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Showing content with the highest reputation since 09/21/2021 in Posts

  1. Tennessee Tornado runs every day, I don’t know what you're talking about.
    8 points
  2. 7 points
  3. I don't care about Soarin' at all. I probably wouldn't wait more than 15 minutes for it. The rides seriously aren't comparable at all. They're both simulators in the same way that El Toro and a Zamperla Volare are both roller coasters.
    6 points
  4. ^ you shouldn't be excited. i've heard whispers that "Corporate HATES your park"
    6 points
  5. Hey everyone! I had the opportunity to visit CGA before a wedding weekend, and I had a great time with long time coaster friend Andrew! I was supposed to visit during Winterfest in 2019 but the area had historic flooding so this is my first CGA visit. I visited on a Sunday, and everything worked out as I planned. I flew into San Jose (SJC) airport, which is 15 minutes from the park. It's a small airport so I was able to get off the plane, swing by my hotel, and be at the park all in 45 minutes. How awesome is that! Fast lane was pre-purchased since I only had 6 hours at the park, and it definitely saved time allowing me to walk on all coasters. First Impressions: I know of the Marriott background and the similarities with Chicago's Gurnee's Six Flags Great America and it was fun to see the double decker carousel and pool entry with the observation tower again. What I wasn't aware, is that the park shares the parking lot with Levi Stadium where the 49'ers play. It's hilarious how far out this place is from San Francisco, it's about as far away from Chicago as SFGAm is. But man holy shit Levi Stadium is MASSIVE and the park is closed if there's a football game. Thankfully my buddy picked the right wedding weekend to allow me to get to CGA It didn't take long for me to recognize CGA is a beautiful park featuring the PNW/Bay area's stunning redwoods, foliage, and natural beauty. There's really not an ugly spot in this park, other than some of the dated dining options that they seem to be turning around. The new waterpark look fantastic complete with its own set of characters meandering the park for photo ops and interactions. Operations: The day started out fine and the Railblazer ops were very consistent all day, but the crews really faded down the stretch. Gold Striker was the most frustrating as there were supervisors in the station yet they let trains stack for 5 minutes. Flight Deck, Grizzly, Drop Tower, were rivaling BGT for worst ops I've seen this year. Seat selection is usually never an issue in America unless it's Hagrid's Motor Bike Adventure but CGA gave me two wildly different answers: Me: "Hey, I'd love to wait for the front seat, I don't mind an extra cycle." Normal Op: "Sure go for it" That's what I got the first couple hours, then, the final few hours of the visit. Me: "Hey, can I wait for the back/front?" Op: "Oh yeah, no, we don't do that. Some guests have gotten really unruly with us over picking seats." ????????????????????????? The worst example was asking for Flight Deck's back seat and the op wouldn't budge, put me in the front, and then left the back 2 rows empty This also happened on Railblazer once, and it's like, really? There's only 8 seats..... cmon! It's just mind numbing and frustrating at times. Rides/Coasters: Railblazer - How could I not start here? With the issues surrounding the single rail coasters this year I was really wondering if I was going to miss out on one again. Not this time, I finally got to ride! A few things surprised me before I even got on the ride: it really looks like a hotwheels car zipping around the track, it's very raw - it's very bare bones and mechanically loud at times, the lift chain starts on the lift, and the ride itself looks good and fits well. It's just so fast, it reminded me of Arashi. It's a crazy experience that's crazy fun but I didn't come away loving the thing. The airtime is so abrupt and violent, those shoulder straps aren't really necessary right? I enjoyed the front more than the back, the airtime is just as nuts but it felt more comfortable, and the view is pretty awesome. After about 5 or 6 rides, the next day my shoulders were pretty bruised, hah. Demon - Just a classic Arrow that's still in great shape. The corkscrews were really smooth and the first drop always provides a good pop of air. Love the vintage effects/lights just like the sister park! Grizzly - Oh boy, the wooden coaster that consistently was voted one of the worst roller coasters in the world! Now I know why. This might as well be classified as a junior woodie. Anyone over 6' is going to not have a good time getting in these old arrow-mine-train ala CP lap bar things. It wasn't very painful, but the operations were. This coaster just doesn't do anything, it's gotta be the next ride to be taken out. Drop Tower - A great Intamin tower, stellar views of the mountains! Himalaya - Not that great of a cycle but it's one of the last ones out there. Mass Effect - A solid offering for what you are limited with when working with the 4D theaters. I'm not familiar with the game but it's easily understood and there's an actor or two performing with the show. Flight Deck - I wanted to like this invert a bit more, but it only does so much. It does everything very well, though! I wish I could have had that back row ride but I won't complain about 2x in the front. Patriot - Almost forgot about this one! Not much to say here, it's like a shortened Georgia Scorcher layout, it did have a cool little sideways dive into the corkscrew. Gold Striker - Here is the unanimously best coaster at the park and the most well rounded coaster in the park! After all of these other short but sweet coasters, Gold Striker offers a lengthy airtime filled twisted rugged ride up down and all around the front side of the park. From the looks off ride, you'd think the big turnarounds would sap speed and not offer much like some older GCI's but this GCI is an awesome combo of the newfound relentless speed in the newer GCI's. I absolutely loved the unique tunneled drop that sends the train rocketing around the twisted air hills, dives in and out of the structure, and it's so hard to predict what is coming next. Gold Striker, Renegade, and Mystic Timbers are all in an elite GCI tier in my book. Final thoughts: This park really needs Megabyte/Orion. All but Gold Striker are very short coasters, even though they are good coasters, a lengthy re-ridable coaster is just what this park needs. Fast lane wasn't really needed, especially if you have a full day. The park needs to continue updating their food and beverage offerings. There was not a sit down restaurant, it was all quick service and there was not an adult offering like a bar for adults, so I think there's a missed opportunity here. It's hard to beat the setting in San Jose, it's absolutely beautiful. Flying over the Great Salt Lake on the way. Lagoon is somewhere around here! Hey bert! Love this view again, the classic Great America entrance. Railblazer was my first stop, first time on a single rail! The ride is a blur after you're chucked off this steep drop! It's so hard to even register when you're upside-down, you're traveling on the track so fast! Look at how beautiful this park is! The Pacific North West and Bay Area is just so wonderful. New water park expansion and the giant Levi Stadium in the background along with the mountains! I see you, vintage B&M goodness! Palm trees redwoods, B&M's, mountains, ahhhh.. Flight Deck didn't disappoint, it absolutely flies through the inversons. The signature finale! This is Grizzly's train. The lap bars aren't individual, nor are they individual row, they are connected to the row behind/in front of you to your car. So if you have 2 kids behind you and a friend that's 6'3" next to you, that bar is gonna have to be smashed into your groin. Ouch! 3. Three! Seatbelts and this coaster doesn't even need a lap bar. Mass Effect was a good effort for one of those 4D simulators. Almost forgot about this old stand up turned Rougarou-like. Meh. Hey BGT, get your shit together!!! Back over for some more Railblazer fun! Loved this bonkers part! This is probably the main reason why my shoulders were purple the next day. This is at a Cedar Fair park. Yep! The whole park looks like this. Sadly the food and bev is the only ugly part of the park. This 'sports bar' supposedly had staff working but were nowhere to be found, and looks like it hadn't been updated since 1992. Couldn't even get a snack or drink here. Alright let's end the day with some Gold Striker rides! Love how it wraps around the observation tower. This GCI is a tangled mess of head choppers, hand choppers, crazy twists, airtime, and relentless speed and laterals! Even the pre-lift section gives you a taste of the craziness to come. It's tough to get photos of this thing, and it'll take many laps to figure out the layout. The rushhhh of striking gold! Absolutely ripping through the course! This twisted downhill airtime hill was the stand out 'holy shit' moment for me! Gold Striker in the golden hour. Gold Striker is the clear stand out coaster at CGA in my opinion. It's got everything you'd want in a twisted, wild, airtime filled woodie! And for post park fun, there's Bare Bottle Brewing around the corner which boasts some of the best IPA's I've had. Much love for the Bae Area! -Zach
    6 points
  6. So which pass isn’t good at La Ronde? I want that one, please.
    6 points
  7. Here's my report from my weekend trip to Carowinds with friends! Flew in Saturday at 530, quickly got a ride over to Carowinds new Spring Hill Suites hotel. It's right across from the parking lot so it's an easy 5 minute walk over to the park. The hotel does have a full bar, but does not have food or a restaurant. Amazingly the lyft driver had no sweat weaving in and out of the batshit insane traffic. Carowinds is right off the high way, but there's 2 huge intersections that really slow down traffic, so it just backs up for miles when busy. Carowinds needs their own exit if they can somehow make that work. So once we got to the hotel, we were pretty much stuck. No lyft/uber would ever want to come in and get us, and it would have taken an hour to get in; spoiler, the traffic stayed until probably 2am. Famous Dave's is within walking distance, but it closes at 8pm daily. Sooo we were forced to eat at Harmony Hall and I've still yet to have a good meal there. It's.....edible. Really disappointed that they can't serve better quality food. Saturday night was seemingly like all other American parks - so packed you could barely navigate some areas. We just had drinks, checked out the atmosphere, and were lucky to get 1 ride on Fury at night with a one use fast lane. Sunday much more manageable, although fast lane was needed to get in multiple rides and re-ride some coasters I hadn't done in years (Nighthawk). Let me first applaud Carowinds for their Haunt event. Their scare zones were packed with actors as were the mazes. The park really felt different at night and had me second guessing how to navigate with all of the different lights, fog, and decorations shining. Depths of Darkness: This maze should be your #1 priority if you're going to Scarowinds. An awesome blend of new technology, big physical sets, great scares, some find mind tricks, and you get some different angles of Intimidator as you walk under it! The best CF maze I've done in some time. Tooth Fairy: This is new for 2021 and you know you're in for some disappointment when it's called Tooth Fairy but the exterior of the build is.... it's themed to ...windows? There wasn't enough happening in this maze, nor were the decorations or effects much of anything to make it stand out. It was over too soon, and the finale was ok. But hey at least there was a finale. Slaughterhouse: Can we get rid of these mazes already? This one looked like a lengthy maze, but it was actually only one small section of the area being used and it ended before the scares started to come. Bummer. Silver Screen Studios: This seemed like a fun idea on paper, checking out this old movie set from a director that figured the best horror movie should be made by actually killing the actors! It was fun, but seemed like they just threw a lot of random things together. Missed our on the Reaping, I like those scarecrow mazes and it looked like they use part of rapids ride like CP does, I'm sure it was good. Rides! Or...coasters! We didn't do any flat rides because the drop tower is so small, sorry..., electro spin was down, and I've done enough Boo Hill shooters. What else is there? Windseeker was down uhhh... there's no pendulum/frisbee ride. Alright Carowinds let's get some flats in there. Coasters: Carolina Cyclone - Hey guess what! Vortex lives on, the trains were re-painted and are in use. It's takes the course pretty fast, so hold on right, it's a wild arrow looper. Goldrusher - This is an olddddd mine train where each the 3 rows in 1 car have to move the lap bar together, like at CP. So if you have 2 adults and 4 kids in 1 car, you're gonna have to be very stapled. Even still, we saw 2 young girls unbuckle there seatbelt and fold themselves out of the train right as it pulled into the station. They just...wiggled up and out. Our jaws were on the floor. So it's uncomfortable, but it's got a really fun layout. This thing spends half the time in trenches/in tunnels! Nighthawk - What the hell, might as well ride the OG Vekoma flyer. I have always like how the corkscrews ride vs the rolling trash can barrel rolls. Shocking... this thing is smooth. I don't think it's going anywhere for a while as Firehawk's trains are there on site for parts. Intimidator - It's just a fun re-rideable hyper, it's right next to the bar, it's a walk on with FL. Afterburn - Okay okay okay I've been on Montu now. No it doesn't have Montu's intensity but it's still a great B&M invert and I still think that final wing over between the trees is one of the best inversions on an invert in the states. It just rips your legs off! Fury 325 - It's loved by all for good reason. The drop seems endless, the speed keeps up the whole ride, the airtime is great, and sometimes that trim didn't hit. What was weird was we heard it making noises off ride walking in/out of the park, I didn't remember that. andddddd now..... new for me.... Copperhead Strike! I will be honest I passed up going to Carowinds a few times since it was added since I just didn't think it'd be worth going out of my way for and damn I am mad at myself. Copperhead will treat you to every G Force that's possible - the launches are barely worth a mention but you do feel them get you going. Laterals on tight turns, amazing hangtime in 4 different types, airtime ranging from floater to ejector, and this coaster has Cedar Fair's best attempt at theming. Copperhead is so unique, I really really enjoyed it and I really wanted to claim it as my favorite coaster in the park, but you can't compare this to anything else, especially Fury. What a gem Carowinds has and I can finally say Carowinds is a pretty well rounded park. They still