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aueft's Achievements


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  1. I mean, it was two kids who decided to yell directly into my ear. I attempted to tell them off, which was obviously the wrong thing to do (I should know better than to react) as they started to tail me around. Edit: Rereading my response again, and looking at the context of your question, I guess that you're going to say that I just need to grow a backbone. I know that this is all pretty funny, and I truly regret bringing anything up here. Sorry.
  2. Nope, no notepad. That would have been an extra loose article to juggle. I just happen to be more analytical / critical than average, and it was a recent trip so I actually remembered what happed for once. I'm use to kids being annoying at amusement parks, but I actually got harassed at Kings Island which was not a pleasant experience and went well beyond normal "kids being kids." I figured that I probably shouldn't have mentioned it on this forum, but it was kind of a notable part of the experience on this particular trip.
  3. Got back from a recent trip to Ohio to visit the two Cedar Fair parks in the area (along with other miscellany). I visited Cedar Point for Tuesday, July 5th after waking up early to drive across the state from Cincinnati the morning of (I had rearranged a decent portion of my travel plans last minute). I still got to the park entrance near opening. My adherence to my ridiculously tight schedule probably wasn't necessary as Cedar Point's crowds were very reasonable on that day, and I think the longest line that I waited for at the park was the drop coaster Valravn at 45 minutes followed by Maverick at 30 minutes. I think the rest of the rides I went on were well under 15 minute waits. Overall, I got one ride on every major rollercoaster and two rides on Steel Vengeance. However, I don't feel like I fell in love with any of the attractions. All of them felt reasonably well designed and thrilling, but I preferred Kings Island's more eclectic lineup. Miscellaneous Major Rides Thoughts Cedar Creek Mine Ride - I typically love Arrow Mine trains for how quirky they are, but Cedar Creek Mine Ride doesn't really use the terrain at all which makes it inescapably obvious how bland the ride layout is. It also was down for much of the day. Steel Vengeance - I thought that the mandatory locker system was fine, and the trains were able to leave the station full. However, I experienced the ride in the early morning on a relatively uncrowded day, and I am sure that the locker situation is much more unmanageable with decent crowds. I rode the ride once in the middle and once in the back. Honestly, Steel Vengeance is intense enough that I don't feel like I need to be picky about seat selection. It's probably my favorite ride at Cedar Point by default as it gives a long intense ride that is smooth enough to be re-ridable. Raptor - I was very confused by how the employee on the station platform was doing seat assignments. They would fill up the entirety of the front row line before assigning people to the rest of the train. On the one hand, this policy wasn't the best at filling in empty spaces on the trains which is bad for throughput, but on the other hand, it does mean that I ended up getting a front, middle seat, which probably helped since I generally don't like B&M inverts. Maverick - I think my expectations were too high for Maverick given all the hype, especially since I rode this immediately after Steel Vengeance. Plus the throughput probably isn't as good as other rides in the park making the lines longer. The ride also seemed to break down a bit during my visit, but I don't think that is unusual for Maverick. Theming While the areas near the back of the park have a decently charming western theme, the front of the park feels exceptionally bland. Cedar Point definitely feels like a boring corporate regional park. It somehow doesn't feel like Cedar Point takes advantage of its lakeside location - probably because the waterfront isn't really that visible from the park's paths. Food I ate at Hugo's Italian Kitchen at the front of the park and had one of the crustiest, driest chicken parmesan sandwich that I have ever had in my life. I suspect that other park food options were better, but by this time in my vacation, I was really tired of all of the carbs and proteins that I had been consuming on my vacation (Ohio doesn't have the most diverse food scene in the world) and was happy to have the side salad that came with my meal. Operations I thought that the operations were fine - good even. The park seems to be very strict about loose articles (and glasses) and doesn't offer station bins on its attractions, which probably helps throughput. I sort of suspect that the real issue that people have with the park is that it is too popular for the types of policies that Cedar Fair loves to inflict on its parks. Clientele I was actually bracing for the worst after some of the issues that I had at Kings Island on previous days, as I assumed that Cedar Point was less geared towards families and more geared towards teens due to its lineup of thrill rides, but it was actually fine. I didn't have any problems with the kids at this park. I am not sure if that is a demographic thing, or a midweek visit thing. I noticed that some of the elderly guests were riding the major thrill coasters, which I thought was odd but also pretty cool.
