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  1. Congrats Skyline! You've now officially managed to rip off Larson, RMC, AND E&F Miler! Wonder if these kids coasters will work better than their current models...but hey, at least it's an interesting concept! I'll take one that's 300' tall, has speeds up to 90 mph, has 10 inversions, and has height requirement of 48". (Wait...did I just describe an RMC T-Rex? What manufacturer are we talking about again?) Let's see...who's up for getting it first, La Ronde, Valleyfair, or Wild Adventures?
  2. Hey Everyone! A few weeks ago I managed to escape the coaster desert to the east coast and visited three parks (In case you couldn't tell that's a big deal for me...)! Unfortunately, I've been kinda busy lately so I'm just getting around to the trip reports so there a little old but still good! The first park we visited (if you haven't already guessed) was Knoebels!! Now, this was my second visit to the park so I knew what to expect but Knoebels seems to be a place that surprises you even when you know what to expect... Last time we came on a weekday, but were forced into a weekend this time around. We got out tickets at a Weis grocery store on the way, which I highly recommend to anyone visiting on a weekend to do. Although (as I feared) the park WAS PACKED, and I mean PACKED with people, this place must have a magic recipe for making people disappear because I don't think I waited more than 15 minutes for anything, and this was with like 10 rides closed! Knoebels operations truly are world class. I was legit worried that the park wouldn't be able to handle the big crowds but handle it they did! Now on to the pictures (and my thoughts...)! First off I'm gonna address the elephant in the room...is Phoenix the best wooden coaster in the world? When I first visited a couple years ago, the answer would have been yes. But since that time I have ridden more rides, and have really refined what (in my mind) should be the best coaster in the world, and...I don't think Phoenix fits that bill at all. Don't get me wrong, Phoenix is still an amazing ride, but I don't think it should be a "Top Wooden Coaster in the World". Heck I'm not even sure it's the best coaster in the park, but more on that later... For me, while Phoenix's accurately legendary almost semi-scary airtime is great, where the ride suffers is in it's layout. Drop, turn, drop, airtime hill, turn, drop, airtime hill, etc. just doesn't interest me. I've found that I really enjoy unique layouts, and while Phoenix is a good wooden coaster, I wouldn't call it the best simply because I find the layout to be a little on the boring and uninspired side. Also, is it just me or does the new station look just scream "OVERRATED!!"? I think I really liked the old unassuming station better, but I digress. All that being said, I do enjoy Phoenix, it is smooth (although admittedly not as smooth as I remember), and it's fun, but not necessarily deserving of the title of the Best Wooden Coaster in the World. Next, up is Impulse! Since both Flying Turns (which I knew about) and Black Diamond (Dang it! I LOVE that ride!! Grrrr!!) were closed, I was left to ride the 3D motion simulator...I mean lone large steel roller coaster at the park. I actually skipped Impulse last time due to my enumeration with Phoenix (which is a theme for a certain other ride at this park...what was it called again....???...can't remember now....), so this was a new experience for me. And...I'm gonna be honest...this poor ride... Not only does it have to compete against 3 incredible/unique wooden coasters, two good dark rides, fun tasty food, and a bunch of classic or rare flats, it also has THE WORST RESTRAINT THAT I'VE EVER EXPERIENCED ON A ROLLER COASTER...so far...(which by my coaster count isn't saying TOO much). I didn't experience the ride with the old trains, but I was very disappointed with the restraint on the new ones. It kinda felt like someone was pushing a cafeteria tray down on my lap the whole ride. Yeah...not good... It didn't even hurt that much it was just very uncomfortable, and made what I would otherwise consider a fun and unique ride, into something that wasn't very fun at all. Other than the bad restraint, I thought the ride was fun. It just seems a little bizarrely out of place at a park full of so many unique rides, to have a modern Eurofighter knock off. I almost wish that Knoebels would replace or supplement it with a relocated Schwarzkopf or something along those lines. I think that would be a far better (and more fun) fit for this park. Last...but certainly not least...was Twister! Like Impulse, I was so entranced by Phoenix that I didn't give it a try the first time I visited Knoebels...and man I am disappointed I did. THIS RIDE IS FUN!!!! I wouldn't call it the best wooden coaster in the world by any means, but after riding it several times this visit I think I might be in the "Twister is better than Phoenix