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Zand

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Everything posted by Zand

  1. It doesn't get more Jersey than the park's official IG using the hashtag #FIREAF.
  2. Stopped in for a couple hours on our way to the airport. Only goals were to have lunch (since we had vouchers) and get a ride or,two on Mako. Had lunch at the place with the stage near the front. Was impressed that they gave you 3 huge chicken tenders, fries, a drink, and dessert for a food voucher here, whereas BGT gives you a slice of pizza and a drink and that's it. I'm glad Mako was my only real goal for coasters as Kraken was closed the whole time I was there (with a cherry picker near the cobra roll while I rode Mako) and Manta was closed the majority of the time with a train stuck on the lift (and people working on it) when we left. Didn't feel like walking back to Ice Breaker as I rode it multiple times a month ago. Speaking of Mako, thankfully was running two trains and maybe a 5 minute line. Got a couple backseat rides and this is the place to be. The first drop and first camelback are great back there. Unfortunately the rest of the ride is kind of lackluster (kind of similar to Candymonium in that regard) besides the speed hill, but still a ton of fun as all B&M hypers are. Only had a couple hours to kill there so after a trip through the Manatees, Dolphins, and Stingrays it was time to head out. Hope to be back when the new hotness opens up!
  3. Picking up with the Cheetah Hunt ride, rode in back and as always a great ride. Even got the wife involved on that one, as well as our next stop, Cobra's Curse. I had QQ last time, so this was my first experience with the regular queue and it was fantastic! It is really well done (and air conditioned) and then you pop right out in the station. Quick 15 minute wait, and I love this thing. The theming is really fun and while the spinning aspect isn't much, it's just a really good family coaster. Hit Montu next door after a 3 train wait for the back (running 1 train but didn't really need a second) which was great as always. Best invert in the country that's not located in the state of Ohio. Had lunch at Oasis Pizza (where it's $14 a slice and you don't get a side...like WTF?) before making our way across the Serengeti to check out some wildlife and eventually Pantopia. Upon arrival at Scorpion, there was a "temporarily closed" sign at the entrance even though it was clearly running with people on it when I walked up. I stood there for a minute and some people walked past me, so I followed and walked onto the next train. Not sure what that was all about, but sure made the line short! Typical fun Anton ride, what more is there to say? Sign was gone when I walked back around. Got a pretzel next to the lifeless Falcon's Fury, then headed back into a 15 minute line for Kumba. Not that long, but the sun was beating on that front part of the line which sucked. Anyway, rode in back which was intense as ever and also had me immediately searching for the Tylenol guy because of the headache it gave me. Kumba was like "I'll show you a death roll! And also give your head a couple whacks in the corkscrews for good measure." Jumped on the flume next which had a 20 minute line (and boy does that line crawl...not quite Lake Compounce flume slow, but close) and upon cresting the first drop, a wave overcame the side of the boat and I got soaked from the waist down. Both splashdowns were acceptable wetness, but that wave had me regretting riding. Headed to Sheikra which had absolutely no line and rode in front. Saw dark clouds and some sprinkles on the lift, but didn't think anything of it. Ride was good, slight rattle in some of the valleys and for some reason this one doesn't quite click the way Griffon does to me. Upon hitting the brake run, we waited while they unfortunately unloaded the train in the station and then the train in front of us (WTF is the point of running 3 trains here?) So felt lucky to have gotten on the last train. Ducked into the gift shop while the quick and quiet storm blew through, then started walking back up front. Last time we were here, a storm hit about 3 hours before closing (just like this one) and they decided to not bother reopening anything. However, this time I was surprised to see Iron Gwazi start to test right as we were walking by! Ran up to the station and got on the 2nd train in back. We were lucky we did. At the top of the lift, a huge bolt of lightning very close followed by immediate crackling thunder much louder than any point during the storm occurred before we descended into crazy town. This ride felt much faster and wild than the earlier ones, probably due to the wet track. The booming thunder only served to add to the craziness. Once again, fortunate to get the last ride before the storm. This time I knew it would probably be a day ender. So we headed out and as the skies opened