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Showing content with the highest reputation since 08/08/2021 in Posts

  1. Sea World Pepsi Chipotle, proud to be one of America's eight companies!
    15 points
  2. Fake news. Its winter on Lake Erie. Here:
    15 points
  3. So... what were we supposed to get excited about this season? All I read was better chicken strips and some sprucing up of front gates. Nothing seems to be near term. I'm glad they recognize Six Flags Saint Louis has enough thrills. We've been spoiled ever since Boomerang.
    13 points
  4. Had a great visit to the park this past Friday night (July 8th) and Sunday July 10th. I worked at the park from 1986-1990 playing piano in 5 different shows and then returning in 2000 to music direct a few shows as well. The park was beautiful and clean, and even though it was peak summer time, I still managed to get 2 rides on Steel Vengeance, 2 on Millennium Force, and rides on Gemini, Valravn, and more. But the highlight was re-creating a picture I had taken in 1972 with my brothers and sisters. 50 years later! Enjoy the photos! The original picture taken in 1972. Right on the main midway. You can see the Dodgem behind us. 50 years later, and we were all able to meet up to re-create the shot! Still great as ever. Iron Gwazi is good, but it's not Steel Vengeance! Whee! Where it all began! My first show "Ain't We Got Fun!" in 1986 and 1987. And I just went back to Disney after my 2 1/2 year furlough to continue my 23 years as a professional musician with the company. Come see me play piano at the Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue! The new Farmhouse Restaurant is GREAT! We split the platter both times and it was plenty of food. Highly recommend the steak and potatoes. The chili was also very good. When in Sandusky, eat at Berardis which used to provide Cedar Point french fries for decades. A fun ride with an awesome view especially at night. Hope it comes back next summer.
    12 points
  5. Kings Island is a fine example of what a corporate park can be. They do so many little things such as upkeeping iconic attractions like Beast, Racer, and Carrousel, while adding or restoring minor touches most corporate parks wouldn't care to do. Kings Island really cashes in on nostalgia, even with such minor details as hidden easter eggs in Mystic Timbers' shed, the SOB eternal flame in Banshee's queue, and going as far as repainting and renaming Flight Deck to The Bat. Not only that, but the park sells these things from a marketing and PR standpoint so well. Cedar Point is removing old attractions and replacing them with mediocre food venues, while Kings Island finds huge success just by adding what would typically be an outdated attraction like the Antique Cars. Despite the mega-park Magic Mountain, I still believe Six Flags Fiesta Texas is a strong contender for best park in the Six Flags chain. Likewise, as far as Kings Island goes with Cedar Point in Cedar Fair's line-up, I think Kings Island is the best single day park in the chain, if not one of the best in North America. I can't say enough good things about Kings Island. I'm glad I'm within six hours of it.
    12 points
  6. Best way to watch a parade is to power walk the opposite way it’s traveling and see the entire thing in 5 minutes.
    12 points
  7. Looks like the Schwarzkopf is almost about done with the painting. Photos are from Indiana Beach Facebook group.
    11 points
  8. Where to even start with this incoherent word salad post. It DOES affect everyone. I am one of its employees, and for the past 23 YEARS I have been paid more to work there than if I decided to work anywhere else. I also live in Orange County, and I cannot afford a $2000-4000 tax bill JUST because #DeathSantis hates gay people. That's what this all boils down to. He wants to grab as much power as possible and does not care who he hurts in the process. I am hoping that Disney with its massive wealth and power does not blink and instead supports whoever runs against this lunatic. This meme sums it up perfectly:
    11 points
  9. You're putting way too much thought into this.
    11 points
  10. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. . new signs going up today, to warn that the Railroad might not operate consistently due to how close to the tracks the construction work is: OMG. . I love this park & Park President.
    11 points
  11. That's a cool perk for hotel guests. They can beat the mad rush of people to Magnum XL 200.
    11 points
  12. 11 points
  13. ^I heard the new management is going bold and they got a big statue of a middle finger to go there instead of the Batmobile. It is going to block the path they put in last season so everyone has to use the old one.
    11 points
  14. Oh and I have to add that I soooo regret not being able to record my 76 year old mother yelling at my 77 year old dad (and this is a direct quote) "KEEP PUSHING THE F**KING BUTTON" while they were doing the part of the gunners on Falcon
    11 points
  15. OMG. . this is *so* freaking awesome. Park President Jeffrey Siebert just shared this on his twitter. 1st piece of track for 2022's "Dr Diabolical's Cliffhanger" is on it's way to San Antonio! how cool is this?
    11 points
  16. someone wake me up when something other than dumb shit about kites - that I don't care about - gets posted.
    10 points
  17. I hate that people are now talking about nostalgia with a coaster that opened in 1996. How old am I and when did this happen? Anyway, everyone is entitled to their opinion and we all like different things. It's important to respect that, but my nuanced, measured response to this would be counterpoint: fuck that awful ride .
    10 points
  18. you only get 4 seats because "Management hates your park"
    10 points
  19. I've worked for both companies for many years (not just a seasonal employee.) Busch USED to be amazing. When the Busch family owned the parks, there was a level and quality and service unmatched elsewhere. Once they sold to Blackstone, things went downhill fast. This past summer, Cedar Point celebrated its 150th with tons of show including a MASSIVE one with a cast of over 70 people. This past Christmas, Sea World could not be bothered to bring back "Oh Wondrous Night," their award winning Christmas show and instead got groups to fill in on weekends. It was lackluster and cheap and showed how different these two parks are in their commitment to entertainment. There is just no comparison between the companies and their two philosophies. Cedar Fair has been around for 150+ years and is an ENTERTAINMENT company. Sea World is owned by Blackstone, an investment firm. They just see the parks as money makers and way to make dividends off of their stocks. And until Sea World Orlando can retain a president for more than one year, they are in no business to be buying other properties.
