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 Review of Astrosphere @ Funtown Splashtown U.S.A.
4 Rating Posted by: JCote on 11/9/2007 6:58:00 AM
Welcome to the Astrosphere!
While we have closed for the 2007 off season we are already preparing for the 2008 season! New equipment, new effects and new paint are going to blow peoples minds. As the pseudo Special Effects Manager for the Astrosphere Im letting you know that I have lots of work ahead of me this off-season preparing our equipment from last season and repairing some of our old stuff that didnt work so hot last season. Im always looking for ideas, so hit me up. Check out the official Astrosphere myspace too! Now for my official review, The astrosphere, a flat-running dark ride was opened in 1976 at the time, and since then has undergone few changes, almost all of them effects-wise. The Eli-Bridge scrambler is an original, the 75ft. diameter vinyl dome is quite aged but still in great shape, adding to the mystery of just whats inside, while at the same time providing a wonderful "canvas" for the operators to paint with lighting effects and laser equipment. The soundtrack "Fire On High" by Electric Light Orchestra is a custom remix edited by the rides former owner an individual who is currently a park VP and director of maintenance. This soundtrack is pumped into the dome by a 6.1 channel truesurround sound system powered by Klipsch LaScala Speakers and a Klipsch subwoofer. Add to that a few dozen lighting effects and numerous Red, Green, Blue, and Yellow lasers, you have a ride that no other imitator can come close to. In 1992, a fire severely damaged the entrance to the ride including the custom control panel, dome, entrance tunnels, and some equipment. Some equipment on that side survived and still operates today, the dome was patched, tunnels rebuilt with fire protection systems, and the control panel was recreated. One of the unique features of the Astrosphere and quite possibly the most commented, was our array of 9 35mm slide projectors, mounted on and off the ride displaying space-themed images and other completely abstract things such as shapes and people. These unfortunately have been in service for such a long time that they no longer function properly and have been permanently removed. However, every now and then a stray projector finds its way into the ride and a loaded carousel of awesome slides. As I said before, Im looking for YOUR ideas because you are the people who make us the best. Hit me up on myspace and let me know your thoughts, ideas, comments and complaints. If you have questions, I can answer them!

Astrosphere Operations

Review Comments

mrceagle on 11/9/2007 9:03:40 AM said:
Interesting review and welcome to the site. Astrosphere is by far the best Scrambler ride out there. A bit slow but made up with the show elements. As the Rabid Wolves, Bears, dogs, and dear, still a problem? can we expect to hr warnings about then next year? I recall an old Phantom of the Opera slide in the collection. Maybe harder to maintain but The slides could be upgraded to some sort of video element. Also it woudl be nice to see Fewer miscellanies Shaped with the lasers and more real images. maybe Constellations.
coaster05 on 11/9/2007 1:35:39 PM said:
Leave it as old school as it was. It is great because of the goofy slides and weird lazers. I loved it and it is the only reason I would go back there.
JCote on 11/9/2007 3:03:59 PM said:
i figured the very first person to reply would be mrceagle...
The slide projectors personally are one of our favority effects, however my manager, the actual VP in carge of maintenance has given up hope on trying to get those projectors working again. We have researched using LCD projectors as an option, however because of todays projectors, it would be almost impossible to utilize equipment like that due to technical limitations of projectors themselves, But we have researched that option. I try to keep at least 1 projector mounted on the control panel for our ops to use manually, but its no longer linked to the automation system. I know you are a regular visitor but i dont know if youve ever been given the grand tour. If you would like to see some behind the panel photos you can see our slide automation system which I think youll agree is quite old and needs replacing. I have a couple other ideas up my sleeve that im trying to pitch to Bill. In other news, we are constantly scouring ebay for new laser equipment, so rest assured there will probably be at least 1 new laser for next year, we try to get 2 a year. I am currently in the process of releasing a new soundtrack for the ride, cut to a popular rock song by another "Three letter acronym" group. I tested the show out on a few cycles last season and the feedback i got was mixed. however im sure with a little more work it will make a find addition to our show list. The scrambler will be getting paint as it did last off season, and a tune up which should hop up the speed a bit. however at seasons end it was turning an even 9RPM, so it should need much of a boost. As far as special effects shows at funtown, I have a dream, and im trying to make that dream a reality. I was not alive during funtowns "heyday" back in the days of the Laser Spectacular, however, my dream is to reopen the theater building to special effects shows, we would just need a plan that would not profit-losing or hazardous option. We still have the old Class IV lasers from that show, and Im trying to work on a plan that the park will approve. we shall see...

Keep up the input guys, i love hearing new ideas.. Check out the myspace too!
mrceagle on 11/10/2007 1:22:34 AM said:
Not sure How Id take to a new song. Sure Fire on High is an older song and has been used for a long time. but it works for the ride. Canobie keeps trying to change music and it just doesnt work. any aspect of lighting is also dwindling away. The lasers brought allot to the ride. The old show, which I never saw, Came to mind. It was funny how lasers have become so much of an aspect of the ride years after a laser show was closed at the park.I would like to see that theater opened for something. even if it was a simple live show.
JCote on 11/10/2007 7:13:28 PM said:
mrceagle, I totally agree with you about the theater. It is such a huge area behind the chained doors. the sad part is its 100% used for storage of games prizes and juice dept cups and straws. The seats are gone but the mounts for them are still in the floor so i dont know know if anything will ever come back there but it would be worth it to reopen that location instead of building a new location for a laser show or any type of show. Sometime this winter i hope to get out there and rummage around to see exactly what i can find as far as old equipment. Id really like to get some class IV lasers for astro but because of their power output wed need to be a licensed facility. Ach and I have so many ideas, but getting the approval and funds to execute them is another thing... On a side note, i put the video of the new show on youtube so feel free to take a look, the lighting system took a hit halfway through so all the DMX lights went off calibration, but you get the idea...

mrceagle on 11/12/2007 11:16:35 AM said:
Ill have to take a look. A friend of mine Videos the ride(camera to the side)During this years Funtown fest. Ill admit I took a little on ride video with my Small camera. as for the theater I can see the need for storage but there is allot of back lot towards the road. Behind Galaxy and By the old Haunted house building. I understand the costs needed to build a storage building but it would be worth it. The park Could use the Theater simply because it woudl be another attraction. I enjoy Futnown but its laking in attractions and at its admission Its one of the worst Values in New England. I only go for Funtown fest. havening the theater available for Shows or any sort of Attraction that would raise the parks value would be a good move. I like the idea of additions to Astropshere Only thing I do have against it it anything used for expansion Could be used towards something new or even used for the dry park.
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