Saturday, 14 July 2012

RCCGB USA 2012 - Pacific High Rollers

As most of you know, I did not attend USA 2012. Nonetheless I've had enough interest in the trip to read every day of the official report on the Club website. Well done to whoever put the effort into writing that, including putting up the photos. Having read the text and seen the photos you lot (58 of you) clearly had fun in the USA that time, which I missed out on. Here are my comments and questions about the trip.

Day 1 - Saturday 26 May 2012

Heathrow Airport
You've put all the trivia like which gate you went to, time of your flight, etc. If I put all that trivia about my train journey when I go to UK RCCGB trips I bet someone would tell me that's unnecessary drivel. I notice there's a picture of you all on the down escalator to Gate B, your first "coaster ride" of the trip.

The Flight
What memorable moments did you expect to happen during the flight?

Day 2 - Sunday 27 May 2012 - Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

Early Start
On the coach at 7:45am? What time did you all get up? That was good of the hotel to give you breakfast so early.

Group Photo
A group photo on arrival is hardly surprising, Nev likes to have one if he can. In fact you've got two; one outside and one inside the Park.

Roar ERS
A woodie. How does it compare to Big Dipper or Nickelodeon Streak at PBR Blackpool? I notice the wooden structure is unpainted unlike those said Blackpool coasters. I've spotted Nev in the front row in one shot. Also I've seen Mary (Regatta) and Andy Knight in the front row in another shot. Where's the best position to ride Roar – front, middle or back? You've got seven shots of this ERS, well covered.

V2 Vertical Velocity
An inverted steelie; to be precise an Intamin Twisted Impulse Coaster. At 150 feet tall it's taller than Nemesis (Alton Towers), Nemesis Inferno (Thorpe Park) and Infusion (PBR Blackpool); however it's not as tall as Jubilee Odyssey 167 feet (Fantasy Island). I'm surprised how short it's length is, just 630 feet. That's nothing compared to the other four said British coasters which are all over 2000 feet long. What's the V2 Vertical Velocity ride feeling like compared to the said four British coasters?

Rest of Day
If you didn't have much time left after the V2 Vertical Velocity takeover, why did you bother seeing the animals? Why didn't you just use what time you had left to cram in as many rides as possible. I think that's what I'd have done had I been there.

Superman Ultimate Flight
No doubt some must have been disappointed at not being able to ride this new coaster, but as I've said before that's the problem going to a park intent on riding a new coaster or other ride; it's a fact of life that sometimes rides open later than originally planned.

A B&M sit-down looping steelie, with four in a row seating. I notice from the RCDB it's the same height as Vekoma's Millennium Roller Coaster at Fantasy Island Ingoldmells; what's Medusa like to ride compared to Millennium Roller Coaster?

Looking at the RCDB, it's another Vekoma Boomerang. How does it compare to the Boomerang I rode at Pleasure Island Cleethorpes two years ago?

Day 3 - Monday 28 May 2012 - California's Great America

Flight Deck ERS
A B&M inverted steelie. It looks like a flying coaster to me, and I notice from the photos it goes quite close to the ground in some parts. How does it compare to AIR (Alton Towers)?

Psycho Mouse
What's this mouse steelie like to ride compared to various steel mouse coasters I've ridden around the UK? I notice the 4-seater cars are rectangular and look rather cramped; mouse coasters I've been on here tend to have round cars.

Drop Tower
How tall is this? If it's really tall, how does it compare to Drop (Funland Hayling Island) or Tango Ice Blast (PBR Blackpool)?

A woodie, and from the RCDB photos quite an impressive one at that. Furthermore it's unpainted. What's it like to ride compared to Big Dipper and Nickelodeon Streak at PBR Blackpool?

This looks similar to Ripsaw (Alton Towers) and Rameses Revenge (CWOA), but it's above a waterfall and has fire as well as water jets. Isn't there a danger of being burned by the fire? What's it like to ride compared to Ripsaw or Rameses Revenge?

Rip Roaring Rapids and Snoopy's Splash Dance
Dan got wet on these, well what did he expect? Why didn't he wear a cagoule to keep him dry?

A stand-up looping steelie. What's it like to ride compared to Shockwave at Drayton Manor? I notice from the RCDB that it's longer than Shockwave (Drayton Manor), but slower and less tall than Shockwave (Drayton Manor).

Day 4 - Tuesday 29 May 2012 - Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Giant Dipper ERS
A woodie with a white structure and red track, just like Big Dipper at PBR Blackpool. How does the Giant Dipper ride experience compare to Blackpool's Big Dipper?

If the Pacific was so cold, why did you paddle in it? Wouldn't the time have been better spent having a few more rides?

