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  1. Today
  2. You may want to take Bonine/Dramamine the night before and day of. Or some scopolamine. Might help with nausea and head aches. I used to ride all day without issue. Now I need medication if I'm riding more than a few things.
  3. Making my first trip to Dorney Park this weekend. Going Friday and Saturday. How are the Haunts this year? I watched some videos from LAST year, and saw a couple that look pretty good. Any First-timer tips? We will be there rope drop to close on Friday and ropedrop on Saturday (We'll leave early afternoon Sat. to drive home). Looking forward to Hydra and Talon, and Magnum's lil' brother. Thanks as always!
  4. I see people have been posting about Scary Farm. Any news on Xcelerator? Rumor had it, to be opening for the Haunt. I guess that hasn't happened right? Also, I'm very worried about Montezooma's Revenge...
  5. Oooh, of course I rode the mine train, thanks for reminding me! They warned me that it was going to be rough but actually for an Arrow coaster of this age it was quite good and I enjoyed it a lot even though each of the three sections is super short
  6. Well the train was primarily down for Rookie Racer construction anyway so with that construction being done it removed that barrier. The only real question left was will the park view a month* of operation as worth it. *That we know of
  7. probably a really good choice to skip Batman. .it's one of THE most intense versions. . .very snappy too. So if you weren't feeling fantastic, was a good choice to skip. did you miss the mine train? that one is quite fun too, and didn't see it on your list.
  8. If anyone had the training running before the end of 2024 or before the carousel is done... You win the pool! Train was back up and working this weekend. Was running for the freaks unleashed show, and was doing a round trip ride, as the north station is being used for a boo fest black light walkthrough.
  9. Thanks for the reminder on this. Keep forgetting to swing by there. Sucks they didn't warn you about the Fright Fest 2 hour no entry policy. I didn't realize they did until I saw a discussion about it this weekend. Otherwise, seems like you had pretty good day.
  10. Latest pies! A little Ooni action this weekend with a cheese and olive pizza... Then a Detroit from last week (Supreme).
  11. Thanks so much for the advice! It was really appreciated and it would have worked out very well. As promised, here my trip report with my personal opinion about the coasters, even though it's an embarrassing testament to be getting old. Saturday September 23rd: They didn't let cars into the parking lot until 11:15am and visitors into the park until 11:45am. But then, Steel Cyclone ran shortly after. I was in the first train of the day. The ride was fine and maybe I'm just spoiled for having ridden many excellent RMCs before but compared to the others I only found it mediocre. Still, many parks would be glad to have something like it. Georgia Scorcher was actually behind the rope, so not open until 12pm but that gave me the opportunity to be on another first train of the day. It was nice to ride another stand up coaster, they are getting quite rare. Unfortunately this one was very intense with the positive G forces and made me dizzy. It could have also been the hot weather and I guess I'm getting too old for this hobby. Anyway, at Dare Devil Dive the wait was only a couple of minutes after that. I really don't like these types of Gerstlauer coasters with the vertical lifts and drops but this one in particular turned out better than expected. I'm still not a fan but it was smoother than I thought and G forces weren't too bad. Afterwards, Goliath was a walk on. The lift and first drop and airtime hills were great, but I didn't care for the helix in the middle part. At this point I must admit I was starting to feel very dizzy and nauseated. Otherwise I would have liked Goliath even more than I still did. I guess with jetlag from international travel, the heat and 4 pretty wild coasters within 30 minutes it was not really going to be my day. Next I did Jokers fun house coaster which was missing in your list. I thought strategy-wise this would be the best point to insert it into your plan and also it was quite tame which is what I now needed. The layout is actually very nice and I had more fun than expected. Onwards I went to Superman, which had no line at this time around 12:45pm. Your strategy was really good and it would have worked pretty well. Except, I was feeling sick just thinking about riding the pretzel loop. I rode clones and similar rides before and just couldn't do it. I didn't even feel like any other rides