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Everything posted by printersdevil78

  1. I hereby refuse to visit any of the other top 20 threads on TPR until Big Mike has surpassed them all! Who's with me?
  2. Last night/this morning was Relay For Life night in my little neck of the woods. For those who aren't familiar, Relay For Life is a nationwide fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Community members form teams, usually affiliated with businesses, schools or community groups, and raise money through individual activities during a 12-hour overnight celebration that includes entertainment, food, camping, etc. Team members take turns walking laps around a track that ostensibly connects the entire site into one giant anti-cancer community (hence the "relay" portion of the name). I probably haven't done a very good job of explaining the concept, but hopefully the photos will fill in any gaps. This year's theme was "Lights! Camera! Cure!" with a focus on movies. I was there with my Jaycees team. Anyway, hope you have as much fun viewing these pictures as I had taking them! ...but she also won a designer diaper bag filled with all kinds of baby stuff (most of which I've never heard of--she was especially excited over some kind of lollipops that help stop morning sickness or something like that). It should come in handy soon considering she's three months pregnant (though she was pretty excited about that oil change, too). That's all I've got. Thanks for reading! Kristin may have needed help with her TV trivia question, but luck was on her side the rest of the night. Not only did she win a raffle for a $30 oil change... Hey Spell Check? YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG! And what's a trip to the movies without popcorn? I loved that they had a campsite themed to one of my favorite movies, "Rudy." Hi, Natalie! These pumpkin Incredibles were some of the coolest things there. Of course we found Nemo... and he was delicious! Chocolate, anyone? Christ United Methodist Church followed Indiana Jones on his search for the Lost Ark (no spaceships here). While the theming at our campsite sucked, some teams went all out. The local hospital cancer center made everyone who stopped at its "It's a Wonderful Life" tent ring one of the dangling jingle bells so an angel could get his wings. They decorated the walls with random movie posters. Some more random than others. Kristin: "You're going to post this picture on that amusement park website, aren't you? Now Diablo Cody's going to think I'm a freak." And I thought my friends never listened to me.... I won this stylish Fox baseball cap... but not without Kristin's help. Seriously, how am I supposed to know the name of the actor on "Two and a Half Men" who plays the dude who's not the dude that Charlie Sheen plays? (It's Jon Cryer, apparently.) Kristin was completely stumped when it came time for her question ("Who is the TV station's new sports director?"). They took pity on her and gave her a "Seinfeld" coffee mug anyway. For the record, we weren't 100 percent convinced that a fifth grader would have known that, either. Local TV personalities Lisa Bryant and Dennis Ketterer were on hand to host an "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader" trivia contest. I'm on a weekly trivia team with Lisa, so it was quite a change of pace to see her asking the questions instead of answering them. No, buddy! Do NOT eat the money! We need that to reach our $1,000 fundraising goal (which we did). Travis seems to be enjoying this WAY too much! Oh, so pretty... I feel pretty... After the luminaria ceremony, we decided to dress Buddy as a girl to compete in the Miss Relay womanless beauty pageant (I told you he was about to play an important part in this TR)! Regardless of the indoor setting, officials made sure the traditional giant "HOPE" sign remained raised and illuminated throughout the evening. The Ocean City Pipe Band made a ceremonial lap around the track during the time the luminaria would have been lit had the event remained outside as planned. Some were lit anyway; glow sticks were used instead of candles. More bars in more places.... Dave took on bingo calling duties from that point on. Looks like Joanne thought he needed a little help.... The crowd picked up a little starting with our second game. Kaylee won our first bingo. For the record, our theme was "The Goonies," though filling the baskets with miniature Baby Ruths was about as close as we came to actual theming. The "crowd" for our first game was a little light, to say the least. Keep an eye on the one on the left; he's about to become a VERY important part of this TR! We did... but only for the first game. After that we gave Travis the rest of the night off. Would you trust a man wearing a Nestle Pure Life water headband to call bingo? We also wore badges in memory of loved ones whose lives were directly affected by cancer--both those who died and those who have so far survived. At Relay For Life, participants may buy luminaria to celebrate the lives of loved ones who have died of cancer. One of our most active members lost her mother to cancer earlier this year. She and several of her family members bought luminaria in her memory for our campsite. Unfortunately, we were unable to light them indoors. Our on-site fundraiser was a basket bingo every hour from 7 to 10 p.m. People in this area go crazy over Longaberger baskets. This was our booth. The banner in front was given to only the first 50 Jaycees chapters in the United States to register their Relay For Life teams this year. We really didn't think it was that big a deal when we received it, but a number of Relay officials stopped by to tell us how impressed they were when they saw it. Normally our Relay For Life is held at the local minor league baseball park, Arthur W. Perdue Stadium. Due to rain this year, however, the event was moved to the Crown Sports Center, a former cork and seal manufacturing plant-come-indoor youth soccer complex.
