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Everything posted by vistaway

  1. Nothing done at all to what was Ontario Place - all the buildings are there and most are locked up. The park grounds only opened back up to the public a few weeks ago. They did turn what was the old employee parking lot into a beautiful new park, which was in the plans. But that's all that has been done so far. The other 90% sits and rots.
  2. I was just there today...and here's what the ride looks like now... The flume then and now Just behind me was the lift/show building Weird how they half-ass filled-it in. I love that the signs remain
  3. To be fair, this is the CW thread, and their new rides are almost always ready for opening day. Maybe one exception in decades?
  4. Looking good! Have they said if it will be open Friday? Seems possible.
  5. Yes, they probably will. When I was there, all EPs other than the least-popular ride combination were sold out an hour before park opening. I got mine online a few weeks in advance (there are a few legit authorized sellers, such as Klook or Voyagin). Dino had a single rider line when I was there, but as Garet mentioned, the quoted wait is not much less than the normal queue. Dino single rider was still nearly 3 hours when I was there. But I did find that USJ over-quotes their wait times. Still, single rider is not a magic bullet to skip queues there. However, May 10 and 11 are forecast to be super-quiet days according to http://www15.plala.or.jp/gcap/usj/. So you should be able to get everything done in your plan with just an EP-4, I think.
  6. Ah, right. Well, still looking great a year later. One of my few must-rides whenever I am at the park. I wish they could ditch the OTSRs, but that's a minor quibble.
  7. It was a holiday Monday (spring equinox) but the crowds in the preceding weeks were supposedly even higher due to spring breaks. And Jaws was down the previous week as well, further reducing park capacity, so I wanted to wait it out. When Minions opens, that will surely help, as it's a double theatre (old BTTF), but yeah, that park needs a lot more people-eaters! Nintendo World will help (3 attractions) but I think it will drive crowds further. My plan of attack worked pretty well...it went like this: - bought Express 4 passes (Flying Dino, Hollywood Dream, Backdraft and Jaws) ahead of time...which was good, as all EPs were sold out prior to park opening - arrived an hour before posted opening - entered at 7:50 am (40 min before posted opening) - ran to Harry Potter and rode Forbidden Journey - ~30 min wait - rode Jaws on standby - ~25 min wait - rode Flying Dino using Express Pass - 10 min wait - Spiderman standby - 130 min wait (posted was 150) - T23D standby - 30 min wait - Backdraft standby - 10 min wait (didn't need the EPs) - Hollywood Dream via EP - 10 min wait - Jurassic Park standby - 30 min wait - Jaws via EP - 5 min wait - Forbidden Journey (had to get a HP land timed entry ticket earlier in the day to get back into the land) - standby with 30 min wait I had my wife and two kids, so this was not in ride warrior mode. We watched streetmosphere shows, strolled the kids' area, shopped, and ate lunch at Finnegan's (table service), plus the wand show (I was chosen!) and playing with wand magic in Hogsmeade. So it's still possible to get a lot done despite the crowds, but I think an Express Pass - even a cheaper 4-ride one - will make the day so much better.
  8. I survived a typically busy day at USJ on Monday, but still managed to get on everything I wanted (although none of the Cool Japan attractions, which all had 200-300 minute waits). Here are some photos. Pre-opening crowds at 7:30 am or so. The park opened at 7:50 am - 40 minutes before posted opening time. Get there early! My first time trying hot Butterbeer (I wasn't a fan) Jaws just came back from a rehab and was looking great! These nets under Flying Dinosaur look terrible Nets everywhere Busy day! Part of the 210 minute queue for Dino. Single Rider was 190 min. One year already? Turkey leg popcorn was awesome! Minions Park is almost complete. A Titan in the Cool Japan area. DragonQuest was also open, but I didn't check it out. It's hard to read, but that's a 3 hour queue for SINGLE RIDERS! Want to be able to cast spells without a mob of people? Wait until after park close. We played around a bit in Hogsmeade after the 9pm closure. The staff didn't seem bothered as they had not cleared the area yet.
  9. Yeah, it was an oops on my part. But it meant a week less of missing school for my kids, so the timing was a compromise. Still, at TDS we did Tower, Journey, 20,000 Leagues x 2, Sinbad x 2, Indy x 2, Aquatopia, carrousel, and Fortress Explorations, plus a break at the hotel and Fantasmic. I can't complain! TDL was similar - we missed Space and Splash but hit all the other D and E tickets.
  10. A few more photos... Busy day...this was 30 min after rope drop Mid-afternoon and no FP left Even in the rain, Dreamlights is the best night parade Backside of Tower Fantasmic with the inflatable domes almost getting torched.
