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Everything posted by DanM64

  1. Great America is going to be TERRIBLE on July 5. It's terrible almost every day of the year, because the operations there are worse now than I can ever remember in my lifetime. It's going to be ultra horrible terrible on July 5. You can save yourself a LOT of money by skipping Great America entirely. If you must go, you will absolutely need to buy a Flash Pass to be able to get on more than 3 or 4 coasters. Another money saving tip for Illinois. 294 is a toll road almost the entire way to Great America from I-80. If you have an E-Z Pass, use it! The I-Pass electronic toll system Illinois uses accepts E-Z Pass, and electronic tolls are half the price of cash tolls in all of Illinois. You'll have a few tolls on 294 to get to I-55 when you head to SFStl as well. 55 itself is a freeway, though.
  2. I just returned home from an Orlando/TB trip. The last time I visited USO Mummy was brand new so that shows you how long ago it was. Comcast really seems to know what they're doing on the theme park side. Both Harry Potter additions are outstanding. The level of detail in Diagon Alley was impressive. I was absolutely blown away!! I was in USO/IOA Tuesday and Wednesday- I had Park-to-Park tickets both days. Both days were fairly busy, but operations were top notch. I flew through the queue lines. I would kill to have a park like this closer to home! I purchased a Universal Express pass for Wednesday and was glad I did. I was sad to hear every time they announced the closing of a classic ride, but they sure made the right decisions! There were guests from all over the world in the park. The Harry Potter investments really seem to be paying off. Escape from Gringott's had a much better storyline than Forbidden Journey, but I'm not sure which one I enjoyed more. Spiderman is still top notc, and my 2nd favorite ride in the park. I think Transformers was overall my favorite ride, though. Excellnt special effects, a good story, and a blast to ride. I need to go to Florida a lot more often!
  3. When does the park open for the season on weekdays? I have to pick next year's vacation now, and I'd like to hit SFOT and SFFT. Up here everything usually opens up on weekdays just before or just after Memorial Day. Does that usually hold true down there too? Neither park has a 2016 operating schedule up online yet.
  4. At my job we pick vacations in November for the next calendar year. I've never been to SFMM, and I'm finally going to go. Looking to make a trip in January of February. I understand coasters there go down for maintenence, so I'd like to hear some opinions on what would be the best week to go. I should be able to pick anything between the 2nd week of January and the second week of March. Are they even typically open weekdays during that time? I'm looking to go to Knott's too, so any ideas of a good time I could hit both parks in the same week would be great. Thanks!
  5. Florida- Kumba Illinois- Goliath Indiana- Voyage Kentucky- Twisted Twins Michigan- Shivering Timbers Minnesota- Spongebob Rock Bottom Plunge Missouri- American Thunder New Jersey- El Toro New York- Ride of Steel Ohio- Maverick Pennsylvania- Skyrush/Phoenix. I honestly can't choose. Tennessee- Thunderhead Wisconsin- Avalanche Virginia- I-305
  6. While I have yet to do a full TR from my first ever KD visit 2 weeks ago, here are a few cell phone pics I snapped throughout my visit. I didn't bring the DSLR because it was rather hot and I didn't feel like dealing with it. I will say that I-305 is the best steel coaster I've ever been on. It didn't disappoint whatsoever. I absolutely loved it!! Here are the pics. Enjoy! My #1 coaster on my US bucket list. And Anaconda. From the top of the tower. Ejector airtime at night. Eruption!!
  7. SFGAm is by FAR the closest park to me- 1 hour- and I haven't even bothered to go yet this year. It doesn't bother me a bit, either. That should tell you all you need to know.
  8. I definitely think there's a place in the industry for RMC/Intamin prefab coasters and traditional wood coasters, they really are vastly different. As to the question of if the parks will continue to order traditional wood coasters and spend the money on maintenence? That should be interesting. Your guess is as good has mine. Good discussion!
  9. I'm 5'11 260lbs, 40" waist. I didn't have trouble getting on anything at KD this weekend. For me the tightest restraint was Volcano but I still had room. Shockwave was very uncomfortable in the shoulders. My shoulders pressed into the top of the restraint, and it was a little difficult to even get my arms in at first. Shockwave is a TERRIBLE ride though. When I say terrible I mean the only one I've ever been on that's worse is Hades 360. Unless you're a credit whore (like me and many others on here) you should avoid it at all costs anyway.
  10. Volcano's Fast Lane puts you directly in the station now as well! Every time I used it on Volcano I was on the next train out of the station. Wonderful! I don't think I'll ever visit the park again without it. I never had more than a 3 train wait for I-305, either. My favorite seat was the left seat in the last row. I didn't try the front at all. The only time I even bother with the front row is on the Intamin Accelerators.
