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About Marko

  • Birthday 01/27/1962

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  1. We ate at a McDonalds on the PA turnpike last year and it was several days before either of us felt better. The 30 minute rule is probably driven by cutting down on cleaning up the bathrooms. First rule of coaster road-trips - don't eat on Turnpikes!
  2. ^ Yup, I was talking about Timbers being rough based on a report from someone who attended this year's Spring con. As far as Rumbler being a front seat ride, that's just my opinion based on the first Rumblefest. You're probably right on the steel count, altho I hope Orlando surprises us next year.
  3. While I admit the ride looks like a good time it is indeed just another woodie. And based on last year's efforts by GG and GCI I'm not looking to them to build anything all that exciting in the future. The comments about RFII being rough doesn't surprise me. Aggressive, kick ya down a flight coasters is their trademark. GCI is all about building fun, relatively mild and low maintenance coasters (thus the appeal to CF who simply can't maintain wood coaters). But in the end I think the envelope has been pushed by both companies as far as we'll see it go. Hades and The Voyage may be beaten someday in regards to height, length and intensity, but I hope not. First season of Hades was missing some key airtime moments but by the second season it had broken-in riding the way you think it should but as someone already mentioned you trade that for a rib-cracking/neck-snapping experience at the end. Similarly while I love The Voyage the thing just utterly exhausts me. I once took four rides in a row (again first season) and sat down in front of the gift shop unable to move for an hour. So for me traditional wood coasters are a been there and done that, there doesn't seem to be the hope of anything new or exciting. That's where Hades gets the #1 spot from a sheer innovation standpoint. Voyage gets an award for pushing the envelope as far as it should go. It's funny but my #1 is still The Phoenix at PPP. front row. The closest I've come to wood airtime bliss were our front-row 2002 rides at Timbersfest (altho never again, I hear it is running awful again this year). And then of course El Toro, but not even a boo about building a bigger/longer wood Intiman at a state-side park. They're really my only hope and many consider El Toro to be in a hybrid breed by itself. The final top one in recent memory is Rumbler, by far GCI's crowning achievement (altho again a strictly front seat ride). Has the wood coaster renaissance reached it's peaked? I kind of hope so and we'll see a return to steel. And no gimmicks which require OSTRs, the only exception are B&M inverts (which if Patriot is any example they have the ear-banging problem solved). MY hope is for taller MFs (yes with more airtime), more hypers like SFRoS at SFNE, or Goliath at SFoG, coasters that push the envelope. deliver tons of thrills and airtime with comparitively minimal maintenance so they tend not to degrade and one day beat the heck out you. There's only so far you can go with wood imho, and that limit has been reached. I know, it's sacrilege.
  4. Big Mike - My first plan was to visit Kemah next weekend (scrapped). Second option was to weekend after next (also scrapped unless by some miracle they make an announcement by mid next week). Final plan and hopefully safest - October. Maybe combine with Fiesta Fest But that's assuming it will be running by then, which I'm asuming will be weekends only. Bottom line is nobody knows!
  5. Thanks LD for the blow by blow report! I'm guessing Voyage and/or Hades did not valley ever on their test runs, so I imagine it was a tremendous disappointment. Kudos to the crew, though! It sounds like over the last 8 months they have endured the worst coaster building weather in history.
  6. Thanks for posting! It would be great to see a video of how they pull it through to the next drop, and then I suppose let it go again? What exactly is involved as far as equipment goes? It sounds like this would make one heckuva "making of" documentary/DVD.
  7. What other wood coasters have vallied on their first run? Is this a common occurence?
  8. Oh please oh please oh please be open by Friday 8/17! I've had a trip planned to Kemah and other TX parks for over a month now. But if BB doesn't open, the whole thing is off. Luckily I can cancel up to a week before, so really I'm hoping for some sort of announcement by the 9th. Fingers crossed!
  9. The park was indeed somewhat quiet both Sunday and Monday we were there (6/3-4). The longest we waited was 10 minutes for Superman. But it wasn't empty by any means, they have some great ride ops at SFoG.
