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Everything posted by pianojohn

  1. Just got back from a quick trip to my old stomping grounds. I used to work at Busch Gardens VA 1994-97, and I had not been there in awhile. I was looking forward to some new credits and riding some of my favorites. Started the trip at Kings Dominion on Sunday May 19th. Cloudy and a bit cool, so crowds were pretty non-existent. Rode Tumbili, my very first S&S 4D free spin. Smooth as anything, and not too crazy. In fact, since I rode by myself, I don't recall flipping upside down even once. Racer 75 was fun although I hate the seat dividers. No need for them when you already have a seat belt and individual locking lap bars. Twisted Timbers. I rode this the first year it was open and enjoyed it. This time it just felt like a never ending set of bunny hills over and over. Not a fan. Grizzly ran well esp. with the new track from last year. Did the log ride which is always fun. I was also doing a livestream on YouTube with my friend, and the viewers insisted I get my face painted. I obliged. After a few hours in the park, I headed down to Busch since they posted on Twitter (I refuse to call it X) that DarKoaster would only be running on weekends. I parked in the Italy section only to find NO TRAMS. Ridiculous. It's almost a half mile walk to the front gate. Got to DarKoaster and joined the 50 minute line. The SLOWEST moving line, and the abundance of Quick Queue made the line even worse. They REALLY need a single rider line since I saw train after train (which only hold 10 people) leave the station with empty seats. Cool concept, but when you're riding in the dark, you cannot brace yourself for the sudden turns. My neck still hurts. Came back on Monday for a full day in the park. First up: Loch Ness Monster. It LOOKS great, but even with the new track, it is still rough as ever. The effects in the tunnel are cool if you could see them. They have projections on the side walls, and with the harnesses, it's really impossible to get a good look. Verbolten was fine, nothing out of the ordinary. Finally got my first ride on Pantheon. Great area, queue, and then....they really cheaped out on the station. It looks like a barn or cheap Home Depot shed. The ride was good though VelociCoaster is WAY better. Comfortable trains and fast dispatches helped to keep the line moving. Alpengeist was closed. Like not even close to being open with park benches blocking the entrance. Strange. I worked in the Entertaiment Department when I was there, so I wanted to see what shows they had. The "Trio De Roma" show in Italy had 2 performers and did exactly ONE sort of Italian song "That's Amore." VERY underwhelmed. Anyway...enjoy the pics! Yeah...light crowds today. About to ride my very first S&S 4D Freespin All in all, not bad. Not crazy and definitely not worth more than a 5-10 minute wait. I had the whole train to myself! The best part of the ride before the non stop bunny hills. Nice job here. Lots of new wood made for a smoother ride. The queue for the log ride. Again....no one here! My face painting as decided by my YouTube viewers. One more pic and then washing it off! This is where I parked. A half mile walk to the park. Cool part of the ride. Whee! Nice entrance....horrible station. Lots of new track and paint. Still photogenic. The new monster statue at the bottom of the 2nd loop. Will still NEVER forgive the park for ripping out the iconic circular stage and putting in this travesty. Eh.... Closed. The view from the skyride. The new and improved tunnel...sort of. Cool tunnel on Invadr.
  2. I am always amazed at the number of shows that open right before the Tony deadline. And for the most part, these shows don't last a few months after the awards and they leave empty handed. I thought that was a waste of money to get the show all the way to Broadway only to close soon after. Yet having a show ON Broadway is a HUGE selling feature when the rights are released and every high school, college, and community theater is anxious to do your show. I predict the same fate for shows like How to Dance in Ohio, The Heart of Rock and Roll, and The Great Gatsby. Once you get the Broadway name attached to it, most people outside of NYC have no idea of the show's short history on the Great White Way.
  3. $100 PER drink? Yeah, I don't buy that unless you have a picture of this so-called $100 drink. As far as the lines go, it's EASTER week and crowds are everywhere. ROTR had a 3 hour wait this week. You cannot blame the park for the insane crowds. Sorry you had a bad time, but I always tell friends and family to avoid the parks during holidays (spring break, Christmas) and don't expect to ride anything without shelling out money for FastLane or Genie+.
