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Mike240SX

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Everything posted by Mike240SX

  1. Fast Lane is a wristband, Fright Lane is a card on a lanyard that they (should) punch a hole in at each maze.
  2. Yeah, they're separate purchases, and always have been, though they may have offered a package deal in the past.
  3. My apologies then. It was two years ago...I didn't actually go back and look it up.
  4. Obviously, everything at Knoebels except for Impulse. Thunderhawk at Dorney. Sky Princess or whatever they're calling the woodie at Dutch Wonderland these days, probably their Vekoma family invert too. Great White, Rollie's, and Runaway Tram at Morey's. Wild One at SF America. Runaway Train at SGAdv. That's about all that pop into mind off the top of my head
  5. @PKI JizzmanIndeed man. If you'll scroll back to my posts criticizing the fact that Scarowinds was a separately ticketed event (along with FL), you'll find a bunch of veteran members here lambasting me for calling out the BS when almost every other CF and SF park doesn't do that, so tread carefully LOL.
  6. When I went in 2019, one FL purchase was required for each portion of the day. Sorry for the bad news.
  7. I think that was the point, to close the park haha.
  8. Is the full list of rides at Darien Lake every really worth going for?
  9. Great report there, @cfc Now for mine.... Photo TR: Sunday, October 3rd So, after my brief detour to the Virginia State Fair (<-click there for the report), I made it to Kings Dominion slightly before opening at 1:30. Decent crowd built up, and glad I spent the $45 for Fright Lane here. Made my way in to the park.... ...and got stopped at the rope heading in to Planet Snoopy. Dominator and Berserker were operating, but meh to both of them...I needed me some Woodstock Express! While waiting, snapped a picture of the Halloween decorations under the Eiffel Tower. At rope drop, I made my way to Woodstock Express for a one train wait for back row. This ride was glass smooth...I don't think I've ever had a smoother ride on any one of these that I've ridden. I didn't notice any new wood anywhere, but man was it nice. I then made my way through Safari Village, in which part of the old path toward Avalance had been turned into a scare zone....unfortunately I didn't get to experience that tonight. Anyway, made my way past Flight of Fear after getting a thumbs down from the greeter (chain was still up, guess they were still doing their tests), and instead hopped on Intimidator 305 for a one train wait for front row. Still super, super awesome. The last couple of times I got on this I was in the back; I forgot how insane the speed and wind are in the front. Here's a video of it, even: VID_20211003_142340478.mp4 On the way back out, Flight of Fear was now operating, so I hopped on for a one train wait for front row. Amusingly this is on Fast Lane, despite not being indicated as such on KD's website. Ed.Note: Apparently, it is now listed on the website, but as of a month ago it wasn't, I swear! I then hopped on Anaconda for a walk-on, solo-ride, in the front row. This piece of shit was shuffling on the straight climb into the first loop. WTF? Time for it to go. As much as I love these old Arrow multi-loopers in theory, yeah, its time has come. Continuing down Candy Apple Grove, I finally was able to stop in at Mac Bowl for a delicious custom Mac & Cheese...my first from here since 2019. Sadly, the portions have shrunk and the cost has risen (now $15 for a standard bowl). Next up was Rebel Yell/Racer 75, for a train and a half wait for the front row on the left side (only side operating). Was very smooth, especially given that I don't think this has gotten anywhere near the track work that its sibling at KI has gotten recently. At this point, it was time to check in to my hotel, so I started making my way back towards the front of the park, but not before stopping at Grizzly for a four train wait for the front row. New wood in a bunch of places for a more tolerable ride than usual, but yeah, this can go die in a fire. I'd almost want to see it RMC'd but if it'll run like Cedar Fair runs their other RMC's, maybe the GCI Titan Track would be a better option. At this point, I left to check in to my hotel. Once back in the park, I headed back to Twisted Timbers area, but stopped to take some pictures of all the old Haunt maze signs first: Then it was time for a lap on my #2 hybrid, Twisted Timbers. Back row, of course, 21 minutes from locker-to-locker. I still hate this system, mostly for the combined FL/standby line after the locker checkpoint. It doesn't help that you can go ride a RMC at a SF park without having to go through any of the metal detector/locker nonsense. Insanely great ride, insanely stupid policies. Outdoor mazes weren't open yet, so I took a walk through Condemned. Nice and long maze, plenty of actors, well done artistry, but a couple of the areas were way too dark and I needed to feel my way around. Headed to Trick or Treat next, which was very well done...much better than its sister at