crowd". And I think that's for the exact reason that I don't think that Phoenix is the best wooden coaster in the world, Twister had a VERY unique layout. From that weird split lift hill, to the slightly awkward transitions, to the random (and noticeably cold) tunnel this thing fits the "unique layout" bill almost perfectly. It doesn't have the amount of airtime that I would prefer, which is mainly why I don't think it's a best in the world or a top 10 necessarily, but it hands down is the best coaster in the park for me! Also, a night ride on this thing is where it's at! If I ever came on a weekday that the park was open late one, you'd find me lapping night rides on this thing all night long, it's just an incredible night ride hands down! Flying Turns (and Black Diamond, BOO!!! If you couldn't tell I love that ride!) were both closed on the days we went, but that was it as far as rides that I would have wanted to ride that were closed. And too be honest, I think Flying Turns is gonna be closed for the rest of this season, it just ain't gonna happen at this point I think. Some other tidbits... This was my first time riding the Haunted Mansion...which was good??? (I think) I wouldn't call it my favorite regional park dark ride, in fact I think Black Diamond might actually be better in my opinion. (Which, I can't confirm because it wasn't open! Sorry I'm just bummed that Black Diamond wasn't open.) I realized and enjoy that it's a classic ride, but I don't know, I think it just wasn't quite my style. I was impressed with how well maintained it was, and I enjoyed that they still had many of the classic effects (and a few modern ones) sprinkled in there. Rode the bumper cars, which were fun, but I think I actually prefer the RDC bumper cars more. The Lusse ones are great, but I just find the RDC one's more fun all around. Finished on the Pioneer Train, which I thought was cool. I like trains (it's my other passion besides theme/amusement parks), so the journey through the woods was fun, and I enjoyed the uniqueness. For food: OH MY GOODNESS KNOEBELS FOOD IS SO GOOD!!!! We had the pierogi's from the oasis, which I thought were good...but the winner for me is the Boom-Shak-A-Lak burger from the Phoenix Junction Steakhouse. This thing is soo good! I would highly recommend it to everyone who visits the park! It was so good in fact that I copied Coaster Bill (Thanks for the inspiration!) and made a "Boom-Shak-A-Lak Burger Map" so you don't miss it! Also had a sundae at the Old Mill, and that was AMAZING!!! Although it also destroyed any desire for me to have ice cream for the rest of the trip...(Cinnamon Bread to the Rescue!) Also, fun fact...Dick Knoebels has been at the helm of Knoebels for as long as my home park has been around...which is either amazing or embarrassing depending on who you ask... All in all I think Knoebels is an amazing park, and if you're anywhere near the area you HAVE to go check it out. Definitely an "A list park" for me, and I can't wait to go again. I don't know when I'll be able to escape the coaster desert to that part of the country again, but something tells me that a Knoebels 100th Anniversary Celebration might give me all the reasons I need. Looking to the future for the park, I know that they have the Bayern Curve (Any word on where that project is at?), but I would personally love to see them either relocate Blue Streak from Conneaut Lake (Because let's face it, at this rate that ride is doomed...) or attempt to resurrect like an old school Virginia Reel coaster, like they did with Flying Turns. Now that would be fun! Alright, enough about Knoebels. Thanks for reading, I have two more of these reports in the works that I hope to put out soon! See you then!
  3. Yeah...that's a tough one... Timber Terror Backwards is something to experience, I've done it during the day and I can only imagine it's better at night. I've also heard that Scarywood is a pretty solid haunt event, although it is hard to argue with the reduced ride offerings. I don't think Aftershock has ever opened for Scarywood cause of the weather, but I was surprised that Stunt Pilot won't open either. So unless they are going with a "under promise, over deliver" strategy then I could see how you'd want to skip out. Speaking of Scarywood... The park has confirmed that all 5 mazes from 2019 will return: Blood Bayou, Planet Zombie, Dr. Delirium, Pharaoh's Curse, and Total Darkness. On the website they say that both Pharaoh's Curse and Total Darkness have been "updated" for 2021. It says that PC has moved to "Across from Thunder Canyon", but everything else is in the same spot. So while there's no new mazes this year, it looked like they switched up a few of the scare zones although I'm don't know which ones are new or not. Also there's no log flume this year...so that idea didn't last long for them. I'm mostly just grateful that the park is able to have the event, and I hope that it works out for them!
