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Everything posted by clippers6

  1. Went to Busch Gardens Williamsburg for the first time yesterday 2/20. I figured I’d write a report since this is my first new park in awhile aside from my disastrous trip to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in October where I only got to ride Boomerang and Medusa and my rental car was broken into on the way back to the airport. The less said about that trip the better. Next two paragraphs are somewhat boring background. Skip ahead for my the trip report. Plan was to visit a friend in Virginia but due to some last minute work stuff he ended up being in California the same week I was supposed to fly out to Virginia. Since my friend and I had already bought our plane tickets out there, we decided to go spend a day in DC and a day at Busch Gardens. Neither of us had ever been out there so we tried to cram a lot into the long weekend. Turns out we maybe tried to cram a little too much into our DC day. My friend aggravated her back injury and was close to bailing on Busch Gardens but decided she had come that far and agreed to go as long as she could rent a scooter. She is not an enthusiast at all and was more interested in seeing the park and the animals. I have a platinum pass from San Antonio since I visited that SW last year for Texas Stingray and thought I would be able to use the pass on my Florida trip, but I ended up not getting out to either BGT or SWO. I have been able to use it at SWSD since that is the closest park to me although IMO that park is a mess right now. So many things never reopened and the food has gone downhill. I’ve been debating if I should renew my pass as I do plan to head to Florida for Iron Gwazi or if I should just buy a Platinum pass from San Diego. It’s not that much more and I’d be able to use the free tickets and other benefits for friends and family. Afraid the price for the SD pass might go up once the new Sesame Place opens up. BGW is a beautiful park as advertised. Epcot is still the most beautiful in my eyes, but BGW does have a lot of natural beauty. It felt like an Europe only World Showcase; even some of the merch they have give off World Showcase vibes. As hilly as the layout was, I found it much more manageable than Magic Mountain. I’m not sure if we just didn’t know where to go, but we were unable to make a full circle of the park due to my friend using a scooter. The incline next to Land of the Dragons ends with steps. I was kind of surprised they didn’t have any type of ramp there. I can’t really speak to the accessibility of any of the rides since the only thing my friend went on all day was the sky ride. They made her get off at each stop and get back in line. She was able to handle short periods of walking, but I wonder if they’d do the same for someone more dependent on a wheelchair or scooter. At other parks I’ve been to with a similar transportation system, people with wheelchairs are able to ride round trip. We did Howl to Coexist: An Inside Look or as everyone and the signage inside the park referred to it as: the wolf tour. I probably could have gotten a discount on it with my platinum pass but it was only $25 to book online so I just did it that way. $25 was a decent price compared to how much SW has raised the prices of their animal encounters, although the behind the scenes tour I took at SWSD was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had at an animal park. For the wolf tour they close off some areas so only those on the tour are allowed in but you never actually go backstage. You learn a lot about the wolves and you get to throw food to them. You don’t actually get any closer to the wolves than any other member of the general public. They don’t advertise this, but they take photos of you during the tour and send them to you. I felt I got my money’s worth, but it’s not something I’d want to do every visit. I was kind of surprised how many private tours seemed to be going around. The park was in winter operations so many of the rides were closed and some of the animals were not on display. The only two coasters open were Apollo’s Chariot and Verbolten. I guess even with so much closed, it’s worth it for some families to take the tour and get to the front of the line on family rides. Apollo’s Chariot was a walk on. I didn’t get to it until late in the day since we had to backtrack through the whole park to get to Italy. They were warning people that it might shut down if it got too cold (under 42 degrees) but to my knowledge it never did. When I got to the station there was just one group in the back (all other rows empty) row so I took the front row. Glad I got to get a ride in the Fabio seat, but that windchill was rough. I was impressed by how smooth the ride was, but also surprised that it wasn’t more intense. I thought about doing another ride in the back row but honestly my face was so frozen I decided against it. Verbolten was probably the longest line