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Everything posted by cfc

  1. My only ride on Bilge Rat Barges was years ago in October. They had turned off or toned down some of the water effects because it was cooler out. It didn't make any difference--still drenched from head to toe.
  2. I went for a second look at the new mazes on Sunday night. KILLarney DInEr seemed better, as they really put some thought into the sets. Witch of the Woods had a villager working the queue looking for a "wtich hunter." Now there's an idea. Instead of the usual lurking minions and frightened villagers, throw in a team of witch hunters to "protect" guests and build to a climactic confrontation with the witch. I think that would be a stronger story and less "random." But hindsight is always better than foresight.
  3. Howl-o-Scream Has Risen from the Grave 2021 Halloween arrives earlier each year. Remember when pumpkin-spice, well, everything wasn’t even available (or discussed) before September? Now you can drink pumpkin beer in August. The same is true of Howl-o-Scream at Busch Gardens, which officially started on Friday, September 10. Of course, Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights beat them by a week (or was it more?), but this is pretty dang early for a Halloween event. But I’m not complaining. I checked out the first Howl-o-Scream since 2019 last Friday. It’s great that this event, which has always been a big one for the park, is back, with three new mazes; two new TERRORtories (that is, scare zones)--Meat Market and Hexed Hollow; and two party zones with DJs (France and Festa Italia). The park is also using “roaming hordes” of scareactors to make the scare zones more lively. There was lots of chainsaw action that night. I only saw bits and pieces of the new shows: Skeletones (Italy) and Phantoms of the Festhaus (Germany). The former reminded me a bit of the old Starfright Orchestra show--only scaled down (four musicians and two singers). It was a decent way to enjoy a lunch or dinner while listening to some old holiday standards (such as the “Addams Family” theme or “Time Warp”). Phantoms featured a larger cast. The show had something to do with a sing-off to choose the “top ghoul” of the night. I caught a tiny bit of it after having a beer in the Brauhaus. Monster Stomp on Ripper Row has returned, and Jack Is Back in Ireland. But I go there for the mazes. Nevermore (Oktoberfest in the old DarKastle building)--This gothic maze was the best one of the night, with lots Edgar Allan Poe going on (particularly “The Raven” and “Masque of the Red Death”). It reminded me of Masquerage, a maze they ran one season in Festa Italia. Nothing groundbreaking, but a good, solid park haunt. KILLarney Diner (Ireland in the Battle for Eire building)--This was a fun cannibal maze with some good 1950s atmosphere, well-done sets, and a fair amount of gory stuff, but it was a bit short. It has the same problem that other mazes in the building have shared--that long, narrow exit corridor where nothing happens. Witch of the Woods (Germany, behind Verbolten)--This was their “flagship” maze, but I think it was the weakest of the new mazes on Friday night. Yes, it’s in the woods, there are creepy minions, and the Witch herself looks pretty cool, but there was no real “payoff.” Another good name for this one might be the “Island of Misfit Props.” What’s some Greek statuary and a dude in a Spartan helmet doing in here? Circo Sinistro (Festa Italia, by the Roman Rapids)--The creepy clowns and such are back, but their haunt has been changed a bit. They eliminated the “preshow” with the ringmaster and creepy girl on a swing, along with the railroad car. The result is an OK evil-circus maze. It’s really showing its age, though. Dystopia (Italy in the Pompeii building)--This returning maze is about people being turned into automatons by some mutant overlords in the not-too-distant future. This one has been hit-or-miss in the past (I think it depends on how may scare actors they have). All in all, an enjoyable, if somewhat cautious, return for Howl-o-Scream following its hiatus because of the pandemic. Most of the scare actors in the mazes who weren’t wearing full monster masks were sporting face masks--some with appropriately creepy faces painted on them. I wish I could say the same for many of the guests. As for me, I went through the mazes while masked. Here’s a look at Howl-o-Scream’s opening night. Why, hello, you sexy thing. “You better be talking about Pantheon and not my girlfriend, punk.” “Blair Witch Project 3, Subsection A: Sticks of Doom” “How many times have I told you to never play with your head! Do you wish to go blind?” Awww, aren’t you the most adorable wittle . . . . . . PLAGUE RAT? So, according to the poster in Big Ben, there’s been some “Ghastly Murder,” too? Well, isn’t that just great. Where shall we