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Showing content with the highest reputation since 05/19/2024 in all areas

  1. Alright, so yesterday was pretty dang awesome. The park was a bit slow to wake up with a bunch of coasters being closed until 10:30/11am or so, but once things were in the groove it was smooth sailing. Crowd levels had waits at 15-30 minutes for most everything. Operations could use a little work as I noticed every single coaster stacking trains, though. Still, every coaster that had the capability to run three trains WAS running three trains. Stacking or not, that's appreciated. Hate to see that go-get-em attitude disappear once the Six Flags merger completes and we're down to one train being half-loaded. Coasters - Orion - Hoo buddy, this one surprised me. This bad boy RIPS through the layout and has some damn good airtime to boot! Definitely a front seat ride, though the back ain't bad at all, either. The wind in front, though, is the cherry on top. Diamondback - The airtime on this ride is legitimately scary. This isn't standard B&M floater air but instead it's "bucking bronco trying to send you into Kentucky" air. Back seat is best. Mystic Timbers - Fast and wicked ride through the woods with a phenomenal first drop. Tons of laterals and some nice air pops. The shed is a complete waste of time, effort, and money, though. Back row is intense, especially getting ripped down the first drop. Banshee - Holy hot dicks from hell! I had absolutely NO IDEA how great this ride is. I'd heard the good reviews and I've seen the POVs but lawd almighty this monster is completely different than I was expecting. It rides like a mid-90s Beemer! Forces out the yin-yang on every element, especially the batwing and second vertical loop. Back row is is my fave, if for no other reason than that first drop. Best ride in the park alongside... The Beast - It's The Beast. It's one of the greatest rides on the planet. It also has some truly awful trims in the first bit (first drop, second hill, and the long shed) but after the long shed it returns to the incredibly wild run through the woods we all know and love. The trim before the helix has mercifully been moved to the top of the hill, so now you hit the tunnel full-bore and go screaming around that bitch like a bat out of hell. All hail the king, especially in the front row. The Bat - I love this ride, even if it does have a horrible location compared to the rest of the park. IIRC, back in 2003 it was much more visible and accessible with SoB in the area. Instead it's now a relic hiding behind a 5-mile hike with an entrance hardly seen at Banshee's exit. Damn shame, because this is a very fun and fast suspended coaster. Racer - Third row has some great airtime on this classic. Fun stuff! Backlot Stunt Coaster - Great launch and helix, boring everything else. Slowest line in the park. Flight Of Fear - Closed most of the day, broke down when I was entering the UFO. Didn't ride. Adventure Express - Packs a punch! I love me a good mine train and this one didn't disappoint. Ride it in the back to get the real janked-out experience, ya jabronis. This ride is great. Invertigo - Pass. I rode Two-Face when it was at SFA. I'm good. Other Rides - Boo Blasters - Yeah, this has seen better days. Cute enough and an easy way to escape the sun, but the guns hardly work and there's a large amount of broken effects. Delirium - Fun ride but after riding a larger version it didn't feel as wacky. Windseeker - This was my first Windseeker after riding many Star Flyers. Let's just say there's a reason these haven't been built in a while. Star Flyers are a much simpler mechanical ride and much more reliable. This was also pretty uncomfortable, for some reason. Good view, though. Blue Ice Cream - Yummy yummy in my tummy.
    7 points
  2. This morning I was able to stop into Universal Studios Florida for a passholder preview of the new DreamWorks Land. This new area replaces the former Kidzone including the Woody Woodpecker Nuthouse Coaster, Fievel's Playland, Curious George Goes to Town, DreamWorks Destination (formerly the Barney show) and a Shrek and Donkey meet and greet. The new land takes up almost exactly the same footprint, but distributes experiences in themed sections inspired by the world of Shrek, Puss in Boots, Kung Fu Panda and Trolls along with the addition of the new DreamWorks Imagination Celebration show and some meet and greet spaces for a variety of DreamWorks characters to visit throughout the day. This corner of the park will once again be a go-to spot for families with younger kids. Troll's Trollercoaster is the rethemed Woody Woodpecker's Nuthouse Coaster. Guests ride aboard the Caterbus in this familiar experience. The layout of the coaster remains the same but the queue and surrounding area has been updated to fit the new theme. Yes, this coaster train has an actual butt. The legend lives on. The former Curious George Goes to Town area has been transformed into Po's Kung Fu Training Camp, inspired by the world of Kung Fu Panda. Some of the water play elements from the former attraction remain and the core structure has been retained, but there's some pretty significant differences up close. The water play area is on the right side and the dry play area is on the left. Inside the former ball play area is the new Po Live! interactive meet and greet experience. The former ball play area has essentially become a theater for this interactive experience (the second floor walkways area still accessible). Some simple dry playground elements on this side of the Kung Fu Panda area... The tipping bucket returns from the past version of this complex. Even more water play areas can be found throughout the Kung Fu Panda portion of DreamWorks Land. There are multiple Haystack Dryers available to use in DreamwWorks Land. Onward... The Trolls section of the land is cute and feels different than its predecessor. All aboard the Caterbus! Trolls Treats offers two types of soft serve inspired by the two main characters of the Trolls films. Over in Shrek's swamp you'll Pinocchio's Fact Shack, where you can ask the wooden boy questions where his answers may or may not be true... This slide starts in a port-o-potty and the sounds it makes are as you would expect for the theme. The elevated play structure in Shrek's swamp provides the best views of the Troll's Trollercoaster in all of the land. Shrek's swamp features some water play elements as well. Shrek, Donkey and Fiona meet guests here in a relocated meet and greet from the former Kidzone. Swamp Snacks offers stuffed waffles, pretzel dogs and Shrek pretzels with green cheese sauce. Gabby's Dollhouse is represented with a meet and greet location for Gabby. King Julian from the Madagascar franchise is among the rotating cast of characters that meets guests throughout the land. Mama Luna Feline Fiesta is an interactive nook where you can toggle triggers for cats in this covered open air experience. DreamWorks Imagination Celebration replaces Dreamworks Destination (formerly the long-running "A Day in the Park with Barney" show). Characters from throughout DreamWorks Land appear in a show featuring music, dance and a lively atmosphere that is fun for all ages. The same theater-in-the-round design is still in use for the venue. The projections throughout the venue help to transform the theater with each segment. One final dance before the show is over! High Five Hideaway is the land's merchandise location, offering items inspired by all of the land's characters. King Harold's Swamp Symphony is an interactive play area where guests can jump on lily pads to make the frogs sing. Adjacent to DreamWorks Land, E.T. Adventure has shifted its entrance slightly to accomodate the new land, and with this shift comes a prominent new entrance sign.
    7 points
  3. Lol, some gp on FB actually complained about it going up too fast and she's worried it won't be safe. She wants them to slow down! Was talking about how when rides go up too fast there are dead bodies
    6 points
  4. Official Park Website: https://www.rasti-land.de (German only) Backstory to this post: About a decade ago I discovered both the TPR Website and this fairly small park in Germany: Rasti-Land in Salzhemmendorf, Lower Saxony. It is a family-owned park, opened in 1973 and has been steadily expanded since. When I visited the park, I did take pictures and thought about posting them here, but never actually got around to actually doing that. Since that park still doesn't exist in this forum, here are pictures from my 2015 visit. To start with, the park is a little out of the way, I passed a village and my satnav led me along a road which didn't look like it would lead to an amusement park until it told me to turn right. Yeah... right. Well, at least I was pretty unquestionably in the right place. After this short tunnel, you have free parking and depending where you found a spot a bit of a walk to the entrance. Now that looks a bit more park-y. Pretty much right after the entrance, you find the first example of nice and possibly DIY landscaping. Also one of the first rides you see is this, which seems lifted pretty much straight out of RCT: Monorail! It is partially elevated, so you have a good view through parts of the park and a short "dark" ride section, I think in this building. One of the things you see from there is this kiddy-sized merry-go-round... ... accompanied by similar fun-sized flat rides. like this ferris wheel (mini version) and another merry-go-round, this one probably with seats swinging out as it spins (didn't see it in action). Also on the way, you see more things which could come out of RCT like those tracks (the park wasn't particularily full, so there wasn't much happening on those tracks) Continuing further into the park, there is a nice and quiet boat ride with fairy-tale themed animatronics (no pics of those though) The current moving those boats is generated by a paddle wheel right next to the station, also the boats are lifted out of the water by a conveyor belt to allow easy boarding and leaving. There is also an old tracked car ride which has been modernised into a photo safari. All nice and quiet, maybe a little too quiet but eventually you enter... ...the realm of T-Rex. That's more like it. This is a rafting ride with dino-themed landscaping Gives a bit of a Jurassic Park vibe ...a breakthrough of genetics... But it's not all just landscaping, at the bottom end of this helix ramp, there was quite a bit of Skloosh! action. And if you aren't wet enough... ...this water battle ride is right next door. Of course, not all big attractions are water-themed. For example, there is this nice and nicely pink Vekoma Junior Coaster (apparently their first one) It was pretty hot that day, so even a little mental cooling was welcome. This is the station to a powered bobsled ride. Also quite fun as you get to control your own speed (within limits). Some more DIY landscaping. At some point it was rainnig a little, just enough to drive up humidity but not enough (yet) to drive down temperatures. Here you can do a bit of climbing while attached to a safety harness. This was briefly closed due to the drizzle, but I either got up and back down before or it reopened when I got there. Continuing with somewhat smaller attractions again... ...there is a small drop tower... ...Bumper Boats... ...and a small "steam" railway (smelled and sounded like powered by a two-stroke engine). Of course, grilling and two-stroke exhaust from that go-kart track go wonderfully together. Going a bit back towards water, we find the classical combination of... ...a swinging pirate ship... ....and a pirate-themed dark ride. The Park also has a nice assortment of slides. Dry and enclosed as part of a playground. Dry, open and standalone and a few moist slides the slide boats run on water, but the tracks are confined enough that you shouldn't get really wet. This does however not appply to... Skloosh! 2, an unfortunately not terribly photogenic log flume. Finishing with the water is this spinny thing The boats don't just spin around the pirate, they also go up and down on a track (and they can also spin backwards). This was one of the last rides I rode that day and I hope these pictures gave you an indea about this small but nice park. Even back then there were more rides I didn't take pictures of and since my visit they built several more, including three rollercoasters (Holta di Polta, Strohnado and Verrücktwärts). In summary, this is a really nice small park with rides for all ages and almost all types of riders (except hardcore thrillseekers) where you can easily spend half a day to a day, so maybe think about a visit when you are in the general area of Brunswick/Hannover. If you come from further away, you should combine your visit to the park with other places as the park on its own isn't so much of a reason for extended travel (unless you are REALLY desperate for coaster credits). EDIT: BTW, Strohnado seems to be same model as the hamster wheel coaster from this TPR IAAPA 2021 video, although from on-ride videos the spin cycle of Strohnado seems a lot tamer. German Wikipedia calls this a Mixed Coaster by SBF Visa, they also produced the other two new coasters.