  4. Pages load no problem for me (much better than before!), but sometimes there is a delay for me between when I click the "Submit Reply" button and when it shows as posted. Yesterday, it didn't actually show the post posted untill I refreshed the page a couple minutes after first submitting the reply. It just said it was "Saving" the whole time. Thank you for working on this Robb! I think we all appreciate it very much! EDIT: It didn't happen to me with this post, it posted quickly and normally. Thank you for your hard work!
  5. Welcome to the forums! Glad that your here! This is a really great place to learn and share your thoughts on parks, and the people on here are amazing so don't hesitate to reach out! I live in a coaster desert...so visiting a park is a big deal for me, and it often takes a bit of planning effort for me to get there, so I approach new parks a little differently. I've researched and made a "bucket list" of sorts of parks I want to visit starting with "A" list parks (Dollywood, Busch Gardens, Silver Dollar City, Cedar Point, etc.), "B" list parks (Kings Dominion, Carowinds, Great Adventure, Kentucky Kingdom, etc.), and so on. I rank them not necessarily on how "good" a park is or what rides it's famous for, it's almost entirely based on how badly I want to visit a park. This way, when an opportunity to "escape the coaster desert" arrives I already kinda know where I want to go. I'll then do a bit of research on the park, including what the major rides are, where the best places to eat are, etc. I really like this forum for that purpose, because if someone posts a trip report you can usually learn a lot from that, or you can just ask and more than likely you'll get a lot of great suggestions. This forum really is a wealth of information, so use it! When I actually get to the park (GET THERE EARLY!!!! That's like the number one rule of avoiding lines at parks for me, get there early and stay late if you can), I almost always hit the low capacity rides first. Find out which rides these are (you can usually tell or if not ask, someone on here will know!) and hit them early. For instance, when I went to Dollywood last week I choose to hit Mystery Mine first (SPOILER ALERT: Lightning Rod was closed) because by I knew it had one of the lower capacities in the park. Or at my home park of Silverwood, I'll book it to the back of the park and hit the wooden coasters first thing because I know I can get 2-3 rides on each before the crowds make it back there, and make long lines with the park's "semi-famous" one train ops. This strategy might not work for every park, depending on how the park is set up, but for me it works. Next, I'll work my way around the park in a systemic way riding rides, with the goal to be avoid walking across the park an unnecessary number of times. I generally don't buy skip the line passes, but they are probably a good idea for big parks on weekends or holidays, or if your in a pinch for time or your not in the mood to wait in line. So if I encounter a line for a ride than I'll either suck it up an wait in it, or come back later if I have time. I do rerides then on rides I like or if there's a short line. My rerides tend to be spontaneous, sometimes I'll do it again right away, sometimes I'll come back later. My biggest piece of advice is this: soak in the park. Many parks, but particularly the higher end ones, have thousands of little details and rides sprinkled throughout the park that take a bit to find sometimes. Take some time as your walking around and enjoy all the sights, sounds, and smells of the park. I've found it greatly adds to the park going experience, and it helps you to really appreciate a great park (and note what you don't like about a not so great park). I would strongly discourage a "get the credits and go" visit to a park, I've found it really short changes you in the long run. Hope this helps, and enjoy going out there and riding stuff!
