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BigDipper 80

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Everything posted by BigDipper 80

  1. ^Dueling suspended coasters would actually be really awesome. I've never seen that POV of The Bat before - holy crap, those turns must have been insane! I can see why it ripped itself apart. Did it always stop on the second lift like that?
  2. More of a question, but I'm honestly surprised that I haven't seen this posted anywhere on the forum, unless I completely overlooked it. It seems that there's an Intamin drop tower on the top of the Canton Tower in Guangzhou, China. Being that it's the third-tallest structure on Earth, is this drop tower higher up than Big Shot? EDIT: I found another Youtube video, and yup, this thing is at the very top of the Canton Tower. Frightening. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8XygNhi6-g
  3. ^^ You can also get to the beach if you park in the Soak City lot and walk toward Hotel Breakers. There are lounge chairs right on the beach, and I'm pretty sure that most of them have a sunshade attached directly to them. As for FL+, you can get them in lots of places, and I'm pretty sure they are all marked on the map. I know for sure that the Pagoda Gift Shop has them, as well as the souvenir cart near Millennium Force's exit. With Fast Lane, you really should be able to go in any order you want, but make sure to at least have a general idea where you want to head to save yourself lots of walking!
  4. Well if you're driving a long way and have to stay the night regardless, then definitely stay on property, since all of the Sandusky hotels are pretty dumpy. But if the only reason you're staying at Breakers Express and spending the night is for the early entry, then it's not worth it. Just get Fast Lane and forgo staying the night.
  5. People tend to underestimate how MASSIVE CP is, and all of the Early Entry rides are pretty spread out. I'd say that you should enter through the Resort Entrance and head immediately to TTD and then book it towards either Maverick or MF. Chances are with it being a Saturday and the amount of walking you'll be doing just to get between rides, I doubt you'll be able to hit more than two or three coasters in that hour. It's honestly a much better deal to buy two Fast Lane wristbands for a total of $140 then to spend $540 for a two-night stay at Breakers Express and only get an hour of early entry. You will get far more accomplished with Fast Lane.
  6. Honestly, I would be perfectly OK with that as long as it came with an Action Zone retheme. A boardwalk theme would be nice, but I've always secretly been hoping that the area would return to its Safari-themed roots. Maybe throw in a jungle-themed car ride like the one at Universal Singapore. I highly doubt that it's a wild mouse though.
  7. I'm still amazed at home much land SoB actually took up. That empty space is absolutely massive.
  8. ^^Mantis is one of the few rides at Cedar Point that will operate in a light rain shower. Granted, "rain" at Cedar Point almost always refers to complete weather armageddon, so it's still pretty rare to see it up when it's wet out. I snagged a night ride The Beast in a fairly steady rainstorm at Haunt last year. Never has that ride flown as fast as it did that night. Completely insane experience.
  9. Just a few more updates! I'm sad that this TR is nearly over, but I'm glad that so many of you have stuck with it over these past few month. I'm not sure how I completely missed uploading any Harajuku photos earlier... I wish I had more time to walk around Harajuku. Lots of cool new buildings and upscale fashion. This is probably every foreigner's favorite store in Japan. Unfortunately, you aren't allowed to take pictures inside. Even though everyone thinks of Tokyo as this high-tech metropolis, a lot of the city is very... well-used. I can't say "dirty" because you could eat off the street here, but it's clear that the Japanese are more concerned with economy than solid buildings. The McDonalds in Japan are awesome. They will not screw up your order and they are incredibly efficient. If they still have them, I HIGHLY recommend the "yogurt flavored milkshake" on the 100 yen menu. Most oishi milkshake EVAR. Takeshita Street. Right across from Harajuku Station. More Pokemon ads on the Yamanote Line. Random photos inside a grocery store in the town I was staying. Pennsylvania beef. Because we Americans all know how great Pennsylvania beef is. The cool thing about Japan in August is that it's festival season, so wherever you go there are likely to be people celebrating. This was at a local festival in my "hometown", and there were stands selling delicious yakitori and other delicacies as well. It's cool to go way off the beaten tourist track and experience parts of a culture usually reserved for the locals. I can read "tsukushi"... but then I have to stop. Anyone here know kanji? These adorable elderly women did a synchronized folk dance. Very cool to watch. An overview of the festival stage. By this point, all the drummers were drumming and the dancers were dancing when the entire town lined up and did what I can only assume to be the Japanese version of the Locomotion, as they snaked around the stage dancing to a song about harvesting rice. It was incredibly awesome. There's probably going to only be one more brief update of Chiba and its monorail before I put this thread to bed. I hope that you've all enjoyed this... significantly different look at Tokyo and its culture! Stay tuned!
  10. I mean, I agree with thinking that it would be weird, but then again, Cedar Fair is the same corporation to put Behemoth and Leviathan in the same park and populated KI and CP both with Windseekers. I just wouldn't put it past them to do something similar with a wingrider.
  11. I'm surprised no one has said Wing Rider yet... Banshee would be a suitable name for that style of coaster.
  12. Weird of them to trademark Banshee, seeing as it worked out so well back in 1996 for them... Maybe they're looking for an excuse to unload all the leftover Banshee merch they have sitting in a warehouse somewhere .
