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Everything posted by printersdevil78

  1. Awesome cars! Awesome pictures! And another awesome car! I give this TR two and a half thumbs up (I found the half-thumb lying on the ground, so I kept it).
  2. Oh, but the difference between them and me? I AM God's gift to theme parks!* Come on, Mega Millions! *Granted, it was a gag gift.
  3. Jahan, are you posting under krazekiddd's screen name again? My head automatically read these sentences in Howard Cosell's voice. Creepy.
  4. Our luxury coach on the Behemoth/Flyer trip had grape bling on it! It kind of looked like this.
  5. These are pretty good! The Mr. Hanky one made me laugh out loud! So what's the process behind something like this? Are they hand-drawn, computer-generated or a little of both? I've always been fascinated by comics creation.
  6. Wow, how did I ever miss this thread!? I'm actually the president this year of my local chapter of the Jaycees, an international civic organization. We organize a ton of community service activities each year, including an annual Easter egg hunt, the city's Christmas parade and everyone's personal favorite--the Children's Christmas Shopping Tour, during which we take about 200 underprivileged kids (ages 3-11) shopping for holiday gifts. Our foundation raises thousands of dollars a year for this cause through its annual mail campaign, and we get hundreds of community members involved as volunteers and chaperones. The local Wal-Mart is great to us (it probably helps that its manager is one of our members), reserving a block of check-out lines just for our event, donating all the giftwrap and turning its breakroom into a "holding" area for kids when they're done shopping, playing cartoon DVDs, and providing coloring activities and free snacks. The cashiers are great, too, each of them keeping boxes of candy bars at their registers to "fill in the gaps" if, say, that year's spending limit is $65 and a child has only $63 worth of items. That's enough left over for at least two Hershey bars! A local church donates buses and drivers, allowing us to provide transportation to kids who otherwise would have no way to get to the store. A local appliance store volunteers their trucks and drivers to help us deliver the toys once they're purchased (there's not room on the buses for 200 kids AND $13,000 worth of toys). And the sheriff's office provides volunteer officers to help keep the kids in line (we started taking this measure after the year Santa got beat up--some of these kids come from REALLY rough neighborhoods). Depending on how much we raise each year, the kids get up to $70 to spend (tax-free). Wal-Mart always makes sure they have at least one bike in that price range on sale for us that day. Some of the kids go wild and spend it all on themselves. Since we leave the invitation distribution up to the local school system, most of the guidance counselors try to rotate who gets invited each year; for most of these kids, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity not to be squandered. Others have a list and refuse to leave until everyone on it--from grandma to the youngest sibling--has a present in their cart. Due to certain incidents we've had in the past (we've been doing this for about a quarter century now--it started at the local McCrory's, a national dime store chain that went out of business about a decade and a half ago), we've had to institute some unusual rules over the years. Parents are no longer allowed to accompany their children because most of them tried to influence what their kids bought ("You can't have that toy; mommy needs new shoes!"). We've had to ban all foods (except things like Hickory Farms gift packs as a present for Uncle Bob and those checkout line candy bars) and toiletries because after we banned parents, they started grocery lists with their kids. And we've had to add a volunteer officer to our distribution point after we caught one woman trying to steal bags of toys off one of the trucks a few years ago before we could get them to the kids who bought them. After the year Santa ended up with a black eye, I stepped into the role, and I have some pretty funny--and heartbreaking--stories from my three years in the suit. Last year when one of the kids wanted to buy a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV set, his chaperone (who was also a member of our chapter), unable to find any other chapter members in the immediate vicinity to ask, came over to me and asked, "Hey, Santa, we want to buy at TV, but we aren't sure if we're allowed to spend our money on electronics." I told her the rule was no food, toiletries or firearms; everything else was perfectly OK. She made it a point