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    • I vote Busch Gardens Williamsburg or Hershey Park. Both are two day parks. Lines are usually more manageable at BGW during the week, especially when it's hot. We just stayed at Kings Mill Resort close to BGW. It's a beautiful higher end resort, which is surprisingly way cheaper than Hershey Lodge for what you get. We got a waterfront king room. You can do some local history when you're in the area. BGW is a beautiful park, and is one of our favorites. It feels much more well put together to us than BGT. You could also do a day at Knoebels and a couple days at Hershey.
    • Nervous start to today with Wildcat still down in the AM but they got it running a little after 1. Park was busy feeling today but walk ons almost everywhere. Wildcat's Revenge is a different feeling RMC, with more of a focus on insane laterals that are especially intense at the end of the ride. Quite a feel nearly unbanked and sharp turns. Some good airtime and overall a nice ride. Not sure if I put it above the two good Intamins (sorry Fahrenheit, you're okay but not god tier like the other two) but an awesome addition to an already stacked park. Storm Runner was closed for me in 2020 and I made sure to lap it like crazy today as it was a total walk on. Forgot how much of a masterpiece this is outside of it being super short. I like how each part of the train offers different experiences. Front gives you great ejector on the top hat and before the barrel roll. Middle gives you bone crushing positives in the saddles. Back gives great air off the back of the top hat and really accentuates the twisting dive near the end of the ride. What can I say, no one creates masterpieces like Intamin. Mediocre Bear running fast today with some good positives in the first half. Just wish it did something...anything...in the second half. Maybe a 3 train wait midday. Coal Cracker and SDL total walkons. I'm growing to hate PTC single lapbars. Comet stapled me to hell. Still a really fun ride, but I'll be on Phoenix in about 16 hours so one and done on this. 3 train wait which is about as little as I've ever waited for it. Skyrush only running 1 train but still only a 3 or 4 train wait. I purposely stapled myself which kinda helped it feel like the old thing lol. It's still amazing. Just neutered a bit. Fahrenheit had a pretty short wait when I was in the area so I grabbed a back seat ride. It's super underrated, yet super overshadowed in this park. Just wish they wouldn't run 3 trains on it and make you sit for 4 minutes before you can get off. Candymonium... whatever. Usually a B&M hyper is the best ride in any given park. This barely cracks the top 5 here. There's no such thing as a bad B&M hyper but this is the weakest. But I'm glad everyone stands in line for this and makes the lines for the Intamins and Wildcat shorter.
    • ^ I'm sure the new restraints are a buzzkill for diehards, but for people like myself and the general public, it's probably overwhelmingly preferred.    🤣
    • I had won too many food place battles in a row on the trip and had to take a loss by that point.
    • I feel like at this point Rattle is more like a door panel sound in your car. Its not doing anything you just hear it. 
    • Okay I got a few rides on Penguin Trek yesterday and in regards to the "rattle" I didn't feel anything that was even the slightest bit uncomfortable, it's barely even noticeable. It's a family coaster with a 42 inch height restriction that goes like 40 mph and felt absolutely fine to me.   Other than that, it's a pretty great attraction but just kind of an okay ride? Nothing wrong with it at all, the ride itself is just kind of forceless but again for a 42 inch kiddie coaster that's fine. The indoor que and dark ride sections did look fantastic so kudos to SW for doing that. For a non-existent as the themeing is on Ice Breaker and Pipeline (which I think is fine honestly) Penguin Trek really is the perfect little mix of just enough to make it feel like a real attraction. So all around pretty solid addition IMO. A far as the exit procedures, both rides we were routed through the exhibit and had a small wait but it really wasn't that big of a deal? 
    • I was actually there yesterday with my mom and 2 year old and we made the same miscalculation. Ended up on the pier with GNE first and didn't realize it didn't open until 5 until after my daughter had already picked out with horse she wanted on the carousel. Ended up being fine, just walked down to the middle one anyway. THIS, however - with all the great pizza at the boardwalk (Mack's, Sam's, Franconi's, etc.), you really chose Dominos? I mean, look, I get how kids can certainly be (and mind you I'm playfully teasing you a bit here), but at some point parents have to prevent them from making terrible, life-altering decisions like eating chain pizza at the Jersey shore. 😉
    • Tagadas Forever!!! 😁 And I still want one of those mini-Tagadas! Too cute to pass up.
    • So far tonight I've waited through a Skyrush breakdown, a Storm Runner breakdown, and then went over to Wildcat's Revenge to find it totally deserted and clearly closed for the day. No mention of that on the website. Did Six Flags aquire Hershey too? I really hope it's open tomorrow because that would be a very disappointing 6 hour ride home. The new restraints on Skyrush neuter the intensity quite a bit. Was always my favorite Intamin but it no longer has the insanity that the old restraints gave it. 
