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Everything posted by Coastercowboy

  1. The same process (IPads - taking photos, no scanners) is in full effect at SFOT. Most likely will be rolled out to all the parks, if I had to guess.
  2. That is exactly where it is. I am surprised at the location as well. At one point it was 95% going where the Caddo Lake Barge is. The CLB was supposed to be sent to Frontier City but after the major flooding at the park damaged the CLB along with the Cheesesteak place and Yosemite Sam's a decision was made to put it in Spain with a new name. There were maintenance workers cycling the CLB yesterday, so not sure if or when it is going reopen. The Cheesesteak place has been reopened already. It is pretty good and a nice change from the usual park offerings, IMHO.
  3. We stopped by SFOT for awhile today. I won't bore anyone with a trip full trip report, but a few observations. NTG and Titan both down to one train operations. Signs up at each saying that this is due to scheduled maintenance. Good look to anyone going during the rest of spring break, especially once it warms up. Riddler is open and running, although there is some talk about it not running as well as it has in the past. A few folks are saying that it is not reaching quite a high on the swings as before. I rode it and I really didn't notice a difference myself but I have only been on it a handful of time, so I am no Riddler expert. Oil Derrick is open - sort of - Apparently it opened on Saturday and this was confirmed by multiple people. Today it was closed due to inclement weather (according to the sign). The inclement weather was a about 4 drops of rain and I am barely exaggerating. So who knows what is really going on. The Spain area was closed during opening weekend due to the EL Diablo construction. It is now reopen and just the construction area is fenced off. Chop Six still has a ways to go. Signage is up but the interior is just a shell. I added a few phots of the construction. Nothing new at Yosemite Sam's that I saw. We had a good time overall. It wasn't too busy due to the cool weather. The food lines were non existent and the longest wait for anything was Riddler at about 30 minutes, which included a breakdown while waiting. El Diablo Construction 1 El Diablo Construction 2 Chop Six 1 Chop Six 2
  4. It was at the epic waters event. I was not there, however I did see the stream of the announcements, not just for SFOT but all of the area parks.
  5. The news about Yosemite Sam came directly from the park during an ACE event in Arlington, last month. I was kind of surprised to hear that, due to the extensive damage, but I am happy that they will be repairing it. I will be at the park next weekend and see if there is any work being done.
  6. We were at Fiesta last weekend and the kids rode Hustler. It was taken apart this week. Whirligig Is being re-themed as D.C. Supervillans. I guess to fit better with the D.C. Universe theme instead of just Gotham City.
  7. In addition to the items in the previous post of all the changes and upgrades at Fiesta. The All-American Nacho stand will be converted to Aztek Nachos The games area near Superman will be re-painted and updated with the DC Universe update Hustler, which was taken down this past week is getting a total refurbishment and should reopen within a month or so. Lots of exciting things at SFFT. Really looking forward to the re-theming and riding Joker. I enjoy the Riddler at SFOT and excited to ride a bigger version.
  8. Some news from the ACE Winterfest event in Arlington. According to the park; - Yosemite Sam's Gold River Adventure will be opening back up, at some point. The timeframe was not given. - The Oil Derrick will be re-opening this year, as well - The park announced "Splash! Water Parade" that will take place a couple times a day during July and August - There will be nanocoasters for both New Texas Giant and Titan. Also a Coasting for Kids event will take place at some point this season. Date was not given.
  9. Not sure about an Uber from Downtown. Certainly doesn't seem like it should be an issue. I do know there is a drop off lane at the front of the park. Almost everything will be open. There aren't any areas that are closed off. Most of the rides are operating. The only exceptions I am aware of are Yosemite Sam (due to flooding), The Oil Derrick (closed most of the year), Caddo Lake Barge and of course the water rides. I also don't know if Riddler is back up. It seems to have been down a lot this fall/winter. Heard a rumor it was waiting for a part but haven't stopped by since 11/18. Enjoy your time and be sure to enjoy Mr. Freeze, it usually is not open during HitP but was a surprise announcement this year!
