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Everything posted by netdvn

  1. My off season doesn't start for another month. By then I'll hopefully have a second job, plus a few TV shows to catch up on and a few art projects to work on to get me through Jan-Fab. Starting March, I should be back at Busch riding coasters again and planning my summer trip.
  2. Not a huge loss IMO. The Shamu show wasn't really that impressive when I saw it in 2012. I'm hoping the park can use this downtime to tweak/improve and bring the show up to par with the both indoor shows (Pets and A'lure) and the dolphin show. - I was FAR more impressed with the park's other shows than I was with the Shamu one, which was a pretty big disappointment.
  3. Can anyone confirm Skyrush's lift slowing even further? I talked to a few TPR locals on Saturday about it and they all said the lift was slowed in August and September so the ride is less intense than it was last year. I'm really hoping a slowed lift doesn't hurt the ride too much. It was running balls to the walls last July. I'd hate for it to be tamed by my next ride in August.
  4. I try to carry just essentials. Wallet Phone Camera Sunglasses Hat Water Bottle Something to stash park maps like a grocery bah or something. If I have a non-rider with me, I'll also carry food/snacks around. I try not to bring too much stuff. I hate lugging crap around.
  5. Definitely Busch Gardens Williamsburg (homepark) Strong contenders - most likely will be added to my itinerary Holding out on Kings Dominion Hersheypark Six Flags Great Adventure Still planning... Strongly considering Canada's Wonderland I'd like to visit a few smaller parks too.
  6. The remote control boats have been around for a few years now. They're removed during Christmas Town because Pompeii is decked out in lights. Not sure how long the monster trucks were around. I saw them in 2011 but I assume they've sat underneath Griffon since it opened.
  7. We were gonna see Gravity over Thanksgiving weekend, but bad weather and crazy traffic prevented that. Instead I stayed home and streamed 2 Guns instead. It was a pretty good action flick compared to most other action movies I saw this year. The movie had some pretty funny moments and some WTF moments. Overall, it had a better story than most garden variety action movies I've seen. Plan to see Catching Fire and Gravity sometime later this year. After hearing reviews, I'm tempted to see Frozen as well.
  8. I'm actually surprised a park hasn't jumped on the ideo of a Doctor Who considering the show's popularity, especially in the UK. I'm pretty sure the show's gained a pretty massive cult following in the states and abroad as well. Because of the time traveling nature of the show and 50 years worth of villains and baddies, it really can't be that difficult to come up with a standalone story involving the Doctor and his new traveling companions (you). The biggest hurdle I see is the BBC not wanting to license their star show to theme parks. That actually might be why we haven't seen one yet.
  9. Hit up Christmas Town again this past weekend. It was a great event. I went with a friend Friday night to see Gloria and then went Saturday night with a few TPR peeps. We were more focused on Verbolten so there wasn't much time to see all the lights/extras the park had to offer. Quick Gloria rundown. The acting seems better than last year IMO. Something about the way they used the moving floors better or something. Last year, the moving floors seemed kinda out of place. Let's not forget the amazing actors as well. The crappy power point imagery HAS to go though. It really only works well in one song number. I actually liked the show without all the ugly projections (the show experienced technical difficulties so the projections were out for the first few minutes of the show. That made it a lot better). If they placed more emphasis on a detailed stage like Celtic Fyre or props like Fiends, it would be that much stronger. Still an amazing show with amazing actors and a really nice score. I plan to see Deck the Halls and Miracles later in the season. I'm hoping they've held up just as good as Gloria has.
  10. To be fair, hydraulic launches at the time weren't very reliable, so Dragster likely had the downtime to boot. An observation coaster would be perfect for CP. It fits the quota of a family ride (observation tower) and keeps the coaster count up. Build it high enough to break the tallest coaster record. Plus they seem like pretty compact rides. I'm hoping the park gets one in the future.
  11. The world could really use a few more custom wild mouse layouts. Especially ones with funky transitions. - And bad Engerish warnings.
