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About OrientExpressForever

  • Birthday 09/01/1973

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  1. According to my Gold Pass membership benefits, the only active Bring a Friend Free coupon is for any day June 5 - 18. However, a recent email regarding season pass holder celebration days suggests that BAFF is not valid on the 17th. If you don't have the SixFlags app, I'd recommend it. You can store your season pass in it so you don't even need to bring the card with you, and it provides you with the most up to date coupons and perks for your pass. Hope that helps.
  2. I've always been curious about the gigantic Viking ships because the Pirate ships are on my short list of favorite flat rides. For those who have ridden, is the ride experience significantly more thrilling, i.e. longer moments of airtime and/or more forceful g's, or does it actually seem less intense? Would it be worth the greater expense for a park to install a giant Viking vs the standard Pirate/Sea Dragon?
  3. Thanks for the great trip report! I had the opportunity to visit this park about 12 years ago and had a great time. I was enchanted by the quaintness of the park and friendliness of the staff. Can't wait to get back!
  4. If only this jaw-dropping level of theming detail were the norm at parks in the US... ...but I guess since it can nearly double the cost, new attractions would be fewer and further between.
  5. While I love Mr. Freeze, both forward and Reverse Blast, my favorite is Greezed Lightnin' of the now defunct Six Flags Astroworld in Houston. If I remember correctly, the intense launch on this one was steam-powered, like an aircraft carrier launch, as opposed to the weight drop variety. Unfortunately, it is now rusting away somewhere and is probably beyond the possibility of making a comeback.
  6. Just throwing this out there as a possible interpretation of some of the journal entries. I noticed that at least some of the entries highlight or reference things that could be associated with existing attractions or lands. For example - Day 4 - "stare first at sky, then at sea" - sounds like what you experience on The Mayflower swinging ship Day 8 - "beakhead and chains" - sounds like Eagle's Flight to me Day 9 - remembering the Speedwell which was delayed by taking on water twice - perhaps a reference to the problems with Pilgrim's Plunge/Giraffica Day 17 - reference to freedom, the struggle and sacrifice, and joy - I think that sounds patriotic like the 4th of July land Day 21 - looking closely at the picture of the ship, the lower couple of boards show a ghostly arm and figure, while the top board just under the deck seems to show a ghostly face - perhaps depicting a headless guy and maybe being a reference to The Legend. There are also references to October and late autumn on Day 7 and 12, which could reference Halloween Day 16 - "something so tiny could be so loud" - could reference the Howler So, I could be completely wrong, but I'm wondering if a lot of the entries have less to do with the actual attraction for next year, and more to do with a "voyage" through the park's lands/attractions to the final destination where/when the new attraction will be revealed. Does that make any sense? Are there any other entries that could reference current attractions in some way? PS, I think one of those clouds looks suspiciously like Holidog.
  7. D.C. Lynch Shows has one they bring to the Richardson County Free Fair in Humboldt, NE every year.
  8. The Huss Enterprise was one of my favorite flats for quite a while, namely Zulu at Worlds of Fun, which has operated there at least since the mid 80's when I started visiting. Going upside down with no seat belt or other type of restraint added to the excitement. Most of the Huss rides I've experienced were fun and re-rideable, (at least when I could take the spin-and-puke rides). As others have said it probably has more to do with maintenance costs and reliability than popularity.