  4. Got back from a recent trip to Ohio to visit the two Cedar Fair parks in the area (along with other miscellany). I visited Kings Island from the evening of Sunday, July 3rd through Monday, July 4th. Crowds on July 3rd were pretty bad, but it surprisingly didn't feel unmanageable (unlike some of the other Cedar Fair parks that I have hit on holiday weekends). Lines seemed to be mostly <1hour. However, I was actually pretty shocked at how reasonable the crowds were on 4th of July itself. I was actually preparing for the worst and was planning to visit the park again the following day, but I got more than my fill of King's Island after that full day on the 4th, and moved other parts of my vacation up in the schedule. I was able to ride most major roller coasters twice, and got 4 rides on the Beast and Adventure Express each, as they were easily my favorite rides. Miscellaneous Major Rides Thoughts Adventure Express - I thought this was a really pretty great Arrow Minetrain, and although I love the ridiculous ending, I think that idiot kids think of it as an invitation to be as loud and obnoxious as possible. Mystic Timbers - They clearly put in effort around this ride, and I thought the theming in the final break run was effective. However, it feels like they put in that ending to address how much overkill three train operations are on such a short, slowly loading ride. The Beast - I ended up waiting quite a long time in the queue line due to fireworks on my first night because I am dumb. However, the wait was basically worth it: That first night ride was pretty magical, and I think that the Beast would be a strong contender for my favorite wooden coaster if the subsequent daytime rides the following day were nearly as good. Even with the somewhat disappointing daytime rides, I think that this was my favorite ride at Kings Island just for how unique it is. Flight of Fear - the theming of the queue and loading platform were pretty great, and because I knew that the ride is infamously rough, I rode defensively. I can definitely see why people don't like it though. Also, I think that it had the worst operations of the major roller coasters in the park due to the unusual restraint system. Flying Ace Aerial Chase - the worst ride in the park. Boring and rough. Theming There was more effort in theming than I expected, with some partially themed major rides and very deliberate mini themed areas. Overall King's Island is a gorgeous park. Food I was actually impressed with the one major food item that I bought at Kings Island. While most of the food seems like standard Cedar Fair amusement park junk, I ended up having the pork nachos at the Miami River Brewhouse which tasted good and was an obscene amount of food (basically double what I had anticipated), especially for an appetizer and especially for an amusement park. It actually felt like a good deal (by my standards). Clientele This is my biggest issue with the park. It sort of feels like parents just let their kids loose in the park to a higher degree than most other regional parks that I have visited. While this isn't necessarily bad in itself, those kids were more disruptive than usual - a couple of incidents crossed the line from obnoxious to outright harassment. And there was another time where some kid caused the Beast to estop by removing their seatbelt on the first lifthill. Overall, I think that Kings Island might be my favorite Cedar Fair park that I have visited. In theory, the ride lineup isn't as good of a fit for me as Knotts Berry Farm, but Kings Island seems to be better able to deal with large crowds and so it was a much more pleasant experience (outside of the unfortunate issues with the clientele).
  5. California Great America is technically my local park, so I think I was doing wishful thinking in hoping that Cedar Fair would move forward with expansion plans from when they settled the land thing a few years ago, so I was pretty surprised about the news earlier today. And given where the park is located, it is kind of hard for me to imagine the space to be used for (dense) housing (which the San Francisco bay area obviously desperately needs).
  6. I find most theme park shows kind of tacky and cheap, but I remember really liking Celtic Fyre at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and the Mystery Lodge at Knotts Berry Farm (I hope it isn't gone permanently - I think it's been out for a while). Besides that, I really like Club Cool at Epcot, but I am a bit of a soda addict.
  7. No idea how screwy this upcoming year is going to be, but here are my tentative plans. The big thing is that I am going to try and hit a bunch of the Cedar Fair parks over the summer: July: Cedar Point, Kings Island August(?): California's Great America September: Knotts Berry Farm November: Genting Highlands, Universal Studios Singapore if international travel makes sense at that point...
  8. Jeez, I visited Lakeside park just three years ago. It was pretty run down back then too, but the amount that it has managed to continue to fall into disrepair in that time is pretty shocking. Like, I don't remember all of the missing ride vehicles on the flatrides from my visit. Maybe this is just due to the park being shut down for 2020?
  9. Great trip report. The Georgia Six Flags park is still on my bucket list. Do you know why Labor Day is not crowded at Six Flags Over Georgia? I would assume that all (major) amusement parks would be slammed for a long holiday weekend, so I'm surprised that the crowds were ridiculously reasonable.
  10. Realistically, I might end up going to parks that I personally don't like in the future in the off-hand chance that I end up back in the area for travels. And I generally avoid first visits to parks that are obviously terrible. I think for me, maybe Gilroy Gardens? Even though it is a decent park, I don't personally think that I get anything out of it (for obvious reasons). It's also in that sweet spot of being far away enough not to be my home park, but close enough that I won't travel to the area for a long, dedicated vacation.
