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Everything posted by Skysthelimit

  1. We had a great time at both Carowinds during the day and Scarowinds in the evening on Saturday 10/1! It was our first time at their campground with our RV and we were both wildly impressed. The transportation was quick and easy. The shuttle bus allowed us to come and go as we pleased to the park (well, during the day at least.) Here are a few pictures and thoughts to share: - We rode Copperhead Strike opening year and I thought it was a solid B+. Not sure if it’s running any different or if it took a few extra rides to process, but we just loved it! It was a walk on during the day and probably a 30-40 minute wait with 2 trains running (3rd in the transfer bay). The launch felt like it had a bit more kick than usual for Mack and any animated theming elements seems to have held up. - Iron Gwazi and Steel Vengeance still trump Fury for me, as they have a bit more bite to them, but the blistering speed, length, and all the things people love about Fury still hold up years later. I was impressed they were running 3 trains on both this and intimidator even though during daytime hours there had to have been less than 1500 people in the park. I will say that after experiencing Orion, that coaster has significantly more kinetic energy and atmosphere with the Imascore soundtrack (I’m a sucker for those) and the general area theming. Still a testament to how perfect of a ride Fury is. - Intimidator has always been a middle of the road hyper for me. It was running really smooth and I never quite appreciated the first turnaround the way I did this trip. Super cool sensation that’s different than Mako down the road from us. The layout is a little bland and the theming a tad difficult for me to get excited about, but a great coaster that also dominates the skyline. - I rode Top Gun in 1999 and it was fantastic and the ride really hasn’t changed much since then. The station and queue seems abit haggard, but the ride itself looks and feels perfectly maintained. For a compact layout, I really prefer this to the Batman clones. The trench dive gives a respectable nod to Montu which is appreciated. - We quit drinking 9 months ago which has freed up extra money during our park visits so decided to splurge on a VIP bungalow after having a great experience at KI. This was even better, as it was private and even had a TV. In my advanced years it’s been good to take a breather between rides and we really enjoyed it. Definitely worth the $79. - I always enjoy riding our old favorites like Goldrush , Carolina Cyclone, and even Hurler. We had a zen ride (is it called that if it’s just two of you? Might be a stretch…) where I took someone’s recent advice to ride front middle. It was AWESOME - I worked Mantis briefly during college and this really didn’t feel any more uncomfortable. I’ve had some brutal rides in the past. We came back and did it again and had another great ride. - For Scarowinds, we enjoyed ourself because we budgeted in Fast and Frightlane (worth every penny, as always), but frankly the event felt very low budget and light on decor. Thankfully it was included in our platinum pass. The park was packed but not as busy as I expected for a Saturday. Paranormal Inc. was the standout house with a really cool pre show. My second favorite was Depths of Darkness, with the premise that you are in the mind of a serial killer. I’m a sucker for well done fogging, lighting and sound and I thought this was great - just skimping on the actors. Very likely because we walked in shortly before close. Overall, Carowinds was a wonderful time as always and the park is just so comfortable and easy to navigate. There were some IROC certified trainers at the coasters that seemed to be smothering and terrifying their trainees and slowed dispatches to a crawl, but who am I to judge. As much as I love to visit parks that are inherently more charming than Carowinds, such as Kennywood, Waldameer, Hershey Canobie and Lake Compounce, I love knowing that I can go to most CF parks and the rides are running at or near capacity. I know CP can be a crapshoot these days, but my visits to Carowinds and KI rarely is there ride downtime and I don’t think I’ve ever seen single train ops. Taking a weekend to fly to Pittsburgh to get a credit only to show up knowing there is a 50/50 shot of Steel Curtain running one train, with that similar foolishness going on over at Phantom/Thunderbolt too, I’ve found myself avoiding those parks because we just don’t have the patience. Just a personal preference and not trying to be b*tchy. As a huge Afterburn fans, we’re really looking forward to Aeronautica Landing livening up that section of the park. The area is already fenced on off so hopefully they can get a good head start. On Monday, we did make a stop at Lake Shawnee Amusement Park for a tour, which was fantastic. I think most on this forum have heard of