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Everything posted by Looty

  1. VF consistently ranks toward the bottom of the CF attendance...and a 20 million B&M won’t solve that. Accept it! Seriously, go to MOA or go to the Dells or Great America. Valleyfair is basically a small pedestal above Michigan’s Adventure.
  2. Awesome review! I’ve never seen any of the Star Wars movies (or Indiana Jones....I know), but this ride looks absolutely fantastic! Question on the ‘drop’ part, how subtle would you say it is? I love how people scream in all of the videos I’ve seen, but I imagine that’s more from the surprise aspect of it. Do you lift out of your seat at all?
  3. Gyeongju World is the top park in Korea now IMO. I’ll take two solid, efficient B&M’s over nonsense with schedules and PT operations currently taking place at Everland and Lotte World. Plus GW has a pretty decent collection of flats now too.
  4. Maybe it’s a Mardi Gras style parade where there are boobs everywhere. Did you guys ever stop to think about that??
  5. I worked at Camp Snoopy/Park@MOA/NickU for 5 years and could tell you some stories! If there were a reality show on the behind the scenes operations of that place, it’d be must see TV! #debauchery
  6. And then thoroughly pat you down and make you remove your tightly-secured wristwatch, put it in a locker, and then wear a wristband on the ride with the locker key on it.
  7. I didn’t check it out. ‘That’ does sound very Korean though
  8. I liked Fireball, but it’s not a coaster I could ride over and over. It has a solid layout and several pops of air, but it’s a bit too shaky through all the transitions for me. I’d say it’s a top 20-30 wooden coaster though. Megalites are simply fantastic and probably the closest you can get to perfection on a coaster (especially of that height and speed). Definitely a 10! Sheikra has my favorite B&M dive coaster layout. Obviously this one lacks the themeing, but the 10 across seating really makes the ride experience a bit better. I’d probably give it a 8.5/10 but would still take Sheikra for the overall experience.
  9. Day 4 (Nov. 20, 2018): Haichang Ocean Park Ocean Park had been open for less than a week when I visited and the park was still very much under construction. It’s located at Lingang Avenue station on Line 16 which was about 90 minutes from People’s Square and about 50 minutes from Disney (1 transfer). Go out exit 1 and hop on the free shuttle bus. Look for the big white bus with the park’s orca logo on the side (it comes every 10-15 minutes) or you could walk directly to the west for about 15-20 minutes. Upon arriving at the park, you are greeted by the park’s impressive entrance and surrounding area. They have built condos, a hotel, parking structures and retail locations. The park is located in the middle of nowhere so all of this really makes an impression. Tickets were a bit steep (300 yuan or about $45) with them being slightly cheaper during “non-peak days.” Once you enter the park, the Intamin coaster, Dolphin Coaster, greets you with a mess of track. You can choose to go straight and take the bridge over to the coaster and back of the park, or go right and visit the ‘Christmas town’ and the impressive Artic Hall mountain which hosts several artic species. Also, the park’s orca stadium/show sits here. As I said, the park was still under construction so a lot of the landscaping was still muddy, bags of unused concrete were laying around, workers were crawling all over the place (including under the launch track of the coaster right as we dispatched), and some exhibits were not open. I chose to go straight. Probably my biggest gripe with the park is the river that bisects the park. I know that it’s a river and there isn’t much that can be done about it, but it’s absolutely filthy and an eyesore for such a new park. I saw artwork around the park advertising an evening light show on the river with floats and dancers...I can’t imagine how that would look or smell. I hit up Dolphin Coaster first. It’s a beautiful coaster and takes you all around the front half of the park. The coaster also features a lighting package similar to HangTime and Monster with lights that follow the trains. Seeing as how there were more employees in the park than guests, they were only running 1 train with the other sitting in the unfinished transfer shed. The coaster itself reminded me A LOT of Cheetah Hunt meaning that it has an intense beginning, a somewhat-calm middle part, and a twisty ending around the jellyfish building. It’s a fun coaster and probably a perfect choice for the park. I rode 7 times with the front being my favorite seat. After Dolphin Coaster, I headed toward the back of the park. The kiddie section of the park lies in the middle of the park and offers a solid collection of rides for the little ones (including 1 coaster). The large volcano structure at the back of the park hosts the whale shark exhibit with several other smaller tanks with various sharks and fish. Also, the volcano contains the unfinished rapids ride (complete with sleeping construction worker) as well as the sky ride which takes you to the Artic Hall/mountain at the front of the park. The dolphin stadium/Burger King sits directly next to the volcano. The dolphin show was the only show operating during my visit but I chose to skip it. On the other side of the volcano sits another large aquarium with a walk-through tunnel. After checking out the AWESOME whale shark (more on that later), I took the sky ride to the front of the park. The Artic mountain was my favorite part of the park. It contains the park’s polar train ride which takes you around several wintery scenes while weaving in and out of the top of the mountain. The inside of the mountain is home to several Artic species including polar bears, beluga whales, foxes, wolves, and the most impressive sea lion exhibit I’ve ever seen. After the mountain, I checked in on the orca and then headed for the front of the park. Overall, I think the park has a lot of potential with a vast array of sea life. I’d suggest a visit if you’re in Shanghai and looking for something to do for half a day. Nom nom nom Whale shark exhibit...minus whale shark :/ Look at all those whale sharks! “Hey I thought whale sharks were bigger.” Chinese whales say “knee how.” That’s a wrap on Shanghai! I hopped the maglev the next morning and headed to the airport. My 14 hour flight back home included uncensored WiFi and complimentary booze Thanks for reading!
