Thursday, August 27, 2009 Episode #402

This week EB and Mike talk about Intimidator 305 at Kings Dominion.

Will it live up to the hype?

Or will it suffer from too much hype?

More importantly, will EB agree with NASCAR theming?

We also take a look at your ideas for the new podcast and discuss the launch of The David Arquette Project.

Plus, we also go "Off Topic" to talk about disappearing bats and training cats to use the toilet.

If you haven't subscribed to the podcast, now's the time to sign up!

Click here to subscribe through iTunes.

Click here for our podcast RSS Feed.

Or you can listen online by using the podcast player on the right hand side of this page.

Talk about this episode in the forums.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Cedar Point East?

After Cedar Fair acquired the Paramount Parks a few years ago, I made a prediction that they might try to turn Kings Dominion into the Cedar Point of the east.

EB said it was wishful thinking, only because it was our home park. But I figured that Kings Dominion's close proximity to Washington, DC (one of the largest media markets in the country) might sway them to turn Kings Dominion into a destination park.

This week, they announced Intimidator 305, which has been described by theme park enthusiasts as "Millenium Force's little brother".

You can read the stats in the link above, but the headlines are:

Length of First Drop: 300 feet
Angle of First Drop: 85 degrees
Fastest Speed: Excess of 90 MPH
Ride Time: 3 minutes

Of course, it's only a matter of minutes after a new ride is announced that the CoasterBoys start to complain. The main beef they have this time around is the over-the-shoulder restraints that the ride might have. Apparently, this is so the ride can accommodate "larger" riders unlike Millenium Fouce with it's simple lapbars.

A lot can change between an announcement and the opening day. So we'll see.

At this stage, I'm just happy to have another 300 foot tall roller coaster around. It also doesn't hurt that it's in my backyard!

Join everyone talking about it in the Fourms!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Podcast Is Back!

2009 must be the year of "the comeback." Because Pee Wee Herman is back and so are we.

Today marks the relaunch of the Coaster podcast.

The original podcast began in 2005 and ran for two years. After a three year absence, EB and I are back for a weekly show.

You'll notice that the new show has a few changes, but one thing that remains the same is the interactivity with the audience. We have a ton of ways for you to be a part of the show. We hope you'll take advantage!

This week, we talk about what's new with CR, 2010 ride announcements, Disney's new FastPass ideas as well as a ton of other stuff.

If you haven't subscribed to the podcast, now's the time to sign up!

Click here to subscribe through iTunes.

Click here for our podcast RSS Feed.

Or you can listen online by using the podcast player on the right hand side of this page.

We're back and "WE'RE READY TO BELIEVE YOU!"

Talk about the first show in the Forums.

The David Arquette Project

Welcome to The David Arquette Project.

Our goal is to make Mr. Arquette a fan of the podcast and convince him to record the show's opening introduction.

Why David Arquette?

Besides being a director, producer, screenwriter and the star of films like the Scream trilogy, Eight Legged Freaks and Never Been Kissed....

David Arquette is also a major fan of theme parks.

When he married his wife Courteney Cox, they spent part of their honeymoon at The Walt Disney World Resort and Islands of Advenure in Orlando, Florida. (That's a picture of them at Disneyland in December.)

He took part in the David vs. Goliath media day celebration when Six Flags Magic Mountain opened their Goliath roller coaster in 2000. He led a train full of "Davids" as they tried to conquer the mighty ride.

He even takes his family on trips to the parks, in-between his busy work schedule.

So if he is this big of a theme park fan, don't you think he'd also be a fan of the greatest theme park podcast ever?

He seems like a pretty down-to-earth guy... someone who would be fun to have a beer with. He doesn't come across as a typical Hollywood jerk. Recording our show open might just be something he'd find interesting. That's the main reason we chose him as the subject of this project.

If nothing else, he'd probably find it funny.

So over the next few months, we'll be using the podcast and this blog to get David Arquette's attention and hopefully his voice as the announcer for the podcast.

I'm sure that at some point, we'll be asking for your help too!

Wish us luck.

And Mr. Arquette, if you're reading this, we're going to be the first ones in line for Scream 4.

Visit the official David Arquette Project forum topic.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Countdown to 8/20 - My Five Favorite Shows - #1

We wanted to see if we could do a show that was totally unrelated to theme parks.

So, we "dreamed up" The 80's Movie Podcast.