it, but the site has been featured on Travel Channel/Ghost Hunter shows. I have never had a paranormal experience in my life, but we actually experienced some activity on the swing ride where a small bag was spinning/swaying fairly violently as our three dogs approached. It was not windy and the other items hanging from the swings weren’t moving - spooky. The guide said the little girl who passed away when the ride was hit by a delivery truck during operations was likely excited by the dogs. The guide seemed relatively unphases and continued his spiel. I can’t say we felt the same level of ease/calm, but super cool. I don’t have a video but my mom is my witness as she saw it on FaceTime. Anyways, here’s a few pictures to share! Next stop, Dollywood today and tomorrow. Quick photo op before opening! Empty station at Vortex. I’ve always had a soft spot for this one. It’s still got that whip, especially row 8 right side. Fury as it’s about to start it’s morning tests Money well spent! Enjoyed hanging out here and the ambiance of a Boomerang really made the experience Obligatory PSL post. I don’t have a great picture of the swings, but here is the Ferris Wheel at Lake Shawnee located in close proximity. After our tour, we were allowed to walk through their haunted attraction which was pretty cool. Highly recommend if you are off the beaten path! Quick last shot on the outskirts of the campground.
  2. Ah, gotcha - sorry I didn’t realize that. On an unrelated note, tomorrow looks cold (at least compared to FL standards) and I’m trying to figure out the loose article situation. Does anyone know if Fury allows Fanny packs? The website seems to imply it does, but part of me feels that IROC took away that privilege from park guests and I’m going to be directed to a locker after a 30 second visual scan. thanks!
  3. We are currently staying at the Carowinds campground and noticed Nighthawk testing earlier today. Not sure if anyone cares too much or if it means anything, but thought I’d share. I only saw one cycle as it was dropping off the lift.
  4. I use to work as a Rides Supervisor at Darien Lake, and at one point a Millennium Force ride host for a whole 5 days so I’m fairly familiar with those restraints (and I can only imagine the new trains are even more accommodating, with the Dragster style t-bar). If anything, I’d say that Iron Gwazi is more accommodating based on the body types of those I’ve seen ride and not be able to ride. Good luck and have fun!
  5. I was referencing the fact that they priced WT based on the track heigh ($215 / 215 feet tall), meaning that dragster will be $420
  6. This could be just my perception, not reality, but it over the years I don’t recall nearly as many issues with the structure compared to the launch system. Hydraulic launch aside, I’d be curious the remaining lifespan of the tower which has been fairly reliable given the other issues with the coaster. In any regard, I paid $215 for my wicked twister slice. I really hope they don’t repeat the same pricing exercise when Dragster’s true final day actually comes.
  7. We decided to squeeze in a trip from Orlando to the NE region and had a great day at the park yesterday. I wasn’t going to post anything but noticed this thread has been quiet for a couple months so I thought I’d share my thoughts. For background, I grew up in the region and have probably been to the park a half dozen times in my life (including 2001 after the unfortunate accident). Overall the park was fairly empty for such a perfect weather Saturday on Labor Day weekend. We opted to skip all day FP and bought one shots for $11-15 each. Our plan worked fairly well and we even scored a spin on Pandemonium with single riders (Gerstlauer spinners reign supreme.) - Superman is still amazing. This is not my first time with the U-bricks, and it could have been because I’m about 20 lbs heavier than my prior visit. I’m 6’ 185 lbs and found the trains really cramped. The lap bar itself is fine but the angle makes no sense I finally found a riding position that worked and our night ride was heavenly. No noticeable rattle either. Love the soundtrack on the lift and brakes! 3 rides - Experienced Riddler for the first time with the new trains. Everyone’s right, it’s a great coaster now. 1 ride -Holy crap, I forgot how good Wicked Cyclone is! The second half was not sluggish whatsoever and we even got a second lap in an empty back row as the fireworks were going off. Great way to end the night. My partner said it was a baby Iron Gwazi. 3 rides - Op’s were mostly average, but the Superman crew, though small were mighty. Trains were barely stacking and the line stayed less than 30 minutes from what I saw. - Batman: TDR has a wonderful view of the river and park. Punchier and smoother than I remember. 1 ride - Thunderbolt was fairly violent in a good way, probably old news but no more combo tower on Scream, and Flashback was Flashback. - Food was… just ok. Most stands were open but bees everywhere. -Between a great 1-2 punch, beautiful setting, light crowds and ideal weather, I can definitely say our trip has been a success. At Canobie this afternoon (first timers). Salem MA for some spooky spooks tonight (we’ll probably be Groupon’ing a tour), and Lake Compounce tomorrow before back to FL we go on the luxurious Frontier airlines. Thanks for reading! Legendary photo ops