  9. Gladly utilizing the Coca Cola $30 days at Silver Dollar City as an excuse to get down there and ride the much anticipated Outlaw Run, I packed up the family and made the four hour trek to the land of "Holy crap, that costs HOW MUCH????", with a pit stop at Lambert's - "home of the throwed rolls". Sadly, it was the only good eats on the trip. While the entertainment capital of the Midwest has no shortage of fun things to do, it seems to be severely lacking in good places to eat. We checked in for our first stay at Big Cedar Lodge and were totally blown away! About 10 minutes South of Branson on Highway 65, this huge, sprawling resort is tucked away on the picturesque mountainsides overlooking Table Rock Lake. Sound like a travel brochure? Well, the place truly lives up to and exceeds expectations! There are 5 different pools and several massive hot tubs, some of which use salt water, (which is way better than chemical sanitized pools) and there is even a lazy river. There was so much for our family to do at the resort, we just spent a lot of our time there! If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend trying it out. Also, our 4 night stay was cheaper than the nightly rate at most mid-grade hotels in Branson! But, enough about that. Silver Dollar City is one of my favorite parks in the country because it offers a great, all around experience. It has a reasonable collection of unique coasters, balanced with other rides and shows, the staff is fantastic, the food is a cut above the average park fare, the location is gorgeous and the atmosphere is endearingly relaxed and enjoyable. Unfortunately, due to the shortened operating hours (10-6), I was unable to do as much as I had hoped, but we still had a great time, especially because the crowds were pretty light and the temperature was perfect. Outlaw Run - I have been chomping at the bit to get a ride on this bad boy and it did not disappoint! The twists and turns on this beast were engineered to the degree that they felt perfectly natural and bat-outta-hell insane all at the same time. The only part of the entire ride that didn't feel quite perfect was the last quarter of the final barrel roll which, due to momentum loss, caused a somewhat uncomfortable shift to the right side as it came out of the the roll - a minor gripe to be sure! The staple factor wasn't bad and the shin bar was only slightly annoying until the ride was engaged and it was completely forgotten. All in all, a spectacular addition to the park! Wildfire - I am not ashamed to admit that I passionately love it! It is smooth as butter with some good spots of decent force and decent air, with a great view as it sits on the mountainside. A good all around coaster with excellent capacity. Powder Keg - I would classify this as a good introduction to launched coasters. It is, indeed, a whole lot of fun, but not a white-knuckler. I am glad they were able to make use of the Buzzsaw Falls lift hill, it would be nice if the old concrete waterways were filled in for landscaping purposes. It is great that the fire effect still works! Thunderation - Unique among mine trains, this is a fun family ride, but it is certainly showing its age. It has become quite a bit more rattly and bumpy in the 5 years since I last rode it. I was also disappointed that the reverse car was removed. Fire in the Hole - There is nothing like the original dark ride/coaster combo! Unfortunately, it is in dire need of some TLC. Many of the effects are in sad shape or simply not working at all. Sure, it is not a slick B&M coaster or a Disney grade dark ride, but I would love to see a nice chunk of cash invested into restoring this to, maybe, better than it's former glory. New fire effects, gunshot sequence, animatronics, upgraded sound system, collapsing bridge remake, and maybe piping in the smell of burning wood - just a hint of it - would bring this back to life! Maybe I'm just being sentimental. American Plunge - Another oldie but goodie, in need of restoration. Aside from Disney's Splash Mountain, this is my favorite flume of all time. But the effects and gags have been mostly removed and the few that remain don't work any more. The tunnel used to be mysterious and foreboding with a massive waterfall effect that lit up as the log passed, and creepy statues that "watched" you as you drifted by. There was also a whirlpool scene with a dog rescuing a drowning guy, which is still there, but dilapidated and not functioning. It is still a great flume ride, but it needs help. Lost River of the Ozarks - This river raft ride is also one of my favorites and could benefit from some sprucing up. It is still running pretty well, but one of my favorite parts was the hairpin turn into the loading station that sent the raft spinning, however, due to extreme boat stacking, loading and sending 3 at a time, that effect is negated. I am pleased with the new attractions that SDC is investing in, but it is my hope that they will also invest in the upkeep and restoration of their older attractions as well, rather than letting them waste away to their eventual demise. On our way