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Everything posted by hoppedup

  1. Happy 3/25! Can't wait to get back down to Charlotte soon and ride this beast.
  2. The Magnum XL-200 Gate and WindSeeker Gate are reserved for Hotel Breakers and Lighthouse Point guests only from 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. Looks like if you are not staying onsite, you will have to use the main gate. :shrugs: I'll just be heading to MF with that lineup anyway.
  3. Had a great day at BGT Thursday. I knew going in that Sheikra and Montu would be closed. But my vacation is "use it or lose it" so I went for it. I got Cheetah Hunt x4, Cobra's Curse, Tigris, Kumba x3, Scorpion x3, Sand Serpent, Falcon's Fury, and took the train ride. Cheetah Hunt was a blast. Park was pretty dead. I have been easing in to dark ride and flat rides. Falcon's Fury was my first drop tower. I have never researched drop towers, so I was surprised by the face down drop. I sat down by the entrance to Iron Gwazi to take a break and they started testing, first empty cars, then with what I assume were employees. Why must they torture an enthusiast with 199 coasters under his belt so? lol Guess I'll have to go back later this year. Photo trip report will follow eventually.
  4. I visited IOA last Wednesday. As a person who has mostly visited SF, CF parks, I have to say the theming and detail blew me away. Animatronics and effects that work? Great ride ops? Check and check. I did not watch POVs of the coasters right before the trip. The rubber tire lift/launch on Hulk was a nice surprise. The drop track on Hagrid's was unexpected as well. I've been trying to branch out so I rode Harry Potter & The Forbidden Journey. It really messed up my stomach more than any other coaster I've done. So I spent my necessary downtime waiting for Flight of the Hippogriff. It is genius to split the Harry Potter stuff between two parks. The star of the show and the real impetus for the visit was, of course, Velocicoaster. It did not disappoint. This coaster has a bit of everything. Intense and smooth generally don't go together when discussing coasters, but they do here. It is certainly a world-class coaster. I got two rides in the last row and two in the middle. You do have to have more than one ride just to figure out what happened. Not sure I could pick a favorite element. It is amazing throughout. Full trip report with pics will follow at some point. Final thought on the cost of the ticket (that I thought was high before my visit): You get what you pay for.
  5. It was a blast! My phone crapped out for a while on day 5, so I am waiting on a teenager to send me pics to post that report. (might be a while lol) Trying to post this trip chronologically.
  6. I just noticed that I can book a room near RDU with a Park & Fly package with free shuttle that is really close to the price of long term parking at the airport. I'm only an hour from the airport, but WTH, why not start earning those freebies, right? I saw 3,7, and 10 day parking options, most with $5 or $6 per day additional parking if you need longer.
  7. I kinda get it. SF passes have always been way underpriced, IMO. Looks like my platinum pass I bought at SFDK three weeks ago for $94.99 will equate to an $169.99 Extreme pass. But yeah, go home Six Flags, you're drunk.
  8. Day 4: Big Sur The original plan for this trip did not involve San Diego and included getting all the coasters in before my daughter's passes expired December 31. That plan included 2-3 days to drive the PCH from SF to LA. That plan being shot by Holiday Bowl, I still wanted to at least drive through Big Sur. I highly recommend a drive through this area, and hikes if you are so inclined. We did an out and back drive of about 100 miles overall from Monterey to Big Creek Bridge. Absolutely gorgeous! We stopped a Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park to check out some redwood trees. Water was up due to all the recent rain We stopped in Monterey at Alvarado Street Brewery for a delicious dinner (crab mac 'n' cheese for Mags, wings and a Mai TaIPA for me) We rested well that night preparing for Golden Gate Bridge, SFDK, and CGA the following day.
  9. Day 3: Balboa Park and walking SFMM Tuesday we woke up and walked to Mitch's for breakfast burritos, the cheapest and probably most delicious meal of the trip. The Holiday Bowl was still on and so we decided to check out Balboa Park before checking in to our downtown hotel before the game. We hiked a couple of miles in Balboa Park and checked out the Casa del Prado and desert garden. Feed me, Seymour: ! We were almost back to the car when my daughter got a text that the Holiday Bowl was canceled due to COVID cases with UCLA. She was heartbroken as she has become an avid fan of her school's team (NCSU Wolfpack). I was a bit relieved because we could start the long drive to the San Francisco area. We were cruising up I-5 when I saw SFMM. I didn't realize it was right on the interstate, so we decided to duck in and check it out. I knew we'd be back in a few days, so we just walked around and got our bearings and checked out the lights. Crowds were huge and queues were 90 minutes to 2+ hours. We stopped about 45 minutes south of San Jose and planned for some Big Sur exploration the next day.
