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BigDipper 80

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Everything posted by BigDipper 80

  1. ^That is absolutely great. I don't think there is anything you CAN'T find in vending machines there. I never imagined something could be so functional AND delicious. The more photos I post, the more I want to go back!
  2. ^Well if that's the case, let me roll out some Kyoto pictures! The unusual thing about Japan's cities is how similar they all look. All of the "newer" (read: postwar) buildings are done in simple, "modern" styles, and it can be hard to tell one block apart from another, much less one city apart from another. That being said, each city certainly has its own distinct character, and Kyoto is no exception. It's a very old-fashioned town, and it's not uncommon to see women in kimonos walking around the city. It's a very unique mix of ancient and modern that you could only find in Japan. Kyoto Tower looms behind the train station. As awesome as it is that the Japanese have queues built into the pavement in front of the ATM, it's probably redundant seeing as how every single person in the country can form a perfect, orderly line wherever they may be. This cake cost well over $100. But it looked delicious. Speaking of delicious... These pancakes were awesome. They were filled with butter and syrup and actually had a little packet not unlike handwarmers so that the pancake would heat up once you opened the wrapper. I wish we had these stateside. In fact I just wish our convenience stores were as awesome as the Japanese stores. I was impressed at how the city was built up into the mountains. There's some of that "old-vs-new" that you'll only find in Japan. I'm actually entering this particular shot into a photo contest-- hopefully it does well. More delicious food-- Udon noodles and tempura are amazing. This is the Golden Pavilion. It is made of gold. Very shiny. Golden Pavilion ---> Pavilion ---> EPCOT ---> Theme Parks. There, now I can feel confident that this post is relevant. I wasn't going all the way to Kyoto and NOT getting a shot of the Nintendo building. It's funny how one of the most quintessentially Japanese exports is... an Italian plumber. And now we jump to Nara. I assume Nara Dreamland used to be here... I wasn't about to go hunting for a crappy abandoned amusement park, as cool of a TR as that would have been. These deer were everywhere. You could feed them crackers for about ¥200. There were almost as many vendors as there were deer. This is supposedly the largest wooden building in the world. Largest wooden building ---> largest wooden roller coaster ---> Colossos (?) ---> Theme Parks. I did it again. Grr! More Deer. I'm either going to tell my TDL story next or show off the "suburb" of Chiba where I stayed while in Japan in the next update. Not sure quite yet which path I'll take yet.
  3. It's been a while, but it's time for another update: Bullet trains are the coolest things in the world. Almost as fun as going to a park. This is at Kyoto Station, by the way. Speaking of Kyoto Station... Pokemon were EVERYWHERE in the JR stations. There seemed to be a promotion going on where people could get Pokemon stamps at stations all across the country and win prizes. Very cool promo. It was neat that the station had an observation deck. This was the coolest water fountain in the world. It actually made patterns as the water fell. I took a video of it that I may try to upload at some point. I have a lot more Kyoto photos, but since they are mostly "cultural" and this TR is hardly theme park related as it is, I've skipped posting them, unless someone wants to see them. This was in Akihabara. The land of Electronics. Tokyo Station just underwent a massive refurb, and it looks phenomenal now. Next up: A "Highly Disappointing" collection of photos of Tokyo Disneyland. Yeah, it's TDL, but you'll get to hear the full story next time
  4. "Very highly priced" seemed to be a recurring theme, and though I knew beforehand that Tokyo was one of the most expensive cities in the world, I was still shocked at things like $50 hamburgers at chain restaurants. I think I only bought one thing for myself- some Tokyo Disneyland magazine I saw at a bookstore. All of my other spending money went to (delicious) food and gifts for family and friends.
