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Everything posted by Invertalon

  1. Stopped at the park Friday evening (arrived 6pm), primarily to walk around the park and grab a ride on MF and Raptor... First visit since pre-COVID, actually, so it's been a minute! Park was busier than I would anticipate in the midways at least, but ride lines were not bad. Waited 30min for MF (2 train op with weird stagger from when unload train would advance into loading once train was at top of lift). Was running a bit slow, for sure. Cooler temps and winds did it no favor, but was running smoothly. Decided to try SV again, since I have not ridden it since media day and didn't exactly love it at the time, but as we arrived it stopped at the top of lift... Sooooo, figured it wasn't worth waiting around for given we had about an hour left until close. Headed back to up the front of the park and walked on front seat of Gatekeeper (also chugging along) and 2x front seat walk on Raptor to close out the quick stop... Still the best ride in the park for me, no question. After all these years, this ride still delivers the perfect experience. Love it! Park looked good, the new restaurant back by Maverick looks nice. Magnum was down due to wind, but otherwise everything was open at the end of the day until SV broke down. Hope to stop back again within a few weeks after work or for early entry, before peak season picks up. It was nice to be back in the park again after our hiatus a few years.
  2. It will be RMC... And that sucks, IMO... Sorry, but I for one am good with the amount of RMC's we have already. People complained back when B&M built looping coasters that all had the same pattern (loop, dive loop, g-roll, etc....), so this is my turn to vent! haha. I can only take so many RMC barrel rolls and their attempt to snap my shin in two on every airtime hill. Wildcat is my version of others "Magnum" and "Beast" with nostalgia and appreciation... So I get why people would be excited to overhaul Wildcat, much like I would be if ANYTHING took the place of Magnum and maybe a huge overhaul by GCI on Beast, I'd be perfectly happy with... So I get it...! Hershey will lose a gem, that's for sure. But man, I would have been MUCH more happy if they invested the money for a complete overhaul/retracking than reprofile it to be another RMC... Maybe they will do something different this time around? Who knows. But I can bet it will be uncomfortable, that's for certain.
  3. Thanks!! Appreciate the compliments. Cooking is one of my big hobbies/enjoyments (focus on BBQ and Pizza if you didn’t notice!). Some people question or don’t understand why we never go out to eat unless on vacation, but we just have so much more fun cooking up whatever we want at home. Usually tastes better, too! So here are the pies from last night… This time, dough utilizes a touch of dark rye flour. Overnight ferment, high hydration to give it a bit more of that ‘Neapolitan’ style texture. It was so delicate/soft, minimal chew and just was like a pillow. Heavenly! Will likely make this again, but with a touch less yeast and perhaps a 2-day ferment to see how it influences the flavor/texture. Tried some new tomatoes I found at the store as well. While I typically use the Cento San Marzano tomatoes as my go-to base, tried out Bianco Organic California Tomatoes (with some fresh extra virgin olive oil, garlic, salt and oregano/basil added). So delicious! Nice acidity and freshness, bright flavor. Big fan! Cheese mix was whole-milk mozzarella, asiago and monterey jack blend. One pizza had broccoli, olives and italian sausage (ground pork with salt, paprika, fennel, garlic, onion, black pepper, Italian seasoning and chili flakes added). The other was pepperoni and black olive. Home run on these two. We couldn’t pick the favorite.
  4. No. The entire experience. Rides are included, of course. But I'm more into the entire "experience" these days then just rides.
  5. For me, SFMM is the winner for best park in the chain. While I liked SFFT, it really offered nothing special beyond the 'typical' SF experience and I left a touch disappointed given all the rave for the place over the years. I have had nothing but great experiences at SFMM and the ride collection is top notch and I'd take the mountainous views at SFMM over the quarry at SFFT. I'd probably give #2 in the chain to SFGam followed by SFGadv... Then I'd throw in SFFT, personally. It's been too long since I've been to SFoG, but they have not really added anything since worth a visit back... So maybe that answers my question there.
  6. Last post was a catch-up, but these were the two pizzas we cooked up this past weekend: 1.) BBQ Pizza featuring brisket I had smoked the day prior, red onion and jalapeno. BBQ sauce was the sauce itself, of course. 2.) Pepperoni, pepper and onion with red sauce. 3.) Bonus... Picture of the brisket and bbq plate we made the day before! Brisket was smoked just over 12 hours with just a rub of salt and coarse black pepper. All sides (mac-n-cheese, bbq beans and cole slaw) were all made from scratch, of course.