I waited in and it was probably 15 minutes. They left the quick queue line open and unmanned which resulted in a lot of people cutting. A bit frustrating. A group was trying to ride together and let me go in front of them so I got on in less than 5 minutes. I like the ride a lot but my man parts took a beating thanks to that large nub they put in the seat. I totally forgot that there are multiple experiences in the show building part of the ride so I only rode once. I enjoyed it and I thought the dark ride portion was fun, but I guess as a first timer I would be able to tell what effects were no longer working. Mardi Gras was also going on, but aside from a short lunch rush, the food “booths” had short lines. I saw “booths” because for the most part they were using existing dining locations instead of temporary booths which I felt led to better quality. Some of the items were seriously good, but there were a few duds as well. I was at Mardi Gras in SWSD last weekend and the food from the temporary booths looked so unappealing that we didn’t try anything besides a drink. I’m their defense, it was a really hot day in San Diego and the samples they had on display looked like they had been sitting in the sun for a few hours. Their 7 Seas Food Festival is usually pretty good. Strangely enough, a lot of food locations didn’t have their soda fountains working. I kind of figured out which ones did and hit those for my souvenir bottle refills. We tried to take in a show but we showed up a few minutes late and the door to the theater was locked. Not sure if they don’t allow late arrivals or if the show had been cancelled. So I guess this was my intro to BGW since they were on limited operations for winter. I really liked the park and hope to get back soon for another visit plus a visit to Kings Dominion. Of the two coasters I did get to experience, I can’t say I preferred one over the other. Both were fairly new experiences to me. Actually kind of liked Steel Eel a little more than Apollo’s. Verbolten I would have liked a lot better if it wasn’t for the thumping I took between my legs. Might be one where I have to learn how to sit properly on. Sorry for the lack of pictures. As I mentioned, it was really cold and I kept my hands in my pockets most of the day. Forgot to mention, even with limited operations tickets were $94 at the door. Half that price if purchased online.
  2. When I was there they had 3 people checking restraints on Steel Eel. 1 person checking all the seats on the left side, one person checking all the seats on the right side, and one person checking all the seats on the left side a second time. They couldn’t get a full train out even with one train ops because the one person grouping and assigning seats was constantly having to deal with parents insisting their undersized kid should be able to ride. Aside from ride ops, they could really use some infrastructure upgrades. Guest services inside the park closed before the park did, probably the only theme park I’ve been to without a large gift shop near the entrance/exit, and the restaurant lines were long and slow despite many people dining at the festival booths. San Diego does a good job getting me to open my wallet inside the park, but I left San Antonio without buying any food or drinks and only buying one magnet.
  3. Got back home this morning. Thanks again to everyone that offered advice with Fiesta Texas. I wish San Antonio was cheaper and easier to get to. I’d visit more often if it was. Got to the park around 4 on Friday after a morning at SeaWorld. Judging from the parking lot maybe 4-5 times the number of people compared to Thursday. I poked fun of the bands performing for audiences of 5 people on Thursday, but on Friday the shows I passed by were well attended. Except for the log ride, everything looked open on Friday. Got my Flash Passes for WW, IRat, Poltergeist, and Superman. Probably should have gotten another WW or IRat instead of Superman but I wasn’t thinking. Not sure if this is new (I got a survey about it after I left) but they’re moving to timed reservations for the one time use Flash Passes. They have a place for the Flash Pass employee to write a return window on them. The employee on Thursday only wrote one for WW. The one of Friday didn’t write times on any of them. Also found out that I can’t get my Diamond Elite VIP card until I go back to Magic Mountain since it’s my home park, but I’m upgraded in the system so I have all the other benefits. Decided to get the monkey off my back and try to get on WW first. Played around on the test seat until I found the best way to get in the restraints. Got a little worried since there were tech people in the station working on something. It was an issue with one of the trains and they could only load 7 of the 8 seats. Tech guys were working on the brakes, but the ride kept operating with the ride ops having to be sure they only loaded 7 riders every third train. Kid in front of me got by the first height