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Richard

Scenic World Update

30 posts in this topic

Last weekend on Saturday, joz, djrappa and I headed up to Scenic World, on a not-so-scenic day. The place is in the middle of some pretty huge renovations, but nothing significant starts until next month, when the Skyway will be taken down to be replaced, so we still got to check out everything that was on offer (we didn't ride Skyway anyway, so it doesn't really affect us). The 45 year old Skyway that was essentially built by the owner of the park (Harry Hammon, Phil Hammon's father) is being taken down to make way for an all new system, built by CWA Constructions of Switzerland. The new gondola will take 84 people (Scenic World has a strange affection for the number 84 - as well as cables and pulleys - both Sceniscender and Scenic Railway can take up to 84 riders) and will essentially follow the same path out across the gorge giving great views, especially of the Three Sisters rock formation. Not many pictures to show. I might upload some later, but with the weather the way it was, nothing great turned out. As far as the actual place is cocnerned, it's still got this tacky classiness about it and remains perhaps the biggest rip-off tourist attraction in Australia, with return rides costing a great $12 per ride, or $36 to ride all three - once. Expect to pay about $10 or so for the sort of light meal you might pay $3 for at your local bakery. Needless to say, we did fork out the cash for both the Scenic Railway and Sceniscender. I haven't ridden Scenic Railway since about 1994 or something, so it was as good as new to me. This thing goes beyond thrilling - it is genuinely scary riding in the front seat. No restraints, nothing but a handrail at the very front. There's nothing in front of you, and the crazy angle means unless you're holding on, you'll pretty well slip out. There's nothing to hold onto other than the mesh roof if you can get a grip, or the handrail, which you have to lean way forward to grab. Then comes the fact that you're on two small railroad tracks heading down a 400m hill. There's enough redundancy in the safety systems to guarantee you that nothing will go wrong, but you view things differently as you head down the hill. As for Sceniscender, it's a much better ride in nicer weather, as great as the whole "disappearing into nothing" effect is; nothing beats coming to the edge of that cliff and heading straight over, with everything in full view. While on this, we got told by a questionable operator that Orphan Rocker is set to open at the same time as the new Skyway, in November of this year. Given that he also said that this fact was published in the latest "Blue Mountains Tourist Magazine", which we later verified as untrue, we took this news as a "we'll believe it when we see it" type situation. Onto Orphan Rocker, it still sits there dormant. It was repainted in 2000 when the place was redeveloped, and that paintjob isn't as nice as it was a few years ago, stained from gum trees and dirt and dust. Still, nothing that a few spins of the coaster wouldn't fix, but I wouldn't hold your breath. I'll see what the story is, if there is one. :)

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As far as the actual place is cocnerned, it's still got this tacky classiness about it and remains perhaps the biggest rip-off tourist attraction in Australia, with return rides costing a great $12 per ride, or $36 to ride all three - once. Expect to pay about $10 or so for the sort of light meal you might pay $3 for at your local bakery. Needless to say, we did fork out the cash for both the Scenic Railway and Sceniscender.
How true Richard. I payed $8.50 for a "chicken and mushroom" "pie" (note the double " marks, as both aspects are somewhat questionable) which is smaller then the ones sold at the Coast parks, and a 390ml coke. This is nothing compared to our good pall DJ, who paid $5(?) for a milkshake. That milkshake was the sort of size that makes a small Macdonald's drink feel really good about itself, and best I could see didn't have much in the way of flavour in it. So true about Scenic Railway too. When we were on, I believe the guys sitting behind us were teachers talking to one of the operators about bringing school kids to Scenic World. He muttered something along the lines of "Might be an idea to seat them towards the back". Definitely the most scary ride you'll ever go on once (I'm sure its looses its affect quickly) because of its lack of restraints and the thrilling end of the ride which would probably have been about 50m above ground. I'd recommend the place, but stop off at Hungry Jack's on the way up if your thinking you might be hungry.

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OMG Joz I just pissed myself with your milkshake comments...very well put there! Tell you what guys, Richard sure aint exadurating when he said scary, I've never seen two guys freak out as much as those two did in the front seat of that baby :-) Not just on the cables thing, I know Joz will share my views... To say this place has some sort of fetish for pulleys and cables is somewhat of an understatement. I swear the entire mountain is held together with cables in one way or another, the things run every which way around the place and we're certain that everything down to the small gate on the Scenic Railway runs on one! All I can say for the gold ole folks at Scenic World...if you ever hear the words "Work Cover Inspection" RUN...RUN Really fast!

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Well please share your wisdom of how you'd like it to be spelt and I shall change it...however this way has been working for me for the last 20 years and my dictionary is pretty happy with it also :-p

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Daniel you've saved the day again. Sorry Rappa but I have to say that really was pretty bad ;) Scenic World sounds like such a bizarre place. They must be doing ok financially though with such high prices. I would imagine all the asian tourists would flock to the place. I suppose most of them head up there after visiting the wildlife park at WS. Is that right?

