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BitterOldHag

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  1. https://newconneautlakepark.com/amusement-park-new-conneaut-lake-park-pa/ . So it looks like the amusement park is still “closed due to construction”. According to the website, they are “adding exciting new rides and games…at the new and improved Conneaut Lake Park!” Apparently you can still ride the Octopus, Swings and Tilt A Whirl, so I assume no one bought them?
  2. I made my first ever visit to Michigan's Adventure on Saturday and I thought the park was ok. It certainly wasn't worth the 6 hour drive from Cleveland to Muskegon, but I did have fun in my brief 2.5 hours there. Good: - Shivering Timbers. What an incredible ride. Just seeing it tower over the parking lot when you arrive makes for a great first impression. The ride itself though was far better than I anticipated. Tons of airtime, crazy laterals (the final helix really plasters you into the side of the train), and a whopping 2:30 ride duration made for a great experience. Only one train was being used and with the long ride time, that made for a slow moving line, but having FastLane, my wait was only about 6-8 minutes. There were a few rough pothole sections, but overall this was a fantastic addition to my coaster credit list. - Employees. Another surprise were the employees. Almost every one I came in contact with was friendly and seemed genuinely happy to be there. The girls at Public Relations were very helpful and the girl that rang up my Shivering Timbers t-shirt asked how I was enjoying my day and if I had been there before. It was nice to see that they had some pride in their jobs, which is sorely lacking in todays workforce. - Camp Snoopy. While nowhere near as scenic as Knott's or Carowinds, MiAdv's Snoopy area was bright and cheerful and featured a nice selection of rides for little ones and their families. I rode Zach's Zoomer and loved it. Really reminded me of Waldameer's Comet and the Sea Dragon at the Columbus Zoo. Fun stuff! Mid: - Park Layout. While the park is far from huge, having the SLC, rapids ride (down), and Chutes ride (also down) set apart from the rest of the rides makes for a lot of unnecessary walking. Of course, you could always take the... - Timbertown Train. For some reason I was expecting a scenic trip alongside Shivering Timbers. Unfortunately, the view is mostly obstructed by trees and there isn't much to see along the brief course. Since the park wasn't crazy busy, I was able to take the train from Shivering Timbers to the Thunderhawk area, got off there to do some filming, and hopped back on the same train I had just gotten off. - Ride Cycles. If you like long ride cycles, you won't like Michigan's Adventure. Most of the flats run both short and rather slow cycles. The park's Scrambler seemed to run at half speed, and same goes for the Trabant (which also only tilted about halfway up). Trabant's cycle lasted all of one minute. I will give credit to the Lakeside Gliders though. I was bouncing around in my tub like a pinball (wasn't true "snapping", but I would stall out and then get flung back up) and no one complained. Bad: - Wolverine Wildcat. Ugh. Even with a retracked first drop (GCI Titan Track even!), the ride is just a horrid trip on square wheels that follows the same layout as Knoebels Phoenix right down to the tunnel before the lift. The jackhammering was brutal as the train just bounced around the rest of the course. Wolverine Wildcat may try to be Phoenix, but it most certainly is NOT Phoenix. Not by a long shot! Perhaps if they retrack more of the ride it will rank higher. - Lack of shade. The main part of the amusement park is simply a concrete pad. While there are trees, there doesn't seem to be any shade. Thankfully it was only 66 on Saturday so it wasn't something that really bothered me, but for guests visiting on a hot day, I could see it being an issue. - Mad Mouse was down. I only put this in the Bad list because I was hoping to snag 5 new credits on my visit and only ended up with 4. I had to complain about it somewhere since that is what I seem to do best Overall, Michigan's Adventure has an odd feel to it. It's a small carnival-style park built around a man-made pond (Lake?) with some large roller coasters, the buildings near the front of the park look like they were once a strip mall, and then you have the Cedar Fair signage that reminds you this is still a corporate park. I'd give the park a 6 out of 10. Unless they build something groundbreaking in the next few years, I'll probably pass on returning anytime soon as it's a rather long haul just to ride a handful of decent rides. Thanks for reading.
