• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Santa07 last won the day on August 31

Santa07 had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

964 Excellent

1 Follower

About Santa07

  • Rank
    Fuschia: The Ride - coming to MW 2017
  • Birthday September 17

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
  • Interests
    Theme parks & rollercoasters, technology, programming, music

Park & Ride Stats

  • Favourite Ride
    Superman Escape
  • Park Count
  • Ride Count

Recent Profile Visitors

3,030 profile views
  1. Santa07

    Fright Nights 2018

    They had the Conjuring 2 last year... I wouldn't expect to see a Nun maze until a couple more years down the track. That said, I can easily name multiple other missed opportunities...
  2. Santa07

    DC Rivals Hypercoaster Climb

    For comparison, Busch Gardens Tampa has a similar experience for about the same price (70 USD). However, this tour not only includes a climb up Sheikra, it also includes a behind the scenes tour for two of its other coasters.
  3. Santa07

    Tower of Terror ongoing/indefinite closure (Dreamworld)

    If I had a dollar every time someone on these forums complained about ToT’s extended downtime, I’d have enough money to knock the ride down and upgrade the giant drop.
  4. Santa07

    DC Rivals Hypercoaster Climb

    If I wanted to climb a coaster I’d just do the star tour. The non-coaster-climb portion of the tour is definitely worth a lot more than the couple of hundred dollar difference. Sure, Arkham isn’t quite as tall or cool as DCR, but the DCR climb is definitely not a $100 experience.
  5. Santa07

    2019 International Coaster Announcments

    Copperhead Strike looks like a great coaster. I've seen some complaints about the speed of the ride, but these Mack multi-launches aren't meant to be the most intense rides out there, and it certainly looks like the hang time on some of those inversions will be great. This is... an interesting choice of coaster for MM. Clearly not what they really needed (as it's just a mashup of Full Throttle and TC), but I guess they did want to get to 20 coasters . It still looks like a fun ride, but I'm really not liking the OTSRs Premier are chucking on most of their coasters these days. Rest of the SF announcements are here: In typical SF fashion, the video is so corny it's difficult to watch. Some highlights: - A lot of giant discoveries - SFGA is getting a really cool coaster, S&S has done well - SFDK continues to get a lot of love - a free spin looks like a great fit for this park - SFA is getting their standup converted to a floorless... eh, it's an improvement - Please stop the superloops
  6. Santa07

