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Everything posted by coasterBro

  1. In fairness, you're getting some cool multi-launched thing with a 315ft spike. But both Busch parks have exceptional coaster lineups. On an unrelated note, I for one am glad to see that the (obviously inaccurate) fan-created No Limits layout that the rest of the enthusiast community is currently fawning over/arguing about isn't being entertained here.
  2. Thanks for the suggestion! I forgot to include a Netherlands + Belgium trip in my list of options, but it looks like that needs some serious consideration too. I made special trips for a lot of the 'new-for-2018' coasters and thought it wasn't the best decision in hindsight. For the 'new-for-2019' coasters, I'll wait till I have reason to be in those areas again and go from there. As to El Toro, the lapbar causes a significant amount of pain that I do not enjoy. T-Express does not have that issue and is my #1 woodie. This is a great suggestion. I do love riding a new ride with someone for the first time and experiencing that with them, especially if it has a crazy surprise they aren't expecting. Apologies. I wound myself up a bit there. Thanks for giving your advice. I am legitimately considering finding a new hobby, but I still would love to hear from people who have visited European parks what they have enjoyed and recommend. I think I can be fine with most reasonably good coasters as long as I don't let myself hype them up as being the best thing ever. If I can enjoy them for what they are, I should be good. Tempered expectations allow for a pleasant surprise vs a ride being a letdown.
  3. And in a year where I rode Do-Dodonpa, Formula Rossa, Xcelerator, Top Thrill Dragster, and Kindga Ka, I enjoyed the launches of Formula Rossa & Do-Dodonpa less than the other three. I was surprised. But it is what it is. Do-Dodonpa is still a great ride. Formula Rossa isn't. And that's okay.
  4. Just to clarify: it was only *some* of the parks that I was going into with a creditwhoring mindset, and those were mostly the parks whose best ride was a wild mouse or a boomerang or some other fairly meaningless coaster. A significant number of the parks I visited this year were with the express intention of just having a good time (most of which I had been to before). I tend to need a coastering fix every 5-6 weeks or so before I start getting antsy. Last weekend I was out in LA for work and spent some fun time at Knott's and DLR, and I'll be ringing in the new year at BGT. Beyond that, who knows. I admittedly went a bit overboard in 2018, and I am *not* looking to repeat that in 2019. What I *am* looking to do is have some semblance of a plan (or at least a couple options) put together for where I might want to take my big vacation next year so I can keep my eyes peeled for good travel deals between now and then. This is for a trip that I likely won't take till the middle to end of the summer (if it's a place that has a big new-for-2019 ride), though it's possible it might make more sense for certain locales and deals to go at a different time.
  5. So either I really sucked at explaining my issue in my posts or people are just not reading what I actually wrote/asked. I am trying to move *away* from credit whoring and *towards* meaningful experiences at new places overseas. This is *not* in place of whatever domestic park I might want to go spend a day or two at for grins and giggles. This is trying to figure out a plan for my big vacation and soliciting advice/suggestions about international parks, primarily in Europe.
  6. Exactly the reason why we stopped counting coasters. The moment we stopped doing that, I feel like I started to enjoy parks more. We would spend more time at places we liked: Europa Park, Disney, um.... Europa Park... ...and spend less time worrying about trying to get another Wacky Worm coaster in. This is exactly the transition I'm trying to make. I got locked into this 'must do all the coasters' mindset that sucked the life out of me, and I don't want to keep doing that. I think my biggest issue was walking in with unrealistic expectations. I was going into Do-Dodonpa & Formula Rossa expecting launches that were noticeably stronger than ones I'd experienced before. Do-Dodonpa was still a great ride; the launch just didn't live up to my 'greatest launch ever' hype. Formula Rossa was a bigger letdown: given that it launches straight into brakes, I'd be shocked if it's actually still being launched at 149mph, and then the rest of the ride just didn't do anything for me (like a faster version of Superman: Ride of Steel but with no actual airtime). Kawasemi was really fun, and I'd happily marathon it, but I was expecting the airtime to be OMFG intense based on the hype. I'll ride and enjoy a Mega-Lite anywhere I run into one, but I wouldn't necessarily plan a trip with one as the 'destination coaster'. I think what I really want is to make sure that any trip I plan has at least a coaster or two that *will* blow me away somewhere during the trip. Hopefully the bulk of the coasters will fall into the 'FUN' category, even if they aren't necessarily mind-blowing. And then not waste time credit whoring at parks whose best coaster is a wacky worm or a boomerang.
