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Everything posted by Legendary

  1. Thanks Greg, Renee, adeuce, and ghost for all your advice. Especially you, Renee!
  2. Hey All, I was wondering if anyone can offer an input on my Disney Trip based on the following information. Some important things you ought to know.. We are staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas for the duration of our trip.. from Thursday afternoon February 4th until Wednesday morning February 10th. We like eating good and have several dining reservations set including an 8:00 California Grille seating on Friday night, an 8:30 Aloha Dinner Show seating on Saturday night, and an Artist Pointe reservation at 7:10 on Sunday night. We will need to return to the room every night to change and get ready for dinner. It's my girlfriend's first time to Orlando.. so I certainly don't want to "rush" through the parks and miss the little things. I would ideally like to hit all 3 of the parks nighttime spectaculars, have nice, sit down lunches some days even though we are on the disney dining plus plan (Le Cellier, PTC, Mama Melroses, Yak n Yeti, Beaches n Cream, etc) Anyway, here's our rough itinerary.. only things set in stone would be those 3 nighttime dinner ressie's.. schedule dependent on weather. Thursday, February 4th: Fly into Orlando at 12:50 & 1:15pm respectively, utilizing Disney's Magic Express, and heading to AKL. Check in, relax, head to Magic Kingdom or Animal Kingdom. (How long is bus service to MK? How much time should we leave to get to our Dinner Reservations in a timely manner?) No evening plans as of yet. Friday February 5th: Epcot (Le Cellier, Tutto Italia -- Opinions?, or Beaches n Cream for lunch via boat service to Yacht n Beach). Dinner at California Grille at 8pm. No evening plans as of yet. Saturday February 6th: Hollywood Studios. Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show at 8:30pm. No evening plans as of yet. Sunday February 7th: Magic Kingdom. Dinner at Artist Pointe at 710pm. No evening plans as of yet. Monday February 8th: Animal Kingdom (or the day with the nicest weather) No lunch or dinner plans. Girlfriend FLIES OUT at 7:30pm. Would like to do something nice. Okay, now for the questions. Based on our tenative schedule and reservations, what night would you book Cirque du Soleil at Downtown Disney? Does anyone know if the $750.00 gift card we are getting upon check-in is valid on gratuity, alcohol, at the restaurants at The Swan and Dolpin Hotel Restaurants (bluezoo, Shula's Steakhouse, IL Mulino?) Where is Fantasia Gardens located? We have a free round of mini-golf to kill with the Magic Your Way package we purchased... Does anyone have any spa recommendations? Animal Kingdom? Contemporary? Grand Floridian? Any other notable on property spas? As far as watercraft, jet ski, parasailing... is that all available at the Contemporary or the Grand? Thanks in advance for all your help. It is greatly appreciated.
  3. Thanks for the reply ginzo. Thing is though, after a LONG day at the park.. I don't know if I could handle a four-course meal. (Alcohol, is, of course.. a course in itself.) So the appetizer, second, snack, and mug are all "meh" to me. I really believe I'll be okay with meal credits because I have the gift card to cover me, plus my girlfriend is only staying four days, while I'll be there the 4th of February until the 10th. So if we have a nice meal at say, California Grill and do the Aloha dinner show, I still have enough dinner "credits" to last me the rest of the week since she is only staying four days.. I was told I can use the remainder when she leaves. That was helpful though, so thank you. Any idea of what restaurants are *excluded* on the plan I chose? Their website is more confusing than it is helpful!
  4. Okay, so I just booked a Walt Disney World vacation with the promo code OWR which includes a $750.00 gift certifcate, but I had some questions that weren't really cleared up in regards to it. What are the restaurant differences between the Plus and Deluxe packages. All I could really see the difference being was 2 snacks as compared to 1, and a "free" refillable (at the Resorts only) mug. Am I missing something between these two packages? # 2010 Magic Your Way Package Plus Dining # 2010 Magic Your Way Package Plus Deluxe Dining For an extra $370.00 or roughly 60.00 a day for two people, it was impossible to justify.. unless I am missing something?