    10 points
  20. What are they going to do? Sabotage the park by opening it like 6 months later in the year than the Busch park down the road and remove their most popular coaster and replace it with nothing? That would be ridicu.... oh
    10 points
  21. We just got back from spending 2 days at Dollywood and a couple more days in the area for Christmas and honestly it was one of the best park trips we've had in a long time, we really had a great time. Here are few notes from our trip. First off Lightning Rod. I know there's been a ton of talk about that thing here over the past couple of years but for the 2 days we were there it was running consistently with 2 trains both days. On the 22nd it closed at 7:30 along with everything else in the park because it was just under the 34 degree mark (VERY cold night). On the 23rd the park opened at 11 and an operator came out and said there was still frost on the track so it would be opening a bit late. We grabbed some cinnamon bread and headed up toward Firechaser/Wild Eagle and by the time we got halfway up the mountain it was cycling trains and probably opened around 11:45 or so. So anyways 2 days of consistent operations and man that thing is still an absolute beast of a ride. I got a few rides in 3 years ago before the refurb and honestly I don't know if it's slower now or whatever, but it's still a top 5 ride for me. I got 2 rides the 22nd and ended up getting 5 on the 23 in about 1.5 hours, two in standby with my kids and three through the single rider line. Such an awesome ride, so hopefully these operations carry over into next season. Shoutout to Dollywood for running Wild Eagle with a 50 In height requirement instead of 54 like every other B&M in the country. My youngest was able to ride this year and loved it. Thunderhead as running pretty well for it being in the 40s in December. It's wasn't the smoothest GCI I've ever been on but was good enough to knock out 4 rides in a row with no wait. Mystery Mine seemed more temperamental than Lightning Rod while we were there but that's still a really fun ride, and I love the view you get of it from the path to Wildwood Grove (which was new to me). Speaking of Wildwood Grove, I get the complaint about ripping out the trees up there as it does look a little out of place, but it looked great at night with the Christmas lights and the kids had a blast. Can't wait to see what the new coaster for 2023 will be. Is Dropline the best drop tower in the world? No it's not, I know it's not, but man the views on that thing are amazing and there was NEVER a line for it over 2 days which was weird. Thunderhead and Mystery Mine would both have 45 minutes to an hour long que at times and Dropline was still a complete walk on? When all the coasters closed at 7:30 the 22nd, you guessed it, Drop Line still an absolute walk on. So again it's not the best drop tower in the world but that view makes it one of my favorites. All of the Christmas decorations looked great and the fireworks show at the end of the night was a nice close to the day. We also watched the "Twas the Night Before Christmas Show" which was really cute and well done for a 45 minutes theme park stage musical. Wait times and crowd flow at this park are kind of weird. Lightning Rod would have a 2 hour line in the mornings then be down under 30 minutes at mid day. Thunderhead was all over the place all day, from 45 minutes to a complete walk on. Mystery Mine and Firechaser stayed pretty consistent around 45 minutes- 1 hour both days. One thing I really appreciate about Dollywood is that Tennessee Tornado and Wild Eagle were pretty much walk ons all the time. Maybe we got lucky but it's nice to always have a decent coaster available with a short wait. The park was closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas day but we headed over to Dreammore for breakfast at Song and Hearth and had a great meal. That resort is really nice and I'd love to stay there next trip. The breakfast was just a buffet, but a pretty decent one, and for $18.00 I'd go back in a heartbeat. We also grabbed a couple loaves of cinnamon bread at Dreammore with NO WAIT to take back to our cabin, which made for a nice treat on Christmas day. So again overall we had a great trip, the park is as beautiful as it ever was and I found the operations to be pretty good for the 2 days were were there. My only complaint is I wish they could find a way to have the cinnamon bread line move faster. If this park was like 3 hours closer I'd probably go twice a year, but we'll be back in 2023 for the new coaster.
