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Everything posted by Electerik

  1. Um...he was thin, about six feet tall, with dark hair and muttonchops. Like that?
  2. You mean, like, scare zones? If so, no. The houses we did weren't bad, with Eerie Estates being the one we liked best. Most of the houses seemed to suffer from the same design problem: large, mostly empty rooms with no clear path or exit. And while that may sound scary, in practice, it's just confusing and awkward--and ultimately results in a scare-actor having to give directions: "Go that way! Booga-booga-booga! Past the lamp!" There were also lots of instances of scare-actors who would jump out to scare you, but then just sort of have to stand there while you filed past, because they didn't really have anywhere to retreat to. Which, again, seems like a house design flaw. But, considering that these things were put together by Cedar Point (who, let us face it, are not exactly kings of theming) and not, say, Universal, I thought they were pretty well done. But, yeah, there is still some room for improvement.
  3. The Beginning Way back in the year 2000, I moved from Southern California to Sandusky, Ohio, to work at Cedar Point for the summer, and to be a part of the opening crew for what-was-then by far the tallest and fastest roller coaster ever built, Millennium Force. They say that the friends you make working at Cedar Point last a lifetime. And, in my case, that certainly seems to be true. That year, I met Seth and Natalie (and they met each other). And this year, I traveled back to Sandusky to be the best man at their wedding. (Two other MF opening crew members were part of the wedding party, as well.) Of course, since we were in Sandusky anyway, we also went to Cedar Point. This was Misty and I's first visit to Cedar Point's HalloWeekends event, and let me tell you, watching a bunch of cartoon monsters do the chicken dance is pretty scary. Ah, but there's more in Sandusky than just Cedar Point! There's also really good ice cream! And, yes, even mini-golf. (Unfortunately, Wizard's Journey at "Ghostly Manor" was the only one that was actually open this late in the season.) It wasn't bad, though. And they had a cool dragon out front. I just wanted more places to be open. Sandusky also has a pretty nice "historic" downtown area... ...the, um, "Boy with the Boot." (Don't ask.) ... ...and fishing, probably. Plus, a Merry-Go-Round Museum! (Even if the sign on top does say, "United States Post Office.") Complete with real working carousel! And angry circus animals! That has kind of a nice ring to it, I think. This lighthouse is rubbish. And not even actually in Sandusky. But you can see Sandusky from there. Be careful.... Whew, I'm glad they put a sign on that one slippery one. Oh, right, we have a wedding to go to! Groomsman Rich makes some final adjustments to Seth's homemade photo booth, while I annoy him by taking pictures of it. I also provided the wacky props. I should have said, "Misty and I provided the wacky props." Sorry, I'm distracted by my fatness. Luckily, DJ was there to make me feel better. The traditional, "Are you sure you wouldn't prefer one of these women?" photo. Or, if you're really freaking out, you can just walk out into the sea. No, you're good? Okay, then: Dancing. Hey, guys, what's your favorite ride at Cedar Point? Yes, I agree. Millennium Force. Not that any of us are biased or anything. Although, I must say, I'm also really fond of their SLC. Only Cedar Point would put a show underneath the outside of an empty theater. On the question of whether CP's HalloWeekends is adult-scary or kid-cutesy, the answer is that it's both, more or less evenly divided. With some things being for the little ones... ...and some things so horrific that even adults know better than to brave them. Alright, let's try some houses. Honestly, while they weren't quite up to California/Florida standards, they're definitely trying. Um...or maybe not. That's almost as bad as the view from our hotel room. Other scary things at Cedar Point include this guy... ...Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds... ...constantly shifting terrain... ...cookies you can't actually eat... ...D-I-Y murals... ...undead former-Disney execs... ...rather painful-looking shoes... ...and penis-shaped Peanuts characters laughing hysterically. We liked this display of rides past. I didn't see this one, though. Smisty finally got her WildCat credit. And she discovered the awesomeness that is Troika. We all got to check out WindSeeker. Which, I hate to say, is rather dull. Weirdly, I think it's less scary than a StarFlyer, possibly because it feels so much more secure. On the other hand, we got to witness Cedar Point employees keep a guest trapped in his restraints until he deleted photos off his camera that he'd taken "illegally." So that was interesting. Oh well, there's still Millennium! And the thing that used to be where it is. (That sentence makes sense, I insist.) He looks like the life of the party. But we've already got a hat. There was a special "kid friendly" house, but we weren't allowed to go in it because we didn't have a child with us. There was no one else in the area, so it certainly wasn't a capacity thing. Oh, right, we're at Cedar Point. And there's nothing in this world that Cedar Point likes more than slavish devotion to bizarre rules. Yeah, I'm a little bitter. We didn't even try to do the kid's maze. I'm sure they would have spit on us. Let's check out "Club Blood" instead. Oh, cool, a dragon! I can't say that I think much of CP's maintenance department these day, either.... This ride is already Halloween themed. I really wanted to do this one (as it goes through Thunder Canyon's ride trough), but it was closed due to "weather." Which started a heated argument between me and Seth--with my belief being that the "weather" in question was that it had been too dry for the corn to properly grow, and Seth's position being that it only operated after sundown, with daylight qualifying as a weather condition. Only Cedar Point knows for sure. To anyone who says that Cedar Point doesn't "get it," I say, look at this thing! It's got a big gear for an eye! All of the water rides were closed for the season, including Shoot the Rapids. But that's okay; We wouldn't have ridden it anyway. After all, we got plenty wet that week elsewhere.... Oh, was that a Meijer?? Best. Store. Ever. And here's why.... I guess Sandusky isn't so bad. It's got some great people... ...and the only museum dedicated to Merry-Go-Rounds in the existence! (Note: Please do not Google "carousel" museum.) In all seriousness, the Merry-Go-Round Museum is absolutely, 100% Erik & Smisty approved, and we highly recommend that you go there the next time you're in Sandusky for whatever reason. Sandusky also has Chet and Matt's Pizza. Which is certainly the only place I've ever seen chili cheese fry pizza. And, of course, there's an amusement park. It's not the best amusement park, mind you, but it does have lots of really cool old-school pinball machines... ...and the best roller coaster that will ever exist. A ride so good that it makes people fall in love, heals minor injuries, and makes kittens fart rainbows. Of course, your mileage may vary. But it will always be special to us. Thanks for reading what I daresay has got to be the weirdest trip report I've ever posted. (And this from the guy who normally posts this kind of crap.) You may also want to check out our completely wedding-free Cedar Point Trip Report from two years ago. But, even if you don't, I applaud you for getting this far. The End See, Rich? I told you I could make an Oddventure out of Seth's wedding.
  4. I really like that they had models of the houses on display. Thanks for posting this!
  5. I rode two of Arrow's better creations yesterday: Magnum and Gemini.
  6. Erik & Smisty will be leaving for vacation tomorrow, so no more Florida updates for at least a couple weeks. But here's a little something to tide you over until then.... The other day, we were wandering around Universal Orlando (as we do), and decided to check out the Royal Pacific Hotel. It was around lunch time, and we hadn't eaten yet, so the thought of trying out one of the hotel's restaurant's did occur. I knew that Tchoup Chop was sort of the high-end, and we weren't looking to spend that much--but as it turns out, their lunch prices are actually fairly reasonable. So we decided to give it a shot. Emeril's Tchoup Chop You can get to Royal Pacific from CityWalk by foot, or by "water taxi." Luckily, I can drive a boat. Tchoup Chop is sort of around the side from the hotel lobby, but right across from the water taxi dock. Adding to our decision to give it a try, it was completely dead. As in, we were the only guests in the restaurant. I know more about Elzar than I do Emeril. In fact, it's not even close. We loved the decor. I want to design my house around a big fountain now. The kitchen. It's hard to see here, but water runs down the grey stones at top. The bar. Random decorations. Because you deserve this photo. I went with the build-your-own bento box. Which was amazing. Smisty played it a little safer. She got a bit braver when it came to dessert, though. You can by Emeril stuff. Hey, I liked it, but I didn't like it that much. Just one of the reasons this hotel always reminds me of Tales of the Gold Monkey. All Hail Doctor Doom! Yeah, this is a weird update. Anyway, Elzar's was good. But tomorrow we're having Toft's, biatches! Bam!
