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Everything posted by smells_like_team_disney

  1. Very thorough TR, and those pictures are a pretty good quality for a cell phone. I'm glad to hear someone else's perspective who recently experienced Branson for the first time. I appreciate your honesty on your impression. My first time was a couple weeks ago, and I absolutely loved it! We were only at SDC, but we took our time doing everything.
  2. Hi everyone, I did a quick search on this site and couldn't find anything related to this topic. My family and I are planning a trip to Branson the first weekend of August. Our focus will be Silver Dollar City with a side trip to the Titanic museum, and maybe Celebration City. We need to accommodate at least 8 people (most-likely closer to 12) and we would really like to stay together if possible. We also want to be pretty centralized to SDC, CC, and the strip. I was wondering if anyone can give me some advice into renting out a cabin or condo for the weekend. We're looking into spending no more than $200/night if possible. Thanks.
  3. ^^^Stacking was pretty much park-wide that day, but it was more apparent at Raging Bull. Still an amazing ride, one which I would gladly wait an hour for. It's just frustrating when you know you don't necessarily have to. ^^Stacking is when a train hasn't left the load/unload station and another one that has just finished the ride cycle is forced to wait outside the station. Raging Bull had all three of it's trains do this at least twice while we were in line. As for their rapids ride, while we had the desire to get drenched that day (temp reached into the 90s) it had one of the longest waits in the park, so we skipped it knowing our time was limited. ^To be honest, I never bring enough stuff to warrant a locker rental, and I always do my souvenir shopping until the very end. I can imagine how it can get annoying. My sister ended up renting an all-day locker for Gigantaur (her ridiculously huge hand bag) which seemed convenient. Like I said, overall a great park, and I'm hoping the stacking situation isn't an ongoing thing, because other than that we had a great time.
  4. First of all, I apologize for my tardiness in getting this trip report out. I’ve been beyond swamped at work and with personal obligations. And second, I had brought my camera with me but it had been left in my hot car all day the previous day and just stopped working all together. So while I don’t have any pictures (again!), I have included two on-ride photos of the day’s adventures. I will use the same format I used for my SFStL trip report (here’s the link). And for some amazing photos of the same day, I recommend checking out this PTR by haux. Hope you enjoy! Superman: Ultimate Escape This was our first coaster of the day, and while a strong ride, I have to admit I’ve been a bit spoiled by Tatsu. And as much as I love the flying sensation on these B&M wonders, I can’t get over how uncomfortable it is going through the pretzel loop. It’s just this awkward and intense feeling of someone trying to crush the inside of your chest cavity. I’ll still ride these from time to time, but I know I couldn’t marathon one. Still, a good ride if a bit short. 8/10. Vertical Velocity I absolutely loved this ride. I’m a huge fan of launched coasters, having been on Monty and Xcellerator at Knott’s. The launch up the twisted spike was quick and powerful, and the holding brake on the vertical spike was definitely a rush. This one tied as my favorite ride. 9/10. Yankee Clipper A good, relaxed (and very wet!) flume ride with a pretty strong drop. Very reminiscent of Jet Stream at SFMM, which happens to be one of my favorite water flumes. And the splashdown was very welcoming in the July heat. 7.5/10. Batman: the Ride I don’t know if it’s just me (and the rest of my group) but the original Batman seems bumpier than other models I’ve ridden. We got some head banging during the zero-g roll, along the helix and pulling out of the corkscrews. I’ve never experienced this from the one at SFMM, and the one at SFStL delivered an equally strong ride. It wasn’t painful by any means, but it was enough to startle me. Still, one can’t complain too much from a Batman invert. 8.5/10. Ragin’ Cajun My second spinning coaster (Tony Hawk’s being my first) and it definitely delivered quite a punch. I can honestly say now that these types of spinning coasters are some of my favorite rides. I also know that they can be hit or miss, depending on how much they spin. For me, the more spinning action, the better, and I’ve had the good luck so far of getting a lot of spinning action each time. My only complaint was the slow-loading process, but what can you do with a low-capacity ride. 8/10. Logger’s Run Another decent log flume. Not as wet as Yankee Clipper, but the double-dip drop was a pleasant surprise. 