TR - Magic Springs - Hot Springs, AR 5/27/01

TR - Magic Springs - Hot Springs, AR 5/27/01

Post by Jeff Kin » Fri, 01 Jun 2001 12:25:29


Since I'm not good with the "we did this, then rode that" routine, I'll post
some random comments about my L O N G overdue return to this park.

It had been since the ACE Spring Con (1993, was it?) that I had visited this
park, and with the very good news of the park being purchased and reopened
by Ed Hart, etc., it was time for another visit.  A very last-minute sorta
trip, the kind you make when you realize that you have a three day weekend
with nothing better to do :-)

My first impression was how wonderful the absolutely beautiful new front
entrance was!  As the trade papers had said, the architecture was inspired
by Hot Springs National Park's historic "Bath House Row," and instead of
looking brand new, it looked as if it had been there for a long time.  Very
nice job, IMHO.

I was very anxious to re-visit this place, not only to ride the "Arkansas
Twister" again, but to ride the very well thought out (I think) flat ride
package.  For those who don't know me, I'm a coaster nut first and then a
flat ride junkie a *very* close second.  This would be my first encounters
with a Zamperla "Power Surge" as well as an S & S "Double Shot," among
others.

On to the coasters:

Arkansas Twister:    When I initially rode this (93?), I thought that it was
an interesting, somewhat oddly paced out n back.  It was butter smooth back
then and I didn't give it much thought that things would change.  An above
average ride, but not something that I had to return to immediately.  Since
the park sat vacant for a bit, and presumably the former owners didn't give
the ride the proper woodie TLC, I gather that last years return was quite
rough, and not a good "stage," if you will, for a new Gerstlauer train.
Over the winter GCI was hired to do a major overhaul and I would say that
nearly 75% of the ride was rebuilt.  Yes, that's right, rebuilt from the
footers up!  Anyway, while the ride is now smooth for the most part, it's
odd  that they didn't go ahead a do a few more of the speed hills, etc.  For
example, the first drop is new about 3/4 of the way down and the track is
brand new up until the speed hill just before the 180 left turnaround.  The
track climbing into the turnaround is new as well.  In other words, the out
portion was almost completely rebuilt, except for that odd, fairly rough
speed hill.  The train just sails over the new part, then "smack, smack,
smack," then smooth again.  Mind you, it's not uncomfortable but it is
rather unsettling.  The return portion is more of the same, but much
smoother in the transitions.  The only rough moment is one of the final
bunny hops before the ride's signature ejector (in all seats!) pop into the
final turn onto the brakes.  Thankfully, they left that last major pop of
air alone, and it helps put this ride into the above average catagory.  I
liked it quite a bit, really, and I can tell that it's still gotta be a
great night ride.  Interesting note, the rides at this park are all equipped
(ala Kentucky Kingdom of old) with rider instruction tape loops that play in
the queue.  The taped spiel on the Twister says something akin to :  "The
last car is reserved for our more experienced riders.  These seats offer a
more INTENSE ride sensation that may not be suitable for all guests..."
Anyone that rode last year, was the ride unbearable???

Twist N Shout:    This is the Zamperla "Zig Zag" coaster that was the
ill-fated "Wild Wonder" from NJ.  The cars have been changed from animals to
fifties type cars, which I presume look just like the "Doo Whooper" cars on
this same ride at "Wild Wheels" pier in Wildwood, NJ.  Fun, decently paced
mouse, and much better than I expected it to be, especially with it's
seemingly "Family" type description.  Cute ride and perfect for Magic
Springs!

Diamond Mine Run Coaster:    This is their "family" coaster, which is a
cutely themed Miler coaster whose layout might be standard, but it's nicely
placed into it's setting.  Cute station as well, and *anyone* can ride, over
a certain height of course.  Two circuit ride, as well.

Flats:

Wild Thang:    This is the aforementioned "Power Surge."  I very MUCH liked
this ride, and it now goes into the pile of "I want one in my backyard
rides!"  Fun action, and decent ride cycle time.  Ride varies greatly from
forward facing seats to backward facing seats.  Every park needs one!

