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Immel Man

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Everything posted by Immel Man

  1. While showing a co-worker a video of the Crystal Beach Cyclone: "It reminds me of Colossus."
  2. Usually it's because I'm too ripped. Have to back off on the bench press for a couple weeks until my chest dimensions decrease to a coaster-suitable size.
  3. It's an absolute crime that no Japanese parks have done this. Premature to assume anything before it opens, but I think Wodan could easily be GCI's best.
  4. Glad to see this officially announced as a lot of people have been expecting this for a while. Looks like it will be positioned between the main hotel and wedding pavillion. I'd like to see the older Grand Floridian hotel rooms upgraded to the new standard as well. Last I was there they lagged behind some of the newer/remodeled deluxe offerings.
  5. I worked front desk and concierge at the Yacht & Beach Club as a CP in 2009, so I'm more than a little biased, but I do feel that all things considered it is the best all-around resort at WDW. Only drawback is the lack of monorail access (plenty of our guests just assumed the monorail stopped here when they made their reservations and they made a very strong point about coming to the desk to yell at us once they realized it didn't), but being a few minutes walking distance from Epcot makes up for it. I remember several times when one of my managers would offer me an early-out on slow days and I'd simply walk out the back door of the lobby and spend the rest of my day playing "Drunk Mission Space" at Epcot! Yacht Club was always the easier of the two to work at. More business travelers and fewer familes with kids. Beach Club also had the DVC villas which gave us a few hundred more guests to deal with on that side. Yacht would get painfully slow though when there wasn't a convention or something. I stopped back in this past summer and one of my old bosses mentioned they're planning to close the resort in phases some time in 2012/13 to remodel the public areas and add proper quick service dining. The rooms were redone in 09 so I wouldn't expect major changes there. Hopefully its done in the same tasteful, upscale manner as the rennovations to Grand Floridian's lobby.
  6. Guys, attendance at Knott's is not going to simply nosedive in one season just because other SoCal parks announce new attractions and Knott's doesn't. They'll be just fine and won't be "left in the dust." Wait- here's an idea! Why doesn't Cedar Fair just announce that they will be putting California's Great America INSIDE Knott's Berry Farm! Solves two problems for CF and then Knott's will never decline....
  7. Living in a city with real theme parks again after I peace out from Vegas at the end of this year... That and Skyrush plus finally riding some decent wooden coasters on my midwest/east coast trip!
  8. Marathoning Dueling Dragons in the rain with about ten other people for me! Didn't make it to any new parks this year and my only new credit was Cheetah Hunt. That should change drastically in 2012 though.
  9. I don't see a problem with B&M's having similar layouts at all. All of the older B&M's built in the early 90's had many features no one had ever seen before. A few Vekomas had their version of the cobra roll (boomerang in Vekoma speak) and Arrow had their own batwing element, but who had ever seen anything like interlocking corkscrews, dive loops, immelmans, zero-g-rolls, inclined loops, or loops circling lift hills. Plus every element B&M built was far larger and more impressive than the competition's. You could not have asked for them to be any more innovative. Each time they come out with a distinctively different type of coaster they always come up with some new features for it. B&M simply found combinations that works and the continued strong sales of their decade-old models more than justifies sticking with a proven formula. They throw something new at us every now and then. Besides the same exact elements often feel very different from one ride to the next.
  10. I'm all for a record breaking-looper as long as there is at least some substance to the ride. That means a custom layout (no Colossus derivative) with a few non inversion elements thrown in as well. An air hill and helix somewhere along the circuit would be enough. An entirely new inversion would be a great idea too if they could come up with something good.
  11. I can't wait to hear some more reviews! The finished product looks great. Black Mamba should give Voyage some tough competition for best new coaster this year.
  12. Rattler at SFFT is in a whole nother league of roughness compared to Psyclone, Mean Streak, and Son of Beast. I held my hands up on the first drop and ended up knocking heads with the guy next to me. It didn't just feel rough, it felt like the cars were practically jumping around from rail to rail.
