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Everything posted by Jantzen73

  1. Thanks - that was me. Also, I followed ALL rules that we were given to us about photo taking on the tour. A long zoom and a bit of cropping are what got this done - taken from the same spot pretty much everyone else was taking pics from... Anyway - I am soooooo excited to see this transformation and I find all this speculation fun!
  2. Tony tweeted a teaser video of some Valravn testing! (Starts about 45 seconds in)
  3. Just wanted to share my experience at one of the coolest events around - pun intended - Winter Chill Out hosted by Cedar Point. A 6 hour long, off-season tour of the park! Weather was unseasonably warm (and welcome) with that familiar wind whipping off the lake. This was our 3rd Chill Out and once again the park went above and beyond to provide an amazing, one of a kind experience for enthusiasts. Hats off to the Cedar Point staff that planned, coordinated and volunteered their time for this event. As every penny of the $40k raised went to Give Kids the World. Plus the delicious lunch and cool bag of merchandise was much appreciated. My personal highlights were getting to see Valravn in person (of course) but I was surprised to see active construction going on! My brain is still getting used to Valravn jutting out into the midway - but I think I’ll adjust - especially when everything is complete. Touring the train house was AMAZING! The staff was so friendly and there were so many interesting things to see. Touring the mechanics shop is always a treat - and loved their sense of humor…. Going into the ball room was a huge surprise - I could not believe how gigantic it was up there! And of course Jason McClure and Tony Clark’s presentation was informative and funny. Being in the last group of the day I think they were a little loopy and were really loose and fun! I’ll let my pictures show you all the cool / neat things that you don’t get to see every day. I’m not good at documenting every little detail - there are others here that do a much better job of that. I just gravitate towards things that grab my eye and try to make them look a little different / interesting... Thanks for looking! Waiting to check in at the Season Pass center so checked out Gatekeeper for a few. Hanging out by one of the supports. As the sign says - Tour Start. Raptor looked unbelievable - really striking - though we know the white caps will be back soon. Hey, what's going on over here? Oh yes - the worlds tallest spiral staircase and fresh looking Top Thrill Dragster. Couldn't of done this if I tried. Peeking up through Cedar Downs to a couple of B&M's. There's that Immelmann jutting out into the midway. This area is going to be a-buzz with folks watching riders take that first drop. So fresh and so clean. That Immelmann seems more of a signature to Valravn then the 90 degree first drop. More Immelmann. Who wants to have to walk down the MCBR staircase? I do. Another look at that first drop. Coaster to be continued. About 80% done they told us. Looks like a Rollercoaster Tycoon creation. Last one - see you in early May! The train shop tour was definitely unique. Just incredible machines to see up close. I think this work shop has been here since 1870 - so many tools - old and new. That's a lot of iron and steel. You can tell the price that Cedar Point takes in the care for their trains. Even the office was as you would expect. Those hats have seen some soot. This guy escape from Boneville? One's mans trash is another mans, uh shelf? They don't make them like this anymore. Now that's old school. Trains and coasters - amusement park staples. Remain seated until the train comes to a complete and final stop. I got a kick out of how they huddled and stored the trash cans throughout the park. This a view you'd only want in the off-season. Guess those wheels are fully cured. Banana boat all ready to be put back into service. Red train ready to go. Couple of airtime hills. Trail Tavern all boarded up for the winter. This seemed appropriate. Maybe they can move the water cannons to Valravn to give everyone their splashdown. Is this the future how of Rip Cord or something else? Pond is drained and the barn is empty. I'd like to think those things which will not be named are suffering under all that wrap. I've been in that building exactly one time. Family dryer looking more like a shack of horrors. Rest up Maverick - it's going to be another long season. Everyone was quite alarmed by the state of the off-season look of the swings. Seems like a good place to park this. Mine Ride getting some new wood. Some more Mine Ride. Think this will get the Virtual Reality treatment soon? No carp eating dog food today. Seems like an abandoned town. I pick can number 3. Coasters are just laying everywhere. Are they building a bon fire for Meanstreak? BEST DAY and some carousel horses. I wanted to press that button... so bad. Now he's awake! I think they sell a latex mask of this. Yes, yes indeed. Yes there was a red fat person belt. Snoopy watch Boneville is behind you! The star of the show today. Step right up and go straight down. Another sign in the sign shop. Hello there sunshine. Walking back to one of the mechanics shops. I was surprised to see such a new vehicle - most are from the late 80's. So that's where the Chick-fil-a mailbox went. More fresh wheels! Certified fresh. It is such a cool experience to be able to walk around parts of the shop. I needed bigger pockets... They look so strange just sitting around off the track. At least they didn't write Wash Me. Some more Maverick cars in the LakeSide Pavilion. Maverick glamour shot. Dragster in pieces. Neat to see what's underneath all that fiberglass. I box of fresh Dragster seats! We got a history lesson on Hotel Breakers. It was a little creepy with just natural lighting in the lobby. Kinda had that Shining vibe going. The Giant Wheel lost some weight! Now this was cool - though it was a old and creepy as you would expect. My tour guide hated me - I was always the last to leave. Taking a look out the other side. It has charm and the ugliest paint I've ever seen. And that concludes our tour. It was nice - so head over to Battery Park - just the moon light and misc lighting of the park. Here's a shot of the whole peninsula. Went over in the AM too - though lots of gray skies this morning. It's a lot nicer in the summer time. Bonus shot for the seagull fans. Another look at the new skyline. See you in the spring! The sun finally made it above the cloud cover.
  4. This is my kinda thread! A few of my favorites from CP... Sunset from the marina Raptor kicking the sky at sunset Different view of Maverick at sunset Some great sunsets behind Maverick late summer / early fall. Caught these great hues on the flip side of the sunset near Gatekeeper This is why you request a park view room at Breakers!
  5. Thanks for sharing - I agree the sword swallower steals the show! There are some other great acts as well - the contortionist and aerial silk acts were great too I thought. We went the weekend before and even with not-so-great weather you can still find plenty to do around the park! I find it interesting that the Pumpkin Blaze has been re-themed to the Great Pumpkin Spectacular - I wonder if for copyright / trademark reasons or the fact that blaze has another meaning in the urban dictionary...