up we reached the tram shelter. We waited and waited, figuring they were just running it with 1 tram Six Flags style. A ton of people were behind us at that point. The rain started to let up and we got sick of waiting, so started walking. Once we popped out of the tunnel the skies opened up again and we got soaked. We also found the trams just sitting on that side chilling. WTF Busch Gardens...first off why would you stop running the thing anyway, and secondly why wouldn't you put up a sign or rope off the shelter? I just don't get this place. It has a great lineup of coasters, don't get that part wrong. But I just tell myself over and over that I can't believe it's the same park chain as Williamsburg. Having the Busch Gardens name sets a certain expectation, and I know they've had their issues but it's become a lower tier Six Flags experience. The food blows, the operations are awful, too many closed rides. Finished the day up the right way upon arrival back in Kissimmee. Bought an after 9 PM ride band at Fun Spot and took out my frustrations on some Florida drivers on the go karts. The track with the 32 degree banked turn is insane. So much fun to race these tracks and watch people wreck all over the place. Also got a few Mine Blower rides. Most of them were just me in the train so the ride ran much slower than my OMFG rides on it last month and kind of peters out in the back half. The storm ride on Iron Gwazi definitely blew it away, but it's still my 3rd favorite coaster in Florida. Glad to have gotten back to BGT after my very half assed day there last month, complete with almost passing out in a hot as balls 40 minute line at Zambia Smokehouse to get a soggy pulled pork sandwich. I wanted to give it a fair shot while having the energy to actually put in a full day. I love the coaster lineup and the selection of animals is pretty good (although something thst also exists close to me in Jersey) but otherwise this place really needs a kick in the ass to get itself to be as good as it should be. Otherwise, I just can't help but look at it as Six Flags America with animals and good coasters.
  4. Maybe sometimes, but that was far from the only time I saw it there. Currently in line for Cheetah Hunt, running 1 station with 3 trains and they've been consistently waiting for the train to be sitting on the brake run before even opening the gates. And it's not a short ride. I havent seen a dispatch under 4 minutes yet. It has 16 f*cking seats. Just starts to drag on you after a while. Same reason I never go to SFNE more than twice a year even though it's 45 minutes from me...they operate like this too except on Superman. Actually sorry that was an accidental exaggeration. The screens here are in mm:ss. So a lightning fast 2:40 is the benchmark apparently.
  5. Funny that the timers stop at 299 seconds. They could use more digits here. 40 minute line for 3 switchbacks. Anyway, got that coveted back seat ride that was the reason I travelled all the way back here. No doubt a better ride than the front with a few spectacular airtime moments. But I still can't help but feel a bit underwhelmed still, especially when people were putting it ahead of Steel Vengeance. I'm still not sure it's even the best coaster in the park. The death roll is incredibly overrated...basically just a high speed barrel roll and Kumba just laughs at it. Best moments are the last two airtime hills before the brake run. Park seems reasonably dead so should get a few rides on all the other essentials plus a few more here. Was going to stay till closing but I'm staying at the "Hotel Breakers of Old Town" (aka the Comfort Suites right next to Mine Blower) and I need to go get a few rides on the 2nd best coaster in Florida tonight.
  6. At the airport now for my 1 day jaunt to Florida. Was also hoping Falcon's Fury would be open by now, but guess I shouldn't be surprised that 5 weeks later it's still not running. Just want to get a bunch of Gwazi laps in, hit the B&Ms/Cheetah Hunt a couple times, and then not bother going to Tampa again until this place shapes up a little bit (or adds something new). It's going to be murder seeing Universal tomorrow but not being able to go. Queue Times has looked pretty tame the last few weeks and usually in the 30-45 minute range for Gwazi so hopefully a good day tomorrow.
  7. Beast Mountain Coaster - Killington, VT on Memorial Day. Despite being a diehard skier for 20 years, this was somehow my first mountain coaster. It was crazier and more of a laugh fest than I imagined it would be and I have to admit I hit the brakes a couple times! There's a good number of these in New England so I'll definitely be seeking them out. Don't have any pictures of the layout as it's totally in the woods, but theres a few pops of very unrefined airtime and some good turns with a pretty intense helix near the end. Summer skiing and then driving a quarter mile down the road to a coaster made for a great day!