need some more flat rides and they have a glaring need for a new wooden coaster. Hopefully they get one soon to really elevate the line up! I couldn't bring myself to ride the old Vortex stand up, haha. Do you prefer daytime or nighttime Fury? I think I choose night specifically for no wasps. There was tons on Sunday. Let's get the day going with a 1999 B&M invert! It still kicks ass! The biggest issue with the park right now. Not enough staff. There were no separators/groupers at the station so if you're a shitty kid/adult, you could just hop over into the FL line after the queue entry and walk right in. On top of that, guests had to merge themselves and this was a sticky situation since you'd get supervise-less kids not sure what to do/how to assert themselves; and then later in the day you'd have liquored up adults/teens getting into it when one tried to get in front of the other. Hoooooboy I hope they fix this ASAP. I made a number of team members aware of the issues I saw. Love the views of Afterburn from back here! Time for some Copperhead love! First time on one of these newer Mack launchers/loopers. The trains are gorgeous, lap bars are comfy, seats are fine but they do I guess give you a necessary hug around the sides, I wish they were a bit more open but I can understand the design. Very cool looking. Copperhead is so packed full of amazing elements that after the launch I forgot about the jojo roll start! You don't need to hang on, that's the lap bar's job! Some surprises await in here. Great job, Mack + CF team! A beautiful tangled mess of track! Copperhead is long, has great airtime, unique hangtime in 4 different ways, and it seems to go on forever. Definitely an elite coaster my book! I've always enjoyed this old mine train since it spend a lot of time below ground. Don't miss it! Carowinds has adopted the whole "don't touch your lap bar!!!!! never touch it!!!!!!!" ride op spiels.... whatever as long as the trains are moving quickly... Sycamore's puts out some amazing beer (Mountain Candy), but this one was just okay. Still, love the coaster brews! The ops had a funny "don't text and drive" spiel, yet they didn't want to actually address half the train that had their phones out on many of my rides. It's a solid B&M hyper, you can't not have fun on this thing. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm (of course it was some stupid teen who did this, and no, his friend didn't fall for it) I could lay under the grass and watch Fury fly around me all day. I love how interactive it is. Uh-mazing. Take a 10 minute ride around the corner to Mac's Speed Shop for amazing friendly service, fantastic smoked meats, and the best onion rings in the world. This whole plate cost $11, by the way. Don't eat in the parks if you don't have to. Time for some night rides! Depths of Darkness takes you under Intimidator, cool! Hello Vortex trains! This wing over, man.....whew! Here's some funny photos the round it out. While it can be stressful to visit Scarowinds, just do yourself a favor and stay on site at the hotel. You get guaranteed entry, you can walk to and from, and it had plenty of available rooms so I guess it's mainly locals packing the park. Get back there for Copperhead if you haven't been on it yet!!! -Zach
    6 points
  8. Hi Everyone! Here it is! The final TR from my big escape from the coaster desert...Dollywood! (plus a bonus theme park history nerd moment) Much like BGW, Dollywood has been on my A-List for a long time. It hasn't fascinated me in the way some of my other A-List parks have, but it's always been one that I've wanted to visit. And...when your flying across country for 6+ hours...what's another 5/6 hours of driving from Williamsburg to add another amazing park (plus the Smoky Mountains as a bonus). And...I have to say of all three parks I visited on my grand escape (Knoebels, BGW, and Dollywood)...I think that Dollywood was the one that surprised me the most. Going in I had a good idea of what to expect, but I wasn't as excited for it as Knoebels or BGW. I'm glad to say thought that I walked away very impressed, and I can see why so many people love this park! So...here we go again! Buckle in cause it's a bit of along one! Ahhh Dollywood....the park I've heard so much about. To be honest, I wasn't sure what to expect with this park. I mean, I knew what the park's lineup was, it's layout, it's history, almost everything about it...but still I wasn't sure what I'd think of it. This was a park that I had heard so much about, and after BGW was easily an A-list park. So let's see if it lived up to it's reputation... Upon entering the park I made an executive decision to make a left and head up the hill towards Mystery Mine... ...which turned out to be simultaneously probably the best decision of the day, and a fatal mistake. When I made this decision I knew that it was probably a risky one, since I might be passing up a shot at Lightning Rod, but I subscribe to the strategy of hitting low capacity rides (jokes about LR's capacity aside) first. Little did I know that Dollywood posts the wait times for all of their rides on every wait time sign (Pro tip for anyone planning a visit!). When we reached Mystery Mine, Lightning Rod was already listed as "Closed for the Day"....wah wah wah.... While this was the upside of going to MM first, you'll find out about the mistake later... Anyways, back to Mystery Mine! After a 15 minute maintenance delay, we were off in the back seat! And...um...how do I put this? This ride was like Two-Face. On the one hand it is very well themed (for a regional theme park coaster), all the effects seemed to be all working, it has a solid finale, and it has an AWESOME theme song! Mystery, Mystery, Mineeeee!!! (Seriously, how come people don't talk about that theme song?) On the other hand, it's rough, had uncomfortable restraints, has a queue that floods (What's with that big puddle in the middle of the stairs?), and has an...uuhhh...interesting layout? I didn't notice the new section of track vs. the old, but it seemed like they made one less place for me to bang into the restraint (Whoo Hooo!) The whole ride seemed to shuffle a little (not terrible but noticeable), and the OTS restraints just made it plain uncomfortable. Giving this ride lap bars I think would help, but finale aside I thought the layout was kinda weak and felt like it was meandering around for the sake of meandering around. Perhaps the joke Mystery "Meh" is pretty accurate after all... After bouncing around like...I mean "making memories worth repeating" on Mystery Mine we made our way over to Thunderhead! (I know, I know you are probably screaming at the top of your lungs...) Now having not been to CGA, and passing on InvadR at BGW, this made Thunderhead my very first GCI! And...it was fun! I think that's the best way to describe this ride, fun. I would NOT call it the best wooden coaster in the world, nor would I consider it top 20 or anything (If I'd actually ridden 20 wooden coasters...), but it's a good solid ride..."Great" if you will... I don't think it's layout is perfect, I sensed that GCI was still trying to find their formula, but that they were getting close here. If Gold Striker and Mystic Timbers built on this formula and the lessons learned from Thunderhead, then I am very excited for those rides. The biggest weakness I found was that none of the elements really popped or stood out. No crazy airtime hills, no wicked lateral turns, no surprise elements, every element was just "good". There was a little shuffle in a couple spots, but nothing that I could complain about, which was better than I was expecting. I was especially impressed with the length, but I could tell that it was running out of steam on the last few elements, which was a bit of a disappointment. All in all, solid and fun, but certainly not the best. Now let's talk about those Millennium Flyer trains a sec. I've heard about these things for years now, and I've heard them simultaneously proclaimed as both the best and worst wooden coaster trains out there. So I was really curious to see what I thought. And you know something, I don't know what to say about these. They just didn't impress, nor disappoint, they were just kinda there. Maybe I'm just so used to battling bad wooden coaster trains, that I don't know what good ones look like? I just felt that they didn't have anything special about them. The only true pluses that stood out to me were that the lap bars were slightly more comfortable then PTC's individual bars, and that there were no seat dividers with one shared seat belt (which I like!). Other than that, I don't see why people make them out to be so special. Could someone please help me to understand what makes Millennium Flyers so special? That would be greatly appreciated. Next up was Wild Eagle....(now your really screaming at the top of your lungs...I think I can here your now....) This is where I'm really gonna get in trouble...I think Wild Eagle is the best coater at Dollywood (Remember, Lightning Rod was closed...) Now, now here me out. This could be a side effect of the fact that there are no B&M Wing Coasters west of the Mississippi (Why are all the good B&M's in the east again?), so there could be some novelty to it. However, for me, with the smoothness, inversions, unique layout, and great views, Lightning Rod aside, there really is no context. And...don't say it's forceless...I'll be the first to admit that I greyed out at the bottom of Wild Eagle's first drop. Every time, in every seat that I rode (front, back, and middle). IT IS NOT MY FAVORITE STEEL COASTER, by any means, but at Dollywood I think it's the best in the park (minus LR). After passing on a 45 minute wait on Tennessee Tornado (lol, bet your still screaming...), we decided to head for lunch. We thought about Aunt Granny's, but the health conscious part of our group won out and we ultimately settled on the steak wraps at the giant skillet. This was good! Definitely better than Trapper's, although not quite enough to top the All-You-Can-Eat BBQ at my home park IMO. It was very fresh, and tasty. Highly recommend! After lunch I decided to pay my respects at the almighty church of the broken RMC...Lightning Rod. While this was a hard one, I had a mind set going in that it would probably be closed, because that's just how my luck works (See Knoebels switching to tokens at Fascination, and Verbolten missing it's fake roof). So I wasn't entirely surprised or disappointed to see it closed...but bummed none the less. This is now my new favorite sign...even better than my home park's "This is a slow moving line". Lightning Rod does look like an awesome ride, and I'm (almost) sure that it's the parks best coaster. I hope RMC and Dollywood figure this thing out, and fix it for good. I think it would be a huge bummer for everyone if they gave up on it. After leaving the church of the broken roller coaster...we rode the train! I've heard a lot of about the Dollywood Express. I've heard the praises, and the awards. However, my home park's train (when it was at it's prime, which it sadly no longer is...) seems to me to be a high bar to clear. A bar that in my opinion the Dollywood Express failed to surpass. It's not that I didn't like the train (because I love trains as much as I love theme parks), it just didn't live up to my expectations. I knew that there was no on-board show, but I was under the impression that the DE was a scenic 30-40 minute journey through the woods with banjos playing, and maybe some wild life or a shenanigan filled vignette scene along the way. Instead it kinda felt like a short 20 minute trip past "The future site of Wildwood Grove Phase 2", to a random loop around a field and back. The only interesting thing that that happened was what wasn't supposed to happen...the train couldn't make it up the hill. For whatever reason it stopped just past the crossing by the Dreamsong Theater/Owen's Farm, then proceeded to back up all the way to Lightning Rod, and HAUL up that hill. Almost legit scary haul up that hill (Lightning Rod's launch has nothing on that train engineer, memories worth repeating right?). It was actually kinda hilarious, but other than that I just found the experience kinda underwhelming. It made me think, that maybe, just maybe, my home park might actually have a world's best on it's hands. Although I think a certain other Herschend park might have something to say about that... After the train ride, we headed back up the hill too...Daredevil Falls! (You've probably lost your voice from all that screaming by now...) I thought Daredevil Falls was a fine log flume, but nothing special. A little short maybe...wait...maybe I shouldn't talk about short log flumes... I wish it had some animatronics or something, that would at least give you something to look at besides the pretty scenery....you know what...let's just move on from log flumes... ...to...Blazing Fury! Blazing Fury is great. There I said it. It's great. I love semi-cheesy old school dark rides (like Black Diamond...), and Blazing Fury fits perfectly in that category. Some people in my group thought it was tacky, and weird, but I liked it. I do wish that Dollywood would bring in Garner Holt and let him do his thing. I think that would really make this ride go a long ways towards being great. The only complaints here were I thought that the cars traveled a little too fast for my liking, and the splashdown...or unsplashdown I should say. Now, I know why the splashdown was removed, but couldn't they come up with a better replacement then some blue Christmas lights and an air compressor? It was like the ride was going "Alright, were barely gonna escape the fire! Oh, look lets escape by dropping into a big ole hole, filled with some cheap lights and a blast of air! Impressive escape huh?" Why couldn't they drop you into a cave or something or just add one more scene of the firefighters being victorious? I think that would of been much better. After Blazing Fury (which for some reason had the best ops at the park that day) we finally got to Tennessee Tornado! And to be honest, much like Tempesto I can't remember too much about Tennessee Tornado. Unlike Tempesto though, I can say that I liked it, but the only things that I remember were that it was smooth...and short. I greyed out on the second loop, but I remember being very impressed by how smooth this ride was. I think that if Arrow could have built more of these smooth multiloopers, the theme park industry would look very different today. I was reminded of how short it was though, and I found myself wishing there were just a few more inversions. For that reason I think I prefer the Loch Ness Monster in the race for best Arrow looper, for the length and then the unique layout. After another ride on Wild Eagle...we know come to the mistake I mentioned earlier. FireChaser Express is a coaster that means a lot to me. When I was first getting into theme parks and roller coasters, Dollywood was in the middle of building this and I remember thinking it was the coolest thing ever. The mistake I made was not going here first or second after Mystery Mine. I had been watching the 50 minute plus wait time all day, hoping it would die down but it never did. So, sadly I choose to cut my losses and skip it... I thought about sucking up and doing it, but I just couldn't bring myself too. That being said, it looks as fun as I imagined it would, so I definitely have something (besides Lightning Rod...) to look forward too next time I go to Dollywood. But still... After giving up on FireChaser Express, we went for a few more rides on Wild Eagle before deciding to do the real reason people come to Dollywood...CINNAMON BREAD!!!! And...OH MY GOODNESS!!! THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST THEME PARK DESERTS OUT THERE, IF NOT THE BEST!!!! I thought the sundae at Knoebels was good...but this cinnamon goodness just obliterated it. So so good, you have to get it when you go to Dollywood! We also saw a turtle in the pond next to the Grist Mill. So next time your headed there, be sure to say hi to Earl the Turtle (or whatever the TPRers shall name him/her/it?)