    5 points
  5. So, we decided on a bit of a whim to spend the day at the park yesterday. About a 3 hr 15 min drive for us each way, so we just did a day trip. We did not go to the water park this time since it had just opened and I suspected they wouldn't have everything going yet (that turned out to be accurate) and I also assumed the water would be fairly cold especially after the storms and hail of the night before (not sure if that was correct but based on the frigid temps of the log flume, probably) Although from observations there did look to be plenty of people that gave it a go. Good Gravy is a very basic layout, as expected with a Vekoma family boomerang, but the theming and the queue are absolutely fabulous. Grandma's house is still decorated in all of it 60's mid century kitsch, including dark brown cabinets and orange countertops in the kitchen. If you're old enough you know what I'm talking about, lol. Even if you don't want to ride it, go through the queue. Ops were still brushing the rust off. Really slow at Voyage but we saw a whole group being trained so I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt that they just need to get a little more practice in. Although the Legend crew was rocking it. All major rides going, no downtimes that I am aware of. In fact the only rides I saw not open were some of the slides in the water park as mentioned. Crowds were manageable. It was a good day. Already had a couple shows running, the high dive show and a magic show that seemed to be geared toward kids. Thanks to HW for having the EV chargers! Nice to get some free juice along with the parking, drinks, and sunscreen.
    5 points
  6. Linnanmäki ! Part 2 after the nutso Sirkus dark ride, it was time for the Haunt right next door. I had been correct in my guess that it was a walk thru - but I didn't realize it's in 3D. the glasses really DID enhance in some places, but as you can see from the pics, it works really well regardless. And it was fairly lengthy. this hall of mirrors section was truly spectacular. and with the 3D glasses on, it was so easy to walk into a mirror. but some of them have surprises inside if you do touch them! most of the games over here weren't open today - probably because it was a slow Sunday. But here's a good view of the entrance to the Haunt walkthru, and the Sirkus dark ride next door. I don't think I mentioned, but similar to Groan Lund, they go all out here at Linnanmäki in terms of theming for the Restrooms. no two are alike, and they don't seem to be tied into whatever area they are in. (for example, this one was by the Funhouse, Sirkus, Haunt). But they are heavily themed. wanna go in for a "pit stop" - literally? (and yes, racing sounds were played in the toilets via hidden speakers) looking towards the park's front gate, you can see the parks other drop tower (square vs round) some dark clouds were starting to move in, but it didn't rain until a bit later in the day (and then only for about 20 minutes) Loved the little areas that were just . . . there in the middle of things. such as this small wooden labyrinth just in the middle - that's also a water feature, with some occasional shooting jets of water. (I did do it, but managed to avoid the water ) would get to the Carousel soon, but I had wanted to come over here to ride Vuoristorata - the wooden coaster with a brake person. if you believe Roller Coaster Database, it's the same design as the one at Bakken (which no longer has the brake man), but it's slightly longer and taller. I love that they are so proud of their Brakemasters, that they have their pics up on a board in the queue. and tells you a bit of how they are trained. very cool. from the queue line, you can see the station (next door) for the Monorail. . . . would be doing that shortly! not a very crowded train. . all just TPR folks. sMisty and I went for the back, near our BrakePerson. . who happened to be the lady! twas quite cool. the ride was just OK, tho I did ride a few times. I think after starting the trip at Tivoli Gardens, with their incredibly fun Bakeman driven coaster, anything else would naturally come in 2nd. It was enjoyable, tho think of it as a scenic railway rather than a woodie, since there's no real pops of air (understandable, as there's someone standing on the back of the coaster ) we went down the exit ramp, and right up next door onto the Monorail, which offers some amazing views of the park. in particular the park's coaster collection Taiga on the left Vuoristorata & Ukko Kirnu Salama (the Maurer Spinner) the frying pan ride. . which no, I did NOT want to get on a spin and puke ride. (tho Robb did film this, and I believe he's posted the video on the TPR Youtube channel). earlier in the trip? I might have gone for it, but I was wanting "calmer" rides today. and this one was looking a bit "intense" wait. . . they have a "pony" ride? how had I not seen this on the map. DEFINITELY something to track down sooner rather than later. better view of the funhouse on Astroturf from above. not only some great sculptures around the park, but also some lovely flower work. pausing to buy some souveniers to bring home to my best friend. and then over to the Witch Hotel! sadly, no pictures allowed in the ride, so best I could do was queue line. maybe it would ruin the "storyline" wizard vs witch . . or something? LOL time for a coaster I hadn't been on yet, Tulireki - billed as a one of a kind. this is a Mack "e-Motion" coaster, where the trains "tilt" in certain areas to make you feel as if you're falling off the tracks. honestly? the effect isn't really noticable - the turns felt just as if we were on a wild mouse. So i guess it just doesn't work as a concept. . but it was a fun coaster. and yes, it IS painted the same color as Salama (the Maurer spinner) and Taiga (the Intamin LIM launch) that are right next to it - so it make a massive area of blue track. Speaking of Taiga - you can see how close it is, as it zooms by while you're in the queue for Tulireki Pine Cone creatures sculptures just wandering among the coaster supports. still from the Tulireki queue. Taiga zooming by, and Salama's lift hill as noted, the ride was enjoyable enough, but not anything really special (it certainly didn't live up to the "e-motion" promise. so moved on to another coaster I'd yet to go on: Pikajuna - a custom built Mack powered coaster themed to a mine train (it's a really long train too. . so very high capacity) the rides here all are built next to each other, but the fun part is the queues are all interacting with the rides next door (like the Vuoristorata queue showing off the monorail) and this one here, that wraps around the Rapids ride. a good view of the trains for Tulireki - the bob sled style train is cool. . just wish the "tilt" had been more pronounced long train! (this coaster's track is the grey on the left) I chose to ride in the back. . . not that it makes much difference for a powered coaster. still, a fun ride. exiting Pikajuna, you have a wonderful view of the rapids ride. and this turn around not only has water, but fire features. Kewl! and no, the water does NOT turn off..they want you wet. another we'd yet to go on, Salama, the Maurer Spinner. a look at the train (4 per, back to back). This one was on the transfer track - wasn't busy enough to have all trains running I suppose. the monorail track, and where I wanted to head to next - the giant Ferris Wheel. Andrew, Erik & sMisty had the same idea, and were getting off, as we got in line so many things in this park give you wonderful opportunities for great pics. Overlooking Helsinki a mass of tracks and rides. . .LOL. .tho the only train on any of these tracks in this pic is Salama (one lone spinning car) there we go! a little further left, and got a train from both Tulireki and Taiga in the shot howdy Big Mike, and Jon (who again, is not a fan of Ferris Wheels, but came on this with us) sadly the rainbow Enterprise was not working today. . but thought it was a rather amazing location for it (it's on the roof of a restaurant) a couple more shots of the BrakeMan on the Scenic Railway. I was still iffy on riding Kirnu, but was leaning towards giving it a shot. but first, we were gonna take a ride on Linnunrata eXtra, the indoor Zierer coaster. the little train was circling the building, so snapped a pic as we headed up the stairs. it's a very "Space" coaster type queue, which makes sense, as the name translates to "Milky Way" and like very other "Space" coaster I've ever been on? the queue felt like it was *miles* long. finally go to the loading station. A pic thru the glass at the train loading. I can't really recall anything about this ride. no, really. . I can't even recall if I did the VR or rode it without. but I DO know I rode it - how's that for a sparkling review? I wonder if these lips indicate this is a tunnel of love, or a kissing tunnel. and I wonder if these two guys noticed that? again. . just a lovely park. that concrete slab apparently used to be a Top Spin, and it's going to be the park's new for 2023/24 ride. If recalling, it's a star flyer? another themed bathroom. . this one was apparently "Steampunk Harry Potter" some of the gears in here moved, and there was a "moaning Myrtle" type sound piped in. it was almost time to meet up for the goodbye dinner. . so we hung around the front of the park area - near where the restaurant we were meeting up at was. decided to check out the SeaLife Aquarium, but decided against it, as it wasn't included here (and seemed smaller than the others I'd seen, so decided to save the money). . but for some reason - which I never understood, and no one could explain - out front? is a statue of three naked men eating Ice Cream. I don't understand it, but yeah, it's worth a few pics while we were relaxing and killing time until dinner, Robb shared the below pic of Taiga from the observation tower. (it's a great pic, isn't' it?) I took one look at it, and decided I needed to ride that and get some pics too, so we headed over that way. seated (ahhhhh) in the air conditioned gondola, we started our ascent - and I got a wave from a monorail driver oh! we're right next to the pony