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Everything posted by tomtom

  1. I like the website in general, and it seems pretty intuitive. Things I found so far: Clicking the park name after searching for it's coasters gives you a 404. Or at least the kings dominion and the great adventure links I tried did. on the home page "ridden" is spelled wrong, not a bug just figured I'd mention it.
  2. Universal Orlando: 10 minutes Seaworld Orlando: 15 minutes Walt Disney World: 20 minutes I guess there is fun spot too but it made the list less impressive.
  3. Seems like it could have been a pretty cool idea. Especially since those fish will probably just get thrown out now.
  4. I'm impressed, I think you may have captured the exact moment where I accidently elbowed the guy in the face.
  5. I will forever now judge just how far in the middle of nowhere someplace is by clocking the amount of time in which cows are passed. Now, does this count if you are in traffic? Or if it's a slower road of 45MPH vs. 65MPH? There are factors here that need to be determined. It's IMPORTANT! Traffic is the anti-cow. It cancels out cows. UNLESS you are stuck in cow traffic, in which case you are boned. Thanks! Definitely a lot of room for activities! I do like SeaWorld in general, and I liked the coasters. It's weird, I don't usually find myself asking for more animal stuff becasue that's not generally what I go places for but I think it would be good for them in this case.
  6. With most of the country locked into what I can only assume is some eternal frost and obviously most of the parks are closed. But some rides still cycle on. So why you guys up north were busy digging out cars and cutting open tauntauns for warmth, I flew from mostly sunny Florida to probably sunny Texas. San Antonio to be precise. Now this was not initially suppose to be a coaster trip at all. This was suppose to be solely a nerdy trip of another variety. Since I apparently don't take vacations anymore without some sort of video game or coaster motivation anymore, I was in town for PAX South. But I simply could not resist the lure of Switchback outside town at ZDT. Then we discovered that SeaWorld, which I thought closed, was actually doing a pass holder preview that Saturday. So Saturday got co-opted away from PAX and into a mini Texas tour. So we met up with Jake, and ventured out into the wilds of Texas to find some wood. Aforementioned reason for being in San Antonio. But that's a nerdfest for another fourm. Or maybe an addendum. something something something! DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS A bright and early-ish morning in scenic middle of nowhere Texas. Now me saying in the middle of nowhere is not really fair I suppose. It is in the middle of two very big places. And it is a city-ish place. So basically what I am saying is it is just slightly inside, maybe a little to left of, the edge of nowhere. We did pass an alarming amount of cows to get there. But only like 30 minutes of cows. Also, unrelated that shack on the left had tacos. They were delicious. Anyway, We had arrived at ZDT! We made a ZDbeeline to Switchback so enjoy this important safety information! And now for the main attraction! The Dizzy Toucan! This ride had a surprisingly long cycle time which meant some of our party got reacquainted with those breakfast tacos a lot quicker than they expected! But seriously though Switchback. What an awesome little woodie! Let's all take a few photos to admire it. It's obviously not the tallest or the fastest, but how many shuttle wooden coasters are you gonna ride? Well, just this one I guess since it's one of a kind. It's so strange to be staring at this spike and it's all just wood. It's kind of a bit intimidating at this angle. Here it is from the other side, you can just make out the ZDT on the supports. They really crammed a good amount of coaster into a very small space. I personally wouldn't mind walking out my front door and seeing that train zooming by. It was a beautiful day for some wood action. A small coaster calls for a small train You swing through a building, past a patio and then you do it all again! ZDT also has go karts. Here's a sign that I'm telling the truth but I have no further evidence. They are fun. So that was ZDT. I think we would switchback seven or Ten times. It is a really fun ride and if you have the means and time I would highly suggest you check it out. After a stop at whataburger and driving to the other side of San Antonio, we arrived at SeaWorld. This is the Sea. There isn't that much water because it's in Texas and it's desert or something. But yea, that's the main attraction. There it is. Yep. Okay moving into the actual park we went to Steel Eel first. Did I mention what a nice day it was? Really anyone who lives up north should be jealous. Especially if they live in Pennsylvania. *cough* derek *cough* There were long lines everywhere that day at Seaworld. Unless you wanted to ride a ride, those you could just walk on to. Turns out people would rather have free souvenir cups then multiple coaster rides in a row, who knew? Steel Eel was fun. And since the park on this side is largely barren of anything else to take a picture of, I present you this hill. I did like how it basically follows the guest path for a ways. Hmm... This looks vaguely familiar. Oh man, it's the old penguin encounter like Orlando use to have!? And it's penguin doing the nasty season? Score! Check out those chicks. I missed the old penguin encounter with it's slow little moving walkway ride. Surely, it will soon be replaced with two, one mild and one wild. The wait time will be two hours. After penguins, we found lizards. Jake had a heart to heart with one. Here's the great white. He's trying to eat more veggies because when he grows up he wants to be batman. Oh, wait... He is. Good ride. There really wasn't much to do in the park, even including animals. The sharks and dolphins are hidden in Discovery Point, which is not open. And Aquatica is also obviously not open because winter or something. So it's not a trip to SeaWorld without Shamu! I am a little envious of this completely shaded stadium. Orlando's is more impressive but this feels more practical almost. Sad Shamu Happy Shamu! So long and thanks for all the fish! Shamu always has time for a staring contest! This picture is a bit blurry, but in my mind it makes me think the trainer is using telekinesis to levitate the whale in mid air. Shamu shows off his Titanic impression. The show itself was ok. It's a lot more based on education then other Shamu shows I have seen. It had a lot of "our trainers do x and then the whales do y" kind of moments. Now let's have cute kid "z" do "x" and watch the whale do "y"! It's still impressive though. Finally I have a picture of where all the real crowds were at! Somewhere back there is a soda stand. At the end of the day, nobody wants to ride coasters or see whales, they just want free cups. Journey to Atlantis was closed for maintenance. It's strange that they tore down the entire show building to do whatever they needed.... Oh...? It's... it's always like that? That's disappointing. So that was two-ish hours at SeaWorld San Antonio. Coasters were good, animals were few and far between. I also didn't know that this Seaworld did Howl-o-Scream. That seems like a odd event for a Seaworld park but good for them! I'll leave you with a distant photo of Six Flags Fiesta Texas, which we dorkily eyeballed from the mall next door since it was closed for the 3 weeks of winter they have in Texas. So Switchback was super cool. The folks at ZDT were super friendly and if you can go check it out. SeaWorld, on the other hand, you could probably skip. I don't feel any real need to go back since I have SeaWorld Orlando, a clearly the superior park, but I guess I'll still have to check out their Aquatica next time I make it out there. Anyway after leaving SeaWorld, we pretty much headed back downtown for more PAX things so that's all the coaster content I got for today.