! I hear if you don't he starts to chew on the power cord for the Cinnamon Bread machine... After the Cinnamon Bread, we checked out the Dolly Parton museum and some of the other cool little things on that side of the park. I thought the Dolly Parton museum was nice, but a little cluttery and disjointed. I'm not a Parton superfan by any means, but it was fun to see her story. After that we finished up the day with another ride on Mystery Mine (this time in the front), and a couple more ride on Thunderhead because...why not! And then ended our day at Dollywood! A couple random tidbits and thoughts: - We went back into Wildwood Gove...I mean Concreteland, towards the end of our day and while I thought it was nicely done and very imaginative, it didn't exactly feel like a grove... I've seen pictures of what the area looked like before they put in WG, and I wish they could have left those trees up. That would have made the area so much better. We were there on an overcast day that wasn't overly hot, and it still felt like a sauna back there. I can't imagine what it would be like on a hot summer day... - Passed on Dolly's Magical Butterflying Coaster (i.e. Dragonflyer) and Whistle Punk Chaser, mostly because I'm not a credit whore person. Dragonflyer look fun, but I thought Thunderhead looked more fun so I did that instated. As for WPC...well...I just couldn't do it... - Didn't have time (or desire) to venture into Country Fair or Owen's Farm. Barnstormer looked cool, but totally forgot about it in the grand scheme of things. - Did I mention that this park is pretty? I didn't? Well, it is! I honestly have a hard time deciding if Dollywood or BGW is more pretty. I think I have to give it to BGW for now, but Dollywood is certainly in the hunt. I could tell that they had removed a lot of trees in the park lately, which to me is a shame. I'm not a tree hugger, but removing trees that take 20+ years to reach a decent size for no apparent reason really bugs me. My home park has been doing it recently too, and I hope they stop it. I think nice trees really add to a park's beauty. - They were doing some construction in Craftsman's Valley in between, what I presume was, the old blacksmith shop and the candle making shop. I don't know what the building was used for previously, but looked like they were going after it pretty well. Must be where they are putting that new strata coaster for next season... - Lastly, what is the deal with this park and hair bands? Could someone please explain this to me? There were a whole bunch piled up on the fake rocks in the queue for Daredevil Falls, at the base of the lift for Wild Eagle, and a few other places. I've never seen this at any other park so...do the people of Tennessee really like hairbands as lawn ornaments or something? Please...someone explain? All in all, I think Dollywood is an amazing park. You can tell that they have spent a lot of money on this place, and that they take very good care of it. I thought it was interesting that when I initially walked into the park I was a little underwhelmed. I'm not sure why, I just felt like something was missing initially. However, as the day progressed I found myself warming up to the park, and loving it more and more. I don't know if I'd call it my favorite park, yet, but it is one of my favorites for sure. I hope they keep up with the good improvements (and plant a few more trees along the way...), as I think they have done well so far. I don't know when I'll be back to that part of the country, but if I ever am I'll be sure to go back! Looking towards the future...I'm not actually sure what this park needs. When I was there I kept thinking "This park is like BGW, it justs needs that one stand out ride.", but I think Lightning Rod IS that ride, so it doesn't need that. Personally I'd like to see a B&M Dive Coaster themed to a flooded mine with an elevator lift, be put into the area where Daredevil Falls, the old Mountain Slidewinder (RIP), and Owen's Farm are. That would add another major ride at the front of the park (which the park definitely needs), and it could be really unique and a GP crowd pleaser (Does Dolly read these forums?)! Other than that enthusiast pipe dream...I'm not sure. This park has almost all the boxes checked, and I just don't think a B&M Giga would be a good fit here. Oh well! I'm sure they'll think of something fun to spend $300 million on... And...with that all my TR's are done for my latest coaster desert escape! (Whew...I thought I'd NEVER get them done!) I want to say thanks to tndank, CoasterBill, SSL, teacherkim, BitterOldHag, and TEDodd for their advice on planning a trip to Dollywood and the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg/Smokey Mountains area (Plus, anyone else I might have forgot!). The advice was much appreciated and made for a great trip! Thanks to the moderators and contributors, your hard work also helps make TPR such a special place! I'd also like to give a big special thanks Robb and Alissa, you guys have done an amazing job with this site and forum. It is such a fun place to visit and read peoples comments and thoughts. Please keep up the great work!! I don't think I'm alone in saying that it is very much appreciated by everyone who frequents your site! THANK YOU!!!! Oh! I almost forgot! The bonus theme park history nerd moment... Our (unfortunate) return to the coaster desert from Pigeon Forge, necessitated a flight out of Nashville...and I'm sure you can guess what happens next... When the country music fans in your group decide to kill time by going to see the Grand Ole Opry House...and your a theme park enthusiast who loves history...you have to ask yourself... Can you tell me how to get, how to get to, Sesame Streeeeeeet Opryland!! It's kinda hard to believe that a parking lot and an old house are really all that remain of the park. How could such a pretty, lush, and fun looking (at least in the pictures) park be reduced to this? Who thought a silly mega mall would be cooler than an amusement park themed to music! (Come to think of it...didn't someone else try that?) Oh well, I guess I'll never really know how great Opryland was. Sometimes I wonder what the park would look like today, and how it would hold up against the modern Dollywood? What could have been...? When flying out of Nashville, I looked out my window and we happened to fly over the Opry and it was pretty cool how you could kinda see how the park would just "fit" right into the space where the parking lot and the north end of the mall is. Maybe someday Nashville will get a proper successor...Storyville Gardens, anyone? Lastly...I think this sign might challenge Lightning Rod for the best sign award... Any ideas who thought this one up? Thanks everyone for reading! I really enjoyed sharing, and I'm grateful for the fun environment that TPR has. See you next time! P.S. Hey! There's no random photos at the end! Whoo Hoo! I finally figured it out!!
    6 points
  9. Most people are assuming a Secret Life of Pets Dark Ride in the space. I honestly think that would be a BIG improvement!
    6 points
  10. Had a wonderful visit to Hansa Park today. Operations were fantastic with Kärnan and Novgorod running 3 trains, resulting in fast moving queues and the longest I waited was 30 minutes for Kärnan. I rode Highlander for the first time and really liked it, not the most forceful droptower, but very long drop, beautiful views and I love the on-board audio. Kärnan was running great, and they have really nailed the show on the lifthill now, with soundeffects, music and projections in the ceiling. This is my 6th visit and I have yet to see Kärnan having any downtime, surprising considering how complicated that coaster is! As for covid measures: Masks in queues, on rides and indoors. They were not using the interior queue on Kärnan and Novgorod, on Kärnan they used the single rider entrance bypassing the interior queue so you end up directly in the bagage area, they were still running the preshows. On Novgorod they had a member of staff by the entrance to the building managing the queue, then you walked through the inside queue and directly on the ride. Two negative things at the end, Nessie was only running one train, and all the restaurants with inside seating was closed. I had a great day, and Kärnan looks fantastic in the dark!
    6 points
  11. Since I'm from Saint Louis, as soon as my daughter is old enough to facebook and start fights, I'm going to buy my $40 season pass (aka- summer babysitter) and drop her off at the park constantly. That's the status quo for SFSTL.
    6 points
  12. What follows is one of the most difficult trip reports I've ever compiled. Why? Because of the place itself. Literally every photo Smisty and I took of it is interesting. Not because we're amazing photographers--although, obviously, we are--but because every square inch of the place is a study in joy and decay. So get ready for lots of weird analogies, because we're going to.... Lakeside Amusement Park First, a quick reminder of the weather conditions during our trip to Denver: hot and choked by wildfire smoke such that you could stare directly at the sun without (obvious) eye damage. So some of these photos may seem washed out or oddly colored. But that's just what things looked like at the time. In the background, you can see Lakeside Speedway, which apparently used to be a big moneymaker for them, but then some people died and now sits abandoned. Welcome to Lakeside! It's here, about halfway to the entrance of the park, that you start to wonder if this is maybe a bad idea. The, um, "entrance." Okay, imagine that every park you've ever been to is a person. Some are ugly, some are beautiful, some are tall, some are short, some are trans, and some are in Canada. Now, maybe you've seen photos of, or have even visited, an abandoned amusement park or two. Those are dead people. But Lakeside is none of those things. Lakeside is a zombie. Why is no one riding in the front seat? I didn't ask. I don't want to know. This ride is closed for maintenance, but it's open. Analogy. The wildcat or whatever is closed, the little ferris wheel thing is closed and the truck is a question mark, but the dead end murder path is open. Striking the right tone here is already proving to be difficult. Because I love this place. It's amazing. It's like going back in time but then realizing that everyone you meet is riddled with diseases that will kill them before they make it to 30. It's hard to even describe it. Like, if everything here worked and someone actually cared about "show" this could honestly be one of the best amusement parks in the world. But as it is, I half expected Haley Joel Osment to be waiting for me on my way out to reveal that I was the ghost all along. Let's play, "Was it Open?" No, the answer is no. But at least the Whip looks like we can ride it! Hey, what park is this? This looks beautiful! You probably already know that this park is famous for its Art Deco architecture, signage, and lighting. Of course, we weren't here late enough to see the lighting, but I have no doubt that it is beautiful and also that half of it doesn't work or only partially works. This mirror maze looks a smidge too easy for me. Lakeside features two defunct and completely-stripped full-sized ferris wheels. So that's a thing. There's no ride here. When did it close? Who knows? What was it? Well, Speed Boats, obviously. What does that mean? I have no idea. Only two missing ride vehicles? Attraction of the Month, ladies and gentlemen! You could tell me that this place was themed to The Shining, change nothing, and I would totally buy it. In the background, you can see the Tower of Jewels, which is, obviously, haunted. But also is--or rather was--the park's real entrance. Can you go up there? Ha ha, no. Why do we not use this entrance any longer? I don't know. Maybe we just like the dirty dirt dirt one better. Or maybe it's because there's two flights of stairs between this and the park proper with no visible ADA lift or ramps. I mean, it doesn't seem like it would be that difficult to add one of those things. But then again, Lakeside does very much smack of being out of money in RollerCoaster Tycoon and just sitting there waiting for a new person to come through the gate so that you can build a new bench, so who knows? If you really want to cry, look up the list of rides that used to exist in this park. Did I peek behind a fence to get this shot, or is this just smack dab in the middle of the park, naturally visible from every direction? Based on what you've learned so far, which seems more likely? The park has a couple of eateries and some redemption games, but no traditional fair games (that I recall) and absolutely no gift shops. But seeing as how Lakeside is both the best and worst place we've ever been, we had to have a magnet. So we bought some extra ride tickets and will just create our own. Analogy. This might be a good time to mention that rides don't actually have queues here. Just an entrance gate and an exit gate and people lined up down the pathways wherever they feel like it. This park is like the saddest old dog at the shelter and I just want to take it home and love it but it costs 100 million dollars and it definitely has heart worms. Wild Chipmunk's ride vehicles each hold exactly one preteen Elvis-impersonator. Why did we not come here at night? Oh, right, because we're old and we go to bed super early. My first and last Vettel coaster. Not because it was bad, but because there aren't any more. In fact, this ride is kind of amazing. I mean, there's no airtime or anything. But it's fast and relatively-smooth and it exists in a park with 3 non-functioning ferris wheels and no gift shop. Basically, all of their maintenance budget goes here. Actually, I doubt that anyone here uses budgets. But they keep this ride running, and that presumably keeps the park running. Somehow. And I'm glad it does. I think this photo nicely sums up Lakeside,. And yes, I'm pretty sure that I could've reached over that fence laid my hand on the track with no effort. But I didn't, because I don't want to know which of us is real.