  10. Thanks Mark - We'll definitely budget more time for OC next time, would have loved to had wristbands for both Trimpers and Jolly Roger and spent the entire afternoon and evening there. Lots of nice resorts/hotels and the whole town just seemed to have a shine to it. And that's where Wildwood immediately fell apart for us. We rushed through OC thinking Wildwood and Morey's would be Valhalla but it turned out to be more Baghdadish, at least where we were staying! Toss in the CCI being down, us being tired, and just generally being disappointed with the whole town we threw in the towel for the day. Now we know better, da shore is a whole 'nother world. We apparently needed a practice visit, lol.
  11. ^ Next time I'll put it all in one thread, thanks for the suggestion. The only thought was that maybe someday TPR will archive TR's by park?
  12. Dorney Park - This was my second visit to Dorney and my son's first. We hit the park the last hour they were open and managed to ride all their coasters before closing. The place was empty! We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express right across the street and this was our favorite motel of the trip. The run across the road to the park gets a bit thrilling at times but you can't beat the convenience. I went back in the morning solo as my son was beat and wanted to sleep in. I like Dorney, I really do, would like to like it more though. It's arguably one of the few parks where all the coasters are at least ok, I actually started to dig Hydra which surprised me. Knoebels - We pulled into the parking lot just as some sort of Pennsylvania monsoon hit. We watched it pour buckets for a bit and left knowing we'd be back in October for PPP. The upshot is we spent the night at a motel in Clearfield which has a Walmart on top of mountain. Well not really but it's up really, really high, sort of like, Mt Walmart. Anyway we went there to buy blank CDs and yogurt and came out with a Wii and accessories. They've been super hard to find and I was hoping to have one for Father's Day so we just had to snatch it up. Cedar Point - If you're still reading you've made it to the end! We arrived at the park late Wednesday afternoon and enjoyed 2.5 lazy days wandering the park/beach and of course Coastermania on Friday. My first visit to CP was in 1978 and it's where my kids and I first caught on to this whole coaster hobby/thing, it still feels like home. Maverick was obviously the only new coaster to us and we hit that first, waited around an hour. Initial impression was not very positive due entirely to the OTSR's but by Friday night we had warmed up to it. Still probably our least favorite new coaster of the trip, Mystery Mine blows it away imho. Coastermania was certainly interesting and definitely fun, but getting up at 5:00 in the morning is actually not as exciting as it sounds . We were so tired we had to go back to bed before the park opened at 10:00! It would be great to see the ERT all at night, run it until 2:00 AM. Still it's a great event and with a Maxx Pass entirely free. We ended the evening with a midnight ride on Dragster and Magnum, hard to think of a better way to end the day and our trip. Thanks for reading, here are the last of the pictures. Time to say goodnight and goodbye, what a great trip! And night begins to fall. A little walk along the beach. And they were hungry! Amazing the park buys 1700 people lunch, and it was great food. The line for the Coastermania lunch buffet. Another favorite, out of the station for Millennium Force. Miscellaneous Maverick shots. Maverick's evil, evil queue. One it's long and two the music, oh boy. Later one evening they played a little jazz which was wonderful. A little Chick-Fil-A picnic under Maverick. My favorite pic of the trip, taken from the Sky Ride. And finally, we're home (not really, MN is another 700 miles away). The only pic of Dorney, out our motel room window no less!
  13. Taking the Garden State north and having some extra time on our hands we decided to take a quick drive through Atlantic City, just to say we had been. Not to trash the whole Jersey shore but our reaction was similar to Wildwood - ugly! We blew out of there and were pulling into SFGADV around 10:00. The park didn't open until 10:30 and we decided to use the money we saved by not going to Morey's for a gold Flash Pass. What a great decision, we had a blast there. El Toro was my son's #1 new coaster of the trip and operations were top-notch. They had both sides of the station of Kingda Ka running and all of the ride ops were incredibly enthusiastic and motivated. Around mid-afternoon we left the park in search of a motel. The park has signs at the exits for motels 20+ miles away off the Turnpike but I knew there was something in Freehold. So we headed north on Monmouth Rd and almost exactly 10 miles later is the Freehold Garden Inn. They had a room available, reasonable rate, so we took it. It's not bad, not great, an ok place to sleep that as far as I know is the closest motel to the park. We had lunch at Quizno's and then headed back to the park and had a great time. The next morning we got up and were at the gates around 9:30 and it turned out it was early entry for season pass holders! We rode El Toro over and over with no wait until we literally couldn't ride anymore. What surprised us both is how rough it runs in the morning with a near empty train versus evening with a full train. The ride op was literally begging people not to leave! After our surprise ERT we headed over to Chiller and scored one front row ride on the Robin side of course, no sign of life for Batman yet. Ended the morning on Nitro and then were on our way to Allentown. Again big kudos to SFGADV, from an overall operations standpoint it was better than BGE. Next and final stops, Dorney, Knoebels and Cedar Point. Unless you work at the park you won't see this very often. Seven rides in a row and we needed to take a break. We had a great time at SFGADV! Morning ERT on El Toro. And there's that Martian and Dog again - they would not leave us alone. You know, put a Martian and a Coyote on top of a bus and I'm happy, really. A few El Toro and KK shots. And what a Kingdom it is! Did you know each train has a name (Hector and Jorge)? "Hector, he's a little slow" the ride op announced during the next morning's ERT. Too funny! We couldn't tell any difference. Worth the drive from wherever you are!
