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Photo TR: How the old man takes a 3 day weekend credit run.

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I’ve been working every available day since the beginning of the year with NO days off, except for Sundays and holidays. I’ve managed to work enough OT to completely pay for the TPR Spain trip and add-on, the TPR Japan trip and add-on, and get my mortgage AND car payments paid thru October.


I needed to get away for awhile, and I needed to get a few credits if I wanted to make my goal of hitting #800 on the TPR Japan/Korea trip.


Every couple of years Sean Flaharty and myself, do some sort of insane trip. The last 2 trips we’ve done together we managed to do 17 parks/locations in 7 days both times. The first being CA and ID. The second being PA, NY, Canada, OH.


I told Sean that I had (without having to take any days off, to preserve my vacation time) a scheduled 3 day weekend off on June 1-3, and would like to hit Renegade, and Maverick on the same weekend. He said cool, and well one thing led to another and, with meticulous planning, it became a very doable, insane trip, with plenty of flexibility built in. After all, this was more of a credit whore trip than anything else. You’ll need to be flexible to have fun on trips like this or you’ll have a really bad time.


Because I bought my plane tickets a little too early ($325 r/t), we had to improvise.


Forecast for the entire weekend was 50-70% chance of showers and thundershowers all weekend.


So here was the schedule and possible credits to get for me:


June 1


Get to Minneapolis about 11:30am and rent a car.


Go to Arnold’s Park (1 credit, Legend)

Go to Valleyfair! (2 credits, Renegade, Steel Venom)

Go to Comotown (1 credit)

Go to Mall of America (1 credit)


Drive to Wisconsin Dells for the night.


June 2


Go to Timber Falls (0 credit)

Go to Riverview (0 credit)

Go to Mt. Olympus (1 credit)

Go to Knuckleheads (Wis. Dells) (1 credit)

Go to Dinorex #1 (Crystal Lake, IL) (1 credit)

Go to Cherry Valley Golf and Games (Rockford, IL) (1 credit)

Go to Dinorex #2 (Arlington Heights, IL) (1 credit)

Go to Safari Land (Villa Park, IL) (1 credit)

Go to Go Bananas (Hardwood Heights, IL) (1 credit)

Go to Kiddieland (Melrose Park, IL) (1 credit)

End up at Indiana Beach (2 credits) for an hour to close the night.


Spend the night near IB.


June 3


Wake up early and drive to Cedar Point (1 credit) to ride Maverick.


Leave park by 1pm to drive down to Columbus to catch my flight home.


Sean brought his new GPS toy, and about 25 cd’s, 13 of them being from Porcupine Tree (A great new band to me! I never got tired of listening to them either!) and solo projects from band members, among others like Dream Theater, King’s X and Jelly Jam.


Well, let’s see how day 1 transpired:


Hi Tanya!! (End of day 1)


Is that stupid thing stuck again??


Ripsaw was just pumping people thru at an amazing pace!


Took a spin on the Ghost Blaster. Descent Sally dark ride.


Extensive themeing. Logo on the cars.


Lots of cool looking twisty track.


Cool logo.


Oh the memories! (frickin' Knott's)


We had to park somewhere in Indiana to enter the Mall of America.


Cool looking kiddie ride. (NO, I did not even try to ride it!)


.... and pathetic!


Truly. Sad...


First order of duty: the call of nature!


Aha! Victory!


Except it took us to the zoo parking lot, where this huge wolf was wandering around.


See? The GPS really works!


The GPS is so damn cool!


Odd looking apartment (?) building.


Driving thru the Twin Cities.


You know you're a credit whore when you still have your airline ticket in your pocket when you leave your first park of the day. (I did too.)


A Screamin Swing. Oh joy.


BUT WTF is up with all the added supports? Oh yeah. Cedar Fair. Intamin. Never mind.


Steel Venom vertical. With a brake that actually works!!


Steel Venom Spiral


Nothing says clogged arteries like cheese on a stick!


