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Everything posted by Angry_Gumball

  1. Listening to some Hollywood Westerns at the moment...The Professionals - City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. I currently feel like I'm in line for my first ride of the day on Gold Striker (This is actually the first song in the playlist used for Gold Striker at CGA )
  2. Updated list, been a pretty productive day of grinding and catching some new 'mons as my team develops. I'm currently using these: Lv 20 Braixen - Sassy Nature Lv 15 Bagon (Japanese name is Tatsubei...you see where this went with nicknames ) - Sassy nature...(These guys are rare but I may hunt down another one as this one's speed is pretty bad at the moment) Lv 18 Riolu (Finally caught the one I was after with a bold nature) - Bold Nature Lv 16 Pikachu - Mild nature I plan on doing some more level grinding for these guys tonight and head toward the next gym. So far, there's quite a bit going on between the gyms (which I'm liking, plenty of time to level up my 'mons!)
  3. I'm chugging along on my Pokemon X...been trying out different Pokemon to see who will make it or break it for my team. Currently in tow are Braixen (17), Charmeleon (16), Pikachu (13), and Bidoof (11) (I call him 'Doof as he looks like a doof). Doof will be my HM slave as he can learn a variety of HMs. Currently trying (and failing) to encounter a Riolu, a solid fighting type (and of course, mega evolution Lucario once it evolves ) I think I've moved along for the little moments of time I've had to mess with this and level grind...Pretty much I took every opportunity of CGA Haunt's long lines to level up my 'mons! And of course another friend had his 3DS with him and his copy of X so battling was inevitable. Speaking of which, the Player Search System is pretty convenient. Remember the days of having to get to a Pokemon center to initiate battle or trades? You can now do it anywhere...In a labyrinth-esque cave or long route between cities? You can still pick up a battle or trade with a buddy or even find random people in the area who may be playing while out in public. Nintendo has gone a long way with the series and it is only improving! And roller skates rock!
  4. Time to revive this thread much like how corpses are revived in Madame Marie's Massacre Manor. Was back out at the park again yesterday for day and Haunt. Met up with TPR member Sunfire, neighbor, and cousin for a nice day of fun! Day time, crowds were pretty light and waited at most 10 minutes for Gold Striker (6 laps during day). Towards the end of the day, people were starting to show up. Again doing Madame Marie's VooDoo Chophouse dinner and including ERT, I got another 19 consecutive laps in on Gold Striker! Yesterday put me from 176 laps to 201! I can say this though. Gold Striker will wear you out after even 10 laps! I *highly* recommend having something to drink immediately after riding as you will feel like you're floating off into space, and your body will fill like jello! The crowds are definitely here! But here's the thing: We get 3-4 mazes knocked out within 3-45 minutes time when we start at the back. After that, most of the lines appear to be long but move pretty darn fast! For example: Toy Factory's line wrapped across the area, starting at where the exit of Toy Factory is. Using all of its switchbacks, we were in within 15 minutes! The trade off is that the park has to let groups in a bit more frequent, leading to catching up to other groups. Honestly though, I'd rather this happen than spend hours in line standing as my feet begin to hurt. Another long-appearing wait was for Zombie High which took 30 minutes (appeared to look like an hour's wait). The line started in front of Tiki Twirl. Those familiar with Zombie High should know that the line wraps all the way around through the picnic grove entry and use a good chunk of the old Cornstalker's path. So despite the full-looking queues, they actually move pretty fast! They do look intimidating however and have left me skipping by them initially until I realized that 1: it's only going to get more crowded and 2: I had my 3DS with me along with my Pokemon X...time to level up my 'mons and battle a friend who had his 3DS with him Other highlights: -We got some line jumpers kicked out of line. 2 people slipped by us and we initially shook it off. 30 seconds later, they're calling up 6 more of their friends to meet them. After saying something along the lines of 'this is not cool' I quickly notified one of the attendants. Instant reaction, the whole group was kicked out and had to get back to the end of the line. They were mad at us but in the end...don't get mad at us for your mistake. So, kudos to CGA and their responsive staff! -The exact opposite also happened, where some people were ahead of us. They wanted to wait for a friend so they stood off to the side and let everyone pass them until their friend met up. While they should meet up before they get in line, I give kudos for some consideration rather than just having their 20-person family meet up with them. -All 3 scare zones were alive and kicking tonight, including the what was initially lackluster Dead Man's Cove! Yup, they were really getting into what they were doing. Underworld was alive and kicking though it still suffers from too much staff on 1 path and minimal staff on other. -All of the mazes were doing pretty good too, despite the crazy amount of people passing through. I had many startle moments. Speaking of mazes, where I initially felt like Zombie High had a weak first impression, this maze is actually starting to grow on me. I have to look at this maze as though it were Toy Factory, being one of the more 'humorous' ones. Humorous is a nice change up from the gore-fest I'm ready for next weekend and ready for facing the crowds (and the line jumpers, and the drunk idiots). Unfortunately with these crowds, many things are getting destroyed. Madame Marie's Massacre Manor had all of its outdoor lights working early in the night and eventually most of them weren't. When I heard something fall while I was in line, I turned on my flashlight (on my phone) and saw that someone knocked down a post. Further back in line, I saw strings of lights unplugged and dangling/sitting on the ground. Sorry for the lack of photos, but I kind of feel like I took enough Haunt photos for the season, as shown on the previous 2 trip reports Last night was just a night of enjoying Haunt through my own eyes rather than constantly being behind the camera.
