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Flagg O'Dim

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Everything posted by Flagg O'Dim

  1. From the map, it appears Picnic Pavilion is getting a fancy new entrance from the parking lot.
  2. I attended a back stage tour of CGA on Saturday. First off, huge thanks to CGA's Roger, Ryan, Tyler, Clayton and everyone else who made this event possible. We all really appreciated it, and got even more excited for the season to start! This season won't feature a new ride, but CGA is improving nearly every aspect of the park instead. Cedar Fair continues to invest heavily in the park, and the results are everywhere. - Flight Deck's new paint job: After seeing it in person, I'm completely sold on it. After getting overlooked during its 20th season last year (and understandably so, because the park was focused on Gold Striker), CGA decided to give it a new color scheme and make it stand out, mainly because national TV audiences will get a glimpse of it once the 49ers season starts up. - New food options: With a new food director, CGA is expanding its menu with new food locations and an all-day dining pass. - Peanuts Party Zone: Gone is the Kidzville shooting range, and in its place is a new space to rent out for birthday parties. But don't worry, the characters in the shooting range will show up in a different capacity. - New shows: #Playlist (an expansion of last year's Pop Fusion), Aerial Ice Extreme. On Broadway will return. - Coasting For Kids: CGA wants to keep growing this event. This year it's on June 8. For information, visit http://www.coastingforkids.org. - Haunt: New maze, new attraction, and "more monsters than ever before." The new maze will be like nothing else seen before at Haunt, we were told. (And, taking a dig at Zombie High, CGA said it will be finished by opening weekend). Also, expect more unexpected features throughout the park, similar to the flamethrowers last year. One maze will be retired. - Free Friday Night Flicks will have a larger screen. - Many more special events/capital improvements for this season will be announced soon (no, it's not a new ride). CGA surprised all of us by having Xtreme Skyflyer open for business. I tried it out for the first time, and I wanted to go again! The rain has finally stopped, just in time for the start of the tour. Here, Roger and Ryan tell us we're going to have a funnel cake and deep fried Oreo breakfast. First look at Gold Striker since October. Thankfully, nothing has changed. Before we get in line for funnel cakes, Ryan invites us to check out the refurbished second floor of Columbia, featuring all new wood. The plate. Going up to the Consulate, a super-exclusive area of the park. Roger tells us about the history of the Consulate and some of the VIPs who have stayed there. A lot of major park decisions have been made in this room. Before we left, we signed our names in the guestbook to become a part of CGA history. It's now time to check out the progress on Flight Deck's new paint. The three stages: (From right) Old, primer, new. It's taking 8,000 gallons to paint the coaster. A rare shot you could never get during a normal day at the park (lots of opportunities for those on this tour). New for 2014: Rip Roaring Rapids Avenue! OK, maybe not, but it was fun to climb in the rafts. The landscape crew has been busy throughout the park. Here, large trees that blocked the view of the '50s Gazebo have been replaced. The last time you will see this sign. Hot Diggity Dogs will be replaced. Leftover from Haunt. Happy Feet will return. Employees get ready for training on Delirium. "Anybody want to see a water park without water?" The response was a unanimous "yes." Logger's Run was getting some work. "Free. Take one." You can get a good view of Levi's Stadium from Boomerang Bay. New cabanas line the wave pool. White Water Falls' boats are a little far from home. Time to leave Boomerang Bay. With Flight Deck's new paint job, you can see it in places you never knew you could before. We all nerded out on this. Churro Factory will replace this. The shooting gallery in Kidzville has been gutted and will be replaced by Peanuts Party Zone. Remnants of an old gym were found behind the shooting gallery. Unfortunately, adults still won't be able to go on Taxi Jam by themselves. I asked. "Pull out your Scantrons and No. 2 pencils." It's time for a presentation in Joe Cool Cafe on what's new for 2014. The new look for Flight Deck's wheel covers. On our way to the coaster repair shop, I couldn't resist the opportunity to have my picture taken by the back of Centrifuge. The popcorn cart by Columbia will be completely restored. In the shop. One of many "nerd out" moments. Need a spare OTSR? A new red stripe is painted over Flight Deck's car numbers. Hmm... New wood on Grizzly. One more section and the entire track will have been redone in the last few years. Some trees have been trimmed around Demon, making its loops more visible from the walkway. "It's tough to take one of your top five rides and bury it," Roger said. Auntie Anne's will take part of Frankie's Pizza's spot. We stopped by Xtreme Skyflyer. I wonder what for? Going up! Definitely the highlight of the visit that included a lot of highlights! (Photo by robman) And that's a wrap. Thank you CGA for the tour! 2014 will be another great season!