  7. The final day of the trip was to be spent at Knotts. I couldn't have asked for a better park to serve as a finale to this trip. It's conveient location immediately adjacent to my bed made Sunday the easiest day of them all. Honestly, by this point I was in desperate need of turning the pace down a few notches. Spending 3 days walking around the surface of the sun at theme parks from before open until after close was beginning to take a toll. Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy So Knotts, was the perfect place to calm down a bit and just dial it back a bit, but Knotts had given us a full and awesome itinerary! ERT, tours, Q&A, food, Knotts really pulled out all the stops for us. The day was still relaxing, and the entire mood seemed a bit lighter and more peaceful then Saturday. Join me as we travel back to the long past day of September the thirteenth The first order of business was a tour of Sierra Sidewinder's elevator maintenance track It was a very interesting, if a bit cramped, concrete room. I will never tire of the exclusive tours at TPR events. The next order of business, was a look at Ghost rider and its excessive wood. Apparently, California has this little earthquake problem so the solution was apparently to just continue to add wood until a bridge could be built from Knotts to Disneyland so that the earthquake survivors could trade resources without venturing in to the lawless wastelands between the two that would surely spring up when the big one hits. The tour guide told of us of a person before us who took a panorama of the entire structure and how cool it looked. So I stole that idea and did the same. it does look pretty cool. This is where you leave your loose articles when you ride. No, wait sorry, this is where They leave the articles that you lost because you are dumb and didn't leave them where they told you too. Being surrounded by all this wood is starting to make me uncomfortable. Everybody taking in the wood Time to wander back into the park proper and find some ERT So obviously I have never been to Knotts and I kinda wandered off from my group at this point as everyone was still marveling at the copious amounts of wood. Immediately I make a turn the the right assuming it would take me to Montezooma's Revenge. I wasn't wrong... technically. I ended up on the scenic route. Everyone else, being smarter then me took the direct path. I wandered down an empty path, beginning to worry that I would be lost forever and eaten by wolves. "Why o why didn't I get a map with my badge!" I cried to the coaster gods. And the coaster gods responded, "You did, you half delirious idiot" And so it came to pass that I did have a map, and the path circled back to where I wanted to go, and all was well. Gee, guess I don't have to resort to eating my legs after all. I was the only around for Montezooma to extract their revenge on. Wait, no maybe I did go to far, this looks like it might be Mexico. I knew I should of turned left at Albuquerque I know I rode Silver bullet next, but there are no pictures so here's Xcelerator instead. It's like Kingda Ka and Dragster had a baby and then put it into protective custody since neither of them can be trusted as parents. I like the twisty bits. Oh good, the day star is still around. I was worried the temperatures would drop below 1000 today. Man, this place is a real Ghost town. YEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAA I made it over to the Iron reef just in time to get hit by some friendly fire. It was a good ride and I think did respectable for a first try. With the park opening for real it was time to hit the classics. It was a bit tight down in the mines but somehow we all fit. Oh, there's Silver Bullet! What do you know I do have a picture of it after all. I would show you pictures from the mines but that are blurry and garbage and they didn't have iphones in whatever time period this mine exists in. So this picture from the Mine train of another ride is all you get. Next we took a lap on the truly impressive log flume, but I didn't take any pictures of it either so here's a train instead. At this point I ran back to the hotel to gather all my stuff and check out. I may have napped, I can neither confirm or deny it at this time. When I got back it was lunch time. Knotts gave us some great food. I got to eat some of those chickens I saw wandering around earlier and some corn and some pie and all the boysenberry soda I could drink, which is a lot. TPRQuest was after lunch and it was quite a sight to behold. There was some air guitar, some pie eating, and a few kidnappings. the highlight was definitely seeing a member of the Knotts management team get swarmed by TPR members and then carried on to the stage! Garbels and Casey lost the air guitar challenge by default, but also won because they got to stay in the shade. I''m pretty sure one of you guys is doing that backwards but at least it's symmetrical! After lunch we took a ride on Ghostrider. Haha, no, not even if it was open. Although I guess I would of had too so I could be informed of how bad it was personally but oh well, Thanks for sparing me the pain Knotts! I hope I get back to ride it when it reopens! I don't have very many pictures from the afternoon. Garbels and I wandered around and got the remaining credits. I know I got some more of that delicious boysenberry inside of me. Sadly, all things most end. It was time to begin the journey home. So the fun was over, and all that was left was the Red eye. I wish I could of stayed longer and visited more of Southern California, but I'm sure I'll be back before too long. I want to re-iterate my thanks to Robb and Elissa, to Magic Mountain, and Knotts Berry Farm, to all the friends that hung out and showed me around the various parks . This was basically the type of trip I have dreamed of since I first found TPR and it wasn't even technically a TPR trip. I don't want get sappy so I'll just delete everything after this sentence and we'll call it a Trip Report. The End! Thanks for reading!
