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Paul_Hollibone

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  1. Well Hello Again everyone. Time for another update? Sure, why not. At this rate, we will be finished sometime next year! (Technically thats quite accurate). Day 7 - Sea World & Belmont Park Well after another long drive the evening before, it was off to Sea World and Belmont Park. Now I will say, that whilst down south, Sea World wasn't exactly the park I was mostly looking forward to, I was looking forward to mostly Block-o-land, but still I left my mind open for Sea World since I had heard that Busch Gardens parks are very well done. Sea World did not let that impression down, it was a very nice park, despite there being a lack of rides. The themeing was top notch, the rides and animal exhibits were top notch, as was the park's appearance. Very well maintained looking. I got the impression that the parks management cared, which is always a good sign in today's corporate society. We started off on the only ride in the park that was actually open, the SkyTower. A very nice ride, with some great views. My only complaint was the lighting that comes off the tower which ruined my shots. I will say though that out of all the rides at the park, the SkyTower and Chairlift were the most disappointing. Not because they were "boring", but because they were up charge attractions. Now fortunately the park gave us 1 free ride on both attractions, but I just find it hard how they can justify charging extra for these 2 attractions. By now the park was starting to open, so we checked out the Wild Artic ride. It was a very good ride, dated a little yes, and only a simulator, but still a rather good ride. For those who don't know, there is an Antarctic exhibit after the ride, which was very cool, with ice caves and other stuff for you to make your mark. I think we spent at least 30 minutes in that attraction, from riding the ride, to spending some time in the exhibit. After this we broke up as a group and went our own ways, Josh, Matt and I checked out the Dolphin's and Penguins before checking out the Shamu show. Shamu was alright, the story they made up for the show was a little corny, but the highlight part of the show remained untouched, the drenching of the people sitting in the front rows. Suckers! After this it was time for Journey to Atlantis. In short, a very surprising and wet ride. Luckily though the park gave us complimentary Shamu poncho's to wear, so it wasn't that wet, which was very awesome of the park to do. It was here I re-discovered the fun of the 25c Water Jets, and just how addictive they are. Lots of fun. After Journey, we continued to look around at the parks other exhibits, which were all very nice. We checked in for Lunch near Shipwreck falls, again I was just so impressed by the themeing of this restaurant, even though it wasn't a dine-in establishment, it really surpassed anything I had seen. We also checked out the Shipwreck Falls river rapid ride, which again was very awesomely themed, and very wet. However thanks to Shamu, I kept dry. After checking out some of the other Animal attractions, it was time to head over to Belmont Park for an evening of Fun. Belmont Park Belmont Park was a little like a smaller version of Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. This park had the classic woodie, it had the Seaside location, and had the history to go along with it. We had our own private deck at the park (with security, i'd like to see others beat that!) over near the "Waves" area (right next to the Flowrider and Flowbarrel). It was here that we partied on throughout the evening, some more than others. Josh, Matt and I checked out the park whilst the others got settled in to the patio. Giant Dipper was pretty good for a coaster of it's age, but not as good as it's Santa Cruz cousin. I also had my first ever experience on a Chaos ride. We only have 1 or 2 of those in Australia on the Travelling Circuit, and it has always been a ride which I have wanted to try out. It was such a good ride, great cycle, and plenty of thrills. It was a ride we kept on coming back to. We also found those spinning dodgems that we previously encountered at Santa Monica, so ofcourse we gave these a whirl many times. The last worthy mention goes to the Frog Hopper, sure it's a kids ride, but it was something to do, and fun. The operator was also really awesome. It was on this ride that we tested "gravity" with various objects. This ofcourse was ok'd by the operator. No foul play here! After the flowrider session, the night just seemed to drag on for quite some time, and we hadn't even got to the ERT on the Giant Dipper. Whilst most spent their time at the Patio drinking their alcoholic beverages, Matt Josh and I spent the rest of the night in the park portion of the park, running around silly like little school girls. It was quite hilarious, especially when we had security giving us strange looks, I however assured them that we had not touched a single drop of alcohol that evening. Anyway, luckily for us, the park was rather empty, and it felt like we had the whole park to ourselves. I will finish off by saying that whilst most during the evening spent most of their time on the Patio, it did make for one heck of an ERT session on the Giant Dipper! Anyway, Belmont Park, a great little park, not enough there to sustain half a day, but still some great fun if your in the area. Combine it with other attractions and sightseeing things in the area, and you have one neat little entertainment centre. Pictures are below, next up is the park I was looking forward to the most down south, Legoland! Enjoy! The Parks Midway. That Frog Hopper is awesome. Atleast the station is nice. No Air-gates here! This coaster was quite difficult to photograph, so I do apoligise (no, I ain't putting the 'z" in apologise). I have surprised myself though, I seemed to have done a decent job on the photo's of Sea World and Belmont. Here we have our gracious leader doing some flow-ridin. I hope you don't mind this one up here Robb, but it is quite a good shot I must admit. More like Baby-rider. And I thought the Flowrider was sick. This was awesome, unfortunatly the Session we had lined up for us wasn't for this, but for the Flowrider. Damn the Flowrider seems like a baby now. Ahh, Thar She is. Ever wanted to see what Mission Beach BLVD looks like? Well here you are! After some magic (and a little handy driving by Larry) we finally arrived at Belmont Park after that terribly long drive from Sea World. Thats where i'll finish off on Sea World. Sea World was a great park. Granted, I probably won't visit that Sea World again, I will however if I ever make it over to Orlando visit the other Sea World park, as I feel the San Diego park as being the "poorer" cousin. Heaps of Pink birds. This show looked awesome. It was a shame that they had a douche of a security guard who refused us a look over the fence after getting out of the fish exhibit. Douche bag. On the Chairlift to no-where. Are you serious? Is that what brings the water up? Thats awesome. Even Australia is represented in the Fish of the World exhibit. Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi! Oooh, So Close, I can taste them! Yummy, Humans! What a great photo. I love the way the boat is just skimming the water. Goooing Doooownnn Kersplash Journey, but please tell me where we are going to! He struck a little pose for me! WAKE UP! Very Cuddly, I doubt they like being petted though! See what I mean though about being very well done? The Wild Artic. More Flags, More Fun? This is where Shamu goes to sleep. See what I mean about the lighting ropes? The one attraction that this park had that I was really looking forward to. But hey, any park with a Whale-Themed VW is a win in my books! Welcome to Sea World! I will say the Entrance to the park was very underwhelming. Is this normal for the US Sea World parks? Flowers! Oh and there's a river rapids there also! And finally, again I was really surprised at how awesome some of my photo's from these 2 parks came out. This one was also a surprise. Incase you can't work it out, it is of the Barrel-wave thing in the beach deck section of the park. Well this is the end of the this update, again thanks for reading. If you want any of the photo's i've posted in full res, just let me know, more than happy to oblige. Anyway, as we get closer to the end of the trip, up next is Legoland. Thanks for reading!
