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Everything posted by JDo217

  1. Searched the first 8 pages and didn't see a general thread nor did the search function turn up anything so my apologies if there is already a thread. I usually go to the Lake Compounce's Haunted Graveyard every fall but didn't get a chance to last year so this is my first time there in 2 years. I remember that BD takes a while to warm up so if you ride when the park opens at 5, you really don't get much airtime but after 8, the ride absolutely FLIES and your butt is barely in your seat. Just went this weekend and I got in 3 rides, including one right before closing at 10pm. It wasn't rough or anything but I don't think I got much airtime at all except for that triple up at the end. Did they modify the ride at all recently? Or was today just a really off day for it?
  2. Just got back from Hershey and I have to say SkyRush is definitely one of a kind. It was actually the first ride I rode since my friends wanted to. The switchbacks were full and it was really only around a 45 minute wait. Could it kill them to put some shade over the queue though? The misting fans could only do so much. Anyway, they managed to dispatch a train every ~2.5-3.5 minutes or so. I thought the crew was doing a pretty good job all things considered. They made sure to fill the blocked off rows if no fast pass riders were there. The big problem is that it takes so long for the riders to exit on the same side that by the time one train completes its course, the next riders haven't even boarded yet. The lift was ridiculously fast and in the back we got a huge pop of airtime in the back. I think I greyed out every time on the first turnaround. I was actually scared to put my hands up but I did it anyway on the very last airtime hill and wow...my legs were basically forced up and my upper body forced down toward the lapbar. Definitely never experienced anything like that before. I thought the ride was a bit painful on the thighs, but then again I'm scrawny and small. I haven't looked yet but I'm pretty sure the 3 consecutive rides we took later in the evening caused some bruising. SkyRush was definitely more fun than it was painful though since I rode it 5 times. I'm actually surprised by some of the lines in Comet Hollow. SDL had a full queue at the beginning of the day. I know it's only running one train right now but I've never even seen the queue come close to reaching the bottom of the stairs in the morning. But around 5pm basically everything - Comet, SDL, Great Bear, SkyRush - only had station waits. As per the winged seats on SkyRush, I thought the left wing was far more intense than the right wing. Quite enjoyed the middle seats though. I think out of all 5 times I rode it I got the train with the unmodified seats. I wasn't paying particularly close attention, but if I did get the train with the noodles then it really made no difference for me. Overall, SkyRush is definitely in my top 5 but it's not a ride I can re-ride over and over. I don't really see that as a problem though
  3. How crowded is the park usually on the day after July 4th? Heading down there tomorrow to ride SkyRush finally. The weather looks to be perfect and hopefully the heat will drive everyone to the water park also, re: the 2nd train getting the new restraints - is that definitely happening right after July 4th? I'd hate for there to only be one train running when I go
  4. Was there airtime on the twisty hill right before the final airtime hill?
  5. So I'm going to SFGAdv tomorrow and the weather forecast says 30% chance of rain and scattered thunderstorms. Just wondering what I can expect from the park operations tomorrow. Even if it doesn't rain, will a lot of the rides be closed due to the possibility of tstorms? I go quite frequently but have never gone in the rain before
  6. Hey guys, just posting to say I entered a free giveaway for a Nikon D700. For those of you that speak camera, it's Nikon's entry level full-frame camera..with a $2600+ price tag. Since I'm just a hobbyist, I don't make any money from my photos. I have been eyeing this camera basically since I've been in Hong Kong. When I upgraded to the camera I have now, I was considering the D700 as well but didn't buy it because of pricing issues. Anyway, each contestant has a unique link. For each unique IP that clicks that link, the contestant gets one more entry into the contest. More entries = more chances = good so i'd really appreciate if you guys can help me out here. There are no obnoxious surveys or forms to fill out. just click the link and you can close it right afterwards. Link: http://bit.ly/zhsgHo
  7. I think it might be my perspective that's off. It's true that the MTR is much smaller, but I think there are some aspects that just make it downright easier to use. The transfer stations are made so that each platform level is a direct transfer, rather than having line 1 on one level and line 2 on another. The main lines have interactive, virtually complete maps of the entire system so that you never have to stop and find out which way to go next. The main thing about Tokyo's metro was that sometimes it was hard to figure out which station you were at. If you were going 1-3 stops it wasn't a problem. But many of the trains just had the list of stations and only announced which station you were at every 2-3 stations. Most stations were at least clearly labeled but some, the station signs were spaced reallllllly far apart so that unless they announced the station, we didn't know where we were. Granted, tokyo's metro is much older as you say. All of this is just my take as a foreigner. Singapore, Seoul, and Taipei were really easy to use right off the bat. Shanghai wasn't bad except we couldn't help but feel a little bit unsafe. Back in September when we were there, the line that we had to take everyday to leave our apartment literally crashed 2 days before we got to shanghai because of some signal issues i know it's one of those things that doesn't happen often but it's still scary to think about ^Thanks!