to duck around the corner a few minutes later to say, "Thanks for clarifying, Santa" and then added sarcastically, "Especially on the firearms." Later that same morning as I was on my way out of the store to change back into my "civilian" clothes, two little girls stopped me, and one said, "Are you REALLY Santa?" Having dealt with this question many times, I knelt down and said, "Do YOU think I'm really Santa?" to which the girl said, "No." At which point I stood back up and said, "Well then I guess it's all what you make of it, now isn't it? Merry Christmas!" As I walked away, I heard the other little girl say, "See, I told you he really IS Santa Claus!" Our president at the time, who overheard the whole exchange, followed me around the corner and managed to hold in his laughter until then. "Santa," he said. "It's only 7 a.m. Do you think next year you can try not to get existential with the kids until at least 9?" But my most heartbreaking Santa experience came two years ago when a little girl, about 5 or 6, stopped in front of me, said, "Santa, I have a secret to tell you," and motioned for me to kneel down, which I did. "What's your secret?" I asked. She proceeded to tell me: "My pa says you're not real because you never come to our house. But I know you're real 'cause you made it so I could be here today." She then hugged me, followed up with, "I love you, Santa!" and ran off to start her shopping. Unfortunately, since I'll be busy doing presidential things during this year's Shopping Tour, I won't get to be Santa (not at this event, anyway; I'm still the official Santa for my childhood hometown Christmas parade, which my dad runs). But it's a fair trade for the new community events I've been able to institute this year, including a child safety seat awareness day at which we replaced nine defective safety seats (out of the 42 we checked--a county record at the time), potentially saving the lives of those children; the county's first county-wide Read Across America event that set a one-day attendance record at the city library; a Halloween costume giveaway for less fortunate children (which had much lower attendance than I suspected it would); a post-holiday military supply drive that garnered more than 500 items for troops serving abroad; a statewide disposable camera and gift card drive for the Casey Cares Foundation, a Make-A-Wish-type organization for critically ill children in the Mid-Atlantic region; and Treat Street, during which on Halloween night we will turn our city's largely abandoned Downtown Plaza into safe trick-or-treating environment (modeled in part after Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, only without fireworks, a parade or Space Mountain) for children who come from neighborhoods where trick-or-treating is no longer advisable. Of course, what a lot of people fail to understand is that events like these take a lot of money, not just for the materials themselves ($700 worth of candy for Treat Street alone, for example), but for infrastructure--everything from insurance (which is our biggest annual expense) to postage to meeting space. Because of that, besides community projects we end up running a lot of volunteer fundraisers throughout the year, as well--everything from pouring beer at local festivals in exchange for a small percentage of the profits to holding an annual basket bingo (which didn't do so hot this year given the current economy). Earlier this year, I instituted a new fundraiser that we hope will grow to help fund nearly all of our events each year (the Shopping Tour will always have its own separate mail campaign): a 50-mile bike ride combining scenic views with stops at local historical points of interest. We raised nearly $1,000 with 41 riders this year; our hope is to grow the event to 750 riders int he next 10 years, giving us an annual gross of about $18,000 for a single day's worth of manpower. It sure beats earning a couple hundred dollars selling Panera Bread coupons! Anyway, sorry if I seem overly excited. It's only because I am!
  7. Sorry, King, I must have missed you because I definitely would have noticed either of those shirts (my favorite TV show and park, respectively). However, I did have one guy dressed in all black, holding a cornstalk, walk up to me and ask if I was Jewish. This was before I saw the Sukkot Festival sign, so before he spoke, I thought he was a scare-actor!
  8. ^^^I'm not sure about whether the hot dog eating competition was an up-charge. One would assume it was, but when they approached me about entering, they made it sound like it was free. Since I didn't pursue it, I didn't think to ask. ^^Nope, no Laser for me. I'm allergic to most rides that go upside-down. ^Thanks, Chuck!