  13. Not all Cedar Fair parks strictly enforce it. I've gotten multiple re-rides on Xcelerator, Silver Bullet and Supreme Scream at Knott's in the last month. If crowds are light they usually let it slide. Another thing about Cedar Fair people have to keep in mind is that they won't automatically pour concrete everywhere and strip a park of it's atmosphere just because they can. Knott's and Dorney are exceptions because they had hardly any room left to expand. They had to overhaul entire areas to add any type of major attraction (they still could have done a better job though). These Paramount parks don't have that problem. They are not going to lay down a big slab of concrete over an existing area at King's Island when they still have a few hundred acres left.
  14. What's with all the Coke enthusiasts on this site? I'm practically doing cartwheels around the house right now for the prospect of seeing Pepsi at all these parks. One of the things I'm most worried about is how they will treat the woodies. I know none of them are exactly world class in their current state, but CF's track record for maintaining woodies is well, bad. King's Island is a much stronger park than Geauga Lake was when they bought it, so I doubt it will be neglected to protect Cedar Point. No matter what Cedar Fair would realistically add to it it still will not eclipse CP in coasters. I think Great America and Carrowinds have the most immediate potential. I'm not expecting a rush of new coasters for either, but they will give CF presence in new areas that could hopefully stimulate some new development. I don't think any of these parks will get the Knott's/Dorney treatment since they have a lot more room left to expand before redoing existing areas.
  15. I know a lot of engineering went into Imhotep, but I personally don't think it was as well spent as it could have been. Body movement is fine, but his face doesn't move an inch when he talks like some other recent animatronics do. I may have been a bit too critical, but I still think it could have been pulled off a bit better.
  16. No replies? Ok whatever… Anyway, here’s Day 5: Universal Studios We actually made a quick stop back at Sea World again in the morning to take more video of Kraken and then got over to Universal around noon. We headed straight for Revenge of the Mummy. Absolutely f’n insane ride! I was blown away by Mummy, it was everything I expected and more! It has several spots of great ejector air that completely caught us off guard and lots of good directional changes and twists. The LIM acceleration was pretty weak, but that’s not the major focus of the ride so no biggie. One thing that kept coming up was they kept messing up the timing of the special effects. We only got one ride where everything was synchronized correctly. The animatronics are pretty bad too. Universal has done things years ago with more realism than the talking mummy and his guards on this ride. The rest of the theming is top notch though. We talked to this one couple in line who was on the last day of a full week at the Universal Resort and spent all seven days doing nothing but IOA and USO! I have no idea how they can pass up all the other parks in the area only to go to those two every single day. They were perfectly happy about it too. Didn’t seem the least bit bored… We rode Jaws next. Still a fun enough ride for its age but obviously not a real thrill ride. It’s a Universal classic though, so I think it’s still a must ride at the park. After that we went over to Men In Black. We were actually very disappointed. I had never done a shoot em’ up dark ride like this before, but I just couldn’t get the hang of it. My score was actually ended up being pretty decent, but it was impossible to tell which laser sight was yours and there was a long delay between when you pulled the trigger and you actually got confirmation of a hit. Rode Terminator and Shrek 4D next. Both were pretty good and I especially liked Shrek. CityWalk lit up at night. Same deal with NBA City. Both are on my list of things to do on my next visit. Hard Rock Café looks like a cool place to eat, but we didn’t have time. ET is actually a fun ride. Too bad USH couldn’t keep theirs. Kyle seemed more excited to ride ET than Revenge of the Mummy! We didn’t get a chance to ride the Woody Woodpecker coaster. The wait was way too long. This so needs to be the next big ride at IOA or USO. Kongfrontation R.I.P. T2 3D is a good show, but I’ve seen it enough times in CA that I’m kind of bored with it now. … but Connor IS the Terminator! Kyle may think he’s an agent… MIB: the disappointment of the trip… We think we might be on to something with this shark idea. I’m calling it right now, pretty soon everyone will be doing it! Our lone Mummy photo for this trip. Universal’s fearsome five- Dracula, Wolf Man, Beatlejuice, Frankenstein… and Connor. A giant backdrop. The cheapest way possible to make a theme work! Universal doesn’t even bother with a monorail. They have boats that take resort guests to and from the parks! The whole lakefront area between the two parks is very nice and has two interesting restaurants apart from CityWalk. The sign for CityWalk. Just in case you couldn’t tell.
