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Showing content with the highest reputation since 07/11/2022 in all areas

  1. Had a great visit to the park this past Friday night (July 8th) and Sunday July 10th. I worked at the park from 1986-1990 playing piano in 5 different shows and then returning in 2000 to music direct a few shows as well. The park was beautiful and clean, and even though it was peak summer time, I still managed to get 2 rides on Steel Vengeance, 2 on Millennium Force, and rides on Gemini, Valravn, and more. But the highlight was re-creating a picture I had taken in 1972 with my brothers and sisters. 50 years later! Enjoy the photos! The original picture taken in 1972. Right on the main midway. You can see the Dodgem behind us. 50 years later, and we were all able to meet up to re-create the shot! Still great as ever. Iron Gwazi is good, but it's not Steel Vengeance! Whee! Where it all began! My first show "Ain't We Got Fun!" in 1986 and 1987. And I just went back to Disney after my 2 1/2 year furlough to continue my 23 years as a professional musician with the company. Come see me play piano at the Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue! The new Farmhouse Restaurant is GREAT! We split the platter both times and it was plenty of food. Highly recommend the steak and potatoes. The chili was also very good. When in Sandusky, eat at Berardis which used to provide Cedar Point french fries for decades. A fun ride with an awesome view especially at night. Hope it comes back next summer.
    12 points
  2. Okay, time for part 2. And this will be the longest one, I think. So let's get started! Part 2: Germany in Germany - Page 1 Day 4 of the official trip began with a park that had been on my radar for quite some time, Erlebnispark Tripsdrill! Tripsdrill is a small, oddly laid-out, oddly-everythinged park that seems to be transitioning to bigger park status. This is the park-end of their "main street." I've always been fascinated by this ride (G'sente Sau) and the way it interacts with their log flume (Badewannenfahrt zum Jungbrunnen...because screw you if you don't speak German). I was even more excited to ride it after experiencing Vilda Musen at Grona Lund back in 2019. However, it turned out to be quite tame. Still, it wasn't bad, by any means. This ride is famous for a small dark ride section that features an animatronic that drops her top to show her boobs. Sadly, this animatronic was broken and had her top permanently in the down position--which, obviously, is an outrage. Through no fault of my own, I came off of this ride overboobed. Smisty ditched me to ride with other TPR members. That seems okay...right? Being left behind in the station did allow me to witness some German teens throw their bags across the track, and one leap *over* the track to gently place his bag on the other side. He didn't even get fussed at by the operator. That was even more mentally assaulting than the continuous unbroken boob exposure. Tripsdrill has two of these weird spinning-tub-on-a-powered-track rides. Please note the guest barrier between the midway and the ride area. Speaking of which, please take a moment to examine this duck ride. No fences, no signage, no queue. You just get on a duck when it stops, I guess. Look, I spent many years of my life as a ride op at various US parks. This is noteworthy to me. Shoot an egg out of a chicken's ass into the mouth of the animal or human of your choice. I am not being vulgar. I'm just describing the thing. Of course, it will cost you money. Making this someone out there's exact kink. Maybe Mr. Erlebnispark. Mammut, as I understand it, is the only wooden coaster ever built by Gerstlauer. And I can see why they stopped. To be fair, the layout looks nice, the queue has some stuff to look at, the restraints aren't bad, and there's a cool little malfunctioning-sawmill dark-ride scene between the station and the lift--but otherwise this ride is quite dull. Just very slow and forceless. And yet, it still manages to have a notable push-pull shuffle throughout the entire ride. I can't even hate this ride. I feel sorry for it. It only has one train, also. Like, they could RMC it and I wouldn't even be mad. And if you know me, that's really saying something. Climb up a ladder and an animatronic come out of the window to shout at you in German. I like to think they're yelling at you for climbing up their ladder and trying to look in their window. You are a perv. Inside the building is a walk-through attraction that consists of a dark, narrow, twisting hallway with buttons on the wall that will light up a little mannequin who will tell you their life story (I think). Guess what her life story is. This not-quite a tilt-a-whirl is themed to baking. Literally translated, "Gugelhupf" means, "You are a muffin." Probably. This park is quite pretty. And there's a wine museum, if you're into that sort of thing. There's also a quite simple, rustic-looking fun house. And a death slide. Karacho has the most alarming beginning of any coaster I've even been on. You roll out of the station into a tunnel, where you take a quick dip, turn, slow roll inversion, and launch, all in total darkness. Um...spoilers, I guess. Maybe I should've said that first. But I suppose if you don't want to be spoiled, maybe you shouldn't be looking at a trip report. Take some responsibility for your own actions, man. Anyway, Smisty really liked this one. And I thought it was okay. The restraints weren't the worst. What the...? Why?! Every other parks' water cannons are a lie. The rapids ride is themed to laundry. Although...I'm not quite sure from what era. All of them, I guess? A fairly uninteresting splash battle, the famously "don't look that scary" drop towers, and their two new Vekoma family coasters, Volldampf (which means "goat-sex") and Hals-über-Kopf (which means "head up your butt.") Goat Sex was kind of boring (which...frankly, was a surprise to me) but Head Up Your Butt was the best coaster in the park. Not that I was here for the coasters. I was here for weird. And despite the lack of a proper dark ride, Tripsdrill delivered the weird. But there's no time to consider what just happened! Back on the bus! We left Tripsdrill early in order to get to Holiday Park before they closed, in order to have Expedition GeForce ERT at the end of the day (when the ride was good and warmed up) rather than the next morning. Rain came in, but many hardy souls kept riding anyway. Proof that I rode it. And I also took this photo. Because I'm that good. So...did I like it? Well, I didn't dislike it. But here was the problem.... [Feel free to skip to the next photo if you don't want a long boring explanation about restraints and the way they fit me.] I usually like these Intamin T-bar and European-style seatbelts just fine. They tend to be tight, as the parks shorten the seatbelts in order to be the determinator of whether or not someone is too big, and then allow the lapbar to rest comfortably in one's lap--which allows me slight upward movement (i.e., airtime) even as the seatbelt is holding me (tightly) back toward my seat. But Holiday Park does it differently. Here, the seatbelt is relatively long, but the lapbar has to be down to "within two fingers" of the seat side bar. So, I fit, but I was so stapled that any and all airtime was experienced by me as pressure on my upper legs. This wasn't painful, but it also wasn't particularly exciting. Kind of what I imagine a deaf person's experience of music might be. Like, they can't actually hear it, but they know it's there because they can feel the bass. None of which is me complaining. I'm just trying to explain why, for me, even though I love rides like Millennium Force, Ride of Steel, or Goliath at Walibi Holland, Expedition GeForce didn't do much for me. Seems like most other folks on the trip quite liked it, though. After ERT, Smisty and I headed to a German grocery store because....well, why would we not do that? Because we needed water. Yeah, that's it. Water. Biggest bathroom of the trip. Not sure if everyone's was like this. I assume not. The next morning we had ERT on Sky Scream. That's the red Premier Sky Rocket in the back, not the leftover piece of old-school Vekoma track there for decoration. This one is special because it has lapbars rather than over-the-shoulder restraints. Not special enough for me to ride it, though. Smisty did. I just asked her what she thought of it, but she doesn't remember. These are cool. I like that you can kind of tailor the ride to the kind of experience you want to have (although it takes skill if you want it to be wild). Haunted Mansion rip-off #2. I say "rip-off" with love, though. This one was the most torture-y, as I recall. The back of the park had a beach-themed area. We rode the Sky Flyer three times in a row, by ourselves, because no one else was back there yet. And we like those. It had a nice view. And it was already hot out and the breeze felt nice. Look, I don't need to explain myself to you. Also, this is not the Sky Flyer. I don't know what "Wickie" is but a couple of park's we visited had really similar "Wickielands." It seems to have something to do with cartoonish viking characters. Also, log flumes in Europe have no faith in themselves. They're all about turntables and backward sections. Just be log flumes, guys. I love when parks have little museums dedicated to themselves. Holiday Park has theirs as part of a restaurant. So that's pretty cool. Two parks on this trip had dinosaur-themed water rides. I intended to ride both, but wound up riding neither, for whatever reason. Hey, you gotta roll with the situation, you know? Wow. That's quite an admission, Holiday Park. I mean, yes, it's true. I just didn't expect *you* to put it out there like that. Back on the bus! A quick drive through beautiful German resort areas brought us to Wild- & Freizeitpark Klotten. (And yes, that hyphen is part of the name. Yes, in the spot, with a space after it and then the & symbol. Don't ask me.) We only had about 2 hours to explore this very strange place, but it's not particularly large. It is weird, though. Like, weirder than Tripsdrill weird. Self-operated rides? Yup. Allow me to explain how this one works. I have no idea. It's powered? And there are multiple buttons, some of which are red and some of