    10 points
  22. Anticipation Turn is my new favorite element!
    10 points
  23. A short trip report and on topic with the most recent postings. I was at the park last night with a friend who is about as opposite an enthusiast as anyone could possibly be. She won't ride anything but the very slowest of rides, too scared to go into a haunted house, and made the ultimate rookie mistake of telling one of the actors in a scare zone "don't scare me now, I'm old" (she is in her early 60's not exactly decrepit) which of course ensured he dogged her the entire way through the zone. She knows nothing of coaster wars, ride ops, when we last got a "good" ride, etc, etc. In fact she lives less than 3 miles from the park, drives by it regularly and had NEVER even been inside it. But before you write her off it might be useful to entertain a different perspective. She is a longtime friend who due to some recent minor personal issues just really needed a night out and to do something different. So we grabbed dinner at Joe Boccardi's in Eureka, used my member benefits of free preferred parking and a free anytime ticket and went for a stroll around the park partly because she was curious and partly to get out of her comfort zone and see the Halloween decorations. Note we did not get in line for the parking booths until about 6:45. Took us a solid 45 min to park, get through security, entry and officially enter the park. All the parking lot toll booth workers were doing both sides of their booths so really only about half of the booths were open. After parking the line for security started at the drop off area, wound past preferred parking almost to the entrance of that lot, and back up to security. And then a good 10-15 minutes to get through the entrance gate. Now to the unpracticed eye it looked like the entire population of St Louis county was there BUT when you realized that all those people were being funneled through 2 of the walk through security scanners and you really looked around the park it was clear that while crowded it was nothing abnormal for FF. The paths were walkable. We rode the train which was a walk on. Line for JL was not even out of the building. I saw no extraordinarily long lines as compared to any other FF I have attended. Including food venues or any of the haunted houses, which I would have liked to have gone in but my friends are all scaredy cats and the boy is working everyday of FF, lol. That was with Batman not even opening until after 8, Eagle down of course, no more Superman, no more Go Karts, no more cars, no Dragon's wing, no water rides, no carousel, Colossus down, Spinsanity down.......so not the best availability for the crowd to disperse. She noticed nothing about lines cause they were not important to her. She did notice the arch with the roller coaster on it in the entry plaza and thought it looked cool. She was very interested in the carousel refurb due to being a someone who owns horses and having grown up in Cleveland and going to CP, Euclid Park, and Luna Park in her youth. She did spend money on a drink at the Blood Bank, thoroughly enjoyed all the decorations, and bought a shirt in the studio store because she is really into vintage movies and stuff. What is my point? Despite me getting her in for free, my friend spent money on high mark up items and the ride line up meant nothing to her. She now wants to come back in the summer to hang out at the water park and see the summer landscaping and see the carousel whenever it is finished. She will NEVER ride a roller coaster; or anything more extreme than the train, carousel, MAYBE JL, but she will spend money on food and merch. She has no kids and won't be a frequent attendee, just saying for every super enthusiast there is probably someone like her and/or grandparents that are just hanging out and enjoying the park with no consideration to what rides are available. While the park was certainly crowded and FF has always been the big money maker for SFSTL it was not unusually crowded. The optics made it seem way worse than the reality. While this was certainly a massive improvement over last years pseudo FF, in my opinion it was still only about 75-80% of what true FF normally is. The shortage of staff was very apparent and it impacted the number of attractions and the atmosphere. Don't get me wrong I think the park did the best they could with the staff available. Certainly better to have less attractions and have them properly staffed than the alternative. The work the park is doing may be boring or inconsequential to some but it's like putting a new roof on your house or new tires on your car. Necessary to keep everything in good working order, but not much to show off for your money. Infrastructure has to be dealt with and is usually way more money than anyone realizes. Yes, we have all agreed we would love that new coaster BUT you cannot compare SFSTL to parks that are open year round or are in more tourist centric areas. It is a very nice regional park with some true gems that enthusiasts can appreciate but mostly set up for the local populace that views it as just a regular local hang out. I mean its real operating calendar is only about 7 months or so. HITP is a fun Christmas attraction but is rather limited on ride availability and always iffy on possible weather closures. Sure keep lobbying for great new rides/attractions but let's be happy they are taking measures to keep the park operational and classy looking for the future.
    10 points
  24. Yeah, I can't think of a place I wouldn't really go back to. I mean, even some of the worst parks I've been to I would give a second chance for one reason or another.
    10 points
  25. Okay, time for part 2. And this will be the longest one, I think. So let's get started! Part 2: Germany in Germany - Page 1 Day 4 of the official trip began with a park that had been on my radar for quite some time, Erlebnispark Tripsdrill! Tripsdrill is a small, oddly laid-out, oddly-everythinged park that seems to be transitioning to bigger park status. This is the park-end of their "main street." I've always been fascinated by this ride (G'sente Sau) and the way it interacts with their log flume (Badewannenfahrt zum Jungbrunnen...because screw you if you don't speak German). I was even more excited to ride it after experiencing Vilda Musen at Grona Lund back in 2019. However, it turned out to be quite tame. Still, it wasn't bad, by any means. This ride is famous for a small dark ride section that features an animatronic that drops her top to show her boobs. Sadly, this animatronic was broken and had her top permanently in the down position--which, obviously, is an outrage. Through no fault of my own, I came off of this ride overboobed. Smisty ditched me to ride with other TPR members. That seems okay...right? Being left behind in the station did allow me to witness some German teens throw