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Photo TR: Tom's North American Adventure!

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Well, I've just spent about 2 hours reading thru this whole trip report and have found it thouroughly enjoyable. Some things stick out in my head.


I never knew that Shivering Timbers had that section of trick track! The ride always looks so impressive in photos. It's too bad Michigan's Adventure is so far away from anything else.


I agree with you about Excalibur at Valleyfair. It's like the touristy restaraunt in a small downtown area: you won't see any locals there. Isn't it sad when you look at rides that are being built today on footprints much smaller than Excalibur's, that are so much more fun and re-rideable? Alas, I will always consider Valleyfair my home park, since I lived in MN until I was 18.


One last question, is your brother Ed?

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Very enjoyable TR!


I'm heading to Minneapolis for a few days next month and I can't wait to ride Renegade for the first time. I have a soft spot for Steel Venom because it was my first LIM coaster and it scared the sh*t outta me!


Timberland Twister is a good family coaster for sure. Every time I ride it I'm surprised by how well it delivers.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Part 7a - A Dell of a Great Time! Mt. Olympus, Riverview and Timber Falls


After the let-down of Valleyfair, I was hoping for much more of a better day at the Dells, and they certainly delivered. I hadn't heard too much about the parks apart from the coasters, so it was all a very nice surprise.


Mt. Olympus was great fun, with lots of coasters and go karts to go and ride. There's also an indoor park, and two waterparks on site if you fancy a change. So you're never short of something to do.


They've got a great selection of wooden coasters, including the newest creation Hades, which features several hundred feet of underground tunnel and the first ever 90 degree banked turn on a woodie, Zeus which features an out-and-back layout with lots of airtime, and Cyclops, a short but sweet wooden coaster with some of the craziest airtime moments in the world.


Riverview Park was what some people would call "Ghetto." It's a bit run down, but there's a few rides and credits to be done. It's mostly a travelling carnvial affair, with lots of transportable stuff plonked on top of ashpalt. There's also a waterpark, but after a quick tour of the amusement park we gave it a miss.


Timber Falls was a very quaint park, with the Avalanche wooden coaster encircling the main bulk of the park. Inside the perimeter you can find crazy golf, a log flume, and there's also bumper boats just by the main entrance.


And I'll just take this opportunity to say how amazing Avalanche was! It quickly became my favourite coaster so far on this trip, and one of the favourite rides ever. It's non stop action from start to finish. Airtime, sideways airtime, your butt is almost never on the seat! Most of the time I had a train to myself, and even without a load of Americans on board, the ride was so fast!


Anyway, I'll stop my talking and let the pictures tell you the rest. Mt. Olympus first...


Mt. Olympus was awesome, so I implore you to go there and get some air!


Anyone for airtime?


And here's a couple of Zeus as well. Just in case it felt left out!


And out the other side you shall come!


Down to hell you shall go...


Hands up all the way!


After the 90 DEGREES moment, it's time to head back to where you came from.


That's where you go!


Well here's a clue.


Ian has no idea where the hell the train has gone!


Another look at that awesome first drop.


Wait, are those guys in the middle wearing anything?!?!?!?


But now it's time for some Hades pictures.


Don't forget the Go-Karts! There's lots of twisty tracks just like this.


And that's me in the boat, drenched. I might as well have just jumped in the water!


That's my boat.


And you're about to find out why.


And how could we forget the pseudo-credit? Ian didn't ride this, he just took pictures.


That's a nice sight. All the big three coasters in view.


Directionally challenged people, here's your guide!


This was Ian's first Reverchon/Zamperla Spinning Mouse of trip. He was already sick of these things, and coming all this way to find one wasn't his cup of tea. Nevertheless, it had to be done once.


Inside of which is a Spinning Wild Mouse.


Why, the Parthenon Indoor Amusement Park of course!


Hmmm, looks kinda like the Parthenon. I wonder what it could be?


Sir, yes sir!


Oops! Don't worry, we did ask first! ;)


The train on one of the hills. By the way, we had to bend the rules to get this photo...


Here's the junior woodie, Pegasus.


I fit! Lets get on with it!


But there's more credits to go yet, here's the kiddy coaster. And props to the park from spelling "Little" correctly as opposed to "Lil".


That is the most crazy drop on any wooden coaster I've been on! Stick it on your list of things to do before you die!


