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Flagg O'Dim

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Everything posted by Flagg O'Dim

  1. Hey, thanks for the kudos on my trip report while I was waiting in Gold Striker's line! I didn't get a chance to ask which TPR member you were. Great rides as always on Gold Striker (bringing my total to 14). After our third ride on it, rjvader and I decided to head over to Grizzly just to say that we did. It looked like it had a less than 10 minute wait, so we took off. That's way too long to wait for Grizzly! It's awesome to be able to get off one ride and say, "Let's go ride Gold Striker."
  2. Great update! I hope that "Coming later this summer" sign doesn't mean too much later. Although I can't imagine they would miss the majority of the summer season. I'm predicting a late June/early July opening.
  3. ^Things like that is why I fear for humanity's future. I just uploaded some off-ride footage I took on media day:
  4. Thank you CGA for putting on such an incredible grand opening event for Gold Striker. I want to give a huge thanks to CGA's Roger, Ryan, Kristin and the rest of the staff who really went above and beyond to make sure everything went smoothly and amazing! I was fortunate enough to be invited as a media VIP, which came with a Gold Striker goodie bag filled with a T-shirt, gold bar USB drive and a block of wood with the logo branded on the front. Also was able to nab a Gold Striker towel for being one of the first 9,000 riders! After a short ceremony, the ribbon was cut, resulting in fireworks shooting up along the lift hill and other places as the first train of the day made its way through the course. As we were being led to the station by Ryan, some of the onlookers cheered us on. It was a cool feeling. One train was set up with the GoPro camera, so we had to wait our turn. The video came out great, and CGA even posted it on their social media websites! After nine laps during the promo shoot, my brother (TPR member rjvader) and I were finally able to ride in the very front. I love being the first into the tunnel and being able to peer down the steep descent. The infamous soundwalls that likely delayed the ride's opening actually add to the ride experience. Hand choppers are everywhere! Also, it doesn't really seem to dampen the sound much, which I was glad to hear! The only wall that I found annoying was the one coming out of the tunnel. It makes it impossible to get a good photograph of the train while you're standing in Star Tower Plaza. Gold Striker is an outstanding coaster. You really have to ride it; pictures and text don't do it justice. Here's our on ride footage, provided by CGA: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRdNdmo3OBk On to the pictures: CGA rolled out the red carpet for us! Nicely done stage. Gold nuggets! As VIPs, we were able to go inside the gates, away from the general public. Holding our Gold Striker swag, a very nice gift from CGA (and is much appreciated!). Roger Ross welcomes the crowd. Snoopy and gang cut the ribbon, and ... Whoa! Fireworks launch from the top of the Pictorium! The media is led up the exit ramp for our first ride of the day. Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews snaps a shot. We witnessed great views such as this as we waited for our turn on the front seat, and the GoPro camera. Later, we spotted these gold miners (TPR members Blue Fire Guy, robman and JeffyJosephNorCal). The line didn't get much longer than this. But that didn't stop CGA from being prepared. Maybe a bit too prepared. As a photographer, this wall is killing me. Roasting in the 95 degree weather. Let's find some shade and check out the new shop! Six Flags would be proud. Cowboy hats! Plenty of Gold Striker merchandise here. Back to the ride! You can get a good vantage point by walking halfway up the Fast Lane entrance. The view from Star Tower. What was once an abandoned Pictorium courtyard is now an area full of life. This way to a bright future. Don't need this computer-generated POV anymore! Take the wall! They may not look pretty, but the walls actually add to the ride experience. Thanks CGA for an amazing day! I can't wait to ride Gold Striker again!
  5. This whole Gold Striker on strike thing is reminding me of the InvertiFiasco of 2010, when our former beloved Vekoma didn't open until August. Obviously that was a completely different situation, but it still feels the same when I see the huge lawn ornament sitting dormant (or in Gold Striker's case, gravel ornament).
  6. Five adults on Didgeridoo Falls is the craziest thing I have ever done at the park, there is no way to even prepare the epicness/ terrifying ride that it is. So very true!
