IllumiNights 2012 Update and More (June 11th)
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We heard rumors that it would happen and now it has. At the time of this post (1pm on Friday the 5th) Verbolten is currently open. A full explanation can be found on the official park blog here. Did you get to ride? Want to share your thoughts? You can send your thoughts and opinions on the ride to us by using the “Contact Us” button at the top of the page, via a private message to Swiftman on the forums, by way of email here, or even in the comments below. Please also include a way for us to credit you, be it a name, a username, a Twitter account, or just about anything else. Thanks!
Atlantis, one of our forum moderators, left for the park right when news of the soft opening broke. Here are his initial thoughts published from his iPhone right after riding. Also, don’t miss his pictures as well!
[toggle title=”Atlantis’s Initial Thoughts After One Ride” expanded=”no”]Okay, I just got off of the front row of the red train. There’s a nice, smooth gravity fall out of the station and excellent track transitions through the ravine. The first launch provides very smooth acceleration into the event building where you hit a lightning storm mainly consisting of strobe lights. After that, you head into the black forest where there are black cloths decorated with fluorescent paint and loud audio of the forest coming alive. The helices are fairly quick and they pull some high g-forces even in the front row. I would imagine back row is bad for black out prone people, but, having not yet ridden in the back yet, I can’t say that for sure. When you halt for the drop track red eyes appear all around you and you hear vivid grunts. Suddenly the room goes black and the track falls. A short drop leads you to launch segment number two that is noticeably quicker than the first. After the second launch, you are pulled back into your seat as you twist up towards the bridge. The bridge slows the train quite a bit and gives you the chance to look down towards the Rhine River from the bridge which is a rather unique view. The drop is fairly smooth and flies by rather quick from the front row. The transition into the second to last turn is a bit hair-raising for a family coaster but I wouldn’t consider it rough. All in all, it is a worthy family coaster replacement for the Big Bad Wolf. People of all ages are riding and enjoying the ride. Everyone is coming off smiling and a handful of them are getting back in line.[/toggle]
[toggle title=”Additional Observations After His Second Ride” expanded=”no”]When you first enter the event building there is some scenery to denote going into the black forest. You then get hit with the strobes and sound effects of the lightning storm. At the bottom of the first helix there is a rotating light that appears to be a moon rotating behind the trees. This time, I got the drop scene with the spirit of the black forest instead of the wolf scene that I got the first time around. It has a female saying something that I couldn’t exactly make out. While on the covered bridge, a loud creaking sound is played to imply that the bridge is about to collapse. Also, this time, I rode in the back row and noticed greatly increased g-forces in comparison to the ones I felt in the front row. A little jarring, but nothing too bad. Lastly, the dual loading setup they are using in the station is very efficient. Everything has gone beyond smooth for the park today. There is an attendant at the top of the line splitting groups up to ensure that the loading area isn’t flooded with people.[/toggle]
[toggle title=”Atlantis’s Pictures” expanded=”no”]
Another member of our forums, RocketChk, also got to the park this weekend to get her ride on Verbolten. She was kind enough to write-up this fantastic rider report and review on our forums. The original post can be found here. Thanks Jessica! Truly a fantastic read.
[toggle title=”RocketChk’s Mega Review & Ride Report” expanded=”no”]The spirit of Wolfie was with me as I got the ‘Wolf Story’ the first and only time I rode it yesterday. It was very sweet of him.
Got off work at 6pm and made my husband haul butt up to the park. We got to the park around 7pm and I was in line about 15 minutes later. The line at this point was through the queue house and near the entrance, but they did not have the entire line open, as it was not needed. I was in line maybe a total of 30 minutes, BUT I almost wish the wait was longer. Crazy right? Nope. Here we go:
The queue house. Oh my goodness, the queue house. I remember many moons ago, waiting in line for 5 hours and 45 minutes(!) on opening day of CoDK,thinking how awesome the detailing was on the themeing of the ride before you stepped foot on it, and how well they told the story, how they set the foundation…forget that. All of it. If what they did for Verbolten is the new starting line for themeing to come, then we really have some exciting things to look forward to. The detail the have put in here…there is almost too much to look at. With how quick they were loading yesterday, there was so much I missed out on. Not only should you be excited about riding multiple times to be able to get all the stories in the event building, you should also be excited about getting in that queue house to see all the little details put into it. I am still so impressed just by the stuff in the flipping line. The ticket booth is stunning. The addition of multiple ‘kameras,’ which I did not get to see but for a glance, was amazing. I know everyone is excited about getting on the ride, but just take your time and take it all in while waiting. I know that sounds dumb, but I’m serious. We should be proud of what our home park has given to us. This ride would have been equally as popular without the effort they put into it before you get on and they didn’t have to do any of it. But they did, and we should be thankful. I’m in awe.