measurement by standing on his tip toes but got unlucky because a shift change happened and the new grouper remeasured him and didn’t let him on. Poor kid, but it did mean that I ended up with front row. Personally I liked the intensity, but those collars do take away from the experience. Not really sure what the alternative would be though. Tried to do Poltergeist next, but it was down due to wind. Rushed over to IRat since I heard that will shut down due to wind. It was operating but with 1 train and a crew that wasn’t exactly hustling. It was a posted 95 minute wait. I waited 45 with Flash Pass. Apparently a fight broke out in the queue. I was already in the station so I couldn’t see but I could hear the commotion and people closer to the ramp could see it. IRat is RMC number 4 for me and I think I would rank it 1 or 2. Really liked how it uses the quarry walls. I think I still like Twisted Colossus better overall, but IRat might just edge out non-racing TC for me. Strangely enough I’m pretty sure one of the gift shops at Magic Mountain also sells a random Great Escape sweatshirt. The one pictured above is in the IRat gift shop. Wonder if a bunch of these got sent to the wrong parks? Stopped for a churro and some lemonade. That Fiesta Texas lemonade is really sweet. Saw Poltergeist running and headed that way. My first spaghetti bowl and they are a lot smoother than I imagined. Surprised Six Flags hasn’t reused the Poltergeist name anywhere else; it’s a great theme. Ended the day with one last ride on Superman. Wish it was IRat (thought about going back to the Flash Pass center and swapping the Superman for IRat), but I didn’t want to wait another 45 minutes. Park was open for another 45 minutes, but I decided to call it a day since I had a 7am flight. Thought about doing Boomerang on the way out, but decided to pass to avoid the end of the day parking lot crush. So in two days I did WW, Superman, Goliath, Road Runner, Iron Rattler, Poltergeist, Whistle Stop, Pirates of the Deep, and I watched the 80s music show Neon. Not bad for a fairly leisurely touring pace and only 4 hours each day. I’m not really the type that needs every credit, but I probably could have gotten them all if I pushed. Thursday had moderate crowds in the morning, but since so many rides were closed it emptied out midday. I felt bad for anyone that bought a ticket. Friday was much busier, but with more things open the crowds were more spread out. SFFT seemed to absorb the crowds better than SeaWorld. I know spring break has been chaotic at all the Texas theme parks. I’m sure weekends are much busier, but as busy as Friday was it never seemed unmanageable. With the exception of IRat, most lines went quickly and I was able to get food and snacks easily. Little to no lines for rides at SeaWorld, but long, long lines for food and many locations were closed (I think to drive people to eating at the food festival instead).
  4. Mission accomplished. Had to play around on the tester to figure it out. Basically I have to kind of tilt my head back to get my head into the restraint and then it would go into place easily. Thanks to everyone who encouraged me to try again! Will some more thoughts to share later. Going to go enjoy my last few hours in San Antonio. Going to miss ZDT’s but got to ride WW and IRat.
  5. Just left SeaWorld. My first time at SeaWorld San Antonio. I go to SeaWorld San Diego pretty often since they give teachers free passes every year. Lots of people today but I think most were there for the first day of the 7 Seas Food Festival. Texas Stingray was a walk on. Got a few rides on it. Great White was also a walk on but just did it once since I rode Goliath yesterday. Definitely not as forceful, but not too rough. That leaves Batman at SFOT as the only Batman clone in Texas I haven’t rode. Steel Eel should have been a walk on, but they only had one grouper. This person had to lead people to each row since they are no longer numbered, deal with Quick Queue and special assistance, measure the height of all kids, and send people with backpacks to lockers. They were only running one train and at least one car would be empty each time. Waited about 15-20 minutes since I got in line when the line was short. By the time I rode the queue in the station was about half full. Used my one time use Quick Queue on Wave Breaker to skip a 20-30 minute line. Saw the penguins and that was about it. Some of the food booths have not opened yet. On my way to Fiesta Texas now.
  6. Might have been. Are the connectors all too long and have to be looped around the bar? Mine was, but I couldn’t undo it so I’m not sure if they’re supposed to be that way. I did try the test seat after I got sent off, but the connector was broken on it. Will definitely give the test seat a shot tomorrow before picking my Flash Passes. EDIT: now that I think about it, my seat (seat 6) was empty coming into the station but 7 and 8 were filled. Maybe they did accidentally load me into a bad seat.