out of town on our last day, we decided to stop for a breakfast buffet at the Great American Steak & Chicken House, big mistake. Ordinarily, in every day life, if you came upon a giant 40 foot tall chicken, it would strike terror in your heart and you would run for your very life. However, in Branson, where giant animals are born and raised, a giant chicken stands at the door of a restaurant and beckons you saying, "Come on in, it has to be great, 'cuz I'm a giant chicken. I wouldn't tell you wrong. I wouldn't be here if this wasn't the best place ever!" Friends, I am a survivor, and I'm tellin' you, if you see a giant chicken, don't believe a word it says. Just run the other way. The staff acted so unprofessionally it reminded me of an episode of Undercover Diner and the food was deplorable. That's all I have to say about that. Enjoy the pictures... Gulp Big Cedar Lodge Do the Harlem Shuffle...board Private swim beach and marina All sliders are required to maintain the landscaping Pick up the pace, you lazy river! The indoor pool Swimmin' pools, movie stars... Where is the turn, I don't see it?? Family pic! Hillbilly shootout or opening ceremonies, you pick. I pledge allegiance... Grandfather's Mansion All people are required to lean at SDC The shooting game is fun, but wish it were returned to the former dark ride and storyline After him! He's getting away! What lurks within the trees... Giddyap Weeeee! Credit, yes, purchased with legal tender of one child Thou art sklooshed They think they are on a quiet train ride through the woods What a nice little building... Oh, wait, everybody run, it's gonna blow! Then, Bammo! The aftermath. I told you not to play with that there gunpowder! Where it all began Volunteer Firefighters needed The free shindig after park closing I see you, Wildfire! Ooooo, pretty! I'm gonna get you! Oh, the horror! Drive, little van, drive!
  10. I was there Wednesday, August 14th. Crowds were very light. Wildfire, Thunderation and Fire in the Hole were 2-3 train waits. Powder Keg was 10-15 minutes. Outlaw Run was 20-30 minutes throughout the day. Just plan to get there before opening ceremonies and head straight to Outlaw Run for a few short-wait rides. Wear comfy shoes for lots of walking up and down hills. Bring change of clothes if you plan to ride any of the water rides and, yes, Fire in the Hole will get you wet! If you like caves, the Marvel Cave tour is included in admission, lasts about an hour, and is a good diversion toward the end of the day. However, with the shortened operating hours, you may not want to use up an hour on a cave tour. The park is one of my favorites because of the unique old-time atmosphere, the picturesque location in the heart of the Ozark mountains, the friendly staff/cast members and the overall fun to be had there. I hope you have a great time!
  11. It may be possible, but unlikely in my opinion, that SFFT would invest in a new coaster the year after throwing gobs of money at morphing the Rattler into Iron Rattler. That doesn't mean, however, that they wouldn't move a gently used coaster into the pictured field. There is already a lot of speculation about the X in eXtreme referring to X2 at SFMM, but that just doesn't seem like a good fit. But, there is another X coaster that is a possibility, namely the X coaster at Magic Springs. It was supposed to be removed last season, but wasn't because they couldn't take it apart in time. Just food for thought.
  12. Orient Express at Worlds of Fun was, not only my first Arrow coaster, but also my first major coaster. It absolutely terrified me at the time, but it was responsible for starting my love affair with coasters. RIP old friend!
  13. That would be my old friend Zambezi Zinger formerly located at Worlds of Fun, now known as Broca in Parque Nacional Del Café in Colombia.
  14. Herschend Family Entertainment will announce their acquisition of Cedar Fair and the immediate re-branding of all parks to Silver Dollar City. Outlaw Run clones and Ride the Ducks up-charge attractions will be added to all parks for the 2014 season. That will be short-lived, however, because Six Flags, after having already bought Seaworld, will soon thereafter purchase Herschend, Merlin, Universal, and Busch Gardens in their quest for world domination. They will install Batman clones in all parks, except in parks where a clone already exists, they will install a mirror image Batman clone, paint it different colors and call it Goliath. Disney will respond by adding 5 more character meet and greets per park including a special adults-only after dark "meet and greet" with Mary Poppins called Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious - by appointment only. Lurking in the shadows, an unexpected super power: Santa's Village Azoosment Park, having secretly amassed about a third of the country's GDP, will pay off government officials and perpetrate the world's largest hostile takeover in history, thereby gaining control of Six Flags and Disney in one fell swoop and becoming the world's largest theme park company.
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