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Everything posted by griffon

  1. If you're really set on riding Volcano, then you can probably save some time by going there first. But it does have the classic Intamin reliability and may have you running all the way to the back of the park and not open until afternoon. You never know. I will warn you that it's very difficult to walk past Dominator on the way to other (lesser) rides in the park.
  2. with all due respect to the Griffon, I've had great success heading to Apollo as soon as the park opens. It tends to get the bigger crowds later, but on a Wednesday/ Thursday you should have plenty of time to do everything. I wouldn't worry too much about a master plan to beat the crowds, just have a good time. Other than coasters, I would strongly recommend eating as much food as possible, attending beer school as many times as they will let you sign up, and also go through the wildlife section outside of New France. Sometimes they bring out eagles, snakes, talking birds, and other interesting animals which is something that really makes the park unique.
  3. hmm, well unless you're there on a really busy day you shouldn't have much trouble getting everything in. As expected, everyone migrates to Dominator first, but the line really shrinks by mid-afternoon. I would strongly recommend a night ride on Grizzly, and since it gets really hot in August, White Water Canyon is a great rapids ride.
  4. Ride Dominator lots. And also visit Busch Gardens about 1.5 hours away (in case it ends up in the wrong hands).
  5. ^ yea, that's a nice picture too from Cedar Point - I remember you posting some night shots a while back courtesy of the trash cans as well. Good stuff. I really believe there are some great opportunities to get some incredible night shots at theme parks, but not very many people have done it because you really do need a good tripod to get the right angles, and it takes some time to find the right settings for each shot. I may try to work on this some more. In the meantime, I'm still hooked on Dominator. I went back this afternoon and got a few more rides in. Not only is it a great ride, but it really makes the crowds more manageable during the day because of the location. In mid-afternoon when everyone's in the water park, it's really easy to get a few quick rides on before heading out into the rest of the park. I'm also starting to notice a lot of small improvements throughout the park- things like fences, gates, lamp posts being replaced. Nothing big, but I think that's a really good sign and makes me a little more optimistic about how much potential Cedar Fair sees.
  6. With the crazy-low humidity and lack of blazing heat the past few weeks in VA, I have made quite a few trips up to Kings Dominion recently. With the park being open until 10, it's a lot more convenient for me to head there after work rather than Busch Gardens (which is only open until 9 on weeknights). That, and Dominator also makes the choice a little easier. I don't want to bore anyone with a bunch of separate trip reports, so I thought I would combine them into this one. If I go again I'll keep posting on this thread.
  7. I went up to KD last night armed with the telephoto and found what I believe are cars from GL's Americana in the maintenance area. No sign of any of the other flat rides though, but the sun was going down when I got there and didn't have much time to look around from the tower. I'm not a big fan of flat rides, but I think the ferris wheel will give the park a little more character which is a very good thing. I'm hoping they put it in a very photogenic location. Thanks again, Geauga Lake!
  8. Thanks for the informative trip report and great pictures... Looks like those parks would make a nice few days of coaster riding. I've run out of new parks to visit in the east, so might try to venture out that way sometime. Again, nice composition on with the pictures.
  9. Sweet, thanks for the inside info and pics of the Lodge. I have been by there several times on the way to Pierce's BBQ, but never looked seriously into staying. I'd love to check it out in the winter sometime. Is the Tornado slide completely enclosed, or can you see out of the wide end at all? Just curious as to whether it would be open all year since it's not inside.
  10. That's strange, I've never heard anyone say that Apollo lacked floater air. Unless the train is less than half full it's been one of the most consistent running coasters since it opened, and has floater air on every hill, especially in the back. Maybe something's changed this weekend, I don't know. Nitro is much better than Apollo in my opinion, mainly for the longer and more creative layout. But yea, nice trip report, glad you had a good time. Any pictures of the Great Wolf Lodge? I have not heard a whole lot about the one here in Williamsburg, but know it's been popular.
  11. Special Event or not, this is really good to hear. If KD can bring in bigger crowds than they have the last 10-12 years, it will be even more of a reason for Cedar Fair to keep building. The future is much brighter now than it was with Paramount, I'm really confused as to why anyone would complain.