Sea Serpent
A family steelie. How does it compare to anything similar in size that I've been on in the UK, e.g. Troublesome Trucks Runaway Coaster (Drayton Manor), Rhombus's Rocket (Fantasy Island Ingoldmells)?

Long Coach Journey
I notice you had to leave at 4pm to begin a long coach journey to your next hotel. Naturally enough Nev took the chance to play bingo. Was there a stop anywhere for people to get an evening meal?

Day 5 - Wednesday 30 May 2012 - Six Flags Magic Mountain

Lots of Coasters
Going by the summary coaster list on the main USA 2012 page, you rode more coasters this day than any other individual day. No wonder Nev decided to make this tour T-shirt day. Did everyone manage to ride all the coasters listed on that page?

From the photos, this looks rather similar to Swarm (Thorpe Park). How does X2 compare to Swarm?

A sit down steel coaster that, according to the RCDB, has 7 inversions including a 40 feet tall double corkscrew. I've seen a few of its pictures on the RCDB. This appears to be a corkscrew style coaster. How does it compare to Corkscrew at Alton Towers and Corkscrew at Flamingo Land?

A B&M steel flying coaster. Looking at the photos on the Club website and RCDB, this appears somewhat similar to AIR at Alton Towers. How does riding Tatsu compare to riding AIR (Alton Towers)?

Unlike its Thorpe Park namesake, this is a wooden coaster. Looking at this RCDB photo, I can see two tracks, and the RCDB describes it as a twin coaster. If it's dual tracked (can anyone confirm that?) that must mean it's a racing coaster just like Grand National at PBR Blackpool. How does it compare to Grand National at Blackpool?

The Green Lantern
In the Club website photo this looks really out of the ordinary! To the best of my knowledge there's nothing like it anywhere in the UK. What's it like to ride? Is it the sort of coaster you'd want to repeatedly ride, or is one go enough?

Batman The Ride
A B&M inverted steelie, how does riding this compare to Nemesis (Alton Towers), Nemesis Inferno (Thorpe Park), Infusion (PBR Blackpool) or Jubilee Odyssey (Fantasy Island Ingoldmells)?

A B&M sit down looping steelie. It's the same height as Millennium Roller Coaster (Fantasy Island Ingoldmells) (150 feet), but it's faster and has more inversions. How does riding this compare to Millennium Roller Coaster (Fantasy Island Ingoldmells)?

A Giovanola Mega Coaster. I notice from the RCDB it's taller and faster than Pepsi Max Big One (PBR Blackpool), but not as long. How does riding Goliath compare to riding Blackpool's Pepsi Max Big One?

Road Runner Express
According to the RCDB, this is a Vekoma Junior Coaster (207m), the same model as Maximus (formerly El Pastil Loco) at Devon's Crealy which I've ridden plenty of times 2003 to 2011 inclusive. Presumably therefore riding Road Runner Express is just like riding Maximus (Devon's Crealy). I notice from the RCDB photos the train design is different to Maximus, does that mean there are any differences in the ride experience? How many laps of the track does one ride consist of (for comparison Maximus at Devon's Crealy one ride = two laps).

Canyon Blaster
Another family steelie, this looks more like a runaway train type coaster. How does this compare to any runaway train coasters I've ridden around the UK?

A looping steelie. I notice from the RCDB it has just one loop. Anything similar in the UK? Having looked through the RCDB photos, this appears to be a circuit, not a dead end (go forwards and backwards) as is the case with the Blackpool Revolution.

Apocalypse the Ride
A woodie which opened in 2009. Just goes to show, some parks in the USA are willing to build wooden coasters in the 21st century. If only a few UK parks would do the same. Apocalypse the Ride looks impressive, how does riding it compare to Nickelodeon Streak and Big Dipper at Blackpool? I notice it's unpainted wood unlike the Blackpool woodies.

Day 6 - Thursday 31 May 2012 - Knott's Berry Farm

Early Start
7.15am was a rather early deadline to be on the coach. How early did you get up? Was there time to have breakfast before getting on the coach? Mind you, I've had to set off for some UK RCCGB trips much earlier than 7.15am, the earliest I've ever set off was on a train departing Bath Spa 5:43am to go to the Southend meet-up last year.

Did they actually put this on for the RCCGB or not? According to the RCDB, it's an Intamin AG Accelerator Coaster, just like Stealth at Thorpe Park. From the RCDB photos I can see this has an extra loop of some sort that Stealth doesn't have. How does riding Xcelerator compare to riding Stealth (Thorpe Park)?