7.5/10. Iron Wolf B&M’s first coaster has not aged well at all. The first drop leading into the vertical loop is still amazing, but I found myself bracing my head for the rest of the ride. I never thought I'd walk away with a headache from a B&M. 5.5/10. American Eagle This 27-year-old woodie definitely delivered. It was a classic, rickety ride with plenty of airtime. The only part I didn’t like is how much the train is slowed down (whether by trims or natural physics I wasn’t sure) right before the final helix. It was such a buzz-kill after an amazing ride. And while shaky, it wasn’t Ghostrider-painful but a pleasant rattle. 8/10. Viper Another amazing woodie. We missed out on riding Viper when I first visited this park over a decade ago, and it was definitely worth the wait. I just couldn’t believe what a stark contrast this coaster was to Psyclone. It was flying the entire time and had amazing airtime. This one also tied as my favorite ride of the day. While my wooden coaster count is less than stellar at the moment, this one definitely shoots up to my top 5. 9/10. Raging Bull My second hyper-twister (SFMM’s Goliath being my first) and a solid ride. I can see why this remains the favorite coaster among park-goers. The trims immediately after the first turn-around were a bit annoying but didn’t slow down the train too much. A great ride to end the day with. 9/10. Park Impressions I had been to SFGAm one other time back in 1997, when Giant Drop was the newest ride. I really enjoyed the park back then but remember the lines being ridiculously long and painfully slow. Since then I had heard a lot of great things about how amazing operations are at this park, so my expectations were high. The park was very clean and well laid-out, and the staff was extremely enthusiastic. I have to admit I was pretty disappointed with operations. I don’t know if it was because of the busy holiday weekend, but there was a lot of stacking on most of their major rides. Raging Bull constantly stacked their three trains during our 20-minute wait in line. The only coasters that didn’t stack were Viper and (for blatantly obvious reasons) V2, all others failed that day. We didn’t even bother with The Dark Knight because it kept breaking down and never dropped below a 2-hour wait. And once again, everyone in our group was under a tight budget, so we couldn’t afford the luxury of Fastlane. And I can’t help but think that while Fastlane may be a blessing for the few that purchase it, it was as if those who didn’t were being punished. Maybe I don’t understand the dynamics of the program all that well, but I really didn’t see the need to hold back the regular line even when no one in Fastlane was coming in. Especially on Superman, V2, and Raging Bull, the line would halt for 10 minutes at a time, while maybe 2-3 people showed up for their ride reservation through Fastlane. It was very annoying. But other than that, the park was a very pleasant experience, and considering that we didn’t have Fastlane and it was the Saturday of 4th of July weekend, the longest wait we experienced was Superman at one hour. I would definitely come back during a less busy time to really take in the park rather than just rush from one major ride to the other. It was a different experience than the one I had at SFStL the previous week. It was bigger, more developed, and definitely louder (visually as well as phonically) and more in your face, while SFStL offered a more quaint, relaxed atmosphere. Two very distinct park experiences, and once again proof that no two Six Flags are alike. Airtime goodness on the Bull. Logger's Run... always a pleasure.
  5. Excellent read, definitely one of the greatest visionary minds in engineering. I have to ask, what exactly is a plug-n-play woodie?
  6. Thanks for the kind words. Much appreciated. I'll be heading to SFGAm this weekend, so I'll make sure to post a TR of any comparisons I see. And this time I won't forget my camera.
  7. Awesome pics, love the comparison shots. It's amazing how much the foliage has grown in and almost consumed some areas, like the fountain.
  8. Yes, an amazing little park indeed. I'm still surprised as to how much I enjoyed it. Not your typical Six Flags, it offers a more leisurely and relaxed pace. We felt no need to rush into anything so we took our time and strolled around a lot. We rode in the very back. We would have given the front a chance, but it had the longest wait in the park, and it kept breaking down throughout the day. We felt lucky enough to have ridden it once. I'm not one to completely disown a coaster from one bad ride experience (heck, I'll still ride Ghostrider), so I'll have to try it out again in the near future.
