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Sep 21, 2011
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Swiftman asked me if I would post my theoretical writing on BGW here.

Been interested in theme parks from an artsy theoretical point of view for a long time. The Busch parks are particularly interesting for their unusual combination of big thrill coasters in a family environment with heavy theming. And since I'm British, BGW has been of special interest in it's portrayal of Europe. I'm not sure how obvious it is to you guys, but it's probably the most American place in the world (and I'm sure it was even more so when it was AB). Everything from the obviousness of it's cliche and romanticised portrayals, to the talk show musical score, to the fact that it's clean and friendly. The irony is just spectacular. And past all that, the sheer quality of park in pretty much every area makes it wonderfully fascinating in the most basic sense.

Last year, I wrote an essay about Themed Environments, which has a section on Theme Parks and I specifically look at Disney, BGW and Alton Towers.

I also recently wrote a blog post about their use of theming to appeal to audience.

Hope you enjoy and thanks for reading. You'd love to know if you agree or disagree with my thoughts, or any discussion it provokes would be great.
 
Sep 21, 2011
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London, UK
josephfells.co.uk
Hey everyone, sorry about quietness...

New article up about Realism of Theming at the Merlin Theme Parks.

Not really got anything to do with Busch, but I figured some of you might be interested on how our major parks do things across the pond. It's a world away from the typical American approach to theming. Anyone who's been paying attention to The Swarm at Thorpe Park will have probably noticed.

Need to get on with writing a review of Swarm actually... And when I get out to Virginia in May, I hope to do a write up of my thoughts on Verbolten. Will be interesting to see how it took the Thirteen concept and, I'm expecting, blew it out of the water. But we'll see. ;)
 

Gavin

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Sep 27, 2009
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RE: Some theme park theory

HAJiME said:
...I never got the chance to ride Big Bad Wolf, but I can imagine it was filled with the best kind of gut churning adrenalin so rare on anything but a drop tower these days...

:(

Loved the review nonetheless.
 
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b.mac

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RE: Some theme park theory

When most people walk by Mach Tower for the first time as it drops that woosh always catches their attention. Will it get constant complaints? no, but I'm sure there's a lot of "what the!?"s getting thrown around every time it drops. If you're stuck in the VBolt line or just sitting around anywhere near the thing (hopefully eating one of those pretzels) it might get annoying hearing that constant woosh when Mach Tower runs consistently (HA!).

Very great review HAJiME, glad to hear people critque it like the coaster it's meant to be instead of "the world's latest and greatest thrill ride!" It fits into a specific niche that very few rides can do and it does it very well, that's all BGW needs.
 
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Sep 21, 2011
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RE: Some theme park theory

HEY GUYS! Long time no blog post, here's my trip report and some initial thoughts from my first proper trip to Walt Disney World!

AND my review of Hersheypark's SkyRush. Long overdue and I apologise, I made a promise to myself it would be online by the end of 2012, but that failed.

This year I can't imagine I'll be riding many new for 2013 coasters, so I might make a point of reviewing some older rides. Any requests? I'm thinking about a discussion of Ultimate and Beast, two of the world's longest coasters... Though Beast is pretty thoroughly talked about already. Any UK coasters you'd like to hear about in depth? Anything you'd like to hear me talk about with regard to Busch or KD, since I'm pretty familiar with them both also.

Thanks for reading. :)
 

Zachary

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Sep 23, 2009
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RE: Some theme park theory

I just read through your SkyRush review and, as expected, it was remarkably good. All throughout the 2012 season I had been hearing radically differing opinions of SkyRush but often with very little to no actual justification given. As someone who has yet to experience SkyRush, I very much appreciate your in-debth analysis of the ride.

HAJiME said:
This year I can't imagine I'll be riding many new for 2013 coasters, so I might make a point of reviewing some older rides. Any requests? I'm thinking about a discussion of Ultimate and Beast, two of the world's longest coasters... Though Beast is pretty thoroughly talked about already. Any UK coasters you'd like to hear about in depth?

I'll toss in a vote for Ultimate just because I've always thought it was a very interesting, unique ride that, as far as I know, can't be compared to anything we have in the states.
 
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Sep 21, 2011
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London, UK
josephfells.co.uk
RE: Some theme park theory

Zachary said:
I just read through your SkyRush review and, as expected, it was remarkably good. All throughout the 2012 season I had been hearing radically differing opinions of SkyRush but often with very little to no actual justification given. As someone who has yet to experience SkyRush, I very much appreciate your in-debth analysis of the ride.
I'm not sure my review offers any conclusion to the enigma, myself! I left Hersheypark with a weird distaste in my mouth, not sure if I thought SkyRush was the best steel since Maverick, or whether it's design flaws were just so ill thought and appalling that they made a great ride terrible. On the flipside, maybe those flaws make SkyRush seem better than it actually is, and behind them sits a mediocre ride who's talents are heightened because you have to dig through the ...turds.

HAJiME said:
This year I can't imagine I'll be riding many new for 2013 coasters, so I might make a point of reviewing some older rides. Any requests? I'm thinking about a discussion of Ultimate and Beast, two of the world's longest coasters... Though Beast is pretty thoroughly talked about already. Any UK coasters you'd like to hear about in depth?

I'll toss in a vote for Ultimate just because I've always thought it was a very interesting, unique ride that, as far as I know, can't be compared to anything we have in the states.
Other than Beast, no... There's really no comparison. And the best thing about Ultimate is perhaps that it's obscurity means that most people ride it with low expectations. It helps that it's layout starts off in a way that leaves everyone going "hey whats the big deal, this ain't so bad, it's actually kinda good..." Then horror ensues. In a good way, of course.
 

b.mac

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May 14, 2011
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RE: Some theme park theory

HAJiME said:
I'm not sure my review offers any conclusion to the enigma, myself! I left Hersheypark with a weird distaste in my mouth, not sure if I thought SkyRush was the best steel since Maverick, or whether it's design flaws were just so ill thought and appalling that they made a great ride terrible. On the flipside, maybe those flaws make SkyRush seem better than it actually is, and behind them sits a mediocre ride who's talents are heightened because you have to dig through the ...turds.

This is basically what I came to the conclusion of with the ride. It has so many perks and so many jerks it basically comes down to what you as an enthusiast are willing to "ignore." Skyrush was one of the few coasters I couldn't legitimately form an opinion on, and with all the perks it has it would easily be my number one for steel coasters (#3 overall). However with the abrupt air time, the awkward restraints, and the awkward station along with the fact that the ride tore itself apart (I factor the last two in as yearly performance to my opinion of its quality) bring it down outside of my top 10. I was willing to forego the fact that the restraints and airtime were major detractions of my ride experience, because I only rode it twice and often I learn to anticipate what the ride can throw. So I settled with Skyrush as my #3.

I will be going back next year for rerides, and hopefully I can get a more cemented idea of just what kind of beast Skyrush really is.
 
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