    Fright Nights 2018

  7. Santa07

    China Trip Reports - June/July 2018

    Part 2 comes from Discoveryland… or Discovery Kingdom… or Kingdoms of Discovery - I saw all three names in and around the one park (RCDB goes by Discoveryland so let’s stick with that). I didn’t know much about this park. It was reasonably close to where I was staying for the majority of my time in China and me and a couple of friends decided to check it out one day. Came in with a pretty fresh mind and not very high expectations. To start with, it’s a very Chinese park - i.e. very weird compared to our Western standards. It’s hard to really explain what makes it weird, you need to experience a Chinese park yourself to understand. It's actually quite a pretty park - a big lake in the centre, and some areas were really well-themed (although some were also a little bare). The medieval section of the park was the best-themed in my opinion, even though it looked like it came from a video game. We started in that section, and picked an attraction that had “4D” on the sign. We were expecting some sort of 4D dark ride, but ended up in a haunted house walk-through. More laughter than screams because of the horribly fake-looking theming, although the Chinese locals seemed a little terrified. Next up we saw a ride called “Thunder Chariot”. We walked in having no clue what it was, and ended up on a Zamperla Thunderbolt coaster! Actually a really good ride! Was also nice to know it was a pretty reputable manufacturer (this was after checking the ride on RCDB) so we were in safe hands. Pros Great drop Reasonably forceful Fun inversions (the zero-G roll was the highlight of the ride for me) Very smooth (unlike the other coasters at the park - I believe this one only opened a few months ago so if it wasn’t smooth I’d be a little concerned) Cons Operations: they had 3 cars on the track, but were only using one at once (i.e. they would load, cycle, and unload a single cars before moving to the next one). Didn’t make much sense to me since they had the staff available to be running all three at once. (warning: operations will be a common complaint) Rating - 8/10 Rides that followed after that were a 4D show in Chinese (the seat movements and effects were more painful than fun though, especially since they didn’t align with the video very well), a pirate ship, and a Zamperla Discovery (seems like the park had a pretty good relationship with Zamperla as there were a lot of their rides around). No need to properly review these because the pirate ship and frisbee were pretty standard rides. We then saw a stunt show, which was surprisingly quite good. Clearly the Russian stunt actors were ready to pull more risks than any stunt actor in an Australian show. Would rate this show an 8/10. We then took on a shot/drop tower. The shot was mediocre… pretty forceless… but the drop caught me off-guard and was really forceful. 7/10 for that ride. I made the mistake of deciding to do what I would say is the literal representation of a “spin-and-spew”. It’s hard to explain the ride properly, basically just a series of incredibly slow multi-axis rotations which had me upside down for the majority of the ride. Not a pleasant experience. 1/10. After dodgem cars and carosuel, I was regretfully talked into another spin-and-spew, this one being a Zamperla energy storm. Not nearly as bad as the other spin-and-spew, but still nothing I would want to repeat ever again. 2/10. Up next was a rapids ride. A few second-thoughts for this one seeing when I was there the Dreamworld inquest had only just occurred a week or so ago, but overall wasn’t a bad rapids ride. Operations were very slow, with only a couple of rafts going at a time. 5/10. The next ride we did was Dizzy Love and Whirling Passion - definitely the coaster with the strangest name I’ve ever been on. This was your typical Chinese knockoff SLC that you find at a lot of theme parks around the country. A knockoff SLC has always been on my bucketlist of things to do, and now that I’ve checked one off I don’t plan on riding another anytime soon… If this coaster had better trains, smoother track profiling, and a lot less of a rattle, it would probably be a 9/10 coaster for me (as would be the case with any normal SLC as well). However, this is for sure the roughest coaster I have ever done. The ride experience starts with a gentle climb up the lift-hill (utterly terrifying though as I knew what was about to come). Then comes the drop, which actually isn’t too rough (nothing worse than your typical Vekoma SLC drop). But as soon as you reach the bottom of the drop, the ride’s rattle becomes close to unbearable, and stays this way through most of the ride. You rattle your way through the loop, and into what I think was meant to be an airtime hill. I don’t remember if I actually got any airtime going over this hill, but I do remember the pain I was in at this point on the ride. The next element, an immelmann, actually started okay, but the exit from the element was profiled horribly - very jarring. After a turn that really could’ve used some more banking was the most painful part of the ride - the double inline twist. The inline twist on Arkham is bad enough, but the profiling on this one (it’s worse than the immelmann’s profiling) felt like a heartline roll a newbie would make in Planet Coaster. At this point, the ride had lost most of its momentum, and it crawled through the last part of the ride (a helix and a short stretch of track into the brakes). Fortunately the low speed meant this part of the ride wasn’t actually too rough. Pros The concept is good (the execution however results in nothing but pain) Makes Arkham feel like a B&M in comparison Cons Slow operations (again) Harnesses are bulky, unconfortable, painful, and overcomplicated - think your traditional Vekoma SLC harnesses plus a few extra seatbelts that go over your torso and waist before you pull down the harness The ride loses almost all its momentum and speed very quickly, so you literally crawl through the last half of the ride (could be seen as a good thing though because it makes it more comfortable) Incredibly painful Overall rating: 1/10 The last new ride of the day was Flying Dragon, a Chinese knockoff of a Maurer spinner. This one’s pretty easy to explain. Think of Scooby Doo’s coaster section, however with the maintenance lights on (if you’ve done the Star Tour or seen TPR’s Scooby POV you’d understand). Then replace