    • Road Trip Day 4 - Morey's Piers Trip Report If you want to catch up, Day 1 was King's Dominion, Day 2 Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and Day 3 was Six Flags America. Reports are in their respective threads. The trip was myself and my oldest son, soon to be 14. After two near 100 degree days and a 104 degree day at SFA, it was a relief to be heading to the ocean. I was a little concerned a few miles away when it was still 95, but the temperature dropped all the way down to 78 as was covered the last few miles. Unfortunately, I had made my first and biggest miscalculation on the trip when planning this day. It was supposed to be Morey's Piers followed by a drive up to Casino Pier. I had gotten us to Morey's Piers at 1 PM as that was the time a quick google told me the park opened, figuring there wouldn't be crowds yet, we'd blow through everything quickly, and then head up to Casino Pier. Well, had I done anything more than the bare minimum research, I would have learned that only the middle pier opened up at 1 PM and the outside two piers opened at 5 PM. Oops. We decided to axe Casino Pier from the plans even though it would still be technically possible given how late these places are open. Road trips are fun but exhausting and we just didn't want to be out that late. Sea Serpent -- Whatever we did first would be my 250, so I chose the best coaster available on the middle pier after buying the all access wristbands which are good until 7 PM. This was their Boomerang, though at least I knew it had a good reputation. It lived up to it. The conversions to vest restraints have revitalized many boomerangs I have ridden at this point, but I think this one takes the cake in terms of smoothness. Sea Serpent was a really good ride and an acceptable 250 in my book.  Rollies Coaster -- Somehow now over 250 credits in, this was my first Pinfari Zyklon despite them being everywhere all over the world still. It was fun! The ride was janky and didn't have any amazing forces by any means, but it kept itself moving and had a few nice little pops. There isn't much more to say really. Wild Whizzer -- If there isn't much to say about the Zyklon, what is there to say at all about the SBF Visa? It did its figure eight. The ride is operated with four laps, or at least we got four laps. We added the credit to the list. I don't hate these by any means, but everyone knows what they are and they all ride more or less the same. Fun little addition for FECs, tiny family parks, or places like boardwalk piers with limited space. After riding, we walked back to our car parked across from the pier with Great White to extend our parking as we had only paid through 6 PM and figured we would be cutting it close. Plus, we had time. Then we walked all the way down to the far pier, which is much further apart from the others than the first two are, and my kid talked me into Dominos for lunch. That was fine. From there, we explored the closed third pier with the SLC, walked in the sand a bit, and then sat and played games on my phone while waiting the last two hours for five o'clock to hit.  Doo Wopper -- I complained about Apple Zapple being forceless on my King's Dominion report. Doo Wopper must have read it and decided that I didn't know anything about a forceless ride. It would show me and it did. The ride was inoffensive and smooth. It was weirdly and somewhat cutely themed to ordering fast food too, as far as I could tell, but the ride itself was a big old nothing. At least this wild mouse didn't hurt me on any of the jarring laterals I guess. That's something, maybe. Oh well. Runaway Tram -- This Vekoma family coaster wasn't bad for what it is. It has some mild forces on the helixes and the ride is lengthened by a second lap. Initially we were the only ones in the station and took the first car spot in line, but when a little girl came up with her mother and acted like she wanted front row, we gladly gave it up. I think an enthusiast was born and we got to listen. The little girl was nervous on the lift hill, this was clearly her first coaster from our brief conversation, and yelled with joy about how much she loved it the entire rest of the way. It was one of those unexpected moments of joy that really made this ride fun in a way it wasn't going to be and I am glad we got to experience it hearing her reactions. Obviously then, this one hits its mark in terms of pleasing its target audience. Great Nor'Easter -- I had read the hype. The good SLC. Even having experienced what the vest restraints can do at best in the form of Riddlers Revenge at SFNE, I was skeptical. Having the vest restraints the day before at Six Flags America wasn't reassuring. While Skywinder there was better than many SLCs I have ridden, it tracked poorly enough to still not be good despite the absence of headbanging. Well, I am a believer now. There was at least one hard jolt, if not more than one, but they were so isolated that they didn't cause any sort of jackhammering discomfort. The rest of Great Nor'Easter was glass smooth. Honestly, it was astonishing after so many SLCs to get to ride one that was legitimately excellent. My hat is off to Morey's Piers. They even have free lockers (maybe they were only free because of our wrist bands -- not sure) to put your valuables in. This is the first time I have immediately jumped back in the queue for an SLC since the late 90s when I was first experiencing them popping up in the parks around me. I can't praise this thing enough. Unfortunately, after the long walk back to the first pier towards the woodie and our car, we found Great White had never opened for the day and was not going to. That is a shame as I anticipated it being easily the second best coaster of the piers at worst going into the day, though the boomerang might have ended up giving it a run for its money. We were back our car at 6:30 and still decided to book a hotel instead of heading on to Casino Pier due to wanting to rest. Someday we will swing back down and hit the rest of the pier parks. Finally, I will say that Morey's Piers and the Wildwood Boardwalk as a whole is a really cool place. I was really surprised how much they were able to cram on the three piers, especially the water park(s). They looked great. It is a touristy place for sure, but I would gladly bring the whole family back once the twins (2.5 years old) are a couple years older. There would be tons for them and all of us to do, especially when factoring in the beach right there. This place will never have some great coaster collection, but it does really well with the space it has and takes immaculate care of the coasters that are there. It is a shame the woodie wasn't open, but I bet I will see it again with the whole crew in tow in a couple years. I really enjoyed Morey's Piers. Busch Gardens Williamsburg will, of course, go down as the best park we visited on this trip, but the combined Wildwood Boards/Morey's Piers/Beach atmosphere might have actually made this place my favorite on the whole trip. Very cool. Next up was Dorney Park with a quick stop at Sesame Place on the way.   