  3. Visited Waldameer yesterday (Sunday May 22) and it was a good visit as usual. The weather was crap as it was constantly drizzling and 57 degrees, but that seemed to keep the crowds away as everything was a walk on. Music Express was down as was Mega Vortex, but all other rides were running. You know this isn't Cedar Point! Ravine Flyer II was AMAZING. Yes, I am biased and have had this ride at or near the top of my rankings since it opened back in 2008. But I don't know if it was the off-season trackwork, the rain or if they put new wheels on the trains, but it was running all out crazy. There's a few spots where the train shakes and jolts, but it's a wooden coaster and that is to be expected. But the speed, airtime and crazy laterals seemed amplified over last season. Definitely a must-ride. Whacky Shack looked good on my first ride as all stunts (including the blinking lights right past the ugly bar lady scene) were working beautifully. On my second ride through, the giant mouse at the end was left in the dark. Weird, and perhaps a little whacky! Pirate's Cove also was in top shape. I honestly got lost in the "jail room" as it seemed really dark in there, and being claustrophobic, I sort of freaked out a bit! I followed the "I ain't got no body" voices and eventually found my way out. I love the final scene of a pirate with his head coming out of a toilet with a flushing sound effect being played. Even at my advanced age, toilet humor still makes me laugh. I rode the train, walked around for a bit and enjoyed the fact that the Gift House had FAR more merchandise than last year, including a boss t-shirt with the old school Waldameer Park and Water World logo on it (which of course I promptly purchased!). One thing I did notice was that, like Knoebels, the ride prices all increased. It looked like the 2 and 3 point rides went up to 2.5 and 3.5 respectively while the 4 and 4.5 point rides went up to 5 and 5.5 points. While that does seem a bit pricey, you do get bonus points for purchasing larger amounts on your Wally Card. Or, you could just pay the approx $40 to ride all day, which if you plan on power riding is probably the way to go. I also saw a "No Single Riders" sign at the Scrambler. I am not sure if that rule has always been in place but as a usual single rider, that is now two rides I can't go on. Mr. Nelson was cruising around in his golf cart so maybe I should have asked, but he really frightens me and I don't want to be one of "those visitors" that complains to the park owner! I didn't stay late to see the new LED's on the Giant Wheel, but I did see the further obstruction of the Carousel as there is a new food stand on the Comet side of the pavilion. Waldameer will always be one of my favorite parks and reading that they have a new "10 year plan" in place makes me excited for the future.
  4. Very nice TR. Anakeesta looks great. Last time we went to Gatlinburg (October 2019), the line to buy tickets was completely overflowing onto the main sidewalk, and this was a Tuesday! We were later told it was Fall Break for schools in the region and that the week we picked to visit was not a good one if you don't like crowds. Noted for future visits! So glad others enjoy Earthquake. I laughed so hard the first time I rode it, especially at the "surprise" at the very end. I recommend this to anyone who loves a classic tourist trap because despite how stupid it is, you can't help but have fun. Ditto on Jurassic Jungle. If only World of Illusions was still open... And speaking of Paula Deen, we made the mistake of eating at her restaurant over at the Island. We had heard good things. We obviously heard wrong. My "world's greatest" fried chicken was soggy, the mashed potatoes were like soup, and the biggest sin was that they don't have biscuits of any kind during non-breakfast hours. How do you not have biscuits in the south? Thankfully, the fried chicken at Applewood Farmhouse over in Sevierville was much better and while no biscuits, the "apple fritters" were amazing! Thanks for sharing and I look forward to the Dollywood report!
