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Poll Results: Best Busch Gardens B&M

Posted on September 7, 2011 in Polls by

In the latest poll, we asked for you, the readers, to decide what is the best Bolliger & Mabillard coaster at a Busch Gardens park.  Busch Gardens, has developed a love for the Swiss manufacturer over the years, importing a total of six coasters between it’s 2 parks: Tampa and Williamsburg.  The models ranged from the hyper style of Apollo’s Chariot, to the sitdown looper of Kumba, the two inverted coasters known as Alpengeist and Montu, and most recently the two dive machines, SheiKra and Griffon.

Proving to be one of our closest polls, it appears that fans were certainly divided over this collection of undoubtedly great coasters.  However, the readers have spoken, and with 27% of the votes, Apollo’s Chariot earns the title as the best.  The airtime filled coaster utilizes the park’s terrain for large drops with a relatively short lift hill.  Despite the inversions filling the other coasters, it appears airtime wins once again with Apollo’s 8 camelbacks.

Finishing out the poll  were Montu with 18%, Griffon with 17%, Kumba with 15%, Alpengeist with 11%, and lastly SheiKra with 12%.  This proved to be a much closer poll than many of our others showing just how solid of a collection each park has.  It’s also interesting to note that, in to this poll, Williamsburg claimed 1st, 3rd, and 5th place coasters, while Tampa claimed 2nd, 4th, and 6th place.

Best Busch Gardens B&M coaster?

  • Apollo's Chariot at Busch Gardens Williamsburg (35%, 25 Votes)
  • Alpengeist at Busch Gardens Williamsburg (13%, 9 Votes)
  • Griffon at Busch Gardens Williamsburg (21%, 15 Votes)
  • Kumba at Busch Gardens Tampa (17%, 12 Votes)
  • Montu at Busch Gardens Tampa (23%, 16 Votes)
  • SheiKra at Busch Gardens Tampa (13%, 9 Votes)

Total Voters: 71

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 2012 is clearly going to be a huge year for the amusement industry.  The biggest, most anticipated additions are the coasters that will soon dominate their park’s skylines, ones that represent a first of it’s kind, and certainly, additions that are expected to provide the best experience.  Two of the top contenders for 2012 are airtime filled, inversion-less models are SkyRush at Hersheypark and Leviathan at Canada’s Wonderland.

Leviathan is B&M’s highly anticipated burst onto the Giga coaster front.  Towering at 306 feet, Leviathan will reach speeds of 90 mph.  In addition, the designers have taken a more distinct approach to the layout by eliminating the constant airtime hills with high-speed low to the ground turns, while still maintaing a few large camelbacks.

Hersheypark’s SkyRush will also be a first for it’s manufacturer.  The hyper coaster model will feature winged outer seats where riders on the outer most rows will have no floor below them as they race at speeds of 75 mph, over 5 airtime hills. Despite it’s size (compared to the competitor), Sky Rush is created by Intamin, who is proven to generate top of the line coasters.  Could this be yet another?

Which do you predict will be the better 2012 coaster?

  • Leviathan at Canada's Wonderland (81%, 38 Votes)
  • SkyRush at Hersheypark (43%, 20 Votes)

Total Voters: 47

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So which of these super coasters do you think will be superior?  Vote now and on the side bar!  Leave a comment with your Park Thoughts below.

Windseeking across the continent

Posted on June 30, 2011 in Updates by

An on-ride view of Windseeker, soaring high above King's Island. Image from King's Island TwitPic

After many, many, many delays Cedar Fair’s mass-produced Windseekers are finally opening.  The problem-prone rides suffered severe delays at Canada’s Wonderland, Cedar Point, and King’s Island.  However, all the rides received the proper new parts for them to successfully and safely accommodate thousands of riders a day.

The exact cause of the Windseeker’s delays is not known. However, pictures seem to indicate that the joint in which the individual arms swayed from the main carriage received some sort of reinforcement/additional part that had to be attached to all 32 of the ride’s swinging arms.  The Swiss manufacturer, Mondial then had to mass produce these parts for all 4 of the rides, and deliver them across the ocean to the respective parks.  Considering that these are prototypes, it could have ended a lot worse (*cough* Flying Turns *cough*)

Windseeker at Cedar Point

The Canadians were the first to get their Windseeker open, with Canada’s Wonderland beginning daily operations of the ride by the end of May.  Cedar Point and King’s Island continued to have their own troubles however, each of the park’s got their own Windseekers opened in time for the massive summer crowds in mid-June.

An unexpected treat accompanying the Windseeker’s arrival was a marvelous lighting package that really paints pictures in the sky with LED patterns that radiate from the ride’s carriage.  In addition the tower is lit from the top creating a towering beam of light shooting down the 300+ foot structures.  Video courtesy of our Twitter follower, lepolt.

Windseeker is now open at Canada’s Wonderland, Cedar Point, and King’s Island.

Windseeker's 300+ foot tower is now the tallest part of Knott's Berry Farm's skyline. Image from Westcoaster.net

At Knott’s the ride has quite a different story.  Originally planned to occupy the space of the old Sky Cabin, the park realized removing the giant observation tower and then building a similar tower in the same location was not financially smart.  As a result, the ride’s location was moved to butt-up with the loop of Silver Bullet.  For this to happen, a support was need to be modified.

Once that was complete, the park got to draining the surrounding lagoon, filling in part of it and pouring the foundation.  Earlier this month the park finally began to install pieces of the giant 300+ foot tower.  Now, as pictured above by Westcoaster.net, the tower is complete with the ride’s carriage currently being pieced together.  An optimistic prediction for the opening of the ride is mid-July at best.

As for 2012, could we see Windseekers in store for more Cedar Fair parks?  One rumor already indicates that King’s Dominion is eyeing the flat ride for 2012, and it would no doubt be a welcomed addition at California’s Great America (which is now going on it’s 10th year sans new coaster).  But other parks such as Worlds of Fun, Valley Fair, and Dorney would welcome the flat ride.  What’s in store for the future?  No enthusiasts knows.

Have you ridden a Windseeker?  Do you even want to ride a Windseeker? Leave a comment with your Park Thoughts below.