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About BrianLo

  • Birthday 03/16/1987

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  1. What's the origin of these rumours that the next major coaster won't be until 2017? I see a few people repeating this as gospel, but prevailing evidence certainly suggests otherwise. We are essentially seeing the same (arguably more) activity than the same time-point in Leviathan construction process. Skyriders departure would be quite odd for a project that wouldn't actually begin construction until 2016. If a B&M coaster is not bound for Canada's Wonderland, than what other Cedar Fair park do those repeating this 2017 story think will get a 2016 coaster? Cedar Fair has very consistently ordered one B&M a year and none of the other parks are due outside of maybe Kings Dominion. I wouldn't be surprised if there was some sort of soft-commitment signed some time ago that Cedar Fair wants one B&M per year and to set aside the appropriate capacity.
  2. Disneyland will be having their 60th anniversary celebration around that time and also have the superior Christmas offerings versus Florida. However, if you've yet to experience Potter and that's a draw, there is certainly reason to make an argument towards Florida.
  3. It's unlikely to be a boat ride. Maelstrom was largely a cost savings move and to take advantage of Frozen ASAP. I expect this will be a Hunny Hunt vs. Many Adventures type situation, two very different rides (with Tokyo being clearly the superior offering).
  4. The construction walls all over, ripping up the pier area and the complete gutting of International Food Festival disagree with you. I think Orlando United is claiming a late Spring opening (although Universal has yet to even acknowledge the expansion). Also Hatetofly, the guy who posted the JP article has a pretty much flawless track record so far for Universal Info. I'd expect to see them start on JP in earnest this Spring or Summer once construction crews can be relocated from Simpsons/Transformers.
  5. Little known feature of Leviathan: it must go near a backstage kitchen because all you could smell were burgers for the entire ride on Sunday morning. Leviathan... now with hamburgers.
  6. Today I got to check out Canada's Wonderland for ScotiaBank day. CW blocks the first three weekends of the year for major Canadian banks (yesterday BMO and next Saturday RBC) before it opens to the public. Usually the sneak preview event happens the Friday before RBC day but major coasters *cough* Leviathan *cough* pushed it before the bank days. Having relatives who work for ScotiaBank and RBC is a nice little perk. The water park and water rides are not yet open (I think White Water Canyon usually is open at this time of the year but it's apparently opening May 19 and was completely drained). Windseeker was also closed (still haven't ridden it!) and the backlot stunt coaster for some reason wasn't operating although they had staff manning the on-ride photo booth. Of course sledgehammer and doesn't look like it will be operational anytime soon, as if that's surprising to anyone... But if nothing but Leviathan was running I would have been there with bells on! I think they really nailed the entrance for the ride. First a Leviathan mini review: -Definitely adding one to the back is superior to the front camp. Our first ride was on the front in the morning, and I think the ride may have picked up some steam throughout the day as temperatures warmed a bit. I prefer the right hand side as well. -Leviathan is running so much faster than any of the initial test run videos I saw. It really flies through the elements. -They were using trims on the return camelback. Very minor and only because I was paying attention to them. -I think my favourite elements are the first drop (what a difference 5 degrees over Behemoth makes) and the turnaround by the front gate. It's one of the few off-ride photo ops for a coaster in Canada's Wonderland, it's great actually seeing something on one of their coasters as opposed to a lake, backstage or a field. -Leviathan does not feel too short, nor was the epic break run bothersome to me. You can't really see the station and still fly through the flat portion of the break run and slow down once you crest the hill. Other elements would not have made sense. -The plaque on the ride which shows all the manufacturing etc says Giga for ride type. I don't really know if that's been pointed out anywhere but I recall all the labels listed the coaster type as a Mega still so I thought that was interesting. -Leviathan is consistent, I found the whole ride consistently more thrilling than Behemoth which loses steam after the mid course break run. The front entrance is forever changed! I really wasn't sure if I liked the two coasters equally, I love air time and I really enjoy Behemoth. After we returned to Leviathan later in the day and rode in the back I really was sold. Leviathan is a fantastic ride. Is it a million times better than Behemoth? No. But I already rank Behemoth