  6. DoinItForTheFame, Nrthwnd, Password121, coasterbill, dippindotsguy8, cfc, ppleboy007, Midgetman82, thefreak Thanks all for the kind words. I know these aren't typical trip report photos - but I try to capture aspects of the park that may go unnoticed. Plus being up early to see the park "wake up" is quite a peaceful experience with or without the camera. That's also when you realize the park never sleeps - because there are crews all over the park all night getting things ready for the next day. There really is more to do there than just the coasters and Hotel Breakers has really become a destination resort - they really did a wonderful job. From my opening day trip to the last trip I'm still taken aback when I walk into Breakers - mainly because it was just that bad before. I really hope they maintain it over the years - so far this year it has been in top notch condition every time I've visited. You can tell that the park has really taken great pride in the renovations of Hotel Breakers.
  7. Decided to take one more full trip to the Point for the year. Went with the kiddos and my sister came along for her first trip. We arrived at the park around 8:30 Friday evening - it was chilly and a little windy so a few rides were down like Dragster and Raptor. We checked out a few shows, got a ride on Gatekeeper, Wicked Twister and Millennium Force then left about 11:30. We stayed at Breakers Express the first night so I went over to Battery Park to get some sunrise photos - then we head into the park for early entry. Again it was a chilly day but not as windy - everything but Maverick seemed to be running. I splurged for FastLane Plus (actually not a bad deal for Platinum Pass holders $100 vs. $150) so we were able to get a decent amount of riding in and go at a leisurely pace. I had to explain to my sister who Tony Clark was and what a tweetup was and let her know that on a crowded day it would be tough to win unless we got lucky - which we did! We had rode Dragster and head up to the restrooms near Matterhorn. As I was leaving I saw a fellow carrying a handful of Fright Lane passes - it was "Intern" Jordan!!! Not 10 seconds later Tony tweeted out that he was at the Valravn center!!! Woo Hoo! We quickly WALKED over and there was already a few folks in line. We tried to do the math as he handed out the Fright Lanes and my sister and myself were lucky to score Fright Lane passes - and she got a coin! It was pretty exciting! My kids opted for the line skippies as no matter how hard I try they won't do the haunts. So FINALLY I got to do the haunts - and on this insanely crowded night we were able to walk right in to all the haunts - the only waits were 20 minutes for Eerie Estates and about 15 minutes for Cornstalkers - everything else we went right in. We also got to experience the Skeleton Key rooms. Here's how I ranked the haunts... 1. Eerie Estates - Best theming and best Skeleton Key room - loved it. 2. Zombie High - Great theming and great cast that made the Skeleton Key room a hoot. 3. Cornstalkers - Lots of good jump-scare moments 4. Slaughter House - It was ok and Skeleton Key room was different 5. Eden Musee - Again it was ok and Skeleton key room was different - but really only 1 guest can truly experience. 6. Eternity Infirmary - Liked the "spinning room" walkway part - Worst Skeleton Key Room - just stupid. 7. Hexed - OK - no Skeleton Key room - but props to Goat Man who was entertaining the queue. Everything was pretty much PG-13. I was hoping for a little more intensity from the screamsters in the houses. I'm glad we got to do them all and not really wait - plus with the colder weather it was nice to warm up a bit. I would do the top 3 again - they were really very well done - the rest I personally wouldn't do again. Next morning I spent some time at the beach at Hotel Breakers to try and get some photos - I was able to get a a few keepers for sure. After that we head in for early entry and unfortunately Maverick was still down while Millennium Force and Rougarou were still cycling with water dummies. We head up and walked on Gatekeeper then came back to find Millennium Force and Rougarou up. Maverick would not come up before we had to leave so that was a bummer. That's OK because we are already planning our trip next year to get that credit and Valravn! Here's some photos I took - not a lot of ride photos as we were too busy riding / doing haunts ourselves but had time to see a few shows and take some morning / night shots... Enjoy! Stopped in the Red "Slaugher" Saloon to check out the Edge of Madness show Jazz hands! Lots of 80's rock was heard Jammin' Nice details with all the costumes. Stopped to watch the Skeleton Crew show Looks concerned - must have lost his big metal hoop. Dramatic climb with dramatic lens flare. Even with a safety line - that's pretty crazy. No safety lines for the silk aerial act She was very, very good - great performance. But this guy - stole the show. I don't know what was more impressive - his hair or the sword swallowing. He had swords of all shapes and sizes. Lubing one up. This got a lovely reaction of "yuck!" from everyone. Then the namesake of the act came out and bounced around for us. Stars were still out as I arrived. A closer look at the front gate. Longer exposer to soften the waves. This view never gets old. I look from further back. Pumping up the saturation for a more dramatic look. Brought the camera back out at sunset. Trying to get that nice bokeh. The Frontier Trail was lit up nicely. Snuck up the Thunder Canyon queue to get this shot. Loved the lasers along the trail. Crazy colors everywhere. The huge crowds made their way through the darkness and lasers. Nice mood lighting. This sign would fire up every few minutes or so. This guy was hanging out near celebration plaza. Up by Coaster Drive In. Loved the fall colors everywhere. I still love the Giant Wheel's LED package. Looks like a lightbulb needs changed. Even power tower gets lots of orange, green and purple hues. Pumpkins were everywhere near the Dragster midway. See - lots of them. Like, everywhere. Time to head back to Breakers for the night. Got lucky as I waited for sunrise as they fired up the Giant Wheel lights for like 5 minutes. This is when I don't feel so crazy standing on a 30 something degree beach at 7 AM. Sunrises over Lake Erie never get old. Tried to incorporate the fail foliage. A little wider shot. Sun came up and bathed everything in gold. Breakers taking in the morning sun. Loved the glare off the windows. Being creative with a Gator that just rode by. One last beach shot. Morning Breakers! A look out from the fire pits. The rotunda even had a little bat light show.
  8. I used a trash can and my camera bag as a tripod and shot in shutter priority. I played with a bunch of different times during the ride cycle. This one ended up being 1.6 seconds. Auto ISO which was 125. I wish I had the know-how to just calculate this on the first shot - but it is trial and error sometimes - I'm pretty comfortable with these type of shots now and can usually get what I have in my mind now. Just shoot a bunch and look at the settings on the good shots - then start with those settings next time. I was curious and checked - I took 13 shots during the ride cycle with various shutter speeds and the ride at various heights. Most were good - but this one just stood out a little more. The fact that the person was so still in that shot is what made me pick that one! Glad you noticed!
