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mattnz

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Everything posted by mattnz

  1. Nice TR! I really need to get back to Holiday World, haven't been since 2010 when I found the coasters similarly rough as you did, which is a bit of a shame...
  2. Thunderation at SDC is my favourite followed by Road Runner Express at SFFT then perhaps Adventure Express. I would also have to give a vote to the very first model from Arrow, Runaway Mine Train at SFOT. I thought that was excellent! The worst I've been on is Great Escape's Canyon Blaster, which was pretty dire.
  3. I also seem to be one of the few people out there who enjoy the stand-up coaster concept, and agree, to me, they provide quite a different sensation than sitting down. I like the forces you feel from head to toe. But unfortunately a lot of stand-ups do seem to knock you around a lot. Georgia Scorcher and Riddler's Revenge seem to be the exception here, and I think both are fantastic rides (and I also enjoy Mantis on a good day). Maybe I just like it rough! The concept I don't "get" are B&M floorless coasters. They seem to provide very little difference to the standard sit-down coasters unless you sit in the front row. But standing - to me, it's a whole different experience.
  4. I last saw Belinda Carlisle in Wellington! She was in great form - looking fit and sounding fantastic. This was at the Opera House where Peter Jackson filmed King Kong. It's actually a modest little theatre and at one point I turned around an thought: "Holy crap, I'm on the set of the Muppet Show!" It looks EXACTLY the same. I want more 80s has-beens to make their way downunder!
  5. Thanks for the review. Am definitely fascinated to check out this movie. I like a good 'hard R'!
  6. Love the setting and old school rides. I'm a Tilt-a-Whirl fan and it really is amazing how the installations seem to ride quite differently. Great update for the season!
  7. That Intamin coaster looks very, very interesting! As does the rest of the park. Thanks for sharing - had never heard of this development.
  8. I like them, and last time found myself clicking on a couple of links, so found that quite useful. Another TPR email is fine by me!
  9. That sounds awesome! It also had a loong ride cycle when we rode. It got to a point where we just wanted it to end, but we had a big laugh about it.
  10. I'm also pleased to see the park doing so well. Sydney was lacking a quality water park and this really fits the bill. I'll definitely pay a visit the next time I'm in town.
  11. We recently saw this thing - the Rock It - on the TPR Texas Midwest trip at Summer Adventures at Fair Park (Texas State Fair grounds). Had never seen one before - anyone know who manufactures it? Thought it looked pretty cool but didn't ride. The second pic is of the park's Flipper ride that they operated in an epic fashion. Probably the most intense flat ride experience of my life, which may explain why I didn't manage to get on Rock It. Have never seen one of these rides before - it kind of reminded me of a Breakdance ride, but it's different isn't it? There is no way a corporate theme park would operate a flat ride this insanely. It was definitely a memorable experience!
  12. jimmiemac: Your pics of the cinnamon bread...oh...I'm getting so hungry! Great TR. Looks like the park turns out a lovely Christmas celebration. TOPGUN1993: Unique TR! Dollywood looks great through a GoPro. Thanks for sharing.
  13. We sure did. Between this and previous trips we've covered much of the country (still have some big omissions to attend to though!). Thanks for your comments all.
  14. After trekking across beautiful Virginia we finally made it to Orlando where we were due to meet up with some other Kiwis for a stay at Disney's Polynesian Resort. But before I get to Disney I would like to make my next update SeaWorld Orlando, where we had a very relaxed, enjoyable day taking in the rides, exhibits and shows at this world-class theme park. SeaWorld has been receiving a lot of flak lately, and I for one think it's totally uncalled for. I don't think people realise that documentaries are like movies nowadays... I won't go into any moral arguments here, as I personally don't think keeping animals in captivity is an issue at all, but suffice to say I think there are a lot of sanctimonious couch critics out there right now who have no idea what they're talking about. This was our third Sea World-style park after Australia's version and SeaWorld San Antonio, and like those two parks, Orlando had a big focus on conservation, and the trainers seemed very passionate about what they do. As with the Shamu show in San Antonio, we felt the killer whales didn't get put through their paces too much, and the show seemed light on 'tricks'. It was just nice watching these majestic animals swim around. But again, as in San Antonio, we found SeaWorld's salute to the military at the beginning of the show very strange indeed! SeaWorld Orlando has some strong coasters, and Manta was the surprise for us. We couldn't believe how intense the pretzel loop was. Holy crap! It's nowhere near as tall as Tatsu's pretzel loop, but it certainly delivers the Gs. Kraken was a fun B&M and glass smooth despite opening in 2000. We thought it was one of the better floorless coasters out there, though I still don't notice the floorless concept unless I ride the front row. Journey to Atlantis was a very enjoyable water coaster, and makes San Antonio's counterpart look pretty pathetic. We didn't ride in the front which may have been a good thing judging by some of the guests getting off the ride. Our visit was on a very quiet day, and having no queues to deal with certainly helped make our day more fun. But Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin was the big exception here, with queues stretching beyond an hour and a half. It was also an incredibly hot day, and we just didn't feel like waiting in the sun for a ride that seems to get pretty bad reviews on TPR. Did we miss anything? This update will be a little light on photos and apologies ahead for my omission of the Turtle Trek/Dolphin Cove corner of the park. As I mentioned, it was a HOT day in Florida, and we had pretty much petered out by mid-afternoon. Anyway, onto the photos. We finally