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Everything posted by coasterBro

  1. Thought I'd re-up this just in case anyone had some thoughts to share.
  2. This coming June/July, I am planning a 2.5 week long Germany megatrip. I have PTO and spare coastering funds to burn thanks to not doing a whole lot the last couple years due to Covid, and I'm excited to go experience all that I can (coasters and otherwise) over in Germany. When trying to figure out where I wanted to go this year, I considered a lot of different options, but there was one thing that kept jumping out as the #1 park I'd want to visit if I could go anywhere: Phantasialand. And Europa Park was up there pretty high as well given its reputation. So I started looking at options for how to do those parks. And I really wanted to swing by Holiday Park for Expedition GeForce since it was basically on the way between them. But the more I looked at things, the harder it seemed it was going to be to get around via train/bus/taxi, and I was going to have to very nearly burn an entire day each time I went from one park to another due to transit schedules and things. Plus, I would have had to deal with all the complexities of what to do about my luggage each step of the way. So I very quickly pivoted to needing to rent a car (and yes, I'm renting an automatic). At that point, I started expanding the parks I was considering and started thinking about beginning in Frankfurt, doing the aforementioned three parks (can't remember if I'd added Tripsdrill in at that point or not), and then continuing northward to get Movie Park Germany, Heide Park, and most notably Hansa Park for Karnan, with the plan to then try to fly home from Hamburg. But between needing to do a 1-way car rental and the mess that made of my flights, I started looking at just making a full loop of it and returning back to Frankfurt. This gives me a justifiable excuse to swing through 5 smaller parks that I'd probably never have found a reason to visit otherwise, and it lets me do some cool, non-coaster tourism things to further explore Germany and enjoy my time there. So here's my current plan: Arrive in Frankfurt at 9am Saturday June 18th. Clear customs, get my rental car, and drive to Holiday Park (arriving likely sometime around noonish or shortly thereafter). Then drive down to Rust. Spend Sunday, Monday, and the first half of Tuesday at Europa Park, before driving into the Black Forest for an afternoon of zipline tours. Do Tripsdrill Wednesday June 22, and then drive to Bruhl. Spend Thurs/Fri at Phantasialand (staying in Hotel Charles Lindbergh). Saturday June 25 is a chill/rest day with some light touring of Cologne, but on my way north, I'm going to detour to see the famous "Tiger & Turtle - Magic Mountain" coaster-esque stairs sculpture thing. Then Movie Park Germany on Sunday June 26. Heide Park on Monday June 27. And Hansa Park on Tuesday June 28, before driving to Berlin. Then I'll spend Wednesday June 29 as a fairly chill Berlin tourist day. I'm getting really crazy on Thursday June 30, however, at the Harzdrenalin Outdoor Events facility (pendulum jump, zipline, wall running, and they're about to open a human catapult thing too). Do Freizeitpark Plohn on Fri July 1. Then a quick credit run through Belantis on Saturday July 2, so I can go check out the Devil's Bridge and the Bastion Bridge (+ Castle). [I would have liked to do Belantis on 7/1 to avoid the backtracking, but they're inexplicably closed that day, and I couldn't really shuffle anything else around without making a bigger mess.] Sunday July 3 is going to be a more down day as I'm touring Dachau. I may have time to go into Munich, but I may just take it easy that afternoon as I'm sure I'll be pretty bushed by that point. Skyline Park will be Monday July 4, and I'm hoping to wrap things up there early enough to make it to Legoland in time to spend an hour or so checking out Miniland before the park closes (not worrying about trying to knock out any rides). I'll do all the rides and things at Legoland first thing Tuesday July 5, and then head out to do a quick run through the highlights at Schwaben Park on my way back up to Frankfurt. Then fly home from Frankfurt Wednesday July 6. I think I have a pretty solid plan put together, but I'm sure there are some things that could be better. I've got a couple of emergency backup options if something happens and I can't ride certain bucket list coasters, but I only have so much wiggle room with contingency plans. What I don't really have is wiggle room to try to squeeze in other random stuff off the beaten path. The short park days pretty much mean that I'll be in the parks from 9/10am until 5/6pm each day, and then I'll be driving to my next destination in the evening, after everything will have already