Instead of focusing on one movie, we talked about 20 different films from "the greatest decade ever!"

Surprisingly, this is the favorite episode of a lot of listeners!

Here's the episode.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Countdown to 8/20 - My Five Favorite Shows - #2

It didn't get much better for me as a podcaster than to do the show from the Grand Opening of Expedition Everest.

It was a once in a lifetime experience and something I'll never forget.

It's been three years since the ride opened and the Yeti has seen some better days.... but I like listening to this podcast to relive the excitement of a brand new E-Ticket attraction opening its doors for the first time!

It's also where the famous line "He's HUGE! He's HUGE!" was born!

Here's the show!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Countdown to 8/20 - My Five Favorite Shows - #3

Monday night is the traditional night of the "In The Loop" podcast over at Coaster

So it's fitting that today's Coaster highlight comes from the very first time we collaborated on a show.

Once upon a time, there was a meeting of the minds at Kings Dominion during their Fear Fest event.

It was a good time filled with friendly jabs back and forth all afternoon.

Take a listen!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Countdown to 8/20 - My Five Favorite Shows - #4

We always try to do things that separate us from the other Disney and theme park podcasts.

From what we could cell, no one had ever lit fireworks and made fried oreos during their shows.

So, we decided to give it a try.

This is one of my favorite shows because we were just having fun. I think the one microphone we used still smells like fried oreos.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Countdown to 8/20 - My Five Favorite Shows - #5

As we count down to the new show on August 20th, I thought I'd go back through the archives and post some of my favorite episodes.

Every now and then, there'd be a week where we couldn't get the whole gang together. So, I'd produce a compilation episode that had some of the best moments from previous shows.

One of these was a show that featured the best interviews we did with people like Disney Imagineer Joe Rohde and Holiday World's Will Koch.

Take a listen!

Never Say Never....

As you may have heard, we're bringing back a new weekly version of the podcast. This will mark the first time since November of 2006 that this website has produced any type of show on an ongoing basis.

At the moment, the weekly show will be hosted my EB and me. There will probably be some appearances from Flava, Greg and Mario whenever they can make it.

The format of the new show will be a bit different than the old show. We'll let you know more about it during our first podcast, but we're hoping to add in some talk about things other than roller coasters and theme parks. The release date will change too. A new show will come out every Thursday night.

The one thing that will remain the same is the interactivity. We're hoping to make the audience a major part of the new show. We're even bringing back the voicemail line. The new number is 206-339-3360.

Speaking of being interactive, some of the listeners have started a thread in the New Forum Forums all about the new show. They're offering some good advice and suggestions. Feel free to join them and let us know what you think.

We'll see you on August 20th!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Holiday World's New Beast

One of my complaints about water slides is that the ride time is never very long. It seems to be over as soon as it's begun.

But in 2010, Holiday World is doing something about that problem.

When "Wildebeest" opens next year, it will be the World’s Longest Water Coaster. It's one-third of a mile long and will run an amazing 2:30.

According to Holiday World....

"Wildebeest will begin with a conveyor ride up the water coaster’s lifthill. Following the four-story drop at a 45-degree angle, linear induction motors (LIMs) will propel the four-person rafts up seven additional hills, through three tunnels (two of them underground) and around a helix. Wildebeest will cover more than two acres; its top speed will hit 36 feet per second. Wildebeest’s tallest elevation is 64 feet higher than its lowest drop; the conveyor-style lifthill replaces any slide-tower stairs, making the water coaster accessible to riders who might have difficulty walking up stairs."

I think it's cool how the ride uses linear induction motor technology for propelling the rafts up the hills. That should add a nice touch of tech to this amazing ride.

Talk about this in the forums.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Kennywood in 2010

Kennywood just announced that they are building an LSM launch coaster from Premier Rides for 2010.

The unnamed coaster will feature a launch that will propel you to 50 mph in just three seconds. The ride will also feature two 90 degree drops and three inversions.

This marks the first time riders will go upside down on a Kennywood roller coaster since Steel Phantom became Phantom's Revenge in 2000.

The new ride will be placed on the current site of The Turnpike.

But never fear traditional coasterboys! The loss of The Turnpike is only temporary.
The park plans to move the classic ride to another location.

From the looks of the animation, the ride seems to be a nice fit. It's not too extreme for a family park, yet it still offers some "modern" thrills are currently missing from the coaster lineup.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Welcome, Foolish Mortals....

