Good evening folks! I know it’s been quite some time since I’ve crapped out an update! I’ve gone to the mountain several times, but never grabbed enough to pull a whole update together, so I figured I would make my way down to the mountain today. That way I can combine a lot of my visits together and make it seem like stuff is actually going on at the mountain!
Tatsu’s ‘Achilles Heel’
If this is a footer, just imagine where the “heel” would be. Then notice the chunk of land missing next to it.
Well, I’m sure this has gotten around to a fair bunch of you by now but I might as well cover it myself.
A few weeks ago, the pathway between Roaring Rapids and Ninja (aka, the easy way up the hill) was suspiciously closed, once again returning the mountain back into a “cul-de-sac” as it was during the Tatsu construction, with all traffic forced up and down the steep side of the hill. Why? You’re not going to believe this…
The explanation that I am repeatedly getting (which is reinforced by the work I see getting done) is that someone on the surveying team during Tatsu’s prep work/pre-construction made a serious boo-boo. Now, you might have known that the hill (which Tatsu is located on) isn’t necessarily stable.
…bear with me. I always have heard stories of the 1994 Northridge earthquake doing quite a bit of geological damage to the hill, threatening Ninja at times. Well now with Tatsu’s massive 170ft tall lift hill grappling onto the side of this hill, exerting great pressure on the land, in combination with the natural erosion cycle of a poorly vegetated hillside, essentially….what’s the nice way to say this…
…The hill is showing dangerous signs of erosion. The land around Tatsu’s lift-footers is giving out to gravity.
Now, as of current, Tatsu is still operable…well, when the damn thing isn’t broken down, that is. But I’m hearing people say that if the problem isn’t “fixed” or at least “bottled, dammed, stopped, or temporarily held off” in a reasonable time-frame, the ride may
have to go down….just as X has….for some major structural work. Imagine, the parks two major“ist” rides, broken down. I can’t see that going well with the public.
Now what that “time frame” is, I don’t know. I won’t pretend to know. So the idea that it would go down is still speculation at this point…so no need to flip out quite yet. How about some pictures of the emergency quick-fix!...
As I made my way to Tatsu, I was greeted by an empty train, broken down on lift…figures. The train is also conveniently in the “area of question”, on the hill.
The entrance to the now-closed pathway. This cool little slide thing is probably for waste removal or something. No real clue on that one…but it looks cool!
Oh wow! Some heavy-duty wall building is going on now!
Grrr…I want my pathway back!
Looks like they cut away a lot of railing, to make room for all of their work.
An overview of the construction site thanks to Rapids queue…thanks Mike!
Wow! That actually looks like quite a heavy-duty retaining wall going in there!
And on a potentially related subject…
Remember that “bomb shelter” looking thing, they installed beneath the drop?...
Well, to this day I still don’t know what it’s for, but after the recent turn of events, my guess would be that it is itself, a retaining wedge (if you will). See its position in relation to that massive footer—my guess is it’s there to help hold the mountain back, so the footer can remain properly supported. Just a guess…sort of stretching it, but it makes the most sense to me.
As far as the “natural erosion” is concerned, the hill’s natural attempt to flatten itself has led to little brick “shields” being built around a few of Tatsu’s footers, to keep them from being over-taken by dirt.
It’s a little brick “dam”, to help keep the footers above-ground.
I sincerely hope that these are nothing more than different colored bricks—that they didn’t have to “add more” when they found out that their first attempt at damming the mountain wasn’t enough!
It should be very interesting to see what goes on in the coming months, especially once we enter January-March, when our sporadic rains begin. Remember last year, the West-Coaster-Bash tour of the construction site was canceled, as the wet mountain was too unstable? Well that same mountain now has a roller coaster on top of it.
Everyone’s Favorite Ride
Despite the fact that the mountain is once again “one way in and one way out”, regarding foot traffic, there is an alternative way off: everyone’s favorite ride, Orient Express. As reported earlier, the Orient Express has finally reopened after a seemingly-never ending hiatus, thanks to Tatsu construction. It was one of those things, like you left hand—you never realize how much you use it until you cant use it at all. It soon became apparent that this little transport system was everyone’s savior! A quick, efficient way up the hill.
And now that more and more staff has been trained to operate the ride, it is finally open more regularly. I thought I would include a little photo-tour of the ride, for you all to check out the “new and improved” Orient Express! Enjoy…
For those unfamiliar, O.E. is practically the most simple ride in the park. Two cable-cars transport SFMM’s regular barrage of gang members and crack dealers up and down the hill via a split track.
