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Everything posted by coneyislandchris

  1. Was out at Coney Island this weekend for my second visit of the year; first visit got unceremoniously rained out on a day when the forecast straight up lied to us, c'est la vie. This past Saturday was the opposite; called for rain, but we managed to sidestep it the entire day. It was hot, humid, and sunny the entire time we were there. Stopped in at the B&B Carrousel to give it some love as our first ride of the day. Although it runs on the slow side, the love and detail put into this treasure of a merry-go-round is worth a ride every time we swing by. My wife made the Cyclone her 150th credit, and it was running absolutely perfect this year!. Best ride I've ever had on that old thing. For someone who famously doesn't like coasters, she actually enjoyed herself! I razzed her mercilessly for growing up like 10 miles from it and never riding it until now, but honestly, I'm super proud of her. Additionally, the Cyclone was also my daughter's first 54" coaster! She gettin' BEEEG. Shout out to the Cyclone ride ops for talking them both through it before dispatching and putting them at ease, you guys rule. We also checked out the pair of new rides that finally opened further down the boardwalk, Tony's Express and Leti's Adventure. Tony's Express is a cool little family coaster, but it's unfortunate that they're charging 10 credits per ride. That's the same price as the Cyclone and the Thunderbolt, and honestly, it's closer in length, thrill, and intensity to their kiddie Circus Coaster. I'd ride it again with a wristband, but definitely not at $10 a pop. On the other hand, Leti's Adventure is a straight upgrade over their old flume ride, and on a sweltering summer Saturday like it was, I'd have paid $20. It gives a long ride, about five minutes from boarding to returning, has some nice under-the-structure moments, and the two drops get you absolutely soaked. This one was definitely worth the 10 credits and it's totally a must-do on any visit where it's a hot day. The heat was getting to us pretty quickly, so after stopping by Deno's and doing a quick round of Stop The Zombies, we decided to bounce for the cooler pastures of an air-conditioned Dave & Buster's a little further up the Belt Parkway. Hopefully we'll be back again in the near future. I miss being a train ride away from Coney Island, but am thankful that we live close enough to still make regular visits.
  2. Policy appears to be rolling out to most of the CF parks today; I've seen announcements with the same boilerplate template coming from Kings Island, Carowinds, and Kings Dominion so far. Surprised that they're choosing 15 as the cutoff age, honestly.
  3. Did this change recently for Magic Flyer? My son was too tall to ride it when we went last April, so my sub-54" daughter got a zen ride.
  4. ^ Looks to be the same as the one at Knoebels, a much smaller installation.
  5. Stayed there about four or five years ago pre-pandemic, thought it was leaps and bounds better than your average Econo Lodge at the time. Some of the rooms have outdoor entry and others are indoor; we got an outdoor one and it was absolutely fine. The rooms were nice and clean. Complimentary breakfast buffet had a lot of food and it filled up fairly quickly in the morning. Good central location. Can't complain. If the rates are reasonable then yeah, snap it up.
  6. For anyone who's wondering exactly why Scorpion was temporarily down and now it's back up again but with a height increase, it appears this is the reason why: https://www.yourtango.com/news/mom-records-terrifying-moment-her-daughter-began-slip-out-rollercoaster-seat I can't help but wonder if this will have any impact on the other operating looping Schwarzkopfs that still run with lap bars and a low height requirement, such as Shockwave or Sooperdooperlooper.
  7. Literally the only coaster I ever rode in Canada. Dammit. RIP.
  8. ^ Maybe I'm missing something here but in the pictures linked above, they look like they have just the normal ratcheting lap bars, not a buzz bar. Am I blind?
  9. I know it's a bit of a late response, but since no one else answered this question, yes, that's exactly what it means. My son and I visited for a couple hours this past Wednesday. We had pre-purchased a points pass online just in case they required that for entry, but when we got there, there was no security checkpoint or anyone scanning barcodes or anything at the top of the main entry. We just took the escalator down and walked throughout the park without any issues. When you get to the front of the line on whichever ride you're going on, they'll ask to scan either your wristband (if you have one) or the QR code on your phone. We ended up doing their stupid massive 9-story-high ropes course for a bit (an upcharge, but it was only $15 per person with the purchase of any points pass), and then we rode two of the coasters that were closed on his previous visit. Both of these cost us "6 points", or $10 per ride. Sandy's Blastin Bronco was absolutely worth the wait, an intense Intamin launcher that has airtime and hang time galore, then turns you around so you can do it all over again but in reverse. Glad to see this is finally up and running. Timmy's Half-Pipe Havoc was fun, but the kiddo wasn't too keen on it... he said it didn't really feel like a coaster, it felt more like a flat ride to him. I don't blame him. He's been on a lot of Zamperla Diskos over the years and it's not that vastly different of an experience. The entire time we were there on Wednesday, the place was absolutely dead. We had no issues walking onto every single attraction we wanted, and we didn't see lines for the rides we skipped. A good chunk of the kiddie rides were closed for maintenance. Shellraiser was listed as closed on the website, but was open and running when we got there, so it actually ended up being one of those days where all five coasters in the park were up and running. From the top of the ropes course, we could see the storage section behind Shellraiser where they're keeping the bumper cars from the ill-fated Invader Zim attraction, which I guess is just never going to reopen at this point. We also took a ride on the Dream Wheel, which didn't open until 3 PM. About a 20 minute round trip that we paid approximately a buck a minute for. Absolutely great views of the Manhattan skyline and the Hudson River, and, uh, also rush hour traffic on the highway, a bunch of weeds, and graffiti-covered billboards on the NJ side of things. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  10. Perchance, has anyone gotten the email from SeaWorld San Antonio advertising this year's early Black Friday season pass sale yet? I've gotten one from almost every other SEAS park in my inbox, but San Antonio has been conspicuously absent.