  12. Nice pictures, especially at Dorney. I really love a couple of the sunset ones. And yea, I feel the same way about Dorney - very fun and nice little park - I've never had a bad time there.
  13. That's really cool, I love the comparison shots. They do such a great job of maintaining the park it really does look more similar than anything else I've seen from 20 years ago.
  14. Great trip report Olsor... I'm a little surprised you found Fahrenheit to be harder on the neck than Storm Runner. For me it definitely seemed the other way around. Definitely great pictures and editing.
  15. I think he was referring to not being able to pump your own gas. Anyway, very nice TR. I read they were assinging seats on Fahrenheit, are they still doing that? Maybe "traffic laws" is not the best phrase to use. It's mostly just the gas thing that annoys me, but there are those dumb left turn lanes on the right side of the road, and they also don't do a very good job of labeling lanes that are about to end. It's just a different experience driving through NJ than any other state, and some things don't make sense to me at all. But I'm getting more used to it. Fahrenheit was not assigning seats even with a nearly 2 hour line on Sunday. Thanks for the comments on the photos - even though we probably could have done without that last one of the baboon (Jeff)
  16. I had to tell you that your Fahrenheit pictures on pg 3 really threw me off when I got to the park last weekend. I was expecting a bright red coaster much like the pictures that you took, but surprisingly it was much more of an orange coaster in reality... I noticed some of my pictures came out red too, and I had to do some color adjusting. Or maybe I'm just color blind and didn't realize it, who knows. Great pictures and report though! It's orange I swear
  17. Hershey - 6/1/08 On Sunday we arrived at HersheyPark a little later than expected. Damn mapquest said it was 2 hours from where we started, and it ended up being about 2.5 even though we were the only ones on the road the whole time. Regardless, we got to the park and quickly found ourselves in the s…l…o…w… moving Fahrenheit queue line which apparently also doubles as a solar condenser to trap direct sunlight and distribute it across everyone’s forehead. The crew was doing a really good job of moving both trains, but the line was still very Hypersonic-esque in that it appeared to be reasonable in length, but really was about 2 hours. Actually that’s not a very fair comparison, as Hypersonic has been laid to rest in pieces where it should be, and Fahrenheit is clearly a more reliable and fun coaster. But the line did move a little slow, and that was the primary complaint from everyone there. I rode Fahrenheit in the back, and thought the ride itself was very enjoyable. Not very intense or powerful, but it was a decent length, smooth, the first element (forget what it’s called) was great, and it was overall a fun coaster. The vertical lift was interesting, but nothing really special. I probably would have been annoyed if it were any longer than it was. One thing I noticed was a distinct rumbling vibration in the second half of the cobra roll which felt really strange. I wonder if that has anything to do with why the train valleyed there? The rest of the park was much less crowded than Fahrenheit’s scorching queue line. This was my first trip back to Hershey in a few years and I was really impressed with how well Lightning Racer has held up after 7 seasons (has it really been that long, geez I’m getting old). It’s still a really fun coaster with a great layout. Wildcat was still good, but definitely lost some of its punch with the lighter trains. Storm Runner I thought was really uncomfortable and pointless, although others with me thought it was better than Fahrenheit – so clearly that is a matter of personal preference and Storm Runner is just not my type of ride. Unfortunately, my coaster riding time at Hershey ended up being cut a little short as my allergies got the best of me on Sunday and my eyes started to swell up. I have severe allergies in the spring, and this time of year in Virginia things start to die down with the pollen, but apparently it’s still in full force in central PA. I spent some time indoors, and then went around to take pictures for most of the afternoon before we headed back home. This was definitely a great trip for all of us, and hopefully there will be more like it in the future. The Coaster Celebration at Great Adventure was a well-done event, and although the weather and other factors got in the way this time, I still felt like they did a good job of organizing and executing a fun day for everyone. Hershey is always a fun park, and hopefully they will continue to expand as rapidly as they have in the past 10 years. It’s amazing how much the park has changed since my first visit in 1998. Well that’s enough words for now. Here are some photos. Let me know what you think. One last vertical lift shot. That's all I've got for now Fahrenheit fits in its location nicely It's the (forget the name) inversion Interesting angle of the inversion I will probably run out of captions because I suck at writing them Now on to some fahrenheit shots. Reactions to Wildcat Storm Runner is not my friend, but it does make some people happy Favorite angle of GB Great Bear Wildcat Finally, a little blue sky to work with Trees are great for pictures, but very over-rated in real life, especially in the spring The HP grand entrance
