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Everything posted by Skysthelimit

  1. We were able to make an expected visit when we had an additional day in Belgium about 2 weeks ago and had similar thoughts. Great first half, I was indifferent towards the non-inverting cobra roll other than it’s not very punchy, but the return run did feel very awkward. I much preferred the return run on Goliath up at Walibi Holland. Still fantastic, very smooth, great theming without being over the top, but the last section of bunny hops and turns just didn’t flow right for me.
  2. We arrived back in Orlando yesterday from our Missouri trip with first time visits to WOF and SDC. Just some first timer opinions on the park from when we visited on Thurs 6/29. - It’s been said before, but this park is gorgeous. - The temperature exceeded 100 degrees on Thursday. The shade helped quite a bit and we purchased a cabana ahead of time because we need knew that the heat would be brutal. We alternated between the lazy river and dry park throughout the day. - WOF has a TON of drink refill stations, so the wristband system worked perfect and a great deal. - We figured there’s be some sort of foolishness going on with Zambezi Zinger so we came armed Fast Lane plus which we had purchased prior to our visit to minimize any frustration. Sure enough, it didn’t opened until probably 3p or so and was on one train. We saw maintenance walk away with a guide wheel, so it was clearly out of their control. I would have guessed that the standby line was at least 2 hours and I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many guests seated while in a queue for a ride that was technically functional. Anyways, the ride itself exceeded our expectations. Incredibly smooth and experiencing the titan track track has a really cool feel to it. The S-hill after the first turnaround seems to be about 15 feet too tall, but the pacing on the rest of the ride is near perfect. The tunnel has some great headchoppers, the layout is whippy, and there’s surprisingly strong positives. Definitely a great fit for the park once they can get it running on all cylinders! - Mamba was so so good. I recall some lackluster rides on Steel Force back in 2009 that made me swear off Morgan hypers for years but this was a home run. Incredibly smooth and running trimless, which gave total magnum vibes minus the thigh pressure on the routine route. - I’m probably in the minority who prefers Prowler to Mystic Timbers. The latter has a better experience but I thought Prowler had a bit more bite, similar to what I enjoy about Thunderhead. - We had an awesome back left seat ride on Patriot and didn’t get the criticism, but rode twice more and were like “yeah, that’s just.. average”. Presentation is A+ though. - The only bummer of the trip was Viking Voyage (or whatever the log flume is called). The water in this and their river rapids was just foul. I felt like I was being bathed in Smartwater on Mystic River Falls the next day compared to the sewage water here. Yuck. - The clientele and staff were all very pleasant. I’d take this over a larger SF park even if the ride selection isn’t as extensive. - We really enjoy re-rides when we visit new parks and one ride never feels enough. We were impressed the coasters (minus Zinger) were running multiple trains despite being a dead Thursday. We had a zen ride on Prowler to end our day. Overall, we had an awesome day at the park despite the heat and not ideal circumstances for Zinger. We rode it twice but didn’t want to be “those people” that marathoned it while people sat in stand by. We spent the next two days at SDC which doesn’t require much of an explanation other than it’s one of if not the best theme parks in the country. I surprisingly preferred it to Dollywood, including the coasters, which were collectively more intense than the mix of family rides at DW. Time Traveler and Outlaw Run were both reliable and had the wow factor that WOF was understandably lacking. I do get frustrated with HFE’s disdain for running multiple trains unless they absolutely have to. The Cedar Fair parks are a more comfortable experience in that regard but the novelty of visiting SDC for the overall experience was more than worth it.
  3. Yeah, I agree it’s definitely a little slow. I worked Mantis many moons ago so I was really intrigued. SeaWorld has had four on platform which definitely helps. The crew up there is fantastic and you could tell they knew how to run a B&M It’s essentially the same process as a traditional stand up in the sense that you understandably have to stand straight up for the harness to lock at the proper position. Guests try to bounce like Tigger before they’re in the proper position. You also have to pull the seat down to your height on your own just like the original design- I think if there was a way to have them automatically lower that would speed things up, but not having to constantly lock/relock the up/down motion of the seats is one less thing slowing down the process.
