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bert425

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  1. ^ they're supposedly adding a lot of extra stuff (from the Oz books)
  2. it truly looks amazing. . those pundits that are claiming it's going to bomb? SERIOUSLY underestimate theater kids, and those who love the show. it's gonna do blockbuster sales.
  3. Checking into the hotel, and some sightseeing around Helsinki after we arrived. . as we got closer to Helsinki - the last city on the trip (that had the last park on the trip, Linnanmäki), some "industrial" architecture started to appear. and stopping at a light, up on top of a hill, was Linnanmäki. . . pics taken from the bus. we were staying at a hotel near the center of the city, if I'm not mistaken. . that was close to the landmark Helsinki Cathedral, the College, and the waterfront. as it was a Saturday evening, there weren't a lot of folks around this part of town right now. but the city is lovely, as most of the places we'd been were. the hotel was modern. . I think maybe it was a Marriott? with a view of the Courtyard / garden from our room. Jon reached out - or maybe I reached out to him? - and we decided to go roam the city, as we had the evening free. So we met in the lobby, and headed out towards the Helsinki Cathedral, passing thru the College Campus area coming up on the backside of the Cathedral - it truly is lovely from all angles. Tho from the Front is the best. here's from the side we ALL float down here . . . . bwaaa-haaaa-haaaaa. . . (creepy, right next to the Cathedral too) This cracked me up. . . so I was taking a picture of the Helsinki City Pride Museum (which sadly was closed as it was later in the day now. .maybe 8pm?) and as I finished snapping the picture, I said to Jon - "hey. . that guy over there is pissing!" I mean there are public toilets, but he just went right across the street from the Cathedral (it's literally to our right in this pic) and whipped it out to piss on a building. when I uploaded the pics? yup. . I got him in my pic. LOL !!! (I made sure nothing naughty is showing tho. . .blur feature!!!). Turning to the Cathedral, they have this lovely sign out in front for pics. . . so of course! consulting google maps, it looked like we were close by the waterfront. .and the Helsinki Skywheel (and flying theater) was there. so we decided to head over that way. WAY more people over here, as there were multiple pop up restaurants, and a few bars over here. that was my goal tho - to ride the Ferris Wheel (and get Jon on another one). Turtles! I think maybe these are supposed to have giant umbrellas on them? some of the pop up restaurants, behind the seagull I decided I wanted a picture of. really loved the archetecture down here in the area oooo. . a couple of special cabins were avail. This one on the right is the VIP cabin (that gives you alcohol as you go around), and on the upper left is the Sauna cabin. (I had sauna-d the day before for the first time, and wasn't ready to steam myself during our ride). so we went for "regular" tickets. for some reason, the cabins are all tinted very blue. some great views, but all blue-y at the open air bar next door, there was a concert going on. .and the crowd got much bigger (almost double the size) while we were riding. the operator told me they were a Finnish band that were very popular. tho the music wasn't quite to my taste, so we didn't hang around after our ride. oooo. . nice view of Linnanmäki from the Skywheel! will see ya tomorrow! after our ride, we hung around for a little bit just so I could get a better picture of the Sauna cabin. and then we headed back towards the hotel, but taking an alternate route that would bring us along the college bar/restaurant area in the bay. very pretty. . almost Tokyo DisneySea level pretty the restaurants weren't very full, which was surprising to me for a Saturday night. But maybe they just fill up really late, since the sun is up so late. we were starting to get a little bit hungry, and spotted the McDonald's across the way. i had managed to avoid most fast food the whole trip, and wasn't thrilled. . but was willing. So we crossed over. and found an open supermarket - that was JUST about to close - next door. so Jon and I went in there and bought stuff to bring back to the hotel to snack on, instead of McDonalds. some interesting art in the Supermarket lobby. and Coi. and with that, we said our goodbyes in the lobby and headed to our rooms. tomorrow was the last day of the trip, and our final park, Linnanmäki I was really looking forwards to it, as I had heard this park was kinda F-ed up, and I expected I'd love it (I did).
  4. don't let jealous, judgy, assholes stop you from doing a trip report. I'd love to see your first impression of a park that's been on your bucket-list.