I was a single rider, and was a little bummed by the absence of a single rider line. However, what they did with the station with the double loading was again impressive. As I walked into the station, I was a little confused by the fact that they made a longer line near where on BBW you would have queued for about the middle of the train. As I quickly found out, there are two front row lines due to the double loading. This alone is going to be a long line eater, as the crew really had it down. But again there’s SO DANG MUCH to look at, it doesn’t even matter. I didn’t even look around in here, as I was watching the crew do their thing.
I was paired up in line with a guy that was a cast member at the park. We had a piece of paper with him and when I asked him what he was writing down, he said that he was tracking how long he was in line each time. I started making small talk and I said that I read on a website that it was soft opening today and ran on up here. He asked which website, and I said ‘BGWFans…you know…the bad guys.’ He laughed and showed me the other half of the paper and it was a print out of the blueprint of the whole queue line and station that was leaked on here and that he lurks sometimes (Hi!!). I asked him if he could comment on the yellow train being on vacation and he said that he had heard while on a tour of the coaster, that something had happened, but that there were too many stories floating around about what exactly did happen. I asked him if they allowed him to see the front of the yellow train and he answered no, that they are keeping that under wraps. I also asked him if the color of the train had something to do with what story you got in the event building. He said no, and that even the maintenance crew and executives have been trying to figure out how to sync up what story you’re going to get on any given ride. I figured that each color train might have a sensor to tell the computer what story to tell, but that is false. Seems like the forest has a mind of its own. Kinda scary, but I’ll take it. I had told him that I was on the Wolf crew at a point, and he mentioned that he hoped the Wolf would appear.
The ride! First, the seats are very comfy. Having popped out two humans in the past four years, I’ve gotten a little fluffy, but had no problems in this seat. I probably pulled the bar in too much. I hate drop towers, so I’ll admit I had butterflies about the drop track. My impromptu tour guide with me assured me that the drop would be nothing to worry about, so I kind of wish I had left a little slack for some air time. I know now. We left the station and got to the part where you can hear the engine revving up. I was also told by my co-rider that if the train gets stopped for any reason right here, the sound track switches to the sound of a car engine idling. Thought that was a really cute touch. As we headed off to the event building we hit the first launch with ease. It really was smooth, and not at all like a Volcano or FoF launch of death. Heading into the darkness was really something else. I will ride anything you throw at me at least once, and I trust Busch with my life on any ride, but I have to say, I really was nervous going into the event building. The fact that you have seen pictures of the inside and you know in your head what is the track looks like with the lights on will not prepare you for the sensation of flying through here in darkness. Once again, the detail of the all black track and supports they used supports the fact that you cannot see the track or where you’re going. Nothing can really prepare you for what you feel inside the event building. I was a little apprehensive when I heard that they were using black light scenery in here, but it is pulled off so, so well. My co-rider told me pretty soon into the building (and very excitedly, I may add) that we were going to get the Wolf story. So while a few of you are saying that most of the building’s scenery is the same for all three, I again have only been on it once, so I personally can’t confirm it. After the first half of the spaghetti bowl, I knew that we were going to stop for the drop track, but I was not expecting the block break before the drop track section. That was a nice surprise. As we got to the drop, red eyes surrounded us as we came to a stop. I swear that it went silent, then a noise, then a few seconds before the drop, but I could be mistaken. I was basically trying to brace myself for the drop, but this may take some mastering because I was way off. I do not have many details to talk about as far as the inside of the event building, because again, there is SO much to look at while you’re in here. There is so much going on, as in a matter of every sense (except smell) is being used at the same time. Not to be punny, but this thing really takes you on a ride in here. The overload has made this part a bit blurry for me, so I apologize.
As we exited the building, I was surprised by the bit of a drop into the launch, which made this launch seem a lot faster and had a lot more oomph. It definitely caught me off guard. I will say that I was concerned about the speed of the ride from the perception on the testing videos as I thought it looked a little too slow for my taste. I was wrong. It is just right as you climb up to the bridge. The audio on the bridge (not on ride as previously rumored) was a perfect touch, and again the speed of the train as you inch over the edge really made an impact in the same way that BBW did it. The drop is quick and a little short, but once you get to the trees, the speed really picks up as you go through what I think is the same course BBW took. The banking of the track really provides for some g’s and does not let up even as you go into the last turn into the station. Fantastic.
Overall, I am really impressed. This coming from someone who bawled on the last day of Wolfie (in the rain, no less. How John Hughes of me). I cursed the day they started deconstruction and swore that nothing could replace him. I was wrong. My bad.
It is nothing like a one-trick pony such as Griffon. No sir, this ride commands you to re-ride as much as you possibly can to get the whole experience. Even then, I think you’d have to piece together everything you have experienced, just to get an idea of what this ride has to offer in whole. I almost feel bad for the next ride that goes in at BG. You have a lot to live up to, sweetheart.
The one downside for me had to be that it did seem a bit jerky at times and I did get a headache soon after getting off. I have had some neck injuries in the past and I shouldn’t even be on these rides (screw that!), so please take that as you will.
