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Everything posted by PAL

  1. ^Did exactly that last Sunday. The park opened to day visitors at 8. Even though early entry people were already enjoying Carsland, we were on Radiator Springs Racers in 15 minutes through the single rider line.
  2. ^This! Far less than the nearby V2 I think. Rerides will be hard to score; an event with ERT would be sweet.
  3. Star Tours was a massive upgrade. Amazing Hi-Def, multiple outcomes, a wider cast of popular (and one unpopular) Star Wars characters, and a lot of interesting action in the background (Han shoots first!). The Matterhorn refurb, not so much. I'd think the rush on the 'Horn should fade fast. Speaking of the Matterhorn... Taller people may like to know that my 6ft 6 son managed to fit in seat 3. It took some human origami, but he didn't seem to mind that his knees were so high they were centimeters from reaching the grab bar. Big feet might be more of a problem. My size 14 gunboats barely fit in the odd footwells, leaving my legs in an awkwardly bent. It wasn't as comfortable an experience as the earlier model trains, but not so bad I'll stop riding a living coaster landmark. My point is taller and larger riders should give the new sleds a try. Don't just assume you won't fit based on the scuttlebutt.
  4. The high demand for Carsland won't fade any time soon, at least through the summer. Without question there are more people in DCA than previously. While overall resort attendance is most likely climbing, some of the people stuck in those 3 hours Radiator Springs Racers lines or waiting half a day for their RSR Fastpass to "ripen" would otherwise have been in the original park. That doesn't mean that Disneyland can't be crowded regardless. After all, we're only two weekends in to a major new attraction. I judge crowds based on Fastpass availability. The ability to grab a Space FP no more than two hours out on a summer Sunday afternoon is a new experience for me. The rest averaged an hour out, virtually instant as FP goes. It's going to be interesting to watch how the crowd flow evolves. Once demand for the new land is satisfied, the resort will probably swing back to prior patterns. In the meantime, Disneyland itself may be more enjoyably manageable.
  5. Unless the park announces they are reconfiguring the noodles, this is nothing more than hot air. I think this started with wishful thinking and a hopeful reading of one of Lance's posted rumors. Selfishly, my only hope is to get there before HP trims Skyrush to death to quash the complaints.
  6. ^^^Based on yesterday's Sunday visit, DCA is dramatically altering crowd flow at the resort. When we hopped over to Disneyland around 1 pm, the Star Tours standby was 30 minutes with Fastpasses an hour or 90 'minutes out. Space was 40 with FP 2 hours out. With the exception of the Matterhorn (60 mins) all attraction waits were shorter than expected for the final summer Sunday before the SoCal AP block out. On the flip side, waits for everything at DCA are up (except around rope drop when the herd thunders into Carsland. It's a great time to visit Disneyland; it must have been nigh empty in the early hours.
  7. Those IB photos are depressing. The park looks like a ghetto carnival, minus any sense of reckless fun. Just plain run down... One step from abandoned; lifeless. I realize the weather was poor during your visit.
  8. But then again, none of the other Disney parks in Orlando are full fledged, stand alone, one-day parks either. Exactly what I'm thinking. I'd take DCA over the Studios any day. Epcot... From an attractions standpoint, yes, but I'd still rather hang at the 'Cot. DCA is more fully realized than the widely scoffed AK (although I love the detail in the park - I prefer it to the Studios. If DCA isn't an equal to Disneyland, at least it's infinitely better than the original stucco mall.
  9. There's no such thing as price gouging for a luxury product. Save the outrage for a gas station that raises prices to $10 a gallon during a disaster.
  10. Superman looks intense and I'm eager to try it, but come on! The back and forth through the station beginning of the ride is nearly the same experience as V2, a ride maybe 100 feet distant. Ripping out a popular family ride for a capacity nightmare that duplicates an attraction already in the inventory makes no sense. Then again, this is Six Flags. And they aren't alone. Witness Dorney Park, Cedar Fair's trash dump.
  11. I dropped by Sea World today to take a few spins on Manta and satisfy my curiosity over the site's current state. Just six days after the grand opening, it's looking much more polished. The flamingos are back! And looking splendid. Landscape work continues. I don't figure fellow coaster fans care about flowers - a parking lot, that's another thing. Other, more selective or particular observers weren't so kind. The complaints should stop soon. The dirt mounds in the center of the second half of the ride won't be barren for long. Sprinklers were watering their crowns. We should see grass or some other kind of ground cover sprout soon. It's not rockwork, but it's far from nothing. It appears only the area immediately under the track will remain unplanted. I have photos of the landscaping. Boring. If you really want to see them, let me know. From the queue as it approaches the station, it's easy to see that more vegetation is going in under the elevated track, particularly the section leading from the largest airtime hill. The rays in the touch pool were much more lively today. I'm no marine biologist, but I'd guess they've acclimated. There could have been more of them too. There certainly were plenty of angel sharks. Finally, the staff was cranking out trains. One after the other! Operations are moving as efficiently as I've seen them at any park. This is a big selling point, and a great contrast to Orlando's more thrilling but slow-loading flier. Silver and Platinum passholder ERT is scheduled to start Saturday morning, one hour prior to regular park opening. I hope to check it out on Sunday.
  12. ^If your sister has a Platinum Pass, tell her to kick down. Each one is good for a free pass each year. Which reminds me, Silver and Plat APs can buy tickets for a $20 discount. The Fun Card is a better value.
