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Everything posted by coasterer

  1. I remember back in the day (like 10 years ago) on my first ride on the Beast, I smacked my fingers overhead as we entered the tunnel after the second lift and drop, and spent the next helix and a half in the dark in excruciating pain, wondering if my fingers were still attached to my body. I'm not even thaaaat tall, only 6' 3".
  2. I'm at the point in my coaster career as well that I'm starting to revisit parks for new credits, and honestly, I'm perfectly okay with skipping mediocre credits that I already have. In which case any repeat visit to Carowinds will involve perhaps a cursory visit to Afterburn and Intimidator only as much as I need a break from Fury rerides. Similar to how a repeat visit to Kings Island will involve Diamondback, Banshee, the Beast, and probably that's it unless I just need a change of pace or other lines are super short.
  3. Your wife (who enjoys coasters, certainly, but isn't an enthusiast by any means), knows what parks she wants to pay for and which she wants to skip, by whether or not there is a new B&M or Intamin and how old it is.
  4. Hey man! I think this is great! Thanks so much for giving us all some insight on a relatively unvisited and misunderstood part of the world. I knew about the Surfrider coaster at Altallah, but the rest is super interesting too! How did your family end up in Saudi Arabia? Have you had any opportunities to travel outside of Jeddah? I think Madain Saleh up north looks incredible.
  5. I woke up early and drove up from ATL this morning, and had a wonderful day at the park! Allow me to elaborate a little bit (forgive the length...) - There were lots of kiddos and school groups as the day wore on, but the first two hours were great. Literally no one there. But despite the low crowds, they were stringent on letting me reride on empty seats on Fury for those first two hours (which I love to do when I'm by myself, and try to be discreet about), so I had to keep walking around (which is totally fine), and then I went over and sat on Afterburn, which was running great! That corkscrew though, is SO intense. Around 11:30, after the crowds kicked in, I got on Fury again and then didn't get off for nearly 2 hours. The ride ops were wonderful, letting me re-ride, cracking jokes, checking in on how many laps I was at, actively helping me find empty seats, - and then (this blew me away) one of them actually gave me two flash pass tickets, one for any other ride so I could take a break and go ride something else, and one for Fury so that I wouldn't have to wait in line if I came back. HA! What a guy! Great crew. Fury was terrific. Everything about it was great. From the honey comb motif to the pacing to the airtime to the intensity. The first ride I took didn't really blow me away, but the more I rode it, the more I loved it. I LOVE how complete it feels. It's long, it hauls, and from a composition standpoint, its layout is super satisfying. The first drop was AMAZING. It goes on forever, and you're pulled out of your seat over the top... and THEN it somehow changes its radius or something 2/3s of the way down and KICKS you even FURTHER out of your seat. Then you slam into seat again in the pull out. Man, the noises that came out of my mouth! Fantastic. I have to say, I definitely preferred the back. The front was great and exciting (like in an ugly crying/screaming sort of way), but the airtime and intensity was way higher in the back for me. I loved the first half with all the low to the ground turns with pops of airtime - the train just flies through these! Then the turn around! Let me digress... I have to admit, from watching videos and seeing pictures, I didn't understand the point of the sideways airtime at the top of the turnaround. I so badly wanted it it straighten out so you got a nice square twisting pop over the top before plunging into the tunnel. Even after the first time I rode it, I was like, "What's the point of sideways airtime??" But then as the day wore on, I loved it more and more, and by the end of the day I was like "OH YEEEAAAHHH SIDEWAYS AIRTIME" and screaming orgiastically and letting my whole body flap limply off the left side of the train as it crested the hill. I really loved the layout. Layouts are a big deal to me. I'm a big fan of layouts that make sense in terms of pacing, terrain, etc, that are complete and don't let down in intensity, and are grand in scale (to me, Voyage, Goliath Walibi and Katun are my standards of layout perfection). Fury's layout was VERY comprehensive and complete, and had everything you might want in a layout. But