so I just got a drink and sat down in the shade for 45 minutes while all coasters started building up longer lines until I felt a little better. I debated about going back to the hotel to rest before heading to Fun Spot and maybe I could come back later tonight. But then I felt a tiny bit better and it would have been a shame to leave without riding the Schwarzkopf. So I rode Mind Bender which had a 25 minute wait now. It was really fun as expected. The layout is very unique and I like that the two loops are so spread out over the course. It was smooth as expected. The track is different from most other coasters. Could this be what gave Intamin the idea for their mega coaster track all those decades later? I do wonder why the new trains are so short, but otherwise I liked the them. If course I prefer the classic ones but then if you think about Löna Grund, maybe we need new trains for more Schwarzkopf around the world. I started feeling a little bit better so I took another short break and decided I could probably manage some more rides. I figured if I won't finish all coasters today, chances are I can come back in maybe 5 or 10 years and still ride the two B&Ms. Also, they are not unique in their layouts so not a big loss. That is why I prioritized Great American Scream Machine. It was a little bit rough but not horribly so and it is really pretty with its white supports at the lake. The layout with lots of airtime is exactly to my liking. Next I even managed to drag myself on the old Vekoma multi looper Blue Hawk because I hoped the g forces would be less intense than on Batman or Superman. And these really old Vekoma coasters have a limited lifespan at other parks so maybe this has the highest chance of being gone when I can come back. The coaster wasn't as horrible or as rough as I expected, which was a nice surprise. Still, the five inversions left me dizzy again. I could have done Batman now, maybe even Superman, but that would have completely ruined me for the day so I couldn't have enjoyed Fun Spot. That's why I left with 9 out of 11 coasters. I didn't have enough time for a long hotel break anymore but at least for a good lunch and some relaxed waking with a/c in a department store which helped me a lot. Then it was time for Fun Spot. I got there around 6:30pm. It was nice that they let me ride the Sea Serpent even though it's a kiddie ride. Then I also did their other family coaster. Finally, it was time for Arie Force 1. Wow, what a ride! It was amazing! It was super wild as I have expected from this RMC and the layout is so much fun! The inversions are great, too! If course it's not a tame ride but actually for my body it was a lot easier and less nauseating than most rides at Six Flags. I was tempted to ride it several more times (which I should've). In my opinion it is by far the best ride in the Atlanta region - sorry, Six Flags! But instead of re-rides, looking at the time, I could instead get back to Six Flags to finish what I had started. I felt good enough to do Batman now, especially as the sun went down, and with it the heat. If they wouldn't close the line early for Superman, at this point I would just ride it because it would be the last ride of the day and it couldn't ruin Arie Force 1 anymore. I got back to the Six Flags parking lot at 8:02pm for a 10pm closing. And guess what, they didn't let me or anyone else in anymore. No admissions after 8pm, despite the fact that I got a wristband for re entry earlier. That's really annoying. It meant that I couldn't get the two missing coasters today anymore and that I should've just opted for re rides on Arie Force 1 instead. Oh well, one day when I have a long layover in ATL I will come back to hopefully complete my coaster collection here. As a closing thought, I must say that Six Flags over Georgia was still one of the better Six Flags parks in my opinion. Operations at opening and throughout the afternoon were very good, except for the no re-entry after 8pm rule. All coasters were up and running with multiple trains (where possible) which is not always the case at other Six Flags. The coaster line up is not amazing but still decent enough. My favorite was the Mind Bender but also the Great American Scream Machine and Goliath were pretty good. One last remark: You should all try to go to the North Georgia State Fair to ride the amazing Schwarzkopf Wildcat coaster. It is super well maintained and so smooth. The team are the friendliest people in the world and really appreciate what a special coaster they have there.
  12. Thanks for the report! $149 sounds nuts for a Fright/Fast Lane (which does include rides too), that $199 all-inclusive ticket is a pretty good deal for non-passholders.