  8. The gal in probably her mid 50s working at the entrance must have had previous experience working at TSA. She sat in a chair where the quick queue and stand by lines started and nothing was getting past her she didn’t like
  9. I think hell has frozen over. We’re at BGT and Cheetah Hunt has 4 trains running without quadruple stacking, 90-100 second dispatches and employees telling people to essentially hurry up. It’s a 40 minute wait on an August Saturday. Well I’ll be. Looks like adding a bag checker at greeter has helped.
  10. Really love this! It’s a tad ironic that I’d criticize my non-enthusiast’s friends RCT2 skills back in the early 2000s due to lack of realism (spiral lift on a woodie??) but this ride (and I suppose the plethora of RMCs) has me putting my foot in my mouth
  11. We had intended to travel from Orlando to Charlotte to visit Carowinds for my birthday weekend. Unfortunately the weather and Spirit airlines had other plans on Saturday evening and $600 later we were rerouted the next morning. Spirit customer service was pathetic and there were practically no seats on any flight out of Orlando on any airline for the next morning except Richmond or Knoxville. Eager to get on Pantheon, we opted for the former and booked the expensive JetBlue flight. We checked into the Courtyard early and headed to the park on Sunday arriving around noon. Thankfully they still had preferred left for my Platinum Pass and we were quickly in the park. Guest services honored the 50% discount on Quick Queue that I couldn’t seem to buy online so that was appreciated. We spent 8 hours in the park on Sunday and were gifted and extra 6 hours in the park on Monday due to a delayed flight home on our dear friend Spirit. Here are some highlights: - I’ve always preferred this to the Tampa park. I think Tampa might have a slight edge in the coaster line up, but Williamsburg is significantly better in every other area. - Sunday was fairly quiet but QQ still came in handy and well worth the $65. We managed to snag a ride on Pantheon fairly quickly first thing both days. We had a ride in car two row 1 and I’m car 4 row 2. Not surprisingly, I preferred towards the back of the train. The ride was about what I expected based on the reviews I had read. First portion is…fine… kind of awkward. The swing launch is fantastic. The backwards ejector airtime isn’t a sensation I’ve felt on any other ride. The top hat and outer bank are fun but are taken a little too slow. The stall was better than I expected and the ending was pretty good. Definitely the best ride in the park but not at the same caliber as Iron Gwazi or Velocicoaster. - Alpengiest is my #2 in the park. Unpopular opinion, but I think the cobra roll is outstanding and the ride is a solid 8/10 on the smoothness scale. Objectively, Montu is probably the better coaster but I prefer Alpengiest’s setting. - We enjoyed Verbolten and Tempesto for what they are. I don’t particularly care for how Tempesto looks against the skyline and think Tigris fits in better at BGT comparatively. - Invadr is very underrated and I prefer to White Lightning. Had some Thunderhead vibes to it minus the straight first drop. - Apollo’s Chariot is my least favorite of the B&M hypers but the setting is easily the best. The elements are a tad drawn out and with Mako down the road back home, the airtime particularly in the front is very mild. - Loch Ness Monster was one of the coasters that got me hooked as a kid. This and Alpengiest are probably the two most nostalgic rides in the park for me. Still a well-maintained ride with character that has a certain magic about it similar to The Beast. - Operations we’re pretty solid given the crowds. I was pleased to see coasters running multiple trains even on Monday. SeaWorld has been guilty of dropping to 1 train on Mako on some weekdays had me concerned we’d have some long lines without QQ on day 2 but that wasn’t the case. - Staff was definitely above average. Everyone seemed confident without that deer in the headlights look you get when you ask someone a question. - Food was definitely better than Tampa. Some interesting options for the food festival although the matcha Ice Cream made me gag. Overall we had a wonderful time. As much as I would have enjoyed binging Fury325, I actually think we had a more “full” trip visiting BGW instead. The park looked gorgeous and we had all the rerides we wanted with the exception of Pantheon. It’s such a refreshing change from the manufactured feel of the Orlando parks. Thanks for reading!
