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Everything posted by BitterOldHag

  1. Don't forget: - Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride (PF) - One of the silliest, cheesiest dark rides you will ever come across. Grossly overpriced, but that's Pigeon Forge for you! - Earthquake The Ride (Gatlinburg) - If you thought Jurassic Jungle was bad, wait till you ride this. It makes no sense whatsoever and has several things that will make you shake your head and say "what the f... was that?" Absolutely loved it though! - Hillbilly Golf (Gatlinburg) - a cute mini golf course where you ride an incline railway to the top and then work your way down. There are 2 courses and each is very "old school". Still a good time. - Mysterious Mansion (Gatlinburg) - A scary and well-maintained walk through Haunted House located just behind the Parkway in Gatlinburg. The staff is friendly, the few actors working there do a great job popping up in unexpected places, and there's even a neat beginning where you have to figure out how to proceed. Might be too intense for kids. There's also a new "Soarin"-style attraction that just opened at The Island complex in Pigeon Forge. It looks outstanding and will definitely be on our list when we return to the area. Also, as others have mentioned, the Old Mill Restaurant (and also the Old Mill Pottery House Cafe) are fantastic. The desserts alone are worth making a stop. But the lines are crazy all times of day. Two other large restaurants we liked were Local Goat in PF (a sports bar restaurant with tremendous food across from the Titanic museum), and Applewood Farm Grill, which I believe is actually in Sevierville. When you are seated, you are given a basket of deep-fried "apple fritters" and a "apple julep". Both are simply delicious. Much of the food is allegedly scratch made too and their fried chicken is probably the best in the area. OK, I'm done ranting. Just enjoy your trip. You'll love it whatever you end up doing!
  2. Was at the park from 9-noon today and it was slammed. Gatekeeper was down. FastLane waits for Maverick, Raptor and Valravn were about 30-45 minutes (a BIG difference from their other Ohio park), Dragster’s standby line was about 75% full, the sipper stand wasn’t open, and many of the rides were shut down during a light sprinkle of rain (to be fair, radar showed lightning in Toledo, so, you know there’s that…. ). I also saw Cedar Downs had a line extending out onto the midway, which may have been the first time I had ever seen that in all my years of visiting. I think I’ll stick with making the 4 hour drive to Kings Island the rest of the summer. Not sure I want to deal with the inconsistencies and longer waits at the Point for a while…
  3. I'd also add if you want to ride Flight of Fear, I would do that when the park opens at 11. The FastLane+ entrance is to the left of the main ride entrance and in the exit hallway of the ride building. When I went back to the ride around 2:00, the FL+ line was out the door, which is a pretty long wait. As others have said though, most other rides rarely have longer than a 5-10 minute wait with many being walk-ons. The ride hosts and hostesses are also not adverse to putting you in the front seat, so ask if that's what you are looking for. Enjoy your trip! Edit: Ugh! This was for Cedar Point, not Kings Island. My apologies, but my advice still works!
  4. I reached out to the park the other day about this and they had this standardized response: "We have a limited number of VIP available at the park and they are on a first come first serve basis. If purchasing online, the VIP must be purchased 48 hours in advance. My suggestion is to try and be in the park when we open at 10:30 am and make the VIP Coaster Tour booth your first stop." While that didn't really clarify if the booth is open at 10:30, when I do end up going, I'll be sure to be there at 10:30. I'd rather wait for a half hour to get a VIP pass than 90 for Steel Curtain!