  10. I love these shows! They're so dramatic! Still gotta go with "no bolt guns, no Tatsu" as my favorite quote.
  11. Queues were very manageable both days, but I would highly suggest going during the week. Soaring will absolutely be the longest queue whichever day you visit so plan on getting a fastpass for that right away when you arrive. After that, the longest queues were for the RC Racer in Toy Story land and Seven Dwarfs, so I would actually plan on hitting RC Racer early. Perhaps head into the park and reserve a fast pass for Soaring right away and then head over to Toy Story Land. I don't feel like I missed out on the "good bits" by using the single rider line. In fact, the single rider line for Tron was closed on my first day, but the wait was no more than 10-15 minutes all day. Outside of reserving fast passes for Soaring and Peter Pan, I found myself reserving very few fast passes. The park is just so single rider-friendly which was perfect for me....since I am single :/ Best of all, the park sells single use fast passes on the app for like $7-8. I don't remember the exact cost but it's definitely less than $10. So if you are really itching to get back on something and the fastpasses are all gone, just buy one.
  12. You’ll be happy to know that Pizza Hut is indeed still there, but I settled for a Dunkin Donuts latte and a ‘mystery’ meat skewer. I passed on the ropes course. It was open and looked nice, but those aren’t really my thing.
  13. So I bought a 2 day ticket and had to enter through the main entrance on both days. But once you’re in the park, you can use that Disneytown entrance.
  14. My second day in Shanghai was Sunday, November 18th. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate this day and I spent most of my time indoors eating dumplings, drinking tea, and sleeping. If you’re in Shanghai, google (with a VPN) “Yang’s dumplings.” They were fantastic! Days 3 & 4 (Nov. 19-20, 2018): Shanghai Disney Ok...I have to say something very important here. Listen up! I had somewhat high expectations for Shanghai Disney. I’m a former WDW College Program-er from 2011 (RIP Great Movie Ride) so I love most things “Disney.” Furthermore, I’ve been fortunate enough to visit all of the Disney parks around the globe. I have to say, this place is fantastic! It’s absolutely beautiful with some of the nicest landscaping and coolest infrastructure I’ve seen at a Disney park. Also, Pirates of the Caribbean is without a doubt the GREATEST THEME PARK ATTRACTION/RIDE/THING I’VE EVER BEEN ON! Legit! I’ve been on over 700 coasters, been to all the Disney and Universal parks, blah blah blah....this is the greatest thing I’ve ever experienced. I’ve never felt so giddy while riding something since I was a boy visiting Magic Kingdom for the first time. I can’t go into specifics about the ride system simply because I have no idea how they pulled this thing off. It’s amazing and should absolutely be a top priority for everyone here. Tron honestly left me feeling a bit underwhelmed. It’s a solid ride and will be a huge hit at WDW, but I think I watched too many YouTube videos on this one. The pre-show is fantastic. Great visuals, audio, and general theming. The station was neat and watching the trains pull in made me really excited. The trains are comfortable and the overall ride experience isn’t too intense. I enjoyed the launch and on board audio. I think my biggest letdown with the ride was the indoor section after the launch. It just seemed dark (not flashy and lit like I was expecting) and gave me a ‘Rockin Roller Coaster’ vibe...which isn’t a bad thing, but I was hoping this would knock my socks off. I enjoyed it, but I wasn’t blown away by any means. Their version of Buzz was the best I’ve been on. “Soaring” is the busiest ride in the park. Definitely get a fast pass for that first thing in the morning. PS, I loved being able to search ride times and reserve fast passes on my phone. Also, if you don’t have a Chinese phone number, swing by guest relations and they’ll help you connect to the WiFi. You have to register a phone number to connect, so the cast member just entered her phone number and then entered the code into my phone. Toy Story land, Peter Pan, & Pooh were typical of other Disney parks (Pan has higher capacity vehicles). Seven Dwarfs was my first time on one of those. Decent, but I wouldn’t wait long for it. Oh! Pirates, Seven Dwarfs, and Tron all feature single rider lines. Use them! Honestly, the park is beautiful so just take your time and walk around and check everything out. I did 2 days and ended up wanting more. If you don’t want to spend a lot of cash in the park on food, take the exit near Tomorrowland out to Disneytown and try one of the several cheap options/cafeterias. I had soup and dumplings at a cafeteria there for about $4-5. Also, Heneiken is super-cheap in the park...roughly $2-3 from my memory. The firework show was nice. It definitely gets busy near the front of the park for this so grab a spot early and extend those elbows! I really loved this park and can’t wait to go back. It’s worth adding a stop if you’re in the region. Note: google ‘144 hour transit visa’ to avoid spending $200 on a visa in Shanghai and several other ‘large’ cities in China. Enjoy the photos! Next up: Shanghai Haichang Ocean Park