  3. Ready for some Haunt news in February? CGA applied for a permit yesterday to build a new 4,500-square-foot structure for Haunt: http://smartpermit.santaclaraca.gov/tm_bin/tmw_cmd.pl?tmw_cmd=StatusViewCase&shl_caseno=BLD2014-34147 Good to see that they're getting a head start. Hopefully this new maze (if that's what it is) will be in a more finished state by opening night (Zombie High, anyone?).
  4. Great report, thanks for sharing! I really enjoyed Holiday Lights this year. Quicksilver Express is even better at night, it was pitch-dark (and freezing cold) the last time I rode it. Looks like land clearing has started to pick up on the new water area. I'm looking forward to seeing it next season.
  5. Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but I have a hunch that CGA is going to announce an extended operating season for next year. They posted this picture on Facebook today with the caption "Why does this kid have the run of the park in December?" And they posted this one last week: "Action from our Holiday video shoot today. Stay tuned!" Wasn't Matt Ouimet quoted somewhere as saying the park is looking into extending season to coincide with the 49ers?
  6. I went to Gilroy Gardens' annual Holiday Lights for the first time on Saturday. I was able to get in for free thanks to my 2013 California's Great America Gold Pass (really got a lot of mileage out of it this year). The light displays are pretty spectacular. The park opens at 3 p.m., but at that time, it's a little too bright to be able to see any of the displays. Once darkness starts to fall around 5 p.m. that's when the park really starts to shine (literally). Night rides on Quicksilver Express and Timber Twister were some of the highlights of the night, even if it was freezing cold! Some of the trees around Quicksilver Express are lit up, but for the most part, you're in complete darkness. Going down the second drop in complete darkness is pretty amazing. The Waterfall Illumination show at Bonfante Falls was fun to watch. I took a video of it: [youtu_be] [/youtu_be] On to the pictures: The park's entrance gives you a taste of what you're going to be seeing a lot: Lights! Attendance was a bit lackluster, but at Gilroy Gardens, that's the norm. Wish I took this picture when it was darker, but Panoramic Wheel had its own mini light show. At first, I thought the amount of tables was excessive for the holiday feast, but it was quite full later on in the night. Many ride queues had their own decorations. This was Timber Twister's queue. People gather for Waterfall Illumination, a really cool display of lights that are synchronized to music. Most of Bonfante Falls is closed off, and for good reason: You don't want to be walking underneath the waterfalls in this weather. But of course, off-limits areas do not apply to irresponsible parents. The show is about to begin! South County Backroads (aka "the car ride") is themed to the 12 Days of Christmas. The lights are hardly noticeable during daylight. Once night hit, this ride had a long line (for Gilroy Gardens, that is). We wanted to punish ourselves with a freezing-cold ride on Mushroom Swing, but it was down when we got in line. I'll end this with a construction update for Gilroy Gardens' new water area. Land clearing is still going on. They removed a circus tree on the property since my last visit. This is what the area looked like in mid-November. Workers dug around the circus tree and built a box around it for transportation. A hole is all that is left now.