    6 points
  13. Personally, no, I don't want to have to set my alarm for like 6:55 AM on vacation even if I do just get to go right back to bed, no I don't want to only have the option to ride one time and no, I don't want to pay like $130 for a day ticket where I may not get to ride the best ride in the park. I think all of that sucks. Here are the wait times for the last seven days, but people have been reporting that the ACTUAL wait times are always about 1/2 of what they say they are. This is not worth all of those headaches in my mind. They're insane at rope-drop but otherwise very reasonable. Quite a few times since it's opened, there have been longer posted waits for rides like Slinky Dog Dash, Flight of Passage and Jungle Cruise. That old system sucked nuts and I'm glad it's gone and hope it stays gone forever. I get why some early-birds would like it but I am not one of them.
    6 points
  14. A few quick thoughts from our visit this weekend: - Royal Pacific has me spoiled. This was our first time staying on property thanks to a passholder appreciation deal but I'll probably do it again. We didn't take advantage of Early Entry since we had Express and having early admission to two rides with Express in the park that nobody wants to rope drop isn't worth getting up an hour and a half early but I'm glad it's a thing for the early birds. - I highly recommend staying at a resort where you can take the boat or walk back from HHN. It's worth it just so you don't have to sit in that parking garage, Also, the walking path is really nice. It's amazing how this place is really in a very built-up area and hides it so well. - HHN was a blast. I have no real "favorite" house. Everyone always explains the backstory and the legend and the storyboards and all that but if you're not familiar with the IPs I mean... you go in, the sets will be awesome, a bunch of shit will jump out at you, Everything blends together a lot. I don't care about the nuance of it but it's a blast. We actually did every house except one without Express despite a rain delay that closed most houses and most rides, even most indoor rides because the gift shops clogged up. At one point I think the only things open in the park were a few mazes up front, Gringotts and Men in Black. I think the only house that we didn't do was Horror in the Heartland. We had 10 minutes left before close and we were next to Mummy. We almost walked all the way back there but we had been in the park for 16 straight hours so we just walked-on Mummy instead. it was the only ride we did during the event but riding Mummy is never a bad life-decision. - Tooth Fairy is a lot better this year than last year - Hulk needs air conditioning - Why can you buy a Coors light in Hogsmeade but not a coke or a water that isn't $6? - Over the course of two days with Express we rode everything we cared to ride, plus multiple rides on Hagrid's and Velocicoaster. Velocicoaster is amazing. The more I ride it, the more I love it. I'm not great at ranking coasters and while I'm not *sure* if I'd call it my favorite, there's not a ride that I can confidently say is better either. I think it's best in the front, but the back is also insane. Everyone knows that the roll is sick but that top hat... man. In the back, it's the coolest moment of floater ever. It's stong and weird. It feels like you're in outer space. Then during the drop it abruptly switches from wild, crazy, twisty floater to El Toro in 0.0001 seconds. Also, in the front you get ejector airtime while upsideown in a dive loop. That's normal, right? lol - The Bourne Stuntacular is jaw-droppingly good. You couldn't pay me to watch those movies. I basically don't care about action movies at all. This doesn't matter. The Bourne Stuntacular is jaw-droppingly good and one of the best things at the entire resort. Lines were short all weekend for most rides (of course, since we had free express passes) and nothing was generally over an hour, not even Hagrid's. I still believe that the best rope-drop ride is Hagrid's... It seems to be more popular than Velocicoaster though it's close. Note that if you're going soon, this does seem to be their "offseason" during the week. Rides like Gringotts, Hagrid's and Hulk were all running at reduced capacity on Monday and rides like River Adventure and Mummy were only using one platform. Lines still weren't bad, and maybe some of it was mechanical but it might make the waits a little longer than they should be so bring your patience. The Gringotts line moved painfully slow and every pre-show ended with an akward silence for 5 minutes before we were let out because the line ahead of us wouldn't clear. Being new, Velocicoaster is running at full capacity as are many other rides though so it's hit-or-miss. Overall we had an awesome time. This is a great time to go to the parks.
    5 points
  15. Six Flags Magic Mountain Announces Record 20th Coaster WONDER WOMAN Flight of Courage The Tallest and Longest Single-Rail Coaster on the Planet Will Debut at The Thrill Capital of the World Summer 2022! VALENCIA, California — October 21, 2021 — Six Flags Magic Mountain, the undisputed “Thrill Capital of the World,” in partnership with Warner Bros. Themed Entertainment and DC, today unveiled plans to add yet another record-breaking coaster—WONDER WOMAN™ Flight of Courage—to its unparalleled thrill ride lineup. Six Flags Magic Mountain’s record 20th roller coaster—the most at any theme park in the world—will debut as the tallest and longest single-rail coaster on the planet where riders will fly over 3,300 feet of track, towering 13 stories and soaring at speeds up to 58 miles-per-hour. The new coaster will be located in the six-acre DC UNIVERSE™ area of the park, which will be expanded and entirely remodeled to include a new, innovative restaurant and bar experience, plus retail locations featuring exclusive DC branded merchandise. “This is an historic milestone for our park as we introduce the latest addition to our unrivaled coaster dynasty, WONDER WOMAN Flight of Courage. Not only is this a record-breaking single-rail coaster, it brings Six Flags Magic Mountain’s coaster count to an unprecedented twenty, the most in the world,” said Park President Don McCoy. “Our partnership with Warner Bros. Themed Entertainment makes this accomplishment even more exciting, as we integrate the legacy of an iconic DC Super Hero into the theming of the ride. Additionally, we are creating a more innovative guest experience by redesigning one of our most popular areas, DC UNIVERSE, which will become the home of WONDER WOMAN Flight of Courage,” added McCoy. WONDER WOMAN Flight of Courage exemplifies the Super Hero’s traits of strength and speed—showcasing the legacy of Wonder Woman herself. As guests enter the ride queue, influenced by Greek architecture and featuring tropical landscaping, they will be immersed in the story of her life and how she obtained her super powers. Riders will join forces with Wonder Woman in the fight for truth, justice, and equality, to embark on an incredible journey of heroic feats, propelling through dives, banks, rolls, and turns designed to challenge the bravest of thrill seekers. Key features of WONDER WOMAN Flight of Courage include: Themed entrance portal and queue inspired by the hidden island of Themyscira; Four sleek trains of 12 passengers each sitting one rider per row along the monorail track; 3,300 feet of single-rail, I-beam track; Tension-building ascent up a towering, 131-foot lift hill; Reaching speeds up to 58 mph; Intense elements including a steep, 87-degree first drop and overbanked cutback; and Three dramatic inversions including a 180-degree stall, raven dive, and zero-gravity roll. The newly-themed DC UNIVERSE™ area also includes the popular BATMAN™ The Ride and several other DC themed rides. For more information about WONDER WOMAN Flight of Courage, please visit www.sixflags.com/magicmountain.
    4 points
  16. SeaWorld’s “Inaugural Fear” of Howl-o-Scream seemed like a tentative step toward a big Halloween event. You might say the park was dipping its big toe in the swamp water to check the temperature. How did it compare to Universal’s HHN? It’s probably not fair to say, as it would be like comparing Broadway to community theater. HOS did have “icons” in the form of vengeful Sirens, who had their own outdoor show. There were only four mazes, with at least vaguely sea-related themes. They were all pretty short, with rather basic set design (lots of plywood here). Water’s Edge Inn--This haunted hotel was the best of the lot, but it probably helped that there were very few guests there when we went through it. The scare actors worked it pretty hard and chased their few visitors all over the place. Captain’s Revenge--Pirates romp around more-elaborate sets than in the other mazes. This one was fun, at least. Beneath the Ice--This was the only maze where we had to wait in a huge line. People go nuts at an Arctic research facility. If your idea of horror is people banging on random things with sticks, SeaWorld has a maze for you. Dead Vines--Busch Gardens Williamsburg played around with “evil plant” mazes for a few years. They weren’t good. This one, which was set on some creepy island, was maybe (?) a bit better. Very lame looking sets, and no story to speak of. But there were some positives, too. Monster Stomp: Slasher Alley was a good variation on Williamsburg’s Ripper Row show. It wasn’t as elaborate a production, but it had completely different music (for example, rap) and some good versions of bits from the Williamsburg show (such as the knives-on-a-coffin percussion routine). The scare actors in the Witchcraft Bayou scare zone really engaged with guests. And the Poison Grotto bar (near the exit of Dead Vines) was pretty cool. There was even a nice little scare near the event exit (neither Erik nor I expected it). They were also running Mako and Infinity Falls. HOS takes place in a small part of the park and has its own separate entrance. Unfortunately, the exit is far away from the entrance, and it’s a long walk back to the preferred parking lot (properly warned ye be, sez I). Here’s a look at Howl-o-Scream, along with a wee bit more Universal. My thanks to Erik Johnson for being his usual affable self and providing the wheels and a lot of the planning. It was also great to touch base with Robb and Elissa (and the GreatZo and Dbru). Thanks for hanging out with us for a while. Manta, which in Japanese is AcroBat. Robb and Elissa came out, and the crowds was pretty light. We had multiple rides on Manta. Kraken, and Mako, and even took a spin on Grover. Again, thanks for spending the afternoon at SeaWorld with us! We wait with bated breath for someone to put an apostrophe in “tonight’s event.” Mako runs during HOS (as does Infinity Falls). It’s a pity they trim this coaster to death after a great start. We were already surrounded by zombies. I think we were also zombies after our long day and night at Universal. Hmm--either someone has cranked up the fog machines or a SWAT team is attacking. Eek! Scary food and drink vendor! Witchcraft Bayou? Seriously? That’s the name? Why not “Blood Bayou” or “Gator Bait Swamp” or “Voo-doop-a-doo River”? Despite the lame name, it was a pretty decent scare zone. Scare actors interacted with guests quite a bit. Uh oh! Better put that bag of raw chickens in a locker. “Next time, bring live chickens. We need their blood for our rituals.” So, the vines are dead? Or are they “undead”? Is the scary part having to do yardwork to clear them out? But the maze exit was near this rather intriguing bar. Drink up, look up, pass out. Arr! Pirates be more fun that killer plants, sez I. This way, ya lubbers. And be sure to give the giant skull a wee bit 'o' rum as ye pass by, lest he get cranky. Not quite that same as the original in Williamsburg (Monster Stomp on Ripper Row). While this show shared a few elements of the Virginia show (for example, dancing skeletons), the music was a bit edgier. And they don’t sell Jell-O shots to the audience in Williamsburg. This was an “abandoned campground” scare zone. One of the scare actors said something about werewolves, but I didn’t see any. RVs are pretty scary though, right? This guy might’ve met up with a werewolf. Welcome to the scariest zone of all--one with comfort collars! OK, what’s left? Remember: It’s all about the Jell-O shots. The scariest part of this maze was the fear of going deaf from all the scare actors banging on stuff. That Siren has one nasty overbite. She’s “Ice.” This one is just plain nasty. She’s “Fire.” The fourth and last maze of the night--and the best one. Time to hit the road. “Hey, you two! Come up here! I got Jell-O shots!” “Yas-s-s-s, no vun leafs here vithout a Jell-O shot. No vun!” Pleasant dreams from SeaWorld’s first Howl-o-Scream. In the interest of full disclosure, this happened. I’m not proud of it. It’ll take some doing to get the stench of Fast and Furious off of me. Thank you, Zed. Another VelociCoaster ride made me feel more human after being made a member of Vin Diesel’s “family.” “You will return the hats of his Excellency, Dr. Victor Von Doom! At once!” I do appreciate the theming, and especially the air conditioning, in Dr. Doom’s queue. No words necessary. Mythos helped me forget about the Fallon ordeal. And that’s a wrap from the Universal Resort. Thanks for reading.