  9. I was in Allentown last Sunday for the Philly Non-Sports Card Show (held this year in Allentown instead of Philadelphia, though they kept the name for tradition's sake) and not wanting to drive three and a half hours just for a trading card show, I decided to work Dorney Park into my schedule, as well. I'll admit I was leery--after all Dorney is a Cedar Fair park, and I had a vastly horrible Cedar Fair experience earlier this year at Kings Dominion (http://www.themeparkreview.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=44010). But then, I had a decent experience at Canada's Wonderland, so I really wasn't sure what to expect. Suffice it to say, Dorney Park is one of the best corporate amusement parks I've visited in a long while. It champions its history, has some great rides and is just an overall nice place. Even the food was (mostly) decently priced, which I did not find to be the case at all at either Kings Dominion or Canada's Wonderland. Had I realized I could have gotten a taco for $2 at Dorney, I wouldn't have bothered with the $6 buffet at the hall where the card show was held (I wish I'd taken my camera with me on that portion of my trip because that food was so awful, it had to be seen to be believed)! Anyway, enough with the "blah, blah, blah"; you want photos. The next 97 are on me. Fortunately, I had better luck at the second Waffle House on my route. I was the only customer, so the service was impeccable! The two waitresses were extremely nice, my food took less than four minutes (most fast food places can't even do that anymore), and I got all this for just $7.20! And then I returned home to my boring life. But at least I have the memories of Dorney (and the girl from the "Dead Awakening" show) to tide me over until next amusement park season begins! Besides, I had other plans! Fun fact: The first Waffle House I stopped at on the way home was--are you ready for this?--out of waffles! And the waiter was extremely rude about letting me know that. I mean, what was I thinking, ordering a waffle at the Waffle House? A Dorney Park employee actually approached me about entering the hot dog eating contest, but I declined. Not only did I have to get on the road, but I really didn't want to be on the road for three and a half hours with 30 hot dogs in my system! You know, when the brochure said the sideshow featured "girl-on-girl grinding," this wasn't exactly what I had in mind.... Heidi was the fire dancer. And really, with a name like Heidi, you're going to be either a fire dancer, opera singer or St. Pauli Girl model. She chose wisely. Spike, the stilt walker, was our host for the evening. Why "Spike"? Well, because in addition to walking on stilts, he also swallowed razor blades and challenged himself to play the "shell game" by smashing his hand on a series of paper lunch bags, one of which contained an upturned broken beer bottle. Quality entertainment! The outside was well-themed, though the inside was just Dorney's picnic pavilion with a stage set up in front. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see if the mostly naked girl ever awoke from her nightmare, as I left early to squeeze in the evening's first showing of "General Jack's Sideshow Bizarro" before I had to leave for the long drive back to Maryland (the next day was a work day, after all). This is the stage on which the "Dead Awakening" show played out. I wish I had gotten photos of the actual show, but my camera doesn't do well with moving objects at night. Plus I would have been a little embarrassed. This had to have been at once one of the best and worst theme park shows through which I've ever partially sat. Basically, an incredibly attractive 20-something wearing nothing but Victoria's Secret panties and a babydoll nightgown dances suggestively and sings (very well) while trying to escape a nightmare from which she cannot awake. A bevy of semi-attractive female backup dancers in Frederick's of Hollywood lingerie and a few guys in ripped T-shirts (who look like rejects from either the Sharks or the Jets) provide the "nightmare," which ranges from a car crash to something having to do with a bell tower (I really didn't understand that part) to having her new fiance seduced away from her to drinking alcohol to flirting with lesbianism. Honest. What I really couldn't believe were the number of parents who brought their young children to the show! Signs all over the place specifically stated the production was suitable for adults only, yet there were kids in strollers on up through 12-year-olds. Which I'm sure later led to questions like, "Mommy, what's rehab?" and "If they can wear their underwear outdoors, why can't I?" and "Why was that one lady crawling all over that other lady like daddy crawls on the babysitter when you're not home?" I include this picture from Canada's Wonderland for comparison purposes to demonstrate perhaps the only way in which Canadians are superior to Americans: Dorney's Coasters serves Pepsi products, while Wonderland's offers Coke. See, Universal isn't the only park with a Die-In! You