  7. We wrap up--at least, for the immediate future--our Kennedy Space Center updates with an attraction some miles down the road, in Titusville. Admission is $20, or free on the same day with your Visitor Complex ticket--but that's actually a bit tricky to pull off, considering this place's noon-to-6:00pm operating hours. But we opted for the KSC annual pass, since we knew we wanted to do this on a separate day. The U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame There's a space shuttle out front, but don't let those ramps fool you: You can't go into it. (Boo, hiss!) According to an employee, you used to be able to, but it was damaged by a hurricane, so now they only let school groups go into it(!) Note that this is the *US* Astronaut Hall of Fame, so don't expect to see anything about unimportant astronauts, like the first man in space. Or the first woman in space. Or the guy who did the first space walk. Quick, who's this? What's cool about this mural is that it was actually painted by an astronaut. (Specifically, Alan Bean, the fourth man to walk on the moon.) This sign is on the back of the restroom door and kind of freaks me out. Okay, I know I should let this go. But we can mention Jules Verne, but not Yuri Gagarin? If you so choose, you can sit through a short film that manages to make space exploration seem completely uninteresting. A display dedicated to the Mercury 7. (The then-surviving 6 of which first came up with the idea for this place.) Hooray, a space capsule! (Specifically, Sigma 7. Yes, the real one.) Gemini never gets any love. Let's move on. A spacesuit designed for sitting. I love this quote. All the stronger that it came from a man who died in said pursuit. SPACE STUFF There are lots of displays like this. Meaning that you can breeze through this place, or spend several hours there, depending on your approach. This room is focused largely on space shuttle stuff, which is why it's so boring. Nope, can't ever be an astronaut. This pretty well encapsulates my feelings on the subject. Oh, this is the hall of fame? Alright, then.... This is maybe about a quarter of what's on display in this room. I'm pretty sure everyone who's ever had Tang is here. Stuff that *belonged* to astronauts. Bit of a stretch, if you ask me. A really complicated diagram that aims to show how Neal Armstrong ended up being selected to be the first astronaut to set foot on the moon, but doesn't really. And they both ended up in space later, when we became slightly less picky about the whole thing. Moon dust created a spot on my photo. Fun Erik fact: I was conceived before man walked on the moon, but born after. None of which has anything to do with Jimi Hendrix. This area has lots of interactive games and such, as well as a small ride that's very much "Mission: Space" lite. Speaking of which: I wonder what rides would be like on the moon...? The "Science Sphere." Why we must go to Mars. To carve giant logos on it. This photo was taken through the window of the room the Science Sphere is in, and is awesome. Photo op! Photo...um, well this isn't going to work. What the surface of Mars is like. So it's good to know that it's already wheelchair accessible! No, dear, you can't be an astronaut. But you can be dizzy like one! Seriously, who wears a shirt with a quote from themselves on it into space? That's just tacky. Space chess! But which one is Melody? Holy crap! You can buy a whole space jumpsuit?! I totally want one. But I live in Florida. Um...maybe we should leave it to the scientists, for now. And maybe we'll just leave it there. Goodbye, for now, US Astronaut Hall of Fame and Kennedy Space Center. We had fun being inside of you!
  8. Yeah, that's what I was going for. Yeah, that's what I was going for. For the record, that is explained at the Snoopy statue. I was just (attempting) being funny. Hmmm, not sure. I'm not opposed to it. But only if it's more interesting than going out in a boat to look at gators. Aeronautics? Perhaps.... Not only do I have one more KSC update in the works (stop groaning!) but I've recently been informed that we won free tickets for "Lunch With An Astronaut." I'd like to think that it was rigged by NASA because they've been so happy with our updates and they want to advertise their dining program. (Especially since I don't remember entering to win it. ) Now doubly glad I didn't make the "Dine With An Astronaut" joke that I was going to back in the first KSC update!