the cars with spinning cars, and give the track a rattle. This ride does have some major problems though (see below). Pros Less painful than the knockoff SLC (not a lot less though) Cons Theming was bizarre - medieval theming at first, then futuristic theming, then no theming once you get on the ride I don’t even know if the harness was secure - it moved a lot during the ride. The seat belt felt like the only thing holding me in There’s a fairly major rattle This was my big problem with the ride - every set of brakes would abruptly stop you. Not only did this kill the ride’s pacing, but it also was so abrupt that it was very painful, especially when you stopped facing sideways. This one major issue turned the ride from an average spinning coaster to a bottom-3 coaster for me Overall rating: 1/10 The rest of the day was spent on the park’s only operating coaster that was enjoyable to ride. There was actually a fourth coaster at the park, but it’s been SBNO for a while now (did see it cycling during the day though so maybe they’re trying to reopen it?). So, an overall review of this park… I definitely did enjoy the park a lot more than I think I would. The park was actually quite nice, it just didn’t have a whole lot of good rides. The GC parks are still a lot better than this one (even in the current state some of them are in) but it was still a fun day. Would I come back? I certainly wouldn't plan a trip around it, but if I was in the area I'd definitely consider it. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I didn't get to do the version in Paris when I was there, so have nothing to compare it to. I think I would've enjoyed this ride a lot more if it weren't for the technical difficulties. Also probably would've enjoyed it more if I hadn't just done Pirates a couple of hours earlier
  8. I was fortunate enough to visit Shanghai for a couple of days while I was on my way to visit another part of China, which gave me the opportunity to visit Shanghai Disneyland (my second Disney park, Paris being the other one I've done). This is the first of two trip reports (the other one is for another park elsewhere in China that you probably haven't heard of before). It was an insanely busy day (welcome to China...), so even though I didn't get everything I wanted to done, I'll run through my opinion on everything I did manage to do. It's hard to believe this park only opened a few years ago, it's a huge park and is certainly a complete Disney experience (not quite the same as the experience you'd get at other Disney parks though - more on that later). I'll run through every area of the park and the rides I managed to do in each area (in the order I did them). Mickey Avenue/Gardens of Imagination/Storybook Castle I've grouped these three areas together because they're the first three things you see when you walk in. Interesting to note Main Street USA is actually called Mickey Avenue because China doesn't want any references to America :P ). Mickey Avenue itself is a little underwhelming, but the Gardens of Imagination is an enormous open area, with the giant Storybook Castle in the middle. It's hard to describe the scale of this area of the park. Certainly makes Paris' castle look tiny, even if this one doesn't have a dragon underneath it (it does have a boat ride though!). Treasure Cove This area of the park is Shanghai's replacement for Frontierland (remember - no American-related theming allowed). As the name implies, it's a pirate themed area, and even though it's pretty small, the theming and attractions in this part of the park are incredible. Pirates of the Caribbean - Battle for the Sunken Treasure I had very high expectations for this ride, and they were exceeded. This ride is strides ahead of the Paris version (the other version I have done) in almost every possible measure. If you haven’t already seen one, I highly recommend watching a POV (even though they don’t fully-capture the full on-ride experience you get). Keeping in mind that I haven’t been to a huge amount of Disney parks, I reckon this ride is definitely a contender for the best Disney ride ever, words cannot describe how impressive this is. Pros The boat movement (the structure of these boats allow for spinning and some sudden changes in acceleration that tie in really well with the rest of the ride) The animatronics - the skeleton that turns into Jack Sparrow is breathtaking (even though I’ve watched the POV many times before.) The Davy Jones animatronic was probably my favourite though, it’s so lifelike The screens - In particular, the scene where all the ships surface feels like you’re actually there The storyline is fantastic (even though the audio is in Chinese), something that other Pirates rides are lacking Cons Not at every Disney park in the world Only in Chinese so wasn’t sure what the audio was saying (not really much of a complaint as this was to be expected in China) I’m pretty sure I rated the DLP version of the ride a 10/10… and this is at least 10 times better than that, so I give this ride an overall score of 100/10 Fantasyland Like every other Fantasyland, this is probably the most "magical" area of the park. A quaintly-themed area that I didn't get to see in full due to it being so huge. Many things here that I would have loved to do, but just didn't get time for, such as Voyage to the Crystal Grotto. Seven Dwarves Mine Train I took the single rider queue for this ride, so didn't get to see the full extent of this ride's theming. The actual ride was good fun. Obviously not the best coaster I’ve done, but some really fun moments. The biggest problem on this ride was definitely the pacing. Pros Some sudden drops that provide decent airtime Lots of twistyness The swinging of the carts was a lot smoother than I was expecting Cons Not a long ride Just as the ride started getting some good speed it ended Below average operations Overall rating - 7/10 Alice in Wonderland Maze Stopped here on the way to the next ride. Not exactly a maze since I could see over some of the hedges and there were very few dead ends… clearly catered more to younger audiences. Peter Pan's Flight Honestly a little underwhelming - had heard a lot of great stories about this ride but didn't find it too amazing. Don't get me wrong - it's a fun ride - just nothing I'd rave about. Pros The “take-off” scene and flight over the city is pretty cool Really captures the flight sensation Cons Not completely immersive (if it was a bit darker inside it may have been harder to see some of the doors and backstage areas that were partially visible) Some technical problems (the audio kept cutting in and out) Overall rating - 6/10 Toy Story Land Only walked through this area, so didn't spend long here. No different to other Toy Story Lands. Tomorrowland I've heard from many people that Tomorrowland at many Disney parks envisions what the future was thought to be like 20 or 30 years ago - certainly not what we think of when we hear the word "future" today. Disneyland Paris' Jules Verne theme, while very unique and full of detail, certainly isn't what we think of when we think of the future. Shanghai's Tomorrowland does not have this problem, its space-age theming makes me feel like I've been thrust right into the far future. Tron's structure is certainly the highlight of this area, especially at night. This might even be my favourite area of the park. Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue Another ride I wouldn't rave about, but still found it fun. Would’ve skipped it if we didn’t have a fastpass for it. Overall rating - 6/10 TRON Lightcycle Power Run Despite a three hour queue, this ride was certainly worth the wait. The queue for the ride starts outdoors, and isn’t incredibly immersive. However, once you get inside the experience really begins. Near-complete darkness with only bright (mainly blue) lights to lead the way. It does feel like another world. With the only motorbike coaster I’ve done in the past being Motocoaster (unless you count Jet Rescue), I didn’t have too high expectations for this ride. But after riding this I can say that Motocoaster is put to even more shame by this ride. Unlike Motocoaster, the restraints are really comfortable and there is a lot of freedom to move around. Big bags are taken by the staff and given back to you on exit. Each seat has a small compartment to store any smaller items (eg. phones or glasses). The ride starts with a twist out of the dual-station and around onto the launch track. After a countdown (in Chinese) and a few flashing lights, you’re thrusted down the launch track. This is a very powerful launch - makes Motocoaster and JR seem very weak. You then fly through the outside portion of the ride (it’s a lot more intense than it looks) and come into the first MCBR back inside the building (which doesn’t actually kill the pacing too much). The indoor part of the ride is truly world-class - it’s fast, intense, and the lights and screens make it super immersive. Even a bit of airtime! My new #3 coaster (just behind Taron at Phantasialand). Pros An incredible coaster Much more forceful than it appears Some of the best on-ride theming I’ve seen, rivalling the likes of Taron Even more fun at night time, even though only a small portion of the ride is outdoors (passed up an opportunity to do a new ride so I could ride this at night) Cons Start of the queue and the exit path is a little underthemed The single rider queue wasn’t being used properly - even though the queue started at the start of the queue, they were forcing single riders to queue in a large portion of the main queue before switching queues. Once past the main queue the single rider queue was empty, which resulted in a lot of empty seats on the trains Overall rating - 10/10 (yes, this takes the cons into account, it’s just such a good ride. When the Florida version of this ride opens I’ll definitely try to head out and ride it there) Adventure Isle A really cool spin on Adventureland. Multiple rides here that I didn't get the time to do, like Soarin and Roaring Rapids. Camp Discovery, which is a smaller area inside Adventure Isle is possibly one of the most unique attractions Disney has done. Camp Discovery Challenge Trails These were really fun, and something you would not expect to see at a Disney park. There were two challenge trails operating, and the one I did was really fun with some tricky sections to get across. Definitely would give this one another try if I were to come back. Pros Very unique attraction Some great challenges Cons The lax Chinese safety laws made me question how safe my harness was at times Overall rating - 9/10 Sadly, that is all the rides I managed to do. Other rides I wanted to do, eg. Soarin and Roaring Rapids, were sitting at 3-4h waits all day. To finish up, I will run through a couple of problems I had with the park. Issue 1 - Cultural issues I was warned about this - seeing the park is located in China there are a few cultural differences. While I didn’t encounter any of the more disgusting habits (eg. spitting - in the park at least), I did encounter a few line jumpers (fortunately none of the ones I noticed managed to get past me). Issue 2 - Crowds Kinda also a cultural issue. This park was incredibly busy. I visited on a weekday and yet there were people everywhere. 2-3 hour queues for most rides, with upto 4h queues for some of the most popular rides at times). I did visit in summer though so if you are planning on visiting, I do heavily recommend visiting in a quieter season. Even the next day, which was very rainy had similar wait times on the app. Issue 3 - Operations For a Disney park, the operations here were pretty poor. Staff were slow and seats were running empty on multiple rides (including ones with a Single rider queue). This definitely would’ve been one of the contributing factors to the long queues too. Issue 4 - Sight lines Okay, I know this is picky. But I know Walt Disney cared a lot about this, and this is an issue I did notice in a few places. For example, as soon as you step off the metro the first thing you see is the exposed back of the Camp Discovery mountain. Additionally, the back of Tron (which basically looks like a giant blue shed) is very obvious in Toy Story land. My overall opinion of this park is mostly positive, despite the issues. If it was in another country, it could be up there in the top few Disney parks in the world. But the crowds, operations and cultural issues do bring this park down a bit. Definitely would still rate it above DLP, but the park isn't perfect. With the negativity aside, it is a superb park. Pirates and Tron alone make this park worth the price of admission, and there are some unique attractions that can’t be experienced in any other Disney park. Since it’s a relatively new park, it still has a lot of room to grow, and I look forward seeing where it goes over the years to come.
  9. Santa07

