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Everything posted by Juggler

  1. Hi all, It's with a heavy heart that I pop back on to TPR to let you know that on the 1st of June 2014 Peter Davies or Mr. Pete as he was known on the forum passed away. He had been fighting Skin Cancer for just over 4 years and had been diagnosed with stage 4 Cancer in 2013. I know there are a few of you that got to meet Pete briefly when we were in the US during 2008 and I just thought you should know. Pete's Profile
  2. Silverstar at the end of the day and the end of the C&C 2010 Oktoberfest trip. What a way to finish!
  3. Camping & Coasters 2010 sets off Saturday morning and we'll be catching a few parks as we travel down to Munich. We'll be there Wednesday evening and all day Thursday and Friday but Wednesday evening is all about my 400th Coaster and Olympia is going to be a nice one to have as a milestone. See you there
  4. Hey all, Not been doing too much this year ride wise due to setting up my new business venture however a few of us mad Brits are off to Europe in a couple of weeks stopping off at a few parks as we head for Oktoberfest. If any of our European cousins are out and about at the parks look out for the BlueBuzzard shirts and/or baseball caps as that'll be us. Just so you know roughly where we'll be here's our itinerary :- Saturday 18th September - De Efteling Sunday 19th September - Toverland Monday 20th September - Phantasialand Tuesday 21st September - Day off driving down the Rhine and doing some site seeing Wednesday 22nd September - Holiday park and onto Oktoberfest (400th Coaster will be ridden and it will be Olympia looping ) Thursday 23rd and Friday 24th - Oktoberfest Saturday 25th September - Tripsdrill Sunday 26th September - Europa Park I know a few of you from TPR will be in Munich however I also know it's a huge event so if our paths do happen to cross it'll be good to say hi.
  5. Seeing as I'm working nights this week no actual beer post but more of an announcement. I am now officially registered as a Brewer in the UK and can now sell my beer commercially! So I am no longer just a drinker of Real Ale I am officially a brewer of Real Ale. Blue Buzzard Ales a Super-Micro Brewery.
  6. Had a spot of bother with the web server recently. Should be OK now.
  7. Just seen this and it is truly a sad day for everyone involved in the industry, words are never enough when someone passes on. My sincere condolences go out to all the family and the staff at Holiday World.
  8. Realising it was two years ago to the very day I was out in the USA riding some of the greatest coasters on the planet I was feeling a little down and suffering from withdrawal symptoms. So I set off to shift those Coaster Blues by getting a new credit and visiting one of my favourite UK parks Flamingoland. Armed with my shiny new Club TPR pass I arrived just before the gates opened and was first in the car park. After a few minutes of "What on Eath is this?" as I presented my Club Card they soon found the correct code and I was duely given the £6.50 discount on entry. First stop had to be Mumbo Jumbo so I could whore my one and only new credit as I slowly work towards Oktoberfest and number 400 later this year. I spy a credit in the distance It's certainly a compact little ride and I can see these cropping up at more parks as they provide an awful lot in a tiny amount of space. Ride operation was second to none and they were dispatching quickly and efficiently. As I wandered up to the front of the queue I found it was just me there so I took my seat and had the ride all to myself. A rapid lift hill gets you up to the top quickly and then wastes no time getting round and down that 120 degree drop. Some nice elements like the off camber turn were fun and the roll over to dive was very reminiscent off Mystery Mine at Dollywood. Oh Look it goes back on itself! Slow roll and then dive back. Overall good fun, not over hyped like some rides and a perfect fit for the park. Whilst I awaited the arrival of a couple of friends I took advantage of the emtpy queue lines and rode Kumali and Velocity in quick succesion. One of the better SLC's out there. Where next? Ah yes My friends soon arrived so we headed back round and with each one in turn doing Donkey Duty (looking after bags, coats, glasses and other loose items etc.) we soon cleared all the coasters once more. Flip Flop seems to have appeared since my last visit and as it's one of the few spinning rides that agrees with me I just had to go for a spin. Flip Flop. My friends son wanted to go on Splash Battle so as Father took over Donkey Duty Mother escorted him onto the ride. Meanwhile Donkey and myself took up battle positions fully intent in making sure they did not come off as dry as they went on. Afterwards Lucas (their son) came after me as I'd placed a perfect shot right into the boat and more accurately right in his face. Admittedly though he was laughing his head off as he chased after me! A quick change of clothes and off into the Zoo for a wander. Just a few pics of various TPR members here see if you can name them, AHEM! Having visited various TPR members in a more natural habitat we headed back for a few final rides before heading off. Although I did see another sign that reminded me of TPR! Having timed my departure perfectly I then set off for the four hour drive to my Mum's whilst the heaven's opened and absolutely threw it down with rain. RESULT! Next stop Thorpe Park Wednesday and then onto Swansea before the Great Welsh Beer and Cider Festival in Cardiff on Saturday. Coasters and Beer two of my favourite hobbies!