  5. Haven't really seen any chatter about it. . but Matt Hughey (VP of Park Operations at CotALand) has posted some pics on Facebook about an upcoming job posting for the park. and included some pics that show Palindrome has gone vertical! Pics courtesy of Matt's Facebook.
  6. don't want to spread rumors - because we just don't know what it is until they actually share. But sounds it *might* be something serious, and might involve some redesign of the trains. guess we'll see how serious when they announce a reopening date (ie: short or long)
  7. I love that new Nessie at the bottom of the loop. I heard rumor it "roars" at the train as it passes by?
  8. Särkänniemi swag: 3 magnets - the park's main mascot (I assume, since he's on a magnet wearing park overalls) the park in the evening . just lovely and way discounted, in the back corner of the tower gift shop - a Moomin "ghost" magnet, (that looks like haunted condoms). so yeah, that farm area used to be Moomin Valley.
  9. Day 22: Saturday, June 24th - busy morning at Särkänniemi (before a drive to Helsinki). Part 2 of 2 from the Lake Carousel, I had spotted that giant tire, which seemed to lead to another "themed" area going thru there, and we found a section themed to Motocross (complete with people just sitting on the photo op, as always happens). . over here is the park's final "big" coaster (no, I didn't ride the kiddie coaster, despite it's nice location just off the lake). MotoGee - a fun Zamperla moto-coaster complete with the kinda awkward seating. . .LOL. . but with some nice theming (including starting lights and sound effects) it was a fun coaster, and being so compact, it felt much faster than it was. I liked it. whee!!! not sure who took this. . possibly Andy? we were getting hungry and after looking at options, several of us decided that Smisty and Erik had a good idea to try out the restaurant at the top of the tower. so we headed in that general direction, me stopping to snap pics as we made our way up towards the front of the park / tower entrance. Tornado and the flume, really do almost interact with each other. Not on the level of Grona Lund interaction, but close enough it's impressive. I can't remember if I rode the flume here? I THINK I did (tho I know I didn't ride the rapids ride). ah. . here's the main entrance to Tornado, that we skipped earlier by going in thru the exit. Down the steps into the underground launch. not quite sure what this open space was by Tornado's entrance. was it overflow queue? was it an abandoned Ride Pad? It did kinda look like a small flat ride was here at one point. maybe it's a performance space? there IS seating over there. Great view of Tornado's big loop, from the Flume turn around area taking a peek at the menu, it was a bit. . . fancy. but I like trying fru-fru food, and they had several set menu choices - and were not busy at ALL.. so a bunch of us decided to join and have a fancy dinner. To get there tho? you have to ride in the disco elevator! with kinky 70's mirrored ceiling. . . oooo. .the view from up here is lovely! looking down, this was a whole section of the park I had not been to yet (and wouldn't get much time in, as the meal -as most FANCY places are - was slow and took a while, so it ate up more than an hour of our park time. I'm not complaining, it was SO worth it. and I'd do it again, choose sit down fancy restaurant over area of park. tho this area appeared to be themed to "farm" society (tho I DO believe it's based on a children's show, going by the characters that were around in there). The only "big" ride over here is the rapids ride, you can see just below. ohhh. . the observation level is still one level below the restaurant - which now that I think about it? did rotate. so up the stairs. felt a bit under-dressed, but the hostess (once she got over the surprise of a group showing up on what I suspect is a typically slow-ish day for them, as this seemed to be more of an evening/dinner place) was pleasant and led us to a table. before ordering anything tho, I took a quick walk around (needed restroom) and snapped pics of the views the hostess came up behind me while taking this and explained the area below used to be Christmas Town, and before that ? it was themed to Moomin. she also pointed out the wedge shaped building below and said that used to be the Dolphin theatre, but that the park had filled it in with concrete and were planning some kind of new show/attraction there, but she wasnt' sure what. I took the "long way" around back to our table, so I could snap pics from all angles. they really DO cram quite a bit onto this peninsula. back at our table, the waitress snapped a pic of all of us who were about