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  1. Made my first visit today since Mine Blower was installed. My opinions on the ride are favorable but at the same time a bit mixed. I have to start by saying that this is a legit coaster. If you want to visit all the real coasters in Central Florida, you're going to have to visit both Fun Spots. This this is a real coaster, but it is an intense beast! From the moment it absolutely whips you over that first drop it is a relentless assault. It's a little bit too much of an assault for it to land among my favorites like white Lightning did. This is my first "next-generation" style woodie and I'm a bit more of a traditionalist. The super overbanked turns weren't really my cup of tea. The ride also tracked surprisingly poorly for a relatively new wooden coaster. But on the plus side, this one was filled with little blips of ejector air, and it's quite a marvel that they were able to fit such a beautifully intense and complete-feeling ride in a footprint that seems scarcely bigger than a wild mouse. Truly a marvel in that regard.
  2. Magnum easily takes the cake. What is sad is that Arrow introduced the hypercoaster but let companies like Morgan and eventually B&M and Intamin run with it. Magnum is so far above everything else besides X that it also should have been excluded. I would have to say that the only ones that really strike me as all that fun were Viper and Demon (SFGam). I don't remember Viper having that trademark Arrow roughness while rides like Demon are what they really were good at. It had good air time in the drop and wasn't so fast as to be painful.
  3. Arrow had custom designs? Their looping coasters went out of style way too quick because not only were most of them painful, their loopers were a laughable predictable loop, loop, loop, boomerang, and corkscrew. Sure, there were always variations based on the site, but you really can't compare how their designs changed with a company like B&M which just put them to shame in every category.
  4. It sounds like Mako isn't gonna be a world-class hyper, not that we expected it to be, but for someone who has been an enthusiast in this area for nearly twenty years, one thing we sorely lacked was a hypercoaster, and it's easy to forget just how much darn fun nearly every hypercoaster is.
  5. It's great that you got out and saw some non-theme park things here.
  6. I totally agree with you! haha Wicked Cyclone was amazing but it felt more cute to me than Fury did. Fury flat out amazed me as a whole and the ride crew was highly efficient. They were super motivated to get high numbers and the operator was acting like their coach hyping the crew up saying things like, "Alright, let's dispatch this train in 15 seconds" as the riders sat down or "let's dispatch 46 trains this hour" at the start of a new hour. More ride crews should be like them and I'm absolutely going to take this strategy to my job at Great Adventure. I'm going to agree with you here too. I've never gotten the whole bandwagon that Millennium is forceless. I've always felt pretty heavy G's at the bottom of the first drop into the first overbank. Plus I think Millennium offers some of the best floater airtime around. I know coaster enthusiasts rave about super intense rides with insane positive G's but in my opinion, that's not the most important thing to a good coaster and not every coaster should be super positive G heavy. Positive G's are tiring on my body to be honest. When I've said MF is pretty forceless to, I'm saying that independently of any popularly held beliefs. I've really only been a casual enthusiast since my college days starting about 12 years ago, when I couldn't afford to go to parks anymore and wasn't traveling with my parents so I had no chance to go anywhere. I can only comment on how I felt when I rode it in 2011 when I wasn't even paying attention to coaster sites and hadn't for about 8 years. Compared to the other hypers I rode during my trip, Magnum and Phantom's Revenge, I don't remember that much happening with MF after the first drop except for a lot of wind rushing by. I didn't come out of my seat after the first drop and the overbanks pretty much eliminated any of the force that may have happened in the curves, which seeing as overbanks pretty much came into existence with this coaster, that seemed to be by design. MF was the centerpiece of my trip to CP and a coaster I had literally dreamed about riding for years, and it was a great ride, but the experience of going 90+ on that compared to Fury is dramatically different because Fury dares to have elements that make you feel something while still being insanely fast. I don't know why some equate thinking a coaster is forceless with liking Maverick. I completely despite Maverick and everything that poorly designed, head banging piece of crap stands for.
  7. Tennessee Tornado, their "too little too late" looper, wasn't at all bad when I rode it last week. The only problem was it was insanely short, even more short than your average two loop and corkscrew variation. If only Arrow could have made rides like this ten years earlier.
  8. The Voyage was too rough for me but that wasn't because the ride was tracking poorly. It was riding as designed and if you liked it before, I'm certain you won't have any problem.
  9. Riding Fury, it's impossible not to compare it to MF, the first giga and still the most widely known. MF is of course still a breathtaking ride, but riding Fury really demonstrated how much better it could have been had it included any force at all during the ride.
