larrygator's 2017 Coaster Affirmation Tour

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Re: larrygator's 2017 Coaster Affirmation Tour

Postby ytterbiumanalyst » Fri Sep 08, 2017 4:05 am

I agree Bluegrass Breeze and Air Race have been great additions. I want to say Bluegrass Breeze was in '14 and Air Race in '15. There is a lot they could do to really make the place great; they're just suffering from a catch-22 of not having enough money to make the improvements that would lure people from Nashville. I think the price is right, and what's there is fun. It'd be great for them to get some good paving and landscaping to make the place look more permanent and less county fair. Just requires cash.
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Re: larrygator's 2017 Coaster Affirmation Tour

Postby coasterbill » Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:10 am

Wow, I'm way behind on this but I just read through the thread and I'm really enjoying these reports. Great stuff!

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Re: larrygator's 2017 Coaster Affirmation Tour

Postby larrygator » Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:46 pm

Camden Park - June 22, 2017

Who doesn't love Camden Park? Well pretty much any enthusiast that passes through. The park is a little bit out of the way in that you generally need to alter your driving path by a few hours each way to get there. And let's face it, most enthusiasts are just looking to obtain credits and Camden Park is not that appealing in the area of coasters.

This would be my second visit to Camden Park, with the first trip occurring about 10 years ago. On my previous visit I was completely unimpressed with most of the park, but at least it was fairly priced. On this visit I was pleasantly surprised with the improvements at the park. Great Dipper and Little Dipper are classic coasters but nothing to write home about, that hasn't changed between my visits. Camden still has the best run whip in the US (right alongside Rye Playland) no other Whip ride whips you around properly. The paratrooper still runs well. Since my last visit some of the older flats (Round-up/Bullseye, Hot Cat, really operating SkyDiver and Spider) have been replaced with Rattler (Frisbee), Slingshot (SBF Visa spinning coaster), Flying Scooters and Kite Flyer.

But other huge upgrades were also apparent, The Sky Ride is now operating, they have a petting zoo, upgraded sit down restaurant, vastly better looking miniature gold course and most importantly and refurbishment of their classic Bill Tracy designed Haunted House.

The park is still very rough around the edges, but an improvement from 10 years ago.
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Creepy clown still greets you at the parking lot entrance.
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Two of the newest rides (Slingshot and The Rattler) appear along the side of the park facing the highway.
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At every park, I've been to to ride these SBF spinners, they give you a lot of laps and the cars spin well.
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What makes their Whip so good. It runs properly and the cars "whip" you around each turn car each car fully swinging out then whipping you back in to straighten out the car.
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The petting zoo is on the left with the Sky Ride on the right.
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Since coasterbill is now reading this trip report I'll pst a second sky ride photo.
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coasterbill would probably also appreciate the low tech and ground built trough for their log flume.
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and the Paratrooper.
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There was recent talk in someone else's trip report about the missing last row on Big Dipper.
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The Little Dipper is also a must for those trying to ride all the wood coasters in the US.
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The train takes you on a loop around the sky ride, petting zoo, mini gold course, swan boats, flume, tilt-a-whirl and kite flyer)
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West Virginia Grille is another noticeable upgrade
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Although most of the parks kiddie ride are classics.
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Larger flat rides are a balance between old
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and new
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However, the most noticeable difference for me was the repainted Haunted House (even though it was done about 7 years ago) perform by famed Dark Ride Artist, Chuck Burnham
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While, I'm not a artist by any means, Chuck taught me the nuances of recreating Bill Tracy's style and using his color palette.
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Whether you are looking at the "ooze" dripping form the facade's roof or these shingles, each cut-out is handmade and painted.
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Even this simple looking railing takes time and patience to create in the Bill Tracy style.
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My apologies if the delay in my post this Trip report caused you to miss the fair last month.
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Re: larrygator's 2017 Coaster Affirmation Tour

Postby Canobie Coaster » Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:43 am

Great report! I love the park's retro sign.
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Re: larrygator's 2017 Coaster Affirmation Tour

Postby larrygator » Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:40 pm

So I arrived home from my drive from Camden Park at about 4AM on a Sunday morning and had a 24 hour turnaround to be at Newark Airport for a 6AM flight to Chicago. The main purpose of the trip to Chicago was to ride a few of the wooden coasters that I have not ridden before and also re-ride some of the wooden coasters that my have deteriorated over the years since i was last in the area.