  7. Just got this press release from CGA about Memorial Day weekend events.
  8. From the permit site. They are officially soundwalls (even though we already knew). It was posted a couple days ago: http://smartpermit.santaclaraca.gov/tm_bin/tmw_cmd.pl?tmw_cmd=StatusViewCase&shl_caseno=BLD2012-28623
  9. Hey Big Mike, I second what rolercstrluvr said, it would definitely be awesome to ride Gold Striker. I'm a reporter for a newspaper that covers the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, and I think it would be cool to write an article on you when you're down here for Undertow. Hope you can make it to NorCal soon!
  10. ^They didn't say what kind of swing, only that it will be a kiddie swing ride. The S&S Jungle Swing looks like it would fit perfect!
  11. I set up a hard hat tour of Undertow at the Boardwalk today for a story that I'm working on. With a hard hat, I was able to walk up to the top of the ramp and take pictures/admire the coaster. Track work is now complete, and I was told that the remaining steel work should be finished by the end of the week. Testing should begin very soon. The Boardwalk's Kris Reyes told me that the cars are already on site, waiting to be unpacked. Still no firm opening date. This was the first time I've seen Undertow in person, and it looks great! Lots of steep banks and drops, and the color scheme has really grown on me. While it is about the same height as Hurricane, it's much wider, taking up the majority of the upper deck. What's going to happen to the kiddie rides? Jet Copters will return, along with two new attractions: Beach Swing, a kiddie swing ride, and a new 360 degree rock climbing attraction. The original rock climbing attraction by the Cave Train, which isn't 360 degrees, will be removed. On to the pictures: Hello, Undertow! Crews were installing the staircase next to the lift. Hard hat tour time! Getting a closer look at Undertow. 80 degrees! This twisted mess of track couldn't look any better. First drop. Let's get another look at Undertow from ground level. The track gets pretty close to the edge. The Boardwalk's skyline has sure changed. Thanks to Undertow, I'm sure this recognition won't be lost anytime soon. Wild mouse turn. The view from Beach Street. Other off season improvements include a new Marinis candy stand across from the carousel. This new caveman bench is going to be a hit! Fireball was testing. It's got a new look. I'm assuming the lights will be put back on. For comparison, here's what it looked like last summer. From the parking lot. So long Undertow, see you on media day!
  12. I want to thank CGA for putting on this amazing event, it really shows a commitment to the fans. And it was all free! Gold Striker ... wow. I rode it nine times, and I wanted more. Much more. Most of what I'm going to say has already been said, but it's worth repeating. This ride will leave you asking two questions: "Is it even worth riding Grizzly anymore?" and "Flight Deck who?" Yes, Gold Striker is now my new #1, with Flight Deck a very distant second. It never lets up, you will be flying out of your seat, diving into the turns, whipping around this way and that. A lot has been said about the tunnel. I will admit, I wasn't sold on it when it was first announced. OK, it's not nearly as dark as the park said it would be, but just the mere fact that it is there adds immensely to the experience. It builds anticipation as you ascend the lift hill, and once inside, it's really claustrophobic, in the best way possible. It can get pretty ear-splitting in there with a loud lift chain (move over Demon, there's a new loudest lift in the park) and screaming people. Once the train gets going, it doesn't stop, offering the same level of intensity and speed from beginning to end. Other observations: - The sound wall isn't very attractive, but who cares. - You get up close with the Pictorium while in the transfer station. One of the doors was open, and I was able to get a new look inside (lots of chairs!). - The pre-lift section took me by surprise. Very forceful. - This ride will be even better once we're able to put our hands up. - What's with those brushes on each side of the track as the train rolls into the station? - It's funny hearing the Carnevil ringmaster voice with a twang welcoming you to Gold Striker. - The Gold Striker "treasure shop" appears to have a long ways to go. - Overheard: "I thought it was just Grizzly with more wood!" Before we get to the pictures, I want to say that it was great hanging with the TPR group and meeting Roger Ross in person (I interviewed him over the phone for the newspaper I work for). Thanks again CGA! I can say a lot more, but let's get to the pictures. Quality isn't perfect, as I was using a point-and-shoot. Almost a year to the day when land clearing started, we're finally in line for Gold Striker (aka Au13, Stampede)! It's really going to happen. TPR was very well represented at the shoot. I expect the line to look like this on opening day, but with all the switchbacks full as well. We hear the lift hill start up, and I get my first glimpse of Gold Striker testing in person. It roared by faster than you could say "What's a Grizzly?" A cheer erupts at the front of the line, and they're letting us in! New overflow queue credit! Great photo ops everywhere. Waiting in line is actually fun, mainly because you see the mine cart screaming by. It's LOUD. Now they're testing with a real person, must be getting close! Very close now. Here we go, first ever Gold Striker ride (thanks Angry_Gumball for the photo)! 80 degrees, one of the many (many, many) highlights of the ride. Let's get back in line. Nine rides later and the entrance closed. Good night Gold Striker!