  5. Let's continue this tour: Yup, this is most definitely Japan. I have no idea who that guy was. But he really wanted to be in the picture with Hachiko. Shibuya has such energy. It's loud and raucous. Must be all of the teens that swarm the area. I love that the Disney Store is located in one of the terrifying alien UFO building. That famous scramble crossing. I've never seen so many people swarm like that in my life. A very cool intersection. Rush Hour at Shinjuku Station. Let's ride out to Odaiba, located in Tokyo Bay. I have seen so many American ads label this Statue of Liberty as the one in New York, and it makes me laugh every time. The Rainbow Bridge really is nice. Only in Japan will you find a giant Gundam. "16 Minute Memories" How adorable! I wish that the "cars that drive themselves" had been open at the Toyota showroom though. I remember seeing them back in TPR's 2004 report and it looked so cool. Vegas or Tokyo? What a strange mall. And to complicate things further, there was a Toyota Museum inside the shopping mall themed to a Roman forum. The Gundam looks even better at night. And for those who may be wondering where that crazy-looking looping spinning coaster at SEGA Joypolis is, it's located here on Odaiba, but I didn't have time to visit. That's the unfortunate side effect of commuting to Tokyo from Chiba each day. I'll stop here for tonight with a beautiful shot of the Rainbow Bridge. Still more to come from around Tokyo, and maybe some Kyoto if anyone's interested.
  6. I got the chance to spend two weeks in Tokyo back in August, and it's hard to deny that Japan is one of the most awesome places in the world. This wasn't a coaster trip, but when you see Ferris wheels and roller coasters peeking up amongst skyscrapers, it's impossible to not hop off the train and take a look around! Welcome to Tokyo! Haneda Airport is so much nicer than any airport I've flown out of in the US. Ticket machines are your best friend in Tokyo. The first strange thing I saw in Japan. I think I'll like it here. Shinagawa Station. For all you coaster nerds, the Galaxy Express 999 coaster is right across the street. Unfortunately, I didn't have a chance to pop in. Some of the new skyscrapers at Shinagawa Station. I was struck at how low-rise much of the city was and that most of the "big" skyscrapers were either built fairly recently or are currently under construction at a rapid pace. Even the manhole covers are cool. In Tokyo (and perhaps the rest of the country), rivers are considered public property and generally can't be built over, so there are wonderful rivers and green parks winding all through the city with buildings butting up against them as close as they can get. Everyone is rushing somewhere. Yoshinoya are everywhere in Tokyo, and even though it's "fast food" it's cheap and delicious and totally worth trying. I lost count how many times I ate at one of these. The man in the background doesn't look happy about me taking his photo. Is that a roller coaster I spy? I was amazed at how this entire park was shoehorned amongst the skyscrapers. It may be SBNO, and it may not have a great reputation, but Thunder Dolphin sure is pretty. A slightly different angle. It's such a cool use of space. The hubless Ferris wheel was pretty cool. In fact, random Ferris wheels everywhere became a trend throughout the trip. I probably saw five in completely random cities in the countryside while taking the shinkansen to Kyoto. Look at everyone all lined up so orderly for the Yomiuri Giants game! The manners of the Japanese are incredible. I think this photo does a nice job of showing how this park is squeezed into a city block. I wish I could have ridden the stand-up parachute tower. Sexy Zone?! That sounds like a fun time! This was the view from the elevator in the Tokyo Dome Hotel, near LaQua. Pretty awesome if you ask me. Notice the Tokyo SkyTree off in the distance- that's the second-tallest structure on Earth, after the Burj Khalifa. These are all fairly new skyscrapers that have popped up near Tokyo Station. Previously, most skyscrapers were located in the Shinjuku Ward, but they have recently begun popping up in other areas. That should do for now, I have a few more quick updates in this TR for the coming days, or whenever I get around to it. Stay tuned!
  7. ^CP stretches from northwest to southeast. Gatekeeper's lift hill points toward the southeast.
  8. I remember seeing video advertisements for this on the trains, and I would have *loved* to have stopped, but I didn't have all that much time to spend at Odaiba, unfortunately. It looked nuts!
