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zburns999

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Posts posted by zburns999

  1. The Scooters are my favorite thing at Knoebels (and I love just about everything at Knoebels). As someone who has been involved in two vehicle-totalling car accidents, I'm somewhat certain that neither were able to accurately capture the bone jarring violence of a near head-on collision between a pair of those tanks (err...scooters?). I once rode five consecutive times and had bruises all over my body. It was glorious.

     

    Nice TR, as per usual! A quick question about Skyhawk, as I've never ridden it. Consensus seems to suggest that it's an elite flat ride, even above the level of other Screamin' Swings. To my memory, I've only ever done the one at Kennywood and the Barnstormer at Dollywood. Are they (or any other Screamin' Swings that you've ridden) comparable to Skyhawk? Or is there something about Skyhawk that sets it apart? I only ask because the line for Skyhawk is always depressingly long, and I'd rather not wait if it's going to be the same thing as something I've ridden already, except with a shorter cycle.

  2. The stationary camera through the barrel roll drop is one of the coolest shots I've seen.

     

    I feel like Twisted Timbers was a big deal back in March when it opened, but has since been overshadowed by the other RMCs to open later in the spring/summer (even the Raptors). This is unfortunate, because Twisted Timbers is an incredible ride and has only gotten better as it has warmed up during the summer months. But I guess that this is what happens when Steel Vengeance was built only seven hours away...

  3. I used to be very much against the idea of gong to an amusement park alone, as I've always believed that part of the fun of a park is sharing the experience with others (friends, family, etc.).

     

    That said, I've experienced a recent conversion. Last year, in the course of travel, I was literally passing directly by Canada's Wonderland. Was I alone in the car? Yes. Was I about to blissfully pass by a freaking giga coaster that I've never ridden just because I was alone? Not on your life! The day was a little bit painful at times (70 minutes for Leviathan without anybody to talk to was a bit rough, honestly), but I learned from my experience and perfected my craft.

     

    This past week I did a solo trip to Cedar Point. I was a bit apprehensive because I have so many great memories of enjoying CP with people I love, and I wondered if I would be able to get past that element of loss. Although I downloaded a few podcasts before going to the park, I barely listened to them. I found that by talking to the people around me in line, as well as texting my family members and friends and snap chatting them pictures of the stuff I was riding, I never really felt alone at all. By the time I got to the end of an eleven hour day in the park, I had totally forgotten I was there by myself.

     

    Flying solo is only awkward if you make it awkward. Nobody cares if you're by yourself, especially if you're having a blast and doing your best to brighten the day of those around you. Also, I'd be lying if I didn't admit that it's just a little bit awesome to be totally in charge of your plan-of-action. Believe me, there is not a single person I could have brought with me to CP who would have put up with 3+ total hours spent in the Steel Vengeance queue haha.

  4. Nice! A coaster themed to Northwestern Canadians protesting substandard working environments.

     

    I don't personally get excited by these big, floaty-looking B&M's, but hey, Valravn is fun enough so I'm sure this will be enjoyable as well. If nothing else, I think that the helix over the pathway at the end looks awesome. I'm always a proponent of some good ride/path interaction, and I'm sure the guests will eat it up.

     

    My only real critique is with the tunnel. I know that an animation is an animation, but I think CW can do something to make it look a little less...Anaconda-esque? In other words, it's a little bit utilitarian just diving into a concrete hole in the water. Surely nobody is expecting Krake levels of tunnel-theming, but why not put some big ol' rocks around the entrance/exit just to class it up a bit?

     

    Don't know when I'll make it back to Canada's Wonderland, but I'm happy that this will be there waiting for me when I get there.

  5. Nice trip report! You write very well for someone who wasn't even 54 inches tall until 2011...

     

    I'm happy to see that you (more or less) enjoyed your visit to SFA, which unfortunately was my home park from 2015-July 2018. I'd say that your assessment is correct: it's not really the absolute dumpster fire that people make it out to be. It's more like a smaller, more manageable garbage can fire. But hey, kudos to you for approaching it with an open disposition. There's certainly some redeeming stuff there (i.e. Super Man, Wonder Woman, Joker's Jinx, Wild One), even though the majority of the park is made up of the kind of rides that, even though they're walk-ons, I can't even get motivated enough to walk back through the queue in order to re-ride.