  10. Hopefully 2019 will be (hopefully) a big year for us. We have a couple large trips tentatively planned and a few smaller ones. A lot of new parks for us. * = new park SFOT (home park) SFFT ZDT Sea World San Antonio Kemah Boardwalk * Galveston Pleasure Pier * Silver Dollar City Worlds of Fun * Frontier City * May/June Trip Dollywood * Carowinds * Busch Gardens Williamsburg * Kings Dominion * Dorney Park * Hersheypark * Kennywood August Trip Kings Island Holiday World * Kentucky Kingdom * Cedar Point Beech Bend *
  11. For anyone that is heading out to Fiesta, Road Runner Express is finally back open. It had been down for at least 3 months waiting on a lift chain, is what I heard. Missed it my last 2 times down to SA so looking forward to riding it in August. Also the carousel opened in it's new location a few days ago. Can't wait to check that out as well!
  12. Riddler has been down since at least July 1st. While we were there we saw maintenance working near the top of the ride.
  13. Jack Rabbit at Kennywood. Rode it for the first time this year.
  14. On the way back to Texas, we figured we would hit a couple of Six Flags parks that we had not been to yet. First stop was; Six Flags Great America - Since my photos from here on out were lost, I will just hit on a few observations and review the rides we were able to experience. The park was a lot busier than I expected it to be on a non-holiday Monday. I couldn’t believe how many large groups of teenagers were in the park. I went in knowing that to get everything ridden I may have to break down and get a Flash Pass, which I eventually did later in the afternoon. The park also was closing at 8:00pm so the time was against me as well. The Dark Knight – Indoor mouse coaster that was very mediocre in just about every way. It was different with the entire ride being enclosed and the theming was alright. Even the kids were not too into this one. We hit this first due to the low throughput. 4/10 The Joker – Similar to the one here at SFOT. Not a real fan of these. They just don’t do it for me, for whatever reason. I think I got 3 spins and mercifully it was over. Waited about 10 minutes. 4/10 Batman: The Ride – We always like these B&M clones, and it was cool to ride the first one. It was smooth and intense. Two things I look for in these inverts. Front row ride was a 3 train wait. 7/10 Little Dipper – This is the parks kiddie wooden coaster. You don’t find too many of these around, so didn’t mind this ride at all. Plus there is some cool history with this ride. For a kiddie coaster this wasn’t half bad. I actually would rather ride this than Joker . X-Flight – My second wing coaster in a week. I really enjoyed this one as well, just not as much as GK at Cedar Point. Pretty compact layout that did have some decent theming. It was smooth, although I thought there was a bit of rattle. Nothing jarring or uncomfortable but I didn’t think it was as smooth as GK. I did like the two near misses that you fly through, one vertical, one horizontal. I thought those were the best elements on this one. We did wait about 35 minutes for this as it was starting to get more crowded. 8.5/10 American Eagle – This was a pretty decent wooden coaster. Really impressive to look at due to the size. The ride was fine, nothing mind blowing. It was mostly smooth, although the last helix was a bit rough. There were a few pops of airtime as well. Long ride, which was appreciated since it seemed like we walked halfway back to Chicago to get to the station. They were only running the red side. About a 20 minute wait due to the slow operations. 6.5/10 Viper – Really enjoyed my ride on this. Liked the twisted layout. Delivered some good laterals through the turns and some nice airtime. It was not rough at all. This is a seriously underrated coaster in my opinion. Rode this one in the back. 8/10 Raging Bull – So I may catch some flak for this but I thought the Bull gave a great ride. The first drop was outstanding and there was some really nice floater air throughout. The restraints are great and make the ride even better. Yes, the MCBR trims were noticeably on, but I still loved this ride. Something like this is what I always imagine Titan at SFOT could have been instead of the positive G machine. I rode the front and back on RB and enjoyed both about equally well. Second best coaster in the park. Waited about 10 minutes both times as by this point I had the Flash Pass. 9/10 Whizzer – This classic Speedracer model was an underrated hit. This was so different with the bobsled type cars and the odd spiral lift. It had carried some good speed throughout the ride. I really enjoy the classics and hope this stays around for a long while. 