ThrillRide! Random Notes  

 

 

 

 

Dec. 24, 2011

Happy Holidays, gang! I hope everyone has a great end-of-year season and a happy, healthy start to 2012! Got more updates coming early next year. Peace!

-Robert

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Nov. 22, 2011

This one took a lot longer to finish than I would have preferred, but here it is at last: a 17-page trip report from a long weekend in Orlando, Florida. There's Potter, Cheetah Hunt, Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit and much more.

-Robert

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Oct. 18, 2011

Wanna see all the rockin' Knott's Scary Farms Collector Cards? Click here, and be sure to check out The Season Pass' Haunt 2011 podcast to learn more about them. They rule.

-Robert

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Sept. 29, 2011

Before I head to Orlando for some Florida-flavored haunt action, here's the Knott's Scary Farm Halloween Haunt 2011 report.

-Robert

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Sept. 27, 2011

Here's my Universal Studios Hollywood's Halloween Horror Nights 2011 report. In a nutshell, it killed.

I'd also like to say how very sorry I was to hear that Ron Toomer has passed away this week. I don't think it is hyperbole to say that he was instrumental in changing the entire amusement industry with his work for Arrow Dynamics. How many attractions that he helped develop have you ridden? Five? Ten? More? Many more, most likely. I can only hope that in his final moments he was fully aware of how much joy he brought to all of us. Thanks for all the good times, sir.

-Robert

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Sept. 20, 2011

"Soarin' Over Pandora?" "Mountain Banshees: The Ride," a B&M Wing Coaster? Or something that combines the two? Right now, the possibilities are almost endless. But one thing is for sure: with James Cameron driving the Imagineers to the limits of their creative and technical powers, Disney's Avatar attractions, first scheduled to appear at Florida's Animal Kingdom park, and then beyond, should be mind-blowing.

Today's announcement of this partnership literally took my breath away. Completely unexpected, the kind of thing that happens so very rarely these days. With several years of development in store, we can only dream of how Disney's "Next-Gen" initiatives will filter their way into the designs of the Avatar "land" and its rides and shows.

Quarrel if you will with the choice to place these elements at AK; I don't have a serious beef with that. But think of how Terminator 2:3D rewrote so many rules when it debuted... My god, the things to come...

Also, here is the final trip report for the "Wheels on I-80" tour, a truncated day at Six Flags Great America.

-Robert

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Sept. 7, 2011

Show of hands: Who among us has secretly (or not so secretly) wanted to design theme parks and themed attractions? Yeah, me, too (see the CaroWindSeeker logo below). There are classes out there, but not so many that are actually taught by a bona fide Walt Disney Imagineer.

Thanks to awesome reader Ahmed Mahmoud, here are the details:

Themed Environment Design with Chris Runco

September 12 – November 14 (10 sessions total)

8 in-class sessions
Mondays, 7p – 10p
Location: MakeSpace Arts (2797 E. Foothill Blvd. Ste 100, Pasadena, CA 91107)

2 on-site field trips
Saturdays
Time and Location: TBA

Tuition: $495 (please note, does not include admission into field trip destinations)
Level: Intermediate perspective skills and good figure drawing required; model-building and 3D design experience helpful but not required.

Click here to sign up.

-Robert

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Sept. 1, 2011

Here it is, the Cedar Point 2011 trip report, 13 pages worth, and the Windseeker Ride Review. Enjoy!

-Robert

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August 25, 2011

So Carowinds' gettin' a Windseeker for 2012. That is all good. I rode the Cedar Point model and it was pretty cool.

I still think they should've called it this, though:

Or, what about this tagline: "North? South? Meet 'Up.' "

Or: "The North and South Will Rise Again. Maybe A Little Too High."

-Robert

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August 21, 2011

I'm sorry I wasn't able to attend the D23 Expo this weekend; sure looks and sounds like it was a very good time. However, I did meet up late Friday night with The Season Pass's Doug and Brent, and Brent's wife Dena, and Rick and Joanna of Theme Park Adventure for some tropical adult beverages at the wicked retro-Tiki-bar Trader Sam's, at the Disneyland Hotel.

If you haven't heard about Trader Sam's, be sure to enjoy this terrific article and interview with Disney Imagineer Kyle Barnes over at TPA. Sam's alone is worth a trip to Anaheim.

And when you go, I implore you to take a walk through the hotel lobby, for there you will find a spectacular scale model of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. It is glorious.

Here a some shots (click on the thumbs to enlarge):

   
   
   

 

-Robert

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August 13, 2011

Part three of the "Wheels on I-80" trip report is live: the glory that is Kennywood. Cedar Point will follow in the days ahead. (May take another week or so; it's a big one.)

-Robert

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August 11, 2011

I'll be getting back to the "Wheels on I-80" trip reports this weekend. Next up is Kennywood. But today, I've got a photo trip report from a Vipers-owner get-together, that included a very quick stop to ride the Belmont Park Giant Dipper.