  3. UPDATE! August 20th. - Official 2010 Announcement - See Below Kings Dominion to Introduce $25 Million Steel Giga-Coaster In 2010 Intimidator 305 will be the Biggest, Baddest and Meanest on the East Coast Doswell, VA. (Aug. 20, 2009) – The most exciting ride in Kings Dominion’s 35-year history will debut in the spring of 2010, as the amusement park introduces a mammoth 5,100-foot long steel Giga-coaster. Intimidator 305 takes it name from one of stock car racing’s most beloved and tenacious drivers, Dale Earnhardt, “the Intimidator™” along with the height of the coaster’s lift hill, 305 feet. Intimidator 305, only the second Giga-coaster ever built in North America, will be the tallest and fastest roller coaster of its type on the East Coast. The lift hill will stand a towering 305 feet at its highest peak; descend 300 feet at an 85 degree-angle and thunder along the track at speeds in excess of 90 miles per hour during its three minute race to the finish. The trains, fashioned after Dale Earnhardt’s signature black car, will roar through six airtime humps plus three high-speed turns and the experience will have guests screaming for another lap around the track. “Intimidator 305 will break records as the single largest capital investment in the history Kings Dominion,” said Pat Jones, Kings Dominion’s vice president and general manager. “The numbers speak for themselves, at a cost of $25 million, a lift hill and first drop close to the height of the park’s landmark Eiffel Tower; you’ll have to see it to believe it.” Intimidator 305 will be located in the park’s Congo section and becomes Kings Dominion’s 15th World-class roller coaster. Dale Earnhardt, Inc. will partner with Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, owners of Kings Dominion, to bring the massive coaster to life. “We’re excited to see this new roller coaster celebrate the speed and intensity of the legendary career of Dale Earnhardt,” said Jeff Steiner, executive vice president and general manager of Dale Earnhardt, Inc. “there are millions of fans that still honor their racing hero and this is a very real way for them to connect with the spirit and passion of the Intimidator™.” Guests will have the opportunity to see the ride being built from the ground up during the remainder of the park’s 2009 season, as well as follow its progress by watching the online webcam, set up to overlook the entire work site. Those who cannot wait until 2010 may take a virtual ride on Intimidator 305, access exclusive updates, features, virtual renderings, ride statistics, and more at http://www.intimidator305.com. Intamin AG of Wollerau, Switzerland, a recognized industry leader in roller coaster development, designed Intimidator 305. The ride is scheduled to open in the spring of 2010. Ride Stats - Track Length: 5,100 feet - Maximum Height: 305 feet - Lift Hill Angle: 45 degrees - Length of First Drop: 300 feet - Angle of First Drop: 85 degrees - Length of Other Drops: 150 feet - Airtime Humps: 6 including S-curve transitions - High Speed Turns: 3 at ground level - Fastest Speed: Excess of 90 MPH - Ride Time: 3 minutes - Hourly Capacity:: 1,350 riders - Number of Trains: Two - Vehicles: Four passenger open design trains with overhead lap bars but no over-the-shoulder harnesses - Investment: $25 million About the Designer Intamin AG is a designing and manufacturing company in Wollerau, Switzerland. It is best known for creating thrill rides and roller coasters worldwide. The U.S. division of the company is located in Glen Burnie, Maryland, and is headed by Gary Palmer, MD and Arnold Bernsteiner. Intamin is a major player in the amusement park attractions industry, supplying some 22 different styles of rides to a variety of parks. Intamin is well known for being innovative and creative with their rides. They were some of the first to create a magnetic propulsion system (Linear induction motors/Linear Synchronous Motors) and remain one of only a handful of manufacturers continuing to use such technology on roller coasters. Intamin also created the first hydraulic launch system. Intamin is known for their massive "Giga" (over 300 ft/91 m) coasters. Their designs currently occupy the top 2 spots of the Golden Ticket Awards.
  4. They were probably thinking the same thing about the photographer. Not necessarily. At Confusion Hill, throw up probably goes up, like the tater on the kitchen table. And really, how much throw up could six or seven Cheerios possibly produce, anyway? I thought the chair at Confusion Hill WAS your Marilyn Monroe impersonation. The most action any of those guys got, maybe.... By the way, didn't we go on this trip like a year ago?
  5. Ah, but you are mistaken. Linton's isn't in Salisbury or on the border of Maryland and Virginia (unless you count the waterways); it's in my very own hometown of Crisfield, Maryland (population 2,500)! I actually went to school with two of the owner's sons. That's really cool. Next time I see him, I'll tell him he has a fan in Nebraska!
  6. ^Thanks for supporting our local economy! (It needs all the help it can get right now.) What's the name of your crab place?
  7. ^^^^Yeah, actually, what are those two pinball machines on the ends? I recognize "Star Trek: TNG" and "The Addams Family" in the middle, but I don't think I've ever seen the two on the ends before. Cameron?