  13. With 50 years of frights to be celebrated, let's raise a bottle of the Devil's Elixir to Knott's Scary Farm! To every Scare Actor who has inhabited a house or roamed the streets, to all the Technicians, to all the designers, and to everyone who has helped bring Halloween Haunt alive over the past 50 years, congratulations and thank you! Theme Park Review attended opening night of Halloween Haunt, and it was quite honestly one of the most enjoyable opening nights for the event in recent memory. A reminder that if your priority is to go through all 10 mazes, the Fright Lane (Front of the Line pass for mazes) is the only way you will be able to accomplish this. There are a few ticket package options that include Fright Lane, so find the one one that works best for the date of your visit and your interests. Read the comments sprinkled throughout the pictures below for more tips and tricks! This year, we will post our thoughts on each of the 10 mazes, ranked in order from "you can skip it" to "you can't miss it"! Welcome back into the fog, for the 50th time! Room 13 expands on the story from the Gore-ing '20s Scare Zone that has been popular over the past few years. The maze itself had a great Art Deco scenic look. What fell flat for us was the perception that almost all the scare actors were wearing the same latex creature mask throughout the maze. It was hard for the scare actors to help "tell the story". Dark Entities continues to lack "heart". In a maze that is full of animatronics, it feels like you don't see a scare actor until you are 1/4 of the way through the maze. With the maze feeling like it has the fewest number of scare actors at the event, it isn't much more than a walk-through. Although, this nurse was one of our favorite characters of the event! She went crazy over trying to find bandages, and it was hysterical! Wax Works is back. It continues to be a "fine" maze for us. The Grimoire is also "fine". We appreciate a gag of seemingly returning to the same "scene" within the maze, which is inventive and playful! Bloodline 1842 is one of those mazes that makes sense and you would say is perfectly executed...if you had read the creative treatment before going into the maze. Although it is hard for the average person to understand the whole plot, the Scare Actors encourage you along your way through the town during a battle between Vampires and other creatures. Origins The Curse of Calico returns for another year and is a nice staple for the event, focusing on the backstory of the Green Witch. It is a classic maze, and is simply "enjoyable". This is the final year for The Depths. It had a great run over the years. We remember the first time we saw this laser field technique with fog in a maze, and had our minds blown. This of course is now a standard haunt effect throughout the world. Oh there you are Mr. Creature! Mesmer Sideshow of the Mind was fun for us! As theme park/carnival/side show people, it is a fun and nuanced theme that allows for a good amount of variety in the storyline. Okay. So, let's talk about Cinema Slasher. This is one of the new mazes this year, and it was a blast! This maze celebrates the slasher movies from the 80s and perfectly captures the horror and the sometimes campy/over-the-top nature of those films. You will see references to many familiar movies and classic horror film tropes, and we were all for it! Best scenic effect for the event this year (as seen in 3 pictures below): 1. A totally normal lobby snack shop. 2. A somewhat irregular looking lobby snack shop.... 3. A totally demented lobby snack shop! Fun reference to a past maze: Let's go into the film, and see what happens! ...not what we had in mind, but what do you expect from a slasher film?! And for our favorite maze at this year's event, The Chilling Chambers. Although we aren't normally fans of mash-ups mazes, or relying on the nostalgia factor, this maze was a fantastic maze mash-up and we totally fell for the nostalgia factor when walking through some of the most iconic maze scenes from the past. The creative team conceived the perfect way to find a cohesive backstory in how the mazes have been preserved over time, where they went for their eternal slumber, and why we get to see these scenes again. Oh hey Joey! This one's for you. Scenes like this throughout, representing mazes from the past. It's The Amazing Thingy! Yes...nostalgia clearly works. Finally, a quick mention of the shows. First is Dr. Cleaver Returns. From past videos, it looks like it used to be an irreverent comedy show. This version of the show seems to rely on what the Birdcage Theater is know for, Melodrama. This just didn't work for what we expect for a Haunt event, so if you need to skip something, we recommend this. Second is The Hanging: Uncancelled. After a few year hiatus, the park is giving it another try, and is smartly having it in a completely enclosed venue where guests with a low tolerance for...anything... can't just "hear it as they walk by". The show has steered away from as much political satire as possible, and focuses on self-deprecating humor, pop culture references, and theme park woes. Navigational note: There is a bonus for getting to now sit down for this show, since it is being presented at the Wagon Camp Theater! The downside is that there is only a fraction of the viewing area that was previously available at the Calico Stage. Priority entrance to this show goes to patrons with Fright Lane. It was suggested that we line up 45-minutes before the show. At 20 minutes to the show start, the audience was full with what appeared to be entirely folks with Fright Lane. If this show is a priority for you, you may not get into the theater if you don't have Fright Lane. ...hey Jeff Tucker, we love you! And finally, in the Walter Knott Theater is a dance revue and comedy show called Music, Monsters, and Mayhem. It is a high-energy show with good production value. This show is not for the average Halloween Haunt guest. In general if you are a "theater person", you will find something within the show to enjoy! Be sure to plan your visit to this historic year of Knott's Scary Farm! https://www.knotts.com/events/scary-farm/tickets Thank you to the Knott's PR team for once again inviting Theme Park Review to the opening night; here is to a great haunt season!
