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Everything posted by PAL

  1. The OC Register interviews new / returning Knott's executive Kaprelyan, who hints at improvements that will make Knott's a must destination once again: The rest: ocresort.ocregister.com/2011/10/12/new-chief-promises-new-thrills-alongside-old-charm-at-knotts/89973/ Hyper / giga? He doesn't say. Any guesses when will they announce what's coming?
  2. Did you sit on Santa's lap? Now that would be creepy!
  3. More scares for your money. $30 Knott's Haunt tickets made TravelZoo's weekly Top 20 discounts today. They claim this new price will only be available through Oct 7. The discount is good Wednesday, Sunday and Monday. Booking is via Knott's own site: tickets.knotts.com/shop/the-haunt-gruesome.cfm
  4. Holy endless paragraph! That I read it all - on a tiny phone screen - is testament to it's sheer redonkulous hilarity. Drink you very much! Thought of you today Chad. A Dragon Wagon at the Miramar Air Show. It didn look right without your shameless face whoring it out.
  5. Shane, it was a sad day for much of the East County community when the Fletcher Parkway Family Fun Center closed. Time has surely gilded my memory, but that was no run of the mill minigolf your family built. It was a wonderful park. I spent many happy days there as a child. My mother lived little more than 100 yards from the El Cajon edition. I recall taking my sweet little daughter to ride the train and the Ferris wheel. She's 21 now. It isn't the same as Boomer's. Thanks to your family for providing the venue for many wonderful memories.
  6. ^The Family Fun Center behind Target in El Cajon? Which was built to replace the one on Fletcher Parkway that the 125 freeway steamrolled? I grew up in that neighborhood. The Fletcher site had these great water slides and a tough hillside minigolf course... It's a shame Marshall Scotty's faded away. I remember lots of fun times as a youngster. Don't feel too guilty, it was already somewhat gone to seed in my day. I recall the park faced a number of challenges. Wasn't it truly a fire that struck the fatal blow?
  7. My wife works at the former Aero World site on the Qualcomm campus. That's SD's high tech heart, but it could easily have gone elsewhere so long as it was close to UCSD. It's a shame this park never came together. SD has a proud aerospace heritage. On top of that the park looks freaking cool. It would have been a great complement to Sea World, which will never become a true amusement park.
  8. That first Raptor lap wasn't my first rodeo. That one hour wait was during the dinner hour after crowds had died down at the front of the park. This doesn't take a genius! Whatever's plopped next to the gate is an early crowd magnet, whatever the park. It was the last credit to grab. I wanted to get it, so I could get night rides on Millie and Maverick (at the time TTD was constantly enveloped in fog o' bugs - no thanks). This year we were able to shift our trip one week later in August, to good results. Crowds were lighter, yet the average wait for the biggies was still 45 minutes. Beats 60-90!
  9. ^Raptor's infinitely better than any SLC I've tried. Truth is, there's no such thing as a garbage B&M invert. Some are simply better than others.
  10. Raptor. What's the big deal? Sure it's big. It meanders. The location over crappy midway concession rooftops is nothing special. It rattles. It is my least favorite B&M invert by a long shot. To be fair, the first time I rode this thing it was freaking hot and humid. We waited more than an hour in the direct sun in that livestock pen CP calls a queue. When I got off I was underwhelmed, but chalked it up to feeling burnt by the wait. This year I was sure it would be better. A station wait followed by a front row ride. On any Beemer invert, a recipe for epic. Nope. I passed up the easy re-ride. Did I catch it on a bad day? (Note: I do not hate CP. Maverick, TTD, Millie, and Magnum are pure riding joy) I feel better now... My invert rankings, not that you care. 1. Alpengeist 2. Montu 3. Fire 4. Ice 5. Talon 6. Innumerable Batman clones / Goliath (tie) 7. Great Bear 8. Patriot 9. Silver Bullet 10. Flight Deck 11. Raptor
  11. Thanks for the look at a great Bash. Wish I could've made it.
  12. I made my first long-awaited visit to CP last year. Hopped on Maverick, some random seat after waiting nearly 90 minutes. Brain bash - hated it! Still, gave it another try when I was back-doored onto the ride (service recovery, nicely done). Still painful. It bothered me that so many people rave about this ride. I felt like I was missing out. Fast forward to this August and a return visit to CP. I asked here for advice. "Watch POVs," someone said. Sigh - study to ride a coaster? Ridiculous! Surprise is part of the fun. But I did my homework, even watching in line. Once I'd memorized the track, I knew when to lean into the abrupt transitions. The added visibility of the front seat was another big help. Pain free, I get it. This is an amazing coaster, bursting with variety and forces. It's the best coaster in the park by far. Five laps wasn't enough. I want one of these out west, please! It would fit great at Knott's. So... if you don't like, you may have to earn those good rides. It's up to you whether the experience is worth the effort.