    • I just realized that this ride actually opened in 1988 not 1986.
    • Jealous of that. . . . closest I've come is seeing Goblin perform live to a screening of "Susperia". .that was cool. I just stumbled across "Suzume" and was blown away.  I'm tracking down the other films he/they have done     and here's the trailer for those who might be interested... it really is SO good and I highly recommend it    
    • Great report, I love the music in that and got to see the composers and performers of this (and Your Name/Weathering With You) live last month when they came to Korea.
    • I don’t know if I’m going now. I might go to a different park this year if TT2 stays down. I am scheduled for middle August at the moment    I know it sounds a little harsh not to go over one ride being down but I have literally put off going because of the original top thrill being down. So it’s a big deal for me. I’m thinking of Busch Gardens Tampa
    • so.. when I heard that TPR was going to doing a UK trip in 2024, and that they were going to a park that I had dreamed about ever setting foot in for almost 40 years?   yeah, I quickly inquired and was able to join them on the trip. I decided to be comfortable - my spouse passing really made me into a bit bougie/enjoy while you can kind of person. . so I not only booked flights, but paid for upgrades. United was "kind" enough to upgrade me for the 40 minute flight from Austin to Houston (which ended up being so bumpy there was no drink service anyways), but due to an error on their part?  yep, didn't upgrade me for the longer, 9 hour flight, and had me in Economy. the wonderful desk agent in Austin, tried for almost an hour to "fix" the longer flight, but eventually told me there was nothing they could do and that I should check in at the gate in Houston and see if they worked it out. But offered me a bunch of drink vounchers for the longer flight and told me to go relax in the United lounge until my flight in about an hour. don't think it will surprise you to hear that the United lounge wouldn't let me in, as I was only upgraded on the Domestic portion of my flight, but not the International. . therefore I didn't qualify to go in. . . but I could pay $56 for a day pass?     Yeah.. no.   Instead I gave the name of the agent who had been helping me and they called down to her (turns out she's a supervisor) and she told them let me in. . . .so I did get a nice snack while waiting for my plane to leave. I was determined to stay in a positive mood, and not let glitches like this deter me - after all, at the end of the flights, I'd be in London.   But oh yes, I'll deal with United when I get back after. not worth $56 to pay to get in, so glad that I didn't have to.  but a nice snack. my "surprised" face at the gate in Houston, upon being told that nope, they didn't have an upgrade for me.   I was number 12, and they had filled upgrades 1-11 and had no more seats in Premium Plus. shocking, I know!    oh well. .I had figured out I'd not be getting the upgrade they had charged me for.   BUT. . I was glad I had stayed positive, as it turned out the center seat was empty (despite it being a full plane), so my neighbor in the window seat and I had lots of room to spread out on the longer flight. So it all worked out.   I ended up watching an Anime movie about a otherworldly "keymaster" that turns into a chair. ("Suzume" which I highly recommend. . I quite enjoyed it), and Disney's "Wish" - which I liked so much, I watched it twice. Sunrise from the plane as we were in transit. here's what I had for a meal on the flight. that Milk cookie was so sweet I really didn't care for it and spit most of it out.   The Steward seemed surprised and said most like it. but it was edible and decent (I wasn't all that hungry anyways) I did make use of some of my Drink Coupons tho. . .  the Bloody Mary hit just right Finally landing in Heathrow, and getting thru Customs was a breeze. I had decided to be a little bougie, and had hired a car - that picked me up at the Customs area with a little sign.    LOL. . I felt so important turned out to be an excellent choice, as there were protests all over London - seems to be something that happens pretty much every Saturday - and the drive took over 2 hours to get to my Hotel. but since I had paid a flat rate for the driver, he took the way scenic way, to avoid many closed off streets, and I ended up seeing many sights I might have not even gotten a chance to see. from the car, yes, but still. . very cool to see and now I could say that I saw them. Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliment London Eye, Parliment, Big Ben. .from the other side. I think that's the shard in the back on the right? eventually tho, I finally made it to the hotel, and only wanted a hot shower.  but turned out they were having issues with the keys (creating them). . . so they moved some things around and put me in this room (which was fine, I just wanted to sleep there anyways for 2 nights before the TPR trip started). I went back down to the front desk and talked to the Concierge. i was really interested in seeing a show in the West End (I was staying at the Doubletree West End - and huge shout out to Elissa for helping me decide to book a room there)  my "wish list" show had been "Spirited Away". . but tickets were quite expensive, and I didn't want to pre-purchase just in case of delayed flights or some other issue.  