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Financially, the place is a gold mine (historically it's a coal mine, but that's just a bad pun). Day-in-day-out they get coaches coming in with 40+ Asian tourists, who take a ride on one or more of the various gizmos, maybe have lunch in the revolving restaurant (I wouldn't want to see the prices on that menu given how the snackbar/cafe was) and are out of there. Let's look at it this way. It's family owned and operated, yet they have the cash to do a $20 million upgrade/expansion in 2000, a $17 million upgrade/expansion this year and who knows what else in coming years. That's some big spending and does out most Australian parks. To put it into perspective, that's about the same as what Dreamworld has spent on thrill rides in its 20+ year history.

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News Flash Latest news from Sceic world. I recently E-Mailed Scenic world to find out some infomation about the "Orphan Rocker" Rollercoaster, and am pleased to announce that they currently have an Engineer working on the new Project. I have been officially told that yes because of technology has advanced so much that they are able to work on the Orphan Rocker to have it Up and Running to the public as soon as possible. I have not yet been notified yet on the Open Date, but was told that it is comming & is closer than it was 10 years ago.

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See that little button down in the right hand corner of your posts? The one that says "Edit" and has a picture of a pair of scissors next to it (looks like edit.gif). Next time you make a spelling mistake or wish to add something to a post shortly after you've posted it, click that button and you can edit your troubles away! I found this article recently and is a very good read - http://www.smh.com.au/text/articles/2004/0...9823240556.html.

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Except we're in Australia and it is realise :P. I won't mention the others because I'm too damn decent. Paul, I haven't heard of this project. Can you give those in the same boat some details? Sounds promising though. What size scale are we talking?

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I'm only guessing here but I'm pretty sure he's talking about the 'new' project to get Orphan Rocker running as oposed to a new ride project all together...

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The Oprhan Rocker is a small coaster that runs around the Scenic World complex. As far as I know it has never operated commercially, but I'm not sure if that is true or not. See here for photos. "The Bus is now leaving for Orphanage Swamp, Queensland"

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Yeah Daniel you really have to see this thing. Its by no means small in terms of layout, it sprawls out everwhere... Its pretty much a aussie 'home made' coaster which failed miserably...it was built about 10 years ago and has never opened to the public. Its had many design problems and even more urban legends about it created. It actualy goes off the side of the cliff at one point, it will be something else when it does finaly open that is for sure. Its very funny to look at because its build using triangular truss track and as Richard pointed out on our last visit the banking is either nothing or 60degrees simply created by turning the track onto its side. Its also got some very nasty transitions where a straight angle piece of track suddenly bends flat. Certainly is pretty out there and will make for an interesting ride if nothing else.

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I think its really sad to see Senice World deviate away from the whole "Home made with second hand cables - about to break" feeling they've got going on down there. The whole clear floor thing sounds very interesting too. I guess if they're building safe stuff they have to be creative in how they convince people they're going to die. Tell ya what though, I would've loved to read that article when we were there. Would've made the day :D

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I'm seriously unsure whether I'd want to ride that by the way it's been described :P Going on rides, you're always taking a chance, but generally feel safe. This sounds like it could be tempting fate and will take a bit of convincing to get people on it. Nasty. hehe ;)

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Oh I have no doubts the ride is completely safe, its just funny to see how they have gone about building it... Its just one of those things that reinforces the point that Australians just shouldn't try to build complicated things :-) Leave it to those crazy Swiss guys!

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Just on the glass floor, this is a very nifty product. It's commonly referred to as "smart glass" and can be done in a number of different ways. Coincidentally I was actually reading a paper on this particular stuff on Monday. It basically works by passing a voltage through a layer of some sort of crystal or particle layer that, depending on its properties and what's passing through it, changes its properties from opaque to transparent. Really nifty stuff - it'll realistically be replacing blinds and curtains by the end of the decade. I've seen it in use, and it's amazing. It goes from completely opaque like a wall (letting nothing through) to transparent just like normal glass. Interesting that what you've received said that they've got a single engineer working on it. Ten or twenty years ago it was very common for engineering projects to be worked on by a single engineer, but it's so rare these days. Because of litigation, it's rare to find someone willing to hire a lone engineer to work on a project, or a single engineer willing to work on it. Of course I have no doubt that the ride is safe and properly designed and calculated. Just looking at the thing, there's not much that even a high school physics and Maths C (I think it's Maths 4 or something in NSW... the most difficult one :)) student couldn't analyse and over-engineer with a chunk of spare time. The only thing I'm worried about is stress and fatigue on the track, which would only come years down the track and can be appropriately managed with adequate inspections and maintenance. There's just a lot of weld joints there and I can see some cracks appearing all around the track. Not uncommon on many welded steel structures, but my guess is with the way this ride has been designed, it might be more prone to it than your average Swiss-designed coaster. New rule - we're not allowed to talk about the physics or engineering of rides, because I'm getting too involved and I'm actually starting to use some of the text books I paid hundreds for. :D

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LOL Richard, okay we'll try to stick to that rule. I shall also try to refrain from mentioning how any of these rides are lit up :-p One thing I just wanted to point out to the other folk is that the technology used in this floor is exactly the same as what is used in your calculator, microwave, vcr, car intrumentation, digital watch and any other little gismos. display. Its just like the numbers on your calculator, think of the number being seen as the floor 'on' and the number not being there as it being 'clear.'

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