  5. Visited CW for the first time since 2016 on Friday and had a decent visit. Here's my observations: Good - Yukon Striker is outstanding. In my opinion, this is the best B&M dive coaster that I have been on (that list includes Sheikra, Griffon and Valravn). The first drop into the underwater tunnel is a great thrill with an imposing headchopper visual, the "inline twist" element (?) was disorienting and the ride as is of course tradition was glass smooth. I also got a kick out of the mobile Loose Item bins. More rides should use something like that! - Leviathan was still running beautifully. While I feel it is the weakest of the 3 B&M gigas I have been on, it still boasts an incredible first drop (again into a tunnel offering a nice headchopper effect), the train flies through the course and even has a moment or two of nice floater air, and like Yukon Striker, the ride is as smooth as a baby's bottom. Great stuff, especially riding in the front seat. - Vortex was running great. I seem to remember a pothole on a portion of the track, but the train flew and swung smoothly through the course. Like its twin at Kings Island, the ride is too short, but is still quite fun. I like the new mine car-style theme on the trains too. - SledgeHammer is awesome. I know it may not be a popular opinion, but this one of a kind Huss Jump2 is a unique ride experience that offers some unusual sensations all without being nauseating. My only complaint about the ride are the absurdly bulky restraints. They are a bit too claustrophobic and can cause some headbanging on the "jump up" moments, but overall, if this ride is operating, I say ride it. Average - Behemoth. What happened here? Perhaps it is early in the season, and perhaps it was because temps were in the low 60's (Fahrenheit), but Behemoth seemed to be running a bit sluggish. It's a good ride still, but it didn't seem to fly through the course like Diamondback at Kings Island. Heck, Intimidator at Carowinds seemed faster than Behemoth. Bad - Ride Cycle times. It seemed that most of the flat rides here had painfully short cycles. Psyclone literally swung 5 or 6 times and then slowed to a stop. Soaring Timbers went around 6 times and that was it. The carriage didn't even flip. And the Swing of the Century's cycle timed in at 47 seconds. Yes, the park was semi crowded, but these are just crazy short ride times. On the plus side, SledgeHammer runs for about 2 minutes and Klockwerks ran a respectable cycle, but most other rides were not even worth lining up for. - Carrousel "music". I didn't know if this should be considered bad, but the park's beautiful Antique Carrousel (the sign did have two R's) is lacking a band organ or recorded music, so one of the ride ops sang "If You're Happy and You Know It" while the ride spun. Now that is an odd choice of tunes! - And finally, the food lines were simply insane. Thankfully I had a very limited amount of time to spend at the park and ended up eating elsewhere, but jeez, those lines looked like they could sap at least 45 minutes out of your day. It was great to be back in Canada again and I hope to visit CW one more time before the season is over. The park is well maintained, the employees were friendly (and were all wearing masks), and the ride selection is definitely one of the more varied ones in North America. I see Duran Duran is playing the Molson Amphitheater in August, so a trip to visit the CNE, Wonderland and a concert with newly inducted Rock And Roll Hall of Famers sounds like a plan to me!
  6. As far as crossing the border goes, I believe the rules are as follows for guests crossing from the US into Canada: - As of April 1, a negative COVID test is no longer required for land crossings - visitor must download the "ArriveCAN" app to their mobile device - visitor MUST be "fully vaccinated" (both doses of Pfizer or Moderna, single J&J, or other which can be found on the CBP website) - vaccination card must be scanned and uploaded to ArriveCAN app to be presented at the border - date of visit must be entered and at what border crossing the visitor will be using (this may have changed, but I tried the other day and it still asks both questions) - visitor may be randomly selected to take a COVID test at the border I'm hoping to get up there in May as it has been 6 years since my last visit to the park. Being fully vaxxed and double boosted, I am hoping it will be a smooth trip north!