  9. Continuing our boring coverage of Cape Canaveral.... The Kennedy Space Center Tour is included with admission to the Visitor Complex, where it also begins and ends. Currently, the tour stops at the LC 39 Observation Gantry and the Apollo/Saturn V Center, though I've been told that other stops have been substituted for LC 39, when there was something interesting going somewhere else. Tours leave the Visitor Complex every 15 minutes. We pass by the VAB, but don't get to go in it. Maybe that will change eventually, now that the Space Shuttle is no longer in service. First stop, the LC 39 Observation Gantry. Now, this place might be pretty cool if you were actually watching a launch from it. But, as it is, it's just a big observation tower with not very much to look at. There's also a small televised presentation and a model of a Space Shuttle on a launch pad. So if that excites you, go for it. Not that you'd want to be much closer if there was a launch, but this isn't very exciting. Ooh, it's a Space Shuttle engine...thing. There's also a snack bar and a gift shop back on the ground level, but those are hardly worth mentioning (even though I just did). Back on the bus, Gus. So here we are outside the Apollo/Saturn V Center. Basically, the bus drops you off outside, and then you have to wait around for the next preshow to start so that you can go indoors. Not the best system. Here you can watch a recreation of the Apollo 13 launch, if there were no people controlling or monitoring it. And finally we enter the main exhibit hall, dominated by an actual (I think) Saturn V rocket. Unlike LC 39, and despite my snarky comments, this place is actually pretty cool. (At least, if you like Apollo-era (which, let's face it, was the best era) space stuff.) Astronauts used to be cool, manly men who drove Corvettes and smoked Marlboros. Ooh, a model of the thing that's right in front us! Awesome! I'm...not really sure why Snoopy is here. The Moon Rock Cafe is definitely a better bet than the snack bar back at LC 39. What the...? In all my years of Oddventuring, this may very well be the greatest thing I've ever seen. Like, why not just remove them? Or at least, you know, turn the water off?? I tested them. Water comes out! Seriously, NASA, what the Hell?! Here's some other stuff. I don't know. I really can't focus now. I'm still thinking about the forbidden water fountains. How sweet would that water have tasted? How dangerous? Perhaps I would have developed space powers.... The Corvette was cool. This...this is not cool. "Yes, yes, isn't that interesting? It's a space capsule!" In the Lunar Theater, you see a recreation of the Apollo 11 landing. It's actually rather good. Quite moving, too, in its way. Next to the Lunar Theater is an exhibit of stuff that went to the moon. And, you know, space capsules. Somehow I'm imagining that the moon is quite germy. This lunar rover did not actually go to the moon. (And how do we know that, space nerds?) The ever-so-appropriately-named gift shop and exit. And back to the Visitor Complex. Honestly, I think the Apollo/Saturn V Center may very well be the best thing at KSC, and should not be skipped, despite the inconvenience of the whole bus thing. And that's it for this update. Make sure to comment on it, so that I know you want lots more from Kennedy Space Center!
  10. The location of the ride entrance from the midway, though somewhat obvious, is still interesting in that it very much creates/cements a "coaster alley." As for the ride itself: I'm not totally sold on the Wing Rider concept, but I really like the layout and the way it interacts with the terrain and walkways. And, on a personal note, I miss Dollywood.
  11. ^ Honestly, I think the "correct" number of coasters for a park to have is 2-5. Any more than that, and they just become numbers. Management seems to lose interest in all except the newest one, non-coaster rides are viewed as irrelevant, and the park slowly becomes a sort of "credit death march." I honestly can't think of a park I really like that has more than six coasters. Not because I hate coasters, mind you. But because parks that are all about coasters don't seem to be interested in very much else. Of course, your mileage may vary.
  12. I guess that's a possibility. (Though she certainly never indicated that she was talking about Star Trek Live only.) I've blanked out much of the half a show that I actually watched. But I think that the audience was supposed to be recruits for some earlier version of Starfleet Academy. Then the party is crashed (via video screen) by a very Nero-like time-traveling Romulan, some Vulcan chick shows up to help you, many bad jokes are told, and then you leave the theater before it can hurt your brain anymore. Oh, and no Guinan hats. Sorry.