  2. Your not allowed to enjoy yourself on these trips Hans, not on, not on at all.
  3. Deloreons. Don't get me wrong, very well represented by the film. Great car for the film. Not many cars would have been able to fill that role. Backdraft? Somehow I don't think missing it will be of great loss. Bring on this transformers ride! All in all, Universal was decent, but it did seem to be missing something. It does have great potential, but yeah I wasn't overly impressed by the park. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't terrible (certainly better than Knotts) but has plenty of room for improvment. On a semi-unrelated note, I somehow get the impression though that no-one is willing to share their video of the Incredible Express struggling to get started? Come on, you know you want to.
  4. Well sorry for the delay, there seemed to be some sort of Server error which prevented me from posting my photo's with the TR, but never fear, they are now here! Next up is Sea World and Belmont Park. Enjoy! - Paul One of the BEST rides of the trip I tell you. Anyway, thats it for now. Next we have Sea World and Belmont. I hope you've enjoyed this so far. If you want full res versions of the pics, just PM me or something, and i'll happily oblige. Hey John! Hey, thats better. See, we arrived so early, not even the fountain was awake! Bye Universal. Who are you gonna call? The Blue's Brothers! Britannia. Very nicely done. There's more of that 7% I am glad they have a reference to The Finstones here. That is so awesome. Well if Doc Brown says so... It was very busy by this stage. Not very quick service. This ride rocks. The characters here are just so well done. Look at those actors playing kids behind that man. Hey, it's Donkey's Waffles. This is rather cool, it's a shame though I only saw it operate once during the time we were at the park. Poor guy. All he was doing was looking at the white pointers. Downtown Hollywood. I do feel sorry for the guy who lost the top of his house. Ouch, that had to have hurt. Nothing to see here people, just a man taking his wife to the hospital. Except it over-shadows the Bates Motel. Those hotel guests must be pretty unhappy that their window at the back of their room just looks into another building. No Sun at all. Whoville looks pretty sweet. Wisteria Lane was closed. A shame, I would have liked to get a closer look at it. Aliens Aliens Everywhere, Were gonna get beamed. Oh wait, there they are. I can't see any white pointers... Oh NO, Water Water, it's Everywhere. We're gonna get wet! What a nice little village... Wow, that bridge really needs some repair. Looks as though it is about to fall down! What a hunk of junk. Just as well they made a movie for it, otherwise no-one would have known of it's existence. Hang on, no-one told me we were going to one of those Six Flags parks now. Hey it's Magnum. That was a surprise. So famous it has these 2 people promoting it. Who are these people anyway? The World Famous Studio Tour. The Mummy? I'm confused. Slightly differently framed shot, much nicer. Time to cue that classic Jurassic Park Theme. For all you Apollo 13 freaks... YOUR DOING IT WRONG Photo Time. If only we had some of that lovely treasure. NERDS. Oh wait. There goes that extra 7% Oooooh, look at that detail. Some head honcho talking about some mechanical stuff and how things work. No red carpet yet. Can't even go shopping. It looks early you say? Yep, it is certainly early.