  9. First of all, I had every intention for this TR to be loaded with photos, but the doofus that I am forgot my camera! I would have bought another one but I was under a tight budget as it is and couldn’t afford one. With that said, a couple of friends and I decided to take the four-hour drive north to Six Flags St. Louis this past Saturday. I will make this TR short and sweet, listing the rides we rode in no particular order and concluding with my overall impressions of the park. Enjoy! Ninja I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised by this so-called Vekoma death machine. Considering the reputation this coaster has, I was expecting a lot of head-banging, but didn’t receive much at all. We rode in the back and highly enjoyed this coaster. It did lag on the lift hill (thought the train was going to roll back!) but kept up speed pretty good throughout. Loved the head chopper right after the second inversion, and the helix was a great conclusion. We ended up riding twice in the back. 7/10. Batman One can never go wrong with a Batman clone, and this mirrored-image was no exception. I have to admit, it was a bit disorienting since I’m so used to the original layout, but a strong, classic B&M invert, nonetheless. 9/10. Evel Knievel This was the favorite coaster of the group and my first ride on a GCI woodie. To put it simply, this ride was amazing. From the first drop it never stalled and seemed to go faster towards the end. It vaguely reminded me of the awesomeness that was Ghostrider in its inaugural year. Let’s hope this coaster can pass the test of time. 9.5/10. Log Flume Having ridden longer and more elaborate flume rides, this one felt short and dated. There was some novelty to the two different intertwining flumes, but there was only one drop, which was at best 30 feet. I guess it does the trick if you want to ride a log flume, but I would strongly consider updating this part of the park with a longer, more drop-conscious flume. 6/10. Mr. Freeze This was my schizophrenic coaster experience of the trip. The launch was impressive and the climb up the vertical tower was nothing short of amazing. I loved the freedom of having lap bars instead of OTSR. Still, after getting off I had no desire whatsoever to experience this ride again. The coaster did lag some along the top hat and overbanked turn, but nothing to severely slow its pacing. A strong ride, but like I said, one that I didn’t care to ride again. 7/10. Scooby Doo Ghostblasters This was definitely the surprise ride of the trip. A great interactive shooting dark ride done extremely well, not just for a Six Flags but for any theme/amusement park. My friends and I got a marathon going towards the end of the day to see who can beat each other’s score. 9/10. Screaming Eagle This 32-year-old woodie had “classic” written all over it; classic color scheme, classic ride, classic setting. This coaster knew what it was and didn’t try to be anything else. It was a great, leisure ride across the park’s heavily-wooded back area with a few pops of air. Not too rough but rickety enough to know that your on a classic woodie. A satisfying ride experience. 8/10. The Boss Plain and simple, this coaster was rough and painful. The first drop held promise, but shortly after I just clung on to dear life. The helix of doom was one of the worst riding experiences I’ve had on any coaster. I really wanted to like this ride. Besides Mr. Freeze, it’s the one ride that dominates its area of the park. From the custom layout across the landscape to the 150 ft. drop, this coaster really looked promising. Not quite as rough as what Ghostrider has become, but sadly a close second. 5/10. Tony Hawk’s Big Spin Second favorite coaster of the trip. The sudden drops and tight turns really enhanced the spinning and made for a unique riding experience. And I was surprised how smooth the ride was. My only complaint is that it was over before we knew it. Still, another solid ride. 8.5/10. River King Mine Train This ride was your common Arrow mine ride, nothing utterly amazing but a pleasant ride. I would put it a notch or two below Gold Rusher at SFMM. I did enjoy the sudden drop into the dark tunnel towards the end. 7/10. Park Impressions Having been to SFGAm and growing up with SFMM, and also knowing what other Six Flags were within a day’s drive (SFOT, SFOG, etc.), I wasn’t expecting too much from Six Flags St. Louis. I’ve passed it on my way to Chicago a number of times and the skyline has always seemed lacking. So basically, I was expecting the armpit of the Six Flags chain. Needless to say, I was beyond surprised to find a park that was clean, intimate, and full of charm. The employees we encountered were all very friendly. I never once saw a ride op or vendor on his/her cell phone. The one thing that I really appreciated is that whenever the steam train circled the park, all the employees would take the time to wave at the passing guests. And every time a coaster train came back into the station, the ride ops would enthusiastically ask if everyone had a great time. There was some basic wear-and-tear and minor maintenance issues. Some chipped paint and exposed wood rot on some older facades was visible, but nothing major enough to deter from the overall experience. The theme could have been more consistent in some areas, but what Six Flags park doesn’t suffer from theme inconsistencies? The crowds were also very manageable for a Saturday and filled with families. There were also a lot of teen groups, but surprisingly they never got obnoxious enough for me to feel the need to strangle any of them. The guests were all very well-behaved. Overall, Six Flags St. Louis may not be the biggest or have the most rides, but it offers a great, clean and safe park experience, one I would definitely come back to.