  7. Thomas Tissot uploaded an album of Haunt music. Zombie High's and Dia de los Muertos' songs are up, and, at last, Club Blood: http://thomastissot.bandcamp.com/album/some-halloween-music
  8. Undertow will stay open throughout the limited operation schedule, and a grand opening event is scheduled for spring:
  9. I rode Undertow for the first time today (never thought I'd write that sentence this year!). The reviews are spot on, it's a great addition to the Boardwalk's lineup. While it's nothing mind-blowing, it's a perfect family coaster, with plenty of unexpected moments for the thrill-seekers. We got there about an hour after all the rides opened, but Undertow hadn't opened yet. I asked the ride operator when it might open, and he said about a half-hour. Unfortunately, this half-hour turned into two hours, and I was starting to lose hope that it would open. Later, after purchasing tickets ($6 ... a little steep), I got in line. The queue is unfinished at the moment, with temporary ropes. I was a little surprised about how small the car is, for a second I thought my legs weren't going to fit. Also, kudos to the Boardwalk for not having seatbelts. The dispatches were lightning fast. The ride itself is a little tame in some parts. My favorite moments were the first drop (lots of speed) and the 80-degree banked turn (I ended up facing straight down, had a nice little moment of hangtime). I was taken off guard when the car started spinning, it gave me a nice disorienting effect. The ride is extremely smooth, which is a huge contrast compared to the pain riders suffered in this location for the past 20 years (Hurricane). When I got off, the ride broke down. Made it just in time! I hope the Boardwalk is able to fix whatever glitches this ride may have. If it can't run for more than 10 minutes without breaking down, it doesn't bode well for its reliability in the future. However, from what I heard on Saturday, Undertow was running smoothly throughout the day. Like I said before, Undertow is a great addition to the Boardwalk, and is light years better than Hurricane. I hope that it runs throughout the limited operation schedule to give mechanics time to work out the kinks before next summer. 14 months after it was first announced, I'm finally ready to ride Undertow. But why are all the ride operators standing around? This doesn't look too good. This ride operator had to keep telling people that it was going to open "within a half-hour." A half-hour turned into two hours. The only signage for Undertow. I imagine it will get something better next year. A while later, the lift hill starts up. Getting close to opening. This guy was pumping up the crowd. Time to ride! Going up. Probably the fastest lift hill I've been on. Going down! This girl that sat next to me was terrified. Heading into the 80-degree banked turn backwards. In the brake run. Undertow is a winner! Bonus shot! Giant Dipper looks fantastic with its new paint job.
  10. Many thanks to CGA for inviting me to the Media/VIP event for Halloween Haunt's opening night. The food was great, and Madame Marie's interaction with us was hilarious! In addition to the dinner, being VIPs we were given a one-time use front of the line pass (which we later used for Dia de los Muertos), two pairs of 3D glasses and Gold Striker ERT. After my brother (rjvader) and I checked in and entered the park, we ran into CGA's Roger and Ryan, who told us that Gold Striker was open. It was truly a walk on, no line whatsoever, and I was told to sit wherever I wanted. I chose row 12, which gives great airtime going down the first drop. With the exception of a few people riding in the front, the entire train was empty, a pretty surreal experience. Using our VIP passes, the security guard let us into the area that was blocked off to the public. We headed over to Madame Marie's Voodoo Chophouse, where we met up with Angry_Gumball and his neighbor. Once we watched the opening ceremony, we dashed to the back of the park, which is always a great idea. Toy Factory, Zombie High and Cornstalkers all had less than two minute waits. I say this every year, but it's true: This was the busiest opening night I've been to. As with every opening night, some missteps are to be expected. I was disappointed in the music this year, which is always a high point. With the exception of Toy Factory, Carnevil and Werewolf Canyon, none of the mazes have their songs playing in the queue. This was most noticable with Madame Marie's Massacre Manor. That great, creepy song only played inside the maze, and the line only had the generic heavy metal music that played throughout the park. Underworld Alley's song was too quiet, and Dead Man's Cove's song is gone completely. Some thoughts on the mazes, ranked from best to worst: Dia de los Muertos (x2): This maze stood out above the rest, and after waiting 45 minutes the first time (which was worth it), it was a no-brainer to use my front of the line pass the second time. The level of detail is outstanding. Also, I think this is the first maze to have an elevated section, where you walk up a ramp and look down to the next part. The Club Blood bar scene makes a comeback, complete with a dancer and a new coat of paint. For me, the highlight of the maze was the jungle room. While I enjoyed Club Blood's remake last year, Dia de los Muertos is an excellent replacement. The 3D was a little blurry, but it didn't detract from the great experience I had with this maze. Also, I'm looking forward to streaming the song if Thomas Tissot uploads it. Carnevil (x1): The oldest maze, but still one of the best. Great song, detailed rooms and lots of enthusiasm from the actors, even though it seemed a little understaffed. Madame Marie's Massacre Manor (x1): A year later and I still can't get over how much detail this maze has. Solid