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Showing content with the highest reputation since 09/16/2021 in Posts

  1. Tennessee Tornado runs every day, I don’t know what you're talking about.
    8 points
  2. 7 points
  3. Hey everyone! I had the opportunity to visit CGA before a wedding weekend, and I had a great time with long time coaster friend Andrew! I was supposed to visit during Winterfest in 2019 but the area had historic flooding so this is my first CGA visit. I visited on a Sunday, and everything worked out as I planned. I flew into San Jose (SJC) airport, which is 15 minutes from the park. It's a small airport so I was able to get off the plane, swing by my hotel, and be at the park all in 45 minutes. How awesome is that! Fast lane was pre-purchased since I only had 6 hours at the park, and it definitely saved time allowing me to walk on all coasters. First Impressions: I know of the Marriott background and the similarities with Chicago's Gurnee's Six Flags Great America and it was fun to see the double decker carousel and pool entry with the observation tower again. What I wasn't aware, is that the park shares the parking lot with Levi Stadium where the 49'ers play. It's hilarious how far out this place is from San Francisco, it's about as far away from Chicago as SFGAm is. But man holy shit Levi Stadium is MASSIVE and the park is closed if there's a football game. Thankfully my buddy picked the right wedding weekend to allow me to get to CGA It didn't take long for me to recognize CGA is a beautiful park featuring the PNW/Bay area's stunning redwoods, foliage, and natural beauty. There's really not an ugly spot in this park, other than some of the dated dining options that they seem to be turning around. The new waterpark look fantastic complete with its own set of characters meandering the park for photo ops and interactions. Operations: The day started out fine and the Railblazer ops were very consistent all day, but the crews really faded down the stretch. Gold Striker was the most frustrating as there were supervisors in the station yet they let trains stack for 5 minutes. Flight Deck, Grizzly, Drop Tower, were rivaling BGT for worst ops I've seen this year. Seat selection is usually never an issue in America unless it's Hagrid's Motor Bike Adventure but CGA gave me two wildly different answers: Me: "Hey, I'd love to wait for the front seat, I don't mind an extra cycle." Normal Op: "Sure go for it" That's what I got the first couple hours, then, the final few hours of the visit. Me: "Hey, can I wait for the back/front?" Op: "Oh yeah, no, we don't do that. Some guests have gotten really unruly with us over picking seats." ????????????????????????? The worst example was asking for Flight Deck's back seat and the op wouldn't budge, put me in the front, and then left the back 2 rows empty This also happened on Railblazer once, and it's like, really? There's only 8 seats..... cmon! It's just mind numbing and frustrating at times. Rides/Coasters: Railblazer - How could I not start here? With the issues surrounding the single rail coasters this year I was really wondering if I was going to miss out on one again. Not this time, I finally got to ride! A few things surprised me before I even got on the ride: it really looks like a hotwheels car zipping around the track, it's very raw - it's very bare bones and mechanically loud at times, the lift chain starts on the lift, and the ride itself looks good and fits well. It's just so fast, it reminded me of Arashi. It's a crazy experience that's crazy fun but I didn't come away loving the thing. The airtime is so abrupt and violent, those shoulder straps aren't really necessary right? I enjoyed the front more than the back, the airtime is just as nuts but it felt more comfortable, and the view is pretty awesome. After about 5 or 6 rides, the next day my shoulders were pretty bruised, hah. Demon - Just a classic Arrow that's still in great shape. The corkscrews were really smooth and the first drop always provides a good pop of air. Love the vintage effects/lights just like the sister park! Grizzly - Oh boy, the wooden coaster that consistently was voted one of the worst roller coasters in the world! Now I know why. This might as well be classified as a junior woodie. Anyone over 6' is going to not have a good time getting in these old arrow-mine-train ala CP lap bar things. It wasn't very painful, but the operations were. This coaster just doesn't do anything, it's gotta be the next ride to be taken out. Drop Tower - A great Intamin tower, stellar views of the mountains! Himalaya - Not that great of a cycle but it's one of the last ones out there. Mass Effect - A solid offering for what you are limited with when working with the 4D theaters. I'm not familiar with the game but it's easily understood and there's an actor or two performing with the show. Flight Deck - I wanted to like this invert a bit more, but it only does so much. It does everything very well, though! I wish I could have had that back row ride but I won't complain about 2x in the front. Patriot - Almost forgot about this one! Not much to say here, it's like a shortened Georgia Scorcher layout, it did have a cool little sideways dive into the corkscrew. Gold Striker - Here is the unanimously best coaster at the park and the most well rounded coaster in the park! After all of these other short but sweet coasters, Gold Striker offers a lengthy airtime filled twisted rugged ride up down and all around the front side of the park. From the looks off ride, you'd think the big turnarounds would sap speed and not offer much like some older GCI's but this GCI is an awesome combo of the newfound relentless speed in the newer GCI's. I absolutely loved the unique tunneled drop that sends the train rocketing around the twisted air hills, dives in and out of the structure, and it's so hard to predict what is coming next. Gold Striker, Renegade, and Mystic Timbers are all in an elite GCI tier in my book. Final thoughts: This park really needs Megabyte/Orion. All but Gold Striker are very short coasters, even though they are good coasters, a lengthy re-ridable coaster is just what this park needs. Fast lane wasn't really needed, especially if you have a full day. The park needs to continue updating their food and beverage offerings. There was not a sit down restaurant, it was all quick service and there was not an adult offering like a bar for adults, so I think there's a missed opportunity here. It's hard to beat the setting in San Jose, it's absolutely beautiful. Flying over the Great Salt Lake on the way. Lagoon is somewhere around here! Hey bert! Love this view again, the classic Great America entrance. Railblazer was my first stop, first time on a single rail! The ride is a blur after you're chucked off this steep drop! It's so hard to even register when you're upside-down, you're traveling on the track so fast! Look at how beautiful this park is! The Pacific North West and Bay Area is just so wonderful. New water park expansion and the giant Levi Stadium in the background along with the mountains! I see you, vintage B&M goodness! Palm trees redwoods, B&M's, mountains, ahhhh.. Flight Deck didn't disappoint, it absolutely flies through the inversons. The signature finale! This is Grizzly's train. The lap bars aren't individual, nor are they individual row, they are connected to the row behind/in front of you to your car. So if you have 2 kids behind you and a friend that's 6'3" next to you, that bar is gonna have to be smashed into your groin. Ouch! 3. Three! Seatbelts and this coaster doesn't even need a lap bar. Mass Effect was a good effort for one of those 4D simulators. Almost forgot about this old stand up turned Rougarou-like. Meh. Hey BGT, get your shit together!!! Back over for some more Railblazer fun! Loved this bonkers part! This is probably the main reason why my shoulders were purple the next day. This is at a Cedar Fair park. Yep! The whole park looks like this. Sadly the food and bev is the only ugly part of the park. This 'sports bar' supposedly had staff working but were nowhere to be found, and looks like it hadn't been updated since 1992. Couldn't even get a snack or drink here. Alright let's end the day with some Gold Striker rides! Love how it wraps around the observation tower. This GCI is a tangled mess of head choppers, hand choppers, crazy twists, airtime, and relentless speed and laterals! Even the pre-lift section gives you a taste of the craziness to come. It's tough to get photos of this thing, and it'll take many laps to figure out the layout. The rushhhh of striking gold! Absolutely ripping through the course! This twisted downhill airtime hill was the stand out 'holy shit' moment for me! Gold Striker in the golden hour. Gold Striker is the clear stand out coaster at CGA in my opinion. It's got everything you'd want in a twisted, wild, airtime filled woodie! And for post park fun, there's Bare Bottle Brewing around the corner which boasts some of the best IPA's I've had. Much love for the Bae Area! -Zach
    6 points
  4. So which pass isn’t good at La Ronde? I want that one, please.
    6 points
  5. Hi Everyone! Here it is! The final TR from my big escape from the coaster desert...Dollywood! (plus a bonus theme park history nerd moment) Much like BGW, Dollywood has been on my A-List for a long time. It hasn't fascinated me in the way some of my other A-List parks have, but it's always been one that I've wanted to visit. And...when your flying across country for 6+ hours...what's another 5/6 hours of driving from Williamsburg to add another amazing park (plus the Smoky Mountains as a bonus). And...I have to say of all three parks I visited on my grand escape (Knoebels, BGW, and Dollywood)...I think that Dollywood was the one that surprised me the most. Going in I had a good idea of what to expect, but I wasn't as excited for it as Knoebels or BGW. I'm glad to say thought that I walked away very impressed, and I can see why so many people love this park! So...here we go again! Buckle in cause it's a bit of along one! Ahhh Dollywood....the park I've heard so much about. To be honest, I wasn't sure what to expect with this park. I mean, I knew what the park's lineup was, it's layout, it's history, almost everything about it...but still I wasn't sure what I'd think of it. This was a park that I had heard so much about, and after BGW was easily an A-list park. So let's see if it lived up to it's reputation... Upon entering the park I made an executive decision to make a left and head up the hill towards Mystery Mine... ...which turned out to be simultaneously probably the best decision of the day, and a fatal mistake. When I made this decision I knew that it was probably a risky one, since I might be passing up a shot at Lightning Rod, but I subscribe to the strategy of hitting low capacity rides (jokes about LR's capacity aside) first. Little did I know that Dollywood posts the wait times for all of their rides on every wait time sign (Pro tip for anyone planning a visit!). When we reached Mystery Mine, Lightning Rod was already listed as "Closed for the Day"....wah wah wah.... While this was the upside of going to MM first, you'll find out about the mistake later... Anyways, back to Mystery Mine! After a 15 minute maintenance delay, we were off in the back seat! And...um...how do I put this? This ride was like Two-Face. On the one hand it is very well themed (for a regional theme park coaster), all the effects seemed to be all working, it has a solid finale, and it has an AWESOME theme song! Mystery, Mystery, Mineeeee!!! (Seriously, how come people don't talk about that theme song?) On the other hand, it's rough, had uncomfortable restraints, has a queue that floods (What's with that big puddle in the middle of the stairs?), and has an...uuhhh...interesting layout? I didn't notice the new section of track vs. the old, but it seemed like they made one less place for me to bang into the restraint (Whoo Hooo!) The whole ride seemed to shuffle a little (not terrible but noticeable), and the OTS restraints just made it plain uncomfortable. Giving this ride lap bars I think would help, but finale aside I thought the layout was kinda weak and felt like it was meandering around for the sake of meandering around. Perhaps the joke Mystery "Meh" is pretty accurate after all... After bouncing around like...I mean "making memories worth repeating" on Mystery Mine we made our way over to Thunderhead! (I know, I know you are probably screaming at the top of your lungs...) Now having not been to CGA, and passing on InvadR at BGW, this made Thunderhead my very first GCI! And...it was fun! I think that's the best way to describe this ride, fun. I would NOT call it the best wooden coaster in the world, nor would I consider it top 20 or anything (If I'd actually ridden 20 wooden coasters...), but it's a good solid ride..."Great" if you will... I don't think it's layout is perfect, I sensed that GCI was still trying to find their formula, but that they were getting close here. If Gold Striker and Mystic Timbers built on this formula and the lessons learned from Thunderhead, then I am very excited for those rides. The biggest weakness I found was that none of the elements really popped or stood out. No crazy airtime hills, no wicked lateral turns, no surprise elements, every element was just "good". There was a little shuffle in a couple spots, but nothing that I could complain about, which was better than I was expecting. I was especially impressed with the length, but I could tell that it was running out of steam on the last few elements, which was a bit of a disappointment. All in all, solid and fun, but certainly not the best. Now let's talk about those Millennium Flyer trains a sec. I've heard about these things for years now, and I've heard them simultaneously proclaimed as both the best and worst wooden coaster trains out there. So I was really curious to see what I thought. And you know something, I don't know what to say about these. They just didn't impress, nor disappoint, they were just kinda there. Maybe I'm just so used to battling bad wooden coaster trains, that I don't know what good ones look like? I just felt that they didn't have anything special about them. The only true pluses that stood out to me were that the lap bars were slightly more comfortable then PTC's individual bars, and that there were no seat dividers with one shared seat belt (which I like!). Other than that, I don't see why people make them out to be so special. Could someone please help me to understand what makes Millennium Flyers so special? That would be greatly appreciated. Next up was Wild Eagle....