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Everything posted by netdvn

  1. Since you live close to Valleyfair, why not get a Cedar Fair plat pass and do those parks instead of sticking with SF? Plus with Great America getting a new coaster, you could definitely milk your pass there instead of driving all over the place. Even then, I love road trips and traveling so, like everyone said, I'd stick with a certain part of the country with a high concentration of parks, that way you're not constantly driving hundreds of miles to get from park to park. Since you have a SF pass, I'd recommend sticking with the East Coast where the parks are a lot closer together. I'd suggest Northeast Canada's Wonderland (Cedar Fair), Darien Lake, Great Escape (Six Flags), SF New England (Six Flags), La Ronde will be a bit out of your way if you're doing the route I suggest, but that's a SF park too. Plus Toronto and Montreal are both fantastic cities. If you take the seaboard route, you can hit Lake Compounce and Quassy on the way down plus check out Boston. Pennsylvania Pretty high concentration of major/minor parks here. Especially on the southern end of the state. Dorney Park (Cedar Fair), Hersheypark, Kennywood, Waldameer. If you travel toward New York, you can hit Great Adventure (SF). Travel west to do Cedar Point (CF). Travel south for Busch, Kings Dominion (CF), and Six Flags America. Both KD and SFA are getting nice stuff next year. Never been to Pittsburgh, but Philly is nice and DC would be cool to check out if you're a first timer. NYC is especially fantastic. Travel north to Knoebels, which has a brand new coaster. Mid-Atlantic for Busch, KD, and SFA is nice, plus the area has tons of history/beaches/etc to do. SoCal Extremely high population of parks, plus tons of culture stuff to do here. You can use your SF and CF passes here with Magic Mountain and Knotts, plus you have Disneyland/California Adventure, and Universal. Travel a bit further south for Legoland and Sea World. There are plenty of smaller parks if you're into that kind of stuff, plus TONS of culture credits you can take in. If you choose to make the drive north to Discovery Kingdom, you can use a CF pass at CA's Great America too. I'm sure San Francisco has some great stuff to check out too. Orlando A really awesome city, you won't be able to use your SF/CF passes here much. There's the WDW resort, which is four theme parks in one, plus Universal's resort, which makes up two. Sea World is fantastic if you love animals/shows. Busch is about an hour west, but if you're willing to make the drive out of your way, it's totally worth it with the new ride. Most of the Orlando stuff should be getting new rides/attractions next year. Just be willing to buy admission over multiple days or you'll be shelling a lot of cash out for admission. I'm sure some of the SoCal parks will be a bit on the expensive side too. If you wanna avoid crowds, try to either avoid weekends or visit during the hot season. Vouch for the extra line skipping option if the park looks crowded (or if you really wanna maximize your visit). For Halloween, most parks are weekend-only operations so you won't be able to get many parks in outside of SoCal/Orlando.
  2. Weather really shouldn't be a huge issue in Florida. Most of the parks are prepped for anything major and minor storms/consistent rain will generally keep the tourists away giving you plenty of time for rerides. Worst case scenario would be all the coasters are down for lightning for most of the day, but you should just keep checking the weather the week you're going and on the day you're planning on hitting up the park. Most of the parks should be undergoing Christmas prep, so it'll be an interesting time to visit.
  3. 1. Skyrush 2. Storm Runner 3. Fahrenheit 4. Manta 5. Montu 6. Volcano (from memory at least) 7. Apollo's Chariot 8, Lightning Racer 9. Flight of Fear (from memory at least) 10. Great Bear Most of the central Florida B&Ms I rode last year, Alpengeist, Verbolten, and Cheetah Hunt were all knocked out of my top 10 thanks to Hersheypark. Planning at least one theme park trip next year, plus I'm LOOOONG overdue for a KD trip. The 40th anniversary and 305 alone are good reason for me to head up there, but stuff has always gotten in the way of me going up there.
  4. The park should be a ghost town during the day, but crowds do tend to pick up at night since you're going early in the season. I'd just go to the park and see how the crowds are before buying Fastpasses. If you do opt for them, I'd buy them come Haunt time. All the major gift shops sell them. From experience, 13 gets the longest waits maze-wise and Verbolten (clearly) gets the longest waits coaster-wise. Everything else should be reasonable.