  7. I think this is the definition of a "credit whore." You weren't riding the coasters to enjoy them... You were riding them to get your coaster count as high as possible... And where has that gotten you in life?? (Not trying to sound rude) But it seems like you "forced" yourself to do something that doesn't really matter to 99.99% of people. Take a break from riding coasters and do other stuff. I don't really know what you are expecting from us? It's like you are "asking for advice," but it really just comes across as you bragging about everything you've done in life, and how many coasters you've been on... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ You've clearly burned yourself out on parks/coasters and need something new to do. Try knitting. I hear it can be a great hobby. You've obviously missed the part about the compulsion to "complete" the US and the part about specifically *not* wanting to credit whore any more when traveling overseas. There were lots of things I did enjoy, but I did not enjoy parks where I was only there to have visited the park and ride a bunch of mediocre coasters. I want to find places internationally where I'm not just there to have ridden the rides to check them off but will actually enjoy the cool/unique/awesome rides for what they are. My actual credit count at this point is largely meaningless except to establish context. The other stuff only came up because everyone kept telling me to do other things besides coasters, which I already do. And picking up a new non-coaster related hobby is still an option on the table.
  8. Lots of great feedback here. I do want to clarify a few things, because I didn't phrase some things well in my initial post: First, a lot of my problem stems from having to slog through a bunch of parks/coasters where I knew I wasn't going to have fun simply because of my compulsion to finish the US. Now that I'm pretty much done with that, I would like to cut the credit whoring to a minimum. That means focusing on the coasters that are going to wow me and not spending a bunch of time at parks riding wacky worms or boomerangs or SLC's, etc. If a park's best coaster is a Eurofighter, I could probably find something better to do with my time (unless it's a really incredible Eurofighter). I want to prioritize cool, unique, historically-significant, and/or really fun coasters. Fundamentally, coasters are my excuse to go travel somewhere. Coasters are not all I do when I get there. They make a good anchor to base a trip around, but they are not the be-all/end-all. I have done a lot of cool non-coastering things in the places I've traveled to, and I intend to do the same on any future trips. I'm not going to go to Scandinavia and only ride roller coasters. But I would like to know what roller coasters besides Wildfire & Balder are going to be noteworthy. Or if there are parks that I'd be better off skipping to do something else that day because none of the rides are all that special or interesting. Britain could easily be two trips. But I'm just not very familiar with the coasters that are there. I've heard that Nemesis is awesome, and Smiler is obviously noteworthy for its inversion count, but what are the other major highlights? I feel like I've heard that a lot of the rides are shorter/more basic versions of things we have in the US because several were prototypes, but I don't know how those truly compare to what I've known and ridden. A lot of my angst with the international coasters I've ridden has come from improper expectations. I was expecting to be blown away by the launches on Formula Rossa & Do-Dodonpa, and they were good but not incredible. Maybe they were just having bad days, but I probably had built them up to be unattainably amazing, hence a bit of a let-down. I had also heard about how amazing and insane Mega-Lites are, and maybe it was just having a bad day, but I didn't think Kawasemi lived up to that hype. Was it fun? Yes. Did it make me want to jump on a plane and go ride all the other Mega-Lites? No. Flying Dinosaur was every bit as crazy and intense as expected, but it's not a coaster I want to (or could) marathon. Steel Dragon 2000 was just as great as I had hoped. Cyclone at Toshimaen was a really pleasant surprise