  5. Hahaha, hey at-least I didn't say that Josh! I can't believe how far behind I have gotten with this TR, I actually had to search for it! Anyway, whats up next? Universal I think. Day Something - Universal Studio's Hollywood Well Universal Studio's was one of those parks where I had no idea what to expect. Well, I lie. I sorta knew what to expect. Some semi-decent theming, not a great deal of rides, but some very well done rides, and ofcourse the War of the Worlds and Desperate Housewives set. Oh and that Alien Encounter set from Beverly Hills Cop 3. Can't forget Alien Encounter. The day started off with an early drive down the highway from Magic Mountain to Universal. We expected to hit a great deal of traffic, thus we left at something like 6:00am for a 7:00am start. Luckily for Larry (the bus driver's) stress levels we didn't really hit much in terms of traffic, and arrived rather early. This however meant a reasonable wait for our park guides to let us in for our exclusive tour of The Mummy ride. I tried to not find much about this ride pre-trip for total surprise (something which I mostly did once I knew I was coming on the trip). The backstage tour was really cool, and made me appreciate the ride for what it was. We saw backstage area's, got a look at the actual "coaster" bit of the ride, and the pre-launch section lights on. This is where we also met the infamous Joey (couldn't leave him out now could I). After the tour we had a small (or what seemed small) ERT session on the ride. This was cool, but for me the ride on the first few rounds kinda sucked as it seemed to be missing something. Later on did I find out the ride trains were supposed to have on board audio, which wasn't present in our train. It was fixed though for my last round on the ride. Did anyone else's train also have this problem, or was it just the one I was on? Anyway, after the ERT session, Matt, Josh and I checked out the special effects show, which was surpassingly decent. I didn't learn anything new, but the show was entertaining, so I suppose that counts for something. We didn't get a chance to check out Backdraft (I had no idea what it was originally) but from all reports it was rather lame and not worth the wait. It's on the list for next time though. We headed up to the upper lot next to check out the parks other offerings, but one ride just stood out, begging us to ride it (well, there was literally no line at this stage) so we checked out The Simpsons ride. Even though it is just a simulator, it is one bloody good simulator. The pre-show and queue line is just so simple, and isn't overly intensive, but somehow it just seems to work really well. Whilst I am sad I didn't get to experience Back to the Future, I am certainly glad I had the opportunity to ride The Simpsons ride. It Rocks! We went back down to the lower lot, hoping to ride The Mummy again, but that line got big really quick, so we canned that idea. Instead we checked out Jurassic Park, which surprisingly was a walk on. WOW. Jurassic Park is one of the best Water Flume rides I have ever been on. Well that is rather limited, since the only other water ride like Jurassic (excluding the Log syle of Water Flumes) was at Magic Mountain, but woah, that ride rocks. Sure, we got soaked on the final splashdown (hint, it really isn't the splash which gets you soaked) it was well worth it. Adding the fact that they have free paper towels to dry yourself off with, oh man. Really immersive. I love it! Next was the highlight of the park, the Studio Tour. The studio tour was quite good, but the whole spiel from the guide just seemed way too scripted and corny. Maybe it was just our guide, I don't know, but it really let it down for me. Also if your stuck in the middle of the tram, you can't really get any good clear shots without someone's head/ hand/ arm getting in the way, but not much can be done about that. After lunch we checked out the House of Horrors walkthrough, which Robb explained was like an all year round Halloween Maze. It was here where the park truly shined. It was awesome, and I will admit even had me a little freaked out in some instances. It was pretty cool, and even better Joey gave us Front of the Line Passes, so we were fortunate enough to be able to skip that huge line for the attraction (who in the right mind lines up to get scared out of their wits?). I was disappointed with how the attraction ends. To me, Universal seem to do a great job a majority of the parks theming, but it's that last 7% that seems to get left out. The way this walkthrough ends is just one way of showing that, as is The Mummy ride. No theming on the outside, and that exit, what were they thinking? Anyway, after all this it was time just to absorb the park, as a majority of it was really nice and well done, as I said it seemed as though the park was missing that last 7% of detail. Not before long though it was time for our journey to continue south towards San Diego. We had dinner at Johns Incredible Pizza (why? because there was a coaster there, thats why!). The incredible Express had one of the best group moments of the trip (well by this stage anyway) as the train of the coaster found it hard to get started. Classic moment. I am sure someone has a video of that somewhere. Anyone care to share? Anyway, tomorrow it was off to Sea World and Belmont Park for some old fashioned fun. We needed our beauty sleep, so it was a rather late night for some (hey, just because we needed our beauty sleep, doesn't mean we were going to take it!). So up next is Sea World and Belmont Park. For those who prefer the pictorial version of the Trip Report, well tough. It appears that TPR is having some issues at the moment, so i'll have to post them a little later. Anyway, Not Satisfied with your WestcoasttripWOW? Call NOW for a free, no questions asked return. Just send your dis-satisfaction with a one off payment of $149.95 to 1, ShamWOW Way, Shamland, Shamster City. 2914. Till next time. - Paul
  6. Hahaha, that look of me on the escalator, priceless!
  7. Village Roadshow own 3 of the majors here (so thats Sea World, Movie World and Wet n Wild) and only own 1 water park. So my guess would be the water slide is heading for Wet n Wild if plans go ahead. Thanks Robb for the clarification.
  8. Hey Eric. I totally get that, just like the toilets & water drains the other way Magic Mountain, despite it's small problems is a great park, and definatly beats any of our parks combined. And for the record, On the toilets, why is there so much water in the toilet bowls? Theres like a massive pool of water in each toilet I saw. Nothing like that over here, toilets are very different.
  9. Wow, I am suprised people are actually reading the words I type. Very shocked! Josh, still traumatized by the food in the states, but despite how bad it is, all you have to do is eat less. For instance, once I learnt my McDonalds lesson, all I purchased was a drink and some small portion of say chicken nuggets, and that did me for dinner, without the need for snacks during the day. Just because the foods available doesn't mean you need to eat it all. I do like your country though, and I do have plans to come back. Maybe we could all meet up again if and when I do come back in a few years. I also forgot to add that not only on this day did we find out that Invertigo at CGA crapped itself, but also Hollywood director John Hughes died. Why's this significant you ask? Well the day he died we went to Magic Mountain, and John Hughes directed National Lampoons Vacation amongst many other films. Cmpunk, highly reccomend a TPR trip in the future, you just don't realise just how fun they are.
  10. Hi Ghost. Thanks for the compliments. It certainly was a great trip, and I do like California, and unlike many other's (not TPR related) have no problem with your country. The only complaint I do have is the food potion sizes. Huuuuge, but at least the pricing is decent, and the Customer Service, seems so much better over there than over here.