  6. I can agree with this. This is at least the second time that RMC has shut down both Jersey Devil and Stunt Pilot, both times relating to the wheel assemblies (I think?). People always talk about Intamin rides having issues, but people don't make as much of deal about RMC. It could be that Intamin had been around longer, or that more rides have had issues but that doesn't justify giving RMC a pass either. I think the only true pass might be Lightning Rod, since I think every steel manufacture has (or has had) at least one problem coaster (Drachen Fyre, Windjammer Surf Racers, Son of Beast, Harley Quinn, Galeforce, TMNT Shellraiser, Steel Dragon, take your pick for Intamin..., etc.), except maybe B&M, but even calling Lightning Rod a "problem coaster" might be being too generous. Saw this on Twitter (take it with a grain of salt!)...looks like a wheel did fall off, but haven't seen any other evidence of what happened. I hope no one was injured, as that could cause some serious damage to anyone or anything. Luckily it looks like it happened at the beginning of the ride, since that looks like the concrete footer for the lift motor to me.
  7. Uuuuhhhh...Stunt Pilot is listed as "Temporarily Closed" on the park's website, which is something I've NEVER seen before for any ride at Silverwood. In addition they seem to have removed almost all other references to the ride on their website, including reverting back to the 2019 park map, and replacing the Stunt Pilot video on the main page with the old "Plan your trip to Silverwood" video. It it still referenced on the park's Facebook page though, but outside of that it just vanished. It must be pretty recent that the ride "temporality closed" because I saw someone post somewhere that it was open this last weekend. I saw a rumor on twitter that a wheel fell off, but that's twitter for you (IMO )... Anyone know more?
  8. Yeah, Aftershock will more than likely be closed. I think the temperature and winds above 150' are what do it in, and north Idaho octobers army necessarily known for being sunny and 70 degrees unfortunately... You never know and the park may try, but I don't think I've even ever seen it listed as being a ride during Scarywood. I'm hoping Stunt Pilot isn't as finaky because an RMC raptor in near pitch darkness sounds incredible! Plus TT Backwards is always a good time!
  9. "Should we put the new coaster that were advertising as being a cliffhanger on the side of the quarry wall? Nah, that be two easy, lets put it smack in the middle of the park where it will ruin any sight lines the park still has, and copy an already existing layout with some slightly more than minor changes to call it custom!"... Sounds like Six Flags to me! In all seriousness, this is SO COOL! I'm glad this is going to Fiesta Texas, and it makes me wonder if this is the new budget for Six Flags additions going forward? Unless a B&M Dive Machine now fits in the $10 Million budget...than every Six Flags park better watch out cause "DC Villain: The Ride" is coming soon to a park near you! Hoping the theme shapes up good, I've never been but it seems that Fiesta Texas always does a good job with there themes on most of there rides (at least by Six Flags standards). This really makes me want to take a Texas trip next summer though, will have to start looking at airfares...
  10. Great news everybody! The fire near Silverwood is 90% contained and...it looks like Scraywood is back! The landing page on Scarywood's website has been changed from the "Sorry but no event in 2020" to this... It's hard to discern anything from the image but it's very encouraging that they seem to be planning to host the event. I would expect more details later in August. I'm really curious to see what they are going to do with the Pharaoh's Curse stuff, since its been sitting out on the end of the old runway since the end of last summer. I'm also curious since Stunt Pilot took one of the maze locations (that's why Pharaoh's Curse was moved in the first place), where they will choose to put the maze, weather it's Pharaoh's Curse or it's replacement. 2019 was reportedly Scarywood's best year yet, so here's to hoping that that trend continues in 2021!
  11. EDIT: The park said that the fire is contained and the park will be open! Original Post: PSA for everyone in regards to Silverwood. There is apparently a wildfire burning about 1.5 miles west of the park along Brunner Road (the road at the south end of the park). The park was evacuated yesterday around 5, although they say that they are planning to be open today assuming they are not told to be closed by fire authorities. I would expect that the park will say whether they will be open in the next hour or so. Reportedly, the fire is about 87 acres and 30% contained. So far no injuries, deaths, or damage to homes has been reported. The fire wasn't on InciWeb (the online map of fires in the west) yet, but I'll keep checking to see if it appears. Photos courtesy of the local news: That's a little to close to comfort, if you ask me... Hoping everyone who lives, works, or visits in that area stays safe!