  12. Park is supposed to be dead tomorrow with the temps dipping below freezing. Pretty much this entire weekend was a ghost town. - Park looks great decked out in llights. It's pretty much the same as last year with a few new Christmas trees here and there though. - On my Festa walkthrough, I noticed half the lights were burnt out or turned off. It was strange. Oh and Busch, if you're reading this PLEASE put more effort into decorating Festa during HOS. It's a shame that the area looks amazing during CT but horrible during HOS. - Oktoberfest's tree seems a bit smaller than last year. They added a few small ones at the base, but I preferred the one giant tree. - Thay should bring back Catacombs for CT. Three penguin tanks doesn't really cut it for me.
  13. Happy birthday Doctor Who. I won't be able to catch the 50th tonight, but I'm hoping to see it sometime this week. - I'm sure the real Doctor is probably 900 years old or something.
  14. So Firechaser Express's trains were finally revealed at IAAPA today. While I really like the locomotive design, I feel the trains would fit the theming better as fire trucks. I had trouble linking the direct photo from this phone so heres the link instead. https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152055061697240&id=239284692239&set=pcb.10152055068627240&source=49&refid=17&ref=stream - Can't go wrong with a locomotive design though.
  15. A few quick notes. - I want those coaster cars. Who do I have to pay to snag one of those? The Goliath and Coastersaurus trains are definitely badass. I'll settle for a Smiler or Proslide model if the trains are out of the question. - Observation coasters are such a great idea. I'm glad more parks are opting for them. - One of those plush beer mugs would look great next to my plush banana. - I'll believe Elitch Gardens gets a new GCI after Fiesta Texas builds their Aeroplane clone. That design still looks sweet. - Did Intamin really serve alcohol at their bar setup? That's pretty awesome (and a good way to get potential clients ) - Can't wait for the interviews portion.
  16. If you really wanna fix SFMM, just buy a bulldozer and pave the whole thing down. Start over from scratch. But just to play the game. 2015 - Full-fledged Colossus makeover to Mecha-Colossus. Full-fledged county fair refurb (similar to what they did in DC Universe). Add a Disko and some other random family-style flat to round out the area. Finish Throttle's station and stick a nice little nighttime laser light show or something in the entrance canopy. Make the Throttle plaza look nicer. 2016 - Park improvements. Repaint Scream or remove it. Park doesn't really need anymore kiddie coasters. Maybe remove one of those too. At most, an Aqua Twist or Splash Battle. Happy Anniversary Revolution! Revolution goes down for full-on refurbishment and gets new trains. Park should definitely re-introduce a museum style attraction for the anniversary in an unused building or something. 2017 - Cyclone Bay expansion. Refurbish Jet Stream. To keep up the trend of MM building coasters, I'd add a rocket coaster or something back there. Remove the stadium for its station and have the ride fly around the Deja Vu spot. If the stadium remains, add a new show. Build a compact coaster at the old Deja Vu spot and have it fly over the park pathways/rapids/Apocalypse/go karts/wherever. If Scream is removed, add the coaster there and stick a record breaking Star Flyer (or other record breaking flat) on the Deja Vu spot. 2018 - If a new water ride hasn't been added yet, this year would be a perfect time to build one. Otherwise, general park improvements. 2019 - Full on back area (I think that's the Movietown District) refurb. Either refurb or remove boat chute ride. If removed, add a nice (record breaking) Intamin next gen super flume on that spot. If refurbed, how about another record breaking coaster? World's tallest water coaster added maybe? Introduce a flat ride or two. 2020 - Viper area refurbishment. Stick a coaster over there if they haven't already. Add a flat or two to balance out the area. If a coaster was added the previous year, stick another major attraction there (dark ride maybe?). So that's five years, two full-on new coasters, plus Colossus and Revolution run the way they were meant to run. Most of the park has been refurbed. Park has a new water ride or two, plus plenty of new flats. Not bad for a five year plan eh? - Or Pave Magic Mountain. That works too.