  8. I'm lucky enough to be participating in a local haunt this year. I've been advocating for my local Jaycees chapter (of which I'm a part) to revive its haunted house for the past four years. This year, one member who owns a campground decided to do a one-night-only event on his property, and we're going to be the "scare-actors" in exchange for a donation to the chapter. Plus I get to help set up. Because I'm a nerd like that. I'm pretty excited about it! It's in an abandoned chicken house (I think the theme should be "poultry-geists," though I've been outvoted many times over). If you happen to be at Roaring Point Campground in Nanticoke, Maryland, this October 24, stop by and say hi!
  9. Correct response: "My good ride op, tainted love is when sometimes I've got to (pause two beats) get away, I've got to (pause two beats) get away from the pain that you drive into the heart of me." They would have known EXACTLY what you were talking about then.
  10. Yeah, Indianapolis steals a lot of things from Baltimore! Moving on, it's time for me to weigh in on the whole defunct park issue. In many cases, I don't think it's the quality of the parks that will be their downfall, but their location and land value. My home park, Trimpers Rides, came dangerously close to becoming condominiums at the end of last season due to high property assessments. The state legislature has since granted the park "historic amusement" status, which would lower those taxes... but who knows? This, more than anything, will be the downfall of Hard Rock Park, I think. I happened to be attending a convention in Myrtle Beach the day the big headlines were about the announcement of the Pavillion's closing at the end of that season, and I have no doubt land values played no small part in that decision. It suddenly became more cost effective to build and operate condos or hotels or whatever at that site than it was for the park to continue its operation. I think HRP is going to find itself in a very similar boat if it hasn't already. If HRP does continue to operate, I highly doubt it will continue to operate as HRP. From the music itself to the ride names, licensing alone must kill that park's bottom line. At the same time, Myrtle Beach is a prime location for an amusement park (not just the Pavilion tribute at Broadway at the Beach). I wouldn't be surprised to see a situation similar to the Six Flags sell-off of Darien Lake. All the commercial music theming would disappear, of course. But if people are going to an amusement park, they're going to ride the coasters whether they're called Led Zeppelin and The Eagles: Life in the Fast Lane or the Beach Blaster and Myrtle Mine Train (or something slightly less corny). Of course, if that doesn't happen, I suspect HRP will become a short-lived wonder like The World of Sid and Marty Krofft in Atlanta, Six Flags Power Plant in Baltimore or Blue Diamond in Delaware, only on a much larger and more public scale. As for DelGrosso's, I don't think they're going anywhere for the very reason Chris pointed out: It's all about the sauce! This place doesn't count on its rides to make money; it makes it from its food. Based on what I saw during this summer's TPR trip, they aren't into plussing the park, bringing in the next biggest/baddest roller coaster or paying a lot of college kids to come in and put on cheesy musical revues; it's a small family park that concentrates on the local community, many residents from which probably spend their entire workdays in that big, glorious sauce factory across the street. DelGrosso's is basically what Hershey Park set out to be back in the day, before branching out to compete after C.V. Wood started raising the stakes with places like Astroland and Freedomland (speaking of defunct parks). Anyway, that's my two cents' worth. Now that I've spent a paragraph talking about spaghetti sauce, I'm suddenly ready for dinner!
  11. Sounds like a plan to me. Though I think I may be going to rehab for awhile first. That yellow butter-like substance is like crack for your arteries. I gotta have another fix!
  12. Now that coaster season is over in my little corner of the world, this weekend was a time to sit back, relax and feast on crabs! The Salisbury Jaycees, the civic organization over which I preside, held its annual end-of-summer crab feast this evening, and I thought it might be a nice gesture to take TPR readers along for the ride. To make up for it, we purchased a star for the Make A Wish Foundation. And then we all went home, where I'm typing this TR. And now you're as up to date as I am! We all celebrated Dave's finally completing his transaction after having spent roughly 25 minutes arguing with the cashier about being charged an extra 35 cents for a "power boost" he didn't order for his milkshake. Newlyweds Travis and Joanne make an ice cream toast. Seriously, this is the kind of stuff we have to put up with until the "honeymoon" phase passes! Joanne: "Look sexy!" Me: "This is as sexy as I get!" And sure enough, they did! Three hours later I left the table to find the rest room, and when I returned I found this. These crabs are just super, man! Ditto. That yellow stuff in the bottle at the right isn't mustard, by the way; it's liquid butter-like substance. No time to pose. Must... eat... crabs. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages! We now direct your attention to the center ring where you will find... crabs! Sure, the food was good, but it was the high-quality decor that REALLY won us over! Pincher's is the new crab place in town. It was pretty deserted tonight. It closes for the season in a couple weeks, but stands a slightly better chance of reopening in the spring than Hard Rock Park.
  13. OMG, a $20 hot dog!? I had to open a currency converter to calm my heart rate! I'm better now that I know that $20 wiener is less than $2.50 U.S. (and that the $110 three-course meal is actually under $15). Those are better prices than the original Disneyland! ^^Barry, the first I heard of it was a couple years ago when a group of professors and students from the university where I work went to China as part of an exchange program with a partner university in Dongbei. They said tradition dictated that the oldest and wisest man at the table received the head as a special honor, as it is the part of the chicken that holds the knowledge. In their case, the head went to the interim dean of our business school. It's a Small World Hong Kong is now officially natatomic's favorite attraction!
