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Everything posted by hydra

  1. I did a trip report from Etnaland in Italy. Please feel free to use any of the pics. Tried to get as many ride signs as possible.
  2. Today I decided to do what a good coaster nerd does, and go explore the local theme park. I realize this park doesn't get a lot of attention but it has some pretty decent rides! The park is located about 15-20 minutes west of the city of Catania in Eastern Sicily. The water or 'aqua park' seem to be the main draw during the summer months, when the water park will operate during the day and the theme park in the evenings. Currently just the theme park is open. The main entrance plaza Turnstiles were quick and efficient, but this was also a pretty quiet day when the waterpark was closed. Once you enter the park, there is a large lake on the left side where you can drive some boats around. From what I could tell...there didn't seem to be any guide cable or track, so I think you can go wherever you want? Provides some great views of Mt. Etna which has been fairly active this week. Sadly the cableway ride was not open during my visit. Boat Hire mode (where are my RCT2 nerds?) The first main pathway leading to the drop tower. The main attraction is obviously their Mack 'Mega-Lite' called The Storm. which opened in 2013. The ride layout is somewhat similar to the Intamin version and almost a clone of Alpina Blitz at Nigloland. The difference being that this ride has the inline twist at the very end. (which is near impossible to get a good photo of) The park has some decent theming throughout. Not always a cohesive one though.... The Storm has a 'tropical storm' theme on the outside, yet the station features a drum set and stadium lighting. The station queue rows are divided by large 'speakers' playing what I think is an original song called 'Sweet Thunder Love' over and over. (felt bad for those ride ops) Signage Quick lift hill gets the ride started. Lots of views of Etna. This overbanked turn is one of the best parts of the ride. Was unexpected and forceful! Nice pops of airtime throughout the ride. You can see the entrance to the barrel roll at the bottom of this small hill. This moment would be very unexpected for the GP. You can barely see it from anywhere inside the park. This was taken through a gap in the fence. Serves up a quick hang time moment. A few pics from outside the park. Moving on the some of the other attractions. There is a large mountain in the middle of the park that contains the S&S Family coaster 'ElDorado'. This ride packs way more of a punch than I think most family's would be expecting. Nice positive G's in the helix's that wind in and out of the mountain. There is also a cool small guest path that goes inside the mountain under the track where you can see the train fly by in the dark. Sign info The first "drop" Entering the mountain again to fly by the cave you can walk into. Giving some Big Thunder Mountain Vibes. Nearing the end of their rides. Helix through the mountain Emerging from the caves. Station shot. The ride ops were all very friendly but in typical Italian fashion....not very efficient. One of the park midways. Overall the park is very clean and the staff I interacted with knew enough English to communicate. (with my very little Italian thrown in) They also have an S&S Drop tower It seems to run the double shot ride sequence. Gives great views of the volcano from 2 sides. One of the biggest surprises for me was this 'interactive' dark ride called 'The School'. I had no idea they even had a ride like this. I couldn't follow the story, bu the vehicle do rotate to fave various scenes and they have 3 buttons that you can press to make a selection during each scene. Labeled A, B, C with corresponding colors. From what I could tell, each selection you make in the scene gives you a different scare effect after the scene is over. Clever low-tech system that worked surprisingly well! Signage The ride vehicles were simple and ran on essentially a powered coaster track. *NOT A CREDIT* lol Next up was time for a snack! And although all the food and pizza looked great, I couldn't resist some arancini! These are fried rice balls that contain epic deliciousness. The main type you will encounter and almost every snack bar/cafe in Sicily is the Ragu. Its filled with a hearty meaty tomato sauce with cheese and peas. THEY ARE INCREDIBLE. Even the bad ones are still pretty good. It's a handheld food to eat on the go. Photos do not do it justice. Some of the other quick serve options. There are 2 more traditional sit down restaurants in the park and the menus looked fairly standard for an Italian park. Within the 'dry' park they have 4 main water ride. The first and most impressive is the Jungle Splash. The theming is pretty good and consistent throughout the ride. Once you dispatch the station you are in the dark...under the parks footpaths. There are various African warrior style scenes before you get to the turntable and elevator lift. The main drop is fast and fun, and you will get wet. Which is why it's so popular on these hot Sicilian days. The big splash. Trying to be clever with the camera. The station and queue are well themed. The park does have a log flume called Dragon River....but its very much family oriented. The max drop height is about 20ft. Again, some will thought out theming, but not so much on the upkeep/maintenance. This is the main drop. So don't be expecting and massive thrills. Ride sign I think this is why its called Dragon River....cant be sure though. To protect their privacy.... Theming! You don't get very wet on this one. The first small lift. Nice themed station in the background. Next is the parks river rapids 'Crocodile Rapids'....which I did not ride. Most of the ride is hidden from the dry part of the park. They are still dry... The rides finale at the bottom of the hill. They also have a Mack Twist'N'Splash. Not much to say about that one. There is also one other "water ride" which I have never seen before. Its called Aqua-Bum. While the ride vehicle do appear to be Bumper Boats....the pool is basically a circular track almost like a lazy river. I didn't see much bumping happening and people just seemed to be floating around in a circle. Not sure of the appeal. But it must have the worst capacity ever during a hot day. And takes up a lot of space. Signage There are 2 kiddie coasters. Hip Hop coaster (Zamperla) and the Miao coaster (SBF) Signage Small footprint. Not sure what makes it 'Hip Hop'. Cat in a Hat? The kids area is called the Ciclopino Circus. Its basically in the middle of the park and has pretty much what you would expect from a small kids area. Yep Ballon ride. The park has a 4D cinema and some Go-Carts. The park has a few thrill flat rides. A small inverting frisbee ride called Revo-Rock 360. They have a Zamperla Disk-o called Quasar. Like I said, not a busy day. All in all I spent about 4 hours there from park opening at 9:30am. Hopefully the park will add some more rides to the theme park in the future, but it appears most of the draw is to the waterpark and the water rides. The main take-away is this....WHY IS NO ONE ELSE BUYING THESE MACK/INTAMIN MEGA COASTERS? The Storm was honestly a great ride and super re-ridable. Its kind of a perfect blend of height/speed/airtime/helixes. So if you ever find yourself in Sicily...make a stop at Etnaland!