6/10 Superman: Ultimate Flight – This was my second flying model ever and first B&M. I had ridden Stealth at California’s Great America and remember that being OK. I have to say this was about the same, although it was a more comfortable ride. This is another model of coaster that I guess I just am not a huge fan of. Nothing wrong with it just not worth going out of my way to ride. Glad I had the Flash Pass for this. The wait was at least 90 minutes but I was on in 5 minutes due to the Flash Pass dumping you right in the station. 5/10 Sprockets Rockets – Great America’s other kiddie coaster. It was short, only running 1 cycle around. A little bit of theming as well. It was not terrible. Demon – I put this ride off as long as I could. I approached this ride with much trepidation due to some of the reports I have read on this thing. I am not a dedicated hater of arrow loopers, but I am a big hater of bashing my head on a ride, so I was concerned. I figured as long as I ride defensively it would be alright. How wrong I was. During the first part of the ride, I was actually starting to feel like I would make it through without any pain. The theming was actually pretty good with the tunnels and lights (and the theme song). It wasn’t even that rough. Everything was fine until the first corkscrew. And (cork) screwed I got. As the train jerked violently, the side of my head was thrown into the OSTR (even though I was braced for it). I actually thought I may have broken my jaw or had a concussion, or both. Seriously, I cannot remember hitting an OTSR harder than on this ride from hell. Thankfully this was a walk on so I didn’t waste too much time getting thrashed. 2/10 – only for the theming and the weird song. Goliath – This was an outstanding (albeit short) ride. This thing packs a lot into its small footprint and shorter track length. The elements are exciting and they come seemingly non-stop. The air-time was ejector and it was fabulous. The zero-G stall was awesomeness. Definitely one of the best wood coasters that I have ridden and top 15 overall for me. Still behind Outlaw Run but not by much. While waiting there was an issue with the restraints so that turned a 10 minute wait into a 30 minute wait, so I only rode this once, in the front. 9.5/10 Vertical Velocity – I debated whether to ride this as it was getting near to close. I figured I might as well get the credit, even though these are not my cup of tea. The launch was forceful and I like the inverted aspect of the trains. The twisted spike was a good too. I am not the biggest fan of shuttle coasters but for what it was, it was good. 5/10 I really didn’t get the opportunity to ride much other than the coasters due to the time constraints and having the family with me. I will always try to get all the coasters but if it means I have to death march a park, especially with my family, I just won’t do it. It is not that important. We did ride the bumper cars and Justice League: Battle for Metropolis together. While I was riding a few of the coasters the kids wouldn’t go on, they rode Condor, The Lobster and the Carousel, which looked terrific. The food was actually not bad. Mostly, it was typical Six Flags fair, however the Italian Beef was very good as were the street tacos. The park was definitely not the best looking Six Flags park, but it was clean for the most part. A couple of areas did stand out. The theming in the Southwest Territory was pretty good as was the entrance plaza, with the fountain and carousel. Maybe it is just me but the park felt oddly small. It seemed to me that every corner of the place was packed with rides, stands and buildings and not much in the way of open/shady spaces. All in all, it was great visit. This park has a couple of terrific coasters and bunch of pretty good ones. There was plenty to do and I wish that we would have had more time to enjoy some other things in the park. Definitely will try and plan a return trip in the future.
  15. Phil, I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
  16. Wow! It is great to see so many people there! Hopefully this season can be the start of bringing the park back to it's former self, or even better!