  13. ^You can't justify Sea World's high gate for a single credit, even a solid one like Manta. I love this thing, but I wouldn't drop $60+ just for it. I do think you're under-selling the park. As a marine institute and science / educational park, it's on the same world class tier as the SD Zoo. I understand your viewpoint; I've found no reason to visit the zoo in years. My 15 year old says Manta is a kid-sized version of Maverick, but don't set your expectations that high. It is very, very good for a ride of this size and stats. I think it beats anything at Disney save Screamin due to its more forceful launch, size and extended length. Personally I'd rather ride Manta. It pulls tricks no other California coaster does. Sea World is fond of the buy a day get the year model. It doesn't look as bad if you visit more than once. Come down and do it all, zoo, SW and Belmont each time. Cheaper than a Disney AP.
  14. ^I feel the same way about Disneyworld. $125 for a 1-day park hopper! The value proposition is awful for one or two day visits.
  15. ^Holy PR tidal wave! The machine is cranking full blast. I have to admit to tremendous excitement over the DCA relaunch.
  16. Jason, please look for a PM. And just 'cause your fund raising auction is so cool and over the top, I've kicked in another $10 to your GKTW page.
  17. Amen! The park opened the ride on time, and it's a good one. Everything else can come later, including lush landscaping. The rest of the park is beautifully manicured. They know how to do it - they should get there in time. If the second half of the ride still circles dirt mounds a couple months after Labor Day, the criticism will be justified. The site is changing quickly day to day. Much more work was finished between Friday night and Saturday morning's grand opening. The crew continued to improve yesterday, getting some trains loaded and dispatched as quickly as 45 seconds. Fewer loose items are making it to the platform, and it seemed like they are doing a better job screening out riders who don't fit. By 4 pm the queue was down to roughly 40 minutes. Manta West can chew through a line! I stopped by Guest Services to ask about Quick Queue. A QQ entrance sign is posted near the photo booths. Supposedly QQ will be available beginning next week. The price will go up, but has yet to be published. From this point I'm speculating. Rumors suggest the aquarium exhibits are far from finished. The rays and other fish are still acclimatizing. I think we'll see more animals added in coming weeks. As it is now, the underwater viewing areas don't deliver much. Give it some time.
  18. Travel on Chad! There are a few notable / surprising omissions. At least one - Knoebels - you've yet to visit. This classic belongs on your list. So does Kennywood I'd wager. Seems your kind of place. Been there? I too adore the Busch parks. They are close to perfect, focused not on numbers but quality attractions. My personal list would include IOA / Uni Orlando as a single entity. Same reason - top notch coasters, but backed up by amazing dark rides. Your listing of Dollywood and SFOG is adding to my anticipation. August can't come soon enough.
  19. Just now evac'ed from the brake run. Fun! They expect to get Manta back up in a bit. Then it'll be time for night rides.
  20. What a difference a day makes. The construction walls are gone, palm trees have sprouted overnight, and the place overall looks much more polished. There's a screen closing off the end of the projection tunnel. The crew is better too, working with greater urgency and confidence. Looking good!
  21. Manta San Diego is a family coaster with bite. It looks tame at first glance, beautiful but tranquil. Climb on and you'll find this swooping ray is a bit of a daredevil. She turns on her side 90 degrees not once but twice, and briefly powers on positive Gs. The airtime is next, both sudden pops and floaty weightlessness. There are twisties too, including one that delivers a delightfully surprising lateral hop. This isn't Maverick, but calling it Maverick for kids as my teen son did feels right. We visited earlier today for passholder previews, managing four rides in comfy seats all over the train. That sled is marvelous, open and airy, with soft over-the-shoulder lap bars. Simply brilliant! The Manta site is still in disarray. Sea World staff and construction tradesmen were working furiously on the landscaping,pathways and queue. The gift shop isn't complete; the rider photo monitors still not in place. The aquarium tanks look a little barren. Supposedly all will be complete and tidy for Saturday morning's grand opening. I believe it. Give it a few more weeks. It should be a stunner by then, the complete package. Sea World San Diego could have settled for much less given the park's well-documented struggles with red tape and NIMBYISM. They've done an amazing job within the constraints. There are a few hiccups that might not be cured through ongoing test and adjust. Manta is not friendly to those of larger girth. Those of big bellies were failed one after the other when their restraints could not lock, a scene straight from El Toro's unforgiving platform. Unsurprisingly, loose articles were a constant problem. The ride crew is earnest and well meaning, but clearly unpracticed. They'll get better. Thematically, that large and no doubt expensive tubular projection screen and its movie were flooded with light. There's nothing masking the tunnel exit. To us, the projections look washed out. Ultimately, it signifies little. The ride is the thing. Manta isn't big, won't cause your eyeballs to fill with tears due to shrieking speed, nor will it flip riders head over heels. It is fun, a journey that generates whoops of delight and laughs of joy. Come try it! As for my son and I, we're thrilled our hometown finally has major steel. It isn't a white-knuckle thrill killer, but it's ours and oozes personality and quirky individualism. We love it.
  22. Now that Skyrush is hosting riders, can anyone confirm a max height limit? Thanks.
  23. ^The heart of the park was gutted and remade. They moved a lot of dirt, built new structures, renovated others and built a coaster. Compared to Little Mermaid's alleged $100 million price tag (really? I don't know - don't take it as gospel), it's a bargain.
  24. ^Steve, he's close to 6-6 now. A year ago he was right at 77 inches barefoot, but Magic Mt insisted on measuring him in shoes. Now he's also too tall the for SROS / Bizarro hypers and some Impulses (but he was fine at SGAM). Of course the kid hit the magic 42-inch limit years earlier than most (he loved coasters from the start, couldn't get enough). He'd trade those early rides - most coasters with maximum heights seem to be high thrill hotness. Do you have much trouble getting on rides?
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