  11. I just left TDR today but was lucky enough to stay on the 12th floor of the Sheraton. Great views of the Fantasyland and Tomorrowland expansion from there. They have demolished the speedway completely (good riddance!) and are moving a ton of dirt around. The expansion literally looks to be a quarter of the park size. It's huge! Over in TDS, SeaRider is starting to come out from behind tarps, with a bright blue colour scheme. Soarin' is also coming along quickly. They were driving piles all day long during my visit. We had two wet and cold days at the parks, which were very busy, despite the weather (it's spring break here). Still, strategic Fastpass usage allowed us to get on everything we wanted. Loved the refreshed Jungle Cruise at night - it really changed the experience. Fantasmic on Tuesday was interesting. It got very, very windy after it started, so they stopped using the water screens, then couldn't get the inflatable domes back into the barges, and then skipped the fireworks. Of course, being TDR, they apologized for the modified show. We had a similar experience Monday when they pulled the dancers from Dreamlights mid-route due to rain, but kept all the floats going. Fantasyland expansion
  12. Re: the pirate ships, the onsen (spa) had a great year-by-year history of the parks on the walls. The small one actually came first, and then the giant double ships in 1985. So I am guessing that the first small one was really popular, which pushed them to get the big ones. They were only running one ship the day I was there, which was fine as the capacity of a single one is insane. Each ship has two lap bars per row, and I am guessing could fit 10-12 across. It's at least twice as wide and long as a typical pirate ship ride. The experience was similar to a regular one, IMHO. The cycle was pretty long. I'm not a fan of these rides as much as I used to be, so I tend to favour the middle rows. But it felt like a typical ship. I really liked their kids' area. I didn't realize they moved some big rides out of there to create it. Makes sense.
  13. I definitely get the Blackpool feel, although there is still plenty of open space between rides, which I don't recall as much of at BPB. They do have expansion room too, so the ride positioning seems to be by choice and not necessity. Agreed about the first gen drop tower. I had forgotten how properly scary those are!
  14. Yes, it does. They also have what seems to be a Nagashima trademark of wanding you down with a metal detector in the station just prior to riding. They had the ride down for a few hours yesterday afternoon but reopened it for the last few hours. The queue was 15 minutes most of the day. This was my first visit to the park and I really liked it. Definitely see the Cedar Point comparisons. When we arrived they told us that Steel Dragon was down. That wasn't cool, but whatever. We rode the Arashi first, then Acrobat (Manta clone) using the 500jpy express pass (one train operation meant a 60 minute queue!). The longest wait was for White Cyclone, at 40 minutes, since I wasn't going to pay for the express pass. That was one hell of a rough ride. What a shame, because I like the layout. We rode all the rest of the coasters and unique flats with minimal waits. Ultra Twister was closed, but looks amazing with a new coat of paint. We loved the bobcarts, haunted house, double giant pirate ship, and the unique kids rides. The 50 year old Jet Coaster was better than I expected. By 2pm, I saw a line in front of Steel Dragon's station. They opened it soon after! I loved it - like Magnum, but bigger, smoother and just better in every way. After the park, we hit the spa (onsen). I have to say, after getting over the being naked part, spending an hour bathing in hot springs is the perfect way to end a theme park day! Skip the queue for $5. Convenient vending machine right there. Shiny new paint Arashi fits in nicely So many pirate ships! Loved Steel Dragon! Didn't love White Cyclone, but she's a beauty.
  15. Thanks for the comments...that's exactly what I needed to hear. Getting on this is not super important - I can ride one at SFGAm this summer. So I think I will go on the 9th and if it's open, super, if not, no big deal. Oh, and I have my USJ Express Passes for Flying Dino already
  16. So it opens Friday, March 10. I could go that day, or March 9, which I had planned on. On one hand...I could go March 10 and ride a new coaster on opening day...on the other, I would guess the park would be significantly-busier that day. Or do I go on the 9th and chance it soft opening...
  17. That Tsum Tsum scooper machine looks awesome! Must find one on my next trip! I haven't been inside Sega Joypolis since 1999. I assume it's changed a LOT since then?
  18. That's awesome - thanks Elissa. I know my 8-year old would love it. Maybe I'll take the 12-year old to La Qua while they are doing that... Or we just skip Kidzania and spend the day at Tobu Zoo
  19. I might add Kidzania to our March trip, but what do you think the max age would be? Is 12 too old? Was there much of a language barrier? Sure doesn't look like there was.
  20. I was on the fence about hitting this park on our March Japan trip, but your TRs (this and previous ones) pushed me to book three nights in Nagoya. Can't wait. Seeing those trains on Steel Dragon is bizarre but cool.
  21. We visited Kennywood yesterday and had a great time. Got there at 10:45 and we were able to hit every coaster, plus all the key flats, Ghostwood Estates, Noah's Ark x 4, and the water rides (except the rapids) by 3:00 pm. Pretty much a walk-on for everything. Cannot beat that! It had been five years since our last visit, and although not much had changed, the park looked great and operations were excellent. No need for the VIP Tour! It's such a photogenic place. No lines! Thunderbolt was a walk-on all day As was Phantom This was my first time riding Kangaroo - can't believe I had missed it on previous visits!
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