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Everything posted by jimmiemac02

  1. I'm looking to go to Germany/Netherlands/Sweden this summer, Europa Park is the main reason for going. Currently I am looking at June 3-20. Is there a best time to visit Europa Park in that timeframe? It looks like June 6th is a national holiday, is that correct? Would I be wise to stay out of the parks that day? I am also planning to go to Phantasialand, Efteling, Toverland, Gothenburg and Stockholm. Any advice is appreciated, thank you!
  2. We plan on going to Busch Gardens, Seaworld, then Universal.
  3. I'm headed to the parks in the Sunshine State and am wondering which B&M looper is the least intense. I've ridden Wild Eagle at Dollywood and loved it, but I've seen lots of people call it "forceless"...which has me worried about the other B&Ms here in FL. Any advice would be appreciated!
  4. Those hours certainly make me think about my season pass and add ons purchase. I realize for an amusement park, it’s pretty cheap, but paying the 2019 price to renew for 2020 (now 2021) thinking I would get the same (or better) value as the prior year and only getting around 60% of the value certainly makes me think about my purchase. On the bright side, I’m very happy Valleyfair will finally open! On Facebook, they stated the hours were subject to change if restrictions looses, but I agree with the other posters that it’s probably due to lack of staffing since they do not have any international staff.
  5. I looked back at some old pictures, and yes, that is the old wagon/pottery shop.
  6. This is actually what happens at Dollywood Splash Country if you’re a single rider and want to ride River Rush.
  7. Does anyone know if the employees and/or ride ops are wearing masks? I know they aren’t required for guests. Thanks in advance!
  8. Greetings from the great state of Minnesota, and The Great Minnesota Get-Together (also known as the Minnesota State Fair)! I had not heard about this fair prior to moving to MN. I had heard of the greatness of Texas and Ohio and apparently the Minnesota State Fair is right up there with them. It may be a bit smaller than Texas and Ohio State Fairs, but it sure does cram a lot into a small space. Hopefully this report will give some insight into why the Minnesota State Fair is one of the best in the nation. My wife and I decided to visit on the first Saturday of the fair. We bought our tickets beforehand at a local grocery store (Cub for $12) tickets are normally $15 at the gate. We also purchased a book of ride tickets for $15 (normally $25). With tickets in hand, we headed to one of the free park and ride lots scattered around the cities where a bus picked us up and dropped us right at the front gate of the fair. The fair opens every morning at 6 am however, most of the buildings and attractions do not open until 9 am. We got to the fair around 8 so we had a little time to walk around and explore before crowds got crazy. Our first stop was the information booth to get a map and schedule for the day. We also took advantage of the free sunscreen provided by the fair. We did note that the fair also provided ID wristbands to put on children in case they got lost. We looked at the schedule and decided to go watch a show put on by the Minnesota Historical Society: History on a Schtick. It was really funny and we learned some things about Minnesota! Did you know that the Minnesota state muffin is blueberry? After the show we were getting hungry so we decided to get a cone of Sweet Martha's cookies ($7). They also sell huge buckets of cookies ($17) and pile them high on top. Fun fact: Sweet Martha's makes 3,166 cookies every minute. That's over 3 million cookies per day! If you give a mouse a cookie.....he's going to want a glass of milk. What better place to get a glass of milk than the milk stand. For $2 you can drink all the 2% white milk or 1% chocolate milk you can drink. This was by far my favorite thing at the fair. So much so, I came back and volunteered here later during the fair. I sold 328 glasses of milk and poured over 112 gallons of milk during my shift. Over the fair, they serve 26,000 gallons of milk! We walked around for a bit and stumbled across the corn roast booth where we bought an ear of corn ($4). The corn is roasted in its husk and then dipped in a vat of butter and served. It was really good! Over the course of the fair, the corn booth goes through 4,000 lbs of butter. We thought it was cool that instead of throwing away the cob, you could recycle it. They take it out to a local farm where it is used as compost. This is the oldest food establishment at the fair, it started operating in 1897. It looked like they had good milkshakes! They even have an Irish pub here at the fair with its very own bagpiper! Another popular establishment at the fair is Fresh French Fries, they go through 145 tons of potatoes over the 12 day run of the fair. And for all you die hard Minnesotans: Hotdish on a Stick! Now that we had put ourselves in a food coma, we went around and looked at all the exhibits the fair had to offer. We started with what could be the most famous exhibit at the fair: butter sculptures! These sit in a room kept at 40 degF so they don't melt. Apparently after the fair, the subjects get to take home their bust and use it however they see fit (I think one