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Everything posted by swfan1988

  1. Hi Everyone! I said in my SFOT report that before going to my next Six Flags park I went to a park that surprised me. And boy did it! Now, I've heard lots about the SeaWorld parks. I've heard good things, bad things, and mixed things. I've been to BGW so kinda new the drill, but not a true SeaWorld park. One constant was that SeaWorld San Antonio was the worst of the three. With that in mind I say... If this is the WORST SeaWorld...I can NOT WAIT to visit the best! This place was cool, really cool. Quick side note: I'm curious as to the history of the park. Does anyone know why the entrance is the way it is. It looked like the area the is now home to Discovery Cove and Auqatica used to be part of the main park, thus the big glass arches. Is this true, or is that just kinda how it's always been? Anyways, back to my thoughts... Started out strong by heading right after entering and going straight to Texas Stingray. I've ridden what are regarded as GCI's better rides, so I was curious how one of the newer ones went over. And this is a GREAT ride! I would characterize it as the perfect "good wooden coaster" that every park should have. Extremally re-ridable, with an interesting and engaging layout that has a nice balance of laterals and airtime. I wish more parks would have wooden coasters like this. Not trying to be gimmicky, or the craziest wooden coaster around. Just a good old fashioned fun ride, that everyone can enjoy. It doesn't have to try and be the star attraction to be good. It's not my favorite wooden coaster by any means, but it certainly is a great one. Next up was the best Batman clone I road in Texas, the one everyone forgets exists...Great White! Nothing too much to say other than...at least it wasn't rough like the other two... I hit Wave Breaker next, which scores well in the uniqueness category. I like the concept and the unique ride vehicles. Not the most intense ride of course, being geared towards families, but it serves it's purpose well. If this was the proof of concept for the other motor bike coasters that SeaWorld has been installing lately, they should be solid family coaster additions. Mix in the extra theming that DarKoaster and Penguin Trek (that is a jet ski coaster...right? I haven't been following it...) have and I like this type of ride. Good job SeaWorld doing something different with the family coaster concept, and adapting it to your theme of rescue. Steel Eel was next, which I think is the best coaster in the park. I say think because Texas Stingray, while great, just doesn't have the magnitude in my opinion to be the best coaster in the park...but it's just so good. It's a close one. I'll go Steel Eel. Definitely better than Mamba and Titan, even up there with the B&M hypers I've ridden. The plastic seats did hurt a little, and I might have wacked my hand on a tree...but still great. Having knocked out the coasters in short order (No I'm not such a credit whore to ride the Grover coaster, and I didn't want to get wet so I skipped Journey to Atlantis) I decided to check out some of the animal exhibits and shows the park had. And I must say, while some of the exhibits (cough cough Penguins cough cough) were kinda dated, I was overall impressed. They integrated well into the theme park environment, helping to offer a cool mix of thrills and animal engagements. And that I think is what I thought was the great accomplishment of this park, and really nice balance of animals, education, and thrills. The rides were all solid great rides, not stand-outs but solid, mixed with well presented animal exhibits. In my opinion this is the formula that SeaWorld should follow. They shouldn't be all about the biggest, craziest coaster, and they shouldn't be all about education, but a mix of both. They do kinda hit you over the head with the SeaWorld Rescue thing, which while I understand why they do they could be a little more subtle about it... BGW has similar attributes, but it's european theme and heavy hitter coaster line-up lend it to focus more on the thrills rather than the animals. SWSA had a better balance I thought. If this is the worst of the SeaWorld parks, then I'm really excited to visit Orlando and San Diego and see the balance more fleshed out. If I could ask San Antonio for one thing it would be more, more of this awesome balance that makes SeaWorld so unique. One thing they could improve is the Orca Encounter show. Now I get it, maybe it's a lot of work to retrain the Orcas for a new show, maybe this was the super quick fix they needed during the height of the Blackfish controversary, and they just stuck with it. But come one, you can make it less obvious that this is the Shamu show with all the Shamu references stripped out, and some new videos spliced in. This could be such a cool experience with and educational focus, and the tricks demonstrating the abilities of these amazing creatures. As the Orca program at SeaWorld winds down, I hope they come up with a better way to showcase these animals while they've still got them. Speaking of improvements to this park. Catapult Falls was of course not open during my visit, but let me say this is the ride this park needs. Continuing that "solid rides" theme I mentioned earlier, this park needs another water ride for the Texas heat. I'm excited for this ride and what it means for the park going forward. I hope next on the table is some more/refurbed animal exhibits and shows. This park also had some details of it's own such as this sub over by the sea lion/otter area. I like little things like this, does this sub have some historic significance for the park? Also, I really enjoyed Discovery Point. I wasn't able to spend a lot of time there, but the idea of having some exhibits available for the cost of parking, with of course upcharges as well, we interesting. It was pretty well presented I thought as well. And that concludes my time at SeaWorld San Antonio. I REALLY enjoyed this park. I expected Fiesta Texas (oops spoiler alert) to crush this park in every way, but I have to say for me it's very close. It definitely puts San Antonio high on the list of cities I'd like to return too. See you all next time!
  2. Hi Everyone! Would you look at that, I'm playing catch up on trip reports again. I had the privilege of doing both Texas and NorCal this summer, interspaced with a very busy work schedule. I'll start things off with the park that, for better or worse, I spent the least amount of time on Six Flags Over Texas. This was the year that I finally bucked up and bought a Six Flags pass. I knew I wanted to do the Texas parks, and was pretty sure I'd be going to Discovery Kingdom as well so the math seemed to work in my favor. I don't know if I'll continue it for next year, since its value is directly tied to my currently undecided travel plans, but it was nice to have. Anywho, Over Texas was the first Six Flags park I had ever visited...I know great start right... And well...it was fine I guess... I went straight to New Texas Giant, over my better judgement of going to La Vibora, which was my first RMC I-Box. And while I though it was good, it definitely felt like a proof of concept. It was smooth, but not all that adventurous with it's layout. One thing that I thought was really interesting was how the ride was positioned, not in the physical sense but in the marketing sense. I though it was interesting how the ride seemed to be presented as an updated version of the Texas Giant, rather than as a whole new ride. I mean think about it for a second, to my knowledge every RMC I-Box conversion since this one has been marketed and presented as a brand new ride. They may pay homage to the old attraction in the name or elements, but they are seen as a whole new experience separate from the old one. This ride felt like Six Flags wanted to position it as, "the Texas Giant, just good now!", rather than a whole new ride. From the minimally modified layout and theming, to old Texas Giant sign still in the gift shop, it didn't feel like they wanted it to be seen as a new ride, just a refurbed version of an old one. Maybe I'm reading too much into this, what you guys think? While I was in that corner of the park I did Titan. And wow...what a waste of a coaster. I should be able to remember some moment from a hyper coaster, and well I can't. In fact I had to go back and edit this part of the trip report to include the part that I road it... After Titan, we headed towards the other side of the park. Sadly we passed the then closed Pirates of Spelunker Caves...I was really bummed about that. It looks like a really unique attraction, especially for Six Flags. We hit up Knock-off Space Mountain on a Budg...I mean Runaway Mountain. Seriously though, can't you at least put something, ANYTHING, EVEN ONE OF THOOSE AWFUL ADVERTISEMETNS, in there to look at rather than a "meh" Premier coaster in a box. Next we did Justice League, which while impressive for a Six Flags, I'm not all that big a fan of shooting dark rides and I'm not the most familiar with the DC universe so it didn't resonate all that well. I like the vehicles and the animatronics and effects which seemed to largely be in working order. But the heavy reliance on screens and the shooting aspect really detracted for me. I have yet to ride a shooting dark ride that I've ridden and not said that be better without guns. I think it's just a ride genre I struggle with. After Justice League, we noticed some storm clouds in the distance and a check of the forecast confirmed that our day was probably gonna get cut really short. I got in line for Mr. Freeze but with a relatively long line and 5 minute dispatches I was like nah... So I went to Batman instead. And it was fun. Not my favorite invert by any means, but a solid ride. Of