  13. In protest to the end of of manned US space flight. And also, because we visited twice, about a week apart.
  14. As mentioned in our last update, one of the reasons we chose to go to Kennedy Space Center this summer was in order to see... Star Trek: The Exhibition There was a woman captain, too, wasn't there? Eh, must've been my imagination. There was a line. And it was an upcharge. Sue me. The first of the two main exhibits is in the IMAX theater building. This one is dedicated to "classic" Trek. (That means Kirk and Spock for you non-this-kind-of-nerdiness-types.) KHAAAAAAN!!! These items are behind glass because they are dangerous weapons. Obviously, I don't need to tell you which episode this is from. That's *captain* dumbass, to you. And while I'm cursing: This kid was a shite navigator. Back outside, Smisty tries to figure out how big the Enterprise D is as measured in Saturn V rockets (so she can try to win that free trip to space). Kirk has his communicator, I have my space dots. And now it's time for Star Trek Live! I'm excited. Diabolical preshow trivia, solvable by only the most hardcore of Star Trek nerds! (Or "Trektards," as they prefer to be called.) Note: Photos of the actual show are prohibited. Sorry. I...I couldn't take it and bailed out halfway through the show. Misty stuck it out, though, and even got this swell photo at the end. This is the second main exhibit hall, and encompasses all the other Trek TV shows. Once inside, you see a TV! So exciting! But it has Voyager on it, so let's keep moving. Along one wall is a linear timeline of all the shows, movies, and major events in the Trek universe. Smisty says yes to Star Trek II. Sorry, Bill. I think this is supposed to be from Insurrection or Nemesis. I guess I need to rewatch those, but one of them has Data singing or something and I don't want to risk it. Ignoring Smisty for the moment... (sorry!) ...I find it amusing that this quote is right next to a Borg. Yay, let's all look forward to being assimilated! Um...Worf, did you kill Doctor Crusher? Ahhh! This has suddenly turned into the Horror Nights version of Star Trek. OMG, we're all dead. Luckily, the afterlife is a gift shop. (See what I did there? That's called a "transition.") I was happy to see that they were selling vibrating NON-SEX toys. Tell the world that your child is expendable! Mr. Spock is not impressed. So, was Star Trek: The Exhibition worthy of a special trip to Kennedy Space Center? No. But it was kind of a cool extra since we wanted to go anyway. There's more Kennedy Space Center crap to come. Until then: May the force be with you!
  15. I think they had that. I just didn't get it in my photo. Interestingly enough, they didn't have any Star Trek DVDs....
  16. This definitely seems like a park I would really like, but I'm not sure how I would ever make it there, for many of the reasons you listed. Looks great, though. Thanks for the TR!
  17. ^ It's very nostalgia-based. Nothing that's happening now is all that exciting compared to what was going on 40 or 50 years ago. If someone can't get through The Right Stuff, I wouldn't take them there.
  18. If you're not excited by space exploration, then you have no soul. And also, you may as well stop reading here. In fact, you might want to skip the next couple of updates, as well. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Kind of an overcast day when we went. Also, this was taken through a bus window. [More on that later.] "Aw, I wanted to park in John Glenn!" So, the lady at the ticket booth started chatting us up, asking if we'd ever been before, what we were most interested in, that sort of thing. So we tell her that we came partially for the special Star Trek exhibit they had going on. [Which will be covered in a separate update.] To which she responds, "Oh, that show is for kids! But, I guess you can see it if you want to." "Hello? Is this Major Tom?" Airport-level security. Note that we will not actually be getting anywhere near, say, the space shuttle. We're gonna go look at some old rockets and space memorabilia. I dunno, it just seems a bit...excessive. That kid is really excited about the possibility of winning a trip to space. Little known fact: Kennedy Space Center was named after President John F. Kennedy, not Lisa Kennedy Montgomery. If you like space capsules, you're gonna love this place! That's a good name. But what the hell is a "space dot"? This tree came from a seed that was carried to the moon and back. Which seems like an awful lot of effort to go to just so you can put up a sign. We did not encounter an astronaut. We did, however, see the