which are black. And you have to climb over bars to get into the seats. And then you push the buttons. Which do something...? Or maybe they don't? No one on the ride could figure it out either. Oh yeah. So this is just a small kids ride that goes in a circle. But it has water guns that you shoot at the park's mascot in the middle. So it's got that going for it. A saucy puppet show. It might not have been saucy. I didn't watch it. But I have watched Futurama. Um, no thank you, Hey, it's another one of those Gerstauler Bobsled coasters like at Tripsdrill! Oh s#!t, no it's not! This thing is waaaaay wilder. It also wraps around a big round...um, castle thing...that also houses a log flume and a shooting dark ride. Zum Rittersturz features a spiraling vertical lift and a trim brake on the drop...?! Also water. Lots of water. I did not take this photo. I think Robb did. But I'm borrowing it because y'all need to see this. So, here's what I think happened: The park said they wanted magic wands instead of guns, but the designer wasn't sure what those should look like, so they googled "magic wand" but didn't realize that safe search was off, and well...this was the result. It's quite a short, simple dark ride. But they did a good job of hiding how little is actually going on. I do mean that as a compliment. It feels like they had very little money but made it work. Maybe someone donated the, um, "wands" and they just went with it. Here's another photo of Heiße Fahrt. And it will make you fahrt! Wait, that just means "journey." Airtime could be described as a journey, right? This isn't working. Look, there's airtime. And laterals. Sometimes at the same time. I liked it better than Expedition GeForce, let's just say that. Wait, that's going to get me hate mail. Look, cute animals: See, Klotten is also a zoo. Grizzly bears! Wait...are all of these animals from North America? I mean, I guess that's cool for their normal clientele. But all these guys live down the street from me! I didn't travel all the way to Germany to see American animals! You're not fooling me, Trash Gremlins! Homemade whip type thing. I would've liked to have ridden it, but when the German-only-speaking ride op asked me how many kilos I was, I had no choice but to fold. Um....800,000? Does that sound right? I would like Klotten to be my home park. Not so much because of it, but because I want to live here. It was cool, though. Our hotel at Phantasialand. Are you tired of my coaster opinions yet? No? F.L.Y. was terrible. It was cool staying in a hotel that was built all around a coaster, though. The weird, ugly proper entrance to Phantasialand. Which I'm not sure is bad, actually. It makes for quite a dramatic transition once inside the park, certainly. Phantasialand's "main street" is interesting in several ways, not the least of which is that rather that being full of shops and services, it's mostly eateries and attractions. It's also called "Berlin." Their main street is Berlin. "Berlin is on this map!" "So it is." For example, their hotel-themed fun house is located there. Which contains this weird elevator that doesn't go anywhere and an operator with fake ponytails who only communicates via whistle. Maybe not quite as fun as the one at Grona Lund, but elevated by its awesome crooked house hotel theming. Misty doesn't like fun houses, so this is what she did instead. The far end of Berlin, where you must then choose to go left or right. The park's layout is weird. In fact, I'm not even going to try to explain it. Okay, I will. Imagine the roman numeral 3, but not connected at the bottom. Kind of like this: TTT And that middle part is Berlin. Or just google a map of Phantasialand. That might be easier. The park's newest dark ride, Maus au Chocolat, is also in Berlin. It's like Toy Story Mania, but better and way longer. The covered midway that connects Berlin to Wuze Town. On the left is the only gift shop in Berlin. That's just fun to say. So, they're all about dragons in this park, with each dragon representing a separate themed area. Whereas I am all about chocolate-covered fruit. I opted for the pineapple, whilst Misty got grapes. Also pictured, apples (of course) strawberries (sure) and pears(!?) Looks like it's closed. No doubt to be replaced soon by Spectre, now that they have the rights. That joke is really just for me. Don't worry about it. Chiapas is quite a well-regarded log flume, and rightfully so. A bit on the wet side, and the restraints are awful (I suspect for everybody, not just me) but the theming is great and it has a neat soundtrack! On the other hand, it's in Europe, so it goes backwards for entirely too long. Still, it was really good! Phantasialand has a reputation for great theming. And I think this is a pretty good example of that. But I will say that it seems like there are several areas that are highly-themed but just have like one thing in them. This is Mexico, but really it just has Chiapas. At least, that you can see here. I guess there are technically two other rides in "Mexico," but it doesn't really feel like it. This isn't really a complaint so much as me saying that in the grand battle of Europa versus Phantasialand, I much prefer Europa's ride layering. Meanwhile, in a completely different part of Mexico, the famous Talocan--combining fire, water, intensity, inversions, and nope. The African section, which contains Black Mamba and...um...this stairway. Okay, so when you're in a foreign country, you don't want to be problem. We went to ride Black Mamba and got in line for the front row, when a ride op came over and told me that I had to ride in row 5. Now, I know what's going on here. I'm fat, and he's directing me to the big boy seat. Of course, I can usually fit in any row of a B&M invert, but I don't want to argue with the guy. And, like, what if he's right and I insist on the front only to not fit and I hold up the whole operation? I don't want that. So we moved to row 5. And the ride sucked. Look, Black Mamba is supposed to be themed. I say "supposed to be" because you can't see anything on a B&M invert unless you're in the front, So who knows if it's themed or not? Not me. I can tell you that it was intense in a way that I didn't really care for (ball-crushing positive g's in every pull out) and probably wouldn't have liked in the front row either. So, yeah, one and done for me. No big deal, though. It was unlikely that I was going to love a B&M invert anyway. Moving on. Presented without comment. Colorado Adventure is themed to the old west and located in Mexico, allegedly. What's the most frightened you've ever been on a roller coaster? For me, it was the moment I realized that the entire middle third of this arrow mine train was going to be in complete darkness. Good ride, though. The Asia section contains *two* rides, a super goofy kung-fu themed mad house and the park's other dark ride, "Ghost Rickshaw." Yes, it's Haunted Mansion rip-off #3--but this one distinguishes itself by being filled with weird monsters from Asian Mythology (I assume). And, as such, it was the best of the 3. Beware of hitchhiking ghosts! Ah yes, the 4 slushie flavors of the apocalypse: Flamingo, Gummibarchen, Waldmeister, and Fresh and Cool. The Asia section looks quite nice, though. This is a full-service restaurant, in case your curious. The queue for River Quest, the park's raids ride, located in the (*ahem*) Mystery section of the park. That's an option?! You can just have a "mystery" section? Nobody tell Six Flags. I knew this ride had some tricks, so I wanted to check it out. However, I was kind of disappointed. Yeah, the vertical lift and the 3 drops were fun, but otherwise it just meandered around, with no rapids to speak of. And the theming was (appropriately enough) a bit of a mystery. I mean, it's a castle, I guess. And the boats have bats on them. But there's nothing else to suggest, say, vampires or whatever it's supposed to be. And the name doesn't help much. It's just kind of a mystery castle. Mystery Castle. It's a completely enclosed drop ride. But not like Tower of Terror. More of a normal drop tower, but with a variable programs and some theming. So like Tower of Terror. But not really. I normally skip drop towers these days. But the theming drew me in. And I enjoyed it! Of course they built an enclosed one because of neighbors-who-complain-of-noise, but I think it all worked out in this case. Now we enter Klugheim, which as near as I can tell is part of "Mystery." It's also home to a full-service restaurant that serves meat to the brave. And let me tell you I am brave. Smisty had soup. Klugheim is also home to two intertwined roller coasters: Raik, a Vekoma family boomerang--and Taron, a custom Intamin launch coaster. For my money, Taron is the best coaster in the park. Fast, smooth, airtime, some laterals...it's just fun. Wuze Town. So for those of you keeping track, the themed areas are: Berlin (a city in Germany), Rookburgh (a made-up steampunk place), Mexico (which includes the American Old West), Asia, Mystery (which includes Klugheim, which is again made up), Africa, and Wuze Town (which is made up also, I think?) This indoor section was interesting but felt a little rundown and dingy. As for Winjas, they were fun...but both tracks kind of seemed to be fighting against themselves in terms of spinning, as they both pretty much just follow a right turn, left turn, right turn, left turn pattern. Having said that, it seemed like most people I talked to preferred Fear, but I actually like Force better. For one thing, I thought it's track trick was more interesting. But also, for me, the larger drops of Fear didn't combine particularly well with the ride's seat horn. Some neat-looking kids rides sort of hidden at the top back part of the indoor area. Okay, so the other thing people talk about with Phantasialand (besides the theming) is how little room they have to work with. Which is interesting because they have this area, which is like a quarter of the park and consists of a long winding path around some grassland and a lake that contains nothing, and a gigantic "calm boat ride" that clearly used to be Splash Battle but isn't any more. I can only describe this area as "unpopular," as it only seems to be (briefly) visited by people who are on day 2 at the park (like us) and the profoundly lost. Clearly, this