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Everything posted by Zand

  1. SFNE just posted on Facebook there are 3 months till opening day. April 7th is Good Friday, so that makes sense. This would be the earliest opening I can remember.
  2. Wish I could've taken a couple Nitro laps or grabbed a beer with you guys but I had just gotten to the park when I first ran into you and I was spooked by how crowded it was and only had like 3 hours left at that point. When I was marathoning Nitro I almost went up front for a ride but had prime real estate locked down in the back row for like 4 consecutive rides and didn't want to get up lol. The fireworks ride to finish the day was sick. I was surprised they were lighting them off from an open area of the park!
  3. The atmosphere was totally different than 2 years ago for sure. Last time it felt like a warehouse with a couple random stores plus a park and a ski hill. This time it legitimately felt like being in a real mall. It's kind of surreal watching my wife spend millions of dollars at Bed Bath and Beyond and thinking in 3 minutes I'll be spending an equally absurd amount to ride roller coasters. It's great that it finally no longer feels like a place that might shut down next week.
  4. Given the forecast for this weekend (50ish, dry) I feel like whatever is open will be the best case scenario for the rest of the winter when it inevitably decides to actually become winter. Watching this carefully because the skiing up here in New England is bound to suck for the foreseeable future, so might as well go ride coasters instead.
  5. Stopped by the mall for a couple hours this afternoon. Last time I was there was Oct 2020 when the mall had nobody in it and the park REALLY had nobody in it. After hearing about how dead it's been recently I was surprised to see the place really hopping today. Didn't have a lot of time and I spent most of the time shopping with the wife, but stopped in Nick Universe for a few minutes. They had a really healthy crowd and some lines for the more family based attractions, but with pay per ride now available I only had two things I wanted to hit. First was Shellraiser which I really didn't like last time I was there. I had a brutal ride and it left me with a pounding headache. I seemed to be in the minority with this experience and have been looking forward to riding it again and hopefully getting a better ride. I walked right up to a waiting front row and we were off. Definitely had a better ride on it this time around. Very minor bumpiness in spots but nothing much. There is still one brutal moment at the bottom of the big hill where there is a pothole so strong that I felt my brain slosh around in my head, but no headache this time at least. I definitely have a more favorable view of it now...the positives are great in the first half, fun inversions, and a couple areas of great airtime. Launch is great and the drop is incredible. The other ride I hit was Sandy's...not only because I love it but also because I know it can be very temperamental. Walk on for a back seat ride, fantastic as always. Definitely will come back when I have more time so I can make a wristband worth it and ride everything else. Still blows my mind how good a park in a mall can be. Would love to get to Minnesota and check out that park too sometime. Guess my "offseason" starts now although a 2.5 hr drive to the meadowlands or a 3 hr flight to Orlando would take care of that. Hopefully 3 months or so until outdoor parks return in the northeast!
  6. Hit closing day for about 5 hours. With the gorgeous weather it was much busier than I've ever experienced for HITP and while the coaster lines were still pretty short, the crowds kinda took away from the "magic" HITP usually brings. I know I always drank way too much Great Adventure Kool Aid with that statement, but the light crowds and family atmosphere always made it worth only having half the park open. Today felt like Frightfest but with half the park open. I didn't exactly hit a big variety of rides today, but from what I would tell everything was open except Green Lantern. On the other hand, getting food was a bit of a challenge as a lot of stuff was closed and what was open was very busy most of the afternoon. One of my favorite HITP traditions was Bacon Wrapped Pork Kabobs and last year on closing day they sold out by like 4pm, so when we got to the park we went right over to Jersey Devil BBQ and the place was already closed and mothballed. Guess having secondary food places open doesn't fit the premium experience mold as we would see quite a few closed and after walking into a mob scene at Granny's, we had to go over to Yum Yum Cafe for lunch that didn't require waiting 20 minutes. Around 4:30 we finally started riding stuff. Pretty much just hung out in Movietown, hitting Nitro, JDC, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Skull Mountain. Mostly short waits, but by 7 everything was a walk on. After a couple more JDC rides, I decided to do what I did with Superman on SFNEs closing day and spend an hour parked in the back row of Nitro. Had to relocate to row 8 a couple times and briefly ran off for a front row ride on Batman, but returned for a few more laps including the final ride of the year with fireworks in the background for added effect. There was a temperature inversion which was really neat, as the temp would drastically drop in the valleys but warm up on the tops of the tall hills. Briefly ran into coasterbill and crew a couple times at Nitro, ironically I believe this marks the first time I ever met a TPR member outside of a bar. Getting out of the park was a real premium experience as they have a grand total of 4 turnstiles for people to go through, but they are too narrow for strollers to fit so people with strollers had to cut across the mob to get to the wider exit path. That said, the usually mundane task of exiting the park couldn't be done without some people yelling at each other and employees yelling at people because New Jersey. Fun first day of 2023, and keeping the coaster party going tomorrow with a quick stop at American Dream in the works on the ride home.
