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Shaun

Thunderbolt has been sold!

90 posts in this topic

Deja Vu seems to be quite overpriced for what you're getting - and I'm not necessarily talking about the technical difficulties. It just really doesn't look to be the most exciting ride out there. Granted, it'd be a great experience, but not the sort of thing that would provide enough of a diverse experience to really make it a good perenially popular attraction, like Thunderbolt very much was (despite what you'd like to think about it). That, and the fact that it is a capacity nightmare. If Dreamworld is smart, they'll know that to get the most out of a new ride, it'll have to have the best possible capacity for the cost. Anything that doesn't have a realistic capacity of above 1000 pph to me would be useless. That's one of the only reasons that I think flat rides would be a good choice. You're paying maybe $6-8 mil tops for a ride that can suck up about 1000 pph with not necessarily as much staffing as a coaster would require. Of course, it's not what I would really want, but we're talking what Dreamworld needs. My mind is made up on the Intamin hyper or B&M floorless. :D

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Hey Richard, I understand your thougts on DJV, I sort of had the same feelings too... However, trust me, as soon as you get to that thing you'll be changing your mind for sure! It doesn't even look that much in pictures but when you standing beneath it, the sheer size of the damn thing hits you. I think the Giant Pulleys on the top of the towers say it all, you know its going to be something. Getting on it only goes further change your opinion. The boomerang is one thing but hanging all that way up at 90 degrees with your entire weight only resting on your restraints is an awsome feeling, especialy in the front. Its one fantastic ride and I'd definately sooner have it over an impulse. Just one other thing, one thing that is really starting to get to me on this board (and Im not singling anyone out) is people passing judgement or giving a 'first' hand opinion on rides or parks they have never been to. I'm not talking about the sort of view Richard gave as that was just his take on it. I'm more talking about the bashing of the quality of a park or a particular coaster company (eg. vekoma) when the person has never ridden anything different. Please just everyone have something to back your opinions up with other than what you've heard. Thanx

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I totally agree! Just because our old ThunderBolt is being closed, doesn't mean it was a pile of puke (no-one correct me there). While it was jerky, it wasn't spine-rattling and still a very enjoyable ride. So hats off to DreamWorld (that's a metaphor by the way) and its 21 year old pal, the ThunderBolt, Australia's fastest (was fastest) rollercoaster. :o

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True, I'm sure riding it I'm sure will change my opinion about it, to some degree. Though I must admit, I really don't think it is the sort of ride that'll rate up there as all time favourites. I'm of course by no means denying that it's probably a better ride than anything we've got in this country. I think the real issue is with the seemingly horrendous capacity and reliability of the ride. Dreamworld is the sort of park that could seriously benefit from some genuinely high capacity rides to really. Giant Drop is allegedly something like 800pph, and I don't think I've ever seen it run at more than about 200 on a good day. Cyclone's projection was 600pph, and the staff manage to get through about 300 or 400 if they're feeling energetic (15 minute dispatches are all too common during about 75% of the year). The list goes on. They need some rides that even the laziest of staff at Dreamworld (who I say have to be the worst of the worst) can get a decent capacity with. How Wipeout has the queues it does I don't know - it's a piece of cake to get people pumping through. I'll disagree with you there Slick. Thunderbolt wasn't just a little jerky - Cyclone these days is beyond a little jerky. Thunderbolt was, from day one, a torture device. It was one of very few rides that are actually rough even on straight sections of track. I've ridden it countless times, and I can honestly say that not a single one of those rides wasn't painful, and resulted in some sort of pain, except for occasions where tricks I've known. I'm happy for you to have your own opinions about the ride, and I'm glad you've got them, but hey people are different, and thankfully Dreamworld's upper management agreed ("It's always been a rough ride" - quote from a coversation with Dreamworld's CEO I had a few years ago). And just to correct you on one thing, Thunderbolt's listed official speed was 87.5km/h. Wonderland Sydney's Bush Beast is listed officially as 90km/h. Both rides will have had speeds both faster and slower than that, but officially, Bush Beast was and still is Australia's fastest "gravity" (ugh...) rollercoaster. Granted, it was a pretty fun ride (not exactly a thrill), and is a ride I'll miss for approximately the time it takes for something to take its place. :)

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The size of Thunderbolt's footprint was the best thing going for it IMO. Means that Dreamworld has the space to put something good or some really good things (in the case of a new "land") that are not too far off the beaten path.

