Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving USA...Sims News, #TMNewSim, and more!


Hey Everyone!

We are celebrating today here in the "States" have the national holiday of Thanksgiving!
Ah...the second best time of the year to come together with family and friends over a delicious hot juicy turkey and all the fixings. I know this is my favorite time of holiday to enjoy delicious food and fellowship.

Even getting together for a meal is wonderful to enjoy and celebrate as one. Where ever you are at right now, think of things that you are thankful for this year. It's great to reflect on these things and as well to find ways to help others in need. Maybe even volunteering at a local soup kitchen to feed the homeless this holiday season and many other ways to help families who are in need of help to provide a hot meal this holiday and as well daily life.

As the following day after Thanksgiving, is a season where everybody goes shopping like a mad crazy person. This is known where stores around the nation sells items for real less prices and as well make great deals for certain hours of the day! This is called "Black Friday". 



Now for the past 5 years, box retail stores are now opening on 'Thanksgiving Day' by starting at 6pm that day.  This day is now being called 'Blue Thursday' due to the fact of how the stores are opening earlier. I'm not really pleased by how the stores are opening earlier, it kinda defeats the 'Black Friday' shopping specials.


Black Friday is a term where the day after thanksgiving, people will go to the stores very early early in the morning around 1am or so to buy items that are hot ticket items. Local stores like Best Buy, Walmart, Sears, etc... will sell certain products the night of black Friday, people who stand for hours before the store close, just to be the first one to get hands on a hot selling product. People usually shop for Christmas deals already and finding prices that they can afford since we are all still in the economy is weak. So hopefully, more revenue will help stores and as well the people who work there make a decent pay check this season.

::Fun Recaps::

A fun interview recap awhile back in 2009 with no other than Martijn Leseman (Founder/Webmaster of Themagical/Simulation Creator) ! 
You can read it here, click here!

Also early this year, I had the greatest pleasure of talking to Mike Fehnel. General Manager and V.P of Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom in Allentown, PA. Click here to read the article.

Ride Sims Special Announcement of 'Donating to Themagical'.  This new agreement was to receive Ride Sims simulations to be added to Themagical's simulation lineup. This agreement came right after their announcement of closure on August 21, 2016.  You can click here to read the announcement of Ride Sims. 

::#TMNewSim:: Beta News Updates 



Many users have been requesting information in relation to our 'NEW Upcoming Simulation' for Themagical.

We've been testing out a HTML5 version of a current simulation to see the results if it would run the same as our HTML5 Soarin simulation.

There's been some nice progress so far but its still not operational to be played as a simulation.  Graphic design overall is complete for the ride layout, development for the game hasn't been much progress.

Ride Sims simulations have been SLOWLY making progress moving over to Themagical's server side so it can work properly.  We are in touch with the team to make sure transition is smooth as possible so it won't ruin the magic for our guests users.

Keep your eyes peeled on our social media outlets to see new updates on our 'upcoming future simulation'. 

::Count Your Blessings::


For all of those who are visiting us here and as well who are members from the "States", the staff of 'Themagical' team wishes you and your families to have a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving day!

Until then!

Reighard


Friday, September 23, 2016

Introducing Ride Sims Simulations Exclusively For Themagical


Ride Sims donates 'Disney Ride Simulations' to Themagical

Enhances simulation current lineup for Themagical, new keyboard brings newer experiences to similar simulations, intact all Ride Sims Disney simulation lineup from the (now) dysfunction Ride Sims website.

Ride Sims community members and fans of the website can continue playing their favorite 'Disney Ride Simulations' and finding out newer or similar simulations without the use of using keyboard.

Themagical pursues to create new simulations in the near future by using current software for development and HTML5 to potentially reach more mobile smartphones/tablets audience.

Official Statement from 'Ride Sims Facebook Fan Page': 

(Friday September 23, 2016)

"Ride Operators, we are pleased to announce that you can carry on enjoying some of our simulations!
We have officially donated our simulations to our friends over at themagical.nl.
At the moment we only have a few available as we have to go through each one individually and recode them to make it work.
Thank you for your patience."

Source Link: https://www.facebook.com/RideSims/posts/1239344236130263




Themagical.nl (Netherlands) and RideSims.com (United Kingdom) announced today that they entered into a definitive agreement under which Themagical will acquire RideSims.com 'Disney Ride Simulations'.