    4 points
  17. Amidst all the CP/rain closing reports, thought I'd drop in to share a quick story. Back in 92/93 I worked on the near-perfect out and back Blue Streak. All manual operation and we were expected to do 1,250 riders and hour (they do 700-800 per hour now, on a good day I'm told.) If the rain was past a drizzle, we would go down to one train. Pretty good for a ride with manual skid brakes. We would run that until the train started shooting the station; if we couldn't stop it IN the station we had to close. At least twice we couldn't stop a train and unloaded everyone from the base of the lift. I always say this, cuz well... it's true. People were more practical then, respectful and not as wimpy. Anyway, things are different now. What was once a perfect ride that really sailed over the hills has become a chunky bumpy mess due to the extra weight added to the trains (restraint gear, including under the train and heavier brakes). All these changes that happened to wooden coaster trains in the 90s wiped out many of the best - and classic - coasters ever. The track and structures weren't meant to take that much weight. Ok, enough of that. Ride the handful of classics while you still can (extending to Schwarzkopf coasters and their trains <RIP Mind Bender>). And the one time I fell through the Blue Streak brake run in the rain. Ouch! We had privelege, sometimes had minor bumps and bruises, but stayed on our shifts.
    4 points
  18. People crap on it because it’s the same ride system as Indiana Jones and Indiana Jones is a better ride. That’s true, but it’s also like saying “I’ve been on Rise of the Resistance so now I refuse to enjoy any other trackless dark rides”. I’m not saying it’s the best ride in the park or anything but it’s good and I would argue very underrated.
    4 points
  19. I said what I said I’m not trying to be different just to be edgy or anything, I just absolutely believe that. As far as theming goes, I don’t think the other parks even come close and I doubt that’s even really a hot take. In terms of attractions, we probably like it so much because we also love animals and animal exhibits. It’s a very chill park. It’s gorgeous. Flight of Passage *might* be my favorite ride at WDW, Everest is awesome, Safari is great, I love Dinosaur and River Journey. The shows are fun and we love the animals. They don’t have a ton of rides but the ones they do have are bangers. Also, Yak and Yeti … and naked mole rats … and green beer … and that delicious blue shit … and the best bathroom on property that’s not Tangled per Brit’s official rankings
    4 points
  20. I haven't been since the latest round of clear-cutting but when we went last year when I walked into "Wildwood Grove" for the first time all I could think was "Wow, this looks like absolute shit". I honestly don't like most of what this park has done lately and find myself going there much less often.
    4 points
  21. We were also at the park on Saturday. I've never been to any park that crowded, before. This is a long disorganized TR. The whole day was kind of a blur. We got to the park at 1230. Which were about consistent with a nice weather summer Saturday. -We hit Diamondback first, after about a 15-20 minute somewhat crowded FL queue. Middle of the train/outer car. Phenomenal. I don't think I've ever had that much floater before, to the point where I prefer the middle row, now. There's no shaking there, either. -Row 2 on Mystic Timbers was next. FL was bottom of the stairs. 10 minute wait. MT is consistently great. The radio in the station is working again. -We were the only people in Beast FL line. We were assigned the middle row of the back car. The Beast rode pretty rough for us in the summer, but this time we had one of the smoothest rides we'd ever had on it. -We walked around for about an hour looking for some hot cider Emily got on our last Haunt visit, to no avail. We went to Orion, and had a about a 15 minute wait. The ride host accommodated our front-row request, and it hauled ass from start to finish. 10/10 for the front row. -We were actually on the winning train for Racer, which never happens. The retracked portions were smoother than I ever remember any wooden coaster being. I felt like we were gliding over the repaired areas. Did I hear this is a pre-fab track? Here's where things went to shit: We left the park and got our re-entry ticket, with re-entry after 7pm not allowed. It was only about 3:30, so we checked into our hotel. I took my 30 minutes necessary mid-park day powernap, and we left for BC Roosters. It's a tradition for us, but despite getting there before 5, there was a 45 minute wait. WTF staffing. We were really bummed, but we went to Frickers nearby. ehhh... It was kind of acceptable, but Roosters is seriously always one of the highlights of the trip. To put it in terms we can all understand; it's the Thirsty-Pony of KI. When we got back to Kings Island, I was one of those cars 240 was talking about. We entered the parking booth line at 6pm, and it was backed out onto the roadway. By the time we got in, parked, and got to the front gates, it was after our 7pm re-entry time by a few minutes. But, despite the tension, we had no issues getting in. We claimed our Fright Lane passes, hit the walkways, and realized the place was FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFking packed. Like... Mardi Gras crowd level packed. It took us a half hour to get two beers at the Bier Garden. Emily forgot her ID, or we would have gotten two each, and sipped them slowly, to avoid another wait. Everything was a wait. Wait to get beer. Wait to go to the bathroom. Wait to get a beer again. Walk around elbow-elbow. Smell peoples' vapes and cigarettes. Have kids, patrons, and even an unapologetic scare actor bump into you and spill your beer here, there, everywhere, all throughout the night. It was hard to enjoy the atmosphere when you can't see anything past the crowd. Eventually, we realized the beer venders near the back of the park had no waits. However, the problem was we'd had several beers and no additional food. We circled the park, only to find that every food line looked 45 minutes to an hour, with many places closed. There were only 3-4 food trucks this time around, to help with the chaos. However, after waiting in line for one that had a noticeably short line, I saw a small sign that said "cash only" in a cashless park............... So much for that. By the grace of God, after lapping the park, La Rosa's had zero line. The haunted houses were OK. It was kind of a blur by that point. But, seeing how every haunted house probably had at least over an hour wait, the Fright Lane paid off huge. I was surprised to see there was no line to even redeem ours, so I guess it must not be very popular. The passes allowed us zero wait for the houses. We used our extra pass on Slaughterhouse. We usually love Kill Mart, but for some reason it seemed really underwhelming this year. Did they change anything up, or get rid of props? Anyway... the actors consistently scared the shit out of my 34-year-old wife, who is a mother, and and an administrator in her company... It pleases me to finally see some vulnerability in something so trivial... We took advantage of night rides, but we didn't have a chance to do that much, since despite the FL lanes not being terrible, you had to wait for everything else and walk at a snail's pace moving around the park. Walking the pathways was like moving through jello. -We got another ride on Diamondback, magic row 2. It was another great lap, but not as good as our first. I swear, this is now a middle-train ride for me. I didn't even know there was such a thing. -We got another row 2 ride on Mystic Timbers, which is an excellent night ride. -We managed to get our obligatory lameness antique car ride in. It's harder to appreciate it at night, when you can't see anything. -Our Orion experience was kind of frustrating, after a 20-30 minute FL wait. The grouper really sucked at her job. The two people in front of us, and Emily and I, asked for the front. She said that would be OK, but we would have to hold up for a few minutes. No big deal. However, apparently this threw a huge wrench in her thought process, combined with some priority riders boarding at the exit. The grouper was trying to scramble to fill the rows and left several rows empty on two trains, despite an hour plus standby queue line, and probably 30 minute FL queue. After waiting for several minutes, she told us we'd have to go in row two... Why not just tell us this from the start? The people in front of us were pretty butt hurt. I was only mildly irritated she told us we could have it, then after waiting awkwardly through several cycles and watching her fall apart, she told us no... It's hard to put the awkwardness into text, but more or less, just tell us no right away, next time. I'm always fine with that. She made it weird... Regardless, I can't understand how vastly different the ride feels in row 2 than it does row 1. It goes from being the absolute clear winner, and probably top 10 material (If I had one), to maybe top 3 or 4 at the park. I don't get it. For us, it's equivalent to the difference between a front row ride vs a row 2 ride on Banshee. Oddly enough, I didn't feel that way last time. -It was about 11:40 when we went to get our night ride on The Beast to close out our kinda fun day. We were the only people in the FL queue and we were directed to the only available row, which happened to be a wheel seat in one of the last cars. It beat the absolute ever living shit out of us, start to finish, and was the most miserable ride on any coaster I can remember having since T3. All of the day's frustrations culminated with that ride to completely demoralize us. As a non-enthusiast, Emily was done..... BUT, as much as I wanted to walk all the way to the car bitching about how f***ed everything had been, and how it all came to a head on the ride that just tried to kill us, I couldn't do it. We entered an empty FL queue, and got assigned row 1 on Emily's favorite coaster at the park: Mystic Timbers. We had a dynamite ride to help us not let the dumpster fire ride on The Beast completely shit on our day. MT definitely ended up being the favorite throughout the day. I'm really not kidding when I say our ride on The Beast was so bad, Emily feels sore today. I think I covered most everything, as far as what we did/rode. The night kind of all blended together, because of the insanity of the crowds, having a few beers, and not being able to find food. Because of time, we missed our obligatory rides on Adventure Express, Bumper Cars, Backlot Stunt Coaster (noooo!), Boo Blasters, the train, and even Banshee (WTF!!). Other fun, but lesser valued rides like Delirium, The Bat, Drop Zone, and Boo Blasters weren't even a consideration. That's quite a void from what we're used to, Haunt or no Haunt. (honorable mention: Race for Your Life Charlie Brown: closed for the season) Other notes: It's important for newcomers to know consistent thing about the Haunt is your FL+ is garbage from about 4-7pm. However, once it gets dark, The Haunt kicks in full swing and the lines die down, because people go to the haunted houses. One thing I noticed this trip was for most of our rides, there was at least one delay for ride operators having to try to force the restraints down on overweight riders, sometimes resulting in walks-of-shame. This would cause stacking every time. It gets worse every year, and I could hear other people getting frustrated with it, as well. The weather was great for a Haunt. At night it was in the mid-low 40's. Despite seeing people in sweaters and shorts, I was rocking a North Face jacket, three thermal tops, a thermal bottom, tennis shoes with thick wool boot socks, gloves, and a winter skull cap... I like heat. I don't like cold. I came to play. All-in-all, I honestly can't say for certain I wouldn't have done something else this weekend. I don't dig those kinds of crowds, anymore. What we experienced is exactly what I interpreted as hearing in the CP thread for years, which is why I never considered a CP halloween event. I overheard groups of guests talking on the way out about how crowded the park was, how they weren't able to get food, how they were only able to do a couple things, etc. There were a lot of conversations like this throughout the night. I really hope this isn't the permanent standard, or we'll likely dip out on park Halloween events indefinitely.