can and should all go. And, I can only imagine, will. The orange and yellow building in the background of the last photo can probably go as well, as it houses a long-closed dark ride (Hollywood Tour, which I would've liked to see) and Crazy Bats, an indoor coaster that's been give the VR treatment. We did ride Crazy Bats, and it was my first ever VR coaster (a concept I have little use for, but it wasn't an upcharge and we were here and had time, so why not?) It was...fine. I mean, it probably would've been better in one of its previous regular-indoor-coaster iterations, but whatever. Yeah, fire sale this whole area. (I mean, not Wuze Town. Wait, is this Wuze Town? What even is this area?) Back to the Charles Lindbergh Hotel. I probably should've taken a picture of it before we scattered our junk everywhere, but hey. I must say that I didn't love this room as much as I thought I would. I dig small spaces, but the thing is, if you're going to design a small space, the you can't afford mistakes. Everything has to work together. You can't have, say, a really low, shallow sink and a really high faucet. Or effectively no air in the room and a window that's just a big round door. (I mean, I know Europe has a different view of air conditioning than the US does, but at least give me a window I can open with a curtain over it.) I suppose it's a bit of a metaphor for all of Phantasialand. They do their own thing, and they march to their own drum, but it just doesn't always work they way they think it does. Nice view, though. Okay, so F.L.Y. Look, I don't really like flying coasters anyway. I just don't find them very coaster-like. It doesn't feel comfortable or natural to me to be facing downward. But, this is a new generation Vekoma, so I thought there might be some hope. But it was kind of just like lying face-down on the ground while someone jumps up and down on your back. It's certainly intense, if that's what you're looking for. And there is one moment of airtime (which is cool, if kind of weird). But even with nothing to obstruct the view, it turns out that, even with all that theming, the ground is mostly just ground. As an aside, this is also the first coaster that ever put me through a metal detector. I wasn't particularly bothered by it...but still, wow. To be fair, most of the group seemed to love it. But Misty didn't like it either, so it wasn't just me. Overall, though, I do think Phantasialand is a pretty good park. I like Taron and Chiapas and Maus au Chocolat quite a lot. Colorado Adventure and Geister Rikscha were pretty good too. They have a cool fun house, some beautiful theming, and some amazing sweets. Okay, whew. That was a long one. Join me again in like two weeks to hear me complain about some parks in Belgium!
    9 points
  3. "Hey, people really like Firechaser Express but it has low capacity. Let's build another one but budget cut the theming." I mean, it's fine. It seems redundant and it's in an open field but it adds capacity and has an ultra-low height requirement so that's never a bad thing.
    8 points
  4. I never realized how right you were until I looked back at these three pictures of Fury.
    7 points
  5. Man what??!? Nostalgia for old people?!? Most of their rides are terrible among today's coasters?!? Some of today's coasters cannot hold a candle to some schwarzkopf coasters. How many "todays" coasters have been torn down while parks opt to keep their coasters for "old people" lol? It's not our fault we appreciate and cherish good engineering and well thought out layouts.
    7 points
  6. Success! Just got off Lightning Rod ! No assistance needed! Fun ride. Wish I could have ridden it in its "heyday". For any riders of "exceptional size" out there, stick with a plan. In March I was 332 and was denied a ride on Pantheon. 42 pounds down later I'm the skinniest man alive.
    6 points
  7. To have Fedex come in and look at it so they could give them a quote on moving it to Ohio.
    6 points
  8. I'm younger than you and I think Shockwave and Mindbender are the second best coasters in their respective parks. So I guess opinions exist or something?
    6 points
  9. Wow, I missed a lot in this thread. That was a fun experience. It’s fun watching so many professional engineers talk shop. As for the teaser, teaser campaigns aren’t really my thing but I hope the new thing coming to Wildwood Grove is trees because that entire area is absolutely hideous.
    6 points
  10. The building looks pretty impressive. Here is the most recent update that was posted to reddit: I guess it's harder to get excited because not only is it hidden inside a building but it's also a replacement ride for a long standing favorite classic attraction. It's a tough gamble by the park because everyone will be comparing it to the old ride rather than allowing it to be a brand new experience, but I applaud them for trying and not just junking FITH for another random coaster. As far as updates on here goes... a lot of us who still use forums are simply too old to deal with it anymore. I used to have a lot of fun with the speculation, keeping an eye out for markers, and going to the parks sometimes just to see construction progress. These days though I just don't have the time/energy/money and would rather spend what I have on other things - even though I still enjoy aspects of amusement park fandom occasionally. The kids who are coming up into the fandom who care about that kind of stuff are all on instagram/tiktok/youtube. Forums like this one aren't as appealing because it's a different type of interaction and quite frankly can be a little insular and hostile as KBrylczyk's comment displays, lol.
    6 points
  11. The amount of times that I've seen them fix Nitro by banging on the transfer track with a wrench and leaving is impressive. Maybe it's the coaster version of unplugging a router and plugging it back in.
    6 points
  12. ^That's why they can't find the damn bear, that track gives them away lol.
    5 points
  13. Anton died in 2001. Intamin's roots are traced back to Schwarzkopf Industries and also Hubert Gerstlauer left Schwarzkopf when they were having financial issues in 1982 to start Gerstlauer. If you track back every company currently manufacturing, its very rare to not find connections to either Schwarzkopf or Arrow. Both were the original innovators of modern coasters.
    5 points
  14. Yogi's Dark Harvest: No More Rangers
    5 points
  15. Pardon the double post here, but I've had a few days to process things and wanted to follow up with additional thoughts on Orion, because good grief do I love that roller coaster. Orion is a great example of how location/theming matters so much. The fact that it's sitting all by itself in the back of the park, above the woods, really lends to the terror/adrenaline of the lift hill and sense of speed. Before Orion, Fury 325 has been my favorite coaster and while I think Fury 325 is probably a better overall ride, I think I enjoy Orion more due to the sense of speed and isolation of where it's located versus Fury being basically in a parking lot setting. Being on that lift hill on Orion and having to look in the distance to see Diamondback, it aids to the scale of the hill. And then yeah, that first drop and soaring over treetops immediately after is insane. You feel like you are going to be shot off into the woods. Anyways, Orion rules. For a musical analogy, I view Orion as a band playing an absolutely killer short set. Yeah, it may not be a longer 2 hourish show thats totally comprehensive like a lot of bands play, but it rocks your face and kicks yours ass in the time it has with you.
    5 points
  16. Headed out yesterday for the passholder preview and... woof. I don't want to sound bitchy but I was really disappointed. SFMM decided that functional is the same as finished and we got a pretty terrible overall experience. Coaster - A solid 7/10. Less insane than the 1st-gen single rails, but I think that's a good thing. Easing up on the aggression makes it really re-rideable and I think it will be a huge hit with enthusiasts and GP. My one ride was in row 10, but I heard folks saying that the front was crazier. The new trains do make you sit with your feet unnaturally far apart, and it's kind of uncomfortable. Could be a more significant problem for folks who have shorter legs or narrow hips. Ops - I wasn't able to figure out what caused this but trains were regularly being sent out with only 4-6 passengers. Quite a few trains had only 2 or 3. This happened over and over again during my 3 hour long wait and it was maddening. The handful of times that they did send multiple full trains in a row, I noticed that the line actually does move, so that's a plus. I happened to be in one of the full trains, so I didn't get to see what the problem was they were experiencing. And I'm sure the employees were doing their best, no shade to them, but management forced them to open when they were very clearly not ready. Presentation - Lots of construction stuff still up around the area, a big dirt hole to the right of the switchbacks, confetti still all over the place from media day. The inside part of the queue had no working A/C, so it was hot and very humid from all the sweaty bodies standing inside. The floor inside the building is also a mess. It's like they told the construction crew: "don't worry about spilling paint on the floor because we're gonna do a finish coat on it"... and then they just didn't. Also, the paint on the coaster supports looks SUPER patchy and weird, especially near the ride entrance. Like they got scuffed up and someone fixed them with red spray paint. Extra weird thing - The entrance and exit of Batman have switched so that Batman and WW can share one exit path. Except there was no sign, so we walked off WW directly into the Batman queue and kept going onto the ride. Wasn't a big issue in the moment since there was virtually no line, but that better get fixed quickly before fights start about people cutting the line. -- The whole experience gave me the mental scenario of the construction project manager sending an email update saying "Hey everyone, we're almost to the end. We'll be ready to open in 3-4 weeks." And then someone from marketing replying "We just announced the opening day, so actually you have 2 weeks. Figure it out."