  12. Bad news everyone...I emailed Knoebels about Flying Turns since I'm planning on making a trip out there in a few weeks. I know the ride has been closed due to staffing issues, but I wanted to ask them if it would open at all this season. Sadly, they state that it is "highly unlikely" that is would be open, and that they are "hopeful the situation improves for next season". Which seems to imply that the ride won't open at all this season, unless things drastically change. Just an FYI for anyone else planning a visit.
  13. THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR THE HELP!!! I can't tell you guys how appreciative I am! If anybody every needs help planning a trip to Silverwood (or any other park in the coaster desert for that matter) let me know and I'd be glad to return the favor! I can't begin to exclaim how awesome the help is! I'll post a report on my thoughts after the trip for sure! Definitely the takeaways are: -Go to Lightning Rod first, then mystery mine, then firechaser or dragonflyer, than everything else -Crowds might be mixed. I think well be there either on a Friday or Saturday in August depending on how the rest of the trip goes. -Be wary of crowds and the time the sun sets -Bins for the rides where it matters One more question I have is, do you guys have any advice for Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg/National Park? I know I am staying in the Pigeon Forge area because of Dollywood, but my group and I are also there to check out everything else the Smokey's have to offer. Thanks again for the help! This is one of the many reasons that makes TPR so great!
  14. Hey Everyone! I know I asked some similar questions in the BGW thread yesterday, but we are also going to Dollywood on the same trip and I thought that it was better to keep it organized in the respective threads. It's my first trip to Dollywood (and BGW) so I was wondering if anyone had some advice? I also have a couple more specific questions I'd like to ask: Does Dollywood have bins for all their rides? I thought I heard somewhere that they do but want to double check. I've heard the legends about Cinnamon Bread and Lumberjack's Pizza, but are there any other highlight/good places to eat at the park? What order should we hit stuff? I've heard to start with Mystery Mine, but is that still a good plan or should we start with something else? Does anyone have any advice for Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg/Great Smoky Mountains National Park? It's also my first trip to that area. Finally the "duh" question for Dollywood, has Lightning Rod's reliability improved lately? I stopped following it after it missed half a season for the up-teenth time! Thanks in advance for all the help! I really appreciate it!
  15. Hey Everyone! I have a tidbit to share, and then a couple questions to ask about BGW! First off is I got a survey from the park since I signed up for their E-Newsletter (SPOILER ALERT!! I haven't actually visited the park yet...but thats where my questions come in...). Being the coaster dork that I am I filled out the survey and found a couple of the questions they asked rather interesting... They specifically asked about what would motivate me to visit the park "in the next few months" (their words not mine). The first question was a fill in the box question (which sadly I didn't think to take a picture of), and of course I put "Open Pantheon!!!" (I mean who wouldn't). To my surprise, the next two questions asked what would be the biggest motivator for me to visit BGW, and one of the options was "open a new roller coaster or ride" (sorry for the bad picture quality) Of course I choose "Open a new coaster" (and the free beer one), but it made me think that maybe BGW is scoping out the desires of it's potential visitors to visit with or without Pantheon opening this year. I don't know if anyone else has gotten this similar survey, even for any of the other SEAS parks, but it also seems to fit with what the BGT guy said about Iron Gwazi and how it will open "when it makes financial sense" as whey may be trying to figure out how much "financial sense" (read: interest from potential visitors to visit) there is. We'll have to see, this is just my speculation though. Anyways, this is a good segway into some questions that I have about BGW that I've been meaning to post here for awhile. I am making my first trip to BGW in a few weeks and I was wondering if I could get some first-timer's advice for the park. I have a couple specific questions, but any advice that could be given will be greatly appreciated! Is BGW the park that opens different areas at different times? If so, what is the recommended order of doing things? Are there any hidden gems in the park to check out? Are rides ok with a fanny pack (I know...I'm old school...), or should I plan on packing lightly or buying a locker? Is BGW a two day park, or is one enough? Also, is there anything else in the Colonial Triangle/Richmond/Central Virginia area that is cool or worth checking out, besides the easy answer of Kings Dominion (if their even open...)? Thanks in advance for the help! It is really appreciated!
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