  17. I thought it felt a lot like an Intamin hydraulic launch (or I guess any relatively quick launch for that matter) but more subdued and sustained for much longer. Easily one of my top non-coaster rides.
  18. Nice TR! Gnome and I also tried to squeeze two Disney Parks into a single day last month. You really do miss a lot. Animal Kingdom Lodge looks very nice. I'll have to check that out next time I go to Orlando.
  19. I would like to think the reason for the early construction is that CP is actually planning to do something far more unique and detailed than usual with theming/landscaping. Not that I believe that's what is actually going on, just a bit of wishful thinking. The only Intamin models I'm interested in seeing there are a mega looper with a custom layout or an aqua trax to up the coaster count and replace WWL all at once. No more launches though, I think two is enough for now. I like Intamin and all, but after three in a row I was really pulling for a B&M.
  20. Day 4: Typhoon Lagoon and Epcot Our second two-park day was a lot more relaxed than the first. We spent the first half of the day at Typhoon Lagoon and left around 3:00 for an early dinner before hitting Epcot in the evening. Our first impulse was to go to Blizzard Beach since it's newer and rated higher, but we met several people that had been to both parks during the week and suggested we go to Typhoon Lagoon instead. They had also just added a new water coaster so it sounded like a good idea. Typhoon Lagoon is easily the best water park I have been to. They don't have a huge selection of water slides, but the ones they do have are fun and the theming and atmosphere couldn't be better. Once we got inside we first rented a locker for our stuff and went straight for the water coaster, the Crushin' Gusher. The coaster has three sides all of which are slightly different but have pretty much the same set of elements. We both thought the far left side (I think it was called Bannana Blaster) was slightly better than the other two. All three start out with a steep drop off the platform that has absolutely massive airtime and then hit the first set of water jets that absolutely soak you and propel the raft up into a turnaround. They each head in different directions and drop a second time with more air and then wind around a bit in their own ways. Next it blasts through a second set of jets that push you over a cammelback before turning and dumping you into the pool. The Crushin' Gusher alone was worth the price of admission. It was really, really good! The only problem is that it's also really, really short. Some of the other water coasters like Master Blaster look to be a good bit longer. The airtime on this thing is just insane! I usually just sit calmly on even my favorite roller coasters, but every time we went over a hill on Crushin' Gusher I couldn't help but shout out things I probably shouldn't post here. After that we just walked around the park for a while to take pictures so we wouldn't have to lug our stuff around with us all day. Once that was done we went to the wave pool. Typhoon's wave pool has one big wave followed by three or four short ones every 1-2 minutes. It's not the best I've seen, but it is certainly a lot better than that joke of a wave pool at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas... Next we just breezed through all of the water slides at the back of the park. They had three fairly exciting body slides, a family raft ride that we didn't ride, a typical straight racing slide, and two single-person raft slides. All of them were pretty cool but they need a tall, steep one like Summit Plummet at Blizzard Beach. One thing I really have to commend the park on is the employees. Almost every time we got to the top of a set of slides we saw at least one crying little kid who was afraid to ride. The employee stationed up there was able to calm the kid down and convince them it was safe to ride almost every time. One guy told a little girl that she could simply walk down the slide and she immediately cheered up and started to walk and then slipped and laughed as she coasted down the rest of the way! That is seriously good service when even the kids' parents weren't able to calm them down! After that Kyle just had to go snorkeling with the sharks in their well-themed, but crappy little tank. So I just walked around for a while to wait for him. I had already done this a few years ago in a far superior setup at Sea World's Discovery Cove park so I had no desire to do it again here. Once we left the park we met up with my parents for dinner at my favorite restaurant, Benihana, and then went to Epcot. By the