(now your really screaming at the top of your lungs...I think I can here your now....) This is where I'm really gonna get in trouble...I think Wild Eagle is the best coater at Dollywood (Remember, Lightning Rod was closed...) Now, now here me out. This could be a side effect of the fact that there are no B&M Wing Coasters west of the Mississippi (Why are all the good B&M's in the east again?), so there could be some novelty to it. However, for me, with the smoothness, inversions, unique layout, and great views, Lightning Rod aside, there really is no context. And...don't say it's forceless...I'll be the first to admit that I greyed out at the bottom of Wild Eagle's first drop. Every time, in every seat that I rode (front, back, and middle). IT IS NOT MY FAVORITE STEEL COASTER, by any means, but at Dollywood I think it's the best in the park (minus LR). After passing on a 45 minute wait on Tennessee Tornado (lol, bet your still screaming...), we decided to head for lunch. We thought about Aunt Granny's, but the health conscious part of our group won out and we ultimately settled on the steak wraps at the giant skillet. This was good! Definitely better than Trapper's, although not quite enough to top the All-You-Can-Eat BBQ at my home park IMO. It was very fresh, and tasty. Highly recommend! After lunch I decided to pay my respects at the almighty church of the broken RMC...Lightning Rod. While this was a hard one, I had a mind set going in that it would probably be closed, because that's just how my luck works (See Knoebels switching to tokens at Fascination, and Verbolten missing it's fake roof). So I wasn't entirely surprised or disappointed to see it closed...but bummed none the less. This is now my new favorite sign...even better than my home park's "This is a slow moving line". Lightning Rod does look like an awesome ride, and I'm (almost) sure that it's the parks best coaster. I hope RMC and Dollywood figure this thing out, and fix it for good. I think it would be a huge bummer for everyone if they gave up on it. After leaving the church of the broken roller coaster...we rode the train! I've heard a lot of about the Dollywood Express. I've heard the praises, and the awards. However, my home park's train (when it was at it's prime, which it sadly no longer is...) seems to me to be a high bar to clear. A bar that in my opinion the Dollywood Express failed to surpass. It's not that I didn't like the train (because I love trains as much as I love theme parks), it just didn't live up to my expectations. I knew that there was no on-board show, but I was under the impression that the DE was a scenic 30-40 minute journey through the woods with banjos playing, and maybe some wild life or a shenanigan filled vignette scene along the way. Instead it kinda felt like a short 20 minute trip past "The future site of Wildwood Grove Phase 2", to a random loop around a field and back. The only interesting thing that that happened was what wasn't supposed to happen...the train couldn't make it up the hill. For whatever reason it stopped just past the crossing by the Dreamsong Theater/Owen's Farm, then proceeded to back up all the way to Lightning Rod, and HAUL up that hill. Almost legit scary haul up that hill (Lightning Rod's launch has nothing on that train engineer, memories worth repeating right?). It was actually kinda hilarious, but other than that I just found the experience kinda underwhelming. It made me think, that maybe, just maybe, my home park might actually have a world's best on it's hands. Although I think a certain other Herschend park might have something to say about that... After the train ride, we headed back up the hill too...Daredevil Falls! (You've probably lost your voice from all that screaming by now...) I thought Daredevil Falls was a fine log flume, but nothing special. A little short maybe...wait...maybe I shouldn't talk about short log flumes... I wish it had some animatronics or something, that would at least give you something to look at besides the pretty scenery....you know what...let's just move on from log flumes... ...to...Blazing Fury! Blazing Fury is great. There I said it. It's great. I love semi-cheesy old school dark rides (like Black Diamond...), and Blazing Fury fits perfectly in that category. Some people in my group thought it was tacky, and weird, but I liked it. I do wish that Dollywood would bring in Garner Holt and let him do his thing. I think that would really make this ride go a long ways towards being great. The only complaints here were I thought that the cars traveled a little too fast for my liking, and the splashdown...or unsplashdown I should say. Now, I know why the splashdown was removed, but couldn't they come up with a better replacement then some blue Christmas lights and an air compressor? It was like the ride was going "Alright, were barely gonna escape the fire! Oh, look lets escape by dropping into a big ole hole, filled with some cheap lights and a blast of air! Impressive escape huh?" Why couldn't they drop you into a cave or something or just add one more scene of the firefighters being victorious? I think that would of been much better. After Blazing Fury (which for some reason had the best ops at the park that day) we finally got to Tennessee Tornado! And to be honest, much like Tempesto I can't remember too much about Tennessee Tornado. Unlike Tempesto though, I can say that I liked it, but the only things that I remember were that it was smooth...and short. I greyed out on the second loop, but I remember being very impressed by how smooth this ride was. I think that if Arrow could have built more of these smooth multiloopers, the theme park industry would look very different today. I was reminded of how short it was though, and I found myself wishing there were just a few more inversions. For that reason I think I prefer the Loch Ness Monster in the race for best Arrow looper, for the length and then the unique layout. After another ride on Wild Eagle...we know come to the mistake I mentioned earlier. FireChaser Express is a coaster that means a lot to me. When I was first getting into theme parks and roller coasters, Dollywood was in the middle of building this and I remember thinking it was the coolest thing ever. The mistake I made was not going here first or second after Mystery Mine. I had been watching the 50 minute plus wait time all day, hoping it would die down but it never did. So, sadly I choose to cut my losses and skip it... I thought about sucking up and doing it, but I just couldn't bring myself too. That being said, it looks as fun as I imagined it would, so I definitely have something (besides Lightning Rod...) to look forward too next time I go to Dollywood. But still... After giving up on FireChaser Express, we went for a few more rides on Wild Eagle before deciding to do the real reason people come to Dollywood...CINNAMON BREAD!!!! And...OH MY GOODNESS!!! THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST THEME PARK DESERTS OUT THERE, IF NOT THE BEST!!!! I thought the sundae at Knoebels was good...but this cinnamon goodness just obliterated it. So so good, you have to get it when you go to Dollywood! We also saw a turtle in the pond next to the Grist Mill. So next time your headed there, be sure to say hi to Earl the Turtle (or whatever the TPRers shall name him/her/it?)! I hear if you don't he starts to chew on the power cord for the Cinnamon Bread machine... After the Cinnamon Bread, we checked out the Dolly Parton museum and some of the other cool little things on that side of the park. I thought the Dolly Parton museum was nice, but a little cluttery and disjointed. I'm not a Parton superfan by any means, but it was fun to see her story. After that we finished up the day with another ride on Mystery Mine (this time in the front), and a couple more ride on Thunderhead because...why not! And then ended our day at Dollywood! A couple random tidbits and thoughts: - We went back into Wildwood Gove...I mean Concreteland, towards the end of our day and while I thought it was nicely done and very imaginative, it didn't exactly feel like a grove... I've seen pictures of what the area looked like before they put in WG, and I wish they could have left those trees up. That would have made the area so much better. We were there on an overcast day that wasn't overly hot, and it still felt like a sauna back there. I can't imagine what it would be like on a hot summer day... - Passed on Dolly's Magical Butterflying Coaster (i.e. Dragonflyer) and Whistle Punk Chaser, mostly because I'm not a credit whore person. Dragonflyer look fun, but I thought Thunderhead looked more fun so I did that instated. As for WPC...well...I just couldn't do it... - Didn't have time (or desire) to venture into Country Fair or Owen's Farm. Barnstormer looked cool, but totally forgot about it in the grand scheme of things. - Did I mention that this park is pretty? I didn't? Well, it is! I honestly have a hard time deciding if Dollywood or BGW is more pretty. I think I have to give it to BGW for now, but Dollywood is certainly in the hunt. I could tell that they had removed a lot of trees in the park lately, which to me is a shame. I'm not a tree hugger, but removing trees that take 20+ years to reach a decent size for no apparent reason really bugs me. My home park has been doing it recently too, and I hope they stop it. I think nice trees really add to a park's beauty. - They were doing some construction in Craftsman's Valley in between, what I presume was, the old blacksmith shop and the candle making shop. I don't know what the building was used for previously, but looked like they were going after it pretty well. Must be where they are putting that new strata coaster for next season... - Lastly, what is the deal with this park and hair bands? Could someone please explain this to me? There were a whole bunch piled up on the fake rocks in the queue for Daredevil Falls, at the base of the lift for Wild Eagle, and a few other places. I've never seen this at any other park so...do the people of Tennessee really like hairbands as lawn ornaments or something? Please...someone explain? All in all, I think Dollywood is an amazing park. You can tell that they have spent a lot of money on this place, and that they take very good care of it. I thought it was interesting that when I initially walked into the park I was a little underwhelmed. I'm not sure why, I just felt like something was missing initially. However, as the day progressed I found myself warming up to the park, and loving it more and more. I don't know if I'd call it my favorite park, yet, but it is one of my favorites for sure. I hope they keep up with the good improvements (and plant a few more trees along the way...), as I think they have done well so far. I don't know when I'll be back to that part of the country, but if I ever am I'll be sure to go back! Looking towards the future...I'm not actually sure what this park needs. When I was there I kept thinking "This park is like BGW, it justs needs that one stand out ride.", but I think Lightning Rod IS that ride, so it doesn't need that. Personally I'd like to see a B&M Dive Coaster themed to a flooded mine with an elevator lift, be put into the area where Daredevil Falls, the old Mountain Slidewinder (RIP), and Owen's Farm are. That would add another major ride at the front of the park (which the park definitely needs), and it could be really unique and a GP crowd pleaser (Does Dolly read these forums?)! Other than that enthusiast pipe dream...I'm not sure. This park has almost all the boxes checked, and I just don't think a B&M Giga would be a good fit here. Oh well! I'm sure they'll think of something fun to spend $300 million on... And...with that all my TR's are done for my latest coaster desert escape! (Whew...I thought I'd NEVER get them done!) I want to say thanks to tndank, CoasterBill, SSL, teacherkim, BitterOldHag, and TEDodd for their advice on planning a trip to Dollywood and the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg/Smokey Mountains area (Plus, anyone else I might have forgot!). The advice was much appreciated and made for a great trip! Thanks to the moderators and contributors, your hard work also helps make TPR such a special place! I'd also like to give a big special thanks Robb and Alissa, you guys have done an amazing job with this site and forum. It is such a fun place to visit and read peoples comments and thoughts. Please keep up the great work!! I don't think I'm alone in saying that it is very much appreciated by everyone who frequents your site! THANK YOU!!!! Oh! I almost forgot! The bonus theme park history nerd moment... Our (unfortunate) return to the coaster desert from Pigeon Forge, necessitated a flight out of Nashville...and I'm sure you can guess what happens next... When the country music fans in your group decide to kill time by going to see the Grand Ole Opry House...and your a theme park enthusiast who loves history...you have to ask yourself... Can you tell me how to get, how to get to, Sesame Streeeeeeet Opryland!! It's kinda hard to believe that a parking lot and an old house are really all that remain of the park. How could such a pretty, lush, and fun looking (at least in the pictures) park be reduced to this? Who thought a silly mega mall would be cooler than an amusement park themed to music! (Come to think of it...didn't someone else try that?) Oh well, I guess I'll never really know how great Opryland was. Sometimes I wonder what the park would look like today, and how it would hold up against the modern Dollywood? What could have been...? When flying out of Nashville, I looked out my window and we happened to fly over the Opry and it was pretty cool how you could kinda see how the park would just "fit" right into the space where the parking lot and the north end of the mall is. Maybe someday Nashville will get a proper successor...Storyville Gardens, anyone? Lastly...I think this sign might challenge Lightning Rod for the best sign award... Any ideas who thought this one up? Thanks everyone for reading! I really enjoyed sharing, and I'm grateful for the fun environment that TPR has. See you next time! P.S. Hey! There's no random photos at the end! Whoo Hoo! I finally figured it out!!
    6 points
  6. Most people are assuming a Secret Life of Pets Dark Ride in the space. I honestly think that would be a BIG improvement!
    6 points
  7. Had a wonderful visit to Hansa Park today. Operations were fantastic with Kärnan and Novgorod running 3 trains, resulting in fast moving queues and the longest I waited was 30 minutes for Kärnan. I rode Highlander for the first time and really liked it, not the most forceful droptower, but very long drop, beautiful views and I love the on-board audio. Kärnan was running great, and they have really nailed the show on the lifthill now, with soundeffects, music and projections in the ceiling. This is my 6th visit and I have yet to see Kärnan having any downtime, surprising considering how complicated that coaster is! As for covid measures: Masks in queues, on rides and indoors. They were not using the interior queue on Kärnan and Novgorod, on Kärnan they used the single rider entrance bypassing the interior queue so you end up directly in the bagage area, they were still running the preshows. On Novgorod they had a member of staff by the entrance to the building managing the queue, then you walked through the inside queue and directly on the ride. Two negative things at the end, Nessie was only running one train, and all the restaurants with inside seating was closed. I had a great day, and Kärnan looks fantastic in the dark!