ride!! I had forgotten about that, we need to do that next - since we had gained time before dinner by not doing the aquarium. got a pic of all three "blue" coasters this one is from, I believe Robb as well (based on the sharper quality of the pic, and the rounded horizon). tho it could be Andy or Brad. . but I'm thinking Robb. it always is rather neat to see the Brakeman standing on the back of a moving coaster. a better view of that ride pad where the Top Spin was, and where the new ride is going (again, based on the "swing" text on the walls, I believe it's a Star Flyer) getting off the observation tower, immediately tracked down the entrance to the pony ride. Yay! but I waited and let some go ahead of me, as I wanted to ride the Zebra no seatbelt, and it really does go right along the edge of a steep drop. never in America, but I guess the Finnish folks don't do as many stupid things, so they can be trusted with this kind of exposure. whee! it's a fairly long course, crammed into a smallish space. you DID IT, Jon whee! High Five from Big Mike (or is that "Low Five?") look at that face. . . shenanigans! it was just about now that the sky opened up and it started to pour for about 20 minutes. We hung out and played pinball in one of the arcades, and once the rain stopped, we made our way back towards the restaurant at the front of the park. but found these really impressive wire sculptures. the aforementioned arcade and absolutely no idea. reminds me of a Japanese Anime Character (the teacher from "Assassination Classroom") we did manage to stumble across some costumed characters out and about. she was Princess Pink, and Cotton Candy Girl (and no, not sure why Princess Pink was all in Orange. . . . unless she's "Cotton Candy Girl". .but that didn't make any sense either) back to the Witch Hotel. this time managed to get a pic of the ride vehicles. Thought they were rather neat. there were wire sculptures, so why not some Wicker sculptures? it was really well done. as you can see, once the rain passed? everything immediately opened back up. I believe I took another spin on the Monorail (this seems to be from that queue. . this time looking over at the coaster, instead of the other way around) and I had been convinced to give Kirnu a try - I believe the deciding chat was with Chuck (CFC) who told me he liked it. so I did end up riding it, after getting off the monorail. pics got out of order, but here's Jon and I riding it. They put two tiny little girls (employees) on the opposite side of us, which had us off balance the whole ride and we got a number of flips. but we were all laughing the whole time. i do believe these are courtesy of Brad. back on the monorail pics - got the whole train for Pikajuna as we passed by. but no trains on the tracks for Salama or Tulireki (tho there MIGHT be a Salama car on there behind the tree. . I see some pink) and got the angle correct this time to see both the round drop tower (in back) and Observation tower. shudder. . . . ride a painted pony, let the monorail turn. . . .. . or something like that. Ukko doing it's thing from the Monorail. post monorail ride, time for Carousel, and then bathroom break. we ended up back at the one themed to Pit Stop. . and I noticed that they do have a little sign up top giving away the themes. looks like the Women's restroom had the Princess Character I had seen walking around. but since no ladies with us at the moment (Erik and sMisty had gone to the Aquarium I think), I just have to imagine what it looked like in the ladies room. empty ride pad where the Top Spin used to be. heading to the restaurant for the farewell dinner, I noticed just now that the Kirnu sign moves back and forth, so snapped a pic of it) the farewell dinner was an all you can eat Indian feast. . and it was really good! not just as far as "theme park food" is concerned. . it was actually quite tasty! it was the last night together for most of us, so I made sure to thank Robb & Elissa for inviting me along on their trip and got some pics. Robb and I being excited, with a bonus Shane photobomb Elissa and I being happy, and bonus Barry butt. after dinner, we still had an hour or so in the park, and I had ridden pretty much everything I wanted to (and had firmly decided I was not going to ride "Ukko" - I just don't like Skyloops). . . so headed back to the observation tower for another cycle. and, of COURSE back to the Witch Hotel (think I also did Sirkus again) ha! hadn't noticed these guys earlier. They were animatronic and were just chatting away (in Finnish, so no idea what they were saying) but were interacting with each other, and - i assume - talking about the people beneath them in the queue. and then it was time to go. . it had been a really great day. these pics of Ukko are from the front entrance, as we were walking down to the bus to take us back to the hotel. and with that, we climbed back on the bus, and headed back to our final hotel in the heart of Helsinki. it had been a fantastic trip - and tho I didn't want it to be over? it was almost time to go home.
    4 points
  7. It's been about 15 years since I've been to Cedar Point, so I decided I wanted to attend Coaster Mania this year. Naturally, I was (like everyone else) hoping to be able to ride Top Thrill 2, but, as we all know, it will be down for a while. Even so, I knew I'd be able to add at least a few credits to my count (which is probably around 265 coasters as of now). Luckily the weather was good, though it was a bit windy, so much so that there were whitecaps in the lake. I got there around 7 am, right before the start of the morning ERT. They had Gate Keeper, Magnum XL, Millennium Force, Valraven and Raptor up and running. Having not ridden my favorite coaster in the park in years, I headed for Millennium Force first. I got in two awesome rides on it and then I headed over to Valraven. I got one ride on it but I wasn't particularly impressed. I was expecting something like Griffon or Sheikra, but I was rather disappointed. I am not sure why, perhaps it was the lack a scenic location like the two aforementioned dive coasters. It also didn't seem to have as much “hang time” at the first drop as the other two. I don't know, for me it is the weakest of the three dive coasters I've ridden. I passed on Magnum, not wanting to start my day with a possible aching back since I recall my last ride on it being a bit rough. So I took a ride on Blue Streak, for old time's sake. Then I headed over to Raptor. It was every bit as intense and disorienting as I remembered it to be, and is a coaster I can only ride once or maybe twice in a row due to the intensity. I headed back to Millennium Force but by this time it was down, and ERT was about over. I thought about going back to get a ride on Gate Keeper but being it is at the front of the park I figured I'd wait to catch up with it later when the crowds died down. I went over and picked up the Top Thrill 2 poster and pin they had for us (appreciated, but it kind of sucked that I had to either carry it around with me or stow it in a locker – might have been better had they handed that out at the end of night ERT). By then the park was getting busy and I decided to take a break, leave the park and have lunch with my husband (who isn't a coaster fan and was out doing other things outside the park). When he brought me back to the park a little later on, we took a drive around the perimeter road and I got some nice pics of some of the other coasters. I came back in around 2:30 pm, and I noticed that the line for Gate Keeper wasn't bad, so I went to ride it. I wasn't expecting much out of this one, despite the fact that it is very visually interesting, especially with its position at the main entrance of the park. But I was pleasantly surprised – it was a fun ride and the keyhole effect was neat to see as the train passed thru and around the towers. I rode the right side first, and then the left, and the left was by had the best view, being on the lake side and the rotation of the first drop. I rode the outer seats both times. Then I rode Max Air (another one of my favorite flat rides at the park) and couple of other flats. Then I got on the ferris wheel to get some good photos. It took forever and a day to load and unload (as is usually the case for ferris wheels) but the pics I got were worth the wait. By then it was dinner time. After the meal and the Q&A session, I decided to spend my time between then and the night ERT riding any rides or coasters I hadn't yet done. I rode Gemini (red side) and Fire Hawk, and a couple other flats, and by that time it was starting to get dark. I passed by Millennium Force, thinking I might get another ride, but the wait was over an hour, so I headed back towards the front of the park for another ride on Gate Keeper. This time I waited briefly for the front seat, and the keyhole effect was even better from the very front. I really liked that coaster – it's very re-rideable and the visuals are really cool. IMO it's rather underrated. But if you are looking for intensity you can always go ride Raptor or Maverick. It was getting close to ERT time but it was before 10pm, so I was wondering if I might not give Magnum another chance....if I got a back ache at least it would be at the end of the night rather than in the morning. Besides, the line was short and I knew the ERT would not start right at 10. I was trying to figure out what seat might be best as I entered the station (meaning best as in not too rough). So I chose the 4th seat from the front and hoped I had picked the right one. As it was the front of that car I was able to brace my feet against the floor board for stability. And that actually worked (that and maybe I got the “right” seat) and it was a reasonably enjoyable ride. Not what I'd call smooth, but not painful. Magnum is IMO a steel coaster that rides like a wooden coaster. I don't remember the lighting effects in the last tunnel when I was there years ago, not sure if that is a new thing or I just didn't notice it before. After Magnum the ERT for Gemini was beginning, and this time I rode the blue side once. Then I headed back for Maverick and Steel