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Everything posted by shivtim

  1. There are several really good options in Atlanta, since you're starting and ending there. Your best bet is Hop City, which has two locations - Westside, and inside the Krog Street Market. It's basically a local beer store that also has a bar. They both have about 60 beers on tap and a huge selection of cans and bottles, many of which are local or regional. They're focused on beer, so the bartenders can give you good advice on what to try. You can get growlers or bottles/cans to go. http://www.hopcitybeer.com/krog-street-market/ http://www.hopcitybeer.com/west-midtown/ Another good Atlanta option if you have time is the Georgia Beer Garden, which is a bar that only serves Georgia beers. It has a great outside area if the weather is nice. But you have to drink there, no beer to go. Look for beers from Wild Heaven, Three Taverns, Orpheus, Monday Night, Second Self, Burnt Hickory, and Scofflaw. Those are the best Atlanta-area breweries. In Birmingham, J Clyde's is probably the best restaurant for beer, and Good People is the local brewery you should try. While in North Carolina, keep an eye out for Wicked Weed beers. It sounds like you'll be driving through Asheville on the way from Dollywood to Carowinds. You should try to stop here - there are a number of amazing breweries, including several in walking distance from each other in downtown: http://ashevillealetrail.com/trail-map/ Unfortunately the Pigeon Forge / Gatlinburg area is devoid of good beer. I'm not super familiar with Memphis/Nashville beer.
  2. I was there a few weeks ago and it was closed on Thursday and Friday, opened Saturday with one train, and on Sunday it was one train operation with the second row closed and it went down for an hour at 10:15AM. It also has developed a wicked jolt at the bottom of the first drop, which is surprisingly strong from the back of the train.
  3. Does anyone know if Lightning Rod is open this week / weekend? I don't see any information on Dollywood's website, and the ride isn't listed in the wait times app.
  4. Phantasialand and Everland just put in brand new log flumes.
  5. There was a proposal in the late 1990s for a park in Indiana called "Garfield's American Adventures." It would have had several coasters, including a CCI woodie.
  6. False. He said Disaster Transport was his biggest mistake. The direct quote was that Top Thrill Dragster was the "dumbest decision" he ever made as CEO. It's a maintenance nightmare and was closed for about 1/2 of its first season, and it's incredibly expensive to run on a daily basis. "That's far and away the most expensive ride we have in the park to run."
  7. Sounds like a fun trip. A few tips: The Alum Cave Trail in Smoky Mountains National Park is a nice hike. It's on Hwy 441, which is a nice scenic drive. Not booking hotels ahead of time is tricky. Yes, it will give you more flexibility, but you also could run into issues where prices are very expensive or everything is booked up, specifically on Memorial Day weekend. Booking ahead in the big cities (DC and Atlanta) as you've planned is a very good idea. You might also consider using AirBnB, which has some unique options. If you have extra time, considering driving off the Interstates. The Interstates (I-90, I-40, etc) are by far the fastest route, but you'll miss a lot of the scenery and local flavor. You can check this list for scenic drives that might be near your route. Stick to the interstates if you're just looking to drive fast and make good time. Don't forget there are 4 alpine coasters near Dollywood if you're interested in those. I have plenty of advice for Atlanta, especially things to do and local places to eat. Feel free to send me a direct message if you want any tips for this city. This might be a particularly good place to buy clothing since it's your last stop, and there's everything from cheap outlets (Outlet Shoppes at Atlanta, Tanger Outlets, North Georgia Premium Outlets) to huge malls (Lenox Square, Phipps Plaza) to unique shopping areas (Ponce City Market, Atlantic Station, Little Five Points, Westside Provisions, Virginia-Highland).
  8. Tig'rr at Indiana Beach didn't have any restraints until recently. It was a bit unnerving going over the first drop with no restraints whatsoever. Photo By: DerekRx
  9. There's a sit-down version at Wonderworks in Pigeon Forge TN.
  10. Great update again, Andy! I think your assessment of Indiana Beach is spot-on. While it has flaws and has really gone downhill in the last decade, it's still an incredibly unique park and it's easy to have a good time there. I do miss the late 90s and early 00s when the park was amazing and the coasters were all running well. Also, once I threw an entire loaf of stale bread to the carp. It was a feeding frenzy of epic proportions.