  9. Thanks for the kind words, everyone! I'm glad you enjoyed. Cedar Point is so well-known that everyone thinks they've seen it all, but it's nearly impossible to cover the entire park. Hopefully some of these shots did a decent job of showing how nice the park looks, from the right angles. Although its not hyper-themed like DisneySea and lacks much of the charm of some smaller parks, Cedar Point is still a special place and a great park to spend the day at.
  10. Well, this is it. The final update. I hope everyone has enjoyed this TR as much as I had making it. Spending so much at Cedar Point this past summer was a blast, and I think I managed to hone my skills as well as take a few decent shots . I wish I had been able to cover even more of the park, as you'll notice that I'm lacking in photos from the kid's areas and the Gemini midway in particular, but I simply ran out of time to get every single shot and every single angle that I wanted to get. Alas. Maybe I'll be able to fill in some of those gaps in the future! But enough rambling. Let's finish this up! This last update will take a look at the oft-forgotten Wicked Twister Midway, which will probably be getting quite a bit of new traffic in 2013 with the opening of Gatekeeper! Two things in this photo no longer exist. I'm excited for Gatekeeper, but I would be lying if I said that I won't miss Disaster Transport. Nice plaque. Maxair is a great ride. Though I can only ride it at night, because I squint in the sunlight during the day, which makes me nauseous. The sign that was near DT's entrance before it closed forever. I believe these photos were only taken a day or two before it gave its' final rides. A closeup of each blurb on the sign: Let's pop inside DT's queue one final time. CP fanboys! Figure out what these numbers mean! Outer Space, as imagined by a 5-year-old with a fresh box of crayons. "REPAR BA" For the uninitiated, this room used to be one of the later stretches of queue. However, the first few rooms had been sealed off for a number of years, as Happy Jack's Toy Factory used that end of the building during Halloweekends, so it became easier to simply remove the old first half of the queue. I wish I could have seen this ride in 1990. I've tried to unearth footage or photographs of the ride from it's opening year, but I've come across absolutely nothing. It had robots! Popping back outside to check out the rear of DT. Wicked Twister's the real star, though, what with the midway being the "Wicked Twister Midway" and all. In all honesty, it's a pretty decent ride. Nice sign. The WT midway used to be called the Oceana Midway back when the Extreme Sports Stadium still had dolphins. I found a few more shots of the Ferris wheel... this one probably turned out the most interestingly of the three of them. I had hoped to do some long-exposure in the vein of Windseeker, but due to the long load times and the fact that you have enough time to maybe get one long-exposure shot set up and photographed while the ride is actually cycling, it was incredibly difficult to achieve any effect similar to Windseeker within a reasonable timeframe. Let's take a final ride on Space Spiral. When you combine the dirtiness of Space Spiral's windows with its constant rotation and my camera's inability to focus under such circumstances, you get a blurry photo. Even so, you still get a decent idea of how colorful CP is at night now. Here it is. The final photo in this incredibly protracted effort to document the Queen of American Watering Places. Cedar Point's phenomenal nighttime skyline. I don't feel like this picture does it justice. Love her or hate her, it's hard to deny that she's in a phenomenal location with quite possibly the best skyline of any park in the world. And she's absolutely beautiful at night. And with that, this trip report comes to a close. Thank you all for reading, and I hope you enjoyed! Thank you CP, for the countless memories this past summer. Until next time.
  11. That would be Vertigorama at Parque de la Ciudad in Buenos Aires. It was one of their earliest coasters, along with Jr. Gemini and another kid's coaster also located at Parque de la Ciudad.
  12. ^The thing is, all of the Intamin flumes use filtered lagoons. Unless the lake is filtered and chlorinated, I doubt we'd see a Divertical-type ride there.
  13. My time spent on TPR generally remains constant throughout the year, so I'll be around as much as usual, most likely. I'll probably use my free time to keep plugging away at learning some basics of 日本語. I'm not fluent in Japanese by any stretch of the imagination, but spending two weeks in Tokyo over the summer really inspired me to keep working at it. It'll be something interesting and different to do this winter!