    6 points
  8. Since I'm from Saint Louis, as soon as my daughter is old enough to facebook and start fights, I'm going to buy my $40 season pass (aka- summer babysitter) and drop her off at the park constantly. That's the status quo for SFSTL.
    6 points
  9. What follows is one of the most difficult trip reports I've ever compiled. Why? Because of the place itself. Literally every photo Smisty and I took of it is interesting. Not because we're amazing photographers--although, obviously, we are--but because every square inch of the place is a study in joy and decay. So get ready for lots of weird analogies, because we're going to.... Lakeside Amusement Park First, a quick reminder of the weather conditions during our trip to Denver: hot and choked by wildfire smoke such that you could stare directly at the sun without (obvious) eye damage. So some of these photos may seem washed out or oddly colored. But that's just what things looked like at the time. In the background, you can see Lakeside Speedway, which apparently used to be a big moneymaker for them, but then some people died and now sits abandoned. Welcome to Lakeside! It's here, about halfway to the entrance of the park, that you start to wonder if this is maybe a bad idea. The, um, "entrance." Okay, imagine that every park you've ever been to is a person. Some are ugly, some are beautiful, some are tall, some are short, some are trans, and some are in Canada. Now, maybe you've seen photos of, or have even visited, an abandoned amusement park or two. Those are dead people. But Lakeside is none of those things. Lakeside is a zombie. Why is no one riding in the front seat? I didn't ask. I don't want to know. This ride is closed for maintenance, but it's open. Analogy. The wildcat or whatever is closed, the little ferris wheel thing is closed and the truck is a question mark, but the dead end murder path is open. Striking the right tone here is already proving to be difficult. Because I love this place. It's amazing. It's like going back in time but then realizing that everyone you meet is riddled with diseases that will kill them before they make it to 30. It's hard to even describe it. Like, if everything here worked and someone actually cared about "show" this could honestly be one of the best amusement parks in the world. But as it is, I half expected Haley Joel Osment to be waiting for me on my way out to reveal that I was the ghost all along. Let's play, "Was it Open?" No, the answer is no. But at least the Whip looks like we can ride it! Hey, what park is this? This looks beautiful! You probably already know that this park is famous for its Art Deco architecture, signage, and lighting. Of course, we weren't here late enough to see the lighting, but I have no doubt that it is beautiful and also that half of it doesn't work or only partially works. This mirror maze looks a smidge too easy for me. Lakeside features two defunct and completely-stripped full-sized ferris wheels. So that's a thing. There's no ride here. When did it close? Who knows? What was it? Well, Speed Boats, obviously. What does that mean? I have no idea. Only two missing ride vehicles? Attraction of the Month, ladies and gentlemen! You could tell me that this place was themed to The Shining, change nothing, and I would totally buy it. In the background, you can see the Tower of Jewels, which is, obviously, haunted. But also is--or rather was--the park's real entrance. Can you go up there? Ha ha, no. Why do we not use this entrance any longer? I don't know. Maybe we just like the dirty dirt dirt one better. Or maybe it's because there's two flights of stairs between this and the park proper with no visible ADA lift or ramps. I mean, it doesn't seem like it would be that difficult to add one of those things. But then again, Lakeside does very much smack of being out of money in RollerCoaster Tycoon and just sitting there waiting for a new person to come through the gate so that you can build a new bench, so who knows? If you really want to cry, look up the list of rides that used to exist in this park. Did I peek behind a fence to get this shot, or is this just smack dab in the middle of the park, naturally visible from every direction? Based on what you've learned so far, which seems more likely? The park has a couple of eateries and some redemption games, but no traditional fair games (that I recall) and absolutely no gift shops. But seeing as how Lakeside is both the best and worst place we've ever been, we had to have a magnet. So we bought some extra ride tickets and will just create our own. Analogy. This might be a good time to mention that rides don't actually have queues here. Just an entrance gate and an exit gate and people lined up down the pathways wherever they feel like it. This park is like the saddest old dog at the shelter and I just want to take it home and love it but it costs 100 million dollars and it definitely has heart worms. Wild Chipmunk's ride vehicles each hold exactly one preteen Elvis-impersonator. Why did we not come here at night? Oh, right, because we're old and we go to bed super early. My first and last Vettel coaster. Not because it was bad, but because there aren't any more. In fact, this ride is kind of amazing. I mean, there's no airtime or anything. But it's fast and relatively-smooth and it exists in a park with 3 non-functioning ferris wheels and no gift shop. Basically, all of their maintenance budget goes here. Actually, I doubt that anyone here uses budgets. But they keep this ride running, and that presumably keeps the park running. Somehow. And I'm glad it does. I think this photo nicely sums up Lakeside,. And yes, I'm pretty sure that I could've reached over that fence laid my hand on the track with no effort. But I didn't, because I don't want to know which of us is real.
    6 points
  10. Personally, no, I don't want to have to set my alarm for like 6:55 AM on vacation even if I do just get to go right back to bed, no I don't want to only have the option to ride one time and no, I don't want to pay like $130 for a day ticket where I may not get to ride the best ride in the park. I think all of that sucks. Here are the wait times for the last seven days, but people have been reporting that the ACTUAL wait times are always about 1/2 of what they say they are. This is not worth all of those headaches in my mind. They're insane at rope-drop but otherwise very reasonable. Quite a few times since it's opened, there have been longer posted waits for rides like Slinky Dog Dash, Flight of Passage and Jungle Cruise. That old system sucked nuts and I'm glad it's gone and hope it stays gone forever. I get why some early-birds would like it but I am not one of them.
    6 points
  11. Here's my report from my weekend trip to Carowinds with friends! Flew in Saturday at 530, quickly got a ride over to Carowinds new Spring Hill Suites hotel. It's right across from the parking lot so it's an easy 5 minute walk over to the park. The hotel does have a full bar, but does not have food or a restaurant. Amazingly the lyft driver had no sweat weaving in and out of the batshit insane traffic. Carowinds is right off the high way, but there's 2 huge intersections that really slow down traffic, so it just backs up for miles when busy. Carowinds needs their own exit if they can somehow make that work. So once we got to the hotel, we were pretty much stuck. No lyft/uber would ever want to come in and get us, and it would have taken an hour to get in; spoiler, the traffic stayed until probably 2am. Famous Dave's is within walking distance, but it closes at 8pm daily. Sooo we were forced to eat at Harmony Hall and I've still yet to have a good meal there. It's.....edible. Really disappointed that they can't serve better quality food. Saturday night was seemingly like all other American parks - so packed you could barely navigate some areas. We just had drinks, checked out the atmosphere, and were lucky to get 1 ride on Fury at night with a one use fast lane. Sunday much more manageable, although fast lane was needed to get in multiple rides and re-ride some coasters I hadn't done in years (Nighthawk). Let me first applaud Carowinds for their Haunt event. Their scare zones were packed with actors as were the mazes. The park really felt different at night and had me second guessing how to navigate with all of the different lights, fog, and decorations shining. Depths of Darkness: This maze should be your #1 priority if you're going to Scarowinds. An awesome blend of new technology, big physical sets, great scares, some find mind tricks, and you get some different angles of Intimidator as you walk under it! The best CF maze I've done in some time. Tooth Fairy: This is new for 2021 and you know you're in for some disappointment when it's called Tooth Fairy but the exterior of the build is.... it's themed to ...windows? There wasn't enough happening in this maze, nor were the decorations or effects much of anything to make it stand out. It was over too soon, and the finale was ok. But hey at least there was a finale. Slaughterhouse: Can we get rid of these mazes already? This one looked like a lengthy maze, but it was actually only one small section of the area being used and it ended before the scares started to come. Bummer. Silver Screen Studios: This seemed like a fun idea on paper, checking out this old movie set from a director that figured the best horror movie should be made by actually killing the actors! It was fun, but seemed like they just threw a lot of random things together. Missed our on the Reaping, I like those scarecrow mazes and it looked like they use part of rapids ride like CP does, I'm sure it was good. Rides! Or...coasters! We didn't do any flat rides because the drop tower is so small, sorry..., electro spin was down, and I've done enough Boo Hill shooters. What else is there? Windseeker was down uhhh... there's no pendulum/frisbee ride. Alright Carowinds let's get some flats in there. Coasters: Carolina Cyclone - Hey guess what! Vortex lives on, the trains were re-painted and are in use. It's takes the course pretty fast, so hold on right, it's a wild arrow looper. Goldrusher - This is an olddddd mine train where each the 3 rows in 1 car have to move the lap bar together, like at CP. So if you have 2 adults and 4 kids in 1 car, you're gonna have to be very stapled. Even still, we saw 2 young girls unbuckle there seatbelt and fold themselves out of the train right as it pulled into the station. They just...wiggled up and out. Our jaws were on the floor. So it's uncomfortable, but it's got a really fun layout. This thing spends half the time in trenches/in tunnels! Nighthawk - What the hell, might as well ride the OG Vekoma flyer. I have always like how the corkscrews ride vs the rolling trash can barrel rolls. Shocking... this thing is smooth. I don't think it's going anywhere for a while as Firehawk's trains are there on site for parts. Intimidator - It's just a fun re-rideable hyper, it's right next to the bar, it's a walk on with FL. Afterburn - Okay okay okay I've been on Montu now. No it doesn't have Montu's intensity but it's still a great B&M invert and I still think that final wing over between the trees is one of the best inversions on an invert in the states. It just rips your legs off! Fury 325 - It's loved by all for good reason. The drop seems endless, the speed keeps up the whole ride, the airtime is great, and sometimes that trim didn't hit. What was weird was we heard it making noises off ride walking in/out of the park, I didn't remember that. andddddd now..... new for me.... Copperhead Strike! I will be honest I passed up going to Carowinds a few times since it was added since I just didn't think it'd be worth going out of my way for and damn I am mad at myself. Copperhead will treat you to every G Force that's possible - the launches are barely worth a mention but you do feel them get you going. Laterals on tight turns, amazing hangtime in 4 different types, airtime ranging from floater to ejector, and this coaster has Cedar Fair's best attempt at theming. Copperhead is so unique, I really really enjoyed it and I really wanted to claim it as my favorite coaster in the park, but you can't compare this to anything else, especially Fury. What a gem Carowinds has and I can finally say Carowinds is a pretty well rounded park. They still need some more flat rides and they have a glaring need for a new wooden coaster. Hopefully they get one soon to really elevate the line up! I couldn't bring myself to ride the old Vortex stand up, haha. Do you prefer daytime or nighttime Fury? I think I choose night specifically for no wasps. There was tons on Sunday. Let's get the day going with a 1999 B&M invert! It still kicks ass! The biggest issue with the park right now. Not enough staff. There were no separators/groupers at the station so if you're a shitty kid/adult, you could just hop over into the FL line after the queue entry and walk right in. On top of that, guests had to merge themselves and this was a sticky situation since you'd get supervise-less kids not sure what to do/how to assert themselves; and then later in the day you'd have liquored up adults/teens getting into it when one tried to get in front of the other. Hoooooboy I hope they fix this ASAP. I made a number of team members aware of the issues I saw. Love the views of Afterburn from back here! Time for some Copperhead love! First time on one of these newer Mack launchers/loopers. The trains are gorgeous, lap bars are comfy, seats are fine but they do I guess give you a necessary hug around the sides, I wish they were a bit more open but I can understand the design. Very cool looking. Copperhead is so packed full of amazing elements that after the launch I forgot about the jojo roll start! You don't need to hang on, that's the lap bar's job! Some surprises await in here. Great job, Mack + CF team! A beautiful tangled mess of track! Copperhead is long, has great airtime, unique hangtime in 4 different ways, and it seems to go on forever. Definitely an elite coaster my book! I've always enjoyed this old mine train since it spend a lot of time below ground. Don't miss it! Carowinds has adopted the whole "don't touch your lap bar!!!!! never touch it!!!!!!!" ride op spiels.... whatever as long as the trains are moving quickly... Sycamore's puts out some amazing beer (Mountain Candy), but this one was just okay. Still, love the coaster brews! The ops had a funny "don't text and drive" spiel, yet they didn't want to actually address half the train that had their phones out on many of my rides. It's a solid B&M hyper, you can't not have fun on this thing. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm (of course it was some stupid teen who did this, and no, his friend didn't fall for it) I could lay under the grass and watch Fury fly around me all day. I love how interactive it is. Uh-mazing. Take a 10 minute ride around the corner to Mac's Speed Shop for amazing friendly service, fantastic smoked meats, and the best onion rings in the world. This whole plate cost $11, by the way. Don't eat in the parks if you don't have to. Time for some night rides! Depths of Darkness takes you under Intimidator, cool! Hello Vortex trains! This wing over, man.....whew! Here's some funny photos the round it out. While it can be stressful to visit Scarowinds, just do yourself a favor and stay on site at the hotel. You get guaranteed entry, you can walk to and from, and it had plenty of available rooms so I guess it's mainly locals packing the park. Get back there for Copperhead if you haven't been on it yet!!! -Zach
    5 points
  12. A few quick thoughts from our visit this weekend: - Royal Pacific has me spoiled. This was our first time staying on property thanks to a passholder appreciation deal but I'll probably do it again. We didn't take advantage of Early Entry since we had Express and having early admission to two rides with Express in the park that nobody wants to rope drop isn't worth getting up an hour and a half early but I'm glad it's a thing for the early birds. - I highly recommend staying at a resort where you can take the boat or walk back from HHN. It's worth it just so you don't have to sit in that parking garage, Also, the walking path is really nice. It's amazing how this place is really in a very built-up area and hides it so well. - HHN was a blast. I have no real "favorite" house. Everyone always explains the backstory and the legend and the storyboards and all that but if you're not familiar with the IPs I mean... you go in, the sets will be awesome, a bunch of shit will jump out at you, Everything blends together a lot. I don't care about the nuance of it but it's a blast. We actually did every house except one without Express despite a rain delay that closed most houses and most rides, even most indoor rides because the gift shops clogged up. At one point I think the only things open in the park were a few mazes up front, Gringotts and Men in Black. I think the only house that we didn't do was Horror in the Heartland. We had 10 minutes left before close and we were next to Mummy. We almost walked all the way back there but we had been in the park for 16 straight hours so we just walked-on Mummy instead. it was the only ride we did during the event but riding Mummy is never a bad life-decision. - Tooth Fairy is a lot better this year than last year - Hulk needs air conditioning - Why can you buy a Coors light in Hogsmeade but not a coke or a water that isn't $6? - Over the course of two days with Express we rode everything we cared to ride, plus multiple rides on Hagrid's and Velocicoaster. Velocicoaster is amazing. The more I ride it, the more I love it. I'm not great at ranking coasters and while I'm not *sure* if I'd call it my favorite, there's not a ride that I can confidently say is better either. I think it's best in the front, but the back is also insane. Everyone knows that the roll is sick but that top hat... man. In the back, it's the coolest moment of floater ever. It's stong and weird. It feels like you're in outer space. Then during the drop it abruptly switches from wild, crazy, twisty floater to El Toro in 0.0001 seconds. Also, in the front you get ejector airtime while upsideown in a dive loop. That's normal, right? lol - The Bourne Stuntacular is jaw-droppingly good. You couldn't pay me to watch those movies. I basically don't care about action movies at all. This doesn't matter. The Bourne Stuntacular is jaw-droppingly good and one of the best things at the entire resort. Lines were short all weekend for most rides (of course, since we had free express passes) and nothing was generally over an hour, not even Hagrid's. I still believe that the best rope-drop ride is Hagrid's... It seems to be more popular than Velocicoaster though it's close. Note that if you're going soon, this does seem to be their "offseason" during the week. Rides like Gringotts, Hagrid's and Hulk were all running at reduced capacity on Monday and rides like River Adventure and Mummy were only using one platform. Lines still weren't bad, and maybe some of it was mechanical but it might make the waits a little longer than they should be so bring your patience. The Gringotts line moved painfully slow and every pre-show ended with an akward silence for 5 minutes before we were let out because the line ahead of us wouldn't clear. Being new, Velocicoaster is running at full capacity as are many other rides though so it's hit-or-miss. Overall we had an awesome time. This is a great time to go to the parks.
    5 points
  13. https://coasterpoll.com/ Hey everyone! The TPR Coaster Poll will be back for 2021, as it is every year! And like every year, we are currently going through the process of making sure everything is up to date for when voting officially begins! With that in mind, we are looking for feedback from the TPR Forum community! Here's what we are looking for: Coasters that are not included on the poll but that should be / should have been. The rule has always been that any coaster that is larger than a standard-sized Wild Mouse (Mack compact mobile, Zamperla Twister Coaster, etc) qualifies, and we intend to keep that rule in place. Coasters that have closed or gone standing but not operating (SBNO) during calendar year 2020 or early in calendar year 2021, unrelated to recent world events. Any coaster that operated for the majority of the 2021 season qualifies for the poll, even if it closed at the end of the season. Coasters that have reopened during calendar year 2020 or 2021 after having been previously SBNO, unrelated to closures surrounding recent world events. Coasters that have been renamed, rethemed, or relocated during calendar year 2020 or 2021. We have put a lot of effort into making sure every qualified coaster is counted, but we always miss a few! So we appreciate the community's efforts in spot-checking our work. We're looking forward to seeing the results in early 2022! Thanks a bunch, and please comment if you have questions or concerns!
    4 points
  14. Cassy and Travis's Trip Report for Phantom Fall Fest Preview : Yesterday Travis and I attended Kennywood's Preview event for their new halloween event, Phantom Fall Fest. We have spent a lot of time at Kennywood, but have not been to their halloween events, so we didn't know what to expect! From my understanding, they used to have two separate halloween events; one for kids in the day, then they would close and reopen for the haunt event in the evening. Kennywood's new event Phantom Fall Fest combines the two events and lets families enjoy the festivities during the day and at 6pm the haunting starts, so families with small children know when to leave if they needed to. They had five mazes: 1. Villa of the Vampire-vampire themed maze that takes place in the arcade building, they clear out all the arcade machines and build this maze inside the building, very well themed! (I liked the skull wall) 2. Shady Grove Memorial Hospital-you are going undercover through this maze, to see what's going on with the patients and hospital staff, there's rumors of an evil doctor (where did all their eyes go?) 3. Dark Shadows- this is their "blackout" maze, which was the first of these that I've been in that was outdoors, and we went when it was slightly light outside and we still couldn't see anything! (I love these kind of mazes) 4. Kennyville Cemetery- Very cool cemetery themed maze, located at the front of the park (loved the ghost in the water!) 5. Voodoo Bayou-cool voodoo themed maze that takes place in the rapids ride, they empty out the water and you get to walk around where the water was which I thought was really cool! Also we were told they use their old dying plants from the season as decor for the maze! They also had four scare zones: 1. Fear Fest- this is a carnival themed walkthrough section where the kangaroo used to be (rip kangaroo) 2. Manor Estate Sale- cool little area that makes it seem like you are in someones house looking at their belongings 3. Hellbilly Hollow-name says it all, your classic hillbilly-zombie themed area, some very good scare actors! (they were always chasing someone) 4. The Departing-the final walkthrough, this takes place in the tunnel when you leave the park, they put scare actors in the tunnel and pump up the fog! (this starts later in the evening, I think 90 minutes before they close) Here are pictures from our evening: Kenny was in his halloween best! love sky rocket! such a fun ride next was phantoms revenge, loved the theming of decor since they are currently working on painting the track the purple track looks cool! sad that this ride was blocked off, but thought it was funny they decorated the blocked off area had to try the "scary waffle cone" you could choose the ice cream flavor, then it had orange sprinkles and gummy worms for the preview we tried some of the new seasonal offerings they have this year such as roasted corn, turkey legs, hamburger steak, and spooky desserts! Noah's ark is one of my favorite attractions here, its so unique! have to ride the whip! such a great ride! Lots of photo-op areas everywhere! picture of the voodoo bayou sign in the day, this was my favorite sign for the mazes I loved the effort they put into theming the haunt decor to what was going on, these guys are doing a little construction! Next for the preview event, we went on a behind the scenes tour of Villa of the Vampire. Like I said before, this maze was inside the arcade area and is built from scratch every year after they move all the arcade machines out. Super cool to see all the detail you don't get to admire when the maze is dark (and avoiding vampires). I thought Laffin' Sal was scary as she was! Now she's hanging out with the vampires! this is the main room where they explain the rules of the maze we got to go where the scare actors go, and see all the doors and windows they use Mark showing off one of the secret doors my favorite area! I want the skull wall for my house! the woman in the picture on the wall was an employee for that attraction for years before she passed away and they honor her by putting her photo in the room where she worked the most gotta take that spooky mirror selfie! one of the cool effects they use for the bug rooms is they have fishing wire that brushes against your face and hair making you feel like you're walking through webs Then we got to go behind the scenes and see makeup being done on scare actors, and look at some of their masks and props they use to transform scare actors for the the night! had to get some pictures back there too! this is where they work on everything for the upkeep on their wooden coasters RIP Also RIP (I really miss this one) Glad we went on this earlier in the day cause the whale was full! love seeing real chainsaws being used for haunts! they pumped fog into the carousel, I thought this was a really cool touch! we left a little earlier than when they started this walkthrough area, but there were some scare actors at the end of the tunnel had to take a spooky tunnel selfie Overall we had a good time, and really enjoyed the night! Our favorite maze was Voodoo Bayou, and we loved that all the areas had a ton of fog and really good scare actors! This is a great family event, with something for everyone to enjoy!
    4 points
  15. The fun thing about Marineland is that I wouldn’t be shocked if they closed forever tomorrow and I also wouldn’t be shocked if they announced a hyper GTX tomorrow because it’s a park run by insane people.
    4 points
  16. Bring back Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue. I have my reasons!
    4 points
  17. My estimates were more, but my phone reeled it in to four hours after you guys pointed it out. But... Don't you EVER refer to the Mule-Go-Round as a failure!