the three Batman's I road in Texas this one fell squarely in the middle, not to rough but not so smooth either. Glad I got the cred. Not so glad I got the cred...Judge Roy. Goodness, what a POS. Maybe this layout was fun at one point, but thanks to Six Flags maintenance it looks, sound's, and rides like it's gonna collapse. I'm pretty sure the intensity warning in the station is an excuse... Grabbed a quick snack and my complementary souvenir cup, then headed for Casa Magnetica. This was probably the experience that stood out the most to me. While a little short, I really enjoyed the wacky humor and "crooked house" effects (Who am I kidding, the peacock idol is ALIVE!!!). I'm glad the park brought this experience back and I hope other parks nationwide consider these smaller, more subtle experiences. I was gonna hop on New Texas Giant again, but then it went down for lightning. We thought about waiting or doing the log flume, but with the storm clouds quickly rolling in, I called it quits. And good thing, I got in my rental car and it POURED and I mean POURED. Now I'm from the PNW and whats more the rainy part of the PNW, yet I can only remember a few times it rained like that. Also, I got in the car started driving away and remembered Shockwave exists...RIP cred. As a whole I thought Over Texas was an interesting park. It felt like at one time someone cared and had a grand, well-planned, vision for the park, and somewhere along the way someone else said "to heck with that" let's put random rides and stuff everywhere. I liked the little details that someone clearly thought about when they were built. The remnants of that early vision were very apparent, and it looked like a recent effort has been made into restoring many of the older and broken down parts of the park. To be a good park though I think it still has a long way to go. Maybe Selim's idea of a higher standard for Six Flags will carry through and start here, but somehow I doubt that. And that's my hope for the future of this park. That someone who actually cares will be put in charge, and chart a new course forward. Build upon Casa Magnetica, Pirates of Spelunker Cave, and all the other improvement projects they seemed to be working on. Create a long-term vision that can buoy the park, and then clean the place up. If this park didn't get any new rides for a few years, but just restored an area of the park a year, I would be happy. I'll leave with a picture of what is now the only Intamin bobsled coaster in the US, here to hoping that it and the park can not only hang on, but thrive in the next few years. I mentioned earlier that I had bought a Six Flags pass, and that I did all of the Texas parks. So you probably know what my next Six Flags was...but first a stop at a park that actually surprised me. A park I didn't think would be so cool, but ended up giving me a lot of hope for it's chain and the other parks in it. See you all next time!
  3. Hey Everyone! My home park's discussion thread has been pretty quiet now for awhile...I've been meaning to post updates over the last couple years however my busy schedule has not permitted it. However, while not a whole lot has changed inside the park since Stunt Pilot in 2021 a lot is changing for Boulder Beach in 2024! Today the park announced a whole new area coming next year, Emerald Forest! https://www.facebook.com/silverwoodthemepark/videos/693032702687348/ https://www.silverwoodthemepark.com/rides/emerald-forest.php?fbclid=IwAR34KQY3V1htwDTyoetsN9xptMm7kR1UM00O0nORP-jPufQ6IRLIof3YWRQ They have been working on construction behind the water park since the end of last season, and it's cool to see it finally being confirmed! The $15 million expansion consists of: - Eagle Hunt, the PNW's only water coaster, the first duelling water coaster in the west, and the longest water coaster in the US at 925 feet! (No, I don't consider it a new credit! ) -Salmon Run, a new kids area with 8 different slides -Rapids Grill, a massive new food pavilion for the waterpark, as well as an additional restroom facility - A new series of individual private cabanas, as well as some new larger cabanas for bigger groups. These cabanas will offer similar service to those on Cabana Island by the wave pools. While I am really excited for Eagle Hunt adding some unique modern thrills to Boulder Beach, and I appreciate the expanded food capacity of Rapids Grill I'm most excited for what I think this announcement means for the parks future. This expansion is the biggest single expansion to the park since I started visiting over 10 years ago, and the fact that they are willing and able to commit to such an expansion of this scale financially and ambitiously makes me super thrilled for the future of the park. It says to me that they are committed to growth, and brining new more modern attractions and experiences to the park rather than just relying on the success of the past. I'm really looking forward to 2024 at Silverwood!
  4. I'm excited for this! It seems a little short, but I love the whack layout for a dive coaster! I really enjoyed Dr. Diabolical at Fiesta Texas, so I hope B&M is on a role with small dive coasters. Would love to see more!
  5. Hey Everyone! I picked the absolute worst day ever to visit Knott's. I decided to go on a Thursday in September thinking "It'll be great! They'll be hardly anyone one there! I can ride all the rides with basically no wait!" Well let's start with all the things at Knott's I did NOT ride... - Montezooma's Revenge: In pieces and closed till who knows when. - Xcelerator: In pieces and closed till who knows when. - Ghostrider: Closed for seasonal refurbishment... - Calico Mine Ride: Closed for addition of candy for Scary Farm...used Hangtime's "Ride Closed" sign... - Hangtime: Technical issues all day, lacked a ride closed sign for most of the day so they used a trash can... - Butterfield Stagecoach: The only ride that actually had a line all day... Oh and there was basically nobody there so they had nothing going on for entertainment. It essentially felt like an authentic ghost town! (Wait a minute...wasn't that Walter Knott's goal? uh oh...) Ok, ok so I might be a bit down on this one, but please don't get me wrong. I really wanted to enjoy Knott's and appreciate all the history and cool stuff that is there. But when so many marquee attractions are down for the day (not to mention how Timber Mountain almost missed half a day while I was there...) and has no vide, it's hard to look past it and have fun. I did really enjoy the sky tower (the operator on there was awesome, and you could tell he had a passion for the ride! Love it when that happens!), and the train ride was cool albeit a bit awkward with the entertainment. Plus, Timber Mountain was cool to ride! Definitely a bucket list for theme park history buffs and log flume lovers like me, and I thought Garner Holt's additions were done well for the most park. Not sure about the whole "Haunted Hootenanny" thing, but the rest was good! My remaining ride thoughts were as follows: - Pony Express: Just kinda "meh", too short, not all that exciting, ruins the sightlines in Boot Hill...WHO AM I KIDDING PONY EXPRESS IS THE BEST COASTER EVERY OMG!!! (Somebody here will appreciated that...) - Sierra Sidewinder: Not as spiny or fun as I would like, just kind of an "ok" family coaster. - Coast Rider: Just a POS wild mouse. - Jaguar!: "eh" Nice views of a dismantled Zoom. - Silver Bullet: Considering I forgot to list it with the other inverts I've ridden in the KI trip report...yeah...not that memberable, though definitely a nice people eater for the park. - Berry Tales: Probably the best Triotech thing I've ridden so far, would rather have had way less screens though. Appreciated the nods to the parks history and the original ride though. I also made the necessary trip to Mrs. Knott's, and the trek out to Independence Hall. Mrs. Knott's I though was just ok, it felt like everything was just pulled from a warmer when I was there for lunch. Would like to go again for dinner and see if it's different. I like the setting, and the Boysenberry Punch was great! Independence Hall was a neat slice of Knott's history, and I like it's simplistic albeit effective approach to telling the history of the real independence hall (which I have visited). It was also cool to know that scenes from National Treasure were filmed there, since it's one of my favorite adventure movies. Also loved this sign in Fiesta Village (which was of course an absolute mess when I was there). I hope it survived the remodel, despite it's questionable appropriateness in today's culture... And that's all I got for Knott's really. I actually kinda felt sad for the place. It has so much history and cool stories, but it just seems to not be the best operationally. I don't know if that's a Cedar Fair caused problem or just "the way things are", but I also noticed that some smaller areas just seemed to be lacking in maintenance. I hope CF isn't taking a "well if it's broken we won't fix it, just 'remodel' it later" approach long term as I think that will inevitably destroy the unique charm that the park has (or what it still has...). Personally rather than seeing a giga or hyper come (which would be great), I would prefer a greater focus on operational excellence and a restoration/expansion of the details that made the place special to begin with. Maybe that's just me though. Someday I would like to return Knott's and get all the credits I need, just not sure when that is. Right now I don't feel very motivated to return but we'll see if their future additions change that! And we did! I got all caught up (except for that 2022 update for my homepark...but we won't talk about that...)! I'm kicking off my 2023 travel season next week with Texas so here's to that and a great summer season for everyone! See you all next time!