If you love the Haunted Mansion as much as I do, then you're going to LOVE what's going on over at the Disney and More Blog.

They have a special "Behind The Scenes" tour that celebrates the 40th Anniversary of this legendary attraction.

They have images of original artwork, YouTube movies showing the history of the ride and video showing show some of the groundbreaking effects were created.

It's the next best thing to being there in person!

Check it out!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

A Picture Says a Thousand Words...

On an episode of the Coaster podcast called "Ten Things I Hate About You," we made a rather general statement.

We said that one of the things we hated most about visiting a theme park were the hordes of teenagers there.

We lamented about how you couldn't walk ten feet at your local park without having an annoying teen scream in your ear or bounce a basketball across your path. We complained about teenagers showing no modesty in the way they dressed and no morality in the way they casually sucked face in the lines.

I have to admit, that we played up our hatred of teens for entertainment value. The show was called "Ten Things I HATE About You," so we were expected to spit out some venomous comments towards the kids. But as we went through the show, we found out that most of the major annoyances experienced during a day at the park could be directly traced back to teenagers and their unruly behavior.

That show was recorded in summer of 2006 and ever since that time, I've had the attitude that teens are a major downer when it comes to my theme park fun.

But let's fast-forward to the summer of 2009, because I had an experience that changed my mind and more importantly, my attitude towards teenagers in the parks.

I was spending a day at Disney's California Adventure in Anaheim. I was alone at the park because my wife Molly was taking some summer classes at a university. So since I had a day to myself, I decided to head out to the park.

I don't know about you, but when I'm at a theme park by myself, I always try to ride things that might not exactly be popular when you're there with a group.

I got in line for Grizzly River Run, a highly-themed rapids rides at the center of the park. I had never ridden it before because the groups I've been with have never wanted to get wet.

So as I was in line, I noticed that there was a group of seven kids behind me, probably 15 or 16 years old. The guys all wore bandannas. The girls wore trendy t-shirts. They were excited, loud and were bouncing around with boundless energy.

"PERFECT," I thought, as my annoyance level began to rise. "Now I have to listen to these stupid kids talk about the lame-ass Jonas Brothers during the whole wait."

Luckily, the line moved quickly and before I knew it, I was at the loading area.

The cast member asked me how many people were in my group and I sheepishly said "one". As fun and liberating as it can be to go the park by yourself, it can also be a little weird and intimidating to ride alone.

The line wasn't long, so I thought I might get to ride alone. But if you look at that picture of the Grizzly Rapids Run rafts over there, you'll see that each raft holds eight people. So you can imagine my reaction when I saw that group of seven teenagers walking towards my raft.

Amazingly though, my reaction wasn't one of annoyance but more of embarrassment. I sort of felt like I was in middle school or high school again. I didn't want this group of kids to see me as a geek because I was alone. Even worse, I didn't want them to see me as a creepy "old dude" with who they were forced to ride.

So as they climbed in the raft, I offered an admittedly lame... "Hi guys, I'm Mike."

I was waiting for the eye-rolling and mean-spirited laughing to begin. But to my surprise, the "kids" turned out to be some of the nicest "people" I have ever met. They didn't care who I was. They didn't care how old I was either.

For the 15-minutes that we rode Grizzly River Rapids, I was an honorary part of their group.

We laughed as one of the dudes who looked like Zach Efron got totally drenched by a wall of water. We were amazed by the quick reflexes of the girl sitting next to me who caught my sunglasses before they fell in the water when our raft hit a big wave. We took bets on which section of the raft was going to plunge over the waterfall first. (I lost the bet and got pretty wet.)

During the quiet sections of the ride, we talked about our trips and what rides we had been on. None of the kids had ever heard of Disney's FastPass, so I filled them in on how to use it during the rest of their day.

But the best part about riding with these kids is that they were having fun... and it was contagious.

I think as adults, we sometimes get bummed out by the hot weather, the long lines, the expensive food and the need to do it all. Because of these things, we forget to have fun.

But my 15-minutes with these kids reminded me that when we visit the parks, it's a chance to become 16 again... even if it's only for a day.

So going forward, that's my plan.

I'm not going to scream for the sake of sceaming and I'm not going to bounce the basketball that I won across the midway.... but I am going to experience all of my future trips as if I were one of those kids.

Thanks for the reminder guys.