that came out of nowhere. Takabisha was way better than I expected, and I'm very excited they're building a clone in NJ. T-Express was an awesome surprise that blew me out of the water. I felt like I had always heard Blue Fire hyped up, but I was underwhelmed by its clone in Dubai. And so on and so forth. Proper expectations are important. And I know next to nothing about most international coasters. So I really want to know what the truly destination-worthy parks/coasters are. I'd like to emphasize, though, that being underwhelmed by certain coasters (or not being interested enough in them to want to go back and ride them again) in no way reflects on my overall enjoyment of said trips. I would, however, like to plan my trips with more time spent at parks with coasters that are likely to be good and less time spent at parks where I'm just credit whoring and know going in that nothing is going to wow me. If anything, that is my biggest takeaway. I will find the other fun things to do that are non-coaster-related. But for now I still need the core of the trip to be coaster-related to plan around. I intend to go back to Japan in ~2021 or so. I do not intend to go back to the UAE. I would like to go back to Korea at some point, but it isn't urgent. I would like to wait for the theme park industry in China to stabilize a bit before planning a trip there. I do want to do a Scandinavia trip. And a Britain trip. And a Germany trip. And a France trip. And a Spain trip. And a Poland trip. And an Australia trip. And so on. But nothing is really jumping out to me at the moment for what to prioritize for next year. But I don't want to plan a 2019 trip through a region that has a major new coaster already known to be coming in 2020 or 2021 (yes, I know that could happen anywhere, but it's one thing to go somewhere and then have them build a new coaster, but it's another thing to plan a trip knowing that their new hotness will open right after your visit). Hopefully that helps clarify a bit. Thanks for all your responses!
  9. Thanks for the responses. I have a mild form of OCD, so there was a certain pressure to "finish" the US that drove me a little the last couple of years. The rest of the world doesn't seem to have that same appeal (probably because of a combination of it just being so vast and also not seeming to have a ton of new coastering experiences). 2018 was an insane year for me, but I also spent time at BGW, SDC, Knott's, DLR, BGT, SWO, & SFOG just re-riding favorites. Since I was just at a lot of these parks, I don't know that I want to spend a bunch of vacation time going right back. But I do have a Sea World Platinum Pass, and I will make it down to BGT/SWO for a quick weekend jaunt here and there. I'm also sitting on a crap-ton of Southwest miles, so it's nothing to go pop up somewhere for a weekend if the mood strikes me, but I just don't have a burning desire to right back to most of the places I just went to this year. Oddly enough, my original thought for 2019 was to pick up a WDW AP and make several runs at the Parkeology Challenge (riding all the rides at the resort in a single day), but I don't know that I want to spend $950 for that (really the Gold pass is all I need, which would save me $300, but I'm not a Florida resident and don't particularly have any interest in trying to fake it to game the system). Germany is compelling. Not sure if it could be done in one go or would need two trips though. Anything major already announced (or rumored) for 2020/2021? I get the appeal of China, but I'm in kind of a wait-and-see holding pattern for now. I think there's still a lot of stuff to be built, and I want to wait for things to settle down a bit before heading over there. When I do eventually go, I'm going to focus exclusively on the major parks w/ rides from reputable manufacturers. But even still, it could be several weeks over multiple trips because there's just so much. Australia & South Africa are two oddball destinations I've had rolling around in the back of my head for if I saw a super cheap airfare deal, but South Africa is a hot mess so that's been shelved. For Australia, I'd need to come up with more stuff to do to round out that trip beyond just the couple of major parks.