Themagical's acquisition of Ride Sims 'Disney Ride Simulations' provides both Ride Sims community and Themagical community to enjoy Ride Sims 'Disney Ride Simulations' from their now dysfunction website.

With this donation, Themagical will be the ONLY exclusive website to acquire and display Ride Sims Disney Ride Simulations.  With the 'Official Seal' stamp marks it can only be played at Themagical.nl website.

This new agreement provide Themagical community to enjoy new enhanced magic of playing their favorite simulation attraction by using a keyboard to operate the simulation.  The Ride Sims community will enjoy newer simulations without the use of the keyboard to operate.

The 'Official Stamp' Ride Sims Donated to Themagical.nl presents an agreement of those who are playing the simulation agrees to ONLY play at Themagical.nl website and the exclusive rights to be played at Themagical.

With the duplication of similar ride attraction simulations, it brings a fresher way of playing a simulation with the use of a keyboard or mouse clicks. 

Ride Sims team wishes the best for Themagical to continue of developing newer simulation experiences and learn fresher ways to bring our favorite Disney Ride Attractions to life.  The Ride Sims team feels Themagical has a great community and hope Ride Sims community continues on playing their simulation games at a new home and community.








Monday, September 5, 2016

Summer is over, beta news, ride sims, and more!

Hello Friends, 

Since the last posting with our special guest interview of general manager and v.p. of Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom in Allentown, PA ; it's been a crazy summer for myself and Themagical team.

We hope you all had a great summer vacation break and getting prepared for the new school year of 2016!  

We know that our younger audience may have already returned back to school/college universities and we wish all the best into the new school year!

:: Recap of a recent closure of the online simulation community: 
Ride Sims.com ::


History of 'Ride Sims'

January 1, 2011 was the birth of 'Ride Sims' a sister site to TowerParksNerd.com . Since the opening of the site, they brought 4 simulations to life and over the past 4 years it grew to 41 simulations!!

Some of the simulations they created were: Jurassic Park: The Ride, Jaws: The Ride, Swarm, Ripsaw, and many more!

We had a special interview with  John Burton who were one of the team members that created the simulations on Ride Sims, click here to read the interview!

I wrote back of how gaming sites have come and gone offline on the internet.  I know many readers like myself have enjoyed these type of games and sadly they are no longer playable unless you find them somewhere on the internet. Click here to read the post!

:: August 12, 2016: Big Announcement in regards to Ride Sims ::

Here's the exact quote that was announced on Ride Sims Facebook Page: 

August 12, 2016 @ 7:47 am 

On the 1st January 2012 Ride Sims was revealed to the world. It included 9 simulations and over the last 4 years we’ve built that list up to a staggering 41!

Our community has grown and this has only been down to the support from all our supporters and fans encouraging us to develop more simulations.
If it wasn’t for you guys Ride Sims would never have been as big as it was.

Sadly though all good things must come to an end.
This is why with much regret we are announcing that, at the start of next month, we have made the decision to close Ride Sims indefinitely. This decision has been taken for a many number of reasons and this is the only option we have based on those. 

We understand this is not what a lot of you would like to hear and don’t get us wrong, we are sad to see it go too. But the time has come. From day 1 we knew it wouldn’t last forever. It was a place to show case and play, operating rides we love that we could share with you. Ride Sims’s popularity grew and since opening we’ve had 1,237,486 plays of our simulations to date! That’s quite a few!

So please enjoy the simulations for the next few weeks and get your Ride Sims fix. Once we’re gone be sure to check out our friend’s site www.themagical.nl who were one of the first flash simulation sites around and they inspired us to develop our very own sims. Now we’d love to see what you guys can do so we hope we have inspired YOU to go forward and have a go at doing these yourself.

From all of us here at Ride Sims we really hope we’ve inspired and given you an entertaining experience with us over the last 4 years! (May that be for a 5 minute spin playing The Smiler or a 5 hour streak of playing Test Track.)

Thank you for your support.

:: Special Network with Ride Sims and Themagical.nl ::

As we spoke with John in an interview awhile back, "Themagical" was the website where he got inspired to create an online simulation website.  

The team of Themagical had several times chatted up with John and spoke about projects where we (Themagical) wouldn't be in competition with (Ride Sims) if we somehow brought a same simulation attraction to life.  The team over at Ride Sims had great respect to Themagical where they didn't want to cause conflict.

Themagical team thought it was nice that they took the time to see if Themagical was creating a similar simulation so they won't create the same one online. 