  8. Seems like a weird thing to just kind of...not announce. Sure $7 isn't much money and a lot less than seperate gate waterparks usually charge. But I can forsee a lot of disgruntled people and negative reviews being left.
  9. I noticed a few flying around on my one ride 2 weeks ago. I'm surprised but not surprised that they haven't done anything to mitigate the situation. I'll be back in 3 weeks so it better be running, wasps or not lol.
  10. I'm the last person to ever actually ride Rapids rides, but I found it kind of ridiculous that Infinity Falls AND the Rapids at BGT are both down for maintenance in May. Shouldn't that be a winter project?
  11. Maybe Knoebels will have RMC convert Phoenix just to get people's heads to totally explode. I like Wildcat a lot more than Lightning Racer but neither one has a very inspired layout. Nor do many GCIs, IMO. Maybe RMC could do both at once
  12. When I had my pretzel at BGT I had to keep looking down at the paper with the logos on it to remind myself I was actually at a Busch Gardens. They were decent, but I set my expectations way too high after BGW lol. Garden Gate not having food was pretty lame. Even worse was looking for an alternative to Zambia Smokehouse, then coming across a food place near the Log Flume which had a menu of...Chicken Fingers. That's it, that's all. Same chain as Williamsburg. Sure. Sure was hungry for convenience but BGT was more hungry to have me stand in a hot as balls 40 minute line instead.
  13. When I was there Giraffe Bar was open but the new restaurant in the same building still said "coming soon". Not sure if that's what he was referring to. The only food in there was the pizza place. I still can't believe BGT only has 3 air conditioned restaurants that aren't Chick-fil-a. F*cking SFNE has 3 air conditioned restaurants and is like 1/3rd the size and hits 90 degrees about 250 less times per year.
  14. Maybe that's actually the new SeaWorld coaster and B&M is going to tell RMC where to shove their outward banked turns?
  15. Been raining there most of the day. They basically use the Cedar Point method when it rains. Candy is closed too. Been there once on a rainy day and Great Bear was the only major coaster open. You know...the only coaster that will leak grease on you the whole ride when it's wet.
  16. I keep forgetting that this isn't a CF park lol...I almost got burned at Cedar Point AND Kings Island last Memorial Day weekend because they sold out days in advance. Preordered one of my CP days so at least I had that one. So yeah, I absolutely will wait and see how the park looks that day but continue leaning towards not buying one. I can't really use the Sunday before as a guide because it's Memorial Day Weekend but I'll keep an eye on the next 3 Sundays.
  17. Fixed the original press release. WTF even is this thing? It's like someone made a bet that a ride worse than Green Lantern could not ever be designed and "Ride Engineers Switzerland" (had to look that one up on RCDB) said "hold my crack pipe."
  18. So I'm thinking about doing something kind of insane but here's the back story... For the past 3 or 4 years, my wife had been asking when we were going to go back to Florida since we hadn't been since 2012. My answer was always "When Iron Gwazi opens, we will go to Florida." True to my word, within a month and change of the ride opening, down to Florida we went. Even when we walked into Islands of Adventure last Monday, I looked at VelociCoaster and said "this is the secondary reason for this trip!" then proceeded to fall in love with the damn thing. Finally, on Sunday we made our way to Tampa to finally ride the coaster that was the main reason for this trip (and the main reason for putting it off for 3 years). Naturally, after 6 days in the hot sun Sunday would be the first super humid day of our trip and after getting one somewhat disappointing ride in the morning (and pledging to return in the afternoon instead of immediately using the one-time IG skip the line pass that I paid an extra $30 for) I spent the whole middle of the day feeling ready to pass out. One thing led to another, I ended up not returning to the front of the park until 6:00 and as soon as I made my way into the IG station, the storms blew up and ended the day far too early. SO.... On Sunday June 5th my plan is to fly to Tampa early in the AM (on points), Uber to the park, spend the day (AAA has a good deal on admission + dining pass which is cheaper than just admission on the BGT website), stay at the Hampton Inn across the street that I stared at through the pouring rain last week, then Uber to the airport Monday morning and fly home (also on points). With points taking care of the flights, I would only need to pay for Uber, the park ticket, and one night at the hotel which, all told, should be in the $300 range. My one and (probably only) question regards Quick Queue. This past Sunday 5/1 QQ felt like a total waste of money. If you could get unlimited IG, it would be one thing. But the park was pretty dead, the rides in the back were walk ons all day save for Kumba which inexplicably ran one train. The front of the park had small lines in the AM, but was deserted after 5PM. This potential trip will be exactly 5 weeks later, also on a Sunday. How much busier (if at all) would the park be in early June compared to early May (assuming similar weather)? With my own experience in mind, I'm definitely leaning towards not buying one, but does the park get significantly busier in the next few weeks? I haven't booked any of this yet, but would like to do so soon. I know no one here will find it weird that someone would make a special trip just to reride one coaster (more rides on Kumba, Montu, and Cheetah Hunt are also pluses, plus hopefully Falcon's Fury will reopen by then) but I feel kind of insane for considering this. I obsessed over getting back to Great Adventure after getting shutout on Jersey Devil opening day last year, and did the 8-hour round trip two days later to go back and ride it. This feels similar, only it's more expensive and 1200 miles further.