Dorney. Spectacular artistry, and one of the actors actually got me, a true rarity! Blood on the Bayou was up next, and was also super impressive. Great artistry, tons of actors who were awesome at their jobs...all around very well done as well. I also stopped to grab a picture of the only remnants of the sole coaster at Kings Dominion that was around while I was alive (and of adequate height) that I never got to ride: At this point, it was time for the opening ceremonies: Blood Reign / Heads Will Roll at the end of International Street. So I made my way up there for that show. Blood Reign was great, with the scareactors for all of the scare zones for the park assembled and then mingling with the crowd when told to "Go forth!" by Queen Majesty. Heads Will Roll was incredible, and I'll talk about that at length at the end of the report. Outdoor mazes were now open, so I took a walk through Cornstalkers. Still a very tired theme, but at least this one smelled like corn instead of fire retardant spray. This one did have a decent amount of actors in it, a few of which were very well placed, but still...meh. Of course the giant skull was back: Made my way through the Pumpkin Eater area, to some nice decorations: Last of the mazes was Grimm Woods, the one I had been looking forward to the most. As has been mentioned, this takes place during a large portion of the old Dinosaurs Alive path (but not all of it), but was still quite long indeed. You'll take a stroll through three of the Brother's Grimm fairy tales: Red Riding Hood, Little Briar Rose (aka Sleeping Beauty), and Hansel & Gretel. All were very well done in terms of artistry and costumes and actors, but there could have been more of both given the sprawling walk-through area. I also have to say that it was a total missed opportunity at the end, where (spoiler alert) there's an oven in the Hansel and Gretel part that is big enough for two people to fit in. How awesome would it be if there were actors in there acting like they were getting cooked alive? After Grimm Woods, I took in the Riff Raff show near the end of Candy Apple Grove. A great cover band rocking out to 80s hits, including this awesome rendition of Meat Loaf's "Bat out of Hell" Riff Raff.mp4 Eagerly looking for more shows, I ventured into the Cleaver Brothers Carnival area... ...and found that they also had a Fortune Teller booth set up, much like the one at Cedar Point. Unfortunately this one was just one booth, and you only spend about two minutes with the fortune teller instead of the 10-15 as at CP. Similar process through, you draw one card from a tarot-like deck, and she explains what it means. Entertaining enough. I then took in the Burnette the Barker show as well as the Black Widow Burlesque dancers. Burnette was entertaining enough, and the Burlesque show was more risque than I was expecting for a park, but still quite tame by burlesque standards (the girls were all quite covered despite what the following image may show). As the night was winding down, I grabbed a $15 Jack-and-Coke from the bar-truck that they drove up from the water park (the normal standing bar near the Carousel had one person working it and a line 20 people deep), and stopped to listen to the Riff Raff set again. I did not hang around for the other show, The Ruckus, as I did not recognize more than one of music acts listed on the website. After finishing the tasty adult beverage, I took a trip up the Eiffel Tower and grabbed a bunch of pictures of the skyline at night. Apologies for the quality of these pictures, for some reason the camera in my phone sucks at night when there are multiple light sources. While I was up there, I saw that the Heads Will Roll show was getting started again, so I headed back down and took in that show again, before heading out for night. All in all, Kings Dominion easily had the most impressive overall Haunt lineup of the three that I've been to this year (Cedar Point, Dorney, and here). Great mazes for the most part, and a spectacular show lineup. I'm going to try to get back here later in the year just to experience some of them again. I said I was going to talk about Heads Will Roll at the end of the report, and here it is: This was hands down the best song-and-dance show I've ever seen at an amusement park. From the costumes, to the acting, the choreography, and especially the singing...OMG was this just incredible. The main male and female leads had insanely powerful voices (it didn't hurt that they were both super cute too!). Both performances of this show I saw were so on-point. I can't possibly say enough good about it. I'll leave you with a bunch of pictures of the show as well as some select video highlights: "Psycho Killer" by Talking Heads Show-Psycho Killer 1.mp4 "Hungry Like a Wolf" by Duran Duran Show-Hungry Like a Wolf 1.mp4 "Falling" by Trevor Daniel Show-Falling 2.mp4 "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga Show-Bad Romance 2.mp4 "Heads Will Roll" by Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the grand finale. Show-Heads Will Roll 2.mp4 So long, Kings Dominion! Thanks for a great night!