maze all around. Cornstalkers (x2): I enjoyed Cornstalkers' new look. The three different paths at the beginning add a new twist that isn't seen on any other maze, even if they aren't staffed. The maze is a little shorter, but I think it's for the better. Werewolf Canyon (x1): Well, look who has moved up in the ranks! While this maze has nothing new, the actors really made the maze with their enthusiasm. Who would've thought Werewolf Canyon would be the most staffed maze in the park? Zombie High (x2): The second of the new mazes this year, and unfortunately it was just OK. Visiting the park last Sunday, I saw many props stacked outside the newly-built shed, and I thought there was no way they would finish the maze in time for opening night. Turns out I was right. The facade they put on the shed looks painfully unfinished, and I noticed one wall of the maze was essentially bare plywood with a few drops of "blood" on it. At times, this maze felt like Slaughterhouse with the lights turned on. Overall, though, Zombie High had a good amount of detail, and I enjoyed the dance floor and the monster on springs. Chairs from the Pictorium were used for the theater portion of the maze. Slaughterhouse (x1): Haunt's newly revamped maze in 2011 now looks outdated and simple, due to the immensely detailed Madame Marie's and Dia de los Muertos. It wasn't bad (the "song" fits perfect and adds so much more atmosphere to the maze). At least it kept its "squishy" part, unlike the next and last maze... Toy Factory (x1): First maze of the night, and everything was going great. The actors were in character, the new rooms gave the maze a fresh feel, the song was catchy and annoying as always ... and then we got to the end. One of the best parts of any maze, the inflatable walls, has been removed, instead replaced with stacks of boxes. My guess is that it was removed to help capacity. Besides this, the maze was good, but the feeling of disappointment I felt leaving Toy Factory makes it end up at the bottom of this list. New in 2013, Fun House Express in the Action Theater is a great addition to Haunt. It's being shown in the left side of the theater, which means Happy Feet is done for the season. For the scare zones, Gauntlet was by far the best. I will let the pictures tell the rest of the story: We're here at CGA, this time as Haunt VIPs! Got our front of the line and Chophouse dinner passes, and we're ready to go. Which is your favorite? For me, it was Dia de los Muertos. But first, we couldn't resist Gold Striker ERT, bringing my lap total to 38. The fried chicken restaurant is transformed into Madame Marie's Voodoo Chophouse. Madame Marie welcomed us to the reception, and promised to take our souls later. Angry_Gumball taking a picture of me taking a picture of him. Food! More upscale than Fright Feast (formerly Boofet) which was taking place at the same time. Madame Marie's "pets" stayed with us. She's got her eyes on you, Angry_Gumball. Flamethrowers! This looked amazing at night. The monsters have been unleashed. It's going to be a busy night. Overlord's Resurrection was top notch. Eh. The surprise of the night: Werewolf Canyon. This werewolf was keeping the line entertained. Gauntlet time! "Get my good side!" Hey, this guy looks familiar. It's TPR member robman! It's time to check out Dia de los Muertos, which means some new angles to photograph Gold Striker. This 45-minute line was cut to 20 seconds thanks to Fright Lane. Hello, Pictorium! Carnevil is consistently one of the best mazes every year. It looks excessive now, but this will be full in the near future. Angry_Gumball taking a picture of me taking a picture of him ... again! Blue Fire Guy snaps a shot of Jack. So long Happy Feet, welcome Fun House Express. Action Theater at night, a first for me. Will the right side ever be used again? A short clip was playing on the TV screens. Time for our second round of Zombie High. The facade is unfinished at best. Zombie High's exit leads you through most of Cornstalkers' original layout, but without the cornstalks and scarecrows. The exit meets up with Cornstalkers'. Great views of Grizzly to be had here. Not much to see here. OK, this is cool. Underworld Alley: Now with more fog and less monsters! Earlier I said the flamethrowers looked great at night. I couldn't stop taking pictures of them. Occasionally, all the flamethrowers go off at once. My camera freaked out, and no, Columbia didn't blow up. Thanks to the VIP pass, we were able to get preferred parking, letting me get this shot of Gold Striker that I've always wanted. Good night CGA!
  11. The summer crowds are gone, which means it's a good time to visit CGA. Gold Striker's wait was anywhere between a walk-on and five minutes. Fattened up my lap count, from 22 to 30! Rode twice in the morning, then my brother and I ended the last hour of our day with six in a row. As rolercstrluvr mentioned, the walls have grown significantly. If you thought you couldn't see the train when it exited the tunnel before, wait until you see it now. It's practically invisible. Also, the second tunnel is now connected (via a wall) to the Prudential turn half-tunnel. Notes from the day: - Even though Black Widow's Cavern is no more, that didn't stop CGA from decorating Logger's Run's station with the same props! Kind of odd. - Cornstalker's new look is intriguing. The "stay away from my truck" part is now right next to Demon's corkscrew, and from the parts I could see, the maze looks much tighter and less wide-open (at least at the beginning). - Every door on the Pictorium was wide open, even the former entrance doors (that now lead to a steep drop-off). Caught a glimpse of some artwork for Dia de los Muertos inside. - Haunt hearse is now parked right in the middle of the Invertigarden (how fitting). - ...Grizzly was actually kind of fun!