  14. What a nice looking park! And those churros really do look amazing. But more importantly, any country that has Sex Burgers at their McDonald's is OK in my book!
  15. I've gotta throw in my vote for Arrow's lifts. Such a distinct anti-rollback sound.
  16. If this turns out to be true, I really hope that KI expands Coney Mall outward through the site, perhaps bringing back a car ride or their flyers. Wishful thinking, but I'd love to see more family-friendly attractions over in that space. Right now, there's just a long path between Coney Mall and Rivertown, with the only ride being Backlot Stunt Coaster because of Vortex's location. If they do add a new coaster, I'd like to see it further out towards the perimeter of the park.
  17. Although I enjoyed Anaconda's first drop from the Magic Seat, I found the rest of the ride pretty unbearable. What is it with all of the Arrow loopers crawling through the second half of the course after the MCBR? I think the slow speeds through the awkward coat hanger-ish turns just made the ride even worse.
  18. We can only hope. I honestly think that the Boo Blasters at the other parks aren't too bad, but with a lot of CP's recent additions referencing the past (StR, Eden Musee), I wouldnt mind seeing a new Earthquake or Pirate Ride.
  19. When I also went to the park in July, it was still coming to a near-stop on the block, but last Friday, it wasn't slowing the train down any more than a normal block brake would. It was nowhere near as close to the full stop it would make in the past.
  20. vacoaster09 and Geauga Dog, thanks for the insight! I've actually been wondering about those things for quite a while now. The "GAU method" does seem a bit overcomplicated. I honestly wasn't sure about the seats rotating up as the train pulled into the station, but seeing as I only rode X-Flight one time way back in 2006, it's entirely possible that I mis-remembered what I saw.
  21. Montu, back in 2006. I had only just started riding "big" coasters that day, starting with Scorpion. I think I ended up riding Montu more than anything else that day. It was memorable, for sure, mainly for how terrified I was!
  22. A quick trip report from last night (Friday, October 26): We almost ended up not going because of the steady rains all day, and we figured everything would be closed. Much to our pleasant surprise, every ride was up and running the entire night. I guess I'm so used to Cedar Point's rain policy that I didn't expect another Cedar Fair park to actually operate coasters in the rain! Plus, with the weather being as bad as it was, the park was completely empty and we rode pretty much every open coaster within four and a half hours, as well as going into a few haunted houses. Diamondback was running great, and there was actually quite a bit of airtime compared to my last (disappointing) ride over the summer. I'm glad it had a bit more "punch" this night. The Beast was running the best I've ever felt it run. Everyone knows that The Beast runs best at night, but yesterday's ride was phenomenal. The track (and presumably the brake fins) were so wet that the train overshot the station,and we were positively launched into the final helix. I have never felt the ride fly so fast through the course. On top of that,the retracking has done wonders for the ride, and it's the smoothest I've ever felt it run. Incredible. I only wish it could run like it did last night all of the time. We had come mainly to say our final goodbyes to roller coasters for the season, but that didn't mean that we skipped the haunted houses. Quite frankly, the five we went into weren't that great. I understand that it was the end of the season and that the houses were probably understaffed and the scareactors exhausted, but none of the mazes were anything special. Here's a quick rundown of the ones we went into: Holiday Horror: Interesting concept, but nothing terribly frightening. Nothing really made us want to do it again. Madame Fatale's Cavern of Terror: Certainly the most elaborate one (It helps that it's in the old Tomb Raider/Crypt show building), and the sets looked pretty good and were the best we saw all night, but again, nothing too memorable. One room, which featured bodies stuck to the wall with melted wax, was pretty creepy, though. If there was one I would have done again, it would have been this one. I assume that Eden Musee at CP is pretty much the exact same house? Mysteria: Quite possibly the worst excuse for a