    5 points
  17. That’s where they’re going to start laying out pieces of Dragster and let the dump trucks take it away for scrap.
    5 points
  18. Six Flags corporate has been absolute SH!T for the past 8-10 years or so. They have ran this chain right back in to the ground after Shapiro and his crew did so much to get it back on its feet again. About 8-10 years ago, you saw the mass exodus of hundreds of both long time full times and part times, chain wide, including me. We saw the direction the company was headed and ran before it got to the point its at now. Corporate Six Flags is an absolute joke. They have NO CLUE what the hell they are doing, and the people paying the price are the workers down in the trenches, which corporate can give 2 sh!ts less about. Six Flags parks aren't even amusement parks anymore, corporate has turned them into permanent carninvals.
    4 points
  19. Dragster is a crowd pleaser as it is now. They're either going to keep it the way it is and needlessly redesign the queue, or get rid of it and put something in its place. As people have said time and time again, the launch did not cause this issue. It could have been replaced years ago if Cedar Point wanted to do it. This incident was a freak accident. It could just as easily happen on any roller coaster near any path. Heavy high velocity objects with multiple moving and bolted on parts can shed lethal objects at any given time. Cork Screw's loop over the midway. Mavericks sweeping turn over the pond. Millennium Force's passes near the queue and over the pathway tunnel. Gatekeeper over the main entrance. Raptor's cobra roll aimed at the pathway. The freaking sky ride... 37 deaths and 113 injuries have been documented from vending machines since 1979. This is a terrible accident, but it doesn't need to change the way the world works. I can promise you the lake has the potential to be far more dangerous than any of the roller coasters at Cedar Point. Pay out. Put reasonable measures in place (fences/nets), and move on.
    4 points
  20. We had a great time in Branson this week. It was my two-year-old's first road trip, and our four hour trek (5 hours with a kid) wasn't bad. We went to SDC Tuesday. Rides: Flooded mine x2. (Her first dark ride.) Train. Carousel. The one at SFSTL is often closed, even more than Boomerang and Xcaliber, so despite her 5 or so carousels, she never gets to ride that one. This one was great, because it had smaller horses, too. Huck Fin's splash battle or whatever it is. We never ride these. Ever. The dads were cool about only spraying my wife and I, while saying, "Not the daughter! Dad only!" After shieling her, and getting constantly blasted in the face, I got a "Thanks for taking one for the team, Dad!" She loved it, so it was worth it. I've never been more soaked at a park. Fireman's landing was cool. We rode the fire dog's twice, which my daughter loved. Whatever drop/bounce tower thing we rode was a little too intense for her. It was "ok, all done?" by about our third bounce. I'm actually surprised this is a ride for kids under 36", accompanied by an adult. (We're at 34" now.) Aside from that, we let her play on the splash pad and scream for a while. The stunt dog show was a massive hit, and we were able to get out of the heat for a while. The hostess was awesome and sat us in the reserved seating, because my daughter is so damned cute. It comes with the territory of only being two, but having a shit ton of hair and being verbally advanced... She gets it from her mom. Dad brag. Pre-show the kids got to meet the big dog in the costume. After, they got to meet a stunt dog. She screamed in the ear of the people next to us the whole time. I gave up on stopping her, because I'm a prick, and I thought it was funny. It was hot AF, there were no lines, and I still managed to get a ride on one of my favorite wooden coasters. We had to leave for a few hours for a nap, so as usual that took a big bite out of our day. The little random shit you'd never care about as an adult was great for kids, like the cow utter thing, and big ball fountain. Despite thinking, "We didn't come here for this shit," you just let your kids enjoy it... Even if your young child walks well, bring a freaking stroller. I'm glad my wife talked me into it. It would have been an absolute shit show without it. Staff was friendly. The park was clean. The large building being constructed just absolutely ruins the entire park. Just trashed. We'll never be back. My wife was offended and our daughter cried. Branson was cool for kids. We read complaints about the aquarium, but why? I was really impressed. Food is really underwhelming, and I feel like it's all geared toward seniors. HOWEVER, Mr. Gilberti's Chicago Style Pizza in Hollister was some of the best pizza I've ever had. Ever. They only took reservations when we went, and there were signs warning about the hour + wait for your food, which wasn't a lie. Despite that, I'd say it gives Lou Malnati's in Chicago a run for its money. It's kind of a hole in the wall and seating is limited. They're going to tell you when you can come when you call for your reservations... without much flexibility. How did this place get here? Pizza, bottled domestics, and the best fried mushrooms I'd ever had was a welcome change from giant meatball places on the strip. We went full nostalgia mode and bought a couple disposable cameras, so we can make a photo-book. Two cameras and processing is about $150. Lol. Times change. My computer is on full dim mode, because of a wicked headache, and I'm not proof reading. Cheers.
    4 points
  21. I get what you're saying but this isn't a Top Thrill Dragster fan-fiction thread. Most people (hopefully) are operating under the assumption that we're all living in reality. I assume that most of the insane ideas posted here that aren't framed as a crazy fantasy ideas are 100% serious, and even if they're not other people will assume they are and run with them because coaster enthusiasts are mostly insane.
    4 points
  22. There are are only way too many mentions/rumors about it because enthusiasts are basically f*ckin' crackheads.
    4 points
  23. Hi Everyone! After visiting Dollywood last year, Silver Dollar City immediately jumped into the top "A-list park" spot for me. Seeing how nice the general setup at DW was really made me curious for Herschend's other premier park. I had heard great things about it, so I had high hopes and what do I say...this place is AMAZING. As good as everyone says it is, if not better! I'm proud to say (yes, at the very beginning of the trip report....no cliffhangers here) that SDC is my new favorite park. Hands down, no "if"'s, "but"'s, or "when"'s! I really really like this park! My group and I had originally just planned on visiting the park on a Monday, but after discovering we could essentially buy 1 day and get a second for only $10 more and that we had some free time the night before...we decided to come for an evening of fun. And was it worth it! There was basically no line for anything, and even though the park doesn't stay open all that late (I think they closed at like 7:30 or something) we were able to ride all of the coasters (except Fire in the Hole) and get a head start on seeing what SDC was all about. I would highly recommend the strategy of going the night before, especially if they continue running that ticket special. SO, SO WORTH IT!! Speaking of the coasters....we first started out with a bang, and did Powder Keg (which surprisingly never broke down the whole time we were there both days, or at least that I noticed). And, WOW is that launch fun! I haven't had the privilege of riding too many launch coasters, but this one was really good. The launch blew me away with its intensity, and I was surprised with how solid the layout was. Given the rides history I was expecting it to be on the rougher side, but I actually found it to be quite enjoyable. Big thumbs up for Powder Keg! After Powder Keg we hit Wildfire, which I honestly thought was just ok. I'm glad it was smooth, but the layout didn't do a whole lot for me and the inversions and drops didn't provide much in the way of forces (oh no...I must be turning into an enthusiast...I'm complaining about "forces"). I've always wondered why more of these B&M sit down coasters weren't built, and now I think I get it. Why would a park build one of these, when they could get a vastly better ride experience at probably a lower price from another manufacturer, or even from another of B&M's models like the invert? Granted, this was my first B&M sit down looper so maybe Incredible Hulk or Kumba are different, but I also now understand why no one talks about Wildfire, because it's just not that great. Up next was a coaster I was very excited to ride...Outlaw Run! Now, this rides was FUN!! It really reminded me of a wooden version of Stunt Pilot at my homepark. The first drop always blew me away with its angle, and the inversions and airtime hills were just plain fun! I will say...was surprised at the roughness in the back seat which was disappointing. I wouldn't say it was bad rough, but it was enough to bother the other members of my group, so we tended to stick with the front for the most part. This was also my first experiences with RMC's lap bars, and after figuring out how to use my legs to keep from getting stapled on ride, I didn't mind them at all. I did find it kinda weird the whole "push up on the lap bar" thing...did RMC just not have the budget for springs or what... Anyways, Outlaw Run is amazing, right up there with Mystic Timbers and Prowler for my favorite wooden coasters! We also rode Thunderation that evening, which was my