Sunday, July 31, 2011

Post Opening Construction Update 7/31/11

The Bay Beach Zippin Pippin has been running smoothly for about two months, it's been all about the ride and not about construction so I haven't been updating the construction blog. I'm happy to report things have been going very smoothly. There were a few initial start up issues, a balky circuit breaker that caused the electrical system to need a break a couple of times during the day early on to avoid overheating. That has since been fixed and the coaster now runs smoothly all day long without interruption. The really big news was the first years attendance projections were easily achieved about half way into the season.

I've been visiting the Pippin roughly once a week or so to get a few rides in. My total ride count is at 48 as of today. I typically stick to the back of the train, the drops are much better in the back. I will occasionally ride in the front, there is actually better airtime in the front but the drops are noticeably slower and less exciting. It's great to see people enjoying the coaster, young and old alike, first timers and coaster veterans all come together and it's a great time.

The big news over the last week is Orion Energy Systems has donated lighting for the Pippin. Up until this point the coaster has been closing at 8:30pm due to lack of lighting. Starting Monday August 8th (the anniversary of Elvis's last ride on the original Pippin) the Zippin Pippin will be lit and stay open until 10pm, one hour later than the rest of Bay Beach. There will be a ceremonial lighting on August 8th and I'll try to attend and get some pictures to post. Yesterday during a visit I took some pictures of the beginning of the light installation. At first I assumed the lights would be up on the structure but after my visit yesterday it's pretty clear the lights will actually be ground mounted spotlights shining up on the structure. This should provide some great dramatic views of the structure at night. At this point in time the concrete bases for the lights are installed along the southern length of the coaster, it appears they will continue all the way around the coaster. The snapshots below show these bases.

From Zippin Pippin Construction Album #2
From Zippin Pippin Construction Album #2

I also noticed during this trip that a small mulch and flower area has been added inside of turn 1 and 3, basically right at the base of the stairs as you head up to the loading platform.

From Zippin Pippin Construction Album #2

I'll try to stop out next weekend and get some more pictures of the light installation progress.