  10. Thanks for the advice, guys. Looks like I will at minimum spend a day at IOA with these kind of VelociCoaster reviews. And try the other suggestions out as well. If I find it really enjoyable, I can always plan a return trip with the offspring and spend more time. So you're saying it's better than Motocoaster at SFDL, or Pony Express at Knott's? lol
  11. Not really. I'll probably have about 3 hours at Sea World the afternoon I land, Tuesday the 1st. Then do one or both Fun Spots that night. I plan on doing a full day at BGT on Thursday. I have a platinum membership to BG/SW parks so admission isn't a concern. I will probably bite on a Fun Stop pass as well since I will be in Atlanta this year as well. If VelociCoaster is that good I would plan on a 3/4 to a full day at IOA and ride it until I just couldn't anymore. That would probably be Wednesday, February 2. I haven't done a lot of research on UNiversal but it looks like adding Rip Ride Rockit would require a two-park pass? Just trying to gauge the value. IOA has never piqued my interest until this new coaster. I would assume parks aren't busy mid-week in February, but I really have no experience with Florida parks.
  12. I will be in Orlando and Tampa the first week of February to hit up SWO, BGT and both Fun Spots. I have been reading all the hype about Velocicoaster. Is it worth the admission price for someone who will probably only ride that and The Incredible Hulk? Any deals to be had that I am not seeing?
  13. Great Falls of the Potomac is cool if you head north. Colonial Williamsburg is pretty awesome. Richmond is a fun town and a great beer city if you are so inclined. The James River through downtown has some good rapids if the water is up. Legend Brewing has good food, drinkable beer, and the best patio in Richmond, with a view of the downtown skyline form across the river. Ashland is a quaint little town between KD and Richmond with a couple of breweries and a nice downtown inn. I actually like Six Flags America. I have traveled from KD or BGW to SFA three times. One time (I-95) was really stressful. The other two I took highway 301. But I also took highway 9 to 13 to get back to North Carolina from SFGAdv once because I detest I-95 so much. I have now driven in almost every major city in the US at rush hour and IMO, DC is the worst.
  14. That is cool. I just rode this Sunday and it ran great. I hadn't ridden a Schwarzkopf shuttle looper since Carowinds lost White Lightnin' in 1988. I explained to my daughter that it was the OG launch coaster.
  15. I love all bbq. I am just an aficionado of whole hog pork with vinegar & red pepper flake sauce. Mac's is great, just order anything other than pork bbq. I see they actually list it as pulled pork on their menu. Dead giveaway. I'm sure there is decent bbq in Charlotte. I just haven't had it yet. I take the train to charlotte once a month to see a friend play at Free Range Brewing. I mostly hang in NODA for beer. If you are downtown, the light rail will pretty much drop you off on Suffolk Punch's patio. Or The Chamber by Wooden Robot if you head north. Triple C is across the street from Suffolk Punch and Lenny Boy is around the corner. Protagonist, Heist, and Salud are quick walks from the station at Wooden Robot. The food at Salud is really good. The Parkwood station on the light rail is really close to Optimist Food Hall which has a Fonta Flora taproom. They are based in Morganton, NC and make great beer.
  16. Mac's is absolute shit for NC bbq,. But their wings and beer can chicken are awesome. And they have a great tap list. The last two times I ordered bbq at Mac's, it was really dry and the waitress suggested we put more sauce on it. That's not how it works around here! FWIW, I'm an eastern NC style guy, so good bbq in NC starts in Goldsboro and points east for me.
  17. Great photos! I'm heading down to Florida for a few days next month so this is great. I should take more pictures. I get too caught up in riding coasters lol.
  18. California Days 1 & 2: Hoover Dam & Sea World San Diego The itinerary for this trip was quite flexible and the Holiday Bowl game in San Diego on Tuesday the 28th was the only set date we had. I thought if I slept enough on the plane to Vegas, I could just drive straight to California. I got no sleep on the plane so we stayed in Las Vegas because it was 1:30 a.m. by the time we got to a hotel. The idea of getting up super early to drive to Knott's was not palatable, so we went to Hoover Dam. It was great. Super interesting and awe inspiring. I decided we'd just go to San Diego and stay through Tuesday based on weather reports. It was cloudy, cool and often rainy during this trip. Temps didn't hit 60 until our last day. We arrived at our hotel in SD about 6:30. SWSD was only 3 miles away and open until 9, so we decided to go check out Manta. It was a fun coaster and I'm glad we got a night ride in, since the aquarium video surround before the launch was much brighter. Stuck on the final brake. Down goes Manta! The next day we headed back to the park and got 8 rides on Manta and then it went down. So we checked out all of the animal habitats. It was cool. I think we are easing in to taking advantage of all the things that parks have to offer versus just riding coasters. Goo goo g'joob We even rode the Skyrocket II! We rode this eight times in a row, never leaving the station. Then it went down again. Overall, we had a great time at SWSD. Our platinum passes from BGW got us in, even though we never visited BGW to activate them. YMMV Here are some dam pictures: Breakfast at the Southwest Cafe in Boulder City: Sunset Cliffs Brewery with a sense of humor right on the water close to our hotel: Manta was a lot of fun. Forceful enough to be a great ride, but not too intense for newbies or younger coaster riders. The next day was a bit of a letdown as the Holiday Bowl was canceled 5 hours before kickoff. We were hiking in Balboa park when we found out. We took it in stride and started heading north for more coasters, nature, and feats of engineering. Next up: Day 3 Balboa Park and SFMM Nighttime Walkabout