can't see them that well here, but Coasters also featured '50s-colored pastel pink and blue coffins on its roof. Suggested Caption No. 1: Because rusty farm implements are ALWAYS scary! Suggested Caption No. 2: Not to be confused with "Cornhole Stalkers," which is a whole different (but equally terrifying) attraction. No nighttime photos of the Haunt areas, unfortunately, but here are some pictures of the facades to give you an idea of what was offered. This was the haunted Wild West town. Think the basic plot for every generic western you ever saw, only in skeletal form. When I walked by him later that evening, he got sprung. Here's our master of scare-amonies, Jack. Only kidding! The event everyone clicked to see, of course, is Haunt! But enough rides. It's time to get to the event everyone clicked on this TR to see. (Seriously, I think I was the only non-Jew at the park all day.) Is it just me, or is there something a little "off-model" about all those Scoobys? I'm pretty sure the seat belts weren't originally part of the ride, though. Dang lawyers! It even still had all its original brass fixtures! There it is, in all its 88-year-old glory. An original 1920 whip? This sign might as well have said, "Hey, Jason, come and ride me! You know you want to." Of course, I saved the best for last. For my fellow antique carousel enthusiasts. The coolest thing about this antique carousel, besides its being an antique carousel, was that during Haunt, it played organ versions of "scary" TV and movie themes. I heard "The Addams Family," "Ghostbusters" and "Casper, the Friendly Ghost." I know; I could be a postcard photographer, right? A purple, one-of-a-kind 1935 kiddie train called the Zephyr? Sweet! I took a picture of the Enterprise just because I felt like I should. And now I feel bad for caving in to peer pressure. Even the exit signs on Apollo were cool! (I'm a bit of an amusement park sign fanboy, in case you hadn't noticed.) I've loved these rides ever since I discovered them on the Behemoth/Flyer Trip earlier this year. A ride named after the candy bar on "Lost"? Count me in! Someday Road Rally will be gone and something else will take its place. And on that day, this picture will be worth MILLIONS on eBay! ...or Kings Dominion. I couldn't decide whether this reminded me of Marineland... That's probably why! That was the temperature shortly after 3 p.m. White Water Landing was SBNO today. Screamin' Swing? No thanks! Especially since it's an up-charge. I love a park that openly celebrates its history. Here's a shout out to the dearly departed Flying Dutchman. It's giving credits to angels now. Go, kitty, go! ...but most of all, it features cars resembling both mice AND cats! ...and the corner brackets in the cue are themed to resemble swiss cheese... OK, so what makes Dorney's Wild Mouse the best Wild Mouse ever? Well, for starters, they have these cute gate markers... And a Talon shot from inside the park. Because we know we can count on your vote. Also, parking lot Talon. Parking lot Hydra. Because I'm trying to sway the Hydra fan vote. BeemerBoy for president! Fun fact: Hydra was originally supposed to be called Hydrox. The name was changed when plans for it to be the first roller coaster with a creamy vanilla center were scrapped. Let's twist again like we did last summer. Thinking back to those walk-around characters, I wonder if Doo-Doo likes Voodoo? Regardless, here it is again. And speaking of Steel Force... does its logo remind anyone else of a certain other Pennsylvania coaster? Say, in the Pittsburgh area? Oooh, trains for Steel Force and Thunderhawk in the same shot! "What skill this photographer must have," you say? Well, actually... all I had to do was wait for Steel Force to come around. Thunderhawk, you see, was stuck on the lift hill. I took this maybe a minute before the evac. I loves me a 1923 woodie. Fun fact: I caught myself humming Billy Joel's "Allentown" while in line for this coaster. And then I stopped. And speaking of Thunderhawk.... This place had a serious cobweb problem. ...was closed during Haunt? Am I the only one who finds it ironic that Monster... ...and Doo-Doo Head. (NOTE: The woman to the right isn't an officially sanctioned walk-around character, but if she was, her name would be Rude Lady Who Doesn't Care That She Walked Into My Shot Because She Already Got Her Own Picture of Doo-Doo Head.) ...the Mummy Who Apparently Has to Pee... You gotta love the kiddie Haunt walk-around characters. Like Tipsy Pete the Pirate... "Grrr, I am the guardian of the last pay phone in Pennsylvania! Deposit 50 cents or I WILL EAT YOU!" I wonder if Waldameer's Whacky Shack came to the funeral... or just sent flowers. It took me awhile to realize the names on the headstones were defunct Dorney rides. I loved the coffin benches in this section. So what's an angel like you doing in a seedy neighborhood like this? Ha ha ha! Get it? Time to go walk under the giant skull. What's the difference between Dorney and Kings Dominion? At Dorney, this is Haunt theming. At Kings Dominion, oozing barrels of toxic