  17. CoasterMania! After a day of rest and catching up with the family, came the real reason behind the timing of the trip, CoasterMania! This was my first CoasterMania, and my first trip to Cedar Point in about 6 years. Cedar Point and Geauga Lake were my home parks growing up and I couldn’t have been more excited to return, especially with some new coasters to get to including the brand new one sitting in the back of the park..Steel..something or other. We arrived just before 6am and lined up to await entry. By 6:25 we had our shirts, lanyard etc; and were ready to go. At the 7am rope drop we headed right for the new hotness. By 7:15 we had experienced out first ride on Steel Vengeance in row 4. The first ride I could barely process just WTF happened. It was super fast, super intense and had me out of my seat more than I was in it! The elements were just incredible, coming one right after another. In order to figure out what just happened, we figured we better ride it again. We got back into line and about 30 minutes later we had our second ride. Again, just incredible! This time in row 6. This thing packs a punch for sure. Just felt totally out of control in the best way possible. Going in I had super high expectations, to the point where I felt that I would come away disappointed in this ride. I am happy to say my expectations were right where they should have been. They were met and possibly even surpassed. My new number 1 had been crowned. Sorry Millennium Force . 10/10 I will say that this is not a ride that I could marathon, not that I really do that much anyways. With all of the extreme ejector air, my thighs were hurting pretty good by the time we reached the bunny hops on the second ride. Just speaks to the intensity of the ride and also to my getting older. SV Since there was another world class coaster sitting a few steps away, we figured we might as well give Maverick some love. A 2 train wait for the front and we were on our way. Maverick was just as great as I remembered. Quick, snappy transitions and a terrific layout. Got off and immediately went back for another round. Truly one of my favorites and a world class coaster. 10/10 Decided to take a walk over to one of the most under-appreciated coasters in the park, Gemini. I love this thing. Not the biggest or fastest anymore, but still so much fun. A little bumpy is spots but it is in much better shape at 40 than I am!  Total walk-on and rode it 3 times in row to my delight. 8/10 Decided to hit up one my other favorites in the park, Magnum XL-200. At least is WAS one of my favorites. It really hurts me to say this but this was not as great as I remember. Rode in the front row. The airtime was still there in bunches, however, it was rough and jerky throughout the ride. Also to echo some other comments it was just painful on the legs. Now, I have struggled with this thought. I don’t know how much the ride has changed, or if it me that changed my view of the ride. Still, It is not a bad ride at all, and it very well could be similar to when I was growing up riding it but I cannot say that this is one of my favorites any longer for whatever reason. 7/10 ERT on Dragster was calling, and I couldn’t resist. With Dragster being a one trick pony, that trick better be outstanding. Of course, it was! The launch was awesome, as always. Smooth as butter. Up and down and it was over. I always enjoy the Dragster experience, never disappoints. I always had a hard time justifying a long wait for a 15 second ride but with it being near a walk on, no complaints at all. Rode 2 times. 9/10. Park was opening and we figured we would take a bit of break and hit the cruise. Really cool getting to see Cedar Point from a different vantage point. We went out by the lighthouse as well. It was almost chilly out on the water, with gray skies and some wind but after roasting at Kennywood earlier in the week it was a nice change. Cruise Photo MF Cruise Photo Valravyn Cruise Photo Beach Cruise CP Skyline CP Skyline SV and Maverick Maverick and MF After our boat ride, we decided to hit up another favorite, Raptor. Even though the park was open, this was a front row walk-on. This ride definitely had no issues holding up from my younger days. Intense, snappy and fast. I thought it was pretty smooth overall, as well. I didn’t get any at all. Still hate the brake run though. After all these years Raptor is still of the very best B&M inverts out there IMHO. 8.5/10 Went over to the pavilion for some lunch. The food was fine, basic buffet spread. Hot dogs, chicken strips, salad, chips. No complaints with the lunch it being included with more than reasonable price of tickets. Decided we would let the food settle and do something a little slower. With WindSeeker right near our lunch spot, we figured why not. A one cycle wait and up we went and as we reached the top we started to slow down, which I didn’t think anything of but it kept slowing down and then it came to stop. And there we stayed. Yes, we were stuck at the top of WindSeeker. An Attendant came over the speaker and said that due to technical issues they were not able to get us down but were working on it. We were up there about 20-25 minutes. They eventually started to lower the carriage. I don’t know how these things work, but it was dropped down very slowly. Probably another 5-7 to get us down to the ground. We were given a skip the line pass each for the inconvenience (no SV, though). This was my first WindSeeker, although I have been on