  11. I think this is just putting Disney more in line with its competitors like Six Flags, Universal, and Cedar Fair. There will just be a general multi-use, skip-the-line upsell for most of the rides that use to have a general Fastpass option (with no free option). Then on top of that there will be an additional per-ride upsell for skip the line for the most popular of attractions (like Rise of the Resistance).
  12. Just a quick post, but I visited Universal Studios the day after the Memorial Day weekend just for a quick visit. The park experienced lines significantly above an hour for most of the day in spite of the capacity cap. Something that I found rather interesting that there was a much lower willingness by guests to observe social distancing guidelines at this park than at Disneyland, which I had visited the previous days. Onto the rides (that were new to me): Last time I visited, Kung Fu Panda was still the Shrek show. This was the only ride / show in the park that never passed a half hour wait time, and I can see why. Not only were the social distancing restrictions more lenient than I had expected given how other rides were spacing guests - the ride just isn't very good. It feels like the movie was designed for a simulator attraction until the ending happens (which has the only cool effect of the entire show). Then again, I don't remember particularly liking the Shrek show so at least I can't complain about it replacing something that I like. Speaking of which, for the updates to Jurassic Park the new animatronics in the lift hill portion of the attraction are super impressive, but I think that I prefer the old version. There was a deliberateness in how show scenes used to be arranged and paced for dramatic effect in the old ride that is simply absent here. I'm impressed by how many animatronics the Secret Life of Pets ride has. It's a cute ride, and due to the ride system, it basically had normal-ish operations even in the face of social distancing guidelines.
  13. I visited Disneyland (I skipped California Adventure) for Sunday and Monday of this past long Memorial day weekend. Although I did take photos, I don't think that my coverage is really appropriate for a photo trip report, so I'll just do a written summary. Travelling to Disneyland on a long holiday weekend is usually a massive no-no, and themepark operations under California COVID restrictions were always going to be a bit weird. So this probably not the most well thought out plan, but I think I was hoping that the two would cancel each other out. And I figured visiting right now might be an interesting experience. At the very least, I think Disneyland wasn't the worst case scenario. In spite of Covid restrictions hurting their ability to efficiently group parties together, almost all lines remained sub-hour throughout the entre day (as always, mornings around park opening were nice) The grouping policy does mean that rides that usually rely on multiple long benches of seats were hurt the most - so It's a Small World, Pirates, and the Disneyland Railroad took massive hits to wait times with the former two really only being able to take at most two parties at a time per boat. I think the implementation of the social distancing policy in regards to lines was not necessarily intuitive to most guests. Although the queues did have markers, they were placed seemingly inconstantly to try to compensate for how some of the permanent ride queues fold back on themselves. Between this and the pressure to not keep guests indoors meant that most of the queues spilled out into the walkways away from the ride entrances. This was most pronounced near the New Orleans waterfront where the much of the walkways was dominated by the Pirates queue. However, most of these massive lines went faster than expected given that these temporary queues were very sparse due to the social distancing markers. In general, I think the majority of guests were trying on some level to observe social distancing when inside the park. On a lighter note, this was my first time visiting since they added Starwars: Galaxy's Edge. I was pleasantly surprised by both attractions there. Smuggler Run's simulators are higher quality than I had expected and I quite enjoyed seeing if I could accrue as much damage as possible during the ride (I was piloting by myself). And I was also impressed by how nimble the trackless vehicles on Rise of the Resistance were and how well the digital screens coordinated with the vehicle movement. The other ride that was new to me was the redesigned Snow White. They made minor changes up through the dungeons scenes, but everything after that has been massively revamped. It is undeniably more coherent now and a much better fit for Disney's target demographics, but I think it is less interesting than the old version. My dumb hot take is that I think that it is probably my least favorite of the Fantasyland dark rides now. Anyhow, sorry for the wall of text. I might add pictures for this post later.
  14. I'm sure that much is going to change about these plans, and they probably are only vague ideas in the first place, but I think that the schematic is kind of suggesting that this will be two expansions for the existing parks with new secondary entrances and another entrance plaza off of Disneyland Drive. That would make the park layouts for both parks kind of strange. I'm also surprised that all of this is getting announced while Covid is still kind of an elephant in the room. Still, any plans for possible expansions for the California Disney parks is something to look forward to.
  15. For recent close calls, I am sad that I missed Curse of DarKastle as I went to Busch Gardens Williamsburg the year after it had just closed. I am sort of a sucker for dark rides, and that one looked interesting. Still liked the park, even if I couldn't get my dark ride fix.
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