  9. Can't wait to check this ride out later this year. I love De Efteling to bits and it's always a highlight of any European trip for me.
  10. Not been on TPR much recently (life kinda got in the way) but I'm back, signed up to club TPR and this year there's a few parks on the horizon. First up is Flamingoland on Monday 7th June and then Thorpe Park on the 9th. I've not been to either park since they added their new coasters so I'll be credit scoring once more. Later in the year the Camping & Coasters trip is being revived and I'll be hitting De Efteling, Toverland, Phantasialand, Holiday Park, Oktoberfest and Europa Park with the same three friends who joined me on our USA 2008 tour. We'll be in Munich at the same time as TPR so you never know we might see some of you there.
  11. Having a HobGoblin this evening as I'm working (from home I may add.) Tomorrow it'll be up to the local and some Fallons Ales in The Black Horse. Probably on the Dark Prince unless Hex Original is back on. Off to the Great Welsh Cider and Beer Festival in a couple of weeks time and then the weekend after I've got my first festival as a Brewer lined up.
  12. Can't disagree too much with those comments net. I know I am but one tiny voice screaming when the general public is blinded by the BS! I go back to my earlier comment about them not knowing what they want to be. If they want to be a car park coaster park then be that. Just plonk a new ride in, do very little with it and get on with pulling in the punters. If they want to be a themed park then don't keep making half hearted attempts at it put the money in and make it the best it can possibly be. They always seem to start off with good intentions and then lose direction once the ride is in and the public are going Ooooo and Ahhhhh. There was a big difference between the way SF ran the European parks and the way they invested in the US and I actually think they were getting it right in Europe. OK they sold the parks back to Walibi in the end but they went back in a far better state than they were before. Hee Hee, All Parks!!! We both know that is never going to happen (too many car parks!) lol
  13. Been there ridden 'em got the T-Shirts. Top Thrill was FAR better than Kingda Kak though!!! Not bitter at all as I think we have some amazing parks and rides in Europe but when I see parks with a fraction of the budget doing a vastly superior job it annoys me because if they can do it and spend a tiny amount in comparison then why can't Alton, Thorpe and said others do it SO much better? Take Mystery Mine at Dollywood for example. It looks fantastic, the ride itself is just a custom Eurofighter but the way it's themed inside an out just makes it so awesome. The attention to detail in and around Black Mamba at Phantasialand is just mind blowing, in fact Phantasialand as a whole should be stuck up on a very high pedastal and everyone else told "You want to be the best? Well there's your target!" Even before Black Mamba this place was my number one park in Europe and they keep improving all the time. Just look at Mystery Castle, that tower is not some plastic ediface it is built entirely of stone and cost more than the ride system itself. THAT is the attention to detail I want to see Awful Towers striving for. Remember when Six Flags moved into Europe? What was the very first thing they added to SF Belgium and SF Holland? Wooden coasters in the shape of Loup Garou and Robin Hood. They're not world beaters, they don't have some trick they were just added becuase Six Flags could see the balance was wrong in the park. This is what I mean about Awful Towers missing the point.
  14. @netdvn The trouble is I don't think Awful Towers themselves know what they want to be and there in lies the problem.
  15. I haven't bothered with the place for at least three years now and I can't see anything in the video, hype or assorted material that changes my opinion of the place. As for Cedar Fair I've been to plenty of their parks but the difference is that they don't set themselves up as anything other than a park full of rides and if there's space we'll cram another one in. If you know that before hand then there's no disappointment. Awful Towers has the most amazing backdrop of any park in the World what with the fabulous Gardens and the House but they always come up short when it comes to really looking at the customer experience. Just take a look at the effort that goes into new rides and areas at places such as Phantasialand, De Efteling and Europa Park for instance. Awful Towers seem to think they can just role out a ride, hype it beyond belief and then throw a few bits of plastic at it to make it look nice. They have some good rides there and one fantastic one (Nemesis) but there's no real direction and no feel to the park. Nemesis is a perfect example of how to create, pace and theme a ride. It looks great, it has a feel to it as you walk amongst it through the queue and the river of blood rolls down the hill. All of this adds to the experience but since then I can't recall another ride that has truly grasped that concept. Hex is probably the only other ride built since that makes an effort. I want to be excited not just by the ride but by the whole experience. I want designers to not just think about creating the next gimmick but to really look at the whole experience. Don't leave dead space in a queue line, don't think that just because you've got the World's first B&M Flying coaster you can have a bare concrete tunnel with water on the floor as you exit the platform. Start thinking about what goes on near and around the rides, they've got the space so use it and make it work for them. Awful Towers have spent too long looking for their next gimmick instead of looking at what they already have and investing in making the park what it should be. They could spend a fraction of what it costs for the next big thing on more family orientated rides, some out of the box coasters and then theme the hell out of them so that although they're standard they look the part. Get the customers more spread out and get more rides in to ease the pressure on the main attractions. All of this is only my opinion and it's not just the new ride that's caused such comments. I've said this very same thing for years (Since 2000 when I went across to Europe and saw the difference) and Awful Towers aren't the only culprits. For some reason we still seem to have the seaside resort mentality in the industry over here and we really do need to wake up and smell the coffee so to speak.