  15. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza, Happy Holidays...or whatever else doesn’t offend you in 2018. I made a trip back home to Minnesota for the holidays from Seoul, South Korea, where I’ve been living for the past seven years. I found a super-cheap flight on Delta from Shanghai that was $700 cheaper than a flight from Seoul, so I decided to swing by Shanghai on my way home for what would be my second visit to Shanghai. I first visited in 2013 and I have to say, I love being pushed outside of my comfort zone and I love adventures and all...but Beijing & Shanghai were a bit ‘too much’ for me after my first visit (I can only stand so much public urination/defecation, pushing, spitting indoors, line cutting, harassment from prostitutes, & scamming). Living in East Asia for almost seven years and doing a masters degree in a foreign country that doesn’t speak my native tongue has taught me to be very patient, open-minded, independent, responsible, and self-aware. Therefore, I decided to take another journey to Shanghai. I have to say, I had a much better time this time around and met some wonderful people there. It has been about 6 weeks since my visit so time to get this started! First stop: Happy Valley Shanghai I visited on Saturday, November 17th, 2018. After surviving the free shuttle bus (legit crazy airtime going over the numerous speed bumps) from the nearest train station (line 9 Sheehan Station...take the pedestrian bridge over the road to the free shuttle bus), I arrived at the front gate just before opening. I set my expectations low considering it was a Saturday and this park seems to operate their coasters on varying timetables, but I ended up having a great time at the park! It was dead! Seriously, most coasters and rides were a walk on or station wait. The longest wait I had was for Fireball. It was roughly a 5 or 6 train wait, but add in the mandatory stretch time before each dispatch (1 train btw) and it ended up being around a 20 minute wait. Fireball was definitely shaky, but manageable and full of lots of awkward side-airtime (7/10 overall). Next up, I went counterclockwise and hit up the Intamin mine train in the ‘Gold Mine Town’ section of the park...complete with a traditional gold mine Tyrannosaurus rex. I was the only one on the train so I sat there in the station for 10 minutes drinking my coffee and reading my phone while we waited for more people. Overall, it was better than I expected. Good laterals! (7/10 overall). Next up was the Desperado/shooter ride. So this was different. You sit in a theater with other people and shoot at the same screen. I was in there with about 10 other people, but I’m American so of course I’m better at shooting things/people. I scored first place (#USA). Next, I did the flying island and got some great views of the park before continuing on to the B&M kiddie coaster. The B&M kiddie coaster packed more of a punch than the Vekoma versions. Pretty simple ride. (6/10 overall). The knockoff spinning mouse coaster was next. That was a hot mess. (4/10 overall). Next up was the mega lite. This was my second mega lite (after Tobu zoo). It was awesome as usual. It was a walk on so I got about 6 rides before moving on. If you haven’t ridden one yet, you need to. (10/10 overall). The last coaster was the B&M Sheikra clone. Again, awesome coaster. I love the 10 across seating on these. I especially loved riding front row on this at 70+ mph through the Chinese smog. Ahhhhh...(8.5/10 overall). I hit up the giant frisbee and several of the other flats and coasters again before heading back to Shanghai. I was at the park for about 7 hours. Again, it was dead so I had plenty of rides on everything I wanted to ride. Despite some negative reviews, I must admit that I had a great day at the park. Despite the rusting infrastructure all over the place, the coasters were in great condition and running great. I’d highly recommend a visit there during the offseason or less-busy times. Next up: Shanghai Disney! A prostitute took this photo for me. She was nice... I ended the night with a $20 cocktail and a (smoggy) view of Shanghai.