Last train as the rain began. (cleared out the schools though :-) )


Good view of the fly-by.


The onride photo came out OK.


Coming behind the station. Looks good, but the ride had already lost it's good pace by this point.


The trip has officially begun!!




Hi Derek!


We made it!


Sometimes, I feel like I paid for that stupid building!


Sean's cool GPS. aka, BIB. (Bitch In Box)


Our ride for the weekend: a Saturn Vue


Sean brought along his HD camera.


To kill time, I found some books about the old Riverview Park in Chicago. I'm kind of a nerd about some things.


In Chicago. Plenty of planes. None of them ours.


Needed a McAngus before the flight.


My trip actually started at John Wayne airport, taking a red eye. Ending up in Chicago.

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Well, day 1 started off lousy with our plane being 3 hours late out of Baltimore (Thanks Dave), forcing us to give up Arnold’s Park right away. That gave us more time at Valleyfair! Other than that, it was a fun day.


Of course, the rains came in, and in typical Knott’s, er, Cedar Poi…, er, Valleyfair! fashion, all of the rides were closed within minutes. Except for Excaliber, which was kind of odd, so we took a couple of rides on that. The rain only lasted about an hour. We also got in a ride on Wild Thing (aka mild thing, yawn).


Renegade, I’d rank as a solid “B” ride. Cool first drop, speed hill and turn around. Great pacing until the hill just before you go towards, and around/thru the station. Then it just kind of petered out. I think if they lowered that hill going towards the station, the trip around/thru the station would be as incredible as it looks.


Timberland Twister, a good solid ride as well. Load both of us on one side and we spun like crazy! I like this one a little more than the Spinning Dragons at WoF. Probably because of the indoor setting.


Next up: The insane day 2!

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Very cool, Jeff, for a cheap credit whore. Your picture on the Dragon coaster is a classic.


For me, the best thing at Mall of America is the log ride, but I haven't visited there since the 1990s.

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Day 2 started out with rain and according to the weather channel, it wasn’t going to let up anytime soon. But, no worries, we’re in the Dells!! (Well, Riverview was closed because of the rain. No great loss. Been there. Done that.)


We started out first thing at 10am at Timber Falls for a couple rides on Avalaunch!! The track was soaked! AWESOME, AWESOME, AWESOME rides!! Bat outta hell! Glorious laterals and airtime! (I still think it should be called “NASCAR: The Ride” due to all left turns!) The water made the rides the best I’ve ever had on it (about 75 total).


We headed over to Mt. Olympus for rides on everything except Pegasus (boring) and Dive to Atlantis (which I don’t count as a coaster). Again, Hades really packed a good punch again, especially while wet!! Cyclops was just as good, maybe better than ever, due to the rain. Zeus, on the other hand, was terrible, even in the rain! It still jackhammered all along the course, even on a wet track. Burn it. Blow it up. Whatever. They still need to cut the weeds between the tracks! Opa, was in the new “indoor park”. It was good. Descent spinning. The best part was how they wedged the Disk-O over in the corner of the building.


We left and headed for Knucklehead’s Bowling center. Interesting ride package there. The coaster was $3.


Originally, we had planned on hitting Little A-Merrick-A, but Meteor wasn’t completed so that was a pass and we headed for the Chicago area, to hit a few kiddie credits. Then it was off to Indiana Beach for the last hour of the night.


Hope you like the pics.


Please send psychiatric resumes' to TPR for consideration


Almost embarrassing.


Sean's not sure about our new low.


South Ghettoburg.


Random shot of El train. I love Chicago!


Truly. Sad. Why. Oh. Why.


Really pathetic!! Someone needs to get these kids out of here!!


My first Python Pit!!!


I think that this used to be a Jeepers.


A basic John Allen junior woodie.


Not too sad or pathetic.


Notice the kid getting out while the train was moving.


$21.50 to get a stinkin' credit!!!