  14. Yesterday
  15. What's the name of this thread? Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland? Anyway, here we are in Germany for Hansa Park. 09: Frog Frog Frog Inside the park looking back towards the entrance. It's quite nice, but unshaded compared to the rest of the park in a way that makes me feel like the whole area is new. While the park's two Marquee coasters are both Gerstlauers, the one I was most excited about was this Schwarzkopf, "Nessie." Which was fine, but not amazing. Maybe the most interesting thing about it was the finale, which was a drop into the (tunneled) brake run. Pretty great logo, though. Crazy Mine is a fun Maurer wild mouse with an attached observation tower you can climb to take photos. Fun story about how I'm stupid: As someone who doesn't speak German but pretty quickly picks up "entrance" and "exit" whilst visiting Northern European theme parks, I spent a long time looking for the entrance to said tower, but only kept finding the exit. Turns out there's only one way up and down, and "Aufgang" doesn't actually mean "exit," but rather "rising." Oops. Schwur des Kärnan (or "Kärnan's Oath") is pretty clearly the star of the park. Smisty's review: "You spend a lot of time on your back." I didn't ride it. Was on the fence, but leaning towards giving it shot. Then we got to a preshow in which I had to be separated from my glasses (strap or no) for who knows how long, and the ride ops were giving off a really weird energy. So yes, I went all the way to Hansa Park in Germany and then chose not to ride Kärnan. Hey, I don't tell you how to vacation! I liked the wild mouse, though. Animatronic butt. Not pictured: keyboard that made the frogs sing. And by "sing," I mean "say the word frog." Obstacle course and bouncy bridge! Smisty asked me to take a photo of her on the horse. And for not extra charge, I sexy-ied it up a little. Old West Christmas Store I was pretty excited about Hansa Park's proper powered observation tower, but it was down all day for queue painting...? Lame. I really did want to ride this, as Hansa Park is very near the Baltic Sea, but doesn't do much to really show off its location. Lunch at Restaurant Weltumsegler at the front of the park. Pretty good, and super-friendly staff. Also, I was able to keep my glasses on. This park is not ugly. Hansa doesn't have a proper dark ride, but it does have this boat ride with flowers and water features and fairies (or something). Sure, you can see every inch of it from the pathways that surround it, but I still like that it exists. Log flume #1 of 3! Pull yourself across the lake, but don't try to touch the Schlong of Midgard! I don't normally ride kiddie coasters, but this one seemed interesting and it was. There's an indoor section with an animatronic, and since the ride has two laps, he talks to the train twice--the first time is tell you to go kill the snake or whatever, and the second time is to complain about how much you failed the first time. (Or at least that's how I interpreted it.) These last four photos are all from a pretty nice kid's area. I probably should've led with that. Pirate-themed "doesn't get you wet" raft ride, with a cool station. *Ahem* ... With a cool station. These stupid rides are everywhere now. But very few are as nicely themed and plussed-up as this. Arigato. There's a little bridge that takes you over a road to this resort area. See? Sea. Misty didn't come see this. So now we're even, credit-wise. Flucht von Novgorod is the park's other Gerstlauer. It features a dark ride section and some other fun accompaniments to try to obscure the fact that it's a Eurofighter. Can you wear your glasses on this one? No idea. Didn't try. A warning about the over-the-head restraints? Look at this. In America, people would be straight up climbing onto the track and dying. God, we're stupid. On the other hand, we did invent country bears. So, you know, it all evens out. Log flume #2. This one features animatronic rats that scurry out towards the logs as you leave the station! (Well, "animatronic" might be an overstatement. Still awesome, though.) It also takes advantage of the terrain in order to feature something I'd never experienced but always wanted to: a single lift hill with drops both before and after it. Does anyone find that cool besides me? Probably not. But it's how I generally tried to build log flumes in RCT2, so I think it's neat. Log flume #3. Well, a super flume with a very simple layout, but still. Late in the day, someone posted photos of a outdoor tracked jungle adventure jeep ride which we had not seen, which led us to this whole area of the park we had somehow missed. Misty finally gets her photo on a horse without me screwing it up. The little jeep ride has "cameras," attached via cord, that you can pick up and point at things. They do absolutely nothing, but they exist. Woo! Two updates in a row that basically end with a jungle adventure jeep ride! The bridge across the road to the parking lot and our bus. A quick stop off for dinner at an intersection with a couple of different fast food choices. We went for something local, "Sunset Boulevard," where I got this pretty decent burger and a blizzard/concrete ice cream thing with popcorn in it. Back in Denmark (specifically Aarhus) and in our room by sunset. Okay, so, on a scale of 0 to 10 (where a 0 means I have no desire to ever return and a 10 means it's literally a top 10 park--a system that currently works just about perfectly since I've been to around 100 parks) I give Hansa Park a 6. Not sure why I'm giving them a numerical value. I've never done that before. Anyway, still more fun than sitting on my couch writing a trip report!
  16. I was SO glad I wouldn't let them talk me into all getting into ONE boat. we for sure would have died. and that poor family in the back. .they were trying so hard not to be embarrassed for us, as we were all laughing like loons and trying not to tip over.