  11. Well here we are, might as well continue. I think I am about to over-take Josh on his Trip Reports. Night 4 & Day 5 - Six Flags Magic Mountain Well as it's probably now common knowledge on these boards, the group opted to leave Great America an hour earlier than scheduled for our long and epic drive back down to LA. At first I was on the "I don't particularly want to leave an hour earlier" basket, but by the end of the day I was very grateful. The next hotel was the Holiday Inn Express near Magic Mountain. Anyway, we all thought we were going to be in for an early night, but as we came within a 15 minute distance of Magic Mountain Robb gets on the microphone and asks if we want to go to Magic Mountain tonight, well inital response was lacklustre because I am sure most were thinking he was pulling our leg (I certainly did). It turned out that Robb and Neil from Magic Mountain (if your reading this Neil, G'day) and we had the option of going to Magic Mountain for an hour or so once we unloaded at the Holiday Inn. Great I thought, what a thrill. Many decided not to join us, but those that did had an awesome time. When we arrived at Magic Mountain, Neil got on the bus to an uproar of cheers from TPR members and announced that we should all head to X2 for a night right, then scoot over to Goliath for a surprise ERT after the park had closed. I was gobsmacked already at the park and it's management, and we hadn't already been in the park yet. Anyway, most rushed over for the night ride on X2 which was at an hour wait. What a hoot. I was the first of the TPR members to ride X2, and I got the front inside left seat. It was an awesome experience, the music, the fire, the mist, in probably the best seat of the ride. After this, the park was starting to close down, so me and Josh (G'day other Josh) rushed over to Goliath to get our ERT in. Goliath, that ride is a beast and in the hindsight of the newer rides is under-rated. The mid course brake run was a little harsh, but it was still an epic ride. We had a dozen or so rides on this great ride. Not as insane as X2, but a bloody good ride. Defiantly on my top 10. ERT finished at around 10:30-10:45, maybe even 11pm. We needed to get some sleep as we had a heavy next couple of days ahead of us. But I will say that the hospitality from the park (Neil especially) was overwhelming. Something which would become even more apparent when we have our first official visit the next day. After the Sun rose and we all had some breakfast, it was time to scoot back over the highway over to Magic Mountain. As soon as we gathered at the parks entry, it was announced that we have ERT on Revolution, Viper, X2 and Tatsu, and were ready for us to ride straight away. So off we went. Revolution was first for me, I wanted to ride this historic attraction. It was a bit painful, but only because of the OTSR's on the trains, but it wasn't terrible. It was then time for Viper. Ouch, but bearable. Since we had already done X2 the previous night, we left that till last to give it a chance to "warm up", so up next was a half dozen or so rides on Tatsu. What an awesome ride. Very smooth, thrilling, and intense (that pretzal loop is ooh so intense). Then it was over to X2 for a few rides. I will say that it wasn't quite as smooth as my ride on it the previous night. It was very brutal. I didn't get a chance to ride in the same seat as the previous night, so that may be why. After that it was off to get our Qbots and time to ride some rides. First stop, Deja Vu. I don't see why this ride gets such a bashing, I thought it was a great ride. Very fast, and reasonably smooth in the front, but I will agree that the amount of seat-belts they buckle up is crazy. Then it was off to Terminator, what another epic ride. At first I couldn't understand the whole pre-show (possibly because of the mild concussion X2 gave me ) but it was done very nicely. I just hope they are able to maintain it all. Ride wise, very speedy, very zippy, and the tunnel taking is very well done. Some brief caps on the parks other rides, Ninja, again what a great classic ride. I gave it a spin a few times throughout the visit. I even got to meet the famous "Ninja" dude who works on the ride. Hiiiya! Goldrusher, it was alright, not as good as I was expecting it to be. But it is one of the older rides at the park, so I will cut it some slack. Riddlers Revenge, it was pretty good, much better than Vortex the previous day. Batman, I personally didn't care for Batman, I just thought it was a little too fast, and it did seem a little rough around the edges. It was nothing like the ride the previous day on Flight Gun Top Deck. Colossus, an awesome historic ride which unfortunately is showing it's age cosmetically. Ride-wise though, it was very good, hard to fault it, and certainly not as rough as I was expecting it. I probably rate it over Grizzly at CGA simply due to it's sheer size and head chopper effects. Superman, It was good. The station and queue theming was better than the Tower of Terror's theming at Dreamworld (which is the rides brother) but I can't help in thinking our Tower of Terror is better, due to the fact that the track is lower to the ground, and because of that your passing things which are close by and you get a faster sensation of speed. I do somehow get the feeling that it will be the next ride to get a major refurb at the park. Scream, it was ok, I was in the front but i couldn't help but feel that for a B&M ride, it was far from smooth. Don't get me wrong, it was also a good ride (carpark theming aside) but it did feel quite rough and ghetto like on the rides ecit. I just want to know, do I need a hand stamp to re-enter the park after riding it? After some riding it was time for lunch. We had our own special area behind the Johnny Rockets near Batman (because we are special ) and we had SFMM management almost on their hands and knee's serving us this awesome food. This meal experience gets my vote for the best meal of the trip by far. Anyway, it was off to do some more riding. After we completed the parks coaster line-ups, it was time to give some of the Water Rides a whirl. Log Jammer was fun, not too wet and was in a decent setting. We also checked out Jet Stream which despite signs saying we will get wet, we didn't really get that wet. We also did that boat ride that goes up and then goes splash, and yes, again signs saying we will get drenched, I think the people standing on the bridge got more wet than anyone on the boat combined. So with those under our belts, it was time to try out the river rapids. This was a mistake. Because we used our Qbots, we missed the signs that say "You will get saturated", that is if they exist at all. We all lined up at the station ready to go on (at this stage we found a group of TPR members who were willing to ride) and when our boat came in, we knew this was a bad idea when the boat's footwell contained