  6. Hey Everyone! When it came fall time I wanted to go to CGA and the Bay Area. However, when looking at flights with the time off I had from work Orange County was the cheapest option and I was like "Well, I guess were going to Disneyland!". I last visited Disney in 2011, so it had been a while and I had always wanted to go to Knott's, plus I have WDW and Orlando on my radar for next year, so I figured why not! I did two days at Disney with a park hopper, and one day at Knott's (more on that fiasco later though...)! While I'm glad I go the park hopper option, and it was nice to have, I did find that overall Disneyland is the FAR stronger park than California Adventure. You just can't compete with Big Thunder, Pirates, Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, Indy, (formerly) Splash Mountain, Rise of the Resistance...and the list goes on and on. First, though I saw this shirt in the airport on my way and it was awesome... Alright, back to Disney. I eat at the quick service pizza place attached to Naples, and that was great! Pretty good pizza with a pretty good (for Disney) price and portion size. Can't remember the name (and too lazy to look it up), but I'd recommend it. Disneyland was fun. Rerideing so many of the rides that I remember riding as a kid, and seeing the ones I'd seen being built in the meantime was absolutely amazing. None of the coasters are my favorite or Top 10 by any stretch, but the dark ride lineup is so strong! I think I prefer Haunted Mansion to Pirates, though I'd like to ride the non-Nightmare Before Christmas version to know for sure. Quick thoughts on Splash Mountain: It was good but not great. I thought the pacing was too fast, and the story to difficult to follow. Also when I rode I thought the ride was in rough shape by the standards I expect Disney rides to be maintained at. Multiple scenes had all their lights not working or effects turned off. I was kinda disappointed in the end. I understand why it's being replaced, and part of me is happy that it's being put out of it's misery (If that has been the long term state of the attraction). But part of me feels like a better approach would have been to refurb it, make new culturally appropriate shorts featuring the characters rather than shoe-horning Princess and the Frog into the space, which I think deserves it's own brand-new/ground-up attraction. I think my biggest worry with the replacement is if we go from the classic animatronics of Splash Mountain to a screen heavy Bayou Adventure. That to me would be a bigger disappointment than loosing Splash Mountain. Alright, enough of that! I really want to praise the renovated rivers of america. When this was first announced I was worried, fearing that much of the charm and uniqueness of both the river and the railroad would be lost. But boy did the imagineers do good on this one. It doesn't feel out of place, and it's cool the details and interactions they did between the train and the river. The Mark Twain was down while I was there, so I got to ride the Columbia which was really cool! Definitely felt like an older Disneyland but in the best ways possible, if you get the chance I would highly recommend it! As far as coasters go: - Matterhorn: Closed for refurb - Big Thunder: Fun but not as wild as I remember. It felt toned down, which I personally feel is a result of the retracking they did a few years ago but maybe it was not that wild to begin with. - Space Mountain: Aka "Left Turn: The Ride". Not a fan. - Incredicoaster: Now THIS is how you do onboard audio AND tell a story with a coaster. Everyone of those "storytelling coasters" needs to take notes from this guy. Big fan of the upgrade from California Screamin' Speaking of rethemes and new Disney rides... Mission Breakout was great! I don't know squat about the Guardians (or really any Marvel thing really), but I caught on to the story and characters instantly, and I think this story works so well with the simplified version of the Tower that California Adventure and Walt Disney Studios got. Based on what I know about the Florida version I don't think it would work so well there, but here it was awesome! Very happy with this one! Rise of the Resistance was also fun. I was curious more than anything to ride what has been widely held up as one of the best things in the industry at the moment. While I did think it was fun, I felt it faltered in the main area where it is praised. It wasn't ambitious enough. Yes, Disney seems to have gone out of their way to great a unique ride experience, with the multiple pre-shows and ride vehicle uses. Yet, it feels like a more advanced version of a trackless darkride, and it felt like it didn't want to push the envelope tooo far. This was disappointing as while I thought it was creative, it wasn't that imaginative with its theming, story, or ride system. Another problem I had with it, and with Galaxy's Edge as a whole is that it doesn't feature any of the Star Wars characters and locations that people actually WANT. It's not set on Hoth, Tatooine, Yoda's planet, or even features the death star. Han Solo, Leah, and Dark Vader are abscent. Heck, even Luke Skywalker himself is nowhere to be seen! People like to compare it to the Wizarding World, and I say (having never even visited the Wizarding World) that that is probably better simply because it features people and places that fans want to go to or meet! I think that's the big lesson Disney has missed from the Wizarding World, they have to build stuff that takes us to places or let's us meet characters or do things we actually want too! I think that's the biggest problem with Galaxy's Edge, Pandora, Avenger's Campus, etc... One land that avoids this however is right across the esplanade...Cars Land! Not only did they build basically the entire town of Radiator Springs and every location around it, plus let us experience an adventure with every major Cars character (that people care about...), they also included a full model with basically every piece of the dye cast Cars toy line I grew up collecting! Ok, way sidetrack/nerd alert, but still THAT'S SO COOL! My only problem with the land is that Lizzy's Curio Shop was closed and seems to have been for awhile...does anyone know why Disney isn't using this relatively prime retail space? The rest of California Adventure I though was just a weak mix of poorly executed rethemes (Pixar Pier), old lands that should have been updated/replaced a long time ago (Hollywoodland, Golden Valley Winery), cheap new additions (Avenger's Campus), and actually pretty solid little areas that get lost in the mix (Grizzly Peak, Pacific Warf, and Buena Vista Street). And...that basically covers California Adventure, I don't think World of Color was running while I was there so I didn't see it, and the park closed early one night for Oogie Boogie's Wallet and Capacity Bashy Thingy. Overall, it's just ok and if I went back to Disneyland I'd probably skip it and just stick with the main park unless they offered some sort of really nice package deal (which we of course all know they won't...) Overall I enjoyed my trip to Disneyland, look forward to FL potentially next year, and have little desire to return for another decade. It was just so expensive, and doesn't offer anything that would make me want to return super soon. I'm not even that excited for this "Disneyland Forward" thing they are talking about. I will say it was absolutley hilarious seeing all these families rush everywhere with Genie Plus and all these things they planned out too the minute 6 months ago, and here's me (who decided to go like 2 weeks before) being like "I'm gonna go do this now!" with zero stress or cares at all. That's a wrap for Disneyland, let's see if I can get one more done today to get caught up! See you guys next time!