Vengeance. I had ridden Maverick before, and had a decidedly unpleasant experience with the old hard restraints. But I thought I'd give it another chance to impress me (instead of beat me up). Afterwards, I was planning on saving what might be the best for last (Steel Vengeance). Unfortunately it was at this point that I made the wrong choice, in hind sight. I got in line for Maverick, figuring I'd get a ride on it and then head for its next door neighbor. It seemed like everyone else wanted to ride Maverick, so the wait was longer than I expected. Anyway, the ride was much better with the new restraints. It's still not my favorite coaster at the park, but at least I could get a sense of it without the head banging. I'd vote it as the second most intense coaster at CP after Raptor. Not super re-rideable (at least for me) but a very potent experience all the same. Then I headed over to Steel Vengeance and was told I'd have to stow my fanny pack in a locker before I could ride. So I rented a locker and did that. Then I went for what was to be my first ride on what would be my third RMC coaster. But it seemed a third RMC wasn't in the cards for me that night... as I got about halfway thru the cue it broke down, with the train stuck on the lift hill. There was only about 20 minutes left of ERT at this point. Suffice to say I did not even get to ride it at all. Sometimes saving the best for last might mean that the best is no longer available. Sadly I had to leave without that credit for another year. It was unfortunately a disappointing end to an otherwise great day. The only other coasters I didn't ride this time was Corkscrew (ridden it before and not interested in headbanging), Iron Dragon (ridden before) and Rougarou (rode when it was Mantis, and it just wasn't high on my list of things to do). But either way I was glad to get back to Cedar Point after such a long time. I am definitely hoping to come back again for Coaster Mania next year to take care of this unfinished business (TT2 and Steel Vengeance). Finally, I had another stop on my vacation before I headed back home. This was not an amusement park but rather something totally unique and possibly of interest to anyone who likes coasters. I took an extra day and a two hour detour on the way home from Cedar Point to my home near Baltimore to stop at the New River Gorge national park in Fayetteville, West Virginia. This is a really beautiful place to visit and its easy see why it was made into a national park several years ago. If one of its main attractions was a coaster, it would be a really hard credit to get as it is more or less out in the middle of nowhere. Said attraction is the New River Gorge Bridge, and you can take a guided tour where you walk along the maintenance catwalk just under the road deck. And yes, you do wear a safety harness attached to a cable that runs the length of the walkway. The New River Gorge Bridge is the longest steel arch bridge in the Western Hemisphere and the third highest bridge in North America. This bridge is also the site of a yearly base jumping festival held on the third weekend of October. It is absolutely huge and tops out at 876 feet above the bottom of the gorge and the New River below. The three thousand foot long catwalk is 851 feet above ground and the views are spectacular. This is probably one of the coolest things I've done in my lifetime....but naturally I wouldn't recommend it to anyone with a fear of heights. Another freaky thing is that due to the wind and the constant traffic above you, the entire bridge really moves and shakes. Walking along the catwalk is kind of like walking on one of those vibrating floors in a fun house! Not enough to knock you off balance, but you do know you are moving. That and the whistling of the wind thru the structure and the whine of the traffic make for a very surreal experience. If you want to have a truly unique experience you can't go wrong here.
    4 points
  8. I think you're giving Six Flags way too much credit, though I want to believe that someone somewhere in corporate has a complex excel formula that told them that 1 safari truck every 25 minutes at Safari Off Road Adventure is the absolute sweet spot for dispatch interval.
    4 points
  9. I would go earlier but either is fine. The tradeoff is crowds vs staffing. Late August is dead, but smaller rides may not open or may open late, Gemini probably won't race if it opens at all, food lines might be extremely long with many places closed, etc.
    3 points
  10. Just got back from a little getaway, and Dorney Park was one of our stops. It was sandwiched between Knobles (first time visit) and Hershey. Unpopular opinion... Dorney was our favorite! Why? Small crowds, great line up, fun waterpark, and just a really "fun" experience. Things to note: Talon is an underrated B&M invert! Thunderhawk winter refurb was AWESOME! We rode it last year and it was rough, one and done. Gave it another chance this year for it's 100th, and very glad we did! Sure it feels like a woodie, but no longer a pot-hole-filled journey to the chiropractor. Hydra is funky and fun. For a B&M floorless, it's still quite smooth and still so fun to ride. Steel Force is so much fun. The fact that this was a walk-on our entire time there blows me away! This thing is fast, smooth and pulls some serious G's in the turnaround. Now, what about Iron Menace? We rode it twice... and I was good. It has a LOT of vibration! That was the biggest surprise to me. So much that it really took away from the "fun" factor of the ride. The first drop is great, and then after that... it does stuff I guess? I will say riding on the LEFT side is a smoother ride, especially that final transition into the break run (you've probably seen that video floating around of that transition). On a positive note: The theming, lights, music and the whole atmosphere in that section of the park is great! I wished the park as open later than 8pm so we could have seen it in all it's beauty. If Dorney repainted Possessed that whole area would feel really cohesive. The new food option at Iron Mill Grill and Bar is great! The flatbread pizzas and pirogies are fantastic. The desserts looks good too. This was our third time visiting this park in the last year. Because there are other bigger, flashier parks less than 2 hours away I feel Dorney gets overlooked. We loved it. Great rides, good ops, good variety, and just a fun park to be in. We may be back there for Halloween again, we'll see
    2 points
  11. Delayed due to so much going on in real life, but I've finally gotten up to the last park of the trip - in Helsinki, Finland, Linnanmäki ! Part 1 This was an absolutely charming park, and it won me over almost immediately. Even tho there are a lot of "smaller" rides mixed in, for the most part, adults were allowed to ride anything they could fit on. I took well over 400 pics, so this will be more than one part (but don't worry, wont' share ALL of em) we arrived early in the morning - before the park opened. walking up the hill, to the main gates, the charm of the park is evident. Looming over the main gate is Ukko, a Maurer Skyloop (I did NOT ride this at all today, but many in the group did. and I'll admit it's very picturesque. just not really for me). speaking of the main gate. . . as I noted, just charming! cute little statues and scenes everywhere. So much theming, even if a lot of it was very oddball. these are the front gates - apparently there is at least 2 other gates, but those were not open this early, and they seemed to be there just to allow folks to enter from the back and side, as the park IS on top of a hill. I'll have a park map pic coming up shortly. the main entry way was adorable (and yes, charming) and at the very end before you curve left into the park, is a SeaLife Aquarium here in this park as well. Group shot, courtesy of Robb. and some pics of the (still closed as it was before park open) storefronts on the main street I honestly cannot recall if we did rides on Vuoristorata, the park's scenic railway, wooden coaster - that also includes a Breakman (or should I say Brakeperson, as there were two women filling that role along with the men). But our way into the park this morning was the back way, and thru the coaster, which made for some very cool picture opportunities. I loved they had this "history of Vuoristorata" billboard up. . tho oddly it was in the center of the coaster. when I rode again later in the day, you can see the billboard from the queue, but you don't really get close enough to read it. Still, it was cool they have it. Group shots in the bowels of Vuoristorata, courtesy of Robb! Good Morning. (Mr Muscle on the left there was our guide this am - can you tell we were in Finland? ) one more, with FEELING! as noted, I don't think we rode it this am, but it was a cool behind the scenes tour of the coaster, and soon we were in the park, and headed towards the coaster we were going to have some ERT on this am. but it's not like I'll pass a Carousel and NOT take a picture of it. for a park that seems very small on paper, it's got a lot of sections. and TONS of awesome details and adorable things theming everywhere. this is Kirnu, the park's Intamin Zac Spin. I did not intend to ride it - having memories of Insane at Grona Lund - but so many folks told me this was a much smoother ride, that I did end up riding it, and liked it. I can't recall if this is the park's drop tower, or Observation tower. . I think it's the drop tower tho. here's what we were headed to tho. Taiga - the park's newest coaster, an Intamin LIM Launch coaster. I heard it described by many on the trip as being similar-ish to Velocicoaster, but having no ridden that one, I can't make the comparison myself. I can say tho, it's quite intense. even the height checking bars here are adorable. I did like this coaster a lot, but being honest? it was a little bit too intense for me. I think I rode 3 times (and once again later in the day), but after my few rides, I stepped out via the gift shop, and snapped pics of it. It's really awesome looking. This pic is thru the window in the gift shop! next door to Taiga is one of the park's