  13. This seems like an unreal year, as if many park owners around the country yelled "Enough! We can't hold back on capex on longer, despite the lackluster economy." Is it my fevered, foolish imagination, or are we seeing several years worth of new investment all crammed into 2012? It's much more than coasters - SoCal alone is getting Carsland and Transformers, either of which dwarfs the expenditure for any single new 2012 coaster. I can't remember a better crop of new attractions.
  14. This will get me back to the Bay Area for certain. Good thing, 'cause yet again there's nothing to look forward to at CGA. Sorry to see the spinner leave though, it was a superb family ride / moderate thriller. What, go carts that much of a money-maker they couldn't have both?
  15. I want to give it up for Great America. I finally made it to the park on the 25th, walked through the gates at opening, and ran smack into park President Hank Salemi. He might be a common sight at GA, but in my experience it's a rare thing when a park executive puts on the same uniform as the rank and file, with a conspicuous name tag that leaves no doubt where the buck stops. He greeted us warmly, starting a conversation that went on 10 minutes. Hank said enthusiasts would be fired up by the new addition. I think he's right - X-Flight is no toothless Superman UF, this thing looks like it will pack legitimate thrills. As a Californian, it was fascinating to see what could have become of California's Great America if it hadn't been left to wither on the vine. Credit to Six Flags for keeping Whizzer going, as excellent a family ride as the day the park opened. Raging Bull was nice. Sure it's not the pinnacle of the type, but it was miles from suckitude. American Eagle blue: backwards air? Yes please! Batman the 1st - nice. Viper was on the mellow side but it was actually good, not the expected back-breaker. Little Dipper proved this is a park that values local history and heritage. I already noted that the departing Iron Wolf isn't the total pile as portrayed. And flats - you got 'em (Magic Mt should be so lucky), plus a huge waterpark newly refreshed (although closed for our visit). Familiarity breeds contempt. Here, it shouldn't. Chicagoans have a good thing going at Great America, and it will only get better in the future. Oh, ropes courses for the win, even if they require a modest up-charge. I had to drag my kid out of there after an hour which passed pleasantly enough due to the friendly, approachable staff who were keen to talk about their park. On that note, guess who was at the gate at close to see us off? Hank Salemi. It's a great sign when management is front and center and comfortable with its customers. It's a great example to follow (cough, Bonnie Rabojean, cough).
  16. Diamondback rough? What, are you made of glass crystal or sugar cubes? I finally made it to this park I'd heard about for decades. Mmmm, how to say this without coming across as obnoxious? Pretty much everything at the park failed to live up to the hype other than the recent B&M hyper. Beast was long but not particularly memorable (or rough, thank goodness). Flight of Fear is chaotic goodness, although it's the roughest of the spaghetti bowls I've tried. KD's wasn't nearly as painful. With OSTRs, it'd kill its riders. Vortex = putrid. Ninja at SFStL delivered a better ride. I'll give it up for your Vekoma flier however - not half bad, liked it - and Flight Deck, one of the better suspendeds still breathing. Racer wasn't racing - boo. The Crypt? Don't get me started! But DB? Ahh, sweetness! And that was with a destroyed ribcage. My 6-4 14-year old lummox head-butted me the day prior on The Legend at Holiday World. Back car, no problem, plenty o' air, and let me tell you, it hurt to breathe that day. So... from this outsider's view you have a solid large park, but it lacks in epic modern headliners. The only ride I'd return for is DB, and despite that cool splashdown, Nitro or Apollo's Chariot are both better. I'm sure from a GP standpoint you needed a shot in the waterpark, but yeah, too bad the dry side will have to wait for a while. Too close to CP I think...
  17. My heart is already racing - anxiety building, stomach fluttering. The RUSH as I finally stagger off 400 vertical feet of drop tower with a lopsided smile. Epic! I've come to treasure such feelings, as they're rare. Tatsu was the last ride that did it, that feeling you could plummet to your doom on that towering lift, and then the world rocked in the disorienting gravity well at the bottom of the enormous pretzel loop. Although I305 in the dark came close. Can't wait!
  18. At WCB the park claimed Ghostrider was running as smoothly as during the early years. I found that difficult to swallow. It's a shame, it was an amazing ride.
  19. I wished wisely. Wonderful lights and classic architecture. Very nice. Too bad you found toothless old school flats. It saddens me that you missed Knoebels, infinitely better than shore whoring. Quality over crappy quantity sez I. Maybe you're waiting for Flying Turns.
  20. I was lucky to make two big trips out of the greater SoCal region this year: Texas: Six Flags over Texas (Texas Giant! My favorite new to me ride of the year) Six Flags Fiesta Texas Schiltterbahn Sea World San Antonio Midwest Worlds of Fun Schlitterbahn Kansas City Six Flags St Louis Holiday World King's Island Cedar Point Six Flags Great America Greater SoCal Region: Belmont Park Sea World San Diego Disneyland California Adventure Knott's Berry Farm Six Flags Magic Mountain Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Castle Park Adventuredome Buffalo Bill's Stratosphere
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