  4. I asked the employee at the entrance and yes, you are correct it’s so you don’t have to keep showing your pass. You can ride as much as you’d like.
  5. We were able to ride 3x after work and had a nice 2 hours at the park. Pipeline really has a strong presence in the area and although the aesthetics are basic, somehow it works. Definitely not a Pantheon look and the water feature and sound effects were nice. We rode twice towards the back and once towards the middle. I didn’t notice as much of a difference in either section of the train compared to say Mako. There’s definitely a rattle, but it seems more to do with the seat than the actual wheel chassis. Both trains were running and the line moved pretty quick. The launch, airtime hill and layout were about what you’d expect but really what makes the ride shine is the movement of the seat. There as some semi-forceful positive g’s followed by airtime pops and it’s a super unique sensation. Great addition and better than you’d expect!
  6. Hopefully they can call whoever Universal used to sprout the Forbidden Forest after Dragon Challenge was scrapped. Rock work and theming aside, I’m not really getting the “mountain” part of the theme. It’s the flattest part of the park. I hope the ride length and capacity is enough to make this a success for them.
  7. We’ve frequented SWO’s Food Festival for many years so the themes at SWA definitely resonate. Having just been at SWO the other day, I will say the a la carte items at the Orlando park are all at least $3-4 more. Then again, we noticed that San Antonio was cheaper than Orlando in general, but perhaps that was the case before post-COVID inflation too.
  8. We just arrived at the Carowinds campground and will be at the park this weekend. With limited ride availability and cool temps (Florida boys here), we are debating getting Fast Lane. Sounds counter intuitive but if there are less rides to go around and chilly weather, we’re spending time inside between rides lol and keeping waiting to a minimum. It looked from the webcam that Fury still has one train. Is it possible there was only one because it’s a Friday or are they still in Winterfest-mode? Carowinds isn’t one to let their coaster trains sit idly on a transfer track if the wait times exceed 10 mins (looking at you Dollywood with Tennessee Tornado), so my assumption is that it’s still one train but if someone could give me a sanity check, I’d love that!
  9. We had a really nice time at the park yesterday. It was a bit warmer and busier than expected, but ride lines were manageable. We grabbed QQ because the price is so cheap with the Platinum 50% discount and it was definitely helpful but not mandatory. S&S Screamin’ Swings are my favorite flat ride and Serengeti Flyer was no exception. We faced Kumba forgetting that most of the safari “action” is on the side facing Montu. It will be a great 1-2 punch once FF reopens next door. Fills a huge void! The biggest call out is that Kumba and Montu did have 2-trains running all day, which has been fairly inconsistent in recent months. Kumba was a walk on and Montu’s standby looked about 20 mins. The finally seemed to have fixed Cheetah Hunt’s operations. The sweet spot seems to be 4 trains, two stations with strict bag checks. The line was only about 30 minutes all day, which I think most know used to be unheard of. Just leaving a picture of Montu, because it’s Montu. And yep, Scorpion is open, running like a dream, and comfort collar free.
  10. You are 100% right on that ^^ I’ve only done it twice in the back, and yes it’s that good.
  11. ^ I noticed the $10 one-time QQ was added to the Ice Breaker lockers when we were at the park last weekend. It definitely wasn’t there a month ago. We’re local and DHS is the only park that we actively avoid where we can. The lines are always significantly longer proportionally than the other Disney parks. I get the concern about IOA and while it’s not cost effective whatsoever, the park hasn’t been insanely busy lately and Velocicoaster’s line is typically less than an hour these days. I would personally feel comfortable doing SW and IOA if money is a non issue but otherwise, you’ll have plenty at SeaWorld to keep you busy. Ice Breaker has been on 1 train the past month or so, so I’d recommend knocking that out with QQ if you can. Mako-sure you ride one of the best B&M hypers in row 7! The first drop has quite the kick compared to the older hypers.
