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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 5:48 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2007 10:14 pm
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Location: North Kansas City, Missouri, United States
This is the sort of fun thing I used to do at Asimov's a lot. They are fairly non-abrasive topics that tell you a lot about members of the SF community so I thought I'd try one on for size here at TTA Forum.

I'm working at a roller coaster this summer at a local amusement park (World's of Fun) and I can't really blog about it. I probably shouldn't post forum entries on it either but if they fire me, meh, matters not said I.

The roller coaster I currently work on is called Patriot (yeah, even I find the name to be a bit excessive and I'm not known for being an Ashamed American). If you enjoy irony, you'll be interested to know that this Inverted Roller Coaster was built by a Swiss Company. You sit in a seat that allows your feet to dangle freely. If you are fortunate enough to sit in the front row (as I often get to when I test ride) it is very much akin to flying.

It isn't my favorite roller coaster to work on as a crewmember (I won't get into that, probably shouldn't anyway as it has more to do with guest/crew issues than ride design) but it is one of my favorites to ride on.

Here are some of the others I've ridden over the years. They are all WoF coasters mainly because all of the other amusement parks are too far away to get to.

1. Patriot.
2. Mamba, a hypercoaster that runs like something Al Reynolds might have designed. It runs up to 75 mph.
3. Orient Express, formerly the largest steel roller coaster in the world, since dismantled due to extreme structural fatigue.
4. Zambezi Zinger. You go up an electric powered circular lift instead of a traditional straight chain lift.
5. The Timber Wolf, a wooden roller coaster. I've not ridden it since 1994 but wooden coasters have a reputation for being rough rides (Patriot and Mamba, both steel, are smooth by contrast) and apparently they get rougher with age.
6. EXT/Screamroller, a smaller version of Orient Express that featured upside down loops for the first time at WoF. It was dismantled in 1988 to make room for Timber Wolf.

My all time favorite has to be Orient Express though.

So, anyone else? I'd be interested in hearing about what folks from other parts of the world have ridden as well as what they like roller coaster wise.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
Trapped in the Show Me State where he says, "Show me the coasters!"

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 6:10 pm 
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Location: Bethesda, Gwynedd
Personally, when you say, 'Patriot', I think 'missile'. Different cultures, perhaps?

Anyway, favorite roller coasters. I've not been to many amusement parks - not nearly as many as I would have liked and even less rides. But my favourite is Dragon River, as Chessington World of Adventures. It's a Chinese-themed water coaster that takes you up and down and gets you wet. It's pretty tame by the standards around today. It's my favourite because I remember going on it with my dad when I was small. We had Chinese chicken-wings in the queue, and my brother and I sat in the front. It is one of the first times I remember my dad actually having fun. (My dad's still alive and well, just so you know, but has always been something of a stoic, which is hard to understand when you're eight).

Not uncommon, I suppose. A favourite because of the memories attached, rather then directly because of the experience.

Actually, speaking of which, another one. We had this traveling fair come by our house a while ago (many years, actually) and they had this one ride which I'm sure wasn't legal. Imagine a small Ferris wheel with capsules attached. Now, the wheel turns really quickly and the capsules are allowed to spin on their own, so while the wheel is going around so are the capsules. And now imagine all that's holding you in is an old, shaky iron bar - no harnesses, no belts, no padded seats. Just a bar, like you get at the Ghost Train. Another great day out with my dad and brother.

If I had the money, I'd go on some of the more extreme ones. But theme parks are so damned expensive (£30 a ticket, last time I went), and there are none within a reasonable day's drive from where I live.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 10:12 pm 
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Location: North Kansas City, Missouri, United States
Foxie, the U.S. Army does have a missile system called Patriot so it isn't any surprise that you'd think that.

Theme parks are expensive, that is for certain and the one I work at is no different. In fact, unless I'm actually working there, I almost never GO there. I worked there in 88, 89 and 94 so I was pretty familar with everything in the park. In the intervenning years, they ripped out most of what I had ridden and replace it with new costers. That said, if I wasn't working there, I seriously doubt I'd pay the money to actually go as a Guest.

Besides, I absolutely positively hate waiting in line. That is probably an Army thing.

We've got a number of water rides. There is Fury of the Nile (my personal favorite to ride and work at) which is basically a gigantic inner tube floating down artificial rapids and another boat oriented ride called Monsoon which is tied to the neighboring water park, Oceans of Fun.

I get free access to both parks as a perk of sorts but I find I spend most of my rec time (that which isn't spent in classes, working out, on the internet or trying to get some writing done) at Ocean's instead of World's.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
Trapped in the Show Me State

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 1:45 pm 
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Location: Barnsley, England
Alton Towers used to have a ride called something like "The Raging Bull". It was by very favouritest (it was there for ages, hence the childish response ;)) for a long time. But they took it down maybe 6 years ago now.

It was one of those old ones where you sit two to a carriage, one behind the other, two carriages in a chain, two chains, etc. There were no safety belts and it didn't (obviously) do any fancy loop the loops. But the rickety feel and apparent speed, the feel of being pressed into your seat as you turned around the bend that almost but not quite had you at 90 degrees to the floor... lovely stuff. I want it back, please. Much better than the fancier stuff.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 5:44 pm 
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LIFE!

(Who knows what's coming next!)

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