  8. ^Thanks! Future reports probably have to wait till I actually go to another non Orlando place. We got so many half duels. Those fully dueling rides were like unicorns.
  9. Alright so I kind of dropped the ball and lost my updating streak. Speaking of dropping the ball, it's time to cover Six Flags Magic Mountain! Okay that's not really fair, it was a lovely day on the Mountain. It would be hard for any park to pass muster when you had just spent the last two days gallivanting around Disneyland. I've spent an absurd amount of time at Great Adventure in my youth, so expect some more of that compare and contrast nonsense I was so fond of in the Disneyland section. Right, onto pictures then.... After a scenic drive down what I am told must be referred to as "The 5" as opposed to I-5, we arrived. Riding in with Robb and Elissa, I honestly expected to be the first one there and yet you see 2 cars in front of us! How are you people already here!? We woke up so early I don't even remember waking up and you beat us!? 2 points to Magic Mountain for having scenic view of a "mountain" Someone tell the guard to open up the gates! 5 points to MM for having actually gates. So riding in with the Alvey's, I provided some assistance with getting everyone checked in and registered. My personally chosen title which I did not make up until right this moment was "Professional Lanyard and Wristband Wrapper Extraordinaire." I learned some cursory things about what it's like to check in a ungodly number of people at an ungodly hour of the morning, but the main thing I learned, is that some of you do not know your own name. You know who you are! Well, I guess technically you don't, but you get it. Anyway into the park we go! The gates are open! And they're never closing them again! Well, until closing. Alright MM, this looks impressive! I am impressed, show me more! Full Throttle is really pretty. I took an alarming amount of photos of it and I will try not to bore you with to many. Fun Fact: Apparently this ride isn't actually called YOLOcoaster! The more you know! Oh It's so nice to be at an ert. There's nobody here but me. And that guy over there. Goliath was actually the first coaster I rode, I know I was posting pictures of Full Throttle, but it YOLO'ed to hard and broke. Goliath was nice, though we got yelled at for pulling our restraints down because when they say "Safety begins with you." they actually mean "Safety begins with our under paid ride ops." I can only assume Californians do not have a healthy fear of death, and thus can not be trusted to properly lower their own restraint. Ok fine you need to check the seat belts I get it, still, you didn't have to be so rude. That'll lose you some points. You know, every time I go back to New Jersey, I take a trip to Great Adventure, and I ride Medusa/Bizzaro/that one in the back and I think to myself, "You know all these trees are just so distracting. It's like I don't even want to look at the track! Then there's all this grass. So much green, so vibrant and lush, laughing in Humanity's face like we'll never accomplish anything! I wish there was a place I could go and ride coasters without all those pesky trees stealing my attention. Some place that would just show that stupid earth hair we call grass whose boss!" Ladies and Gentlemen, I have found that place, it's in California. Ladies and Gentleman, let me introduce to you on the true sign's of man's domination over nature, Scream! Man, all the ranting makes me want to scream! OH! WHAT DO YOU KNOW I HAVE A RELEVANT PHOTOGRAPH! Man, that parking lot though, I could stare at if for day's..... So majestic! Anyway, the rest of morning ert was spent riding Twisted Colossus because it is wonderful. It didn't really do any dueling in the AM but we'd experience that magic soon enough Before ERT ended, I finally got to push the Throttle to Full. I wish I had taken more photos of the entrance and the area around Full Throttle because I had never experienced anything like it before. I'm not talking about the ride, though that forced roll back was certainly unique and interesting. I'm talking about the fact the coaster seems to be themed to joining a cult. It's hard to explain without being there but they got this wierd video going on this giant screen about doing all this crazy stuff. It's hard to explain but I certainly don't want to "Ride it, Live it" I guess it fits with the whole YOLO theme? I will award points for the unique ride elements and subtract points for the creepy cult vibe and call it even. X2's theme on the other hand is just pushy. it says: "Are you going to stand by the side or ride?" To which I respond: "Hey, I'm walking here!" X2 is obviously a very unique ride that I was excited to experience. I have never ridden anything like it, and with a little luck I'll never ride anything like it again. Maybe that's not fair, it wasn't an awful ride and I only did ride it once, but I couldn't at any point just sit back and enjoy the ride. It was a constant battle to keep my person from flopping around from a dying fish inside that restraint. At any moment the entire thing was just liable to rotate any which way it pleased. And not in the fun way either. But the bruise healed, and most of my memory returned. I even got a nice picture! Next, it was time to explore the Mountain part of the Magic. Ninja was nice, You weren't kidding about that mountain though. Geez, you guys should invest in escalators. When we made it to the top of the mountain, our oxygen tanks nearly depleted. We learned superman was closed at this time. We did not climb to the top of the mountain again. Screw that mountain. Oddly, there wasn't really any one there to tell us the ride was broken. No greeter or anything. We actually had a Flashpass so we went looking for that entrance first. We found it but we actually found that the side we had entered was just completely down for the day, so know one was there at all. Just us in an empty preshow-ish room for a few minutes as we wondered what bizarro world we had wandered into. Once we got to the correct side and found an actual employee we were ready to just go eat lunch. On the way down, we saw this sign. yea..... Dear Magic Mountain... I have opinions.... Yea! Food! and prizes! and hello's! and food! Don't make a wood joke Don't make a wood joke Don't make a wood joke Don't make a wood joke Don't make a wood joke Don't make a wood joke Don't make a wood joke Don't make a wood joke Uh.... Uh..... Erections. phew There's Daffy, he was very quaky to see us. Sorry, that's the wood pun still trying to get out After the group lunch, we took a brief hiatus from Six Flags. Coming