  16. Hey there! This week I had the opportunity to check out Korea’s newest theme park, Shinhwa Theme Park. The park opened earlier this year and is part of what they are calling the “first premium integrated leisure and entertainment destination resort in Jeju.” For those not familiar with Korean geography, Jeju Island is located off the southern coast of the peninsula. It’s a popular vacation/honeymoon destination for Koreans and is often referred to as “Korea’s Hawaii.” The island is absolutely beautiful and offers some stunning beaches and coastal scenery. The island is also home to Korea’s tallest mountain, Mt. Hallasan. There are also plenty of random touristy things scattered all over the island (think Wisconsin Dells minus the hepatitis). For example, you can go horseback riding and then take a small drive down the road and eat horse meat at a restaurant. So back to the park. I was very impressed with what they have accomplished thus far. The resort consists of the theme park, a water park (featuring three Proslide slides and a water coaster), hotel & casino, a ‘City Walk’ type area with shopping and restaurants, and condominiums. The park is absolutely geared toward families with smaller children with the park taking on the theme of the well-known ‘Larva’ animation series here in Korea. So that means you can ride larva on the carousel, ride the larva train, and eat in the larva cafeteria. For the bigger kids, the park features a Mack spinner, a disco, 4D theater, and a few bigger flats. Overall, it’s an adorable park for families. The weather wasn’t so great during my visit so the park was dead. I spent about an hour and a half there and then was ready to go. General admission tickets are 39,000 Korean Won ($35) and the park is located about an hour bus ride from Jeju airport. I hopped aboard a JejuAir flight from Seoul’s Gimpo airport down to Jeju Island. I managed to book a round trip ticket for around $50. The resort is kind of in the middle of nowhere on the island. You either have to rent a car or take a bus. You can take a bus directly from the airport which takes about 1 hour. The entrance had a bit of a steampunk theme and looked great. The Mack spinner is named Dancing Oscar. After the park, it was time for dinner. Korean BBQ is just the best. I’ve lived in this county for 6 years and never get sick of it! The weather was amazing the next day so I opted for the beach! Jeju is home to Korea’s most beautiful beaches. Jellyfish?! Jeju lava man! Mojitos!!! It’s possible I had ‘a few’ of these. And my final dinner before heading back up to Seoul.