  4. So... Last Tuesday I had oral surgery to remove two lower teeth. It will be 4-8 months before permanents can be put in place. Therefore no food that requires biting for me (sandwiches, fruit, pizza) unless it's cut into very small pieces and then placed at the back of my mouth. Thursday our older dog has a seizure. 48 hours and $2500 later not sure what's going on. Sunday my husband gets in an auto accident and his car is totaled. We go the ER and he has bruised ribs and some cuts on his side from the airbag deployment. I take the day off from work but had purchased St. Patrick's Day cupcakes for my cast. I called another cast member who brought them to work for me. Two days later and not one of the people I work with called or texted or asked how we are doing. Not one thank you or anything. So over ungrateful people. It's been a horrible week.
  5. Rode this once way back in 2003. It was INTENSE. Apparently too intense.
  6. I wasn't offended just disappointed. Anyone can say "Hey, this guy jerks off." It doesn't make it clever or funny. There are a MILLION other ways to say that or imply it which would give the joke a double entendre. Instead, they aimed for the absolute lowest common denominator. And as far as the "satanic drag show," I have seen much worse on TV. Plus they warn people over and over that the show is NOT for children.
  7. Same thing happened to me on my one and only trip there years ago. However, this security guard harassed me implying I was doing something illegal. I wrote a letter to the park telling them about my negative experience. Don't know if I can ever bring myself to support them again.
  8. Just got back from my own trip out to KSF for opening weekend. We went on Thursday night as part of the press preview. My thoughts: The Bloodline house USED to give guests toy guns to shoot the vampires. Without this key element, there was a lot of dead space between scareactors. Loved the Cinema Slasher house, BUT they should have stopped with a double feature. The first two slasher send ups (babysitter and camp) worked great, but the third one was confusing. I still could not tell you what it was about. The Music, Monsters, and Mayhem show. As a 35+ year veteran of theme park shows (I have been playing them since 1986 and writing and directing them for decades as well), I speak from a place of experience. The dance numbers were great. High energy, great costumes and lighting, and the required finale with dancers in the rain getting soaked. The MC/host. We saw the first show on Thursday night. He was NOT funny. Now I am all about pushing the envelope and adult humor. Making ONE joke about jerking off (with an audience member named Angel) and then referencing it back over and over and over again was like beating a very dead horse. The joke wasn't clever, wasn't funny the first time, and the bit grew VERY old. It was the lowest of the low and lacked any kind of creativity. And his "impressions" weren't that great. I don't know what Elvira would think of his impression esp when he pulled out his fake boobs to show to the audience. I am hoping the show gets overhauled or at least 10-15 minutes trimmed out of it. Cut the MC/Actor, use voiceovers or the witch videos, and pick up the pace. I really miss the far superior improv show Puppet Up which was WAY more entertaining and had built in repeat viewing value. I cannot see anyone watching this MMM show more then once.
  9. Have to disagree. I have ridden it many times on days when it ran flawlessly from open to close. Yes, it had issues, but not nearly as bad as others rides like the original Bat at Kings Island or Volcano at Kings Dominion. I look forward to whatever this new version is and am hopeful for a more reliable experience on a daily basis.
  10. Not sure where else to vent so I thought I would come here. IN a nutshell, had a women of color call me a wt (whitey) on Facebook since I replaced the previous TWO men of color in a job that they were not qualified to do. And she is ALWAYS playing the race card at every opportunity. Not sure what to do with this veiled racist jab at me.