if I had one critique however, it would be the banked airtime hill immediately after the tunnel. The pull out of that hill is so shallow and goes on forever, which is a really underwhelming way to go into the trim (which actually wasn't thaaat bad) - then the helix - which worked great compositionally but was definitely a weak spot experientially, especially following that super shallow pull out. The three airtime hills on the jaunt back to the station were the cherry on top. I loved it. I really did. It's definitely in my top 10 steel, and maybe but maybe not in my top 5. IMO, it's more enjoyable and complete than Skyrush, Maverick, I305, MF, even Superman/Bizarro. I rank it behind Goliath Walibi, Medusa Steel, Katun, Storm Runner (I just love Storm Runner), and maybe Shanghai's megalite? Hard to compare to something so tiny and compact. I grabbed a quick ride or two on Vortex, Hurler, and the mine train early on. They were all fine (and Vortex was actually way more enjoyable than I had given it credit for from my last visit). Towards the end of the day, I grabbed a ride on Carolina Cyclone, which was just terrible. And i had a few rides on Intimidator, which was just as boring as everybody warned me after riding Fury all morning, despite having really nice moments of airtime. Unless you are in the back outside seats or the very front, the most exciting part of that ride is the Barbecue smell at the end. Also, it's one of the only rides ever to have made me slightly nauseous after a few rerides. Not really sure why. Walked out the gate dead beat but extremely pleased. Great day.
  6. Taking a day off and making a spontaneous trip to the park tomorrow! I went a few years ago, so I've ridden everything except Fury. I'll probably just sit on Fury all day, and meander once or twice over to Afterburn. Super excited!
  7. That's good news! Once upon a time I made a list of the largest mega cities in the world without any coasters, and I think Hyderabad was second largest after Kinshasa. Ha!
  8. It's always been a dream of mine to be able to climb a coaster like that and just sit at the top. That's awesome. It looks pretty impressive.
  9. We're about 60-75 minutes northeast of SFOG. Not as close as I'd like. It's an easy drive though
  10. Awesome report! I loved your perspective. I used to go to school in NJ, and now my wife and live in GA, so I know both parks fairly well, and it's really cool seeing this park through your eyes. I'm on board with just about everything you said, except i don't have a soft spot for mine trains the same way you do . Glad you had a good time!
  11. YES! Badass is the perfect word for it. Storm Runner is a masterpiece, and (imo) generally under-appreciated. None of the other accelerators have come close to its originality and badassery.
  12. I just had a dream (nightmare) that I rode Storm Chaser and it turned out to be really underwhelming :/
  13. My list is super similar to Kevin's a few up: 1) Storm Runner 2) Xcelerator 3) Formula Rossa 4) TTD 5) Speed Monster 6) Kingda Ka 7) Kanonen 8) Rita 9) Desert Race 10) Stealth
  14. ^^Oh my GOSH I almost wish I didn't know that about Alpengeist!! Its first half is absolutely brilliant, and to know that the second half actually ran at a clip once upon a time.... Lord take me back.
  15. Agreed, I can't imagine spending 4 consecutive days at the park, even for the most die-hard among us. If you're there for the whole day and smart about the first few hours, I don't see any major reason you can't do at least the vast majority of everything you'd want to do in one day, even on super busy days. Spend a day or two at SFGAm, and then go do something else.
  16. ^^ I can't say for sure, but it very well might have been the last row of the second to last car. My wife and I just moved to Georgia about 6 months ago so I'm not too familiar with it. The last time I rode GASM was a few years ago and I remember it being decently enjoyable. Goergia Cyclone in the back row almost tossed me from the train coming out of the second turn around. A very pleasant surprise.
  17. Went to the park this morning to take advantage of the light Sunday morning crowds. Had a great time, and was well-pleased with the operations (huge difference from Opening Day). More often than not, they would dispatch a train on Goliath before the second one had even hit the brake run. I really like the way they open Georgia Scorcher and Georgia Cyclone before park opening, and I really enjoyed my rides on both. Mindbender was better than I remember it too. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for GASM. Was out the door by noon with a dozen laps. Short and sweet.
