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Everything posted by MayTheGForceBeWithYou

  1. Add me onto the list of wanting a park with a multi-tower installation to put one of these on. Looks like such an awesome concept.
  2. With Japan largely handling its COVID scenario better than some other countries, I was able to finally check Nagashima Spaland off my to-do list after having been on for quite some time. With my trip landing in the middle of what would ordinarily be one of Japan's busiest travel seasons, I was expecting some fairly decent crowds, but I was surprised to see just how much COVID was doing to the parks. With the crowds being extremely manageable, I was also curious to see how the park was handling operations in light of everything. Outside the sanitation procedures, rides with smaller trains had distancing enforced through cut capacity (Hakugei being the worst affected). Thankfully, most of the other major rides had enough distancing built in to operate almost normally (Steel Dragon, Arashi, Acrobat), which offset some of the capacity issues. Overall enjoyed the park and thought it had a solid lineup (especially with Hakugei on it now). Onto the photos: The gateway to happiness. Fairly average queues for the day (though the half capacity one train ops made for longer waits). Longest actual wait time was about 30 minutes. Masks are mandatory for Hakugei and Steel Dragon per newly posted policy. And yes, they survive both just fine. Easily the most photogenic of the RMCs. Probably best to let the photos do most of the talking. There's just no angle that doesn't look good. Fantastic ride with a ton of airtime and awesome elements (this "actually zero G" zero G roll being my favorite), and my new #4. A+ With the last time on a first gen being almost 15 years ago, it was nice to get to ride one again (and the kerchunk wasn't even bad). A Heading to Arashi. With the only similar ride in my count being Green Lantern and knowing how annoyed people have gotten with the 4D Free Spins popping up everywhere, I really didn't expect much out of it. Thankfully, it went against my expectations in all the right ways and ended up being my second favorite behind Hakugei. I don't know why S&S decided to make this particular one able to get every ride spinning almost nonstop, but they need to keep doing it. A+ Steel Dragon 2000 (Nisen), the other big and bold headliner. Pretty solid, long (obviously), with some good speed and nice floater moments. Basically a super giant old school hyper. A- I was also excited to try out an Ultra Twister for the first time. Rough around the edges (Togo, what else?), but still a quirky and enjoyable ride. Sadly, I had also been planning to go to Rusutsu to try the dive loop variant, but my trip plans fell through. But for this one, B. Heading to Acrobat, the Manta clone. "It looks like Manta, but due to international copyright law, it's not." I Can't Believe It's Not Manta!™ Ran fairly rattly, but it's the Manta layout, so it's still good stuff. B+ And some classic Schwarzkopf goodness to round things out. A- Can't go wrong with the Shuttle Loop. A- Not sure if this actually does anything to help pandemic stuff, but still nice to walk out to.
  3. Nagashima Spaland on August 5 and Rusutsu on August 11, both new parks for me.
  4. Resort just announced it will be reopening on July 1 with precautions and restrictions in place.
  5. ^Nice to have a date announced, and I'm also really liking that new concept art.
  6. Given how big of an investment it is in conjunction with the park's fairly steady improvement, I'll definitely be keeping my eye on what develops.