  17. Everybody must watch this commercial. It's the best Six Flags commercial ever. Definitely one of the trippiest SF commercials I've ever seen. Anyone have a Mindbender commercial to compare? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3nubETlw5A - Six Flags is your Imagine-Naaaation. Now with Shock-wave wave wave wave.
  18. I loved Hersheypark so much, I became them. I would've had a Howl O Scream avatar this year, but TPR's avatar upload system wouldn't let me upload it.
  19. So now that it's the end of the season, here's my final review of Howl O Scream. It's been a pretty awesome HOS season filled with pros and cons. Mazes Catacombs (5/5) - Excellent maze, excellent theming, excellent actors. This is how a HOS maze should be done. It was the perfect length and all the actors were on point throughout most of the event. The scares like the dude in the wall and the guy at the end still get me every time. Scares really haven't changed much from the past two years, but it still works well. Bitten (5/5) - Still a solid maze even though it hasn't changed much. I still got some pretty good scares out of this maze. The actors were about as good as years past, plus the park added a new vampire puppet in one of the walls, which was a surprise. The maze seemed a bit short staffed all the times I've gone through, but it wasn't too bad. Root of All Evil (4/5) - As everyone's said, this maze was the most improved of all the mazes this year. I didn't really catch the alien theme until the last weekend, so I guess there wasn't much of an emphasis on it. Still the actors are really good, although the maze suffers from staffing issues and dead areas. If they bring back the statues and the pond section, I'll give this a 5. Deadline (3/5) - Of the four times I did this maze, it felt like 2011 all over again. The actors are all concentrated in one area of the maze and didn't deliver as many scares. Plus there are too many dark sections meaning more opportunities for running into the person in front of you or stumbling into a wall. Maybe its because every time I've done this maze, it was at sundown, but the other mazes never gave me as much trouble as this one. Firecracker guy was gone and subway scene was understaffed each time I went through, but the guy underneath the scaffold at the beginning got me good. Cut Throat Cove (3/5) - This maze definitely felt too last minute. Not a bad maze scare-wise. All the actors are clearly into their roles and they even got me a few times. Especially the ending (which was good when it was Fear Fair too). My biggest beef are the poorly painted props and emphasis on things hanging from the ceiling. The hanging props are pointless and add nothing to the maze other than a distraction for short-staffed rooms. The painted sets look awful. The re-purposed stuff was alright and the insides of each of the tents looked good, but everything else looked terrible. Speaking of short staffing, half the buildings were empty, so there were plenty of missed opportunities. 13 (2/5) - Same thing as last year, but with clowns. The new room looked great and the park went out of their way to fill some of the dead rooms with props. Still the maze suffers from heavy backups (although Fear of Heights is still a great room for that reason) and the rooms are still hit-miss. You'd think that with the extra time they had between closing EITA and HOS, they could easily make this a fantastic maze with some interesting and creative scares. It's too bad the park didn't bother. Scare Zones/Terror-tories Ripper Row (3/5) - This area was perfect at setting the creepy mood for the event. Just too bad it wasn't really that scary. Actors and props were very well-done and I loved the whole murder scene, but the Ripper and his clones just stood around the Globe. The umbrella ladies were cool, but were just a photo op. The other roaming actors were few and far between. I still feel the area was better opening weekend with the officers, Ripper clones, and prostitutes chasing each other. It still kept the mood, but included scares. Later in the season the mood/atmosphere is there, yet I can still walk through the area with my guard down and not feel scared/nervous. Demon Street (5/5) - I'm a sucker for chainsaws and this area was really well done. Some people may not like the dance tunes playing, but as a fan of rave-type music and chainsaw guys, this was the perfect area to just sit at Crepes & Coffee and people watch. The flames on the rooftops and the DJ booth made the area all the better. Demon rave thing was a cool extra, but I prefer having them roam. Vampire Point (3/5) - This