Next stop: Kiddieland


I am pathetic.


Truly sad.


Follow the neon sign!


This just screams pathetic!


Notice Robb welcoming us in front of the sign?




Another new credit!!


One of them managed to hit the dashboard thru the open window!! (ewww!)


For whatever reason, literally, 100's of birds attacked this pile of dirt in the road.


Games (Hi Casey!)


Where else can you see a coaster from inside the restroom??


Everytime you went around, they blew the annoying horn!


...and Pathetic.




With a mid-course tire drive.


Yes, it's built on stairs.


The real reason we came.


It looked really cool running!


Junior Inverted Whip


Drop Tower


Junior Himalaya


Indoor Tornado.


Yay! New credit!


Panoramic view of Hades.


Returning from hell.


Obligatory shot of first drop on Hades.


How about Zeus?


Too close to Cyclops?


This concrete will be the new "beach" for the wave pool being built. It looked no where near completion.


Notice how they have the Disk-O wedged back in the corner.


Typical spinning mouse cars.


Opa is the centerpiece in the "indoor" park.


First drop into hell!


Behind Zeus' lift hill is the SCAD tower, ejector seat and skycoaster.


Lifthill to heaven.


What are we in for?


Hades was not only wet, but it looks as if there was grease on it as well.


Almost too close in places.


It gives you great close-ups of the coasters.


You enter right between Cyclops and Zeus.


Mt. Olympus had a new entry point. Behind the new gift shop in the center there. When did that happen?


After a few rides, so were we!


Everything was soaked!


Did I mention that it was wet?


The city was busy at 10am!


First stop!

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Well, as you can see, no pics from Indiana Beach. Why is that you ask? Well, as we we’re driving from the Chicago area and only about 20 miles from the park, my cellphone read 8:28pm. We pulled into the park 27 minutes later at 9:55pm!


/begin rant




No, Darron, Mel and Rich. I’m NOT sorry!




Granted, I knew the time line went somewhere thru the middle of the state, but IB is farther west than HW (which is in the CENTRAL time zone). BUT NOOOOOOOOOOOO!! Let’s have a crooked time line just to screw with people.


/end rant.


Our first park in the Chicago area was a Dinorex. As you could see, we were denied. The (as Sean put it) “pervert guard” at the door doesn’t let adults in the building without a child. I mean, in this day and age, I guess that it’s a good idea. I just wish I would have known that sooner. They wouldn’t even let me take pictures. So that cancelled the other Dinorex as well. We called Cherry Valley Golf and their coaster wasn’t operating.


Safari Land and Go Bananas were milf heavens. (Hi Guy!)


Kiddieland was too expensive to even be cool.


Haunted Trails was just pure ghetto.


Bottom Line: Avalanche, Hades and Cyclops all were just as wonderful as they were 2 years ago. Maybe even better because of the rain.




Day over. Spent the night near IB. Had to get up and leave by 3:30am, to make it to Cedar Point by opening at 9.


Day 3 coming tonight.

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Odd that you said Renegade just kind of petered out.. When I rode it the first weekend it opened, it maintained speed throughout the ride and was a blast every time I rode it. (About 10 times) And that passby was pretty quick and fun. I hope they didn't trim that thing! But it wouldn't surprise me. I might head out there tonight and see how it's riding now.


Jerry, (if you're reading this), you rode it the other day, was it running slower?

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....I hope they didn't trim that thing! ...


No, it's not trimmed. Maybe "petered out" was the wrong term. It just didn't progressively maintain the intensity or speed of of the first 2/3 of the ride. It's an ok finish, very visual, but that hill going towards the station just seemed to take the raw energy out of the ending.


Granted, we only got 5 rides, but it was late afternoon, low 80's and a slick track. Didn't change much after the rain.


IMO, it's a good solid ride. Just not top tier in my book.


Your milage may vary.