  14. I would like to take this opportunity to formally apologize for any "haterism" I may have intentionally or unintentionally inflicted upon the Big Mike thread For the record, all "haterism" should have been directed toward broccoli, the silent green killer, and not anyone involved or affiliated with the Big Mike Road Show or Big Mike Productions, Inc. I apologize for any confusion this may have caused. Be warned, broccoli; your day is coming!
  15. My record is almost nine years, from the time I rode the Scooby Doo at KD (my first coaster) at age 7 to my second coaster experience aboard the Big Bad Wolf at BGE/W on a sophomore year band trip in high school in 1994. From there, my second-longest run is tied at five years each between Big Bad Wolf in 1994 and Idlewild's Rollo Coaster in 1999, and Rollo Coaster '99 and Disneyland's Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in 2004. My longest stretch not counting Disney coasters has been a full nine years, from Rollo Coaster in 1999 to Kennywood's Jackrabbit this past June. Currently, it's been 18 days since I last rode a coaster. When really, it should have been only two. Stupid Tropical Storm Hanna.
  16. Let's see, I've got: Arizona California Colorado (airport only) Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia Idaho Illinois (for five minutes because my pen pal/tour guide took a wrong turn in St. Louis) Louisiana Maryland Massachusetts Missouri Montana Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New York North Carolina Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas (airport only) Vermont Virginia Washington, D.C. (not really a state) West Virginia Wyoming
  17. Man, hurricanes really blow! (I'll give you a moment to wrap your mind around that one.) I just canceled my appointment this weekend with the Big Mike Road Show because of Hanna. While the storm should be gone by the time Big Mike gets to Hard Rock Park, I would end up having to drive right through it on Saturday morning at what is now predicted to be its peak in order to get there on time At least the hotels were good about refunds when I had to cancel. Apparently I'm not the only one who decided not to visit Myrtle Beach this weekend. Go figure.
  18. Are you kidding? Elissa Bingo was a trip highlight for me! I'm listening to my Dave CD and taking my "Star Wars" flying discs to play with during my mini-trip to Myrtle Beach this weekend. Maybe they'll ward off the hurricane!
  19. Great TR! The boomerang photo is especially awesome (and that may well be the only time you'll ever see "boomerang" and "awesome" in the same sentence, coaster-wise). They obviously put a lot of work into the Castle of Horrors exterior. Is the interior as good?
  20. After the Behemoth/Ravine Flyer Trip opened my eyes to the world of lumber and speed, I just couldn't get enough wooden coasters! I spent the next day at Knoebels, contemplated buying a full-day ticket to Hershey Park for a 45-minute window I had the day after just to get my fix (I didn't do it--but I was a little sad about it) and ultimately ended up driving two and a half hours after work that Thursday, the one-week anniversary of the trip's end, to Six Flags America to cram in two hours of woodie goodness. I figured out in the end that it was actually more beneficial to go ahead and purchase an SF season pass, which would get me into Six Flags Great Adventure that Sunday. Then five days later, I met up with a very special guest at some non-Six Flags parks near my hometown. And this weekend I'm driving nine hours to Hard Rock Park for one final woodie blowout on Life in the Fast Lane, giving up my last completely free weekend until after Thanksgiving (and one of the only two until after Christmas). It's no longer a hobby. Or even a lifestyle. It's an obsession! And remember that special guest from five days later that I mentioned in the introduction (you did read the introduction, didn't you?). Well here he is: It's Big Mike, who joined me on the Wacky Worm at Baja Amusements in Ocean City, MD! Actually, we toured three parks in the greater Ocean City area... but he took more than enough photos for both of us, so this was the only one I managed. Keep an eye on the Big Mike Road Show thread for updates on our Wacky (Worm) adventures!* *This message neither paid for nor endorsed by Big Mike Enterprises. Will do! I thoroughly enjoy the fact that Six Flags' own graphics design people put the company logo in the garbage on every trashcan and T-shirt. ...and a graveyard. Apparently they were already starting to set up for this year's Halloween event. ...Daffy Duck... ...a barbershop with poor business practices... ...and an Italian castle (wonder if they use DelGrosso's sauce)... Even when I wasn't riding things at SFGAd, I got to see some neat stuff. Like a tiger... But grinding's OK, right? This flag in the simulator's sparsely decorated que area (in fact this flag was the ONLY decoration in the que area) should have offered an early hint that this ride was going to be a flop. Count the stars; there are only 48. The film (and ride) are set in 1969, a full decade after the last 48-star American flag was produced. R&D=fail. This