  13. Quick update from today. After a long hiatus, Star Tower is now open, offering great views of Gold Striker. Let's check out the new entrance for Star Tower! A lot of people were walking in throughout the day, probably thought Gold Striker was open. A nice surprise was seeing this new Star Tower plaza (as I'm calling it). Sure, it's just a slab of Cedar Fair concrete, but it has nice landscaping and plenty of benches. And of course, amazing views of Gold Striker. Going up, it's been awhile. Coke machines in Gold Striker's overflow, which will get used a lot. It's going to be hot in that area. Curvy! There is hope for a Haunt maze in the Pictorium this year. This is what you see most of the time while on Star Tower. While they weren't testing when we were there, I did see the trains parked in the station and some miners working. I always wanted to get this shot. Guests enter Star Tower plaza. This will fill up quick. I had to make sure it was all real! I guess you could call these "themed restricted area signs." So long Gold Striker! See you on media day (and hopefully on Thursday for the promo shoot)!
  14. I signed up for Thursday. Even if we don't get in, we'll all be riding Gold Striker soon.
  15. We took our first trip to Gilroy Gardens of the season yesterday (Saturday). The parking lot was dead a half hour after opening, which was a great sign. For us riders, anyway, not for the park. First ride of the day was South County Backroads, and I tried the 1920s side for the first time. Great themeing, with an epic "take the tunnel" moment! Next up was the Paddle Boats for the first time. It can be quite a workout and a challenge to steer. Hit this ride at the beginning of the day, as it fills up quickly due to extremely low capacity. Quicksilver Express is the star of the park. We got a mini-ERT session in the beginning of the day. If you sit in the front seat, watch out for the "kerchunk" part on both of the lift hills. They can be painful. I got addicted to Timber Twister! The air time in the back seat is incredible. Garlic Twirl is insane. Definitely one of the must-rides in the park. Here's a tip: It's easier to spin them counterclockwise. As we were waiting in line, we witnessed a critical error by the ride operator. He accidentally left one of the doors on a "garlic" open, and as the ride was going, it was hitting the other garlics and bashing into the railing. He quickly e-stopped the ride. When the lines are nonexistent, you can get pretty much everything done in about two hours. This is a great park to visit with its outstanding landscaping and friendly staff. I'm looking forward to visiting again. On to the pictures: A common sight at Gilroy Gardens: Empty walkways. A great kiddy coaster. I'm addicted! Offride footage of Timber Twister, with my brother (TPR member rjvader) riding: [youtu_be] [/youtu_be] Lift hill close up. Iron Rattler's trains were inspired by Timber Twister. OK, maybe not. Rock Maze, gets easier every time! (Keep hanging a right). Here's a POV of Rock Maze, with a bonus reverse POV: [youtu_be] [/youtu_be] Over by the waterfalls, what's this? There's a lookout point, and an elevator going up to it. Let's check it out! Well, scratch that. Looking inside, the elevator's still in there, but it's days of operation are long gone. Bonfante Falls offers a nice place to cool off on a hot day. Mid-day, Quicksilver Express went down, but thankfully not for too long. Let's head over to Sky Trail Monorail! It's not very thrilling, but that's the point. Looks like Quicksilver Express once had an on-ride photo booth. We hear the lift hill start up on Quicksilver Express, and it's time to ride again! I took the tunnel. Helix! Panoramic Wheel lives. This is what it looked like the last time I saw it in November. A shot of the paddle boats. Thanks for reading!
  16. The first rider event got pushed back to May 8: https://www.cagreatamerica.com/goldstriker/first-rider-auction
  17. Great report! The best part, for me, on Quicksilver Express is the second drop. Lots of airtime and "natural" headchoppers (i.e. trees)! It does need a new coat of paint badly. I can't believe how long the train is on Timber Twister. By the time the entire train gets over the lift hill, the front of it is already long past the bottom of the first drop.
