Wednesday, July 27, 2011

HersheyPark 2012 Viral Marketing Campaign Update

 HersheyPark has launched another massive online viral campaign for their new 2012 roller coaster. Everything is pretty much spelled out up to this point here:

Here's the information on the actual ride that is all but confirmed at this point:

Height: 212
Angle of first drop: 85 degrees

Color codes:
"pastel blue" (supports)
"traffic yellow" (tracks)
"Night Blue" (train)Hershey trademarked the name "SkyRush" (although this is not the "confirmed" name quite yet). There is also a heavy military-type theme shaping a "test pilot" type feel.

Possible layout?

Also, a fuzzy image the coaster was released, and it essentially looks like a mini I305. It seems there is still a rumor that it could be a wingrider-style ride, although my bet is on a standard sit-down coaster. 

A new clue was released today revealing the message: In the end only 4 will ride. Looks like this is a contest to be the first to ride the new coaster. Can't wait to see the final layout renderings (though I hope they hold off on those until a little while after vertical construction has begun. I love trying to figure out the layout just from the pictures of the footers). Figure out the next clue for yourself:

Monday, July 25, 2011

Roller Coaster Maintenance and Mechanical Components Handbook

Have you ever wondered what a work instruction manual for a roller coaster entails? First of all, what am I even talking about? Well, a roller coaster or amusement park ride manufacturer creates a manual of how to safely operate and inspect their thrill machine. This is basically a work instruction book given to the park and contains all of the preventive maintenance steps as well, safe operating procedures, and anything else needed to maintain the ride. Some of these handbooks even contain mechanical drawings and engineering calculations!

So what does one of these manuals look like? Well, it just so happens that I have been able to find one on the internet and will share it with you. You can download the pdf here. You might learn a thing or to about how a roller coaster works! Be sure to check out some of our other diagrams.

Roller Coaster Maintenance and Mechanical Components Handbook.pdf download

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Why Disney's Customer Service is Better than Universal

On our recent vacation at Universal Orlando Resort, we waited over an hour in line for Rip Ride Rocket and they closed the ride right before we were about to get on. At that point, the park was closed and we didn't get to do anything else and had essentially wasted the last hour or two of our time in the park. There was no compensation for us or any others waiting in line. We left the park very disappointed and frustrated, along with countless other guests- not a good lasting impression for first time visitors. I understand there are mechanical problems, no big deal, especially if they are early in the day. My issue is that it was the end of the day and there was no attempt at correcting the feeling that our time and money had just been wasted- the two most important issues for me as a park guest. At Disney, they give you fast passes good at any park for x number of days. Thus their customer service will always be better in my eyes.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Amputee Dies In Theme Park Accident

A U.S. Army veteran who lost both legs in Iraq and had been trying to rebuild his life was killed after he was thrown from a roller coaster at an upstate New York amusement park. More information can be found on Screamscape. This is just a sad, sad story as well as being one of those that has us all scratching our heads wondering how this even happens. How do you let someone who has no legs on a ride which constrains the riders by the legs? Thoughts and prayer go out to everyone involved.

I think the next major innovation in the amusement park industry needs to be a new restraint system. I envision something which at first is flexible so it can be contorted to fit the shape of any rider and then when they are secured in place the restraint magically hardens to a non-flexible state. Anyone know of such material? Memory shape alloy or something?

And no we don't need federal oversight for amusement park rides, that is what the ASTM F24 committee is for. Federal regulations wouldn't have prevented this accident.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Disney Drawings

A reader recently left a comment on one of my recent posts. Ed says, "I have a collection of blueprints you might like to check out. It's all disney stuff I've drawn myself so it's not as professional as yours but it's pretty complete." I looked at the pictures and thought they were absolutely fantastic so I decided to share them all with you as well. I love every kind of theme park layout or blueprint style drawings.