  11. I was able to get 9 rides on I-305 today. They fixed it up good because it didn't go down once from what I could tell. I think I have a new favorite steel coaster, and the Fast Lane is worth its weight in gold!
  12. Eventually, yes. The park is still open for a private event tonight. You can see the park from my hotel room (I'm in the Best Western). I-305 is still broken down. It hasn't run once since this morning. Not looking good for me tomorrow
  13. I was there Thursday as well. I was the guy with the big brown beard and the bright red shirt. Noticed the same thing on Impulse. The one train was vibrating like crazy. I still enjoyed the ride and thought it was really good, but the vibration was uncomfortable. Phoenix was running INSANE though, as was Twister. I had an absolute blast! My last visit to the park was in June 2012, so I was able to collect credits for Black Diamond, Flying Turns, and Impulse this trip.
  14. I'll be here tomorrow too. Also my first time. If it doesn't run tomorrow I'll have to come back next year
  15. Imagine how I feel- I came from Chicago! My only week off this year. Oh well, there's always next year! It did run a few cycles this morning, so I would think it will be up by next weekend. I REALLY hope it's running sometime tomorrow, but I'm not getting my hopes up.
  16. I'd been having GREAT luck on my trip until today at KD. We were next in line for I-305 just after opening today when it broke down. They're having some electrical problems. It hasn't been running all day. I sure hope they get it running for tomorrow!
  17. I just rode Wildcat yesterday and thought it was actually smoother than when I last rode a few years ago. They did re-track a few spots in the offseason, though.
  18. Kozmo's Kurves replacing High Speed Thrill Coaster was pretty bad if you ask me. Windjammer has to be hands down the worst, though.
  19. Robb- I do most of my Youtube watching on my phone, but I watch all of the TPR Youtube videos on my big screen tv. The quality is WAY too good to waste it using a phone, and my computer still has a CRT monitor. I have a Sony Blu Ray player and use the Youtube App built in to it to stream the videos on my tv. I am subscribed to the TPR channel, and frequently share the videos on Facebook which is the only form of social media I really use.
  20. I have always stayed at the Red Roof as well, never had a problem there at all.
  21. I think it has MUCH more to do with terrible ride ops. Despite SFGAm being by FAR the closest park to me, I almost never go. I did buy a season pass this year since Goliath looked promising. Finally got a ride on Goliath yesterday. The queue sign said 2 hours 30 minutes. In reality it took just under 2 hours. I waited only because I had no real desire to ride any other coasters anyway. I enjoyed it. Yes, it felt very short. All the elements were great though, and I'd rather have a short, wild ride than a long but meandering one- here's looking at you, Raging Bull! The zero G stall was awesome, and that airtime hill made me miss El Toro greatly. I don't think Goliath is a top 5 for me- I wish it had a few more ejector hills, but it's still very easily the best ride in the park, and a VERY good coaster. I have said that the park clientele has been getting more and more ghetto the last several years, and bring a friend for half price night was certainly no exception. On to the operations. I always felt that Great America was one of the least "Six Flags" when it comes to operations. Man has that changed! The park itself is run down. Peeling paint everywhere. Half of the handrails in the queues are loose and about to fall over. Am I the only one that's noticed the staircase leading you up to Bull's station is noticably crooked and warped? All the boards on the exit ramp are loose, too. Finally you have the ride ops. Oh boy!! Raging Bull didn't hit interval once the entire time I was in line. How is that possible? That is literally the easiest ride to dispatch ever. Half the time the operator was talking to one of the attendants, and the train sat in the station ready to go but was never dispatched because he wasn't paying attention. The other attendant uad to actually walk ul to the operator's station and tell him to dispatch the train! The other coasters were no better. The X Flight op was too busy coming up with "witty" spiels and refusing to send the train until everyone would scream. I'm all for having fun, but don't kill capacity on a busy day just because your guests won't yell when you ask them to. I'm almost convinced bad capacity is part of the SOP on every ride there now. I've never seen it that bad at Great America, and I've visited the park more times than I can count. I am interested to see attendance numbers over the last few years. The lines are all much longer than they have ever been, but I think more of that is attributed to their complete lack of efficiency more so than attendance being up. I found the entire experience to be disappointing, and if Goliath wasn't there I would have no reason to ever return. Even Goliath isn't enough to make me want to go back this year. I would like to think next year will improve, but it seems like it's going to keep getting worse. Six Flags is headed right back to the toilet. I really hope they make big changes- and fast.
  22. I am a locomotive engineer (train driver) for Metra- Chicago's commuter passenger railroad. I've worked for Metra since January, and before that I was a locomotive engineer for 7 years at Union Pacific Railroad driving freight trains between Chicago and Iowa. Here are a couple of trains I was operating taken by local railfans.
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