  10. The Smoky Mountains National Park has more species of flowers than Europe. It's one of the centers for temperate diversity on Earth. Hiking a few miles away from a road is part of the experience for seeing the area, ideally uphill toward a remnant area of big trees I liked Wild Eagle a lot, a beautiful ride even if it's not Intamin level intensity. Hiking into old growth forest was even more scenic. Finding a waterfall to stand under on a hot summer day is recommended. Your thoughts are very similar to mine. My trip started out as an all theme park trip. Once I started looking into things I could do in the mountains, I dropped two parks from the list and was easily as excited about hiking the Alum Cave trail or swimming in the Little River as I was about riding Wild Eagle. It saddens me to see the Parkway be such a tourist trap and know that people are coming to the area just to experience that mess instead of what brought it there in the first place. I'm a Floridian and it drives me mad that people think that visiting Disney and then spending a day at Daytona or Cocoa Beach is seeing Florida. So few of them ever get out of the manufactured tourist attractions and see the verdant jungle surrounding Florida springs and the existing still unmolested beaches and rivers that initially made Florida a tourist destination in the first place. But why visit Blue Spring when you can visit Disney Springs? I'm not coming on to a rollercoaster site to tell people to do nature instead of coasters, but darn, if you're gonna visit a theme park right outside the most popular national park in the nation, and one with a massive amount of things to do accessible for everyone, then do both.
  11. I was looking forward to riding a flying coaster right until the moment when I got on one. It's not that the restraints are uncomfortable, but the experience of riding in that position is far different from what we would imagine. Instead of being able to take in the terrain underneath, it's all a nauseating blur as facing down instead of forward means you are focused on small spots underneath as they whiz by very quickly. The g forces all concentrate right on your head, which is very uncomfortable, and far different from how we imagine flying. They are a unique experience, and pretzel loops really rock, but I could ride a flying coaster a single time just to experience it and not really want to ride it again.
  12. I know some people want the resort experience and the perks you get for staying at a park resort. Other people want to spend several days straight at the park. For my money, when my wife and I visited the area we stayed in an affordable hotel, enjoyed Dollywood and then spent a great deal of time exploring the natural features of the area of course based on the national park. Why spend time cooped up in a hotel room, even a nice one, when there is so much natural wonder in the area? Not everyone wants to hike a ton, which is what I prefer, but there are motor nature trails, tubing runs, all kinds of fun stuff. If you're gonna spend some time in the area, see the area's natural features, not just the tourist spots that popped up around it.
  13. I made HW a central part of my travel plans for this summer, which was a big thing as I can only afford to travel once every couple years. I choose to go there because of their much heralded selection of wooden coasters, whose accolades I was aware of to some extent though not fully. But Holiday World did have something besides the coasters going for it, and I've read about the fine customer service and guest treatment at this park for years, and that is important to me. I have gone to parks with a lot of good rides and didn't have that great of an experience, but I felt assured that HW's attention to all aspects of the guest experience guaranteed I was going to have a good time. Truth be told, I didn't enjoy the coasters as much as I was hoping, through it's not the coaster's fault as much as that my body, while not very old, doesn't allow me to enjoy intense coasters as much as I used to, and I have low nausea tolerance to boot. Even though I didn't enjoy my riding experience as much as I was hoping, I had a very good experience at Holiday World. The park was very pleasant, I was able to deal with terrible humidity through the free drinks, and the water rides were a major, major plus. It was quite a contrast from my experience later in the week at Carowinds, where Fury absolutely blew me away but I still had a lousy time dealing with absolutely no shade throughout a southern park (seriously do not care about the guest experience at all here), obnoxious park guests, and outside of an all star crew at Fury, pretty much the laziest and most unprofessional staff I've ever seen operating a theme park. I'll gladly go out of my way for a park like HW, Knoebel's, or Kennywood where the experience comes full circle, while I don't ever feel like great rides guarantees a great experience.
  14. After hitting a lot of parks, I've realized that there are certain types of parks that have a dozen coasters and yet nothing worth going out of your way for if they don't have that signature ride. I went to Carowinds over the weekend and Fury 325 is very close to the best coaster I've ridden. I'd still rather spend a day at Knoebel's or Kennywood, parks that don't have the sheer numbers of a coaster spamming park, but parks that provide something that is innately enjoyable to go along with a signature coaster or two. Surely if you go to a park like SFoG you will get a large number of coasters, but after doing a couple small coaster roadtrips myself, the numbers just stop to mean anything compared to the unique rides. A ride on the Phoenix, Thunderbolt, or Phantom's Revenge will be far more worthwhile than almost anything else you will do outside of the gigas and things. Try not to miss these.
  15. When I first rode X (as it was back then) it was the most incredible thing I had ever done in my life. The moment when you drop on the first hill is one of pure exhilaration and elation that you simply won't experience anywhere else. You may be terrified before you ride, even ascending the first hill, but once the ride starts moving that first drop is just so darn incredibly awesome and fun that you won't even register being afraid. I've ridden some incredible coasters, but whatever vertical drop, crazy inversion element you come up with, it still won't hold a candle to that moment on X. It's so much more amazing than everything else I've ridden that I'm amazed anyone who has ridden it could rank anything else above it. It really is a 4th dimension that takes you to another plane of coaster riding. I implore anyone with a chance to ride this to to not miss out on their chance.
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