  10. EDIT: Since people are having trouble with understanding what I'm asking, here's the TL:DR version: I've spent the last several years mixing credit whoring with meaningful theme park experiences and have now basically finished the US, Canada, Mexico, Japan, the UAE, and South Korea. I am trying to decide if it's worth it to me to keep exploring international destinations for my big vacations or if I'm too jaded to enjoy the coasters I might find over there. I had some bad experiences with poorly-set expectations resulting in disappointment at some of the international parks I've visited. I would like to make sure I understand what rides actually are the top-tier rides that have a good chance to still wow someone who has ridden a crap-ton of coasters, and figure out what parks/coasters might be better skipped. Destinations under consideration include the UK, Germany, Scandinavia, France, Spain, Italy, Poland, & Australia. None of these places has particularly jumped out at me as of yet, and I am looking for suggestions from people who have visited these places. I would prefer to not visit a park in 2019 that is already known to be adding a possible top-tier ride in 2020/2021 as there are plenty of other places to go for now. I still intend to make the occasional weekend jaunt to a domestic park here or there but do not intend to make a multi-day/multi-park trip out of it as I have in the past. And when I am in whichever foreign locale, I will certainly find other non-coastering things to do to experience that country and their culture (as I have done in the past). I've also considered trying to find a new hobby. /EDIT
  11. Got another survey today, this time about employee grooming: "Your feedback today will have a direct impact on whether or not we change our policy and will be personally reviewed by the company CEO." Not sure exactly what they're going for since the first part was asking about an employee's appearance with a very badly photoshopped hair dye job, but the last 2/3 was all about short, well-groomed beards/goatees for male employees. So maybe they're thinking of relaxing their grooming standards to allow unnatural hair colors and facial hair? Who knows though.
  12. Great TR. The park (and particularly Hyperion) looks pretty sweet. When you say Hyperion has "stand up ejector airtime", does that mean you actually have enough room in the restraints to come out of your seat that much, or just that if the restraints were loose enough you'd be standing up? I ask because the restraints look like what's on Skyrush, and those are pretty tight and very uncomfortable with where they hit the leg during strong ejector airtime.
  13. This entire idea is nonsense. This "news" was posted by a blogger with no cited sources or facts, blindly picked up and run with by the Orlando Sentinel, and then regurgitated to a wider audience by a CBS reporter who seemingly exists solely to churn out as many stories a day as possible (that are all just aggregated from other sites). And then the original blog post was apparently deleted (because you can't find any record of it on their blog). [edit: apparently he posted it on Facebook, which is still there. But seriously, Orlando Sentinel, you can't run a story based on some yahoo's unsubstantiated Facebook post.] This is an unfortunate example of the sad state of journalism in this country today showing how quickly "journalists" will run with baseless stories without any kind of investigation or vettting of the original source. And as soon as one news organization runs with a story, everybody else just cites that organization and runs it themselves, regardless of whether or not the story had any factual basis. This quest to be 'FIRST' without regard for being accurate is completely destroying journalism (and people's trust in it), and that makes me sad. But in other news, I got a survey a couple days ago from Six Flags asking about all kinds of stuff related to the Flash Pass program. It sounds like they're considering different options for season Flash Passes, but with various restrictions like what day it can/can't be used (any day, no weekends, no Tuesday), or what time of day it can be used (any time, after 2PM, after 4PM), or whether or not you'd need to get an advance reservation and how far in advance that might be (none, 24hrs, 3 days), or how many rides are available (5-30, but no mention of which rides those could be or if it was the number of line skips you get independent of which attractions you can ride). Not sure if this new Season FP would be an option in addition to what they currently have or in place of those. The feature sets and price points were all over the map, with a lot of feature/price combinations that just made no sense at all and couldn't possibly be economically viable (like a minimally-restricted Platinum FP for $50, or a really-locked down Regular FP for like $250)
  14. I prefer the middle big-boy seats on Kumba (the front usually has a longer line than I want to deal with, and the back rattles me around a bit more than I like). Back right is the place to be on Montu and SheiKra. Front is my preference for Cheetah Hunt, but the 2nd row is typically an acceptable compromise since its line is so much shorter.
  15. It only took me about 45mins on a bus from the bullet train station to the park, and it was easy to find right out in front of the train station (there wasn't any Gyeongju World signage for it, but I knew what bus number I needed). The bus stop was maybe a block or so from the park. I took a taxi back from Bulguksa Temple to the bullet train station, and that only took around 25mins and maybe $40. I'm not sure where you were looking for park merchandise, but I know they have tons of Gyeongju World branded stuff (everything from notepads & pens to towels and umbrellas and ponchos to eclectic stuff like clocks and manicure sets and USB flash drives). Not sure about shirts/hats/magnets/keychains though. I actually found Everland and Lotte World to be much more lacking in park-branded merch.