  11. Since we're talking about musicals, I am currently music directing and conducting/playing keyboard 1 for Dreamgirls here in Winter Garden, Florida about 20 minutes from Orlando. https://gardentheatre.my.salesforce-sites.com/ticket/#/events/a0S6R00000tGrnEUAS It is a 9 piece LIVE band which is a rarity in most theater these days. If you're planning to see it ( and ME!) I am playing/conducting the following dates: Wednesday July 19th 7:30pm show Thursday July 20th 7:30pm Friday July 21st 7:30pm show Saturday July 22nd 2:00pm show Saturday July 22nd 7:30pm show Sunday July 23rd 2:00pm show Wednesday July 26th 7:30pm show OFF TO CALIFORNIA!! Wednesday August 2nd 7:30pm show Thursday August 3rd 7:30pm Friday August 4th 7:30pm show Saturday August 5th 2:00pm show Saturday August 5th 7:30pm show Sunday August 6th 2:00pm show
  12. Flying Turns first. It has the lowest capacity and slowest lines. Then Impulse. After that, you should be fine.
  13. I saw 2 of them and here are my thoughts: Kimberly Akimbo is beautiful and heartbreaking. Victoria Clark WILL win the Tony for best actress. It has already been announced that a national tour will go out so see it! So life affirming. Some Like It Hot is a big splashy Broadway musical in every sense of the word. The score by the same team that wrote Hairspray is filled with swinging tunes. Literally! Almost every song is an uptempo swing song, and they are all great. This show NEEDS to win some Tonys to continue running. & Juliet also announced a national tour already, and the show is continually selling out. It doesn't need any wins to continue making money at the box office. I really wanna see Shucked. I have heard nothing but great things about it. NYNY? Don't know if it will last if it doesn't win anything. We'll see!
  14. Better yet head to Berardis for an amazing breakfast. They are probably 10-15 minutes from the park but totally worth the drive. They also open at 7am so you could easily hit it before a day at the park. Check out their food here: http://www.sanduskyberardis.com/ They USED to provide the french fries at the park until Cedar Point decided to make their own. I usually order them with my omelet instead of breakfast potatoes.
  15. Sad to hear this news. The spot was always a nice getaway from the heat and a chance to learn about the park's history. Really hope the plan is not dead. I don't know what else they would do with that building since it already has attached food stands on the far side.
  16. Has there been any word about the Frontier Museum? It was supposed to open in 2020 then 2021....now who knows! Anyone who went to Winter Chill Out get any more info? Thanks
  17. Guess I can rant. I've been a WDW cast member since 9/1999 so that's almost 24 years. During COVID, I was furloughed and then laid off. During that time, I got an MA in Creative Writing. I have applied for dozens of jobs and gotten nothing. After almost 1 1/2 YEARS of waiting, in May 2022 I returned to one of the two shows I had been playing before the shutdown. I was given a ONE day contract. I work one day a week unless they need me to fill in. I am still waiting for the other show to reopen. I have been forced to work a multitude of other jobs just to pay my bills. I seriously don't know how much longer I can wait. Done.
  18. So 4 out of 13 coasters running? And the indoor one (which should be able to run in any weather) is CLOSED? Hard pass.
  19. Awesome TR. Shawn and I went there for Christmas a few years ago and just loved it. Also, they bake and sell the cinnamon bread AT the hotel! We may or may not have had it for breakfast two mornings in a row. (we did!!) IMG_9262.MOV
  20. I have no idea WHEN you went to Knotts, but I have never had a bad day there. I went twice this October during KSF daytime and had zero issues. Even with the night time crowds, nothing like you described.
  21. It is NOT a packaged show. The only similarity is the title. They are all VASTLY different productions from the song selections to the cast to the choreography and costumes.
  22. 1) Monster Stomp is NOT the same at every park. Completely different tone and song list. I watched a clip of the 2022 show at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and it is vastly different from the Sea World one. The only similarity is the show's title. I know this since I worked on the show. 2) Did you even see the Longshoremen or Drag shows? Hard to have a trip report if you didn't experience either of them. The drag show (which I did see) was GREAT. Adult humor but nothing worse than you'd hear at HHN. And the Longshoremen were hilarious.
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