  18. Great Adventure - 5/31/08 - Coaster Celebration As gas prices inched closer to $4 per gallon and the forecast calling for severe storms in New Jersey the entire weekend, my brothers and friend decided to do the only logical thing we could think of: load up the Jeep and head to the “Coasternerd Congregation” event - also known as “Coaster Celebration” at Six Flags Great Adventure. I had never been to this event before, but I have been to Great Adventure a couple times and found myself battling huge crowds, terrible weather, and annoying New Jersey traffic laws both times. I was hoping this trip would be different and give us a chance to ride some of the major attractions more than once without the monstrous crowds this park is known for. We got to Great Adventure early on Saturday morning and validated our Coasternerd status by obtaining bright green wristbands – then we enjoyed an hour of ERT in Batmanland which included walk-on rides for the Dark Knight, Batman the g-force ride, and the magnificent Nitro. My impressions of the Dark Knight were not very favorable. The pre-show that you are forced to witness before boarding would lead you to believe that the ride itself was going to carry a theme and maybe have somewhat of a story to it. Well it doesn’t, and it seemed to leave me with a sense of disappointment just for the fact that it tried. I’m not a big fan of themed rides so I didn’t have any expectations to begin with, so it was OK. On a positive note, we later learned that Dark Knight has a very valuable purpose at Great Adventure this year. Once the gates opened to the public, every man woman and child ran straight for it, thus providing another hour of ERT on the other side of the park for the rest of us. Thank you, Dark Knight! The storms rolled in around 12:30 so we left to get some food and then drove through the Wild Safari which was very entertaining. Once we returned to the park in the afternoon, the sky had cleared up quite a bit, and the crowds were minimal. I believe the only coasters that had more than a 5-10 min wait were Superman and Krapda Ka. We picked up a few new credits by jumping on some kid rides, and then spent some more time in Batmanland since the lines were short. Later, we joined the Coasternerd Congregation for dinner, where park management seemed to have shocked the world by removing our symbolic green wristbands and announcing that the planned night ERT (for El Toro, Medusa, and Krapda Ka) had been canceled. There was some rumbling and grumbling amongst the Coasternerds for a while, but that was strategically muffled by a supply of chicken, burgers, and giant coolers filled with mountains of ice cream cups. Personally, I was not disappointed in the cancellation of the night ERT. And in reality, the minimal crowds made for a full evening of re-rides throughout the entire park rather than just a handful of rides. I broke out the SLR camera and got a few pictures before the sun went down, and then got some night shots around El Toro, which turned out great – then jumped on for the last 3 rides of the night. The day couldn’t have started or ended any better… and the weather (combined with Dark Knight) really helped the crowds work to our advantage. This was by far the best experience I’ve had in the state of New Jersey, and almost makes up for the scene I create at gas stations when I try to explain that I am, in fact, coordinated enough to operate a gas pump. Day two we ventured onto the Pennsylvania turnpike to hit up HersheyPark and the sizzling Fahrenheit queue line. Better bring your sunscreen! Goodnight Great Adventure I love how the red light on top of Ka illuminated the clouds with a red glow. I got several shots from this area and most of them turned out awesome Time for some night shots Love the location by the lake, although it's not a very scenic ride when you're on it Probably my favorite shot of the day The obligatory sign shot Now for the El Toro photos. Many different angles because the ride is really that good I had to confirm with 4 different people that it was OK to take pictures near the ride. Eventually they approved - but I didn't have much time to get good ones Krapda Ka was running but that doesn't mean I had the desire to ride it. Medusa was running awesome and we got to stay on for about 30 minutes straight in the evening Skull Mountain - The best indoor coaster in the park Nitro owns all B&M hypers Through the substructure Batman the g-force ride Superman - the only ride in the country that subtracts a train for cloudy conditions. Seriously The grand entrance (or not)
  19. An intamin pre-fab would be spectacular at BGE and I hope it's only a matter of time rather than a matter of "if" - but that's only wishful thinking. There are ton of places in the park where a wood coaster would fit in great, and you know Busch would do a good job at incorporating it into the park. Intamin's use polyurethane wheels and therefore don't make nearly as much noise. Anything other than an Intamin pre-fab would concern me. Gwazi is terrible compared to what it used to be, and I wouldn't have much confidence in any wooden coaster that didn't also come with a full-time Knoebel's maintenance crew.