  16. YAWN! When are the muppets at Godawful Towers going to learn that yet another so called, over-hyped losely worded World's First is not what that park needs. They've been banging in exclusive after exclusive for year after year after year and with the exception of Nemesis the rest have been pretty tame. Instead of forking out for expensive gimmicks that someone else is going to do better a year or two later how about investing some of the cash that gets wasted on getting an exclusive deal in the park itself. Start sorting out the on ride theming (Air's exit tunnel for starters), get the park tidy and clean and here's a thought how about actually working on the general areas that are supposedly themed but look more like a very amateur movie set. Oh and drop the damn entrance price because the park is not worth what you're charging. The tag line for this place used to be "Where the magic never ends" unfortunately the magic upped and left years ago!
  17. There's some more pics of the actual tasting to follow from Lyndon and some video footage as well but for now here's what I have to say about Brewdog's 'Sink the Bismarck.' ABV 41% Well where do I start? This stuff is nothing short of amazing! When I opened the bottle and sniffed the aroma my first reaction said it all "WTF!" There was this tremendous hop on the nose smell which probably could of cleared sinuses within a ten mile radius! As I poured the first mouthful into one of the glasses you could see the sheen of the alcohol, as it slid towards the bottom of the glass, coating the inside of the sampling vessel. Once suitable amounts were poored for the tasters another long sniff confirmed that this would be an interesting next few seconds. It is difficult to describe exactly what transpired as the Bismarck hit the tongue. There was the initial wallop of hops as my taste buds got a thorough kicking from the Quad IPA. Next came the tingle as it slid down the throat warming the gullet with a spicy after taste akin to a good port and then a final burst of hops as I had that "Ahhhhh" moment followed by the smacking of the lips. Even that description doesn't do this beer justice but I can at least say I HAVE tasted the strongest beer produced in the world. Punks indeed! To avoid detection it was hidden in a brown paper bag! After being released from it's disguise the Bismarck took pride of place on the window sill.
  18. Been a LONG time since I last visited these shores but I'm slowly putting my life back in order and it's time to get back to the good times. So after such a long hiatus it's back with a Bang and my very own ChocOrange Stout. It's dark, it's delicious and it's my best variation yet so I'm happy.
  19. Going back to do the Static Line RAPS course next year!
  20. Long time, no visit. Had a few personal things to clear up recently so I've not been as active as usual on the old Internet. However things are improving and the delivery man has just arrived with a very interesting selection of ales. and here's the few random others that looked interesting. What is this we see before our eyes? Yes, it is indeed a selection of ales from the good ol' US of A. Here's the Stones selection. The beer table. Now fully stocked with the recent delivery. Crisp, clear and a wonderful taste enhanced by the addition of some late hopping using the Cascade hops. Leaves a fresh and slightly citrus taste in the mouth. From the CAMRA Beer Club Christmas selection comes the 'Yellow Hammer' brewed by O'Hanlons.
  21. Well the donation links are still active until November the first so if anyone else wants to contribute to any of the causes mentioned it can be done online at the following links. http://www.justgiving.com/jasonwakeling http://www.justgiving.com/jasonwakeling1 http://www.justgiving.com/peterdavies4
  22. If I had the cash I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Loved it to bits and to be honest I'd probably enjoy it more second time around knowing what to expect.
  23. Well given the weather over here in the UK recently I was more nervous about that than I was about being hurled out of a plane on Saturday. However the Skydiving gods came out in force and it was the best day of the year so far for it. Both myself and Muttley (who also posts on here) did the jump and we had support as well from our close friends who headed North for the event. Luckily for us we had booked this ages ago and were therefore the first to go up and therefore didn't have to watch others do it first. All I can say is WOW, it was just the most incredible experience and I'm so glad I did it. The serious bit behind it was to raise money for Cancer Research, Macmillan Cancer Support and Epilepsy Action. The first two were my choice as my Dad died of Cancer 5 years ago and as Pete suffers from Epilepsy it was an obvious choice for him. We've both raised over £400 for our chosen charities and had an amazing time doing so. Yeah baby, YEAH!
  24. I can't wait to get back to Europe and catch up with some new parks and some old friends. These reports are great for giving me ideas on where to go next although it's not going to be for a while. Toverland is on my hit list as Troy is a coaster that I can't wait to get on and if I plan it right I might be able to make it my 400th seeing as I missed out on that figure in the US this year. Have fun guys and gals, loving the reports. JW
  25. Captured this from my Digital Camera as I decided to film the storm from the window of our room. Lightning strike during a storm at 4am in the morning. Fort Wayne, Indiana.
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