multiple Dark Rides. as near as I can figure? this is a Witch Hotel, that an evil wizard decides to stay in, and they do battle. or something. It didn't make a lot of sense, but I loved the scenes in it, and the animatronics and scares were fun. I ended up riding this a lot today once the park opened. That's a witch in the window upstairs that peeks out at you from behind the curtain ok, back to pics of Taiga: the shorter blue track here, actually isn't Taiga - it's Salama - a Maurer spinning coaster. yup, similar to Power Park, Linnanmäki painted coasters next to each other the same color, resulting in a mass of track. Looks kinda cool, I admit. the trains are wonderfully quirky as is the theming in the station. (this pic is from when I went back to ride once more later in the day, hence general public in the station) turned loose after our ERT, the group spread out among the park. We still had a little time before the park actually opened to the public as we made our way towards the back section of the park (start there - and there was another dark ride back over there - and then work our way forwards), I snapped pics of sculptures as we passed by there's a mini-circus train that goes around the outside of this round building - hence the theming. The building is an old water tower, that the park has hollowed out, and put a coaster inside. So yeah, this is actually a picture of Linnunrata eXtra (the Milky Way) a Zierer "Force" model coaster. "eXtra" because you could put on Virtual reality goggles if so chose. so many rides, mainly carnival type, scattered all over this park. And again, adults able to ride almost all of them. Nice placement for a SeaLife Aquarium ad - on the turnaround for the park's rapids ride as noted, the park is on a hill. . so there were all these "never in the USA" play areas to allow ways to traverse the levels of the park. sure, there are stairs, but why do that when you can break your leg in this?? Nightmare fuel ! Ok, so THIS is the observation tower, and hiding behind it (I angled the picture badly) is the drop tower. this park *does* have a very weird fixation with clowns. . . creepy clowns! here's that mini train I mentioned, that goes around the outside of the Linnunrata eXtra building. it was adorable, but no way would my fat ass fit in there. So instead I rode the Monorail to get some overall pics later in the day. still headed towards the back of the park, but the park had now officially opened, and the Drop Tower was running as we passed it. and it's themed to Medieval Royal . . . Lions ? I guess ? all I know, is that it had a throne out front, and I love me a throne picture more cute areas. . and I really loved how they incorporated the cut down tree into the restaurant seating area. this seemed to be a haunted walk thru, but we'd hit it on the way back by. GAHHHH. . more clowns - in "Sirkus" - a suspended Dark Ride. again, we'd hit it on the way back by, as we had to come back thru this section after starting at the back. there was also a walk thru Fun House - tho strangely, it seemed to be a traveling carnival type. Perhaps not so strange, since many of the flat rides, seemed to be of the traveling carnival variety. It was just weird that it was plopped down in the middle on Astroturf with not a lot of theming, when the park has so much theming. ok, heading down ito the back section, I believe this might be one of the other gates, but it was not open at this time. here's that park map. you can see from the "you are here" that we are now at the back of the park headed into the section that's kind of off by itself at the lower left. A SeaLife Aquarium photo op? dont' mind if I do.. tho it looks like a whale hugging an octopus. adorable creatures in the fountains over here. and completely dead still, as it was so early. this was a weird one - it was like a mini trabant, themed to a space chipmonk? I dont' remember if I rode it. . but I think maybe I tried, and there was no way that lap bar was gonna close on my gut. but Andrew and sMisty fit on it. the steam punk octopus ride was very deceiving. it looked so peaceful, but that thing just HAULED. Once I saw it cycle, I decided to ride too. this one really caught my eye, and I LOVED the look of it. is it a coaster? it's got a lift hill, and it's powered. So I'd call it a coaster, but it looked like a Kiddie ride. So I asked the operator, and she said "sure! you folks can ride". . so we all lined up to ride the planes "Pilotti" I mean. . . just LOOK how stupidly thrilled I am, that I got to ride this. whee! even Erik was having fun! all the rides in the back section knocked out. . we headed back to Sirkus - not knowing what to expect. OMG. .it's a side-moving suspended dark ride about CLOWNS! YAYYYYYYY! Sleepy lion. . . (and a blurry Giraffe - sorry) and clowns. oh my. . SO. MANY. CLOWNS. moving, and spinning, and laughing. as you hover in your little "cage" among them. BOOM! why yes, that IS a clown sweeping up all the Elephant poop. so bizarre. . . loved it. I didn't ride it as much as I did the Witch Hotel, but really loved this one too. to be continued. . . .
    2 points
  12. Video played just fine for me. Someone's getting a chewing out and/or potentially fired after that. That's all they would have needed was for someone else to get injured at the park. Plus is one of the camels had gotten hurt PETA would be all up their ass.
    2 points
  13. Happy Hump Day. https://www.news5cleveland.com/news/local-news/happy-hump-day-camels-escape-petting-zoo-at-cedar-point
    2 points
  14. Palindrome lift hill complete!! Pics from Matt (VP of park operations at COTAland) (also in these pics, the black tracks for Circuit Breaker - the park's Tilt Coaster - also on site already.
    2 points
  15. They were testing TT2 for several hours last night. Even had water dummies on one of the trains. Might be opening sometime real soon.
    2 points
  16. I was there yesterday and it was cycling non-stop all day half-filled with dummies (the water kind as opposed to the general public kind). My guess is that it'll be open in the coming days. Apocalypse and Crazanity were down, but everything else was running. The park was quiet, but most rides were single-train ops. Be warned that the parking lot is a bit of a mess right now, but the new solar system thing they're installing seems quite impressive. It provides a ton of shade, and I'd be curious to see the numbers that thing generates.
    2 points
  17. Eat at Roosters. Cold beer and bomb ass chicken wings/strips.
    2 points
  18. I missed these updates. The work continues. In the past they definitely would have just left the bad AC unit alone.
    2 points
  19. Just got back from a quick trip to my old stomping grounds. I used to work at Busch Gardens VA 1994-97, and I had not been there in awhile. I was looking forward to some new credits and riding some of my favorites. Started the trip at Kings Dominion on Sunday May 19th. Cloudy and a bit cool, so crowds were pretty non-existent. Rode Tumbili, my very first S&S 4D free spin. Smooth as anything, and not too crazy. In fact, since I rode by myself, I don't recall flipping upside down even once. Racer 75 was fun although I hate the seat dividers. No need for them when you already have a seat belt and individual locking lap bars. Twisted Timbers. I rode this the first year it was open and enjoyed it. This time it just felt like a never ending set of bunny hills over and over. Not a fan. Grizzly ran well esp. with the new track from last year. Did the log ride which is always fun. I was also doing a livestream on YouTube with my friend, and the viewers insisted I get my face painted. I obliged. After a few hours in the park, I headed down to Busch since they posted on Twitter (I refuse to call it X) that DarKoaster would only be running on weekends. I parked in the Italy section only to find NO TRAMS. Ridiculous. It's almost a half mile walk to the front gate. Got to DarKoaster and joined the 50 minute line. The SLOWEST moving line, and the abundance of Quick Queue made the line even worse. They REALLY need a single rider line since I saw train after train (which only hold 10 people) leave the station with empty seats. Cool concept, but when you're riding in the dark, you cannot brace yourself for the sudden turns. My neck still hurts. Came back on Monday for a full day in the park. First up: Loch Ness Monster. It LOOKS great, but even with the new track, it is still rough as ever. The effects in the tunnel are cool if you could see them. They have projections on the side walls, and with the harnesses, it's really impossible to get a good look. Verbolten was fine, nothing out of the ordinary. Finally got my first ride on Pantheon. Great area, queue, and then....they really cheaped out on the station. It looks like a barn or cheap Home Depot shed. The ride was good though VelociCoaster is WAY better. Comfortable trains and fast dispatches helped to keep the line moving. Alpengeist was closed. Like not even close to being open with park benches blocking the entrance. Strange. I worked in the Entertaiment Department when I was there, so I wanted to see what shows they had. The "Trio De Roma" show in Italy had 2 performers and did exactly ONE sort of Italian song "That's Amore." VERY underwhelmed. Anyway...enjoy the pics! Yeah...light crowds today. About to ride my very first S&S 4D Freespin All in all, not bad. Not crazy and definitely not worth more than a 5-10 minute wait. I had the whole train to myself! The best part of the ride before the non stop bunny hills. Nice job here. Lots of new wood made for a smoother ride. The queue for the log ride. Again....no one here! My face painting as decided by my YouTube viewers. One more pic and then washing it off! This is where I parked. A half mile walk to the park. Cool part of the ride. Whee! Nice entrance....horrible station. Lots of new track and paint. Still photogenic. The new monster statue at the bottom of the 2nd loop. Will still NEVER forgive the park for ripping out the iconic circular stage and putting in this travesty. Eh.... Closed. The view from the skyride. The new and improved tunnel...sort of. Cool tunnel on Invadr.