The StarFlyer model. I like the StarFlyer better. I enjoy the more open seat on the SF and you get more actual swinging on the SF. The WindSeeker seems too “safe” to me. After our WindSeeker experience, we decided to hit up another new coaster – GateKeeper – This was my first wing coaster (X2 doesn’t count) and I absolutely loved it! It was smooth, had great elements and I really enjoyed the feeling of riding on the outside of the rails. Was it the most intense thing ever? No, but not every great ride has to take your face off or make you feel like you are riding Bodacious (rodeo fans know). Rode this 3 times, as it was no more than a 10 minutes wait each time. Rode right front, left front and left back. This was really the one ride during the entire trip that blew me away, due to not having super high expectations and hearing that is was just OK. Not at the level of MF, SV or Maverick but not far behind. Also count me as a fan of the newer B&M restraints. 9.5/10 Made our way over to the park’s oldest coaster, Blue Streak. I thought it was running fine. It was fast and delivered some decent pops of air. I didn’t find it to be very rough or hard to ride. The wife thought otherwise. She didn’t want to go again. For a 50 year old plus ride, it was perfectly acceptable. Wish we had this instead of the dud known as Judge Roy Scream at SFOT. 7/10 We hit Raptor again, and then made our way to another new credit – Valravyn. I had ridden Sheikra during the opening year, so that was all I had to go on from as far as dive coasters. I really liked Sheikra and this, to me was an upgraded version. Basically a walk-on. The view from the top was fantastic! The drop was really good, as were the inversions. I thought the layout was fine, longer than Sheikra. Another buttery smooth coaster to boot. Like GK, not the most forceful ride, but this exceeded my expectation as well. Rode this twice. Once in the second row, once in the front. 9/10 Took a little break and rode the train around the loop. I couldn’t remember the last time I rode the train. I think I had ridden it before, but nothing about it looked too familiar. I thought the skeletons along the ride were fun and campy. Headed over to my favorite coaster when I was a real youngster – Iron Dragon. I can understand how and why I enjoyed it back in the 80’s but of course, it just doesn’t hold up to today’s crazy rides. Slowly paced and not that much in the excitement department, although the final helix over the water is still cool. Rode in the front after about a 25 minute wait. 5/10 With Rougarou sitting next door, figured we would hit that up and get another new credit. Rode Mantis previously and it was not one of my favorites. Even with it being converted to a floorless, this is still not one of my favorites. To me, the definition of mediocrity. Decent layout and a couple of fairly good inversions but forgettable overall. Somewhat rough but didn’t get banged around as much as I thought. Once was enough. 5/10 Being in the vicinity, figured it was time to hit up the one and only Millennium Force. We used our exit passes to get right on, although it didn’t seem to be more than a 15 minute wait. After my disappointment with Magnum earlier, I was hopeful that ol’ MF wouldn’t let me down. I had nothing to worry about at all. Still just as fast, smooth and fun as ever. The first drop is breathtaking. The overbanks are fun and the couple of air time hills still deliver the goods. Just unrelenting speed throughout makes this a truly outstanding ride. Went around took another lap in the front seat. Total Awesomeness. I did hear a bit of a rattle, but didn’t seem to affect the ride at all. 10/10 and my (now) #2 overall. After the greatness of MF, we decided to go check out Steel Vengeance again. Longer wait this time, just south of hour, but not bad at all. It was getting pretty dark by this point so I was really looking forward to a night ride on this beast. Once again just totally bonkers! I was a little more prepared for what was coming this time and loved every second. I cannot explain how much I love this ride. The wave turn on SV is truly one of the most incredible elements I have experienced. Again, by the end of the insanity my thighs were not too happy but I guess that is the price to experience greatness. Decided to hit up the Cedar Creek Mine Ride, as we were walking by it and noticed there was literally no one in line. This is about as forgettable as a mine train could be. Riding it in the dark made it a little better but not one of my favorites mine trains by any stretch. 4/10 By this time we were both tired and the wife was not feeling all that great. We were going to stay for the ERT after close but decided to call it a day. Would have liked to get a few more rides but it was a fantastic day all around. We did not ride Corkscrew, because why would we? We didn’t need an on demand headache. Also did not ride Wicked Twister, as the pitifully short seat belts and my round(ish) self, do not get along. We ate dinner at Chickie and Pete’s. Our first time there. The CrabFries were delicious. The pizza we had was pretty good as well. The service was horribly slow, however. The ride ops were enthusiastic and getting trains out in a reasonable amount of time. A nice change from SFOT. It was nice to just take our time and enjoy the park this time. Usually when we have gone in the past, it was super busy and we had to hustle to get to everything we wanted. By far, our best visit ever to The Point!