  5. Name: Rob Vaccaro Age: 26 What is your roller coaster count? 573 What is your home park? Six Flags Great Adventure What is the nearest big city? Philadelphia What is your occupation? Purchasing Agent About how many times a year do you visit a park (including your home park)? 25-60 (depends on the year/work/weather/time off accrued/etc) About how many times a year do you travel to a park that is not your home park? 15-40 When you travel do you go primarily to amusement parks or do you also try and hit other sites? I try to hit unique restaurants, clubs/bars, etc. What is the farthest you’ve traveled to go to an amusement park? The United Kingdom Does roller coaster time get in the way of family time? (Do you choose to miss your children’s or family’s sporting events, holidays, birthdays, etc…) No! Do you have any other major hobbies? Photography, Nightclub promotions, Restaurants, Sky diving, extreme sports. Do you get feelings of sadness in the offseason? Do you even have an offseason? Do you travel during the offseason? No. Yes, but I take trips to Florida. Yes, to Florida. Do you consider yourself friends with someone you met who works at an amusement park? (Or reverse it, if you work or worked and an amusement park have you made friends with enthusiasts?) Yes I do. Would it bother you to go to an amusement park by yourself? Not at all. Have you gone to an amusement park by yourself? If so have you ever ran into another enthusiast and tagged along with them? Yes and Yes. Do you find it easy to make friends with other enthusiasts? Not usually. How do you get your coaster news? Coaster websites. How many different forum sites do you regularly post on? 3 If there was a poll that asked a large pool of enthusiasts what their favorite roller coaster is, what do you think would be the top 3 responses be for wood? And for steel? Voyage, El Toro, Boulder Dash. Bizzaro, Goliath @ SFOG or Behemoth @ KI. Same scenario but for amusement parks, what would be the top 3? Kennywood, Knoebels, Cedar Point. Have you ever “stole a kid” to get a credit on a kiddie coaster? Nope. Do you cut other categories out of your budget to make trips to parks? (Entertainment, fast food, holidays, tobacco or alcohol, etc…) Nope, I do what I can. Before you visit a new park do you research the park finding the best way to navigate the park, get the best deals, or what days to go? Yes. Do you feel the roller coaster enthusiast community is a warm and accepting community, or a negative and discouraging community? Both, actually. Do you like to talk about your hobby with people who are not roller coaster enthusiasts? Not really.
  6. Sounds like a GREAT addition.. coming from a former Pittsburgher. Have they decided on a name yet? I assume they'll probably wait until Coasterbash to release the name....
  7. I guess maybe I'd be more jazzed about this if I was even remotely interested in the franchise. This is about as exciting to me as a Dungeons and Dragons tournament or Lord of the Rings movie.. which is to say, not at all. The least I can do now is pray that the dark ride is an E-ticket attraction on the scale of Spiderman or Curse of the Mummy.
  8. Let's keep it real though.. unless this indoor dark ride surpasses Spiderman, JTTCotA, or Indiana Jones... it's gonna be a huge letdown. Two rethemed coasters (not being a Pot-head.. I enjoyed DD better), some (read: lots of) shopping, and...... well, nothing else really is a huge letdown for me. I would have much rather had Universal go ahead with that Helicop- TOURS ride in Jurassic Park I had heard about. I guess the jury will remain out until I get on this Harry Potter ride... but it had better be IN-FUCKING-CREDIBLE. I'm just as much NOT a Harry Potter fan as I am not a Spiderman fan.. but that ride changed my opinion.. at least as far as the ride goes. Let's see if this one does the same. "Rob "they should have let Disney do the Harry Potter thing..." Vaccaro
  9. http://www.thecapitalgrille.com/about/main.asp?s_cid= Choose from critically acclaimed dry aged steaks, hand-carved and grilled to perfection,a variety of seafood flown in fresh from both shores and unique daily culinary offerings crafted with fresh, local, artisanal ingredients. An impressive array of creative side dishes await you, as do desserts that are, quite simply, the stuff of legends (who among us doesn’t scream for house-made ice cream?) Definitely try the Dry Aged Steak Au Poivre with Courvoisier Cream Sauce! It's amazing! "Black peppercorns are crushed then rubbed onto one of our dry aged sirloins. We sear the steak to its juicy best, then serve it with a rich Courvoisier cognac cream and peppercorn sauce." It has got some heat to it too, which I love! On the topic on steakhouses, try STK in New York City -- right above Tenjune nightclub as well. It's amazing! http://www.onelittlewest12.com/stkny/
  10. Chuck- The Capital Grille is far and away the best "traditional" steakhouse I've ever been to.. Fogo de Chao notwithstanding!
  11. WOOPS! yeah, we got to ride it twice during the VIP tour and and a few more times throughout the day.. like I said, 30+ coaster rides throughout the day. That tour comes highly recommended!