back, I learned about the part of the parking lot that does not feature coasters. Crap, missed the tour. We slowly lapped around the rest of the park hitting all the roller coasters I finally got to take the tunnel. If only it was running like I was told it use to. It's always nice to ride Batman again. It's just how I remember it back east! Green lantern beat X2 in every way. And by "every way" I mean it beat me up and it was the worst thing I have ever experienced in a coaster. I am subtracting so many points I like lex luthor a lot more than zumanjaro. This one was a lot more scary to me as I didn't have the warm embrace of Kingda Ka's structure to make me feel safe. You are just out there, unable to see anything. The only reminder you get that you are bolted to Superman is when a car goes and the entire thing rattles like it want's to shake you off. Here is your fright fest construction update. Sorry, I'm a little behind. At this point, I was kind of pictured out, so let's jump straight to night ert! I don't remember exactly was open but I do remember we only rode Twisted colossus for about 90 wonderful minutes. Somehow Dallas managed to capture the exact moment my brain went marshmallows from so many consecutive TC rides. Man, what an awesome and long day. In a perfect world, I would end every Six Flags trip like this. So I that's a wrap on day 1 of West Coast Bash. I got a little negative about some aspects of Magic Mountain but I did have a great time exploring the park and hanging out with everyone. If you were keeping score of points at home, I am amzaed because I don't think that points thing I was doing actually made any sense or adhered to any logic but I am declaring Great Adventure the winner, because suck it California. Thanks again to Robb and Elissa and the park for putting together such an amazing event! Stay tuned for the final installement! Coming soon! Probably! Maybe next week! Hopefully before Christmas!
  10. Onward to Day 2! Day 2 would be another full day at the Disneyland resort with some more clearly defined goals. The mouse had flipped the switch and it was officially Halloween time. That meant Ghost Galaxy and Haunted mansion holiday were set to open and half of Southern California was scheduled to make a bee line straight for them. Our mission was to beat them there. There are no pictures but we arrived at Disneyland's Glorious parking structure around 7:15 in the morning. We arrived at the front gates about a half hour before opening. No super lines yet but it began to form behind us. We were let in about 20 minutes later and it was time to form a game plan. "Here Tom, take what basically amounts to a thousand plus dollars and run over to Ghost Galaxy and grab some fast passes! Remember, if you lose even one everything everywhere is ruined forever!" Okay no one actually said that but you know, with great power, great responsibility, etc. Okay, no sweat, this is easy enough, this area is pretty empty so I'll just wait for rope drop and casually stroll over to Space..... oh.... Well, crap. So the rope dropped and as far as you know I briskly and safely walked to Ghost Galaxy like a responsible, level-headed adult. I would complete my mission at all costs! I would not be denied! I marched up to that queue that morning with purpose in my step and excitement in my heart! And then they said it was broken and they didn't know when it would be up again and no you can't have a fast pass now go away. *paraphrasing. "Well then, okay I shall rejoin my party at Haunted Mansion! I understand sometimes rides just aren't ready at park open, that's fine, that's cool. Cool, cool, cool cool, oh a text message! What news does it bring? What's that Robb? Mansion is down too?" Great.......... They were still letting people into the queue at mansion so I had to uh... "quickly but safely" make my way over to Haunted Mansion so that we could actually get in the line that rapidly approaching out the door status. Drenched in sweat before 8:15 but at least I made it to mansion in good time! So the Haunted Mansion CM's had some internal disagreement as to where we needed to stand as a handicap party waiting to enter the stretch room. CM1: "Go wait up the ramp." CM2: "WHY YOU UP HERE?!" But confusion aside we got our first ride on Haunted Mansion Holiday. Thoughts: I love Haunted Mansion Holiday. I was expecting something so much less involved than what was actually presented. If you are familar with the Jingle Cruise, I expected something a couple notches above that in terms of additions. I knew there had to be a different narration but I could not believe just how completely taken over by Jack the ride was. I wish I could just pack it all up and ship it over to Orlando. Then when they come to take it down for the year I could just slap them; "NO! YOU CAN"T TAKE IT DOWN! This is the way it has to be now and forever!" I would pledge myself to Jack and we could have some sort of social media event thing. An idea I am totally not stealing from a certain other park. Okay it's late and this devolved into a rant, let's continue. He seems legit, what could possibly go wrong? He is the shadow on the moon at night. Merry Christmas! Expect a few more photos in this post to be Mansion because as stated it is awesome. After that, It was time to seek out a Fastpass for Space once again but we made a pit stop at Buzz. I don't think I really talked about Disneyland's Buzz in the last part so let me just make in known how much better it is then at home. The gun isn't bolted down so you can actually point and shoot properly. And the trigger doesn't wreck my hand the way ours does. Seriously, I wish they could give Kingdom's a little retrofit. And the ticket to Space was acquired. I'm pretty sure this makes us astronauts. So why we wait for that to become valid, let's eat! He looks so happy! Are you hungry Mickey? Me too.... You can almost hear him begging for the sweet release of death. So naturally, being eaten and all, Mickey was a very angry ghost. So we had no choice but to ride our rocket sled to escape from his chosen form: A Ghost Galaxy. That is the plot I have assigned the ride. You can't prove it's not true! So the Ghost Galaxy overlay to me was pretty meh. It definitely reminds me of a paired down mummy in the "being chased by a demon" department. I have some concerns about how an entire Galaxy can be ghost, but that's not a thing I can actually complain about because it's just a ride and it doesn't need to make sense. It still doesn't make sense. But anyway, let me compare thee to MK Space. I like my toboggan based neighbor a lot but this version, kicked a bit of posterior. We flew