  18. Our third park took us on a 2 hour drive over to Pittsburgh to experience a park that I had wanted to visit for a long time – Kennywood. We arrived right before opening and could tell that we would not be as fortunate with the crowds as I was the day before at Waldemeer. There seemed to be a lot of schools on field trips and a lot of families as well. So much for going on a Tuesday. The park was so charming and really seemed to me like taking a trip back in time. So many cool older rides and so much history. Loved it! The park was super clean and because it is on the smaller side, pretty easy to navigate. Front Gate Got to experience most everything I wanted to with the exception of Sky Rocket and Ghostwood Estates. I believe SR was shut down just a day or two before we visited due to the ongoing issues it is experiencing. Ghostwood Estates, for some reason never did open. Now onto the rides; Jack Rabbit – Truly a classic! Running two trains, maybe a 10 minute wait. Kind of a weird restraint system with the static bar and seat belts unlike anything I had seen before but allowed for some great airtime. I was blown away with how smooth this was, which was true of all the woodies here. The double down definitely delivered the requisite ejector air! Great ride! There are some 10 year old woodies that could learn a thing or two from this 98 year old! 7.5/10 Jack Rabbit Jack Rabbit Sign Racer – A second nonagenarian coaster in the park sitting just a few steps away from Jack Rabbit. This one had about a 20-25 minute wait as there was only 1 attendant checking both sides of the platform, so it took a long time to dispatch. Really fun ride and again, super smooth for a wooden coaster. The racing aspect just added to the excitement. Rode both sides. Felt about the same on both. 7/10 Racer Sign Thunderbolt – What a looker! Love the layout and the trains look amazing. What was not amazing was that one of the amazing looking trains were on the transfer track and not running at all. So there was only one train and a long line. We waited about 30-40 minutes. I will say, however it was more than worth it. From the drop out of the station to the very end, a terrific ride all around. It literally has everything you could want from a classic woody. Great air, nice laterals and smooth, smooth, smooth. An absolute classic in every way! Definitely a Top 10 woody for me. 9/10 Thunderbolt Queue TB Exterminator – I had low expectations of this going and I was glad that I did. It wasn’t terrible but the wait to ride was. We got in line once and, although there was not notification or any communication we eventually assumed it was down, as the line never moved for 20 minutes. We eventually left the queue and came back later. When we returned the line moved, but it was snail slow. Overall we probably waited an hour. The ride itself was meh. The actual car was cute and the theming was pretty good. Not the worst mouse I have been on and nor the best. 5/10 Exterminator Phantom’s Revenge – They started out running 1 train but we noticed while waiting for Thunderbolt that a second train was added. Good thing because the wait was still north of 30 minutes. In addition once we were seated, there was an issue with the train. We had to disembark and wait for maintenance. Another 15 minutes or so and we were back in business. Holy cow, this thing rocked! One of the very best I have experienced. From the comfortable trains to the layout and everything in between, it was awesome! The second drop, as advertised, was killer! The airtime was terrific. Overall a superb coaster. Got back in line and rode a second time. Rode in the back and the front. Couldn’t really say I enjoyed one more than the other. Both great, just different. Moved into my top 10 overall. 9.5/10 Phantom Sign Phantoms Revenge Also rode a few of the other rides in the park. Black Widow – Kennywood’s giant discovery was intense and had some nice airtime. It feels every bit of the close to 70mph that is advertised. The wife enjoyed it more than I did. We waited about 30 minutes to ride. Black Widow We did the 4-D Theater as well, since it was 90+ outside and we needed a break in the air condition. The movie was OK, the same with effects. Nothing special but was worth the time to get some relief from the heat. Noah’s Ark – Kennywood’s walk through fun house. This was weird, wacky and I really enjoyed it. The effects were well done and all of them seemed to be working. It is nice that the park shows so much love to their older rides. Due to time restraints and longish lines we didn’t get to Kangaroo or Bayern Kurve. Didn’t eat very much, although I did try the Potato Patch fries. They were good but not great. The fries had good flavor and plenty of cheese and bacon. The fries could have been crispier, which is what I prefer, but they were still tasty. By 6:00 pm, we were exhausted and due to the 2 hour drive back, we headed out and made our way back to our temporary home away from home. Even with the crowds and the less than stellar operations were able to hit all the open main attractions. Would have liked a couple more rides on Thunderbolt and Phantom, but that gives me reason to return, especially with the new coaster most likely going in next year. It took a many years to finally get here, even after growing up just a couple of hours away. It was worth the wait. The park is wonderful. As I said before, it is a beautiful, charming park with a great lineup of rides. I love the fact that so much time, care and pride is taken by the park to keep their classic rides in such great condition. Definitely something the other large chain could learn from. Kennywood from the parking lot