The interior has been repainted and has a few new signs. Unfortunately, the audio spiel has since been removed.
The lamps are so new, that they still have the instructions on them!
The only way they’ll be able to hold back the damn mountain at this rate, is if they tear all of Psyclone down!
…oh wait, that’s a good thing!
Footprints on the walls, as O.E. doubles as an anti-gravity chamber, during Magic’s private parties.
Ooooh…Impressive. The cars now have a brand-spankin-new WiFi system. I don’t know exactly what it does, but it has been installed!
Corey (in his jacket, as always, despite the 90 degree weather) shows off the simple little ride’s new Allen-Bradley touch-screen panel system. Again, don’t know what its for, but it looks all hi-tech and cool!
High-tech or simple, the point is we’re glad to have Orient Express back!
Cell Phones to Baritones—a Bunch of Random Crap!
Well as always, I’ve included a section in this update for the changes going on, that aren’t necessarily worthy of their own update “section”. I usually put this at the end, but for the sake of organization, I’m putting it right in the middle of this update…enjoy!
Feliz! New banners have gone up on the walk-of-shame to the park!
I don’t know how long this has been here, but it would appear that SFMM is experimenting with one non-turnstile counting thingy, like what the Disney-attractions utilize. Just one, at the moment.
Cell phone # 1
Again…a nice little band, shoved off to the side. These guys are real fun, but just don’t fit in at a non-family park like SFMM.
Robb’s modeling some leftover Fright Fest equipment!
I thought this photo was kind of neat!
…speaking of Goliath, it would appear that it has finally dropped the “Driving Force” sponsorship.
Cell phone # 2...I swear, I’m not even trying at this point!
…on that note, I don’t want people to think I’m just slandering SFMM! Please don’t! So I’ll take a moment to exhibit the hidden beauty within the park.
…the fact that the out-of-focus Valencia Falls still aren’t working in this picture, is irrelevant.
Some new plants have been planted in Revy’s exit. The fact I would notice them makes me seriously need to rethink my life.
I, too, need to seriously rethink my life.
This SERIOUSLY ticks me off. I mean, these guys had their name tags on and everything, just with their shirts off and around their necks. It really makes you think…is ANYBODY running the damn park?! Hell…Magic: give me my camera and a week…see what I dig up for you.
Anyway, we’re almost done, so moving on.
I Told Ya’ So!
You know, as Tatsu-transfer station was being constructed, the coaster message boards were all lit up with jokes. A many “I bet they wont even enclose the transfers!” comments were thrown out there and seemed to summarize the general opinion. Despite it, many of us hoped this would not be true—only to be shot down by SFMM. Weeks passed, the transfers remained exposed, the ride opened, the transfers remained exposed, months
passed, the transfers remained exposed. At this point, I’m sure that we have all given up!
That’s why I’m pleased to announce that something caught my eye as I was walking up Tatsu’s exit today…
WTF is that?!
That’s right folks! They’ve finally
begun to enclose Tatsu’s transfer station!
Beware of the floating white-wall of doom!
A close-up of the roof reveals the design to be nearly identical to that of Scream’s (which also was enclosed after the ride opened, remember?).
More sheeting and supplies awaiting installment.
Now, I’m sure you may be wondering why the walls don’t go all the way to the ground. This is most likely because they aren’t enclosing the transfers for aesthetic reasons.
They have probably gotten to the point where the on-board computers, unhealthily roasting in the sun (and furthermore causing a large chunk of the rides numerous breakdowns) have practically forced SFMM to finally enclose the damn thing…just as B&M had originally recommended.
I can just see them with their cool accents now…
“I told ya’ so!”
Freefall At Last!
There ya go Joey…it’s all yours.
It had been reported, as well as proven via some photo trip reports, that Freefall had left the testing stages, and was finally reopened last month. Despite all of this, I had yet to see it open myself…until today. (again, the staffing is beginning to become regular).
No closed sign!...Sweet!
Despite the fact that I myself don’t really care for Freefall, I had to ride it! Just because! It was open!
What goes up…
…must come down!
A look at the panel….just because.
Having it open just adds so much more movement and life to the area!
…indeed, it does. Having Riddler’s, Freefall, and Tidal Wave all going at once really makes it one of the nicer areas in the park, again. So major props to SFMM for finally getting it open again!
And just because I can, I’ve included a short POV of Freefall, at the end of this post! Enjoy!
Well, that should about do it for this update! Feel free to post any questions, comments, concerns, and of course, praise!