The Hawk:    A single arm Zamperla "Hawk 24."  Think Kennywood's "Aero 360"
minus one arm.  Once again, fun and decent cycle time.

Dr Dean's Rocket Machine:    This is their new for 2001 ride, which is the S
& S "Double Shot."  I liked this ride okay, rode it several times, but it
didn't seem that much different form the early Mark (IV, is it?) Space
Shots, such as "Detonator" at WOF.  Of course, it's not as tall either, but
I didn't notice the "shoot up, then instant shoot down" thing.  More like a
shorter trip up on "Detonator," which isn't a bad thing.  Perhaps I caught
it on a bad day?  Does anyone notice much of a difference on these??
Perfect for here, and the crowd just loved it!

Old No. 2 Logging Company:    This is log flume that came with the park that
Hopkins recently redid.  Strange big drop that is no steeper than the lift,
but effective none-the-less.  It is on this ride that the park was able to
utilize some of the s***wood leftover from the Twister rebuild.  Look
around the run-out pond, and you'll see gray and pink wood with white
numbers and letters on 'em from the move and rebuild job.  Smart, and only
some of us freaks would even notice :)

The park has many other well placed flats to choose from, and their
collection puts quite a few *major* theme parks to shame!

Overall, and VERY nice place to visit!  I couldn't believe how different the
park looked, and if you've not visited the place most of it will seem brand
new.  It's hard to tell that some of the buildings were there before.  Also,
of note is the SFStL/Dollywood mine train IS here and in pieces on either
side of the Twister.  Perhaps a 2002 rebuild??  It would be a great
addition.

Food prices weren't too bad, i.e. a "Subway" veggie 6 " sub was only $ 3.75
but a large drink at the "Subway" was friggin' $ 3.95!!  WTF??  Employees
were *very* nice and most even smiled!  Not quite Holiday World, but
definitely a refreshing sight!

The water park "Crystal Falls" is actually built into the middle of the
park, included with admission and seemed to be a decent collection of the
standard waterpark fare.  I would imagine that more than anything else, this
is the feature that will bring in the crowds.  It's placement, however,
makes the trip to the Twister a bit of a mess, but I'm sure that they'll get
this worked out.

A must do park if you're in the area, and I wouldn't be surprised to see
this place grow by leaps and bounds over the next few years.

Thanks for reading,

Jeff "wish it wasn't a freakin' seven hour drive away" King

 
 
 

TR - Magic Springs - Hot Springs, AR 5/27/01

Post by WOLGAMUT » Sat, 02 Jun 2001 10:19:28

Been toying with the idea of  going to this park this year and your TR settles
the issue.
Thanks for the report.

Jim Wolgamuth

 
 
 

TR - Magic Springs - Hot Springs, AR 5/27/01

Post by Mississippi R » Sat, 02 Jun 2001 12:13:24

Quote:
>It had been since the ACE Spring Con (1993, was it?) that I had visited
>this park,

So, that was YOU I saw at the '93 Preservation Con! Cool! 8-)

I did go back for one more visit in 1995, but the park was beginning to
fall apart, so I haven't been back since. It's been a long time.

Quote:
>A must do park if you're in the area, and I wouldn't be surprised to see
>this place grow by leaps and bounds over the next few years.

Very nice to hear that they're doing well, and have some great new
rides. If I don't spend too much money in Ohio, I'll be there while
everybody else is at Coaster Con. Looking forward to refreshing my
memory of the Twister.