first Arrow mine train, and...ooofff that was rough. I'm normally very tolerant of rough rides, but wow...the jackhammering in that helix....yeah just not fun... So unfun in fact, I didn't even bother to take a picture! So let's move on to the only reason anyone doesn't go to Outlaw Run first at SDC... ...Time Traveler! And uuuuhhhh...this thing is straight up weird...very very weird... I think the time travel theme was a good choice since it fits the rides bizarreness and oddity, and I was impressed (along with all of the other themes at SDC) with the execution of it. However, the ride itself...you know I'm not really sure how to describe what I think of Time Traveler. Is it the best coaster in the world? NO (and I don't want to here about Ride to Happiness....) Would I want to see more Mack Extreme Spinners built? Maybe, depending on the layout mostly. I will say, I really REALLY like how TT goes straight out of the station into the first drop and then launches it's way back up the hill. I think that's such a cool and creative concept, and I would like to see more coasters do that kind of out of the box thinking. I did find it very odd that the ride comes to a full stop on the first launch, it made me think that there was supposed to be an enclosed show scene or something there but that it got cut from the budget. If they could make it a rolling launch like the second one, I think it would be much better. Other than that I found the whole experience (in both the front and back) to be just to weird, disorienting, bizarre for my tastes. Not bad by any means, just not a ride experience I would rank super highly. After our ride on Time Traveler it was time to go back to the hotel and get ready for the main event...a full day! Too me, this is when SDC really started to shine. While I was having fun and enjoying the park on Sunday night, Monday is what really put it over the top for me. We kicked off the day with a tour of Marvel Cave! And wow...just wow!! First off, there are no other theme parks in the world (that I know of) that have a complementary tour of a real cave included with your admission. I am really glad that they do that, and that they offer the lantern tour for a small extra fee (which I really want to do next time...). The cave itself was very impressive, and our guide was the perfect mix between good educational information and jungle cruise skipper, which really made it fun. Do NOT miss the cave tour when you go to SDC. After the cave tour we decided to ride the train, which I thoroughly enjoyed! The route was pretty and fun, and the on-ride show was hilarious, making it one of my favorite theme park trains. So much fun! Having finished the train ride and cave tour, we decided to hit some of the smaller attractions at the city (Wait a minute....did I just call it "the city"...I think I'm turning into an enthusiast AND a SDC fan boy....ahhh!). I really enjoyed going through there crooked house in Grandfather's Mansion, and it made me wish that more parks had these style of walkthrough attraction. It did feel a little like something you should be able to find at Knoebels, but that gave it all the more charm for me. Definitely not the easiest attraction to navigate (it is a legit crooked house after all), but still very fun. We also hit Flooded Mine while we were right next to it and...ooofff...this poor ride! I had heard that FITH is on it's last legs, and too that I say no...this thing is! The guns barely worked, most of the set pieces and effects seemed broken and in disrepair, of all the dark rides I've ridden this one was probably in the worst shape. It made me feel sad since it seems like the ride really was something cool and special at one time, but years of bad maintenance and the addition of the shooting aspect have drastically hurt the ride experience. Hopefully the park has a nice refurbishment in the works for this ride, since with a little TLC I think it could be really cool. I was expecting Fire in the Hole to be in bad shape, but sadly Flooded Mine to that cake... Speaking of Fire in the Hole, one of my main reasons for coming to SDC this year was to ride FITH before it allegedly goes under the knife. And unlike Flooded Mine, which made me fear for FITH's state, I was pleasantly surprised at how good of shape this ride was! And I really enjoyed it! Definitely my favorite dark ride/roller coaster hybrid-style attraction, which made me sad that it's probably going away very soon. If it is it's last season thought, you wouldn't know. Aside from what looked like a couple missing figures, everything seemed to be in good working order, and I didn't notice any sound or effects issues. I was looking for the Bald Knobber theme issues, but to be honest I couldn't find anything in the ride that really alluded to the problems associated with them. (Note: I'm NOT saying that the Bald Knobbers were/are/caused a problem(s), I'm just saying that the RIDE itself from what I could tell didn't seem to mention or allude to those specific problems...other than the Bald Knobbers setting the town on fire). I'm honestly not sure why Herschend would want to replace this ride, unless there really is something majorly wrong with the building. I've heard that it's to build a newer, bigger train station, but I'm not sure how that would work/help. If anything it seems to me that removing Flooded Mine and remodeling/expanding the existing train station would be a more effective (and cheaper) option, but I digress. I hope that they take more of a "relocation" and upgrade approach to the new FITH (assuming that's what they are really doing), rather than a screen-based "Fire In the Hole for the 21st Century" deal... Anyways, I'm glad that I got to ride it, and that it was in really good shape from what I could tell. After some more rides on coasters, we decided to get something to eat! We eat at the Rivertown Smokehouse by Mystic River Falls. (Which as a side note, looked really cool, but I didn't want to get really wet so I skipped it. I did ride American Plunge though, and thought that was fun albeit short and lacking in theming) I thought the BBQ was alright, good for a theme park but nothing truly special and kinda on the expensive side. We also of course had to get the famous Cinnamon Bread after (spoiler alert...I think tastes exactly the same as the one at Dollywood, except the Grist Mill is waaaayyy cooler than Clara Belle's), which was of great! It did give me a stomach ache after, but I'm not sure if it's cause I was pretty full already when we got it, or what so that was a little bit of a bummer... After some food and a couple more rides, our time at SDC was over. All in all I have to say that I really enjoyed this park, finding it to be one of the most well rounded, beautiful, and fun parks I've visited. The attention to detail I thought was great (and sometimes downright hilarious), and I appreciated how it seemed like they made an effort to seamlessly blend the newer areas (Mystic River Falls, Fireman's Landing, and Outlaw Run) with the older areas around them. It just made the whole experience feel complete and really enjoyable! Now, having visited both SDC and Dollywood I have too (just like everyone else, make some comparisons. I'll definitely start by saying that I like SDC better as a whole, while I think Dollywood has the better rides for the most part. I like Tennessee Tornado, Wild Eagle, and Mystery Mine better than Wildfire and Thunderation, but I like Outlaw Run, Powder Keg, and Fire In the Hole better than Thunderhead and Blazing Fury (I got aced out of FireChaser Express, Dragon Flyer, and of course Lightning Rod while at Dollywood). I thought Daredevil Falls was better than American Plunge, but the Frisco Silver Dollar Line was better than the Dollywood Express, etc. Time Traveler is kinda in it's own world, and DW really doesn't have a comparison I'd say. I really did enjoy the craftsman, cave tour, and overall beauty of Silver Dollar City over Dollywood though. Where I thought Dollywood had too much contrast between the new areas and the old, SDC blended them seamlessly together. Dollywood does feel a bit more master planned and thought out, while SDC feels more organic (which I guess kinda fits the whole "city" theme) and I prefer the later because of that. All in all, I'll say I like SDC better with it being the better park overall, but in in general Dollywood having the better ride lineup. Thinking about the future of SDC, I know they are already working on that alleged FITH replacement in Fireman's Landing, but I would love to see them do a large Garner Holt/Calico Mine Ride-style refurbishment to Flooded Mine and some of the other older buildings and attractions. I think that would go over really well. For roller coasters...hmmm...I think I'd like to see a B&M invert actually. The park really doesn't have anything like it, and if they could go the route of a more intense layout like Banshee flying through the trees, then I think that would be really cool! That or another dark ride I think would be cool, as this seems like a park that just screams dark rides too me. In closing, I had so much fun at SDC! I don't know when I'll be back, but whenever they get there next coaster or large ride I'd be very inclined to go again! Thanks to @Rai Fox @tinaalsgirl @tndank and @Chiselphane for the tips and advice! I really appreciated it! Oh, and on our way to St. Louis (our next destination on the trip), we drove by Six Flags St. Louis which I have now decided I will visit as soon as they finish restoring their carousel...and RMC Boss... And that wraps up this report on my annual coaster desert escape! I got two reports down, and two too go! So see you then!