  13. ^ and ^^ Thanks! I probably got some strange looks at work when I got that call and had to try and muffle my explosion of excitement! Let's press on with some more views around this expansive city! Tokyo Skytree! The second-tallest structure on Earth! I didn't get the chance to go up, though. It had just opened, so it was impossible to get tickets. Asakusa was a neat little remainder of what life in "old Tokyo" may have been like. If you look in the upper left-hand corner, you may be able to make out an S&S Space Shot. If I'm not mistaken, the oldest roller coaster in Japan is at that park. Traveling west back to Shinjuku to visit the Tokyo Metropolitan Building's free observation deck. It is absolutely impossible to describe how massive Tokyo is. It sprawls off in every direction, and you can't see the end. That big park is where the Meiji Shrine is located, for those trying to orient themselves. The hotel from Lost in Translation! If you're a Tom Hanks fan... If you squint, you can see the silhouette of Mt. Fuji in this photo. Back on the ground, with a look at some of the skyscrapers next to Shinjuku Station. That one cocoon-looking building is, conveniently enough, nicknamed the Cocoon. Shinjuku really comes alive as the sun sets. This delicacy is okonomiyaki, which literally translates to something like "whatever you want", and it's literally just that- a bunch of meat and veggies fried up like a pancake. It's typically an Osaka specialty, but we had stumbled across a little place in the basement of on of Shinjuku's buildings. It was cramped and we had to take off our shoes because it actually had tatami floors! Sometimes discovering little holes in the wall that mainly serve locals are the best surprises of any trip. By the time we were done with dinner, the sun had set completely, and the streets of Shinjuku were bustling. Lots of random shops and such. This was just sitting in a storefront window. Yeah, I don't get it either. Japan has an obsession with crepes, it seems. But that's ok, as they are (of course) incredibly delicious. One final shot, this time of one of Shinjuku Station's 200(!) entrances. I've still got more to share as I sift though my thousands of photos and discover more gems, so stay tuned!
  14. Far more interesting is the signs on the fence hinting at the new ride. Something about "video recording of an evil presence that has been detected." I'm at the park, I'll try and take a better photo later if no one beats me to it.
  15. This is a bit of a shameless plug, but I wanted to share my excitement with everyone! One of my photos from this thread was the winner of the Cleveland Plain Dealer's annual travel photo contest! It's nice to see that my hard work behind the lens has paid off. You can read the article HERE if you feel like it. There will be a few more updates in the near-future. I've been incredibly busy at work, but I hope to finish up this TR soon! Or at least before TPR actually leaves for Japan in June.
  16. I just got back from a preview screening of Monsters University and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I wasn't a huge fan of Brave and I don't think anyone liked Cars 2, so I'd have to say it was my favorite Pixar movie since Toy Story 3. Not their best film, certainly, but it was incredibly vibrant and one of their best-looking films by far. I'm not going to bother ranking it because I have far too much trouble putting Pixar movies in order of favorites!
  17. From what I understand, KI and CP are essentially neck-and-neck in terms of attendance (both had 3.14 million visitors in 2011). I think it's easy to forget that Kings Island is located along Ohio's major north-south highway and sits in the largest metro area in Ohio, as well as being located within a day's drive of something like 70% of the country's population. So even if it's not as star-studded as some other parks, its location is a blessing for its attendance figures.
  18. Actually, while I was there I was taking an intensive language course, so I learned a bit of Japanese while I was there. But honestly, even if I had known nothing, it would have been pretty simple to get around, since all of the trains are in Japanese as well as English. That being said, knowing some basic phrases like "how much does this cost", "please", "thank you", and being able to count is very helpful and also courteous. I's recommend trying to at least learn how to read hiragana so that you can understand some of the signs. It doesn't take long to pick up.
  19. If you'd like to get a very insightful look into the history of Arrow and their thought process throughout their early years, I would highly recommend reading Roller Coasters, Flumes and Flying Saucers (ISBN 0965735354). It is a collection of interviews with Ed Morgan and Karl Bacon, the founders of Arrow, and it does an excellent job of showing how they transformed their machine shop into what probably still stands as the most important amusement design company in the modern era. They really were pioneers in the field, so I give them lots of leeway with their wonkier designs. They simply didn't know how certain rides would behave, and the only way was through trial and error, which is actually frequent in engineering, and especially in undeveloped fields (like steel roller coaster design in the 1950s-1970s) It was what it was, even if it led to some nasty transitions. At any rate, Ed and Karl managed most of the framework for the modern amusement park, and not just in the roller coaster department. That unto itself is impressive.
  20. I'm sure a lot of it had to do with cost as well. It's a lot easier and cheaper to just mass produce the same cookie-color elements over and over and combine them in different configurations than to redesign them each time. And not having to recalculate the forces for each element for each new ride probably also helped cut down on design time and cost. I'd say it's more "frugal" than "lazy", and just a matter of getting the rides to the park at a low enough price point.