  5. I'm trying to do a quick stopover at CW next weekend if things fall into my favor. I may have to hit the park on Saturday (although I'm really holding out for Friday) if things work out right. I need a good attack plan since I don't have the money for a line cutting option. Coaster-wise, I'm trying to do the B&Ms, Vortex, and Stunt Coaster. The other coasters are pretty hit-miss at this point. I also wanna do all the major flats. Are the crowds pretty heavy during the day or do they start rolling in when Haunt starts? Is the park good with shows? I'm thinking about bringing my parents. They're more interested in shows/atmospehere over rides. I'd love to do a meetup with somebody. If anyone wants to head up to CW to hang out for the day (and give me pointers), that would be awesome. My current plan is to start at Vortex and work my way around riding the flats/coasters (assuming lines won't be too bad since everyone's most likely making the mad dash to Leviathan). I should end up at Leviathan by closing. Spend Haunt doing mazes and trying night rides.
  6. Parents are seriously considering a European cruise next year. Not only that, but we're taking a surprise trip to Canada next week. Even though all the parks will be closed when we go, we're going to Quebec City, Montreal, and Toronto. - Best haunt season ever.
  7. Quick maze rundown. The mazes are pretty good this year. Bitten - still as solid as ever. Everyone seems to bash this maze because it's been around for a while. I got a few good scares out of it. Catacombs - I didn't get many scares out of it opening night, but got some last weekend. It seems like the park changed up some of the maze and made it longer. Deadline - Actors were alright, but this maze had too many dead areas. Not only that but it was insanely dark inside so I kept running into the people behind me. It was much better last year IMO. Cutthroat Cove - the new maze. The actors were great, but the maze felt cheap. Hopefully the park upgrades this maze and adds more actors in the coming year. 13 - this maze was the same as last year in terms of scares and theming. There's still dead areas and rooms with no theming. Actors were decent.
  8. Double Shots and Giant Frisbees didn't exist in 1992. I'd add other rides in their place for now.
  9. Sheikra should be up and running fine, although I've heard it's had a rocky season this year. I still prefer it over Griffon myself. I believe the skyride and Rhino Rally will be down for budget reasons though. My favorite woodie is a GCI too (Lightning Racer). Gwazi is the opposite of LR. The entire ride is jarring to the point where its impossible to keep your hands up (and at times see straight). The layout is good, but the roughness is unbearable.
  10. If you were able to fit on Maverick without issues, Cheetah Hunt shouldn't give you any trouble. In terms of reliability, when I rode last year, Sheikra was down for most of the morning and Cheetah was running fine. If you wanna film POVs I'd recommend contacting the park first. Williamsburg allows on-ride filming as long as you use a chest mounted camera and it's approved by a higher up. Tampa should have a similar policy, but I'd recommend asking. If you're really that worried about riding Gwazi, it's really rough and you won't miss much if it does end up closing down before your trip. The other coasters are great though. As for storage, some of the rides had free lockers and others didn't. I'd recommend not carrying too much anyway unless you have a nonrider. Just carry the essentials and you should be good. - Enjoy your trip
  11. A quick rundown of the all the scare zones (now called Terrortories) over the weekend. I wasn't sure how it would work out, but most of them came together well with a few issues. Ports of Skull - 2/5 - The weakest of the scare zones, they really need to expand this one beyond that little corner. Have it take up the entire garden and the Festa bridge or Pompeii path. The bungee dude was pretty awesome and the actors were alright. Ripper Row - 3/5 - Actors were pretty good and I loved the headless ladies. I wish they kept the kidnappings, but I can see how it would cause problems. I liked the sets but they looked a tad on the cheap side. They should bring the Scavengers costumes back and add a few victims to the mix. Vampire Point - 4/5 - This scare zone suffers from a staff issue. I saw a handful of people roaming around but with a scare zone this big, there should be more roamers. The actors were excellent. I love the hotel, Vlad, and his crew. Blood Banquet should be cut back though. Even on Saturday, there weren't many people eating there plus it creates a huge bottleneck. Demon Street - 5/5 - Like Widowmakers before it chainsaws always win out. Combine that with cool special effects and DJ Satan cranking out awesome jams and you have a fantastic scare zone. I just wish they had a few more of those fire dancers on a few more rooftops and grim reaper wasn't changed into smiling demon. Add some stuff to Griffon's area too. Overall the scare zones were pretty good for opening weekend. I only hope they continue to get better as they usually do throughout the season. Howl O Scream started off really weak in 2011-2012 and those years ended up being among the best. Maze reviews coming later.