  7. I think I could have made it happen if I pushed hard enough. Ride op was pushing hard, trying to make it work which I appreciated a lot. But it was already so uncomfortable I could only imagine how banged up I would get on the actual ride. Shoulder restraints hit the back of my head when I try to pull them down; have to kind of snake my way into them. Maybe I just haven’t been paying attention, but never heard of raptors being fluffy/tall unfriendly before. Love how beautiful this park is and have loved the city of San Antonio so far. Love all the 90s music they play here! Going to come back tomorrow and try to get on IRat. Park has pretty much emptied out. Surprised they have so many bands playing. They’re attracting less than a dozen people per show. Seems like they could have used that money to open 1 or two more rides. Got on Superman, Goliath, Pirates, Road Runner, and the train. Didn’t fit on WW and didn’t want to do Pandemonium solo. No other coasters open (didn’t check the kiddie coaster). Road Runner ride op said this is the slowest she’s ever seen on that ride. Bit of a disappointment, but will try again tomorrow.
  8. Rough day so far. Poltergeist and IRat not operating. Most flats closed. I also apparently don’t fit on Wonder Woman. Was a little surprised. I’ve never not fit on a ride before. I would say I have about the same body shape as Robb Alvey and am smaller than a lot of the people I’ve seen ride on YouTube. I fit in the seat, but the restraint won’t go down low enough for the center seat belt to clip. I’m 6’1 which I don’t think is uncommonly tall. Currently in the station for Superman. Ride is down.
  9. Thanks for the advice dankeykang and Bert. I didn’t know Wonder Woman Flash Pass had reopened. I’ll get that in place of Superman. Not a huge fan of pendulums, but I kind of want to go through the funhouse. Might try and hit it early and chicken exit after the funhouse.
  10. Going to San Antonio for the first time this week. Have reservations for SFFT Thursday. Plan to use my 4 free one time Flash Passes on Iron Rattler, Superman, Poltergeist, and Road Runner. Hoping I won’t really need them on a Thursday, but it is spring break. Going to see the Alamo Friday morning and then Seaworld. Only interested in Texas Stingray, Steel Eel, and WaveBreaker so if I get done early with Seaworld I might make another stop at SFFT before going out to ZDT’s. I have reserved preferred parking at SFFT. How is it set up there? Trying to avoid what happened at SFOT where it wasn’t very clearly marked and I had to cut across 5 lanes to get into the preferred parking area.
  11. Woohoo! Looks like they’re opening in the evening Fridays in April. Can’t make a reservation yet though and customer service just told me that it is sold out, but I’m pretty sure they just haven’t updated the reservation system since not a single day has sold out all spring.
  12. It was a surprise highlight for sure. Disappointed that they cut Fridays for most of April since the next time I will be in the Dallas area will be on a Friday. Flying to Houston Saturday morning. Boardwalk Bullet will be my consolation.
  13. Looks like Mr. Freeze will have to wait as they changed park hours for the next time I’ll be in Dallas. Hopefully they’ll have more regular hours soon. Added an extra day to my San Antonio trip to make up for it. Was just going to do Fiesta Texas, but with the extra day I’ll go to SeaWorld for Texas Stingray. First time at both. Had a really good time at Over Texas. They did not scan my reservation. Most people were following the mask rule. Lots of employees spread out throughout the park specifically to enforce masking. Probably 98% of people followed the rules. Most that didn’t were teenagers with a couple of adults here and there. Everyone had masks and with all the employees enforcing, most people were masked in walkways, but some slipped them off in queues. There is a booth selling masks outside the main entrance. Those Six Flags masks are actually pretty comfy; way better than the ones at Cedar Fair parks. Even outside of the parks I found people in Dallas were mostly masked; a slightly higher percentage than what I saw in Houston. Lots of new employees being trained. Had to remind a few about my member discount. Every employee was really friendly and operations were fast. App wait times were way off, although I think that is common at Magic Mountain too. Judge Roy Scream has a posted 35 minute wait time, was actually a walk on unless you wanted the front seat, and was listed as closed in the app.
