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Markolodeon

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Posts posted by Markolodeon

  1. ^ La Ronde has it all IMHO. Great location, fantastic coasters and some of the best park food in North America. Just get a fastpass, the ride ops and single trains are definitely a downside, but one that can be worked around. And definitely go at night. I got some great advice at Leviathan Bash to take the metro in for opening, head to Old Montreal for the afternoon, then back to the park for the evening.

  2. Hey Paula - you guessed right, I'm 50! Wow, God bless Will for even one more reason. Kid you not pulling up a lounge chair under a speaker on a hot summer day is my equivalent of laying on a beach in Hawaii. Love all the sounds and laughter of the wave pool. Occasionally get up ride something to cool off and then back to great tunes and sun.

     

    The only thing missing are the chocolate covered strawberries - what happened to those? I believe they used to be sold at Bahari Snacks.

     

    And as far as old fogey music, don't listen or change a thing for a minute! I was talking to another dad in line and we both lamented how sad it is a lot of kids don't know or appreciate where rock and roll came from. Keep Will's playlist going, I'm sure it will rub off on some!

  3. I finally made it back down to HW yesterday after a 5 year long hiatus.

     

    Wow, they certainly have a massive hit on their hands with Mammoth! Despite the park being quite packed (it was a Saturday after all) I managed to get four rides in thanks to the single rider line. This is easily the best waterpark ride I've ever been on. Every time everyone was laughing their butts off throughout the entire ride.

     

    I really wanted to like Wildebeest but there was a spine/neck jarring/snapping moment at the bottom of one of the drops sitting in the back row. It was bad enough that I decided not to ride again as Mammoth was so much better.

     

    The Raven is in the best form it's been in memory. The airtime in the second to back seat is insane yet smooth and most importantly highly re-rideable and fun!

     

    My next favorite thing to do is grab a lounge chair next to the Bahari Wave Pool, catch some rays and listen to the fantastic music pumped out over their outdoor speaker system. Is this someone's personal playlist or can it be streamed/satellite radio? If not HW should start their own radio station, WHWR! It's just one great song after another.

     

    Now to the not so good. I've never been a big Legend fan but it's running way worse than I ever remember. One ride was way more than enough! And the poor, poor Voyage, what has happened to thee? Everything up to and a little past the triple down was sheer bliss, arguably better than opening year in 2006. The balance of the ride has always been "agressive" but now it's just plain awful, horribly rough, I got off with absolutely no desire to get back on (this was front row at 8 in the evening). The original plan to simulate the Star Wars chase scene through the woods was an admirable one but it must be a maintenance nightmare. Hopefully the park will find a fix soon.

     

    And finally big thumbs up to the Lake Rudolph Campground! It easily makes the whole experience one of the top vacation destinations in the country. Safe, clean, beautiful - you really couldn't ask for more. The residents even stage their own electrical parade on Saturday night with what has to be at least 50 golf carts lit up with Christmas lights and decoration. What a great family friendly and fun place!

  4. Wow, I positively fell in love with La Ronde and Montreal yesterday. Last night was the United States turn for the international fireworks competition and it was amazing! A few thoughts:

     

    1) As you're driving into Montreal it quickly turns to where all of the street, highway, store, etc signs are entirely in French.

    2) I would have never made it to the hotel without a GPS. Crazy windy, loopy streets where you often go in the opposite direction of where you're hoping to get to.

    3) While nearly everyone speaks French when asked most can switch to English effortlessly. This includes teenage park employees. This is a city of intelligent people.

    4) I love being surrounded by French speaking people! It is such a happy, bubbly language.

    5) Romance is 10x more evident than in the US. Tons of happy, madly in love couples, holding hands, kissing, staring deeply into each other's eyes, it's so sweet.

    6) There appear to be no obese people, didn't see one!

    7) The food is amazing. Even at La Ronde the food is primarily super healthy and fresh. I had the best fresh fruit smoothies and for dinner a Greek sandwich with fresh veggie marinated salad, all at an amusement park.

    8) The subway and pulic transportation system is wonderful. There is a stop just minutes from the hotel that took me everywhere I wanted to go.