    4 points
  18. Haunt Has Risen from the Grave As you can tell from the Evil Boogie Boogie Eyes atop the Eiffel Tower, Haunt has begun at Kings Dominion. Yes, the annual Doswell scare fest is back with a new outdoor maze (and four returning indoor mazes), scare zones old and new, and a lot of techno-dancing and heavy-metal head-banging music--along with the usual assortment of evil clowns, zombies, witches, and other children of the night. It’s great to see Haunt back after its COVID hiatus. The event doesn’t seem quite as big as in past years, with fewer mazes and scare zones, but KD did a very good job with what it had. I think they were wise to stick with the stronger mazes from previous years. Theme Park Review was invited to be a victim, er, guest at an RIP Party on Friday, October 1, with plenty of good food and drink and a complimentary Fright Lane pass for all the mazes. The latter came in pretty handy, as the lines got a bit long as the shadows of darkness lengthened (the park was open from 7:00 pm-midnight). So, how do the mazes stack up? Grimm Woods (next to Grizzly)--This new maze gives us a decidedly non-Disney version of the old standards in which evil comes out triumphant. The twisted takes on fairly tales include Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, and Hansel and Gretel. This one starts out slow as a long walk through the woods but finishes pretty strong. The old Dinosaurs Alive path is ideal for a Haunt maze, and I’m glad they’re using it--lots of spooky lighting and sound effects here. Blood on the Bayou (behind Windseeker)--This voodoo cannibal maze has excellent sets and a dark, confusing layout (which the scare actors use well). Trick or Treat (next to Drop Tower)--Another oldie but goodie, evil witches have made unsuspecting trick-or-treating kids into their minions. I think this maze, and Bayou, were originally featured at Knott’s Scary Farm a few years ago. They worked in California, so why not in Virginia? Condemned (Action Theater)--A haunted hotel provides the scares in this one. Not sure you’d want to book your next vacation here, though, as the staff seems a bit, well, “off.” It’s a decent maze with pretty elaborate sets. Corn Stalkers (International Street)--This is the oldest maze of the bunch, and even though it’s a bit long in the tooth, it’s still fun. Watch out for the bungee guy! I dare you to look at these photos from KD’s Haunt! “Hey, Ma! Load up the kids in the Death Wagon! We’re goin’ to Doswell, Virginny for Haunt.” This Jack O'Lantern told me that KD has been doing Haunt for 20 years. I see no reason to doubt him, but . . . why was he talking to me? Get out of my head! First things first--dinner and drinks. This is also the site of the Masquerade scare zone. The park out a great spread of all sorts of food. I went for the beef, of course. The Redrum IPA comes directly from the Center of the Universe, which is conveniently located in Ashland, Virginia. Those aliens make good beer. Great cookies for dessert, too. I had a shortbread ghost and a gingerbread witch’s house, but these masks looked good. Haunt kicks off with Blood Reign, a show where Queen Majesty (easy name to remember, I guess) welcomes guests to her “Bloody Ball.” This is where all the classy monsters hang out. “Oh, very well, peasant. You may take our picture--but it will cost you your liver.” As I cross the bridge into Old Virginia, I am filled with foreboding. I don’t understand why. I reserved a room via the hotel website, but they never sent me a confirmation. Perhaps that’s just as well. If you’re looking for sliders and stilt-walking scarecrows, Pumpkin Eater is the scare zone for you. There’s old Peter Pumpkin Eater himself. His biggest fear is being made into a lousy pumpkin-spice ale by a mass-market brewery. “No need to be so hasty,/'Cause you’re lookin’ might tasty,/So I’m gonna eat your brain.” These post-apocalyptic dancers raised quite a ruckus, so that’s what they named the show The Ruckus. I guess. This is the front of the Trick or Treat house. But it’s used as the exit, as the main entrance is on the left side of the building. Don’t ask me why. You can’t have any sort of haunted event without an evil circus. I think this is in the Constitution. This circus has a fortune teller and a Subway. Classy, eh? “I’ll have a turkey sub on whole wheat . . .” “I’m not the Subway clerk, sir. besides, all Subway sandwiches taste the same no matter what they’re made of.” “Yeah, you and I got the opposite problem. All the guys are too short for me.” Burnette the Barker and his Band of Homeless Guys. Buy him a $15 cocktail, and he might end up in the backseat of your car. Welcome to Uprising . . . . . . where the zombies are revolting! “You can say that again.” Join the Zombie Uprising! They promise all the brains you can eat! Snoopy and the Great Pumpkin team up to quell the Zombie Uprising. “Yes-s-s-s, kiddies, join us during the day for family-friendly fun! We have music and candy and brains and spleens . . .” “Country roads . . . take me home.” It’s always good to see the ol’ homestead again. Why, I can smell Grandma’s soup a-simmerin’ on the stove. Yessir, Grandpa should be mighty tasty tonight. Grimm Woods is the anti-attraction in which you enter through the gift shop, which is closed, as is Grizzly. I'm sorry Grizzly fans (I imagine there are a couple). Blood on the Bayou’s façade looks a wee bit like a redressing of the old Zombie High School entrance. Welcome to the Post-Apocalyptic Cemetery of Haunts Past. The steampunks have joined the Borg, and the Zombie High students graduated by eating everybody else. Time to head out. At least that's what this guy told me . . . or did he? It's all a blur. All in all, a fun evening. Thanks for inviting TPR, Kings Dominion! Happy Haunting!
    4 points
  19. What is this "Metro East" you speak of? There are no St. Louisans in Illinois. Beyond the Arch there be dragons.
    4 points
  20. this is perfection in sentence form. I seriously you right now.
    4 points
  21. I don't understand this argument. As far as most people are concerned, "The park is responsible" and "Someone who worked for the park is responsible" are the same statement. Trying to find a discernible difference between those two things seems like semantics and in the court of public opinion, nobody is going to care.
    4 points
  22. Yeah, SDC keeps the water rides open through the end of October unless first freeze happens before then. We're still hitting 80 on the reg here, so not worried about a freeze yet.
    4 points
  23. But can any Donkey Kong ride possibly top Cosmoworld's Family Banana Coaster?
    4 points
  24. Yes, I am far from a lawyer and work in finance, but when I got my degree I was required to take a number of business law classes and this is clear. Waivers can protect a company from being sued for dangers that can reasonably be expected from using their product/service. A waiver MIGHT be able to even exclude a company from liability for the death of the end user. For example, an ATV rental company may explain, through a waiver, that improper usage of the equipment may lead to death through no fault of the company and the company would therefore not be liable. If, upon review, the equipment was in good shape and the end user used it in a negligent manner that caused their own demise as described as possible in the waiver, a waiver may be held up by a court even in the event of a death. This is not a case like that. There can be no reasonable expectation of death in an amusement park ride. You cannot have a waiver saying that we may or may not have trained our ride operators up to the proper standards, sign this, and the risk now transfers to you. That's not something that can exist within the bounds of our legal system. Nor can a six year old be found liable to have caused their own death with negligent use of the equipment by any reasonable standard. I don't think that would even hold up if she was an adult. This is 100% on the park from a legal perspective no matter what they had signed.
    4 points
  25. 4 points
  26. They had to turn the cameras off because the trucks with track for the 500-footer have arrived, duh.
    4 points
  27. Awful. What's especially wild to me is that during all that time that no one else riding with her noticed either. its clearly operator error, but her parent/guardian/whoever was sitting next to her didn't notice either?
    4 points
  28. Day 2: A full day on a Saturday! I was there for early entry, but not before the gates opened like usual, so upon making my way in, I saw both the generic redemption line on the left and the dedicated Fast Lane booth on the right had huge lines, so instead ducked into the shop right behind Ocean Potion and redeemed my all-season Fast Lane Plus there. Did I say Ocean Potion? Yes, I did: Corny, but cute. So, I had sort of a B-side goal today of riding all of the flats at CP that I hadn't ridden before, a task which I mostly accomplished. But first, I started the day with a lap on lap on Valravn (half-train wait for the front row, left edge). I gotta say, most B&Ms are better on the left side, but this one I feel almost like the right is the better choice. I then grabbed a go on Cedar Downs (one cycle wait), and a tour on Cadillac Cars (1 minute wait), a walk-on to the Midway Carousel (new ride for me!). Next on the "new rides" list was Tiki Twirl, during which I snapped these pics of Wicked Twister's entrance as well as the kiddie hay maze in the background. But then it was time for Tiki Twirl proper. Figure I gotta ride the OG before the new one opens at Kings Dominion (yes I'm still calling it that). What did I think? Awesome. I've never been on one of these types of ride period before, and this one did not disappoint. Very fast and forceful. One cycle wait. I then tried to grab a ride on the Ferris Wheel, but it was not to be: No single riders allowed. Instead, it was off to nearby Troika. I've been on several of these before (I think every CF park has one), but I think this is the oldest one I've been on. Seemed slower than most, but it does get right up and going when it starts, so that was kinda nice. One cycle wait. I then hopped on Windseeker for a one-cycle wait, and ducked out the gate for a quick smoke break. Next up was Boo Streak. Did I say Boo Streak? Yes, I did. As with Ocean Potion, cute but corny. My question is - why only rename these two rides? 9 minutes for row two, and I have thoroughly revoked its previous "can go die in a fire" status. Not a horrible ride. Next up was Matterhorn (another new ride for me), possibly the oldest of this style of ride I've been on. 20 minutes for a two-cycle wait, definitely NOT because the cycle was long. Really I have no idea why it took so long. It didn't go backwards at all, either. Is that standard for this one? Next up was a walk-on to Scrambler, then a one cycle wait for Super Himalaya (amusingly no backwards cycle here either). Corkscrew was a train-and-a-half wait for front row, and has also lost its "can go die in a fire" status. In the front, the ride isn't half bad. Still in the bottom tier of coasters here at Cedar Point, though. Next on the list was a half-train wait for Gemini, red side, row two. Actually won this race! I can't remember the last time I was in the winning train. I then partook in the Fortune Tellers they had set up for Halloweekends. About a 10 minute wait. I don't put any stock in these sorts of things at all, but it was entertaining (and free!). Not quite Tarot cards but very similar. I then did a lap on Maverick (15 minutes for back row, including getting stuck on the brake run for like 5 while they hosed off a train in the station from a protein spill). Man, still such a great ride. Gettin' a little light on pictures here, aren't we? Here's a few of my all-time #1, and even two videos! VID_20210918_145759466.mp4 VID_20210918_145834058.mp4 I then made my way back towards the front of the park, stopping at Melt along the way, for Ocean Motion, the last of the new-to-me rides here. 10 minute wait; it's a swinging ship...not sure what else to say. I find it cool that they died the pool green for Halloweekends though. I then camped out for the Midnight Syndicate show, which as discussed in above posts blew me away. Very cool show, and I won't spoil it...but if you go to CP for Halloweekends, you have to see it! I then sat through the musical show on the stage across from the food truck court, Monster Mash-Up featuring the Shrieks Band. About 25 minutes long, every song was a mash-up of two or more other songs, and featured a live backing band on top of the singers/dancers. No cohesive plot, but most characters got at least one song, and surprisingly there was only about a 15 second clip of Michael Jackson's Thriller involved, which most Halloween shows at parks can't seem to avoid using. Also had a VERY impressive mash-up of Bonnie Tyler's "Holding Out for a Hero" and Ariana Grande's "Break Free," even if the singer couldn't possibly match Ariana's insane pipes. At this point, I was feeling pretty tired, so I just did like four laps on the train waiting for it get dark toget some more night rides in. After the sun had suitbaly set, I headed to Maverick for a dusk ride. Front row in 11 minutes. Awesome at dusk, especially with all of the fog bleeding up from the pirate walk-through. I did another tour of Fearground Freakshow (since they never punched my Fright Lane card from the night before), and it was just as entertaining as the first time through. Hopped on Millie once again (33 minutes for front row). This is such an insane ride at night, and seemed to be just flying through the course. Then decided to get on Rougarou, 11 minutes for front row left...man does this ride just suck. I think it's now easily at the bottom of my CP coaster rankings. Can we please get the stand-up trains back? At this point, it was right around 10:30, and I made my way back to the front of the park and took another walk through Hexed (since I hadn't used my Fight Lane on it the previous night), and wrapped out the night with a front-row, left side night ride on Raptor (11 minutes). A great way to close out both my night, my weekend, and my year at Cedar Point. Got back to my hotel and in bed at a decent hour for my 8-hour drive back to Delaware the next day. All in all, I was quite impressed with CP's Haunt at Halloweekends (it's full formal name). Staffing was a non-issue on Saturday with every ride and every food stand I could find open, and without any crazy waits. I'll almost definitely be back next year. I'll leave you with a quick video of that insane helix at the end of Raptor. It looks slow here, but I promise you it's not! VID_20210918_222456331.mp4 And that's all. Next trip? Dorney Park on October 1st. Thanks for reading everyone!
    4 points
  29. To be clear my statements were past tense, not current tense. COVID over all has been good for the park I would argue. Even cat woman's whip delay was benificial to the park. I just can't provide more details then that. I would argue that for the first time in decades (not an exaggeration), both corporate and local mgmt are passionate and invested in the parks long term success, not just their own. And I don't measure love by number of coaster given, as I would definitely be disappointed over the next couple of years ;-).