  14. I visited last Saturday, March 6th. This was my first time at a Six Flags park that wasn’t Magic Mountain. The plan was to go at park opening, but some issues with my rental car as well as jet lag caused me to get there a little before noon. When I got there the website still had me as a Diamond elite. They did not have the Diamond elite VIP cards at the front of the park and the Flashpass center said I could only have 2 skip the lines. I probably could have gone to member services inside the park and got everything straightened out, but I had limited time so I just decided to take skip the lines for New Texas Giant and La Vibora. My goal was to do the more unique coasters and whatever else that did not have too long of a line and get out after a few hours. Tried to start with Runaway Mountain, but it went down just as I got there. So first ride at the first Six Flags park for me was Runaway Mine Train. According to the Six Flags app this was a 50 minute wait, but it was a walk on. A kid whose mother and sister were a few rows behind me suddenly decided he didn’t want to ride in a row by himself and jumped in the seat next to me. I could tell this was probably his first coaster and he was too nervous to go alone. The ride was a little rough, but not too bad. I think seeing the kid go from nervous to having the time of his life made the ride more enjoyable for me as well. Went to Shockwave next. I think it was a 15 minute posted wait, but was a walk on. I had heard it is an underrated coaster and I would agree. Had a ton of fun on it and could imagine myself re-riding over and over if I had more time since it never had much of a line. Thought about going up the Oil Derrick for a look at the park, but decided to skip it. Went back to check on Runaway Mountain and it was still down. Ended up using my skip the line on New Texas Giant. It was fun and I liked the speed, but not as enjoyable as Twisted Colossus for me. Went to go find something to eat after that and ended up at Ma Hunkel’s. Mobile order acted up and I ended up with 3 drinks. Did not like how mobile order was set up there. The mobile order window was far from the other windows so no one saw me waiting for my order until I finally called out to one of the people in the kitchen. Bone-in wings were pretty good for a theme park. Went on Judge Roy Scream next. 35 minute wait time, but it was just because there was a long line out of the station for the front row. I asked the people in front of me if I could go in front of them and got on right away. Literally everyone else was waiting for that first train. Sadly, this will probably be a one and done for me until they re-track because it was really rough. Finally got on Runaway Mountain next. Waited 35 minutes; the longest I waited all day. Enjoyed it way more than I thought I would. I didn’t realize there was a disco yeti on it! Next up was La Vibora. I have wanted to ride a bobsled coaster ever since I first learned they existed and this ride (which was relocated from Magic Mountain) was a big reason for my visit. Well, it certainly is unique, but I bruised my tailbone so bad that I’m still feeling it almost a week later. Might give this one another shot since it is so unique. Will definitely hang on tighter next time. Was ready to call it a day after that. Did some shopping, but was disappointed in the merchandise selection. Noticed on my phone that my status was now VIP. Went back and got my two other Flashpasses but realized how late it was and didn’t use them. Also did not have time to go to member services to grab my new card. Only ride I regret skipping was Mr. Freeze. Going to Fiesta Texas next month and then another shot at Over Texas a week after that.
  15. I’m going on Saturday. First time at a Six Flags park that isn’t Magic Mountain. Looking forward to seeing if they’ll have the Diamond Elite VIP program up and running.
