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Condor

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Everything posted by Condor

  1. I haven't been on the forums as much lately so the poll snuck up on me this year. Almost missed it! No newcomers in the top 25 pictured here, but I had a few important additions like Candymonium, Boardwalk Bullet, and Wonder Woman (SFFT). Thanks once again for keeping this going!
  2. Six Flags Fiesta Texas At some point in the last decade Fiesta Texas quietly became a sleeper pick for best Six Flags Park. It feels like it happened overnight. Before we all knew it, what was a novelty park with a big floorless on a quarry wall was suddenly the shining example of how the Six Flags formula can be done right. In 2020 it feels more like a Cedar Fair park in how the corporate brand is more skillfully woven into the local culture and identity. After a long, fun, and surprisingly busy day at Fiesta, I declared it my second favorite in the chain close behind the perpetually ove
  3. Sea World San Antonio This park was not on my radar until 2020. It always seemed like a pleasant, midsize park with a few okay coasters that I might go to if it was convenient but would never plan a trip around. Then they built Texas Stingray which rounded out the lineup enough to appeal to me. It was still very much a “convenient” stop in what had been a trip of pure planning turmoil and if any of the Texas parks had to get bumped from the trip, it would have been this one. Fortunately that didn’t need to happen. Our day at SWSA went much better than our day at SWO. Don’t interpret
  4. That may have been when I first learned of Boardwalk Bullet. I'd be very curious to know how lap times then compared to my visit. Riding it with full trains at night must have been incredible.
  5. Day 4—Kemah Boardwalk The midpoint of our October trip was a morning flight from Orlando to Houston. While I have always liked Houston, we would not stay for long on this trip. The plan was to go from the airport straight to Kemah Boardwalk, spend the night at a downtown Hyatt, then drive to Sea World San Antonio the next morning. Kemah Boardwalk is an interesting place. It’s a small seaside amusement complex similar in scale to something like the Santa Monica Pier and far smaller than Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Unlike those two which are geared heavily towards rides, Kemah’s focus
  6. Thanks! For Phoenix I actually stood on the edge of the antique car track for a shot at one point. Part of me wonders if I might actually have preferred Wild One to Mine Blower! Thank you! That stretch of International Drive used to allow for some amazing photos across the Kraken (and now Mako) lake before the trees grew in. Thanks Bert. Our SFFT segment is coming up soon! It's funny how I'm anticipating returning to TDS more now after I've gone back to Animal Kingdom than I was prior. Even without Journey it has so much to offer.
  7. Sea World Orlando I hate opening a trip report like this, especially about a park I have always really liked, but our experience at Sea World Orlando was the worst of our trip. I feel guilty saying that because nothing about it reflects negatively on the park’s offerings during normal times. But, as we are constantly reminded of every day, these are not normal times. Every aspect of park operations has been affected by Covid-19. That’s as true for Six Flags as it is for Disney. For now, we can only compare what parks are offering under present conditions, not under ideal ones. With t
  8. Outlaw Run might be stuck the way it is. Maybe RMC will figure out a workaround for all I know, but I imagine the increased friction going from steel to urethane would prevent it from running the course as intended. Unless... they do something truly groundbreaking and add a midcourse launch to Outlaw Run to reclaim the record of world's first/fastest/only topper track wooden polyurethane wheel coaster once the enthusiasts of the world collectively decide Lightning Rod is now steel! obviously joking
  9. When ordering your Universal Studios park, branding by state, city, or country are available. Universal Studios Florida Eleven years ago, I had a tradition at Universal Orlando. This was during the seven months in 2009 I spent in the WDW College Program working front desk and concierge at the Yacht & Beach Club. Once a week I’d go to Universal by myself and ride Dueling Dragons, Hulk, Revenge of the Mummy, and the then brand-new Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit to my heart’s content. I’d take breaks here and there to ride Spider Man and Men In Black, or to grab pizza at Louie’s or beers
  10. Looks great, especially the "death roll" and wave turn/90-degree bank under the lift. Based on this video alone I'm not as sold on the last few elements after the stall, but I have faith in RMC.