  17. Ha, ha.......just like I noted on FB in the pic before the drop on the tower you totally look like you just shit yourself and are trying not to let on. Proud of you for doing it though!! They must have just been honoring Ferris because he was American and his original wheel debuted at the Chicago World's Fair in the 1890's. Maybe of Danish descent? If I remember correctly he didn't get fully compensated for the wheel and was involved in a lengthy court litigation and I think died prematurely. It wasn't a happy ending.
  18. Part 12 Hey, It's a New Park for TPR: Furuvik Furuvik is another part of the Swedish theme-park empire that also encompasses Grona Lund, Kolmarden, and Skara Sommarland. Like Kolmarden, its much larger cousin, Furuvik is a zoo with a small collection of rides. Unlike Kolmarden, all the rides are gathered in one spot called the "Tivoli," so you don't have to hike to two or three miles to get to them. The main attractions in the Tivoli are two Vekoma family coasters: Lightning (a fun launched ride with cool-looking, kind of retro trains) and Fireball (one of those Family Boomerangs that have been sprouting like dandelions all over the place recently); there's a family "dragon" coaster, as well (it's a Zierer--just for a change of pace, I guess). They even have a Sally "Boo Blasters" type dark ride with a nicely themed queue to round out their collection of flats and carnival games. But the zoo is the main attraction here. Furuvik has an interesting mix of habitats, ranging from a Swedish farm to an island for primates to enclosures for camels and other hooved beasts. Even the zoo contains a few odd attractions. There's a somewhat creepy boat ride that winds through a mysterious cave and abandoned village (not sure if there were supposed to be live animals there). They also have a little obstacle course where people ride hobby horses. The zoo is working on rebuilding its image following an unfortunate incident involving some escaped chimps earlier this year (Google it if you're curious). But they still have a fair-sized collection of orangutans. You can even walk among some of the smaller primates in both indoor and outdoor habitats. The name "Furuvik" means "pine bay" in English, and it certainly lives up to it. The park sits in a forest by the sea, and there's a nice spot where you can hang out by the water. There's even a museum there devoted to coastal defenses. This makes sense, as Russia isn't too far--just on the other side of the bay. They have a cat as a mascot? I like this place already. All zoos should have a Tivoli. Behold the power of neon! Art Deco lives at Furuvik! Sarah looks rather blissful sitting on what looks like a dynamo from a 1930s "Flash Gordon" serial. Hear that dynamo hum! Seriously, it looks like Emperor Ming the Merciless mounted some sort of death ray on the front of this train. Lightning is a good ride--thrilling for kids and fun for adults. For families, yes, but we old farts like it, too. (Photo by either AJ or Andy, I think.) I saw neither fire nor balls on this ride. But Vekoma Family Boomerangs are becoming a "thing," it seems. At least it's not themed to a gravy boat. Well, if you were disappointed by the lack of fire or balls earlier, here are some furries on a dragon-themed coaster. Well, may as well get in line . . . OH MY GOD! We must escape the furries! (Photo by . . . Elissa or Jere, I think?) OK, ghosts. We're gonna get all "Scooby Doo" on your ass! OK, everybody got that? His instructions are in Swedish, but I think it boils down to this: Aim your gun . . . . . . and blast the hell outta them ghosts! (Not sure who took this photo.) OK, all you Mystery Science Theater fans--sing along: "It's Joey the Lemur! The friend to mankind!" "I don't know about you, but this yellow stuff is getting me really high!" "Yes, you can walk under me, but be advised that I eat a rather high-fiber diet. You have been warned!" "Look into my eyez-z-z-z-z . . . you are in my power . . . you will accept me as your sovereign leader . . . understand?" It was a bit of a walk to the creepy boat ride. SNAKE! MONKEY! OH MY GOD! This boat ride would make a pretty good haunt. It's already kind of spooky. And the unstable boats add an extra thrill. There's a walk-through habitat full of critters, such as this white-headed saki. ( That's this animal's name according to the park's website). Looks like it's feeding time. "How about feeding me, pal? Just stick you hand down here." "OK, where's that lady with the food?" "I'm out here. Please don't try to tear my arm off this time." I think one orangutan is about to mug another orangutan. Meanwhile, back at Lightning, this bird seems oblivious to the peril it's in. "OH CRAP!" You'll be happy to know that the bird escaped unharmed. "Oh boy! Sticks and leaves! We camels love sticks and leaves!" "Hey, big boy, once you go camel you don't ever want to go back. Get me?" As I said earlier, "Furuvik" means "pine bay." "Yeehaw! Yahoo! And other such cowboy nonsense!" Thanks for a fun day, Furuvik. We hit this somewhat frightening single-rail alpine coaster on the way back to Stockholm. (Photo by Elissa.)
