By , December 19, 2008
Evan Souliere

I’m in the final hours of my last day here now, so I thought it’d be nice to post an update before heading out. Starting with our new projects:

Prowler has been well-covered photographically by the park and a few other sites, so I probably have little additional information to offer. Foundation work is winding down, with a couple minor pours left. The first of the two bridges spanning the creek was set today, while track work continued on the more than 75% of the structure already standing. What is left for the ride (structurally) includes the station, transfer building, about half the lift, and the sections of bents connecting the out and return runs to their respective counterparts. Obviously tracking, facing, and bracing will continue, with the mechanical, electrical, and air systems following.

Forellenhof’s ride is in a similar state as Prowler, with all but one section of the structure standing. The foundation work for that portion had to start after the closing of the park for the winter, so we’re just finishing up with concrete and beginning to get the structure going there. Tracking is well under way there, as well, with all eight plies installed over much of the ride. Subsequent mechanical, electrical, and air systems remain, as well.

And finally, Terminator at Magic Mountain has almost all of its concrete poured. In fact, the last slab pour was today, with a few specialty pours remaining. Bent construction is well under way, so once the ride goes vertical, progress will be incredible.

On a personal note, looking back at the last 12 months working in our Cincinnati office (with a two-month break in the middle), my experience has been great. I’ve seen more bent drawings than I ever thought possible and have learned an incredible amount from some of the best in the business. It will be strange to go back to school after all of this, but I’ve missed Boston and my friends, so it will be bitter-sweet.

On the plus side, I graduate in May and will be returning to the office with a full-time position doing more of what I love. Adam, who you haven’t heard from in a little while because he’s been in class, just graduated (lucky him!) this week, and will be joining Great Coasters full-time in the Pennsylvania office where we both started.

With the founding interns growing up, this blog will likely grow with us. I’ll leave its future a surprise, but I assure you that our change of titles does not mean an end to our sharing this experience with you.

Have a great holiday season. I’ll check back in soon enough.

By , December 2, 2008
Evan Souliere

Things have been busy lately (in the good way), but I figured I could still fit in an update.

I’ve been working a lot on our three new rides, as well as a couple rehab projects we’re undertaking during this off-season. I was also lucky enough to get to the annual IAAPA Trade Expo a couple weeks ago and talk to a lot of cool people.

What should I start with today? Let’s go with Forellenhof…

Hopefully you noticed the batch of photos from Forellenhof that I posted a few weeks ago. They really show how the ride is going to turn out, and we’re all really excited about it. I’ll admit that I haven’t had much to do with that ride for the past couple of weeks, but they’ve certainly been busy on site. The first drop’s bents are now standing and tracking is progressing very nicely!

Come to think of it, I haven’t worked much with Six Flags Magic Mountain too much recently either, but that will certainly change once concrete has been poured. I know it doesn’t seem like much is going on at the job site itself (some minor updates have been posted to a few websites recently), but sometimes the work getting done isn’t always visible. Fortunately for those that want more visible progress, any updates you see from this weekend (and beyond) may have some pleasant surprises.

So that leaves Worlds of Fun as the last of the big projects, and it is certainly what I’ve been spending a lot of time on. Specifically, I worked for a while on detailing the bridges that will cross the creek, as well as checking all of the bent drawings that we release to the field. With a majority of the structure standing, that will probably slow a bit in the coming days, but there is still plenty of work to do. And the location of the most recent progress is perfect; I always have a Firefox window open with the Prowler webcam up!

Within the next couple weeks, I should have still more to report, so stay tuned. Perhaps I should also mention that I only have three more weeks left in this office before I return to school for one final semester before graduation! I’ll be sad to go, but I’ll try to get updates from others and post them here while I’m gone. And my time away from the office is only temporary, so don’t worry about a lack of posting updates.

I almost forgot: Have you seen Great Coasters’ new website yet? If not, head over to and check it out. You can also become a fan of ours on Facebook for special updates, as well as subscribe to our Twitter account. There, we post any update about what we’re doing or where you can see the latest information and photos of our rides, whether or not they come from us! We certainly have a passion for what we do and love sharing it with others.

By , November 6, 2008
Evan Souliere

It occurred to me that I haven’t posted in a little while, specifically since Terminator was announced for 2009 at Six Flags Magic Mountain. That brings our work load to THREE jobs for our office to be working on right now, not to mention several repair jobs, as well.

Visitors to Six Flags Magic Mountain have been reporting back our progress there. As of now, the site is ready for concrete and bents are being built. Not just a few; they’re at more than 100 so far and counting. It is exciting to see the overhead shots a few have taken from the Sky Tower, clearly showing the formwork for our slab that I have been staring at on a blueprint for a couple months now. It really is an awesome feeling to see something go from a design on paper to the final product (and everything in between).