  19. To be honest, I feel like buying QQ was a waste of money. Especially with IG only getting 1 ride (which of course I never got the chance to use). It would be different if IG was unlimited. Otherwise, I skipped ~30 minute lines for Cheetah Hunt and Cobra's Curse early on but when I returned in the afternoon they were total walk ons. Montu was running half empty. The only other time I skipped any kind of line with QQ was Kumba with its one train ops. Even Scorpion, Sand Serpent, and Tigris were 5 minute waits or less midday. I just wish I could've had QQ for that shitshow at the Smokehouse lol. I have to admit I was shocked at how dead the park was. I thought maybe I was having crowd withdrawal after Universal and Disney but on one of my Montu rides I could see that they had maybe 4 rows of cars beyond the tram station. Unlike Cedar Fair they didn't jack the price up on QQ last minute or take them off sale on site, so next time I will definitely wait and see how the crowds look.
  20. Manta. After this trip, here's my Florida top 15 (Mummy was closed and I haven't ridden it in 10 years so I omitted it). 1. Velocicoaster, 2. Mine Blower, 3. Montu, 4. Kumba, 5. Hulk, 6. Iron Gwazi, 7. Cheetah Hunt, 8. Mako, 9. White Lightning, 10. Manta, 11. Everest, 12. Ice Breaker, 13. Sheikra, 14. Space Mountain, 15. Kraken. Go ahead and rip it apart. Mine Blower for life.
  21. I feel like we kinda got screwed up on the layout by taking the train (which was fantastic BTW) from near Cheetah Hunt to Kumba. If we just walked, the park does form a complete circle. But it does suck being stuck past Sheikra near the kids area just trying to find air conditoned dining (after walking past the line out the door at Zambia Smokehouse), then finding out the Garden Gate Cafe doesn't serve food. So you try heading to Dragon Fire Grill which might as well be in another area code because you have to go all the way around the park to get to it even though as the crow flies its not that far, then by the time you get around the bird enclosure you're ready to pass out and say f*ck it and just wait in the Smokehouse line. There are a few smaller areas that are confusing as well, such as the aforementioned Sheikra area as well as trying to get into Pantopia from the Tigris area and figuring out which dead end looking path is the correct one. And I didn't even know until after that there is a path from Cheetah Hunt that connects up near Dragon Fire so I totally missed the Hippos.