  21. I think I rode Mantis at least once (and sometimes more) every single day throughout June and July, so it most likely stands as my most-ridden coaster. Magnum would be a very close second.
  22. I know I covered Kyoto a few posts ago, but I dug up a few more worth sharing: One of the roads leading up the hill to a temple. I loved that there were places like this preserved in Kyoto- everywhere else has pretty much been wiped out and replaced with new stuff. I don't know why, but I didn't expect Japan to be as mountainous as it was. I guess everyone just thinks of Mt. Fuji and not much else... This castle reminded me of EPCOT. I love bullet trains. So sleek. You cannot escape Pokemon in Japan. They are on every train and around every corner. It's a total national obsession. There were more people in this store than there are in a subway car at rush hour. If you know who this is, then congratulations! You play Pokemon. The area around Hamamatsucho Station seemed interesting... I wish I could have explored the area around the bay more. I feel like this is Ueno, but I can't remember. I'll just tell you that it's Ueno and you won't know any differently. And here's Ueno Station. Home of the Hard Rock Cafe. And one of the few stations in Tokyo not buried in a maze underneath a department store. I love how "lack of space" is not a phrase that the Japanese seem to understand. No room for a highway? That's fine, we'll just run it between the buildings! Also, the next person to say that Cedar Point is out of room, just look at this and stop talking. And now, for a quick and interesting "detour". As I've mentioned, I was staying in a little rural town called Hanamigawa just outside of Chiba and commuting to Tokyo every day. I thought it would be interesting to share a few pictures from this little town to perhaps help you get a feel for the life of an "average" Japanese person not living in the giant city next door. I'm sure I got strange looks for taking photos of a town in the "middle of nowhere". To the Japanese, this place is basically a bedroom community for those who work in Tokyo. Although it's not very flashy, I think that it's always interesting to see the perspective of the people who actually live and work in the city that I'm touring. I've mentioned that Hanamigawa is considered "rural", and here you have it... the only open field in all of Japan! I'm only (slightly) kidding, of course. I truly think that the American concept of rural would completely boggle the minds of the Japanese. Kansas would make their heads explode. I liked this just because it was a barber shop, and an interesting shape. Another street in the area surrounding the train station. Here is the actual station that I commuted from every morning. If you find yourself taking the Sobu Line to Chiba, hop off at Shin-Kemigawa and walk around! A dark interior shot. Even the smallest towns have pachinko parlors! A standard Japanese house. A lot in this neighborhood looked like they had been built fairly recently. I meant to post this with the bullet train, but I just dug it up. It's hard to keep track of a thousand photos! Anyway, this was the bento box I bought for the ride to Kyoto. Delicious, of course!
  23. Big Thunder Mountain gets my vote. I've always loved it, it has a low height requirement, it's well-themed and it's just plain FUN. Plus, it helped spark my interest in roller coasters way back in the day!
  24. ^^^Kyoto is a very cool city. I'd highly recommend it to anyone who is into more cultural and historical attractions, as there are temples and castles on nearly every block! ^^ and ^ Believe me, I was incredibly tempted to pull out my Visa and pony up the money. I'm sure all of the Japanese were wondering what was wrong with the strange American walking around with his mouth agape. It was already around 6:00 though and since I was with a host family in Chiba I had to get back by around 8:30 so as not to be a rude guest! Although I found out later that there was a discounted "starlight" ticket, and I was completely kicking myself for not knowing that when I was there. And Elissa, that gift shop was pretty great, and I ended up buying a lot of Mickey-snacks or something for people back home! I have some photos of it that I may add to this post when I get off work. Also, Ikspiari was pretty incredible. It reminded me a lot of "Pallete Town" at Odaiba except more awesome because it was at Disneyland .
  25. What follows may be the most disappointing trip report of Tokyo Disneyland, if it is even possible to call any coverage of TDL "disappointing" . Because the place I was staying was essentially in the city of Chiba, I had a long commute into and out of Tokyo each day and there wasn't time to make a full day trip to go to either park . That being said, I wasn't about to travel halfway around the world to not see one of the greatest places on the planet, and I did take a detour home one night, riding the Keiyo Line out to the Resort . Here's a bit of what I saw while walking around: Is that a castle and a couple of Mountains off in the distance? I finally made it! As awesome as monorails are, especially Disney monorails, this is surely commonplace for many Japanese, seeing as there are so many of them here. By this point, I had lost my ability to speak, and was a babbling, tearful mess. Since I have no photos from WITHIN the park, I have to entertain you with photos from outside. This gate is so very 1980s. I love it. I saw this and nearly broke down. So close, yet so far away. I see you, Cinderella Castle! World Bazaar, looking fancy. To think that I was only steps away from the second-best theme park on the planet. It nearly killed me. Even the monorail station is beautiful. Mickey! And Minnie! I didn't realize that there were airplanes in medieval France. Cinderella Castle popping up again! Toy Story Monorail! So much awesome. One final pic- a $50 sandwich. Rainforest Cafe is already overpriced, but this is ridiculous. Even though I didn't get to go inside, it was still pretty cool to say that I was "at Tokyo Disneyland". There's still a bit more to come!
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