a deep pool of water that just refused to drain out. Nevertheless we rode anyway, getting completely soaked head to toe. It was terrible, and certainly not Dan friendly. After the ride, I swear that pool of water in the boat was deeper than before we boarded. Anyway, most saw this as an opportunity to go to Hurricane Harbour. I eventually joined them for a short period. One thing that I don't like about the park is that they make park hopping a painful process. They make you exit the park to get a hand stamp, then you have to get rechecked at security, then you can enter Hurricane Harbour. Quite silly, unless I am missing something here. Anyway, I checked out Hurricane Harbour, dipped my feet in the Wave Pool (no wonder why the Wave Pool was shortly cleared out after I went in) and had a quick chat to the Alvey family. I decided this wasn't for me (I never visit water parks anyway, so don't take it personally SFMM) and went back into Magic Mountain for some picture taking and re-riding. At 7pm (after TPR had it's ERT on the Waterside in Hurricane Harbour) we had Dinner at Mooseburger Lodge. This was a great dinner, with vegetables (I never before this dinner thought that Veggies existed in America!) and desert, in an awesome environment, which also had a close up magician who provided some entertainment. For those who don't know, Mooseburger Lodge is a beautifully themed "lodge" restaurant which has animatronic's and a moose who sings. For the record I did ask Neil if the name of the Moose was Marty, he declined and said his name was Wally (for those who don't remember the film National Lampoons Vacation where chevy chase visits the park, the park in which Chevy Chase visit's is called Wally World). After such a great dinner (I recommend anyone who visits to eat at Mooseburger Lodge) we had a few hours to kill till we had ERT on Deja Vu and Terminator, me and young Josh hung out, did some rides and just enjoyed the rest of the parks offerings. I also found the 1 QTR jets on for Log Jammer, and man are they fun. I'm sure I spend around 3 dollars worth on those. So addictive and fun. Why can't our parks have something like this? Anyway, as the park was cleared out, it was time for ERT on Terminator and Deja Vu. It was here that I finally worked out the story line to Terminator, and I will say that it is very well done, I hope they are able to maintain it and add to it in the future. We had a Massive ERT session on the ride, the crew from Preshow crew to Ride Operations crew were epic, very professional and certainly in character. Anyway, after I had taken enough tunnel, I decided I had better give Deja Vu some love, since not too many were willing to give it some love. A great ride at night, can't decide if I prefer this at night or day, but it was a good ride either way. After ERT and while waiting for everyone else to finish their final tunnel taking sessions, I waited outside the ride and had a chat to Neil about various things. Anyway, as everyone grouped together we headed back to the bus for our short ride home. It was a shame, I would have loved to have camped out in the park, that would have been great, but as they say all good things must come to an end (so is that why SLC's seem like they are never going to end?) I have said it before, but I will say it again, Six Flags Magic Mountain rocks, and I can only see it getting stronger over many years to come. Thank you Neil and Jay and the rest of the SFMM team for making us so welcome, if I am ever back in your country I will be making my way back to the mountain if it is at all possible. Anyway, I think thats long enough of these damn words (there is over 3 pages worth here), I bet you want pictures. Well you can't have them Oh ok, I bow down to you all, pictures are below. Next up is Universal Studio's Hollywood. Thanks Guys! I'll finish on this one. As I said above, thanks guys for a great visit, I will be back (well hopefully). Next up, Universal Studio's. As the day drew to an end, so did my picture taking. As you can see, it certainly wasn't a peak day at the park. We probably would have been fine without the Qbots, but hey, I ain't complaining. An epic ride. I always wondered what this tree looking structure was. Now I know. Gooooooing Dowwwn. What a structure. I think ours is quieter due to the fact that it has a tower which acts as a dampener. I may be mistaken though. About as high up as the thing goes. For the record, it's about on par with our's at Dreamworld. My only real photo of X2. Hi TPR people basking in the pools. Man, we must be really high up, all those tiny little people down there. Zooooooooom. A good solid ride that one. I hope it stays. A dry barren landscape. Hi Deja Vu. You rock. Cue Terminator Theme... Damn thats high up. There's a big flag above that red flag pole. Oh good, they have a city park in honour of the caped crusader. Gotham's a nice looking neighbourhood. I wouldn't mind living here. Nanananananananananananan BATMAN! Through the Coaster? I wonder where they park the coaster train at night? There's certainly plenty of space down there. We are Hiiiiigh up. One thing that I don't understand is why is Superman (assuming we are superman) escaping from the Fortress of Solitude? I thought it was his home. Hello Mr X2. How's mrs X going today? Yeah, I know. Parent-in-laws. Hi mr Tatsu Dragon thing. Thats one Hiiigh up loop. It's time to ride you mr Viper. How about now? Anyone recognise this area? Oh no, watch out Bomberman! The Whipper Snapper! I can't believe I'm here. Where to first? The famous Lattice signage. The Lollypop sign, already I have seen so many famous things about this park, and I am yet to even enter. Our view from the Hotel Car Park. Hmmmm.
  12. I forgot to add re Treetop Racers, is it any wonder you almost died? It is an ex Australian Carnival coaster! Don't worry, I don't think any of us had a chance of dying on that ride...Well maybe with the exception of Hans.
  13. Nice pictures of Knotts. I don't know about Pony Express though. It was lame, but it was better than I expected it to be, and easily better than the Mick Doohan Motocoaster over here in my opinion. I agree though, I would have preferred to be at CGA than Knotts, Knotts just stunk. 26 times on Screamin? It's a good ride and all, but not that good. I'd prefer to marathon Space Mountain or Indy or even TOT over Screamin. But then again I did marathon Soarin. So it seems I was the only one that didn't mind It's a Small World. Sure, it's not much to the ride, but I don't "hate" it.
  14. Seems like you had a decent time at Movie World. I'm interested to know how you rate Superman against other launch coasters of it's type?
  15. Yeah, it's definatly on the drawing cards. I'm looking at possibly coming back in 2012 if things go according to plan. Hopefully by then DCA & Star Tours will be complete so I'll be able to check them out when I stopover in LA on the way back.