    4 points
  24. Falcons Fury is up and running again.
    4 points
  25. Bonjour! Erik & Smisty here. You may remember us from such trip reports as Erik & Smisty & TPR do Holland, Poland, and Swedeland. Travel has been kind of weird the past 3 years--and still is--but if TPR was ready to give organized trips a go again, we were down. We went to 12 new-to-us theme parks, rode something like 40-45 new roller coasters (I don't really count) and 30-40 new dark rides. There was less sightseeing on our own this trip, both because of timing and the fact that we flew in and out of the same city this time. But we still got in a few extra things. As a reminder, in addition to being overweight, I have scoliosis. And while my condition has never (to my knowledge) been exacerbated by riding roller coasters, and I can generally fit on most everything, how a particular ride's restraints fit me will often greatly affect my opinion of the ride in a way that often won't make a lot of sense to other people. On the other hand, I tend to be pretty forgiving of general roughness or violence as long as it's not specifically targeting me. So, for example, I find Helix (at Liseberg) awful, but I love Desperado (at Buffalo Bill's). So, just because I don't like a particular ride certainly doesn't mean that you won't love it. Everybody good with that? Okay, great! Also, please bear in mind that I am crafting the first part of this trip report whilst under the influence of European Brand COVID™, so my already often strange captions may or may not end up being total gibberish. Off we go...! Part 1: France in Germany - Page 1 Part 2: Germany in Germany - Page 1 Paris! Okay, enough of that. Wait, this is my first coaster of the trip?! I don't even ride s#!t like this! But the park was so nice to us that I didn't want to appear rude. Which, I guess I'm kind of being rude now. Sorry. Let's start again. The first official park of the trip was originally meant to be Europa. But since that's a 10-hour drive from Paris, and European labor laws required a fairly lengthy break in the middle of that for our bus driver (fair enough) it just made sense to stop at Walygator Grand Est. Just one problem: Walygator was closed that day. But Robb somehow convinced them to bring in a few people to walk us around and let us ride a couple of their coasters. So that's kind of amazing. This is Anaconda. A William Cobb woodie with a super-interesting layout and a super-bad reputation. However, the park has recently put quite a bit of work into it, and that reputation needs to be reexamined. Sure, it's not particularly wild, but it's very smooth. How smooth? Well, I started with a front seat ride to get a feel for it, and then happily hopped into a wheel seat towards the back--which was also good. This ride is tons of fun! I mean, it doesn't really have airtime or significant laterals or anything, but it's certainly not the second-worst coaster in Europe or whatever. Great job, Walygator! I skipped this, but Misty loved it! Here you can see her having convinced the poor Walygator PR guy to ride with her. If Anaconda is not intense, it's only because this ride has sucked all the intensity to itself. I'm not sure that makes sense, but basically this is Raptor except somebody forgot to install brakes on the mid-course brake platform, resulting in a first half of Raptor-ish intensity, followed by a second half of holy-crap-Raptor-is-a-kiddie-ride intensity. I respect it, but once was enough for me. It wasn't part of the plan, but Smisty asked Elissa if she could talk the park into letting her by a stuffed Waly Gator. So they opened up a gift shop for us. Now, I had pretty much convinced Misty to buy a gator that would fit into her bag. But then Elissa (who is now dead to me) was all Satanic-influence with, "Hey, they opened this gift shop for, you have to get the big one!" But it gets worse. See, Misty was then talking to one of the park managers and thanked him for opening up the gift shop so she could buy a stuffed alligator, and he responded by gifting her a frigging Monster road wheel. Happily, they also gave 9 other wheels to the group, and I'm pretty sure that everyone who wanted one got one, so I'm not the only one who knows the joy of trying to get what (out of context) looks a bit like part of a nuclear reactor through airport security. But hold on, there's lots more parks before we start worrying about heading home! Our first day at Europa began with ERT on the indoor CanCan Coaster, followed by Silver Star (in the rain). CanCan Coaster (inside the golf ball) was fun and well-themed, though the restraints/seat horns weren't entirely ideal for me. Still, I rode it three times (once with the lights on) so they weren't that bad. I liked Silver Star a lot, despite a bit of rattle. That rattle was a deal-breaker for Misty, though. And yes, the golf ball is rather Epcot-like--except they put a roller coaster in it. Good artists borrow. Great artists steal. Now on our own, we headed for the park's newest dark ride, Arthur. But, really, Arthur is more than a dark ride. It's an indoor/outdoor powered coaster dark ride with a whole indoor area built around it. And it's great. We rode it 3 or 4 times over our 2 days at Europa, which required some effort and commitment considering how popular it is. I honestly had no idea that Europa had a fairy tell walk-through and push-button area! See, after the last trip, I was left with a conundrum: did I prefer Efteling or Gröna Lund? Thankfully, I now have an answer: I prefer Europa. Look, they even have self-operated rides! (Well, one. ) It pretty much rained the entire first day. But that was fine by me! It kept it from getting too hot and scared most of the locals away. No lightning, though. So we rode lots of stuff, including some water rides--including this splash battle, which also had indoor dark ride sections. Because everything at Europa is a dark ride. Of course, the weather wasn't ideal for photography. But that just gives me an excuse for my crappy photos! So, again, a win. This powered coaster intertwines with the log flume and then they both intertwine inside a man-made mountain along with a walk-though attraction about elven slave-labor gem mining. The nice gentleman working the log flume asked if we wanted to stay on and ride again and we did. Is a dive show in the middle of a water ride safer if the guy misses the pool or less safe? There was a small language barrier with the guy in the ice cream shop on account of the fact that I am an American and do not speak any other languages secure in the knowledge that I will never need to understand any other culture and his English was only almost perfect. But it did result in this amazing waffle cone sundae thing and my new motto: "Yes to everything." Actually, this might be the park's newest dark ride: Snorri Touren. It's easy to find as it's located in a basement through a random door in the Scandinavian section of the park. And Misty had a stuffy of Snorri shipped to us in the states months before we visited this park. Josefina's Magical Imperial Journey might be the snootiest name for a ride ever. It also has a fascinating narrative, in that it's utterly unburdened by conflict or adversity. Basically, a princess meets a prince, their respective families approve, everything is what it seems, they get married, and everything is wonderful. See? They don't just rip off Disney. We didn't eat at Food Loop because Elissa said the food was bad. But I don't why I should listen to her "buy the big gator" slander. Oh right, the line was also long. Looks like I'll trust her opinion after all and just take a photo instead. I'm told that folks around these parts like pictures of roller coasters. So here are two in one photo. Can I go back to pictures of foliage now? Wodan is my new favorite GCI, by the way, and probably the best coaster I rode on this trip. For anyone who doesn't know, Europa Park was ostensibly started as a showcase for Mack Rides. But there's clearly more to it then that. Indoor spinning ride? Check. Okay, I do have one minor complaint. This is a Mack water coaster. Essentially, it's the same ride type as Journey to Atlantis at SeaWorld Orlando. Except what's cool about that ride is that it's a log flume and a dark ride and a coaster. This is just out in the open, and mostly unthemed (outside of the station). Which is doubly odd as everything at Europa is a dark ride. Except this, which really should be. It's like, a duck is cool because it can walk and swim and fly. But a duck just walking is kind of lame. Get a goat or a cheetah or something. I insist that this is a perfect analogy and will not hear otherwise. By my count, Europa has 6 proper dark rides. Including this one, Geisterschloss, which roughly translates to "Moist Cattle." I'm sorry, that should've been "Clothed Hassle." Damned auto-correct. This ride is just a bunch of things that Germans think Italians are into, but it ends with a gelato room, so I like it. And also the Russian dark ride is worse because it's so much about snow and ice and cold that penguins actually show up at the end. But those all pale in comparison to this one. As near as I can figure--and I did zero research but don't correct me--there was an existing dinosaur themed ride but they wanted to retheme whatever this section of the park was before to France and this was how they bridged the gap: an old French women collects weird things, including and mostly consisting of live dinosaurs. The best part of this ride was that a live squirrel wandered into it and was just as confused about the whole situation as I was. Ireland is the park's kid section, which seems kind of insulting if you're Irish...? Except that when I say "kid section" I actually mean completely awesome family section filled with more tracked outdoor scenic rides than I can count. I mean, I would give a lot of parks half credit for having a dark ride if they had anything half as good as any one of these indoor/outdoor scenic rides, and this area has like 4 or 5 of them. And also one of those Lindt chocolate stores that Ireland is so famous for. God, I love Europa so much. But mostly because I'm not Irish. This nightmarishly-themed water cups ride is called (and