    2 points
  20. Forgot to add to the TR. They give you a Digital Copy # of the onride photo, taken. So here's a better look at myself - and check out that caption. The t-shirts came out when AtmosFEAR first opened. The gift shop, sadly, is no more. But with ThunderVOLT opening soon, who knows? Maybe they'll actually open a new gift shop, with the revamp of the Games Arcade .... along with the Ride Side Bar 2.0
    2 points
  21. Opening Day at Playland ~ May 18/24 Rain had been falling on and off through the morning. No big deal. But my intentions were to just tour around the park, maybe get something to eat and drink, and just see what's changed (if anything) since last year. The first surprise was that all the games arcade was blocked off, and to be eventually rebuilt (the facades), assuming they're going to get it done by the time the actual PNE Fair happens, mid-August. The other surprise was that the entire row of buildings on the north side of the park, including my go-to drinking spot, the Ride Side Bar, was demolished, leaving space for the upcoming new concert amphitheatre being built. <grrr> Got a couple of rides done, food at the White Spot place, an onride pic from the Kettle Creek Mine coaster... and that was it. Both Coaster and the new ThunderVOLT weren't open. And the new coaster wasn't going to be open until July. <sighs> Until then, here's my pix... Waiting to go in. Testing, testing. The new flyer and park map. The usual plug for the upcoming August Fair. The map. A better showing of the map, on the wall of Customer Service. Not a huge crowd today. "I spy, with my little eye, something that is ....yellow." What's this? What's this? The young woman at the Snack Shack told me about the renovation they're doing with all the facades of the Games Arcade. Still testing. All blocked off. Yay. And nothing's been done with this building since .... several years ago? The Haunted Mansion wasn't going to open, until the afternoon. I was there between 11am and noon. \ This was the closest I could get to ThunderVOLT. And more green fences here. And the entire north end of the buildings .... all gone. Including my bar <sniff> I'm hoping they put it into the new arcade being rebuilt on the east side of Playland. Does anyone use the word "fly" anymore? Sky Bender was open. West Coast Wheel wasn't open - and missing a few ride buckets, too. The best landscaping of the park was here. Where the Honey Bee Express train travels around. I think the Kettle Creek Coaster sign needs a bit of a touch up, yes? No? All things considered, it's a pretty good coaster for anyone, kids and adults alike. They re-opened the Scrambler in it's original spot. Was down all last season. The White Spot eating spot. Really not that busy all the time I was there. In Canadian $$$. Pretty reasonable in American $$$, I thought. What I got: a bacon-cheese burger, fries, and a nice thick blueberry milkshake. Lots of bacon and cheese.... yum! After eating, a bit more strolling. This is the free Mini-Golf attraction. Not too busy right now. And Coaster. "Closed until further notice." Okay.... time to leave. The onride photo... ...on the Kettle Creek Coaster. And that's it, till next weekend's visit.....
    2 points
  22. We always hit Food for Thought restaurant multiple times on our trips to the area. They are busy no matter what time you go.
    1 point
  23. and with the next morning, I got up, checked out of the hotel, and headed to the airport. it had been a fantastic trip, and I had a wonderful time. hate to end on downer, so will TRY to keep this kinda "cliff notes" - but will summarize that the trip home was a horror show (and after fighting for months with United, they finally gave me some "credit" - the only reason I'm using them again for an upcoming trip. so a chance to redeem). headed to the Helsinki airport. . . lovely weather. I had paid for Polaris class (treated myself) for the long flight from Munich to Denver, so I got bumped up to premium class on the flight from Helsinki to Munich. meaning I had access to the lounge here while waiting for my flight. not SUPER bougie, but it was a nice enough area to sit and have a snack while waiting for my flight to board. tho not a super long flight, it was nice I had an open seat next to me! and because I was "premium". .they served us food on this flight. Landing in Munich, and switching planes, I got my 1st look at Polaris (fancy-schmantzy) seating. my own little cubicle! with a seat that reclined fully into a bed position, so I could nap. lots of perks too with this price point seating: and I will fully admit, the food was wonderful. the real issue - and one that really pissed me off - and I let United know about it at well, is they allowed a new mother with a NEW BORN (probably 2 weeks old) to book the pod directly behind me. Not only did the baby cry the entire flight (babies do that, I get it). . but she constantly was walking up and down the aisle back and forth between her pod and the galley / restroom area - that was just in front of my seat. So it was incredibly distracting, and she kept making noise and cooing to the baby which meant I could not sleep or rest at all. I 100% realize that babies need to fly too. . families have to go places. But to not have a designated area for the babies on the plane? to disturb passengers that had paid a premium (as a treat to oneself). . really shameful. but oh . United had WAY worse service for me coming up. at least the view was pretty. and I watched a lot of movies, and was up the whole flight, so they kept me fed. we arrived in Denver at 6:30 pm for what was supposed to be a 2 hour layover until my flight home to Austin. at 8:15, we were told flight was delayed till 10. at 9:45, we were told flight was delayed till 12:04 am. (tons of flights around us were getting cancelled - not due to bad weather in Denver, but at the destination areas - but we were assured that our flight was going to happen. as we watched people rush into the customer service lines (that stretched all the way down the terminal) and people were being set up on cots by empty gates. at 11:30 we were told our flight was delayed once more, to 1:15am, but it was happening, don't worry. at 12:35? it was announced they were still working it, but the flight was delaying further (found out that the crew had worked too many hours, and there was no replacement crew, so they were cancelling our flight). But they never TOLD us that. nothing ever was shown on the boards, nothing came across the app. . most on our full flight looked at each other confused, then a mad rush to get up to the Customer Service stations - lines which still stretched all the way down the terminal. There were only two people on, and we were told they go off shift at 1am (yeah). . . but it was ok, the United staff brought those of us in line, water. it was close to 1:15 when I finally got up towards the front of the line, and got to overhear the conversations of those ahead of me - from my flight (that's how I know the issue was crew hours over).. but the fact they had been assuring us our flight was going to happen really pissed off a LOT of people. There were no hotels, there were no available cots any longer, it was almost 1:30am, everything in the airport had shut down. it was a nightmare, and after traveling all day? I just wanted to be home. one of my fellow passengers from my flight - who was a couple of people behind me, spoke up and said he found a Southwest flight leaving at 5am, and there seemed to be seats avail. on it. the one United lady still at Customer Service said she could help us book it, so a group of us went to her and we all booked it on our phones - with assurances that 1) our luggage would be transferred over to Southwest - "Don't worry, we do it all the time", and 2) those of us with Trip insurance would be reimbursed. I was one of the lucky ones who was able to get a seat on the Southwest flight. . . so around 2am, a group of us made the long journey over to a different terminal to nap (or try to) in front of the Southwest flight - which was now ~3 hours away. a pic of the screen announcing the 12:04 departure - that didn't' happen. as you can see? our plane is THERE at the gate. my proof of my SW purchase to get home, so I wasn't stranded in Denver. I wasn't' concerned, as I had purchased trip insurance.. so figured for sure United would reimburse me (as noted at start? months of fighting with them, and no money back, just credit - after I had to keep pushing back that "points" did not satisfy me. so trip insurance really does seem to be a scam. and my boarding pass from Southwest. no I never did get any rest - was worried I'd snore in the middle of the airport, or would miss the flight. So just paced and sat awake for the 3 hours. the Southwest flight DID leave on time, and those on my flight had gotten the final seats - so all of us ended up in middle seats. I didn't care, I just slept the whole flight between a sour woman and her husband - who clearly were hoping for a row to themselves, and then it was a full flight. I just wanted to get home after traveling all day. we United refugees had been concerned about our bags making it onto the Southwest flight - the United tracker was useless and had not been updated - but the customer service lady had told us that they "do it all the time" and not to worry about our bags being transferred over. but suddenly *as* we were boarding the Southwest flight, the United baggage tracker updated to show the below: yup. . when the flight had been cancelled (tho not officially for quite a while after we were told), they had unloaded our bags, and brought them to baggage claim. where they sat all night on the carousel. we *could* have gone down to baggage claim, got our bags, and then re-checked them in via Southwest - but we were never told that's what they had done. We had been assured United would transfer the bags to Southwest. watching my airpod, I could see my bag was left behind in Denver as we took off. so yeah, add an extra hour in line behind the folks that had been on my United flight - at the Austin Baggage claim area. at least once the 1st two people went thru, they realized, and were able to help multiple of us to fill out forms at once. I called my friend who picked me up - some 15 hours after I was supposed to have arrived, and I came home and immediately crashed. when I woke up the next morning, my luggage was sitting on my front porch. No email, no text, no phone call notification. . . . just bag on my front door. I guess that's "good service" since I live about an hour from the airport. But if you are keeping track? yeah, United lost my luggage on the way TO Denmark to start the trip, and then lost it again on the way home. at least after all the fighting, i guess they realized I wasn't' going to give up - I had paid for that freaking insurance - and settled with enough credit that I was able to do nice seat on my upcoming trip. we shall see how THIS goes. hope you enjoyed reading along on this trip report. again, huge thanks to Robb & Elissa (TPR) and all those that come on the trips and make them such a fantastic experience! ready for the next (yay, I finished 5 days before my next trip).
    1 point
  24. Schnitzelbank authentic German restaurant. ^^ I can't imagine going to HW World and not visiting this place. It's always a highlight of our trip. Jasper, IN has a lot of decent restaurants, but you CAN NOT miss Schnitzelbank. It's about 20'ish minute away. I'll ask Robb nicely to ban you if you don't go. Be aware, Jasper is in a different time zone. We stayed at the Fairfield Inn last time, which was a very nice hotel, but expensive. Fairfield seems to be making a run as a middle-upper class option. We found it comparable to most Hyatts and Hiltons. I suggest taking two days at Holiday World. Go one day for the dry park and one day for the water park. I understand this is not always possible, but it's ideal in my opinion. Go to the German joint after the water park to avoid shirtless bloat the following day, lol.