down that track in what the group assures me was faster than it would be normally. They concluded that being fresh out of rehab probably had something to do with it. The ride was not the most reliably in my short experience with it. It actually broke down both as we got in line, and again as we got off it. I'd like to reserve judgment on it until the day when I ride it again, but if it goes that fast, or gives such a good illusion of speed at least, I would definitely give it the win over MK. With the two Halloween attractions out of the way, the group was ready ride Radiator Springs Racers and I was perfectly happy to ride that ride as many times as might be requested of me. But before exiting Disneyland, I have read TPR long enough to know what I had to do. NO TOM! DO NOT EAT THE CASTLE, IT IS NOT FOOD! And so, once more unto the breach "Watch the Tram Car Please! Watch the Tram Car Please!" We grabbed a fastpass and got a ride on the single riders line because all's fair in love and Racers. Plus apparently you Californians don't like single rider lines either? No one was in it, so more for us then. I'm still blown away by how amazing the whole area looked. Looking at this picture it's easy to forget that this is a ride and nothing in this picture existed a few years ago. I'm just gushing about DCA again now because It's seriously awesome. I was also gushing because it was still a thousand degrees and sweating to death was a real concern but you know mostly because of how pretty it is It's such a pretty coaster, it had to be ridden again. It's also funny how with Disneyland across the way being devoured by crowds, DCA was still nice and peaceful Look at all those happy people! Neil Patrick Harris, we are go on your mark! So at this point we were just about done with Disney's California Adventure for the trip. But before we could leave I was informed there was one more attraction that I had to experience. So before walking out those gates one more time, I was introduced to these guys: These are faces of confusion as they thought the next picture was going to be a ride. No ride! Just a bread tour! Because why wouldn't there be a bread tour? Man, I wish I had that much dough. We couldn't leave DCA without saying goodbye to Oswald! Everyone say goodbye to Oswald, It's time to hop back over to the Land! "Guys you dropped your brick!" "Huh?" "This brick it has your name on, you must of dropped it!" "Go away Tom" And that's why I am still trapped at Disneyland till this day. true story. Time for mansion again! This time with photos! Vomit Snake knows if you've been bad or good so be good for goodness sake! Do you like pumpkins? Do you like singing pumpkins? Well then boy do I have an offer for you! If you act now, we can offer you singing pumpkins and holy angel pumpkins! That's twice the pumpkins of our previous offer! So come on down to real fake pumpkins! Oogie Boogie was nice enough to offer tricks and treats instead of murder. Which is nice of him, I always hate being kidnapped and murdered. Next, we tried to use the single rider line at Indy. We did not succeed. We somehow lost the single riders line and just ended up back in the normal line at some point. Then I looked in to they eyes of Mara and it was just all downhill from there. Remember a few seconds ago when I told you how much I like not being kidnapped and murdered? Well it was time for Mr Toad's wild ride. Someday TPR may release another POV of that ride, and if you listen closely to the end of that video you will hear me exclaim the entirety of my thoughts on that ride. "WHAT JUST HAPPENED? DID WE DIE?" I liked Alice in wonderland. Wish that girl would stop licking whatever is causing her all these fever dreams but who am I to judge? I still never did figure out who framed Roger Rabbit. Maybe I would have if I stopped spinning the car for a few seconds Then it got dark. That's a pretty big small world after all. Since it's dark I guess there should be a parade coming by any minute now, oh there we go! I don't really like to take to many pictures during parades so here's the title in case you forgot. The Paint the night parade is superior in every way to our electric light parade in my opinion. This is definitely a modern upgrade that is sorely needed in Orlando. Although. I am sad I didn't get to do any painting of the night. Fireworks followed shortly afterwards. This is no wishes. Wishes is very much a fireworks show that happens to have some projections. This show seemed like the reverse. It would be extremely difficult to follow the plot if you were not in view of the castle or Small world. So Orlando wins fireworks. Of course we have the benefit of not being in the middle of a city but still, points to Orlando. So that's how I ended my stay at Disneyland, with a parade and fireworks as Walt intended. We walked out past the castle beautifully lit for the Diamond Celebration Your castle is still puny though And it only took 40 minutes to get from the back of the park to the exit! Your park is small and cramped and is clearly not intended to be visited at any high traffic day. Of course, high traffic day in this case means a random non-holiday Friday in september that just so happens to be the unveiling of two yearly repeating overlays but I digress. So that's Disneyland. I do want to stress that I had a great time at the resort regardless of any sarcastic quips I may have made while writing this. It really does feel different then Orlando. At the same time, I can now appreciate the Magic Kingdom that I love and frequent here in Orlando. It's very firmly a 2.0 release and all the major bugs got fixed. Still, it's great to see how everything started. To visit Disneyland itself is to visit history, it's a visit to the source. And once you are done at the source, you can cross over to DCA and just appreciate how far we have really come. I'll leave you with this blurry photo of the crowds still pouring in that night. It's okay that it's blurry cause that's how everything looked to me by that point. Coming up: I wake up even earlier to go to an amusement park for even longer! West Coast Bash at Six Flags Magic Mountain is next!
  11. The first one left about 30 minutes before park open So I was on the bus at 8:30 for the 9:00 opening. The last one was about an hour-ish after the last park closed, so around 9:20pm that day. I had to contact the front desk to reserve a seat for both coming and goingso I just did that around 8. Yea, that was a pretty big issue on the second day between the parade and the fireworks. With the crowds for "Halloween time", I shudder to imagine trying to walk around that place on Christmas!