I'm not making this up) "Puppet Boat Ride." Note that the sign in the background reads "CIRCUS MACK'S IMUS" because Mack. Old Mac Donald's Tractor Fun Yes, that's its actual name. Note the observation tower in the background, as we're going there next. I am the master of transitions. You know how people are always like, "They should have benches in the queue." Well, these crazy bastards went and did it. Also, Misty representing. Her favorite ride manufacturer was Mack before we went to Europa. Yes, she likes this park, A view from the observation tower of the 3 coasters we'll have ERT on the following day. Back to our on-site hotel, El Andaluz. A large contingent of the group headed to Europa's new indoor waterpark, Rulantica, for the evening. But we're old and tired and I'm under court order not to be seen in a bathing suit. This tapas at the hotel restaurant was so good we ended up going back and getting it again the next evening. Yes, we got this two nights in a row, also. The big bed is for gauchos and donkeys. The top bunk is for little boys. The bottom bunk is for maracas. Day 2 started with ERT on Euro-Mir. This was Mack's prototype spinning coaster. It's kind of weird, it doesn't free spin, and some of the transitions are a bit...Arrow. But I like weird, the spiral disco lift and the mirrored towers are fun, and it's not overly painful. I rode twice, once experiencing the bulk of the ride forwards, and once experiencing the bulk of the ride backwards. So I figure I pretty much got the full experience. I'd hate for them to get rid of this ride. But I also feel like they could do better now. Maybe like a full-scale revamp/refurb? Make it spin freely and reprofile some of those transitions? I'd say they might just go full Ride to Happiness, but I don't think Mack wants really extreme rides in their park. Still, they have two water coasters, so who knows? Voletarium is their flying theater ride. You know, like Soarin'. But when was the last time you rode Soarin' and there wasn't a seam or a blemish on the screen or a bit of trash at the bottom? Everything at Europa works. Buttons actually activate things, screens are pristine, animatronics move like they're supposed to, operations are top notch, and policies actually make sense. Also, the transitions were really good. (I hate smash cuts.) And the ending? Oh yeah, you end at Europa with fireworks going off. I don't carry a big camera. I just use my phone. Both because I want to travel light, and because I don't want to fall into focusing so much on photography that I miss out on just , you know, experiencing things. But I did want to bip out the front gate for some quick photos of the park entrance and Silver Star. So here's an example of what I was talking about before. If you leave the park, and wish to return that same day, there's an automated system that takes your photo and attaches it to your ticket. Now, obviously, that's to prevent people from giving their tickets to others. But, you just know that if a US park were to do something like this, they'd make everyone attach their photo upon initial entry. But why? Most people don't leave in the middle of the day and come back again. So Europa only does it when it matters. And, yes, I suppose you could go with a traditional handstamp instead, but kids were defeating that when I was a kid, and I'm old as dirt. A small Mack/Europa museum at the front of the park. And a much weirder "Narrenscheune Museum" (whatever that is). Just a weird garden-y section near the front of the park. I imagine that a lot of people miss it. And again, this park is so much more than just a Mack Rides showroom. How am I supposed to drive this thing?! The steering wheel is on the wrong side!? Also, there are no guns on this thing! That's like an America joke, right? I have no idea. I'm way too handsome to be an ugly American. Sex joke...? Wait, maybe this is the park's newest dark ride. Yes, it's a Pirates of the Caribbean rip off. But really, I think of it as more of a companion piece. Like, I honestly think you'd enjoy it more if you were already familiar with PotC. Quality-wise, it's pretty much on par (or maybe just a slight notch below) but has much more of an Asian-vibe. Or, to put it another way, how can you improve Pirates of the Caribbean? If your answer is "add a tiger," then this ride might be for you! Honestly, what kind of lunatic makes an otter in a tiny pirate costume walk the plank? Is this theming Disney quality? I dunno, I'm not that into Disney. This is good enough for me, though. Raclette. The hype is real. Was excited to see this football bumper car thing, but it's apparently been replaced by some kind of virtual garbage. Boo. How about some ERT on my new favorite GCI? It's just so good. Plus, no seat belts, so operations are lightning fast. Speaking of which: This story is second hand, but I don't think anyone would object to my paraphrasing it here. Essentially, the ides is that Europa feels that they have to have excellent operations because they want to sell these rides to other parks, and they don't want those parks to think they make low-capacity rides. Of course, this isn't a Mack ride, so I guess maybe they just want to take care of their guests, as well. Everything is a dark ride. I haven't really talked too much about Blue Fire. I dug it. The restraints were mostly pretty okay for me, but that last hangtime inversion was a little owie, so I stopped after about 3 rides. Still, that's a pretty decent amount for me. In fact, I rode all 5 of their big coasters 2-4 times. There really wasn't one that I rode once and was done with. Which, if you know me, is pretty good. We asked Robb and Elissa if they could just leave us here, but apparently Europa insisted that we go experience some other German parks...? Seems a bit insulting, but I guess we have to respect their wishes. Anyway, is Europa the best park in the world? Well, I haven't been to every park in the world, and we still have 10 more parks to talk about from this trip, so technically it's too early to say. But yes.
    4 points
  26. Just be wary of the turkey leg crowd next door to Xcalibur!
    4 points
  27. I've been told that Saturday night is alright for fighting, alright alright?
    4 points
  28. ^Yeah but Mach tower is a dumb ride and no one really cares if it's down. FF is actually a really awesome ride that's sad to see closed!!!
    4 points
  29. Went Friday for my first ever visit. My GF and I got the FL+ passes as recommended and it was an amazing time. Rarely had any waits for anything got a ton of rides on everything. Diamondback and Banshee were both amazing, but damn do I love Orion. It's only the second gigacoaster I've ever ridden (Fury back in 2019 being the other) and while it's a shorter ride, I feel like it's all killer and no filler. Some of those pops of air are VERY aggressive pops where it felt like it was really trying to buck me off. Of course, Diamondback has a lot of that too. I feel like Diamondback is probably the better overall coaster but Orion hits a couple points higher, just not as many. Banshee is easily the most intense inverted coaster i've ever been on. Loved it. Mystic Timbers and Flight of Fear were both a lot of fun. Racer was better than I thought it would be too! I started the day on Beast and it was fun (shockingly smooth!) and then the ending hit, and that spiral down is freaking crazy. Got to end the night with a night ride on Beast, and wow is that insane. That was basically the perfect wooden coaster experience. Felt like I was going to fly off and die in the woods, haha. Seriously though, Beast is incredible at night. I don't have the experience that some of the folks here do, but KI has the perfect mix of coasters. The big giga with an insane first drop, the hyper that's an airtime machine, the invert that will not let you breathe, and then some nice woodies to boot, including the Beast which is now my favorite woodie. Love KI, a great park! Totally recommend the FL+. Worth every penny. Doing that many rides in a day had us feeling it the next day though!
    4 points
  30. 4 points
  31. For those of you who have been wondering what's been going on with the old candy shop in Germany . . . Sip in Secret at an ALL-NEW Theme Park Speakeasy, Opening this Month at Busch Gardens Williamsburg For a Limited-time, Guests Can Save 20 Percent on Reservations for this Exclusive Experience Something new is brewing at the all-new Bürgermeister’s Hideaway This immersive, one-of-a-kind experience debuts on July 20 Guests 21+ can enjoy handcrafted cocktail flights customized to each season For a limited-time, all reservations receive a 20 percent grand opening discount Save up to 55 percent on tickets, Fun Cards and Memberships during the Summer Sale A one-of-a-kind, immersive bar experience is debuting this summer at Busch Gardens Williamsburg with the addition of an all-new speakeasy. Bürgermeister’s Hideaway will open on July 20 and offers guests an opportunity to partake in a spirited experience with festive drink and fantastic ambiance. Behind a sweet façade visitors will explore an exclusive hideaway bar that houses mystery and marvel for all to enjoy. The tale of Bürgermeister’s Hideaway dates back to a centuries-old mystery bar that offers a different type of counter service with a drink that is contrary to its country. This hidden den, run by Busch Gardens’ iconic Bürgermeister, offers signature cocktail, mocktail, wine, and beer flights that will leave guests craving more. Beverage flights are chef curated and seasonally inspired, debuting with the vibrant flavors of summer. Guests who select the cocktail flight can sip on the perfect blend of sweet and spice with the refreshing Watermelon Jalapeno Margarita and the Banana Nutella Martini, a smooth and savory concoction with a hint of hazelnut. Prost to sweet surprises with this ALL-NEW adventure at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Visitors must prebook their speakeasy visit here. Each reservation includes a timed entry to Bürgermeister’s Hideaway and one drink flight. For a limited-time, guests can save 20 percent on reservations purchased before July 22. Throughout the year, Members receive a discount on this all-new experience.