  11. Spent this past Saturday out at Knoebels with the family. I'll try my best to keep it short and sweet! Got there early for the Hallo-Fun family activities, so the kids decorated some cookies and trick-or-treat bags, then we all played a few rounds of bingo using corn kernels as bingo chips. They were giving away $20 and $40 books of tickets as prizes. The kids came pretty close, but no dice unfortunately. Rides started opening at 2 PM. Picked up a few of the discount vouchers at the Weis Markets in Catawissa beforehand, and was told at the ticket window that they wouldn't be able to redeem them because they were missing security features on the backs of the vouchers. Thankfully, kept my receipt, and a call from guest services over to the Weis confirmed that they were having issues with their printer, so they were able to redeem them after all and threw in an extra book of $20 as an apology for the trouble. A number of flats were closed throughout the day, so unfortunately no Flyers, no Looper, no Tornado, no Satellite, etc. Our first ride of the day was Flying Turns and IDK what they were doing this year, but from starting outside of the main ride entrance, we were on the ride in about 20 minutes. They were definitely operating at peak efficiency! Ride is still absolutely insane and one of my wife's top three coasters. After Flying Turns, we did Cosmotron (soundtrack: "My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up)" by Fall Out Boy), made a brief pitstop to grab some food (hot dogs, cheese steaks, pizza, and pierogies galore), then headed over to the Haunted Mansion. It feels like they've kept a lot of the classic bits but shuffled them around, as it kept me guessing throughout. Always a great ride, one of the best classic dark rides IMO. After that, kids headed over for a bit of fun on the Panther Cars, then we hopped on the Grand Carousel. Wait for an edge seat was pretty backed up so we just hopped in line for middle seats, still a great time. Then after that, my wife completed her Knoebels coaster "collection" by finally riding Impulse. She had done her first vertical lift with Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit last month, so we talked her into it, and surprisingly she didn't hate it! Still not a fan of that style of lift but everything else was fine. Her words. By this point, the sun was starting to set, so we headed off to beat the line for the Haunted Pioneer Train. We waited about 25 minutes for this, and got a round trip just as the sun had disappeared behind the Pennsylvania mountainside. This was our first time doing this during the Halloween season and it was great to see all the creativity and variety they put into their skeleton sets out in the wilderness! When we got off the Pioneer Train, darkness had settled in, and we decided to try and hit the Haunted Antique Cars before the line got really unreasonable. We still ended up waiting about 50 minutes, and right as we got on and started driving through, the car two in front of us ran out of gas. So we ended up waiting a little bit longer for them to get it going again. They filled the area inside and around Phoenix with an absolute ton of sets and displays. While there weren't any live scare actors jumping out from behind the walls this year, it wasn't needed because there was always a new gag or scene coming up. Our last ride of the night was Phoenix, and while my wife sat it out this time, the rest of us had an absolute blast with a fully lights-out ride going at full speed. Still far and away my daughter's favorite coaster! I think I need to get back on the weight loss train though, not gonna lie, I struggled a bit to fit inside the seat divider. Airtime motivation! We wrapped up our visit with a $20 bag of tokens split four ways over at the Fascination building, and although we weren't able to hit any bingos in the morning, my son rolled two lines to send him home happy! Apparently our next home improvement project is going to be building some Fascination cabinets from scratch and putting them in our garage. (I'm not holding my breath.) Picked up some potato cakes and kettle corn for the road, and we were off on our way home! Although it sounds like we didn't do much overall, we felt like we had an absolutely wonderful time from start to finish. Even with the long lines, we managed to keep ourselves entertained. The only downside is the creeping inflation; although we had $120 worth of tickets, they ran out by the end of the night; when coasters are $4 apiece and the haunted rides are $5 per person, it adds up quickly. Still, compared to anywhere else in the world, it's a fantastic deal and I can't fault them for raising prices when everything else is going up everywhere else as well. Can't wait to go back next season!
