Monday, April 27, 2009

Ride Review - Diamondback at Kings Island

Longtime Coaster Radio listener CPCoasterKing had a chance to ride Kings Island's new Hyper-Coaster Diamondback.

Here's his review!

I was so excited to be able to get up to KI on opening day. Last fall my friends and I took a construction tour of Diamondback at an ACE event called Fall Freak out. I have been dying to get on its since!

The queue area was really nice. They had some cowboy jugglers entertaining people in line, with several flat screen tv's in line as well.

We got in line expecting a very long wait but as soon as an employee walked by, he said it would be an hour and a half. I was then all pumped up again.

The line moved really quickly and they had someone assigning seats which is good and bad in my opinion. The trains were beautiful and had good theming on them. The restraints are wonderful as well.

The only complaint I have is that you don't have to be very heavy at all and you could be too big to ride. Cedar Fair has made all the rides have 2 clicks on the restraints on every ride. It all depended on where your weight was distributed on your body if you could ride or not.

This poor woman in front of us was so excited to ride and when we came up to the test seat, she couldn't fit. It was heart breaking. And she wasn't even that big. I know its hard to design seats to fit the large array of body types, but it seamed a bit extreme.

I joked with my friends that they should sell a diet book called, "The Cedar Fair 2 Click Weight Loss Plan," because apparently Cedar Fair doesn't realize they are operating in America.

So we get on the train and I rode in the 2nd half of the car the first time, and it was really odd to have your riding partner that far away from you. I will say that it was a BEAUTIFUL view from my seat and the freedom of that view and of your restraint was amazing. I felt like I was the only one riding the ride.

The lift is very quite and fast. I almost though it was an elevator lift, but it isn't. I didn't hear a chain dog at all. The lift is also very steep! It didn't look bad at all from the ground, but as soon as you start up, it wakes you up!

The first drop was fantastic. You can see so much of the midway. The air time on all the hills is amazing. I was constantly smiling ear to ear every time we hit one.

The first large banked turn was a lot of fun as well. The camera is after that first banked turn, then you bank up and left to the block breaks. After that, the first hill I think is a bit slow, but the second makes up for it with plenty of air time.

Then you turn into the helix which again, I thought was just a bit slow, but then you even get some air time on the next drop into the water splash. The water splash looks beautiful while watching the ride, but I only felt a slight drag on the train. If you weren't looking for it, you could miss it.

Wonderful ride! Great drops and plenty of Airtime! It may be my new favorite ride at KI.

Talk more about this ride in the forums.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

An idea for Las Vegas

You might have noticed that there haven't been many updates to the CR Blog lately.

It's because I've spent the last few weeks walking through airports and living out of a suitcase for my "real-life" job.

I did get to spend a week in fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada and had a blast. It might surprise you to learn that I didn't ride one roller coaster or thrill ride while I was out there.

I've ridden them all before and frankly, none of the rides out there (with the exception of X-Scream at the Stratosphere) are really that memorable.

I had better roller coaster rides hitting the blackjack tables at the Mirage and Treasure Island. (I left Vegas up $275 by the way.)

But while I was out there, I had a chance to really observe the city and the people who visit it. I came to one very distinct conclusion....

There are a lot of CRAZY people out there.

Everywhere I looked, I saw people ready to take a chance on something. People were dropping their inhibitions left and right. It seemed like you could convince anybody to do anything, only because they were in Vegas.

This makes me think that the city of Las Vegas is ready for the next totally insane thrill ride.

I'm talking about a ride that blows away all concepts of reality and traditional safety devices. I'm talking about the type of ride that would truly challenge a person. I'm talking about a ride that would be a worldwide spectacle.

Now I don't know exactly what this ride would look like. In the past, we've heard about crazy ideas coming out of the Stratosphere such as a fish-hook coaster or a ride which would let you literally freefall from the top of the tower.

But I wonder if there are plans sitting in some Las Vegas boardroom for an absolutely insane thrill ride that will give the craps and roulette tables a run for their money.

I bet you guys have some ideas of what might work.

Let's talk about it in the Forums.

Thursday, April 09, 2009


This morning, FPI MB Entertainment anounced the new name for the former Hard Rock Park. The name they settled on....

"Freestyle Music Park."

My first reaction.... what?

It doesn't exactly roll off the tongue when you first say it. Actually, I've been saying it a few dozen times as I've been writing this and it hasn't gotten any better.

It's not that I don't think it works. I bet when a new park called "Six Flags Over Texas" opened in the 70's, people thought that was a weird name too. Now, it's one of the most famous brands in the amusement industry. (Even if the stock was de-listed last week.)

But these days, people have short attention spans and even shorter memories. The name of an amusement complex needs to be catchy, memorable and easy to say. It needs to be something that can easily become park of the pop culture lexicon.

When you hear the words "Freestyle Music Park," what does it mean? What images does it invoke?

The new owners say "Freestyle Music Park" represents a renewed vision and direction for the Park in 2009 and beyond.
They plan for the park to celebrate the excitement of rock n' roll but also include other genres of music including country, reggae, beach music, pop, R&B, alternative, Christian, and disco.

The plan is to make "Freestyle Music Park" the prototype and launching point for a "Freestyle Park" brand with parks throughout the world.

During the next few weeks, most of the rides, restaurants and areas throughout the park are being re-themed to better fit into the vision of the new owners. It should be interesting to see the differences between Freestyle and the old Hard Rock Park.

I'm excited about new direction of the park and happy that the owners were able to save what looks like a pretty great place to visit. And who knows, maybe the name will grow on us and won't seem so strange a year from now.

Maybe that's what the new owners are hoping.

I bet the readers of this blog could come up with some good names for the park. Let's see what you can do in the Forums.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Trip Report - Kings Dominion

Now that the cold, dark winter is thankfully behind us, it's time to head out to our local parks.

I love this time of year because you can hit the parks before the summer time crowds and the summertime temperatures arrive.

Yesterday, I went to Kings Dominion on their second day of operation. The park was clean, the employees were friendly and the rides were running smoothly.

There were a few opening weekend hiccups. I had to wait through breakdowns of Hurler, Backlot Stunt Coaster and the new (to me) El Dorado. They were also only running one side and one train of Rebel Yell, so the line backed up more then necessary. But overall, I had a great day.

I won't go into more details because I blogged and Twittered live from the park. So you can read my "live trip report" there.

Even though there are other parks that I enjoy more, I will always love Kings Dominion. It's the park that I have been visiting since I was five years old, so I have basically grown up there.

I went there in grade school with my family and on field trips in middle school. I took my future wife on a date there when we were in high school! Now that I'm an adult, I see it differently. But I can always look at it like I'm still a kid.

Hopefully you have a similar relationship with your home park.

Talk about this in the Forums.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Back on The Season Pass Podcast

This week, I'm a guest on episode 74 of The Season Pass.

If you miss the old Coaster podcast, I think this is the closest thing out there these days. Every week, there's quality and fun discussion about the amusement industry.

In this week's show, Arthur Levine joins Doug Barnes and me in an extensive conversation about
working as the Theme Park Guide for

We also dish on water parks (especially the indoor resort boom), park trends (including “Interactivity”), Arthur’s E-Ticket and Z-Ticket selections and we take a look into the 2009 season (analyzing both economy and new attractions).

Check out the podcast HERE!

....And talk about the episode in the forums.

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