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BigDipper 80

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Everything posted by BigDipper 80

  1. This is making me want to get back to Japan all the sooner. The food, the weirdness... but it's definitely the people that I miss the most. It's amazing to be able to walk around such massive cities and not get constantly hassled by a bunch of obnoxious Americans! Everything in Japan just "works", and there's a sense of cooperation in the culture that just helps everything move so smoothly. Odaiba definitely brought back some memories... we went to a pretty good ramen place in the basement of one of the shopping centers there. I assume the Toyota self-driving car exhibit is still closed? It's crazy that Japan was showing off that technology a decade or so before self-driving cars even became plausible.
  2. I despise this thread because it makes me so hungry, but I love this thread because everything looks so delicious! Awesome meals as always!
  3. ^Seeing as bourbon is my usual spirit of choice, I (quite wrongly) assumed that I'd be able to handle some baby shots of moonshine, and boy was I wrong. Starting out with the pure 100-proof moonshine sure didn't help, even though it did have a nice clean taste before the burning set in .
  4. Thanks for the kind words! I've got a few more photos to wrap up this set: Going down! More Tennessee Tornado... Through the trees. The real reason we were in TN was to visit the Smokies... absolutely gorgeous. Cincinnati has some lovely topography, but it's hard to compete with the Appalachians. The hike up to Grotto Falls is well worth it. Driving back through Gatlinburg... AKA Pigeon Forge's slightly better-dressed cousin. Let me tell you, taking 13 little baby shots of moonshine is a lot harder than you could expect... Gatlinburg weirdness. Definitely some interesting geography here. I like how everything was stacked on top of everything else and crammed into every open space. Some kitschy architecture in Pigeon Forge. Ah, the LEGENDARY Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride. I wasn't about to spend actual American dollars on this one. The new area around the ferris wheel is pretty nice. Note yet another moonshine distillery. I'll wrap this up with a gorgeous Smoky Mountain sunset. Hope you enjoyed the photos!
  5. Chik-fil-A has appeared on the touch screen map boards as an option for the dining plan, so it seems the rumors were true.
  6. A short preface: I intended to have a bunch more photos at Dollywood, but unfortunately my main lens conked out on me, and I was forced to use a single 50mm prime lens! Well, the best lens is the one you have with me, and it forced me to be a bit more creative with my shots. Anyway, onto some photos of such a great park! I met this southern belle right near the park entrance. The street characters were all very engaging! Everyone looked like they were having fun on the raft ride, what with it being near 90 degrees all day long. Jumping over to the Dollywood Express, where the conductors didn't fail to impress. Everyone says it, but you can't believe how friendly everyone is at Dollywood until you visit. Wild Eagle... Through the trees! I love carousels, though I wish Dollywood's had a band organ. I love old steam locomotives. It's not often you see a full-scale train at a park! One of Dollywood's eagles. The bird show was really good! All of the shows were actually quite well-produced, with enthusiastic casts. I might love living in the city, but I really like bluegrass. This band was great! We didn't spend much time in the 1950's area. The day went by way too fast! There's a lot to soak up at Dollywood. Just thought this sample container was really pretty. Everyone knows what goes on inside this magical factory... I probably don't need to reiterate how mind-alteringly delicious the cinnamon bread is. Clever idea for a sign. Sploosh! More coasters through the trees.... Tennessee Tornado is definitely the best Arrow looper. I was really impressed with FireChaser Express. Great family thrill ride. Mystery Mine was awesome. My first Eurofighter, and they did a bang-up job with theming it. Thunderhead was my first GCII coaster, and I loved every second of it. I wish I had taken more photos of it, but due to my lens situation and the fact that I was pressed for time, I only got a couple of decent shots. I liked Wild Eagle better than Gatekeeper too. It wasn't necessarily more forceful, but it was an overall more enjoyable ride. I think that's a good chunk of photos for now, I'll probably add a couple more from the park and Pigeon Forge and the Smokies later on!
  7. Speaking of Reds HOF Grill, I noticed that it's on the season dining plan this year. I might actually give it a try this season.
  8. Granted this was the summer it opened and they may have cleaned up the area but the pooping seagulls on the top of the stadium near windseekers queue was the best interactive queue line i've ever been in . You stand in line laughing and watching as people nervously approach an empty straight of the queue where the floor is covered in seagull poop and you look up and see 2-3 seagull butts just waiting at the top of the stadium. Then you get to watch people run screaming as fast as they can through that straight when a gap opens up on the other side. Then before you know it, it's your turn to run the gauntlet. And after your through you can go back to watching other people go through it again. I had more fun in the line than on the actual ride. ^^ That picture is bringing back some traumatic memories for me... one day when Mantis was down all day for mechanical reasons, they sent us all to be sweeps for our shift. I got stuck scrubbing the bird crap off of the Stadium for three hours...
