Over the last few years I've had quite a bit to say about Gerstlauer Eurofighter coasters, and not all of it has been flattering. The biggest issue I have with the product line is the tendency towards violent track transitions, which are more often than not exacerbated by hard and unforgiving overhead restraints. Dare Devil Dive (#1797) solves this problem entirely by introducing a new vehicle design that features two-across seating and, crucially, a lap bar lowered from above that is both comfortable and unobtrusive.
This upgrade makes all the difference in the world; while some of the elements remain a little bumpy, the impacts are for the most part minimal. The result is a thrilling and exciting coaster that doesn't hurt. I'd love to see these restraints retrofitted to a few of the more uncomfortable members of the Eurofighter family, such as Untamed and Mystery Mine. If either park is reading this, how about it?
With the new credit completed I took in rides on Goliath, Great American Scream Machine, and Superman Ultimate Flight. I'd have liked to have ridden Batman the Ride, but the ride was operating a single train and slowly, and the non-fastpass queue hadn't moved by more than ten people in half an hour and I had to get to the airport. Once a Six Flags park, always a Six Flags park...
Bay Beach Amusement Park
28th July 2012
Bay Beach Amusement Park is located in Green Bay in the north-eastern corner of Wisconsin. Though the city has its own airport, flight schedules made it impossible to travel there directly; instead, we caught a flight to the nearby city of Appleton, a short drive away. Outagamie County Regional Airport is tiny, and served by only a few flights every day, of which ours was apparently the last; I noticed the team of TSA staff leaving the building shortly after we landed.
Bay Beach put itself on the enthusiast radar two years ago with the installation of the Zippin Pippin (#1798), a ride that once operated at Libertyland in Memphis, where it was known for being Elvis' favourite coaster. The ride is a relatively standard double out and back layout, with one surprise towards the end; an extremely aggressive airtime hill that throws riders into the lap bars with incredible force. The experience was somewhat akin to that drop on Tornado; thrilling, extreme, and more than a little uncomfortable even for those who are expecting it.
The park has a small set of flat rides to accompany the coaster, including a ferris wheel, a scrambler, a tilt-a-whirl, and one of the few remaining Scat rides in the world. There is no pay one price deal available, but this is not a problem as individual ride tickets are very reasonably priced; the coaster is the most expensive ride in the park, at $1 per lap.
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