Star Trek show. [Tune in next time!] The Rocket Garden is cool, but a bit "dry" as exhibits go. We did not explore this kids play area, but it's got a cool theme. "Fountain_1 looks too intense for me." The Early Space Exploration building is mostly dedicated to the Aztecs, though the Egyptians do get a couple of mentions here and there. I have a joke for this, but I don't want to be sued by NASA. A rare (at Kennedy Space Center) Soviet artifact. I'm sorry, Misty, but you're a girl. One day, I hope somebody parks in me. Mission Control Hooray for capsules! Even on the moon, Smisty doesn't want to drive. Nature and Technology is a weird exhibit. It's a fake, indoor nature walk with stuffed animals. Which would make sense almost nowhere. But this is at Kennedy Space Center. Nice mural. Next up is "Exploration Space." Um...Misty, what are you doing? Ever the salesmen. Lots of interactive stuff here. CHOOSE A DANGER This is two legs in front of a mirror because they were too cheap to get four legs. Weight limit for crew members. Aw, dang! "Vehicle" From there we are magically transported across the courtyard and into the IMAX building. I took a photo of an IMAX movie screen with my phone, then reduced that image to 800x600 for your TPR viewing pleasure. Hopefully, nothing will be lost in translation. After the movie (it was about Hubble), it was time for lunch. The pizza was dreadful, but the cheeseburger was surprisingly good. Space ball. Oh look, a gift shop! Today's astronaut is Zzrglxx, from the dark sphere of Septa-Alphinium! There's some good stuff in this gift shop (space legos!), there's some bad stuff in this gift shop (um, diapers). Okay, The Right Stuff, for sure. Astronaut Farmer and Space Cowboys? I guess. But...Moon? Robot Scouts is an interesting exhibit, in that the exhibit itself seems to be fully automated. On the other hand, it's so clearly aimed at kids (without that actually being mentioned anywhere) as to be nearly pointless for adults. Honestly, we got bored about halfway through the series of presentations and skipped through to the exit. So, this is, like, a pretend thing they'd like to build some day if they ever get enough money. I think. Since my previous visit here, Kennedy Space Center has built an honest-to-goodness ride! Preshow. Basically, it's a simulator. Which makes sense. But, it's really not very good. It just sort of tilts you backwards and then shakes the crap out of you. Which may very well be a completely accurate recreation of what it's like to launch in a space shuttle, but isn't very fun. There is a nice bit at the end, where the doors above you open to reveal the Earth, but that's not enough to make me want to ride it again. It has a cool exit ramp, though. There's a gift shop at the end. But what they really need at the end is benches. This is a replica of a space shuttle. Though I suppose they'll be getting a proper one soon enough--when it comes right down to it, would you really know the difference? You take these ramps up to get inside of it. These accurate-but-wacky signs are arranged all along the ramps. The cargo bay. The, um, front bit. PUSH A DANGER BUTTON. The Mission Status Center is probably going to be pretty boring now. Because we were there while the last shuttle mission was still in space, and the Mission Status Center was pretty boring then. I took this photo. Then we left. The Space Mirror Memorial, dedicated to the US astronauts who died while being astronauts. And, also, one Israeli. There's also a guy on there who died flying a jet, and who wasn't actually an astronaut. But I guess he knew a guy. Here's a money-saving tip for anyone thinking about going to Kennedy Space Center in the future. :OP You know, I hate to complain. It was very nice of the guy to take our photo for us. But could this be anymore crooked? A pretty good overview of the Visitor Complex. Mid-left, you can see the buses that take you out on the various tours that are offered. [but more on that in a future update.] The road out from Kennedy Space Center. Yeah, it's only barely relevant. But it's a gorgeous picture by Misty, don't you think? There will be more from Kennedy Space Center. But that's the Visitor Complex.
  19. That made my night. I guess this will have to be my thing now. You know...even though what they're saying is rubbish, it's hard to escape the fact that these kids are much better rappers than, say, MC Hammer or Vanilla Ice. And, also, it's a better song than the one Guy posted. ^
  20. Because Misty suggested that I do so. And, hey, it was my day off. I'm a wacky guy.
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