  7. Looks like the showers for this weekend will be in and out in time for a mostly sunny New Years Day and temps in the 60s. No cold closing day laps on Nitro this year, but hopefully it will be flying instead.
  8. It wouldn't be unsurprising at all, which is why I believed the app lol. Looks a lot different for New Years weekend...50s and 60s possible.
  9. Currently in Orlando: 43 degrees. Hulk and Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit closed for temperatures. Currently in Jackson, NJ: 15 degrees. Put a coat on, pull down your lapbar, and enjoy your ride on Nitro.
  10. I'm wondering how long it'll take them to either jack up the price of or totally cancel the grandfathered in memberships. The monthly payments on the new diamond passes are almost $10 per month more than I'm paying for diamond plus meal plan. I'm honestly shocked they've let the old passes live this long and even more shocked that the price hasn't changed since 2019.
  11. So is this basically an Air Race but it only swings 90 degrees instead of 360 degrees? Just trying to figure it out.
  12. Closing day! Been here 1 hr 10 mins and already ridden Scream, Thunderbolt, Skyscreamer, Wicked Cyclone, Pandemonium, Batman, Joker, and Harley Quinn. Everything is open except the Vekomas. Love 40 degree nights here...park to yourself! Skyscreamer was spinning more than Pandemonium. Quite a...uhh...thrill 400 feet up in the air being spun around 270 degrees everytime you went around the north side. Actually a bit unnerving lol. Marathoning Superman the rest of the night. Following up on the rest of the night...after waiting 1 train for a front row ride, hit Cyborg, the Mouse, and Supergirl. I was so spoiled that I just missed a load on Cyborg, so I ran to the Mouse and rode it real quick then went back for the next cycle on Cyborg haha. Finished the night with my ass plopped in row 9-1 on Superman for 7 consecutive rides. Pretty much the same trainful of people cycling around and around until the last train finally went out at 7pm. Good times! Will miss HITP, but glad they gave us a couple bonus weekends in November with the full park. Speaking of HITP, surely a couple Jerzdays in my future between now and New Year's Day.
  13. When 500 people just GOTTA get that dragon pic for Insta. Spent a couple hours on the Studios side this morning. Rockit in row 2 was good...this thing is like an old wooden coaster. Best to avoid the wheel seats. The mix of exciting airtime hills and MCBRs never gets less bizarre. Mummy great as always. Keep getting assigned the front row which would usually be great, but this is a back row kind of ride. Some guy gave us 4 paper fast passes. First went to Gringotts where the girl checking fastpasses told us to keep them and use them elsewhere. This thing is objectively the worst of the major potter rides and the worst of the park's indoor coasters, but that doesn't mean it sucks. I just think the crazy pills that people take to consider this better than Forbidden Journey and Mummy are the same ones as the pills that lead to people saying Iron Gwazi is better than Steel Vengeance. Took the fastpasses to Men in Black where the fastpass line ended up being longer than the standby line (which was showing 20 mins despite being a walk on, so yeah...glad we wasted them there). If spinning coasters spun as much as this stupid thing does then I would like them a lot better. Thought Tasmanian Devil was controlling our car. Wrapped it up with Minions via fast pass on the way out although again the standby line was dead even with the fastpass line (the longest line at the time was Fast & the Furious...like WTF people?!?!?). Anyway, this is like the Simpson's to me...ride it for the humor and not the ride experience. You do more standing around than actual riding. Fast forward 8 hours, spent a couple hours at Old Town. Mine Blower was as Mine Blowing and chiropracting as always but I love the damn thing. Rode Hurricane twice and its jankiness and airtime will never go underappreciated. The Screamin Swing blows here btw...like a 20 second cycle. Moreys Piers it ain't.