  12. Ended up doing Fright Fest Power Hours last night with the family. This is only the second time I've been here this season, so hard to judge how it was compared to an average Thursday night, but it was absolutely dead. The rundown: Wonder Woman x3 (daughter's first rides on this, 1 cycle with the entire ride to ourselves) Batman x3 (son & I, 2 front row, 1 back, 1 cycle with the entire ride to ourselves) The Dark Knight x2 (wife and daughter only) Jersey Devil x3 (1 back row, 1 cycle with the entire ride to ourselves) Nitro x1 (son & I only) Justice League x1 (no 3D glasses) Reflections of the Dead x1 (no conga line) Overpriced dinner at Granny's (no meal plan for us this year) Skull Mountain x1 (entire ride to ourselves) Fender Benders x1 Big Top Terror Forgotten Carnival 3D x1 (no conga line) Fears x1 The Manor x1 Superman: Ultimate Flight x1 (son & I only) Kingda Ka x2 (son & I, 1 front row) The Joker x2 Green Lantern was scheduled to be open, but never did. All the better for my nether regions. The entire Plaza Del Carnaval and Frontier Adventures sections were blocked off, so no Runaway Mine Train or Medusa either. Skyscreamer was open and they have the skycoaster harnesses available as a $10 upcharge, but by the time we made it over there it was dark and pretty cold so we decided to pass on it for right now. Maybe during the daytime sometime when it's a little warmer. The haunted houses? Reflections of the Dead had I think three scare actors in it, no video overlays like they have had in the past, and it was pretty short to get through. Big Top Terror has some great setpieces and more actors, but also a lot of dead space. This was my favorite of the houses last year and it didn't really live up to what we remembered. On the other hand, usually Fears and The Manor were disappointments but they really pumped them full of actors this year, and they weren't shy about screaming at the absolute top of their lungs. I think The Manor is my pick of the four this year. Honestly, it was a pretty good way to kill a few hours on a Thursday night. I hope they continue offering this event in the years to come, but I won't be surprised if it doesn't end up making the cut.
  13. The family and I headed to Hershey this past Saturday to check out Dark Nights, their inaugural haunt event. While they've had "Hersheypark in the Dark" for several years, this is the first time they've actually added a number of walk-through haunted houses to their lineup. We went in with pretty low hopes overall, expecting it to be packed and crowded based off what we've seen from HP so far this season, and since we weren't planning on buying any Fast Lane passes, we pretty much were resigned to only riding a handful of rides and hopefully getting through all of the houses. Although the park opens at 2:00 PM on their October weekends, we got into town around 12:00, hoping to grab some lunch at Chocolatier. We walked up the steps and asked for a table for four, only to find out that they were COMPLETELY booked the entire remainder of the day. Apparently they now take reservations, compared to last year where it was walk-up only. Oh well. Instead we pivoted over to Chocolate World for a while, and did their free factory tour dark ride. While this has usually been a walk-on for us in the past, the line ended up being about 45 minutes. And trying to walk through Chocolate World's retail areas was tough, as it was wall-to-wall people. A definite sign of things to come for the remainder of the day. After Chocolate World, we lined up outside the gates; the lines to enter were already back towards the tram dropoff points, and by 1:30 PM, they had started opening up four of the gates to begin letting people in. Our initial idea was to knock out Candymonium first, but it seemed like everyone else had that idea as well as those lines quickly backed up out of the building and all the way back to Starbucks. No big deal. We decided to skip it. Instead, we grabbed our wristbands for Dark Nights (as the houses are an upcharge, similar to what Six Flags does for their events), and waited near the guest services building waiting for them to drop the ropes. Our next plan of attack was to hit Cupfusion since that always gets a pretty long line and has slow throughput. Unfortunately, when rope drop happened, it was not yet open for the day, and a line outside of the queue had already formed for it. Time for pivot #2! We decided to walk towards the back of the park and hit the three coasters near the Boardwalk section. This ended up being the right move, as my son and I were greeted with a completely empty queue for Fahrenheit and got on the back row immediately. This is probably my favorite of the vertical lift coasters that I've been on, and is a ton of fun. Next up, we headed over to Jolly Rancher Remix, which is the old Sidewinder boomerang with a brand new paint job, some gorgeous Jolly Rancher shaped lights in the station, a pumpin' club music soundtrack, and a funky short little tunnel after the cobra roll with lights and scents. My daughter had missed out on it as Sidewinder every time we had previously visited, so this was a new credit for her, and my wife hemmed and hawed for a bit before deciding to make this her first boomerang as well. We were greeted again with basically no line here as everyone else was still in the front of the park. We got in the front two rows, and it was... fine? I guess? As far as boomerangs go, this is one of the better ones, but it's still nothing too special. My wife handled it pretty well at least while going forwards, but the backwards part completely