  5. Here's a few pics from my visit this past Sunday. The "new" Slide is located right inside the main entrance The Flying Scooters were missing a few things "New" Swings and Dizzy Dragons. A lot of thought and care went into the placement of these rides One of the Bug cars near the Cliffhanger Falls waterslide complex Another of the Bug cars near where the ride once stood. The "new" Octopus, which was down, can be seen in the background Blue Streak station area Bumper Car building Balloon Break game near the Carousel Devil's Den Midway "New" Tilt A Whirl Trabant cars await reassembly. Who knows if or when that will happen A "new" kiddie train ride placed in a beautifully maintained corner of Kiddieland Here's the former Midway area. It took me a while to fully comprehend what had happened here as I have been visiting this park since 1973. Being in a fenced in open area was just a very odd feeling And finally a look at the Boardwalk. The "Tiki Bar" is on the far left
  6. Took a trip to the park today. For all of the “clean up” that went on, the place still looks like a dump. Actually, it looked better back in 2019. Apparently admission plans vary. The girl at the ticket booth asked if I was “just there to walk around”, and I said I’d like to ride the Devil’s Den. She said I can buy 4 tickets for $10 (each ride is one ticket). All day ride pass was $15. Plus the “water park” is an additional charge. I decided to buy the 4 tickets. The park is selling t-shirts and tank tops inside the main gate if you want to show your support Walking in, the first thing you see is that the cables and tubs of the Flying Scooters are missing. A “No Trespassing” sign is posted on the ride’s fence. To the right of the Flying Scooters, the Paratrooper is also down with no signs of life. Also at the front of the park is a new, portable Dizzy Dragons ride and a very old Swing ride which was just plopped down on a muddy piece of land (old Tilt A Whirl site). And finally, a new 3 lane portable slide was set up to the left of the main entrance. As you walk down the midway, the train is closed and the entrance crime scene taped off, the mini golf course is closed with a “No Trespassing” sign attached and that all violators will be prosecuted. The old Tumble Bug cars are just randomly plopped along the midway here, reminding guests of a ride that was just not able to be salvaged. The water slides and lazy river were doing a good business, so that was good to see. As you keep walking, the empty spot where the Bug used to reside is fenced off, as is the former Music Express site. Further back, the “new” Octopus can be seen, but it is not operating. The Blue Streak station is sitting there with peeling paint and obviously no activity. The Carousel was running and looked decent. There was an odd thing about the rides up front as there are no more paths to the rides. Just mulched areas. The Devils Den was probably the most popular ride. It was missing its classic sign, but the inside was in fine working order and all the stunts looked great. Major props to Devils Den Tom for all of his hard work and upkeep of this classic dark ride. Another funny thing was that they had carnival games set up. A ring the bottle game was set up on a picnic table. A dart balloon game was set up across the way, and a “Ninja Warrior” bar hang was randomly set up outside the Carousel. It was truly bizarre. But this is Conneaut Lake, so I guess I shouldn’t have expected any different! On the former site of Witch’s Stew sits what looks like a new portable Tilt A Whirl. It too was not operating. And next door to that was the old Trabant, stripped down with the cars freshly painted and possibly awaiting reinstallation. A very small pony ride was set up across from Kiddieland. I didn’t travel through Kiddieland though, but it looks like a few small rides were thrown up randomly and the old kiddie carousel was removed. Finally, the old midway area was completely leveled and has fencing placed all around it. No Log Cabin Gift Shop, no game buildings, no old Hostile Hostel building… just grass and a lone food stand. This is where it really sunk in that this really may be the final year for Conneaut Lake. Just looking around and taking it all in was surreal. While I will stay positive that the park will survive, I just don’t see it happening. Sorry for the long write up. I’ll try and get some pics up tomorrow.
  7. Thursday Night Rides? It does simply say the scares and mazes of Haunt.
  8. Our Biggest Fall Season Yet The summer season is in full swing and so is our 150th Anniversary Celebration! Many of you have been entering daily for a chance to win the coveted Ticket of a Lifetime, purchased unique keepsakes for this special event and enjoyed the specialty food items and new offerings. Remember, this limited-time celebration ends a month from now on August 15. Be sure to “Get to the Point” before it goes away for another 150 years. Even though the party continues, it’s time to give you a bit of a sneak peek on our fall season. Here’s the big news: HalloWeekends returns this fall! As part of HalloWeekends, Tricks and Treats Fall Fest and Haunt are back! The details of the entertainment and attraction lineup will be revealed at a later date, but for now, this is BIG. With the return of HalloWeekends, hours in September will be pretty traditional, but beginning October 3, we’re giving you MORE time to enjoy the park – reservations NOT required! This means in October: Thursday nights – the scare mazes and haunted attractions of HAUNT! Fridays – the Halloween activities of Tricks and Treats Fall Fest during the day; HAUNT at night! Saturdays – Tricks and Treats Fall Fest AND HAUNT! Sundays – Tricks and Treats Fall Fest during the day; HAUNT at night! The NEW October HalloWeekends schedule gives you even MORE options to enjoy the event, and with Saturdays typically being our busiest day, you now have alternatives to sneak that last Cedar Point visit in before the season ends. Check out the full fall calendar by clicking here. As always, schedule subject to change without notice, so check that page often before you plan your visit. With these added dates, reservations are now being accepted at our Cedar Point hotel properties! Great ticket packages are also available, so reserve now before they sell out. Speaking of enjoying things before the season ends, if you’re planning on soaking up the rays and water jet sprays at Cedar Point Shores Waterpark, effective today, we’re no longer requiring park reservations. Take some time to check it out before its season wraps up on Monday, Sept. 6. More details on all of the HalloWeekends offerings, including the sale of tickets, are coming soon. Watch our social channels to be the first to know when they’re live. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for the return of my favorite time of year AND my favorite event – HalloWeekends! Cedar Point Blog
  9. He bought it to close it. I hadn't planned on going this year without the Blue Streak, but maybe I should. There have been many times I have visited and thought it was "the last season" (1992, 2007, 2014), but this one may really be the depressing finale. It's sad because the last few years actually looked like the park was making some progress. Yes, it still looked like a war zone, but people were coming and seemingly enjoying themselves. There were actually lines for some of the rides. I thought maybe somehow, against all odds, Conneaut was digging itself out of a deep hole. Now, it's looking more and more like condos will be the end game. Hoping that I am wrong again, but this time feels different, and not in a good way.