  7. A few pies we made the past few weeks!
  8. Maybe? I'm right on the edge of the height limit. So it would have been very close. I wasn't expecting to ride it at all, so it was a nice suprise and I figured it was worth a try anyway. If denied, oh well, plenty of other great things to do.
  9. Spent a beautiful day at the park today. Fortunately, I was indeed able to ride Pantheon as I was not height checked after all. Nor did they check the equally tall (if not taller) dude in front of me... So yay! As far as Pantheon goes, its a fun ride but not in the same league as Velocicoaster. The first half just feels like a quirky RMC pre lift a bit, with the roll being fun but otherwise not much going on here. The launch sequence kind of makes the pacing weird with the pulsing launch and whatnot, but that back spike is great along with the backward airtime pop. View at the top of the tophat was nice, great air in the backseat on the way down. Outward bank was fun, but quite tame overall. Stall was good, but didn't seem nearly as whippy as the one on VC on entry/exit, or feel as crazy for some reason. Final wave turn was a lot better than anticipated. Really solid ride overall, I just think the odd start and launch sequence kind of break up the pacing a bit much and it just feels all a bit quirky. Glad I was able to grab 2 laps on it today though, maybe another ride or two when we go back this weekend. We got into the park at about 1145 today (7pm closure) and ended up with 2x Apollo, 1x Tempesto, 3x Griffon, 4x Alpengiest, 1x Loch, 2x Pantheon, 1x Invader and 1x Verbolten... Along with a few beer stops here and there and some people watching. Really wonderful day, the park looked amazing and it is crazy to think I have not been here since 2004! Madness!
  10. Too bad they went with yellow as a primary color on WW, with RR sporting the yellow supports right next door. Doesn't stand out as much as it could.
  11. Cost is one of my questions, though... If 6-across and 8-across models already existed as off-the-shelf options, was the 7-across train a standard option as well? Otherwise if a special request, the park is paying additional R&D for the capability to modify the existing 6-person train width to add 3 seats to a train. Seems silly. Also, the 6-across train also already utilizes the smaller track, so that is already a go-to option with the cost savings of the smaller gauge track and all that goes with it. Bragging rights, maybe... But I'm thinking B&M offers 6/7/8 across options (6/7 utilizing the smaller track) and the only real difference is the train cost increase for the wider train option if the park chooses... So they went with it for capacity (good thing) and then made the marketing schtick after the fact (silly, but much of marketing is). So who will build the first 5-across variant and market it as the worlds first?
  12. Did the park ever mention why they chose 7-across vs. 6 or 8 across (already 'done' design/options with vest restraints) from previous drive coasters built? I am assuming here, but I'm thinking B&M has standard 4/6/8 width options available as "off the shelf" train options. I find it less likely that they also have 5, 7 and 9 passenger width options, for example, already designed and ready to go. Just wondering the 7-across was a 'custom' request that incured additional engineering/design charges... Because it seems like it wouldn't be worth it, if that is the case, with both 6/8 options ready to go if you wanted more/less capacity already. Doesn't really matter... But it is interesting none-the-less.
  13. Let me know when you think of any B&M ever produced that was a 'mechanical nightmare'... I'll wait. When B&M does something, they spend the time/money to do it right on the design/engineering front. There is -zero- concern from parks spending coin on B&M that there is a risk of things being unreliable or be a 'mechanical nightmare'.
  14. I completely expect to like IG more than Vengeance, which honestly rates pretty low on my RMC's because the ending sequence is just so terrible. The first half is stellar, the end just ruins it for me.. Uncomfortable, for one and the ride would be much better if they just eliminated everything from the final barrel roll on. IG looks so much better in this regard to have solid elements start to finish.