  9. Password121, Superbatboy, DoinItForTheFame, Hilltopper39, Philrad71, RaceBoarder, John Peck - Thank you all for the kind words. I love trying to discover new / interesting views in the park - but some are too classic to pass up. Having all the decorations out made for a nice change of pace and led to some fun shots. I really like the second set - the lighting in the morning just lit everything up so beautifully! Glad to share this wonderful park to everyone here!
  10. Part II Taking a closer look a a couple of Intamin giants. A peak at the front gate from across the bay. A couple of B&M lift hills. Love the silhouette of Wicked Twister and the Giant Wheel. Let's look at them all together. These guys decided to show up. Taking in the view. Loved the little puffs of clouds this morning. Valravn sighting! Headed to its new home perhaps... Then a cyclists scared the geese away. Things were brightening up. A coaster enthusiast's dream. I spooked the seagulls. It was the morning of birds. They started to reclaim their space. Probably thinking of all those elephant ear crumbs over there. All in a row. This big guy giving me the evil eye. Looked like they were deciding which to crap on first. To the park! Always arrive nice and early! Just an amazing morning on the peninsula. Some interesting sights in the employee lot. Let's take a look at this beauty. I guess if you do a kick-ass job you get a close parking spot. To protect and serve Cedar Point. A look at that first drop. Camelback looking large. MCBR A view back to the starting point. Only real coaster nerds would love to walk down these stairs. First train of the day! Here she comes. Over the camelback. I like this little drop after the MCBR. Next train - back, outside left is the best sport for this. Headed towards the front gate. Coming back - next to the keyholes. About to go keyholing Giant pumpkins greet you at the main gate. Turning around. Raptor through the fall landscaping. No tears were shed. Giant pumpkin over the fountain is new. This guy was still out cold. Quite the contrast on this beautiful morning. The throne is pretty epic. Great little show - check it out! Millennium Force rising from the trees. Peek-a-boo! Headed up the first airtime hill. Coming back on the smaller airtime hill. Some remains of White Water Landing Launched lift - yes please. Such an awesome sight - it never gets old. Skyhawk walk on - sure! For the Arrow mine train lover - I know you're out there. Time to check out this beast. Back down they come. Crossing the finish. 120MPH water ride? Dinosaurs Alive is good for something - these views. Always trains full of smiles and hands up! T-Rex vs. Millennium Force... who will win? Carnivorous dino's and Millennium Force - quite the combo. More hands up and smiles! Catching some air! Whee! Bye Millennium Force! Looking down on Millennium Force's lift hill! This gord-o-saurus was hanging out. Best 17 seconds in the park! Trying to be creative. Don't eat the train! Cool pumpkin-snake. Someone raided the farmer's market. Another nice addition for HalloWeekends. Some CorkScrew love. The Corkscrew's iconic midway presence.
  11. Con't Now that is creepy. Still love the rotunda remodeling. No Surf Bar this time. Breakers - looking grand. The lone outdoor pool. Down for high winds - ha! It's his fault. This turned out better than expected. I found pacman on the Giant Wheel. This is over here now. Troika Troika Troika - was out of control. Eerie Raptor shot. The buckets were running now! It was a perfect fall-like night. Sideways jack-o-lantern from the SkyRide. A look from the station. Led's with designs were all over the main midway. Even Power Tower gets a special color package this time of year. Blaze - is that that the old Mantis sign? So this is what I saw when I arrived at the Skeleton Crew show... I guess she's elasti-girl. Ouch. This guy spun around on his iron hula-hoop. These guys just hung out and looked creepy. Ta-da! She came in for a swing. She did a great job. She's OK - I promise. This act got the best response - too bad she moved so fast I could not get a clear shot of her. This was the best I could do. At least she stood still at the end. I guess this would be the Skeleton Crew. They were fun. Thank you and good night. More nice theming. Get it? Just hanging out. This was new - some little booth with projected faces - I guess they sing or something. Ok - time to ride - then time for rest.
  12. Wanted to head out to Cedar Point this past Sunday - but hate doing the 3 hour drive there and back in the same day. So decided at the last minute to just go up Saturday and since I figured that it would be crowded (which it was) that I'd take pictures to pass the time. Ended up getting to the park around 3:00 and soon realized that it was also the PointFest concert - so the Soak City lot was mostly blocked off. I headed into the park and put my Platinum dining plan to use first. The forecast was 100% chance of rain when I checked Friday and there were dark clouds when I arrived but a few hours later all cleared up and it was a perfect night. I think it did rain earlier in the day. I was lucky enough to win a TweetUp and won a front of the line pass - which I intended to use on Millennium Force but it was down when I went to use it - so I used it on Dragter instead. That was my only ride of the night. I instead checked out the Valravn area (won a poster in the social media vending machine), watched the parade, checked out the Skeleton Crew show, took a ton of pics and wrapped up about 10:00 for the night... Another reason I called l it a night early was so that I could wake up early and head back over to Battery Park for some sunrise pics - sky wasn't as colorful as last time but ran into all types of birds which was neat. After that I wanted to get some better shots of GateKeeper - so I head over that way outside the park before going in Sunday morning. Sunday was slow the first 2 hours but picked up after that. I left about 1:00 but still got my rides on Millennium Force, Maverick and SkyHawk. Could of rode more but took more pics instead... Part II tomorrow... Here's the second set The smell of Kettle Corn is in the air - that means one thing - Halloweekends has begun! Skeletons and tombstones of employees past and present are throughout the park. This demonic skull was at the entrance to Frontier Town. They survived the demon! So the little path around the tunnel was open - which made for a nice view. Always so many hands up on Millennium Force! Another Intamin giant lurking in the background. As you can see the crowds were thick today - as they are most Saturday's of HalloWeekends. Lots of Valravn love throughout the park. Hay maze and Max Air! This guy was hanging out near Kiddy Kingdom. O H I O These pumpkin-headed skeletons are all around the main Midway. What will become of this statue after the marina entrance facelift? Footers! Big footers! Angry pumpkins were hanging near the Dragter entrance. Corkscrew - back before coasters had to have names of fictitious creatures. Rougaroo - still some head-banging. New Pumpkine Blaze displays around the TTD midway. Still paying homage to their ex-GM. Seagulls and Raptor - just kinda go together. The guy in charge of big coasters has a big tombstone. Then the tuba's arrived. Their may be a coaster in the reflection somewhere. Who doesn't love a parade. Insert tasteless Raptor joke *here* Tony doing a Periscope broadcast. Awww. Stoned Frankenstein? This guy rocked! (I know, I know) Artsy time. Bye. The newest Peanut. Juggling