    1 point
  25. Proof that you don't read my trip reports! (Or, you just have a bad memory.) Short version: There's a famous statue in downtown Helsinki of three naked workers with tools. (I think it's kind of a socialist thing.) So the park has a homage/parody of that where the guys are taking a break and having some ice cream. Anyway, I really enjoyed Linnanmäki. In fact, it might just be a top 10 park for me. I thought I'd seen it quite well during our day there, but you had quite a few photos of things I'd missed entirely! Great day. Fun hang. Thanks, Bert.
    1 point
  26. ^ yup. . it goes up fast, once they start. I didnt' realize it's an exact clone of SFFT's - right down to the LED colors and the funhouse, AND the name. . . . but it's a great ride, so y'all will love it.
    1 point
  27. I got to the park on Sunday and took three laps on The Bobcat, two in the back and one in the front. Very good ride. This was our third Gravity Group family woodie with the other two being Wooden Warrior at Quassy and Kentucky Flyer at Kentucky Kingdom. The Bobcat ranks well against both of them. I think Wooden Warrior is my slight favorite by an ever so slim hair still, but The Bobcat is a very fun ride that is right on its heels at worst. Excellent addition to the park. I preferred the back compared to the front too if anyone cares, but it wasn't by a lot. Some of the mid-ride airtime was stronger in the front, but the double down and first drop were worlds better in the back. We also marched back to Comet for a back row ride and that thing was hauling to say the least. Still a super solid classic. Mostly we were there for our two year old twins though, so we spent time in the kiddie area. They loved most of the rides, but I don't think they liked their first credit very much in Frankie's Mine Train! It was the only ride they didn't try to demand to get right back on. Before we even went over to Great Escape, we went into Lake George Expedition Park (formerly Magic Forest) too. That place is great. It is full of classic flats from the 50s and 60s, mostly for little kids, all with displays on what park they came from and details on their origins. Very cool and very charming place. The mile long dinosaur walk was impressive too with the towering animatronics in a "realistic" wooded setting. The littles loved it. My 13 year old son and I also were pleasantly surprised to find that they had thrown up an SBF Visa in the offseason too. We had no idea and left with a bonus credit.
    1 point
  28. Update on the Camp Snoopy renovation from a few days ago. Official opening day is now June 27th Camp Snoopy Theater rebuild will not be happening anymore. Will now become a green space called Beagle Scout Acres. RIP to yet another piece of live entertainment. Woodstock's Airmail will not be returning (was supposedly getting moved but staying in Camp Snoopy Full press release: https://www.knotts.com/blog/media-center/2024/attention-aspiring-beagle-scouts Also, the Summer Nights tasting card menu has finally dropped. https://qr1.be/EPWT
    1 point
  29. Word of warning. This wasn't just me that experienced this. Carowinds staff seems to start clearing out locker areas at closing time sharp. I was in line for Fury 325 and closing time came. I got off at 7 after and my belongings were not there. I had to go to customer service, then to lost and found, and thank God my belongings were there. Some others said that they couldn't go to the lockers after closing time, and they too had to do what I did.
    1 point
  30. Thanks for the response! That gives me some hope! lol
    1 point
  31. I saw they just opened it about an hour ago, so have fun!
    1 point
  32. Funnily enough, I chose Kings Island over Cedar Point because TT2 is dead in the water. I saw Beast went down and was a little disappointed, but I already got multiple laps, including a night ride during the fireworks, in 2003 so it wouldn't yuck my yum for the day. If it's actually open, though, great!
    1 point
  33. My wife and I went there and had the same experience as you basically. Tip for ya, in the off months there (Winter/early spring) they sometimes do offer a deal that is $35 per person, and you can ride the coaster all day. I think my wife and I did 12 rides before my back said no more... you are old!
    1 point
  34. Yes those are cameras, kind of the point of a photo safari. You can also take them out of the mounts like a camera (they remain attached to the car with a cable), although they don't take actual pictures, this is basically an outdoors shooting "dark" ride.
    1 point
  35. Hiya - I'm gonna be at the park next Monday, June 3rd, for the first time in 21 years. Tomb Raider was still a big deal (and a bonkshit awesome ride, fight me), Scooby's Ghoster Coaster weird suspended thing was operating, and Son Of Beast was still running its original trains (I still ache to this day). Point is, it's been a loooooong time since I've been to the park and there have been some massive changes since then. I'm quite aware of what rides are there and what rides are dead and gone (RIP Vortex), so I'm just looking for pointers. Since I'm visiting on a Monday I'm not too worried about crowds but please tell me if I'm wrong. I'll have all day at the park so I can deal with a few lines. Which coasters have the best/worst operations (I know the Beemers are people eaters), any F&B hidden gems, regional recommendations, etc. Stuff like that. I'll be getting into town Sunday night after a day at Indiana Beach, anywhere I should stop for dinner? Thanks!
    1 point
  36. Aren't all the Scandinavian cities just so immaculate and orderly? I think when you were at the Skywheel you were right down by the fish market and where you can catch the ferries out to some of the islands in the bay. Suemolinna island is absolutely lovely if you are ever in Helsinki again. The market has huge amazing produce, particularly strawberries the size of small tomatoes and a wide variety of handmade/local crafts. I still have some amber earrings I bought there about 12 years ago when we were there. The wheel wasn't built until after we were there but it looks like the same area.
    1 point
  37. I actually enjoy the Vekoma SLC's! They do give a wild ride and we all know it.
    1 point
  38. From what I have read I believe, these type of rides are custom made. Great America's was built first and ours was next. I would expect as soon as it is on site it would be up within a few days. Longest part to build might be the Fun House.
    1 point
  39. Honestly glad they noticed it. They did exactly what they said they should. The bigger issue was not making sure it was secured on the ride platform.
    1 point
  40. Not a mechanical problem BTW. A large stuff banana fell on the track in the station so the crew E-Stopped.
    1 point
  41. Cast CD Release Note! Not trying to take anything away from the chat on "Wicked", but I'm reminding everyone with the "slightest interest" in musicals by an "up and comer"...... Stephen Sondheim .... that his last written score that was produced this past fall... HERE WE ARE is being released this Saturday thru Amazon. (I put my order in for it, a few weeks ago.) And here's the quote from Amazon about it.... This quote is found only at the Amazon.com site HWA page. ...and check out the Cast and Production Team of this thing! Stellar, IMhO And Amazon.co.uk is only selling an MP3 of one song, for now. BUT it includes on that page, a wonderful all-inclusive BIO of Steve, all of his work noted, right there! Breathtaking!
    1 point
  42. I'd love to see a long trip report from someone with a fresh perspective -- Cedar Point does have some hidden corners and gems to explore. The Frontier Trail was always nice and is still a bit of a respite from the madness; I've never been in their waterpark and have been going to CP since 1975; the beach is nice with rentals if you're into that ... take pix of anything that catches your eye! We're all enthusiasts here
    1 point
  43. Considering how quickly the Zamperla Thunderbolt coasters seem to go from 'That was surprisingly smooth' to 'never again', maybe it's a good thing they're identifying issues and adjusting as early as possible.
    1 point
  44. Should give them time to install free lockers, right? /s
    1 point
  45. Some Thoughts on the Loch Ness Monster: The Legend Lives On The Loch Ness Monster started thrilling riders the same year that I graduated from high school--1978. Although I think the word “icon” is overused to describe some theme-park attractions, I think it fits the Loch Ness Monster. It would be hard to imagine Busch Gardens without the sight of Nessie’s interlocking loops from Grimm’s Crossing or the bridge between Italy and Germany. Her nearest coaster neighbors, Alpengeist and Griffon, may be taller and faster, but the Loch Ness Monster really sets the scene. Plus, for many local residents (and their kids), it was their first “big coaster.” It made sense for Busch Gardens to restore and enhance this already classic ride. So, after replacing 900 feet of track (including the two loops) and adding to the theming in the ride’s queue, station, and helix cave (call it “Nessie’s Lair”), how did they do? I’d say quite well. The ride itself is still the Loch Ness Monster we remember, but it’s less clunky and janky than it had become during the last few years--about as smooth as a 1970s Arrow coaster can get. This retracking should ensure the coaster is around for a long time to come. The park has been building the ride’s backstory for a while, too. The Loch Ness Monster has been spotted for the first time in years, and there’s a contest and cash prize for the first person to provide any photographic evidence of its existence. They’ve been playing up this story on social media through a series of videos featuring “Duncan,” a Scotsman obsessed with spotting Nessie and winning the cash. The main queue is filled with artifacts, such as old photos and news stories, about Loch Ness. There’s a small radio room that offers a few hints at what you’ll encounter during the ride, and the station itself has been repainted and decorated to better resemble an old Scottish castle. There’s new train-dispatch music, and the safety spiel is now delivered in a Scottish brogue. As for the ride, you’ll encounter the first evidence of the monster’s existence as you round the turn to the lift hill. There’s a radio shack broadcasting a message about a “wee craft” they found washed up on the shore--a wrecked coaster car with what looks like a dragon’s tooth sticking out of it. Nessie’s Lair now boasts spooky lighting, roaring sound effects, and Nessie menacing you (via video) as you twist around the helix. She gets another shot at you right after the second loop before you return to the station. Busch Gardens managed to upgrade a classic ride while maintaining the experience of the original coaster when it opened back in 1978. Well done! Here's a look at the Loch Ness Monster's media day. Theme Park Review thanks Busch Gardens for inviting us to participate. Just hanging out with my new Scottish chum, Duncan, who assured me that he was going to win the big prize. Hmm--a harbinger of things to come, perhaps? How can Nessie hope to elude capture when they have all this high-tech gear? I've seen a craft like this before . . . but where? You might see a tooth like this again. Keep your eyes open. Here's your chance to win big money. But don't be taken in by clever fakes like this. I know that monster is around here somewhere. Maybe I'll have better luck from bridge between Italy and Germany. Wait a second! What's that? Aha! The big prize is mine, I tell you! Mine! How do you like that, Duncan? "Grr! Nessie eat you now!" Don't miss your chance to join the Loch Ness Expedition. Thanks for reading.