Talk about this post in the forums.

Listen to an excerpt from this blog post.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Our Twitter Feed is on Fire!

For those of you who don't know, we've been sending out a lot of updates on our Twitter feed lately.

Last month, we had live TwitPic updates from Disneyland, Disney's California Adventure, Knotts Berry Farm and Kings Dominion.

We also had some pictures from our private tour of the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank.

Lately, we've been experimenting with TweetMic and have been sending out audio excerpts from some of our blog posts.

In the next few months, we'll be sending out audio tweets from Walt Disney World and a few other parks. Plus, the latest news from the podcast will always be released on the Twitter feed first.

So make sure you follow us on Twitter so you can be kept up to date on everything that is going on here at!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

A John Hughes Theme Park Ride?

Sadly, we lost John Hughes today.

He was the writer and director of some amazing movies in the 1980's.... movies that most of us grew up with.

As far as I know, there isn't a theme park attraction based upon one of his films.

But if I were gonna create one, it would have to center around Weird Science.

You got a better idea?

Let it loose in the forums.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

My thoughts on the Wolf....

It's been a few days now since Busch Gardens Williamsburg announced that they are removing The Big Bad Wolf after the 2009 season.

The official word from the park is that the ride has "reached the end of it's service life."

Well, nothing makes me feel older than hearing that a ride I grew up with is too old to run anymore!

You see, I've been to Busch Gardens almost every summer since I was ten years old. On each of those visits, one of the highlights has always been a ride on The Big Bad Wolf. I literally grew up riding it and I feel a sense of ownership with it, as silly as that sounds.

Even though the ride means a lot to me, I won't be signing any petitions to "Save the Wolf." I won't be writing a letter to the park demanding that they keep the ride operational. I won't chain myself to the lift hill in protest.

Theme parks are a business and removing The Big Bad Wolf will obviously help the bottom line. I don't think the park will lose much business from the few uber-zealots who won't buy tickets in protest over an old Arrow coaster.

So instead of making a pitch to save it, let me offer a fitting eulogy.

These days, most parks are content to build a roller coaster on a slab of cement. They don't really care about theming the ride because it's either too much work or it's too expensive. If they do theme the ride, it's mostly in the form of cheap sets and annoying pre-show videos that add little to the experience.

But when The Big Bad Wolf premiered in 1984, it was one of the most mysterious roller coasters ever. Aside from it's iconic 80-foot drop towards the Rhine River, most of the ride was hidden from view.

But when guests did board the ride, they were treated to a manic rush through a highly-themed Bavarian village. The cars swooped and swung, narrowly missing houses and shops. We literally were the Big Bad Wolf and we were traveling "at the speed of fright".

After this memorable section of the ride, we climbed 100 feet and took an amazing 80-foot drop towards the river below. To the uninitiated, it was always surprising how forceful and frightening the drop and ride back to the station was.

A ride on this coaster at night was magic. The village was accented with lighting on the homes and in the streets. It added to the feeling of speed. The only lights you could see during the big drop towards the river was from the Loch Ness Monster off in the distance. It all added to the illusion that the coaster was out of control.

But after Labor Day, it will all be history. I can't really picture what a trip to Busch Gardens will be like now.

Whenever we took a child in my family to Busch Gardens for their first roller coaster ride, it was always on The Big Bad Wolf. It was the perfect introduction to roller coasters because it wasn't too intimidating, wasn't too high and didn't go upside down. Where do you start a kid now?

The Loch Ness Monster has two loops, which makes it too intimidating for kids. Apollo's Chariot is too high and too fast for first timers. Alpengeist is way to intense for a kids' first coaster ride.

I guess we'll have to go to Kings Dominion to ride the Scooby Doo.

But I'm hoping that the masterminds at the park have something up their sleeves. Busch Gardens is the best theme park outside of Orlando or Anaheim and consistently exceeds expectations. They now have a chance to prove it again when designing a new attraction to take the place of The Big Bad Wolf.

If you want to get a last ride on the iconic coaster, you have to get there before Labor Day. As the plan is now, they won't be running the ride during their Howl-O-Scream event. Although I think a fitting way for the ride to go out would be to let it run during the Halloween event.

What better season to "travel at the speed of fright" one last time.

What do you think?

Talk about it in the Fourms.

All Original Content Copyright 2005-2016 - Lift Hill Media, LLC