  5. Well, I was going to buy the physical cartridge but ended up caving in and buying it digitally. It's one less cartridge to have to carry around and it's one less cartridge to possibly lose. I'm good at losing small things. And it's available to those of us on the west coast 3 hours early The game was available as of 9PM tonight PST. With this said, gonna be a long download. I ended up with Pokemon X
  6. How'd you get Pokemon X already? It's not even out yet. I can't wait for the game, gonna pick it up before I head off to the park for the day and Haunt I'm going to go with X, and plan on starting off with the ever-so-cute Fennikin! I actually had my eyes set on Fennikin since the game was announced back in January last year. I'm one of those who feel like one can never be too old to enjoy a Pokemon game. Why? While the storylines may be simplistic and seen as "kiddie" there's actually a lot of depth to these games that most kids don't realize...whether if it's building an awesome team to background stuff about specific pokemon and their tie ins to real-world mythology. I've been playing these games since 1998, and lately have been having memories of 1998 when stores were sold out of Pokemon Red...then one day my dad took me to KB Toys on a gamble to see if they had it and sure enough I snagged the last copy. My brother (who couldn't read yet) snagged Blue and I had to help him through the game. In the long run, he used this game to help him learn to read In short, I haven't been as excited for a Pokemon title since Red/Blue and Gold/Silver!
  7. Those crazy ARM/Larson towers...also rode the said stubby 70' tower at the fair this past summer...more intense than any of the Intamin towers I've done (LL:DOD and Drop Tower). One of these days I'd like to hit up Silverwood primarily for the 2 woodies. If only there were other parks nearby to add to a trip... The 2 said coasters look pretty darn good!
  8. 2013 has probably been my most active theme park-going year for me! I now visit parks with a typical group of friends who are just as crazy as I am (after all, they're also coaster enthusiasts!). What made the season besides hanging out with fellow coaster enthusiasts: -West Coast Bash (First WCB ever, many more to come!) -Gold Striker (My most anticipated coaster of the year, and lived beyond my expectations) -Full Throttle - best coaster at SFMM! And airtime at SFMM?!? Does not compute. (Did I seriously just type YOLO's 'real name' and it not get struck by word filter?) -A spring trip to SoCal (Disney and Knott's, not visited since 1998...SFMM, last visited in 2001) -Many new credits including Full Throttle, Gold Striker, Coast Rider, and tons more! The blunders: -Dealing with belligerent park guests (whom which got ejected/escorted from the park) -Still no clue what's going on with UnderTow at SCBB. I did not expect delays to happen but prepare for the unexpected -Mysterious Gold Striker delays after the promotional shoot back in early May All in all, it's been a really solid year! Let's see if 2014 can top off 2013!