  7. 1. How many parks did you visit in 2019? 10-ish 2. Best new-for-2019 (or new-to-you-in-2019) ride? Soaring at Tokyo DisneySea. Not normally a fan of the Around the World version, but the complete experience there makes it work pretty well. 3. Name the first 3 coasters that come to mind. Steel Vengeance, Eejanaika, Maverick 4. What was the best flat ride you rode in 2019? European traveling Top Scan 5. What is your favorite RMC under 130 feet? Twisted Colossus 6. What was the last Premier coaster that you rode? YOLO 7. Name a park you've been to that you're already planning to revisit. Tokyo Disney 8. What is your home park and how many times did you visit in 2019? Technically Elitch Gardens, but a nice whopping zero 9. What park are you most looking forward to visiting in 2020? Nagashima Spaland 10. Kennywood or Dollywood? Pick one Dollywood (haven't been to either) 11. What ride/coaster disappointed you the most in 2019? Fuji-Q had this temporary dark ride set up called Endless Mine (I think), but it was pretty underwhelming. 12. You're at Great Adventure. You play that racist-ish gong game and win a one hour ERT session for you and your friends on ONE coaster of your choice. But damn! El Toro, Kingda Ka and Nitro are all down! So you ride... Batman 13. What is the last coaster that changed your top 10? Eejanaika bumped up to my #2 14. Most recent park food you ate. Churro, maybe? 15. What park do you wish was your home park? Pretty much anything around Orlando/Tampa 16. What 2020 attraction do you have the biggest boner for? Iron Gwazi 17. What park will you visit next? Busch Gardens Tampa 18. Favorite breakfast before a day at a park? Whatever's available. Don't really have a set meal plan. 19. Cedar Fair park you visited most recently? Knott's during Haunt 20. Was it awesome? Yeah, pretty good 21. Skyrush or Candymonium? Skyrush 22. What 2 overseas parks do you want to visit the most? Hansa Park, Alton Towers 23. The best B&M coaster you rode in 2019 was? Kumba 24. What is the saddest/dirtiest credit whore thing you've ever done? The little Wacky Worm at Oktoberfest several liters in 25. Last time you bought fast pass? Knott's during Haunt 26. What was the longest you waited for a ride/coaster in 2019? ~75 minutes for Journey to the Center of the Earth 27. What season passes/membership do you currently have? None at the moment, will be getting a Tokyo Disney pass when I move out to Japan in the spring 28. If you could go to a park with anyone on this forum for a day who would it be and to what park? I don't know enough people to namedrop, but I'd be cool visiting Japanese parks with whoever. 29. Battle of the Busch 2020: Iron Gwazi or Pantheon - which would you rather ride? Iron Gwazi 30. Most times you've ridden one coaster (rough estimate or exact if you're a super nerd) Probably Space Mountain at Disneyland because of how often I went there as a kid (few hundred maybe, not sure) 31. Congrats! You just won passes to spend A WEEK at the park of your choice! Dorney Park or Valley Fair? Pick one and why. Dorney's collection seems a bit better 32. Talk about a park food that knocked your socks off Still wish potato mochi churros were a thing outside of Japan 33. Pick one: Kumba or Montu Kumba 34. What are your three least favorite woodies? Including defunct ones because I'm lazy, Psyclone, Mean Streak, Twister II 35. Best sweet snack at a park (degree of difficulty: not Dollywoods cinnamon bread) Still partial to churros 36. Kings Island is on the phone and they want you to decide what is going in the old Vortex spot. What do you add? If time travel is allowed, RMC T Rex when it's ready. If not, twisty terrain Intamin multi-launch. 37. What roller coaster currently sits at the top of your bucketlist? (degree of difficulty: NOT a new-for-2020 ride) Der Schwur des Kärnan 38. Name 3 parks you want to visit in the next 3 years. Nagashima Spaland, Rusutsu, Hansa Park (first two should happen this year) 39. Name 3 other forum members you hope fill this out. Again, don't know enough people to namedrop 40. Show us how cool you are by posting a picture of yourself on a coaster or in front of coaster. Bonus points if you're holding a sign with a number on it like the nerd you are. Dodonpa this last August with some people that started chatting with me in line. They wanted a group photo afterward before we parted ways:
  8. Since I'll be living near Tokyo this coming year: Definite: -Pretty much anything in the Kanto area (Tokyo Disney, Fuji-Q, Yomiuriland, et al) -Nagashima Spaland -Universal Japan Pretty likely: -Rusutsu Resort (both summer and winter seasons)
  9. That was actually my first thought when I saw the original announcement; it looked like what Windjammer could have been like if it wasn't a total piece of crap. Nice to hear that's a pretty accurate descriptor.
  10. I thought I was going crazy thinking I've had mostly positive experiences at Fuji-Q...but I'm glad it seems like the better days are becoming more commonplace as opposed to some of the horror stories that came out of here in the past. On the note of horror stories, the village near Eejanaika is called Gegege no Yokai Yokocho (ゲゲゲの妖怪横丁 AKA "Gegege Monster Alley"). Gegege no Kitaro is a famous manga and anime series based on old Japanese kaidan (ghost stories) and yokai (monsters); the poster you found shows a rokurokubi, one of the more prolific yokai in Japanese folklore.