  12. Thanks! Yes, I should have specified we’ve been to the park before. The park has been dead on several occasions we have visited which is why I thought it would be worth asking the question. We’ll probably pre-purchase just to be safe
  13. Hey all, I’m flying from Orlando to Charlotte with my partner to visit Carowinds on Sunday 5/22. Given that Nighthawk is still down, do you think Fastlane is still a good idea to ensure plenty of rerides? Any idea if the price is higher day of or at the park? Thanks!
  14. We went to BGT last Tuesday and had a nice time, but the details were pretty in line with what others mentioned before. We’ve lived in Orlando for a decade and have just learned to appropriately adjust our expectations the moment we set sail on I-4 West. What’s kind of sad is that I grew up going to BGW as a kid in the late nineties. My parents are in their 60s and I’ve dragged them to most of the major parks over the years. They haven’t been to BGW since 2001 but they still claim that is their favorite park. The place had (and still does have to a certain extent) a magical quality about it; especially for a young enthusiast. Then there’s Tampa. I actually give a slight edge to the Tampa coaster collection but for such a high profile park, I can’t tell you the last time I’ve been to the place where there weren’t at least 4 rides on the closed board plus more that are unavailable indefinitely. I had bought QQ earlier in the week because I had hoped to marathon Scorpion and The Flume. The latter has basically been closed all year. I asked Guest Relations if I could get a couple of one time skip the lines for next time but got a lecture about their closed attractions page on their website. To their credit, it’s up to date, but it changes last minute so I advise anyone thinking about QQ to wait until the day prior to purchase. Falcons Fury, Scorpion, and Flume we’re not listed to be closed a week prior to my visit. I quickly let it go but it was irritating. Whereas most parks have a “prime” season where everything is essentially opened, staffed and running decently well, I can’t tell you the last time or ever that I saw BGT run on all cylinders. There might be more coaster trains on the tracks and a shorter closed rides list during busier of the year, but there is always a sense of disorganization that is obvious to the average park goer and their TripAdvisor reviews are a testament to that. Still love the hell out of the park, it’s just an unfortunate situation.
  15. I have ridden both and also prefer Steel Vengeance but Iron Gwazi is a solid #2 in terms of my favorite RMCs. I do prefer the first drop on Iron Gwazi but the disorienting, unrelenting nature of SV is just bar none. I will say the engineering of the track design feels more intentional in a way than SV but I think it slightly detracts from the out of control nature. The second half of IG in particular is phenomenal but it is about what you would expect just by looking at it if you’d ridden a good number of RMCs. I am also one of the few that love the last stretch of SV even if it is repetitive. It’s just so good. That said, on IG from the first drop through the death roll, it is quite a rush that truly takes your breath away.
  16. There currently aren’t any single rider lines at SeaWorld. I actually don’t believe there ever have been in recent years but someone will have to fact check me. They have a 1x QQ for $10 option as an add on at the lockers at Manta, Mako, Kraken and possibly JTA that prints your a ticket. Otherwise, Quick Queue is your best bet. Hope this helps!
  17. I know that while Kraken’s new colors have been mostly well-received, some have criticized that the trains weren’t updated. Seems that as they rotate the trains out for annual refurb they are taking care of that!