their bags across the track, and one leap *over* the track to gently place his bag on the other side. He didn't even get fussed at by the operator. That was even more mentally assaulting than the continuous unbroken boob exposure. Tripsdrill has two of these weird spinning-tub-on-a-powered-track rides. Please note the guest barrier between the midway and the ride area. Speaking of which, please take a moment to examine this duck ride. No fences, no signage, no queue. You just get on a duck when it stops, I guess. Look, I spent many years of my life as a ride op at various US parks. This is noteworthy to me. Shoot an egg out of a chicken's ass into the mouth of the animal or human of your choice. I am not being vulgar. I'm just describing the thing. Of course, it will cost you money. Making this someone out there's exact kink. Maybe Mr. Erlebnispark. Mammut, as I understand it, is the only wooden coaster ever built by Gerstlauer. And I can see why they stopped. To be fair, the layout looks nice, the queue has some stuff to look at, the restraints aren't bad, and there's a cool little malfunctioning-sawmill dark-ride scene between the station and the lift--but otherwise this ride is quite dull. Just very slow and forceless. And yet, it still manages to have a notable push-pull shuffle throughout the entire ride. I can't even hate this ride. I feel sorry for it. It only has one train, also. Like, they could RMC it and I wouldn't even be mad. And if you know me, that's really saying something. Climb up a ladder and an animatronic come out of the window to shout at you in German. I like to think they're yelling at you for climbing up their ladder and trying to look in their window. You are a perv. Inside the building is a walk-through attraction that consists of a dark, narrow, twisting hallway with buttons on the wall that will light up a little mannequin who will tell you their life story (I think). Guess what her life story is. This not-quite a tilt-a-whirl is themed to baking. Literally translated, "Gugelhupf" means, "You are a muffin." Probably. This park is quite pretty. And there's a wine museum, if you're into that sort of thing. There's also a quite simple, rustic-looking fun house. And a death slide. Karacho has the most alarming beginning of any coaster I've even been on. You roll out of the station into a tunnel, where you take a quick dip, turn, slow roll inversion, and launch, all in total darkness. Um...spoilers, I guess. Maybe I should've said that first. But I suppose if you don't want to be spoiled, maybe you shouldn't be looking at a trip report. Take some responsibility for your own actions, man. Anyway, Smisty really liked this one. And I thought it was okay. The restraints weren't the worst. What the...? Why?! Every other parks' water cannons are a lie. The rapids ride is themed to laundry. Although...I'm not quite sure from what era. All of them, I guess? A fairly uninteresting splash battle, the famously "don't look that scary" drop towers, and their two new Vekoma family coasters, Volldampf (which means "goat-sex") and Hals-über-Kopf (which means "head up your butt.") Goat Sex was kind of boring (which...frankly, was a surprise to me) but Head Up Your Butt was the best coaster in the park. Not that I was here for the coasters. I was here for weird. And despite the lack of a proper dark ride, Tripsdrill delivered the weird. But there's no time to consider what just happened! Back on the bus! We left Tripsdrill early in order to get to Holiday Park before they closed, in order to have Expedition GeForce ERT at the end of the day (when the ride was good and warmed up) rather than the next morning. Rain came in, but many hardy souls kept riding anyway. Proof that I rode it. And I also took this photo. Because I'm that good. So...did I like it? Well, I didn't dislike it. But here was the problem.... [Feel free to skip to the next photo if you don't want a long boring explanation about restraints and the way they fit me.] I usually like these Intamin T-bar and European-style seatbelts just fine. They tend to be tight, as the parks shorten the seatbelts in order to be the determinator of whether or not someone is too big, and then allow the lapbar to rest comfortably in one's lap--which allows me slight upward movement (i.e., airtime) even as the seatbelt is holding me (tightly) back toward my seat. But Holiday Park does it differently. Here, the seatbelt is relatively long, but the lapbar has to be down to "within two fingers" of the seat side bar. So, I fit, but I was so stapled that any and all airtime was experienced by me as pressure on my upper legs. This wasn't painful, but it also wasn't particularly exciting. Kind of what I imagine a deaf person's experience of music might be. Like, they can't actually hear it, but they know it's there because they can feel the bass. None of which is me complaining. I'm just trying to explain why, for me, even though I love rides like Millennium Force, Ride of Steel, or Goliath at Walibi Holland, Expedition GeForce didn't do much for me. Seems like most other folks on the trip quite liked it, though. After ERT, Smisty and I headed to a German grocery store because....well, why would we not do that? Because we needed water. Yeah, that's it. Water. Biggest bathroom of the trip. Not sure if everyone's was like this. I assume not. The next morning we had ERT on Sky Scream. That's the red Premier Sky Rocket in the back, not the leftover piece of old-school Vekoma track there for decoration. This one is special because it has lapbars rather than over-the-shoulder restraints. Not special enough for me to ride it, though. Smisty did. I just asked her what she thought of it, but she doesn't remember. These are cool. I like that you can kind of tailor the ride to the kind of experience you want to have (although it takes skill if you want it to be wild). Haunted Mansion rip-off #2. I say "rip-off" with love, though. This one was the most torture-y, as I recall. The back of the park had a beach-themed area. We rode the Sky Flyer three times in a row, by ourselves, because no one else was back there yet. And we like those. It had a nice view. And it was already hot out and the breeze felt nice. Look, I don't need to explain myself to you. Also, this is not the Sky Flyer. I don't know what "Wickie" is but a couple of park's we visited had really similar "Wickielands." It seems to have something to do with cartoonish viking characters. Also, log flumes in Europe have no faith in themselves. They're all about turntables and backward sections. Just be log flumes, guys. I love when parks have little museums dedicated to themselves. Holiday Park has theirs as part of a restaurant. So that's pretty cool. Two parks on this trip had dinosaur-themed water rides. I intended to ride both, but wound up riding neither, for whatever reason. Hey, you gotta roll with the