  3. Yeh I rode it once and it was VERY forgettable. Not really fun...not interesting...just kinda there.
  4. Glad I got the credit a few years back. Had to take some glamour shots when given the opportunity!
  5. You may be thinking of Jokers Jinx at Six Flags America in Maryland. It is the same Premier "spaghetti bowl" design as Poltergeist.
  6. Thats really weird that they would offer that and then take it away. I think Hershey is a really nice park with some fantastic rides, but am always disappointed by how terrible the ride operations are. On Storm Runner I have never seen a second train run. Even when the queue is well over an hour. If they improved that once aspect of the park I think I would visit much more often.
  7. Where is all the love for Haunted Mansion and Black Diamond at Knoebels? And Fire in the Hole at SDC? Blazing Fury anyone?
  8. That's what I thought, but they just posted it on their facebook. Not sure who they may do some manufacturing for. It looks like Gerstlauer track to me. Since I believe Mack does most of their manufacturing in Rust.
  9. Is this being set up at the manufacturing plant? If so...what's all that purple (Gerstlauer?/Mack?) track for?
  10. SO I heard Dolly will be at the park on Friday to make some announcements. Will the park be swamped with people?
  11. Is this a launched coaster? On the front page of TPR for the update it says 'Launched' Did I miss something?
  12. I just happen to care since I took that one for their IG page. lol
  13. If you are going to use a photo from someone elses IG page can you at least give credit? Thanks!
  14. I agree! I am digging the wooden supports though! I wonder how much the price difference is between this and the regular terrain type.
  15. Well, if they hate you that means you made it right? I kid. I have been on these here forums going on 12 years now. (Wow I am old) And Have found that yes, you may disagree with what someone says or the way they respond, or whatever the case may be. But you have to sit back and remember...this is OUR HOBBY. MOST of us on here are not in the industry. THIS SHOULD BE FUN, and if its not fun for you anymore or it upsets you too much, just walk away. If you don't,you ruin it for other people. I have met Robb on multiple occasion at media events and he has never been anything other than professional and knowledgeable. SO keep up the hard work and I look forward to 12 more years of TPR. **edit** Regardless of your beef with an individual, don't drag their family into it.
  16. Awesome! Thanks to all for the help. Can't wait to get back on SKYRUSH!
  17. Gotcha. But do you know why you can either start at 11AM or 5PM? So if I don't get there until noon, I have to wait until 5 to use it?
  18. Question for the locals, or whoever can answer this. What kind of crowds would you expect on Sunday, August 28th? I assume kids aren't back in school yet and that might be their last weekend to get to the park. With that being said, how does their 'Fast Track Pass' work? You have to choose between 11AM and 5PM? Is it like a guided tour to each of the coasters?
  19. I doubt they would put those high-tech ride vehicles under a tarp outside in the Georgia heat.
  20. Yeh, like what Robb said, I have been able to get 2 Fast Passes since it opened a week ago. Just keep refreshing.
  21. You know when I rode it back in 06-07 I thought it was incredible and fun. Up there with Nitro at the time. But I rode it last year and again this spring multiple times and found it very underwhelming. The airtime is not as intense as it used to be and as a B&M fanboy I have to say, Apollo has developed a *bit* of a rattle.
  22. Ok, you know the Golden Tickets are a joke when most of these parks have not been nominated or won 'Best Landscaping' or 'Most Beautiful'. Not that Busch Gardens Williamsburg doesn't do a great job...
  23. I rode the Mini Millennium Flyers at the media event a few years back at LEGOLAND Florida. I rode with Robb in the front seat and we could barely fit side by side. They should just stick with the regular trains, unless they are trying to make this a true kids/family ride.
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