go first? May as well grab some dinner and watch the Skeletones. Hey, Edgar? Where’s your house? So turn left at the melancholy House of Usher? Thanks, pal. The message the purple lights above us bore, It shall be DarKastle . . . nevermore! Hmm--looks like the witches and demons kicked the vampires out of Vampire Point. “Excuse me, are you being helped?” Hey, are you really dating that Reaper guy out front? Well, this is another fine mess I’ve gotten myself into. Looks like they changed the menu at the Smokehouse. “Beware! Don’t order tonight’s special. It keeps coming back on me.” “Hey, don’t knock our BBQ until you try it! Right, Chauncy?” “Right, Edgar. You can beat our prices, but you can’t beat our meat!” “Hey, where ya goin’? Sheesh, make one silly pun . . .” “‘Can’t beat our meat’! How droll! Did you hear that, my dear . . . oh, that’s right. You can’t hear anything.” “I say, you now have permission to shake thy moneymakers.” “Typical guy--waits until I invite him to my place before telling me he’s a werewolf.” I wonder what the specials are here? A hot roast beef sammich sounds good. Ugh! Is this one of those truck stop/faux diner things? Yep--definitely. You can probably buy trucker hats with dirty slogans on them, too. Be sure to look at the wall menus in this scene. Jack is back, and he’s brought disco and ABBA with him! Dance! Dance or die! Pompeii may be a Dystopia, but it has cool lighting. You can party with evil clowns in Festa Italia. “Giant skull swallows park guest. Film at 11.” So, what’s shakin’ at the Festhaus? Uh oh! The guy with the scythe is sort of rapping. Time to head out . . . while I still have a head. I had to survive giant spiders . . . . . . and Ripper Row. “G’night, dearie! Pleasant dreams.” Thanks for reading.
  4. Frankenstein's Castle is a great walkthrough--lots of fun stuff inside.
  5. As they say in Colonial Williamsburg . . . I'm looking forward to riding this coaster, as opposed to just looking at it.
  6. ^My favorite Fuji Q moment was being told to put my wristwatch in a locker, only to attach the locker key to the same wrist with an elastic band.
  7. I just cleaned up some of this thread. Good people of TPR, let's restrict ourselves to discussing Cedar Point--cut out the personal attacks. If you have a personal beef with someone, take it to private messages. Theme parks are supposed to be about fun, remember? Thank you.
  8. ^I think we'll see a "special event" schedule before the regular the "regular" season, much like what they did this year. I don't think daily operation would work too well, as tourism drops off steeply in Williamsburg from January until mid-March.
  9. The dark rides have always piqued my curiosity about this water park. As Elissa said, I wish more water parks had them.
  10. That was the most frightening moment of airtime ever.
  11. The dumbest feuds are Twitter feuds. I'm simply tired of the attitude, but I guess many people find it entertaining.
  12. Although I'm looking forward to VelociCoaster, Universal has no right to be snarky about anything after opening so many lame screen-based rides over the last few years. I'm glad the the SeaWorld parks are finally in a position to start opening their new stuff. Now if we could just get Pantheon open in Virginia . . .
  13. Same--about the only thing that might bring me back to that place is Hades getting the RMC treatment.
  14. Yes--it seems to have become worse since last week, too.
  15. I'm most interested in the Bride of Frankenstein house, as I like it when they revisit the classic Universal horrors, Hill House looks good, too.
  16. Yes, "huge brawl" is an exaggeration here, but fights like this are very unusual at the Williamsburg park. In fact, I can't recall any other such incident there, but I might be mistaken. Now that donnybrook at Mt. Olympus in the Wisconsin Dells a few years ago . . . that was more of a "brawl."
  17. Saturday will be the busiest of the three days, and Quick Queue would come in handy. Bier Fest is also going on that weekend, if you're into sampling local craft brews (some breweries will have reps to talk about their beer, too). I'm going over there myself for Bier Fest today. I'm curious about the status of the Sky Ride, too (they've been testing it and training a crew).
  18. ^Same. I always liked the Roaring 20s and Roaring 20s Airfield more than the generic Boardwalk. It's nice to see Knott's pay a little "tribute" to the Roaring 20s.
  19. Hmm--I was there Friday evening and don't recall it operating (they have been training staff for it, though).
  20. Most rides should be open during Howl-o-Scream, with the exception of water rides (that's what they've done in the past, at least). Battle for Eire (simulator) and the Skyride haven't been open since 2019. I've heard nothing about Pantheon's status.
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