Silver Bullet ERS
A B&M Inverted Coaster, just like Nemesis (Alton Towers) and Nemesis Inferno (Thorpe Park)? How does riding Silver Bullet compare to Nemesis and Nemesis Inferno? Also how does riding Silver Bullet to the rather similar Vekoma SLC inverted steelies Infusion (PBR Blackpool) and Jubilee Odyssey (Fantasy Island Ingoldmells)? I notice from the RCDB Silver Bullet has a considerably longer track length than any of those four said UK steelies.

Montezooma's Revenge ERS
This Schwarzkopf Shuttle Loop is another looping steelie, albeit sit-down. I notice it's almost as tall and nearly as fast as Millennium Roller Coaster at Fantasy Island Ingoldmells. How does Montezooma's Revenge compare to Millennium Roller Coaster (Fantasy Island)?

Yet another Vekoma Boomerang like the one you rode at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom on day 2. How does riding this Boomerang compare to riding the Boomerang at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom (which I've never ridden) and the Boomerang at Pleasure Island Cleethorpes (which I rode two years ago)?

A woodie, again left in its natural state (not painted like the woodies at Blackpool). How does riding this compare to riding Big Dipper or Nickelodeon Streak at PBR Blackpool? What's the best part of the train to sit in: front, middle or back?

Supreme Scream
A drop tower, how tall is it? How does it compare to the Tango Ice Blast at PBR Blackpool?

Rip Tide
What exactly is this? It's got a row of seats like a Miami, but does it go up and down like a Miami or similar? From the photo I notice it's above water jets, therefore did the riders get wet during the ride?

Sierra Sidewinder
I notice from the photos this Mack Rides Spinning Coaster has spinning cars just like the Maurer Söhne coasters Sonic Spinball (Alton Towers) and Dragon's Fury (CWOA). How does riding Sierra Sidewinder compare to riding Sonic Spinball or Dragon's Fury?

Joe Cool's GR8 SK8
I can't find this on the RCDB, it's got ride cars and it's got a track of some sort, but is it a coaster or not? Some of you evidently felt it was worth a go anyway. Did you all ride this?

Perilous Plunge
A boat ride, how does it compare to Stormforce 10 (Drayton Manor) or Tidal Wave (Thorpe Park)? Everyone must have got drenched on this, did anyone remember to put a cagoule on before getting into the boat?

Pony Express
I notice this is a Zamperla Moto Coaster. Some coasters of that model have motor bikes, but this one has ponies on board. How well does this simulate riding a pony around a coaster track? Is it really possible to simulate trotting / galloping that a pony would do in real life?

Day 7 - Friday 1 June 2012 - Legoland California

Early Rise
Did everyone manage to wake up at 5am as stated at the end of the day 6 report? Well done everyone getting on to the coach for 6:15am. For comparison, I've got up at 4:30am in order to get ready, have breakfast and walk to Bath Spa station in plenty of time for the 06:13 London Paddington train when I've attended the UK RCCGB trips to CWOA (June 2010) and Swarm Storm (March 2012). I suppose your coach picked you up from outside the front door of your hotel.

Breakfast at Legoland
That was good of Legoland to give you breakfast there, at least it saved you rushing to have an exceptionally early breakfast at your hotel before getting on your coach. There's quite an assortment, including breakfast baps and croissants. Did the Park Boss Peter Ronchetti remember Nev and other members from Loopathon Alton Towers in past years?

They've got a vast stock of Lego bricks on their shelves, and have made some amazing models, like the globe. It's amazing how an adult must be paid to build those models, i.e. play with Lego. Nice work if you can get it!

Technic Coaster ERS
The RCDB describes its track layout as a mouse coaster. In which case, is the ride experience similar to various mouse coasters I've ridden in the UK? Do the cars spin on the journey around the track?

Dragon ERS
How does this Vekoma Junior Coaster (Custom) differ from the Vekoma Junior Coaster (207m) e.g. Road Runner Express (Six Flags Magic Mountain) or Maximus (Devon's Crealy)?

Pirate Reef ERS
Being a boat ride, it's hardly surprising you would get soaked. I notice some removed their T-shirts before going on the ride. Those who kept their T-shirts on must have got them drenched. Why didn't every rider wear a cagoule and pair of leggings on the ride? How does it compare to Stormforce 10 (Drayton Manor), Tidal Wave (Thorpe Park) or Lost River Ride (Flamingo Land)?

A Gerstlauer Junior-Coaster, just like Troublesome Trucks Runaway Coaster at Drayton Manor. How does riding Coastersaurus compare to Troublesome Trucks Runaway Coaster at Drayton Manor?