  16. One of my most favourite clips from the film - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mc5V320fJ8g&NR=1 The expression on Eddie Murphy's face when he walks onto that stage is priceless! According to Wikipedia bilby (yeah, I know), there's still 9 Looping Starships currently operating around the world. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Looping_Starship This was my first real Cedar Fair Park (Gilroy excluded) and the one thing that got me thinking was that this park was really clean (and has the trademark Cedar Fair Trash Cans) but yeah, it all looked reasonably clean, and most importantly maintained. Thats the one thing I also noticed about Knotts, the park was "clean" to an extent. It didn't feel as clean as Great America, but it still felt reasonably clean. The one thing that I didn't like about Great American is that it seemed to have been stripped of any charm the park once had, it seems quite bland at the moment. Maybe it just has to do with Cedar Fair stripping the charm that Paramount inherited from Marriott, I don't know. But certainly I thought it was a great park. The kids area was a little neglected (so Kidcity and Nick) but as we now know this is pretty much being re-done with a Snoopy area. With Grizzly, for what it's worth, it was actually much better than it's dead Sister in Australia. Maybe it's got something to do with them not running those heavy PTC's, I don't know, but yeah, I would have done it again if we decided to not leave an hour earlier. For the record though, I am happy we did otherwise we wouldn't have got our secret suprise from Magic Mountain that evening. Great America though is the sort of park that I won't go over there to visit specifically, but if I am in the area, I wouldn't have any hesitations on visiting again. I'm glad though that I wasn't the only one to have the "What should I do" feeling when the Anthem started playing. Obviously it's harder for me since I'm not an American, so I had no idea what to do, but in the end the thought of beating the crowds to the low capacity rides was more important apparently. I also had a similar situation at Disneyland with the flag retrieval, I was walking past and it was all happening, and there were a few people who had stopped what they were doing, not many though. I did stop for a short period for respect, but then I decided if many other Americans kept on going whilst this was happening, why should the Aussie waste previous time at the Happiest Place on Earth, so I got going again. Hey, at least I tried. Anyway guys, next is Six Flags Magic Mountain, not sure when i'll post it, but we will see.
  17. Thanks guys. Gisco, that water dam was massive though, thanks for pointing out what it's actually for. On another water related topic, I saw just outside of LA some big water channel things which went down some of the hill sides. Anyone know what i'm talking about? They were awesome looking. Anyway, without further ado, here's California's Great America! Day 4 California's Great America Today was the day I had been looking forward to most. The day I would finally go to Wonderworl.... Oops I mean California's Great America. I had been staring at the park for the last 3 days, and even got so close to going inside, but I just couldn't get in. It was also a day that unfortunately California wanted to show just how hot the state can get. This was also quite unfortunate considering that lots of the rides in Great America don't contain covered stations (whats the deal with that?) Anyway, the day started with ERT on Top Deck, or is it Flight Gun? Quite a surprising ride, was much better than I expected it to be. It's also worth noting this was my first B&M Suspended coaster, so it was quite an experience. After the half hour of ERT on Top Deck we went over for ERT on Vortex. I think I survived 2 rides (or was it 3?) on this machine, some didn't even last that. Quite rough, quite painful, but the loop and the swooping parts of the ride made up for it, but I wasn't willing to go anymore. This was also my first B&M standup (why do you look so shocked?). After Vortex me and Josh (hello josh) went over to try and ride Grizzly. As we were going over there, the park was opening for the General Public. The national anthem was playing, I didn't know whether I had to stop whilst it playing for respect or not, but Josh didn't, so I just followed his lead (Blame josh for the bad influence on the Aussie!) Grizzly was an epic fail though, the ride was scheduled to open at 11:00am (but the ride didn't actually open till 12:30pm). So we made our way onto Invertigo. Invertigo was alright, wasn't great but wasn't terrible. I think I prefered DeJa Vu at Magic Mountain over it. After this we tried Demon, again not operating at this stage so we checked out the rest of the parks offerings. Drop Zone or whatever it's been called, many thought was good, I was like "I've been on taller". It was a fun little drop, but I was quite concerned about the shuddering noise it makes as it hits the brakes. For what it's worth, the Giant Drop at Dreamworld makes a smooth "Whoosh" as it hits the magnetic brakes, not sure if the rest of the drop towers make the shuddering noise as it hits the brakes or if it's just CGA's. Anyone care the clarify? After a couple of rides on the tower (the park at this point was literally deserted, except for the few TPR freaks ) Josh and I checked out the remainder of the parks offerings, including the Chairlift, Nick Central, the Demon, Hanna Babbera Land (or whats left of it) and Boomerang Bay. Some things worth noting, Boomerang Bay was awesome, but the direction signs to various places in Australia, I can't vouch for their accuracy. Other than that, it's a great homage to Australia, works really well. The Rapids ride was rather awesome, it's been some time since I have seen a rapids ride with a rotating platform. I was also quite suprised to see the park still had their Bayern Curve. We rode it, but seriously it's been slowed down to the point that the cars hardly even tilt, one of the best features of that ride. It also had a really short cycle. For that I was rather upset that this great ride had been practically killed. Anyway, Grizzly. Everyone bagged this ride before and after they rode it. Me? I thought it was a great ride. Sure, it ain't no Terminator or Roar!, but it's still a great ride, and I was surprised at how good it was. It wasn't the smoothest, but then again it was no-where near as rough as I was expecting it. If we didn't have some time constraints I sure would have ridden it again. Anyway, onto the pictures. Today I was in a better picture taking mood, so these pictures should be more upto standard. For those who would like to continue on, just look below. If your getting off here, please remain seated until the train has come to a complete stop. Anyway, a great Day at California's Great America. Next Stop Six Flags Magic Mountain. Anyway, what a day at California's Great America. The general consensus was that this park sucked. I on the other hand loved this park. Ok sure, it isn't Magic Mountain, but it's still a solid park. I really hope this park sticks around. Anyway next up will be Six Flags Magic Mountain. Till next time, well keep cool. I've been on taller. Much taller. This was like a baby drop for me. Love it. Very Stereotypical. This place is great! 