  7. ^ Agreed about Reithoffer. Their orange unit (which is the unit that will be playing the SC fair) plays the Canfield Fair here in Ohio each Labor Day weekend. They usually bring an Interpark Zyklon, the Kroon Dutch Wheel, a rare Huss Flipper (called Tornado), a Technical Park Street Fighter Revolution called "The Beast" (using The Incredible Hulk as its logo), and several carnival classics like the Zipper, Sizzler, Starship 2000, Wisdom Himalaya, Sea Dragon, YoYo, Chance Thunder Bolt, and an ARM Vertigo. The rides are in decent shape and while most of the ride ops I dealt with didn't speak English, they got you on and off the rides efficiently. Considering some of the other midway companies that play northern Ohio (Kissel Bros, Lisko Family Midway, AoA) offer some questionable machines, it's nice to visit a fair every once in a while where the rides actually look sort of safe!
  8. ^ The kids at the park seemed to really enjoy Peanuts Pirates. There was a young girl with her mom that was laughing and smiling the whole time. That’s what amusement parks are all about! I remember Darien Lake had a Sea Storm that was replaced with the S&S tower, Marineland had (has?) one but I don’t think the cars rotate, and BGW had the best one I had ever ridden with a fancy fountain in the center and a program that ended with all the cars pointed towards the fountain resulting in spinning sideways. I can’t handle a lot of spinning rides anymore, but this one I can ride all day! And finally, I think Europa Park has one that you rotate yourself. Now that is an awesome concept!
  9. Speaking of the park’s flat rides, I was at the park today for my first time (far exceeded my expectations and the crowds were pretty low even with a bunch of school groups) and noticed that the park runs their Zephyr (Wave Swinger) and Windseeker much slower than other parks. Wind seeker was down when I first arrived but started running around 2:30 and it didn’t even look like the cars were swinging out to an angle like the others I have been on. Is this some sort of rule in the Carolinas? Just found it odd. Other observations: Fury 325 is every bit as good as everyone says. Truly a “world class” coaster. Intimidator was also amazing. Not sure why it doesn’t get as much love as other B&M hypers. I loved the second drop that sort of twists on the way down and the floater airtime was great. Hurler was garbage. Sorry to be so blunt there, but wow, there was nothing redeeming about this ride at all. I’d say the same about Vortex. It seems to take 3-4 minutes to adjust each train, so stacking happens every time. The ride is also just not much fun. Nighthawk was down as the train seemed to be in pieces Fury. And I am so glad I wandered through Camp Snoopy as I totally forgot they had the old Mack Sea Storm from Canada’s Wonderland. Such a fun ride that I wish more parks had. Oh yeah, Copperhead Strike was awesome too. The pre launch “barn” reminded me of Mystic Timbers shed, and I loved the chickens! Overall the park was very nicely maintained, the employees were having fun with April Fools Day, and there is a nice collection of rides and attractions. I honestly can’t wait to go back again!
  10. Jumped in to say make sure you check out Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride in Pigeon Forge and Earthquake The Ride in Gatlinburg. They are both "Now Open" and always have guests hanging around outside (mainly because they are mannequins!). These are two of the absolute cheesiest rides I have ever done, but for some reason I giggle like a little kid every time I ride them. I will say they are both a little scary for young kids as Jurassic Jungle is very loud and incredibly dark, while Earthquake has a giant ape that may frighten kids. Also, if you're a Simpsons fan, the "Wigsphere" (aka the Sunsphere) is about 30 miles away in Knoxville and it's free to go up and look through the gold colored windows and enjoy a very yellow view of the city. Never found any wigs up there though! And finally, I recommend Local Goat, Applewood Farmhoue and The Old Mill as places to eat. All 3 were great!
  11. First I would like to apologize to anyone I may have offended a while back. I was off my meds and needed a break. Meds are back and I haven't caused a scene in a while, so again, apologies for acting like an idiot. I'll take responsibility for it! I have a question for Carowinds regulars. I will be in the Charlotte area on Thursday March 31 where park hours are 9-6. I won't be there until noon. Is 6 hours enough time to get on all the big rides (I have season long FastLane, so that will help)? I would think the park wouldn't be crazy busy due to the shorter hours, but Spring Break and all can bring larger crowds than usual. I would also assume skipping Ricochet will be part of the plan if the line is long since it is not on FL, but it seems like most of the other coasters and flats I am interested in are on FL. Having never been to the park, I look forward to checking it out and finally riding Fury 325. I appreciate any helpful info!