  12. ^I think a part of the reason I give the edge to Racers is just how many times I've been on Test Track. Plus, I liked how more of Racers was outside, especially the first part which just seemed so scenic and relaxing. I agree though, a nice 65mph stretch would have been most welcome but both great in there own ways.
  13. Jumping right back in, it was time to cross the shockingly small esplanade to Disney's Hollywood Stu... Er....California Adventure! This is a face that says “I can’t believe I went somewhere hotter than Florida on vacation” As attractive as aimlessly wandering around the resort all day was, I had successfully had the alone time nerding out in Disneyland that I needed on a spiritual level and thus it was time to meet up with Derek and company in DCA. They were still finishing up lunch, so in the meantime I had a mission: Get a fastpass for Radiator Springs and World of Color. “RR springs fastpass are by it’s Tough to be a Bug and World of Color is over at Grizzly River" was provided to me as a general guidance, but I think some sort of Disney instinct took over as my brain just assumed it had knowledge of these places, and walked past the map kiosk. “Oh yea,” my brain thought, “I’ve been to Disney hundreds of times, no problem!” So needless to say I did not locate the Tree of life, but I found that machine pretty quickly regardless. Grizzly Peaks though, that would be some circling, half a trolley ride, and a generally refusal to stop and ask for directions. I saw this before I saw Grizzly Peaks. The classic photo, seen countless times, stood in front of me. Here It dawned on me that besides the half point I had assigned to Disneyland itself, this was the first completely new park I had been in since 2012. Sure some of the attractions were familiar but it was all new. I remember how excited that I was standing there 3000 miles away from home. I remembered right there and then, that I should probably go ahead and grab a map. Anyway fast passes acquired, ranting completed, I met up with Derek and Lou. I’ve mentioned that too you that it was a couple thousand degrees outside so it was decided we would go see Aladdin. For them, it would be the last time before it closed. For me it would be the first time ever. Also the last time ever but that doesn’t sound as cool. We have a Hyperion theater where I’m from too. California’s is definitely bigger. How long is the show? 45 minutes!? Geez, is Ellen DeGeneres going to show up too? Seriously though, I liked the show a lot. It’s the most elaborate Disney theme park show I have seen. Was I sad it was leaving? No. Truth be told I barely even remember watching Aladdin at all. I kept waiting for Prince Ali, Fabulous He, Ali Albawa to show up. Did you know for Prince Ali, Fabulous He, Ali Albawa is actually Aladdin?! Seriously, mind blown. Anyway time to move onto some real rides right? “You know what we need to get you on? Hemlich!” “On what now?” “You’ll see” Oh gee. So we got front row on a ride I did not know existed 30 seconds beforehand. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you Heimlich's Chew Chew Train. You have not lived until you ride Heimlich's. I can still here him even now. Him and Derek. In that accent. If someone offers you a choice between brussel sprout way and Candy Valley. You go Candy Valley all the way. This is one of those rides you would never end up on unless you are with the right people, this mediocre ride is still one of my more memorable experiences just because I was in such good company Now the real secret motivation of this entire trip is that I really just wanted to do the Animation Academy again. Of course ever since they closed it down in Florida I had been crying myself to sleep every night wondering how any higher power could ever do anything so cruel. But it had a five minute wait so we skipped it. The next few stops reminded me of home. Mermaid followed by Soarin. For some reason Soarin is nowhere near as popular here as it is back home. Do you not want to soar over your own houses Californians? Are you not entertained by a blurry flyby of Disneyland at Christmas time? It’s ok I feel the same but hey it’s Air conditioned. I would ride this ride a lot more if it was only a 15 minute wait in Orlando. Okay that's not true, I would still skip it 9 times out of 10. But Krunk! Moving on to something completely new to me now, it’s time for California Screamin! I know you are in a hurry! hurry! hurry! But for your safety! safety! safety! Toy Story was another ride I obviously expected to have a line out the door but you Crazy Californians apparently are just not interested. I never really get to see Mr Potato Head since Orlando's line is always out the door and fast passes are so hard to come by for this ride. But here he is, visibly taunting any random passerby searching for french fries Next it was time to tackle the Ferris wheel. Here you can see me standing in amazement at the strange swinging cars. This ride was actually the longest line of the day. It Is shockingly hard to get good photos when you are constantly flying back and forth. At last it was time for our Radiator Springs Fastpass! This would be the first of many visits to Carsland Hey Stanley, I’m a big fan of your parable! Oh, wrong Stanley, sorry. Racers lived up to the hype. I rode it a quite a few times between fastpasses and the single rider line. I will give it to you California, I liked this more than Test Track, even if the Cars franchise is of questionable quality these days. Alright guys, what hotel should we stay at? This nice safe cone place? Or the Hollywood Tower? I hear they accept Drop ins! Spoliers: I like my tower better. Though the spooky boiler is cool Spooky spiral staircase! Oh man, we are entering the spooky door! And mood ruined, momentum killed. The butler did it. Moving away from tower, we noticed the the bugs life area is apparently passive agressive. Bye? I'm sorry, did you want us to stick around a bit longer? Does Heimlich need some more help doing uh... whatever it is we were doing? As our group began to grow in preparation for World of Color, we took a spin on Monsters Inc. I wish I could tell you this was a great ride but I have basically no memories of it. A victim of a tired and hungry mind. Really a lovely place though. So we grabbed dinner, and as night began to fall, I realized why we got a fastpass for World of Color I don’t have a witty comment, this just looks really impressive. NEIL! What are you doing! You are supposed to be on Screamin! Not the Ferris wheel! Hurry! Hurry! Hurry! I liked World of Color. It’s not exactly what I expected in a grand finale to the day type show but I really did like how it was put together. It’s just the time commitment which bugs me, you can’t really walk up and watch it so you got to get that fast pass and then just stand there. Which by that point in the day, my legs did not have much left to give. I’ll probably skip it next time I get out there and just ride Racers a few extra times. Speaking of Racers, I like that boulder, that’s a nice boulder. That area is super pretty. I shall leave you with this picture of Trader Sam’s. Which we did not patronize as the line was naturally too great. So a great first day in California. I returned to the Knotts Hotel to find that the Alvey’s had made it. I was basically dead on my feet at this point, so after confirming that tomorrow we would be up bright and early for the first day of Disney’s Halloween time I promptly returned to my room to pass out. So Disneyland adventures to come in the next update! There was still a lot of ground to be covered at Disneyland resort and questions to be answered. Who is Sandy Claws? How exactly can a Galaxy be both a galaxy and a ghost? Who is Mr. Toad and why is his ride so wild? Why am I asking these questions now?