  11. I went this past summer, and the standouts were Nemesis and Blackpool Wild Mouse.
  12. From Freizeitpark News. These aren't official, but are based on the existing footers:
  13. The park looks really neat on Google streetview. The neighborhood looks like it's seen better days, with lots of boarded up old commercial and industrial buildings. But it seems ZDT has used this to their advantage, with go-karts tracks going through old warehouses, and a "silo climb" in old silos.
  14. I do think ValRavn could have the world's tallest inversion. Depending on how you count a loop, it would have to beat either Gatekeeper (170ft drop/inversion), the Lewa Happy World Mack loop (164ft?), or maybe the 2016 Wanda Hefei coaster that is supposed to have a 55m (180ft) loop.
  15. Thanks for the updates! So much going on in China right now.
  16. I'm just going by what my guides told me. They said no bug spray, no sun screen, and not to go in the water. Apparently as long as it's DEET-free, or if you stay completely out of the water, it's fine. I'm not trying to argue or anything, just saying this is what I was specifically told by my experienced tour guides. Other guides might have different advice, and maybe it also depends on where you are, how big the lagoon is, etc. www.nydailynews.com/life-style/glow-flow-kayaking-eerie-bioluminescent-bays-puerto-rico-article-1.1126777 "Those dinoflagellates thrive in Laguna Grande partly because the nature reserve has limited pollution in the area. They no longer allow swimmers in the water. Sunscreen and bug repellents (containing DEET) were killing off the very organisms people wanted to see." www.amnh.org/learn-teach/young-naturalist-awards/winning-essays2/2011-winning-essays/the-effects-of-deet-on-bioluminescent-dinoflagellates-pyrocystis-fusiformis "This experiment confirms that a single exposure of DEET is harmful to bioluminescent dinoflagellates."
  17. Any more info on this coaster? I tried Googling around and all I found was this (translated with Google): "Inverted roller coaster located in Hefei City theme park Wanda, we used two cars relative sliding, two vehicles collided passengers the illusion. At the highest car segment, by flipping the track segment flip, flip the body 90 °, vertical drop after the passengers are facing the ground. Features of the roller coaster is: two vehicles collided simulation, rail train carrying Flip 90 °, vertical drop. Where two vehicles collided simulation, rail train carrying flipped by 90 ° vertical drop are domestic initiative. At present, the project is progressing well, the program has been completed."
  18. I didn't know they had this in Florida! We saw the phenomenon in Puerto Rico and it was amazing. Very cool that you got to experience it. This is a really bad idea because bug spray kills the organisms that bioluminesce. It's actually caused entire bays to "go dark" because all of the dinoflagellates die.
  19. A bit off topic, but there are plenty of parks where you can do this. Of course lots all over Europe and Asia, but even here in the US (Six Flags over Georgia, California's Great America, Elitch Gardens, Oaks Park, Carowinds, Universal Orlando, Sea World Orlando, Santa Monica Pier, and Coney Island just off the top of my head).
  20. The stuff coming out of Burnt Hickory (just north of Atlanta) is fantastic. I had a Big Shanty stout last night and it was incredible.
  21. I think a small steel coaster with a low height limit would do wonders for them. Something like Bombora at Lagoon, Turbulence at Long Island Adventure Land, or Freedom Flyer at Fun Spot in Orlando.
  22. I have a last minute work trip to SLC next week and I'm going to extend it by a few days. I'm planning on going to Lagoon on either Friday June 5th or Saturday the 6th. Any locals going to the park on one of those days? It would be great to hang out, get a local perspective, and avoid some of the single-rider issues. Crossing my fingers that Cannibal might be open, but I doubt it. Still, very excited for my first visit to Lagoon!
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