  15. At In-N-Out, "Animal Style" is a not-so-secret special request that changes how the burgers are made for your order. It's not the menu when you go, you just have to know ahead of time (word of mouth and such). Normally, their burgers (single or double patty) come standard with lettuce, tomato, raw onion and special sauce. For animal style, they cook the patties in mustard, use chopped/sauteed onions instead of raw, add pickles and extra special sauce. You can also apply "Animal Style" to their fries, in which they top your fries with special sauce, cheese and the cooked onions. Which is really awesome. Lots of "hidden" menu items of In-N-Out not listed on their menu, which is quite small and to the point. But a quick look online will show you a bunch of 'hidden' items from "Protein Style" (lettuce burger), to the addition of spicy chopped peppers (delicious), animal style options, 3x3 and 4x4 (3 or 4 patties) among others. It's a fun time at In-N-Out!
  16. So over the past few months, the girlfriend and I went on a mission to carefully rate and come up with our end-all-be-all list of the more 'iconic' burger places... Since we had trips out to CA/Texas, and living in the Midwest, this has included In-N-Out, Culvers, Five Guys, Shake Shack and a local place Swensons here in Ohio. All double cheeseburgers judged with similar toppings primarily (fully loaded, basically), but also animal style, w/ peppers and other variations as well offered. Not judging fries or anything, but some notes on that in the misc. areas. At the end of the day, it's hard NOT to include price as a factor… Especially when some of the more ‘upscale’ options if you will, can be nearly double in price, but not twice as good if you catch my drift. So I will say this, #1 and #2 are basically neck and neck. One strictly overall quality/taste, while the other because the value and quality offered. So it’s tough. So some of our comments/notes/scores below, in order from our favorite to least favorite, with notes. #1 – Shake Shack At the burger level alone, they reign supreme. The best flavor, thanks to their cooking method and seasoning. Does not taste processed. The cheese factor here is excellent. Melty and compliments the patties perfectly. It was a gooey, delicious mess. Toppings were all fresh. Really dig the cherry pepper option for some acidity/mild heat added. Bun is really soft, tastes great. While toasted, did not notice any real ‘flavor’ from the bun, in terms of char or anything. Burger is juicy, meaty/cheesy and is exactly what you want/expect in a burger. I think out of them all, this takes the grand prize for sure. Misc Notes – Pricing is high… Probably double that of In-N-Out, Culvers and Swensons. Menu is a bit more diverse. Shakes are good. Fries are decent, nothing special. #2 – In-N-Out At the patty level, the beef does have a bit more processed/fast food character than say Shake Shack or Five Guys. But it’s not a negative, just a flavor characteristic. Overall, the complete burger is delicious. Very fresh toppings, fresh and crisp, always looks ‘perfect’. Cheese melts really well… No complaints here! Animal Style, Peppers, 3x3’s and 4x4’s offer more flexibility. Love me some animal style or traditional with the peppers added. Both delicious! Price is excellent… You get a lot for the money. Bun is the best of the bunch. For some reason, the buttery/char character is always prevalent and adds so much depth to the entire burger. Misc Notes – I dig the atmosphere of these… The hustle/bustle inside, watching them fresh cut potatoes in the window while waiting in the drive-thru and the long lines wrapped around the building. It just has a cool ‘vibe’. I also really dig the neapolitan shake… For me, it beats the shakes I have had at Shake Shack… About half the price, to boot! Fries are ‘boring’, I wouldn’t consider them better or worse than Shake Shack plain… But animal style? Yeah, easy win. #3 – Five Guys Very close to Shake-Shack on the burger patty front… High quality patty with a *touch* of that processed/fast food taste. Not as much as In-N-Out, but certainly more than Shake Shack. Slight smash burger char character, but not as much as Shake Shack in that regard. Bun is good, but offers nothing to the rest of