made it to America's tropical state, Florida! And today turned out to be a very hot day... I love pink flamingos - both the birds and the movie starring Divine. We went straight to Manta, which had a 5 minute wait time... That 5 minutes was mainly spent wandering through the amazing queue. Beautiful habitat! Being basically a walk-on, we made sure we got a lot of rides in. Manta's pretzel loop is crazy-intense! At this point you can barely breathe. So amazing. Manta was much better than I expected. It seems quite modest in POVs, but really packs a punch. The famous 'splash down'. Cool effect. Manta's themeing is just gorgeous. Good job, SeaWorld Orlando! We checked out the new Antarctica area. New Zealand is basically the Antarctic Riviera in winter, so it was nice to see Christchurch and Wellington represented here! This was a good looking corner of the park, but looks can be deceiving... It was sweltering, and there were no trees to provide a bit of shade. The main draw here, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, had mysteriously long queues all day long. Where did all those guests come from?! We weren't really into the idea of waiting for an attraction that isn't supposed to be very good, especially since most of the queue was outdoors. Onto another very strong B&M coaster at the park. Kraken was a walk-on... It was a very fun ride. I especially liked the subterranean dive into Kraken's lair. The coaster was a bit hard to photograph, but here's a shot from across the lake. Kraken eggs in the exit - nice touch! Journey to Atlantis was another beautifully themed attraction. It was great fun, and we didn't get too wet (I think you need to avoid the front row if you're worried about that!). The Pacific Point Preserve area had sea lions and seals swimming and sunning themselves. (That's a lot of S's.) If I was a seal, I'd much rather live here than in the wild! SeaWorld did have lots of shady spots, which was nice in the heat. We found our own wildlife... Can New Zealand please introduce squirrels right now?! Shark Encounter... Apparently you can dine under here by the exhibition tanks. Pretty cool idea. I loved this poster. It reminded of the ride narrators on the gone-but-not-forgotten Jaws at Universal Studios. "Shaaark!" Shark Encounter takes you through an underwater tunnel. Venomous fish... Sharks, stingrays and lots of other creatures. This exhibit was beautiful, but I was reminded the whole time of Jaws 3-D, which traumatised me as a kid! (And it was partially filmed here!) Andrew refused to pose for me... The paddle boats were a nice idea, and not something you see at many US parks. Gorgeous! We had a look around the 'sea garden'. I love this park! Shamu's Happy Harbor is the kid's area at SeaWorld. I liked the jellyfish plants. As with the kid's area at SeaWorld San Antonio, Shamu's Happy Harbor mostly featured water play and climbing structures, which I thought was a great idea. There are rides though, such as the other credit at the park, Shamu Express. Wild Arctic was an indoor pavilion we didn't know too much about... It started out with a motion simulator ride. It was cheesy fun! The animal exhibits were amazing, featuring Beluga whales... Napping polar bears... And this huge Pacific walrus! The store. Onwards to Shamu Stadium. One Ocean was similarly impressive to the show we saw in San Antonio. They're amazing beasts... I honestly didn't feel this was exploitative at all. The animals seemed very well treated. I'd do this for a good meal any day! Looking across the lake to some modern B&M goodness. Stadium for outdoor shows. A bridge connects you back to the rest of the theme park. Despite being a landlocked marine park, you really felt as if you were by the ocean here. The Waterfront area of the park is themed to resemble a seaside Mediterranean village. We ate at the Seafire Inn Restaurant, which provided us with one of the healthier meals we had in the US! But we balanced that out a wee bit... Thank you SeaWorld Orlando for a great day! You have a beautiful park and we appreciated your passion for the animals in your care.
  15. I am seeing so much Schwarzkopf goodness in that photo from La Feria!
  16. Am loving the look of that first drop. RMC seem to be able to come up with never-before-seen elements on all of their coasters. Creative minds at work!
  17. I agree, people should focus on commercial whaling or go protest in the Faroe Islands or some place where animals are actually being brutalized. I visited Sea World Orlando in August and only got 'good vibes' from the park. They had such a strong focus on conservation and the Shamu show was quite light on tricks. I dunno, people criticizing Sea World recently are just coming across as very sanctimonious to me.
  18. I'm loving how parks are opening up for Christmas events, and this one looks just stunning! I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Kennywood in 2011, and agree they should open up more rides for this event. They have so many quirky rides that would fit the holiday flavour.
  19. Wow, the park looks stunning, and how amazing that they have some of the coasters open. I'm jealous! Hoping to get to Europe and Europa Park in the next couple of years.
  20. After four trips to the US, visiting multiple parks, I am still to get on a Top Scan. I know Canada's Wonderland has one, but they seem to be more popular in Europe. From what I've read, they seem like really fun rides. Top Scan at Canada's Wonderland. Looks fun!
  21. Thanks for sharing - have never seen a TR from this park before. Bit of a shame about all the SBNO rides, but if they fired up the spiral coaster, I would totally give it a ride! It looks utterly bizarre.
  22. ^ I agree, it does seem kind of rushed and definitely a bit 'off'. 'Off' would also describe their decision to build a giant purple inverted boomerang!
  23. Another great update Andy. I do agree with the "enjoy the downtime" advice. A more relaxing day here and there on a TPR trip is fantastic, and the itinerary usually provides this (i.e. on this trip the next park was Sea World, which was more relaxing than Fiesta Texas, followed by the exhausting SFOT, then a more leisurely day at Magic Springs, etc). I think your mystery coaster is Titan at SFOT? Oh my God, I'm a nerd.
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