  7. Hey Everyone! I've been meaning to post this report for a while...lol... I visited KI last summer, and went to Knott's and Disney in the fall with every intent of doing full TR's for them. However...due to some work and life stuff...I never got around to it. So, with my impending trip to texas next week I decided I might as well play catchup and try and get these things done before I forget again! It's not gonna be as long as normal but we'll see what I can whip up! Kings Island was...great. I think that's the best summation of this park...great. Not perfect, not good, not "the best", but great. It felt like a park where no matter what you could come and have a guaranteed great time, and that was something I really enjoyed. It might be a little controversial, but Orion just stole the show for me. It was huge, fast, and fun, albeit a bit short but not offensively short. I do feel like some more length (and not a hilariously debatable height status...) would have benefited the ride, but hey it's a B&M Giga/Hyper. I could think of plenty of parks that would beg to have Orion if KI fans really don't want it... Not my favorite coaster but definitely a top 10 Earlier on the trip I was able to ride Prowler at WoF, which instantly took the crown of my favorite wooden coaster. Knowing the relative similarities between Prowler and Mystic Timbers, I was excited to experience a more modern, refined (and arguably better maintained) version of my new favorite. And while Mystic did edge out Prowler as my favorite, it did so barely. It was mostly the theming and reality of being in the legendary shed that did it though I think. I thought Prowler was more aggressive, and had the stronger layout so if KI's wooden coaster crews could just take a field trip to WoF please that be great! The Beast was, well the Beast. It was fun to say I've ridden the world's longest wooden coaster, but I thought it was kinda rough and not all that interesting of a ride. We were in line for a night ride when they announced that the ride would have to close for the 50th Anniversary drone show (Side note: The show was great! More regional parks need something like that!), so we choose to watch the drone show and go back to the hotel after a long day of fun instead. Something for next time I guess! Speaking of things for next time, I missed the Backlot Stunt Coaster, Woodstock Express, and Invertigo credits so as soon as KI replaces Vortex I got a good reason to go back! Banshee and Diamondback are really a nice pair for this park. I wasn't a huge fan of banshee, not liking the vest restraints all that much, and finding the layout after the first drop and loop being a little "meh" but enjoyed it nonetheless. Favorite for invert for sure...though with my invert count (Banshee, Aftershock, and Patriot) that's not saying much... Diamondback was fun though! A nice solid B&M hyper, love the splashdown! We eat at the Coney BBQ which we all agreed was just ok. We had had awesome BBQ in Kansas City a few days earlier though, so that probably didn't help KI's cause. Wrapping things up as far as coasters go: - The Bat: Fun and interesting but short. Loved the not quite removed Top Gun/Flight Deck theming and the view of Son of Beast's station. I wish someone would make a modern version of this swinging suspended coaster model. - Racer: Only road the blue side (I think, can't remember now). Weak first half and just a rough return. I think the red side opened later but I wasn't too inclined to try again... - Adventure Express: Easily my favorite mine train so far! Pretty smooth, funny theming, I hope they don't ruin it too much with the renovations this year. - KI&MV RR: Nice little train ride! Like how it serves as a transport option to the waterpark. Overall, I really enjoyed KI and like I said I do have reasons to go back. That being said, I don't think I'll race back unless I pair it with Cedar Point, or they have something cool for the Vortex plot. Just don't have a burning desire to return...not yet at least! Whew, one down, two to go! See you all next time!
  8. I would curb your excitement a little... I've seen the pictures and it looks like the 208 ReTrak they have been putting on Timber Terror and Tremors. However, each time they have added it they have reprofiled the ride slightly. It doesn't change the layout but it does reduce the "amplitude" (for lack of a better term) of the element. I don't know if that's just a park specific thing that Silverwood is doing or if it's just how the product works.
  9. I haven't been to KD or CW but have been to BGW, and in addition to what @AmyUD06 said I'd add: - I didn't use Quick Queue on my trip, although I went on a Tuesday in August. The longest line I remember waiting in was for Le Scoot. I don't see a downside to waiting to buy Quick Queue, especially if you don't end up needing it. - BGW opens in phases in the morning, so if you want to rope drop it just be aware of that. I thought the order was England before the stated opening time, Scotland, Ireland, and France at the posted opening time, and then the rest of the park 30 minutes after the opening time. I could be wrong though on this though, can someone clarify? - Full day would be great at BGW, adding the half day would also be cool, but would only do it if you want re-rides or want to do everything in the park. - Don't sleep on Le Scoot, the train, skyride, or Escape from Pompeii (you don't get as nearly wet as on other shoot the chutes). All of them are fantastic gems at BGW. - If you like history I would 100% recommend Colonial Williamsburg. It's not all that far away, and it's easily the best "living history" museum that I've been too. You can pay to go inside the buildings or go on a tour, or you can go to the visitor center and walk around the streets for free. You could use your half day here if you wanted.
  10. Well, we all knew this was probably gonna happen and now here we are. While I am disappointed, I'm excited for FITH 2.0. I'm hopeful they reuse or kinda mimic stuff from the original ride and don't just do a screen based "tribute". That would be a huge disappointment. I agree with teacherkim though, they should have announced or at least teased the replacement so we get less of the "They are removing all the charm!" and "Save my childhood!". Knowing theat the ride will continue at least in spirit would go along way I think. I'm also curious to see what they do with FITH's location. I'm not necessarily buying the new train station theory, as I feel like if that what they wanted then getting rid of Flooded Mine would have been the better option. Speaking of Flooded Mine, I hope that when they are done redoing FITH that they either do a real big rufurb for FM or just put that poor ride out of its misery.
  11. Its been closed for how long now? 5 years? It's about time they did something with it... I wouldn't bet on a replacement, BGT seems to have a nasty habit of taking forever to replace closed attractions...
  12. Statement from the park on the train derailment: https://www.silverdollarcity.com/media-update?fbclid=IwAR2B5Jr92KSmtL8Ueh7Zyqp15OfgwnDaE5PHD7aXnTk4L-a9zTMB_zRhzHE Media Update Oct. 27, 2022 As of 12:45pm, October 27, Silver Dollar City confirms the following information regarding the accident that occurred yesterday evening involving the Frisco Silver Dollar City Line Steam Train. Shortly after 6:00 p.m. CT., three of the four train cars on the Frisco Silver Dollar Line Steam Train derailed. There were approximately 160 guests on the train at the time of the accident. The train has a maximum capacity of 250 passengers. Silver Dollar City’s on-park EMS, operations, and safety personnel responded immediately. Train passengers were triaged at the scene and then transported by bus to a parking lot, where they were evaluated by Stone County first responders before either being released, treated on location, or transported to nearby medical facilities. Employees from Silver Dollar City’s CARE Team were deployed to the hospital last night to offer support to guests and family members. It is our understanding that five of the six guests transported to a medical facility have been released, along with the Silver Dollar City employee. It is a blessing that no-life threatening injuries have been reported. At Silver Dollar City, the safety and well-being of our guests and team members are paramount – which is why we have detailed emergency protocols and conduct regular drills in partnership with area emergency personnel. We are grateful for the quick, thoughtful action and teamwork of all involved in the response. At this time, our guest services team is in the process of following up with guests involved to offer additional support. We are also continuing to support the Missouri State Fire Marshall’s office, which is conducting an investigation. Further updates will be provided as they become available.