time we got to Epcot there wasn't much time left so we were just able to ride Mission: Space and Test Track and then see Illuminations before closing. Trying to squeeze all of WDW aside from MGM Studios into two days made us painfully aware that we will need more than a full week next time we go to Orlando. My parents ended up coming back to Epcot the following day while we went to Universal Studios. Mission Space was very good and the five minute wait sure didn't hurt either! Test Track was alright, but I think they could have made the vehicle take the "cornering tests" considerably faster while still keeping it suitable for families. Sorry, no bikini pictures from Typhoon Lagoon, but if coasters and bikinis are what you're looking for, I just might be able to help! http://community.webshots.com/photo/548941070/2129762860081625595AmcBKN When you think about it, Epcot is not all that unlike a large, outdoor disco club. The folks at Epcot apparently knew my birthday was coming up, so they threw me a celebration! Like I said, no repetitive shots here! I try not to include repeat shots in my trip reports. Epcot is one of the nicest looking parks at night. I would have refused to ride if Test Track had been sponsored by Toyota. … but first we will use this anal probe to determine if you are truly fit to be an astronaut! We certainly weren’t expecting lines like this! Kong is not pleased that Mission Space does not travel to the Planet of the Apes. Michael Eisner also hails from Planet of the Apes. In case you didn't know, Epcot has a rather large spherical object up front. This family sitting across from us thought it was absolutely hilarious that we flew out from Southern California for a vacation in Florida… You can’t beat Benihana for good Japanese food. The racing slides were fun, but not all that steep. Typhoon Lagoon’s theming is just as detailed as any regular Disney park. Check out that awesome tan! The shark tank was barely larger than a typical household swimming pool, but Kyle insisted on doing it… The river is themed and landscaped 100 percent all the way around. We unfortunately didn’t have time for the lazy river. This one was seriously huge though. It wraps around the entire park! This was a lot better than Sea World Orlando’s Shark Encounter… Unlike Mandalay Bay, Disney designs their wave pools large enough to accommodate actual waves! Typhoon Lagoon’s water coaster has way better airtime than any of the roller coasters at SFMM! You’d never guess from the sign, but this is the entrance to Crushin’ Gusher. Godzilla showed up to let everyone know the real reason that ship is stranded up there! You would think the entrance to a Disney Park would be a bit more impressive.
  21. It's going to be extremely tough for any new woody to top this! Too bad my plans for a midwest trip this summer fell through...
  22. Day 3: Busch Gardens Africa Busch Gardens was probably my favorite day of the trip. We got there an hour after opening because we had to take the shuttle from Sea World, but drove home with my family so we could stay past the shuttle’s 5 PM departure time. The park itself is very nice, but way too many of the employees weren’t. A lot of them were very lazy and seemed totally uninterested in being there. Kumba’s crew was okay and Sheikra’s was one of the best I’ve ever seen, but that alone won’t cut it when all the employees at Universal and Disney are at that same level. The first thing we rode was Montu. It was running trim-free on my last visit four years ago and it has been in my top five since. We weren’t so lucky this time and I finally experienced the wrath of the trims everyone else complains about. Everything after the batwing felt like it was just chugging along at ¾ speed. The first half is still incredible though. The immelman doesn’t do much, but drop is probably my favorite twisting drop anywhere, the loop still packs a good punch, and the zero-g-roll is easily the best I’ve seen on an invert. Montu is still in my top ten, but it has definitely dropped a few spots. Kumba on the other hand is still without equal among sit down coasters. The new paint brings so much more life to it and it runs a bit smoother now too. The rattle some older B&M’s get was almost gone. Everything about this coaster just kicks so much ass. It maintains intensity throughout the whole ride better than any other coaster I’ve ridden. Kumba is a textbook example of how a coaster can be executed perfectly without an abundance of theming. Busch nailed it the first time around and still hasn’t surpassed it yet. Sheikra broke down for about an hour so we checked out Python and Scorpion next. Both of us wanted to