messed her up and she decided to sit out rides for a while afterwards. While she was taking a break, my daughter decided to give Mix'd a try, which is a Zamperla Nebulaz situated directly between the two halves of JRR's cobra roll. It had a pretty long cycle and she really enjoyed it! And during her ride, my son and I jumped over to Storm Runner, which had the first inklings of a line, with about three groups of people in each line in the station. Only the left side of the station was open at this point. We ended up waiting about five minutes for a row in the middle of the train. This is still one of my favorite launched coasters; while KDK and TTD are fun enough and impressive for their sheer scale, having a full layout with absolutely insane elements makes this a top-tier pick in my book. Always a fun time! We took a short break here to grab some lunch in the park. With not much in that area open at 3:00 PM, our choices were pretty much limited to either Subway or Moe's. At this point I was taking a look at the app to see what rides were open, what was closed, what had long waits and what didn't. We noticed that Great Bear was posting a five minute wait, so my son and I scarfed down the rest of our sandwiches and headed off across the park to go get some wacky inverted goodness. When we arrived, we were greeted by this; Insert [sothatwasafuckinglie.gif] here. On the plus side, we managed to get a quick ride on the Hershey Tower, the only one of the Triple Tower that was open that day. Kisses and Reese's were both down due to staffing. There was no line for Hershey as it had just reopened, so we hopped on and started going up the tower... only for it to get about ten feet off the ground, make a *CLUNK* noise, and lower slowly back down to the ground. The ride ops came around again to recheck restraints, they started it up again, and... same thing. Then I got pelted in the forehead by one of those obnoxious little spotted lanternflies; second time in a row this has happened on my Hersheypark visits. Gah! Thankfully, third time was the charm and we got the full launch and drop experience. Afterwards, we doubled back across the park to meet up with my wife and daughter; my daughter was getting in a spin on Howler with a couple other kids while my wife was still recovering from her boomerang experience. We decided to take it nice and easy for a little bit with a ride on their miniature train, Dry Gulch Railroad. The queue was completely full, but we got on within three cycles in 20 minutes. It's a nice, relaxing way to take in some views of the park. We took a quick break from doing rides to take a walk through their trick-or-treat trail, located in the otherwise closed Boardwalk section. Everyone was issued a medium-sized plastic bag, and there were a number of photo ops and people handing out pieces of Hershey's candy throughout a winding 10-15 minute long walk through this area. At this point, we decided to try our luck on Cupfusion again. The ride was now open and the app was posting a 45 minute wait. We got in line near the entrance, and 45 minutes later, we were still outside; we hadn't even made it to the covered part of the queue yet. We decided to cut our losses here and start preparing for the haunted houses. As the sun was going down and the temps were dropping to the mid-40's, we went back to a locker and grabbed some gloves and scarves to start bundling up. We took a walk to the back section of the park, where the first two houses were located, and were greeted by a display showing tribute to Hershey's rides of the past, as well as a display accurately reflecting what it felt like to ride Wildcat. Most of Wildcat's station has been completely stripped bare at this point, with just the framing remaining. Our first house was The Descent, located to the left of Laff Trakk. We waited approximately 15 minutes for this house. They were letting in groups of 8-12 people at a time, as there was a short pre-show scene with some live actors before the house proper kicked off. Some magical visor ended up being stolen that allowed the wearer to see their future, and we were tasked with following them into the sewers to try and get it back. There were a lot of neat effects in here, including some cutout sections of the floor that looked like holes you could fall into, and a misty blue laser at waist height which gave the illusion that you were wading through the water. It had a fair amount of scare actors and some good jumps. For my wife and daughter, this was their favorite house of the night, and I'd personally rank it at #2. Afterwards, we walked around to the other side of Laff Trakk, where they had the first scare zone of the night, "Midway of Misery". This looked promising, as there was a big archway with some fireball jets on the top and some gothic-industrial covers of 80's pop hits playing. Unfortunately, there were not many scare actors present in this scare zone; we noticed a grand total of two in here. We quickly found the line for the next house, Twisted Darkness, which was to be entered through the queue for The Whip. The line ended up stretching back to Musik Express, but that was primarily due to them scanning the Dark Nights bracelets at the entrance of The Whip. A lot of the stand-up Hershey Kiss scanners (the same kind they use for Fast Lane) weren't quite working properly with the RFID chips in the bracelets, and so instead they'd use handheld scanners to scan the QR codes printed on the bracelet. Once this backup was cleared the actual queue was mostly empty all the way to the merge point between regular bracelet users and Fast