  10. Nashville is only a 3.5 hour drive from Dollywood, an hour to Beech Bend, 2.5 hours to Holiday World, 2.75 to Kentucky Kingdom, etc. I'd say they're pretty well off when it comes to nearby parks. Worst major city in the continental US for access to parks would have to be in the northern middle of the state. Looking at ND, SD, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, and most of Kansas not on the border. Most of Idaho and Oregon are pretty poor off too. See my map of all amusement parks in the country that have at least one adult-rideable coaster:
  11. Since I massively underestimated the amount of traffic I would encounter driving down to Kings Dominion on Sunday, 10/3, I arrived in town approximately 3 hours before the park would open and 4 hours before I could check in to my hotel. What was I to do? Luckily, I saw a billboard on my way off the highway that said "State Fair Traffic - This Exit," and some quick mobile Googling later told me that the Virginia State Fair was only a 10 minute drive away. I checked the attractions list, and saw a coaster, so here I went! Photo TR: Sunday, October 3rd. I arrived, parked in the back of a giant field (do ANY state fairs have actual parking lots LOL?), paid my entry fee, and made my way inside. Followed the signs past the tractors (a LOT of tractors) and animal exhibits, to find the entry to the Deggeller Attractions "midway." First thing I did was take a complete lap of the rides area, checking out was was there and making note of ride prices. Reviews of the two rides I did ride will be at the end of the massive photo dump. Two-trailer dark ride. Standard mini- elevated swings. Standard lay-n-fly. Standard bumper cars Standard Tornado Standard carousel Standard Round-Up, but kinda small and by a manufacturer I've never seen before. Rip Tide, the lone coaster at the VA State Fair, a Pinfari Zyklon that ran some super old cars. Standard Yo-Yo Windsurfer. I've never seen one of these before...kinda a cross between a Tornado and a Flyers, with the controllable sail. Unfortunately it ran so slow that adjusting the sail barely did anything....definitely not going to be snapping these! Standard climbing structure #1 Standard pirate ship Mini drop tower, Larson. Typhoon, a pretty intense looking flying carpet ride. Standard scrambler Zipper, with original cars. Tilt-a-Whirl Musik Express Gravitron Ring of Fire with modern style cars Hydra, a standard mini-claw "Spaceport," kinda an odd name for a skyscraper, but more power to you. Standard climbing structure #2, and Ferris wheel. Apparently, there was a whole nother section of rides that I didn't see until I was driving out of the place, so sorry no pictures of those. So, rides were kinda expensive at this fair, with most going for over $5. What did I ride? Well, the coaster, Rip Tide, of course. Standard Zyklon, nothing really special to report, but the cars were super-old style with lap bars that did absolutely nothing. It's always a great time to feel so free on a coaster. I also rode Haunted Mansion, the dark ride, which was only slightly better than the horrible one I rode at the Delaware State Fair this summer. This one wasn't bad because things didn't work, this was terrible because there just wasn't things. Each room had maybe one decoration. I think I've learned my lesson about these traveling dark rides haha. Anyway, that about wraps up my hour stop in at my second state fair in my life. I know these aren't for everyone, but for the few that appreciate reading these, thanks for the read! Next up: Kings Dominion