  19. Hey y’all, I wanted to get this extended trip report up awhile ago, however I have had major computer issues. That and the fact work and family has kept me busy so just now able to start posting this report. Around the Memorial Day holiday, we were lucky enough to have visited several amusement parks. We have family in Cuyahoga Falls, OH, so being about halfway to Cedar Point and a couple of parks in PA, an excellent opportunity presented itself to hit some new theme parks as well as attend my first ever Coaster Mania. During this trip we hit Waldemeer & Conneaut Lake Park – both of these I went solo. Kennywood & Cedar Point, with my better half and SF Great America and SF St. Louis with the wife and kids. All but Cedar Point were first ever trips to the respective parks. I wanted to share some thoughts and a few photos from this amazing trip. My apologies, I lost all the photos from Great America and St. Louis and most of the Cedar Point ones. Waldemeer, was my first stop, on Memorial Day. I hadn’t planned to go on the holiday, but the weather was iffy the rest of the week with Tropical Storm Alberto moving north. So off to Erie I went. Made the 90 minute drive up Interstate 90. I stopped at Primanti Bros for a sandwich before I hit the park. The sandwich was great! I arrived at the park a little after noon, and entering the park I was pleasantly surprised. What a great looking park! It is was very clean and looked very well taken care of. It seems like a wonderful place for families to hang out. Loved all the picnic groves that were available for use. The dry side of the park was not crowded at all, Water World was busy though, as expected with highs in the low 90’s. Most everything was a walk-on except Ravine Flayer II which was only running one train. I rode all three coasters but didn’t do Ravine Flyer III, as the kids were not with me. The Comet – A small and simple wooden family coaster This was an enjoyable ride. A couple pops of airtime and it was pretty smooth. Rode it 3 times. 5/10. Comet in action Comet from the Sky Ride Steel Dragon – A Maurer Sohne spinning coaster, that didn’t seem to spin all that much. Similar to Pandemonium in size and speed. I like the face to face seating of Pandemonium better, but not a bad ride at all. 5/10. Steel Dragon Steel Dragon behind some trees Ravine Flyer II –The main reason to visit the park and it was worth every mile! A fantastic Gravity Group wooden coaster! Interesting layout with excellent airtime. Loved the tunnels (wow the tunnels were loud) and the setting was great. The view from the top of the first hill was amazing. On top of that, it was nice and smooth. – Rode this four times. 2 in the front, once in row 4 and once in the back. The back was more intense, as expected, however I liked the front car better. Love this ride! Easily one of the top coasters I have been on and right behind Beast (fight me ) and Outlaw Run as the top wooden overall. No more than a 10 minute wait for the front and back seat, walk-on in the middle. 9.5/10 Ravine Flyer II Lift Hill RF II with Lake Erie Ravine Flyer II Bridge that goes out over a road. Enjoyed some of the other ride offerings as well. The Log Flume was excellent. I rode it twice. Decently long layout with two drops. The second, larger drop was really good with a bit of air. Didn’t get too soaked, which was a plus. The Sky Ride was terrific. Great views of the park and the surrounding area. Music Express Mega Vortex Midway Midway 2 Ferris Wheel I enjoyed the park’s two dark rides as well. Both Pirate’s Cove and the Whacky Shack were well done and unique. They were both fun and unlike anything I had been on before. Also rode the L Ruth Express, the park’s train. It was OK. It didn’t go around the park, just into a section past Water World and near Ravine Flayer II, which allowed for some good views, though. I couldn’t have been more impressed with this park. From the cleanliness to the operations, to every employee that I came across and the rides, it was just a terrific experience! If anyone is looking for a side trip from Cedar Point or Kennywood, just do it! You will be glad you did! Conneaut Lake Park I made the trip down I79 from Erie about 40 minutes and came to Conneaut Lake Park. I don’t really know how to describe this park. You can certainly tell it has seen its better days. A lot of the buildings were abandoned and looked like a strong gust of wind would knock some of them down. The pavement was another story. Many pieces of concrete