    4 points
  22. ^And they lost me at Virtual Reality Snorkeling!
    4 points
  23. https://coasterpoll.com/ Hey everyone! The TPR Coaster Poll will be back for 2021, as it is every year! And like every year, we are currently going through the process of making sure everything is up to date for when voting officially begins! With that in mind, we are looking for feedback from the TPR Forum community! Here's what we are looking for: Coasters that are not included on the poll but that should be / should have been. The rule has always been that any coaster that is larger than a standard-sized Wild Mouse (Mack compact mobile, Zamperla Twister Coaster, etc) qualifies, and we intend to keep that rule in place. Coasters that have closed or gone standing but not operating (SBNO) during calendar year 2020 or early in calendar year 2021, unrelated to recent world events. Any coaster that operated for the majority of the 2021 season qualifies for the poll, even if it closed at the end of the season. Coasters that have reopened during calendar year 2020 or 2021 after having been previously SBNO, unrelated to closures surrounding recent world events. Coasters that have been renamed, rethemed, or relocated during calendar year 2020 or 2021. We have put a lot of effort into making sure every qualified coaster is counted, but we always miss a few! So we appreciate the community's efforts in spot-checking our work. We're looking forward to seeing the results in early 2022! Thanks a bunch, and please comment if you have questions or concerns!
    4 points
  24. Cassy and Travis's Trip Report for Phantom Fall Fest Preview : Yesterday Travis and I attended Kennywood's Preview event for their new halloween event, Phantom Fall Fest. We have spent a lot of time at Kennywood, but have not been to their halloween events, so we didn't know what to expect! From my understanding, they used to have two separate halloween events; one for kids in the day, then they would close and reopen for the haunt event in the evening. Kennywood's new event Phantom Fall Fest combines the two events and lets families enjoy the festivities during the day and at 6pm the haunting starts, so families with small children know when to leave if they needed to. They had five mazes: 1. Villa of the Vampire-vampire themed maze that takes place in the arcade building, they clear out all the arcade machines and build this maze inside the building, very well themed! (I liked the skull wall) 2. Shady Grove Memorial Hospital-you are going undercover through this maze, to see what's going on with the patients and hospital staff, there's rumors of an evil doctor (where did all their eyes go?) 3. Dark Shadows- this is their "blackout" maze, which was the first of these that I've been in that was outdoors, and we went when it was slightly light outside and we still couldn't see anything! (I love these kind of mazes) 4. Kennyville Cemetery- Very cool cemetery themed maze, located at the front of the park (loved the ghost in the water!) 5. Voodoo Bayou-cool voodoo themed maze that takes place in the rapids ride, they empty out the water and you get to walk around where the water was which I thought was really cool! Also we were told they use their old dying plants from the season as decor for the maze! They also had four scare zones: 1. Fear Fest- this is a carnival themed walkthrough section where the kangaroo used to be (rip kangaroo) 2. Manor Estate Sale- cool little area that makes it seem like you are in someones house looking at their belongings 3. Hellbilly Hollow-name says it all, your classic hillbilly-zombie themed area, some very good scare actors! (they were always chasing someone) 4. The Departing-the final walkthrough, this takes place in the tunnel when you leave the park, they put scare actors in the tunnel and pump up the fog! (this starts later in the evening, I think 90 minutes before they close) Here are pictures from our evening: Kenny was in his halloween best! love sky rocket! such a fun ride next was phantoms revenge, loved the theming of decor since they are currently working on painting the track the purple track looks cool! sad that this ride was blocked off, but thought it was funny they decorated the blocked off area had to try the "scary waffle cone" you could choose the ice cream flavor, then it had orange sprinkles and gummy worms for the preview we tried some of the new seasonal offerings they have this year such as roasted corn, turkey legs, hamburger steak, and spooky desserts! Noah's ark is one of my favorite attractions here, its so unique! have to ride the whip! such a great ride! Lots of photo-op areas everywhere! picture of the voodoo bayou sign in the day, this was my favorite sign for the mazes I loved the effort they put into theming the haunt decor to what was going on, these guys are doing a little construction! Next for the preview event, we went on a behind the scenes tour of Villa of the Vampire. Like I said before, this maze was inside the arcade area and is built from scratch every year after they move all the arcade machines out. Super cool to see all the detail you don't get to admire when the maze is dark (and avoiding vampires). I thought Laffin' Sal was scary as she was! Now she's hanging out with the vampires! this is the main room where they explain the rules of the maze we got to go where the scare actors go, and see all the doors and windows they use Mark showing off one of the secret doors my favorite area! I want the skull wall for my house! the woman in the picture on the wall was an employee for that attraction for years before she passed away and they honor her by putting her photo in the room where she worked the most gotta take that spooky mirror selfie! one of the cool effects they use for the bug rooms is they have fishing wire that brushes against your face and hair making you feel like you're walking through webs Then we got to go behind the scenes and see makeup being done on scare actors, and look at some of their masks and props they use to transform scare actors for the the night! had to get some pictures back there too! this is where they work on everything for the upkeep on their wooden coasters RIP Also RIP (I really miss this one) Glad we went on this earlier in the day cause the whale was full! love seeing real chainsaws being used for haunts! they pumped fog into the carousel, I thought this was a really cool touch! we left a little earlier than when they started this walkthrough area, but there were some scare actors at the end of the tunnel had to take a spooky tunnel selfie Overall we had a good time, and really enjoyed the night! Our favorite maze was Voodoo Bayou, and we loved that all the areas had a ton of fog and really good scare actors! This is a great family event, with something for everyone to enjoy!
    4 points
  25. The fun thing about Marineland is that I wouldn’t be shocked if they closed forever tomorrow and I also wouldn’t be shocked if they announced a hyper GTX tomorrow because it’s a park run by insane people.
    4 points
  26. Bring back Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue. I have my reasons!
    4 points
  27. My estimates were more, but my phone reeled it in to four hours after you guys pointed it out. But... Don't you EVER refer to the Mule-Go-Round as a failure!
    4 points
  28. Haunt Has Risen from the Grave As you can tell from the Evil Boogie Boogie Eyes atop the Eiffel Tower, Haunt has begun at Kings Dominion. Yes, the annual Doswell scare fest is back with a new outdoor maze (and four returning indoor mazes), scare zones old and new, and a lot of techno-dancing and heavy-metal head-banging music--along with the usual assortment of evil clowns, zombies, witches, and other children of the night. It’s great to see Haunt back after its COVID hiatus. The event doesn’t seem quite as big as in past years, with fewer mazes and scare zones, but KD did a very good job with what it had. I think they were wise to stick with the stronger mazes from previous years. Theme Park Review was invited to be a victim, er, guest at an RIP Party on Friday, October 1, with plenty of good food and drink and a complimentary Fright Lane pass for all the mazes. The latter came in pretty handy, as the lines got a bit long as the shadows of darkness lengthened (the park was open from 7:00 pm-midnight). So, how do the mazes stack up? Grimm Woods (next to Grizzly)--This new maze gives us a decidedly non-Disney version of the old standards in which evil comes out triumphant. The twisted takes on fairly tales include Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, and Hansel and Gretel. This one starts out slow as a long walk through the woods but finishes pretty strong. The old Dinosaurs Alive path is ideal for a Haunt maze, and I’m glad they’re using it--lots of spooky lighting and sound effects here. Blood on the Bayou (behind Windseeker)--This voodoo cannibal maze has excellent sets and a dark, confusing layout (which the scare actors use well). Trick or Treat (next to Drop Tower)--Another oldie but goodie, evil witches have made unsuspecting trick-or-treating kids into their minions. I think this maze, and Bayou, were originally featured at Knott’s Scary Farm a few years ago. They worked in California, so why not in Virginia? Condemned (Action Theater)--A haunted hotel provides the scares in this one. Not sure you’d want to book your next vacation here, though, as the staff seems a bit, well, “off.” It’s a decent maze with pretty elaborate sets. Corn Stalkers (International Street)--This is the oldest maze of the bunch, and even though it’s a bit long in the tooth, it’s still fun. Watch out for the bungee guy! I dare you to look at these photos from KD’s Haunt! “Hey, Ma! Load up the kids in the Death Wagon! We’re goin’ to Doswell, Virginny for Haunt.” This Jack O'Lantern told me that KD has been doing Haunt for 20 years. I see no reason to doubt him, but . . . why was he talking to me? Get out of my head! First things first--dinner and drinks. This is also the site of the Masquerade scare zone. The park out a great spread of all sorts of food. I went for the beef, of course. The Redrum IPA comes directly from the Center of the Universe, which is conveniently located in Ashland, Virginia. Those aliens make good beer. Great cookies for dessert, too. I had a shortbread ghost and a gingerbread witch’s house, but these masks looked good. Haunt kicks off with Blood Reign, a show where Queen Majesty (easy name to remember, I guess) welcomes guests to her “Bloody Ball.” This is where all the classy monsters hang out. “Oh, very well, peasant. You may take our picture--but it will cost you your liver.” As I cross the bridge into Old Virginia, I am filled with foreboding. I don’t understand why. I reserved a room via the hotel website, but they never sent me a confirmation. Perhaps that’s just as well. If you’re looking for sliders and stilt-walking scarecrows, Pumpkin Eater is the scare zone for you. There’s old Peter Pumpkin Eater himself. His biggest fear is being made into a lousy pumpkin-spice ale by a mass-market brewery. “No need to be so hasty,/'Cause you’re lookin’ might tasty,/So I’m gonna eat your brain.” These post-apocalyptic dancers raised quite a ruckus, so that’s what they named the show The Ruckus. I guess. This is the front of the Trick or Treat house. But it’s used as the exit, as the main entrance is on the left side of the building. Don’t ask me why. You can’t have any sort of haunted event without an evil circus. I think this is in the Constitution. This circus has a fortune teller and a Subway. Classy, eh? “I’ll have a turkey sub on whole wheat . . .” “I’m not the Subway clerk, sir. besides, all Subway sandwiches taste the same no matter what they’re made of.” “Yeah, you and I got the opposite problem. All the guys are too short for me.” Burnette the Barker and his Band of Homeless Guys. Buy him a $15 cocktail, and he might end up in the backseat of your car. Welcome to Uprising . . . . . . where the zombies are revolting! “You can say that again.” Join the Zombie Uprising! They promise all the brains you can eat! Snoopy and the Great Pumpkin team up to quell the Zombie Uprising. “Yes-s-s-s, kiddies, join us during the day for family-friendly fun! We have music and candy and brains and spleens . . .” “Country roads . . . take me home.” It’s always good to see the ol’ homestead again. Why, I can smell Grandma’s soup a-simmerin’ on the stove. Yessir, Grandpa should be mighty tasty tonight. Grimm Woods is the anti-attraction in which you enter through the gift shop, which is closed, as is Grizzly. I'm sorry Grizzly fans (I imagine there are a couple). Blood on the Bayou’s façade looks a wee bit like a redressing of the old Zombie High School entrance. Welcome to the Post-Apocalyptic Cemetery of Haunts Past. The steampunks have joined the Borg, and the Zombie High students graduated by eating everybody else. Time to head out. At least that's what this guy told me . . . or did he? It's all a blur. All in all, a fun evening. Thanks for inviting TPR, Kings Dominion! Happy Haunting!
    4 points
  29. What is this "Metro East" you speak of? There are no St. Louisans in Illinois. Beyond the Arch there be dragons.
    4 points
  30. this is perfection in sentence form. I seriously you right now.