  9. A bottle of Maker's Mark. Working in Kentucky hasn't been kind to my wallet...
  10. It's hard to find non-chains up near Kings Island, and when I found out that Flipdaddy's opened up in Mason, I was pretty excited. And like everyone else, I cannot recommend Eli's enough. Ohio obviously isn't considered a big BBQ state, but Eli's is probably the best BBQ I've had "up north". Definitely worth the trip up the river or into the city for it. Also, it's BYOB! It is cash-only though, just as a note. Also out near Eli's is Terry's Turf Club, located at 4618 Eastern Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45226. Good luck getting a table though! They're another awesome burger restaurant and it's a very cool dive-type place with a massive collection of old neon from around Cincinnati. We really need a restaurant thread over in the Random forum if there isn't one. There's a slew of restaurants in Cincinnati that I'd recommend to out-of-towners, but are a bit too far away from the parks to justify talking about here. Not my picture, but it gives you an idea of the heaven on a bun that Terry serves up. You know you're in for a treat when you roll up to a place that looks like this.
  11. Not gonna lie, a Mad Max theme park attraction would actually be pretty cool.
  12. Cedar Point ties it, but I can't think of one with four launched coasters.
  13. I wrote up a photo TR a few years ago when I was actually back home in Cleveland for spring break. I remember it being better when I was younger, probably because I could actually do spinning rides without feeling nauseated! Usually they have a spinning wild mouse, but they used to also have a Galaxi and a log flume. I'm pretty sure the Galaxi has been scrapped and I don't know how often the log flume shows up these days. Edit: Added link to TR.
  14. If you're in the mood for a good hamburger and a glass of craft beer after riding Banshee all day at Kings Island, I highly recommend Flipdaddy's, which is one interstate exit south of the park on Mason-Montgomery Road. Their burgers are very inventive (heck, one of them is called the Chuck Norris) and they have a lot of local Cincinnati beers on tap, including Mad Tree and Rhinegeist. Directions: Head south on Kings Island Drive. Continue south onto I-71. Exit the interstate at Exit 19, and turn left to head south on Mason-Montgomery Road. The address is 12071 Mason Montgomery Road,Cincinnati, Ohio 45249.
  15. ^That used to be queue space from when the ride opened. They don't use it any more, so it just sits empty.
  16. When Iron Dragon ran three trains, the ride would set up if the train hadn't cleared the final block, which would stop a train on the second lift. You'd have to run out to the second lift, wait for the operator to dispatch the train in the station and advance the train on the final block. The operator would call you, you'd jog the lift, and then have to sprint back to your position to get the next train's restraints checked or else the ride would set up again and you'd have to sprint back out into the woods. It was good incentive to hit interval, but it was usually guests being slow that would lead to a set-up, not the operators.
  17. I never thought the hat was "bad" per se, I just wasn't a fan of its location. I actually wouldn't mind if they plopped it somewhere else at the resort, because it really is a very "Disney" photo op for families.
  18. Invertalon, which museum is the railroad exhibit at? WRHS? I was going to go over there this week to see the carousel and it would be cool to get a chance to see some model trains too.
  19. When I worked at Cedar Point, we only removed trains if there was an operational reason that required it. Even on the slowest days we ran both of Mantis' trains. Frankly, one-train operation is as incredibly boring for the ride operators as it is inconvenient for those waiting in line. Standing around for two minutes waiting for a train to return completely throws off your groove.
  20. I found it interesting that the winner of this year's National Geographic Photo Contest involved the train ride at Ocean Park: I recommend taking a look at some of the other entries, they're gorgeous as always: LINK
  21. This is less glamorous than a new ride, but I'd be willing to bet that if and when Cedars comes down, there will be a parking lot expansion. When I lived there, there were always complaints from the people with boats at the marina that there weren't enough spots for them to park and that employees were sneaking their cars into that lot instead of parking in one of the employee lots.
  22. I filled up for $2.35 in Cleveland a week ago, although it's $2.29 and lower some places. Supposedly it had dropped below $2 in some places around here.
  23. Tokyo, no question. Incredible city filled with incredible people (and even more incredible food!).
  24. Interestingly enough, the carousel that used to be in Frontiertown was rumored to be haunted, so it wouldn't be that much of a stretch! They have a replica of the "haunted horse" in the Town Hall Museum, but the original one is over at the Merry-go-Round Museum in downtown Sandusky.
  25. Does that Euclid Beach club still do the history thing at the park in late summer? I went a number of years ago and they had some neat artifacts on display, like an old Thriller car and Laughing Sal. And of course they had popcorn balls for sale. Such a shame the place couldn't have hung on. It really was one of the big players in the amusement industry back in its time.
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