  10. I filled up for $3.77/gal. on Sunday at the Sam's Club here in Bentonville. The highest I've seen it anywhere in NW Arkansas is $3.95/gal. for regular at Shell.
  11. ^Very true. I know I could spend two days at DLR and still not see and do everything I want to. But if you're not really into Disney, like the OP stated, and your main objective is to hit the major thrill rides, you could easily cover what you want in about half a day, and KBF won't take much longer that same day.
  12. I agree with the general consensus. If you haven't done a Disney park, you should definitely make time for DL. It won't be hard to do Disney during the day and then head over to KBF later in the afternoon. I've always preferred KBF later in the day, the crowds seem to die out more than any other theme park in the SoCal area. You could easily make time for DL, KBF, and SFMM in a two day period.
  13. Wow, where does the time go??? She really is a beautiful baby. Congratulations to the proud parents. Many blessings to the three of you.
  14. ^You beat me to the punch! Is there a reason why they chose to emulate Supreme Scream ? This web mess is sadly a reflection on how bad things have gotten at my once favorite park. At this point in time, all we can expect from Knott's is mediocrity in all areas, not just in maintenace or operations anymore.
  15. Wow, so many good points in this thread, let's not ruin them with flame wars. As for me, I was raised in a Catholic church, but not a traditional one. Ours was more revival. All my life I've come across questions and contradictions, and for a while I was even considering leaving the church all together. But there are always these freaky incidents in my life that call me back to the church. Even with all the uncertainty, for me it feels right, but there's no way that what works for me will work for everyone else. And of course it's not going to be perfect. Nothing is in this world, and that's part of the beauty of it all. We need to discover and rediscover constantly in our lives, and that's including our age-old beliefs. It's only then that our faith will be reaffirmed. Oh, and one more thing... Tolerance is the key to happiness (IMHO).
  16. Wow, your baby girl is so beautiful! Congratulations to you and your family.
  17. Good choice! I've always liked the name Savanna. And Nicole works great as a middle name.
  18. Awww, there's no more love for my once beloved Supreme Scream .... Oh well, I'll get over it. I remember the first season it opened it was quite forceful, especially when it shot you more than halfway up the tower after it's original descent. It felt WAY more forceful to me than SFGAm's Intamin tower, which left me feeling very "eh" at the end. It seems to me that S&S towers were designed to be GREAT rides, but for some reason the parks have decided to neuter them. Now you're lucky if you make it a quarter of a way up after that first drop.
  19. Loved the caption, made me question what I have for lunch next time... soup is never a good idea when reading TPR. Awesome PTR so far. Can't wait for the rest of it. And while Baja Fresh can't really be considered true Mexican food, it is, IMHO, the BEST gosh-darned wannabe-Mexican food anywhere! And compared to what I've discovered out here in lovely rrrr-Kansas, Baja Fresh is as authentic as it can get!
  20. -Mikaela Alvey -Elizabeth Alvey -Katherine Alvey Although I do like the sound of Elizabeth as a middle name for the first and third names above: i.e. Katherine Elizabeth. Or you could not give her a middle name like my parents did with me. Alfredo "middle names are overrated anyway" Gonzalez
  21. ^Man, why you gotta rain on my parade? If I wanna be over dramatic, I'm gonna be over dramatic, damn it!
  22. -Remove the OTSR on Revolution. -Remodify the double-dip on Colossus to its former glory. -Remove the trims on Cali Screamin'. -REPAINT NINJA! As far as Ghostrider at Knott's is concerned, no ONE thing can fix it. That pile of wood needs A LOT done to it in order to ride the way it used to.
  23. 74/100. Eh, not entirely pathetic. Pretty on par with what I expected.
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