July 24th, 2017 - Bay Beach and Wisconsin Dells.

After picking up my rental car two hours late due to flight delays I immediately got on the road to Green Bay. It was a Monday afternoon and Bay Beach was packed with families. The place was nice and I would have liked to ride a few flats but there was just no time. The line for Zippin Pippin was about 40 minutes and combined with the flight delay I had very little tight schedule. There was nothing too exciting or thrilling about Zippin Pippin. Besides the coaster Bay Beach is known for there train collection, which run on a long circuit. The surprise about Bay Beach was that they had a SCAT, I do not know they was a permanent installation outside of Beech Bend. The park also has a 9 nine giant slide.

Did I really have to go to Wisconsin Dells? No, but I purchased a greatly discounted ticket online for $5.34 after tax to Mt. Olympus and also wanted to ride Avalanche is it used to be my second favorite wood coaster. At Mt. Olympus I realized that the park was closing in an hour. Actually, that wasn't a bad thing. For one, the parking was free. Secondly, I only needed to ride Hades 360 and Cyclops once and one hour was plenty of time. I had not been to Wisconsin Dells since 2005, Hades first year. Hades was aggressive during its first year, but not rough. Now it is aggressive and rough, but not as bad as i thought it would be. I actually would have ridden it again if I had more time. Cyclops last drop is not OMFG great anymore, but still a very good pop of air. Then I went to ride Avalanche. After taking 5 rides on Avalanche I can fairly say it is now rough but I still enjoyed it (much more form the less painful first row), but it is nowhere near my Top 20. Now I usually don't put much credence in the words of ride operators, but this one thinks that this will be Avalanche's last year with a new coaster on the way.
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Bay Beach is one of the few amusement parks owned and operated by a local government in the US.
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I was shocked to see a SCAT at the park.
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The Falling Star was down for the day, one of my favorite flat rides.
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Magic Mountain Slide
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Classic Eli Scrambler
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One of the trains
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A second train off in the distance. I don't have a picture of the other trains, but they all run on the same track.
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A little info about the trains
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The reason for the name of the park.
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But the real reason I'm here.
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Elvis' favorite coaster, but he really didn't seek out many coasters during his travels.
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The line was long
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I still have tickets left over.
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Before leaving Green Bay, I stopped by Lambeau Field
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$5.34 is still too much for the park.
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This 45 minute wait was actually only 30 minutes, allowing me time to ride Cyclops also.
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Waiting for the infamous last row of Cyclops
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Mt. Olympus went all out to engineer a way to keep this gate open.
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At Timber Falls, there wait 5 minutes between each dispatch of Avalanche. No big deal since they make you walk back through the queue and there was only 2 kids riding at the same time.
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After 5 rides, I whored it up heading to Knuckleheads to experience their highly themed air time machine.
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POV shot
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That gave me plenty of time to hit HuHot before driving back to Chicago
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I'm now a big fan of HuHot
Last edited by larrygator on Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:42 pm.
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Re: larrygator's 2017 Coaster Affirmation Tour

Postby Canobie Coaster » Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:06 pm

I debated hitting the Dells/Bay Beach or Indiana Beach/Michigan's Adventure. I chose the latter, but I will make it to the Dells someday. Hopefully the operator is wrong since Avalanche always looked like an intriguing coaster.
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Re: larrygator's 2017 Coaster Affirmation Tour

Postby Hilltopper39 » Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:09 am

I never could figure out if Zippin Pippin was truly "relocated" or just mostly rebuilt as a replica. Still looks like a fun ride.

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Re: larrygator's 2017 Coaster Affirmation Tour

Postby coasterbill » Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:25 am

Great report, Camden Park has always sort of appealed to me, mainly for all the reasons you figured it would. :lol:

The Dells seem super weird, but I could see heading out there at some point.

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Re: larrygator's 2017 Coaster Affirmation Tour

Postby CaptainUnknown » Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:01 pm

coasterbill wrote:The Dells seem super weird, but I could see heading out there at some point.


It's essentially the Orlando area on weed, meth, and heroin.
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Re: larrygator's 2017 Coaster Affirmation Tour

Postby boldikus » Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:30 pm

:lol: :lol: ^

Great updates, Lar!
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