to enjoy the meal. I think a couple of us went with the set "Finlandia" menu.. hey, when in Rome, right? it was unique, and all of it was very good. the deer was SO good. I think it was the apricot sauce that cinched it for me. you can see, they weren't very busy. I think just one other couple was up there with us. I VERY much enjoyed the experience tho. ' Celery Gelato. . .with hazlenut and I believe this was a moist strawberry vanilla cake. after our meal (which I think took almost 2 hours? maybe slightly less), we had only an hour or so until it was time to meet the bus and head out. since the elevator is in the tower, and the base holds the Aquarium/reptile house, I went to check that out: after a quick stop in the gift shop to pick up a few things, I headed over to the "farm" area for the last 20 minutes I had, to check it out. the rapids ride is very pretty, and it certainly is a showstopper to come across the name of the ride in the middle of a waterfall. but as i was worried about time - and REALLY didn't want to get on the bus for a drive while wet, I skipped it and checked out the area instead. lots and lots of characters, and folks IN character here. I think this *might* be an upcharge area? not 100% sure, but I do remember these two checking to make sure I had an armband on. yeah. . GOTTA be based on a kids show. there were some people over here, who appeared to be waiting for whatever show this was gonna be. and live Pony rides!! haven't seen that in a park in a long time (Six Flags Over Texas used to have pony rides). they were small ponies, so I watched, and didn't even ask. I mean, if adults can't ride the carousel? no point in even asking about the live ponies some live pigs, and sheep over here too. and then some "not so live" cows. making weird faces. ummm. . . ok ? hey, Elissa! at least I didn't Hump it! (and it looks pretty happy. . LOL) there's one you can "milk" too. .and a very nice Finnish Gentleman asked me if I'd like him to take a picture. so in two days, I'd "milked" two cows in Finland! there's a little mini-obstacle course over here too, that was pretty popular with families. (it had a line) and before heading back to the bus, I checked out the gift shop over here, that was full of plushies, and kiddie toys. i honestly *almost* bought this guy. . but as I had some Särkänniemi swag already? I didn't want to overdo it. and then it was time to head back to the bus. . we had a drive to Helsinki ahead of us still today. hope you've enjoyed following along! one evening, and one full day left in the trip!
  10. Day 22: Saturday, June 24th - busy morning at Särkänniemi (before a drive to Helsinki). Part 1 of 2 Starting off bright and early (well. . overcast a little and early, but it never rained). a peek at the outskirts of the park, and the bus we'd been riding in since landing in Finland on that flight. they really did cram quite a bit of stuff in here . . tho honestly, the vast majority of it I didn't care for. but what I loved? I REALLY loved. the main gates: and the park's landmark tower - it houses a fancy restaurant at the top (can't recall if it spun or not), and in the base, a small, but decent, aquarium/reptile house, as well as gift shop, and I THINK a planetarium? even in Finland, those *freaking* scooters are just left everywhere. headed into the main park - via a back walkway. . . Similar to the exhibited motor I had seen yesterday, inside the park - albeit in a "backyard" area - was a preserved train. I didn't want to leave the group to go take a look at it, so not sure why they have it preserved here. VERY cool. . our path in, walks along side and under the park's flume ride, and the Intamin coaster. here's a good look at Tornado - the Intamin suspended coaster, that I believe is the last of it's kind in the world. \ weirdly, Tornado's station is underground, in a very "industrial" setting. we went in thru the exit, I think, so didn't see the main queue that goes down steps from the top of the hill. but got a pic of the ride sign, as we went into the exit queue. as noted yesterday, bright neon Orange & Yellow trains. why? I dunno. . but they sure are noticeable. we greatly enjoyed our morning ERT on this ride. rode it at least 8 times. . and since they were running both trains? got some pretty zen rides. Steve and I (I believe courtesy of Elissa) Matthew looks like he's enjoying it! quick peek into the operators booth, while taking a break between rides. Wheeeee! very Zen in the front row. (pic courtesy of Elissa) I'm flying, Jack!!! after a bunch of rides, I needed to take a break and stepped into the main park (still before open to public) to snap some pics in the area: the setting of this