10 Thumbs Up! As I said above, I can't vouch for the reliability and accuracy of this sign. This looks crazy mate. Splash. That water was very inviting. I wonder if the water was shipped over from Australia for Authenticity? Boomerang Bay was better than I also expected. Wonderworld, Wonderworld, where happiness is here. I was upset. I don't want to go to the America Cafe. Why would I want to go there when I am already in America? It was better than I expected. Yummy. I have a piece of wood, bolt and nail from this ride's mirrored sister that was at Wonderland. Ahh, there she is. The ride I have been looking forward to most at this park. Quite Patriotic. It's a shame there aren't many parks these days that have the good old classic chairlift. Firefall was down for the day, a shame because I would have liked to ride it. I wanted to see if all Topspins suck, or if it's just the one at SFDK that sucked. Yay for pictures with 4 rides in it! I didn't ride the swinging ship. I once rode the same ride at Wonderland, it sucked badly. Timed to perfection. Little did we know that the next day, this sight would have been quite common for a few hours during the day. Just a question, if we did happen to go that day, and some members got stuck on the ride, what would happen if we were stuck on the ride when the bus was due to depart? We can't call anyone due to our phones and stuff being in the station. This turned out ok. Invertigo, it's ok. I got some nice photo's from up here. Well I think so.... Going into that loop is probably the best feature of the ride, especially considering it's a standup. That Tangled mess is Vortex. Geez it's a mess. Through the tree's? Top Deck Flight Gun, or is Top Flight Gun Deck? Nevertheless this ride rocked! It's Funny though, come to think about it, most movies which include a Theme Park (so National Lampoons and Beverly Hills Cop) seem to take the piss out of Walt Disney, with his "Signature" chatacter (Marty Moose anyone?), Uncle Dave (Uncle Walt?) and the Theme Park. This Park was heavily featured in the film "Beverly Hills Cop 3". Welcome to California's Great America!
  18. Hello Everyone. Now we have had a short intermission (I have been demoted to Page 2 of the forums, better fix this) it is time to continue this photo trip report. Day 3 - Gilroy Gardens & Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Today for me was a day of unknowns. I knew very little of Gilroy Gardens and Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. All I knew about Gilroy Gardens was that it was previously Bonfante Gardens, had Mushroom Swings and Garlic Tea Cups, and it was managed by Cedar Fair. So I had no idea what was coming. I'll just say that this park really surprised me. Not only was it beautifully landscaped & maintained, but it had some pretty kick arse rides. The Day started off with some ERT on Quicksilver Express which was a surprisingly awesome coaster as it was. Once we had finished the ERT, me Josh and Matt worked our way around the park, viewing the parks "birds" and natural wonders. The staff at this park really were exceptional, and a big thanks goes out to them for making the day such a great day. We checked out pretty much all the rides in the park, and I insisted that we did the flower boat ride, as I always have wanted to do it. Whilst lame at the beginning, the un-loading procedure was sure worth the lame ride Another worthy note was the Car Ride at the park. It was very well themed to their respective decades (there are 2 decades, one with the vintage cars, one with the retro cars). Sorry, I can't remember which years they represented, but it is very well done, and dare I say better than Autopia at Disneyland (braces for a bashing from those Disney fans who don't agree!). Overall Gilroy was a great park, and if i'm in the area again I will certainly make the effort to revisit. Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk After Gilroy Gardens, it was time for a scenic drive down to Santa Cruz Boardwalk. Again I knew very little about this park, with the exception that it was located on a beach and was reasonably historic. After fighting with the traffic, we finally made it to the park. First stop? Tornado. Whilst there were a few in the group that liked it, the general consensus was "Nup, it's shit". Giant Dipper on the other hand was a great ride offering some awesome surprises. Unfortunately Matt's cell phone was swallowed by the Dipper, so he went off to go get another one before the stores closed whilst Josh and I continued to enjoy the park. After Dinner and the backstage tours of the carousel and Giant Dipper, Matt once again decided to join us, and we continued exploring the rest of the park, including the array of classic rides and dark rides the park has to offer. Anyway, again this park exceeded my expectations, whilst a little crowded, it was still a great park, with plenty of atmosphere and charm. It certainly reminded me of the classic seaside amusement park, and fortunately this park still has what makes a really good seaside park. I can imagine this is what our Luna Park's in Australia would have been like back in the 1950's and so on. Anyway I'll finish the boring "text" bit of the report here, and let the photo's do the rest of the talking. For those who are leaving us here, thanks for reading. For those who are staying on, what are you doing? There's pictures below! It was now time to say goodbye to Santa Cruz Beach, and say hello to Larry who was sitting in the bus, bored as anything. As you see whilst larry was the bus driver, due to the parking situation at this park he was unable to join us inside the park. We all felt sorry for Larry. And thats all for this update. We all had a great day at the two parks. Next up is California's Great America (Wonderworld!) and Six Flags Magic Mountain. After we peeped under the skirt of the carousel, we thought it would only be appropriate to ride the carousel. It was my first ever "ring" carousel, and whilst I didn't understand the concept at first, once I saw how it worked it all made sense. It was awesome. The Cave Train adventure was one of those "What the Hell" type of rides. Sure, it's probably 50+ years old, but still, what the hell? This park was really awesome at night time. Who you gonna call? Don't say Ghost Busters, we'll get in trouble from the movie studio's about it. Surfs Up! As the sun sets, the lights go on. There's nothing like a Seaside Amusement park in the summer at night. Everybody put your hands in the air, like you just don't care. This ride was so smooth it was unbelievable. This park needs to teach the likes of Six Flags and Cedar Fair something about maintenance of Wooden Roller coasters. Jokes aside, whilst some of the American Population may have troubles finding their brain cells, the majority pretty much rock. You guys rock. Whilst Josh and Matt were on this coaster, I