get our first Arrow Corkscrew credit, but Python had a 45 minute line so we scrapped that idea. Scorpion’s crew was one of the slowest we saw so we only rode it once and unfortunately got assigned to the middle of the train. That probably had something to do with it, but Scorpion did not seem quite as forceful as I remembered it. Still a fun ride though. Next we thought we’d try our luck with Gwazi. I thought Gwazi absolutely sucked back in 2002, but only Tiger was running so I wanted to be able to compare both sides this time. We rode Lion first. When we got off we were both completely dumbfounded at how good it was! It was still rough, but not the least bit painful and there was actually airtime! I don’t know how we lucked out like this, but Gwazi Lion was comfortably flying through its course like a good wooden coaster should. Tried Tiger next and it was the exact same thing. Air and lats all over the place! The layouts are obviously different, but we couldn’t notice any big changes with the ride experience between the two. Gwazi caught us completely off guard. It’s always nice when parks throw surprises at you when you least expect it! We finally got over to Sheikra after that. It was everything I expected and more. The first drop has extreme air the whole way down and is second only to Millennium Force’s in my book. The second one possibly has even better airtime, but doesn’t last as long. The immelman was nothing special unless you sat on the far end, but it was still cool to see an inversion on a dive machine. The drop into a mist-filled tunnel felt great but I wish the splash got you just a little bit wet. We easily could have ridden Sheikra all day and not have gotten board with it. We thought this plantation-looking restaurant called Crown Colony looked nice earlier in the day, so we decided to have dinner there. Big mistake… By some pure stroke of genius the sit down restaurant on the upper floor closed at 6:00, exactly 30 min before most people typically eat dinner, so we went downstairs to the “fast food” floor. Easily the worst service I’ve ever seen in any park anywhere. The employees were completely incompetent and couldn’t seem to do anything right. It took them ten minutes to get us one piece of pizza and two orders of fries and chicken strips even though everything was already made. I don’t know why Busch Gardens seems to close early so often, but we ran back to Kumba to get in a few more rides before 8:00. Luckily there was no one in line so we rode three times in the last row without getting off. Overall it was a great day aside from a few instances of poor service. I only wish we had more time. The sun sets on Gwazi, now my second favorite wooden coaster! Unlike Rhino Rally, Connor gives Kumba a thumbs up. We both thought it was right up there with Kraken for the title of best coaster in Florida. We squeezed in three consecutive rides on Kumba to finish off the day before the park closed at f’n 8:00. What’s with this park and early closing times? Kyle is smiling because they were playing Star Wars music of all things in the Congo gift shops. John Williams music is appropriate anywhere, no matter the time or place! Rob thinks the service here sucks. But since the actual restaurant closes just before peak dinner time we were relegated to the fast food floor. The Crown Colony- where service is an afterthought! The Crown Colony restaurant looked like a nice place to eat dinner… Sheikra is probably the best B&M built in the last few years. It’s everything Silver Bullet is not: fun, intense, exciting, and they actually added water! … but Dad rode it twice! (notice Kyle is the only one holding on) Carol and Rob decide whether or not to ride Sheikra. Mom passed… “Sheikra Plaza” is one of the nicest areas we’ve seen for any coaster. Sheikra’s splashdown gets everyone wet but the riders. Connor thinks he can pull off wearing an Oakley shirt with Ray-Ban sunglasses. Sheikra’s first drop is incredible. Major airtime the whole way down! Busch did an absolutely awesome job integrating it with the pathways. Everyone around the ride was just buzzing with excitement over it. Sheikra more than lived up to the hype. The lines were too long to bother with any of the water rides. Ahhh!!! Kraken!