     

    Also, bummer you didn't like Blizzard River. I always have a blast on it. Did you have anyone else in your raft? Whenever I've ridden I've been with a large group and it spins like mad. Other than that, I agree with your water ride assessment. The rapids ride is severely lacking, in particular. Again, though, that's another one where having a full raft helps exponentially.

     

    Part of the fun of the enthusiast community is that we all have different opinions regarding different coasters. Everyone has manufacturers, styles, etc. that they prefer over others, and that's just great! What one person loves, another may not like as much. That level of variance is what makes things interesting. That said, your opinion about Apocalypse is wrong. That coaster is a cataclysmic atrocity.

     

    Anyway, thanks for the pictures and report! I certainly don't miss this place just yet. Maybe in a few years it will take on some degree of ill-begotten nostalgia, but not yet.

  6. Very late to the party here, but awesome Cedar Point TR!

     

    As a huge fan of Magnum XL 200, I must admit with embarrassment that I had never heard of this supposed "kill seat." But, after reading your TR, I decided to give it a try. I was flying solo for the day (yesterday), so I knew that in the even that it was a little too much to handle, the only person who would have to suffer would be me. I must be honest, I was skeptical that one seat could (allegedly) be that much more nuts than the rest of the train but, hoo boy, the accounts are very true. I never thought I'd say this, but I was praying for an end to the assault at the end. It was just that violent. Totally awesome. But violent as anything. Like...actual pain type of violence. Magnum is such an odd coaster and I can't believe it actually exists. Some coasters (Maverick, Steel Vengeance, Skyrush, etc) are clearly designed to be freaking insane. What makes Magnum so outrageous is that the whole thing just feels like one big mistake of engineering.

     

    Also, I've been a committed member of the Rouga-crew for years now. It is, in my humble but correct opinion, the best floorless coaster by leaps and bounds. Nothing else I've ridden is even remotely comparable. Dominator is a joke compared to this thing. The front seat is just madness the entire way. So fast, so forceful. Also, the MCBR seemed to not even be trimming speed, so the back half was a complete white-knuckler. Just another entry in Cedar Point's collection of elite B&Ms, which are the undersold stars of the park's coaster lineup. Like it wasn't enough to have three (arguably four) incredible Intamins and an RMC...they also have an elite invert and elite floorless. Then Valravn and Gatekeeper are the icing on the cake.

     

    Finally, I agree with you 100% about Millennium Force. I've been riding it since 2001, and every year I expect the nostalgia sheen to wear off. Yesterday was the first time where I got off of it and just admitted to myself that this is probably the most perfect coaster ever created, nostalgia be damned. Best drop on earth. Fast, fun, relentless, and yes...even some great airtime. I kid you knot, I actually cramped a muscle mid-ride from throwing up my arms with such complete abandonment.

     

    Might have missed it, but did you happen to get a back row ride on Steel Vengeance? I went front row on my first ever ride and back on my second, and I must admit that--while both were everything I could have dreamed of--the back was better. This surprised me, because the only other RMC I feel this way about is Twisted Colossus. I think the others I've ridden (Twisted Cyclone, Twisted Timbers, Lightning Rod) are front row rides. And that's not to say that the back is bad on those by any stretch haha.

  7. ^From one trip, so take with a grain of salt...

     

    On my visit, every major ride in the park shut down in the afternoon simply due to the threat of storms. There had been no lightning visible, and the rain didn't begin for well over an hour later. Nothing ever reopened, and the park shut down at 7:00 PM (I assume that, up until then, shops and restaurants were open). So yeah, if you have thunder and lightning in the forecast, be prepared for the possibility of a near-total shutdown. As for light rain, I cannot speak to that.

     

    My experience with Fury was that the front was far-and-away the better spot, and I'm usually a back-seat purist in most cases. I also found Intimidator to be much better in the front, which is odd because I think that Behemoth and Diamondback are back-seat rides. Everything else I only had a chance to ride once, so I can't give you an informed opinion. Perhaps a Carowinds local might be able to chime in...