If you've never heard of Cyclops, or seen this sign before, you're about to find out why you have to be 18.


Speaking of which...


Zeus is a short out and back woodie. I rate it behind Hades and Cyclops, but it's still a good ride.


Right now, we've got to offer ourselves up to the almighty ones!


And the train is hurling around already! We'll get some more photos later.


And for our first coaster, where else?


Here we are at Mt. Olympus! And the Gods are smiling.

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^Matt, you'll have an awesome time!


Part 7b - A Dell of a Great Time! Mt. Olympus, Riverview and Timber Falls.


OK, here's a few shots of Riverview Park. We didn't stay very long here, but it's the least nice of the 3 main coaster park in the Dells.


Timber Falls was a good 2 two hours of whoring Avalanche, and doing everything else there.


Here's a few shots...


But not without saying hello to the Crazy Spinning Dragons!


To see why they're so crazy, download Robb's video:




...and the Galaxi. And then it was time to go.


...the Orient Express...


...we hit the Wacky Worm...


Ian got our tickets...


Let's go get some ghetto credits!


That looks promising.


On the way to the park, there's a some crazy stuff. If only the real White House looked like this!


And now for the icing on the cake.


And here's a big patriotic flag for you! Thanks for reading.


One last shot of one of the best woodies on the trip. Go ride it.


And now back to the scary relation of Barry riding Avalanche!


Pick a hole, any hole.


The course was pretty awesome. Even more so with a great coaster wrapping around it.


Action shot of golf ball in flight!


Ian demonstrates the art of putting.


And there's the crazy golf course. Whenever I see this sign, I think of Robb. And Knotts.


They also had some water jets on them so we had a fight with the two other people on the water!


They also had some self-operated Bumper Boats! The guys at the ticket booth just told to help ourselves. Being British I guess they trusted us enough not to sue them or do anything stupid like fall in the water and drown.


I wonder if this guy is any relation to Barry?


There's also a couple of other things at Timber Falls apart from Avalanche, such as the Log Flume.


Here's Ian's signature shot.


And this is what SIDEWAYS AIRTIME on Avalanche looks like!


This is what airtime on the Avalanche looks like!


The coaster only makes left turns. So NASCAR fans will like it a lot.


Up he goes.


Ian got a whole train to himself!


The train may only have 3 cars, but my God it hurls some serious butt around the course!


Shame about that huge line for the back seat though.


Partly thanks to the crazy SIDEWAYS AIRTIME!!!


Avalanche has quicky become one of my favourite coasters.


No questions about the first ride we hit when we got there.

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Nope, it wasn't open that day. Shame really, because we'd bought passes for it as well. We just got our money's worth by whoring Avalanche. Can't stress enough how awesome that ride is!


Well, I've just spent about 2 hours reading thru this whole trip report and have found it thouroughly enjoyable. Some things stick out in my head.


I never knew that Shivering Timbers had that section of trick track! The ride always looks so impressive in photos. It's too bad Michigan's Adventure is so far away from anything else.


I agree with you about Excalibur at Valleyfair. It's like the touristy restaraunt in a small downtown area: you won't see any locals there. Isn't it sad when you look at rides that are being built today on footprints much smaller than Excalibur's, that are so much more fun and re-rideable? Alas, I will always consider Valleyfair my home park, since I lived in MN until I was 18.


One last question, is your brother Ed?


First of all, thank you very much! I'm sorry I didn't answer these until now.


Shivering Timbers is an excellent ride, it's just a shame it's in the middle of nowhere. Michigan's Adventure wasn't even on my itinerary to begin with, but I managed to fit it in to the route I got planned prior to Ian flying out. It's a place I wouldn't go to given a choice, but it because en route, so I took the chance to hit the park up. It's the kind of place you'd only need to do once ever.


Yeah, it's strange to think it was a signature ride when it opened. Excalibur and a lot of those older Arrow rides have been totally superceeded by the steel coasters of recent times.


And yes, Ed is my bro!




OK, now this next bit is a mini-update. I didn't take my camera to Great America, but fortunately you'll see plenty of pictures from the TPR Midwest trip.




Part 8 - Six Flags Great America


Here's a quick capsule review of the park:


Main comments - The start of the day was ridiculous. Looney Tunes prancing around like total fruits, then a ridiculous version of the US national anthem.