These talks not only created a nice friendship bond between sites but it also caused great creativity on both ends of the parties. 

 :: Beta News Update: Beta Testing Now Opening ::



Currently, the beta testing has been closed for awhile due to non-development of 'future' simulation. 

We've been testing out a HTML5 version of a current simulation to see the results if it would run the same as our HTML5 Soarin simulation.

Those results became unfruitful from our findings due to the support of the action script coding that is in the simulation.

If you haven't received an email from sdt@themagical.nl recently, don't worry beta testers.  Our email account has been having issues receiving and sending email from this address.  We have all the latest users on our list that is still active but any new users who tried to email sdt@themagical.nl last year or this year wasn't able to be received.

In the meanwhile, in the upcoming months we'll let you know how to sign up to our 'elite' list to test out our 'future' simulations.

Be sure to keep your eyes on our special hashtag: #TMNewSim on our social media accounts. To find them all, click under the 'social media' tab on Themagical's website.

:: Closing Remarks ::

Thank you for your support and reading this blog!  

Until Then, 

Themagical Team 

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Dorney Park's GM-VP Mike Fehnel




Hello Friends!

I'm sorry for the lack of posting on here.  It's been slow on our end as we are still in transition our previous Joomla format to a newer updated website version.

For the time being, we have a treat for YOU!

As we are still in the winter season, behind the scenes at our local amusement park has been really busy with their preparations for the upcoming summer season!

I'm very pleased and honored to have a wonderful chat with general manager and vice president Mike Fehnel of Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom in Allentown, PA.

I got some nice insights of where he got started and as well some sneak peeks of what's coming ahead in the 2016 summer season at Dorney Park.

Special Thank You for Mike Fehnel for taking his time out of his pre-season duties to talk with us!  

(*Note: Pictures on this blog was used with permission to be posted online. © Mike Fehnel  © Cedar Fair L.P.)

On with the interview!

===


(*Note: Dark blue font will be Mike Fehnel's response to my questions.  Enjoy!)





© Mike Fehnel  |  © Cedar Fair L.P.


1.)    What got you started to work in the amusement park industry?

MF: I started working in the games department when I was 14 years old. My older sister had a job in merchandise and it was easy for me to take advantage of having a ride to the park. I remember being so proud of obtaining my first job. I was always a fan of midway games, thus it seemed as though it would be a fun summer job.



© Mike Fehnel |  © Carowinds



2.)    Was working for the amusement park industry your long-time dream job?

When I was younger I had always planned on being a teacher. My degree is for elementary education from Kutztown University. Somewhere along the way the amusement industry “got into my blood”, which is something many of us in the industry talk about. I guess it wasn’t my early intent for this to turn into my dream job, but it certainly has become the result!

3.)    How did you get where you are now?

There is no one reason, or secret, to how I landed in my current position. To succeed in any job, you need to have patience, dedication, respect others and have a desire for continuous improvement. The beauty of the seasonal amusement industry is we have the opportunity each year to look back, make improvements and try to make every year the best ever.

4.)    If someone wanted to join the career path you took, what type of education would you need to succeed in this type of career choice?

My colleagues and I have varying educational experience that can range from any of the fields of study you can imagine. It is certainly important to obtain a degree, however it is of equal importance to have experience in the industry. It is incredibly beneficial to have the perspective of working at multiple parks and for different companies.


5.)    Is there any fun perks of being in your position? What are your favorite perks?

Working at an amusement park is the best job in the world! It is our job every day to deliver the best day of the summer to our guests. We create memories that literally last a lifetime. One of my earliest memories as a child is from riding the train at Hershey Park. I was entrusted with a bag of gold by a sheriff before the ride. He tasked me with keeping the gold safe from the bandits. Sure enough halfway through the ride some bandits came along and stopped the train. I hid the gold under my seat and did not give in to their requests. At the end of the ride the sheriff rewarded me with a badge. I was probably 3 years old when this occurred, however I can recall it as vividly as if it occurred yesterday. That is the power, and responsibility we have running parks today as we continue to create memories for our guests.

I’ve also been the coolest dad at day care, as all the kids always want to know what is new at the park. My kids also have incredible access to the park, and I love taking them with me while checking out the park in the morning prior to opening.

:: Fun Questions ::


Mike Fehnel officially opening 'Snake Pit' at Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom in 2014.