Day 8 - Saturday 2 June 2012 - Belmont Park & Pacific Park

Giant Dipper ERS
A woodie. How does it compare to its namesake at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk? What's the ride experience compared to Big Dipper or Nickelodeon Streak at PBR Blackpool? I notice Mary (Regatta) and Andy Knight in the front row giving it the thumbs up, they evidently liked it. Why did someone hold up 400 in one photo?

Beach Blaster
Is that it a Freak-Out / Afterburner type ride? It certainly looks like one in the photo. What's it like to ride?

Santa Monica West Coaster
Everyone seems to be enjoying this steelie. Is there anything similar in the UK?

Pirate Ship
Everyone seems to be enjoying this. How does it compare to swinging pirate ships I've ridden in the UK, e.g. the ones at Paultons, Devon's Crealy and Cornwall's Crealy.

Day 9 - Sunday 3 June 2012 - Buffalo Bill's Casino Resort

Desperado ERS
An Arrow Dynamics Hyper Coaster, just like Blackpool's Pepsi Max Big One, and interestingly both have been operating since 1994. I notice from the RCDB its track length is longer than Pepsi Max Big One. Its height is slightly less than Pepsi Max Big One, yet strangely enough it has a bigger drop. Is part of the ride in a cutting below ground? In addition it's faster than Pepsi Max Big One. On the whole, what's the ride experience like compared to Pepsi Max Big One? Everyone seems to be enjoying it; Nev's got his arms in the air in one shot and smiling in another, Andy and Mary (Regatta) Knight are together in the front row in three other photos.

Log Flume
How can a log flume be a dry ride. Everyone should have donned cagoules so as not to get wet when squirted by the water guns.

Drop Tower
How tall is this? Is it really tall like Tango Ice Blast at Blackpool (210 feet), or is it more like the S&S Hyper Blaster at Pleasure Island Cleethorpes (90 feet)? Alternatively is it a family one like the Trauma Tower (Woodlands) or Jumping Bean (Paultons); both of which are made by Moser Rides? How does it compare to one of a similar height in the UK?

That was generous to give a collection to the coach driver as a way of saying thank you.

People Who Left
I'm surprised only five people left to go home at the end of this day. I'd have thought the majority would have left at this point and only a few would have stayed on for the Las Vegas add-on.

Las Vegas Add-On
It seems to me as those who stayed for the Las Vegas add-on had a good time and didn't miss the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in the UK. For starters you evidently had better weather, i.e. gorgeous sunny days. Back home, Diamond Jubilee Day Bank Holiday Tuesday 5 June was a wash-out where I happened to be.

Big Shot
A drop tower. How does it compare to Tango Ice Blast at Blackpool? Is it as tall as Tango Ice Blast? Everyone who went on it certainly seemed eager to ride it.

What exactly does this do apart from tilt forwards? Apart from the fact that it's really high up, it doesn't seem much of a ride.

Canyon Blaster
From various photos, this Arrow Dynamics Custom Looping Coaster looks like a corkscrew type steelie. How does it compare to Corkscrew (Alton Towers) and Corkscrew (Flamingo Land)?

A more down-to-earth funfair ride, nonetheless a few people rode it.

New York New York Roller Coaster
I presume this is the one you mean. This sit-down steelie looks quite impressive; from the RCDB I'm surprised to discover it's almost as tall as Blackpool's Pepsi Max Big One. It's a bit slower and the track length is quite a fair bit shorter than Pepsi Max Big One. Unlike Pepsi Max Big One, this has a loop. How does riding this compare to riding a looping coaster such as Millennium Roller Coaster (Fantasy Island Ingoldmells) or Colossus (Thorpe Park)? How does this compare to riding Blackpool's Pepsi Max Big One?

Well, what a mega fun trip that was, I wish I'd been there. Did you ride any of the following non-coaster rides:

Bumper boats
Canoes, pedaloes etc.
Water coasters (like Wave Runner at Paultons)
Mondial Top Scan type rides
Spinning pirate ships (Rock 'n' Tug type)
Sellner Tilt A Whirl
Cyclone / Twister
Tea cups / cauldrons
Chair-o-planes / wave swingers
Disko / Disk-o-Coaster
Moby Dick type rides
Paratrooper (umbrellas spinning on angle) or Mexican hat type rides
Astra (multi-lane bumpy) slides (as in Astroglide at Paultons, Giant Castle Slide at Harbour Park, Littlehampton)
Drop slides (like Demon Drop Slide at Flambards, Buzzard's Swoop and Red Devil at Devon's Crealy)

Once again thank you very much again for the Club website report of USA 2012, roll on the AIRtime report in a future issue.

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