Park was packed with school kids, but not so bad that we needed a flash pass. Lines were pretty decent today, but any longer and I'll have happily shelled out extra not to queue. Got agro with a kid who jumped line.


Food selection was pretty poor. All the main outlets were closed, which meant a choice of Papa John's, or Papa John's! $15 for the worst pizza I've ever had didn't go down well. Just ask Ian. I went and got Ben & Jerrys to take away the taste!


Batman - The one that started it all was running pretty good. Didn't feel as intense as some of the others I've done, but certainly wasn't weak.


Vertical Velocity - Good Impulse coaster, not so good holding brakes.


American Eagle - Only the red side running, but good airtime and the trims before the helix weren't too harsh.


Iron Wolf - Proof that even the best can't get everything right. A bit rough and tough especialyl on the ears. But this was B&M's first coaster, and they haven't looked back since.


Spaceley's Sprocket Rocket - Standard Vekoma junior coaster. Slow loading, was glad to get it over with.


Deja Vu - Broken.


Whizzer - Was a lot of fun. Glad this one wasn't removed for Superman.


Demon - Didn't get stuck in the loop, and didn't get beat up as bad as I thought I would.


Raging Bull - Very smooth, airtime was nothing to shout about. Seats were quite comfy. That's all there is to say really.


Viper - Great airtime, and pretty smooth for the most part. Probably the best coaster there.


Superman - Pretty poor apart from the pretzel loop to be honest. I actually prefer Air over this ride.


Ragin' Cajun - Another spinning mouse credit. Glad we got it when the line was short.


The Rapids - A lot of fun. Got rather wet. Hot girls sat opposite. Much ogling was done.


We didn't really go on the best of days, but I'll give the park a second chance the next time I'm around. Thanks to Cameron and his parking pass, and Matt for comign down and hanging out. Hope to see you guys again sometime!


The Crucial Unit.

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^Thank you very much! I just hope now that I can get it finished before I go away!


So after the day at Six Flags Great America, Cameron told us of a local carnival going on on the way to Chicago where we would go for dinner. They even had a powered credit, but I was denied.


Just so you know, I don't really count powered credits, but I'll still ride them to spite all those people who do.


Not this time. Never mind, we still got a ride in on the Spinning Monkeys, and then it started to rain very hard, so we made our way out for a meal and some live music courtesy of the Mike Jones Trio at the Green Mill in Chicago. Thanks again to Cameron for recommending that place, it was a refreshing change to what I'd normally do for a night out. And those guys are seriously talented.


Then after that last night in Chicago, it was time to head further South on the tour de force towards Indiana Beach, where the next main batch of photos come from...


Part 9 - Life's a Beach...and then you visit the rest of Indiana.


Cameron had told me what a nice park this was, and true to his word, I was pleasantly surprised by it. It was a fair way off the interstate, and we held our hearts in our mouths going over the railroad crossings down to the park.


But after chancing with death, we got to the park in one piece on a blisteringly hot Saturday June 2nd.


The park was much more "old-school" than most of the ones I'd visited so far, bar Idlewild, Waldameer and Seabreeze. But then again it has been around in some form since 1926. So that's quite a lot of history for my American friends! And I rather like that.


It has by no means the biggest and not even the best rides, but it's another park with character. And that's not an excuse for just being rustic or run-down, because it certainly wasn't the latter. The rides they have are almost all very accessible for all the family, and there's a good mix of the old and the new. And the cute girls working in the shop hadn't heard an English accent before! So that made for some good conversation whilst paying for some souvenirs.


Yet again I regret not spending a little bit more than a few hours here, but I was feeling a bit drained. But it's a very good park that I think I'll be seeing more of in the future.


(Sorry for no pictures of the Splash Battle, they all came out really badly.)


Here's the photos from the top:


And the Crow says bye too! See you all at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom...


Cornball says bye too.


Hoosier Hurricane says bye.


After a great few hours, it was time to leave. Ian took the chairlift back to the South end.


And also, don't forget the flyers. I bloody did, and I wasn't happy!


Dave Thomas will kindly point out that this was not our Dino.


The great Double Shot! Much better than anything twice its height.


Ian badly needed a number 2 when he saw this.


5 credits done, and now onto the rest of the park.


Because it has no restraints!


Tigg'r Coaster was grrrreat! Why?


One more reason why this place is better than any park Cedar Fair have on their books.