Lane users. We waited maybe ten minutes from here to get into the house, and this was one of the more well-done sadistic carnival themed haunted houses I've been in. Lots of actors, a bunch of great props throughout, and more than a handful of gotcha moments for all of us. This was my favorite one of the night. From here, we headed back towards Trailblazer for the location of the next scare zone, "Valley of Fear", and the next haunted house, the Haunted Coal Mine. Once again, the scare zone was definitely lacking in actors; we found one random zombified miner who was slowly dragging a pickaxe behind him, but that was about the extent of it. Unless you find fog scary, there wasn't really anything in this section to note. The line for Haunted Coal Mine (which was on the opposite side of the river from Trailblazer) was saying 90 minutes, but we ended up getting into the house in 30 minutes. Unfortunately since the queue was stretched all the way back over the bridge and into the pathway for Trailblazer, there were no lights back there, and I ended up tripping over a branch in the pathway, skinning a couple fingers and my right knee and slightly twisting my ankle. Not fun and definitely not the kind of "Twisted Darkness" I was hoping for. The house itself was okay. This definitely had the fewest amount of scare actors in it, but there was a cool part where you would enter a room meant to be an elevator, the doors would close behind you, and when they reopened it would lead to a different location. There were also some good effects here. Overall, nothing to write home about, but interesting to see them trying something different than the usual concepts. The final scare zone and haunted house took some work on finding. Although the exit was directly across from the Haunted Coal Mine, the entrance was all the way back in the Hollow area, with the queue starting in Dispatch Pizza. This haunted house, Creature Chaos, was less of a house and more of a haunted trail along the waterside near Great Bear and Skyview. We also had the opposite luck of what we experienced at the coal mine; this one said a 30 minute wait, and it ended up being a full hour long. Once the trail started, we were led into an auditorium with the creepy Professor Darkstone making a grand theatrical display of one of his mythical creatures. It looked quite impressive and was setting a good stage for what was to come; sadly, the remainder of the trail just wasn't nearly as interesting, as there weren't a ton of great places throughout the trail for the actors to surprise you. Many of the actors were just standing in place waiting for you to come near them. This one was universally agreed as being the biggest letdown of the night for us. You'll also note I didn't really write anything about the scare zone... and maybe that's because either we completely missed it entirely, or it was completely devoid of anything whatsoever. I understand this is their first year, and they may be dealing with staffing issues like everyone else, but all three of those scare zones were utter disappointments. Hopefully this will improve in the years to come. By this time, it was already 10:00 PM, at which point most of the rides were beginning to shut down. We found ourselves back at the Hershey Tower and the ride op graciously let us on for the final ride of the night. The park remained open until 11:00 for people to continue doing the haunted houses, but we decided having already seen all of what Hershey had to offer on that front that we should probably head out, grab a late night meal nearby, and rest up for the following day where we would be checking out Dorney Park's Halloween Haunt (write-up to come). All in all, it wasn't a terrible day at HP, but it's definitely not a case anymore where you can expect the park to be empty during the fall season like in years past. Go in with the expectations that if you want to ride rides, you'll need to pick up Fast Lane or be resigned to waiting anywhere from 60-240 minutes for any given ride. (Yes, one ride was posting a 4 hour wait at one point throughout the night.) Hersheypark definitely feels as they cannot handle the crowds as effectively as they used to. We'll be back probably sometime next month or early December for their Christmas Candylane event and we'll see if that's still the case then. Good night, Hersheypark.
  14. I did, and it didn't. For example, there was the Mickey meet and greet as well as the Jack & Sally meet and greet both at Town Square. The app only showed the wait time for Mickey, nothing for Jack & Sally. It seemed like it wasn't showing wait times for any of the exclusive MNSSHP stuff. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  15. Can confirm, there is indeed a wall built around Falcon's Fury and there's a notice posted on the wall saying (paraphrased) that it's down for refurbishment so it can be enjoyed for many more years to come, but due to the supply chain issues it is taking them longer than expected to get parts. I wouldn't expect it to be open until next year at the earliest. That being said, here's some other thoughts from my family's visit last Sunday, September 25th. This was my second visit to the park, but the rest of my family's first trip. We got there right at opening with the intention of making Iron Gwazi the first ride of the day. When we walked over to it, we were greeted with a line sprawling back the length of a football field and a sign up in front of the gate stating "We are working hard to get this ride up and running today!". So, um, yeah... and that's how Air Grover became our first coaster of the