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Steel Taipan Construction - Dreamworld Mack launched roller coaster


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  1. 1. What would you prefer?



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This morning I was invited out to Dreamworld to get a sneak peek of Steel Taipan and a walk through of the entire area. I’ll start out by saying, overall they’ve done a good job with the area. It’s ve

Occasionally I'll search through tender websites for theme park projects and yesterday's search at work had delivered some treasure. Here is what is worth noting: This is what the queu

And we have supports. 

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Love what you said there @Dom

What I love about the queue line and the coaster's layout is that from the queue, guests get a great view of the coaster cycling through the layout. It really helps to build that "wow" factor. It's pleasant to see how well the ride interacts with onlookers too, either from the queue, the precinct, or just walking through to the Giant Drop or Corroboree.

That brake run tho, pretty insane seeing how close guests can get as the train rolls out of the heart-line roll and into the final brake run.

The low-passes are insane.

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Reading the comments about how comfortable the queue is and how there are great views of the coaster, I have to ask, is there a different queue to the one @themagician took a nice photo of that everyone is talking about?

 

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I nearly made a post the other day, (and I'm annoyed I didn't now) that the ride has come together quite well, and that it does have it's own style, and is presented nicely enough. That was basically the benchmark I set for it, and they have hit that. I think Gazza's post about it being designed by an urban design mob rather than themed design company sum up my thoughts reasonably well, I don't love the design choices, but there's enough of it that it works together. By default, I think it's presented better than Rivals say. Thing is, Rivals appears to have by far the better queue, but that's literally all it has. Again, don't love the choices they made for Rivals, but it works together and it's a thing. Anything not the queue, station and ride itself suck badly. With ST, it fits what I've been saying for years, don't try and tell some convoluted story, just present it well and give it a style. I think they've done that.

Thought that would be a fairly uncontroversial opinion until reading posts on how a few switchbacks under an abstract shelter with fans that has a wall blocking views of ride on one side and the brake run on the other side is apparently the second coming.

 

Yes you'll see the ride more from the queue given the layout, but if that's the metric, Green Lantern has the best queue on the Gold Coast.

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I guess I'm just a little bit sad that the queue is literally right at the level of the launch start but we don't get to watch it due to the solid wall. Would be funny watching everyone's expressions change in a split second as it powers up.

It does look like a very comfortable queue line for a hot summers day though.

Edited by Gazza
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11 minutes ago, joz said:

Reading the comments about how comfortable the queue is and how there are great views of the coaster, I have to ask, is there a different queue to the one @themagician took a nice photo of that everyone is talking about?

In the video at about 3:10 you can see that the awnings on the right hand side start to give way to allow more of a view of the ride. You don't get a good view of the launch (it seems to be purposefully blocked) but you can see the coaster travelling through the loop and other elements. Plus you'll get to see people coming into the brake run where you get their reactions which is always fun. Its also easier to get a sense of scale because when looking at that image it makes the area seem incredibly tight. 

The reason I say it's comfortable is that the majority of the queue is undercover and has fans. It doesn't seem like much on paper but adds a lot for the guests compared to a lot of other open air queues. 

25 minutes ago, joz said:

Thought that would be a fairly uncontroversial opinion until reading posts on how a few switchbacks under an abstract shelter with fans that has a wall blocking views of ride on one side and the brake run on the other side is apparently the second coming.

I feel our standards are pretty low. Honestly the best queue in Australia was Tower because of its uniqueness but now it is Storm: Coaster but even that is pretty generous. Almost all other major coaster queues on the GC I have significant criticisms towards. Steel Taipan isn't the best, far from it, it's just comfortable and shows it considered the guest especially compared to other recent additions. I don't know why giving something praise where its due is the second coming. 

37 minutes ago, joz said:

That was basically the benchmark I set for it, and they have hit that. I think Gazza's post about it being designed by an urban design mob rather than themed design company sum up my thoughts reasonably well

I see this criticism a lot and I don't really get it. If you gave an urban design mod VS a themed design company the same brief and budget, what changes would you expect to be made? If it's not intending to be themed or tell a story then it seems like a waste of expertise. I'm sure that when it comes to the bigger picture things like crowd management, flow and direction then the conventions used to manage that would provide pretty similar end products.

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Honestly the best queue in Australia was Tower because of its uniqueness

I thought it was WWF 💁‍♂️

 

In terms of theming mob vs urban design mob, I guess the themed stuff might be more literal and less geometric, perhaps more use of rockwork etc, maybe more rustic, like the stuff seen in the preview POV back in 2019.

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3 hours ago, joz said:

Reading the comments about how comfortable the queue is and how there are great views of the coaster, I have to ask, is there a different queue to the one @themagician took a nice photo of that everyone is talking about?

I didn’t get photos on the day, but you can see in the below image how the canopy opens up more towards the top of the queue, which does give you views of the coaster 

C90D63EA-5DF7-4248-BEC3-F37E0EC4325A.jpeg

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I'm glad to hear it tapers away at the top to give views. That's nice. ST is a sprawling area, so having the queue mostly be a switch back to me is a shame. Yes shade is good, yes fans are good. So is being in an open non crampt space.

 

I'm aware I sound like I'm being SUPER critical but honestly it's fine, I don't get the praise, but there's nothing wrong with it, it's a queue.