  12. Photo TR: Friday, October 1st Eager to get as much value out of my CF Platinum Pass with All-Park Fast Lane add-on, and also eager to get as much Halloweeny amusement park stuff as possible after last year's complete blank, I headed up to Dorney Park this past Friday. First things first, as mentioned, Fast Lane and Fright Lane are one in the same at this park. So if you have it on your pass, you automatically get the Fright Lane included! This park also does not do the typical CF lanyard card for Fright Lane; it's just the standard Fast Lane wristband, meaning you can do the mazes as many times as you want...if you wanted to....which you probably don't. So, park opening was 6:00, and I'll be damnned if they didn't wait until the clock struck exactly 5:45 for them to open the gates. No early entry here haha. Made my way inside, saw this nice decoration right after the gate. Nicer than most CF parks Haunt-intro things, but I guess this makes up for doing nothing to the entrance plaza. Hard to tell with the lighting, but the eyes glowed red. After grabbing my Fast/Fright Land wristband from a gift shop (and a quick visit to Guest Services for a refund on my pre-purchased Fright Lane), I did a quick lap on Wild Mouse (walk-on), then it was time for Dorney Park's #1 coaster - Talon. Here was the standby line, only 30 minutes after opening. Yowch. With FL, two train wait for the back row, left side. Awesome as always. I will say that the supports could use some paint though. I then took in the "Overlord's Incantation" show, which passes the mantle from the Overlord to some new witch character as the new "Queen" of Haunt. Predictable, about 10 minutes long, but the costumes were nice. I stuck around a little bit for the "IllumiNightmares" show, which I expected to be cool, but was only some drummers playing over an EDM backing track. They had talent, sure, but not really my scene. I did grab this cool sunset shot covering most of their taller rides before moving on. I then grabbed a quick lap on Hyrda (one-train wait for back row, left side), for the smoothest ride I've had on this since opening year. Very nice. Still, in my dream Dorney Park if I won the lottery and buy it, it would be torn down and replaced with a RMC I-Box named after one of Hercules' kids that follows roughly the old layout. I then took on my first Haunt maze of the night, Blood on the Bayou. It was decently long, lots of great gags and places for people to jump out of, and I guess CF got a group rate on the animatronic snake prop since it was used here as well. Next up was a half-cycle wait for Wave Swinger, which was looking nice in red lighting. Grabbed a ride on Kalediescope with a one-cycle wait that took about 5 minutes longer than it had to due to the lone ride op continually letting more people in once he had started the spiel and checking restraints. But damn if this ride isn't pretty. Next up was Tourist Trap. Decent enough I guess....not particularly entertaining or great artistry. You'll notice I haven't been mentioning waits for the Haunt mazes - because I didn't have any. Even the standby queues were quite minimal, making it even better that I didn't have to actually pay for the Fright Lane. They had some jugglers performing in the middle of the Steamworx scare zone. And a really cool haunted tree at the entrance to The Hollow scare zone. Next up was a ride on Possessed (three train wait for the front row). As with most other rides here, no sense of urgency from ride ops, who stopped in the middle of checking restraints to have a personal conversation more than once. Skeleton Crew show was back, with some fire twirlers and other acrobatics in addition to the standard "fall off the wall" act. Next up was a walk through Enigma. I thought this was a great concept (mirror maze, strobe lighting, and other optical illusions), but not really all that well executed. Not a lot of actors, but I guess it doesn't really need them. Still nothing on the Laser/Stinger site. Next walk through was Necropolis, an outdoor "maze" in the dirt field to the left of the old Dinosaurs Alive site. This was basically a grave yard, with all of the headstones with fake names and prior rides strewn about, and actors moving through it. VERY open layout, to the point that