and human Starbursts - this parade has it all. That's what it's called. See ya' Snoopy. Clouds moving out and sun moving in. Ride tombstones. Find your favorite old ride here. These may need a little grease. Great lighting - a photographer's best friend. Kiddie maze at the BlueStreak midway. Rusty rails. That B&M pre-drop. Loop the loop. Kick the sky. What's this? Here's BlueStreak. Old B&M, New B&M Something is missing... That's better - minus the cell phone holding moron. The park has decorations everywhere. Sneaking a peak of Millennium Force. More tiny skeletons. Yes you can touch it - just no climbing. It's a big piece of tarnished copper colored steel. Can't wait for 2016! Amazing fit and finish. The buckets were still parked. Another look back. Corkscrew through the corkscrew. A peak from the top of the bleachers. Yay! Seems like every time I go to Millennium Force I have to wait for the train. Sitting is better than standing. Tiny pumpkin is back. Weee! or something. Nice puff of smoke. Whizzing past the jawless demon skull. It's really that fast. Be a man and raise both hands. There are still trees - mostly in the back of the park. See trees can co-exist with steel. This was new for this year. This was new for 2000. More giant, jawless skulls. Between the waterbombs. After the waterbombs. That drop, front row is amazing! Sun is setting back by Maverick. Airtime in the sunset. Can you spot both trains? Sun almost below the horizon. Leaving some HalloWeekends like clouds. One more. Camp Snoopy turns into this after dark. Scary impaled clowns added to Gemini midway. They must of had a sale on these skulls. This was new. Kinda cool. Gourd dino and Dragster. Time to stroll to Breakers for some Starbucks. Hallway photos have been replaced with creepy photos. In fact the whole lobby has been transformed. These were all around the railings. A few from above. Creepy photo's were even added upstairs. From the other side. Here's a peak...
  13. Thanks for the info on the tower! I meant to look up info on it but never did. Also, I might have been a little harsh on Thunderbolt - I've been on worse - and it wasn't all bad but there were a few transitions where we all had a collective "ouch!" come out of our mouths. We rode in the second row if that matters - they would not let us wait next train for front - even after spending $10 a pop. Restraints were fine - that wasn't the problem. We just did not enjoy it and even if it was free probably wouldn't have rode again. Cyclone we did splurge for a few rides - again more for the nostalgia than the ride - but it was a collective one-and-done on Thunderbolt.
  14. Canon SL1 - Pretty much their entry level crop sensor DSLR. I love it because of its light weight. I used a combo of the EF-S 10-18 for wide angle shots and EF-S 55-250 II for zooming in. I usually use the EF-S 18-55 STM also (the lens that came with the camera kit) but opted to rent a higher end 24-70 f/4L lens for this trip. It is a little heavier but produces a slightly better picture. I also use lensrental.com to try out the higher end lenses once in a while. Keep an eye on Canon's refurbished site - especially around the holidays - they offer like new kits for a great price - that's how I got mine a few years back. It looks like it is $379 right now - you can add a refurbed 55-250 lens for under $100 and have a nice beginner setup. It was tough on this trip because the primary objective was to ride and enjoy the parks - but also try to find the time to get some photos. That's why I did not cover every square inch of the parks - just gravitated to the popular rides and whatever captured my attention. They range from snapshot quality to pretty damn good on a few - figured I share even the just alright ones as well - I know I love seeing parks through other folks eyes so glad a lot of you enjoyed!
  15. Day 6, Park 6 - Luna Park / Deno's Wonderland - Coney Island, NY Took the hour long subway ride from the city out to Coney Island to check out Luna Park - and evidently Geno's Wonderland. I had no idea that the Giant Wheel and the surrounding area were a separate entity requiring separate tickets from Luna Park's 4 hour ride wristbands. Lesson learned - guess I did not do all my homework before going there. Of course we ponied up for a spin on the Giant Wheel and it's swinging cars. It wasn't as thrilling as the one we rode at Disneyland (that had barf bags on board!) but still offered a nice view of the surrounding area. The big coasters - Cyclone and Thunderbolt both required their own tickets - $10 for Thunderbolt and $9 for Cyclone! Even the carousel was an upcharge - we skipped that. I mean this is New York City - so I guess it's par for the course... We rode Cyclone twice - and except for getting to say that we rode the Cyclone it was an alright ride. The seats and restraints were tight and small - nicely padded so comfortable but man was it tight. I remember reading about Thunderbolt and that it was quite rough - even after some track work. The lift hill and drop were great then it was anywhere from just ok to ouch! the rest of the way. Also rode another Zamperla flyer - again ok until you are inverted. The spinning mouse was like an outdoor Exterminator from Kennywood... The best ride was from Steeplechase - fun launch and smooth ride. Only thing I regret is not getting a hot dog from Nathan's - just because it was Nathan's at Coney Island. We only spent about 3 hours at the park - mainly to get the coasters in - we didn't ride any of the flats. Another hot day and late into our trip so we were all ready to get out of the heat and back onto the air-conditioned subway. We then topped off the night (pun intended) with a trip to the top of 30 Rock - this was great and offered some great views! That's all for this road trip! After an hour ride from Times Square this was our view from the subway platform. Some cool coaster art coming out of the station. Love the artwork all through the city. Nathan's! We never did get a dog here. Our first sighting of Thunderbolt. Creepy face logo everywhere was creepy. Boardwalk area was nice - I'm sure a lot was rebuilt since Sandy. Park map! The Tickler didn't tickle but was a decent little ride. Had to head straight to the park icon though. We are at a historic place! Still going after all these years. Lift hill shot. It looks like it's been there for almost 90 years! Random bench shot. The Tickler. Pure Americana - the Cyclone at Coney Island. This looked fun... No kiddie credit today. Deno's Wonder Wheel Time for a ride - swinging of course. Could make out the NYC skyline through the haze. Thunderbolt looks nice - wish it rode nice. The rest of Thuderbolt. Those swinging, caged enclosures sure look inviting... Deno even has a park map. Back to Luna Park - Goodbye Deno. Time for a coaster-horse credit. Neck snapping launch. Because all horse races begin with a traffic light. Nice looking trains. This one was parked - so 1 train ops made for a long wait - but it was a fun ride! Time to throw down $10 a pop to ride this. There is only 1 Thunderbolt to me and that's in West Mifflin, PA Not sure what the tower was / is - nothing seemed to be happening on it. Someone tied a kite to the railing which made for some fun shots. Bonus seagull! Top of the lift. Through the loop. Mandatory carousel shot. So next door is a landscaping company. I love NY too. Bye Thunderbolt - we won't miss you but will miss our $10. Last chance to get a dog... maybe next time. It was so relaxing and surreal at the top of 30 Rock! One more shot.