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DST, where it takes only a hour and half one way and 3 and 1/2 home to get to hw. Warning: Off topic rant: Daniels had this briiliant idea to let everyone decide on a new time zone since we went on dst. I guess he thought allot of people would go eastern, but instead allot switched to central (19 counties out of 92 total with some already on central). Those counties switched because other counties asked to be switched and it is a total nightmare. I just wish Indiana would all go eastern or central at this point.


Back on Topic, nice pictures.

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There is so much I could say to this TR!! Must. Resist.


Well Jeff, looks like you'll have to keep travelling with us more to get those Kiddie Credits.


KT will be rented out to the highest bidder!

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Great PTR! I was considering a SFGAm visit next year and I was looking for coasters to credit ho on. I guess I can scratch Dinorex off the list. I almost thought you two were going to try to borrow a kid to try to get into the building, but that would have been way creepy!

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Great TR ~ DH (who doesn't get the whole credit thing) even said that it looked like a lot of fun! Maybe I can convince him to join me on a credit whoring expedition this summer after all ....


BTW, my 6yr old son thinks you guys are "so cool" LOL & wants to know if you need a kid to come along next time

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Good photos and tr, but like you and everyone else said, it's "sad and pathetic". The new indoor park in the dells looks pretty nice, but $3 for Miner Mike?! Mt. Olympus looks the same, but hopefully service improves. Just a question, but was Hades rough like last year, or was it relatively smooth?

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Just a question, but was Hades rough like last year, or was it relatively smooth?



I can't vouch for last year (though I did hear it had gotten rough, along with Avalanche), but I did spend 2-1/2 days there back in June 2005.


I would definitely say that it ran as good, or even better than when I was there 2 years ago. No bumps, no jarring, just smooth, fast and fun as hell!!


(Whereas, Zeus was great right until the bottom of the first drop. After that, it shuffled and jack hammered thru the remainder of the course. It truly sucked!!)


Take into mind that my rides were taken after a full night of pretty much constant rain. If you noticed in the picture of the drop out of the station, the water was beading up on the track as well, indicating the possible existence of some sort of grease.


It still remains in my top 5, and I have no reason to change that.




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^Elissa, I really wouldn't hold my breath. You know how these things go. Like I said, I feel like we got lucky with all the rain. But, there were signs of grease, so there is hope!!


Who knows, maybe Nick will spruce it up for you guys!!

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Day 3


It started out as planned. Waking up at 3am and hitting the road by 3:30. We pulled into the parking lot behind Gemini right at 8:30am, ½ hour before opening. (With a Maxx pass, or Joe Cool, or hotel guests, etc…) Jim Raimar met us there in the parking lot.


At 9am, the usual running of the bulls began. We walked. We were about 50 people back in line when the people from the Marina gate arrived, and then came the rest from the front of the park. In typical CP fashion, Maverick was closed and they had NO idea of when it would open that day. Great. I figured that we had to leave the park by 1pm at the latest, to get back down to Columbus to catch my flight home.


During that first hour, we only saw TTD test 3 times. Well, about 9:50 they finally started testing Maverick. About 10:05 they opened up the line. We got on in about 10 minutes. We opted for a front seat ride.


Everyone has already seen tons of pictures of Maverick, so I won’t post too many here.


Anyway, on to the pics:


and poured. Ending my trip, and these pics.


Then it poured!


Another view.


Better view of the "Stengel" dive.


Nice looking trains.


It just looks really cool!


Nice station and queue line.


If rumors are true, will TTD be the tallest coaster in the world again in 2008??


Crash, bang boom. Whoops.


SEVERE airtime hill! Small, but packs a big punch.


The "Stengel" dive, or whatever you want to call it. Actually, it's much better (IMO) than Goliath's @ Walabi.


Kinda short though.


Maverick's first drop. Looks pretty cool.


We went to park by Gemini so I got the obligatory shot of MF.


The infamous Cedar Point skyline. Yeah. Whatever.

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