  8. As someone who has spent over six years living in western Pennsylvania (with some of that time being in the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh), I can affirm that the Steelers are not merely a sports team, but rather a semi-deity which envelopes and informs the entirety of the region's culture. As much as I cannot stand the Steelers, I have to say with complete objectivity that no other city has a sports team that means more to its residents than the Steelers do to the city of Pittsburgh. I went through college with Wiz Khalifa's Black and Yellow played incessantly throughout my dorm building as if it were some sort of cultural anthem, which, in fact, it was.

     

    I've spent much of the day sharing the news of "The Steel Curtain" with my yinzer friends, who have all reacted with predictable, uniform approval. I have absolutely no doubt that the "Steelers' Country" area will be a monstrous commercial success. As I type this (just a few miles down RT 22 from the Burgh), I'm thinking about the house down the road which dons an obnoxiously huge banner: You're in Steelers' Country! There's no doubt to me that "The Steel Curtain" will become another part of Steelers/Pittsburgh sacred canon, sharing a spot on the list alongside Primanti Bros, Roberto Clemente, the Immaculate Reception, and yes, the Phantom's Revenge.

     

    And perhaps that's what makes this announcement somewhat bittersweet. While I'm excited to have an insane-looking, totally whacked-out scream machine installed in one of my many "home parks" (I move around a lot), I can't help but be a little sad that this coaster--by virtue of being freakin' huge and being eponymous of the nation's most famous football franchise--will undoubtedly steel the Phantom's title as Pittsburgh's Roller Coaster. Now, I am in no way predicting Steel Curtain to be better than Phantom's Revenge, although I hope that it is! Rather, I'm pointing out that Phantom's Revenge, besides for being an elite ride, also held local cultural significance (The Steel Phantom is pretty much it's own chapter of Pittsburgh lore). I'll mourn the loss of that significance that will surely come in Steel Curtain's wake.

     

    On the same topic, I can't help but be a little disappointed that Kennywood didn't go with a terrain coaster. Ever since they added SkyRocket, I've felt the park's charm die a little bit with each subsequent year's visits (with the exception of the year they brought back the Noah's Ark squishy tongue, which was awesome). While rides like Phantom's Revenge and even Black Widow seem to fit into the park like a glove, SkyRocket still looks like a semi-temporary installation, totally out of character from the rest of the park. I must admit that I'm just a little worried about this garish, black-and-yellow, El Loco-like superstructure sticking up amidst restored buildings and historic wooden coasters. But, like I said, the precedent is kind of already set for this type of in-your-face attraction, anyway. Maybe I just need to get with the times and accept that the park is expanding and evolving in a direction I hadn't foreseen.

     

    Anyway, ride looks like complete madness. So, so happy to see something unique, even if I'm still not sure it's the right choice for this particular park.

  9. Excellent report, and so glad to hear that RFII is still running well. It was one of my top wooden coasters when I first rode it in 2010, but after hearing how poorly some other GG woodies have held up with age, I was becoming skeptical that it was still worth anything apart from the great view. Would love to get back up to Erie sometime to give it another ride.

     

    Also, totally agree with you about Comet. I know my good memories of it must be greatly exaggerated, but I swear I remember it feeling more akin to Phoenix than to something like Woodstock Express/Ghoster Coaster/etc.

  10. I am overjoyed to see these Giant Discoveries becoming household rides across the SF chain. I've only ever been on Black Widow at Kennywood, and it's probably my second favorite ride in the entire park. When you think of the specs, though (170 foot max swing, 75 mph) it totally makes sense that these things would have the capability of being marquis attractions. In many cases, they're more impressive than some coaster-types.

  11. In regards to Twisted Timbers, I know we were all kind of speculating a month+ ago about "what this thing will be like when it's 90 degrees out." I'm happy to say that I got to ride it a handful of times today (in the midst of a nice heatwave here in the DMV) and it totally exceeded anything I really thought possible based upon my first ride back in March. I used to be one of those people who secretly judged anyone who ever complained that [N] coaster was too intense or had too much airtime or the restraints were too hard or whatever. But five TT rides and two bruised thighs later, I'm finally starting to understand where people's heads are at. What a gem by RMC, seriously. It was so cool being in the station in the evening, overhearing multiple guests calling the ride "amazing" or something similar. People are eating this thing up!

