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Everything posted by aueft

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. I'm basically hoping to simply move all of the plans from 2020 this new year. However, I suspect that a lot of the places that I will want to travel to will still be limited park operations at best which will probably put me off of visiting large parks. Ideal: New York City (not really theme park related, but I might do a side trip to Coney Island or Nickelodeon Universe) in May 2021. There is an Automatacon event there that I've wanted to go to for a while now, but I suspect that that it will be cancelled again. Enchanted Forest and Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington for May 2021 on the same vacation as above just to take advantage of the long Memorial day weekend. Universal Studios Singapore, and Genting Skyworlds (assuming that the park opens in 2021) for December 2021 since I hate spending the holidays at home. Maybe Lagoon and Salt Lake City (but probably not) Realistic: Enchanted Forest and Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington for late summer / early fall 2021.
  6. I guess "Enchanted Wish" is a way better fit for the massively popular princess brand than "Scary Adventures". I wonder what they are going to do to the other parts of the ride as they'll probably want to remove all of the appearances of the witch, which is like half of the ride.
  7. Is this the first time they've talked about what type of ride the Mario Kart ride is? I did not expect this to be a "shooting" ride, and if I'm being honest the AR thing makes me a bit nervous. But these gaming franchises are part of my childhood nostalgia, so I look forward to seeing how all this turns out.
  8. Not sure if this question belongs here or in the non-parks resort discussion, but has anyone gone to the parks recently? Are the COVID / distancing policies still being enforced / obeyed? I am probably being paranoid, but my mother (recklessly, in my opinion) decided to go to Disneyworld by herself, and given her age (+65) and our ethnicity (Asian) I am slightly worried about this and would like to assess how much extra anxiety I should have this upcoming week.
  9. I don't think that California is ever going to get down to yellow to reopen amusement parks / theme parks. In my county, people seem to be taking the lockdown / covid guidelines seriously and we haven't been able to move past the red tier. So I guess no Disneyland until the vaccine is fully distributed.
  10. Looks way more modern now! I remembered seeing survey results have unintuitive coloring (which is a total niggle) when I took a gander earlier this week, but I looked just now, and it seems fine now, so one of your changes this week must have improved it.
  11. Even outside of the timely racial sensitivities, this is obviously a good branding move for the park. However, I'm sort of against the change as I suspect that placing a Princess and the Frog overlay on Splash Mountain is going to result in a worse ride. Part of it is the theme. In order to better align with the princess branding, the designers are probably going to want this ride to be as toothless and as non-threatening as possible. And given that this is one of Disney's thrill rides, I worry that the ride is going to end up feeling conflicted and weird. The other part of this is also purely speculative, but I wonder if Splash Mountain is an absolute bear to maintain with the ridiculous number of animatronics in splashy water proximity. I am worried that they are going to remove most of the animatronics as a matter of practicality and use mostly screens with only a smattering of new animatronics, which I personally wouldn't find as interesting as the overabundance of animatronics that the ride currently has. Anyhow, those are my dumb thoughts on this.
  12. Given Covid19, I obviously won't be able to visit Enchanted Forest in a couple of months. I'm hoping that I can still visit Universal Studios Singapore this winter.
  13. Oh my god. The pictures of the water park make it look pretty, but $105 per day is crazy. I doubt they are going to lower it for the summer either. Yeah, at this point I am hoping for both parks to get heavily discounted for semi-permanent "promotions."
  14. Yeah, I noticed that when I was looking at prices earlier. I guess I can wait a little while before deciding on whether to visit. My trip is not until the very end of May. Maybe Nickelodeon Universe will turn it around before then... somehow...
  15. Geez... this place sounds kind of terrible. I'm going to be in the area at the end of May, but it's sounding like the Sandy launched coaster isn't going to really"fix" the park. It sucks because I want to theme park when I'm vacationing, but none of the parks in the NYC area are great, and I'm not the type of person that visits a park just because there are credits. Do you guys think Nickelodeon Universe is worth going to just because it is new? The other options for me are Rye Playland and Coney Island.
  16. I'm not exactly sure how they plan to ride-ify stuff like Monopoly, but I get the feeling that the Hasbro brand is way more evergreen than some of the franchises that other parks have gone with recently... This is probably a good change for Galaxyland.