coaster, really is just perfect for pictures. not sure why it's the last of it's kind, the ride is great! more parks should have them. perusing the park ahead of us. .it really is quite lovely. tho has a bit of an identity crisis. . . like it's not sure what exactly it wants to be. lovely, but small, carousel. that adults were not allowed to ride. But I got a pic, so I'm happy. and an interesting game. . where one sits on a toilet. and "pees" into the bathtubs. I guess? to win Minecraft inspired stuffies. told ya..this park is weird. I did really like how so many kiddie rides are scattered about among the big rides. for example, that Convoy ride, right next to Tornado. "Boom" (what a name, LOL) is actually the drop tower! the Skyrocket II behind it is called "Hype" yeah. I dunno, as I said, "Identity Crisis" the park also has this piece of crap pure torture machine: Trombi - a flying Zamperla Volare. which, by the way, is Finnish for . . . "Tornado" so yeah, they have two coasters named Tornado - one brilliant, and one shitty. oh. . wait. . I should say HAD - RCDB notes it was removed as of late 2023! wasn't quite ready for us tho, so looked around the area while they got it ready to open for us. going for the Gen X crowd? this area has lots of carnival flats - all running pretty decent programs, and all with unique names. other than this Troika. . which was just called "Troika" Turning our attention back to Trombi. .they were getting it ready for us. Even tho it LOOKED like it had been abandoned and was rotting away. but it still wasn't open just yet, so we headed over to the Skyrocket II (Hype) I mean. . I don't MIND the theming, but I don't really "get" it either. I guess as noted, they are going for Gen X? I reminded me very much of Plopsaland and their "youtube" section of the park. apparently the restaurant (that wasn't open yet as we were still before park open) is called "Play" perhaps it blasts music during the day? I rode this, I think, exactly once. i'm just not really a fan of this type of coaster (and didn't ride the one the next day at the final park). but others really love them. death glare from Hans and Jon without glasses. . I wonder if they made everyone take off glasses, even with straps? when it was my turn to ride? I actually let out a guffaw when I sat down in the seat and saw this. And then quickly pulled out my camera to snap a pic (with permission). I don't think this warning label looks like what they THINK it looks like. Rode my one time (maybe I rode twice, but I think only once) and then stepped out front to snap pics Proof I rode it. I even look like I'm having fun? (yeah, no glasses. .they must have made folks take them off) Pics courtesy of Elissa I gathered my wits about me, while others in the group rode Hype a few more times. is this a kids area? there seemed to be more than one. . .but it was nicely detailed over here. . . . if a bit "freaky" and the pavement a bit psychedelic. . or "Q-bert-y" if you prefer (and are of a certain age to understand that) we got the note that Trombi was ready for us, if anyone wanted to ride. I felt we were basically DARED to ride, as I'd heard so many horrible things about Volares (pst. . all were TRUE!!!!) Pic courtesy of Elissa. OMG. . just look at these faces!!! HATED it. hell, I think my back spasm-ed just looking at this pic. I *did* it. . but I don't think I'd do one ever again. . .LOL watching some of the carnival flats cycling. . the park had just opened to the public, and so it were starting to see the first batches of school kids. I don't think I rode the first batch of folks on Take Off (hence getting this pic), but it did end up with it being almost a full TPR cycle. then over to High Voltage..which was no where near as insane as it looked - tho it DOES do some weird things to one's body. see? that's me on the upper left I found the park's mascot!! (well, one of them. .they seemed to have several). and chocolate! yay. and then discovered (thanks to Erik, I believe) my favorite thing in the park: the lake Carousel. it lifts up, tilts, and gives a gentle spinning ride. and is made by Schwarzkopf no.. really! and it's right on the lake, offering some lovely views (hence being called the "Lake Carousel") see??? Schwarzkopf ! Jon and I Smisty, Goldballs, and Erik Me and Big Mike i think we ALL loved this thing. and it offered nice views of the park's theming/landscaping as it turns as well. to be continued . with lunch up in the tower and a quick pop into the Aquarium!
  11. I might be the only one who tends to comment sometimes. . but trust me, many read your reports. and I LOVE them. y'all are freaking hilarious, and I loved spending some time with you both. great pics.