  19. Awesome, thanks for the info. I don't know what it is, but I've always been curious about "mystery abandoned stuff" at amusement parks. I remember being like 10 years old and going to Action Park with my parents, always looking off to the left on the ski-lift for the Alpine Slide and seeing something that looked like the remnants of a log flume in the woods trying to figure out what it was haha.
  20. that building - WAY back when - used to be the roof for the carousel. back when I visited this Fun Spot - in 2018 with TPR (!) - that space was blocked off and being used to store Go Karts (that were not being used). as to that rock formation? that used to be part of the GORGEOUS Mini-Golf that Fun Spot used to have and ripped out for Aire Force One - yet oddly, seem to have left many of the gold course lights there! yeah. . that tracks with how fucked up ambiance Fun Spots tend to have.
  21. When traveling between Atlanta and Pigeon Forge on an amusement park tour, you'd be advised to not skip... Lake Winnepesaukah - Thursday, June1st This is an often overlooked quaint little park along the lines of Waldameer, Idlewild, or Quassy, and while they do have one full-scale coaster, it is not the star of the park. What is, then, you ask? Press on... Even their own signs abbreviate the the full name! Pricing? Pricing. And yes, it is rather expensive for a thrill seeker, but is totally worth it. As the name implies, there is a Lake, that actually features into the star attraction... I love when parks put up cute little drawn maps like this, even if its not up to date (the last-one-in-the-US Eyerly Fly-O-Plane had been removed several years back). They've got some small park staples, such as a Baloon Race... ...Ring of Fire... ...CP Huntington Train... ...Flying Elephants... ...Tilt-a-Whirl... ...and a small Ferris Wheel. But they also have a super-rare Moser Rides Maverick asymmetrical Top Spin clone so originally called "Twister." It was not operating, but seriously click through that link. These look even more bonkers than a regular Top Spin. There were of course some food stands... ...and no park would be complete without any games... Their pirate ship, mounted over the water as they should be. Some of the kiddie rides (there were plenty): Including a Hampton Amusements drum: Most parks have at least one spin-fast-in-a-circle ride; this park's is their Matterhorn. For those fans of the spin-fast-in-concentric-circles, we have a Scambler: The required drive-'em cars. A mini golf course And the not-quite-as-rare-as-I-thought-before-park-traveling jungle gym: It was around this point that I was approached by a security officer and asked what I was doing taking pictures of everything, resulting in my usual spiel about how I catalog different parks and write reviews, showing him some of my past TPR reports, yada yada. Funny how this only happens at tiny little out of the way parks...we all gotta get them more exposure and popularity so they're used to it haha! Anyway, it was time for some rides! First up was their dark ride, Wacky Factory. Seven-and-a-half minute wait. Cute enough exterior design (at least the front of the building), and I couldn't find any manufacturer information on the internet about it...anyone have any ideas? Either way, it was meh overall, with lots of different things hobbled together over years...there was one well designed scene (which I won't spoil because I didn't record what that scene was in my notes). Next up was one of two coasters here, Wacky Worm, interestingly located right behind the Wacky Factory. Meh, whatever, it's a wacky worm, 2 laps. Amusingly they did not apply the brakes at all when going through station after the first lap, resulting in some surprising laterals going around the unbanked turn before the lift. They also have a 1916 PTC Carousel, for those into that sort of thing: Some of their other rides, starting with an Orbiter and a Hrubtez Round up in the background. One of those weird "don't get wet" water slides and a Conestoga-themed magic carpet. A tiny tiny ARM drop tower (named the "Oh-Zone!" of all things) and a Paratrooper in the background Some bumper cars... ...a Frog Hopper... ...and a Wave Swinger round out this park's collection of flat rides. And finally we come to the main reason most enthusiasts come to this park, Cannon Ball: A 1967 PTC woodie with lever-controlled skid brakes and buzz bars? Yes, please! Walk-on for the back row, plenty of airtime and great laterials This was my 300th Coaster, and it was a worthy addition to the list. 8/10. But this was not the star attraction here! This was: Introducing the Boat Chute, a 1927 mill chute ride, believed to be the last original style chute operating in the US. Since someone else already wrote about the history, I'll let them talk about it: Sure, all it does is go down a straight tunnel for a while, make a u-turn, climb a rickety lift hill, then splash down into the lake, but you are literally riding history and a one-of-a-kind experience. 5 minute wait, didn't get too wet, pure awesome, 11/10. And that wraps up Lake Winnie. Without kids, there is admittedly not a lot for adults here, but park enthusiasts and history buffs would be well served to stop by just for Cannon Ball and Boat Chute alone. Onward, towards the final and largest part of this TR, Dollywood!