would be the second and last ride my sister rode at Six Flags, the park's new simulator based on a movie that hadn't even come out yet when we rode it. It was horrible in that it didn't actually simulate anything, but instead just showed some film clips (presumably taken directly from the movie) and jiggled the seats a little. Simulator designers, I implore you: If you're going to go through all the trouble of making these things, make them from the audience's POV. That's the ONLY way they work. See Soarin' Over California, Shrek 4-D and Corkscrew Hill for examples. It was cool, however, to see a working parachute ride. Not many of these left, at least not at the parks I've visited. Boy, the U.S. military budget must be WAY down if they're sending troops to train at Six Flags! My side lost However, I did ride Rolling Thunder, in all its rough woodie racing glory! And if I wouldn't ride GASM, what do you think are the odds I rode Kingda Ka? I also didn't ride GASM. Because I'm a sane person. And not a credit whore. Most of the time. El Toro is... OK, I admit it. I didn't actually ride El Toro. Because the line was and hour and a half long, and I felt bad leaving my sister (who normally won't ride anything faster than It's a Small World) sitting alone on a bench for that long. But I'll get you next year, El Toro! *Shakes fist* Next year! I touched El Toro, and I could hear again from my deaf ear! I would trade my first-born child (if ever I have a first-born child) for one more ride on El Toro! God Himself couldn't have made a coaster any more impressive than this! This coaster is simply amazing! Because they're all over here, Pepe! "I cannot understand vhy ze crowds, zey are nowhere near me." Oh, come on. How much did Warner Bros. have to pay the U.S. Department of the Interior to have a whole park named after Bugs Bunny? Our time in Frontier Adventures ended happily. Next it was time for a little credit whoring. And I'd like to give a shout out to the entire population of Guadalajara, Mexico, which cut in front of me in line for this ride. Like most sawmills, this one had a flume and a restaurant. I'm not sure why, but my Gotham City Rail car apparently took me all the way to the old west. At least that's the impression I get from that giant covered wagon.... OK, now where were we? Oh yes, waiting in line for 45 minutes (that short only because I got there within an hour of park opening) to catch the Gotham City Rail out of town. Those who are in the know already know this facade houses SFGAd's newest ride, The Dark Knight. You also know it's been heavily panned, not least of all on these boards. Well you know, I liked it. No, it wasn't all thrills and spills... but the theming was extraordinary. Unlike most coasters, it had a storyline, which I really enjoyed. And thanks to the theming (like the "City at War" newspaper posted out front), I could easily follow it without having seen the movie. I call it a success and would have ridden it again later in the day if the line hadn't been 90 minutes by then. And again! And there he is again! Oh, THERE he is! Apparently that's all it takes to get a star on the Gotham City Walk of Fame (coincidentally, his is the ONLY star on the Gotham City Walk of Fame). And where's Superman while all this is going on, anyway? OK, so the Joker's on the loose, Gotham City is at war, and Batman is too busy posing for pictures with Wonder Woman to do anything about it? Just checking. ...Hawkgirl and The Flash are busy posing for pictures. (Again, Hawkgirl, really? They couldn't have spent that money on the Green Arrow? Or if they needed a female superhero, Super Girl?) Meanwhile, at the Hall of Justice... The Joker's on the loose! And he looks nothing like Heath Ledger. Which kind of makes one wonder why they're still using the traditional Joker walk-around character instead of switching to the new movie version. Even more puzzling, why have a walk-around character of Captain Cold? Only die-hard comic book geeks like me are going to know who he is (The Flash's archenemy). Shouldn't they have spent that money and licensing fee on someone the general public actually may have heard of? Like the Penguin? Or Catwoman? Or Lex Luthor? Oh, THAT'S why! Fun fact: The front page of this newspaper, on display at The Dark Knight ride, was actually printed and distributed as a four-page paper to help promote the movie. This and several other issues were also distributed online as part of the film's virtual marketing campaign. How's that for synergy? There seemed to be lots of places for sale and lease in Gotham City. I wonder why. And while I have absolutely no clue what this was supposed to be, it sure was cool! I wasn't sure if this was part of the theming or just Jersey being Jersey. Behold Batman: The Ride. The theming in Movietown was just awesome! Though I don't understand why they just don't rename the whole area "Gotham City" and get it over with. Noted! So then we saw the Batmobile. Which just standing still and roped off was about a thousand times cooler than Skull Mountain. Should say, "Danger: This ride represents 15 minutes of your life you will never, ever get back. The