waste are SOP. Because random skeletal organists placed in the middle of open fields are always good theming! I liked this one especially since he wore a Snoopy tie. The zombies apparently were named after park managers. Of course, there were subtle reminders that I was still at a Cedar Fair park. Seriously, $4.50 for a bottle of water? Dude, for just 50 cents more, I can get a whole order of crab fries. Or six bags of coconut haystacks! To go with your strawberry steak, naturally. Yes, you are reading that right; it's a gummy strawberry T-bone steak. I didn't buy it, but since candy was 50 percent off for the end of the season, I did help myself to two bags of Dorney brand coconut haystacks at just 75 cents each! In other news, Peppermint Patty is now facing a class action suit filed by patients with type II diabetes. Woodstock Express track, for those who are into those kinds of things. Some people wait for the leaves to change. Me? I wait until they grow doors. Franklin is to the core of "Peanuts" what Bucky Bug is to the core of Disney. Which is why I was at once surprised and delighted when he turned up at Dorney! "Marcie, why does our school look like something out of 'Little House on the Prairie'?" This is what he looks like now. This is what Snoopy used to look like before they cut off his hands and legs and stuffed him with straw. Of course, not all the Haunt decorations were scary. These ghosts reminded me of the ones we used to make out of Kleenex, ribbon and Dum Dums in elementary school. You know, maybe playing rooftop football is the way this guy got all dead in the first place. And they even replaced some of the cannonballs with bowling balls. Brilliant! There's his target on the other side. So since they went through all the trouble of setting up a random cannon scenario and all, at least they followed through completely. OK, now where did this skeleton find a cannon? Seriously, who just leaves a cannon lying around by the side of a lake? And would you believe the Wichita lineman is STILL on the line? And in here! Fun fact: Just before leaving the park that evening, I stopped in the restroom adjacent to this attraction and washed my hands next to one of the evil clowns. Clowns go in here! Oooh, it's the scary... um... ice cream truck. Yeah. Sadly, I know guys in real life who would pay big money to have their trucks painted like that. They were having trouble getting the dune buggy started this morning. It's good to see they finally got it to turn over. Now who's ready to see the back side of water? It's funny because his name sounds like what he does! When I was a kid, I had a "Ghostbusters" car that looked a LOT like this. Does anyone else remember that, or am I just making up childhood memories again (seriously, if I am, my therapist wants to know)? Somehow, this lacks the ambiance of Disneyland's horse-drawn version. Dorney boasts quite the vehicle collection during Halloween Haunt. I assume they don't leave the hearses lying around during other parts of the year, but since this was my first visit, I really don't know that for a fact. This is how I know I'm about to enter the park.
  10. No Big Mike Roadshow in 2009? This is why it doesn't pay to have heroes Did you happen to see that Skate Daze made USA Today's national "10 Best Places to Let Good Times Roll on Skates" list last week? Do you think USA Today or anyone else had ever heard of Skate Daze before the Big Mike Roadshow? I think not! Keep the roadshow alive in 2009. You owe it to the American people! During the Great Depression they had Seabiscuit. During the Not-So-Great Recession we have Big Mike! The hopes of a nation ride on your coasters.
  11. Thanks, Alex and Menefee! Those old films completely made my night!
  12. Maryland should be taken care of as of last week, if it wasn't already. Good luck, Sammi! What kinds of facts has everyone been putting on these? I included that Maryland is known as the "Free State" because during the Civil War, slaves crossing the Mason-Dixon Line north into Maryland were considered "free" (that's really more of a generalization considering the divided political climate in Maryland at the time, but it's close enough for a postcard blurb) and that the state flower is the Black-Eyed Susan because it contains the yellow and black colors of the crest of the Calvert family, who founded Maryland.
  13. Wow, that sounds amazing! Since your and your partner's having a good time is obviously their intention in giving you this trip, maybe one of the best ways to thank them would be to compile an album for them of photos from the honeymoon. Show them what a great time you had on the trip and give it to them with a nice letter telling them you're happy to feel like such a welcome addition to their family. That's what I'd do, anyway.
  14. I'm sitting tight too... but man, this is like waiting for a second Christmas!
  15. On the plus side: I taught myself how to edit in Photoshop tonight. On the minus side: That's an hour of my life I'll never get back. Because I was pretty much already going to hell anyway.