     

    Two sidenotes: I'm still not sure if I prefer front, back, or in-between on TT. I was actually surprised how much more extreme some of the airtime was in the front seat (especially on the triple hill part), but that drop into the on-ride photo section in the back is about as close to El Toro's Rolling Thunder hill as anything's ever going to get.

     

    Also, today was the first day I've ever seen The Crypt open (and I've been going to KD routinely over the past three years). I just figured it was SBNO. Anyway, had to give it a shot, and it was freakin insane. I remember being super disappointed by past top-spin offerings (HangTime at Dorney and King Kahuna at Kennywood). Why is this one so good?

  12. I feel oddly satisfied to see Time Warp listed as the worst steel coaster on earth. Generally, I can ride just about anything and have a good time (for reference, I rode Flight Deck, which is also a bottom ten ride, and thought it was a blast in a weird way). But when I got off Time Warp, although by myself, I actually verbalized the words: That was the worst roller coaster I've ever been on. Glad I'm not alone in this sentiment.

     

    The poll was fantastic and gave a real solid representation of what I expected to be the most-enjoyed coasters on earth. Hope this becomes a yearly staple.

  13. Overall it's just a perfect coaster

     

    Regarding Intimidator305...

    Let me preface this by saying that I really do love this ride and would place it high among the "elite" coasters I've ridden. It's wildly intense, super fast, and has some of the most mind-numbingly awesome transitions outside of Maverick. That said, I guess I still just don't "get it" the way some people seem to--especially those who refer to it as perfect. I've probably ridden it upwards of fifteen times in all different types of weather and in all different seats and rows, and I still can't shake the feeling that the first drop is a bit of a letdown. Don't get me wrong...the pullout of the drop into the first airtime hill is bonkers, but the drop itself has always been kind of "meh" for me. I would compare it to something like riding Lex Luthor or one of the other huge Intamin drop towers: sure, it's a big drop and it's great, but it somehow doesn't have the kick to it that one of the Larson towers has. Similarly, I find I305's drop to pale even in comparison to something like Grizzly just across the park, which seems to leave your stomach 90 feet in the air while the rest of your body falls into the forest.

     

    Also, I still haven't been able to get past the fact that the last 1/3rd of Intimidator feels very Great Bear-ish in the sense that it's essentially just a long preamble to the brake run. Once the train hits that trim coming into the first of the lower airtime hills parallel to the lift, the ride is essentially over, with all the relentlessness sucked from the experience. Sure, you get one last quick side-to-side transition, but I cannot help but wonder how much fun the end of the ride would be without the heavy trim. And look, I get that trims are necessary, but they don't necessarily need to neuter the ride experience. I think of a coaster like Diamondback, for instance. Trims galore, but you still feel like it's running the way it was designed to run. I still feel like the end of I305 was supposed to be bat-out-of-hell awesome, but instead is just okay. And for me, it's that lack of awesomeness where it seems that awesomeness should be prevalent that hurts so much. I'd almost prefer it just rocketed into a Leviathan-esque brake run at the top of that first airtime hill--then at least it would feel like you're going out with a bang.

     

    I don't know. Just one man's opinion. I really do love the thing, just not as much as some, apparently.

  14. ^Ha. Poor wording on my part, I suppose. By front, I mean the front compared to how the line looked twenty minutes after I was in it, not as in "I was the absolute first dude in this line and there wasn't another soul ahead of me." For context, we got on the first train, but in the back row (which is what I was hoping for, anyway), as just about all the other rows filled up first. They were not assigning rows, thankfully. It seemed to take people a while to figure out that the ride was opening/open, as there still wasn't much of a crowd after we exited.

     

    I think TC has an intensity that TT doesn't have yet. And I think TC is incredible in the front seat, and beyond belief in the back seat. I think TT is pretty damn good in the front seat, and incredible in the back seat. And for that reason, I give TC a very, very slight edge. But ranking is ultimately stupid, and nobody cares about my opinion.

     

    No argument from me! Both are really really good roller coasters.

     

    Also, I completely agree with what was said elsewhere on this thread: the hill/drop before the on-ride photo was the real surprise. I honestly can't even remember where that was on the ride, only that I recall thinking in that moment, "Well, that's going to be one unflattering picture."