  8. and here are the rest from Singapore skyline at the start of sunset skyline at the start of sunset the end of sunset light show at marina bay sands clarke quay. they have a skycoaster-like attraction there but it's extremely expensive (about 50 SGD) just a sign that we're well-traveled... chinatown at night more chinatown at night no durians allowed on the singapore MRT. and for good reason..they smell terrible (and taste terrible too imo) my friend is a bit obsessed with hello kitty and likes to get a picture of it wherever she goes >_> us near marina bay sands blue hour over the helix bridge and marina bay sands a different angle every night there's a light show at the marina bay sands. we saw it once at the actual site and once from afar
  9. I saved the best for last ie the only other theme park I went to. I only spent 2.5 days in Singapore but I felt like I saw a great deal in that time. I have a bunch of friends from Singapore that I met on exchange so it was nice to see them. SIngapore was basically the converging point for all of my friends at the end of the semester. We all went separate ways in our traveling at the end of the semester but converged in Singapore. These past 4 months were honestly the greatest of my life so far. I'm already back in the U.S. but I want to go back. The saddest part is perhaps the fact that even though every single one of us wants to go back to Hong Kong/Asia to experience it again, it just won't be the same Study abroad truly is a unique experience that is completely different from just "traveling" or living in another country. I don't think you really appreciate until it's over. Leaving everyone after Singapore was one of the hardest things I've had to do, and I normally don't get emotional. Anyway, I spent around 5 hours in universal. True, it was small but I really enjoyed it. Even though there weren't too many rides, the ones they did have were very very good. Battlestar Galactica was really great. I didn't really observe before going on so I wasn't expecting the launch up the lift hill. I liked both sides - maybe Cyclon a bit more but the Human side was smooth and very fun as well. RotM was the usual, though if my memory is correct then I like the one in Florida better. We went straight to Transformers at opening and there was no wait. Honestly an AMAZING ride. I haven't seen the movie before nor do I care too though. I think this was a solid addition to the park and very well themed. Battlestar had no wait early in the day. Right after we rode Cyclon for the first time it broke down, so the line for Human got a bit longer at around 5 minutes. Tey fixed it pretty fast. We rode each side twice. Later on in the day Cyclon had a 15 minute wait and, if the signs were correct, Human had a whopping 40 minute wait. Rode transformers again right before we left and the wait was only 15 minutes (and the linemoves VERY fast). Mummy had a 30 min wait at that time. the queue the line moved fast but i'd hate to wait in the entire queue entrance queue giddiness? the cars queue again i seriously cannot ****ing see what's in the thumbnails because they're small as hell onmy computer, so my apologies if i upload twice by accident Egyptian area egyptian area the shrek castle was REALLY nice imo shrek 4d pre show gift shop at the exit of transformers your battlestar galactica fix sci-fi city area missed this one before. waiting in line to get on transformers.
