at the end of the tunnel, and the riders get launched up the canon into the mountain. Inside the mountain the synced audio matches with the inversions giving the riders a unique experience. In the middle of the ride there seems to be a rather slow part, this is where the train gets elevated a bit more to then again get more speed to go through some more elements before returning to the station. The ride has a max. speed of 44 MPH, has a track length of 3,281 ft, reaches the height of 105 ft., and has 3 inversions. These inversions are a sidewinder, corkscrew and unique tongue. Vekoma did a great job with this unique request, and to optimize the ride experience, the ride will feature the popular MK1212 trains in the near future.

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Hong Kong Space Mountain is very similar to Disneyland’s Space Mountain as well.  It has some differences though however, such as a different queue, and a hyper speed tunnel.

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World’s Tallest Roller Coaster… in.. Vegas?

For our 3rd Tomorrow Tuesday, we are looking at a ride that is very possible in the near future.

polercoster

The Las Vegas Review Journal is out with some pretty exciting news. A  company called U.S. Thrill Rides LLC is planning to build the world’s tallest roller coaster in Las Vegas. The coaster, if completed, will stand a staggering 650 feet high. (Click here for a video of the ride)

Polercoaster

That would make it nearly 200 feet taller than the current tallest coaster in the world, Kingda Ka. But, perhaps even more interestingly, the “Polercoaster,” as it’s called, will fit in a tiny amount of real estate. It will be built in a giant pole-like structure with tracks spiraling around the structure.

Vegas+Strip+Thrill+Ri_Kauf

The tower structure has room for a mall in the top levels, which you can only reach with elevators.