So as work picks up at Magic Mountain, I’ll make the same promise I have made for our other jobs: I’ll post any photos of construction that I can as soon as I can. I know what it’s like to crave new photos (we do it all the time in the office!), so sharing them is the least I can do.

Our work at Forellenhof in Germany is moving along quite well. With bents for almost the whole ride (the final section was awaiting the park closing for the season) released for construction, standing of bents is in full swing. Tracking has begun, as well, along with final bracing being installed. The station is next on the list for construction, as well as the lift hill. I wish I had some updated photos to show you now, but I’m at a loss for now. Hopefully soon. We’re also awaiting the naming of the ride so we have something more familiar to call it.

And, finally, Worlds of Fun. I leave that for last because it is certainly getting the most coverage out of the three. Just today, the park posted 15 new photos of the ride’s construction, so you can probably tell the progress they’re making just as much as I can describe it.

What I can offer, though, is that we’ve just released the bents from the top of the lift down the first drop for construction, so keep your eye out for some beefy bents being built and stood. The tallest, if I remember correctly, is just about 90 feet tall (roughly four times taller than anything we’ve stood so far).

In other news, as I so plainly stated in my last post, the new website went live at midnight on November 1 as planned. I like to think that it caters nicely to both clients, and, as I suspect most of the visitors to this site are, those interested in our rides for reasons other than wanting to buy one.

Some features definitely worth checking out (in my opinion):

- The “Compare” page, which allows you to see each of our rides’ stats together and sort them by various criteria.
- The Map that creates a great visual of where we’ve both installed new rides and repaired others.
- The FAQ section, which is a work in progress and awaiting questions to be submitted that YOU think everyone would be interested in.
- The photos throughout the site that have been submitted by our fans (and that you can still contribute to!).

We’ve also created a Facebook page, linked from the site, and a Twitter account. Through both, we can easily update those interested in what’s going on at our job sites, though, admittedly, I’ve been updating everyone via Twitter significantly more often (the smaller updates seem more appropriate).

That’s it for me for today. Stay tuned for more updates as our three jobs continue to move forward.

By , November 2, 2008
Evan Souliere

Have you seen Great Coasters’ new website yet? It went live yesterday!

By , October 16, 2008
Evan Souliere

As I sit in the office alone eating my lunch right now, and having already checked up on all of my favorite coaster forums to see what’s going on, I figure it’s a good time for an update.

First, Prowler. I’ve clearly been slacking in my posting of photos, and I feel bad about it. If I were on site, it would be a different story, but I am solely relying on our crews right now for their photos. With the site in full swing, I can’t blame them for not being able to send any of their photos to us regularly; I’ve accepted it. But I continue to promise that I’ll post any photos that I can as soon as I can.

Luckily, though, there are some others who are covering Prowler’s construction very well. The park itself has been doing a better job documenting its progress than any other park I’ve seen cover a new ride’s construction. (Though I like to think I did pretty well covering Pandemonium while working at Six Flags New England!) So if you haven’t been to in a while, it’s worth a visit. Also of note are (with some recent construction shots) and the admins of the “Worlds of Fun 2009″ Facebook group, who have been collecting the updates from many sources.

Though I may not have the photos right now, I can tell you that bent construction is well under way. I’ve personally checked almost 100 bents before releasing them for construction, so the crews will be keeping busy. Vertical construction is set to begin very soon, which will be pretty exciting.

Forellenhof is going to see some major progress in the coming days, too. A crucial container has finally arrived at the park after going on quite the adventure, so vertical construction will be starting there, as well. Our crews have about two-thirds of the ride sitting on the ground waiting for erection. Station work is also beginning, which will be fun to watch. The remaining foundation work (and subsequent structure) will be left for when the park has closed for the season.

That’s it on our ride front for now. The website is still set to launch on November 1, and we have a few other things to complement that in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

By , September 22, 2008
Evan Souliere

Time for some more updates.

For starters, Adam, Joe, and I headed to Missouri last weekend for a trip that’s worth noting (at least briefly). We headed to Six Flags St. Louis on Friday for some official business on Evel Knievel, and ended up taking a couple rides (Adam and my first time on it!). What a ride! I’m proud to have worked on it.

Saturday morning, we took advantage of ACE’s Daredevil Daze ERT on Evel Knievel before making the trek to Branson for Silver Dollar City and Celebration City. A huge thank you goes to Gina and to the crew on the OzCat for putting up with us! The OzCat lived up to its hype; I quickly found my favorite seat as the front right. Because of the threat of weather, we were the only people on the ride for a good portion of the night, so we had a blast.