  13. Big derailment on the Frisco Silver Dollar Line... Don't know anything other than this video (Screamscape shared it via Twitter). Hard to tell but it does look like the cars fully on their side were removed from the wheelsets at some point AFTER the derailment, I'm guessing either during the evacuation or in order to stabilize them after everyone got out. Hope no one was hurt! Update (10/26/2022 6:14pm PST): Sounds like several people were injured. From the local new station: "KOLR10 anchor Bailey Strohl has been in contact with a passenger on the train Wednesday. This passenger was in the second car from the back of the train. The passenger said right before the train tipped, her husband noticed the wheels on their car were silver instead of black rubber, and then they heard the train dragging. She said their car and the ones in front of them were completely on their sides and passengers had to smash the windows to climb out." More info here: https://www.ozarksfirst.com/local-news/local-news-local-news/heavy-emergency-responder-presence-at-silver-dollar-city/
  14. Hi Everyone! Wow...uhhh...sorry but I got way distracted with some work stuff, and my whole plan of putting out all my trip reports from this year's "Coaster Desert Escape" totally went out the window. So let's just pickup where we left off at...Holiday World! Now, I'll be honest. Holiday World was a park that I had heard a lot of people talk about, but it wasn't high on my list of park to visit. I don't know I just never felt a huge urge to visit it. But when during the trip planning process we decided to go from St. Louis (where we watched a baseball game which was AWESOME!) to Kings Island...I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to visit another park. Especially when that park has Voyage...I mean no matter your opinion of the thing, every coaster enthusiast has to do it at lease once right? So after enjoying the free parking (yay!), and having a rather strange opening experience where they forgot to have someone come and drop the rope at opening time (Is that normal?), we headed to the far back of the park for Thunderbird! Now while enjoyed Thunderbird (best steel coaster in the park you know...) and I thought the launch was fun, I was actually a little underwhelmed. I thought the layout and inversions would do for me, but it just...didn't. I actually prefer Wild Eagle at Dollywood, because outside of the T-Bird's launch (which is better than WE's lift hill in my opinion) Eagle's layout was much more intense and unique than Thunderbird's. So after that interesting start, we headed to the star of the show at Holiday World which is of course... ...Voyage! Now, having heard a LOT of different things about the ride, mostly praise but some criticism, I was curious to see what I thought. And first off I want to say, yes voyage is ROUGH. I don't care if its a "good season" or a "bad season" for the ride, I thought it was rougher than it should have been. Yes, I get it, it's a big old honken ride, in a park with two other wooden coasters. And no, it wasn't grossly rough (like cough cough Timber Wolf cough cough), but definitely unpleasantly rough. I do have a high roughness tolerance, so it didn't bother me too much, but I was disappointed by it. Maybe I was under the false impression that HW was on parr with Knoebels when it came to wooden coaster maintenance, I don't know I guess I expected it to be smoother all around. The roughness also made it definitely a front row ride, as not only could I then enjoy a smoother ride, I could also form an appropriate opinion about it's famous layout. And that is: the first two ills are all right, but not all that great, the spaghetti bowl didn't do anything for me, and only when we get the the last third or so did I really see why people rate this ride so highly. Someone is probably gonna now say "But trim-less night rides at HolliWood Nights!", and to that I say (A) I didn't think the trims dampened it all that much, and (B) having the trims off wouldn't solve any of the problems with the first half of the ride. All in all, I thought the Voyage WAS the best in the park, but definitely not my favorite wooden coaster, with it currently sitting at number 4 just beating out Legend. Speaking of Legend... ...that was our next stop! I had originally thought I would actually like this more than Voyage, which I know is a bit of a a strange notion. But you see, I have always been fascinated with this coasters layout. On multiple occasions I have heard Tremors at my homepark be called "An improved version of Legend", and to that I say NO! Legend does pretty much everything that Tremors does, except the tunnels, better. Better first drop, better laterals, better speed, about the same on airtime and theming. However, I will say that despite all of the things going for it, there are a couple things holding the ride back. First is it's rough, definitely rougher than Voyage. Again, not grossly rough, but rough enough to take away from the ride experience. Secondly, the elements just don't seem to "pop" as much as they should. Hill that you'd think would have lots of airtime, have are mild, and turns you'd think would slam you around fall flat. I know a lot of people want to see Legend RMC'ed, but I personally would really want it to get the "Ghostrider treatment" from GCI. I know GCI has already done some work on the ride, but if they took the whole "let's retrack and reprofile most of the ride to make it more intense and ride smoother, plus through on some sweet Millennium Flyer's" than I think the ride would really benefit, and that's also what I most want looking to the future of Holiday World. After riding one of the world's most pointless log flumes (and I thought my home park's was bad), we rounded out the coaster collection with the original reason people went to Holiday World, Raven. I don't think there's a whole lot that needs to be said about Raven at this point, short but sweet, a little rough, and the fifth drop is great but the rest of the ride is showing it's age. I do really like the queue for the ride in the old house, but other than that I walked away from Raven exactly as I expected too, it was good but also just kinda "there". Aside from the coasters (and Frightful Falls, "can't forget that one..."), didn't ride a whole lot at Holiday World as we had to drive to Cincinnati that night and we didn't want to do it late at night. We did manage to ride Gobbler's Getaway, which I thought was a nice shooting dark ride although a lot of the effects seemed to be broken which was disappointing. We didn't do Splahin' Safari due to lack of time and interest, but from what I could see it definitely looked like one of the best outdoor water parks that I have seen. Definitey on the list for next time I get to Holiday World. Some other thoughts on Holiday World: - While the park was clean (as advertised), it was really only super clean in the parts that most people are, but if you look in some areas...it's not clean. Looking at all those Pepsi cups under Legend's station as an example. - Loved the free soda and thought it was a cool idea. More parks should do that. - The park as a whole was nice looking, but it kinda looked like they scrubbed all the detials off everything. Aside fromt the Christmas entrance area, pretty much all of the other buildings in the park just felt kinda "plain". Not that that's a bad thing I just thought it was an interesting phenomena. To finish out my thoughts on Holiday World I want to do something kinda different. Over the years I have heard a lot of comparisons between my homepark (Silverwood) and Holiday World. You don't hear it a much anymore, especially since Voyage and Aftershock opened, but there are still a lot of similarities and some interesting differences. So since I've been visiting SW for a very long time, let's compare the too! - The first one is pretty easy, and that is Holiday World definitely has the better water park, no contest. There's just no way Boulder Beach can compete with Splashin' Safari's 3 water coasters and all it's tube slides. There's just no way. - I think Silverwood has the more rounded coaster collection (2 woodies and 3 steel, vs. 3 woodies and 1 steel), while Holiday World has stronger rides overall. I like Voyage and Legend better than Timber Terror and Tremors, with Aftershock and Tremors coming ahead of Raven and Thunderbird, and of course Stunt Pilot beats them all in my book. - Both parks have nice landscaping, but Silverwood is for sure the prettier of the the two. SW not only has the cleanliness of Holiday World, but also a huge chunk more of landscaping and detail. Overall, I think I prefer my homepark a bit better (although I'm probably REALLY biased...), but Holiday World is still a good park, and a fun place to visit. I'd be curious to see where the Koch family goes from here, as they seem more willing than most independent park's to swing big when it comes to additions. Thank you to @jarmor and @mikeykaise for the help and advice on visiting, I really appreciated it! Whew! Finally got this one done! Hopefully should be able to get the last one done from this trip, plus the ones from a last minute trip I did in September, and an update from my homepark done real soon! See you then!
