A Slice of the Big Apple in Sin City…In Coaster Form of Course

nynyWith all of the gambling and designer hotels in Vegas, it would be hard to believe that there was anything Big Apple themed there, let alone a roller coaster, but that is very inaccurate.  The Manhattan Express, located on the outside of the second floor of the New York New York hotel opened in 1997, themed to be a ride through the New York skyline in taxi themed ride trains.  The ride begins with a 180-foot lift and a 76-foot drop, followed by another hill and a 144-foot drop. The train then travels through two inversions, a standard vertical loop and a dive loop, where the train performs a 180 degree spiral and then performs a half-loop maneuver. The rest of the ride is executed on the roof of the casino, and features small hills and a helix.

nyny dive

The ride’s station is themed to a New York subway station. It was built by TOGO, and, like most TOGO coasters, had a reputation in the past for being a rough, even painful roller coaster. Some riders have gotten bruised on the shoulders from the old trains due to the roughness of the ride and negative G-force.  In 2004 Premier Rides installed magnetic brakes on the ride. In August 2006, Premier also installed new trains to replace the original and somewhat painful, TOGO trains. Since the Premier train installation, the ride has been noticeably smoother, as opposed to when the TOGO trains were in use.  Although this ride isn’t a massive or record breaking coaster, it is a great way to pass time in Vegas in a more “family friendly” way.

nyny loop

Fun Fact Friday -1 November 2013-

Photo (30)

 

Please notice that, Cedar Fair operates the park, the park is still owned by the City of Gilroy. Also, there is a small grammatical error, it’s suppose to say Bonfante Gardens!

Throwback Thursday–Sky Whirl and Triple Play

Sky Whirl was a triple ferris wheel that operated at California’s Great America in Santa Clara from 1976 until 1997.  It was a Tree Triple Wheel model, supplied by Intamin and manufacture by Waagner-Biro.  Sky Whirl resembled a huge tree with three arms, with each arm supporting a giant wheel. Two wheels were spinning while the third was on the ground loading.  Sky Whirl was featured in the movie Beverly Hills Cop III, which was filmed in 1994, but closed 3 years later in 1997, to make room for Invertigo, which now resides in Dorney Park as Stinger.

sky whirl

Triple Play was a HUSS manufactured Troika model. The Troika is a ride, designed and manufactured by HUSS in the mid-1970s.  Triple Play opened at Great America in 1976 and closed in 2004.  Triple play consisted of three arms radiating from a center column. At the end of each arm is a star shaped structure holding seven gondolas, each of which seats 2 people side by side.  When the ride was activated, the central column rotated clockwise, while the Star at the end of each arm rotated counterclockwise. Hydraulic cylinders then raised the arms to an angle of 40°. The gondolas did have some capacity to rock from side to side. At the end of the ride cycle, the arms were lowered, and the rotation stopped.  This ride was located next to the entrance of Vortex, and was considered the perfect ride for intermediate thrill seekers, who were ready to graduate from Kidzville, but not yet ready for the larger flat rides like Orbit.

triple play

 

Tower of Tower @ Disney’s California Adventure

totThe Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is an accelerated drop ride featured at Disney Parks in Florida, California, Paris and Tokyo. All but the Tokyo version are based upon the television show The Twilight Zone, and take place in the fictional Hollywood Tower Hotel. The Tokyo version, which features an original story line not derived froThe Twilight Zone, due to the tv show being not very popular in Japan, takes place in the fictional Hotel High-tower. The three Twilight Zone-based versions and the unique Tokyo version all place riders in a vehicle themed to an old hotel service elevator, and present riders with a fictional back story in which people mysteriously disappeared from a hotel elevator under the influence of some supernatural element many years earlier.  The original version of the attraction opened at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in July 1994, and was the basis of the 1997 made-for-television movie Tower of Terror. Several years later, Disney began plans Continue reading “Tower of Tower @ Disney’s California Adventure”

Drop Tower @ California’s Great America

This will be a rather short Ride Review of Drop Tower at California’s Great America, which is an Intamin ‘Giant Drop’ drop tower with 6 cars going up the tower individually (each carrying 4 riders)

20130817_140329

Riders will approach the 224 ft tall drop tower as they walk towards the back of the park. You can’t miss the tallest structure in the park! A huge sign saying; ‘Drop Tower’ will indicate that the adventure is about to start! Riders will approach the beginning of the line and will basically enter a huge set of switchbacks under an old sun-cover that is tearing apart slowly. Yes, indeed, they still need to fix this area of the park. Continue reading “Drop Tower @ California’s Great America”

Goliath @ Six Flags Magic Mountain

For this Ride Review we’re looking at perhaps the most underrated Hyper/Mega out there. Goliath runs as smooth as it did opening season 13 years ago! Which is amazing! Enjoy the Ride Review!