pumpkin said so." Skull Mountain's track layout reminded me a lot of one of the other family coasters, Blackbeard's Lost Treasure Train. This coaster has such a cool name! And it's in this really cool building! And it has a really, really cool que! And then it sucks. It totally, totally sucks. It's a family coaster (if that). In a box. With one over-sized cartoon skeleton/scarecrow thing. And a neon pumpkin. Yes, a pumpkin. W... T... F..? You East Coast-trippers ALL know what I'm talking about. First coaster of the day: Skull Mountain. People also looked like ants from the Big Wheel. Probably. I didn't ride it. Look up, you people-looking ants! Look at me or I will crush you! This is where the sky ride cars live. I love World's Fairs. And of all the World's Fairs, the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair, though illegitimate, was probably the grandest of them all. So yeah, we rode the sky ride. In fact, it was one of the only two rides my sister (who went with me on the "free guest" coupon I received with my season pass) rode the entire day. Um, is that boat jumping, or did they just forget to add dye to the water? Dolphins live here! I wonder how far Concord is from Lennoxford. A fountain in the entry plaza? How quaint! Hi, Mr. Wiggle! But someone should really tell the Road Runner that his tail is dead. And I guess Wile E. Coyote is acceptable. OK, the Daffy Duck topiary is approved. That's a little better.... Bugs Bunny greets visitors at the gate. At least I think it's supposed to be Bugs Bunny.... Three days later, it was on to SFGAd. We see you and your Halfpipe, Tony Hawk! Roar! Six Flags quality, baby! As woodies go, Roar was a lot more fun than Wild One. It had a lot to do with its crew. Wild One's ops had what I came to discover was the typical SFA "Please shoot me now" attitude (and I stood in line with several guests who I suspect would have, given the opportunity). Roar's ops were high-fiving riders, cracking jokes over the PA system and generally having an infectiously good time. "If I was open, I'd be vomiting boats about now!" Dead men tell no tales! Should we open "Two-Face" today? *Flips coin* Nope! But screw that, I got my woodie fix! It opened as the Giant Coaster at Massachusetts' Paragon Park in 1917. This was the main reason for my 150-minute drive: the historic Wild One, highly recommended by wooddragon1988 during the Behemoth/Flyer trip. My favorite WTF part of this park (and there were many) was how they obviously strove to make it as authentically colonial as possible within a theme park setting... and then piped in hip-hop music throughout the colonial Main Street. Even more juxtaposing was that the rest of the park was bathed in all the greatest hits of the 1970s (go Donnie and Marie!). I fought a tough work day, killer storms and rush-hour traffic to get here... but I finally made it to Six Flags America!
  21. Two days after the Ravine/Flyer trip and one day after my first experience at Knoebels, I found myself with a little extra time while driving from Elysburg, PA, to Timonium, MD, where I had to be that evening for a convention, so I took a slight detour to Hershey's Chocolate World. It should be noted that I was too cheap to buy a full-day Hershey Park ticket for the 45 minutes I had to spare, which is why this is posted in the "Random, Random, Random" discussion instead of "Theme Parks, Roller Coasters & Fill-in-the-Blank." I posted pictures of the new singing cows in my TR last year from the Hershey Park in the Dark Halloween event (OK, technically it was natatomic's Hershey Park in the Dark TR, and I just added photos a week later), so none of those this time. But hopefully the smattering of photos that are here will provide a smile or two for those who were lucky enough to click on this topic. OK, since you were good and read through the whole thing... one picture of Wildcat from the highway! (I think that's Wildcat--if not, someone please correct me.) Goodbye, Chocolate World! ...my ride's here! Sorry, Really Big 3-D Show, no time for you today... And who cares about Twizzler Icees when you can have THIS? A peanut butter cup cup cake and frozen hot chocolate! (Just looking at this picture makes Dan's sugar spike dangerously!) Who cares about Vault Icees? They've got Twizzler Icees! Speaking of Kit Kats.... First, Kit Kats are leased from Nestle. Then they're glued to a conveyor and paraded in front of Hershey's Chocolate World guests. This is how Reese's Peanut Butter Cups would be made if they were produced by magic, lined up on a cylindric cone by amusement park ride designers and sung to by cows. Apparently it had deposited quite a few Kisses by the time I arrived. And this would be the Kiss Depositor. It's where Gene Simmons comes to relax after a hard day. This is how they get Hershey bars to look like Hershey bars. Noted! More smokestacks. More fun. Chocolate production apparently begins on a wall that's painted to look like a farm. The sign tells you where we are. The characters tell you they're delicious.
  22. Nice TR! Sure beats my Labor Day weekend outing at the Crab Derby. And I thought only the Maryland carnies smelled like cabbage....