  10. on the new year we took a bullet train ride to Kyoto. most expensive train ride ever. the same service is available in china for like $15 USD (it was $170 USD in Tokyo), though i;m sure japan's version is infinitely safer. kyoto was beautiful though inside the bullet train. nozomi line the bullet train service is called shinkansen a shrine in kyoto. it's very popular to visit these on the new year some gardens some gardens some gardens..... from the top of the small hill some temple... cherry blossoms aren't in bloom right now random stray cats (they were super friendly) green tea parfait. kyoto is really famous for its green tea went back to tokyo for one day since my flight was departing from there photo editing on the train ride neon lights this is was happens when you zoom during long exposure kabukicho harajuku takeshita street in harajuku even department store sushi is really good
  11. Here is Tokyo. This was honestly one of my favorite cities in Asia. The only drawback was how extremely expensive it was. Even moreso than New York... bright and early to go to the Tsukiji fish market fish market only the best sushi i've ever had in my life the chefs Tokyo Dome City! Thunder Dolphin is closed though thunder dolphin and big-o in all their glory. the japanese call them zandaa dorufin and bigu-o >_> we did go on big-o though. the view from it: crosswalks in tokyo were interesting. at certain busy areas (aka most of tokyo...jk), pedestrians can only cross when all directions of traffic have the red light. then you can walk in any direction through the intersection. interesting for me since we don't have anything like this in new york to my knowledge, and I didn't see this in HK either shibuya Shinjuku JR station. The architecture is very different from the restof Tokyo. i'm going to go on a rant about their metro system. the metro system in tokyo is operated by many different companies. The main ones are the Toei subway line and the JR rail. many stations will have both a JR station and a toei station, except they're not connected. I didn't know this and spent a good 30 minutes trying to connect from one to the other. also, i know i'm jaded by hong kong's MTR system, but transfers to other lines were horrendous in tokyo a somewhat normal sight in Harajuku (the inspiration for nicki minaj's harajuku barbie) this is weird but whatever. a typical bathroom in tokyo. this isn't only in airports or nicer institutions. these types of bathrooms are everywhere from 5 stars restaurants to small tea shops. WAY too high tech for me. i didn't really know what half the buttons in the stall did and managed to wash my hands with toilet seat cleaner and turn on the ass massager (yes, those exist) by accident another of tokyo dome i got to meet up with a friend of mine who is from tokyo. she brought us to an all-you-can-eat do-it-yourself okonomiyaki restaurant. not really sure how to describe it but it was a bit like a pancake. really good preparing the okonomiyaki (actually, i just let the girls do all the cooking ) the next few pictures are from the top of tokyo tower. it was very challenging to get good pictures from here because there were huge glass windows in the observatory. you need to have your camera pressed directly against the glass in order to minimize reflections. i did long exposures (upwards of 30+ seconds) so it was hard to make sure my hands didn't shake. luckily, my lenses were long enough that i could just rest my camera on the railing endless... spent new years at a temple. it was very nice yeah so they release balloons when the countdown hits 0. the birds and turtles are weeping too crowded on new years... akihabara electronics district so this girl is advertising for a maid cafe. no comment...
  12. Here we go. I have about 2000 photos from this trip. After sorting, I have around 500. I'll just share the meaningful ones here. I have photos from Seoul, Tokyo, Kyoto, and Singapore. Each post will be a different country, starting with Seoul. some delicious soup noodles with kimchi kind of shocked to find baskin robbins in seoul kind of a typical street at night a picture within a picture some temple the guards were in very traditional garments namdaemun market - (supposedly) the largest such market in seoul seoul at sunset as seen from the ridiculous freaking cold hike up to the seoul tower. it was FREEZING out and the line for the cable car up to the top was enormous, so I just hiked seoul skyline red mango in seoul was really classy.. on the last day a friend of mine who lives in seoul took me out to have korean bbq. it was delicious
  13. ^^ oh wow, I never knew. kinda bummed but everyone says Thunder Dolphin is kind of a dud anyway, so that's my consolation ^Thanks! edit: what in the world? apparently i'm signed in to a really old account. i think this was my first account but i completely forgot what the username was so I made a new one a while back. and when i logged in the other day I guess I unknowingly used the old username
  14. hey guys, just wanted to give you a really quick update on what's going on i've been in tokyo and kyoto for the past week over new years and it was unreal. i went to tokyo dome city but didn't get to ride Thunder Dolphin since it was broken (i have pictures though). i'm in singapore now and went to Universal Studios. Rode everything there more than once. Battlestar Galatica was great. Transformers was gdgsahflja AMAZING. maybe i'm just too easily impressed though. tons of pics to come soon
  15. also, I submitted the Lotte World photos to the park index but how do I go about getting them approved? btw, how difficult is it to get to Tobu Zoo Park from Tokyo via public transport? debating going to ride my first mega-lite but google maps isn't doing me any favors
  16. ^^^Nope, but I walked past the line and it was like an hour. ^^Bad because of only 16 people/dispatch. My memory is fuzzy but I'm pretty sure the station is similar to Maverick in that they load and dispatch 2 trains simultaneously. The difference is that both of Atlantis's trains combined only hold four more people than a single train on Maverick. The operations were pretty good though. The only thing I'm confused by is why Fahrenheit's line seems to move faster.