  14. Trimpers and Jolly Roger at the Pier, Ocean City, Maryland - This was a quick one hour stop as we had reservations for the Lewes/Cape-May Ferry at 2:45. Looking back I wish we would have scheduled a later departure as we really liked Ocean City! Finding Trimpers was easy enough and it was great to finally ride a Toboggan again, haven't been on one since I was 10 years old at the MN State Fair. Tidal Wave was yet another boomerang but still fun and oddly enough the Pinfari Looping Star at Jolly Roger wasn't painful at all, actually sort of a goofy, good time. We wandered the boardwalk for a bit and again really liked the bright, cheery vibe of the whole city. Morey's Piers, Wildwood NJ - The car-ferry ride was uneventful and over in a little over an hour. We took the south side into Wildwood and found our motel for the night, The Starlux. This #1 rated motel per Tripadvisor.com has a retro doo-wop theme that looked pretty cool from their web site and the online reviews. And in theory it's a great idea. Take an old run-down motel, open an Ikea corporate account and renovate/theme the heck out of it. But what they fail to mention is it's next to a demolished building site, you're lodging next to a quarter of a block of rubble. The staff are not friendly at all and our room was teensy-tiny. And then there's just Wildwood itself which if you're in the 21-25 age range is clearly a wonderful place to drink heavily and swap cooties. Wildwood is the parallel/opposite universe of Ocean City, MD. Dark, dirty, we were itching to leave within an hour of being there. To add insult to injury The Great White was down for the weekend, something about the lift chain. Now when you pull this CCI out of Morey's line-up the park pretty much loses all incentive to buy tickets or the $41 wristband. So we wandered the boardwalk and beach, ate some pizza at Mack's and called it a night. I woke up at 5:00 AM to a wide awake son who was pretty unhappy with the whole vibe of our room/motel and the all-night party still blaring outside. He wanted out so I suggested blowing off the rest of the Jersey Shore as planned and heading straight for Great Adventure which was just two hours north. He jumped at the idea. There are few instances where we have been relieved to be out of a motel and a city, this was definitely one of them. Our fully packed car felt roomier than our room! Still it looks like Morey's could be a fun evening stop sometime again, especially if the rumors about a new coaster prove true. Next stop, Six Flags Great Adventure. But we made the best of it and still had fun. That's it for Morey's! So we wandered the boardwalk which if you love fudge, pizza, t-shirts and tatoos you'll be in heaven. Me, dealing with their CCI being down *all* weekend. Aside from Raging Wolf Bobs this is the first time we were skunked on a wood coaster. Hey, at least we got a nice picture. We'll be back someday. The lovely, lovely stairwell at the Starlux. Check out the bathroom door, it's maybe two feet wide! It was like a room for hippie hobbits. The crazy Starlux motel - not one of our favorites! Looks cool though. Cape May ahead! Chillin' on the deck. Amazing how many cars/buses/trucks they can pack on one of these. Our ferry was full. Yep, it's a boat. Time to board the ferry for south Jersey. Boomerang... Ending with Trimpers which opened at noon. A little wandering around the Boardwalk. Jolly Roger in Ocean City, Maryland Where the road ends and ocean begins. Hope it doesn't leak! And the drive into the ocean is pretty amazing. It certainly is an Engineering marvel. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel was not as cool as I thought it would be.
  15. We rode GA Cyclone but honestly nothing about it stood out. Too many coasters syndrome.
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