  12. how old are you, Zach? (only asking in terms of "do you need your parents to help pay") 100% get Fast Lane for Kings Island (I'd say for CP, it's not as urgent, as the FL doesn't save too much time at most of CPs big coasters, and your best bet is to just get in line as early as possible for the things you really want to ride). but at Kings Island? do whatever you can to pay for Fast Lane. Yes. . it's NOT cheap, and yes, it's NOT included in ticket price. But all the "big" rides (flats and coasters) have Fast Lane, and in almost all cases, the Fast Lane queue drops you directly in the station. it will save you so much time and you'll get your money's worth just from ride times for Orion, Banshee, Mystic Timbers, and Diamondback. and you're gonna want lots of rerides. the only real "big" rides not on FL tend to not really have terrible lines anyways - ie: the Bat. but yeah. . .get Fast Lane at Kings Island. (and you can get individually - just one for you - if you're the only one who really wants to ride).
  13. Day 21: Friday, June 23rd - travel day to Tampere, Finland (where we'd be going to Särkänniemi the next day) it was a decently long bus ride, so at just under the 1/2 way point, we had a pit stop at a Roadside Traveler Center. it was lovely here - I remain so struck as to how "clean" everything was! this wasn't just ANY traveler center tho. . . this place seemed to be fairly famous, or at least really well known. as it's also a cheese factory! yes, get gas, go potty, get snacks, and watch them make cheese (explains the cow on the roof) not sure what this was next door, but seemed to be getting used as overflow parking. and not only on the roof. . but Cows in side! photo op one can even "milk" them. this one, sadly, didn't "groan" like the one in Japan did when I "milked" it. . but if recalling, this one had plastic udders that stretched as you pulled on them. photo op out of the way, I wandered to the back of the traveler center and peeked down at the "Cheese-making" floor. Seriously, they have large windows, so travelers can watch. .it really is a destination. there's also a pretty large store, that not only sells the cheese (in giant wheels, blocks, cuts) but also all kinds of snacks and hot food. here was my attempt to get something for the bus that was not Licorice flavored. (the Mountain Dew was super sweet and disgusting. . the cookies were good. . .but the coated dried bananas were a bit bland, as was the chocolate bites - they were like larger, flatter, mellower M&Ms, with a thicker shell). arriving in Tampere, we checked into the hotel - where the front desk clerk mentioned it was "Midsommer" - which explained why it seemed so "empty" for a Friday in the city. there were people about, but no where near as busy as I'd expected. And many shops were closed for the day, as it was explained that most go out to the Country to sauna and to celebrate on this day. the hotel was lovely: tho had a weird shower stall, that opened on both sides from the corner. . resulting in more difficulty for this American Idiot to keep the water out of the rest of the bathroom when showering Nice view from the room. it's not a small city, but it was pretty quiet this day. I was gonna meet up with Jon (and I think Jason?) and we were gonna meet up with Andrew, Erik & sMisty to roam around the city. . but on my way down I popped into the Men's Sauna that was offered at the hotel. very lovely, even if empty (again, was told folks leave the area for the holiday). NOTED. . . no naked ass on the benches! I'd never done a Sauna. . but I figured if ever was the time? In Finland on Midsommer? yeah.. I'd break my sauna cherry here later tonight (you're welcome that I won't share that pic) down on the street in front of the hotel, we met up, and I marveled at how gorgeous the day was. a few folks out and about. . but pretty empty for a "not small" city today. we found a few places open in our wandering. . including this fun "novelty" store, that some bought some stuffies at. some random "street" art. . was pretty need to just come across it! really loved the look of this city. and the lack of people around made it even cooler, and allowed for some great pics. this seemed to be a "cultural center" with the water treatment plant (I think that's what it was) as the anchor for the park/restaurants/trails around it. just lovely. it's not a Tum-ahhhhhhhh even here in Finland, the "locks on bridges" movement is going strong. . Disney influenced? got to wonder if there are sometimes paddleboats in this water area. . . otherwise, this statue seems oddly out of place. hey. .a map (I'm assuming a transit map, but also really helpful for tourists) we are at the noted red dot. we started our walk from over by where the comedy/tragedy masks are. and Särkänniemi is up there on the left. but we found a Finnish Grocery Store open. . so of course had to check it out. I was haunted this trip by Olives. (I know who kept putting them on my plate when I wasn't looking), but