  12. Hit up the event all three days. Compared to previous years, opening weekend has been fantastic. All the actors were on their A game and it showed. I'm really hoping the trend continues as the event gets better and better. Mazes and scare zones did seem a bit understaffed at points. The pirate scare zone in Italy was pitiful despite the bungee dude. They need to expand it. Festa is completely unthemed which is unfortunate considering that's where the new maze is. I love what the park did with France and the rest of the scare zones. Other areas were pretty well done compared to opening last year. I'll probably post a more extensive review once the event really kicks in. Doing this on a phone is a pain.
  13. Why couldn't Kings Island and Worlds of Fun have a cool anniversary logo like KD and SFOT? I'm really liking what the park has in store for next year in regards to bringing back classic theming to Congo and Grove. At this point I'm still holding out on updating Water Works with some new paint and maybe a couple of new slides too. hopefully Volcano will get the other loading station the ride desperately needs and Anaconda can get new trains and paint.
  14. The park still seems to add new rides on a regular basis. Not only that, but they added Black Diamond not too long ago and Flying Turns (which is another large woodie) is supposed to open sometime soon. In a lot of cases corporate parks will go years without adding rides. Knoebels is fine the way it is.
  15. I actually might just have the guts to ride this thing next year if it really only takes 30 seconds to get to the top and a few seconds to just sit there. Glad to see SF giving more parks with a lack of flats some decent flats.
  16. Goliath is such an overused name now, but that logo is pretty sweet. Rocky Mountain never fails to make their coasters look balls to the walls insane. Just another reason I should head to Chicago sometime in the future I guess.
  17. From personal experience, I'd lay off any caffeinated drinks and stick with water since those tend to go right through you. Plus water's free. For something sweet, I'd stick with lemonade/fruit punch for most occasions and sports drinks if it gets too hot. Unless it's really hot and you're able to sweat the water out, don't force your kid to drink too much either. Otherwise it'll go right through. If he wants soda, get some in between rides (during meal times) when you have plenty of time to find a restroom. And as always, bathroom breaks before and after you ride usually work.
  18. Since last night was the final night of Illuminights, time to post a quick review. Despite being at the park for most of the Illuminights season, I only managed to catch one show. I saw Giardinio Magico last year and the year before. It was good both years, so I assumed it never really changed. Killarney Kommotion (3/5) - Even though everyone absolutely hated this show (friends and fans alike) I thought it wasn't the worst show ever and with a bit of retooling, it would be greatly improved. If the park added a lot more acrobatics on the tower and changed out the music choice to include a bit more Irish music, it would be a ton better. I didn't really have a problem with the pop music that they played. I also noticed the musicians from Celtic Fyre play in the background too (although Celtic Fyre is infinitely better than this). Decor (4/5) - Although the decorations still look ugly and tacky in some places, I really dig the scaled back event. In years past, the park would be covered from head to toe in ugly garland and streamers. This year there's an emphasis on the "gardens" motif with all the animals. Just wish the park took a bit more effort putting together the animal props. They look a bit ugly. Glow tree in Oktoberfest is better than Wunderbarn and Clocktoberfest, but could use a bit of alcohol and a more interactive tree. I'm sure the park would make a killing off both glow and alcohol. Overall: I still prefer the park to stay the way it is without decorations during summer and would rather see Illuminights leave for a bigger budget in Food & Wine, HOS, and CT.
  19. Just make a list of priority rides and make it a goal to hit those. Don't fret over missing smaller stuff. Fahrenheit tends to get the longest waits so hit that early. Skyrush's placement means that people like to concentrate over there. If the queue is half full, the wait is actually around 20-25 minutes. Not the hour wait that the attendant at the entrance says. Skyrush is pretty good with capacity though, so even a long line shouldn't be unbearable. Like I said, Skyrush is an amazing ride if you can get over the stapling. Fahrenheit treated me pretty well too. Some people say it's rough, but it's really forceful (more than anything at Busch ) and fun. Great Bear has interesting forces in the first helix and like I said, it's glass smooth (maybe even smoother than Griffon). Most of the coasters have great capacity so lines shouldn't be too big of an issue. - You're gonna have an awesome time.