  9. Haunt will only get busier and what a difference between this past weekend and opening weekend! I was out at the park both Friday and Saturday and had a pretty solid visit on both days. The crowds are coming and it's only going to get crazier! Saturday was quite busy actually. On the flip side, as long as lines looked (Zombie High was coming all the way out to entry sign by Psycho Mouse) lines moved quick! I'd actually say that the longest I waited in even what looked to to be probably a solid 30 minutes but reality was it only took 15 minutes. With Zombie High's line, I spent probably 10 minutes despite its length. Some highlights from the weekend visit: -Madame Marie's line...this was 2012 hotness but so far has had extremely short and/or quick moving lines...we waited in what looked to be quite full queue and were in within 5 minutes! -CornStalkers was never more than 5 minutes but the downside: When you let all 3 groups into the 3 entries, it becomes a fustercluck and a major pile up. From there, you're in what's essentially a line to get out of the maze. -We didn't bother with Slaughter House as on opening night, the line took forever to get through when it shouldn't have been any more than 15-20 minutes...more of 40 minutes. -3rd time of watching Blades of Horror, this show's amazing. -Finally saw CULTure Pop...after watching Blades, I was like "eh...." It didn't seem to have the same spark as last year. But if you're sitting in the right area, you'll enjoy the show's finale! (I leave this a surprise...and is probably the best part of the show!) -Rode Gold Striker 11 more times in a row during Madame Marie's Voodoo Chophouse ERT. Not the private rides like last weekend as us MMVC goers were sharing rides with the local ACE members...met some new faces too! I can say that if you marathon Goldy that long, you will seriously be winded/exhausted due to the ride's intensity! I came off feeling like a wet noodle, but well worth it! All of these ERT sessions put me up to 176 laps -Flame throwers never get old! It's fun just standing by the fire on a chilly night! Haunt Video I put together for this year: Random photos in no particular order...mainly due to how I named the files Time for some more Haunt-ness! Fire really lights up the night! Vote for your favorite scare zone/maze! And the mobile prize wheel. $5 gets you 2 spins and there's always a win! Fire! Clown! More fireside shots! More clowns! Daytime visit...Flight Deck! And some Psycho Porn! I felt so dirty doing this! "NO PICTURES!" Haunt time, more monsters roam around. Blue Fire Guy does his Knoebels Snap Nazi impersonation: "HEY YOU! PUT DOWN THAT CAR!" Random shot of Gold Striker Haunt again! 3 Stooges Zombie High...This sign could use some lighting, this was one of the very few times I used a flash during Haunt. Great America Theater...time to check out Blades of Horror again! (Really great show!) Zombie High facade now finished! Blades of Horror ... The group! And end it with a rather suggestive-looking burst of fire... It's only fire, guys!
  10. On the flip side, great things come in small packages But yea...neighbors, prudes, whatever you wanna call them... I can live without the lovely neighbors who like to throw a wrench in the works when things were going smoothly.
  11. Good point, forgot about the fact that users can troll the times...just for giggles, I even went as far as putting down a wait time for X2 at WCB Many parks including my home park have apps and if they implemented wait times in their own official app, it would be huge! Now the burning question is would Six Flags or Cedar Fair want to invest in those time boards like what Disney has, and give those 'check in cards' to guest so the can accurately monitor the time? Until then, especially with my home park, I have a pretty solid idea of how long waits are based on line length.
  12. It really depends on the park you're at when it comes to using RH. SFMM is where I've seen the strongest RH activity and has actually been pretty useful both during WCB and during my trip back in April. My area parks (CGA/SFDK) are purely driven off of estimates though I've seen a few real entries at SFDK. It would be nice/neat if everyone did contribute to this, for those who have a smart phone.
  13. The one other concept I saw, I'm very excited about! But, confidentiality is confidentiality
  14. I have a feeling each of us got different concepts presented to us. While I agreed to keep things confidential, I think the subject they gave me would be a welcome addition to the park!
  15. Opening night at CGA's Haunt, we saw somebody go down in an area they shouldn't have (left the maze queue that's already situated back stage) and relieve himself on Gold Striker...maybe he thought he would 'help it grow' by 'watering the coaster.' Yes, people disgust me.
  16. Highway 17 is insanely scary at night. What's worse though is when it's raining and people still floor it through. I would not want to experience 17 at night during a storm.. Another slightly less pain to find is Gilroy Gardens. It's actually kind of tucked away in its own little corner of the world, comparing to many of the CA parks being located right next to a major thoroughfare.
  17. My guesses is that next season we will see more sprucing up of the property, and a new show to replace Happiness is Snoopy. I imagine the next 'big one' will be in 2016 for the park's 40th. Though they did celebrate their 35th with the removal of Invertigo and near JMA-ization of the park (beyond CGA's control). Come end of season I will do my 2013 season recap and see how close my 2012 expectations were to becoming a reality...and post my detailed 2013 guesses/speculation/hopes.