A special thank you to the guy riding with me! He really made it a great first time ride, and I will always appreciate it.[/toggle]
Kingadam, a forum member who has done a few Verbolten updates for us in the past, was also able to get on Verbolten this weekend. Here are his thoughts and what he observed. Thanks Adam!
[toggle title=”Kingadam’s Review and Observations” expanded=”no”]For those of you who haven’t ridden Verbolten yet, you must ride it! The first time was the best for me for sure, so I instantly had to ride it again. I saw Larry Giles there at the exit, but didn’t get a chance to talk to him unfortunately. I rode it a total of 5 times today, three times at first, then twice before the park closed. I do have to say though, it kinda got a little less exciting after riding it over again, but when I came back the second set of rides it was good again. The whole ride overall was better than I expected, but it did still seem like a “Family Ride.” It did seem a little rough though – I think Griffon and AC are still by far the smoothest, but the Black Forest was absolutely astonishing and the drop track was great! It’s hard to believe that not too long ago we saw the drop track bare and alone with nothing but concrete around it.
Now for the facts: 1. The Blue car’s headlights were in fact working at night. I found out also that its tail lights work as well. 2. Videos were unable to be purchased, but the on-ride photos were pretty neat. 3. There was sound playing from the wrecked car in front and there was a stage set up in the middle of the stone circle. 4. The queue included a video of Gerta talking and screeching. Hopefully they lower the volume on the more annoying parts. 5. The queue was added onto (flooring wise, like MT), leaving a lot of room for guests to be in. 6. If the entire queue was to be filled, it would be about an hour wait, from what I could tell. 7. The average wait time today was about 30 minutes. 8. From what I can tell, it was running from 3:30 until close, non-stop, without breakdowns. 9. An employee does tell you which line to go in, but really if you just say you want to go somewhere else, you can – I was able to ride front row at least once. 10. The simultaneous loading seemed to work really well – when both trains were filled they would both roll out (the first one had to clear the station before the other started moving) and the first sped along down to the ravine with engine sounds coming from the speakers (on the platform with the orange buggie). The second car had to wait right outside the station, listening to the revving engines, and then be brought along. 11. The under banked helix makes you (well at least me and some others) a little light-headed, just like Griffon does on the first Immelman. 12. The second launch really snaps you into the back of your seat vigorously, but not for the whole time. 13. At the end portion of the ride (the last turns near the Rhine) have major vertical g-forces, especially the one right before the airtime hill. 14. There was a photographer at Verbolten from about 5 until closing, taking photos with a professional camera. I spotted him on the top of the stairs next to the bridge, and at the bottom of the final drop, on the grass. 15. Be careful when the car stops near the station – the stopping speed is comparable to that of AC on a day with 3 cars running. 16. It seemed like the only problems with the ride was the length of time it took for the cars to roll out of the station occasionally . It seemed like a small glitch, but it wasn’t completely horrible. 17. The place was swarming with maintenance people and execs.[/toggle]
Peter R. from our forums also sent in his thoughts on the ride. He was actually in the front row of the first public Verbolten ride ever. Talk about lucky. Thanks Peter!
[toggle title=”Peter’s Ride Report” expanded=”no”]As we left the station and as we headed for the first launch, I remember thinking that we were moving much faster than the speed I perceived it should be (It seemed to be much slower when I view the testing from off the ride.) Once the train reached the first launch, I was kicked back into my seat just a little bit as I proceed into the darkness of the event building. Despite the various luminescent devices used (tree and many leaves), the darkness was a bit disorienting. Once I got through the forest I experienced the wolf scenario. Although I was hoping for something more (as it consisted mostly of howling and eyes on either side of the car I was in), I felt it did pay decent homage to the ride that preceded it. I then reached the drop track where I believed I heard a creaking noise, before actually being dropped (and to my surprise it did not stop short of the track in front of us and lower us down slowly the rest of the way.) At this point my train actually was stopped for a good 20 seconds or so. This was due to a train being launched into the event building and that train has higher priority (both launches use the same electrical source). Soon we were on our way again, and soon after that we had reached the second launch (as Atlantis said both launches are quite smooth) and I experienced the sensation of being push back into my chair as we rode toward the “dilapidated” bridge. Once again I heard creaking noises and after a short pause at the precipice we proceeded down the hill toward the Rhine and around the curve. It is at this point my memory get a little hazy unfortunately, though I do remember the camera flashing.
Overall I agree with the others that this ride is not a thrill seekers paradise (I do not recall experiencing any airtime or g-force though this could be simply because I was at the very front). As one who has rode Rockin Roller Coaster I would agree it is quite smooth but it is unique in its own right and it draws me back to ride again as I know I have only experienced 1/3 (probably less) of the picture. As far as the big question of is it a good replacement for BBW, I for one do not know. It is my opinion that one ride of it is just too little experience to judge.[/toggle]
Lastly, BlueWasp was able to film an on-ride POV which should give you a good idea of the ride experience. Thanks a ton BlueWasp! You can subscribe to him on YouTube here.
This post will be updated as rider reports and reviews are sent in. Please keep checking back throughout the weekend.