    1 point
  46. Log ride is finally back open and Ghostrider is now closed for its pre-summer maintenance.
    1 point
  47. Day 21: Friday, June 23rd - travel day to Tampere, Finland (where we'd be going to Särkänniemi the next day) it was a decently long bus ride, so at just under the 1/2 way point, we had a pit stop at a Roadside Traveler Center. it was lovely here - I remain so struck as to how "clean" everything was! this wasn't just ANY traveler center tho. . . this place seemed to be fairly famous, or at least really well known. as it's also a cheese factory! yes, get gas, go potty, get snacks, and watch them make cheese (explains the cow on the roof) not sure what this was next door, but seemed to be getting used as overflow parking. and not only on the roof. . but Cows in side! photo op one can even "milk" them. this one, sadly, didn't "groan" like the one in Japan did when I "milked" it. . but if recalling, this one had plastic udders that stretched as you pulled on them. photo op out of the way, I wandered to the back of the traveler center and peeked down at the "Cheese-making" floor. Seriously, they have large windows, so travelers can watch. .it really is a destination. there's also a pretty large store, that not only sells the cheese (in giant wheels, blocks, cuts) but also all kinds of snacks and hot food. here was my attempt to get something for the bus that was not Licorice flavored. (the Mountain Dew was super sweet and disgusting. . the cookies were good. . .but the coated dried bananas were a bit bland, as was the chocolate bites - they were like larger, flatter, mellower M&Ms, with a thicker shell). arriving in Tampere, we checked into the hotel - where the front desk clerk mentioned it was "Midsommer" - which explained why it seemed so "empty" for a Friday in the city. there were people about, but no where near as busy as I'd expected. And many shops were closed for the day, as it was explained that most go out to the Country to sauna and to celebrate on this day. the hotel was lovely: tho had a weird shower stall, that opened on both sides from the corner. . resulting in more difficulty for this American Idiot to keep the water out of the rest of the bathroom when showering Nice view from the room. it's not a small city, but it was pretty quiet this day. I was gonna meet up with Jon (and I think Jason?) and we were gonna meet up with Andrew, Erik & sMisty to roam around the city. . but on my way down I popped into the Men's Sauna that was offered at the hotel. very lovely, even if empty (again, was told folks leave the area for the holiday). NOTED. . . no naked ass on the benches! I'd never done a Sauna. . but I figured if ever was the time? In Finland on Midsommer? yeah.. I'd break my sauna cherry here later tonight (you're welcome that I won't share that pic) down on the street in front of the hotel, we met up, and I marveled at how gorgeous the day was. a few folks out and about. . but pretty empty for a "not small" city today. we found a few places open in our wandering. . including this fun "novelty" store, that some bought some stuffies at. some random "street" art. . was pretty need to just come across it! really loved the look of this city. and the lack of people around made it even cooler, and allowed for some great pics. this seemed to be a "cultural center" with the water treatment plant (I think that's what it was) as the anchor for the park/restaurants/trails around it. just lovely. it's not a Tum-ahhhhhhhh even here in Finland, the "locks on bridges" movement is going strong. . Disney influenced? got to wonder if there are sometimes paddleboats in this water area. . . otherwise, this statue seems oddly out of place. hey. .a map (I'm assuming a transit map, but also really helpful for tourists) we are at the noted red dot. we started our walk from over by where the comedy/tragedy masks are. and Särkänniemi is up there on the left. but we found a Finnish Grocery Store open. . so of course had to check it out. I was haunted this trip by Olives. (I know who kept putting them on my plate when I wasn't looking), but as we were getting to the end of the trip, I was traumatized by Olives. I wasn't hungry at the moment. . but honestly? this didn't even tempt me. I *think* it was a sweet, even tho it looks like a Hot Dog. back out walking, and enjoying the beautiful weather, and the random statues around the City. we saw a pathway along the waterfront, that seemed to be headed towards an area that would give a nice view of Särkänniemi, so we headed down that way. spooky swimming area. I'm sure on a normal day, this section would be packed with swimmers. the path cuts up thru a park and some more greenery. hi Jon. . . this amused me. . I liked how they tried to camouflage the tunnel with "natural" rock formations. ooo. .I spot the observation tower/restaurant at Särkänniemi up ahead. ok..this i found to be among the coolest stuff I saw while in Finland. Finlandian Graffiti. and it was mostly really well done! it really was so beautiful here. . I know I keep saying that, but it's true! and coming around the curve in the path? across the way - on a peninsula reaching out into the water: Särkänniemi along the waterfront is that horrid torture device known as "Trombi" ( a Zamperla Volare - flying coaster) also behind it in this pic is "Hype" (a Premier skyrocket II), and off to the left is part of "Tornado" (an Intamin suspended coaster - one of only 2 in the world) they were open, as the rides were running - just not really busy today. see? the skyrocket II is running. .the train is about to invert at the top. and the disco over the water, is a great placement. better view of this side of the park - with Tornado (that's hard to miss with it's Neon orange & yellow trains) the park really does look wonderful, and I was very excited about coming back in the morning for our visit. a boat engine of some kind on display at the Marina across from the park. there was a sign on it, but it must not have been in English (or not interesting) as I have no pic of it. view more from the front. . with a better idea of the Skyrocket II layout. and Tornado's neon orange train. turning away from the park to start the trek back, sMisty had found an area called "fairy park" - or something like that. . it sounded interesting, so we detoured that way to check it out. not sure if this was a playscape or a sculpture. (I THINK a playscape tho) thruout the park, there were multiple "hidden" / small sculptures of pixies/faeries playing., this one is definitely a playscape. it had Trampolines. and big red balls.. LOL and a throne? don't mind if I do! tons of fun detail everywhere - like these iron "Spiderwebs" under the roof of this shade structure. whimisical .. and lovely area found another pixie and a handful of folks enjoying the day. from an overlook at the top of the park, you get a lovely view of Särkänniemi across the water Hype doing it's thing notice Trombi hasn't run in any of my pics. I think it's because only fools like us would attempt to ride the horrible thing. I would have checked out the museum. . but it was closed today after a long walk/sight seeing, it was time to head back. Stomachs were rumbling and there was chat in the thread about places for dinner. there were a few options, and I know Erik/sMisty ended up checking out a pub. but some of us decided to check out the pizza place that was spoken very highly of. . with some unique pizzas. so we headed over that way. hmm. .not sure what they are selling Space Bowling!!! (in the dark with neon lights).. but no one was really interested. oh my. . . quite the wait. (and the most people we'd seen all day!). we joined the line, and saw a number of other TPR Trip folks as well. . . a snapshot of the menu. some very interesting options. before too long, we were seated, and our order taken. (notice the line never got shorter! it stayed about that long the whole time. we took an outside seat, so didn't have to wait as long as those waiting to sit inside). a closeup of the unique pizzas. i ended up getting the Struzzo BBQ - ostrich peppers and bbq sauce. (it was SO good) all food comes with a trip to the salad bar first: and my Pizza. which I ate all of - other than the parts I shared with others who wanted a taste. and then it was back to the hotel where i decided I was gonna sauna - and did it the traditional (nekkid) way . . you're welcome again for no pictures. then a shower, and crashed. tomorrow was gonna be a full day, and the truth is? the sauna really was refreshing and knocked me right out.
    1 point
  48. Worst visit at Knott's ever, did Cedar Fair forget ride operations or is everything an attempt to sell Fastlane? My sister and brother-in-law visited from Denver and we went to Knott's on Monday, March 25th. Every coaster we rode seemed to follow the same pattern. Load the Fastlane customers, load the blue card handicaps, and then if any space was left; they went to the regular line. My family skipped Ghostrider and Xcelerator but Pony Express, Sierra Sidewinder, Jaguar, and rapids ride all had close to one-hour waits to where you could stand in line for a couple of ride cycles and the line didn't move at all. Knott's also has bars in the park with Margaritas/Tequila prices from $22 to $100 per drink. My $22 strawberry margarita and $20 bloody mary made me almost puke and toss them in the garbage. It was all sweet and sour with horrible generic/well alcohol. Even the chicken restaurant and boysenberry mojito were bad. The employees were nice and you can now tip on the credit card readers at the bars/saloons in the park but $22 for horrible booze trying to hide with a bunch of sweet and sour or cheap tomato juice is not a good combination. The track for the kiddie train is completely gone Eastery Most of Monte's track is gone too.
    1 point
  49. On the page about the JetLine accident: https://www.gronalund.com/jetline/olyckan Gröna Lund say that JetLine will be closed during 2024. /// Marcus
    1 point
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