  16. Thanks! The big rides at SFNE had good ops - Wicked Cyclone / Bizarro, etc. were fine - Thunderbolt was horribly slow and one of the ops at the drop tower was not a nice person. Those are the one's that stick out to me. It seemed the better the rides the better the ops - the worse the ride - the worse the ops. So, unless it's a really slow day I'd bite the bullet and save up the almost $100 for Platinum Flash Pass. Assuming it will be the same way with Wicked Cyclone not being available on Gold next year. If it moves to Gold then Gold Flash Pass is enough. Being able to walk on all day to Wicked Cyclone and double rides on Bizarro made it worth it for us. Since it was a hot day a lot of the crowd was in the water park then flooded in around 7 PM. Whenever we plan on going to a park that we will not be back to in a long time or ever - we just plan on getting whatever fast lane type system they have - we do wait until we get there to get it though - just in case the lines aren't bad. Even this day we waited until noon to get the Platinum Flash Pass - once we saw what the wait times were going to be. We also find on hot days like we had it makes the day go by so much better because we can break and not feel rushed to get it all done. Probably best to pop into the SFNE thread a month or so before your trip and I'm sure the regulars there can help guide you on your upcoming visit.
  17. Day 5, Park 5 - Rye Playland - Rye, NY Didn't have high expectations for this park as we made our way from CT to NYC but it turned out to be better than we expected. Even though most of the rides were just OK we found the park very welcoming and clean with good operations. Highlights were riding the infamous Dragon Coaster, the derby ride and the Zoltar machine! There are some unique flat rides, a fun old mill and a boardwalk / beach area too. We got our first spin on a Zamperla flyer - and after the first lift hill it's all down hill from there - the inversions bring the pain for sure. The derby ride was fun - long cycle and higher speed than Cedar Downs at Cedar Point. The horses did not move back and force - but they didn't have to - there was enough speed to keep the ride exciting. You even have to put your left leg on the lowest peg and the right on the highest - plus the announcement over the loud speaker during the ride to "keep leaning to the left!" So that was pretty unique and cool. The dark rides were about what you'd think they'd be - old hot smelly buildings with dated "animatronics". House of mirrors is something you don't see everyday anymore so that was neat. The wild mouse was typical and besides being historic the Dragon Coaster was a very forgettable ride. The nice landscaping, tree-lined walkways and the old look / feel of the buildings kind of reminded me of Kennywood when I was growing up - this place definitely has one foot in the past. I was really expecting a lot worse but we had a nice time on the day we were there. Our first sighting from the parking lot - a Zamperla flying coaster. Your typical ferris wheel with gondalas. Ticket booth - we went for the all-day wristband. Our view when we entered the gates. We spied Dragon Coaster running. The old ticket booth looks like some medieval torture chamber. Have ____ today! Yes the "Oh my God!" moment that everyone who grew up in the 80's has - our kids were like WTF? Just a pretty park. Getting closer to the ride that sounds cooler than it is. Now maybe riding in those cars would have made for some excitement. Dragon Coaster and its 1 train - yes the wait was long even on this slow day. The derby building and gondola wheel. Bonus point for "smoke" coming out the dragon! A lot of parks wouldn't even have this - so it was nice to see the park pay attention to the small details. It's really hard to make this ride look exciting. There's the Dragging - I mean Dragon Coaster. Loved the old time architecture. Who doesn't love the design of the lift hill - and pretty much hate everything else about these? Those derby horses don't mess around - hold on tight or get flung from the ride. Gorgeous day. Kiddyland WELCOME The park is a Historic Landmark. Outside the gates there was an ice rink. Cool mural on the fountain. Pretty fountain. Oh, there's the map! Just a picturesque little park. More admiration for the landscaping. Another look. Look kids - a "pay phone". Long before cell phones.... One more shot of the pretty landscaping. Mini-dragon coaster. Cute. Look out for that dragon head. Classic styling. Yes please. Step into the way-back machine. A look across the way. Let's have some fun on the carousel! Do they even still make hand carved horses anymore? Nicely detailed. A look back at the swings. Very elegant. It was a moving work of art. One last shot. There's some clever fire and water joke in there somewhere. Classic whip ride. House of mirrors. What's a castle without zombies? Air-brushed zombies. The crazy mouse - cracking necks since 2003. The view from here was kind of meh. What is the difference between a crazy mouse and a wild mouse? Part of the infamous dragon tunnel. Then there was this building. Something out of a nightmare. Meet the Dragon Coaster's dark side. Windmill with demons? I'm in. The ride was better from the outside than the inside. Another park another S&S tower. The is about the best distance to stay from this ride. NUF EDILS! Choo choo! Taking a stroll to the beach / boardwalk. What's creepier than a giant tin man? The Village People - sorry we missed it... Y..M..C..A! A step back in time. Another fountain shot. Beach - looked nice but that water... I think I'll stay dry today. There was a restaurant and bar on the boardwalk. Some folks were fishing out on the pier - you can maybe see the log flume from here. A look back at the beach. Welcome back! Some interesting benches on the boardwalk. The classic Zoltar shot from Big (for the children of the 80's) Headed back to the parking lot. One last look back. Goodbye Rye Playland - it was fun!