girl was giving to her schools pancake breakfast) Next was something Minnesotans are apparently very passionate about: crop art. So much so that there is always a 10-20 minute wait just to see the art. Now where's my fastpass.... I think my favorite piece was the cats with laser beams. In the same building as the crop art, they were selling these apple cider freeze popsicles ($1.50). It seemed like everyone in the building had one. Another exhibit was the Miracle of Birth center. We got to watch a baby pig be born. It was something I had never seen before, and a very unique thing to showcase at a fair. In addition to pigs, they also had live cow and sheep births. The DNR had a really nice exhibit center with lots of fish tanks and a taxidermy walkthrough of Minnesota wildlife. The DNR also has a fish pond at the fair. I don't know what it is, but there is just something therapeutic about watching Minnesotans look at fish. The fair also has lots and lots of animal barns. We strolled through the cow and sheep barns and it took half hour or so. The fair also has an exhibit called Moo Booth in the cow barn. They have cow milking demonstrations and even let kids milk a cow! On to the rides! I was kind of surprised that the fair didn't have the best midway. The midway is made up of several owners/companies so there are no pay one price wristbands. Rides tended to be between 5-6 tickets with tickets costing $1 each. Just because they didn't have the best midway doesn't mean they didn't have unique rides. The ride above was called beach party. I had never seen one before, it was kind of a tilt-a-whirl without the tilting platform. However they had cams under the ride to make the vehicles tilt to invoke a spinning motion. They had a downdraft so of course I had to have a ride. Unfortunately they didn't run a long cycle like Knoebels does. A spinning mouse! Other rides included a Spider, Rockstar, a Mondial Magnum, and a zipper. The Minnesota State Fair also has a few permanent attractions one of which is a Von Roll Skyride ($4.50)! I have been on a few of these but I've never seen one with enclosed buckets. The local news ran an article about the guy who owns the skyride; he apparently keeps a spare of every part and a spare generator because "Losing a day of business at the fair is like losing a month of normal business." In addition to the skyride, the State Fair also has the sky glider, a chairlift type ride ($4.50). Another attraction at the fair is the big ferris wheel ($5). It seems to be about the size of the one in Pigeon Forge or Myrtle Beach. I was surprised that a wheel this big could travel. The state fair also has a space tower ($4). And a haunted house ($4)! Rat infested corridors, count me out! They have a few upcharge animal exhibits around the fair such as the one seen here and a butterfly house. The fair even has a permanent river rapids ride ($5). This is significant because it is Barr Engineering's first water ride. Barr Engineering went on to install the rapids rides at Valleyfair and Dorney Park. The company also designed American Plunge at Silver Dollar City and is currently working on Mystic River Falls. When asking around what was a must do at the fair, everyone I talked to said I had to ride the giant slide ($2.50). It was really fun! Coasters? We're not at a Cedar Fair park.... However they did have these really cool tilt-a-whirl seats repurposed as a table. That's all from the Minnesota State Fair! We got together with 209,105 of our closest friends on Saturday and it was a fantastic time. If you're planning on visiting Valleyfair, I would definitely recommend you visit during the last week of August and also go to the Minnesota State Fair! Thanks for reading!
  9. This seems like the appropriate place to post this. Really cool video about the only play for cash Fascination parlor left in existence. I will say I am glad Knoebel's Fascination parlor is not play for cash so the whole family can join in!
  10. Would anyone happen to have an extra Christmas Bring A Friend ticket that they can't use? A couple of my friends are coming with me in a few weeks.
  11. A funny video of Dabo describing his ride on Top Thrill Dragster recently. Go Tigers!
  12. One small update, the links under Dollywood's virtual queue system and vacation packages are no longer in use. Here are the updated links: https://www.dollywood.com/themepark/Guest-Services/TimeSaver-Pass dollywood.reservedirect.com/
  13. It's amazing how crowded the park gets when all the rides shut down. I was there Sunday to see the Harlem Globetrotters. I went to go ride some coasters after the show and almost every single ride had shut down. There were people everywhere! All the lines for food were so long. It was also interesting to notice all of the people that had brought a picnic to the park and were eating on the lawn outside. I've really enjoyed having Valleyfair as my home park this summer!
  14. I realize this isn't Mt. Olympus related (however it is Dells related), so if it needs to be moved elsewhere please let me know. I'm planning to go to Noah's Ark this weekend. 1) How are lines? (I realize it is a Saturday, I would just like to set my expectations accordingly) 2) Are there any budget friendly places to stay in the Dells? (Side note: I do not have a tent or a sleeping bag). Thanks for any help in advance.