-Robert

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August 10, 2011

Have you listened to the latest Season Pass interview with Sally Corp.'s John Wood yet? It's mandatory for anyone with even a passing interest in dark rides. And I'm guessing that's you. And you probably have already. But if not, click here. Awesome.

And JW Green shares with us a very amusing bit of Chance history.

-Robert

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August 3, 2011

What a week, right? The Swarm, SkyRush and Mammoth! Highly awesome.

Also, here's the second trip report for the "Wheels on I-80" voyage: Chocolate World.

-Robert

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July 27, 2011

The first trip report from the "Wheels on I-80" blow-out is up: Hersheypark.

And with it, a Ride Review of Fahrenheit!

-Robert

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July 24, 2011

I resisted for a long time, but the deed is done: I'm now on Twitter (thrillridecom). Each update here will be announced with a tweet, and I promise many more utterly delightful, and piercingly insightful, transmissions as well. Watch your back, Ashton Kutcher.. Two followers already, baby!

-Robert

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July 19, 2011

Courtesy of reader JW Green, we have a beautiful gallery of photos of the SNBO Cyclone at Pennsylvania's Williams Grove Amusement Park. Enjoy.

-Robert

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July 10, 2011

The second half of my West Coast Bash report is up, at long last. And there's A LOT more to come fairly soon, believe it or eat it. I was able to join The Season Pass "Wheels On I-80 Tour" and we covered a lot of ground. Got nearly 600 photos to comb through, but I'll have the first batch up in the next couple of weeks. I swear. Peace!

-Robert

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April 6, 2011

The first half of my West Coast Bash report, for Day One at Six Flags Magic Mountain, is up! (Part 2 is coming soon). Enjoy.

-Robert

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Jan. 16, 2011

Time ta get BASHED, baby! That's right, WEST COAST BASH, the first big SoCal enthusiast event of the year, is set to roll this March 19th and 20th.

Here are all the delicious details:

Six Flags Magic Mountain (Saturday, March 19):
- 2 Hours Morning ERT on select coasters
- Breakfast
- Catered Lunch
- Q&A Session with park management
- 2 Hours Evening ERT on select coasters
- Free parking until 8:30am
- Free Kodak Photo Voucher
- FOUR HOURS of total ERT! (Heck, yeah!)
- Many more surprises and extras that will be announced soon!

Knott's Berry Farm (Sunday, March 20):
- 2 Hours Morning ERT on select coasters
- Backstage tour of Timber Mountain Log Ride (Heck, yeah!)
- Backstage tour of Xcelerator
- Construction Tour of Windseeker
- Group Lunch
- TPR Quest Game at Lunch
- Presentation at Good Times Theater
- Q&A Session with park management
- 1 Hour Evening ERT on select coasters
- Free parking until 8:00am
- Many more surprises and extras that will be announced soon!
- ERT is planned for Xcelerator! (Heck, yeah!)

Like a dope, I only went for the first day last year. Won't be making the same mistake twice. Super-psyched.

Order your tickets here, and don't delay, as a sell-out is likely! Hope I'll see you there!

-Robert

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Dec. 24, 2010

Just a quickie to say:

Happy Holidays
and a
Happy New Year to All!

See you in 2011!

-Robert

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Dec. 5, 2010

Couple of quick notes to start: First, I got an email in the last couple of weeks from a major animatronics fan who was looking for more high-res versions of the original Abe Lincoln drawing photos that were taken at Bob Gurr's house. And somehow, I've lost that email. So if the author of that request is reading this, please send me another and I'll hook you up.

Second, thanks to all who have purchased photo posters from the ThrillRide! Photo Shoppe! You rule! And if you're still looking for a holiday gift for that special thrillseeker in your life, there's still time, so see if anything strikes your fancy.

Thanks to the LA Times' righteous Brady MacDonald, we've gotten the news that SFMM's Terminator Salvation woodie will soon be known instead as Apocalypse. Can't say that I was a big fan of that original name (and HATED that franchise-terminating movie), so this is a strong move in a better direction. How the park will come up with a new preshow that works is another question, but with a coaster like that, it really doesn't matter much. (Would've loved if they could have worked in another DC hero or villian theme (Mr. Mxyzptlk: The Ride!), and continued to turn the back half of the park into a massive DC battle zone, but whatever.)

And what about this completely wacky Orlando Thrill Park proposal? (Details are here, and images with more details are here.) Don't get me wrong; I hope like hell they can pull this off, but, I mean... wow... a 425-foot-tall inverted version of Top Thrill Dragster? Really? That might actually happen? Really? And this Vekoma/Chance-Morgan prototype?

Again: DO WANT. But... really? Fingers crossed...

-Robert

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