  22. Last week
  23. So I finally got around to posting my Trip Reports from earlier this year; here is the BGW Part if you're interested. Excited to head back in a few weeks to check out the Howl-o-Scream festivities; thanks for the preview @cfc!
  24. So, basically May 30th was a complete travel day...boy is that drive to Atlanta, even starting in Williamsburg instead of Delaware, brutal. The next day, I headed out for my first trip to.... Fun Spot America Atlanta - Wednesday, May 30th Now, I've been to the two Fun Spots in Florida, so I kinda knew what to expect...but I did not expect this. Wow...yeah. Anyway, my first ride here was Hurricane, their Miler. Its a coaster, and that's all that can really be said about it. This was about the closest I've come to feeling like I was going to die on a ride in a long time, and not in a good way. 1/10. Here are some more pictures of the grounds.... Three things a normal person never expects to see on the same sign... Their "arcade" was something else. First, a long open area with a few ticket-producing games. Which opens into a bigger area with some more ticket-producing games... Complimented by some 1990s-era true video games. Including Sega's F355 Challenge Deluxe (one of the few arcade games to actually provide a clutch pedal and full 6-speed H-pattern shifter) and the always awesome Super GT. Of course, I had to drop a few bucks here. The arcade also featured this.... So you know how in a walk-through fun house attraction, there's usually a stationary platform where you walk down a rotating cylinder around you, intending to provide a physical prop gag to affect your balance? That was literally all this was - just the tunnel. For 50 cents. I never LOL'd so hard. Was this part of a larger fun house at some point? Seriously...like I cannot believe that this was an attraction at a permanently standing amusement park. Pure hilairty. Some more of the park's "ambiance:" Anyone know what used to be under here? Guessing just picnic tables. No, that very unsafe looking Skycoaster was not operational and did not appear to have been for quite some time. Seriously, what did this artificial rock formation use to be? But now, onto the reason that anyone would ever travel to this park from a distance: Aire Force One! Okay, stupidity of the name aside, I actually think the queue and ride itself were quite well themed. How did it ride? ABSOLUTELY BONKERS! I rode in both the back and front row (both walks ons), and then went around for a few more laps of each, but holy shit is this ride absolutely insane, and has ZERO business being in a park this shitty. I do have to agree with what everyone else has said about the slam into the final brakes and the final bunny hops, but still a great ride and not too rough on your thighs to be non-re-rideable. 9/10. Oh, and I also rode their kiddie coaster too. I also took a lap on the Samson go-kart track here, which had an awesome layout and underpowered cars (much like their Florida counterparts). When I say I did "a lap," I mean literally that - there was no one else on it, and go-karts are weird by yourself. But yeah, AFO is absolutely nuts. Is it worth a trip to this park if you're not going to be in the area anyway? Not really...but ride it while you can since I have no idea how this park survives. Anyway, after the park, I swung by Vortex Midtown Atlanta, and the ambiance was awesome as always, but the food was kinda meh. I was also super disappointed that they got rid of the other signature-glass cocktail in addition to the Skull Crusher; I was planning on trying one. After that, I met up with my good friend Jessica who I've known for over 20 years (and wow does it hurt being able to say that), and we went out and hit the town in Athens. I don't remember the names of the bars we went to, but it was an awesome little town, totally accepting, and even had rainbow-painted crosswalks walks (not expecting to see that in Georgia). I think next time I'm down in the area this is where I'm going to try to get a hotel. I leave this part of the TR off with a photo of me and Jess (me on the left), taken from some rooftop bar: Next up: Lake Winnepesaukah!