  18. I remember riding Gran Slammer multiple times! I fell in love with that ride...offered nice tummy tingles. I believe Gran Slammer was a Chance "Falling Star" ride. Tampico Tumbler was a funky-looking ride but was also quite fun! Sadly I only rode that one once. I do remember riding the Roto-shake (Hammerhead) quite a few times as there were no lines for it.
  19. I'll throw in my .02 on Double Shot. I've had the restraints click multiple times, more than what should be enough to keep me locked in. Those seatbelts however are extremely short, and I have to almost literally staple myself to get the belt to fit easily. I do need to lose some weight, which I'm working on but I actually had difficulties a year ago, when I weighted 20 pounds more. A ride op helped me get buckled... I didn't have that much of a problem on my visit 3 weeks ago but still notice that the belts are quite short and unforgiving.
  20. Agreed, more seaside parks are a good thing. I'm not sure how Belmont Park is but I have heard that Santa Monica Pier leaves much to be desired. I also hope to see this happen! Edit: High-Five? Yes please!
  21. Black/Grey with small bits of yellow Avia sneakers...cheap, comfortable to be in (as in decent theme park shoes) and look pretty decent
  22. Finally, Haunt Review time! This was also my first time out with my new 50mm lens so I was learning this lens on the fly! So, here goes! California's Great America's 6th annual Halloween Haunt event just started. I was invited to the Haunt VIP event which included complimentary entry into park, the new dining option "Madame Marie's VooDoo Chophouse" and exclusive ride time on Gold Striker. The evening started off with Madame Marie's VooDoo Chophouse, the park's 'upscale' dining option. This all you can eat buffet takes place in Maggie Brown's and includes different food from the park's basic Fright Feast option (formerly known as Pre Scare Boofet) such as prime rib, fried catfish, Maggie Brown's fried chicken, red beans and rice, cesar salad, and more! If the tasty menu was not enough, thrown in was bonus ERT on Gold Striker (from 5-7) and a single use Fright Lane pass good for a single maze. The Gold Striker ERT was a nice surprise as there was literally no wait. Riders could marathon the ride until 7PM, when Haunt opened. Now let's take a look at this season's Haunt's offerings! Mazes: Dia De Los Muertos (NEW) This maze was formerly ran at Great America's sister park, Knott's Berry Farm. This colorful maze is themed to Dia De Los Muertos, the Day of the Dead. Dia De Los Muertos replaced Club Blood, one of CGA's original mazes when Haunt first opened. Club Blood felt like it was only struggling over the seasons so it was due for a replacement. Design: This maze, as mentioned is very colorful! Like CarnEvil, this maze also utilizes the upcharge $1 3D glasses. Using the glasses definitely enhances the vibrance of the maze, and can also be headache inducing for some. I managed to go through the maze in its entirety fine however. In the end, this maze is very vibrant regardless of the 3D glasses. The whole Day of the Dead theme was pulled off rather well. There's a moment where you're walking through a bar, to the next moment where you're going through a church. Toward the end you venture through a rather well-done jungle as you are actually winding your way around inside the defunct Pictorium. Scares: While there were a few good scares (Startle moments), this maze appears to live off of its visuals. It's not really meant to be a gore-fest unlike its neighboring Slaughterhouse maze. Overall: This was a pretty solid maze, even if it isn't the scariest. It is what I like to describe as "eye candy." This is also a "headliner maze," meaning that it's located at the front of the park and is one of the first mazes people will run into. The lines remained consistently full Saturday night, making the front of the line pass a must use. Zombie High (NEW) Zombie High is CGA's other new for 2013 maze, located behind Grizzly taking up half of the area where Cornstalkers sat. The maze is located inside of a newly constructed metal building. So let's take a trip inside Bayside High School! Design: This maze was done up to look like a high school, featuring several elements we'd expect to see in a high school setting. This included the band room, chemistry class, library, nurse's office, and even a high school dance! For those who are no longer in high school or even collage will feel a sense of nostalgia whether it's the classic desks we sat at or the old overhead projectors. Also, you have to love Bayside High's turtle mascot! On opening night, it seemed as though it were too bright inside and as it had just opened, not all of the talent were quite in their groove. While there may be no lines initially as it's at the back of the park, the trade off is a possible lackluster first impression, which the left maze for us initially. Doing it the second evening proved to be a better experience as there appeared to be more talent and talent