  12. Since there isn't a designated Gilroy Gardens discussion thread, I'll bump my old thread. In mid-August, Gilroy Gardens announced on their Facebook page that they will be adding a new water area for 2014. Besides a few concept images, little details were announced. I did some digging and found plans that the park presented to the Gilroy City Council, and I wrote an article for the newspaper I work for. I've posted it here: I visited the park yesterday to check out if any progress has been made. So far, none, because a petting zoo is set up on half of the site. I did, however, find something interesting: Fast Lane is now at the park! Seriously, they must really think the new water park is going to be a hit next year. Fast Lane is now available for every ride. The entrances are located at the rides' exits. The new area is being promoted throughout the park. Signs line the exit. A look at the site. The entrance to the petting zoo. If I read the plans correctly, this should be the entrance to the new water area. This will be how you get to the large water park that Gilroy Gardens has planned for the future.
  13. ^That's a good point. It will help reduce downtime. I was thinking in terms of crowds, because by September the Pepsi can and dollar night promotions will be over, which, in my experience, is the busiest time of the year for the Boardwalk. I was also going to say that it would miss its "Summer 2013" opening date, but looking at the calendar, summer doesn't end until Sept. 21.
  14. !!! Next week is now-or-never time for Undertow. It wouldn't make much sense to open it in September when the Boardwalk goes to weekend-only operation.
  15. Zombie High's structure is now up. It's a clone of Madame Marie's shed. Extremely busy at the park today. At 10:30, Gold Striker's line was stretching into Star Tower's entrance, and didn't get much better throughout the day. Even Centrifuge's overflow was full! Although, Boomerang Bay was dead from 11-1, which led to some mini-ERT on all the slides.
  16. A co-worker of mine said she saw Undertow testing yesterday. I'm starting to get my hopes up.
  17. ^Interesting. I've definitely seen it have technical issues from the times I've been there. I got word from the Boardwalk that some parts for Undertow had a six-week delay from the manufacturer, which has set them back considerably. They're still hopeful for late August.
  18. I rode Gold Striker for the first time with the new tunnel yesterday. I'm a fan! It gives a great headchopper effect. I think the new themed music is hit-and-miss. Orleans Place has jazzy music, All American Corners has '50s music (it did fit pretty well when we waited for Orbit) and Celebration Plaza has marching band tunes. County Fair and Action Zone seemed to be playing the same old iPod playlist. Also, Boomerang Bay seemed to have more reggae music than I remembered. Kudos to CGA for trying to add some distinctive atmosphere to the areas. While it didn't do too much for me, I appreciate the effort.
  19. ^We actually headed to Grizzly after riding Gold Striker. I don't know how a nearly empty station (2-train wait) can result in a 20-minute wait, but it did. The operations are just pathetic. Out of the 10 ride operators in the station, only three seemed to be working (checking seats, dispatching the train). Kudos to the ride operator at the control booth, having people do the wave while they were waiting in the brake run and giving high-fives as the train passed through. Good, but busy, day at Boomerang Bay. Words cannot describe just how epic a five-man run on Didgeridoo Falls is. Let's just say I almost inverted on some of the walls. Had an epic fail moment on Castaway Creek. I tried, a little too enthusiastically, to jump on my inner tube, but I ended up flipping over backwards into the water. It was great to experience the rush of strikin' gold twice yesterday, for a total of 17 laps. I definitely need to beef up this number.
  20. Get your rides in on Gold Striker while you still can ... From the permit site, dated today. http://smartpermit.santaclaraca.gov/tm_bin/tmw_cmd.pl?tmw_cmd=StatusViewCase&shl_caseno=BLD2012-28623
  21. "3 ... 2 ... 1... TAKE THE TUNNEL!" That empty area by the train tracks is actually used for a petting zoo (with lots of goats) later in the season. I much rather prefer a flat ride or two though. While the park has been dead nearly every time I've been there, there was one time late last season when it was absolutely packed. Nearly the entire overflow for the car ride was full, and we waited an hour or so for Rainbow Garden. Even Quicksilver Express was using one row of its overflow! Great report. Actually, everyone had that idea for CGA. It was packed!
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