20131020_151425

Goliath opened in 2000 as world’s tallest and fastest continuous coaster. It ran butter-smooth, and still does. Goliath has always been a fan-favorite, and long lines are definitely worth it! (For first-timers at least).

20131020_151349

If there is one ride you can’t miss when walking past it, it’s Goliath, the 230 ft. tall monster towers over the midway and the gigantic sign saying; ‘Goliath’. As you approach the super structure you will have to pass behind the ‘I’ of GOLIATH to enter the line. Continue reading “Goliath @ Six Flags Magic Mountain”

Six Flags Magic Mountain Scare Zone Reviews

Now it’s the end of Fright Fest 2013, we have ratings and reviews for every single Scare Zone at Six Flags Magic Mountain for you! 

Below you’ll see a chart comparing our Scare Ratings with the ones provided by the park. The ‘normal’ ratings are not related to how scary they are, but to how well they’re put together, and how well it was themed. And if it lived up to the expectations. (Some names had to be shortened in the chart in order to fit, full names will be provided in the review section)

  • Demon’s Door

This NEW Scare Zone is very well done! You will enter through an opened door, and red lights and lots of fog show the guests that they’ve just entered HELL. The props look great with the black-lights shining on them! Guests will make their way through the fog, and many demonic creatures will try to scare them. The costumes look really good, and the park has really put a lot of work into it! Once guests found the end of the Scare Zone, they’ll end up at the Valencia Falls, where the fountain is, which is totally lit up red. To their surprise, 30 ft tall flames shoot out of the fountains, right next to the pathways! Great, and very well themed, Scare Zone!

  • Zombie Xing

Another great NEW Scare Zone. Definitely lives up to it’s Scare Rating! Once guests approach the Scare Zone, their will either be a TV with a news channel turned on showing the Zombie invasion, or a road-construction sign saying; ‘Zombie Crossing Ahead’. The park seriously fogs this Scare Zone out, and you won’t have a single clue where you’re heading, and what zombie is about to scare you. Zombie Xing has lots of nice props where the actors can hide under or behind, and a big variety of fog-machines. There are a bunch of blue lights shining into the Scare Zone, disorientating guests even more. Overall a great new Scare Zone that you can’t escape since all access to Bugs Bunny World is closed off.

  • City Under Siege

Not new but definitely a well-done Scare Zone is City Under Siege in DC Universe! This Scare Zone has a mix of interesting lights and lots of fog machines that leave guests wondering if all good of DC Universe has turned evil! The comic-like characters come from everywhere as they laugh in your face, and slide over the ground scaring guests with sparks! City Under Siege definitely fits the area and additionally has a set of green lasers that scan over the Scare Zone. This main effect makes it look as if DC Universe is permanently radio-active. All rides are still operating, making it a foggy, and very interesting, experience!

  • Exile Hill

The scare zone that takes over Samurai Summit ranging from Ninja over to the maze Black Widow.  The scare zone, although not being as fogged as some other scare zones, is very dark, and filled with planters for ghouls to hide.  Monsters range from the four legged creatures, to the undead, to the characters who slide in with spark all around, and, although not the best themes, the darkness makes the scare factor all the better.

  • Nightmares – A Twisted Fantasy

All of your favorite fairy tales, with nightmarish scary twist.  This scare zone, located between Tatsu and Revolution, winds through the fogged and darkened trees with demented princesses, fairy godmothers, and witches galore.  The combination of these demonic creatures and the roar of Revolution in the background will be sure to have you running for your life.

  • The Wastelands

The scare zone that corresponds with the maze Aftermath, due to its shared location with the maze line, this scare zone takes visitors through a post apocalyptic town, filled with the undead, crawling around every corner.

  • Gypsy Hollow 

The scare zone that corresponds with the maze Cursed, which is full of werewolves, and gypsies, who carry around their half dead family members and friends.  This scare zone uses and extreme amount of fog in a small area, meaning almost no visibility which is great for the monsters, but bad for you.