  11. Florida & Texas October 2020 This trip was the result of the most convoluted planning process I have ever gone through. Before the pandemic, it was supposed to be a full week hitting all the usual sites in Orlando and Tampa. Once it became clear that rides like Iron Gwazi and Ice Breaker would be delayed to 2021 and Universal confirmed there would not be a traditional, full-fledged Halloween Horror Nights, it made sense to push the whole thing back a year. It just wasn’t worth the trip without the seasonal events I’m used to, several new rides closed, and the parks operating at reduce
  12. I believe the highest stress areas on Ghostrider were retracked with Ipe wood instead of the Yellow Pine traditionally used. It's significantly stronger and denser which may be why the ride has held up so well now five years after the retrack. If the Ipe is doing its job for now I doubt they'd see reason to replace it with Titan Track any time soon.
  13. How long of a trip do you have in mind? If it's to just one park, then many of the suggestions in this thread will do. If you're staying in the US and want to do several parks over multiple days within a reasonable drive from each other I would consider these: 1. Kings Island, Cedar Point, and Kennywood 2. Six Flags Great Adventure, Hersheypark, and Kings Dominion 3. Busch Gardens Tampa, Sea World Orlando, and Islands of Adventure (once VelociCoaster is open next year)
  14. Great photos and recap, Bert! Glad we got to meet up. You were an awesome tour guide. I'll get started on my TR this week!
  15. ^Agreed. I think the newer Intamin lapbars are actually the best steel coaster restraint currently being produced. When comparing overhead lapbars on Taron and Blue Fire, I found the Intamin ones to be lighter, less bulky, and less prone to coming down further during the ride.
  16. I've seen a few people say this and I hope to the coaster gods they're right and I'm wrong lol. Braked top hats are apparently "in" these days and I desperately don't want this to be one of them.
  17. ^A full re-track would surprise me for the same reason, but who knows I guess. If RMC determines their trains can run on both types of track simultaneously I think we could see I-box replacing the highest stress areas first with more sections added in subsequent seasons if needed. I really have no idea, but I'm excited to see whatever this ends up being.
  18. Almost everything about this ride lines up for it to be an elite coaster. 4,700 feet also makes it the longest Intamin blitz coaster, beating Cheetah Hunt, Maverick, and Taron all by a few hundred feet. Those trims on the top hat are the only thing worrying me, but hopefully the effect is negligible.
  19. Wow I'm glad I altered my planned October Tennessee/Texas trip to an Orlando/Texas trip last week. I still haven't been able to ride Lightning Rod and going back with it closed yet again would have been beyond frustrating. Easy for me to say, but if it turns out we'll see a partial or full i-box replacement I think it will be for the better. If it means LR has less downtime and (fingers crossed) can launch full speed again then I think everyone wins.
  20. Great photos and reviews. My experiences on all of the coasters in July closely mirror yours except for Comet, which felt slower and rougher than my previous visit. Glad some people are still getting quality rides on it this year. Maybe I caught it on an off day!
  21. ^It's honestly one of the most underrated coasters there is. Labels like that get thrown around a lot, but in this case I think it's absolutely true. Probably aided by the lower ridership compared to other hypers.
  22. KI is one of the parks I need to get back to most (I was supposed to this summer, but you know...). My last visit was in 2015 and I liked the park atmosphere, but found the coaster lineup slightly underwhelming since it lacked what I would consider a true headliner. Diamondback, Banshee, and Beast all came up just short of that for me. From the looks of it, atmosphere and especially f&b have improved even more and Orion or Mystic Timbers could be that halo coaster I've been waiting for.
  23. Always glad to see more Fahrenheit love. It seriously is the only coaster where FTU helps at all on some days. Good report. I think you and I agree on most of the coasters, though I seem to enjoy the overall park a lot more.
  24. Day 3—Six Flags America I have to say, I never thought I’d be here. And I don’t mean that the same way I meant it when I described laying eyes on Steel Dragon 2000 for the first time. I legitimately saw no reason to include this park on a plethora of trips that have taken me right by it. And there goes my harsh, elitist, coaster enthusiast shadow bubbling to the surface. Carl Jung would be so proud, I swear. In lighter terms, Six Flags America was never that interesting to me. Service and operations are notoriously poor, there’s no shade, and even its parent company sees it as Six Flag
  25. Day 2—Knoebels I had a mission on this visit: either quash or validate my opinion that Phoenix might just be kinda-sorta overrated. I worshiped at the altar of Phoenix my first time at Knoebels. Evening rides with hues of a pink and orange sky over the treetops had tears forming at the corners of my eyes while I laughed and cried from the boundless airtime and buzz bars. I honestly couldn’t decide if it was better than El Toro, Voyage, and Boulder Dash or only as good. But on my next visit Phoenix was, dare I say underwhelming. I still enjoyed it, but the airtime and freedom of moveme
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