had more of a grasp at their technique. Also considering this was opening weekend, the outside maze facade appeared to be incomplete as it wasn't quite painted yet (for an unspecified reason). It could be different come following weekend! Scares: There could be some great scares to be had in here, especially if you fear zombies. Some of my favorite spots were walking through the closet hallway (where marching band uniforms hang), the zombie on bungee cords in the lecture hall/theater (he actually lunged inches toward me before quickly flinging back to his platform), and the gym/school dance (where I had to figure out which were live actors and which were just mannequins). Overall: While ZH originally left a lackluster impression, it has potential to be a solid maze. Where this maze loses some points however is where you can see the upcoming rooms from even toward the beginning of the maze...potentially taking away from any surprise elements. Toy Factory: The 2009 maze gets a major overhaul for the 2013 season, giving off a fresh new experience. While the layout is essentially the same, much of the rooms have changed. Toy Factory was famous for it's unique ending, where guests navigated down a dark, claustrophobic hallway (hallway made of inflatable walls that would squish guests). Design: Toy Factory is a huge nostalgia fest for Haunt's target audience. Their childhood toys become their worst nightmares. There are many different rooms including the classic strobe light bedroom (which is quite odd to walk through), game room (which was revamped), and another room with games that had a mini card maze where you can quickly ditch your friends. From here, something was dramatically changed. Gone is the claustrophobic hallway and instead, you are lead to the cargo room. In a sense, this was probably a smart move as the hallway always provided traffic jams and greatly lowered maze capacity. For Toy Factory fans, this was actually a huge disappointment. The maze ends with the toy store. Scares: Raggedy Ann may give you the creeps. I actually had a quick spook in the strobe room where the dolls appeared from nowhere. While it didn't make me jump, it was more of a "Woah, how did she just suddenly appear?" experience. The talent was really into what they were doing. Even Sonic the Hedgehog makes an appearance! Of course, this may not quite be the Sonic you'd really want to encounter! Overall: Toy Factory remains to be a solid experience even though one of its highlights was removed. It will in the end help increase capacity. Lastly, you can't go wrong with its annoyingly catchy theme song! Cornstalkers Cornstalkers was revamped to make way for Zombie High and now takes place on the opposite side of Barney Oldfield’s track, closer toward Demon. This is no longer the park’s longest maze but that is not a bad thing at all. Design: As mentioned, Cornstalkers was dramatically altered due to the new for 2013 Zombie High. The original maze was the park’s longest maze but was perhaps too long for its own good. The long length left talent too far spread out and the maze didn’t pick up its pace until the second half. With the revision, Cornstalkers now starts off in what actually now feels like a cornstalk maze. You are assigned to 1 of 3 entries which eventually merge to a main path. The tight corners can provide some good hiding places. Once out of the cornstalk maze, you pass by the familiar trucks and vehicles as well as the humorous outhouses (complete with farting noises). The maze wraps up inside of Grizzly’s first and final turnaround. Scares: As noted above, the first part of the maze with high walls and tight corners actually give a sense of uncertainty. I was fortunate enough to visit this maze when there was no line and the group could pick any path. I decided to take a path solo and it was a completely different experience going down an empty path. Lots of fake costumed characters are blended in with some real characters, building up suspense. Overall: Cornstalkers is hugely improved. There are no dead spots and the maze does not drag on forever as its predecessor did. This feels like a fresh new experience. The maze starts and ends in the same vicinity, no longer disrupting any flow if you’re visiting the mazes in order. Now that we’ve looked at some of the new/revised mazes, let’s take a look at some of the classics. Madame Marie’s Massacre Manor: MMMM was new for 2012 and remains to be the same experience as last year. MMMM is one of those mazes in which there’s a lot of attention to detail. In fact, we are still finding things in there that we missed on previous visits. This maze is located near the former Invertigo site. In fact, the metal building structure sits on the spot where Invertigo’s lifts were. Design: MMMM is themed to a mansion and the practice of Voodoo. The maze uses a lot of antique props and dim lighting to really make this feel like you’re walking through an old mansion. It is actually easy to forget that you’re really in a metal building. The amount of