    4 points
  31. I don't understand this argument. As far as most people are concerned, "The park is responsible" and "Someone who worked for the park is responsible" are the same statement. Trying to find a discernible difference between those two things seems like semantics and in the court of public opinion, nobody is going to care.
    4 points
  32. Yeah, SDC keeps the water rides open through the end of October unless first freeze happens before then. We're still hitting 80 on the reg here, so not worried about a freeze yet.
    4 points
  33. But can any Donkey Kong ride possibly top Cosmoworld's Family Banana Coaster?
    4 points
  34. Yes, I am far from a lawyer and work in finance, but when I got my degree I was required to take a number of business law classes and this is clear. Waivers can protect a company from being sued for dangers that can reasonably be expected from using their product/service. A waiver MIGHT be able to even exclude a company from liability for the death of the end user. For example, an ATV rental company may explain, through a waiver, that improper usage of the equipment may lead to death through no fault of the company and the company would therefore not be liable. If, upon review, the equipment was in good shape and the end user used it in a negligent manner that caused their own demise as described as possible in the waiver, a waiver may be held up by a court even in the event of a death. This is not a case like that. There can be no reasonable expectation of death in an amusement park ride. You cannot have a waiver saying that we may or may not have trained our ride operators up to the proper standards, sign this, and the risk now transfers to you. That's not something that can exist within the bounds of our legal system. Nor can a six year old be found liable to have caused their own death with negligent use of the equipment by any reasonable standard. I don't think that would even hold up if she was an adult. This is 100% on the park from a legal perspective no matter what they had signed.
    4 points
  35. 4 points
  36. They had to turn the cameras off because the trucks with track for the 500-footer have arrived, duh.
    4 points
  37. Awful. What's especially wild to me is that during all that time that no one else riding with her noticed either. its clearly operator error, but her parent/guardian/whoever was sitting next to her didn't notice either?
    4 points
  38. Day 2: A full day on a Saturday! I was there for early entry, but not before the gates opened like usual, so upon making my way in, I saw both the generic redemption line on the left and the dedicated Fast Lane booth on the right had huge lines, so instead ducked into the shop right behind Ocean Potion and redeemed my all-season Fast Lane Plus there. Did I say Ocean Potion? Yes, I did: Corny, but cute. So, I had sort of a B-side goal today of riding all of the flats at CP that I hadn't ridden before, a task which I mostly accomplished. But first, I started the day with a lap on lap on Valravn (half-train wait for the front row, left edge). I gotta say, most B&Ms are better on the left side, but this one I feel almost like the right is the better choice. I then grabbed a go on Cedar Downs (one cycle wait), and a tour on Cadillac Cars (1 minute wait), a walk-on to the Midway Carousel (new ride for me!). Next on the "new rides" list was Tiki Twirl, during which I snapped these pics of Wicked Twister's entrance as well as the kiddie hay maze in the background. But then it was time for Tiki Twirl proper. Figure I gotta ride the OG before the new one opens at Kings Dominion (yes I'm still calling it that). What did I think? Awesome. I've never been on one of these types of ride period before, and this one did not disappoint. Very fast and forceful. One cycle wait. I then tried to grab a ride on the Ferris Wheel, but it was not to be: No single riders allowed. Instead, it was off to nearby Troika. I've been on several of these before (I think every CF park has one), but I think this is the oldest one I've been on. Seemed slower than most, but it does get right up and going when it starts, so that was kinda nice. One cycle wait. I then hopped on Windseeker for a one-cycle wait, and ducked out the gate for a quick smoke break. Next up was Boo Streak. Did I say Boo Streak? Yes, I did. As with Ocean Potion, cute but corny. My question is - why only rename these two rides? 9 minutes for row two, and I have thoroughly revoked its previous "can go die in a fire" status. Not a horrible ride. Next up was Matterhorn (another new ride for me), possibly the oldest of this style of ride I've been on. 20 minutes for a two-cycle wait, definitely NOT because the cycle was long. Really I have no idea why it took so long. It didn't go backwards at all, either. Is that standard for this one? Next up was a walk-on to Scrambler, then a one cycle wait for Super Himalaya (amusingly no backwards cycle here either). Corkscrew was a train-and-a-half wait for front row, and has also lost its "can go die in a fire" status. In the front, the ride isn't half bad. Still in the bottom tier of coasters here at Cedar Point, though. Next on the list was a half-train wait for Gemini, red side, row two. Actually won this race! I can't remember the last time I was in the winning train. I then partook in the Fortune Tellers they had set up for Halloweekends. About a 10 minute wait. I don't put any stock in these sorts of things at all, but it was entertaining (and free!). Not quite Tarot cards but very similar. I then did a lap on Maverick (15 minutes for back row, including getting stuck on the brake run for like 5 while they hosed off a train in the station from a protein spill). Man, still such a great ride. Gettin' a little light on pictures here, aren't we? Here's a few of my all-time #1, and even two videos! VID_20210918_145759466.mp4 VID_20210918_145834058.mp4 I then made my way back towards the front of the park, stopping at Melt along the way, for Ocean Motion, the last of the new-to-me rides here. 10 minute wait; it's a swinging ship...not sure what else to say. I find it cool that they died the pool green for Halloweekends though. I then camped out for the Midnight Syndicate show, which as discussed in above posts blew me away. Very cool show, and I won't spoil it...but if you go to CP for Halloweekends, you have to see it! I then sat through the musical show on the stage across from the food truck court, Monster Mash-Up featuring the Shrieks Band. About 25 minutes long, every song was a mash-up of two or more other songs, and featured a live backing band on top of the singers/dancers. No cohesive plot, but most characters got at least one song, and surprisingly there was only about a 15 second clip of Michael Jackson's Thriller involved, which most Halloween shows at parks can't seem to avoid using. Also had a VERY impressive mash-up of Bonnie Tyler's "Holding Out for a Hero" and Ariana Grande's "Break Free," even if the singer couldn't possibly match Ariana's insane pipes. At this point, I was feeling pretty tired, so I just did like four laps on the train waiting for it get dark toget some more night rides in. After the sun had suitbaly set, I headed to Maverick for a dusk ride. Front row in 11 minutes. Awesome at dusk, especially with all of the fog bleeding up from the pirate walk-through. I did another tour of Fearground Freakshow (since they never punched my Fright Lane card from the night before), and it was just as entertaining as the first time through. Hopped on Millie once again (33 minutes for front row). This is such an insane ride at night, and seemed to be just flying through the course. Then decided to get on Rougarou, 11 minutes for front row left...man does this ride just suck. I think it's now easily at the bottom of my CP coaster rankings. Can we please get the stand-up trains back? At this point, it was right around 10:30, and I made my way back to the front of the park and took another walk through Hexed (since I hadn't used my Fight Lane on it the previous night), and wrapped out the night with a front-row, left side night ride on Raptor (11 minutes). A great way to close out both my night, my weekend, and my year at Cedar Point. Got back to my hotel and in bed at a decent hour for my 8-hour drive back to Delaware the next day. All in all, I was quite impressed with CP's Haunt at Halloweekends (it's full formal name). Staffing was a non-issue on Saturday with every ride and every food stand I could find open, and without any crazy waits. I'll almost definitely be back next year. I'll leave you with a quick video of that insane helix at the end of Raptor. It looks slow here, but I promise you it's not! VID_20210918_222456331.mp4 And that's all. Next trip? Dorney Park on October 1st. Thanks for reading everyone!
    4 points
  39. To be clear my statements were past tense, not current tense. COVID over all has been good for the park I would argue. Even cat woman's whip delay was benificial to the park. I just can't provide more details then that. I would argue that for the first time in decades (not an exaggeration), both corporate and local mgmt are passionate and invested in the parks long term success, not just their own. And I don't measure love by number of coaster given, as I would definitely be disappointed over the next couple of years ;-).
    4 points
  40. Here's a photo dump for the rest of the visit! We never got to ride ET over 4 days, it broke down every time we got in line (3x) Never got on Rip Ride Rocket either due to weather, mechanical, or a 90 minute express wait. Mummy still kicks so much ass and might be the best example of a themed coaster. MiB still holds up. I have such a soft spot for Escape from Gringott's, I love that weird coaster so much. The airtime in the back row on Jurassic Park always hits so well. Fearfall was a new ride for me, welp so I did that! F&F is Cringe: The Ride. From the staff, the premise of the ride "don't touch your phone!!!!", the stupid club scene and the other 100 things wrong with this waste of space. The Bourne Stunt Show was totally worth the time investment, definitely glad TPR called that out! Hagrid's was new for me and honestly there was a lot about this coaster I forgot about! I intentionally avoided videos and pictures where I could since I didn't even experience the DD area/queue. I was pretty surprised with how creepy/dark/semi claustrophobic the line gets down in those caves. Hagrid's ran very consistently every day and the crew seemed to move as fast as they could. Over 3 rides, I got near the front and back and it's just so much fun. It's pretty crazy what all this ride does and how it was put together, but I totally understand those who prefer Dragons. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday we would go to dinner 4:30-5:30 and re-enter the park only to have storms and lightning end our nights early. Honestly I think we left soaking wet each night. We either waited for a night ride on Hagrid or Veloci, but never got rides, but we did get specific express passes exclusive for Hagrid/VC. Finally on Friday we just balled out with them and we ended the night in an amazing fashion: Friday night there was one cell that seemed like it would pass by just in time right before closing to allow VC to open. Our luck was such shit, but this time it looked like we'd FINALLY get a night ride in! The crowd thinned and thinned and thinned, and we watched the ops talk back and forth, look at radar, and at this point our phones were in the lockers so we just hoped. We ended up getting 3 back to back to back rides without getting off the back seat as the crew cycled everyone through, and a lot waited for the front seat. So after 4 days of being tortured by mother nature we had a banger of a finish to the trip. You're the best VC crew! Oh yeah, the other new Intamin I need to ride! I wish there was a better area to just sip on a butterbeer and watch this thing cycle but I understand why. There's a number of well hidden surprises and it's just a big twisted mess of rock and steel. Sweet view of the castle! I think we waited 45-60 minutes in the morning, it was just that crazy at the park even first in the morning. Vroom vroom! Do we see this going on Express anytime soon? I don't know, it still seemed to be the most popular attraction by far. Ello there headmaster. Such a cool room! It never gets old! The raptor cage was working on a few of our rides, so cool to see that working. Suck it JK! Another one that never gets old and was the winner for best AC! That line was amazingly frigid! Florida, land of the OG B&M's. Was very happy to get some front seat rides on Hulk this visit. Hey babes. Oh yeah, forgot to do this last visit so uh, this was fine! The whole super hero island needs an update. Lunch at the Irish pub was very consistent with good food and great service. Brendan Frasier and Imotep, the classic rivalry I grew up with! Even though the franchise as slipped, this attraction will bring back all the good vibes from the original movies! Mmmm...beer. The only attraction that has made me nauseous. How dare they tease me with the original Irish Coffee. If you've never been, get your ass to San Francisco! Nailed it Just checking to see if I have any coins left in my account and that's not a good look. Such an awkwardly-acted scene. Get to the vault!!! After getting shit on by mother nature 3 days in a row and trying to get night rides, it's time to use all of the passes on the last day! The park closes in 10 minutes, we're in line for VC. Most of the queue emptied, we were in the raptor room just waiting for good news.....and it happened. Lightning held off and they opened the ride and we got 3 back to back rides without using our express. Wow. Just the best, honestly. What a way to end the trip! I really enjoyed what the front seat offered as well as the back. 2 incredible experiences. So long Universal. While this trip was far from perfect, it was amazing to be able to travel again, experience new attractions, and see friends! Can't wait to get back there! -Zach
    4 points
  41. Today Space 220 Restaurant, the newest addition to EPCOT opened at the Walt Disney World Resort. TPR was invited to attend the grand opening ceremony and to experience lunch firsthand 220 miles above the Earth aboard the Centauri Space Station. This new dining experience offers prix fixe menus for lunch and dinner as well as lounge dining featuring an a la carte menu with an interstellar view. The restaurant is operated by the Patina Group, the restaurant branch of Delaware North that already operates a number of restaurants at EPCOT, Disney Springs and the Disneyland Resort. Guests take one of two space elevators to/from the space station from the restaurant lobby attached to the Mission: SPACE pavilion. Once above the Earth, a sustainable crop-farm in space and a space vineyard are the sights that tease the larger experience ahead before entering the main restaurant venue. Space 220 Restaurant is the newest addition in the ongoing transformation of EPCOT. The new restaurant is located at the Mission: SPACE pavilion with the new entrance tucked in the back corner of what was formerly an extended queue space for the attraction. The official sign for the restaurant out front. EPCOT Vice President Kartika Rodriguez was on hand to help ring in the grand opening. It isn't a Disney grand opening without an appearance from Mickey and Minnie! Space 220 Restaurant is officially open! Time to head in! The lobby for Space 220 is futuristic but subtle by comparison to what you experience miles above. A look at the "stellarvator" that takes you to/from Space 220 Restaurant. Ready to make our way up... You're given a boarding pass for each reservation/party. Next thing you know you're looking down on EPCOT as you are raised high into the sky... Just as you can look down to see the Earth shrinking below, you can also look above to see Space 220 Restaurant grow nearer. The view of Florida from the top... The experience concludes with the opening of the airlocks and a release onto the space station. Very different than what you find on the ground at EPCOT. Neat to see the crops the restaurant grows in space. Once inside of the main restaurant you're greeted with this incredible view. The restaurant of the interior design is just as impressive! The bar features a huge mirrored backdrop that allows guests to enjoy the panoramic view of space without turning around. Notice the X2 Deep Space Shuttle from Mission: SPACE floating just outside of the restaurant. Just taking it all in... The restaurant offers alcoholic and zero proof cocktails for flavor profiles of all ages. With each kids meal a set of collectible trading cards is given. There are three series in the deck (Earth, Venus and Mercury) along with three tech cards. Each deck comes with five cards. From our booth, we could see astronauts moving pieces across space for the new construction on the floor above us. The Blue Moon Cauliflower is a tempura fried cauliflower appetizer with housemade hot sauce (buffalo) and blue cheese dust. This was fantastic! The Centauri Caesar Salad is a delicious take on the more conservative appetizer. A fun souvenir cup for kids to enjoy during their meal. More pieces being sent upstairs! I don't often rave about sides, but these Roasted Fingerling Potatoes were showstoppers and nearly the best thing we tasted during our preview... Absolutely perfect. The Galactic Lobster Globe is the "Space Station Supplemental" option for the prix fixe menu. Available for an added $18, this Maine Lobster Salad includes Quinoa, Bulgur Wheat, Avocado, Lettuce, Mango, Citrus Dressing and Crispy Wontons. The portion size was incredibly generous and the amount of fresh, buttery lobster was a great surprise. I would absolutely order this again! The Lemon Mousse is incredibly picturesque and very tasty! Taking Astro on a space walk! This is really quite impressive. A reassuring sign for those visiting one of the restaurant's lunar restrooms... I thought it was pretty neat that this room is filled with bottles of wine in each of those tubes. Our elevator is here to take us back down to Earth. Down we go! Upon our return to EPCOT, we found a long line of guests waiting to experience Space 220 Restaurant for themselves. The entrance to the restaurant lobby is tucked into the corner on the righthand side of the pavilion. Space 220 Restaurant is a great addition to EPCOT and definitely a unique experience to be had! Reservations can now be booked in advance for the restaurant, which are highly recommended given the expected demand over the next few months.