    4 points
  30. Here's a photo dump for the rest of the visit! We never got to ride ET over 4 days, it broke down every time we got in line (3x) Never got on Rip Ride Rocket either due to weather, mechanical, or a 90 minute express wait. Mummy still kicks so much ass and might be the best example of a themed coaster. MiB still holds up. I have such a soft spot for Escape from Gringott's, I love that weird coaster so much. The airtime in the back row on Jurassic Park always hits so well. Fearfall was a new ride for me, welp so I did that! F&F is Cringe: The Ride. From the staff, the premise of the ride "don't touch your phone!!!!", the stupid club scene and the other 100 things wrong with this waste of space. The Bourne Stunt Show was totally worth the time investment, definitely glad TPR called that out! Hagrid's was new for me and honestly there was a lot about this coaster I forgot about! I intentionally avoided videos and pictures where I could since I didn't even experience the DD area/queue. I was pretty surprised with how creepy/dark/semi claustrophobic the line gets down in those caves. Hagrid's ran very consistently every day and the crew seemed to move as fast as they could. Over 3 rides, I got near the front and back and it's just so much fun. It's pretty crazy what all this ride does and how it was put together, but I totally understand those who prefer Dragons. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday we would go to dinner 4:30-5:30 and re-enter the park only to have storms and lightning end our nights early. Honestly I think we left soaking wet each night. We either waited for a night ride on Hagrid or Veloci, but never got rides, but we did get specific express passes exclusive for Hagrid/VC. Finally on Friday we just balled out with them and we ended the night in an amazing fashion: Friday night there was one cell that seemed like it would pass by just in time right before closing to allow VC to open. Our luck was such shit, but this time it looked like we'd FINALLY get a night ride in! The crowd thinned and thinned and thinned, and we watched the ops talk back and forth, look at radar, and at this point our phones were in the lockers so we just hoped. We ended up getting 3 back to back to back rides without getting off the back seat as the crew cycled everyone through, and a lot waited for the front seat. So after 4 days of being tortured by mother nature we had a banger of a finish to the trip. You're the best VC crew! Oh yeah, the other new Intamin I need to ride! I wish there was a better area to just sip on a butterbeer and watch this thing cycle but I understand why. There's a number of well hidden surprises and it's just a big twisted mess of rock and steel. Sweet view of the castle! I think we waited 45-60 minutes in the morning, it was just that crazy at the park even first in the morning. Vroom vroom! Do we see this going on Express anytime soon? I don't know, it still seemed to be the most popular attraction by far. Ello there headmaster. Such a cool room! It never gets old! The raptor cage was working on a few of our rides, so cool to see that working. Suck it JK! Another one that never gets old and was the winner for best AC! That line was amazingly frigid! Florida, land of the OG B&M's. Was very happy to get some front seat rides on Hulk this visit. Hey babes. Oh yeah, forgot to do this last visit so uh, this was fine! The whole super hero island needs an update. Lunch at the Irish pub was very consistent with good food and great service. Brendan Frasier and Imotep, the classic rivalry I grew up with! Even though the franchise as slipped, this attraction will bring back all the good vibes from the original movies! Mmmm...beer. The only attraction that has made me nauseous. How dare they tease me with the original Irish Coffee. If you've never been, get your ass to San Francisco! Nailed it Just checking to see if I have any coins left in my account and that's not a good look. Such an awkwardly-acted scene. Get to the vault!!! After getting shit on by mother nature 3 days in a row and trying to get night rides, it's time to use all of the passes on the last day! The park closes in 10 minutes, we're in line for VC. Most of the queue emptied, we were in the raptor room just waiting for good news.....and it happened. Lightning held off and they opened the ride and we got 3 back to back rides without using our express. Wow. Just the best, honestly. What a way to end the trip! I really enjoyed what the front seat offered as well as the back. 2 incredible experiences. So long Universal. While this trip was far from perfect, it was amazing to be able to travel again, experience new attractions, and see friends! Can't wait to get back there! -Zach
    4 points
  31. Today Space 220 Restaurant, the newest addition to EPCOT opened at the Walt Disney World Resort. TPR was invited to attend the grand opening ceremony and to experience lunch firsthand 220 miles above the Earth aboard the Centauri Space Station. This new dining experience offers prix fixe menus for lunch and dinner as well as lounge dining featuring an a la carte menu with an interstellar view. The restaurant is operated by the Patina Group, the restaurant branch of Delaware North that already operates a number of restaurants at EPCOT, Disney Springs and the Disneyland Resort. Guests take one of two space elevators to/from the space station from the restaurant lobby attached to the Mission: SPACE pavilion. Once above the Earth, a sustainable crop-farm in space and a space vineyard are the sights that tease the larger experience ahead before entering the main restaurant venue. Space 220 Restaurant is the newest addition in the ongoing transformation of EPCOT. The new restaurant is located at the Mission: SPACE pavilion with the new entrance tucked in the back corner of what was formerly an extended queue space for the attraction. The official sign for the restaurant out front. EPCOT Vice President Kartika Rodriguez was on hand to help ring in the grand opening. It isn't a Disney grand opening without an appearance from Mickey and Minnie! Space 220 Restaurant is officially open! Time to head in! The lobby for Space 220 is futuristic but subtle by comparison to what you experience miles above. A look at the "stellarvator" that takes you to/from Space 220 Restaurant. Ready to make our way up... You're given a boarding pass for each reservation/party. Next thing you know you're looking down on EPCOT as you are raised high into the sky... Just as you can look down to see the Earth shrinking below, you can also look above to see Space 220 Restaurant grow nearer. The view of Florida from the top... The experience concludes with the opening of the airlocks and a release onto the space station. Very different than what you find on the ground at EPCOT. Neat to see the crops the restaurant grows in space. Once inside of the main restaurant you're greeted with this incredible view. The restaurant of the interior design is just as impressive! The bar features a huge mirrored backdrop that allows guests to enjoy the panoramic view of space without turning around. Notice the X2 Deep Space Shuttle from Mission: SPACE floating just outside of the restaurant. Just taking it all in... The restaurant offers alcoholic and zero proof cocktails for flavor profiles of all ages. With each kids meal a set of collectible trading cards is given. There are three series in the deck (Earth, Venus and Mercury) along with three tech cards. Each deck comes with five cards. From our booth, we could see astronauts moving pieces across space for the new construction on the floor above us. The Blue Moon Cauliflower is a tempura fried cauliflower appetizer with housemade hot sauce (buffalo) and blue cheese dust. This was fantastic! The Centauri Caesar Salad is a delicious take on the more conservative appetizer. A fun souvenir cup for kids to enjoy during their meal. More pieces being sent upstairs! I don't often rave about sides, but these Roasted Fingerling Potatoes were showstoppers and nearly the best thing we tasted during our preview... Absolutely perfect. The Galactic Lobster Globe is the "Space Station Supplemental" option for the prix fixe menu. Available for an added $18, this Maine Lobster Salad includes Quinoa, Bulgur Wheat, Avocado, Lettuce, Mango, Citrus Dressing and Crispy Wontons. The portion size was incredibly generous and the amount of fresh, buttery lobster was a great surprise. I would absolutely order this again! The Lemon Mousse is incredibly picturesque and very tasty! Taking Astro on a space walk! This is really quite impressive. A reassuring sign for those visiting one of the restaurant's lunar restrooms... I thought it was pretty neat that this room is filled with bottles of wine in each of those tubes. Our elevator is here to take us back down to Earth. Down we go! Upon our return to EPCOT, we found a long line of guests waiting to experience Space 220 Restaurant for themselves. The entrance to the restaurant lobby is tucked into the corner on the righthand side of the pavilion. Space 220 Restaurant is a great addition to EPCOT and definitely a unique experience to be had! Reservations can now be booked in advance for the restaurant, which are highly recommended given the expected demand over the next few months.
    4 points
  32. Theme Park Review was invited back into the fog at Knott's Scary Farm for 2021! Although down to 8 mazes this year, the event still brings the screams with returning maze favorites and one new maze. What was most appreciated it the amount of Scare Zone monsters that were out in the street! This was most likely a reallocating of monsters that would have been in the mazes to now be in outdoor area, which was a great option. Mazes were enjoyable, several show options were scattered throughout the park to enjoy when you found maze wait times to be on the longer side or just wanted to sit for a bit. Note that the last hour of the event sees very low wait time for mazes, so to maximize the event, don't be afraid to enjoy the shows between 9-11:45pm, and then enjoy the shorter maze waits when other patrons have departed for the night. Thank you to the Knott's team for inviting us, and congratulations on the return of Knott's Scary Farm! Staring with Pumpkin Eater: Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater. Had a wife... ...but couldn't keep her! Our 2nd favorite maze of the night, is this carney catastrophe! Origins: The Curse of Calico, featuring Ghost Town friends! Catawampus!!! Wax Works has returned. Wax Works, The Depths, Dark Entities and Paranormal Inc., are all conveniently located near each other near Ghostrider! Time to travel into.... Spooky sea! Almost Laval Monster! Celebrating the final year of Paranormal Inc. "What do you mean this is the last year for Paranormal Inc.?!?!??!?" Now let's blast off into space with Dark Entities: And now, the newest maze, Mesmer! A great play on sideshow acts like hypnosis and more! The Timber Mountain Log Ride has been transformed to Halloween Hootenanny, with a fun Halloween jug band music track throughout the ride. Spooky mountain! A look at a few shows around the park. This was a drum and witch show in Camp Snoopy: An 80's show about saving the planet from "Global Cooling", and has Jeff Tucker written all over it! When you find an ancient book, of course you open it and read the incantations! What else would you do with it?! A rock band is found at the Calico Stage in the heart of the park. Scare Zones can be found in Camp Snoopy: CarnEVIL is on the Boardwalk: And Gore-ing 20's is a brand new area in Charleston Square in the back of the park! "Step back into the dark decadence of a by-gone era as the newest scare zone, The Gore-ing 20's, terrorizes even the bravest and most brutal souls. Here gangsters run illicit hooch for the ghostly revelers as the otherworldly musicians play the music of the damned. Tell the Bouncer the secret password, and you'll have the time of your life…for as long as it lasts." We loved the playfulness of this bygone era and the fun around prohibition! Outside the Walter Knott Theater was a flapper ground and swing band! Inside the theater is Puppet Up!, an adult improv puppet show, which we highly recommend! Ghost Town Streets of course come to live with plenty of fog: Knott's Scary Farm runs select nights through October 31st. https://www.knotts.com/events/scary-farm/tickets to plan your visit! Thank you again to the Knott's Berry Farm team!
    4 points
  33. An aquarium run by a restaurant group sounds like a joke about how we live in a corporate nightmare, but in fact Landry's owns four of these things and we do. Downtown Aquarium Denver So, like a lot a places during the age of Covid, they've gone to timed ticketing. Which means that you have to choose a date and time in advance, pay online, and then you receive an electronic ticket. Unlike a lot of other places though, here, you then have to wait in line at the ticket booth, where a ticket seller will look at your ticket with their eyes, and then print you out a paper ticket that a person inside scans. Because they can't invest in equipment that would allow them to scan an electronic ticket? And it's not like the ticket sellers also still sell tickets. You must buy in advance, and you must then wait in line at the ticket booth. And, sure, maybe they think this is just a temporary thing. But surely an aquarium, which one would presume is in favor of using technology to support conservation, would be able to see the advantage of being able to scan electronic tickets even after the pandemic. You know, like to save trees? Eh, I guess zoos can worry about land stuff. On the other hand, there's a carousel and a 4D theater out front. The actual aquarium is entirely on the second floor of the building, accessible via elevator or this nautilus submarine themed escalator. Okay, I'm alright. I'm looking at fish now and I've calmed down. Overhead fish. This sign raises more questions than it answers. The dry zone is a dead end. No joke. You must go through the wet zone. Wait, this aquarium has air birds. So they do care about things above the water! These are the voices of modern industry. This is a placeholder caption that I intend to change later. If you're reading it, I either forgot to go back and change it or I literally couldn't think of anything better--which is insane because that's terrible and also a reference that only, like, Robb might get, This aquarium has neither leafy nor weedy sea dragons. But it does at least have seahorses. I'm pretty sure you have to have one of these tunnel things to legally be considered an aquarium. A quick internet search reveals that the top 10 names for male pet fish in 2019 were Nemo, Bubbles, Jack, Captain, Finley, Blue, Moby, Bubba, Squirt, and Shadow. No thanks. The top 10 female fish names in 2019 were Dory, Cleo, Cora, Whoopie Goldfish, Tuna Tiner, Simon & Gillfishel, Shrimpy McDumbface, James Pond's Childhood Home of Seafall, Honda Acura, and Whatever Will Smith's Character's Name Was In That DreamWorks Movie Where He Played A Fish. Proud The fact that this implies that you are so gross that if these fish bite you, *they'll* die, makes this my new favorite sign. Holy crap, this aquarium has tigers?! That's so awesome I don't even care how stupid it is. It was a bit crowded on the outside, so they let me go in and take a photo from inside the tiger enclosure, which I thought was pretty nice of them. Please note that I was just kidding. The Downtown Aquarium Denver (sheesh that's an awkward name) did not actually give me permission to enter the tiger enclosure, and in fact were quite insistent that I would not be allowed to do so because, and I quote, "your awesomeness would overshadow the tigers, and we can't have that." A quick internet search for pet tiger names reveals that people are fracking morons. I mean, seriously, "Dave"? I'm...not sure what this is supposed to be. A mid-film plot twist in horror movie? Another "no service animals" warning? An advertisement for the restaurant? The Deep Blue Sea Foundation is dedicated to putting Samuel L. Jackson in more movie franchises. I don't know why I'm being so salty, this aquarium was just fin. A little fishy operationally, but otherwise quite gouda. Wait, that's a cheese. Carp! Downstairs is the gift shop and badly-named Aquarium Restaurant. Wait, is that a roller coaster outside?! Well, yes. But it's an SLC and it's at Elitch. So calm down. Lunch was just okay. But dessert was amazing. So, should you go to this aquarium? I mean, yes, because it's an aquarium. And especially if it's 95-degrees outside and smoky. But it was good. Denver just broke me. More to come! Whee!