  22. I want to apologize to the people I laughed at when they said Cedar Fair or Six Flags have better operations than the SEAS parks. To clarify, Mako was running 1 train with 2+ minute dispatch times (on a B&M hyper with no seat belts) and ride ops who let the train sit on the brake run a few times because they weren't paying attention. End result was a 45 minute wait when the park is nearly empty and Kraken kept flying by with 8 people in the train. Charging nearly $100 per person to watch your star coaster run 1 train with terrible dispatch times should be considered a form of larceny. Ice Breaker was a hoot but definitely a strange coaster. A couple good pops of air. And a walk on because they were actually running 2 trains and usually dispatching trains before the one before it came back. Whale show was great as always and also saw the Sea Lion and Otter show which was cute and humorous. Made my way back towards the front, riding Atlantis for the first time after a 30 minute wait. Acceptable amount of wetness in the back seat felt fantastic on a day like today, but glad I didn't sit in the front and drown on that little hill. The whole ride is actually really well done, felt like I was back at Disney. Hopped into the back on Kraken which was a walk on and this is starting to,get a bit brutal in some spots. Maybe it was the half empty train, but you can visibly see the cars shaking in some spots. The zero G was particularly brutal. It's a pretty forceful ride (though not to be confused with Kumba, Montu, or Hulk) but I can see why it's kinda becoming unpopular with the general public. Paint job looks great though. Hit Manta after a 10 minute wait or so. This has the greatest queue of any ride at any park. Super air conditioned with waterfalls at the beginning and aquariums the rest of the way. Anyway, it's a fun ride with its swooping around fountains and palm trees, what isn't fun is getting stacked on the brake run for 3+ minutes in the flying position. As much as I wanted to stay and see more shows and animals, the lack of shade on a 90 degree day after 9 straight days in the Florida heat was starting to get to us so we quit early. Other than the atrocious ops at Mako, we had a much better day there than at Busch Gardens and next time I would love to hit it early in a trip so we have more energy to see the other shows and exhibits.
  23. Day ended up going from bad to worse at the end. After riding a fun Scorpion (what Schwarzkopf isn't fun?) and the lousy Mouse (standard layout but no bunny hill near the end...what gives?) we headed back to the front of the park. I first turned toward Montu and got two back right rides on that and then a front row ride on Cheetah. Then made my way over to use my one QQ on Iron Gwazi, got into the station, and...thunder. Went down to the covered area near the front gate and waited it out. Around 7 it stopped raining and thundering so went back to IG where they were letting people into the station, but kept saying the whole park was down for lightning (even though that storm had totally dissipated and the closest storm was about 10 miles southwest of Lakeland so...IDK) so admitted defeat at 7:30 and left. I'm pretty upset I never got to use my QQ for Gwazi but at the same time I could've just gone that way instead of going to Montu and Cheetah for more rides on those. Truth be told, I think I instinctively did it because I think they're better coasters. While I wanted to get that coveted back seat ride on IG to really judge how much I liked it, I was underwhelmed by my front seat ride and honestly can't remember more than one or two spots that are memorable to me. I literally don't remember the death roll or wave turn because they didn't really stand out to me. I'm sure it would grow on me if I rode it in back, but I honestly left the park thinking it's the 4th best coaster in the park and that Mine Blower is a better coaster. I do want to go back and hopefully have a better visit next time and get more rides on IG, but my opinion of the park operations, layout, and food options literally fall somewhere in the SFA category after today. Lunch at the Smokehouse was the 2nd most miserable dining experience I've ever had (after Krusty Burger). Ended up being 36 minutes in line because there were 2 people serving food slow as molasses while 5 others were f*cking around doing nothing behind them. Ended up with a super soggy pulled pork sandwich. Rapids, Skyride (which I knew about), Falcons Fury, Looping Starship all closed. Lots of food/drink stands closed. Flume down a good chunk of the day. Kumba running one train with a 30 minute line. Saw instances on Sheikra and Montu where the gates still weren't even open by the time the previous train returned. I hate being mostly negative but I call it like it is. Part of me never wants to go back there again but I know how good the park is supposed to be so I'll be back someday. Seaworld tomorrow then this trip is history.
  24. I've been sitting here at the pretzel place (which is the only redeeming proof that I'm actually in a Busch park) and I wish I was exaggerating when I say Scorpion has been sending trains almost as rapidly as Sheikra. Like...who TF has 3 minute dispatch times on a B&M dive coaster? Hitting IG, Montu, and Cheetah one more time then honestly heading back to Fun Spot for the evening. Maybe my expectations were too high based on the reviews people give this place and based on the fact it has Busch Gardens in its title. I didn't expect getting the full Six Flags America experience instead lol.
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