the burger. Cheese melt is fantastic. Becomes another beefy/cheese goop of wonderfulness. Veggies good, but a bit more subdued compared to the top two. Doesn’t seem to ‘pop’ as much in visual or taste. Nothing special. Overall, can’t go wrong here! I prefer the top two more, but this is a damn solid burger at the end of the day. May not look as ‘commercial ready’ when served, but it’s the taste that matters here! Misc Notes – More pricey like Shake Shack. Plenty of topping options to customize. Best fries of the bunch, IMO. #4 – Culvers Beef reminds me of In-N-Out, salt/flavor wise, but with some additional complexity from being a smash burger (char). So +1 there. Cheese is weird here, doesn’t want to melt well. The whole point of processed American cheese is to melt well, what is going on?? Intense raw onion (way more than other places), multiple visits. Getting the caramelized onion helped… I don’t like it lingering for hours, as much as I love onion. Just behind In-N-Out in the value front, pricing is good. Bun is soft, but doesn’t add any real char/flavor to the rest of the burger. Nothing special. Overall, Culvers comes across a bit ‘boring’ overall. Good, solid burger, but I’d pick any of the others if I had the option and price was not an influence. They are just better. #5 Swensons Local place here in Ohio, dating back to 1930’s. It’s a Drive-In style place where they run out to your car and all that… So wanted to throw them into the mix! Beef is the most processed/fast-foody of them all. Most like say, Mcdonalds in texture/flavor. No char/grill flavor. Burger is smaller. Bun is soft and quite sweet… Not a bad thing, just quite different to the rest. Veggies OK. I do like the green olive toothpicked through the middle of the burger. Nice touch! Price/value is good. Overall, the burger comes across more sweet/salty mix, which is interesting. Not bad, just again, different! Not the same caliber as the other four. But it’s fun and unique in it’s own way, it’s taste is quite unique. At the end of the day when you do factor in price, In-N-Out is our overall winner. Always solid, value is great, burgers are delicious. Can’t go wrong and always a must-visit (or a few visits…) when one is nearby. Yes, it’s still fast food (any of them are), but it is just a special/fun treat for us to splurge on junk food wise on trips/vacations because it’s super rare we ever get burgers/fast food in general. But man, Shake Shack burgers are something else... Ignoring price/value, it’s the clear winner. The beef quality, cooking method, veggies/sauce. Five Guys is also an overall better quality beef/taste in that regard, but lack in the veggie department and presentation compared. Shake Shack or Five Guys for overall burger quality if you want no/minimal fast foody taste, but In-N-Out as the well rounded all-star.
  17. Looking forward to visiting BGE and Dominion next weekend, it's been a long time since I have been in the area. Can't wait to see both parks once again. I must say, it boggles my mind a bit that the ride was built, sitting/testing for well over a year once complete due to COVID, and they still have reliability issues? You'd think they would work some of those out in all that time they had to prepare/test the ride before it's opening. It is Intamin after all, but still. Nothing really 'new' here technology wise that has not been used/tested/implemented elsewhere.
  18. Daredevil Dive was open, but did not ride. I don't do particularly well on spinny flats, so tend to avoid them. Girlfriend got in line for it, but it was probably the only thing with a sizable line the entire day so she bailed... Also, I saw Pirates, but thought it was one of those 'upside down' fun house things (silly me for not doing my research better!), I was unaware it was a shoot-em-up dark ride. Would have checked it out if so! haha Yeah, I toyed with the Boomerang just because... But I'm never that desperate for any credit, nor do I care about that, so I tend to avoid SLC's/Boomerangs and now add S&S Freespins to the list...! But yeah, our two days at Sea World and SFFT were absolutely great in terms of crowd levels and such. At the end of the day, I actually preferred Sea World, believe it or not, but both are killer parks!