  10. It was announced the park is going to be called Niagara Amusement Park and Splash World. Fantasy Island announces new name
  11. Adventure Express at Kings Island last Friday. So nice to see they fixed up the effects on the final lift.
  12. Just got back from KI and while there were a few minor quirks (Mystic Timbers seemed to be having issues, Flight of Fear’s FL+ line was out the door of the UFO room and yes, the food lines were crazy), I still had a great time. Rode Orion in the front… that was like a religious experience. Absolutely love this ride. Glass smooth, so fast and the airtime hill delivered in spades. Took my first ride of the season on The Beast and man has it gotten rough, even in a non-wheel seat. And Banshee is actually even worse than The Beast. And it’s taken 16 years, but Backlot Italian Coaster is sooooo awesome. I absolutely love the launch, the sharp turns, and the final tunnel is crazy dark. It has become a must ride for me now, especially since I bypassed a full queue and walked right on with FL. And one observation. There was a poster in one of the men’s washrooms that was promoting a 2021 season pass. At the bottom it said that it includes the upcoming Grand Carnival event, the Tricks and Treats Fall Fest, and Winterfest. Found it interesting that Haunt wasn’t mentioned. Oh, and the Blue Ice Cream beer was weird. Not bad weird, just unusual. Definitely enjoyed it though!
  13. Non-beer related question (I know... I'm a buzzkill!), but if one has season long FastLane, does that person need to redeem it at the main FastLane booth at the entrance, or can they redeem it at any shop that sells it? I am pretty sure the shop inside the main gate on the right side of International Street sells it and I figured avoiding the line at the main stand might get me to Orion and Mystic Timbers faster, but I wasn't sure if this was allowed. I know CP allows redemption at the gift shops, so I'd assume KI would too. Unfortunately, my assumptions have led me down the wrong path one too many times! Hoping to head down to KI again on Friday and this time, actually relax and enjoy some of the little things, like sitting on the patio by Diamondback and trying one of the Blue Ice Cream beers. See, I got back to the beer topic, so I'm not all bad!
  14. So nice to see someone else that enjoys Gatekeeper. I absolutely love the ride. As an old man now, I really appreciate the smoother rides, and I think that is why I am a fan of B&M hypers/gigas and rides like GK and Valravn. To me, any seat is good, it feels like I am in a flying chair, and the inversions offer some unique visuals and even some hangtime. I hope they can fix the chain soon as I haven't yet been on it this season. Loved your TR. Those are some great pics. And I need to go eat at that Twin Oast Brewing. Those hand-cut fries look absolutely amazing!
  15. Knoebels Facebook page said that the Flyers were open once again, as is the Scenic Skyride, so there’s two more rides to add to anyone’s must see list.
  16. If you come up US 250 from the Turnpike, there are tons of places. There's a Culver's and Chick-Fil-A that are both very new, there's a BP station called "Mickey Mart" across from those 2 restaurants that have had clean restrooms, and there is a Meijer as well. If you're coming on Rte 2 from the East, there's a rest area, so there are plenty of options. I know I'm getting old as I only have an 80 minute drive to CP and I end up stopping somewhere along the way for a bathroom break!