  14. I heard this last night too. Guess that means "only" 6 train ops or so?
  15. Thursday notes! Entertained myself for at least 45 minutes by standing on a bridge next to one of the soaking water cannons on Popeye's and watching people get absolutely demolished by the thing. They might as well just hand everyone a bar of soap. Idk how people ride this thing in blue jeans or sweatpants. Ate Green Eggs and Ham for lunch. Actually a pretty filling meal. Check it out if you grew up on Dr. Seuss books like I did. It was kind of a weird day. VelociCoaster didn't open until after 2pm. Hulk also had an extended breakdown midday. Thus, lines for the other stuff got a bit long midday but in the afternoon everything was back to normal. This resulted in us riding and reriding things like Cat in the Hat, One Fish Two Fish, and the Sky Trolley. Spiderman is officially my favorite ride on Marvel Island. Sorry Hulk, you're cool and all but Spiderman is my 2nd favorite dark ride of all time (and also 2nd in this park, we'll get to that later). Anyway, for some reason the effects seemed more on point than usual today and the ride was fantastic. Kong is pretty fun. We won't talk about its counterpart in the other park. Not sure I'd wait very long for it but other than the big hitters, this park has been walk on city the last couole days. The holiest ride in the park is totally unchanged since the dinos escaped during Ian. The building didn't seem any brighter to me, but maybe I wasn't looking in the right place. Came off bone dry from the downtown. The baby dinosaurs that squirt water at you got more moisture on me. Ever since I met @PKI Jizzman at the Hogs Head and proceed to chug a beer near the station for Forbidden Journey because the line was non existent, I've kind of made it a tradition to do it every trip into the park now. Even managed to run into Logan from ElToroRyan at the bar. Grabbed a Strongbow with a cinnamon whiskey shot which was amazing. It's no secret how much I love Forbidden Journey, it's my favorite dark ride on earth. But Forbidden Journey with some booze in you means you might as well be flying around the quidditch pitch on your very own broom. Headed down the John Williams musical highway to wrap up the night with a back seat ride on VC. I wish I could just move into Gryffindor tower and have FJ and VC a short walk away whenever I please. Whats the Zestimate to buy that kind of real estate? Wife has some conference to attend this weekend. Might dick around the parks while shes there, and definitely will make a Fun Spot appearance or two. But we'll definitely be back at the park Sunday afternoon and evening before heading home.
  16. Some notes from yesterday: Most of the parks were very uncrowded. Walk ons on Spiderman, Hulk, Mummy, Transformers, ET, Simpsons, Forbidden Journey. VelociCoaster never longer than ~25 minutes. But for some reason Hagrid NEVER posted a line shorter than 2 hours. I mean...I like the thing but if that continues today I guess that'll be an easy skip. Had my first Mummy rides in 10 years, forgot how fantastic it is! Legit airtime a couple times in the coaster section, the sets are great, just a total home run. I did get in one more Woody ride! Transformers is just super bouncy Spiderman. Rode VC in front for the first time. Quite terrific, but the back has more teeth. Incoming storm had Hogwarts looking spooky as all hell. Back it today and probably here on Sunday as well.
  17. From one great Intamin to another... VelociCoaster. Front row ride for the first time. Definitely awesome but I prefer the back just for the airtime off the top hat. El Toro was my last (which shows how long it's been since I've ridden anything and I totally missed out on Halloween).
  18. If Epic keeps to 2025, I think this would open before. With Disney going crazy adding new stuff lately, wouldn't hurt for Universal to keep some interest coming their way a year or two before the new park.
  19. If anyone wants to come pour a few out for our friend Woody tomorrow and get some final laps in, I'll be around. Just kidding, I'll be on the Dinosaur thing. First things first though, I need to get there. My Frontier flight is supposed to be taking off from Hartford right now but instead it's currently taking off from Orlando to come get us.
  20. Damn, I thought the announcement was that Michigan's Adventure was the next park to open year round. What could go wrong?
  21. Cincy's average high is 10 degrees colder in January and they average 3x the snow annually that Richmond does. Plus Cincy can sometimes get in on that bullshit Arctic cold that the midwest gets but usually modifies before reaching the east. Similar places in the summer but winters are very different.
  22. This is much more exciting news than a new standup coaster haha...definitely taking advantage of this.
  23. I'm sure the GCG line was a glitch, but if the Wicked Cyclone time is correct it still must have been damn crowded today. Perfect fall weather will do that. There's been Frightfest days in the past where I've pulled in, realized parking was all the way in the back of the 3rd lot, then turned around and left. This park is dead waaaay too often to go on a day like that...
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