    4 points
  34. How did we all miss the fact that the ski slope caught on fire? “Welcome to the Dream” (shoutout to @boldikus for finding this gem of a photo). The rest of the mall is open (or as “open” as this mall can get) but Big Snow will be closed through the end of the month. Link to story
    3 points
  35. I'm surprised they would re-open Kraken the day after the busiest week of the year in Orlando concludes but you do you, SeaWorld.
    3 points
  36. Agreed, Jake. Every time they rehab/replace a ride they make it way better. I have loved FITH since I was a kid, it was my first roller coaster, but I can't wait to see how much better this new one is.
    3 points
  37. I'm looking forward to whatever comes of this project! As much as I enjoy FITH, I'd rather they replace it with something new and high quality than just keep it running in its dilapidated, worn out state just for the sake of nostalgia. As long as the new version or replacement has immersive theming and a fun storyline, then I feel it's a worthy replacement. I don't understand the "SDC is turning into six flags" cries because of the removal of old attractions. Sure it's sad to see them go, however SDC puts a lot of thought into whatever replaces them so it doesn't feel like the park has lost anything, rather they gain something. Take Mystic River Falls for example. Much like FITH, Lost River was in a terrible state. I imagine they'd have to spend almost as much as a new attraction to get it back into a good state. But they chose to replace it and improve the experience that it provided. Aside from reliability, Mystic River Falls improves upon Lost River in almost all categories. Better theming, more creative storyline, more exciting ride experience etc. I imagine the same will be for whatever replaces FITH. It'll stick to the principles the parks has had for attractions since the beginning. The park still cares about making an immersive experience for guests. It's far from becoming Six Flags over Branson like some are saying. I'm yet to see SDC just slap a generic flat ride on a pad of concrete and call it a day. Change is hard for some, but I have faith in SDC to create an attraction that provides memories for future visitors just like FITH has for all who have visited by now.
    3 points
  38. Recently posted on YouTube. Watch for the right side drop in use for Jet Stream.
    3 points
  39. That's the main issue, outdoor transmission is proven to be close to zero. Since everyone in the park has been vaccinated or has a negative test, wearing masks is pretty much pointless.
    3 points
  40. I spent an entire day at SFOG wearing a mask. it's NOT that big a deal, folks. either wear a mask if you go those days that require it? or don't go those days.
    3 points
  41. Did you purposely not include a link to where you got this info because its exactly one former employee claiming on his twitter that this is all happening with absolutely no actual evidence to back it up?
    3 points
  42. https://www.knotts.com/scheduled-ride-closures Just checked, both Xcelerator and Hang Time are still listed as dead in the water. I'm gonna be at Scary Farm this Saturday and, I'll be honest, I'll be a bit miffed about spending upwards of $200 $236(!!!) and not being able to ride either. I'm well aware that they can't control when things break but, you know, give us a break on the price if the two star attractions are out of commission. I just checked out The Old Joliet Haunted Prison outside of Chicago this past weekend and they gave the guests who purchased the Fastpass entry free zombie laser tag because there was no difference in wait between standby and Fastpass. Something small like that goes a VERY long way towards making people happy.
    3 points
  43. Hi Everyone! I know I said in my Knoebels TR that I had two more TR's to do, but unfortunately I got bogged down in some stuff. So, I figured I'd better do it sooner rather than later, before I forget the details, so...without further ado....here we go! (I promise that there will be no random photos at the end...hopefully... EDIT: Dang it! I did it again!) Also, big shout out to cfc, bert425, teacher kim, and anyone else I may be forgetting, who gave advice on the park and Colonial Williamsburg, it was very helpful and I really appreciated it! Busch Gardens Williamsburg has always been an A-list/bucket list park for me. I've always been fascinated by the parks beauty, ride collection, theme, and history. I still remember watching a promo for the park when it was under construction where the guy is walking in the Germany sections and he says "Now don't we all dream of a trip to Europe, but now a days who can afford it? Well, this is The Old Country, now being built by Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA, near Washington DC. And I'd like to show you what you can do on this side of the Atlantic for less than $7. ", or something like that. So when the opportunity came to travel near Williamsburg, I just had to go. (Sorry Kings Dominion, maybe next decade...or whenever Cedar Fair replaces Volcano ) WHOO HOO! I made it! Being my first time to the Williamsburg area, I was impressed with how well hidden this park was from the freeway. I expected to see for a bit from the freeway before actually getting to the park. Instead it was this beautiful highway (you guys have very pretty freeways on the east coast, do you think you could tech the west coast a lesson in that department?), and you get off on the Busch Garden's exit and BOOM, there's the park! I thought that was cool. Small nerd moment, I thought it was cool how a couple of the parking lot trams had the various retro Busch Gardens logos on them. I don't know if that was intentional or not, but I liked it! We got to the front gate almost right at opening, and headed straight for Nessie, cause...it's at the front of the park...I like old Arrow coasters...and...well...why not! Unfortunately, Nessie was a little slow getting out of bed...and wasn't open yet. So, we decided to walk towards the Italy/Festa Italia section, and this is where a little failure to prepare caught me off guard. I knew that there was a park somewhere that opened different areas at different times, but forgot it was BGW. We tried to go over to ride Griffon (which was open), but it had a sizable line by the time we got over there, so we decided to go back to Nessie, which after about 15 minutes pulled herself together and decided it was time to start the day! And...I really like this ride! I have found that I like rides with unique layouts, and Nessie's fits into that category very well for me. Started in the back and I was presently surprised with both the airtime and the smoothness. BGW must take really good care of this thing, because I didn't think it was bad at all. Although I do have a high tolerance for rough rides cause...well, in the coaster desert we got a lot of 'em! Comparing the smoothness to Corkscrew at my home park, I think that in the three years between when the two rides were built Arrow must have figured out how to do better transitions. I've found that to be Corkscrew's main issue when it comes to smoothness, and Nessie's transitions just felt much more thought out, and less like it was Arrow's first time. I don't think it's the best coaster at BGW, but I think it's very much a solid contender for best Arrow looper. After Nessie, we made our way towards Festa Italia and rode Tempesto! Now, this was my first Sky Rocket II and I thought it was...well...I can't actually remember it... I seriously can't remember if I liked this ride, the only I can remember is I basically had to fall into the seat to get in the thing. It must have been just ok, since I don't remember and I didn't take any pictures of the ride so I'll say it was just ok, nothing special. Next was Apollo's Chariot! This was another new ride type for me (Why are there no B&M Hypers west of the Mississippi again?), so I was really excited and while I walked away liking it, I could tell that this was B&M's first attempt. I started with the back (because the back is always better, right?!?!) and thought it was fun but a little underwhelming. Came back and got a front row ride, and man does this ride model have potential! I seriously hope a park in the west builds a new one of these. I know the reaction to Candymonium was mixed, but I'd love to see one come to the west coast and realize all the things that B&M has learned from the 20+ years of building hypers. That would just be so much fun! After leaving Festa Italia/Italy, we sucked it up and waited in line for Verbolten. This was the only ride that really had a line all day except for Escape from Pompeii and Le Scoot, and for whatever reason it seemed to move really slow. They weren't doing terrible on dispatches (believe me...I KNOW what bad dispatch times look like!!), and the ride never went down, it just seemed to take forever. Anyways, this ride is fun! (it was missing the roof on the fake bridge before the BBW drop, just my luck!) Only rode it once because of the line, and got the wolf program which absolutely made my day! I will say, this thing does vibrate a lot. It didn't bother me, but it was noticeable and bothered some people in my group. It's also a shame that so many of the black lights have fallen down over the years. This ride must have been really cool and fun in it's early years. Now, I said I like unique layout and unique rides, so I have to give the best coaster in the park to Verbolten. There's no other rides like this (except maybe Thirteen??? Maybe?), and it just is so much fun. I'm glad Busch Gardens took the risk and went with Zierer for the project, their work might not be the best in the industry but at least they try and be different. That being said, I definitely wish that BGW had refurbished Big Bag Wolf, and put Verbolten in the old Drachen Fyre spot (more on that later). I think that would have worked to Verbolten's advantage with the more forested setting, and we would still have Big Bad Wolf. By this time, we were getting hungry so we decided to get something to eat! Now, I had heard many good things about the Trapper's Smokehouse from several sources so we went there to try it out. And...I didn't think it was that good... It wasn't bad, just very underwhelming. I'm not a food snob by any means, so I still enjoyed it, it just didn't meet the expectations I had for it. We eat again later at the Festhaus, and while I thought that was a little better, I still thought that was a little underwhelming. Is this what both Busch Gardens park's food is like? If so I think their missing a real opportunity to have cool authentic food for the different countries in the parks. It could be so much fun (hey a man can dream right?)! Anyways, I thought the food was good, but not great, and a little on the underwhelming side. Now...I did not have the pretzels that I know Canobie Coaster talks so much about, so next time I'll give that a go. We skipped Invad(e)R because it was running one train with 5+ minute dispatch times...and we decided it wasn't worth waiting in that line for a "family coaster". I will say that it looks really fun from the train and Le Scoot, but it didn't entice me to sit down (yes, people were actually sitting down in the line for Invad(e)R, Seven Dwarves Mine Train style, in the queue. That's how slow that line moved) in that line. I'm a sucker for old Arrow log flumes, so of course I had to ride Le Scoot. This was another one where the line seemed to move abnormally slow for a log flume, but no matter, we rode anyways. I thought this was a fun flume! It's definitely better than the one at my home park (Heh...Heh...let's not talk about that...), although I don't know if it's the best log flume (that's not Splash Mountain), simply because I haven't really ridden that many. Regardless, It was great to be able to ride one of the parks signature classic attractions and ride a ride type that may very well some day go extinct. We rode the train around the park, which I thought was very nice. Not my personal favorite theme park train, but very nice nonetheless. It really showed off the park's beauty. Speaking of which...let's talk about that a second. The million dollar question is of course, is Busch Gardens Williamsburg the most beautiful theme park in the world? And my answer to that is maybe. I haven't had the privilege of traveling to too many theme parks, and I've never traveled internationally, so I don't think its fair of me to give a definitive answer. Without a doubt the park is very pretty though. Prior to visiting I was always under the impression that the park was considered "Most Beautiful" more because of it's setting and theming than anything else. I know that they has flowers, but I always thought that people thought it was beautiful because of the Rhine River, the (might I say well executed) european theme, and just the general beauty of the Williamsburg/Northern Virginia area. To my surprise, and delight, this was not the case. The park is very well themed, and the setting does contribute a lot, but the flowers and landscaping are what make it beautiful. I'm sure my home park also featuring a large amount of beautiful landscaping is increasing my bias, but still I thought BGW possibly toped that. I will say this thought, some parts of the park are more beautiful than others. I thought the Scotland, England, Italy, New France, and Germany/Alpengeist sections were the most beautiful, but I thought the France, Ireland, Festa Italia, and Curse of DarKastle/Octoberfest area were in need of a little help. Not to say that these areas weren't pretty, it's just they weren't up to the standards of the rest of the park in my opinion. I also really liked all the little details this park has. Whether it's the original (when the building was built) countries (and their names) in the stain glass windows at the front of the Festhaus under the AB Eagle, or the crashed skier who rented ski's from Bob's Ski Rental (which closed cause he's gone skiing) near Alpengeist, I just really enjoyed those little details. I wish every park had more of that kind of thing. Your probably wondering now why I haven't mentioned riding Alpengeist or Griffon, and the answer is...I decided to reride Apollo's Chariot instead. I know, I know...dumb coaster enthusiast decision #1999. Looking back, I should have at least done Alpengeist, but alas there's no B&M hypers west of the Mississippi, so I got to ride them while I can I guess! Oh well, something for next time right? Looking to this park's future...they announced Pantheon's opening date like a week after I visited (go figure!). I knew the chances were off the charts high that the ride wouldn't open for my visit, but still I had a little hope. When they first announced Pantheon I was honestly a little disappointed. I though the park needed a cool dark ride to replace DarKastle and Europe in the Air, and more flat rides than anything. Having visited though now, while I still think the park is just crying out for a cool dark ride, I think the Pantheon is a good fit for BGW. They lack an extreme launch coaster, and some ride that truly feels extreme. They have their B&M's but I've never heard anyone compare any of them to an RMC or Intamin. Form my experience with Apollo's Chariot I could see how a coaster with more extreme ejector airtime is needed, and I assume the same/similar argument goes for Alpengeist and Griffon. Pantheon seems to solve all those problems, so I think as long as it doesn't turn into another Intamin-quality downtime fiasco, or the next Lightning Rod, I think it will be a great addition to the park. My only ture complaints with it (having not ridden it) is that I wish it was in the old Drachen Fyre spot, and what I would consider a serious lack of theming. From the distance I could see, the queue and station looked pretty bland in that open field, and I hope that is not the trend for the theming level of new SeaWorld coasters going forward. Speaking of the old Drachen Fyre spot...I had to be a coaster nerd and go look at it. It's so sad seeing such a big empty spot in a park that if you think about it really doesn't have to many open spaces. I really wish that they had put Pantheon here, and saved the field it's in for something else, maybe a Italy section expansion or something? I just fell that the DF plot is really underutilized and could make a great setting for a coaster... And...please don't get me started on the whole "Drachen Spyre" thing... Let's just say that I think it's one of the top 10 dumbest coaster design ideas ever. Right up there with Hypersonic XLC (what is it with Virginia and dumb coaster designs), High Roller, and that fishhook thing that Arrow wanted to put on the side of the Stratosphere (come to think of it...what's with Nevada and dumb coaster designs...). I really do hope that the Drachen Spyre project got cancelled, and something better is on the way for that spot. I really do. Couple other tid bits from our trip to BGW: -The skyride was closed on my visit, which was a bit of a bummer. I've always wanted to ride a Von Roll skyway, and after SFOG shut theirs down and BGT's was put in limbo, I'm starting to get worried that these rides might be on their way out as well. -We bought are tickets while they were doing one of their flash sales, and I would definitely recommend doing that. They want to charge 70 some dollars for this park, and I don't think it's quite worth that price yet. Not to say that the park is overpriced, I just think that if park's want to charge that much per head, they better be operating at a level that commands that price, and I don't think this park was quite there. -Not to knock on the employee's to much, but I did notice that with a couple exceptions that there was a general lack of enthusiasm amongst them. I mean come one, your working at a theme park, that has got to be one of the most fun places to work, in my mind, ever! I don't know what was causing it and it's not necessarily a bad thing, but I just noticed it. -I didn't think the merchandise was all that strong, but I loved how they had both a Big Bad Wolf and a Drachen Fyre nanocoaster. They were a little out of my price range, but I thought that was neat. I also like their post card selection, so kudos to them there. We finished with a night ride on Nessie, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and that ended are time at BGW. Overall, the park did live up to my expectations in many ways, and was a little underwhelming in others. However, I would come back, and I would say that if your ever in the Northern Virginia area you have to go to Busch Gardens Williamsburg! I got one more of these trip reports to do from my latest escape from the coaster desert, I hope to get it out over the weekend. See you then!