  20. The Bat flies again for another run at KI. Just too bad they didn't reuse this when they renamed Top Gun. Don't dig too deep into the posted images. I think they're supposed to be used as placeholders. - This park seriously needs a strata coaster.
  21. I managed a Skyrush ride once a few weeks ago and didn't have a problem with the lap bars. While the ride pins you to the seat, I can definitely see why with the ride's extreme airtime and killer turns. Yes the ride pins you to the seat and its not the comfiest feeling in the world, but it was nowhere near as bad as Cheetah Hunt's leg crushing harnesses. Skyrush still managed to scrape my number one favorite coaster spot. I'm definitely looking forward to heading back up to Hershey to try Skyrush again next year.
  22. Hershey was under a severe thunderstorm warning when I went last Saturday, but it ended up only being cloudy in the morning and sunny later in the day. I'd recommend checking the weather before your visit. The most wet I ever got was from the waterworks on Lightning Racer and on the flume.
  23. I rode with a local/TPR member in Wildcat's third row and we both agreed Cat wasn't running too well that day. There were potholes at the bottom of every drop. You know a coaster isn't running well when you can't put your hands up the whole time in order to brace yourself from slamming your gut into the lapbars (and it's not the good Skyrush/Fahrenheit kind either). The turns were ok until around midway through the ride. Around that time, the ride didn't seem to like any of us and decided to beat us up in the turns as well. I liked the layout, but like Gwazi, it suffers from great layout but horrible roughness. I heard riding toward the back, the ride is a bit more tolerable, but we didn't have time to do rerides, nor did I really want to after that unpleasant experience.
  24. Time to bring some new life back into this thread. I just got back from Hersheypark last weekend and made a decent haul. Here's my trade list. Lemme know what you like!
  25. Did Hersheypark Saturday for the first time. A few notes. - Skyrush, Storm Runner, and Fahrenheit all made my top 3. Fantastic rides. Fahrenheit is crazy underrated. Storm Runner is my favorite launch coaster, and Skyrush kicked my ass. Fahrenheit and Great Bear were the real surprise hits of the day. I love both of them. - The woodies were great except Wildcat. That ride needs to be put out of its misery - The park has so much stuff to do, it's not even funny. We skipped Zoo America and did other stuff instead. Despite having so much stuff to do though, the park still feels small and cramped at times though. It looks real small from the top of the observation tower. - I liked the older section of the park. The atmosphere in that area is amazing. While BGW has better theming, I love Hersheypark's attempts at theming their areas as well. - Ops were seriously on their A-game. Our longest wait was 40 mins for Fahrenheit and 30 for Great Bear. Even though Skyrush had a posted hour wait, it still only took around 20-25 mins to get through the entire line. It basically took us longer to park the car than it did to wait in lines for everything. - Hersheypark was a lot flatter than I expected. I thought there would be steep hills everywhere. The park is pretty flat with one or two small hills here and there. Nothing on the scale of BGW. - There was a neat Chevy exhibit near Wildcat. Hershey bar and Bumblebee were both there. Kiss had to stand in the hot sun all day. She's a real trooper. - The Boardwalk needs a serious expansion. It was packed when we came that morning despite near walk ons for the surrounding midway rides. From Kissing Tower, it looked a lot worse later in the day. I love the area though. - We lost at Lightning Racer twice D: Still my favorite woodie - Coaster lines need shade. It sucks standing in direct hot 90 degree sun. I can only imagine how bad the waits are when the lines are crazy long. Great Bear, Fahrenheit, and Skyrush come to mind, but there are others. - Black tarmac isn't really ideal for a park like HP, especially in the Midway/Boardwalk area where there isn't much shade. - The park still felt really packed on Saturday. We parked the car near the second tram stop and there were still cars that parked further out. The midways were crammed full of people. It's surprising to see how many people this park can hold. Overall a good time to be had. BGW loves Hersheypark!
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