  12. I took today off to go tandem skydiving for the first time. With the jump spot roughly half way between Tampa and Orlando, I thought I’d make the Trek to Tampa. It was a really amazing experience and no where near as nauseating as the Stratosphere Sky Jump (I found the Vegas strip lights to make the sensation of height a bit much) and the whole thing was very serene yet thrilling. Highly recommend! Ever since I moved to Orlando, one of my favorite things to do is visit this park on a weekday during January or March. Today was no exception and the added bonus was that the ride availability was probably the best I‘ve seen in 5 years. 4 rides on Montu, IG, and Kumba, and a single ride on Cheetah Hunt, Sheikra and Tigris. Just a few notes : - Ops were good with 2 train operation on Sheikra, Iron Gwazi and Cheetah Hunt. Everything but the front rows were a walk on. - Montu and Sheikra were running like a dream. I really do prefer the latter to Dr. D, as much as it pains me. It’s so much smoother and the “loop and swoop” (as I can the Immelmann and sweeping turn before the block brake) is still my favorite moment on any dive coaster. Montu was nearly trimless and running like a bat out of hell despite half full trains. - I’m a huge Kumba advocate but it was pretty gnarly going into the first corkscrew in the back. I had a Zen ride in the front which was ironically smooth. - I rode in the front seat of Tigris with a nice younger guy. I think we were the only ones on the ride and we started chatting about parks afterwards when we noticed we both had coaster apparel. We both agreed that SV has the edge to IG, which I know is an unpopular opinion. I just love the sheer setting and length, but Iron Gwazi is fierce (to quote the safety spiel) and so much more accessible, so I’ll take it. Best day I’ve had lately!
  13. ^ Love the pictures! Glad you had fun. My partner and I don’t drink anymore so living vicariously through you with hurricanes. I thought only SeaWorld Orlando and SFOG free poured the hell out of their drinks of all the parks we’ve day drank at over the years. Anyway, we were at SeaWorld San Antonio yesterday and SFFT today. Flights from Orlando were cheap which is rare so we used our miles and took advantage of the long weekend. We visited the park for 2 full days in 2018 and were stoked to be back. I’m not an expert like Bert so I’ll keep it brief, just as an outsiders opinion. Keep in mind in my advanced years I have some weird quirks when it comes to park preferences: - I could sit and people watch at this place all day. It’s so pleasant and the gorgeous weather made it even better. - We both agreed that the whole Dr. Diabolical “experience” was something that a coaster enthusiast would design if they had a chance and the presentation is stunning. Operations were great. It was weird to only have a retractable floor on the front row and the lift was speedy. It pains me to say it, but the ride itself is the 5th in the park, behind IRAT, WW, Superman, and Poltergeist. Even with a full train, the rattling takes a way from the experience a bit. - For some reason, I thought WW was closed. We were pleasantly surprised to see it running. We agreed it wasn’t rough and really enjoyed it. I think I appreciated it more on this visit. Just so unique and powerful. - Random notes: Less busy than expected. We bought Flash Pass because of the RMCs. Loved the Pride merchandise staying around. The merchandise in general was also much better than the other SF parks. The lunch we had at the cafeteria had impressive operations but terrible quality. The Pirate themed Sally Ride (forget the name) and FREE haunted house (“ “) were both spectacular for a regional park and rounded out the experience. Until next time!
  14. As a local who visits 2-3x a month, I would agree with your logic. That said, it never goes unnoticed when friends/family who visit that there is a limited number of rides that the entire family can enjoy together. I think that Antarctica solved for some of this back when the ride existed, despite its flaws. Maybe SEAS has done the math and the strategy you mentioned just works for them. It’s also become a heavy day drinking park on recent years which is probably becoming more and more lucrative. I never thought I’d say this, but Mako is probably one of the most wide-appealing rides at the park if you overlook the height requirement. It’s incredibly accessible, typically solid operations and short lines, and it’s still so butter smooth as a crowd pleaser 6 years later. It’s the only ride my parents, in their 60s, seem to want to do each time at SeaWorld. The general consensus I’ve heard from locals and visitors alike seems to be that Manta is just too intense for the average park goer, Kraken is a little “shaky”, and Ice Breaker’s punchy — you’re just lucky if you can safely get out of the train and comfort collar without passing away.
  15. 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.
  16. 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!
  17. 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.
  18. 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!
  19. I was referencing the fact that they priced WT based on the track heigh ($215 / 215 feet tall), meaning that dragster will be $420
  20. 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.
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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.
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