haunted house. It was nothing but a maze of white walls and exactly *four* scareactors in body suits. No props, no scenery, nothing. White walls. Maybe a disco ball. There is no reason for this pathetic maze to exist. Club Blood: I don't care for this one at CP or here. Sets are OK, but again, it wasn't very memorable. Wolf Pack: At any rate, it's a much better use for Son of Beast than Son of Beast ever was. There were werewolves climbing up SOB's structure near the old queue, which was interesting. The actual maze, up in SOB's old station, was dressed up decently, but again the house felt completely understaffed and was devoid of scares. Urgent Scare: I skipped this one, but a few others from our group went through and said it was decent. I had hoped to go through Cutthroat Cove again, as it was my favorite one last year, but it seemed to be closed last night. I'm not sure if this was due to understaffing, the rain, or the complete lack of guests in the park. We also skipped Slaughter House and Massacre Manor, mainly because we couldn't find them! All of the outdoor mazes were closed as well, unfortunately. Interestingly, CP runs (or used to run, I haven't been to Halloweekends in two years) their outdoor scare zones even in the rain. I'd much rather have the rides open and the scare zones closed, if I had to make a choice, however . Perhaps I'll get to check out Tombstone Terror-tory next year. Overall, despite being soaking wet, we all had a blast, and it was a great evening to say goodbye to the regular operating season. Now for a few quick photos: The Beast was running amazing. I'm glad I got to experience it like that. Despite its horrendous load times, I do enjoy Firehawk. Question: When Firehawk operated as X-Flight, I'm pretty sure that the trains weren't lowered into position using this mechanism (which the prototype flyer NightHawk uses), but rather rotated down smoothly like the other 2nd-gen Vekoma Flyer, Batwing did (using some other mechanism/motor, anyone care to clarify?) Why, then, when X-Flight moved to KI, did CF modify the ride to lower the trains in this (presumably outdated, seeing as it was only used on the prototype) manner? What was wrong with the old "2nd gen" method that it used? It was certainly a lot more fluid of a motion. Also, I could be mistaken, but I thought that X-Flight's trains would raise back into the sitting position as the train was still moving into the station. Is that correct, or is my memory failing me? Yes, it's leftovers from the Paramount days, but it looks nice. Glad that it's sticking around at least as a haunt, for the time being. What a great space. TR:TR was probably the best-themed ride in Ohio, despite making zero sense being in Rivertown. I love these seats. I just had to take a picture. Didn't Beast used to have tires located under those metal squares along the edge of the platform? I know I'm overly nit-picky, but it bothers me that Beast's gates were never re-designed after the ride switched from four-bench to three-bench cars. How long did Beast run the four-benchers for? When were the gates put in, or did it open with them? The one good thing about Mysteria is that it dumps you out behind Racer, so you get a rarely-seen angle of the first drop. I am NOT a fan of drop towers. I'll ride them if someone drags me on it, but I won't go willingly. A final parting shot of a blood-red Eiffel Tower. Goodbye Kings Island! We'll see you next year!
  23. ^That's awesome to hear! I'm glad I was able to help out the park index . We are down to the final two updates- today, we'll take a look at an unlikely pair: Thrill Dragster and Blue Streak. Everyone has this shot. There are times like these when I wish I had a camera with better zoom... Nerd shot. Just milliseconds after launch. Still one of the most intense moments of any thrill ride. BOOM! Now it's night. Dragster has a very nice station. I've always been a fan of it. It's nowhere near the best coaster, but it's a heck of a rush. Who turned the lights back on? Would have been better with a train. Let's jump on over to Blue Streak. If you what the building in the foreground used to be, you win... Absolutely nothing. Not Blue Streak, but I needed to sneak Calypso in somewhere. A final shot of Blue Streak as taken from Perimeter Road. There's only one more update of the Oceana Midway! This giant TR is almost drawing to a close, and I hope you'll come back just one more time!
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