  17. Since I had to postpone my NYC trip, I ended up at Knoebels last Thursday for 3 hours. Wait times were mostly minimal. Rode the following: - Impulse (walk on but had about a 20-30 minute wait when I left) - Twister (walk on most of the time I was there) - Phoenix (walk on to 10 minutes) - Carousel (one cycle for outside horse) - Cosmotron (one cycle wait) - AtmosFear (walk on) - Whipper (walk on) - Roto Jet (one cycle wait) - Haunted Mansion (seemed to be a walk on entire time I was there) - Pioneer Train (one train wait, two trains were being used so the line moved fast) Flyers, Flying Turns, Looper, Satellite, Round Up, Power Surge, Sklooosh, Giant Wheel, Scenic SkyRide, Fandango, Tumbling Timbers and the new Tornado were all down along with several kids rides (all were listed as such on the website). The line for the POP Wristband at one point stretched past the Carousel to the Birthday Cake pavilion, which is crazy. Thankfully, I just used tickets and avoided that lineup. Rides with surprisingly long lines were the Paratroper (full queue to overflowing), Antique Cars (full queue), and the Bumper Cars (queue spilled out Enjoy your visit. Knoebels is one of the best amusement parks out there. I just wish it wasn't a 5+ hour drive one way. Not to mention traffic on I-80 West on the way home was a complete nightmare due to construction. Waze said there was a 26 minute backup. Got re-routed thankfully and didn't have to deal with it, but man, that was brutal!
  18. I've got a couple of loonies and toonies lying around, so I'm game! I'll go with July 28th. Want to give them a few days of the 10 pm close before they realize they don't have enough people and then make the announcement. Obviously there's a much bigger pool of people to pull from in the GTA, so maybe they won't have any issues. But this is CF we're talking about, and Bill has been pretty much spot on in all his assessments thus far this year!
  19. Yet another incident to add to this summer full of fights at family-oriented destinations: Worlds of Fun fight
  20. My watch just buzzed and it was a message from Canada's Wonderland saying they are reopening July 5th for season passholders and July 7th for the GP. Reservations appear to be required. Obviously I won't be going since the border is still closed... but this is very good news for the park that had been sitting dormant for a year and a half. Edit: Face Masks are required for all guests age 2 and up in all areas of the park and temp checks will be given at the main entrance.
  21. ^ I had read somewhere here that security was harassing this poster because they were by themselves. Only thing I can figure out is that since it’s a kid-themed park, they might not like single guys wandering around. I just don’t want to pre-purchase the ticket only to get kicked out for looking like a creepy old man, although to be fair, I look like a creepy old man anywhere I go All I want to do is ride the coasters, drop tower and maybe the Air Race tower (I rode the Unicoaster at Mall of America. Won’t make that mistake again! ). I did realize that I have to take I-80 to get to NYC and back, so maybe I should just scrap the mall and go to Knoebels instead!
  22. So I am considering a visit to Coney Island this week (Thursday) for the first time ever and was wondering if anyone could help out with a few questions I have. 1) How hard is it to find parking near the attractions? The map shows a Coney Island parking area, so I assume that would be a good place, but if anyone else has someplace better, I'm definitely open for suggestions! 2) Luna is offering a 4 hour wristband that includes the Cyclone, Steeplechase, drop tower and Thunderbolt for $52. Is that enough time to get all the good rides in? 3) I hate to be the guy that asks "what are the lines like?", but... what are the lines like on June weekdays? 4) Deno's looks like the only rides I need to do are Spook-A-Rama and of course the Wonder Wheel. I would like to do each twice. Can that be done in an hour? 5) And finally, I was going to stop at American Dream on Friday. I remember reading someone here saying they frown on single visitors. Is that still a thing? I don't want to be chased down by security on my first visit to the NYC area! Thanks for any assistance, I greatly appreciate it!
  23. ^ Yep, FastLane is online only. I am SO glad I learned of the season long option from members here. It’s so nice to already have that already paid for on any visit to the park. And to Zand, sorry if I made Diamondback sound like it’s an airtime machine. I thought it was a way better ride in the back though and it does feel like you are out of your seat more often than not. Just my observation though! hope everyone enjoys their visits, even if it is busy...