    3 points
  44. Photo TR: Friday/Saturday, September 17th and 18th: Day One So this was my first ever trip to Cedar Point during Halloweekends proper; I did visit in the fall last year during the Tricks & Treats Festival but as we all know, that's not the same. Any frequenter of these boards knows the horror stories from Halloweekends past....massive understaffed, huge crowds, closed rides, mediocre haunts. Was that my experience, in this twisted, messed up year? Read on to find out. So I got into town around 4, and got settled in to my hotel, the Super 8 Wyndam Sandusky. For those unaware, this is the old Econo Lodge North that gets heaps of praise. Pretty much the same, just a different name - pool is still open until 11:00 PM, still right across from the Thirsty Pony, but no smoking rooms anymore, which is quite a disappointment. Posted park opening time was 6:00 PM, so I arrived at around 5:15 expecting to stand around for a while, but, what was this...? Yes, that's riders on Gatekeeper! Apparently, early entry operates as normal during Halloweekends, despite not being published anywhere. One hour before the published park opening, for Gold/Platinum Passholders and hotel guests, including all of the standard early entry rides. Hopped right on Raptor for a walk-on, back-row right-side ride. Awesome as always. Little bit surprising to see they already had a grave stone for Wicked Twister. Note that there has been no deconstruction on it, and the train is still sitting right there in the station, fully intact. Next up was Millennium Force. A 25 minute wait for the front row. I'm glad to see groupers here not being as anal as they have been earlier in the year, and actually honoring requests. Took a stroll through the Frontier Trail, which is apparently one of only two areas of the park (along with Frontier Town) where Haunt actually is, checking out the scenery while still in the daylight. Upon reaching the end, hopped on Maverick for a 13 minute wait for the front row. I know this is normally a back-row ride, but I hadn't ridden in the front all year, so figured what the heck. Awesome ride as always, and still my number 1 overall. As my goal for Friday wasn't particularly rides, but instead the Haunt attractions, I took a casual stroll the other way (past Gemini, which was not running), Magnum, and Corkscrew back towards the front of the park. Of course, I stopped for a quick ride on Magnum, for a two train wait for row two. Thankfully the "seat belt trick" worked this time, unlike my last lap during my previous trip when my thighs got destroyed. Of note, all the Dragster trains were fully assembled and sitting on the storage tracks. Guess that part of the investigation is done? Don't get too excited, that shipping container hiding behind the wall is for the kiddie Halloweekends stuff, not the future transport of Wicked Twister. Its fate remains unknown. Upon reaching the very front of the park, I still had some time to kill, so I hopped on Gatekeeper for a one-train wait for the back row, left wing. I'm always amazed with the very minor grey-out I get at the bottom of the pretzel loop, with such an otherwise boring layout. With about 15 minutes to go, I parked myself outside Hexed waiting for 8:00 and the Haunt activities to being proper. They had this cool animatronic rock monster thing out front, which was unfortunately not very active. So, how was my first ever Cedar Point haunted house, and my first haunted house period in almost 2 years? Incredible! Lots of actors, super long, and hands down the best artistry I've ever seen in a Cedar Fair haunted house. Everything about the decorations and music was on point, and I left very, very impressed. I was in line right at opening, so I only had two groups in front of me. I would not luck out so well as my next destination, G.A. Boeklings Eerie Estate. I got in line, and was maybe 150-200 people back from the entrance, and waited. And didn't move. And waited some more. And didn't move some more. After about 10 minutes of literally not moving at all, I said "screw it," ducked into the nearest store, and bought myself a Fright Lane pass. With that in hand, I waited 5 minutes and was equally impressed with this house. Again, lots of actors, super long, and once again the artistry was very well done (though it could have probably used a little brighter lighting inside). Continuing on towards the rest of the Haunt stuff in the Frontier area, I passed by the stage and caught a picture of the music show (which I would experience fully the next day).... ...and this cool coffin photo opportunity (for the low-low price of only $10 a person). Now, here we go. I was quite surprised that Cedar Point tends to keep the Haunt-related stuff confined to only two areas of the park, as opposed to the standard CF model of doing it everywhere. Maybe a product of reduced staffing, but I actually think it's a good idea to keep the rest of the park non-spooky for the families with small kids. Yep, this is what I'm used to! Made my way up to Slaughter House, the standard Cedar Fair "butcher shop" haunt. Quite yawn here. Again about a 5 minute wait here, and notably they did not punch the Fright Lane card at this one. Though it was long, it's a tired theme that probably needs to get retired. One cool thing was that there were rooms with re-assemebled "human" bodies and lots of parts of humans in the cutting equipment, more than I typically see at the ones I've been through at other CF parks. Though, I was amused by the length of the standby line: Apparently these maze lines would get to around 2 hours and hover there both nights. $75 well spent on the Fright Lane. While waiting, I snapped this (I think) awesome pic of Dragster through the Frontier Fling's arch with the fog and flood lighting in the full effect. And there was even some natural themeing in the queue: real live spiders! They were honestly all over the place at the park. Next up was "Cornstalkers 2.0 - Revenge of the Pumpkin Heads," which takes the record for longest Haunt maze name ever. Yawn here as well (again, about a 5 minute wait). There's so much they could do with these corn mazes, but they choose not to. This one featured almost entirely straight walkways, then some gentle bend, then some more straight walkways, with a decided lack of actors. There was one part where the path splits into three directions, and I got super excited for some dead ends, or at least branching paths, but no...all three just continued straight for around 100 feet then rejoined to the same path. One bright spot was a cool animatronic pumpkin-head corn monster at the end, but this was amusingly the only "pumpkin-head" thing I saw in the entire maze; not exactly a "revenge" haha. Notably, the entire maze reeked of aerosol, presumably from whatever fire-retardant stuff they spray on the corn to avoid a disaster. It was quite long, but exited substantially farther south than the entrance...great if you were going that way, not so much if you were headed north, as I was. Next was Fearground Freakshow. They had this guy out front on the podium, acting like a typical carnival barker, interacting with the crowd, which was cool. Inside was quite entertaining, with a lot of great props and gags featuring the actors, but this one was a little on the short side. About a 5 minute wait with Fright Lane, and they didn't punch the card here either. The standby queue wraps around the whole building 3 or 4 times...yikes. Was this where the Frontier Carousel used to be? I can't figure out what else this building might have been used for in the past. I then took a walk through Cutthroat Cove, which is just advertised as a scare zone, but in actuality was much more like a proper haunt maze except with no line at all! Great long walk through Maverick's infield, with some great artistry and scares, tons of fog, an awesome animatronic snake which pops out from behind some curtains, and some simulated cannon fire. Unfortunately, the exit for this one is always quite a bit away from the entrance (the entrance is near the train station and the exit is way back near the entrance to the rapids ride). Seeing no line at Cedar Creek Mine Ride, I hopped on for a half-train wait for row 8. Quite impressive at night; I was expecting it to be worse than during the day due to not being able to see what's coming that well but it was surprisingly good...maybe even better than during the day? I gotta say, Steel Vengeance looks pretty cool at night. How does it ride at night? Holy shit is that incredible! Great night ride even though its so lit up, I can't imagine how crazy it would be if it were darker. 23 minutes from getting in line to getting my phone from the free lockers in the queue, for the back row. At this point, it was past 11:00, and I had been up since 5:00 AM, so I decided to call it a night and make my way back towards the front to dodge all of the crowds leaving at midnight at park close. I did hop on Iron Dragon, seeing no wait, for my first ever night ride (half-train wait for front row). Quite impressive here as well; I mean it's no Big Bad Wolf at night, but still quite good. And, we end this day one report the same way it started: VID_20210917_233733469.mp4 See you again in the next post for day two!
    3 points
  45. It’s almost like there’s a pandemic still going on.
    3 points
  46. ^ as someone who also tends to type only in lowercase (unless a proper name is being used) - that's kinda a childish attack here, Mike. (and I have an English minor, so it's just an aesthetic choice) otherwise, your point is dead on about why CF won't give a crap about what SF does. (and again, IR is so short, no way will it *ever* operate with 3 trains. clearly the 3rd train is so there will always be 2 train operations while one is having refurb (lemme tell you, one train ops on IR for two summers in a row SUCKED).
    3 points
  47. Great report, this looks fun, definitely on my list of things to do whenever we get back down there. Not at all classy but I'd be amused by some sort of man vs food challenge, like the Mission Space Orange challenge where if you eat your entire meal and don't barf on Mission Space Orange you get a free meal or a free express pass for a ride lol
    3 points
  48. Theme Park Review was invited out to get a construction tour of Sesame Place San Diego. Slated to open in Spring 2022, Sesame Place® San Diego will be the only theme park on the West Coast based entirely on the award-winning show, Sesame Street®. Conveniently located just 20 minutes from San Diego and 2.5 hours from Los Angeles, this theme park is perfect for families with kids of all ages. The new theme park will feature 7 themed dry rides, an interactive musical play area, and 11 water attractions including a 500,000-gallon wave pool – one of the largest in Southern California. The park will also feature an interactive Sesame Street Neighborhood complete with the iconic 123 Stoop, a live character show, a daily parade, photo opportunities and of course, everyone’s favorite furry friends. The tour started with an unveiling of the new Sesame Place San Diego entrance sign. Clint Brinker, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Corporate Project Manager, then took us around the construction site to see where some iconic Sesame Street areas will be. 123 Sesame Place, Community Center and Abby’s Garden, Elmo’s window, Sesame Street Subway Station, Big Bird’s Nest, and Hooper’s Store will all be part of the Sesame Street San Diego neighborhood. We also got to see the near completed family roller coaster, Super Grover’s Box Car Derby.
    3 points
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