So had been leaving it up to the universe.   The Concierge got hold of the box office, and via some miracle, there was ONE open seat available.   In row 7, near center stage!     They told me they would be happy to put it on hold for me, and I could pick it up at the on call one hour before the performance. i was stoked, and tipped the Concierge well for the help, and then got walking directions to the British Museum (another reason I had chosen this hotel was the proximity to that). and off I went.    (I had gotten a free ticket online, tho I was well over an hour past my ticketed time, due to the issues getting to the hotel. . but I wasn't too concerned, as I had been told I could just go around to the backside of the museum and get in over there even without a timed ticket).   it was a lovely walk, and the weather was just cool enough that I was having a grand time. I mean. . as a first time visitor to London, one HAS to, right?  it's a gorgeous, and HUGE, museum. and was absolutely packed with schoolkids - which I guess is a good thing?    (tho I ended up chatting with multiple security guards - chatting or perhaps flirting?  I'm not really sure - they kept commenting on my Katya shirt and boots). even tho it was past my ticket time, I was told to get in the line and just go in with the other timed ticket people.    So got to go in the front of the museum.   I spent just about 4 hours here. . by no means did I even come close to seeing everything.  But was able to hit up every area that I was interested in. unfortunately "the Wave" the famous Japanese silkscreen, was not on display at the moment - having been taken down for some restoration work. . but there was plenty of other things to see (and photograph)   yeah yeah. .  .juvenile humor.. but it was funny to me.         a few purchases later (mostly magnets) and I headed back to the hotel to change up a bit - to get a little fancier for the theater some fresh walking directions, and I headed out (exhausted, but determined) to go see "Spirited Away" the theater it's playing in is one of the oldest, and the staff told me is the largest, in the West End:  the London Coliseum. ahhhhh. . THIS is why the show was nearly sold out. the actress playing Yubaba/Zeniba? (Mari Natsuki)  That's the actress who voiced the part in the original Anime!     I was VERY lucky to get a ticket. the show had only been playing in London for a couple of weeks and the gift shop folks were freaking out, as it still had to run thru the end of August - and they were sold out of almost everything. they had a few T-shirts (in smaller sizes), and some keychains. . .but most of the merch had sold right away and they desperately were trying to find a way to restock (I spoke with them before the show started, and they were expressing how surprised everyone was at how well the show was doing). hopefully that's a good sign, and we'll see the show here in the States?   It sticks VERY close to the film - tho there's a new song and set piece added in act II to pad it a little bit.   The puppet work on the characters is super impressive. . I loved it, particularly when Haku flies out thru and above the audience to end Act I. anyways. . . I bought a couple of shirts that are a little too small for me, but will hang in the closet as souvenirs. . .and enjoyed the specialty Martini   the theater truly is GORGEOUS. (pics taken when they opened the doors.   NO photography during the performance. . I think they want to keep the puppets "hidden". . which is strange when two full versions of the show are avail. on Max to watch, so you could see the puppets anyways.). they relaxed the rule during curtain call. .so that's how I got that pic. the whole show is in Japanese, with English translations flashed above, and to the sides of the stage. after the show, I had totally forgotten it was Saturday night. (I was exhausted, and was lucky to have kept my eyes open for the whole show. . LOL). . . but seemed like most of the West End shows ended around the same time, and everyone poured out into the streets, and it was like a big, festive, party going on out here.   this was my back-up show, if I had been unable to score a ticket to "Spirited Away".. just for Tom Holland. Ian McKellan was also headlining a show. . but he had just fallen off the stage a couple of days before my arrival, so his part was being played by an understudy.   So I didn't even look at tickets for that. I was focused on my wish list one I wandered among the crowds, enjoying some pastry and the art installations on some streets. then gave in, exhausted, and hired a pedi-cab to get me back to the hotel, where I went up to my room and promptly crashed. I had to get up fairly early tomorrow for a full day at Tower of London. so a quick shower, and off to bed. but hey, I was in London! (the two Spirited Away shirts I got. . . the XL "might' fit. . . but the other one for sure wont)
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