  23. ^^^Ah, but I did hit Cosmotron! I just had to take a posting break for dinner.... Read on! ^^That sounds more like it. I thought the carousel seemed older, but I remembered 1941 from the sign. ^I think my expectations were probably higher than they normally would have been based on all the excellent things I've heard about Knoebels' food (which held up, for the most part). Plus I was spoiled, food-wise, on the Behemoth/Flyer trip, which had ended just hours earlier. I'm willing to give it a second chance (especially if I can have some more of those fried brownies at the end)! However, plans did still call for lunch. Angela had tipped me off to Cesari's pizza--and it was MUCH better than her tri-taters suggestion! This plus some kind of combination citrus drink (strawberry-orange? lemon-orange? I don't remember) was the perfect way to end my first (but hopefully not last) visit to Knoebels. Next stop: Hershey's Chocolate World! My plans all along had been to stop by Knoebels for lunch the next day on my way out of town. However, I still had a few tickets burning a hole in my pocket, so I decided to venture out early and use them to re-ride Twister and Phoenix. There were two trains' worth of people ahead of me at Twister (seen here). As the last train before I was to board rolled into the station, one of the ride ops started yelling for us all to stand back. Smoke was streaming from the train! Turns out the wheels on the car I was about to board had locked up on the track. They closed the ride, but allowed those of us who were in line to stay. After some brief maintenance, the ops sent the orange train out empty for three consecutive runs while others prepared the blue train, on the switch track, just in case. Fortunately, the orange train passed muster, and on the fourth run, we were allowed to board. When we reached the top of the lift hill, it still smelled strongly of smoldering wood. It was a little unnerving, to say the least! Unfortunately, the brief closure of Twister sent everyone to Phoenix, and by the time I got there, there was a 45-minute wait... too long for my schedule. I used part of my Phoenix tickets for an extra ring-grabbing ride on the carousel and pocketed the rest as souvenirs. My accommodations in nearby Danville. Pay no attention to the price on the sign. I got an Internet discount and paid WAY less than that. High gas prices=low hotel rates nationwide this year. Finally, as the Mahoney Brothers ended their set and the park began shutting down, I (and many others) did leave. I really was about to leave an hour before park closing (I was still immensely tired from the Behemoth/Flyer trip), when I heard music and stumbled upon a very happy surprise. One of my favorite Beatles tribute bands, The Manoney Brothers, were playing on the free concert stage! And finally, more Kozmo. Petrified stump (take that, Disneyland!). Random clown (I wonder if he and the Waldameer clown are cousins). Iwo Jima reproduction statue. Kiddie train to nowhere. Building shaped like a loaf of bread. Building shaped like an apple. Legless soldier. Old wood. Chainsaw sculptures (all bears). Two-century-old White Oak stump (or "Wye Oak," as we call them in Maryland). Creepy anthropomorphic food telling bad jokes. ...which made the top of this pavilion rotate. Just because it could, apparently. ...which turned these gears... Snack bar with a waterwheel... Santa's sleigh (with his picture on it so he knows it's his, I guess). Santa Claus and the North Pole. Themed electrical building in the middle of nowhere (the path from the rest of the park to Twister). Locomotive for kids to climb on. Western show that I forgot about and didn't get to see (again particularly random because as far as I could tell, there was no other western theming in the park). 1875 covered bridge (you had to cross this to get to Twister from the park's main section). Pirate ship gift shop (especially random considering a.) it just kind of sat by itself as an oasis in the walkway and b.) there was absolutely no other pirate theming anywhere else in the park). 1933 summer cottage turned into a candy store. Swans. Awesome defunct ticket dispenser. Church directory. Every time I thought about leaving, I found some other awesome random thing I had missed or some new section of the park I hadn't before traversed. I got there shortly before noon and ended up staying until closing. And now, a series of photos I call "The Most Random Things Ever That I Found at Knoebels," starting with the park's birthday cake (with candles) pavilion. After Cosmotron, I re-rode both coasters a few times (nearly everything was a walk-on all day) and then stopped by Playland before going around to various shops to purchase some souvenirs for myself and others. Unfortunately, I guess some of the unique arcade games I found on the Behemoth/Flyer trip spoiled me because I didn't find much to excite me at Playland. For those who have never ridden it, it is indeed similar to a rave party (or what I've seen of them on TV), as Reon states. For those who were on the Behemoth/Flyer trip, it's the same principle as Space Odessey at DelGrosso's... only with a Matterhorn base instead of a Caterpillar, no black light ninja kitties, ride cycles that last less than a full song, non-surly ride ops and no "Tainted Love." Cosmotron seemed like a good ride to follow Mexican food....