I at first thought you could wander anywhere, but sadly that was not the case. Next up was Trick or Treat. I remember this one being better. Artistry was just okay, and there were several rooms with no actors at all. Next up was a quick lap on Steel Force (two-train wait for front row), which is always awesome in the dark. Black train is back on site at least, sitting off to the side of the parking track under tarps. Walked down the path in the infield of Thunderhawk, and experienced The Lair, something they call a scare zone but should probably be called a maze since you could only walk through it in one direction. Very well done, great props and actually got spooked by one of the actors, which almost never happens. Next up was a two-train wait for front row of Thunderhawk. Amusingly, only the left side of the lights along the track were on, and they were just steady-burn. Don't these normally run in a chaser pattern? Either way, was a smooth enough ride. Trim brake on the final bunny hills didn't grab as hard as it normally does, which was a super-nice surprise. Cornstalkers was up next. If you've read my Cedar Point report, I'm completely over this concept, but Dorney does it right: You start in some redneck-themed house area, then do the corn maze, then end up in a slaughter house type building with a few rooms there. Ingenious! Each of these themes are overly played out by themselves, but in combination, it works. Obligatory picture of the Dorney Haunt monster truck. Then, on my way back to the front of the park, I grabbed a night-close out ride on Talon (back row right side, walk-on). All in all not a bad trip. Definitely glad I didn't have to spend any money for the Fright Lane, because it would have been a complete waste - none of the mazes had any sort of substantial standby queue all night. The Fast Lane, on the other hand, was incredibly useful - these were perhaps some of the biggest dry-park ride crowds I've ever seen at this park (Talon was posting a 60 minute wait time in the app for much of the night). And that about wraps up might night at Dorney. I headed home, needing to work the next morning, which should have taken me about an hour and half but actually took close to three because PA road construction is never ending. Stay tuned for my next report!
  13. I've never gotten this many emails before. That's what happens when you remove a major perk of the season pass.
  14. LOL. This is Six Flags. They'll start building a new house in like July that year at the earliest.
  15. You'd drive four hours for one Schwarzkopf (possibly two, depending on when you go), an insane "WTF just happened to me" ride in Steel Hawg, the best non-staffed-with-scareactors haunted walk-through you'll ever do, and a lot of Knoebel's-esque charm. From my one trip to this park this past summer, that's what I enjoyed about it. The woodies left me wanting more, and yeah, Superstition Mountain was definitely in that "barely tolerable" category, but the other two were "reasonable" - I've definitely ridden rougher. Mystic Timbers and Woodstock Express (KD) would like to have a word....
  16. Must be all the pot in the air and the water and the food and the blood and the....
  17. Nope, I was there for most of the operating day on Friday (yesterday). Great time, very mild crowds for the Haunts (didn't even really need the Fright Lane), but the ride lines were some of the longest I've ever seen there. For a while, Talon was posting a 60 minute wait haha. I just got done from working a college football game, and am going to KD tomorrow, but I should have my Dorney report up by Wednesday. If you have any specific questions, let me know and I'll do my best to answer.
  18. If anyone was thinking of coming to Dorney for Haunt and you already have season Fast Lane on your pass, do not buy the separate Fright Lane. Apparently this is the only park in the chain where they're one and the same.