  14. I played the beta and it seemed a lot worse than the PAX version I played. Obviously a lot of functions were turned off on purpose but the coaster editor was still somehow worse. I played that alpha version for a good 30 minutes and didn't have half the trouble I did this weekend. The biggest bug/ problem I had was any time I rotated the camera my track piece placement would basically just be completely off screen and broken. I don't know if it they just let a monkey at the code base or released a worse version on purpose for some reason but it was odd. I'm still not worried about the limited station selection since custom content will probably fill in that hole pretty well. I'm still excited but mildly concerned as well.
  15. Thank you guys for the kind words! I hope to have the rest of that first day up tonight!
  16. Living in Orlando, I go to Disney World a lot. It's probably my favorite thing about Orlando if I'm being honest. I go to ride things, I go to ride nothing. I go to walk off what I've eaten, and then the next day to eat what I walked off. It's a giant sprawling land filled of wonder. Where it doesn't snow like in the lands of my childhood and I'm told the temperature will eventually return to hospitable levels. But I've often wondered what other Disney parks were like and growing up adjacent to Six Flags Great Adventure, Magic Mountain always seemed like that cousin you always hear about but never see. Plus, Knotts always seemed like a really nice place. I've had their berries a few times and they were always seemed like berries. But alas, those place are 3000 miles away so they were just distant goals that repeatedly fell by the wayside as other, more convenient trips jumped the line. But then the stars and my time off aligned and I realized it could work. And what's that? TPR is having an event at a some of those parks? This can happen! This must happen! So it happened! It's been about a surprisingly long amount of time since this all happened but I want to try to capture some thoughts and maybe relive the trip vicariously through my own photos before the details become lost to time. Since it's already starting to fade I'll start at the beginning and work my way up to the actual West Coast Bash event later. I should probably also warn you that I have not done ever done a trip report but better late then never I suppose. Plus, it helps when the places are new and exciting! The plan: Wednesday: Late night arrival to Knotts Hotel Thursday: Park Hop Disney (Link) Friday: Do that again. Saturday: WCB: Magic Mountain Sunday: WCB: Knotts Berry Farm / Leave Day 0 No Orlando! I won't stay! Nothing you can say will stop me! But I do kind of have to pee... No! My resolve is strong! I will push forward! I had heard a lot about the Los Angeles airport. Slow service, crappy people, tunnels. I shuddered to think what I would find upon landing. Turns out, I just found Garbels on his way back from a busy couple of days in Japan. If you haven't read that report, you should go do that cause it's a lot more interesting and features his extensive review of Journey to the Center of the Earth Anyway, Garbels had to go back to Texas for like 30 minutes but he'd be back soon enough. With LAX being surpassing expectations and being not awful, I found my way to the Knotts Hotel which would serve as base camp, even if I barely spent anytime in it. It was only 11 pm pacfic by this point but given how long I was awake at this point my mind began to grow worried at the sight of this long ominous hallway As I laid sleepy head to rest, images of coasters danced in my head, probably cause they were hung over the bed Day 1: Disney Land That sleep was glorious. I slept in to the wonderfully late hour of 9 AM! The only caveat being that it was 9AM Eastern time so it was actually 6 in the morning. So I took a trip to IHOP, and Walgreens, and saw chickens. I learned that morning that the Knotts area is lousy with chickens for some reason. I would be told the actual reasons later in the weekend. That day though, walking down a road at 7 o clock in the morning, hearing roosters do that rooster noise that I forgot the name of at this moment but am too proud to look up, with roller coasters just across the street, was quite the introduction to southern California. The pancakes were okay. Anyway, back to that whole Disney thing. Who wants to go to Disney! Okay..... Just me I guess.... That's cool.... Getting in to Disneyland is nothing like Disney world. There were probably some impressive arch ways somewhere else, but the way I walked in from my shuttle stop seemed a little anti-climatic. And then there is this. Lots of jokes I want to make about this, really so many. But I will refrain from judging. Held out for two whole weeks But anyway, I made it! Disneyland! Magic Kingdom 1.0! It's that plaque! It's the train station! It's looking a little small though, Hey, where's the castle anyway? OH! I think I see it! It's all the way down there! Sarcasm aside, I was legitimately to excited to be standing in the middle of Disneyland. The fact that I was standing here is no small wonder to me, unlike the castle. Anyway, attractions, what I was most excited about was riding Indiana Jones, so I headed there first. Dinosaur is basically ruined forever for me. Being one of those small children that were basically traumatized by the one two punch of terror that is It's tough to be a bug and what at the time was Countdown to Extinction; I can't help but wonder how much better my life could of been if we got an Indy clone instead. Oh well, moving on... Some of this looks familar, a lot of it doesn't Like, what the frak is this? Some sort of fancy smancy old timey printer thingamajig? Does it take Apple Pay? I don't even remember the last time I used a paper fast pass so I was a bit out of practice. So out of practice I accidently got a fast pass for Star Tours. I eventually found my way over to the one mountain I didn't recognize in my "I sort of know where everything is because Magic Kingdom" mental map Would you believe I either didn't know or had no memory of there being a Yeti in this ride?It moves and everything! At least I think it does, we went by it really quickly. Moving on to Tomorrowland, Space Mountain loomed in the distance. One of the big benefits of coming at this time of year was obviously the Halloween overlays. Sadly, I am one day too early. Happily, I will return! This would be the part of the day where I take a nice relaxing ride on