closed. And the couple of times I'm doing multiple things in a day, I'm having to be very intentional about cutting the early park short to give myself enough time to drive to the next thing and enjoy it before that thing closes. The good news is that over the last few years, I've gotten used to stringing together multiple 12-16 hour days at Disney, with miles and miles and miles of walking every day, so I'm hoping 8-9 hour park days (or less) won't kick my butt quite as hard. I'm also not planning on pushing myself as hard as I have in the past when visiting new parks, choosing instead to try to be a bit more chill and relaxed so I can really absorb the atmosphere and enjoy the nuances of the parks I'm in. And having some rest time built into the schedule will help, but I won't know if it's enough till I'm in the thick of it. (I think the first week has a good chance of kicking my butt if I push myself too hard, but I do have the option to sleep in and skip the extra half day at Europa Park, and I can also sleep in and start my Cologne touring a bit later if need be as well. I'm also not sure about all the driving I've got scheduled on my Belantis + Bridges day, but worst-case, I can just cut the bridges and drive straight to my hotel after Belantis.) So now what? I've thrown some questions out in the various dedicated park threads asking for tips/advice on things like which rides to rope drop vs save till later in the day, where to eat, loose article/locker rules, what hidden gems I should make a point to check out, line-skip/single-rider options, how wet the water rides get you, etc. (And thank you to everyone who has responded with advice & suggestions in those threads.) But not all the parks have dedicated park threads, so I'm including my questions for each of those additional parks below, as well as links to my other posts should you want to add any thoughts on them: Holiday Park Questions Europa Park Questions Tripsdrill Questions Phantasialand Questions Movie Park Germany Questions Heide Park Questions Hansa Park Questions Freizeitpark Plohn: I imagine I'd want to head to Dynamite first, and then head to the back of the park for El Toro. Outside of that, is there anything else I should prioritize, or will I be alright just wandering around the park and riding whatever I pass that looks halfway interesting? I'll be there on Fri July 1. (I'm hoping for this to be a fairly chill day.) Belantis (including this with my overall trip post as I don't expect the park thread to see much engagement given its post history): I'm probably just going to treat this park as a credit run and then go spend the rest of my day sightseeing, as people don't seem to think this is a very good park, and the coasters don't seem to be anything special. I'm not sure if I want to take my chances with the funky water ride or not. Seems really unique. But also seems kind of janky. Is there anything else here that's actually worth doing?? I'm guessing I shouldn't need to spend more than like 2 hours here, even on a Saturday. And then I can go galavant about the countryside the rest of the day doing some non-park sightseeing. Skyline Park: My initial thoughts were that the coaster I should head to first would be the Spike Coaster because of capacity concerns, but looking at the park map, that thing is so far in the back of the park that I can't imagine any significant number of guests would make it all the way back there within the first hour or so. In fact, I wouldn't be shocked if the park used staggered ride openings, even though I can't find any such information on their website. So maybe I should just start with stuff closer to the front, make my way to the back of the park, and then work my way back to the front? Anything in particular I need to prioritize, or fun/weird/funky/interesting attractions I should make sure to visit while I'm there? I figure I should easily be done with the park by mid-afternoon, even if I just wander around aimlessly, which should give me enough time to make it to Legoland in time to check out Miniland before that park closes. Legoland: Having knocked out Miniland the night before, I should be able to spend the morning focusing on rides. Obviously, much of the offerings here are extremely similar to the other Legoland parks, so it's less about exploring something cool and unique (that's the aforementioned Miniland component) and more about just riding the highlights for a few hours. Debating whether I should just take the whole park clockwise and not worry about prioritizing the Dragons, or if I should do the wild mouse and the Ninjago ride before heading to the back of the park for the Dragons, and only after that doing any of the other stuff. But it's also not something I'm really going to stress about one way or the other. I may just play it