  17. Here we go at last - the Lotte world update. I kind of wrote about it in the last post so I'll just post pictures now and describe it them via the captions I'm also having some weird exposure problems with my camera. It's probably me actually, but no matter what metering mode I use or which focus point I select, my pictures come out really contrasty and also underexposed. I'm using aperture priority, not manual mode, but anyway my raw files come out way way underexposed. It's okay because I can fix it pretty easily as they're raw files, but it's kind of annoying to have to edit every single one of them to correct for it. Any photo buffs know what's happening here? all in all, it was a good day I arrived at Lotte World a little after 3 pm, so I just walked the perimeter a few times and took some pictures until 4 rolled around Here it is at last: Atlantis Every part of the ride was very nicely themed Unfortunately the capacity sucks Atlantis in all its glory you can see the people lined up in front. that's the overflow. the queue extended much further back than this by the time I got off the ride it was already dark out. Also, the best place for close ups of the ride is along the queue, but I was freezing so I didn't get too many of those pretty sure this had a 1 hour wait a bit like disneyland eh? now onto the indoor section. this place was huge. this is only half of it, and there are still more levels below ground the "entrance" to the queue for Atlantis. from this point it was maybe a 30 minute wait or less. but the queue overflowed really badly and wrapped around all the way to the front of the castle -_- the inside was nicely-themed more of the interior A character in the Christmas parade. This was actually kind of creepy christmas parade heheh indoor log flume! if i had to guess, i'd say the line was pretty line this was kind of weird. a bug museum inside Lotte World kids' area didn't go on this but i'mpretty sure it would've been painful as a bonus, it snowed in seoul last night so we went out and walked around a bit two versions of the same scene. not sure which i prefer. but i have no idea how to get this to be in the right place in the post. didn't put it in the right order
  18. I RODE THE AQUATRAX!!!!1111!!! This isn't a full update since I'd actually like to wake up at a decent hour tomorrow. But Lotte World was really nice and also super PACKED. I don't think any queue was less than 60 minutes, and many were closer to 90 minutes. I'm told that it's because school kids are on vacation right now. I waited in line for Atlantis for over an hour in 10 degree weather, but it was alright. I actually don't mind waiting in lines since I had my camera and ipod but it was really freaking cold. Atlantis was actually the only ride I went on, but I think taking a breaking from intensive coaster-riding and just taking in the atmosphere is fun too. As for the actual ride experience, it was really great. The launch was unexpectedly intense, especially since I was in the first car so we just launched right away. I rode alone since my friend went off to look at teapots or something ridiculous (imo ). I think I was literally the only person that was alone in the entire park, but I didn't mind at all. I came off the ride shivering but I liked it. Really hope more of these pop up (preferably a bit closer to home) The indoor part was really HUGE. Nice and warm though. I didn't ride anything in here but I really think I wouldn't have been able to find any of the entrances anyway. The rides inside were pretty nice though I got the special pass to all parts of Lotte World + rides andmuseum for just 20 USD. The kind people at the ticket booth let me know that if I waited just 30 minutes more I could get the "after 4" discount because apparently I'm incapable of reading signs. I think I got some other discount too because I definitely paid way less than the listed discount price. Anyway, just a small preview. Big update soon: Lotte World with residential buildings in the background. I didn't even know the theme park was on an island until today
  19. Thanks guys. And yeah, I think like a third of my photos are HDR. That's the kind of "smooth" effect you see, but I'm still learning. Usually you would use a tripod to take the pictures but I'm kind of lazy and lugging along a tripod to a theme park or on a hike just isn't practical sometimes. You can do it handheld too but it makes the image a little "soft." And just a quick update: I'm in Seoul right now and it's really freaking cold. I'm going to Lotte World but alone, since my friend and I are splitting up for the day. Should be interesting because I'll be the only one alone most likely, as per Korean culture. Heres a preview of things to come. Taken in Cheonggyecheon, Seoul: Cheonggyecheon at night