saw a lady of middle age jump the rides fence to fetch her/ her kids hat that she must have lost on the ride. It was then I realised why so many Americans die from getting hit by a roller coaster. It's an amazing fact that at the time of this photograph, this dragon was doing considerably more than the Fantasmic Dragon at Disneyland. Again, whats with the wide beaches? There's a classic carnival attraction that you don't see in Australia. Needless to say I did not ride the rock-o-plane. Giant Dipper goes Zooooom! Spot the TPR members! I decided I would not be a credit whore at this park, and opted not to ride this ride. How awesome. I wasn't really in the picture taking mood today. As you can see, this one turned out pretty bad. As you can see here, lots of the parks history has been kept in-tact with many of the parks original buildings still standing. On the way to our pitstop, we noticed a game in the arcade which was having a few technical difficulties. Which one's the any key? First ride of the park? Well we were thinking of doing the S&S Tower or the Chairlift. But we opted for the Hurricane. After Gilroy it was time for an evening at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. It took us forever to get to a close proximity of the park due to the massive amount of traffic. The trip down there was quite scenic, which took us through many small "american" townships. It was everything I expected it to be like. B E A uuutiful.... No TR of Gilroy Gardens would be complete without a photo of the Garlic Tea Cups. For those who don't know, Gilroy (the town that is) is the garlic capital of the world, so that kinda works. The Flower boats were quite lame (I originally thought it would be some sort of mild rapid ride). But not all was lost. This was where I found out that Cedar Fair chained up their employee's to the wall. Gave some good views though. I was contemplating riding the monorail, but once I saw the amount of movement the cars had as they travelled slowly along the track, we decided to pass. The only shot I have of the car ride. You can see the retro side of the ride, the other side which operates in the opposite direction is the "vintage" side. Bloody Hell..... The Mushroom swings are awesome, yay for the mushroom swings! This park sorta reminds me of how Dollywood would look like. No pictures of the Kiddy Coaster for me, but I believe this was the first time I said "oh bugger it, lets ride it". I was in awe as to how awesome the landscaping was. Why can't my garden look like this? I think this ride would have to get the award for the "Most under-rated coaster of the trip". The general consensus was that this ride rocked. Not many morgan coasters get a rating like that. Yeah, it's that good. Unfortunately the park at this stage was still rather empty, and I preferred to make use of the ERT session that we had so no pictures of a full train for me. How nice does that sign look? I have to say I was very surprised by just how awesome this ride was. Walking down this boardwalk, I had no idea whatsoever what I was in for. Was I in for a cheesy carnival park in a botanical gardens? Me trying to be artistic. I think it turned out quite ok. Look at how awesome that is, and just think that was all done by a crazy dude. Some would say thats a bad thing, because it's in the middle of no-where, I say it's good because it gives you the sense of not knowing where the hell you are. And here we are at Gilroy Gardens. A little park tucked away in the middle of a valley.
  19. Good to see my Demon/ Zoomerang is doing well. I notice it has also been given a new train colour design. Say hello to her for me! Sorry, back on topic.
  20. I've noticed there's some of the west coast trip coasters on this dvd. Is this the footage recorded from WCT this year or is it previous stock footage?
  21. Great photo's yet again mike. That expression on my face on Flight Dek is indicative of the forces on that bloody ride. Mind you that was my second ever B&M ride and my first ever B&M inverter, but man was that ride forceful and fast. Whilst others didn't really appreciate CGA as a park (well thats the feeling I got) I actually quite enjoyed it. It does have some decent rides there, and it also has a somewhat decent atmosphere, but I somehow get the feeling that it won't be around in 10 years or so. Don't get me wrong, I quite enjoyed the park, and I thought it had a decent offering, but it just felt like there was something missing.
  22. Why would I have wanted to ride the rock-o-plane josh? Death trap if you ask me. Awesome TR so far my friend Hans. I look forward to the next instalment.
  23. Seems that you had a decent day at Dreamworld. Yeah, you used to queue on the inside of the Cyclone, then exit on the outside. That all changed though shortly after WhiteWater World opened up, I suppose it had something to do with selling park upgrades. But it's much better now, I remember waiting over an hour inside when the ride first opened, and boy was that boring. As the ride only has 1 train it moved so slowly it wasn't funny. At least now you have something to look at whilst you wait. So did you end up riding any of the flats like the Claw and Wipeout? Great rides they are. So, now begs the question, Dreamworld or Movie World as a whole? For me, Dreamworld's my favourite (despite contrary belief). I've always loved Dreamworld, sure it's looking a little on the rough edges these days, but it's still a good park (and as a park I believe it's the best on the Gold Coast). Movie World is alright, but the thing with the place is that it not only has 1 an annoying atmosphere, but secondly it only has about 2 good rides that I go there to ride. For a movie park, it is very lacklustre at the moment.
  24. Damn, posting PTR's on TPR is addictive! That first epic bus trip was a great introduction to the craziness that is TPR. How long was it? Something like a 7 hour drive, it honestly didn't feel that long though, it felt more like 3 hours to be honest. It was nice to see some of Americana though that you don't see in the cities like LA (such as how desperately dry it is over there compared to Australia, and even then we are pretty dry). I remember driving past this massive water catchment dam, (anyone know the name of it? it was massive, but there was so little water in there, it was awesome. It was a great "Welcome to America" introduction for me. I could have flown into SFO, but I would have had to make my own way to the Santa Clarita area, more hassle than its worth. At least flying into LAX was rather easy and relatively painless. So gavin, never been to SFDK? Well I see it as if Dreamworld and Sea World had a baby. It has plenty of animals, plenty of rides, and just a nice atmosphere. It hasn't got an immersive theme on the rides, but some nice scenery details, great landscaping and so on. Oh Elissa/ Robb, how is the construction of that Paper Mache volcano? Have you been given land approval yet? And does anyone know what BFC stands for on the Monster Can? The only thing that comes to mind is "Big Fu..en Can"
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