by ear based on how the crowd levels feel (which I expect to be low as it'll be a Tuesday). I'm also expecting to only need to stay for a few hours thanks to having the Miniland part of the park already knocked out from the night before. This will give me enough time to hop up to Schwaben Park for a couple of hours. Schwaben Park: This park is challenging because they stop admission 90 mins before the park's posted closing time, but they say they can also close queues early. AND if it's slow, they say they bounce operators between rides, so there's no guarantee when any particular rides may or may not actually be operating. I'm largely just stuffing this park in to get that silly chicken roller ball thing since it's somewhat on the way from Legoland back to Frankfurt, but I'm also interested in the Wiegand suspended coaster as I've not done one of those before. Anything else that I can fit in, time-permitting, is just gravy. This is the last park of the trip, so I'm expecting to be pretty worn-out by this point. And I'm not going to stress too much about this park because at the end of the day, it's more of a silly little coda on the end of the trip rather than one of the main places I was wanting to visit. Please let me know your thoughts, suggestions, tips, tricks, recommendations, advice, or other general commentary as I prepare to embark on this grand adventure. Thanks!
  3. Karnan is one of my bucket list coasters, so of course that's where I should go first thing, right? Or does it make more sense to go get a ride on Flucht von Novgorod first before heading back to Karnan? I'll be there on a Tuesday, so I'm hoping it won't be too busy. What are the other cool and interesting rides/attractions I should keep an eye out for and make sure to do? It's hard to tell what most of their offerings are just by looking at the park map and pictures on their attractions page, and I'm trying to avoid spoiling too much by seeking out a bunch of POV's and things. Any notable food options in the park that you'd consider a must-try?
  4. Is Colossus the thing to rope drop now? Because I'm staying at the on-site hotel, so it'd make way more sense for me to start with Krake and Flug der Damonen. But I'm not sure. I'll be there on a Monday, and it doesn't look like they're even offering Express Butler for sale that day, which I'm hoping means they're expecting minimal crowds, which would hopefully mean minimal waits on everything. But maybe y'all know more and can correct my misconceptions. I'm expecting that the aforementioned B&M's, Colossus, and Desert Race will be my favorite 4 rides in the park in some order. I doubt I'll want to do more than 1 lap on any of the other coasters, but I have heard the bobsled is actually pretty good, so who knows. Ghostbusters 5D and the drop tower and maybe the water rides (if I'm in the mood to get wet that day) are on my list to do. Beyond that, just flats and mild stuff like the monorail, train, and gentle boat rides. Anything notable I'm missing that I should prioritize? Their website says "attractions close at least 1 hour earlier" than the posted operating hours. How much more than an hour earlier? And why? Is this like where they cut off the line so everyone can go home at park close time? Or do they start shutting things down mid-afternoon if the park is slow that day? Any other tips/advice I should keep in mind? I've heard that this isn't the best park in Germany, and that's fine. But I do want to try to make the most out of the day I'll have there.
  5. I don't mind terribly if it ends up being a shorter park day. With as many things as I've got jammed into this trip (and the 3.5 hour drive to Heide Park after I leave), I'll probably be glad to not need the whole day to experience the park. I did check out that other park, but it looks like most of their attractions are child-sized, so I'm not really sure what all I'd be able to do there.
  6. For a summer Sunday visit (6/26), what's the recommended way to start my day: should I head left and start with Star Trek? Or go right and head straight to the Studio Tour? I'm guessing that whichever one I don't do first will be one of my longer lines later in the day, and neither is available on the Gold Speedy Pass (the Platinum doesn't look like it's being offered). Or do crowds at Movie Park Germany do weird things? This park seems to be a mix of incredibly-themed unique attractions and a bunch of off-the-shelf rides you can find at a dozen other parks. I'm obviously going to try to ride all the coasters. And despite how much I hate doing water rides in street clothes, it looks like their water rides are among those highly-themed must-do attractions. What else should I put on my short-list of priorities? Any other tips/tricks for getting the most out of a visit to this park?