  18. Day 4, Park 4 - Lake Compounce - Bristol, CT Another hot and humid day - that's OK because we weren't planning a full day here and the park is on the smaller size. Overall impressions of the park - it's OK. Phobia next year will help the park out for sure. It seemed like the lake should have boats on it or something else. I guess they do a light show over it on certain days... As for Boulder Dash - had mixed feelings - Front row ride was one of the best wooden coaster rides I've had - but in seats further back there were some painful moments that distracted from the ride. We didn't get a night ride - the park closed at 8 and we were out by 6 so either way sun would have been up... It seems that is something to experience. 1 train operations also made short lines seem to take a long time which again is supposedly the norm. One thing that stood out was the park's re-ride policy for disabled guests. The ride op puts a green cone in line a person or two behind the current folks waiting in line to hold their spot. They then could ride twice in a row. One caveat is that if the person that is disabled does not ride then the other members of their group can not. We heard this when one woman had enough after 1 Boulder Dash ride - she ended up sticking it out for a second ride so her group could ride. Just never seen it done this way before. We rode most flat rides and the log flume - nothing was too spectacular. Zoomerang I skipped - kids got their credit. Wildcat was horrible - thought I broke my back on that thing. Nice to look at but that's about it. Operations were good throughout the park and fresh cut fries were tasty. Again we skipped the waterpark so can't give any insight there. On to the pics... Really no need for a map in this small park. Tunnel entrance - love them! Ok we are tall enough. Getting closer. Nice front entrance. Located at the base of a mountain. Creepy figures in the windows. Nice landscaping. That coaster back there looks good but it is very bad. One more beauty shot. That concludes our tour of the front gate. I spy a flappy bird up the hill! Yeah! We made it! So I've ridden the "number 1" steel - time for the "best" woodie Only blue train running today. Nice lift hill ride up the mountain. Here it comes! Hard to photograph this thing! Coming back - lots of airtime hills. Oh - there it goes! Drop tower credit - even though we don't keep count! There's more tree than coaster. Best part of the ride - should have stopped here. You poor, poor souls. It's all downhill from there. Ouch! Our turn to feel the pain. Their beautiful carousel. They had a billy goat! Ha! Didn't know that. Cool. Part of the kiddie area. Zoomerang - or no thanks. Nice waterfall in front of the pirate ship. Some Phobia signage throughout the park. Nice sparkly sign. I guess yellow jackets like mountain coasters - these were everywhere in the park. Back drop of the flyer ride. Nice paint job - did not ride - nothing beats Knoebels Flyers... We did ride this - nice but too short. Splashdown. Flume ride queue sign. Down for protein spill - rode it later. Good but no Skyhawk. Ferris wheel. There really are boulders here. This is what the side of the ferris wheel looks like. Boulder Dash station. Bottom of the first drop. And they're off! Nice to have so many trees around. Enterprise was down and I think is coming out. Frisbee ride was ok - I can still feel the restraint hitting my back. Walked by this several times but always seemed to be a line so never went in... Gargoyle shot. The Phobia display was still out. Ride map. Photoshop'ed ride pic. That non-descript white building back ther freaked us out on our way in - looks like some secret government building or missile silo. Quick - it's Boulder Dash! Through the ferris wheel shot. Coming into the station. Downtime. Getting ready to leave the station. Over the lift hill. Boulder Dash from across the lake. More views from the train. The lighthouse water slide thing looked neat. From the other side of the lake. Headed back. Now that's some nifty engineering. Just throw some footers on the boulders and build a coaster. We took the trolley back to where the rapids ride is and ski lift. Was down due to weather - too hot. 30 min round trip and worried about heat stroke. Here comes Boulder Dash! And just like that, they are gone. More cool footer-boulders. Some of the structure. More wood. See that speck of blue back in the woods? Here they come - the home stretch. The front will put a smile on your face. That triple up - crazy element. half way there... Almost. Goodbye!
  19. Kids were getting antsy to get back to the Point - so with not much going on this weekend we decided to go up Sun-Mon. Since we renewed our Season Passes for 2016 we were eligible for free Fast Lane Plus for any non-Saturday any one day the rest of 2015 - so we took advantage of that. Crowds were out of control large Sunday - Fast Lane actually sold out! Last time I saw that was Opening Day with Gatekeeper... Anyway, we got there at open, beat the crowds and used FL+ until about 2 PM - then head out to hit the pool at Breakers Express and to check out some coaster track! There was actually a line of cars 1/3 way down the causeway, 3 lanes wide when we left! The "brown" portion of the new track really changed colors depending on the angle of the sun and if it were in the sun or shade - anywhere from a chocolate brown to a bronze. I'm more worried about how it rides than the color scheme but it was sure neat to check out. There was a 6' chain link fence around the area - with no signs or anything. I took a few shots from our room and the rest by zooming in through the fence or holding my camera above. We head back in the park later that evening after hitting Chet and Matt's wing and pizza buffet to get some more rides in. By this time Millennium Force Fast Lane wait was 45 minutes! We also stuck around for Maverick pass holder ERT. It went down about 20 mins in so we called it a night. Since I had my camera for the coaster track pics I set my alarm for 6 AM to try for some more sunrise shots. Had a nice pinkish hue this time and glad I woke up a bit early - though I'm about to nod off writing this trip report... So hope you enjoy! We had a nice view from our room at Breakers Express! The rest were taken through and over the fenced area... Snapped some photos from the Sky Ride Kick the sky! Never a train when you need one. I hope they don't have to remove too many trees for Valravn. Shot of part of the staging area. Here you can better see the location near the midway. Water tower and a nicely lit cloud. Iconic CorkScrew over the midway. Wide angle lens making Power Tower and Dragster lean! One of the best drops around. The sky was very pink this morning! My favorite prop! Meeting of the ducks. A little later things turned orange when this guy showed up. Sorry no Coasters, but I liked this shot! Now I just need a boat and I'll be all set.