  11. Always loved walking around Shibuya when I was out there. Lot of fun to walk around earlier in the evening right as the nightlife gets started but before all the shops start closing up.
  12. ^There seem to be a few hints of that (Axis looks interesting, and the front car on the spinning coaster looks funky), but I do wish we could see more like it.
  13. Always nice to see some DisneySea. It's always nice to see anything out of Japan period, but Tokyo Disney especially. Since you mentioned the old school Fastpass system, you saw the very last of it since Soaring's opening was also when the resort introduced its new Fastpass system. It's like California's system (where you can either use your phone to grab a time slot, or grab a reminder slip the old school way), but without the upcharge to use the mobile app. Unfortunately, the Tokyo Disney app is currently only available on Japanese app stores with no international releases. I'm hoping a version for international visitors makes its way to other app stores in the not too distant future, but for now, you have to have a Japanese account to use the app.
  14. ^The Fujin Raijin II incident in 2007 is also a big part of why Japan's standards are as strict as they are, because Japanese authorities saw the incident as a sign that the standards and enforcement they had before were nowhere near enough if they allowed something like that to happen (similar to how the sarin gas attacks in 1995 prompted many places in Japan to get rid of their public trash cans; just like how people got used to not having public trash cans, the new safety standards just became a fact of life for Japanese parkgoers).
  15. I've been curious to see where the new Epcot plans go, and I'm liking the blend of old and new that's going on (loving the return of the pavilion logos). The fact that Imagination appears on that model of updates really has me excited for tomorrow to see if anything good comes of it.
  16. The other versions of the ride really bank hard on the ride itself being the selling point (especially in the states), and it was a really refreshing change to see the concept fleshed out into something much more complete and immersive. It seems disjointed on the surface, but it's explained (in Japanese) that the Dream Flyers are powered by our imaginations, which includes being able to imagine the future of flight. When they called it "Fantastic Flight", they really meant it in the literal fantasy sense.
  17. Since I happen to be in Tokyo for the next few weeks, I took the opportunity to swing by DisneySea to get a look at Soaring (yes, with a G; took Disney 18 years to figure out where it went, I guess), some other updates with the ongoing construction around the resort, and the rest of DisneySea because it's still an incredible park. Anyway, photos: Starting this off with some of the ongoing construction that's been a part of the resort for the last few years (and still more to come), Tokyo Disneyland' new entry plaza is coming along. The new entry system is nearly identical to the ticket gates you'd see at any of the train stations throughout Japan. Backside of the Fantasyland expansions looking nearly complete from the backside. From Bayside Station, groundwork is moving forward on the DisneySea expansion. Even with scaffolding all over that view, it's hard to not be happy upon seeing this. Let's get to Soaring before it gets too crazy... ...Which it already is, guess finally adding the G to the name was the trick. Fastpasses were gone within minutes. Managed to snag a return time at around 8PM, so I'll get back to you later (without the 4 hour standby lines). In the meanwhile, a ride on what's quickly become my all-time favorite theme park attraction is in order. Early in the day before Fastpass queues fill up, the line moves fairly quickly (even with every interior switchback filled, only took about 30 minutes). Heading down (up). Didn't manage many more photos with how the "no photos past here" rule was being enforced. Indeed it is. Still blows my mind every time. Raging Spirits at least looking nice... If you couldn't tell, there's a loop somewhere in there. As long as it's not as bad as Paris's, I think I'll be good. We'll see. Despite the track being almost identical to the god-awful version in Paris, this one is actually pretty enjoyable. Can't forget about Indiana Jones while I'm over here... The queue inside the main pyramid is overflowing in amazing detail. Couldn't even be bothered to clean up after themselves *tsktsk* Safety directions courtesy of Paco. If you know anything about the ride, you already know it's way cooler than California's. Would that temple exterior lie to you about how cool it is inside? Walking back toward Port Discovery, a few little nods toward StormRider still remain. Even after being open for a few years, SeaRider's popularity hasn't faded. With the hot and muggy Tokyo summer, Aquatopia was running the "wet version" with some bonus effects. Still kind of pointless, yes...but you don't necessarily have to have a point to be fun. Back across toward American Waterfront, the next destination awaits. Directly opposite that view, Soaring blends in fantastically with the rest of Mediterranean Harbor. There's