  15. I originally had no plans to ride Twisted Timbers until sometime later in the spring/early summer, but having discovered a few free hours on my Sunday (and having just purchased a shiny new CF platinum pass yesterday), I figured why not? So I got in touch with a friend and fellow pass holder in the area and we made the quick trip from DC to get there for early entry.

     

    Unfortunately, upon arrival, murmurs started circulating within the line outside the entrance gate that TT would not be opening until "later in the day." When nearing Candy Apple Grove, the rumors were confirmed: Racer 75 was to replace Twisted Timbers as an early-entry option. A bit of a bummer, but no big deal really. Rebel Y--err, Racer 75, was running phenomenally. Does anyone know if there was more track work done this off season? I seem to remember the return run on the left side being somewhat brutal last year. This year? Glass smooth.

     

    Also got an early entry ride on the famed Apple Zapple, which I hadn't ridden in years. Actually, it's a damn good wild mouse, name notwithstanding. Very minimal braking. I got a kick out of hearing multiple people making fun of it's re-brand throughout the day. For those of us in the enthusiast community who often play the "it's-only-enthusiasts-who-complain-about-this-stuff...normal-people-don't-care" card, I can assure you that the general public know a ridiculous name when they hear one.

     

    After riding just about everything in the park worth riding (except for the flume...don't want to start a riot here), there was still no signs of life at TT and, having to leave at 4, my time was running out. Anticipating a possible opening, my friend and I lingered in the area. Then, as I sat comically trapped within my Windseeker restraint as the ops waited for nearly fifteen minutes to send us skyward, I heard the beautiful sound of an RMC chain lift in the proximity. What an angst-filled ride that was on Windseeker...a line forming outside of TT while I was stuck rotating around 300 feet in the air. Thankfully, we managed to get into the front of the line forming outside the formal queue, and within maybe 20-30 minutes, we were off.

     

    Gotta say, I'm not one for pointless novelties, but it was kind of cool being on the first train of the day, especially for a ride that's three days old. Despite what's been said about this being a front-seat ride, we opted for the back, mainly because I saw those three airtime hills and felt like there really wasn't any other logical choice here. All cliches aside, the whole ride was really kind of a blur. I had mentally prepared myself to be underwhelmed because of the whole "it's 40 degrees and it's not broken in yet and it's March and the wheels are hard and wah wah wah," but in all seriousness, the ride totally blew me away. If that was how it runs when it's supposedly "not broken-in," then I'm honestly a little afraid to ride it a few months from now, as I'm not yet ready to die.

     

    It's hard for me to compare this to anything I've ever ridden. I've only done one other RMC at this point, Twisted Colossus, and I thought it was awesome. However, Twisted Timbers, for my money, beats it out. As someone who--like many--enjoys airtime more than basically any other coaster-related sensation, I'd say TT definitively fills the hole that King's Dominion had in it's coaster line-up. Most of the ride consisted of that "how-is-this-even-legal?" airtime you might find on the likes of Skyrush or El Toro, and with a few funky bits to boot. When it hit the brakes, I kind of just found myself saying "Wow" over and over, which I think is probably a pretty good sign that King's Dominion has a winner on it's hands.

     

    Great (but short) day at King's Dominion. I'll be back later in the season to get some more rides on TT.

     

    Long live Anaconda

  16. Quick question here regarding the Platinum Pass...

     

    I've never owned a season pass for any park, as I've never really had the need. But this year i'll be in the unique situation of living in DC for the first half of the summer and then moving to western Ohio for the second half and into the fall. In other words, I plan on making multiple visits to both King's Dominion and Cedar Point. I also plan on doing Carowinds at some point.

     

    Is there any benefit to buying the Platinum Pass for one Cedar Fair park over another? I was all set to buy the KD pass, but then realized that I could just as easily get the CP one for the same price. The websites list the perks for the KD card and the perks for the CP card, but make no reference to crossover except for the fact that the Platinum Pass allows for admission to "all Cedar Fair parks." Would things like 1 hour early entry to CP still be possible for me if I choose to get the King's Dominion Card? I'm not really sure how this works and really want to make my purchase worth-while. Thanks to anyone who can help.