  20. Day3, Park 3 - Six Flags New England - Agawam, MA As far as Six Flags goes I was pleasantly surprised by SFNE. Clean park, nice layout, good assortment of coasters... Ride ops were great on the popular rides - still ran into a few slow moving ops. Only complaint - and obviously worse due to the hot weather - is that there is black asphalt EVERYWHERE (well except right near the front gate). Even at night the heat was radiating on the walk ways. Goliath was down which was a bit of a let down - that thing is massive! I'm no boomerang fan but that thing looked incredible. We went right to Wicked Cyclone. Waited a few trains and WOW! RMC lives up to the hype - such great pacing - the ride is fun right up to the final brake run. Comfortable ride with some fun elements. First thing I thought was - I can't wait until they get their hands on Mean Streak. With such a large coaster there is so much potential. We got quite a few rides on it thanks to Platinum Flash Pass - pricey but we were able to walk on Wicked Cyclone all day. Got to see what all the hoop-la was about Bizarro / Superman: RoS soon again... Verdict - boys loved it, girls thought - "meh". The lap bars were a little irritating but besides that I thought it was a great ride - especially for one that been around over 15 years. It's definitely a top tier coaster. Loved the view of the river and that you can walk around so close to the track. We realized when we left the park for dinner that some residents open their yards for parking - it was only like $3... Little old lady was in her beach chair taking money. Better than the $25 that the park charges for sure... I was also surprised that the park was in a rural area - seemed to pass a lot of tractors pulling tobacco leaves which was cool. Still had this up from the day before - shame on them lol. Is this a court house or an amusement park? View from the parking lot bridge. Nice landscaping outside the front gate. We are in - pretty nice view down the main midway. I gave up waiting for Wicked Cyclone to enter the picture... Close enough - I need to go ride this thing! But wait - a shark! After losing our RMC cherry it was off to see this guy. Intamin sighting through the trees. Some cool elements (I'm not used to working theming - ahem, Cedar Point) Hey, I'm not the only one who was snapping photos that day! Nice location with the trees and the river nearby. Spinning mouse - seemed like a good idea at the time. Looks great from the ground - rode the shorter versions at other Six Flags - hell no to this monster. Some RMC goodness. First drop! Away they go! I know exactly where I was at 12:51 PM EST 8/17/15. What a massive structure - was down still... Some dark clouds creeping up behind Wicked Cyclone. Thunderbolt - painfully slow ops - not a horrible ride. Looks like someone might pop out a secret elevator. Nice carousel at the front of the park - with nice pavers instead black asphalt. Charming actually. A shot and drop tower all in one! Fun ride. So we stumbled across the train - up behind season pass processing - I think we woke the poor girl operating the train. Back down into the park. Headache coming in 3, 2, 1. What's that back there? Bizzaro heading back. Oh - what's this a B&M floorless. Was ok. I think the park GM is color blind - awful colors. Couldn't help but peaking back to see that fun little Intamin while sipping on a cold beer. One more. The turn around. And when you are ready for that perfect shot - and they send a test train. Fail. Hey it's a mini Millennium Force! Another S&S tower credit. Ride the Thunderbolt it said. So we did. Spooky - but spooky with air conditioning. I liked how all the rides had their "licenses" on display. Watch out for that cowboy! Tomahawk - the inside out Max-air / pirate ship ride thing. It was ok. Needed to get back over to the star of the park. Yep - Six Flags - well 7 if you count the US flag. These folks rolled up the hill.. and turned right around... My wife informed me of the snickering by the folks walking by as I took a pic of a sewer grate. This little nook of the park was nicely themed - and actually no blacktop! Oh - so that's what they do... So, what do they do? It lived up to its name. It looks like it could just walk away and destroy a city. It was not to be this day though. Returning from dinner and figured a few folks would appreciate. Entering the tunnel in 3... 2... 1! Wild mouse with a much too long name. Bizzaro overload coming up... make up your own comments... And then there is the creepiest joker you've ever seen. That's a better view. They were VERY detailed with this Catwoman figure. Those poor souls. Tomahawk - all by it self up a dead end path. Time for some night rides on Wicked Cyclone to end the day... How tall do they need to make these things anyway? Quick night shot. Carousel looking nice all lit up. And that's all folks... Great time at SFNE!
  21. Day 2, Park 2 - Quassy Amusement Park - Middlebury CT Bought the after 4PM 2 for $22 passes online which was a good deal. Wasn't expecting much from this park and really just wanted to get a ride on Wooden Warrior. Park seemed really crowded when we arrived though we only waited about 15 mins for Wooden Warrior each time - which isn't bad for having only 1 train. It was better than expected and a fun little ride. Rest of the park was carnival-like quality rides. Didn't head to the water park - but it was busy on this hot day. We were good after a few hours there. Oh - plan on zero cell service and no WiFi - I know - the horror! Definitely our least favorite park of the trip. Highlight of this stop was finding Maggie McFly's restaurants in the area - great stuff! LOL- Restaurant is Called M a g g i e McFly's - it is auto-changed to Magnum - Love TPR!!! We almost parked in the park - this place was cozy to say the least. Ok - so far so good looks decent enough from here. For some reason we never made it to the bumper cars - kinda forgot about them. Coming soon to a Quassy near you. Then things got a little creepy as you moved back into the small park. So apparently the name was decided on by local school students - cool! Amusing signs in the queue. Our first glimpse of that Timberliner! More entertaining signage. Sexy train shot. Sexy brake run shot. Little pops of air near the end. Coming in - this thing took a solid minute to load in from the brake run - starting and stopping a lot. Front car. Lots of rivets and screw heads. A hands up ride for sure! Coming through. Headed out. Yeah - could have used Knoebels dress code here... Some hair-time and chest-hair-time - yuck! Please fly to Wal-Mart and buy a shirt. Even small drops can be scary. Nice little tunnel - all in all a fun little ride - better than we expected. Portable pirate ride... Beach area - looks nice here - but was not in person. A giant Quassy cock? They had one of these. You could rent a paddle boat if you wanted to bake out in the sun. Glamour shot. Now that's how you ride the Little Dipper at Quassy. Old and nostalgic train. Some nice horses on the carousel. Sea Serpent! Bonus points! Nice details and craftmanship. And a creepy Humpty Dumpty! This was new - no thanks. Was going to ride - but the ride cycle was very long and I was still recovering from the Looper at Knoebels. Scenic lake setting - that and Wooden Warrior were the best things. Now this ride freaked us out - those swings lean waaaaaaay back. Scary fun. Now that we were leaving we found the map - that you really don't need. Here's as close as we got to the water park. No drop tower credit today One last look at Wooden Warrior before we head out. Goodbye Quassy - see you again if you get another coaster.