  15. Below is a picture of North Star's ride sign from Valleyfair! Also, Riptide at Valleyfair! should be listed as closed. North Star ride sign
  16. Adventure Mountain, Wonder Wheel, and River Battle should be listed as closed at Dollywood.
  17. Bert... Here is the link to the ground transportation options at the Greenville/Spartanburg International Airport. They have several rental car agencies there. There is Alamo, Enterprise, Avis, Budget, Hertz and Thrifty/Dollar Rent-A-Car there. (There is the smaller Greenville Downtown Airport that is a general aviation airport that likely has none in case you were looking at a map.) https://www.gspairport.com/hire-ground-transportation/ I can confirm this. GSP is my home airport and there are LOADS of places to rent a car in Greenville (Greenville would also make a nice place to explore for a day). GSP is quite the drive from Dollywood though. One other airport to look at flying into (that I haven't seen mentioned) is Tri-Cities. It's about 2 hours away.
  18. A very nice, quiet, somewhat warm day at the park yesterday. Schools are still in session until Wednesday in the area, so it was mainly older people and really small kids. The park was nicely decorated. The lights (like last year) were mostly concentrated at the front of the park near showstreet. It's a Wonderful Life was as good as last year, I think the cast was the same. We had dinner at Granny Ogles Ham and Beans, a restaurant that never gets enough attention. The food and service (it is a sit down restaurant) is fantastic. I had the pot roast ($11.99) and my girlfriend had the BBQ chicken sandwich ($10.99). Both entrees came with ham and beans and one other side. As with every meal at Granny Ogles, it came with some really good cornbread. Construction at River Battle was coming along nicely. It looks like they've already done tons of work and may have that area ready way before the park opens back up in March. The other construction area is HUGE! Seeing it for myself, I still could not wrap my head around how big it was. I would speculate just because of the size of the area that it would be another resort of some kind (but anything is possible at this point). One other construction related topic to mention is that the old applejack sandwich shop in rivertown is completely leveled. Has anyone heard what is going in its place? Overall, a great visit to end the season and I can't wait for opening day in March! You can just barely see the top of Thunderhead's lift Note Drop Line and Wild Eagle in the background Doing a bit of burning Applejack's Sandwich Shop
  19. For the past few years, they have also given bring a friend free tickets at Christmas with the renewal of a pass. Any word on that promotion?
  20. Definitely: Dollywood Probably: Knoebels Tentatively Planned: Europa Park Phantasialand The Efteling Toverland It could happen if Clemson goes to the Rose Bowl: Disneyland Knotts Berry Farm
  21. A really great and quiet day at the park (and Splash Country) today. I started off at Splash Country and by the time I left, there were still less than 500 people in the park. RiverRush was a walk on. After I finished at Splash Country, I hopped over to Dollywood. I had though there was a tram that would take you to Dollywood or a way to get to the parking lot from Splash Country, but I was told to exit the park and come back through the toll booths. Dollywood was also really quiet today. It didn't start off well as I walked to Thunderhead and saw there was a 5 minute wait on the app. Unfortunately I was greeted with a line all the way down the stairs with 1 switchback full and it was only running 1 train (about a 30 minute wait). I came back later in the day and it was a walk on (and yes, I agree it needs a little bit of work this off season). Something really funny happened on River Rampage. We came up to the waterfall and it turned off, our boat passed 1/2 under the waterfall when it suddenly turned back on and soaked half the boat. Needless to say, the girl that it soaked wasn't too happy about it.
  22. Had a really great week of camping at Knoebels this week. Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday the park was absolutely packed. Monday, it rained all day and stopped at about 4pm. The park was so empty Monday night, Phoenix was a walk on with one train! Once I saw that all the rides were walk ons, I sprung the sundown special. I did bargain night Wednesday and because there were so many people there, I barely rode $12 worth of rides before closing. We ate breakfast in the food court every morning, it was really good (especially the cinnamon rolls). My dad and I also tried perogies for the first time, they were interesting. We also had a dole whip, a sundae from the old mill, dinner in the Alamo, spaghetti on Wednesday night, and BBQ chicken on Sunday night. All the food was great and fairly priced (which is 1/2 the reason we drive 11 hours to Knoebels every year)! No one touched Over the Top while we were there (which I'm sure Knoebels is not happy with their purchase since it's still not working). On Wednesday, since it was so crowded, we made a side trip to the Pioneer Tunnel Coal Mine. Our tour guide had worked in the mines for 10 years and had some really cool stories to tell. If you're vacationing at Knoebels, I highly recommend checking this place out!
  23. Top 5 (in no particular order): Walking Taco Pork Chop on a Stick Fried Cheese on a Stick Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich BBQ Chicken from the Oasis I'm also headed to Knoebels in the near future and noticed Downdraft is listed as "Closed" on the website. Anybody know anything about it?
  24. Since when are "the people at Red's" a reliable source for information? I only trust the Dippin' Dots guy across the street.
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