  19. If you want to ride all the coasters, do Nighthawk and Ricochet first. Lines get crazy and Ricochet is not on FL. Also, get there early. Charlotte traffic on a Friday at 5 will be bad. Also, I may be there. I plan to visit a lot more now that I have a platinum season FL pass. Then make sure you get Afterburn (my favorite of 13 B&M inverts I've ridden), Fury 325, Intimidator, and Copperhead Strike. I also ride Carolina Goldrusher and Carolina Cyclone once a year for nostalgia. Personally, I skip Hurler, Vortex (truly awful), and the boomerang. If you are doing FL, you will be fine. The Mountain Gliders are fun and they let you snap. For beer, the bars at Blue Ridge Country Kitchen near Copperhead Strike and Harmony Hall beside Intimidator usually have the Copperhead Strike IPA on tap. I believe there is a weird rule where you can drink outside in one state but not the other. If you have any free time in Charlotte there are a ton of great breweries. Some personal favorites: Wooden Robot Salud Divine Barrel Resident Culture Free Range Lenny Boy Suffolk Punch Protagonist Lower Left Sugar Creek Heist Noda Birdsong Fonta Flora Petty Thieves
  20. Superman never opened Saturday. And it wasn't running on Tuesday night when we just dropped in our way north to get the lay of the land. X2 was running Tuesday night. The Flash Pass app was often wrong about what was running or closed, even after an extended time of being open or closed. When we skipped the line on Scream we couldn't make a reservation because the app said it was closed. Having done both parks in the last three days, I'd pick SFMM if I could only do one. The variety of what will be open will be far superior to that of Knott's in terms of thrills no matter what. Our favorites were Twisted Colossus (x8) and Goliath (x3). I loved the ghost Town area at Knott's. Pretty cool theming, music, and characters. Thanks for the info. Yeah, the phone was so easy to use and never had an issue scanning. And I bought online and never had to visit the FP booth. We got well over 20 rides in and never had to wait, as we'd click a new reservation as soon as the current one was scanned.
  21. I was at SFMM Saturday, New Year's Day. Anticipating the crowds, I bought Platinum Flash Pass. Everything went great except X2 never opened and Viper was up and down a few times (never did catch it). Full Throttle and West Coast racers also closed at least once. Both of them were back up pretty quickly. To the poster above weighing Knott's vs. SFMM, Ghost Rider was spotty yesterday. Xcelerator also had brief periods of downtime. My daughter missed Ghost Rider as it was down when we needed to be leaving. Also, my Flash Pass was on my phone. I saw several people wearing the wristwatch-like device. Is that for the the other levels of Flash Pass? Or maybe because I bought my pass online?
  22. Already done in 2022: 1/1/2022 Six Flags Magic Mountain 1/2/2022 Knott's Berry Farm Planning: Cedar Point Kings Island SF Great America Worlds of Fun Silver Dollar City Six Flags St. Louis Kings Dominion Carowinds (home park) Busch Gardens Williamsburg Busch Gardens Tampa Sea World Orlando
  23. Weather forecasts made it so that we ended up with two visits to SWSD. Rode Manta 8 times. It was a lot of fun. Nothing crazy on the forces. A good introduction for much more intense launch coasters. The aquarium show before the launch was cool at night. It was hard to see during the day. We even rode Electric Eel because the line was really short. And we saw all the animal exhibits. I never activated my platinum pass I purchased from BGW at BGW and it still worked at SWSD. YMMV.
  24. Spent the day at Knott's yesterday. My daughter and I were there for rope drop. Got Coast Rider (only thing running right at 8), Hangtime, Xcelerator, Montezooma's Revenge, Silver Bullet, and Jaguar before 9:30. Then we got in line for Ghost Rider. Line was painfully slow, so we bailed and I got my FL and rode it solo. Also did Pony Express for no real reason. Coaster lines were starting to get ridiculous and I wasn't springing for another FL since we couldn't stay very long. So we rode the train and the Sky Cabin. Then we walked around and took some pics. The snow covered mountains in the distance were quite the view! I'll try to follow up with trip reports this week. We ended up doing SWSD, SFDK, CGA, SFMM, and Knott's this trip.
  25. Thanks guys. Will probably skip SWSD. We have a day planned for KBF and maybe two at SFMM. I plan on buying FL and Flash Pass for those. If we don't need any more time at KBF after a full day with FL, we might do SWSD just so I can get something out of the almost $700 I paid for 2 platinum passes in February 2020. My pass is showing as active in the BGW app, even though I haven't visited since I bought the pass.
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