  12. Washington, DC and Busch Gardens Williamsburg was a blast! Our trip was wonderful! We stopped in DC that Friday night for dinner at my favorite steakhouse; The Capital Grille, and then went out bar and club hopping for the better part of the night. I LOVED DC! We hit a couple different spots over the course of the night including H20 Restaurant/Lounge which had a STUNNING view of the Jefferson Memorial and boats idling on Washington Channel, it had quite the crowd and they apparently take the “lounge” part of the ‘restaurant/lounge’ very seriously; with a sophisticated drink menu and an expensive seafood menu, as well. We then hit up Fur, which was perched on NW Capitol Avenue near its intersection with New York Avenue, with a lot of post- collegiate 45,000 dollar-aire douchebag types looking to drink away the pressure of their low-paid, I-hate-my-life-and-the- career-path-my-family-chose-for-me law firm jobs. We just missed the $3 wine, beer and martinis until 11pm so we decided to leave (after checking out the four different rooms and DJ's; all full of the people I love to hate) and head to Aqua Restaurant & Bar on 1818 New York Ave. Aqua was an interesting little place. It reminded me lots of my clubbing days in NYC and it was a FAR cry from the other clubs we had just visited. You wouldn’t even notice Aqua driving down New York Avenue, but once you’re inside it’s hard to imagine how. This cavernous space featured a massive sunken dance floor where a diverse (but obviously banged-up crowd dances to a mix of house, techno, and hip-hop, while others chill out in the separate drinking and dining room. Dress to impress was the word of the evening. I felt woefully underdressed in a dress shirt, sportcoat, jeans and dress shoes. Before we got ourselves into trouble, Kyle, Shannon and myself left and decided to check out one more spot, which had the best crowd of any of the clubs we went to and that was Love. Love had 4 floors, 4 decks, VIP rooms, a penthouse suite, and lots more.. not to mention the hottest (read: slutty and of low moral turpitude) females of the evening. Of course, I was in heaven and it certainly didn't hurt that I had been drinking chilled shots of Patron, Vegas Bombs (Crown Royal, Peach Schnapps, and Red Bull.. a drink I invented while bartending in Pittsburgh) and Heinekens since 8pm. From the pictures, I obviously had the best time here but before we knew it, 4am was quickly approaching and we still still had over two and a half hours to go to Williamsburg. After a drunken Waffle House stop and a relatively traffic-free drive (of what I remember from passing in and out of consciousness) we arrived in Williamsburg about ten after 7. No sense in getting a hotel at this point since we had to check in at 7:45 for our VIP Coaster Tour.. so we drove right on up I-64, got off the Busch Gardens Williamsburg exit and parked our car right in front of the still-blocked-off-by-traffic- cones parking lot booths and waited for them to open the gates. First car in the lot... awesome! We bought the VIP on the internet Friday morning before we left, so that "must purchase 24 hours in advance" thing is obviously BS. However, we neglected to purchase actual park tickets.. so I was curious as to how this was going to work itself out. Around 8:10.. our vehicle as well as four others were escorted into the park by a security van and taken to a parking lot just a hop, skip, and jump from the main entrance. After being briefed on the morning's activities, we were escorted into the park (without actual tickets). The tour was amazing and offered two ticket options.. a "spectator" pass for 35.00 or a "participant" pass for 75.00. Me and Shannon opted to be participants, Kyle.. still feeling hungover and lacking sleep from the night's festivities, chose to be a "spectator". We all enjoyed 2-3 rides on each of the big coasters and went behind the scenes and into the maintenance bays of Griffon, Loch Ness Monster, Apollo, and Alpengeist. Going up to the top of Griffon on the maintenance elevator was an amazing experience. We were all told we could pick up a photo cd of our experience after 3pm at Guest Services and if we didn't plan on staying that long, we could have it shipped to us. Kyle got to enjoy all the rides he wanted and our tour guide(s) even offered to let him ride the maintenance elevator to the top of Griffon, though he politely declined. Had I known that,I would have purchased a Spectator Pass as well. At the end of the tour, we were given no-wait passes that were supposed to give us each only two rides on all the major coasters. However, these passes must be new to the operators or I must have been misinformed, because no one collected or marked off those passes and we