  15. Lol! Yeah I went yesterday... definitely rough when all of their headliners were down...
  16. Well...was planning a trip for next week...any ideas anyone? Could I make Knott's a half day and do a full day Magic Mountain instead?
  17. I'll upteenth the folks saying spend as much time as you can, Knoebels is truly one the best out there. Couple other things I'd say: - Be prepared for everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, to be super old school. Even things you'd expect to be more modern... - Define order of attack is Flying Turns, Impulse, and then probably the Hunted Mansion or Black Diamond. Phoenix and Twister have probably the best operations on any wooden coasters anywhere so do NOT be afraid of a line for either one. - You'll have to double check if there still doing it but in years past they have sold discounted ticket books at Weis grocery stores in the area. Definitely would recommend going that route as it will save you a bit. - For food, I'll add the Old Mill Icream Sundaes and the Boom-shak-a-lak burger at the restaurant right next to Phoenix. - Pioneer Train is a neat (and surprisingly long) trip out into the woods that I would recommend. I think Looper requires two people to ride, but the flyers next door are another amazing flat! - There park layout is basically non-existent so just have fun wandering around part of the day and seeing what weird/fun stuff you can find. Have fun! Knoebels is just awesome!
  18. Hi Everyone! After visiting Dollywood last year, Silver Dollar City immediately jumped into the top "A-list park" spot for me. Seeing how nice the general setup at DW was really made me curious for Herschend's other premier park. I had heard great things about it, so I had high hopes and what do I say...this place is AMAZING. As good as everyone says it is, if not better! I'm proud to say (yes, at the very beginning of the trip report....no cliffhangers here) that SDC is my new favorite park. Hands down, no "if"'s, "but"'s, or "when"'s! I really really like this park! My group and I had originally just planned on visiting the park on a Monday, but after discovering we could essentially buy 1 day and get a second for only $10 more and that we had some free time the night before...we decided to come for an evening of fun. And was it worth it! There was basically no line for anything, and even though the park doesn't stay open all that late (I think they closed at like 7:30 or something) we were able to ride all of the coasters (except Fire in the Hole) and get a head start on seeing what SDC was all about. I would highly recommend the strategy of going the night before, especially if they continue running that ticket special. SO, SO WORTH IT!! Speaking of the coasters....we first started out with a bang, and did Powder Keg (which surprisingly never broke down the whole time we were there both days, or at least that I noticed). And, WOW is that launch fun! I haven't had the privilege of riding too many launch coasters, but this one was really good. The launch blew me away with its intensity, and I was surprised with how solid the layout was. Given the rides history I was expecting it to be on the rougher side, but I actually found it to be quite enjoyable. Big thumbs up for Powder Keg! After Powder Keg we hit Wildfire, which I honestly thought was just ok. I'm glad it was smooth, but the layout didn't do a whole lot for me and the inversions and drops didn't provide much in the way of forces (oh no...I must be turning into an enthusiast...I'm complaining about "forces"). I've always wondered why more of these B&M sit down coasters weren't built, and now I think I get it. Why would a park build one of these, when they could get a vastly better ride experience at probably a lower price from another manufacturer, or even from another of B&M's models like the invert? Granted, this was my first B&M sit down looper so maybe Incredible Hulk or Kumba are different, but I also now understand why no one talks about Wildfire, because it's just not that great. Up next was a coaster I was very excited to ride...Outlaw Run! Now, this rides was FUN!! It really reminded me of a wooden version of Stunt Pilot at my homepark. The first drop always blew me away with its angle, and the inversions and airtime hills were just plain fun! I will say...was surprised at the roughness in the back seat which was disappointing. I wouldn't say it was bad rough, but it was enough to bother the other members of my group, so we tended to stick with the front for the most part. This was also my first experiences with RMC's lap bars, and after figuring out how to use my legs to keep from getting stapled on ride, I didn't mind them at all. I did find it kinda weird the whole "push up on the lap bar" thing...did RMC just not have the budget for springs or what... Anyways, Outlaw Run is amazing, right up there with Mystic Timbers and Prowler for my favorite wooden coasters! We also rode Thunderation that evening, which was my first Arrow mine train, and...ooofff that was rough. I'm normally very tolerant of rough rides, but wow...the jackhammering in that helix....yeah just not fun... So unfun in fact, I didn't even bother to take a picture! So let's move on to the only reason anyone doesn't go to Outlaw Run first at SDC... ...Time Traveler! And uuuuhhhh...this thing is straight up weird...very very weird... I think the time travel theme was a good choice since it fits the rides bizarreness and oddity, and I was impressed (along with all of the other themes at SDC) with the execution of it. However, the ride itself...you know I'm not really sure how to describe what I think of Time Traveler. Is it the best coaster in the world? NO (and I don't want to here about Ride to Happiness....) Would I want to see more Mack Extreme Spinners built? Maybe, depending on the layout mostly. I will say, I really REALLY like how TT goes straight out of the station into the first drop and then launches it's way back up the hill. I think that's such a cool and creative concept, and I would like to see more coasters do that kind of out of the box thinking. I did find it very odd that the ride comes to a full stop on the first launch, it made me think that there was supposed to be an enclosed show scene or something there but that it got cut from the budget. If they could make it a rolling launch like the second one, I think it would be much better. Other than that I found the whole experience (in both the front and back) to be just to weird, disorienting, bizarre for my tastes. Not bad by any means, just not a ride experience I would rank super highly. After our ride on Time Traveler it was time to go back to the hotel and get ready for the main event...a full day! Too me, this is when SDC really started to shine. While I was having fun and enjoying the park on Sunday night, Monday is what really put it over the top for me. We kicked off the day with a tour of Marvel Cave! And wow...just wow!! First off, there are no other theme parks in the world (that I know of) that have a complementary tour of a real cave included with your admission. I am really glad that they do that, and that they offer the lantern tour for a small extra fee (which I really want to do next time...). The cave itself was very impressive, and our guide was the perfect mix between good educational information and jungle cruise skipper, which really made it fun. Do NOT miss the cave tour when you go to SDC. After the cave tour we decided to ride the train, which I thoroughly enjoyed! The route was pretty and fun, and the on-ride show was hilarious, making it one of my favorite theme park trains. So much fun! Having finished the train ride and cave tour, we decided to hit some of the smaller attractions at the city (Wait a minute....did I just call it "the city"...I think I'm turning into an enthusiast AND a SDC fan boy....ahhh!). I really enjoyed going through there crooked house in Grandfather's Mansion, and it made me wish that more parks had these style of walkthrough attraction. It did feel a little like something you should be able to find at Knoebels, but that gave it all the more charm for me. Definitely not the easiest attraction to navigate (it is a legit crooked house after all), but still very fun. We also hit Flooded Mine while we were right next to it and...ooofff...this poor ride! I had heard that FITH is on it's last legs, and too that I say no...this thing is! The guns barely worked, most of the set pieces and effects seemed broken and in disrepair, of all the dark rides I've ridden this one was probably in the worst shape. It made me feel sad since it seems like the ride really was something cool and special at one time, but years of bad maintenance and the addition of the shooting aspect have drastically hurt the ride experience. Hopefully the park has a nice refurbishment in the works for this ride, since with a little TLC I think it could be really cool. I was expecting Fire in the Hole to be in bad shape, but sadly Flooded Mine to that cake... Speaking of Fire in the Hole, one of my main