  16. You say that now, but when it's hot as balls in the middle of the summer, Cobra Curse's dark, air-conditioned queue is a welcome respite. I normally wouldn't wait more than 20 mins for a ride like that, but I'll happily wait an hour in that AC on a hot day.
  17. I know it's not at all the popular opinion, but I'm really not a fan of a lot of what RMC has been doing. Don't get me wrong, they've done some great stuff (I think Twisted Cyclone is perfect, love iRat, and quite enjoy NTaG & Goliath). But one of my biggest nitpicks are all the really weird little direction changes in the middle of elements. I think those take away from the flow of the ride. Just smoothly shape the element to get from the desired entry point to the exit. Sometimes I wonder if they haven't borrowed Ron Toomer's coathanger. (And if you think that's extreme, just imagine riding an RMC with Arrow OTSR's and how much headbanging you'd get on a lot of the transitions vs how an Arrow would ride with just lapbars.)
  18. T-Express at Everland. And nothing else even comes remotely close. Pretty sure it's my new #1 wood.
  19. I have purchased the SWSA platinum pass in the past without being a TX resident and didn't have any issues (paid in full, not EZ pay). BUT, I was not able to successfully redeem any of the passmember offers for BGT/SWO through the online passmember portal. I was fine if it was something I could do in person in FL, but I just couldn't get it to work in advance online. I also was denied the platinum preferred parking at BGW because they said they don't honor that for other region platinum passes, but they didn't give me any issues with a FL platinum pass this year, so YMMV.
  20. I'm almost always an advocate for line skip passes anywhere on the weekends, but that may or may not be workable for you. One thing I would recommend is to keep in mind the opening times for the different areas of the park since it doesn't all open at the same time (should be printed on the park maps). I believe (but may be wrong) that the Verbolten area is the last to open. When I was last there in the spring, Loch Ness Monster was operating at 9:45, with InvadR and Griffon opening at 10. I think Tempesto/Apollo didn't open till after 10 though, but I'm not 100%. If you're there early and can be lined up to get through the gates quickly when they start letting people in, you could probably get on and off of Nessie and hustle back to be one of the first people on InvadR. Then Griffon, Alpengeist, Verbolten, and finish with Tempesto/Apollo? YMMV though with crowds/ride opening times. Obviously with QQ, you can just do everything at your own pace though. For the coasters themselves, I don't have a big preference for seating on Loch Ness Monster (though I tend towards the 2nd to last row). I like InvadR near the back (I think row 6 is the magical spot where you get both pops of air at the tops of the hills but still get a good yank down the first drop); it's also surprisingly fun after dark (and my favorite ride to end the night on). I like the last row on the dive coasters, so my vote for Griffon is the far back left seat. I tend to prefer inverts in the back, but I do really like Alpengeist in the front row; unfortunately, it's not uncommon for the front row to have a rather lengthy line while the rest of the train is practically a walk-on. I recommend Verbolten from the middle towards the front because the back whips you a bit exiting the building and heading into that launch; you do lose out on some visuals in the very very front though. For Tempesto, I go with the back because I just generally love being launched backwards up a spike/hill/loop. I don't know that I ever settled on my preferred row for Apollo though, so I guess you'll just have to ride it a bunch to find your happy place. Hope that helps some!
  21. Good to know on the lottery. It seemed like the rides had stopped issuing those by the time I got there, but I may have been mistaken. Their entire Q-Pass system isn't very easy to understand, and the way they tried to explain it on their English website did not at all jive with what I saw when I got there. Things may have been different if I had been there all day instead of trying to just come in the evening, but it is what it is. Next time I'll probably pre-book the ticket + 5 Q-pass and try my hand at just being there from opening w/ the lottery passes. I would probably still make advance reservations for the free Klook Q-passes just in case but wait on spending any money on the $30 tickets so I'd at least have the option if I needed it. I don't know how many of the Unlimited passes at Lotte they had for sale, but when I got there close to 5PM, they still had 20-something available (and more of the 5-skip type). Given that it was late in the day on a decently busy Saturday, I was prepared for them to be sold out, but it was nice that they still had them. It did cost 100,000 Won (~$100 US), but to me it was totally worth that. I will say that for the free Magic Passes, most of the rides were out of return time tickets or very close to it by the time I got there. I think for anyone wanting to use that option the key would be getting there for opening.