situation, you know? Wow. That's quite an admission, Holiday Park. I mean, yes, it's true. I just didn't expect *you* to put it out there like that. Back on the bus! A quick drive through beautiful German resort areas brought us to Wild- & Freizeitpark Klotten. (And yes, that hyphen is part of the name. Yes, in the spot, with a space after it and then the & symbol. Don't ask me.) We only had about 2 hours to explore this very strange place, but it's not particularly large. It is weird, though. Like, weirder than Tripsdrill weird. Self-operated rides? Yup. Allow me to explain how this one works. I have no idea. It's powered? And there are multiple buttons, some of which are red and some of which are black. And you have to climb over bars to get into the seats. And then you push the buttons. Which do something...? Or maybe they don't? No one on the ride could figure it out either. Oh yeah. So this is just a small kids ride that goes in a circle. But it has water guns that you shoot at the park's mascot in the middle. So it's got that going for it. A saucy puppet show. It might not have been saucy. I didn't watch it. But I have watched Futurama. Um, no thank you, Hey, it's another one of those Gerstauler Bobsled coasters like at Tripsdrill! Oh s#!t, no it's not! This thing is waaaaay wilder. It also wraps around a big round...um, castle thing...that also houses a log flume and a shooting dark ride. Zum Rittersturz features a spiraling vertical lift and a trim brake on the drop...?! Also water. Lots of water. I did not take this photo. I think Robb did. But I'm borrowing it because y'all need to see this. So, here's what I think happened: The park said they wanted magic wands instead of guns, but the designer wasn't sure what those should look like, so they googled "magic wand" but didn't realize that safe search was off, and well...this was the result. It's quite a short, simple dark ride. But they did a good job of hiding how little is actually going on. I do mean that as a compliment. It feels like they had very little money but made it work. Maybe someone donated the, um, "wands" and they just went with it. Here's another photo of Heiße Fahrt. And it will make you fahrt! Wait, that just means "journey." Airtime could be described as a journey, right? This isn't working. Look, there's airtime. And laterals. Sometimes at the same time. I liked it better than Expedition GeForce, let's just say that. Wait, that's going to get me hate mail. Look, cute animals: See, Klotten is also a zoo. Grizzly bears! Wait...are all of these animals from North America? I mean, I guess that's cool for their normal clientele. But all these guys live down the street from me! I didn't travel all the way to Germany to see American animals! You're not fooling me, Trash Gremlins! Homemade whip type thing. I would've liked to have ridden it, but when the German-only-speaking ride op asked me how many kilos I was, I had no choice but to fold. Um....800,000? Does that sound right? I would like Klotten to be my home park. Not so much because of it, but because I want to live here. It was cool, though. Our hotel at Phantasialand. Are you tired of my coaster opinions yet? No? F.L.Y. was terrible. It was cool staying in a hotel that was built all around a coaster, though. The weird, ugly proper entrance to Phantasialand. Which I'm not sure is bad, actually. It makes for quite a dramatic transition once inside the park, certainly. Phantasialand's "main street" is interesting in several ways, not the least of which is that rather that being full of shops and services, it's mostly eateries and attractions. It's also called "Berlin." Their main street is Berlin. "Berlin is on this map!" "So it is." For example, their hotel-themed fun house is located there. Which contains this weird elevator that doesn't go anywhere and an operator with fake ponytails who only communicates via whistle. Maybe not quite as fun as the one at Grona Lund, but elevated by its awesome crooked house hotel theming. Misty doesn't like fun houses, so this is what she did instead. The far end of Berlin, where you must then choose to go left or right. The park's layout is weird. In fact, I'm not even going to try to explain it. Okay, I will. Imagine the roman numeral 3, but not connected at the bottom. Kind of like this: TTT And that middle part is Berlin. Or just google a map of Phantasialand. That might be easier. The park's newest dark ride, Maus au Chocolat, is also in Berlin. It's like Toy Story Mania, but better and way longer. The covered midway that connects Berlin to Wuze Town. On the left is the only gift shop in Berlin. That's just fun to say. So, they're all about dragons in this park, with each dragon representing a separate themed area. Whereas I am all about chocolate-covered fruit. I opted for the pineapple, whilst Misty got grapes. Also pictured, apples (of course) strawberries (sure) and pears(!?) Looks like it's closed. No doubt to be replaced soon by Spectre, now that they have the rights. That joke is really just for me. Don't worry about it. Chiapas is quite a well-regarded log flume, and rightfully so. A bit on the wet side, and the restraints are awful (I suspect for everybody, not just me) but the theming is great and it has a neat soundtrack! On the other hand, it's in Europe, so it goes backwards for entirely too long. Still, it was really good! Phantasialand has a reputation for great theming. And I think this is a pretty good example of that. But I will say that it seems like there are several areas that are highly-themed but just have like one thing in them. This is Mexico, but really it just has Chiapas. At least, that you can see here. I guess there are technically two other rides in "Mexico," but it doesn't really feel like it. This isn't really a complaint so much as me saying that in the grand battle of Europa versus Phantasialand, I much prefer Europa's ride layering. Meanwhile, in a completely different part of Mexico, the famous Talocan--combining fire, water, intensity, inversions, and nope. The African section, which contains Black Mamba and...um...this stairway. Okay, so when you're in a foreign country, you don't want to be problem. We went to ride Black Mamba and got in line for the front row, when a ride op came over and told me that I had to ride in row 5. Now, I know what's going on here. I'm fat, and he's directing me to the big boy seat. Of course, I can usually fit in any row of a B&M invert, but I don't want to argue with the guy. And, like, what if he's right and I insist on the front only to not fit and I hold up the whole operation? I don't want that. So we moved to row 5. And the ride sucked. Look, Black Mamba is supposed to be themed. I say "supposed to be" because you can't see anything on a B&M invert unless you're in the front, So who knows if it's themed or not? Not me. I can tell you that it was intense in a way that I