  22. Day 1 - Knoebels Day 2 - Quassy Day 3 - Six Flags New England Day 4 - Lake Compounce Day 5 - Rye Playland Day 6 - Luna Park Finally getting around to sorting through a week's worth of photos... Main goals of the trip were to get to Knoebels for Impulse (and the food - and especially for Phoenix), Boulder Dash, Bizarro, our first RMC and a ride on the legendary Cyclone! We also capped things off with a few nights in NYC for some sightseeing, shopping and of course Scott's Pizza Tour! All in all the trip was a success - kids only missed 2 credits and we had no rain - but the heat was pretty bad in mid-August (as to be expected). These pics won't cover every square inch of the parks - just the stuff that caught my eye when I decided to stop riding and pull the camera out - enjoy! Day 1, Park 1 - Knoebels Amusement Park - Elysburg, PA We were here to check out Impulse, ride The Phoenix and eat great food. Impulse was good, not great we all thought. We had done pretty much everything else at the park last visit so we took a mid-day break at the hotel for a quick dip to cool off. You can buy discounted books of tickets at Weis Markets in the area if you are going on a non ride-all-day day. As expected, had a great time at Knoebels - it's such a great park. Hoping to stop back in the fall - it has to be beautiful with all the foliage. Plus I'm sure a night train ride is even creepier then! There's that twisted mess of metal they call Impulse! Unfortunately for me this was the best part of the ride - the 90 degree lift hill. Restraints were comfy - no complaints there. Even had a booster seat insert for little ones! Leaving the station. I loved the color changing LED's in the station - nice touch. It's a lot of coaster crammed into a small area. Through the corkscrew. Straight down! Wheeee! Hands up! Going down. Neck-snapping fun! Fun first drop - great ride the whole family can enjoy - not extremely thrilling though. Oh yes - we are back at one of the greatest amusement parks around! So many little touches throughout the park - this park really preserves the past. So simple - yet so perfect for the park. Random swan swimming in the creek. One of many, many signs through the park. Love that homemade feeling to everything around the park. Lots of interesting characters with yes - more signs! One sign I don't mind seeing - just one of the best woodies around - hands down - or better yet, hands up! I wish all wooden coasters were as awesome as The Phoenix Filter time. Leave your mark on the bridge if you like. A picnic grove with candy cane supports - only at Knoebels. Our view from inside the Oasis where we had the best chicken meal - amazing food throughout the park.. And that white birch beer! Yum! One fantastic carousel. Didn't get a brass ring though. It still works! Amazing to see the love and care Knoebels has taken. Yes you will see dogs on leashes around the park and on the train, but not in the creek. I think there is a sign every 3 feet. There's another. Love the detail - because they couldn't just say 50 feet. That little creek has caused some big problems over the years. Not today though. A view from the covered bridge. Another view from the covered bridge. Ahhh - We stopped in here a lot. Fying Turns - what an accomplishment for the park. These one of a kind trains are a work of rolling art. Is there a better setting for a classic wooden coaster like Phoenix? Lots to look at as you peruse the park. Even a pretty butterfly arrives on cue. Oh that's pretty much how it feels too. Not for those with weak stomachs. The Flyers! Sails will be whipped today! What else does a ride op need? 1 chair, 2 fans and an internal combustion engine! Best flying scooters around. We're back for more Fascination! I didn't win the2 ball cover-all. More neat stuff - everywhere you look. Decorative signs... Warning signs... Food signs... (My favorite kind) Flood signs... (boooo!) Balloon-headed girl! Downdraft going up. I felt really awkward stopping to snap this pic - but I had too - it's just so Knoebels! Time for a ride on the Giant Wheel. Ferris wheel tire - just because. Great to see the rolling tree-covered hills all around and in the park. Great view of Impulse from here. That's a RollerCoaster Tycoon lift hill for sure. Sun dropping below the tree line. Around we go. Nice view of Downdraft. Time for an even more scenic ride. Crossing the road. Lots's of interesting things tucked up the hillside. Looks like it would be fun to walk down - but not up. Random silver skull impaled on footer bolt. Beautiful evening. It was a hot and hazy August evening. See there really is an amusement park down in those woods! Can you spot Phoenix? Lift hill wheels, lifting. Small but terrifying! The track work of Flying Turns is unbelievable. Like a work of art. Here they come! Why am I about to go into this human hamster wheel?!? A pair of girls counted spinning 82 times as they went around and around... 82 times! Knoebels has a totally different feel at night. That's all from Knoebels - time to get our night train ride and final ride on Phoenix! Balloon race all lit up. Rides really do run faster at night! The new LED package on the Giant Wheel looked great! Downdraft cutting through the night. Swings, swinging. Satellite at night.
  23. Andy, Glad I helped inspire your little trip to Battery Park - I just love being over there for a while - nice and relaxing... Great shots! (as usual!) and hope you don't mind me borrowing some of your ideas! - I love the Maverick shot with the water and buildings in the background - you have a great eye! Just wish I was as thorough as you. I tend to gravitate to a couple areas / ideas to get the shots I want. I mean, I think I have 1 picture of MeanStreak (somewhere, possibly, maybe ) Thanks for taking some time out of your park visit to keep us coaster-nerds happy!
  24. Are you kidding? I agree. I would gladly pay money to have some of these photos in print. They are simply amazing. Wow! I'm blown away by the responses. Really got me motivated to get back out there! Right now what I'd love more than anything is access to certain areas of the park to get shots from new angles. Like, if they had some sort of behind the scenes tour. It's so hard to come up with something new and unique that has not been done at that park. Plus Cedar Point already has an excellent talent (I believe Jordan does most of their A/V work) and he does a great job. I also have some photo's from the 4th of July - I've posted some in the CP thread but they got buried - there's a few keepers in there. I was really happy with some of the shots that I got. Here's the link and a sample below. Cedar Point 4th of July 2015
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