  19. I won't argue that, as a country, all crime is on a downward trend. The numbers don't lie. I will absolutely argue that in many areas, mostly around major urban centers, the opposite is true. Take for example, this data for Philadelphia, which is unfortunately not in an easy to read fashion. In 2020, there were a total of 64,524 Part One crimes reported city-wide. Part one crimes are your big boys---homicide, robbery, burglary, assault, rape, theft. In 2018, just three reporting years earlier, there were 63,311. Not much of a change, but that's only Part One crimes - part two crimes, such as quality of life issues, aren't tracked as well and are much harder to find data on. Both also only track reported crimes. In many areas, many many quality of life crimes go unreported because there's realistically nothing a police department can do in response. Taqke for example the dirt bikes on public roadways example from above - pretty much every department without "Highway Patrol" or "Sherriff's Office" in their name in this country has prohibited pursuits of such vehicles barring the operator being wanted for a serious felony. So really, nothing can be done, so the kids continue to be assholes and the PD's hands continue to be tied, and eventually the community gives up and stops calling. I guarantee you if you look at most major urban centers in the US - Baltimore, Philadelphia, NYC, San Francisco, LA, Portland, Seattle, and on and on, you will see a very different picture from what the nationwide stats suggest. Again, my main point is not focused around major violent crime increases...it's the minor, quality of life issues that are causing society in and around these areas to go down the crapper. You can believe what you want, but take it from someone who is actually on the street dealing with this type of thing on a regular basis, the national numbers and what gets reported in the media do not tell the whole picture. Don't even get me started on the trend of some (not most) police departments to intentionally under-report crime by reclassifying events to the lowest possible status, making their numbers look better year after year, to argue for increased funding. And that's the end of my two cents on this topic, I won't delve further in this thread. If you'd like to discuss it further, @abovethesink,please send me a PM.
  20. Statistically, maybe...I don't have enough data to refute that claim about the entire world. But I know from my profession that crime in general, yes including forcible robbery, assaults, vandalism, and petty theft are all very much on the rise in many, many parts of the US. I think also the rise in major incidents of disorderly conduct and fighting in theme parks over the past few years cannot be denied. EDIT: I also forgot to mention the general lawlessness (dirt bikes/ATVs terrorizing city streets, addicts harassing people on Main Street, public urination/defacation, etc.) that plague a lot of areas in the past few years. Even my little local city of 20,000 residents deals with these problems on a weekly basis. But now we're getting a little off topic.
  21. I just love how everyone speculates that the never-even-confirmed wooden shuttle for Dorney is now "cancelled." You can't cancel something that was never necessarily planned to begin with LOL.
  22. Who else was playing with KISS? I saw them about 6 years ago when I took my father for his 60th birthday (he was a huge KISS fan back in the day) and my opener was Def Leppard (more my speed haha).
  23. Yeah, I think the varying ages on this forum (with most being mid-20s and up), you're going to get skewed results that don't apply to these days. I'll try to answer as a 38 year old who didn't have their first cell phone until they were 17. 1) At what age were you personally given freedom to roam a park without adult supervision? The youngest that I can remember being allowed to free-roam a park was 14, with a friend. My parents were also in the park, but didn't keep track of me. This was the mid-1990s. 2) What, if any, restrictions were put on you when you were allowed to first do this? (I.e. check back at certain times, cell phone check ins, etc) Again, we didn't have cell phones back then. The only requirement was to meet back at the designated place at the time to leave. 3) At what age did/would you allow your child(ren) to roam a park without your supervision? N/A - I don't have kids and never will. 4) What, if any, restrictions do/would you put on them? If I did have children, I'd probably let them free roam the park around the same age (14-16), and not require them to check in with me at any point unless they needed something. Of course, they would have been raised to not act like animals and to avoid conflict with others, and they wouldn't have troublesome friends. I would also be very selective about which parks they were allowed to visit un-supervised (read into that what you will). Of course, being the enthusiast I am myself, I would be in the parks at the same time. 5) If what you were allowed to do and what you would allow your kids to do are considerably different, why? What has changed or what is different about you versus your parents? N/A - no kids. But society as a whole has turned into such a shithole that the reasons for discretion are now beyond obvious.
  24. Thanks! And yeah, Fast Lane is absolutely necessary unless you visit on one of those random low-crowd weekdays or a majorly overcast day.
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