  17. Rougarou, and nothing else that I've ridden really comes close, in my opinion.

     

    Count me as one of the few who loved Mantis, so I was disappointed to hear that they were converting it into one of my least favorite coaster types. But oh man does this thing haul. I remember getting off of it and thinking that it was not only the best floorless, but one of the top-tier B&M's in general. Not to mention it eats crowds all day long, running three trains with minimal stacking.

     

    I also don't seem to remember that old Mantis trim (on the first drop) being in use at all, which really made the ride pretty insane.

  18. These sky rollers can be one of the most intense flat rides out there, as long as you channel your inner Richard Simmons. If you rock the paddles in perfect, opposing unison, making sure the motion in one direction is complete before reversing the paddles, you will eventually get that first inversion. From there, all hell breaks loose.

     

    I was super pumped about riding the one at Canada's wonderland this past summer and, while it was an immensely fun ride, I couldn't get the thing to flip for the life of me. I did exactly as your instructions suggest (I even watched a few YouTube vids beforehand to try to get the gist of the motions and whatnot), but the best I ever got was a near-180 degree half-rotation, which made for some great hang-time, but was hardly the catalyst to the all-out inversion assault that I hoped I'd be experiencing. Here's the thing: I was riding in an inside seat. Just about every time I've seen footage of someone spinning out of control, it's in an outside seat. Does anybody know if it's even possible to flip the inside seats? I only had time for one crack at it, but to be honest, I can't imagine I could have worked the wings any better than I did.

     

    Great tr, by the way. Liseberg is a bucket list park for me. And I greatly appreciate knowing that there are other cheap-motel-enthusiasts out there. I'm not alone.

  19. Ha. The "70 mph combined speed" bit has to be one of the more misleading statistics thrown around this announcement season. In retrospect, might as well have advertised Kingda Ka as "traveling at face-melting speeds of 256 mph!...when running two trains, if one were to combine the speed of said trains."

     

    Still have yet to ride any of these newfangled, mass-produced Larson Loopers. Did one at the Jersey State Fair about ten years ago and it was ho-hum, from what I can remember. But hey, it's a new ride, so that's cool I guess.

     

    The other Six Flags announcements look awesome, at least.

  20. Thanks for the replies, guys.

     

    Regarding Skyrush, TBpony's comment about the restraints is actually pretty insightful. I always assumed I loved the wing seating because it puts the rider so far from the heartline/center of gravity/whatever you want to call it, therefore creating that violent whipping action. I never considered that the reason the wings are so out of control is because the lower half of your body--usually used to stabilize and balance yourself during the ride--is completely worthless on Skyrush, as it's just as much at the mercy of the crazy layout as your upper half. It makes sense.

    And because I forgot to mention it in my initial TR, I have to ask: has anyone else noticed that in the back half of the train, the first drop on Skyrush incorporates this (probably unintentional) little kick about halfway down the hill. You get the initial push out of the seat over the crown, and then about 2 seconds later comes this near-death-experience donkey kick type deal that is seriously the closest to death I've ever figured myself to be on a coaster (other than when my seat belt disconcertingly unbuckled at the beginning of Leviathan's first drop). That strange element really puts Skyrush's drop in a special place beyond my metaphorical Mount Rushmore of coaster drops (El Toro, Millennium Force, I305, Diamondback, Twisted Colossus in the back seat, etc.).

     

    As for the GB camera, it's kind of a funny story. My first ride of the day, I made sure to do some sort of goofy smile going into the break run because I know that nobody is ever expecting to have their picture taken there. When I passed the photo booth, however, I was shocked to see that not only did I look like I was having a blast, but so did the rest of the train. That was the moment I realized that Hershey pulled a fast one on me and moved the camera elsewhere. A little night-time detective work helped me to realize that the rapid-fire flashed of light from the camera were coming from the section of track right after the wingover under sooper dooper Looper. So yeah, they didn't move it back much, but just far enough that nobody's brain has yet registered that the ride is an anticlimactic S bend away from being over.

     

    P.S. I used to have a "Greatest Roller Coaster Thrills" vhs tape which claimed that Great Bear had seven elements to go along with the 7 stars of Ursa Major--one of which was the meandering S bend into the break run. So before anyone complains about Cedar Point's whole "Steel Vengeance has the fastest airtime hill on any coaster" trope, remember that the industry is more-or-less built upon the constant embellishment of standard elements!

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