missing or broken into pieces on the ground. The one major positive and something I found I really found striking is the setting of this place. It truly is in a wonderful setting. The beach looked great and the lake was very picturesque. Also they have a nice looking (at least from the outside ) hotel. CLP Beach Beach The beach had a lot of folks hanging out, playing volleyball and enjoying their time in the sun and heat. The park itself was not busy at all, although the water park was pretty crowded. I handed over my $10 for a wristband and headed toward the reason I was here. Blue Streak – This was certainly an different experience. Simple out and back with some pretty good air. The ride was pretty good actually. Most of it wasn’t too rough, although there was a good deal of roughness at the bottom of a couple hills on the return back. I have to say, the part of the ride I was most concerned with was the rides condition itself. The tunnel had wood missing from the roof and was quite rundown. The lift hill was another concern. I have never been on coaster with a curved lift hill, but I have now It was slightly unsettling to see the track bowed to one side as we ascended the hill, but hey it wasn’t like I could get off . Blue Streak Station Blue Streak Ace Sign Overall I was glad I made the trip to ride it. It is a piece of history and happy I got to experience it. I do want to give a shout out to the ops team. They were probably the most enthusiastic group I have ever encountered. They really seemed proud that of the coaster and took every opportunity to answer questions and relay some of the history of it. Kudos! Rode it 2 times. The back definitely had more air but was slightly more rough. - 7/10 I also experienced the oddity that was Devils Den. Just a really strange, funky ride. A ride through fun/haunted house. Most of the effects were working. I enjoyed my trip through “the Den”. The gum wall was amazingly odd. Devil's Den Also hit a couple of the flats while I was there to make my side trip worthwhile. Rode the paratrooper. It was running a good cycle and was certainly worthy of a ride. The Witches Stew was also a different experience. A little too spinny for me but I knew that going into it. Can’t imagine there are many of these (any?) still in existence. Again, glad I had the opportunity to ride it. Overall, I was able to enjoy the park for what it is, a piece of history. Happy to have made the decision to take the roundabout way back and get to experience this park. It is truly historic and it has truly seen its better days. I hope the ownership can continue to put some money into the park and continue to bring it back to something that resembles how it used to be. It sits in a fantastic location and the few employees that I talked really are proud of the park and want it to succeed. I wish them all the best!! Next up - Kennywood!
  20. I agree that with the helix removed and other re-tracking that has been done that the hopes of The Boss getting smoother most likely won't happen and that is OK. As big as it is the cost to RMC would be out of the price range for most parks, even more so with St. Louis. I still enjoyed my first trip. One of the better looking SF parks. I came away thinking that if they could get a new, signature coaster it would be more of a destination park. They have a nice selection of B,B+ rides just not a true "must ride coaster". It is one of the smallest markets for a Six Flags so I can see why not a whole lot of capital is put into the park though.
  21. Rode The Boss about 3 weeks ago. Can't say I enjoyed it very much. It was really rough. My daughter who has never says anything about the roughness of coasters came off saying it was too painful for her to ride again. I can only imagine what the helix was like...I thought the layout was really good though. It could be a great coaster if it were smoother.
  22. Rode Wonder Woman for the first time yesterday. It was just crazy. One element right after another. I got off the ride wondering what just happened The off-axis air time hill was something I hadn't experienced and I just about had my shoulder harness come off due the wild laterals. I was only able to get one ride but I really did enjoy it! Super smooth can't wait to get back to Fiesta later in the year for more rides.
  23. Riddler and La Vibora will have the longest wait times due to the slow throughput. It is not uncommon to see both an hour plus while everything else is a 10-15 minute wait. Titan and Shockwave have been walkons or a train or two wait every time I have been this year but I try to only go Sundays to avoid any craziness. Haven't heard anything about NTG being down long term, pretty confident it will be good to go.
  24. In case anyone is looking at going to Sea World San Antonio, they are running a deal right now in celebration of their 30th Birthday. They have tickets for $30.00 each. The tickets must be used before June 30th. The offer expires May 13th. https://seaworld.com/san-antonio/events/30th-birthday-celebration/
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