    4 points
  32. Today was media day for Wonder Woman Flight of Courage! Awesome addition to SFMM's lineup. Now there are two coasters I will ride every time i'm there. I have not ridden either of the first edition single rails that just look like they are sped up in videos, but I believe this is just enough for everyone. The front was more violent than the rear, but the rear has the type of airtime I enjoy. First drop was my favorite in the back seat. There still seems to be a lot of detail work to be done in the future, but it's ready enough to open, I guess. As you may have heard, Batman's entrance is now the old exit. Before going up the ramp, they created a new concrete walkway to the original queue. The stairs still smell the same post closure. lol. SFMM opened it for media day as well so I got one ride in. The new DC Universe entrance looks great. There is a ton of open space in the plaza area as well as some space surrounding the ride. The old turnaround area for Tidal Wave is unused dirt at the moment. There definitely has to be a plan for that land. Walls are still up in that area. Anyway, an excellent addition to Magic Mountain's already solid lineup!
    4 points
  33. We visited the park last week and I wasn't planning to do a TR but after reading these reports about the park's attendance this year, figured I would. We had a great visit and I'd recommend a visit this year to anyone. Operations were crazy good everywhere except Superman Ultimate Flight, where they weren't exactly bad but had the typical Six Flags flying coaster struggles. Seriously, they were flying to dispatch trains at all the coasters in a way I've never seen at a Six Flags park before. Kingda Ka was running 2 trains/one station and they'd have the train out before the other returned. Ditto at El Toro and Medusa. The park was also clean and yes, completely empty. The only thing we were bummed about was Nitro being unavailable, which I hope is back in operation soon. The only "Six Flags hot mess" thing we experienced was slow food service along with some of the food choices unavailable. We tried going to Yum Yum Cafe for lunch but after waiting about 5 minutes with the employees and customers both standing around looking confused with no food being served, we moved on to Garden State Grill. It was a little bit slow to order and receive food but we got our food in the end and the employees were nice about it. Now, some pics. You are legally required to take this photo if you visit this park. As we parked, we saw Kingda Ka launch a train, soon followed by El Toro going up. Things are good. Oof, I will say that both Kingda Ka and El Toro were running kind of brutal on this visit, but I heard from a friend that El Toro got new wheels this week and is back to running great, which I'm super jealous about. I honestly can't remember if this pre-entrance building was here last year, but being able to breeze through security without stopping (they have those wide-range metal detectors set up) was great. It also gives the park entrance a bit of a nicer touch. Toro toro toro. My #1 coaster and there's no denying that first drop and orgasmic airtime. But boy did the turnaround and pullout from the RT hill hit hard that day. The Intamin duo. Later in the day, the park was so empty that El Toro's trains were going out with 10 passengers or less. Riding in an empty train also seems to make for some rougher rides. In total we got about 8-10 rides before we had to tap out. I'm happy they replaced the wheels and maybe we'll make it back up later this year. The Ferris wheel looking interesting with some gondolas missing. Even though you may now purchase your marijuana legally in the state of New Jersey, Six Flags would still prefer if you partake elsewhere. Maybe setting up "designating toking areas" would help with attendance at this point? A Green Lantern pic from the parking lot that I snapped on the way out. In all, we rode El Toro about 8-10 times, Kingda Ka twice, Jersey Devil 4 or 5 times, Batman twice, plus one ride each on Medusa, Superman, Green Lantern, and Skull Mountain. Oh, and we even rode Dark Knight, a coaster I haven't been on since it's opening year. We did all this in about 6 hours and we even left earlier than we'd planned to get some dinner. Check out Great Adventure this year, you might just have an awesome time.
    4 points
  34. You're not wrong but Hersheypark is located near a bunch of corn and cow shit and they're bursting at the seams so Six Flags does need to come up with a way to spin that one.
    4 points
  35. Worlds of Fun has announced their new for 2023 roller coaster, Zambezi Zinger, a tribute to the original Zambezi Zinger that used to stand at the park! https://www.worldsoffun.com/new-in-2023/zambezi-zinger The new Zambezi Zinger roller coaster will take guests on a thrilling journey above its galvanized steel and wood hybrid frame, dropping guests from an iconic spiral lift hill into a low-to-the-ground track that races through the trees and terrain of the African Serengeti. Packed with several moments of airtime, banked turns and quick transitions, riders are connected to the feeling of an epic safari chase and fast-paced adventure! Designed by: Great Coasters International and Skyline Attractions Length: 2,428 feet Speed: 45 mph Duration: 2 minutes Track Style: Hybrid Titan Track Trains: New Infinity Flyer Trains, capable of taking on the most extreme coaster elements # of Trains: 2 Riders/Train: 16 The original Zinger was one of the park’s most popular rides – and one of three coasters – when Worlds of fun opened in 1973. Beloved by adults and kids alike, it had cars configured in a bobsled style that dashed through the trees for a fun and exhilarating ride. The new Zinger is sure to delight a new generation of guests while providing a nostalgic nod to the past.
    3 points
  36. Honestly, last year they had a great year and did lots of things right. This year, it’s like the chains entirely switched places. I really think the issue was the price hikes, not anything they did last year.
    3 points
  37. Ride. The. Bumper. Cars. Ride them. Ride them again. Repeat until your wallet runs dry. Go the to ATM.
    3 points
  38. Looks pretty unique, and I'm sure Dollywood will go all out with the theme. I didn't see who the manufacturer was however. Based on the artwork, it looks like it could be either Vekoma or Intamin. Maybe I overlooked it since I'm just an insane crackhead.
    3 points
  39. Dollywood has announced Big Bear Mountain, a new multi-launched family roller coaster opening in Wildwood Grove in 2023! https://www.dollywood.com/themepark/rides/big-bear-mountain/?fbclid=IwAR3G-A7ieKX-XO0SBjUFTdgQeBWO1QlSUWBZp5wqXpRN1fzVfopZBoIVFYs Dollywood’s largest ever park expansion, Wildwood Grove, is getting even bigger! Debuting in the spring of 2023, Big Bear Mountain will be the longest coaster at Dollywood, taking guests of all ages on an unforgettable family-friendly expedition in search of the Big Bear. Circling Wildwood Grove for nearly two minutes on 3,990 ft. of track, this gigantic coaster is a first of its kind at Dollywood with onboard audio, including music and announcements from Ned Oakley himself. It’s almost time to venture into the Smokies for an unforgettable adventure aboard Dollywood's largest attraction. Ned Oakley, Wildwood Grove’s resident wilderness explorer, knows a thing or two about this hidden land and is setting up the Adventure Outpost Base Camp, located just a stone’s throw away from the Grove’s Hidden Hollow. Here, you'll join Ned in his specially-outfitted, four-wheel drive SUVs for the ride of your life in search of the Grove’s most storied and elusive inhabitant, Big Bear. Longest coaster at Dollywood at 3,990 ft Ride Duration of 99-104 seconds 20 passengers per train Maximum speed of 48 MPH 66 feet at highest track elevation Minimum height requirement of 39 in
    3 points
  40. Fingers crossed we get a 20 foot animatronic black bear in the finale!
    3 points
  41. See, I feel like the ride is totally reopening with as-few changes as possible. I feel like they’ll change almost nothing and just check the flag plates more often / change some small thing about how they’re affixed and just let everyone think that they spent a year and a half working around the clock on a bunch of major changes.
    3 points
  42. Why is everyone talking about major changes to the launch when the launch had nothing to do with the accident?
    3 points
  43. God I wish this place would be the next Carowinds.
    3 points
  44. The entry is the original Scandi gate or essentially back entry to the park. The original gate was located near where Steelhawk is now. Trams would take people from the parking lots to the gate or people walked to the Scandi gate. When the trams went away, the American gate went away and the Scandi gate became the main entrance to the park.
    3 points
  45. Reducing attendance results in lower crowds, resulting in a better guest experience, possibly resulting in more return-visitors and in-park spending.
    3 points
  46. If I were gonna fight, it will def be on fri or sat night. Gotta make sure I make it to work during the week.
    3 points
  47. 3 points
  48. ^ Holy hell, guy, it was a joke.
    3 points
  49. Yes. The lights are currently being refurbished by one in-house maintenance guy with a folding ladder and some 70 watt high efficiency warm-light bulbs. The project started in 2016. Should be done any year now. They are also closing the ride temporarily for a few seasons, because they have to sand and stain the queue deck. The park works slowly with woodwork, but it will be perfect for a month when it's finished.
    3 points
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