reasons for coming to SDC this year was to ride FITH before it allegedly goes under the knife. And unlike Flooded Mine, which made me fear for FITH's state, I was pleasantly surprised at how good of shape this ride was! And I really enjoyed it! Definitely my favorite dark ride/roller coaster hybrid-style attraction, which made me sad that it's probably going away very soon. If it is it's last season thought, you wouldn't know. Aside from what looked like a couple missing figures, everything seemed to be in good working order, and I didn't notice any sound or effects issues. I was looking for the Bald Knobber theme issues, but to be honest I couldn't find anything in the ride that really alluded to the problems associated with them. (Note: I'm NOT saying that the Bald Knobbers were/are/caused a problem(s), I'm just saying that the RIDE itself from what I could tell didn't seem to mention or allude to those specific problems...other than the Bald Knobbers setting the town on fire). I'm honestly not sure why Herschend would want to replace this ride, unless there really is something majorly wrong with the building. I've heard that it's to build a newer, bigger train station, but I'm not sure how that would work/help. If anything it seems to me that removing Flooded Mine and remodeling/expanding the existing train station would be a more effective (and cheaper) option, but I digress. I hope that they take more of a "relocation" and upgrade approach to the new FITH (assuming that's what they are really doing), rather than a screen-based "Fire In the Hole for the 21st Century" deal... Anyways, I'm glad that I got to ride it, and that it was in really good shape from what I could tell. After some more rides on coasters, we decided to get something to eat! We eat at the Rivertown Smokehouse by Mystic River Falls. (Which as a side note, looked really cool, but I didn't want to get really wet so I skipped it. I did ride American Plunge though, and thought that was fun albeit short and lacking in theming) I thought the BBQ was alright, good for a theme park but nothing truly special and kinda on the expensive side. We also of course had to get the famous Cinnamon Bread after (spoiler alert...I think tastes exactly the same as the one at Dollywood, except the Grist Mill is waaaayyy cooler than Clara Belle's), which was of great! It did give me a stomach ache after, but I'm not sure if it's cause I was pretty full already when we got it, or what so that was a little bit of a bummer... After some food and a couple more rides, our time at SDC was over. All in all I have to say that I really enjoyed this park, finding it to be one of the most well rounded, beautiful, and fun parks I've visited. The attention to detail I thought was great (and sometimes downright hilarious), and I appreciated how it seemed like they made an effort to seamlessly blend the newer areas (Mystic River Falls, Fireman's Landing, and Outlaw Run) with the older areas around them. It just made the whole experience feel complete and really enjoyable! Now, having visited both SDC and Dollywood I have too (just like everyone else, make some comparisons. I'll definitely start by saying that I like SDC better as a whole, while I think Dollywood has the better rides for the most part. I like Tennessee Tornado, Wild Eagle, and Mystery Mine better than Wildfire and Thunderation, but I like Outlaw Run, Powder Keg, and Fire In the Hole better than Thunderhead and Blazing Fury (I got aced out of FireChaser Express, Dragon Flyer, and of course Lightning Rod while at Dollywood). I thought Daredevil Falls was better than American Plunge, but the Frisco Silver Dollar Line was better than the Dollywood Express, etc. Time Traveler is kinda in it's own world, and DW really doesn't have a comparison I'd say. I really did enjoy the craftsman, cave tour, and overall beauty of Silver Dollar City over Dollywood though. Where I thought Dollywood had too much contrast between the new areas and the old, SDC blended them seamlessly together. Dollywood does feel a bit more master planned and thought out, while SDC feels more organic (which I guess kinda fits the whole "city" theme) and I prefer the later because of that. All in all, I'll say I like SDC better with it being the better park overall, but in in general Dollywood having the better ride lineup. Thinking about the future of SDC, I know they are already working on that alleged FITH replacement in Fireman's Landing, but I would love to see them do a large Garner Holt/Calico Mine Ride-style refurbishment to Flooded Mine and some of the other older buildings and attractions. I think that would go over really well. For roller coasters...hmmm...I think I'd like to see a B&M invert actually. The park really doesn't have anything like it, and if they could go the route of a more intense layout like Banshee flying through the trees, then I think that would be really cool! That or another dark ride I think would be cool, as this seems like a park that just screams dark rides too me. In closing, I had so much fun at SDC! I don't know when I'll be back, but whenever they get there next coaster or large ride I'd be very inclined to go again! Thanks to @Rai Fox @tinaalsgirl @tndank and @Chiselphane for the tips and advice! I really appreciated it! Oh, and on our way to St. Louis (our next destination on the trip), we drove by Six Flags St. Louis which I have now decided I will visit as soon as they finish restoring their carousel...and RMC Boss... And that wraps up this report on my annual coaster desert escape! I got two reports down, and two too go! So see you then!
  19. Hi Everyone! Worlds of Fun is a park that has always fascinated me. I'm not even sure why, it just has. The park is in the lower tier of the Cedar Fair chain, no major standout rides, and it's just not all that well held as far as parks go. But for some reason, no matter how many jokes that are made about it, I always seem to have had a soft spot for it. I know it's kinda weird (Six Flags Over Georgia is another park I for some reason have a fascination with), but hey when my annual coaster desert escape was going to include a flight to Kansas City...well...I just had to go! So...starting this off...I got there early...like really early...like so early many of the employees were still just getting there early....like I got there at 9:30 and the park wasn't gonna open till 11 early....(Now that's dedication right...) It wasn't entirely my fault I got there early since my flights were early, and I wasn't gonna wait around in the mess that's KC's airport, but still even I think that was a little extreme. So I wound up sitting on a bench outside the bag check area waiting for the entry area to open... Speaking of entry areas, I keep hearing all this talk about how great Cedar Fair is at building new front gates for their parks. I knew WoF (in one of the few things they've got from CF in recent years) had received one a few years ago, and from the pictures it looked promising. However, this quickly should have been an indication of what I was about to get myself into... The entry plaza, while actually quite ascetically pleasing in my opinion, has some...uhhh..."interesting" qualities. First off, it's at the end of a relatively long straight path that kinda goes through an alley way between what looked like the park's offices/backstage area and the former home of Orient Express...now I knew that the entrance USED to be that way....but I didn't realize it still WAS that way... And secondly, its called "International Plaza" or whatever, but it just randomly dumps you straight into Scandinavia?? So your telling me that Cedar Fair "The king of building entrance plazas", if you will, didn't even bother to put a giant sign in the parking lot saying "Park Entrance This Way " more or less actually put the new entrance next too or near the parking lot! I think I'm beginning to understand how CF treats this park... Anyways, after waiting a while and finally getting into the park which actually opened like 30 minutes early for some reason (unlike a certain other park later on the coaster desert escape....) I made my way back to what I had decided would be the first ride of the day...Mamba! Now (you can probably see where this is going...), all the conventional wisdom for WoF says that you should go to Spinning Dragons first cause low capacity, not the best ops, and high popularity make it consistently one of the longer lines in the park. But, since CF doesn't do off season maintenance during the off season here (I know I know..."supply chain issues"), and Mamba was going to be on one train I decided to do that first instead, which turned out to be both good and bad. The good part was I basically had to wait 10 minutes for a front row ride (I had heard that was the best), the bad...well it was my only Mamba ride for the day, as by the time I came back the line (even with the return times thing) was absurdly long. And how was that one ride? It was fine. I think that's the best way to put it, fine. I'm glad I rode in the front as I like