as a fantastic ride, and I think Leviathan is Fantastic Plus! I'd listen to the people who have actually ridden it, and the opinion is consistently strong. A ton-o-fun! I am so glad Canada's Wonderland finally has a signature ride to call all its own, it's really about time! Behemoth was a much needed catch up, but Leviathan is the ride CW deserves considering the strong annual attendance. It's so sad that the GP probably thought flight deck was the signature ride only a few years ago! Leviathan has been covered ad nauseum, so let's check out the rest of the park! Beautiful day in CW. We arrived shortly after 10 when the park opens, it was a two hour drive from London. I saw the shivering in the videos from Friday so I wasn't going to be unprepared. Despite looking like an idiot I was warm. It was on the borderline where it was freezing in the shade and comfortable in the sun. Naturally we said hello to Snoopy. The public finally is running in a different direction! The last major ride to this side of the park was Drop zone in the 90's. Cliffhanger I don't think was a run-to ride. Figured it best to visit Leviathan first and take a ride in the front. Ultimately the line appeared to be the same all throughout the day, about 10 minutes which was great! Last Leviathan dedicated picture... I think. Next up we visited the bat, a classic boomerang but it's always been extremely popular at Canada's Wonderland. It's still fun and relatively smooth after all this time. The Bat? Heading back the other direction, clockwise from the entrance we pass Top Gun/Flight Deck. I've been avoiding it consistently the past few years. No thanks head banging. Also Tomb Raider/Don't ask me what it's called now lies next-door. Another tried it no desire to return coaster. We enter what I dub Behemoth plaza with most of the new additions to the park. Sledgehammer was inoperable - go figure. I have ridden it and it's ok. It could be more thrilling with better programming but I fear the ride can barely function as is. Back here we have Behemoth, backlot stunt coaster which was down and Mindbuster. Behemoth is still fairly smooth and lots of fun. Psyclone opened up - no one wanted to sit near me, they were jealous of my warmth. I love the mondial, it's my favourite flat! Weee - You can see my feet. The second one on the white section at the crest. Watch the ride cycle before to pick your optimal seating It's not meant to be between us windseeker. Future home of super-awesome B&M prototype 2016. And vortex which is still a lot of fun! Cliffhanger/riptide . This year Dragon Fyre receives some new company, and it makes for a interesting ride! Oh hello! Lots of interaction with Behemoth. This used to be a relatively boring open field. I also really enjoy Psyclone but it wasn't too happy this year. Every other section of seats were wrapped in tarp. To kiddie land we go! We got in line for the swans but the "you must ride with a child" signs scared us off. Can you spot the absolutely hilarious new theming of the swan ride? The correct answer was the not so hidden end to Dinosaur's alive. Photo op! Dinosaur's Alive was pretty cool. Took us a while to realize they were trying to highlight all the recently found species of Dino's. You needed to wait about 30 seconds between cycles to see the animatonics come to life. Ah no! It was actually really long! I feel like we got our $6 worth. The 3D movie was enjoyable but I am sad to see the moving seats go. The projector system looks like it has been updated to Real 3D and we got to watch about 5-10 minutes worth of commercials for LG, Panasonic, and 3D.... Wild Beast is over in that general direction. I didn't snag a picture but it really hurt us this year. This used to be my favourite ride but its in need of some TLC. Why are you so painful?! Instead we are headed to... Swing of the Century Fun times! In the background the TOGO standup that shall be ripped out for super awesome B&M prototype 2016. Good riddance. Ah no white water canyon yet! We have a Starbucks! I don't know when this exactly happened... Yum funnel cake! We hit up thunder run, which is still good fun. Ghoster Coaster is fortunately not painful! Boo Blaster is a shooting dark ride with the worst capacity in the world... But it's still fun, so we wait! We finished our day off with Leviathan but I promised no more pictures of it... so here is skeeball! Great day in CW, I like to visit only once a year so I don't burn myself out from the park, but if you've never been it might be worth a 2-day visit to really hit up the amazing plethora of rides on offer and the waterpark. Now it's time for me to return to my thesis... *sigh*
  7. Yes I can confirm it's still there, I took a look for you today.
  8. 2013 minor upgrades like new Verkoma restraints, 2014/15 a cool flat of some kind, maybe a watermark expansion. Then in 2015-2016 a dive/wing rider that interacts with Wonder Mountain loading opposite of Vortex. *fingers crossed* Oh and expect the GP to proclaim Wonderland is out of space and moving every step of the way!