Glenn "No really good highways between Jackson and Hot Springs" Payne

 
 
 

TR - Magic Springs - Hot Springs, AR 5/27/01

Post by Arkwheel » Sat, 02 Jun 2001 12:25:40

Jeff,
 I'm printing out your TR for management as I write this reply. The owners
will certainly be pleased to know that what they attempting to do here at
MS/CF is appreciated. Look for the Twister rebuild to be completed next
season, time was an issue this year and only the worst sections were
addressed.
 We're ordering parts to begin rebuilding the mine train cars soon, work
should also begin on the foundations soon. You may have noticed a large area
of clearing while you were riding the Twist & Shout, sorta beginning up
behind the Power Surge, continuing down the hill behind the T&S, dog-legging
uphill to the right? Looks like a BMX motocross course, but this is the
layout for the mine train. I can't wait to get to work on the track here,
this is going to be something special, I think. I realize it's only a mine
train, but the terrain will make this one to remember. (IMHO)

 Arkwheels

 Michael Wheeler
 Technical Services Supervisor
 Magic Springs/ Crystal Falls
 Hot Springs National Park, AR


Quote:
> Since I'm not good with the "we did this, then rode that" routine, I'll
post
> some random comments about my L O N G overdue return to this park.

> It had been since the ACE Spring Con (1993, was it?) that I had visited
this
> park, and with the very good news of the park being purchased and reopened
> by Ed Hart, etc., it was time for another visit.  A very last-minute sorta
> trip, the kind you make when you realize that you have a three day weekend
> with nothing better to do :-)

> My first impression was how wonderful the absolutely beautiful new front
> entrance was!  As the trade papers had said, the architecture was inspired
> by Hot Springs National Park's historic "Bath House Row," and instead of
> looking brand new, it looked as if it had been there for a long time.
Very
> nice job, IMHO.

> I was very anxious to re-visit this place, not only to ride the "Arkansas
> Twister" again, but to ride the very well thought out (I think) flat ride
> package.  For those who don't know me, I'm a coaster nut first and then a
> flat ride junkie a *very* close second.  This would be my first encounters
> with a Zamperla "Power Surge" as well as an S & S "Double Shot," among
> others.

> On to the coasters:

> Arkansas Twister:    When I initially rode this (93?), I thought that it
was
> an interesting, somewhat oddly paced out n back.  It was butter smooth
back
> then and I didn't give it much thought that things would change.  An above
> average ride, but not something that I had to return to immediately.
Since
> the park sat vacant for a bit, and presumably the former owners didn't
give
> the ride the proper woodie TLC, I gather that last years return was quite
> rough, and not a good "stage," if you will, for a new Gerstlauer train.
> Over the winter GCI was hired to do a major overhaul and I would say that
> nearly 75% of the ride was rebuilt.  Yes, that's right, rebuilt from the
> footers up!  Anyway, while the ride is now smooth for the most part, it's
> odd  that they didn't go ahead a do a few more of the speed hills, etc.
For
> example, the first drop is new about 3/4 of the way down and the track is
> brand new up until the speed hill just before the 180 left turnaround.
The
> track climbing into the turnaround is new as well.  In other words, the
out
> portion was almost completely rebuilt, except for that odd, fairly rough
> speed hill.  The train just sails over the new part, then "smack, smack,
> smack," then smooth again.  Mind you, it's not uncomfortable but it is
> rather unsettling.  The return portion is more of the same, but much
> smoother in the transitions.  The only rough moment is one of the final
> bunny hops before the ride's signature ejector (in all seats!) pop into
the
> final turn onto the brakes.  Thankfully, they left that last major pop of
> air alone, and it helps put this ride into the above average catagory.  I
> liked it quite a bit, really, and I can tell that it's still gotta be a
> great night ride.  Interesting note, the rides at this park are all
equipped
> (ala Kentucky Kingdom of old) with rider instruction tape loops that play
in
> the queue.  The taped spiel on the Twister says something akin to :  "The
> last car is reserved for our more experienced riders.  These seats offer a
> more INTENSE ride sensation that may not be suitable for all guests..."
> Anyone that rode last year, was the ride unbearable???

> Twist N Shout:    This is the Zamperla "Zig Zag" coaster that was the
> ill-fated "Wild Wonder" from NJ.  The cars have been changed from animals
to
> fifties type cars, which I presume look just like the "Doo Whooper" cars
on
> this same ride at "Wild Wheels" pier in Wildwood, NJ.  Fun, decently paced
> mouse, and much better than I expected it to be, especially with it's
> seemingly "Family" type description.  Cute ride and perfect for Magic
> Springs!