    4 points
  42. Yeah, you tell him PS: Todd will never read this, but if he does then your screen name does nothing to help the stereotype that he's created in his head. ... I'm going to miss this thread after this place gets demolished in a few weeks.
    3 points
  43. There are also people, not many, but some, who will go day one and deliberately look for anything they can complain about because they know that will probably get them more clicks than praising the system.
    3 points
  44. ^Holy crap! Am I seeing what I think I am seeing? Is that building on the right the former pizza place pictured below? If so, it looks like the entire area circled in red is gone! Picture would have been taken from the yellow star. This area is going to look A LOT different, and that is not a bad thing. .......... Actually, scratch that. Corporate hates us. Welcome to "Dirt: A Monument to Land." The new area to accompany Mudslinger, the new ride re-themed from Catwoman which will have a queue line made from paint lines on the fresh land. Boots required.
    3 points
  45. ^ I liked Row 2 better. . but yeah, I loved our front seat ride!
    3 points
  46. When my husband, Steve, rode steve he thought it was rough and that the RMC trains were uncomfortable. However, he is not an enthusiast by any stretch of the imagination, so what does he know. There that statement is grammatically correct, on topic and factual On a serious note I have a huge soft spot for dive coasters, so guess we will just have to come back down to SFFT to try out DDC (is that the abbreviation we are using?) even though we were there earlier this year. Darn.
    3 points
  47. SFOG continued. . . after my ride on Justice League, I decided I'd head over towards Pandemonium. . as noted, the paths around Carousel Hill really are quite lovely: (I see you, and will get to you later!) but what's this? Blue Hawk/Ninja has no line. . like at all? sigh.. ok, might as well, it's not the worst coaster in the park. how the park is handling Covid restrictions. . tho this wasn't consistent across all coasters. But here in the Blue Hawk station, the plexiglass really cuts the airflow, and made it a bit stifling. it's actually riding better than I remembered, and not too much head bang. Still 1 and done tho. leaving the queue tho, I saw that GASM was truly a walk on. I KNOW better. . but sometimes I make really bad decisions. . . Even in the front row, it jackhammered the hell out of me.. not a pleasant experience (and there was crying from kids on the train in the brake run. . so yeah. . hands down still the worst coaster in the park). oh. . but while on GASM, I noticed that Blue Hawk had gotten stuck on the lift hill. . . really moments after I had just ridden! It was like this for a good 15 minutes. Continuing my treck around this part of the park to Pandemonium. . it really is lovely back here, but I miss the Skybuckets bypassed Skyscreamer since just wasn't in the mood for it.. besides, I was headed to the giant swing. hmmm. . I don't seem to have taken any pics of it other than the sign tho. . LOL. . but it was a 1 cycle wait (so yeah. . the park was still dead) see? note that Thunder River was closed as well.. so both water rides (the flume was closed too) were closed on Labor Day. It's the last "daily" operating day of summer.. so not surprised, but it seemed to have more to do with staffing - as many food places were shuttered too. But for the most part, all the "big" rides were open today, which was a nice surprise. since no skybuckets to save my feet/calves, I headed up the long winding walkway, intending to grab something to eat as i was hungry. as mentioned, many food places were closed, but Macho Nacho was open - with the line out the door.. . . so nope, kept walking and peeked around into the Goliath queue: Station wait. yup. .this is Exactly why I typically blow off last day of Con to do Six Flags: Interesting view of the Monster Mansion show building from the Goliath exit ramp. I had planned to buy water, to keep from getting dehydrated, but the Cashier in the exit gift shop warned me the coolers weren't working (and hadn't been all summer, so the water was warm). Six Flags hint, by the way. . if you buy water/soda in a shop, you can usually get a 2 for $ price that is cheaper from the machines. but I wasn't gonna get from the machine no matter how thirsty I was. . so instead headed over to Gotham expecting to get something to eat/drink. passing by DareDevil Dive. . which had a short-ish line, but as I'm not a fan, I decided to skip this today. Still snapped some pics of it tho: and then it was down into the New Gotham area. . advertised all over the park as new for 2021.. I was excited to check it out. if you're not familiar with this park, the Gotham area is down a steep hill, under the train tracks, then in it's own area - with basically one way in/one way out. the area has 7 rides (2 coasters, 5 flats), and one food stand (Birds of Prey Cafe) - that had a fairly long line, that I waited in, only to be told at the counter there's no way to order from the counter, you MUST use the Mobile App - which *of course* wouldn't work for me while in Gotham area. . . yeah, I was hungry and annoyed at this point - and made sure to comment on this when they sent me the survey to see how my day went. at least ONE window at the only food stand in Gotham should have walk up to order option. . sheesh. but I'm getting a head of myself. back to the pics, going into Gotham: ah.. HERE were the crowds today. (makes sense.. they are advertising it all over the park - even over the urinals in the Men's rooms): and it's a cul-de-sac area. . so once in, traffic flow can get cramped. let's check out the 7 rides here: Closed: Closed (AND they renamed it from the *brilliant* Crime Wave to Supervillains Swing?) closed (tho it had soft opened for rehearsals the day before, and is open now, I understand) one of the new rides, so was pulling a line, as I'd expect. . especially since 3 of the 4 rides passed already were closed. Closed (you gotta be f-ing kidding me) the other new ride.. and one of only two flats (and one coaster, Batman - running 1 train - open in this section of the park). by far, longest line I waited in all day. . . .about 35 minutes for Catwoman. (and it didnt' help that line jumping was RAMPANT - a group of 4, turned into a group of 7, then a group of 11. .and staffing did nothing to stop it, despite seeing the teenagers climbing the queue to join their friends in line. but I love these rides, so waited for it, and it was great as usual: and you get REALLY close to the Batman track while in the Catwoman queue (which has no awnings. . I guess to keep the sightlines open.. . glad it wasn't too sunny of a day) actually, you would get pretty close to Mindbender track in the Harley Quinn queue, had that been open: getting dehydrated, but as I said, I love these rides, and it runs a pretty decent cycle. . . so thumbs up on this, even if the park should be ASHAMED to have 4 of the 7 rides here closed, when this section is being promoted all over the park. realizing I really needed some water, I went to the Batman giftshop (which is currently also the entrance to the ride, apparently) to get some water (along the way snapping a better pic of the new Poison Ivy scrambler, that was running a great cycle): and while cooling down, noticed the Mindbender train was sitting on the break run. Since I was sitting drinking my water on the Mindbender Photo Counter (closed up), I was right near the exit. . and when one of the park's "Safety" guys came by to check the area (I guess?). .I asked him would it be ok if I went up the exit ramp towards the station to take some pics of the new trains. so with permission. . here's the new Mindbender trains: by now it was after 2pm, and I *really* needed to eat something. . so I headed back to Macho Nacho (which would have been my choice in the park anyways, even if it wasnt' one of the food venues that were actually open today). . and found a very short line. . off lunch hours now. . and easily a nice place to sit and enjoy my Taco Salad (which had maybe 5 pieces of lettuce in it. .but so much other good stuff. . it was wonderful) didnt' think to take a pic before I ate most of it. . LOL Sadly, no train today. .but at least the photo op had no line: and yeah. .this park is hilly: so having finally eaten something. . do I let the food settle? while Goliath is still kinda a walk on, and I'm right near Monster Mansion? You crazy? sad little one skybucket pole left in the center of the park, over the Monster Mansion roof.. . not sure why they left one. Maybe planning on using it for lights for Holiday in the Park? I'd held it off long enough tho - and had made my way almost completely around the park in a full loop.. . but it was (finally) time for Carousel hill. yes.. I always make myself wait for the enjoyment of the Carousel. .. .to be concluded. . .
    3 points
  48. ^ as someone who also tends to type only in lowercase (unless a proper name is being used) - that's kinda a childish attack here, Mike. (and I have an English minor, so it's just an aesthetic choice) otherwise, your point is dead on about why CF won't give a crap about what SF does. (and again, IR is so short, no way will it *ever* operate with 3 trains. clearly the 3rd train is so there will always be 2 train operations while one is having refurb (lemme tell you, one train ops on IR for two summers in a row SUCKED).
    3 points
  49. Great report, this looks fun, definitely on my list of things to do whenever we get back down there. Not at all classy but I'd be amused by some sort of man vs food challenge, like the Mission Space Orange challenge where if you eat your entire meal and don't barf on Mission Space Orange you get a free meal or a free express pass for a ride lol
    3 points
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