  17. I’m headed to Tokyo in a month. How feasible would it be to do Yomiuriland, Cosmoworld and Sea Paradise in 1 day?
  18. Hi there! I had the opportunity to visit Gyeongju World this past weekend and see their new expansion, Dragon Valley, which includes their new B&M Dive coaster, Dragon. Gyeongju World is located in the southeast part of Korea and is around a 2.5 hour KTX (high speed train) ride from Seoul. Gyeongju is one of the more historically-significant cities in Korea and has a ton of cultural sites to see including palaces, tombs, and museums. If you do visit Korea, do yourself a favor and spend a few days there. So overall, Gyeongju World did a nice job with this expansion. In addition to Dragon, the park added a Zamperla Air Race, looping frisbee, and...a Dunkin Donuts! Having ridden Griffon at Busch Gardens several times already, I didn’t expect anything different from Dragon. However, I was quite surprised. The transitions seemed to have a bit more ‘snap’ to them. Plus, the park did a fantastic job with the entry and station theming. The trains, unlike Griffon, are 8 seats across but do also feature the ‘old’ B&M restraints. I first visited Gyeongju World 3 years ago and while it was a nice park, I found myself satisfied and ready to leave after 2-3 hours. I’ve lived in Seoul since 2012 so I’ve honestly become a bit bored of T-Express (gasp!) and Lotte World. Having two B&M’s in one park now makes this a ‘must stop’ for coaster nerds visiting Korea. So this TR starts at an English school on a Saturday. I teach a debate class to a bunch of rascals (term of affection) and today our book topic was, “are girls better than boys?” This little guy, Tony, was adamant that girls are not better than boys. After much discussion, it was decided that boys are actually better than girls. #Democracy After diffusing a small spat between Korean elementary students, I hopped on the high speed train down to Gyeongju. A one way ticket was around $40 My Airbnb for two nights Any Airbnb that provides candy and ‘mystery’ tablets is fine by me. Yolo! There’s an old Korean folktale about a boy who wets his bed. To shame him, his parents make him wear this basket on his head while he goes to the neighbor to request salt to pour on the soiled mattress. Luckily, I didn’t wet the bed...this time Ok enough culture! So when you get to the park, you’re greeted by Dragon which dominates the park entrance plaza. The nice ticket lady looked at me and asked, “are you a foreigner?” I said yes and was quickly given a 30% discount. But first!... Coffee! The Starbucks across the street provides a nice view of the new coaster. The entrance way Gyeongju World loves you Take a right and you’ll find the entrance to the new Dragon Valley. Next up was Dragon Race. This was my first time trying one of these and....yeah, they’re not for me :/ Next up was Crack: The Ride....err Klake, I mean. I was unsure of trying Crack, but many people seemed to enjoy it and were acting all crazy. I rode it and loved it. In fact, I became addicted to Crack! It’s seriously awesome!...be sure to try it. While on Crack, something looked awfully familiar. Hmm... After getting off Crack, I was feeling quite parched so I decided to stop in to ye olde Dunkin Donuts for a beverage. As my friend asked, “why would you possibly need a straw for that cup of chicken?” Answer: there’s a small cup of chicken on top of the cola (or “pop” where I’m from) and it’s awesome! The park’s Ferris wheel gives you great views of Dragon and the rest of the park. Overview of the park I’ll be with you shortly, Phaethon Hey Tagada’s are always awkward fun. The park also has dogs and mechanical livestock for you to ride around on. Next up was Phaethon. It’s a decent invert. This had the longest line of the day so I only rode once. So after riding Dragon a few mores times and doing Crack again, I decided to head out after spending about 4.5 hours at the park. They have a flume, rapids, and a wave ride but I wasn’t in the mood to get wet. Overall, it’s a nice park that I recommend visiting if you’re in Korea. And remember, Gyeongju World will always love you! Thanks for reading!
  19. This is all fine and dandy, but imagine how much fire you could "fuse" into this thing with $14 million. Big waste of money, Merlin
  20. Dear Universal Orlando, Head on over to Osaka and see what USJ did with Flying Dinosaur! It's a freakin' fantastic coaster and looks great in the park. Sincerely, -A growing number of people bored/unimpressed with continued simulator "experiences."
  21. God! I'm really itching to plan a weekend trip to USJ in the next month or so, but every TR I see from this park lately has 3+ hour waits for everything. Sure there is EP, but I can't be bothered spending the money to go when I know I'll get 1 ride on JPFD and have to also battle horrendous crowds. Yikes!
  22. ^ & ^^ Three TPR members in Korea? My friends here roll their eyes at me when I mention going to any of the parks, so I could certainly use some coaster nerd friends. Meet up sometime?
  23. I'm wondering the same thing. I visited a few months back and found it to be super shaky and one of the roughest B&M's I have been on. I rode in the front the first time and it shook the hell out of me. I figured I just had a bad ride or something so I rode in the back the next time and it was the same. I was done after two rides as it gave me a terrible headache. Still loved the park, though.
  24. I used to be a crazy local VF 'fanboy' like many others here...and even had a super-cool back office marketing internship at one time (I thought I was a big deal then), however I learned that this park is simply not driven to prioritize the high thrill market here. It's a family amusement park...and it always will be until a major competitor moves in. For those who continue to hold out hope for some major-awesome B&M invert coaster "next year," I suggest that you find other things in life to make you happy. Constantly holding out hope for this park year after year will only let you down. And for those who follow the word of a certain someone who claims to be close to the GM of VF, even Dave Frazier doesn't know 100% what will be coming in the next few years. He's a corporate babysitter of the park at best. Truth!
  25. People! People!...this is VF we're talking about here. I wouldn't expect more than a few benches and new trash cans
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