Saturday night, we made the drive back to St. Louis with the intention of finishing Six Flags on Sunday and then enjoying Holiday World on our way back to Kentucky. The weather had different plans and forced both parks to close. So I guess that’s two parks I need to revisit soon.

Meanwhile, on the work front, I posted some more photos from Germany a few days ago. Work is coming along great there! I know for folks in the US, it’s hard to get excited about Forellenhof’s new ride, but it will certainly be a ride (and a park) worth visiting. The ride’s surroundings alone make it fun to watch going up.

The better-hyped GCI coaster in the US right now, though, is Prowler, of course. Worlds of Fun posted some great photos of site preparation recently (which I’m sure is not news to most people), and I’ll certainly do the same as soon as I can. Concrete pouring is already beginning tomorrow, so we’re all happy about that. Having worked heavily (an understatement) on the foundation plans, I am particularly excited.

I guess that’s it for this year’s projects for now. Meanwhile, the new website is still coming along. I’ve set a launch date of November 1 that I fully intend for us to hit, so look out for that. I promise that you will be pleased with the upgrade. (Keep the photo submissions coming, too!

Thanks for reading. I hope everyone enjoys the Halloween season at all of the parks!

By , September 1, 2008
Evan Souliere

Well, the cat is out of the bag. Worlds of Fun announced Prowler today, so I guess that means that I can officially talk about it, too.

A lot of the work I’ve been doing lately has been on Prowler, so it’s nice to be able to bring it up here. Specifically, I have worked a lot lately with site clearing (to try to minimize the cleared area, of course) and the bridges (for crossovers and service drives).

It was also fun watching Jeff progress with the layout a while back and figuring out the topography we had to work with. I particularly enjoyed all of the buzz about the markers that people were spotting, since I was simultaneously working with the survey that resulted.

The initial reaction to the announcement has been great to read on the forums. It’s nice to read that most people are happy to see a GCI going in at Worlds of Fun. I find it interesting that many people say that this ride is unlike anything we’ve ever done. Sure, it resembles more of an out-and-back than a twister, but all of the twister elements are still there in a more spread out footprint. Is that an oxymoron? I suppose the fact that we’re not working on flat ground perhaps hides some of the dynamics of the ride, too. I am very excited about the “through the woods” aspect of it, though.

In any case, I’m looking forward to watching this ride progress with everyone else. I’ll do my part and post as many photos of construction as I’m allowed to.

On some other fronts, the redesign of the Great Coasters website is almost done. It’s making its rounds around the company and the content is being finalized. Everyone who has submitted photos for the site has been a big help to us. Though the “deadline” is today, we’ll continue to accept submissions for ongoing addition to the site. The fan-submitted photos really add a unique element to the site that we’re very happy about.

Also, we’ve officially moved on site to Forellenhof in Germany. Bent construction will begin very soon and we’re looking forward to posting some photos of vertical construction as soon as that happens.

That’s it for today. Thanks for reading!

By , August 8, 2008
Evan Souliere

Another short post for today, but I’ll try to get something more substantial in soon.

As it was amusingly revealed on Theme Park Review after being posted at the park, we are building a ride for Forellenhof in Germany for their 2009 season. They’ve been working hard on site preparation and foundation work over there before we arrive on site.

I’ve just posted a few photos of the progress.

By , July 17, 2008
Evan Souliere

Just a quick note that we’re hoping will reach as many people as possible…

We’ve come up with the idea to solicit anyone and everyone for great photos of our rides! If you have a good one that you’ve taken already or if you want to head out and take a photo specifically for this, we’re all for it!

For all of the information and for submitting a photo, visit:

Thanks, everyone! We look forward to seeing your photos!

By , June 30, 2008
Evan Souliere

It’s been a while, but – at last – another update!

I was actually gone for the last two months, returning today from Boston where I got another couple of classes under my belt. To help out around the office, another intern, Scott, joined the crew and he’ll be sticking around for a little while longer. (We’ll get him posting on here soon, too.)

Clearly a lot happened while I was away, including the opening of our newest ride. There has been quite a buzz online about it, so it seems we’ve all done our job well.

Coming back today, I got right into working on some new and exciting things going on in the office. I’ll be around for another six months now (before returning to Boston to finish school), so hopefully I’ll get to post some fun happenings from Great Coasters.

On the side, I should also note that I’ve been working on a completely new website for Great Coasters, which I think Chris mentioned at Eastcoaster. Its launch date has yet to be determined, but stay tuned for that. I hope that everyone finds it to be an improvement from the current site (not to insult the current site; it’s just a bit outdated).

I hope everyone’s coaster season is going well. Thanks for reading.

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