  18. This announcement forces me to the conclusion that Busch Gardens has gone a little soft. If you compare the Alpengeist / Apollo's Chariot / Griffon era to the Air Grover / Verbolten / Tempesto / small-but-still-not-a-42"-height-requirement-GCI era, it seems like the chain has taken a large step backwards in regards to making thrilling, well-themed, compelling rides and stories. Everything is much more generic now, in ride type and story. And I think the same can be said for BGT (though at least Cheetah Hunt and Cobra's Curse are really well-themed). I mean, I actually like GCI in general, and think that Thunderhead, Prowler, and Gold Striker are world class - but this doesn't appear to measure up. It's like the park tried to check two boxes in one (thrill ride and family ride) and as a result kind of missed the mark on both.
  19. Thanks for the update! I agree with you on just about all points. Medusa Steel is seriously mindblowing, and absolute perfection at night. I actually rank it at #2 ahead of I305 and Skyrush, just behind Goliath at Walibi World (which is the perfect coaster in my eyes). When we were at La Feria, Montana Rusa was down for us too. I hate hate hate missing out on wood coasters like that, but we did get the triple loop (I thought it was pretty rough). Superman was a huge hit for my wife and I as well. Totally exceeded our expectations. Six Flags Mexico is such a nice park. And Mexico City itself is just fantastic. Medusa is why I'm more excited for Joker than for Storm Chaser. I see way more similarities in layout to Joker than I do to Storm Chaser (besides the first drop of course).
  20. It is a shame, but it was probably inevitable. People are just so hard to please. Everyone has a different threshold when it comes to cost vs experience, and it's so hard to strike the right balance, especially with larger groups. At the end of the day, the reason you pay for a tour is so you don't have to organize it yourself, and can do the trip with like-minded people. If people were really so worried about costs, they would just go themselves. I run logistics now for an organization that sends several thousands of people overseas every year, and I'm helping a friend start up an adventure tourism company, and I can attest - logistics and trip organizing is a largely thankless job, and can be infinitely frustrating (and personal), especially when you're actually the one leading the trips as well. Every tourism company charges a mark up to help off-set the overhead and operating costs - and the fact that you guys were willing to organize these trips largely at face-value, without pulling a lot of profit from them (and sometimes even at a personal cost) speaks volumes to your character, motives, and sheer willingness. Though I never went on a TPR trip, I can certainly appreciate all the work that went in to all the trips you organized, and hope you guys continue to have fun running smaller trips with friends!
  21. Yes! I think the trajectory of their progress is super interesting. They've been exploding in the last decade with really solid, consistent additions, while most parks (like Six Flags parks especially, I'm thinking), have generally been much more conservative in their expansions. And not only that, but Dollywood has somehow been able to maintain that non-corporate, family-friendly feel. They went from having one stand out ride, to having a super solid line up of 6, well-worth-riding coasters, in under a decade. I mean, that much quality is somewhat of a rarity. It puts Dollywood in a very small select group of parks (I'm thinking SDC, BGW, BGT, Holiday World ...maybe Sea World?) where the number of great rides far surpasses the emphasis on total quantity. And for Dollywood, this happened very quickly. In my mind, Dollywood has always been somewhat of a 'small park', especially because it was so non-corporate in feel. But you can't really call it a small park any more. it's awesome to see a park be so intentional about it's coaster line-up as a whole, rather than just going for knock-offs and cheap thrills. I think Thunderhead put Dollywood on the map. I think Mystery Mind kicked off their commitment to expansion, and I think Lightning Rod will kind of solidify the transition from small park to MAJOR hit. And what's best, is that they probably won't stop here!
  22. ^ I didn't bother with it so I'm not sure. Its line looked pretty full and (I'm pretty sure) it was only running one train. I'm not the type of person to wait 4 hours for anything, but the Goliath line wasn't even *that* long. I guessed it would be a two hour wait because of the one train ops, but it kept having technical difficulties (along with the appalling operations). And I really had my eyes set on riding a good coaster after the off season. Once you put an hour into something, or two, it's hard to give it up.
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