day instead. From there, we followed a circle path around the park. My son and I hit the 54" coasters in succession; Sheikra, Tigris, Kumba. All of them were running well. The lines at this point were still pretty short, so we were able to stay on for a re-ride on Sheikra, and we only had a 5 minute wait for the front row on Tigris. Kumba on the other hand was only running a single train, and although there was one family in front of us, it ended up taking about ten minutes for us to get a front row ride over there. My wife and daughter rejoined us to hit Scorpion and Sand Serpent before grabbing lunch. I pitched Scorpion to my wife as SooperDooperLooper's little cousin, as that was her first looping coaster, and to my surprise she actually enjoyed herself! The ride was running amazing without any rattling or headbanging, and it still had some serious bite to its forces. A heck of a lot of fun. Sand Serpent on the other hand, well, it was definitely a credit. We grabbed lunch at the nearby Dragonfire Grill. They honored the SWSA platinum pass discount and knocked about $15 off the cost of the meal. It was here that we learned about their new policy, which is no straws. At all. "Not even paper straws?" "Nope, we gotta save the animals." (Never mind the fact that their reusable cups came with those thick reusable plastic straws, which is more than Six Flags can say over the past few years.) Is this a chain wide thing now? I swear when we were at SWSD back in April, they still had straws there. Whatever. So I ate an ICEE with a spoon. Don't judge me. As the girls were wrapping up their lunch and my daughter really wanted to get some spooky face paint, my son and I headed off to the last 54" coaster of the batch, Montu. In case you didn't already know, he's a huge fan of inverts. His top three for the longest time were Talon, Banshee, and Alpengeist. This only recently changed when we went to IOA back in June and Velocicoaster took the #2 spot from Banshee. We got to Montu to find it a verifiable walk-on in the middle of the day, hopped in the back row, and headed out from the station. Instantly I saw the smile on his face begin to form, and he was laughing, screaming, and having a ball the entire ride. We got back to the station with his hair sticking straight up and he said "I think I have to take Talon out of my top spot." I asked him if he'd like to ride again but this time in the front row since there was next to no one there. We walked around, got back in line for a two-train wait for the front, and in his words "it was even better up front! Oh my god! There was so much going on!" So a back row ride was good enough for #1 and a front row ride firmly solidified that opinion for him. After Montu, my wife and daughter met up with us again for Cobra's Curse, a short ten minute wait from the room with the video projections. This ended up being my daughter's favorite coaster of the day. She wasn't expecting it to go backwards, much less start spinning! My wife handled the first two parts pretty well, but she isn't really a fan of the spinning parts understandably. The theming is pretty great overall, and it definitely stands out amongst the rest of the park's collection of coasters. Cheetah Hunt was up next, and this was the longest wait of the day for us at nearly one hour. I told my wife it was somewhere in between Hagrid (which she loved) and Velocicoaster (which she passed on riding). This turned out to be her favorite of the day, though there were some spots that caught her off guard. We all agreed it would be better without the overhead restraints, though. By this point in the day, it was about 4:30 PM, and we found ourselves back at the beginning of the park. Checked the wait time on Iron Gwazi which had now opened and it was posting a 45 minute wait. We all hopped in line, but my wife decided to sit this one out as well; she's not great with heights, having had bad experiences on her two hypers so far, and her only other RMC hybrid (Wicked Cyclone) took her about six months of contemplation to decide that no, she didn't like it after all. The wait time was significantly less than posted, with a mostly empty station up top, but it was definitely being hampered by the fact that they were only sending on average one train approximately every 5-7 minutes. Even still, we ended up only waiting 25 minutes after putting our stuff in the locker. The ride itself? My son absolutely loved it and has put it as his #3. My daughter unfortunately had the same issues she tends to have with most of RMC's trains, which is the seatbelt buckle digging directly into her thigh, which means every time there's any bit of airtime she winces in pain. I ended up focusing more on her throughout the ride and wasn't able to give IG my full attention, so I'm probably going to have to give it another ride before I can fully form my own opinion about it, but after that first ride I liked it more than Steel Vengeance but less than Twisted Timbers. I'm weird, I guess. After the ride on Iron Gwazi, we decided we didn't want to hop back in line a second time since our flight out of Florida was early the following morning. Instead, we called it an hour before park close, hopped back in the car, made a stop off the highway to grab some Waffle House for dinner as one does, and said our final goodbyes to this very cool park. We still prefer Williamsburg over Tampa, but I can see an argument to be made either way! And I'm pretty pleased with the fact that we were able to hit all of the park's coasters on a Sunday without having to shell out for any skip-the-line passes. Always a plus.