  18. Great trip report, you captured the epic and "YOLO" moments of the day. And yes, it's a vibrator!
  19. Great reports and pictures everyone! The "Sees TPR member..." photo should be the next TPRMeme. I think it's hilarious!
  20. ^Thanks for clearing that up. In the five years I've been going to CGA, I've never had that problem, so I must have never noticed the magnetic locks before.
  21. Opening day was certainly busy with plenty of hiccups. But what do you expect from the first day of the season? We got there around 9:10, hoping to score a free Gold Striker cup. But everyone else had the same idea! First, the good: Gold Striker looks amazing in person, pictures really don't do it justice. The new paint and newly paved walkways in some parts gives the park a fresh, new feel. It makes Vortex look that much worse. 20-year-old Flight Deck was running great, and now there's no more netting in the line themeing. Lots of enthusiasm from most of the ride ops. The new show in the Action Theater, Happy Feet: Mumbles' Wild Ride, is fun, and throws you around quite a bit. The seats also get pretty steep at times. The bad: Operations were flat out horrible (and painfully slow). Many of the ride ops were new, reading from their scripts and often messing it up. Also, Centrifuge and Rue le Dodge now have magnetic exit locks, which the ride ops always forgot to unlock. CGA talked about double rides, but the only ride I saw (and rode) that was doing it was Drop Tower. In a way, it was a good thing, because the lines were already slow enough. Where's the themed music in the different areas? I heard Lady Gaga everywhere. I guess we should give it time. Happy Feet is a bit of an odd choice to replace Spongebob. It was popular in when, 2006? Also, the 3D is nonexistent. We waited about 40 minutes the first time, and just as we were about to go in, the ride went down due to "hydraulic problems." After 10 years of running the same program, I guess the seats were in shock. The second time around (20 minutes), we were finally able to ride it. Gold passes no longer have free preferred parking. As was mentioned before, lots of wasps, especially in Vortex's station. Endeavor seemed to be running a different program, where it would take forever to get over the top (about twice as long as normal), and when it did, it would stall upside down for a long time. I watched three cycles while waiting in line, and they all did the same thing. I'm sure I can find more to praise/complain, but I'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story. My very first photo of Gold Striker's drop. A sea of people waiting to get in. Notice the metal detectors are gone. But what ... who's that? It's Angry_Gumball, JeffyJosephNorCal, Blue Fire Guy and crew! I seriously just noticed this as I uploaded the pictures on my computer. The reason we got here early. Star Tower's entrance, now 90 percent more visible! What a bunch of nerds, taking pictures of Gold Striker ... I would never do such a thing. Nope, you'd never see any wooden coasters on my SD card. Did I mention how crowded it was? Roger Ross welcomes the crowd. We see you hiding, Snoopy. The ribbon is cut, and ... Confetti! Water! Charlie Brown high fives the crowd. A little later in the day, I did a huge Gold Striker photo shoot, amassing more than 100 photos. Gold Striker's entrance. Former Carousel Souvenirs shop, now themed to Gold Striker. It has to be an illusion. Lift hill work, it looks like they were placing the anti-rollback. I have a bunch more photos, but let's move on to some off-season improvements ... ... such as a new Berserker sign! Subway. Barney Oldfield's got a makeover. A spruced-up Psycho Mouse station. Centrifuge looks great with a new coat of paint. Logger's Run now has a drying booth, similar to Rip Roaring Rapids. "Oops, we forgot to put on the Snoopy sticker! Quick, before anyone notices!" And the most pointless removal of the year award goes to ... ... Kidzville River Adventure. But look, it's still here! Happy Feet ... the anti-Spongebob! Kind of a bizarre choice for a replacement, but I enjoyed it. Lastly, the new parking lot, or as I like to call it, the "highway." I mean, seriously, it feels like you're trying to walk across Highway 101. You have to walk over four lanes, with no crosswalks, and people like to haul ass. I even think there is less parking than the old configuration. Here's one for you LED light fans, if there are any. A shot of the 49ers stadium. Thanks for reading!
  22. The Boardwalk said Undertow will open in June. They're still waiting for the track pieces to arrive from Germany. Should be pretty soon, hopefully. From the Big Kahuna Club newsletter: http://us1.campaign-archive2.com/?u=d7425a38ca1adb30fd8c787ab&id=7ac763896f
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