  25. Busch Gardens Williamsburg - Day 2, Monday May 29th. Would this park be packed on Memorial Day Monday with stellar weather? Nope! Reasonable waits for everything (at least as long as I was there!) I arrived at the park shortly after opening, and headed first for Apollo's Chariot, where I met a 12-minute wait for front row. This was really a one-train wait though, since most of it was waiting for the crew to finish up their morning checks. Solid ride, a great mid-tier B&M hyper. 7/10. Next up was another lap on Pantheon, this time in the front row! Three-and-a-half train wait. This is definitely a front row ride...wow this ride is pretty good! It squeezed into my Top 10 Steel at #6, between Millennium Force and Banshee. I'm still not a huge fan of the backwards launch sequence, but holy shit is the airtime coming over the tophat after the final forwards launch is nuts. 11/10. Now it was back to Verbolten - 9 minutes locker to locker for back row; amusingly they forced me to put my bag into a locker this time, when they didn't on the previous day (it was the same exact bag). Yeah, still not as good as Big Bad Wolf. And what a waste of a first-generation 911! Next up was Alpengeist, which is always a spectacular ride (22 minutes locker-to-locker for back row, right edge). With the removal of BBW, this is easily the second best ride at the park. 10/10. I then gave InvadR another shot, this time in the front row (forgot to note the wait time). Up there, it's a much better ride...still a weaker GCI, but a lot better than my experience the previous day. 7/10. Thought about giving the Le Scoot log flume a go, but for some reason didn't. I always remember from my childood the actual sawblade right before the final drop (I think), which freaked me out as a kid. Now it was time for one my favorite features of this park: The numerous transport rides! This time it was the Skyride (Germany to England, 2-car-wait), on my way to my next destination. Any guesses what it was? That's right, it's Loch Ness Monster! How does this classic Arrow hold up after all these years? Unfortunately all that well (walk-on front row), as it gave me quite the headache. Super excited for the renovations that are happening for next year. I then took a ride on the train to attempt to relax and soothe the headache, snapping a bunch of pictures of things that I saw. RIP Drachen Fire....you were taken before your time. What is this building back in the old Drachen Fire area? Next up was a ride on the Skyrdie England to France (17 minute wait), and of course more pictures! That brought me to around 2:00, and unfortunately my Loch Ness Monster induced headache hadn't really gone away, and knowing I had a long drive ahead of me the next day, I headed out. Oh, and at some point I rode Grover's Alpine Express just for the credit, but I guess it was so forgettable that I didn't even make a notes video or take a picture. This park really is beautiful, and offers plenty of shade in most areas, and I will be back in a few weeks to experience their Halloween event for the first time (along with processing my pass for next year - my first time having a BGW pass!). Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for some adventures in the Atlanta area up next!
  26. I guess now that I've started my Halloween park trips after a coaster-less summer (aside from this trip), I should probably get these reports up, huh? Obviously with the delay in reporting, these are going to mostly be ride recaps and photo dumps, but hey, something is better than nothing, right? So, here goes: Busch Gardens Williamsburg Day 1, Sunday May 28th I hadn't been to this park since 2009, the year they removed Big Bad Wolf, so there was a lot new here for my to experience. Unfortunately, my first day was filled with on-and-off rain and thunderstorms, so I didn't get much in, nor did I take a single photograph. Here's what I did do on day one: -Arrived to the park around 3:30 and found it to be a lot colder than anticipated, so bought a super-cute hoodie that just happened to be in the trans pride flags' colors (seen here - photo to be added latter). -Was quite hungry, so I grabbed two pretzels and a bottle of water from the dedicated pretzel place in the Germany section of the park - $30! They were decent, but totally not worth that much. -Rode DarKoaster (38 minute wait for the back row). I didn't really notice any difference in the scenes between the first and second laps, but is definitely a good family coaster, but not really worth an almost 45 minute wait or whatever kind of wait this ride would see on a packed, clear weather day. 6/10 -Rode InvadR (one train wait for the back row, but only running one train) - This had a spectacular layout with plenty of airtime and twists, but has no excuse for being this rough at its age. 3/10 -Rode Verbolten (three train wait for front row) - The very first thing I said in my notes video was "I miss Big Bad Wolf, I really do" and that was my initial reaction pulling back into the station. The drop track was kinda cool (my first time experiencing something like that), and kinda forceful at the end twisty sections and the inside sections were nicely done....but it doesn't live up to the ride that previously was in this location. 6/10 -Rode Tempesto (half-train wait for the front row) - Direct quote - "Whatever, it's a SkyRocket, don't even care." I really don't care for these rides. 1/10 -Rode Pantheon (half-train wait for the back row) - EASILY the best ride in this park, no question. Totally had an RMC feel all of the outward banked turns and odd airtime moments, but I wasn't a huge fan of the little "bump" during the forwards-backwards-forwards launch sequence, which I am still not big on. 9/10 With the storm coming in harder at this point, I kinda gave up on the day after that (around 7:15) and went back to my hotel for a good night's sleep after my 5 hour drive to get down to Williamsburg. I was able to get almost all of the new-to-me coasters here, so even if the next day turned out bad, it was still a win. Did it? Read on to find out.
  27. Went to North Van last night, could see that the new coaster has gone vertical. Track is in the air.
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