detail in this maze is top notch and the lighting is just right. As guests navigate their way through the maze the end in a cellar with a nice surprise scare! The music is also amazing and really adds to the mood of the maze. Scares: This maze is loaded with potential scares. Not that we want to spoil anything but there’s been quite a few startles to be had in the portrait hallway. You never know what is going to happen. The lighting in the maze also helps hide some of the characters and can appear to come out of nowhere. Much of the talent are also really into their act and add to the feel that something bad is about to happen. Overall: This is actually one of our favorite mazes for the above mentioned reasons. The lines can get long for this so it’s best to visit this maze early before the crowds make their way toward the middle of the park. On opening weekend, the lines actually remained pretty short even after doing the back of the park mazes. Things can and will change as we go further into Haunt season. Slaughterhouse Annihilation: Slaughterhouse was one of the original mazes from 2008, located near the new Gold Striker and Xtreme Sky Flyer ride, and was given a facelift in 2011. Not much has changed about this maze since its debut and remains to be the gore fest it’s always been! Design: Slaughterhouse Annihilation portrays a slaughterhouse, using people instead of animals for meat production. The maze is probably one of the goriest, grossest mazes in all of Haunt. It is also very dark and oftentimes hard to navigate due to the immense amount of fog used inside. Lack of visibility actually makes this interesting as you absolutely don’t know what’s going to come out at you. The audio used in Slaughterhouse is very fitting as well. Unlike Toy Factory (in which its ending element left fans disappointed), Slaughter House has it’s squishy hallway running. Scares: If you’re squeamish, this maze may not be for you. As said, this maze is a gore fest. Dark corridors offer ample places for monsters to hide and get you. However, this maze doesn’t have a lot of sudden ‘pop out’ scares, and heavily relies on characters staying in character. Depending on staff, this can make or break the maze. Overall: Yet another solid maze and one of the “headliner” mazes in which everyone entering the park all flock to first. It is best to do this maze later in the evening when crowds have dispersed throughout the park. On opening night, the wait was 45 minutes and that was without using all of the switchbacks. CarnEvil: CarnEvil is another original Haunt maze that actually debuted in 2007 before Great America had a full on Haunt. CarnEvil ran afternoon through closing in 2007 and was free to experience. This maze was the first maze for the park to have in the park’s history and served as a “demo” for what was about to be in store for the 2008 season. Design: CarnEvil is a brightly colored maze with heavy use of black lights and fluorescent paint. Due to the nature of this maze, guests can purchase $1 3D glasses to enhance their experience. Inside the maze there’s classic carnival and amusement park-themed elements including a small hall of mirrors, broken carnival games, a cotton candy hallway, and freaks in a ‘freak enclosure.’ Lastly, one can’t go wrong with the theme song played in CarnEvil. Scares: This maze utilizes a lot of ‘startle scares’ via sudden movements and loud bangs. There are also elements where clowns are camouflaged with the background (polkadot hallway), or the cotton candy lady hiding among the cotton candy coated walls. Many people suffer from coulrophobia (fear of clowns) further adding to the experience. Overall: While this is Haunt’s oldest maze, it remains one of our favorites. It’s a classic and it’s a keeper! It’s advisable to visit this later though the lines can remain lengthy throughout the night. We waited 15-20 minutes at midnight on opening weekend. Last but not least on the list of mazes… Werewolf Canyon: Werewolf Canyon is the second oldest and completely unchanged maze inside the park, which debuted in 2008. Werewolf Canyon uses the River Rapids turntable and exit path. This is one of those mazes that once started off great but somehow fell into a slump. Werewolves used to use chainsaws which really added to the atmosphere but ever since they were removed, much of the scare factor has diminished. Let’s take a look at how it’s doing this year. Design: As said, the layout and elements have remained the same since 2008 and is probably due for a revamp. The maze starts off on the rapids turntable as you walk through a cabin. You exit out the back door and take a long walk through the woods where werewolves run amok. It is very dark once you reach this spot. After a long stretch of dark woods, you navigate through a burlap sack maze outfitted with bright strobe lights. As you push the burlap strips out of the way, you may come face-to-face with a werewolf which can be quite startling! Scares: This maze was in a slump over the past few seasons but seems to be