    9) Old Town Montreal is so beautiful, very much like Europe, so charming!

    10) Finally the people are so friendly and helpful. I definitely hope to get back here again someday. Oh yes, Goliath and Le Monstre were fantastic!

  5. Here's how I managed an awesome first ride:

    1) Read absolutely no reviews.

    2) Stuck with ritual on all new coasters of waiting for front row.

    3) Watching nary a smile on faces of nearly everyone exiting, including well seasoned coaster nerds.

    4) One young woman who felt compelled to show us the pretty serious indent on her thigh.

    5) Waiting 2 hours through three breakdowns in 90+ degree heat, knocking any expectations I had down to zero.

    6) Lucking out and getting train #1 without knowing it had the cushier restraints.

    7) Climbing on, leaving the station and tearing up the lift hill at absolutely insane speed.

    8) From start to finish it was one "holy sh*t" scream after another.

    9) Looking at my riding partner and us both saying at once, "what is the matter with everyone?!"

     

    I rode in other rows and definitely expected to look down and see my legs ballooning like overinflated inner tubes, but that first ride won me over. The other thing is this is the first coaster where I seriously felt like I was coming out of my seat. This is way beyond ejector air, it's demented, deranged, mutant ejector air, and I loved it! The restraints need to grab hold that tight or it would be Sky Splat. It is an absolutely nuts ride, no comparing it to any Superman or i305.

     

    We got a lot of rides in Saturday night and yes the further back you go the tighter the thigh clamping gets, but I got used to it. For future visits I'll definitely wait for front row most of the time, like many coasters it's the best place to be, YMMV of course!

  6. Funny on the Expedition Everest comparisons - after my first ride my immediate thought was that it's a cross between Expedition Everest and Space Mountain. Definitely fun and unique, I love Verbolten! And based on the smiles and cheers from everyone riding it on Saturday it's clear BGE made a great move. Love that there are three themes/programs to it, I've only caught 2 of the 3 so far.

  7. Scariest and also funniest coaster mishap for me was on Hades at Mt Olympus. The final brakes failed and the train went sailing over the last hill into the station where the station brakes did grab. The jarring stop caused the cars to buckle up on each other.

     

    The funny part is if you've been to Mt. O you know the ride ops are almost entirely from eastern Europe and speak very little English. After we came slamming into the station the female ride op freaked. She picks up the phone and shrieks in a very thick accent "it run too fast!". The mechanic comes up to the station, releases the station brake for a moment, the train rolls a little forward and the cars unbuckle themselves and it appears all is well. The mechanic apologizes to everyone and asks if anyone would like to go again. We were the only ones to say heck yes, let's do that again, lol.

     

    The section I'm talking about starts at 1:27 here:

  8. We were fortunate enough to be invited to the VIP event this evening and I can't begin to describe how awesome and amazing Cheetah Hunt is! An "extreme family coaster" truly describes it perfectly. In fact every time I rode it I kept thinking, this is a perfect roller coaster and the best addition possible for BGT. No question they have a world class winner on their hands.

     

    I managed to get seven rides in, twice in both the front and second rows, as well as rows 5, 6 and 8 (last). In my opinion front row left side is the best, but every seat on the train is amazing!! Just absolutely glass smooth, packed full of surprises, airtime and thrills, all you want to do is get back in line and ride it over and over. We were lucky to get the second to last rides of the evening which ended around 10:30. Even the station and queue building is a work of art.

     

    The food and entertainment the park put on was absolutely over the top and first/world class. Bacon wrapped scallops, crab cakes, mini beef wellingtons, shredded pork with apples, artichokes topped with some sort of really tasty dip, cream cheese stuffed dates, carved roast beef, chicken skewers, hummus, olive tapenade and flat bread, fresh fruit skewers (like those edible arrangements) and a seemingly never ending selection of delectable desserts. This was all for a crowd of what I'd say was well over a 1,000. The highlight of the entertainment were artists who painted huge canvasses of Cheetahs and the Cheetah Hunt theme all set to music.

     

    Wow, what a night, and even more what a great coaster!

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