  19. So I finally made it to SFFT after some 20 years or so of wanting to get to this place... Not sure what took so long, but better late than never! We visited this past Sunday (April 3rd)... We paid our $30+tax to park (oof!) and arrived to a beautiful site of an empty parking lot… Not even a full row of cars, which much like Sea World the prior two days, resulted in walk-on rides of everything in the park our entire visit. So that was awesome... Arrived right at rope drop, so after a quick look at Dr. Diabolical with it’s baby-poo support color (sorry, I hate it), and we headed to Iron Rattler… Which was not yet ready… So we went to Roadrunner for a quick ride (modern mine train, OK for what it was) before waiting just about 5 minutes for Iron Rattler to open. Hopped on the backseat and we were off on the first train of the day. I was excited for this RMC given it’s unique layout and placement. The first drop was amazing, but the rest of the ride that followed was just kind of ho-hum. Super smooth, a fun barrel roll up to the cliff and a great drop back down, but when we hit the break run we both agreed it was OK. Honestly, out of all the RMC’s ridden, probably at the bottom? Again, not a bad ride, but I think I find every other one I’ve been on more exciting/fun in some way. This list includes for reference Wicked Cyclone, Goliath, Storm Chaser, Vengeance, Joker & Twisted Colossus. Next up, Superman... I always recall the battle between Batman Knight Flight and Superman as who had the bigger loop from my early enthusiast days… Fun times. This ride is probably the one I’ve been most looking forward to riding on this trip, honestly, next to Stingray at SW… So I was really excited. Always liked floorless coasters and was curious if this or BKF/Dominator would reign supreme. We walked right on row 1 and off we went… What a great layout! The ride didn’t disappoint and the dives off the cliffs, the epic G-Roll and flow of elements was really fantastic. I liked the small pop of air going into the turn after the loop, which was not expected. A touch rattly, but it’s also some 20 years old now so I won’t hold it against it. At the end of the day, I still can't chose which I prefer between the two floorless monsters, and that's a good problem to have. Loved Superman! Headed over to Poltergeist and really enjoyed the theming, the ride was running great and probably the best ride I’ve had on one of these Premiere bowls. Super smooth, insane head choppers. Good fun. Wonder Woman was next, which to be honest, I was not really excited for. This would be my first single rail RMC (we just missed the one at CGA by a few weeks). These rides look uncomfortable, but I went in with an open mind anyway. I crammed my 6’5” frame into the restraints (not really that bad, actually) and off we went. It was about exactly what I had expected… It was super fast, filled with extreme forces and felt like a wild mouse on steroids… Not rough per-say, but the train didn’t really track well and sloppily kind of clunked around the course. It was better than expected, but not something I cared to ride again during our visit. Just not my cup of tea. I think the larger variants like at Great Adventure and Magic Mountain would be better, for sure. So I look forward to trying one of those ones out (planning to be back to SFMM this fall). Batman the S&S 4-D freespin was next on the roster… God, I really hate these rides. Tried the one at Great America (Joker?) and hated it, but thought I would give it another try… But a big fat nope. These things just suck in every way and I hate how these are the new boomerangs popping up everywhere. I absolutely love/adore X2 and what it does, for comparison, but these are torture traps with absolutely no good qualities. Moving on… Took a quick lap on Pandemonium, another two rides on Superman and finished the day out on Goliath at the front of the park. We spent just around 5 hours total in the park before heading out. Liked the park a lot and pleasantly surprised that even for as dead as it was, the park ran at least two trains on everything (except Iron Rattler at 1 train due to off-season work). But things were clean and the park as a whole looked great. A bit hot in the Texas sun with a lack of shade and typical Six Flags black top to help roast you in the 88 degree heat. Glad we finally made it here! Some pictures from our visit below:
  20. Well, for what it's worth, I was stapled both times. My experience with the ride also had nothing to do with me sliding around a seat or anything, it's being spun in random positions and just the awkwardness of the entire thing. I don't mind this on a top spin or something controlled like X2, but the nature of what these freespins do with the magnetics to 'kick things off' isn't for me. The train/restraint itself is fine, no issue there with comfort. It's just what the thing does that sucks.
  21. I tried to approach it like that, as I do love top spins and other spinny flats... X2 is also one of my favorite rides of all time... But the mix of what these free spins do just doesn't mix poorly, haha. I'd probably prefer if they didn't have the 'kicker' magnetics to initiate spin and just did their own thing, or had a smoother control rail like traditional 4D's. I thought maybe I had a bad ride on Joker, so thought I would at least give it another go on Batman the other day, but that just sealed the deal for me.
  22. Does anyone actually really like S&S freespins? Like, genuinely? I've been on both Joker and Batman (SFFT) now and I told myself I won't ever step foot on another. Incredibly uncomfortable, horrid rides. Will be at Dominion in a few weeks here and will happily skip this one... Give me a boomerang/SLC any day over these things. Oof.
  23. Great review! This has me excited for our visit this Friday/Saturday (SFFT on Sunday). We fly in Friday morning and plan to go to the park in the evening after some other stops, but Saturday will be there all day. Look forward to trying out some of these foods, they look great!
  24. How is this not even close? Genuinely curious. Other attractions, due to fault of restraint design much like this, have had incidents that have killed riders elsewhere that did not cause the closure of the entire park following... SROS at SFDL, SROS at SFNE, Perilous Plunge, New Texas Giant, Drop Zone, etc... The rides close for investigation, the parks do not. I don't see why in this case why it would be any different. Why do you?
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