  7. I'm guessing the strategy here for the coasters is to rope-drop the STC, then get the family boomerang, then head to the back of the park for Karacho and Mammut and the Bobsled? But this park is obviously much much more than just coasters. And I really want to experience it all. So what are the other highlights and/or hidden gems? I know the bathtub log flume thing is a must-do. And it looks like there are just a bunch of weird and quirky themed flat rides and other funky stuff to just look at. But it's hard to really get a sense of things from the website & park map, and I'm trying to not overly spoil things by watching too many POV's. So which other things should I make a point to seek out and do? And then there's the whole adjacent Wildlife Park (not sure if I'll have time to check that out or not though). Fortunately, I'm going to be there on a weekday, so I'd hope crowds will be light enough that I can do quite a lot.
  8. With Expedition GeForce only running 1 train, how bad would you expect the waits to be on a Saturday in June (likely arriving sometime shortly after noon)? I know they have the Express Pass as an option (and I'm guessing I'll probably need it on a summer Saturday with 1-train ops), but where does that dump you and how long of a wait would you expect it to be from that point? My #1 priority for visiting Holiday Park is to get Expedition GeForce. But Wickie Splash looks pretty awesome. Time permitting, I'd like to do the Sky Rocket II, the Disk'o Coaster, and the Drop Tower. And maybe the indoor family coaster, too. (Dino Splash also looks cool and fairly chill compared to most similar rides, but I always worry about getting drenched to the bone on those things and being miserable the rest of the day.) But my #1 priority is several rides on Expedition GeForce. (If I absolutely had to, I could probably swing by for an additional 2-3 hours the following Wednesday if I cut my day a little short at Tripsdrill and made the detour back to Holiday Park on my way up to Phantasialand. But I'd probably only do this if Expedition GeForce were closed or had other major issues on that initial Saturday.)
  9. I'm going to be visiting Phantasialand this June 23-24 (Thurs/Fri). I'm staying at Hotel Charles Lindbergh, so I'll get a F.L.Y. line skip each day, and I have to assume that I'll also be able to be among the first to ride courtesy of the hotel entrance. (Officially the park opens at 9am, but the attractions don't open till 10. I've seen some anecdotal reports that the attractions do start running before then, but I'd love to better understand how that works in practice.) Beyond that, I'm not afraid to spend the money on the Quick Pass if necessary for the other rides, but if there are any tips/recommendations for the most efficient way to tour the park, I'd love to hear them. (My understanding on the Quick Passes is just that you have to pay €10 for 2 skips selected from Talocan, Maus au Chocolat, Chiapas, Winjas, & Colorado Adventure, or €20 for Taron/Black Mamba. Are there any limits to how many you can buy? Or time restrictions where you're buying a scheduled return time? Or anything else I'd need to know about buying/using them?) It doesn't seem like there are too many rides that I'd have a hard time doing everything in two days, but are there any underrated or less-obvious things I need to make sure to make time for, outside of just marveling at the intricately-constructed and themed areas? I know some things aren't super obvious, and the interwoven paths could make it hard to find/get to certain attractions, so any tips on that front would be greatly appreciated. Are any of the shows worth taking the time to do? For food, I'll have breakfast at the hotel, and then I have the 3-course dinner from Restaurant Uhrwerk for Thurs night as part of my hotel package. What should I consider for lunches? And is there anything I should try to do for dinner Fri night at one of the other hotels (or in the nearby area)? I know F.L.Y. has a super strict loose article policy like Universal or SFGAdv, but what about the other rides? Anything to consider on those fronts? Are you able to leave anything on the ride platforms, or do you have to secure everything in a zippered pocket or leave it in a locker somewhere? I'm going to hazard a guess that I wouldn't want to have a bag or anything, but I figure it's always good to ask. Anything else I should know about? This is kind of a bucket list park for me and the main reason I started planning a trip to Germany, so I want to make sure I do it right. I do have Saturday the 25th scheduled as a rest day to do some light touring of Cologne, but I could tap into that if I absolutely had to due to some unforeseen issue with weather or ride breakdowns that prevented me from being able to ride one of the headliners. Thanks in advance!!