didn't really care for (ball-crushing positive g's in every pull out) and probably wouldn't have liked in the front row either. So, yeah, one and done for me. No big deal, though. It was unlikely that I was going to love a B&M invert anyway. Moving on. Presented without comment. Colorado Adventure is themed to the old west and located in Mexico, allegedly. What's the most frightened you've ever been on a roller coaster? For me, it was the moment I realized that the entire middle third of this arrow mine train was going to be in complete darkness. Good ride, though. The Asia section contains *two* rides, a super goofy kung-fu themed mad house and the park's other dark ride, "Ghost Rickshaw." Yes, it's Haunted Mansion rip-off #3--but this one distinguishes itself by being filled with weird monsters from Asian Mythology (I assume). And, as such, it was the best of the 3. Beware of hitchhiking ghosts! Ah yes, the 4 slushie flavors of the apocalypse: Flamingo, Gummibarchen, Waldmeister, and Fresh and Cool. The Asia section looks quite nice, though. This is a full-service restaurant, in case your curious. The queue for River Quest, the park's raids ride, located in the (*ahem*) Mystery section of the park. That's an option?! You can just have a "mystery" section? Nobody tell Six Flags. I knew this ride had some tricks, so I wanted to check it out. However, I was kind of disappointed. Yeah, the vertical lift and the 3 drops were fun, but otherwise it just meandered around, with no rapids to speak of. And the theming was (appropriately enough) a bit of a mystery. I mean, it's a castle, I guess. And the boats have bats on them. But there's nothing else to suggest, say, vampires or whatever it's supposed to be. And the name doesn't help much. It's just kind of a mystery castle. Mystery Castle. It's a completely enclosed drop ride. But not like Tower of Terror. More of a normal drop tower, but with a variable programs and some theming. So like Tower of Terror. But not really. I normally skip drop towers these days. But the theming drew me in. And I enjoyed it! Of course they built an enclosed one because of neighbors-who-complain-of-noise, but I think it all worked out in this case. Now we enter Klugheim, which as near as I can tell is part of "Mystery." It's also home to a full-service restaurant that serves meat to the brave. And let me tell you I am brave. Smisty had soup. Klugheim is also home to two intertwined roller coasters: Raik, a Vekoma family boomerang--and Taron, a custom Intamin launch coaster. For my money, Taron is the best coaster in the park. Fast, smooth, airtime, some laterals...it's just fun. Wuze Town. So for those of you keeping track, the themed areas are: Berlin (a city in Germany), Rookburgh (a made-up steampunk place), Mexico (which includes the American Old West), Asia, Mystery (which includes Klugheim, which is again made up), Africa, and Wuze Town (which is made up also, I think?) This indoor section was interesting but felt a little rundown and dingy. As for Winjas, they were fun...but both tracks kind of seemed to be fighting against themselves in terms of spinning, as they both pretty much just follow a right turn, left turn, right turn, left turn pattern. Having said that, it seemed like most people I talked to preferred Fear, but I actually like Force better. For one thing, I thought it's track trick was more interesting. But also, for me, the larger drops of Fear didn't combine particularly well with the ride's seat horn. Some neat-looking kids rides sort of hidden at the top back part of the indoor area. Okay, so the other thing people talk about with Phantasialand (besides the theming) is how little room they have to work with. Which is interesting because they have this area, which is like a quarter of the park and consists of a long winding path around some grassland and a lake that contains nothing, and a gigantic "calm boat ride" that clearly used to be Splash Battle but isn't any more. I can only describe this area as "unpopular," as it only seems to be (briefly) visited by people who are on day 2 at the park (like us) and the profoundly lost. Clearly, this can and should all go. And, I can only imagine, will. The orange and yellow building in the background of the last photo can probably go as well, as it houses a long-closed dark ride (Hollywood Tour, which I would've liked to see) and Crazy Bats, an indoor coaster that's been give the VR treatment. We did ride Crazy Bats, and it was my first ever VR coaster (a concept I have little use for, but it wasn't an upcharge and we were here and had time, so why not?) It was...fine. I mean, it probably would've been better in one of its previous regular-indoor-coaster iterations, but whatever. Yeah, fire sale this whole area. (I mean, not Wuze Town. Wait, is this Wuze Town? What even is this area?) Back to the Charles Lindbergh Hotel. I probably should've taken a picture of it before we scattered our junk everywhere, but hey. I must say that I didn't love this room as much as I thought I would. I dig small spaces, but the thing is, if you're going to design a small space, the you can't afford mistakes. Everything has to work together. You can't have, say, a really low, shallow sink and a really high faucet. Or effectively no air in the room and a window that's just a big round door. (I mean, I know Europe has a different view of air conditioning than the US does, but at least give me a window I can open with a curtain over it.) I suppose it's a bit of a metaphor for all of Phantasialand. They do their own thing, and they march to their own drum, but it just doesn't always work they way they think it does. Nice view, though. Okay, so F.L.Y. Look, I don't really like flying coasters anyway. I just don't find them very coaster-like. It doesn't feel comfortable or natural to me to be facing downward. But, this is a new generation Vekoma, so I thought there might be some hope. But it was kind of just like lying face-down on the ground while someone jumps up and down on your back. It's certainly intense, if that's what you're looking for. And there is one moment of airtime (which is cool, if kind of weird). But even with nothing to obstruct the view, it turns out that, even with all that theming, the ground is mostly just ground. As an aside, this is also the first coaster that ever put me through a metal detector. I wasn't particularly bothered by it...but still, wow. To be fair, most of the group seemed to love it. But Misty didn't like it either, so it wasn't just me. Overall, though, I do think Phantasialand is a pretty good park. I like Taron and Chiapas and Maus au Chocolat quite a lot. Colorado Adventure and Geister Rikscha were pretty good too. They have a cool fun house, some beautiful theming, and some amazing sweets. Okay, whew. That was a long one. Join me again in like two weeks to hear me complain about some parks in Belgium!