  16. 1/21 : Disney's Animal Kingdom 1/22 : Magic Kingdom/Walt Disney World 1/23 : Epcot (with Natatomic) 1/24 : Disney's Hollywood Studios 5/31 : Kings Dominion 6/28 : Kennywood 8/2 : Seabreeze (with TPR) 8/3 : Darien Lake (with TPR) 8/3 : Martin's Fantasy Island (with TPR) 8/4 : Canada's Wonderland (with TPR) 8/5 : Marineland of Ontario (with TPR) 8/5 : Waldameer (with TPR) 8/6 : Idlewild (with TPR) 8/6 : Lakemont (with TPR) 8/6 : DelGrosso's (with TPR and sauce) 8/7 : Knoebels 8/8 : Hersheypark 8/14 : Six Flags America 8/17 : Six Flags Great Adventure 8/22 : Baja Amusements (with Big Mike) 8/22 : Trimpers Rides (with Big Mike) 8/22 : Jolly Roger at the Pier (with Big Mike) Still to Come 10/19 : Dorney Park
  17. I'm probably just too stupid to understand why the financial world works the way it does... but how is everyone "losing" money they never had in the first place? Hypothetical example: I have $50 in my pocket. I also have a 401K worth $100,000, which I'm not going to cash out until retirement. The stock market tanks, and suddenly my 401K falls to $80,000. But I never saw any of that money. I couldn't have spent any of that money if I had wanted to. That money won't exist to me for another 35 years, over which time It's probably going to ebb and flow a few more times. Meanwhile, I still have $50 in my pocket. I guess I also don't understand why the banks are being made out as the bad guys in this current economic situation. Yeah, a lot of banks and mortgage companies gave out a lot of bad loans, which was incredibly stupid on their part... but they certainly aren't responsible for the number of people who have lost their homes on variable mortgages, etc. At some point people have to take responsibility for their own actions. Did absolutely no one in the United States over the past five years stop and think, "Hmm, I make $30,000 a year, and this bank is trying to give me a $250,000 loan with an interest rate that they can raise any time they feel like it. If I can't pay, they have the right to take my house away, and I'll lose all the money I put into it in the first place. You know what? Maybe that's not the smartest thing for me to do right now." Then again, we live in a culture where (and I'm speaking in broad generalities here) people will complain about having to put a quarter in a meter for 20 minutes of parking, but think nothing of dropping a couple hundred bucks every time a new cell phone comes out. I'm so confused.
  18. This quote is apparently three years old, and it STILL made Orange Crush come out of my nose just now! (It burns, by the way.)
  19. See, that's the difference between the UK and where I live. In the UK, they turn the local Pizza Hut into Pasta Hut. Where I live, they turned the local Pizza Hut into an abandoned building. Go figure!
  20. Definition of irony: I was watching Leno, and I turned it off about 15 minutes in to go to my computer and check TPR, thus reading about Big Mike's "Tonight Show" appearance during the very seconds I was missing it!
  21. I am absolutely tingling with excitement for the 2009 trip announcements! And I'm not a person who tingles that often.
  22. Thanks for the positive comments, all. ^^^They're pretty relaxed about the "one person from each team must be on the track at all times" rule around here. They'd prefer if that was the case, but what are they going to do if that doesn't happen, not accept your donations? They were even more lenient this year due to the confined space. When we're at the baseball stadium, the "track" is actually the warning track and outside baseline areas. The two years I've been involved with it there, almost everyone is gone by midnight because it gets so cold. Because this was indoors and climate controlled, there were at least two dozen campsites left when I finally left just after 2 a.m. It really was a more enjoyable time in that respect. And yes, I suspect there were some college and high school kids that stayed the entire night. I know I would have if I was young and energetic and didn't have to work the next morning.
  23. If you're only looking for Haunt tickets, the regular online ticket site is the way to go. However, if you're looking for full-day tickets, try this: On the KD website, click "Overview" under the "Tickets" tab and scroll all the way down. Under the "Corporate Partners" link is a box to type in corporate discount codes. Use "VAFUN." It's a code provided by the Virginia Tourism Department' s website; I found it accidentally earlier this year while looking for discount coupons. Voila: $20 off each adult ticket, bringing the price down to just $35 per person. Tickets for kids, seniors and little people are just $20 with this discount. Hope that helps. EDIT: Oops, just noticed the original posting date. Guess I was a little late on that one. Maybe next year.
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