feeling the speed, and the jitters in the helix might have been worse in any other seat. The return trip was fun (Trims were off, whoo hoo!), and I could see how having the mid-course on would really kill the ride, but even with them off...it just...wasn't that great. After Mamba I decided to hit Boomerang since it was right there and of course can only run one train. Again I was glad I rode early as it had another long line later in the day, mostly owing to the one train ops and it being a Saturday in July. This was my first regular Vekoma Boomerang (I've ridden Aftershock at my home park several times, but that's a whole 'nother ballgame), and it was alright but so unmemorable I didn't actually take a picture of it... I didn't think it was bad, just not all that special or great. Oh and it also injured my shoulder muscle...great...it really is amazing in here... After Mamba and Boomerang (and at this point your probably wondering when we are gonna get to the good stuff, to which I say it's Worlds of Fun...) I headed over to Timber Wolf. I know GCI has done quite a bit of work on this over the last few years, including removing the helix, so I was curious to see how it went. And well...I think my opinion of Timber Wolf can be properly summed up by this sign at the ride's exit... ...whatever GCI did to this thing didn't work. This is probably the most jittery (I think that the best word to describe it) wooden coaster I've ridden. I'm pretty tolerant of roughness on wooden coasters, but this was just plain unfun. Throw in the rather uneventful layout and all I want to howl is "OUCH!!!! RMC IT PLEASE!!!" I tried in the front and the back...and yeah no difference... "Oh, you mean we're a normal park and run two trains on our wooden coasters on a busy day (Unlike a certain other park I visited on my coaster desert escape)? Even if it's rough and needs a bunch of work? You don't say..." After Timber Wolf I wondered down the path to Patriot, and at this point the reputation of a smooth fun experience on a B&M invert (this was my first) sounded great! After waiting in the longest line I would wait in all day, which thankfully wasn't terrible thanks to the signature high capacity of B&M inverts, I found myself...sitting in the middle (come on now I wasn't gonna keep waiting at this point, there were greater rides to get to...) kinda underwhelmed (this is starting to become a theme with WoF...). It was fun and all, but it just didn't have the "kick" I was hoping for. I was however, grateful that it was smooth and that that I didn't wait any longer than I did for it. At this point my decision to do Mamba first cost me a credit. By the time I got to it, Spinning Dragons had a VERY long line and I just decided it wasn't worth it. I didn't feel I was missing much be skipping it, and I'm not really a credit whore, so it just gives me a reason to come back I guess. Speaking of Spinning Dragons and the Orient section, can we just take a moment to appreciate how pretty several areas of this park actually are! How come nobody talks about how nice the Orient or Africa/Moroccan village sections of Worlds of Fun look? Sure, the Western Town, Scandinavia, and Americana sections need some help, but I really think the foundations of a beautiful park are there! Now like I mentioned there are some areas that need some work...like this area over by Timber Wolf that's just all fenced off and rotting way. Does anyone know what the story with it is? But that aside, with a little work I really do believe this could be a beautiful park. And I think that is the biggest takeaway for me from my visit to Worlds of Fun. This is a park that has SO MUCH potential, just bursting at the seems with it. All Cedar Fair, or someone else, has to do is put a little bit of money into the place and I am thoroughly convinced it will thrive. Yes, it might need some better rides long term, but in the short with just a little bit more effort I think it could easily move into a mid-tier CF park. Alright NOW we are gonna get to the good GREAT stuff! (Ok, that was a cheap pun...) The reason most people (me aside) actually come to Worlds of Fun...Prowler! And this ride really surprised me! Up until this point I had begun to see why people aren't big fans of this park, with a bunch of just ok but really underwhelming rides. But Prowler changed all of that for me. This is probably the first coaster that I would say makes the trip to a park, by itself, worth it. I wouldn't travel halfway across the country for it, but I would go if I was say on my way to SDC or something like that. Anyways, the ride is just great! People talk about Mystic Timbers as being one of the best out and backs, but (SPOILER ALERT for another stop on this coaster desert escape) Prowler is right up there with it. I go back and forth, although I think the theming on Mystic just pushes it over the top for me. That being said Prowler is a master of the terrain, airtime, feeling out of control, and low and behold, being smooth! Yes, Prowler (and Mystic for that matter) is smooth as a B&M invert! I was very, very impressed, definitely the best ride in the park. It also should be noted that it was really the only ride in the park that the GP were cheering on when the ops asked the obligatory "How was your ride?". If that doesn't say anything about both the park and it's rides I don't know what does... Having now hit all the coasters I was gonna hit, I decided to check out the rest of the park and settled on riding the park's train ride. I hadn't heard much about it but was pleasantly surprised by it. I like trains in theme parks, and I really enjoyed this one. It doesn't have a show or anything, and it's not all that long, but it has a nice layout and some fun live narration! So next time your at Wof pay old Eli a visit, the views of Prowler alone are worth it! I also really like how it adds some cool kinetic energy to the park, it just seems to tie the whole park together really nicely. After a few more rides on Prowler, my time at Worlds of Fun came to an end. I had to meet up with the rest of my party so I wound up missing out on the flats (Cyclone Sam's and Zulu had lines, and Falcon's Flight never opened), and Viking Voyager but I guess those along with Spinning Dragons gives me reason to come back. I also can't wait to come back and ride that next generation Skyline Skywarp their adding.... Jokes aside, I would really just like to see CF take an interest in this park and spend some money sprucing it up. It won't take that much, even if for their 50th they skipped the coaster (I know that's a weird thing for an enthusiast to say...) and just spent a bunch of money doing landscaping and remodeling throughout the whole park would really go a long way to making this a really good little park. Personally I would like to see a traditional sit down looping coaster ala Orient Express return to the park, but if the current rumors hold true they'll hopefully get something even cooler! The fact that even their carousel is a hand me down (from Geauga Lake of all places, what will their next addition be Grizzly from CGA...whoops I better not jinx it!) show me how CF treats this park, and I really do think that's a shame. I think if someone, even within Cedar Fair, came along that really cared about the park and spent a little time, money, and care on it, it could be....well....a world of fun! Thanks to @prozach626 and @WOF_Fan for the tips and advice! I really appreciated it! I have 3 more of these trip reports to do from my annual great coaster desert escape, plus hopefully one for my home park, which should get done real soon! See you then!
  20. Uhh...so I take it that's not what's supposed to happen...
  21. Changing the eyes must be what's keeping Cedar Fair from suing them... What does Matugani have to do with snakes anyway?
  22. For SDC I would say a couple things: - If you think you can swing it with the little ones, I would really recommend the cave tour. It leaves from inside the Hospitality House at the top of the hill about every 30-40 minutes or so. The regular tour is included with your admission, and it's first come/first served. You can reserve a spot or upgrade to the lantern tour for a small fee. Definitely a unique and cool experience! - The train ride and show are great! I didn't see any other show while I was there so can't be much help there. - I went on a Sunday evening and a Monday and didn't wait more than 15 minutes for anything (and I think that wait might have been for American Plunge of all rides) You might consider Trailblazer if you want to be safe, but I'm not sure it's a 100% necessary. - Parking is free and if you get in the closer lot it's not a bad walk to the front gate, or a very short tram ride. Otherwise you can pay for the closer parking. Have fun! SDC is amazing!
  23. They were very accommodating when I was there, they did make me wait a little bit off to the side one time so as to avoid having too many people in the station, but other than that they were great about it.
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