  20. At long last, I have an update with a theme park. Went to Hong Kong Disneyland. I've been to Disneyworld before but this was my first time at a Disneyland. We were trying to decide between Ocean Park and HKDL, with the former having just opened Hair Raiser and the latter just opening Toy Story Land. I'm sad I didn't get to ride the B&M but honestly, HKDL was fantastic. I wish I could've gotten more pictures of Toy Story Land but it was actually pretty difficult at night. My lens has no problem with super low-light situations but I found the lighting in HKDL to be really odd. Everything was just really unnaturally dark except for Main Street. I have a feeling TSL looks very different during the day but we didn't make it back there till after dark. the parachute ride looked interested but it was a 40 minute wait so no thanks The carousel. There's some lens flare on the bottom right god dammit. I wouldn't normally care but this was a really expensive lens and advertised to cut down on flare. Thanks Nikon Space Mountain The exterior of Space Mountain at sunset Buzz Lightyear ride was pretty lame space cafe it's a small world it was themed rather nicely. the theme song was nice but gets on your nerve after the 7832596th time Toy Story Land! The line for RC Racer. It honestly would've only been a 25-30 min. wait max but it broke down, which is how I knew this is Intamin (I think...?) the cars were pretty cool Toy Story Land is lit pretty nicely at night Tarzan's Jungle Treehouse was pretty nice. These pictures were really hard to get since there's very little ambient lighting in HKDL except at Main St when jane met tarzan i'm having some weird exposure issues with my camera, and these pictures aren't the easiest to fix... Main Street was a dream at night, complete with fake snow fireworks show...i wasn't the only one with a camera wish this kid was wearing the mickey mouse ears correctly so you could actually tell what they are magical HK Disneyland seriously creates a 3rd rush hour on the MTR. it was PACKED heading back
  21. yeah, so i was supposed to go to this tomorrow but instead i need to study for exams and pack (only 2 more days in Hong Kong). I was supposed to go with a few friends but they decided not to go last minute and I don't really feel like going alone, so yeah.. it looks great though
  22. I just went to Disneyland today and got to experience Toy Story Land. It wasn't bad. Rode the new RC Racer, which was pretty fun. I'm realllly out of the loop on all things coaster-related lately, but I'm assuming this is Intamin since it broke down temporarily while I was waiting in line also, toy story land closes 1.5 hrs before the firework show for some odd reason. i'll post some pictures in my thread soon and re: the shanghai disneyland land - I sincerely hope HKDL survives the competition. I cannot stand the hordes of mainland visitors in Hong Kong. Sure, they're a good source of revenue but they have absolutely no manners and line jump like crazy. Hong Kongers have a saying: the easiest way to tell if someone is from the mainland is the queue up in front of them - if they try to cut in front of you a dozen times then they're from the mainland. not gonna lie, I'm interested in a Shanghai Disneyland but I'm kind of horrified that it'll be worse than a jungle
  23. btw, sorry for no coaster pics recently. my promise to TPR is to have at least one update featuring an amusement park before the end of my trip -there's a good chance i'm going to ocean park to check out the new coaster next week -slight chance i'm going to everland when i'm in korea -probably at least stopping by tokyo dome city for pictures of that intamin -slight chance i'm going to universal in singapore (my roommate gets some sort of discount on tickets apparently) I feel like I'm talking to myself -_-