1.)    Are you a ‘dry guy or wet guy’? (@MFehnel: 10 Billion points if you know what I’m talking about that relates to Dorney)

10 Billion points to me!!! I’m a ‘dry guy’. I personally prefer the coasters to the slides, however my kids LOVE both.

2.)    Are you a coaster fan of wooden/steel? What are your favorite(s)?? Top 3 rides??

Am I allowed to love both? My top 3 are FURY325, Millennium Force and El Toro.






3.)    Is your job duties the same by day to day or does it changes based on the current activities during pre-season, mid-season, and post-season?

What I love about working at a seasonal park is the constantly changing work day. I love the planning of the off-season, but it is exciting to see the plans come to life as we open and judge the results. Haunt is always a fun break from the daily routine, as we have meetings to discuss all the disgusting or supernatural things that will bring the event to life. It is always sad to close out a season, however it is fun to reboot and fuel the park for another season.

4.)    What is it like going to another park as the new GM and VP for example Carowinds and then later coming back to Dorney Park?

It all comes down to observing and being part of a team that has the same goal, but finds other ways to execute the plan. After spending time at another property your eyes open to other ideas and plans. In the end of the day, we strive to find best practices to execute at all parks.


Mike Fehnel announcing Fury 325 coaster at Carowinds
(*Click on the image to view large)

5.)    While having many position changes within your career in your life, what was your favorite and why?

There is no doubt my time at Carowinds will always be a highlight for me. It is not every year that you have the opportunity to relaunch the brand of a park, execute outstanding events such as Taste of the Carolina's, and debut a world record breaking roller coaster. That said I look forward to future projects and events at Dorney Park. I absolutely love the history behind a park that started entertaining picnickers in the 1860’s.

© PTC |  © Dorney Park  
('The Coaster' in the white coaster track layout before it was later named to 'Thunderhawk'.)

6.)    Will there be any fun new things for the 2016 season that you can share with us?

Right now we are focusing on Thunderhawk and celebrating one of 10 oldest operating roller coasters in the world. We will also have exciting new and returning special events.








Thunderhawk will be receiving a pair of new trains from the Philadelphia Toboggan Company, known as PTC, that feature more modern upgrades with a classic look.  The trains will replace the older PTC running stock that have been on the coaster for many years.

The concept art for the trains can be seen above on the first picture, showing off a nice open-air front car with the ride's logo attached to it.  The trains will feature two main colors (blown up in size on the left), a deep shade of red that is accented with orange near the top of the car.  The concept photo above notes that the colors will be inverted on the second train to differentiate it.  The trains will feature individual lap bars and at least if we go off this art there will be no seat dividers or headrests.

Thunderhawk is the 8th oldest wooden roller coaster operating in the United States, and the 10th oldest on the planet.

© Philadelphia Toboggan Company


The park also sent to us this original contract document that PTC shared with them, from when Thunderhawk (then known just as The Coaster) was going to be built.  You'll have to click for the larger image to read it, but this is a wonderful find for those who appreciate roller coaster history!

The contract is between PTC and Richard Rusk and R. L. Plarr of Dorney Park for "all the cars, machinery, plans, specifications, etc." needed for the instillation of the coaster.  The total for the ride's train, machinery and chain and the ride's plans came to a cool $9,673.  In addition, the contract covers the services of ride designer Herbert Schmeck at $17 a day plus expenses.  Such a neat document to be able to read!

:: Questions related to online gaming: Themagical/DorneyOnline ::

© Dorneyonline.com | © Dorney Park/Cedar Fair L.P.
(Pictured: Steel Force® Simulation coaster web based online game. Play it here: http://www.dorneyonline.com/sims.php)

1.)    How have you heard of Themagical.nl simulations / DorneyOnline.com’s ‘Steel Force®’ simulation (respectively each site)?

I have played the Steel Force simulation, although I don’t think I can consider myself a master at this time…

2.)    Have you heard of Themagical.nl website before?  
I’m sorry I haven’t….

3.)    If you had a choice of picking the ‘next’ dorneyonline simulation, what would it be?

Although it is not a Dorney Park coaster, I think FURY325 would be a great subject for a future simulator!

-----

I hope you all enjoyed reading this special interview and as well an interesting look 'behind the scenes' of an amusement park general manager and vice president of a Cedar Fair L.P. park.

We greatly appreciate Mike Fehnel of taking his time for giving this special interview.  We thank him for also providing 'behind the scenes' look at what's happening at Dorney Park for the 2016 and some personal pictures while at Dorney Park and Carowinds. 

Until Then,

Reighard