really not an angle in this park that doesn't look amazing. Ahem, Denver would like to have a word about the use of the term "mile high" in your advertising... And there it is, Tower of Terror in all its glory (and some more scaffolding, but let's ignore that). Check in line's looking a bit long, but whatever. You'll laugh! You'll cry! I don't know what we're yelling about! Easily my favorite lobby of any of the Towers out there. Love how each corner has its own style and theme, and completely sets the tone and story before you even get a formal introduction to it. Hey, the doors are actually slightly open. It's little details like this that make me happy. ...Like the menu next to the elevator. Exotic, yes. Appetizing, you can decide. As well as this throwback to Raging Spirits in one of the murals. Once again, the "no photos or phones past this point" rule was being quite heavily enforced, but there's ample enough footage of what's ahead that it should be no secret at this point. Noted, even if the proprietor disappeared. But if Tower of Terror taught us anything, Hightower doesn't care, he does what he wants. Speaking of enforcing rules, you'd think the city would be more keen to crack down on this kind of trespassing... New since my last visit, the park incorporated IC card (cashless smart cards for the uninitiated) readers at all the registers. It never ceases to amaze me how much the system is getting integrated into almost everything (and makes getting your popcorn fix infinitely easier). Due to issues with my phone's battery, I had to conserve my battery enough to get the following part, so insert corny transition here: The time has finally come to get a look at Soaring! Given the length of the standby queue, I'd say lots of other people are excited as well. Important to note, the resort overhauled its Fastpass system to fall more in line with how the US resorts have changed it (including smartphone compatibility with the official resort app, which I didn't learn until I arrived). The new system seems to have helped things roll more smoothly than the old school system throughout the resort. The Fastpass queue funnels you through a condensed version of the Museum of Fantastic Flight, formerly curated by Camellia Falco. The rotunda showcases several murals with an emphasis of the "fantastic" part of Fantastic Flight. Beautiful detailing on the rotunda. Looks better than the Dumbo remake (also, someone please make a period drama about ninjas fighting samurai like that, I officially need that in my life) Love the Don Quixote mural on the right. I don't have witty captions on all of these, so just enjoy these murals for what they are. Let's not forget the "museum" part either. Still showcasing the humorous side. The queue splits here into the separate theaters. Spoilers ahead for the preshow... *SPOILERS* From the previous picture, you're funneled into another gallery with a portrait of Falco, a bust of a falcon, and more museum-style images of flying machines, birds, butterflies, and the ilk. The preshow starts with the shadow of the falcon's bust coming to life and appearing in Falco's portrait Harry Potter style. Falco explains (in Japanese) how studying flight was her life's work (with the other pictures and galleries coming to life in a similar manner), and how with both her studies and the power of imagination, she developed the Dream Flyer to make that vision a reality and take us on a journey around the landmarks of the world. From there, you're sorted into the respective loading bays, each with murals depicting the ride's landmarks. The mural up front depicting the Dream Flyer comes to life to provide the safety briefing. The doors open, and you board the ride. The ride area features the same architecture as the rest of the building, with the dome screen covered in stars. The main ride film is very similar to the film seen at the other parks, but aside from the expected localization changes to the finale, Paris was cut and swapped with a new Tokyo scene (flying over Tokyo Bay and approaching Tokyo Tower, which doesn't appear as distorted as the Paris scene; it's also a little longer, with the final DisneySea sequence being condensed down compared to the final sequences of the other films). The falcon also makes a few appearances, at the very beginning, and transition to the final DisneySea sequence. PERSONAL REVIEW: Soaring is to Soarin' what Tower of Terror was to, well, Tower of Terror. Both took existing formulas and completely reimagined them into new stories and new experiences with incredibly impressive result. While I'll be upfront and honest about not really being a fan of the Around the World version of Soarin', the way in which the ride is framed and presented here makes the ride work much better as a complete experience (similar to how Tower of Terror has a tamer drop cycle, but an incredible backstory). While I prefer Soarin' Over California for having the better ride film, this version is definitely an improvement over the stateside versions with the same film. Indeed a fantastic flight. Bravo Tokyo Disney!
  18. Tokyo Disney announced they'll be turning DisneySea's waterways to hot springs.
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