  16. A few more quick and disjointed thoughts from my family's recent trip during the week of September 20th; We were primarily down in Florida to do the stuff out at Universal Orlando Resort, but my wife didn't want to miss out on a chance at Disney. We decided upon doing the Friday night Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, as we didn't want to get locked into anything more than that (ie Genie+, multi-day tickets, Park Hoppers, Magic Bands, etc). The bonus of short lines for most of the rides was pretty enticing. My wife also wanted a chance at getting her revenge on Space Mountain, the coaster that gave her a panic attack when she was 18 and never ended up getting to ride it. We were also excited to ride Haunted Mansion with the Nightmare Before Christmas overlay! Of course, it wasn't until about three days before we left for Florida that we learned that, uh, I guess y'all don't really DO that down there. My fault for assuming that it was just a standard thing that happened at all the Disney parks, instead of being a Disneyland exclusive. When I told my wife, she asked "Is it too late to cancel our trip and rebook it for California instead?" Next year, hon, next year. Friday morning, we really slept in for the first chance we had all trip, then got some breakfast before heading out to a nearby arcade called Arcade Monsters that was filled to the brim with a ton of Japanese rhythm games. We've got a few places like this up north, but none of them have a full-size Taiko No Tatsujin machine like this spot did! Honestly, I kinda wish we had more time to spend here because this place was amazing. Can we franchise a location for New Jersey please? We got to Magic Kingdom a little bit before 4 PM, took the monorail over to the main gates and got let into the park three hours before the event started. We spent a little bit of time getting some photos and picking up our trick-or-treat bags before heading to the first stop of the night, which was dining at Be Our Guest. My wife's favorite Disney movie is Beauty and the Beast, and dining inside the Beast's castle was too much of an opportunity to pass up. Definitely wasn't cheap, but the food was super yummy and definitely worth it. This ended up taking up a lot of the extra time we had before the event started, as we didn't get out of there until about 6:15. I probably missed something, but it seems like a lot of the Halloween stuff just wasn't listed on the app. If it had been, and there had been posted wait times for the character meet-and-greets, we probably wouldn't have made our first mistake of the night, which was waiting to get photos with Donald, Daisy, and Minnie in the Dumbo tent. We were walking past and saw a short line outside, and thought "hey, how long could it be?". Keep in mind that neither of us had been here in at least 20 years, so we didn't know that the line actually snaked back and forth inside the Dumbo tent. It ended up being about a 75 minute wait. The photos came out terrific, and the kids were happy, but if I had seen a posted wait time anywhere I would have probably just skipped it. We had a similar issue later in the night, as a helpful Disney cast member recommended that we check out Jack & Sally at Town Square around 10:30 PM. We had peeked in right as we were walking into the park and saw a ridiculously long line, and decided to skip it at that point. Upon coming back at 10:30, we were greeted with a mostly empty room and what appeared to be about 5 families in line. Again, though, that snaking queue behind the wall! You got us twice! This wait ended up being another hour, but getting the photos with Jack & Sally was non-negotiable. At least we had lots of candy to tide us through the wait. While the fireworks and projections were about to happen, we found ourselves in the back of the castle. We decided, eh, we're probably not going to find a great spot if we try to walk all the way around, so let's just hang out back here near the carousel. We took a seat on some of the benches nearby, and as soon as the show started... we were nearly blasted out of our spots by the fireworks quite literally going off over our heads. What a heck of a vantage point. I can't say I've ever been that close to the action for any fireworks show and it was terrifying and thrilling. Not-So-Scary, my ass! Oh yeah, so what did we get done, ride-wise? Only three coasters altogether; Barnstormer, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and the left side of Space Mountain. Seven Dwarfs was pretty cool for a family coaster, and while my wife was super happy to finally get that Space Mountain monkey off her back, she wasn't expecting it to be 100% pitch black inside, apparently something special they do for the Halloween event. (Which was ironic considering the last time I was there, I ended up getting a full lights-on ride!) Other than that, we did a few of the dark rides like Ariel and Winnie The Pooh, we took a spin on the Mad Tea Cups which had some extra spooky music and lights going, and we did a last minute run all the way from Space Mountain to Pirates of the Caribbean for our final ride of the night. Man, that ride really is just the Jack Sparrow show these days, huh? What did we not do? We didn't get a chance to see the parade, we never made it over to Frontierland or Liberty Square, and we didn't get any pictures with Mickey. All in all though, it was okay; we went in knowing we weren't going to have a whole lot of time to do probably everything we wanted to do, and that got exacerbated by the inflated waits for the photo ops. As far as a teaser for a future Disney visit, it was just enough to whet the appetite. We'll be back sometime within the next few years. (But they better bring Nightmare Before Christmas to the Haunted Mansion by the next time we're there!)