> Diamond Mine Run Coaster:    This is their "family" coaster, which is a
> cutely themed Miler coaster whose layout might be standard, but it's
nicely
> placed into it's setting.  Cute station as well, and *anyone* can ride,
over
> a certain height of course.  Two circuit ride, as well.

> Flats:

> Wild Thang:    This is the aforementioned "Power Surge."  I very MUCH
liked
> this ride, and it now goes into the pile of "I want one in my backyard
> rides!"  Fun action, and decent ride cycle time.  Ride varies greatly from
> forward facing seats to backward facing seats.  Every park needs one!

> The Hawk:    A single arm Zamperla "Hawk 24."  Think Kennywood's "Aero
360"
> minus one arm.  Once again, fun and decent cycle time.

> Dr Dean's Rocket Machine:    This is their new for 2001 ride, which is the
S
> & S "Double Shot."  I liked this ride okay, rode it several times, but it
> didn't seem that much different form the early Mark (IV, is it?) Space
> Shots, such as "Detonator" at WOF.  Of course, it's not as tall either,
but
> I didn't notice the "shoot up, then instant shoot down" thing.  More like
a
> shorter trip up on "Detonator," which isn't a bad thing.  Perhaps I caught
> it on a bad day?  Does anyone notice much of a difference on these??
> Perfect for here, and the crowd just loved it!

> Old No. 2 Logging Company:    This is log flume that came with the park
that
> Hopkins recently redid.  Strange big drop that is no steeper than the
lift,
> but effective none-the-less.  It is on this ride that the park was able to
> utilize some of the s***wood leftover from the Twister rebuild.  Look
> around the run-out pond, and you'll see gray and pink wood with white
> numbers and letters on 'em from the move and rebuild job.  Smart, and only
> some of us freaks would even notice :)

> The park has many other well placed flats to choose from, and their
> collection puts quite a few *major* theme parks to shame!

> Overall, and VERY nice place to visit!  I couldn't believe how different
the
> park looked, and if you've not visited the place most of it will seem
brand
> new.  It's hard to tell that some of the buildings were there before.
Also,
> of note is the SFStL/Dollywood mine train IS here and in pieces on either
> side of the Twister.  Perhaps a 2002 rebuild??  It would be a great
> addition.

> Food prices weren't too bad, i.e. a "Subway" veggie 6 " sub was only $
3.75
> but a large drink at the "Subway" was friggin' $ 3.95!!  WTF??  Employees
> were *very* nice and most even smiled!  Not quite Holiday World, but
> definitely a refreshing sight!

> The water park "Crystal Falls" is actually built into the middle of the
> park, included with admission and seemed to be a decent collection of the
> standard waterpark fare.  I would imagine that more than anything else,
this
> is the feature that will bring in the crowds.  It's placement, however,
> makes the trip to the Twister a bit of a mess, but I'm sure that they'll
get
> this worked out.

> A must do park if you're in the area, and I wouldn't be surprised to see
> this place grow by leaps and bounds over the next few years.

> Thanks for reading,

> Jeff "wish it wasn't a freakin' seven hour drive away" King

 
 
 

TR - Magic Springs - Hot Springs, AR 5/27/01

Post by Intamin Junk » Sat, 02 Jun 2001 13:17:41

Jeff,

Great TR! What is the closest park to Magic Springs? I'd love
to visit, but I'd have to piggyback it with others in the area.
SDC? Jazzland? Dollywood?

Rob ''Not a map reader'' Vaccaro

 
 
 

TR - Magic Springs - Hot Springs, AR 5/27/01

Post by Mississippi R » Sat, 02 Jun 2001 13:49:43

Quote:
>Great TR! What is the closest park to Magic Springs? I'd love
>to visit, but I'd have to piggyback it with others in the area.
>SDC? Jazzland? Dollywood?