  12. So sorry to offend you Bill. I was trying to be facetious and all considering the tone Todd Joseph took in the article about crazy 80 year olds and such. Apparently it didn’t come off that way. Sometimes things sound better in my head than they do in written form. Although I did say that I understand it’s his park and was hoping that would have perhaps signified that I wasn’t really being serious. Do my prior comments in this thread make it sound like I am totally concerned about what happens to the park? I didn’t think so, but hey, considering how misunderstood this post was, perhaps I wasn’t clear enough there either. So again, my sincerest apologies for making you think I give a rats ass what happens to the place. I visited the park every year, but it’s become such a dump I am totally fine with them tearing the place down. But I’m sure that will probably get twisted around somehow too and I’ll be lectured about how a businessman can do whatever he wants, so I’ll just stick to my horrendously bitter life where I hate everyone and everything. . Toodles!
  13. Tell ya what Todd. Last time I checked, people are allowed to say whatever they want about you. If they want to be upset with the way you were so secretive about the park's future, they are allowed to feel that way. If they want to voice their displeasure with the removal of the Tumble Bug and other "80 year old" rides, they have every right to do so. Who are you to tell people what they can and can't do? Now to be fair, some people are apparently taking things a bit too far, and that is unacceptable. I don't condone that at all. But you Todd cringed at even the slightest negativity online, so you banned comments on the park's Facebook page. if you are going to run a business, you need to have thick skin and take the good with the bad. So Todd Joseph, you can continue to throw shade at all of your detractors as much as you want. Just know that your detractors have every right to voice their opinions as well, and if it's something you don't like hearing, you can't just drive your pickup to their house and threaten them to stop. On the bright side Todd, only 2 more weekends left of Ghost Lake before you can bring in the wrecking balls and take down the rest of the eyesores on that beautiful property of yours. Am I Right? (FYI - I am fully aware the park is a business and is currently Todd's to do with as he sees fit. I just don't appreciate people using the tired pro wrestling heel-style "these people" insult for anyone he doesn't agree with)
  14. Outstanding TR's swfan. Great pics as well. Felt like I was right there! I have been to Dollywood 3 times as of 2019 and the park is definitely in my top 3. I think I love the "Frontier Trail" (CP) vibes that the whole original part of the park gives off. It's nice to duck into a shop and browse, grab a bite to eat, or hop aboard a ride surrounded mostly by trees. Plus, the staff has always been very friendly on each of my visits. I was honestly surprised by that, but definitely not complaining. My lone sin though is having never tried the cinnamon bread (where is that screaming coming from all of a sudden??!). I know, I can turn in my theme park enthusiast now. I promise next time I will... or if I get to SDC first, I'll definitely make time for it. Thanks for sharing your trip details and glad you had a great time.
  15. Forgot to mention another thing that I found mildly amusing at the park on Friday night. A few years back, CarnEvil was removed from the scare zone line up and since then, the clowns have had no place to call home. So now they tend to wander throughout the park. On Friday, they were creeping people out in front of Cedar Downs. One of them had a severed head attached to an elastic band that he would throw towards people walking past, usually resulting in the victim jumping a foot off the ground. Even more fun was that two of the other clowns were standing at the railings of Cedar Downs while the ride was going. They were waving at the kids as they rode past and the one had a seriously creepy laugh. I felt bad for the one kid in front of me who had his head on a swivel the whole ride and seemed genuinely scared, but it still made me laugh. As mentioned earlier by Mike, it was nice to see HalloWeekends back in action after last season. Looking forward to visiting on a Thursday night next month and checking out the stuff I missed. Oh and just one more thing... it was nice having a few additional rides open on Friday night. Corkscrew, Iron Dragon, Rougarou, Giant Wheel and Super Himalaya were all open whereas in recent seasons they were not.
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