    9 points
  26. Maybe the ride op was "fragile" or maybe a person that simply does not respond well to pressure or maybe afraid she was going to get in trouble. My son had a supervisor give him a safety once over some people ignoring him when he directed them to stay seated until the go karts had all been parked and he was pretty sure they did not understand English, so hardly his fault but the supervisor didn't care. Impossible for anyone to pass judgement when they don't know the person/situation/job pressures, etc. On the other hand maybe people could stop being so defiant and just follow directions once in a while. All he had to do was wait on the ride and the whole thing would have been avoided
    9 points
  27. My wife, foster youth (his first time) and I all went to CP this last week, Wednesday-Friday afternoon. Wednesday crowds were light, Thursday was quite busy with lighter crowds again on Friday. We have gold passes, so we also enjoyed Cedar Shores (first time for all of us). Nice park. Don't know if I would travel 2hrs to just do that, but staying for an extra day would be ok. Not a lot of variety of slides. We DID appriciate the heated pools on all their slides. However, the lazy river... freezing! Haha. Because it was only June the lines were nonexistent in the waterpark. THAT I liked the most. Back in the park things were running well. A little annoyed that Maverick never opened before 10, even though it was listed as ERT. Raptor kept having fits the whole time. Fortunately, every time we wanted to ride it it was open. But it was down a lot... like Mavrick lot lol. We introduced our boy to Cedar Downs. OH MAN! Wildest ride ever. We ended up being stuck on it for 15 minutes! "Stuck on Cedar Downs? How is that possible," you may ask. We start the ride, normal. The ride op announces to sit up and obey the rules spiel... 30 seconds later... "please remain seated as the ride is temporarily stopping." It slows, stops and we hear "please remain seated." 5 minutes later a man who looks like a Hollywood Hogan knock off Halloween costume that was the row in front of us gets off his horse, grabs his 6 yo daughter and begins to exit. "PLEASE STAY ON YOUR... SIR, YOU CAN'T LEAVE. STAY ON YOUR HORSE, SIR..." The man ignores her and goes through the first exit door. The second is magnetically locked. Panic hits this man's large mustached face. He picks up his daughter over the locked gate and then jumps over it himself. BUT WAIT! He left his 8 yo son behind!!! Yeah, boy #2 still is on his horse. Within 5 minutes security is there, Purple polo employ shows up (supervisor?) And Hollywood runs away. He went to the bathroom, hid, took off his dew rag and then hid under some trees. This was about 10 minutes in. After a change in ride ops( she was pretty shook up) the ride restarted and we got a full cycle. When we exit, boy and girl are crying with their non-riding mom while dad watches from about 100 yards away. His "Don't tred on me" shirt seemed to take on a new meaning that day. So, that happened! I will never not love Cedar Downs and that last ride prooved it all the more. In all seriousness, well done park team. You were keeping everyone safe and following the policies in place. Thank you. Last thing, food. Great experiences all around. We opt for the day meal plan. Food every 90 minutes, can't beat it. Backbeat BBQ is so good, along with the shrimp skewers at Crystal Rock in Cedar Shores. We wanted less than 10 minutes for any food. All in all, a good trip.
    9 points
  28. Argument? I see a panel of experts conducting a serious investigation.
    9 points
  29. I know that we all want to laugh, but maybe he’s using a 56k AOL free trial dial up connection and he hit the post button 5 days ago. Be nice.
    9 points
  30. Good to hear! We were there in December on a larger family FL Christmas trip and this was my son's feelings on Gwazi not being open yet. When we had booked the trip a year ago we were still hoping it would be. But we will be back down for the ACE spring conference in May and catch a ride then.
    9 points
  31. Unnecessarily long lines for the same experience as you could have a week later for a fraction of the wait time. Plus the rest of the park will be equally swamped with the people who didn’t realize the Iron Gwazi line would be so bad. If you truly “must be first” you’ll need to plan to get to the parking lot early (several hours before park opening) and be prepared to wait in your car until the toll plazas open. There may be some gratification that comes from riding on opening day or being among the first, but ask yourself how much that is worth. The ride operated previously for employees in 2020 and has been doing passholder previews for weeks. You’ll be far from the first to ride. What can you expect from attending on opening day? A less enjoyable version of an enjoyable day at Busch Gardens a week to two weeks later.
    9 points
  32. I just want to say I love all of you and this thread has brought me more joy than most roller coasters!
    9 points
  33. Picture this: Orcas in Diamondback's splashdown pool enjoyed from the viewing deck of my favorite theme park patio while drinking free beer.
    9 points
  34. I really wanted it the other way around to see Manta become Flight Deck!
    9 points
  35. Well it should be broken in by now considering it’s a two-year-old ride…
    9 points
  36. Rode Ice Breaker a couple of times today. I think it's a solid ride for the park and fits a well needed 48" height requirement demographic. If you want airtime, the back seemed to deliver better than the front. We'll have more video and photos up tomorrow! I still maintain the ride would be a lot better without the "Comfort Collars" which serve no restraint purpose.
    9 points
  37. Yo mama so dumb she thought Iron Rattler was kept in her bedside drawer.
    9 points
  38. Yeah... I'm still going to let all of you fine people go first.
    9 points
  39. The Dollywood and Silver Dollar City threads are always the biggest shitshows. Not sure why... maybe you people need a drink. Oh, wait...
    9 points
  40. Doesn't SeaWorld/Busch have a trademark on the "Anticipated" word!?!?
    9 points
  41. Flight Deck is out there celebrating that it's no longer the worst coaster name ever!
    9 points
  42. ^ you shouldn't be excited. i've heard whispers that "Corporate HATES your park"
    9 points
  43. I don't think there is any park that I will refuse to visit again. Some parks are very far down my priority list to visit again until something major and significant comes along (such as Six Flags America), but that doesn't mean I would *refuse* a visit if presented the opportunity. Parks are constantly changing and evolving and always deserve another chance in my opinion.
    9 points
  44. El Toro is running and running really well.
    8 points
  45. Knott's did almost 900k more guests than SeaWorld San Diego in 2019 so they would probably close Knott's and go balls-deep in the orca park... (Nothing, it would mean nothing)
    8 points
  46. Have you ever stopped to consider the idea that maybe the reason that almost nobody (here or anywhere else) agrees with you is that you’re wrong and not that you’re just smarter than the rest of the world? Everything in life carries risk but you have a better chance of hitting the powerball than being killed by a tornado in most years.