 

 As for the urban thing v themed thing, look I think presented V themed is right, I think that's bang on; pick an aesthetic and just do that throughout. Genuinely, I think it's decent enough. What I think they missed though, is the name 'Steel Taipan' is basically designed so you can do some cool Outback Steampunk aesthetic (Think Copperhead Strike, or Steel Vengence, with an Australian / Outback twist).

 

They got the arid landscape thing bang on, but they missed the bit that takes it from serviceable to incredible, that I suspect a company that specialises in themed entertainment design wouldn't have missed.

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Something to point out though is they did a somewhat well themed experience with the queue of the BuzzSaw when it first opened, but they didn’t take into account guest comfort and ended up ripping it all out anyways. I think combining that and ST there is a middle ground that would create a nicely presented and comfortable space, with decent theming too.

In saying that, what we got does the job, should be comfortable for guests all year round and will have good energy when the trains are full of guests.

If they were to go down the more themed queue/area experience, what would people have wanted? The queue area to be rockwork/caves that you wind through and there are openings within that create opportunities to view the coaster launch past?

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13 minutes ago, themagician said:

If they were to go down the more themed queue/area experience, what would people have wanted? The queue area to be rockwork/caves that you wind through and there are openings within that create opportunities to view the coaster launch past?

What about a small and cheap-ish dark ride section at the start, similar to Blue Fire? That's what I'd really like to see. And way more rock work and near misses.

Honestly though, I'm not too bothered. I'd like DW to direct their focus and put as much effort and money as possible into desperately needed new rides to beef up the line up, particularly a new water ride.

Edited by GoGoBoy
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53 minutes ago, themagician said:

If they were to go down the more themed queue/area experience, what would people have wanted?

Very quickly/basically themed station which to me equals barn with lots of pipes, cogs etc, and a more stylised angular train with that plate steel look. I think dark ride is over rated, but the barn carrying on over the turnaround to where the train stops for the launch would be plenty. If it's a budget thing do that instead of some of the rock work which IMHO doesn't add a huge amount. Lose the queue structure, makes the place look like a snake exhibit at Southbank rather than anything. Doesn't work at Atlantis (Maybe will be better when covered in plants?) don't think it works here. Shade is still needed, I think a nice open rustic queue would fit the bill. Rustic not Rusty though, try and not make it look like TRR or Log Ride. Actually would be nice if you could do the queue on the other side for better views of the ride and openness, but that would require a change to the storage track, and I'll give them a pass that the design of the ride was 'as is' and the aesthetic design came secondary to that, and I suspect it's tight for space on that unload side. At the very least, if the queue is stuck where it is make the launch viewing a feature of the queue.

 

When I think of a ride called Steel Taipan, that's more what I think.

 

Anyway, someone say it's shit now so I can say reasons I don't think it's shit. Feel like I'm stuck on one side of this.

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One thing to note is for years we’ve said on here that DW is lacking in appearance, it was round down and doesn’t feel fresh or inviting. Recently they’ve been working on areas to refresh it and I think this new area definitely is fresh, inviting and steps far away as possible from what the theme of this area was, which I felt was needed.

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I take back my ideas - I prefer Joz's! Overseas parks are doing amazing things with their queues and station buildings (and as Joz suggested, sometimes carrying over to the very start of the ride) to really build up the atmosphere. These days the best we seem to get at the major parks are basically jazzed up open-air tents

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14 hours ago, joz said:

I'm aware I sound like I'm being SUPER critical but honestly it's fine, I don't get the praise, but there's nothing wrong with it, it's a queue.

I think it's fine for people to be critical because fair criticism progresses the medium. It's why I get frustrated when people tell me to lower my expectation and accept what were given regarding New Atlantis because it diminishes the capability for criticism. I know that any criticism offered now wont change the final product but it can influence future developments.

That's why I've made a point of praising particular aspects that I like within Steel Taipan. They're simple changes and additions that all developers should aim to focus on in the future. I'm not saying that they're ground breaking, nothing close, but comfort, flow, ease and experience should be at the forefront of any future projects. If we point out these things that we enjoy than it hopefully all operators will listen and we will get better products in the future.

As enthusiasts its really easy to talk about what we don't like and that negativity tends to permeate a lot of online discussions regarding theme parks which really brings down the mood. There are an unfathomable amount of theme parks out there (not a comprehensive list) which means plenty to compare to and on a global scale what we see can be considered as poor, but our parks aren't on a global scale. Not yet, anyway. Discussing what we don't like AND what we like helps developers set their sights in the future, but if we just focus on just the bad then we spiral into a hate hole and they look at us as entitled whingy brats who cant be sated. 

Honestly we've had some great discussion and I think it gives operators a good indication of what to aim for in the future. In just the last two pages they can see that guest experience should have more focus for projects, wider pathways are good, people enjoy views of coasters they're about to ride but there should be more focus on themed elements and thematic integration to both the queue, ride, precinct and load. 

Edited by Dom
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14 hours ago, themagician said:

Something to point out though is they did a somewhat well themed experience with the queue of the BuzzSaw when it first opened, but they didn’t take into account guest comfort and ended up ripping it all out anyways. I think combining that and ST there is a middle ground that would create a nicely presented and comfortable space, with decent theming too.

In saying that, what we got does the job, should be comfortable for guests all year round and will have good energy when the trains are full of guests.

If they were to go down the more themed queue/area experience, what would people have wanted? The queue area to be rockwork/caves that you wind through and there are openings within that create opportunities to view the coaster launch past?

Yeah, Buzzsaw had a cool queue, but they mucked up by only making the walkways 900 wide, so it felt very cramped.

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