  24. Visited yesterday and despite some worries about getting in the parking lot (traffic on Kings Island Dr was backed up past the Great Wolf Lodge, and this was at 10:15), I had a fantastic 4 hours there. I so wish Cedar Point’s FastLane was set up like Kings Island’s. The longest wait I had during my visit was 10 minutes to actually get my FastLane wristband. I’m sure if I would have eaten at the park that would have been a much higher number though as the food lines were insane. - Banshee (walk-on FL+): rode during the tail end of early entry. Someone here mentioned that Banshee is really rattling and I have to agree. The first drop and Immelmann were pretty janky. I do love the batwing element and the final inline twist is my favorite part of the ride as it is just taken so slowly. It’s a decent ride, but I honestly think Raptor is the better B&M invert in Ohio. Rating 7/10 - Flight of Fear (5 minute wait FL+): speaking of running a bit rattly, FoF was a bit bumpier than I remember. I was on the first train of the day as they let the FL+ line in first before the regular line entered. The launch is still intense and twisting through near total darkness is always a blast. But the stop on the mid course and the bumpy ride keeps it from being a repeat ride for me. Rating 7/10 - Orion (walk-on FL+): wow. Full trains REALLY made a difference here. Orion was really flying compared to my rides last season and I absolutely loved it. So smooth, so fast, and a killer first drop make this a really solid addition to KI. Rating 9.5/10 - Mystic Timbers (walk-on FL+): My #1 wood and #1 overall coaster was still running unbelievably well this year. Mystic Timbers is a completely chaotic, out of control ride that never slows down and launches you off your seat more times than I can count. In the shed (which we are repeatedly warned not to go in, but we do anyways), the tree monster attacked on my first ride and the bats swarmed on my 2nd and 3rd rides. Absolutely love this coaster. Rating 10/10 - Diamondback (walk-on FL+): I was assigned to row 16 (they were assigning seats on all coasters, I didn’t ask for any special requests so I’m not sure if they were allowing it), and the airtime on this ride in the back is unreal. Sustained floater airtime on almost every hill, it was spectacular. I made the mistake of putting my arms out on the splashdown finale, resulting in my back getting a bit damp. I didn’t care though as Diamondback may have even been better than Orion. Rating 10/10 - BooBlasters on Boo Hill (3 minutes FL+): I miss Phantom Theater and the Enchanted Voyage. BooBlasters is alright. Nothing really stands out as being memorable, but I did end up with 1260 pets. Which I guess is good? Rating 5/10 - Racer (walk-on FL+): If KI can retrack the return leg of this ride like they did the outbound run, they will have something special here. This is the best Racer ride I have had in years. Massive props to the park for taking care of this historic gem. Rating 7/10 - Adventure Express (5 minutes FL+): The regular line was out to the midway so thank goodness for FL! I’ve always enjoyed this ride even though the finale after the final lift is such a letdown. The drummer guys on the final lift all seemed to be working AND had colorful new lighting installed. Even the “you will pay” guy looks like he got some colored contact lenses. Nice! Rating 7/10 - Kings Mills Antique Autos (walk on FL+): I am so glad KI added antique cars back to its lineup a few years back. The course isn’t anything spectacular, but it is a pleasant diversion and since it’s on FL+, how can you not stop for a quick ride? Rating: 6.5/10 - Windseeker (one cycle wait FL+, would have been the same without it!): not sure why I like these rides. There isn’t much to it, but the views are stunning. Rating: 7/10 - Shake Rattle and Roll (one cycle wait FL+): a KI classic since 1975, this Huss Troika has always been one of my faves at the park. It is weird not having Vortex in the background though. Rating: 6.5/10 - Backlot Stunt Coaster (walk-on FL+): when this ride first opened in 2005, I hated it. I thought it was a complete waste of space and a disgrace to Paramount’s Kings Island to visually destroy such a pretty area of the park. Now, it’s a can’t miss attraction each time I’m at the park. Guess I just needed to “get” the ride! The helix beginning is way more intense than it has a right to be, the flame effects work still (as do the “bullets”!), and the final tunnel seemed much darker than usual. Fun, smooth, and re-rideable, especially when there is no wait! Rating: 8/10 - Woodstock Gliders (one cycle wait FL+): while not the park originals, it’s still nice that Kings Island re-introduced a set of Flyers. They are your typical Larson model and move at a pretty good clip. The only complaint I have here is that they are located in Planet Snoopy. Rating: 7/10 overall a tremendous day at one of my favorite parks. The Beast was closed during my 4 hours there, so I didn’t get to ride, but Mystic Timbers more than makes up for that. I also think White Water Canyon and Congo Falls were closed. The temps never got past 60 while I was there, so that might explain it! Can’t wait to go back, even with the 8 hour round trip drive!
  25. I grew up with Conneaut Lake and I am very apprehensive about what’s going on. Based on the article, the only rides that will be there this year are the Carousel, Devils Den and some kiddie rides. The Bug, Witch’s Stew, Trabant, Music Express, Bumper Cars and Tilt A Whirl were all removed. Blue Streak is questionable for the future. So that leaves the train (which I doubt will remain as it always seemed to have problems and even derailed once when I was riding a few years back), the Paratrooper, Flying Scooters, and the Ferris Wheel as rides I didn’t hear about. It sounds like they may add a used ride or two, which would be nice, but even still, this is going to be an interesting year. I sincerely hope they survive, but as an amusement park, it doesn’t sound promising.
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