    USA Group Tour 2019 - Putting Feelers Out

    Sounds interesting. Certainly not the best time of year to go though. Going to be a lot more expensive and busier than in September or October. Even a month earlier (June) would probably be a little quieter.
  10. Santa07

    Europa Park Fire Terrible news. Apparently two rides have already been lost, hoping that number doesn't increase. Fortunately no-one has been hurt, which is the most important thing.
  11. Justice League is certainly staying around for at least another 10 years. Same goes with WWF, it's still in decent condition (compared to other rides of its age) and even if it did start to age more rapidly I'm sure the park would do everything they could to keep it around. Arkham I can see closing to make way for the next big coaster, which is at least 5 years away. Up the road at DW, I really don't see many rides closing permanently in the near future. HWSW got its revamp fairly recently and I really don't think DW are going to close it until it's literally falling apart. I recall DW saying they're going to try to keep Wipeout around for a fair bit longer and they've shown they're prepared to do extensive maintenance on it so don't see that one going in at least the next 5 years. ToT and Rocky Hollow I don't see closing any time soon either, I think DW will try to run them both until they're on their last legs. Shockwave is still a relatively new ride and definitely isn't going anywhere. Monorail at Sea World is getting old, but I think the park will try to keep it around a while longer to appease the wrath of Pushbutton because it's one of the (if not the only one?) last standing monorails in Australia. The only ride I could see going in the next 5 or so years is River Rapids (and even then it's probably still reasonably unlikely that it will happen). It's getting old and a new family waterslide in it's place could bring a welcome change.
  12. Santa07

    The Off Topic Topic

    I'm surprised that stapling is not a well-known word around here, I see it used all the time in other enthusiast communities (even seen it a few times here). Not being mean or anything - I really don't care if people don't know a particular term - just interesting that it's not as common a word as some of us thought.
  13. Santa07

    The Off Topic Topic

    It’s technically possible (although rarely happens) for them to run 2 trains with four staff - one main op, one sorter and two checkers, but I’ve found when they’re running two trains they almost always have an extra staff member out the front as a greeter and during the busiest times another one selling backwards passes. One train operation usually has 3-4 staff members on duty - one main op, two checkers (one of these doubling as a sorter) and then usually a greeter (although I’ve seen it done without one when it’s raining or particularly hot).
  14. Santa07

    The Off Topic Topic

    School holidays, Com games are on. Yet DC Rivals is only running one train. They have 6 staff members and the queue is already sitting at 45 minutes so it seems strange that they’re running at half capacity. Unless there’s a mechanical issue with the other train?
  15. At the moment it doesn't look as wild as some other RMCs, but I think once it wears in a bit and picks up speed it's going to get a lot better.