  24. It's finally time for an update! I went to Yangshuo, China for 3 days. It's a medium/small town with really gorgeous scenery. Much much much nicer than any of the big cities in China. The only other place I think may be nicer is Zhangjiajie (nicknamed the "Avatar mountains" because it supposedly inspired the world of Pandora from Avatar). I rode a night bus for the first time. it was a sleeper bus so everyone is crammed into beds which are very short. I'm like 5'5" and only just had enough room to stretch my whole body out. but overall, it was comfortable and not too bumpy. We took a raft along the Li River and it seriously reminded me of the Jurassic park ride from universal, except without the dinosaurs and way nicer. It also reminded me of that kid's show The Land Before Time We went to the Rice terrace farms even though it's not really in season yet. They were still really nice and we met up with a bunch of other exchange students that were from the same school as us. also, the last day we biked along a smaller river and rode through small chinese villages and it was increidbly scenic. some european friends said that the little kids threw rocks at them and asked for money but that never happened to us. everyone was actually really friendly, but that might be because 2/3 of us were asian. we hiked up a small mountain/hill with a view of the villages, went to a cave mud bath and hot spring (really lame), and made it back to Yangshuo in time to witness a sunset over the mountains and catch the night bus back to Hong Kong I lost my tripod forever on this trip. i gave it to my friend to hang onto and she left it on the bus. half my fault i guess for not making sure she took it off the bus, but i'm still pretty pissed about it Comments and shares appreciated btw, is there some multi-photo uploader i don't know about? because uploading one by one and having to have the page refresh after each photo is kinda tedious Street corner in Yangshuo. The backdrop is incredible and the town has a very traditional feel The illustration on the 20 RMB bank note is a scene from the Li River actually Us being silly with the 20 RMB notes skies, mountains, trees, river bamboo rafts most of the "bamboo" rafts on the Li River aren't really made of bamboo anymore. but here's a genuine one being rowed by a fisherman nightlife in Yangshuo is actually quite vibrant we went to a place called the long hair village, so named because the women there only cut their hair once in their lives and then let it grow out. they ask for 2 volunteers to get "married" to a woman from the village during this show, and one of the kids from my school volunteered rice terraces in all their winter glory, aka no rice but also no snow village in the terrace farms. i'm really not happy at all with the editing on this one. ill probably redo from scratch eventually this idiot would be me went back to the night market on day 2. this is west street, named because it attracts "many" foreigners as I said, i lost my tripod. then i found this scene. ugh. i had to at least try though. it was hard. nothing to brace my camera on, too dark to see, couldn't get down to the riverbank because it was too steep. yay for fast lenses the street leading to our hostel that we walked along every morning. it was so peaceful to just watch the locals go about their daily routine this isn't yangshuo, but another village nearby. not satisfied with this edit either so i'll redo on our last day, we biked along the countryside. it was beautiful. h1n1 anyone? passing through a really small town we got back to yangshuo in time to see the sunset. we tried to find this big hill to view it from but got lost, so we settled for a smaller one instead. the view was breath-taking the lights came on a few minutes later other side once again, no tripod just goofing around up top there was this small temple-like structure at the top of the hill bought this at the night market for 20 rmb. pretty sure it's called a hulusi in english last night at the night market with a full moon in the background. really gonna miss this place :/
  25. I was just browsing this thread and realized I didn't upload a few oldies that I finally touched up, so here they are. Rush hour in Hong Kong is a stampede to transfer trains Rush hour again The mob to get on the train Goofing off on Sharp Island in Sai Kung, HK Population explosion in Qibao, Shanghai This guy was selling roasted chestnuts, but it looked like coal. Editing is blah Jing'an temple is older than the city of Shanghai itself. It sits in the midst of modern skyscrapers. Editing job is horrible, but you should've seen the original shot... Shanghai skyline. Edited a little because the lights were actually off on the buildings so I had to expose this for like a minute
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