  16. Went today 2/15/2019 (will be yesterday by the time I post this). Light drizzle most of the day with only a few moments without any rain. The member’s Valentine event was rescheduled to today since they did not open due to rain on 2/14. Members could get in an hour before the general public for character meet and greets, exclusive ride time on FT, Rev, and the carousel. We planned to go early, but the day before we decided it wouldn’t be worth it given that it would not be busy at all so we slept in and got there right before noon. Lots of characters out early in the day. We got Valentine's Day buttons. No one seemed to have much more information regarding member appreciation day. They had $2.14 heart shaped funnel cakes that were cute and Instagram worthy, but kind of small and 1 per member. The buy one get one free carnival games advertised as part of member appreciation day was only 1 game that I saw (break the plates). Apparently there was also free engraving at the Glass Shop, but we didn’t stop in. This was my first time at Magic Mountain in the rain and I was impressed. Every ride scheduled to be open was open with many running multiple trains despite light crowds. I was also surprised how many restaurants were open. I wonder if they were trying to give their employees hours after being closed for so many days this month. We walked by Carlini’s Pizza all the way in the back corner of the park about half an hour before closing and it was open and had a short line. A comparatively light crowd at a Disney park would have a lot more food service closures (well, maybe not the OLC parks). Lots of stores were closed though. Employees were generally nice; some allowed use to reride when there was no line and some made us go back through the queue. Also saw several tour groups, both American and international. Being open 365 days probably helps them book more such groups. For fans of carnival games, they have a new play pass where you pay for $20 worth of tickets (each ticket is equal to $1 so you would redeem 5 tickets to play a game that costs $5). On top of the $20 you receive 4 free games tickets for 4 pre-selected games, 2 buy one get one free coupons, and 500 reward points. They advertise it as a $50 value for $20, but to get the full value you would have to do the buy one get one free so it would be more like a $50 value for $40. Also note that the free games are split between Boardwalk and Mining Town. After we bought our passes, we were told that Mining Town was closed and they allowed us to use all our tickets in Boardwalk. Apparently this is a new promotion and we were rang up incorrectly 3 times before we got our passes. From what we were told, several of the employees working the games were new. We had to have them call supervisors over a few times, because a couple of them weren’t following the posted rules. I’m a little surprised they decided to do these tickets instead of a card system like Disney and Knott’s. Most of the employees were really great though. Definitely could have hit every open coaster today, but our group split up as we had different priorities. One faction focused on riding TC as many times as possible. Another decided to pick up credits in Bugs Bunny World since it was empty and there wasn’t the shame of being the only adults on a kiddie coaster. I personally made it my mission to do stuff I either hadn’t done in awhile or had never done before. In hindsight, I wish I had joined the group trying to “ride it all” since it would have been interesting to try each ride in the rain.
  17. Not ready to buy this yet, but I won’t rule it out either. Disney might be looking for something a little more thrilling than the Slinky Dog coaster to counter whatever Universal is planning for the Dragons Challenge replacement.
  18. Kind of surprised they would make Toy Story so similar to the HK version even if they rethemed racers. I would have thought they'd go with what was announced for Orlando.
  19. Thanks for sharing. For a second I thought the Snoopy topiary was Predator.
  20. Hey, this is based on my experiences from last year so some things might be out of date, but I was looking around for information about Flash Pass at SFMM and found a lot of discussion about it, but almost nothing about Fast Lane at Knott's so I'm going to share my experience. I had a friend visiting from Florida so I wanted to make sure she got to experience everything (well almost everything, she is hesitant about some of the bigger coasters). Did Fast Lane for both of us. Here is a summary of our experiences. Redeeming the wristbands - I purchased the wristbands online and went to redeem them at the store next to Ghostrider. There was no one there, but it still took a long time to redeem. The guy at the store was trying to call someone to help, but couldn't get a hold of anyone so finally he just gave us the wristbands. Ghostrider- this is pre-refurb. FL worked great. They let you up through a separate entrance on the side of the station and let you directly into the loading area. You pick which row you want and get behind whoever is already in line for that row. I wish every FL worked like this. Voyage to the Iron Reef - we rode twice and probably would have gone a few more times if the line wasn't so long even with FL. You show your wristbands to the person at the entrance and they have someone escort you up some stairs and you merge with the regular line near the loading area. Due to the slow loading times, it still ends but being about a 15 minute wait from that point. There were a lot of big school and community groups