improving. Our favorite moments are along the back area where a larger-sized werewolf blocks the path and stands as still as possible. When you least expect it, he lunges toward you. The burlap sack maze section is another great opportunity for some good startles. Overall: This maze isn’t perfect and still lives as the weakest maze but has improved quite a bit over the seasons. More of the characters are getting into their character and adding to the atmosphere. It would be nice if the park brought back the chainsaws. Scare Zones: Great America has 3 scare zones, areas where monsters free roam the midways and scare guests as they walk around the park. The park originally had 4 of them but one was retired in 2011. The Gauntlet: This scare zone is located just out in front of CarnEvil and is loaded with clowns and freaks! The mix of lighting and fog provides moments for clowns to come out of nowhere, or for a slider to come sliding out in front of you. The character is really strong in The Gauntlet and has always been one of the strongest scare zones over the seasons. Underworld Alley: Underworld Alley is located right in front of Demon (how appropriate!) and has sometimes rivaled The Gauntlet but has also fallen into the underworld with lackluster performance. This scare zone utilizes 2 paths, one just outside of the arbor tunnel and the other going through. With the amount of staff and double paths, Underworld Alley can be a hit or a miss. We’ve walked through and found not a single minion on our venture through. Other times, we’ve been tormented my several minions! Deadman’s Cove: Deadman’s Cove is the weakest of the 3 scare zones. What exactly would make this the weakest anyway? First off, Deadman’s cove spans across a large area. With a limited crew, the area feels sparse. In 2011, Dead Man’s Cove was expanded into the KidZville area and was given a custom soundtrack. The soundtrack has been missing since, giving this area a nonexistent feel. Lastly and most importantly, Deadman’s cove has probably the least enthusiastic talent. Bonus attraction – Funhouse Express: Funhouse Express is a ridefilm that was recently added to Great America’s AFX theater and runs during day and Haunt. Funhouse Express is a quirky, family-friendly film that is actually pretty entertaining and proves to be a fun ride! The ride appears to use a claymation style and despite it being from the mid 1990’s, it still looks great and the 3D effects are pretty decent. If doing both full day at park and Haunt, it’s advisable to do this during the day to allow for more time to check out mazes and shows during Haunt. Bonus video: Rare nighttime Star Tower POV during Haunt: Ready to roll! As is my neighbor, her first special park event. Kicking off the evening we had a fantastic meal at Madame Marie's Voodoo Chophouse! They are using the Maggie Brown's restaurant and have themed it nicely! Ice sculpture, awesome! Yummy food too! Flagg and rjvader join the table Invite to CGA's VIP Haunt event Flagg o' Dim taking a pic of me taking a pic of him (now we see this from the other side ) Madame Marie herself appears at our table She got after me for 'playing with my phone' instead of eating (I was updating my blogs) Madame Marie's 2 pet hands Heidi and Handley Crowds await the Overlord's resurrection. He has risen (and gained a few pounds over the off season) Blue Fire Guy captures the moment of the risen Overlord. Venturing into Underworld Alley Blue Fire Guy films as he makes his way through the arbor tunnel...Take the tunnel! WHYYYYY!!!! (Because I said so!) Toy Factory, ending has been altered quite a bit. Now down the 3000 mile path to Zombie High Unfortunately Zombie High appears to still have some work to be done on the facade. I can't wait to see how it looks in its finished state! A welcome addition to CGA...Flame throwers! Dia De Los Muertos ending, visible from the queue. Again, why do we always take photos of each other taking photos of each other? Gauntlet... Hi! CarnEvil, still a very popular maze despite its age! More Gauntlet "He cut my mouth into a smile and caged me with the freaks!" Dead Man's Cove (Literally dead that night) Who says we can't have a little fun putting on our scary faces? Underworld Alley revisited. Fire, can never go old! Toy Factory Star Tower watching over the park, as much as it offered rare Haunt rides Friday evening (See POV) CGA is now offering upcharge photos to be taken with the monsters. The Gauntlet And more fire! (I absolutely love this!) Latecomers will be greeted to what looks like the park being on fire! Blades of Horror Cirque du Soliel-like presentation...awesome show! This does not look the slightest bit comfortable or possible. Again, fire always makes things better! Goodnight CGA, had an awesome time at Haunt!
  23. PNW does sound interesting. While I know Silverwood is kind of in its own corner of the world and knowing nothing about the area, a TPR trip sounds perfect in making a trip there worth while.
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