as we were getting to the end of the trip, I was traumatized by Olives. I wasn't hungry at the moment. . but honestly? this didn't even tempt me. I *think* it was a sweet, even tho it looks like a Hot Dog. back out walking, and enjoying the beautiful weather, and the random statues around the City. we saw a pathway along the waterfront, that seemed to be headed towards an area that would give a nice view of Särkänniemi, so we headed down that way. spooky swimming area. I'm sure on a normal day, this section would be packed with swimmers. the path cuts up thru a park and some more greenery. hi Jon. . . this amused me. . I liked how they tried to camouflage the tunnel with "natural" rock formations. ooo. .I spot the observation tower/restaurant at Särkänniemi up ahead. ok..this i found to be among the coolest stuff I saw while in Finland. Finlandian Graffiti. and it was mostly really well done! it really was so beautiful here. . I know I keep saying that, but it's true! and coming around the curve in the path? across the way - on a peninsula reaching out into the water: Särkänniemi along the waterfront is that horrid torture device known as "Trombi" ( a Zamperla Volare - flying coaster) also behind it in this pic is "Hype" (a Premier skyrocket II), and off to the left is part of "Tornado" (an Intamin suspended coaster - one of only 2 in the world) they were open, as the rides were running - just not really busy today. see? the skyrocket II is running. .the train is about to invert at the top. and the disco over the water, is a great placement. better view of this side of the park - with Tornado (that's hard to miss with it's Neon orange & yellow trains) the park really does look wonderful, and I was very excited about coming back in the morning for our visit. a boat engine of some kind on display at the Marina across from the park. there was a sign on it, but it must not have been in English (or not interesting) as I have no pic of it. view more from the front. . with a better idea of the Skyrocket II layout. and Tornado's neon orange train. turning away from the park to start the trek back, sMisty had found an area called "fairy park" - or something like that. . it sounded interesting, so we detoured that way to check it out. not sure if this was a playscape or a sculpture. (I THINK a playscape tho) thruout the park, there were multiple "hidden" / small sculptures of pixies/faeries playing., this one is definitely a playscape. it had Trampolines. and big red balls.. LOL and a throne? don't mind if I do! tons of fun detail everywhere - like these iron "Spiderwebs" under the roof of this shade structure. whimisical .. and lovely area found another pixie and a handful of folks enjoying the day. from an overlook at the top of the park, you get a lovely view of Särkänniemi across the water Hype doing it's thing notice Trombi hasn't run in any of my pics. I think it's because only fools like us would attempt to ride the horrible thing. I would have checked out the museum. . but it was closed today after a long walk/sight seeing, it was time to head back. Stomachs were rumbling and there was chat in the thread about places for dinner. there were a few options, and I know Erik/sMisty ended up checking out a pub. but some of us decided to check out the pizza place that was spoken very highly of. . with some unique pizzas. so we headed over that way. hmm. .not sure what they are selling Space Bowling!!! (in the dark with neon lights).. but no one was really interested. oh my. . . quite the wait. (and the most people we'd seen all day!). we joined the line, and saw a number of other TPR Trip folks as well. . . a snapshot of the menu. some very interesting options. before too long, we were seated, and our order taken. (notice the line never got shorter! it stayed about that long the whole time. we took an outside seat, so didn't have to wait as long as those waiting to sit inside). a closeup of the unique pizzas. i ended up getting the Struzzo BBQ - ostrich peppers and bbq sauce. (it was SO good) all food comes with a trip to the salad bar first: and my Pizza. which I ate all of - other than the parts I shared with others who wanted a taste. and then it was back to the hotel where i decided I was gonna sauna - and did it the traditional (nekkid) way . . you're welcome again for no pictures. then a shower, and crashed. tomorrow was gonna be a full day, and the truth is? the sauna really was refreshing and knocked me right out.
  14. on the FAQ page, the Rides are listed as "not available". . as is the Hungry Bear restaurant, the aquarium, the penguins, the educational talks. . and most other things. no mention of the deer (unless included with "land animal exhibits") . . but as that is close to the splash pad? I'd guess that's open still. it's basically a picnic area they are charging admission to (due to the splash pad) and the belugas but still . . nice to see they are trying to stay open somewhat.
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