used them at will ALL DAY LONG -- NO WAIT! It was AWESOME! Anyways, after the tour the three of us tools that neglected to purchase our tickets along with our VIP passes were escorted back out to the ticket booths to buy our tickets. Upon seeing the sea of humanity streaming into the park around noon, I complained to our tour guide about waiting in that line after dropping cash on the tour and he kindly walked us into Guest Services.. no wait, where we were able to buy our tickets, grab a park map and head into the park for the day. Since we hadn't eaten in nearly 8 hours we took the Train to New France(?) and headed for Trappers Smokehouse. Still just as delicious as I had fondly remembered it. After that, we headed for Darkastle, which had a posted 1 1/2 hour line. We headed for the single riders line (which, even if they tell you it's closed.. just leave the queue, head in the exit and they will load you immediately, FYI). Darkastle was BETTER than I remembered it and rivals Spidey at Universal in my opinion. We took MANY, MANY coaster rides that day no wait.. also rode Escape from Pompeii (20 minute wait) which seemed much shorter than I remembered, Le Scott (30 minute wait), Roman Rapids (25 minute wait), The Skyride (30ish minute wait) Corkscrew Hill (don't recall how long we waited.. I loved it though!) and we also took in a few shows.. the Animal tricks show, the Tap Dancing show, and enjoyed some beverages in Ireland. We had more than our fill of the park by 6pm so we left and checked into a VERY nice Clarion Inn (5 minutes from the park) for 69.00+ tax... thanks Priceline.. where we promptly all passed out until 9:30 the next morning, planned on stopping at Water Country or SFA, but we were pretty tuckered out so we just stopped in Inner Harbor and we were home by dusk. Great trip! How were the crowds? Well.. it was a very warm day out and as you see, the water ride waits were minimal. Darkastle had an (apparently) long wait and I do recall waiting a while (although we were cold, wet, and buzzed from the water rides and Grogan's Pub) for Corkscrew Hill.. but that was it. The pathways were packed, the overflow parking was full and it was slow moving all day and the line at Trapper's may have been the longest we waited in all day. Maximum trains were running on everything all day long and we had our choice of seats even with the passes. Only suggestion would be to add Darkastle to the tour. Any other questions.. feel free to ask. Rob "can't believe I just inadvertenly did a TR" Vaccaro PS- I posed some pictures on my Facebook if you're so inclined.. www.facebook.com/howsurass
  13. Top 3 overrated. Kings Island, Magic Mountain, Kings Dominion. All have VERY mediocre (at best) coaster collections (in my opinion, of course) and when it comes to KD and KI, the Cedar Fair-ishness of the parks does not help. Of course, I haven't been back since Diamondback, Firehawk, Terminator, Tatsu, X2 (went on the original.. did not care for it), Dominator (in it's new home) or the Dale Earnhardt ride. I am making my way back to these parks next year.. perhaps the influx of new rides may change my opinion.
  14. Rob's Top Ten Steel Coasters: Rank Name Park Name Type Style 1 Superman - Ride Of Steel Six Flags New England Steel Sit Down 2 Maverick Cedar Point Steel Sit Down 3 Goliath Six Flags Over Georgia Steel Sit Down 4 Nemesis Alton Towers Steel Inverted 5 Phantom's Revenge Kennywood Steel Sit Down 6 Nitro Six Flags Great Adventure Steel Sit Down 7 Montu Busch Gardens Africa Steel Inverted 8 Magnum XL-200 Cedar Point Steel Sit Down 9 Kumba Busch Gardens Africa Steel Sit Down 10 Millennium Force Cedar Point Steel Sit Down Rob's Top Ten Wood Coasters: Rank Name Park Name Type Style 1 Hades Mt. Olympus Theme Park Wood Sit Down 2 El Toro Six Flags Great Adventure Wood Sit Down 3 Ravine Flyer II Waldameer Wood Sit Down 4 Voyage Holiday World Wood Sit Down 5 Boulder Dash Lake Compounce Wood Sit Down 6 Legend Holiday World Wood Sit Down 7 Rampage Alabama Adventure Wood Sit Down 8 Raven Holiday World Wood Sit Down 9 Phoenix Knoebels Wood Sit Down 10 Thunderhead Dollywood Wood Sit Down That is 566 different coasters; 448 steel coasters, 118 wood coasters, at 110 different 'parks'. It's interesting to me to see how people rank the same rides so differently. Just like women (or men..), each to his own I suppose....
  15. Lame, Lame, Lame. I hate Harry Potter and between Dragons entrance, the Enchanted Oak, and this... ughhh. IOA can take that butterbeer and SHOVE IT!
  16. Best of luck to you Rob! Get in touch.. I'll be down there in Febuary.. and I'm looking to move back. North Jersey is too expensive.. I can't wait for a 'possible' job at Xanadu anymore. I know I can find something decent in Orlando...