  20. Was there today too, and overall had a great time. Weather was absolutely perfect. There was a pretty decent sized crowd, but surprisingly walked on several rides like Drop Zone and Rebel Yell in the middle of the day. Unfortunately I planned on getting pictures later in the day and that happened to be when Dominator went down. Here are a couple shots I got right before that. I'm trying out a new program for editing... I can't tell if these are maybe a little too bright.
  21. I have to chime in for this one because I have noticed on several occasions that when a ride is having mechanical problems for a good part of the day at Cedar Point, if they get it running late in the day, they will leave the line open well after the park closes. Sometimes 30 minutes or more. I have never seen anything close to that at any other park, and it's something that most people don't take notice of.
  22. Apparently I'm a little late, but I'll add on to the picture bandwagon while I still have a chance.... Looks like you guys have most of the angles already covered so I'll only post a small handfull. It was nice talking with Chuck and others I hadn't met in person until today (bpmitchell, pkd freak). I also want to compliment KD on this event. It was put together nicely and they provided a great debut for this awesome coaster. I'm sure the queue line and other minor items will be ready to roll on Saturday. Final skyline shot Another cool sign shot. Can't see enough of these, right They even had a live band to entertain us - I swear they sang a song about Dominator more spins Chuck captures the official facial expression of Dominator The nomadic coaster nerds blend in with the cedar fair theming flat spins of greatness The back section Into the U-turn sweet sign view from the top
  23. Nice pics guys, Holiday World is definitely one of my favorite parks too. Hope you have a great trip.
  24. Cool, thanks. Yea, I've had a Canon Rebel XTi for about 8 months now, and it's been great. With any SLR camera it all depends on the glass your using though. It's becoming an expensive hobby but I'm getting better every time I go out.
  25. Seeing that the weather was supposed to be nice on Saturday, I decided to take some newly acquired camera gear down to Busch Gardens Europe and get some shots this weekend. Knowing that the park would be a mad house, I left early and got to the park just before 10:00. The lines didn't get bad until about 11:30, so I was able to get 4 rides on Apollo, 1 BBW, and 2 on Alpengeist before I called it a day and resorted to taking photos through mid-afternoon - then I had to head back home. Maybe I'm not as much of a coaster nerd any more, but I've really gotten to the point where I would rather take pictures in the park than wait in long lines. I get a bigger kick out of taking new and different photos of the same rides I've been on a hundred times. I really need to get to some new parks I was really impressed with the operations on the coasters today. Every ride was dispatching trains like crazy which was great for the lines and the photos. Overall it was a great day, with perfect weather. Hopefully it will be this clear next weekend at KD. So here you go... I took most of these with my new telephoto lens (70-200mm). But I also threw on a wide lens (17mm) for a couple shots. And finally, one cascade shot of the waterfall at the entrance. It got up to about 80 in the afternoon which made Pompeii rather popular The ye old wagon No trip to BG would be complete without at least one shot of flowers Good scenery in the Eagle reserve Even though they always look mad BG is a great place to see bald eagles I thougth this angle was cool, even though it's not as sharp as some of the others Don't look down Getting ready to take flight I present to you this picture only because of the dude on the far right side My favorite shot of the day. It came from the skyride and I wasn't looking at where the camera was aimed. Surprisingly awesome. Soaring through France Notice how everyone feels about Griffon The best looking DarKastle sign in the park I think the goal here is to let the trees keep growing so pretty soon you won't know it ever existed The Wolf is better at night. However, photos of the wolf are better during the day Alpengeist is the best It's the Alpenloop The Grand Skyline My favorite angle of the Monster LNM crew was dispatching trains like crazy, which makes for good photos. LNM embarks on one of many trips through the land of the dragons None of these people care about the fact that BG has absoutely nothing new this year. Not quite on par with donkeys, but I decided to get some agricultural shots early in the morning. This farm is across the street from my neighborhood.
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