  17. Some quick disjointed thoughts from my family's recent trip two weeks ago, where we got the eff outta Dodge just before Ian touched down... My daughter just recently hit the 51" height requirement and was able to ride both Velocicoaster and Rip Ride Rocket. Unfortunately she didn't really like either coaster all that much; RRR was way too rough for her, and Velocicoaster (in her own words) "was too fast and made my cheeks flap in the wind". Go figure. She ended up loving Hagrid's though, as did my famously non-coaster-fan wife, who has now proclaimed Hagrid's to be her new number one coaster, dethroning Oscar's Wacky Taxi. We also got really lucky when it came to the wait time; both times, the wait was posted at 60 minutes, and it ended up being approximately 25 minutes from entering the queue line. We were able to get a mid-day ride as well as a night ride just before closing on Thursday, and Hagrid's in the dark was a phenomenal experience! We also knocked Pteranodon Flyers off the list, since it's probably my daughter's last and only chance to ride it before she sprouts up even further. Can we get more coasters that use Wave Swinger seats, please? Kinda funny though that she can ride the two most intense coasters in the park, yet an S&S drop tower with a 52" height requirement is just a step too far. They did give her a certificate after measuring up that can be used for a single-use Express pass on that ride once she gets tall enough, so that's a nice touch! Finally got a chance to ride the East Coast version of Revenge of the Mummy now that it's reopened from its refurbishment, and going in only with the West Coast version to compare it to, it's definitely the superior version of the two. I especially loved the fakeout ending! We did Halloween Horror Nights on Wednesday, the 21st with Express passes. We stuck around and grabbed a late lunch/early dinner at Finnegan's while they were closing off the stay and scream areas, and that afforded us the chance to knock out Halloween and Spirits of the Coven before the park officially opened to everyone. It was our first time at HHN and the production value on these houses was insane. Definitely clear though that they go more for repeatability over giving actors the freedom to improvise, since it seemed like a lot of the vocal cues were audio triggers in just about every house. With the express passes, we were able to knock out all ten of the houses in just under 6 hours. Favorite houses of the batch? #1, Dead Man's Pier: Winter's Wake. OMG, the scale of this thing... it took my breath away. #2, The Weeknd: After Hours Nightmare. It was certainly unique, nothing quite like it that I've seen at other haunts! #3, Halloween. I love the John Carpenter original and this house was very faithful to the movie, and Michael got me a bunch of times. Least favorite house? Hellblock Horror, which really didn't make much sense thematically at all... I guess, prison escape, but monsters, but then aliens? Sure, I guess. Special consideration to Bugs: Eaten Alive, which was really well done, but ew ew ew ew ewwww ick. And the Blumhouse double feature house was great, but if you haven't seen the movies, you won't have any clue just what the hell's going on there. Having my kids attempt to explain the plot of The Black Phone to me after walking through the houses was hilarious. "Sooo... I think if you touch the phone, you die!" Yup, nailed it. We had lunch at Mythos on Thursday afternoon, and just wow. The octopus... mmmm. So good. Loved the decor, all the food was top notch, would definitely eat here again. Absolutely one of my favorite sit-down restaurants I've been to at any park to date. We used our third day of the 3-day tickets to hang out at Volcano Bay on Saturday for a few hours, but we were pretty wiped out after doing Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom on Friday night. We only ended up spending about 4 hours here before calling it and retiring back to our hotel, where we got some lunch, reserved a lane for bowling at Galaxy Bowl, and just took it easy before heading to Busch Gardens on Sunday. Still one of my favorite outdoor water parks I've been to! Overall, we had an excellent time at Universal, though I really wish we had more time to spend taking it easy. Doing this trip with four people compared to two 100% made things tougher when trying to stay on schedule, and in the future, I'd probably make sure we had at least a full 2 days at each park to really be able to explore, see the shows, and take our time without being locked into a hard and fast schedule. We'll definitely be back in the future, though at this point, probably not until Epic Universe opens.
  18. Kennywood has announced some changes to their security protocols in the wake of this past weekend's incident.
  19. ^ Just to clarify, that bag policy is only during Haunt hours, correct? If you're attending during the daytime, any size bag is still fair game?
  20. Ghost Ship is still closed for this season, according to their website. No indication that either Zoom Phloom or Pirates are currently closed, and I remember seeing Bill post about riding the flume just a couple weeks ago so you should be good on that front. Don't forget that two out of the three piers have a late opening on Mondays. They don't start operating the rides until 5 PM on Surfside and Adventure, so plan accordingly.
  21. You mean Tidal Twister? It's pretty objectively a bad ride (slow, boring, loud, and rattly) and nothing you should be concerned about missing. I've been there twice within the past year, both times it's been closed, and I don't feel particularly heartbroken about it. Emperor is short but pretty fun, and worth a visit if you're in the area.
  22. I have to assume (and hope) that they will keep that list of rides open until the advertised "Hersheypark Halloween" closing at 9 or 10. It is interesting that they're keeping the houses open later than the rest of the stuff, though.
  23. (Ignore the previous text that was in this post. That's what I get for not checking to make sure I'm on the most recent page of the thread.) Nice report, Zand. Definitely getting serious ghost town vibes off those photos. It reminds me a lot of the last time I visited Bowcraft Amusement Park during one of their last seasons. It was just... desolate, run-down, devoid of people, and a total mess. I thought this was supposed to be the busy season up at Lake George. Where'd everybody go?
  24. Oh, it's definitely more than that. If you visit this link to the Hersheypark Rides page, it has the appropriate seasons filter turned on to show all the rides that will be operating during the event. It appears that all the major coasters will still be open during the event, obviously excluding Wildcat. I might end up checking it out on a Friday or Sunday when prices and crowds are expected to be lower.
  25. I mean, the running joke around here is that Dorney doesn't get lines because it's always dead because everyone's in the waterpark. And it's an easy joke to make, a nice simple target to punch down at. But it's not really true. Here's the Queue Times data from last year's 4th of July, which was a Sunday with moderate weather: https://queue-times.com/en-US/parks/69/calendar/2021/07/04 This tracks with what I experienced when I visited over this past Memorial Day weekend -- average wait times between 20-30 minutes for most major rides and coasters in the dry park, sometimes getting up to 45 minutes, and you might as well just skip the wild mouse because there's absolutely no reason to wait an hour for that ride. But it's definitely not a case these days where you can just waltz into the park and expect walk-ons on everything anymore, especially not on a busy holiday weekend with nice weather.
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