  17. Jeez, 80 dollars sounds like way too much given the attraction lineup. Do you guys think that the prices might get adjusted downwards? Or maybe they'll just do aggressive "discounting" to put it in line with something more reasonable? I have no idea how parks in New Jersey remain competitive if this is _normal_ for that area.
  18. Honestly, the main advice that I can give you is to be careful not to overload on Texas History for your filler attractions. They are pretty proud of the whole Mexican revolution thing, and by the end of my trip this past November I was super tired of hearing about the Alamo. Riverwalk is beautiful, but I found the boat tour both frustrating to find the loading to, and the particular guide my group had was pretty bad. For attractions suggestions: I actually quite liked the rodeo at the Cowtown Coliseum in Fort Worth, but I realize that it won't be for everyone.
  19. Got back from Six Flags Great Adventure a few days ago, and I figure that I should put some thoughts down. I really liked El Toro, and it was my favorite ride in the park. It was a shame that it was only running one train as that did put a damper on my opinion on the ride. If I ignore the operational issues, then El Toro is easily in my top 10 coasters. I am surprised about how many rides were running three trains. Like, I can’t imagine that Kingda Ka particularly benefited from three trains. The Safari Ride was pretty great. It must be pretty expensive to staff and maintain, so I’m glad that it is so popular. Runaway Mine Train and Green Lantern were pretty bad. I generally love Arrow Mine Trains, and I figure that I should try to ride a stand up B+M coaster before all of them are converted to floorless coasters. What a fool I was... Overall, a pretty decent day, I think.
  20. Just got back from Hersheypark. I’m only going to put a few short thoughts here since I suck a phone texting. I’m glad this forum encouraged me to take advantage of preview nights. From what I can tell, today was super crowded and I don’t think I would have gotten much done if I hadn’t kicked out some of the low capacity attractions yesterday night. There is obviously a great, forceful ride somewhere in Skyrush, but the restraints were too painful on my thighs after the first drop to enjoy the ride. I think that a B+M hyper will be a great addition to the park. Many of the existing coasters have middling to poor capacities for various reasons, so having a people-eater at Hersheypark will probably be a good thing. I have weird tastes, so my favorite rides would be the Hershey Chocolate Tour if that counts, and Super Dooper Looper if it doesn’t.
  21. I'm actually surprised that they are updating Spaceship Earth again. I figure it's probably going to be mostly minor changes (probably to the descent), but I'm not sure how easy it will be to shift the themes from "information / communication" to "storytelling" without more drastic changes to many of the existing show scenes.
  22. Yikes, I didn't realize that they were proposal separating out the tram tour from general park admission entirely. I hope that Screamescape is right about the study being geared towards something not as clear cut as that. The WB tour is much more expensive, longer, and handles smaller, more intimate groups. At points, the WB tour leaves the shuttles and continues on foot into the studio buildings themselves (which obviously the Universal version does not do). It is more informative and also feels more "authentic" in a way. They are entirely different beasts, and Universal Studios would need to make major changes to their tour in order to make it even close to being equitable to the other studio tours in the area as a "standalone" offering. It would be crazy for Universal Studios to treat the tour as an extra upcharge. It's not like they have enough room to replace it with anything worthwhile (especially at the capacity that the trams pull). Without the tram tours, Universal Studios Hollywood is easily the worst park in the area (and even with the tram tours, the park is rather small).
  23. I can't be the only person that thought of that second-rate animated film when they announced that the name was "Epic..." Anyhow, not much to go off of. Based on the (early) concept art, it looks a little lean as far as the park itself goes. However, as long as they stuff it with popular IPs, I'm sure it will be a success.
  24. I went to the Pittsburgh area last year with my (somewhat willing) family. I don't know if this is too late to get reservations, but I thought that the Bayernhof museum was shockingly good. The house was cool, and the tour guide was amazing. And if you are the slightest into architecture, Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater is super famous.
  25. Going off of the early videos, I think that I may have been overly, cautiously optimistic. I'm glad that they added some new animatronics to the last third of the attraction, but they totally screwed up the pacing of the rest of the ride. The opening underwater screen tunnel goes on for way too long for what it is, and it isn't nearly as good as the dramatic intro that it replaced. The containment scene into the lift also goes on for way longer than it should given that it looks like most of the cool effects and dinos were removed. They clearly spent money on the overlay to make all of these changes... so I guess I can't fault them for trying.
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