that day so we ended up being put in the middle of a large group both times. One time there was an elderly couple with us because one of them used a cane and could not do stairs. They had them go up in the elevator while we had to take the stairs. They ended up getting taken right to the front of the line while we ended up in the middle of a school group and had to explain what was going on to them. They were cool about it, but it was a little awkward. Xcelerator - was closed most of the day. I didn't know it eventually opened after we left until I read about it on Twitter later. My friend probably wouldn't have wanted to ride anyways. CoasterRider - no one was manning the FL side entrance so after standing around for awhile we just went in the regular queue. It was probably a 15-20 minute wait. From where the FL merges it might have been 5-10. It was still early and later in the day when the wait time swelled up we did see someone at the FL queue. Silver Bullet - my friend didn't want to do it, but it did look like a decent set-up. Bigfoot Rapids - it was early in the day and the ride was a walk-on. The FL queue wasn't even open. Sierra Sidewinder - separate entrance behind the main entrance. They take you straight to the loading area. Well integrated. Montezooma - enter through the exit. You can take any row which means those in the regular line waiting for that row have to wait. We picked a row no one was waiting for. Pony Express - same deal as CoastRider. No one was manning the FL entrance so we went in the regular line. The people in front of us were a big group that wanted to ride together so they let us go ahead of them and we got on the next train. Jaguar - enter through the exit and take a row similar to MR. This was popular with kids and they all wanted to ride in the front. Trying to get the front seat in the regular line was probably frustrating because kids with FL and various other passes kept taking it. Guy that had FL, but decided to wait in the regular line for some reason got angry because his row (which wasn't even the front) kept getting taken. Supreme Scream - didn't ride it as I hate drop ride. Boomerang - didn't ride it since it was super rough the last time I did. Log Ride - enter through the exit. Unlike the other "enter through the exit" set-ups, there is someone there to meet you and get you on the next available log. It worked pretty well and we did multiple rides. My friend ended up loving this ride. So overall, I'm glad we got FL since my friend had limited time, but as a pass holder I would find it difficult to justify getting it again for myself and my local friends. Most of the unmanned FL entrances were attended when we went by later in the day and were only unattended in the early hours, although that's not really a good excuse since people do pay for a full day of FL. We did save a lot of time since Iron Reef and Log Ride had long wait times and we did multiple rides on both.
  21. Chef Mickey has Disney dim sum? Might do that instead of the dim sum set at Crystal Lotus. Thanks for the pictures. I'll be there in a month.
  22. They also got a group that performed at DCA as the Miner 49ers (known as simply The Miners at Knott's). And I would agree that in terms of additions KBF is getting about the same as the other CFP properties, but the money that was spent/is being spent on Timber Mountain and Calico Mine Train probably wouldn't have happened under the old thrills-first mentality. KBF is a good place for them to try for more of a theme park than an amusement park given what they already have to work with there. I don't know if they will do this at any of their other parks though although the dark ride being built in Canada looks interesting.
  23. I wasn't implying that Knott's guests are somehow more sophisticated. There are just a greater number of a certain type of guest here that really doesn't care about rides in general; the type of people that have annual passes to Disneyland and pretty much just go to ride the train and swing dance. Knott's has been doing a good job of attracting them with a combination of cheap passes, vasy improved food, and improvements to some classic Knott's offerings (log ride, mine train, atmosphere entertainment, return/refurbishment of scenery items). Knott's has also been the new home to at least 2 musical acts that Disney let go. This along with the general improvements being seen at CFP properties is broadening their appeal. Compare this with previous management decisions that closed their only dark ride, closed the Haunted Shack, stuck Silver Bullet in the center of the park, etc.
  24. I think what we are seeing is a management team that understands the region. The guy running the company being a former Disneyland president and the guy running the park having gotten his start in Knott's janitorial department. They know that the Knott's demographic expects a higher level of theming and polish than the people who go to their other parks; their demographic being locals that grew up with Disney, Universal, SeaWorld, Magic Mountain (pre Six Flags), and Knott's when it was still family owned plus tourists including a big percentage of Asian tourists used to well-themed parks (who coincidently are one of the few groups out there where the western theme still has broad appeal). Their predecessors were perhaps too accustomed to the higher percentage of thrillseekers that other CFP properties get and in chasing that lost some of the higher spending family/tourists that they now seem desparate to get back.
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