the people mover to slow my pace down. Maybe cool off a little bit and enjoy the nice California breeze. Sadly, you don't have a people mover Disneyland. And it was hotter in Los Angeles than Orlando that week. So, thanks for nothing California! I just went and rode Star Tours and Buzz instead. Thus begin my second lap of Disneyland. Another couple stops at Indiana Jones were necessary, you know, for Science. Getting on Pirates for the first time, I was not prepared for how much longer it was than Orlando's. It's basically double the ride and so much better. I never knew that Orlando basically got a cliff notes version. Pirates Orlando is one of the rides I really just avoid as it just does not do much for me but this version is great. The extra drops even caught me off guard. Thunder mountain seemed pretty equal to Orlando. Bonus points to California for that last lift hill but minus 5 points for the completely outdoor queue and station. By this point, It was basically 10000 degrees out in direct sunlight. Shout out to DisneyLand for this glorious hole which at this point I had no idea as to its purpose. I didn't get eaten by a whale at all in my time at Disneyland so I guess I have goals for my next visit. I hadn't heard to many great things about this ride, combined that with the idea of riding in a wierd submarine vehicle this ride basically got procrastinated on until it was skipped completely. Next time perhaps Okay, I can't take it anymore! I need to go see what this California Adventure is all about! Luckily Disneyland was super quiet that day so I was able to do a lot of the things I wanted to do in a pretty short amount of time. Ghost Galaxy and Mansion obviously had to wait till the next day. Fantasyland remained largely untouched as I felt it wiser to wait until my party consisted of more than a single adult male. Plus, I really wanted to go to DCA but in my mind, to get the proper experience, my first order of business on property had to be walking down main street USA. With no real Florida equivalent, DCA loomed over as the first completely "new" park of the trip. But I'll get to that, hopefully the next part won't sit in my saved drafts as long as this did.
  17. Hey guys, a lot of these photos and videos are mine so I wanted to post some thoughts before heading off for another day at PAX. I've been geeking out about this game a lot this weekend, so apologies if this gets long In the demo, you had the option to build 3 different coaster types: a hyper, a woodie, and a standup coaster. There was a nice selection of flat rides available as well but obviously plopping a ride is not as interesting as building a coaster. A lot of the other menu options were still locked both for time sake and since the game is still in alpha. There were all the usual options on the toolbar though like landscaping(locked), decorations( which were enabled) and shops(locked) The coaster designer seems pretty powerful. I ended up building a hyper coaster with the goal of seeing what was capable not what would actually be realistic. So you plop the station and then you can click again to make the next piece. You can then position it as you see fit by moving it around. Hold shift and you can raise or lower the track, bank it, twist it, or horribly contort it. You also could choose between, normal, brake, boost, and lift track in this version, and you could go back and change the type of any previous track piece later. As you place track, the ghost supports, before you commit, change color between red, yellow, and white. Placing track when that is red or yellow could lead to some interesting crashes but following the guide and placing track while it is white will give you a nice smooth ride. Speaking of crashing, there isn't any collision detection just yet. Trains separated from their track went flying but would just fall out of the world once they hit the ground. The path system is still slightly buggy but seems good from what I did. The curves are a nice addition and work well. I had some trouble getting paths to connect and the entry point to queue lines were pretty nondescript but like I mentioned the game is in alpha. The guests look good! They immediately made a bee line for any death machine I prepared for them. They had thoughts and likes and some incomplete menus but otherwise I didn't look at them to much. So overall, I really like the game. I talked to one of the Nvizzio about the game and other coaster games. They are trying to strike a good balance between the simplicity of old RCT games and the power of No limits and I think they are succeeding. We talked about how it has been so long since a proper Coaster Tycoon game and now suddenly we have three on the horizon. They have been keeping up on the other games and we agreed that with Planet Coaster and Parkitech on the horizon, the competition should be great for everyone. So that's my thoughts, I want to play it a few more times this weekend, and with three more days of PAX I should find my way to that part of the expo plenty of times. If you have questions I'll try to answer them, or try to find an answer next time I am over there.
  18. I'm really looking forward to seeing some of the California parks for the first time!
  19. It has Tangled Toilets.... TWICE!!!! Well sometimes it is necessary to visit Rapunzel more than once! I think I've developed a Pavlovian response to tangled toilets. It was a pretty great night. I think next time I'll just need to triple my caffeine intake.
  20. Great report! Hurry back, there's an election next year so your favorite attraction will be getting an update! And that frozen thing will probably be cool too... but presidents! Seriously though, twas fun times. I sometimes forget how fortunate I am to be able to drive down to Magic kingdom after work and go for a walk. Funny enough I don't think I have actually been to Magic kingdom during daytime since you were here. The best thing about these parks after five-ish years living around them is that I'm still not bored, it still feels like there are so many places and things I haven't done at the resort. I doubt I'll be close to this place forever and that will be a pretty rough day.
  21. Unfortunately, this was both the beginning and the end of the "Craig takes Tom's ride suggestions" portion of the trip report.
  22. On behalf of the American people, you are welcome. Though It really is too bad the Hall of Diznee CEO's wasn't open.
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