  10. I am going to be visiting Europa Park this June 19-21 and staying on-site at Hotel Castillo Alcazar. I'll be there all day Sunday & Monday, and then I have a half-day Tuesday before I head off to go ziplining through the Black Forest. (My hotel package included a Rulantica ticket for that day, but I'm leaning heavily towards just skipping the water park and spending that as bonus time in the dry park.) I know as a resort guest, I get 30 mins early entry to a limited section of the park, and I assume the priorities there are Piraten in Batavia and Blue Fire. Anything else I should make sure to hit during this window that would be a much longer line later if I didn't do it then? And then when they do release us into the rest of the park, where should I head first? I'm going to guess that the crowds from the main entrance will swarm Silver Star & the Voletarium before I'd have a prayer of getting to them, no? Is there an ideal time to try to do them with lower lines if first thing isn't an option? I'm fine waiting if I have to (I will be there for 2.5 days, after all), but I don't want to miss out on short waits elsewhere by making bad decisions at rope drop. I know Wodan is right there next to Blue Fire in the early entry area, and Arthur isn't too far either. Should I just focus on those and the surrounding rides? Or am I better off heading to lower-capacity rides near the front/middle of the park before they get busy? I'm really wide open to suggestions here. If at all possible, I'd like to get the fullest enjoyment of the entire park, not just focusing on the coasters. What are the hidden gems off the beaten path that I should look out for (not even necessarily rides)? On the opposite end of the spectrum, are there any things I should definitely skip (or at least attractions I should bypass unless their wait is below some relatively short threshold)? Any recommendations for food? I'll have breakfast in the hotel and then lunch/snacks in the park, and then will likely do a later dinner at one of the hotel restaurants after the park closes. I don't typically like getting drenched on water rides, but with my hotel room right there, it's probably something I could tolerate. But just to properly prepare myself, are the water rides more of the 'you get wet, but you'll dry off fairly quickly and be fine' type? Or more 'soak-you-to-the-bone where you're miserable till you've gone and changed'? Or worse yet, the 'your feet are sitting in 8" of water after the splashdown' kind? Or do they like have one of each or something? And then finally, I know Europa Park doesn't have a line-skip system. I did find a Virtual Line page on their website that lists Blue Fire, Arthur, Euro-Mir, Eurosat, and Wodan, but I'm not sure if those rides are virtual queue only or if they do standby to a certain point and then flip to a VQ like Uni does sometimes, or if it's something else entirely. I've also seen references to a virtual line for Voletarium, even though it's not listed here. I saw a post earlier in this thread about single-rider lines, but it looks like those were suspended due to Covid. If they do happen to re-open those between now and June (I'm not holding my breath), which rides were those for and how useful would you say they are? I know I won't know for certain until midday if they're sticking with their 6pm closure or extending it later, but do they shut off the ride queues early so all the rides can shut down at closing time? Or do they let you get in line until right before closing and keep running the rides till everyone in line has ridden? I'm guessing the crowds don't quite thin out towards the end of the day as much as they do in American parks since closing time tends to be so early, but are there any recommendations for things I should do towards the end of the night? And if anyone has any other tips/tricks/suggestions, I'd love to hear them. Thanks!!
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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!
  19. 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.
  20. 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
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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)
  24. 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.
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