area suffers from not enough hiding spots and short staffing. The actors are awesome and the little show they put on at the stage by the carousel is great, but all the actors stand out in the open, making them easy to spot. Not only that, but the area is too big for the staffing it has, so there's plenty of dead room. Still those dark areas are perfect for scares and I got a few walking through those areas, especially after letting my guard down. This area desperately needs either more props/hiding spots to make it a better scare zone or a creepier tone to match Ripper Row. Ports of Skull (2/5) - Like the others, this area suffers from short staffing. Not only that, but the area the actors are allowed to roam is pretty limited. Still makes for some creative scares though. The bungee guy and his partner are awesome and funny. Then there's the guy hiding under the troll bridge in the trees. I let my guard down in that area and he made me almost jump out of my shoes. While I like the fact that they expanded the roaming area to the troll bridge and Festa bridge, the area isn't as themed as the other areas and it suffers from crazy short staffing. I really enjoyed all three shows. Fiends (5/5) - Not as good as last year's, but it's still Fiends at heart. Some of the changes bugged me, but it didn't affect the show that much IMO. Dig it Up (5/5) - The cave people beating up the stage manager at the beginning of the show made the entire show for me. That was all I could think about during the entire show. Night Beats (5/5) - Still the same show as last year. Overall, I really enjoyed the event. Still the park has the same problem areas that they had last year and the year before. Short staffing in a bunch of places, Festa's nonexistent theme, and inconsistencies in the scare zones/Terror-tories brought the event down somewhat. I still had a wonderful time despite the crowds. If the park had the proper staffing, I'd consider bringing the hoards back but combining them with the scare zones/Terror-tories. Maze-wise, the scares were more consistent. The park just needs to focus more on building up the atmosphere and less on hanging things. Oh and the event seemed darker this year. Literally! There were parts of the park that were so dark, you could easily trip on something or run into someone. Combine that with an oddly placed fog machine and you've got a potential mess. I don't remember this happening as much in the past, but it's a huge pet peeve of mine.
  20. Got a little message in a newsletter today. Busch Gardens will be proposing it's new attraction to Kingsmill residents on Nov 6th at the Mounts Bay rec center 7pm sharp. Not sure if I'll be able to make it, but I'll make an effort to (and maybe bring some photos home).
  21. I haven't really been to enough SF/CF parks recently to form an opinion. Six Flags seems to be focused more on giving their parks new stuff each year and it seems to balance out. Three major rides/attractions each year and a lot of smaller additions to the smaller parks (water park stuff, Sky Screamer, Aqua Twist, new shows). Cedar Fair seems a bit like SF was in 2008-2010. Less major rides and more focus on themed family attractions (Guardian, Valleyfair, Cedar Point) plus new water slides. Neither is a "bad" direction for either. I can't really comment on questionable operations or cleanliness of the poorer run parks of either chain. But if I have to make a choice, I'll go with Six Flags since everyone seems to be siding with Cedar Fair. - And Six Flags has better maps
  22. How does this ride compare to the Belmont Park Dipper? From the POVs, Belmont's has the more interesting layout with bigger hills and crazier turns, but doesn't keep up with the pacing of the Santa Cruz version.
  23. The ride pacing looks fantastic on this ride. Most coasters slow down as they near the brakes, but this coaster picks up speed quickly.
  24. Judging by the POV, I'm surprised not many of those Intamin woodies have been built let alone were built outside Japan. RCDB says they're still in production so maybe a US park can pick one of these up as a cheaper alternative to the prefabs.
  25. As it gets closer to Halloween, expect the Saturday crowds to spill into Friday and Sunday. Expect the longest waits to be at Verbolten as it's still the star attraction and 13 maze-wise as it tends to back up due to the nature of the maze (I won't spoil the special room, but it's the reason the maze constantly has crazy long lines). At this point, unless the temperatures are crazy low or it starts storming, I'd consider the fastpasses.
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