Throwback Thursday–Whizzer at California’s Great America

Whizzer opened in 1976, in both Great America Parks (California and Illinois) as Willard’s Whizzer, named for the parks owner Willard Marriott.  An electric motor beneath each car powered the four-car trains to the top of a unique spiral lift hill, where gravity then took control and delighted riders with a series of swooping dives and ground-hugging turns. whizzer lift

Guests sat in comfortable, tandem-style seats that were originally designed without any form of restraint device but seatbelts. From the start, both Willard’s Whizzer roller coasters suffered from problems with the braking system that would sometimes allow the trains to collide in the station.  Unfortunately, no immediate solution was put forth to remedy this problem. Continue reading “Throwback Thursday–Whizzer at California’s Great America”

Sierra Sidewinder @ Knott’s Berry Farm

This Ride Review is ‘reviewing’ the, currently, only Spinning Coaster in CA! (Undertow hasn’t opened yet, and Pandemonium closed in 2011)

sierra-sidewinder-odVW

Sierra Sidewinder opened in 2007 pretty unique, since there are only 3 Mack Spinning Coasters, and the other two are located in Europe! The ride is located in Camp Snoopy, right of the entrance plaza and is a nice family coaster that is super re-ridable, and you want to ride it over and over again since not a single ride is the same!

Sierra Sidewinder

Riders will approach the ride’s line after entering Camp Snoopy, the family/kids area of the park. The line exists out of 2 sets of switchbacks surrounded by wooden fences. The line is located right under the roller-coaster, so guests will see spinning coaster-cars fly by ever 2 minutes or so! Once guests have walked past, or through, the switchbacks, they will take the stairs up to the station, where they can choose a row to sit in. They will eventually board the relatively small trains, fasten their seat belts, lock their restraints and off they’ll go!

IMG_1188

The ride’s vehicles are locked (so they don’t spin) for the pre-lift and lift-hill section of the ride. Once the train reaches the top of the 62.3 ft lift-hill, the train’s cars will unlock their awesome spinning feature, and there is no stopping to ’till the end. The ride doesn’t have a large drop. The drop is only 39 ft, and goes right into a set of banked turns, the 3rd one being 90′ degrees tilted! After this the train will make a quick, sudden, transition into a double downwards helix, where the train will come very close to the ground. The train will then also reach it’s maximum speed of 37 MPH. Riders will then be thrown into a waving transition, in which the train will quickly bank about 45 degrees either way twice in a row. This movement is followed by two banked turns that run into the brake run. The train’s cars will then be rotated back to the original starting position for it to re-enter it’s station.

Perfectly aligned vehicles, since the cars don't start spinning 'til the first drop!
Perfectly aligned vehicles, since the cars don’t start spinning ’til the first drop!

SierraSidewinder5

This ride may be a little short, but it really offers a unique ride that is different and exciting every time you ride, due to the spinning. The ride is nicely located, and circles some smaller rides that are located in the kids area. The ride’s lines tend to be short throughout the day, and even when the switchbacks are both full, the line will only be about 30 mins. So you can never go wrong with Sierra Sidewinder! Check it out next time you’re at Knott’s Berry Farm!

KBF078

Tomorrow Tuesday–Undertow at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

undertow

In August of 2012, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk unveiled plans for a new $5.5 million ride during a presentation for employees and media at the Boardwalk.  A new spinning roller coaster, named Undertow, will join the Boardwalk’s thrilling lineup of rides.  Manufactured by the German coaster company Maurer Sohne, Undertow will be the only spinning coaster in Northern California.   Continue reading “Tomorrow Tuesday–Undertow at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk”

Some Fright Fest @ SFDK pics

We were invited to the Ghoulish Gathering VIP event at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, but due to travel distance and time, we weren’t able to make it. An associate that lives practically next to the park was able to make it, and took a few pictures for us. The park was only open ’til 10, so most pictures were taken during the day. And since everyone at the event went on mazes at night, we have very few pictures of the park at night. (You’re not allowed to take pictures at the mazes) So here they are!

All rides were operating Friday night, looks pretty cool if you ask us!

V2 and Roar

Of course our favorite ride, Superman Ultimate Flight, deserved their attention!

SUF FF

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is expanding it’s Fright Fest more and more every year, and they have also placed a huge spider on their woodie!

roar spider

The Fright Fest decorations looked awesome at the park! Below is an example!

FF stage

Have you been to any CA Halloween event yet? Let us know by commenting below!