  18. Hey guys, Does anyone have files for Imagineer John's Coaster Kit they might be able to send me? It's an old set probably from 2007 or so which had Ride Events such as retractable brakes and retractable floors (for inverts). http://www.freewebs.com/coaster-inc/imagineerjohnscoasterkit.htm This is the set I'm referring to but the none of the links work for download. Thanks!
  19. The park has made it very clear (especially on their facebook page) that Batman: The Escape will never be constructed. It was heavily damaged when it was torn down from Six Flags Astroworld and it isn't worth salvaging.
  20. Thanks for the comments guys. I do realize that there is still a lot of detailing to do (including coaster supports) but I will keep you updated on my progress. Let me know if you have any other suggestions.
  21. Thanks Kinderly Are you referring to coaster layouts themselves or scenery?
  22. I started working on this park over the summer and haven't gotten around to finishing it. Please keep in mind that much of the theming, structures, etc are either incomplete or not 100% finished but the basic layout of the park is set. Hucklebuckle Heights is a large park that opened as a campground in 1973 in the hills of Tennessee. The park's original coaster is Maelstrom, an Arrow Looping Coaster which opened in 1979. This monstrous looping coaster led the way for a legacy of family fun that has seen many ups and downs over the years. Stay tuned for more details! Any feedback, ideas or tips would be greatly appreciated Inspired by the Magic Kingdom, the park's railroad goes directly above the main entrance. Neptune's Knot is a gigantic B&M Inverted Coaster which was added to the park in 1999. The ride roars overhead as guests make their way through the turnstiles. Neptune's Knot greets its oncoming riders with a beautiful entrance and elevated station. Opening day is just weeks away and this queue will be filled! The coaster's three trains sit ready for opening day. I spy it making some test runs!! Even though it isn't one of the old-school inverts, this final corkscrew has that classic "snap" that gives Wingriders a run for their money. One of the more recent additions to the park is Fright Gully - An Intamin LSM launch coaster. 0 to 72 in 2.6 seconds! Fright Gully ends with a real bang! A zero-g roll right into the magnetic brakes. Onto the classic - Maestrom! Maelstrom is one of the few remaining Arrow coasters with interlocking loops It also boasts a Batwing too! It's a steel jungle With all these coasters it's easy to forget about flat rides - One of the park's finest is its S&S Tower Complex - All running combo mode! For those who have a need for speed, the park's hyper coaster "Gauntlet" will have you sprinting back for more. The parks most recent addition was Flight of the Phoenix, a B&M Flyer. Passengers soar over the beautiful Tennessee landscape on one of B&M's most intense creations to date! Although it begins with a traditional pretzel loop, the finale of this ride is anything from ordinary. It's never to early to start test runs! An overview of this unique coaster And a quick turnaround back to the station And we will close with Timber Tiger - the park's only wooden coaster.
  23. That option was thrown on the table. It doesn't fit in the building and Zamplera requires a 48" height restriction, no exceptions. I wouldn't be shocked if UFO is gone this season. While no park is "entitled" to a new coaster, from a business aspect Darien Lake DOES need a new coaster. I can't think of any other similar-sized park that has gone 14 years without a major coaster. That being said, I do think that Herschend is moving in the right direction but a coaster should be in the works within the next few season. I don't think many people realize how much the addition of Leviathan hurt the park. The majority of campground/hotel visitors are Canadians. As Canada's Wonderland continues to grow and become more and more appealing, Herschend should be very concerned. I think Blast-off is a wonderful addition. Minus the name and low capacity (then again, PARC/SF scared away a majority of its guests so that shouldn't be an issue) I think that it will be a perfect fit and will compliment Rowdy's Ridge very well. Now that Herschend is settled in, I think things are looking up. I'm interested to see what happens but it is going to take time. HFE is very detailed-oriented and I hope that it eventually translates into a better guest experience. It certainly hasn't happened yet but it will get better. And for what is worth, having two trains operating on Ride of Steel by Memorial Day Weekend this past season was a huge success on HFE's part.
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