  17. Soooo.. does anyone have any guesses on a new theme? Maverick? Bullet? Giddy up and look down at fire?
  18. Hey everybody! It’s been a long time since I’ve written a trip report or anything substantial on here but I went to Kennywood on Opening Day and here is my report. Well, first an update on what I’ve been up to. As you all know, my father; my travel partner and best friend, passed away November 5th, 2005. That affected me very profoundly. It compounded substance abuse problems I’ve fought all my adult life, not to mention leaving me with a lot of bills that I never had to pay for. The end of 2005 with the holidays and whatnot, and all of 2006 were very tough times for me. After paying down debts and getting myself clean.. I moved to Pittsburgh at the end of August 2006. I started attending the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute that September and I just graduated April 14th. In between, I worked at The Cheesecake Factory as a designated trainer for that store and the Ross Park Mall store. That spring, I took a job bartending at Calico Jack’s; a new bar on Pittsburgh’s North Shore. That September, for my school’s externship, I took a job as Maitre d’ at the Capital Grille in the new Piatt Place building downtown. After graduation, I started a new job with PNC Bank; working in the USX Tower on the 28th floor in Merchant Services. That, in a nutshell.. is more or less what I’ve been up to since most of you last saw me at CoasterCon in Chicago. I saw some friends at Lake Compounce for Sue and Rich’s wedding; but being back in a park was absolutely devastating for me at that time. I was actually physically ill from it that day, as some can attest to. (Well, that.. and I was detoxing, I suppose). But life is much better now. I’m seeing a psychologist at the University Of Pittsburgh and she’s great.. she’s helping me deal with a lot of my Issues, I have a great salaried job now, and I have a wonderful Apartment that overlooks the city by Mellon Arena. So, with that out of the way.. Kennywood! I arrived at about 11:30.. grabbed my ticket, and headed in.. despite the overcast skies and drizzle. First off was The Jack Rabbit.. running great as usual. In accordance with Kennywood tradition was The Racer.. which was better than I remembered. I checked out the snack stand by the Log Jammer which last year had AWESOME mini burgers and corn dogs.. not this year though. So I headed to the Pagoda for a hot sausage. Then I rode Ghostwood Estate. Wow! The preshow, the thematics, everything was WAY above my expectations! The cars are trackless , there are wires in the floor and there are sensors allow the cars to do a lot of tricks. Metal bar codes are embedded in the concrete floor provide options for the ride operators. They can make the cars stop, spin, turn, or take another route if there's a fork in the road or a dead-end. The cars equip each guest with a laser gun. Hit one of the 200 or so light-up targets and you get a "trick," as well as points. I don’t want to spoil any surprises.. but definitely give it a spin.. or eight as I did! The rest of the day I just spent meandering, taking pictures, appreciating my year’s anniversary of sobriety, and riding old favorites like the Auto Ride, the Turtle, Noah’s Ark, Exterminator, Swing Shot (which is scary as hell.. swinging over the road and all) my four rides on Phantom’s Revenge, and five rides on Pittfall. The weather broke around 1pm or so and stayed nice pretty much the rest of the day. It’s good to be back in the parks, and back on the Web. I found a link to a video for Ghostwood, here is the link. Check it out! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cUBX28txJk I just wanted to say thanks for everything.. it's good to be back. Pictures from the day can be found here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=1011&id=307600064&ref=mf (if I knew how to do a photo tr.. I would!) See yous at the parks!
  19. I was there on opening day and Ghostwood Estate was WAY above my expectations.. not just after Garfield's Nightmare.. but it just BLEW my expectations away! Great sets, no cardboard, an awesome preshow, long ride, and great throughput for a dark ride. Kennywood has a hit on their hands. Rob "it was great to be riding a coaster again" Vaccaro
  20. If anyone from Pittsburgh is going and would have an extra seat in their car, let me know! I'd love to go / split costs/ meet some more TPR'ers etc!
  21. I agree with this sentiment. Robb and Elissa do a great job of filming and editing in the music video style, and even though this site is known for that type of video, I'd love to see people break the mold and try some different stuff. None of these entries are bad, in fact some are quite good, but they are all VERY standard. Originality and creativity WILL get you noticed when Robb , Elissa and whoever else is reviewing submissions. I have to piggyback on these statements and agree. Dave's was a nice start.. with the "commercial breaks" and the PPP and Dollywood / Six Flags over Georgia videos had great park footage / and coaster shots. Not to mention songs that really matched up with the parks / footage / atmosphere. I'd have to say Dave's was the best of the humorous style video - along with footage of a park I haven't been to in 3 years, and the PPP footage REALLY made me miss Knoebels! Good luck to all Rob "I stopped shooting to just be able to enjoy the parks four years ago.. so thanks for all the videos" Vaccaro
  22. http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=6579374&MyToken=c0f3ec51-3eeb-4b2d-972f-0a41aead3115 and i;m on facebook too.. search for "rob vaccaro"
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