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Its true that DJV doesn't have the best throughput however that is going to be the case with any inpulse too, by design a shuttle can only ever going to be able to have a single car. The one good thing about DJV is the staggered seating does allow for more people on the same length of train. SFMM manages pretty decent dispatch times, thing is you really need 4 crew on the floor to make it work properly... 1 giving seating assigments at the gate (the stag. seating makes it a little confusing), 2 checking restraints and 1 op (also tends to double as a pa nazi :D)

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Not trying to put down the impulse, It looks like a great ride but what do you think Dreamworld could advertise better to the general public and which one would apeal more to them out of an impulse and DJV? Also Dreamworld has already got an (without a better word) impulse type coaster with their TOT so i doubt that they would be looking at another........... IMO I think that the GP would love the DJV but like Richard says there are a lot more better coasters out there. Also If I was Dreamworld I would want my new coaster to be obviously diffrn't from the rest. Dreamworld already has a; launch caoster, wild mouse coaster and a looping coaster (I sapsoe thats what you call it?) so what options do they have left? A suspended jumps straight to mind but MW already has one of those......... so what else could they put in there, floorless, standup, flying, 4D who knows...........? They're obviously not going to put another cyclone in there. Anyway that's just my 2 cents Shaun

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Actually shaun DreamWorld have a suspended rollercoaster, the Runaway Reptar. But me personally a good choice would be something that wouldn't compete with the park itself, get my drift? 8) If you had an impulse, how high would it be and would that compete with the TOT and GD? Then another suspended rollercoaster could be nice, but they already have one, so it's pointless to have one big and one small rollercoaster of the same type. Now there's a floorless B&M, doesn't compete with TOT's height, can fill the spot the ThunderBolt, can tear people out of Ocean Parade like no one's business and, will be a good supplement to replace the memory of our ThunderBolt. Well that's my 2 cents from the DW master. :twisted:

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An Impluse would be in the area of 200ft tall - it's half the height of Dreamworld Tower. It is a launched ride, but it's also a very different experience, as those who have experienced both will testify. It has a capacity of 1100pph (from RCDB, based on the standard, 180ft version), but one thing I really don't like is the idea of a single train. One train is like a signal to Dreamworld staff that there's no hurry. Eureka Mountain (or Rocky Hollow, but it's not too relevant to my point) is the only ride at Dreamworld that ever runs "at capacity",which itself is very low because of the way the ride's length and blocking system - you're always seated and waiting for the block ahead to clear (or normally about 4 blocks when they're only running 2 or 3 cars). We need two train minimum, and operations proceedures to be able to keep up with it. Hate to break it to you Dreamworld, but you might have to roster more than one operator to operate a multi-train ride at a decent capacity. ;) I'll kill (well, maybe wound :twisted: ) for anything from Switzerland, they're all high capacity, and they'll all put anything else in Australia to shame... not to mention it'll get people really gawking from their cars as they drive past.

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Ahh yes, Your right slick, I forgot about Reptar. Yeah that's they way I'm thinking aswell, Their rides all have to be significantly diffrn't. I like your point about capacity and multi-train rides Richard ;) Ive noticed the same on the Lethal Weapon. When there is 2 train operation there is a lot more pressure to get the trains moving through faster because you've always got the second train waiting. Anyway Shaun

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Thunderbolt was two a two train ride, and despite it being crap demanded long lines. Being Dreamworld, the second train was almost never used. Cyclone can be two train op, but so far, Dreamworld feels that 200pph is a decent capaticy. Dreamworld would probably just be wasting their money with a two train ride if they aren't ganna use it, and would probably be better off with a shuttle, since most shuttles are shorter. Just a thought anyway :rolleyes:

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I actually think its a mixture of a lot of different variables. One: DreamWorld have money on other things such as theming (yes kiddies, just ask Robert Buchanan, manager of operations) so i think the number is more like $8 per hour :D isn't that right shaun? Two: DreamWorld staff are very nice and CAPABLE. Infact, not many of them are over 20 years of age and the ones that are 40 are put to the ThunderBolt or somewhere abandoned in the park by themselves to manage (hopefully.) Three: DreamWorld likes to market big numbers, that's just DreamWorld :P the Giant Drop (on a board next the queue line there, which is shown below) will show you that its supposed pph is 600-800 but like richard said, its more like 200 due to the fact that a lot of the workers there (not of them, there are a number of excellent ride ops) take half a minute to figure out what big red button will do what :x

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It is fundamentally cost-cutting, more than anything else. Why put four people on a ride when you could just as easily put on one, and just have queues 3x longer than they could be? Dreamworld's actually quite odd, in that most of the staff look to be quite a bit older than most parks. I'm sure the average age for a park employee at Dreamworld is something like 30. Go down the road to Movie World or Sea World. You're looking at an average age of probably 25. Warner Village do have an minimum age requirement as far as I know for ride operators, joz will be able to give the details, but it's something like 20 or 21. I'm guessing it's similar or the same at Dreamworld. Now, age doesn't mean anything necessarily. But Dreamworld's staff are notoriously slow and seem very uninterested in maximising efficiency. This hardly screams capable to me. Dreamworld does like "big numbers", but I guarantee you that most numbers listed on signage is what they got from the manufacturer, which is usually reasonable for ideal circumstances. Meanwhile, for Giant Drop to achieve a capacity of 800pph they'd have to dispatch both gondolas 50 times an hour, which is a 1:12 sec cycle, including load and unload (which is usually estimated as a 30 second period). Considering the ride's current cycle has a 1:00 wait at the top of the tower before dropping, I'd say this figure is pretty unrealistic. On their current cycle, assuming 2:30 including load and unload, they'd be able to quite easily achieve 384pph, which isn't all that bad. That's the sort of capacity that would result in about 1:30 queues on the busiest summer day, which those who've been there, know is about half what it'd normally be.

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Warner Village do have an minimum age requirement as far as I know for ride operators, joz will be able to give the details, but it's something like 20 or 21
Yes indeed. Warner Village have an age requirement of 21. However, on rare occasions have hired below this, though most of those staff are given more menial tasks (Crowd control at shows, Bermuda Platform loader, and the like at SW). Dreamworld may have an age requirement, although I once knew some lovely 18 year old ride ops there, so its debatable if its as strict. Got news for ya guys, only staffing one attendant at each ride IS cost cutting. Dreamworld operates their rides in such a way that rides don't require as many staff. Its no coincidence that Tower of Terror requires less staff now the lifts are gone, and is also not coincidence that Giant Drop's queue now goes inside the building: it requires less staff to run the rides that way, however, with one staff member, capacity takes a battering. In this last year, I'm not going to point the finger at Dreamworld for cutting hours, particularly with the way SARS affected things. Indeed, Movieworld made headlines with 'ride rotation', and SW temporarily cut one staff member from Bermuda and tired one person operation of Corkscrew (lasted about a month from memory). The problem is that the whole set-up of some of Dreamworld's rides require more then one op, which is often more then the park is willing to give. True that some of Movieworld's rides require more staff, but Movieworld staff their rides up. Take Lethal Weapon: 1 op in the control box, one loader, and one staff member working the queue and doing pre-shows for a total of 3 ops (minimum). Put that ride at Dreamworld and its a safe bet the ride would only get 1 op. I really can understand Village cutting hours across the parks during the SARS crisis. You can't pay the staff if there's not much money coming in, and I'm happy to say that at the moment, staff that want them are getting plenty of hours. In Dreamworld's case however, low staffing isn't a response to low attendance, its a way to save money and keep the investors happy. Nothing wrong with that, after all, its bussiness, but I do happen to see an issue with how that affects the park.