  22. I ended up going with my aggressive plan, and managed fairly well considering. Thursday: I actually got to Everland a little after 3. I was a bit miffed that there's no way to buy extra Q-passes on the day-of (because most of the waits for the big attractions were around an hour), but I managed 4 laps on T-Express and hit the other coasters once, plus a couple other bits. I was really disappointed with how they did a lot of the attraction scheduling, though. It wasn't just T-Express that closed early: almost all of the major rides/attractions closed at least 90 mins before the park's closing time. I guess they wanted to make sure everyone was off the rides and headed to the exit by closing time, but it made for an anticlimactic end to the night (this on top of a bunch of the rides closing for an hour earlier in the evening to transition to 'haunted' versions of the attraction). Overall, Everland seems to be a park with a lot of potential, but I would recommend to anyone else to plan a full day there. And pre-buy their admission ticket + 5 Q-pass option. And then if you really want more, the best way I could see to do that would be to buy extra admission tickets from Klook and pick up the free paper Q-pass they give you from their booth (you have to pre-register for the Q-passes, but you can wait to buy the tickets till the day of). It'll cost you like $30 per Q-pass doing it this way, but it appears to be the only way I can see to get extra line skips. And honestly, T-Express is worth it. T-Express may be the best wooden coaster I've ever ridden. I really do not like El Toro (largely because of how the restraint hits my gut), but I *loved* T-Express. They have a more generous go-position on the restraint than El Toro does, and I honestly think the layout is 1000x more interesting. I've heard that it's basically the first couple hills of Toro, followed by basically a clone of Balder's layout. If so, I think I'd quite enjoy Balder as well. But T-Express had tons of great stand-up ejector air, the likes of which you can't get in the states because they staple you in so bad, and it was fantastic. I appreciated that the pacing of the ride wasn't balls-to-the-wall insanity. It's nice to have the occasional moment to catch your breath, and I miss that with so many of the newer coasters being built these days. I honestly don't know that I have any real criticisms of T-Express, other than the line and the aforementioned stuff with the park, except the fact that it's on the other side of the planet from me. I'm struggling to officially dethrone my existing top wooden coasters, but honestly, T-Express probably deserves that #1 spot. Friday: Despite the rain forecast, I still headed to Gyeongju World. I had already purchased my KTX tickets and didn't really have anything else lined up, so I hopped on the train and hoped for the best. I had been checking their website/blog/facebook pages for updates, but hadn't seen any closure notices, so I was praying for good news. The forecast showed fairly light rain the first part of the day before it got progressively heavier as the typhoon headed that way, and I was hopeful that the park would at least be open till noon or so. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way that what we consider to be 'light rain' is 'heavy rain' to the Koreans. I got to Gyeongju World a little before opening, and found myself the only person there. I had started trying to figure out my next move when some park employees saw me standing there, and they told me the park wasn't going to open at all that day and they were very sorry I had come all that way for nothing. I asked if I could at least walk around for a few minutes and take some pictures, and they generously agreed. I have to say, Gyeongju World is an absolutely beautiful park, with tons of statues and cool rockwork and detail that you just don't see in a lot of parks. I was extremely impressed with the friendliness and generosity of the employees, and I would heartily recommend that anyone visiting Korea go check the park out. Since my train ticket back to Seoul wasn't for a few more hours, the park employees pointed me to a restaurant down the road where I could enjoy a traditional Korean meal (which was fantastic), and then a nearby temple to go check out. Both were great, and I'm glad I did them rather than just twiddling my thumbs in the train station or trying to change to an earlier train or anything like that. Unfortunately, my plan for Seoul Land that evening was a bust. Due to the approaching rains, they changed their closing time from 9 to 6, and I just didn't have time to get there to do anything before they closed. It wasn't a huge