    8 points
  47. Hello! Like a lot of folks, Erik & Smisty haven't traveled a lot since 2019. So, a few months back, on the theory that as vaccines rolled out, built-up desire for leisure travel would result in booked up airlines and expensive flights, we sort of speculatively bought tickets for an August trip to Denver. Well, my theories didn't quite pan out, but it didn't seem so bad that we should cancel the trip or anything. And we still had fun. But, as the title suggests, there were some let downs. But, actually, not so much because of Covid. Because of climate change. Speaking of disappointment... Elitch Gardens Okay, to be fair, even though we'd never been to this park, Denver, or even the state of Colorado, we knew exactly what to expect from Elitch Gardens. It's reputation suggests that it's one of the worst parks in the country. And...it's not great. But we knew that going in, so with lowered expectations we still had a good time at what was, after all, a new-to-us amusement park. The following attractions will not be operating today. As well as a bunch of other attractions not listed on this sign. Note also that this includes both of the park's water rides during a heatwave in early August. I did enjoy the covered mini main street entrance. I think there's a lot to be said for this design. Actually, that brings up one of the most interesting things about Elitch, as this is a park that completely relocated back in 1995. So, sure, that was 26 years ago--but, still, this place is an answer to the question: What if you were redesigning an existing theme park from scratch? What would you do differently? How would you rearrange the rides that you already had? And viewed through that lens, everything about the layout of this park, good and bad, is absolutely fascinating to me. After the mini main street (or, er, teeny tiny CityWalk?) there's a carousel and the ghost of an observation tower on the right... ...the entrance to the included water park straight ahead (which includes this baffling sign)... ...and a second, uncovered "main street" leading to the park proper. We entered the park midday, and headed for the Ferris wheel, only to have unexpected lightning move into the area while we were in line. So, off we went to the park's only dark ride. This is an interesting set up. It's sort of a covered midway that connects what would otherwise be two dead ends, and contains the entrance to the dark ride, a gift shop, some vending and game machines, and a small food stand. Also there's an SLC in this photo. If you don't know already, model coasters are very much Elitch's thing. The nice thing about Denver is that Covid isn't a thing there. Apparently. I joke, but it's not lost on me that I may be part of the problem. I mean, we are fully vaccinated, but still, should we have done any of this stuff? Traveling right now is weird. Not as weird as this dark ride, though. (How's that for neck-snapping transition?) Well, you can't take pictures inside, but here's the animatronic robot barker and a ride vehicle for Meow Wolf's Kaleidoscape, a Scooby-Doo Ghostblasters dark ride rethemed to...um, interdimensional travel via splitting doughnut eggs or something? It's low-budget psychedelic weirdness and I am here for it. By which I mean, I primarily came to Elitch Gardens for this weird-ass dark ride. and it was almost worth it. Elitch has some nicely themed buildings that reminded me just a bit of Frontier City. The "one big food court" building probably helped with that impression, also. Not one ride in this photo was open this day. Not one ride in this photo was on the closed sign out front. In fact, the observation tower has apparently not been open for multiple years now, which I can find no kinder word for than "offensive." Luckily, I already knew that going in, or I would've been quite upset. (What can I say? I know myself.) The games were all open. When Elitch says something isn't opening today, they are serious. I couldn't think of a good caption for this weird sign, so I googled "wears like a pig's nose" only discover that this was probably a real sign (or at least a copy of a real sign) as Finks really did make overalls and used both of these slogans. Brain Drain did run that day, though it was down for lightning at the time this photo was taken. I can't blame the park for lightning, though. Seems like they handled that about as well as they could've. (And, as someone who's worked in rides at several different parks, including ones in Florida, this is a subject I know a tiny bit about.) I want to say this was the first Half Pipe...? The park doesn't really invest in new rides anymore, though--and I don't think that's going to change any time soon, since the land it sits on has already been sold. Will Elitch Gardens move again, or just close for good this time? And does anyone care? Actually, I think Denverites care. We talked to a few fellow park-goers (there was a lot of lightning) who seemed to really love the place. I guess the most important thing about a theme park is its location. Because this place would be absolutely buried by any kind of competent competition. I can't imagine it surviving long in the same market as, say, a Cedar Fair park. Elitch has one non-model coaster: Twister II. "Built wilder the second time," is its slogan, and while I never got to ride the original Mr. Twister, I can only imagine that's a lie to shake the heavens. Having said that, Twister II wasn't bad. I mean, there was no airtime or anything, but it was fast and fun and not too rough for a 26-year wooden coaster at a park that can't even keep track which rides are temporally closed, which rides are closed for the day, and which rides are completely abandoned. It's quite an attractive ride. Actually, most of the park *looks* pretty good, and is well upkept in terms of paint and such. But yeah, Twister II's lines are very appealing. I'm not saying that I want to have sex with a roller coaster. That's not what I'm saying. And even if I hypothetically did, looks aren't everything, you know. Emotional attachment is important. Shared interests. A better park to have it in, maybe. Besides, Lech Coaster has my heart, currently. This kiddie ride had a nice theme. One thing worth noting is that most of the kids rides didn't have queue, nor did the carousel. Just entrance and exit gates and maybe three pair of foot prints to indicate where you should start lining up. A bit unstructured for my taste, but an interesting choice. I also think that the blue arch in the background is a perfect encapsulation of this park. The front of it says "Kiddy Land," which it is the entrance to. But the back is just blank, even though that's also the exit. It just says nothing. Not goodbye, thanks for visiting, now leaving kiddy land, buy a season pass, nothing. It's like they couldn't immediately decide what it should say, so they just gave up forever. We tried again to get on the Ferris wheel, but again lightning came while we were in line. And again, the park is not unattractive. Not that anyone is suggesting sleeping with it. Geez, would you stop that already? The park's main gift shop is themed to a carousel building. So that's arousing. What? If you look closely, you can see that this awful shirt is actually three different awful shirts. And, what's more, they don't say Busch Gardens on them! The entirety of Elitch's covid response is not allowing returns. I feel so much safer. Is this a good time to mention that Denver was enveloped in smoke from Oregon and California wildfires the entire time we were there? I mean, that's not Denver's fault, but if I sound a little gruff it's only because I was smoking the equivalent of two cigarettes a day and I've never smoked before. Anyway, Elitch Gardens has potential. But it's potential that this version of the park will almost certainly never reach. Still, I'm glad we visited. Stay tuned for more complaining, coming soon-ish-ly!
    8 points
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