Well, I'm in the process of planning a trip to Magic Springs, SDC, and
SFoT. According to my calculations, SDC is about 190 miles away, while
SFoT is about 280. Thing is, they will both take about 5 hours to get
to! This due to interstate vs. Ozark 2-lane roads. The closest park in
drive time would be Libertyland, which is about 180 miles to the east,
and should take less than 3 hours on I-30 & I-40.

Quote:
>Rob ''Not a map reader'' Vaccaro

Magic Springs is one of those parks that I think requires some map
reading to get to it. It ain't exactly in the middle of town. 8-)

Glenn Payne

 
 
 

TR - Magic Springs - Hot Springs, AR 5/27/01

Post by Robert Ulric » Sat, 02 Jun 2001 22:24:55


took the time to post:

<snip>

Quote:
>Dr Dean's Rocket Machine:    This is their new for 2001 ride, which is the S
>& S "Double Shot."  I liked this ride okay, rode it several times, but it
>didn't seem that much different form the early Mark (IV, is it?) Space
>Shots, such as "Detonator" at WOF.  Of course, it's not as tall either, but
>I didn't notice the "shoot up, then instant shoot down" thing.  More like a
>shorter trip up on "Detonator," which isn't a bad thing.  Perhaps I caught
>it on a bad day?  Does anyone notice much of a difference on these??
>Perfect for here, and the crowd just loved it!

Wow!  A Double Shot in my experience (Wild Adventures & Indiana Beach)
is nothing like Detonator.  As I've ridden Wild Adventures more I know
that sequence by heart:
1) pressure builds, vehicle's weighed
2) blast off
3) YANK down
4) bounce up
5) YANK down
6) bounce till finish (2 or 3 times)

Those YANKS are big un's, smash your shoulders into the harness
airtime filled pulls down.  This is my favorite ride at Wild
Adventures (up to the opening of Cheetah this month).

Enjoyed the rest of your report.  The only time I was in Hot Springs
was after the park had closed and looked very spooky.  Glad to see it
running well and will have to get there one of these days to ride the
Mine Train which will have been the 3rd location for the same ride :)

RU
(remove the OSTR to respond)

 
 
 

TR - Magic Springs - Hot Springs, AR 5/27/01

Post by Jeff Kin » Sun, 03 Jun 2001 12:17:13


Quote:
> Jeff,

> Great TR! What is the closest park to Magic Springs? I'd love
> to visit, but I'd have to piggyback it with others in the area.
> SDC? Jazzland? Dollywood?

> Rob ''Not a map reader'' Vaccaro

I was going to answer you, but Glenn beat me to it :)

Jeff "see Glenn's post" King

 
 
 

TR - Magic Springs - Hot Springs, AR 5/27/01

Post by Jeff Kin » Sun, 03 Jun 2001 12:29:46


Quote:
> Wow!  A Double Shot in my experience (Wild Adventures & Indiana Beach)
> is nothing like Detonator.  As I've ridden Wild Adventures more I know
> that sequence by heart:
> 1) pressure builds, vehicle's weighed
> 2) blast off
> 3) YANK down
> 4) bounce up
> 5) YANK down
> 6) bounce till finish (2 or 3 times)

> Those YANKS are big un's, smash your shoulders into the harness
> airtime filled pulls down.  This is my favorite ride at Wild
> Adventures (up to the opening of Cheetah this month).

Hmmm...  Maybe it just isn't broken in yet??  As with all of the S & S rides
that I've ridden, it got better as the day wore on.  It was *very* fun,
don't get me wrong.  I just didn't think it was much different, that's all.

Quote:
> Enjoyed the rest of your report.

Thanks!

Quote:
> The only time I was in Hot Springs
> was after the park had closed and looked very spooky.  Glad to see it
> running well and will have to get there one of these days to ride the
> Mine Train which will have been the 3rd location for the same ride :)

I was expecting a nice looking place, but I was very impressed with all of
the changes!  They really did a terrific job!

Jeff