loss, and I honestly needed the rest. Saturday: I did the 7:30AM DMZ/JSA tour, and that was amazing. If you've never done it and you're going to be in Korea, go do one. Yes, I have pictures of me standing in North Korea. There was a lot more to it than I think I was expecting, and the history buff in me really really enjoyed the whole thing. We got back a little after 3, which gave me plenty of time to head to Lotte World for the evening. At Lotte World, I sprung for the Unlimited MagicPass Premium, which basically let me walk right up to any ride and very nearly walk right on, as many times as I wanted to. (I couldn't do any of the normal MagicPass stuff, since that all relied on their app on your phone, and the app wouldn't run on my phone because it's a rooted phone.) Honestly, I wasn't expecting as much of a VIP treatment as I got, but it was really cool. I did Atlantis 4x, and most of the other major attractions once. Atlantis had a lot more zip than I was expecting, but holy crap Intamin sucks at train/restraint designs. But I honestly don't understand the point of the Aquatrax at all. I did the French Revolution without the VR, and that was different having the loop be after the meandering helices. Comet Express was a pleasant surprise; I didn't really know what to expect going in, and it was pretty cool. I did quite a lot of the other attractions in the park, from the balloons along the ceiling, to the mini log flume thing in the basement, to the haunted walkthrough, and more. I quite enjoyed my evening in the park, even if there wasn't any one thing that really stood out as a must-do, but I would totally come back again. I was disappointed that they didn't have any real park or ride-branded merchandise, but that appears to be an issue for a lot of parks I've been to in Asia. Overall, it was a good (albeit brief) time. I have no idea when I'll be able to come back, but hopefully I'll be able to someday. I think it'll have to be for more than 3 days next time, though. Given the weather and my overall time constraints, I'm not really sure what else I could have done, but I'm overall fairly satisfied with how it worked out, so that's good. Thanks to Garet for the tips!
  23. Makes sense. Here's another topic for you: I've done a lot of road trips across the US but am still relatively new to international travel. In the US, I almost never have any kind of base-camp and will chain parks together into a long trip, usually staying in different hotels in different areas each night and just leaving my luggage in the trunk of the rental car while I'm at the parks. On international trips, this seems to not really be a workable strategy. For my upcoming Korea trip, I've just got a hotel in Seoul and am taking public transportation everywhere. I've noticed in TPR trip reports that in places where a single hub doesn't make sense (like Japan), you'll hub in an area, then take a train to the next area and set up a hub there, etc. My question is this: how do you handle dealing with all your stuff when changing hubs without losing a whole day to just travel? Do you check out of your hotel in the morning but leave all the bags at the hotel, go do park things, then come back & grab your stuff & get on a train to the next city? Or do you check out, head to the next city, drop your stuff at the new hotel there, and then go do things? Or are there other solutions? I can't imagine you'd be able to take luggage to any theme park and leave it anywhere. I did consider storage lockers at rail stations, but I can't imagine that could ever work for a group. How do you do it?
  24. In looking up info on several international parks, I ended up getting sucked down the rabbit hole of TPR TR's, and I noticed that in a lot of photos, a lot of TPR peeps are carrying bags/backpacks in the parks. As someone who normally just goes to parks with a wallet, phone, external USB battery pack, and maybe a bottle of water (if the park allows it) stuffed in my pockets (and prefers to avoid dealing with lockers whenever possible), I've never really felt the need to take a bag or more stuff with me. But seeing everyone else with bags makes me feel like I'm missing something about how to do international parks the right way. What am I missing? What all do you feel like the essentials are to carry with you when doing international trips? And how much do you find having a bag impacts your experience of the parks? (I recognize that you in particular are likely usually carrying around camera equipment and things to film the rides and whatnot where a bag makes a lot of sense, but surely that isn't the same with everybody?)
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