  24. After scoring the free hotel breakfast on the last day of the Behemoth/Flyer trip/first day of the East Coast Trip, I skipped the Sesame Place add-on and took my own side trip to Knoebels. This place was awesome! From old-school rides to a really great atmosphere, Knoebels is my new favorite amusement (not theme) park. Anyway, the pictures show why. Enjoy! These, however, were awesome! Deep-fried brownies. They may not look like much, but they were full of chocolaty crunchy goodness on the outside... and the inside tasted just like warm chocolate pudding! More pics to come shortly. Based on Elissa's positive experience with Pennsylvania Mexican food at Idlewild Park the day before, I decided to give it a try myself at Knoebels. Unfortunately, all Pennsylvania Mexican is not created equally, it seems. This stuff was pretty bad. Yes, apparently they are! What's all this about sauce? Is Knoebels trying to put DelGrosso's out of business? So many great puns.... So much to choose from.... Once the storm passed, it was time for food! And the train. The antique cars. The Ferris wheel. ...AKA Skloosh! The onomatopoeia ride... Downdraft. This thing, the name of which I can't remember. The bench ride. Which is really just a whip, despite the extra "per." The Whipper. The Motorboats. The phallic slide (one of very few left operating in the United States, once so popular that Disney's California Adventure pays tribute to these rides with a neon recreation atop its Souvenir 66 stand). The Red Baron. Throughout the day, I took pictures of a number of rides that, though I didn't necessarily ride them, were neat because of their historic value or uniqueness. Things like the Roto Jets. This being Pennsylvania, smoking was not only permitted, it was encouraged! Right after I got off the Skooter, the big storm hit. It poured for about 45 minutes. I made it to the Fascination pavilion just in time to ride it out. This is what my Skooter looks like when it's bearing down on its next victim! And they were pretty amazing! Just look at all those Lusse Auto Skooters! I stuck to the "best bumper cars in America" instead. No way was I riding this thing right after three pierogies and three tri-taters! Paper goes here! Honestly, as an amusement park history buff, it was pretty fun to see a working vintage trash sucker. During lunch I got to see Kozmo and the Kozmo Dancers (really) sing selections from Disney's "High School Musical." It was every bit as thrilling as it sounds. The pierogies were great! The tri-taters... well, I could have gotten something comparable at Arby's across the street from my office. Tri-taters=fail. After the shooting gallery, I was ready for lunch. My friend Angela, who used to work at Knoebels, told me if I didn't try the pierogies and tri-taters, she would never speak to me again. So I figured I'd better give them a taste. Unfortunately, I was at the park by myself, so I couldn't ride the Looper. And just what makes it so awesome, you ask? Well, those are real 1930s-style metal targets, and you shoot at them with BB machine guns! Right next door is the world's most awesome shooting gallery. Our Doom Buggy awaits. "Warning to seizure sufferers: Don't ride this ride, or we'll have to carry you out in this." And some not-so-subtle ones, as well. However, they do give you some subtle clues along the way what to expect inside. From the outside it looks so innocent.... Another Knoebels classic. OK, is there anyone here who doesn't know the insanity that is the Knoebels Flyer? Seriously, I thought I was going to DIE on this thing! You don't even have to TRY to snap it! Guess who. But that hasn't kept Knoebels from putting it on their menu! The Energizer Bunny is foreman of construction. It just keeps going and going and going.... Knoebels has one other coaster, too. Sort of. Perhaps you've heard of it. It's called Flying Turns. It opens in 2009. Or 2010. Or 2011. Or 2012. And down. With insane amounts of airtime! Going up! Phoneix go in the hole! If ACE says it's good, it's gotta be, right? Of course, Twister's not really the coaster that springs to mind when someone says "Knoebels," now is it? Twister! After that afternoon's major storm, they couldn't decide whether they were running one train or two, so the put both signs up (for the record, they were running only one). ...and No. 2. Nerd shot No. 1... This is so you don't accidentally associate the coaster with a bad Bill Paxton movie. While I've never been to Holiday World, this part of Twister reminds me a lot of pictures I've seen of The Voyage. Come to think of it, this also is how it looks today. And this is how it looks today. This is what Twister looked like under construction in 1998. And this is how it looks today. The museum also included LOTS of old park pictures, including this one of the High Speed Thrill Coaster. Do as the sign says and no one gets hurt.... Aaaay! And this was the clock from the park's skating rink. This bus came from an old German carousel that once operated at the park. This fortune telling machine greeted visitors at the museum's entrance. It was installed at Playland for 35 years, from 1950 to 1985, until the fortune cards finally ran out. But the mining museum did lead to the entrance of the Knoebels Museum, and that was all kinds of fun! And mining train cars wrapped in tape that said "Caution"... which apparently is Pennsylvanian for "Hey kids, come climb on me!" Other exhibits included an array of mining equipment laid out flea market style... ...dinosaurs! While gathering coal, miners are always on the lookout for the No. 1 cause of mine deaths in Pennsylvania... Welcome to Knoebels. Here's a display of mining helmets. Bring the kids! Donkeys! The Anthracite Mine Museum! They even had a whole carousel museum! The best part was that it contained animals from two Maryland carousels I've previously studied. Unfortunately, signs posted warned that photography should be for personal use only, not commercial. And since I'm not sure whether the folks at Knoebels would consider TPR a commercial enterprise, and I don't want to get anyone in trouble (least of all myself), we'll just skip right on over to... Unfortunately, you weren't allowed to keep the rings. But the thing that makes Knoebels' carousel REALLY awesome is that it's one of the few left in the United States with an operational ring machine! I never had a chance at the brass ring, but I got plenty of non-brass ones. Knoebels even put its old non-functioning band organs and music machines on display for discriminating historic amusement park connoisseurs like myself. Om pa pa... Everything about this carousel is awesome, including the flat artwork. But let's move on to the rides, shall we? Like the historic 1941 carousel. This is a random caboose. Why is it here? No one knows! It's all part of the randomness that makes Knoebels so awesome. See? This is Kozmo. He's pretty much everywhere they have a flat surface or spare patch of ground in the park. In case you didn't read the topic on the forum page or the description above, all the photos you're about to see were taken here.
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