… oh, wait… Busch Gardens now has X-Men themed restrooms! Gwazi was easily the surprise of the trip. All of you are probably thinking we’re insane, but trust us, it was seriously a great ride! … but it was actually really good! It was running remarkably smooth and both sides had… (gasp)… airtime! We didn’t expect much from Gwazi… Connor gives Rhino Rally a solid thumbs down. We didn’t even bother riding it since it was such a waste of time four years ago. … and a komodo dragon with an ACE membership! … some elephants… Oh yeah, Busch Gardens has animals too! Here’s a camel… A triple downward helix! You gotta love that old Schwarzkoph guy! They might as well just rename Scorpion “Mini Sheikra.” There was absolutely no way we were going to wait 45 minutes just to get an Arrow Corkscrew credit. B&M sitdowns have the coolest trains. The whole floorless thing gets old after like three rides and these look so much better. Kumba is about as far away from Scream as you can get! All parks should landscape their coasters like this. The main reason we brought Kyle along on this trip was to have someone to hold the video camera. Like all the elements on Kumba, the loop is loaded with positive g’s. The original interlocking corkscrews are still the best! Even though you can walk right under it, it is next to impossible to find good shots of Kumba’s cobra roll. Kumba is one of the coolest looking coasters out there and after 13 years it’s still one of the best B&M’s. The freshly painted Kumba was taunting us. One of the many cool shots seen from the chair lift. We didn’t get around to Sheikra until a bit later. Busch’s chair lift has lots of great photo and video opps. You can’t tell from this shot, but Montu has to have the most elliptical vertical loop ever. No trims to hurt the zero-g-roll! One of Montu’s best elements. Why can’t they just let Montu run the way it was designed to? It’s like the Kwame Brown of roller coasters- so much wasted potential... We saw this car on our way to the park. These guys were just cruising along with absolutely no idea the trunk was open.
  23. I would rent a car. Gnome and I stayed until the park closed at eight and still wanted more time. Busch Gardens has a lot to do and you will definitely want to ride a few of the coasters multiple times. I don't see how you will really feel satisfied after leaving with the shuttle at six.
  24. Figured I might as well add in my own two cents worth on the day. I was really surprised at how nice a park AK was. I figured we would get in, ride Everest a few times, and quickly hit Kali Rapids, Dinosaur, and Primeval Whirl only to then get bored and head out after only a few hours. It was actually very hard for both of us to leave in enough time to make it over to Magic Kingdom. Even though the ride count is low and I've had my fill of animal parks, I really wish we could have spent a full day there. Everything I saw about AK except for Dino land was perfect and we didn't even step foot in the back half of the park. Dino Land just looked so crappy comapred to everything else. It seems like they probably had something much better planned but then had to scale back for budget. It is not at all up to Disney standards. Dinosaur the ride was great though! Not quite as good as Indy, but it was geared for a younger audience so that was to be expected. I was probably nine or ten the last time I went to Magic Kingdom, so it was almost like seeing a new park for me as well. The only thing I really remembered was riding Big Thunder Mountain and Alien Encounter. I missed some of the Disneyland rides like Indiana Jones and Matterhorn, but I prefer MK overall. It feels and is a lot larger and a few of the major landmarks like the castle are more impressive. We lucked out again with fast passes and someone gave us two for Thunder Mountain just as we walked up to it. I wasn't blown away with Space Mountain. I haven't ridden DL's since the rebuild, but I'm pretty sure I recall liking the old one better than MK's. Stitch Encounter made the best of taming a more adult oriented ride down to something suitable for kids, but I wish there was some way of prerving a bit more of the old attraction. We got everything done that we wanted to going in, but we still wished there was more time to see more of the entire park. I don't know how the other group was able to pull off three parks! Two was difficult enough for us! Sorry about the lack of photos for this update. We were running very low on film that day. You will see a lot more for our Busch Gardens trip tomorrow or Thursday.
  25. I don't think coasters like Hulk or Dueling Dragons can really be called the best themed. To claim that title, every aspect of the ride must be themed 100 percent. Universal deserves a tremendous amount of credit though, both rides' queue lines are perfect and it is a lot harder to completely theme the entire layout of a B&M looper than it is a Disney-style Vekoma. My list would be Big Thunder Mountain, Expedition Everest, and USF's Revenge of the Mummy.
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