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My issue never was with the fact that they're trying to save money. That's all fine and well - it's how the world works. It's really the fact that they staff a single person on a ride like Cyclone or Giant Drop, who takes a minute to open the door and let people in, another two minutes to check the restraints, then proceeds to fill out their log book, before dispatching. I fully understand why the log book needs to used (how else would they know that Thunderbolt has taken nine million passengers? :)), but why they can't do this during the ride's course on any rides is a mystery to me. It's also unfair to say that Dreamworld is the only park that has efficiency problems. I've run into truly rotten days at other parks because of what I'd call disgracefully unorganized and incompetent staff, but the fact is, at other parks, it's generally a rare occurance. With Dreamworld, unfortunately, it tends to be the norm. And it's really unfortunate that through years of such operations, it doesn't feel terrible strange to wait 20 minutes to get onto Cyclone when you're at the front of the queue. I remember the summer that Giant Drop opened, when they were advertising six hour queues for the ride so people knew what they were getting themselves into, and that was spot on. If the ride were running at even 400pph (half the manufacturers theoretical maximum), that queue would have been 2400 people and let me tell you, it would have been more like 300-400 tops in the queue (the normal queue house was used - no spillage). Opening day of Cyclone, it was running at 288pph (five minute dispatches), with I believe three or four staff. I've been told before by the park that new rides take some time for staff to "learn the ropes". I fully understand that there is some degree of truth to this, but the past has shown us that these opening periods tend to actually be the most efficiently run, and go 12 months down the track, you'll see that the ride's got a capacity not nearly as high as the year before. This was proven with Cyclone certainly, and Giant Drop's hasn't been performing at all in a number of years.

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True Richard, but to be fair, Giant Drop seems to be doing better (when both sides are open of course) then it did in the past. I can remember the early days of Wipeout being run quite efficiently, but then more recently its been slower. Same goes for Thunderbolt (even on one train op) ToT and Giant Drop. And its true, Dreamworld is not the only park to do such things (I think that day we went to SW was a slow day for Corkscrew). Although I think the real reason for low capacity has something to do with the return visitor passes - They sell more when people haven't been on everything :mrgreen:

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The thunder bolts train is the best i've been on, The restrants are realy good (well padded, really soft) but i find with the cyclone the restrants really push on your collar bones unlike the thunder bolt cause the soft foam padding, I dont know if it just me cause i pretty tall bout 190cm. Does anyone else find that with the coaster restrants?

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That's truly one of the oddest things I've ever heard anyone say here. :) Thunderbolt's trains are by far the worst I've ever been in. The padding might be softer, but because it's softer, it's also worn down to nothing in the places it touches you. The thing with Thunderbolt's restraints is they have a lower axis point. Rather than locking you in from the front of the upper chest, they lock you from the points on the shoulders. The taller you are, the higher your "lock-in" point is on your shoulders (shorter people are locked in from the front of the shoulders, and as you get taller, this point gets pushed back towards the back of the shoulders), which means the taller you are, the tighter you'll be locked in to be safe, which means pain when it comes to the roughness. You said that you find Cyclone's press down on your collar bone. That's odd - with Cyclone's restraints, they're designed to be restraining you without pressing down at all. Next time you ride, instead of jamming it down as far as you can, try leaving it "just comfortably down". I'm not by any means saying do anything stupid, I'm just saying use them how they were designed to get the best ride possible. Where Thunderbolt's restraints NEED to be pressing hard on you for you to be properly locked in, Cyclone's are designed to lock you in to be secure and still give you a bit of freedom. I must say, it probably is just you - I'm 183cm, and as I've said, I find it to be essentially the same. I suppose different people are accustomed to different things. As for good restraints, you can't go wrong with B&M restraints and seats. I've never "used" one of their lapbars (which are said to be the best), but their OTSR are great - they're not terribly soft (quite hard), but they don't at all press awkwardly on your body at all, leaving you quite free while secure. The only problems I had were at the Six Flags, and it's not to do with B&M, just that the average SF park-goer perhaps doesn't have the same cleanliness and hygiene as over here. Combine that with probably minimal cleaning, and you've got a nice slimey, greasy restraint. :)

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