  9. Love the entrance and fountain, that's a nice surprise! Very excited to go Sunday, I hope you guys aren't completely frozen.
  10. Alain from the Disney and More Blog Here came across some new images for Shanghai. It's still blurry, but you can actually glean some of the attractions that are arriving. On the right looks like an offshoot of the plans they had for Hong Kong Disney Pirate land with a hybrid Pirates/flume type attraction. Directly in front of the castle is where they will place the Dumbo spinner and carousel. (This is from the perspective of the castle you'll notice it on the bottom right just to orientate yourself). And here is an image of the entrance. The upper left hand shiny building is rumoured to be a TRON coaster still (replacing Space Mountain). The bottom right looks like a version of Jungle cruise. Behind the castle is presumably Fantasyland I *think* it looks like Snow White Dwarf train to the left of the castle and Little mermaid to the right. No idea about the rest of the left side, but those are some pretty massive looking show buildings! I'm really glad to see how they are reinventing the Magic Kingdom instead of creating another clone. Ultimately new parks will be under built, but at least with the new vision it won't put so much focus on what is missing. It's seeming more like we are getting a Tokyo DisneySea effort rather than the not-so-great openings of other recent Disney Parks (DCA and Hong Kong I'm looking at you!). Time to start planning my 2015 visit to Shanghai!
  11. This one is for all you cruise lovers out there! Cruise ships are really just theme park resorts on water, so it's not hard to see how the two passions can overlap. Strangely there is even a credit you can earn by taking an RCCL cruise (which I didn't do - but you'll see what I did instead shortly and will probably agree I picked the better option). This was my 5th Royal cruise (two short family vacations in the caribbean onboard the Majesty of the Seas and Grandeur of the Seas). Also I did a back-to-back Northern European cruise onboard the Voyager of the Seas in May 2010. Additionally I've been on a 13 night Western Med cruise with Norwegian Jade and we just did a 7 night Eastern Caribbean with the Princess Grande. With so much cruising recently (mostly spurred on by my mom who absolutely loves them) we are quickly forming opinions on the cruise lines and their offerings. RCCL gets my recommendation without a doubt (I saw how awful that Carnivale Klassy Kruise was... no thank you...), Princess just felt too "old". We were ready for Princess to wow us with classiness (and yes it's waaaaayyy "Klassier" than Carnivale) but RCCL just delivers more. Norwegian was pretty decent, amazing number of speciality restaurants, but you end up having to pay to get the same food and level of service you'd just get on Royal. Royal is just the ticket for all ages, especially now that I've tried a few lines I don't see myself venturing away in the future (and my family agrees). The only exception would be a Disney cruise, I think one of their new ships would be comparably wonderful (albeit more expensive). Before Allure the newest ship I'd been on was the Norwegian Jade, and we'd only been on Royal's older offerings (which were all still fantastic without the bells and whistles). Needless to say is blew us away! H-o-l-y-c-r-a-p. Our cruise was 5 nights, we hit up Fallsmouth, Jamaica (meh) and Labadee, Haiti (H-o-l-y-c-r-a-p!) I lifted a few pictures from my sister in law who had more of the ship interior documented, and even if you aren't interested in cruise ships skip ahead for a very, very cool excursion in Haiti! You arrive onboard the promenade. Yes the ship is long, but what you really notice is how wide it is, there are still shops and a deck flanking both sides. Here's the same space at night, look how big it is! The whole ship is essentially hollow! Pictured is central park, and several decks below that is the promenade from earlier. We were right on Central Park floor (10 I think?), it was great. I really appreciated the lunch bistro they had with a salad bar. It beats the buffet any day. They also have an Italian restaurant, and their super fancy restaurant here, plus a wine bar and art gallery. This whole area was the real innovation of the Oasis class vessels. Another thing you immediately notice is they utilize open spaces everywhere. They could have easily crammed on another 2000 passengers if they really wanted to. Up above that is the pool deck! With 2 flow riders, a ton of pools, a sports deck, etc. etc. Yes the pool deck was wider and I love flow riders but its pretty comparable to most other ships. I was surprised they didn't bother with water slides and the mini golf was pretty weak. Nitty gritty I know, but all the other neighbourhoods are where it is at on this ship! The dining room was gigantic. The food was great as always! In addition we visited the Italian restaurant (family style and excellent) and went to Rita's Cantina for a Fiesta night. My brother and sister-in-law went to the central park restaurant for their anniversary and said it was spectacular. I'm also a big Top Chef fan and the head chef for that restaurant Molly almost made the cut for the recent Texas season. The boardwalk area is pretty neat. They added Rita's a Mexican restaurant since the Oasis because they found the area a little under-utilized by guests. There isn't as much to do here at night so I understand how that happens. We spent one evening at this speciality restaurant. A couple of nights on the cruise they have a Fiesta. It was about 18$ a head and included three alcoholic drinks. It was a fun party atmosphere complete with mid-dinner dance offs and tequila shots as prizes. We had a lot of fun with it so I'd recommend indulging one of the nights. Plus you get three drinks TEQUILA! We all had a good time! I thought the rising tides bar was really cool, it takes a meandering trip between the promenade and the Central park decks. Hmm... where did the bar go? Continuing on the boardwalk has some excellent theming touches! Your standard massive rock climbing wall. And the really unique entertainment venue for movies and/or water diving show. They rapidly low that platform in the middle to form the dive people, constantly utilizing it to raise and lower swimmers during the show. For entertainment (like everything the theatre is super sized) we had Chicago! Why cruise ships haven't gotten full length musicals onboard before now is beyond me. I'd say they did a pretty excellent job with the show! There was also a Blue Earth cirque de soliel type show later on in the cruise which I enjoyed. You prebook all your entertainment before going onboard the cruise which the planning side of me enjoyed. The divers were also really excellent! It's nice to have a show you haven't seen a million times on other cruise ships. These guys were ridiculous. There were two shows at the ice skating venue. How to train your dragon (think Disney on Ice) and a tribute to Monopoly... Ya I know, weird. They had a quick change artist though which was also cool. I like how they layered their shows like diving/iceskating with external guests (the dudes who held each other....... and the quick change artists). I shouldn't have loved it as much as I did... If you can't tell already RCCL has paired up with Dreamworks which I think was a good idea for them to do. It just makes them that much more competitive in a space Disney is coming at full force. I would seriously care less if the Allure of the Seas actually went anywhere, the cruise is just that great! But we still got off at the ports. See what I mean about being hollow? At least it's pretty looking unlike the Norwegian Epic. Don't bother leaving the "compound" in Jamaica without a tour. (Pictured: Little brother). The locals will make you feel uncomfortable. I give Jamaica without an excursion a big thumbs down. That's because I spent a ton on the excursion in Labadee! Do you know what I did yet? Nope... it wasn't this credit! (gasp) Yes they have the Dragon's breath coaster (I think it's a credit I'm still not sure on the proper criteria). I heard it's ok (it's also like to ride) Any guesses? Yup a zip line, but don't worry this is just the practice one. Note how you are "supposed" to starfish to slow yourself down? I knew I would ignore those instructions... THIS is what I was here for!!! I *think* it's the longest continuous zip line but don't hold me to that. Excited? Yes! There are five lines each progressively tighter. They sort you by weight so that a little kid doesn't get stuck halfway down. I was very happy they stuck me on line three which I'd classify as the lightweight adult line. I had few others with me so it was rapidly my turn. Line five is capped to 250lbs. They also told us the weather was good so we didn't have to starfish. I accepted that as lie perfectly flat to go as far as possible! And now a POV video, just because I'm ever so nice! Note those two people way in front of me towards the end of the video? Ya... I passed them. The video ends when I started to realize I was going a little too fast. [ ] Just awesome getting to flyby the rest of the cruisers on the beach. Here it is from the other end that I smacked into nicely. Thanks for reading! Now you know, go on an Oasis class vessel, and hit up a credit AND an AMAZING zip line.
  12. There was pretty much nothing the public could see when he was there last year. Even when TPR went a few months later nothing could be seen as the work is beyond the parks current "boundary." Yup as mentioned I could not see any construction. In fact I really don't think they had even started. I did not see any walls nor did I know TSM was coming up. The only construction we had was for Jasmine's flying carpets which were nearing completion at the time!
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