Indiana Beach and its two big woodies get bonus points for being Coke-friendly.


And some ingenious trackwork gets it out of a tight spot.


Just like Hurricane, you get right down to the waterline.


They really shoenhorned in this one, and the results are very good.


Some more duelling going on here.


Cornball Express - with that crazy first drop!


The rare sight of Duelling Lift Hills! And a convenient link to the next ride...


Despite those clouds, the rain held off. Too bad really, Hurricane could do with being a bit faster to get some good airtime.


The ride shares it's space with the other woodie, Cornball Express.


It's got a good first drop, and looks quite imposing, but it's fairly tame really.


Here's most of the layout.


No line for Hurricane was pretty handy.


OK, Enough filth. Time for more rides.


Ladies, watch and learn!




And now what you've all been waiting for...


Very strange dark ride!


Which one do y'all think makes it go?


If this was a Cedar Fair park, that guy would probably be run over by now. But we're not at one, so he didn't.


This thing looks so old, it seems to have been here since the dawn of time.


Time for another credit. Galaxi-in-a-Waterslide.


The Flying Bobs were certainly mroe active than those fish.


Ian figured that if he fattened them up, he'd get a good dinner later!


You fat fishy fudgers. Go do some lengths!


As we work our way up the pier, we see this. So even now the fish have developed a taste for junk food!


Some rides like this are completely over the water. Maybe Blackpool Pleasure Beach should take note - their rides are more tightly packed, and they really are entirely over water. And a lot of it!


And Matt Jackson's favourite!


Don't forget the Falling Star.


All along the pier, there are loads of rides crammed in. Such as this Big Wheel.


It's a strange ride, but very quirky. Which is probably why EmoBoy likes it a lot!


Ian grabs a shot or two.


It used to be a powered dark ride, but now it's a real roller coaster.


Then you take a few crazy turns and work your way down the mountain.


It starts off with a vertical lift up to the top.


But first, a CanobieFan favourite! It's full name is "The Lost Coaster Of Superstition Mountain". But for the purposes of this update, LoCoSuMo is an acceptable substitue for that mouthful.


Here's what you see when you enter. Amazing how they're squeezed everything together!


We parked at the South Entrance, so we got to walk over the awesome bouncy suspension bridge.


But it's worth the boredom when you pull up to the park.


I was behind the wheel today. And believe me, this is a lot more interesting than the drive across Indiana.


And from Ian's reclined seat, you see his feet!


You can also see the Whitesox stadium from the Interstate.


We passed right under Downtown Chicago.


No Dragon Wagon this time. Nevermind, onwards and downwards we go.


Spinning Monkeys! Every park should have one!


Getting ready for that tumble-dryer showdown!


I might have been denied my powered credit, but we weren't gonna be denied the spinning monkeys!


It's Friday in Chiacgo, so it's carnival time! Comes ready made with end-of-the world clouds!

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I hate myself so much now because a couple of years ago I had a chance to do Mt Olympus, but decided on Noah's Arc for a second day. I probably could have done Avalanche too. I just don't know what was wrong with me. I think it was a few months before I was really a roller coaster enthusiast, but I just hate myself so much now for missing all that stuff!


Oh, and awesome TR Tom. Indiana Beach looks really cool.




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Just above the main title: Wasn't "Iwerks" Walt Disney's first partner in entertainment? Doubt it's the same namesake, but caught my eye nonetheless.


...Did anyone else laugh really hard at the phrase, "You fat fudging fish! Go do some lengths!"...?

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Part 10a - Six Flags Kentucky Fried Kingdom!


Well a lot of people on the TPR Midwest Trip had an awesome time here, and so did we!


The park has a great atmosphere, the rides were good, the operations very really good, parking was only $5 because the park shares the lot with the Expo Center next door, and the staff were very polite and courteous.


We only had a few hours here today, but it's place I would certainly stop by again. We didn't have time for the waterpark on this trip, but I liked the park enough so I'm sure there will be a next time.


This update leaves you with Ian trying to do something American. I think it works. Somehow. Roll on Beech Bend.


I still say they should be trying to kill each other. They're Looney Tunes, not Disney characters.


Wile E. Coyote didn't have a roadrunner to chase today, so he tried to catch me instead.


This was pre-accident. Strange to think that it malfuctioned just a couple of weeks after I went on it.


Last ride of the day before heading further South.


Hey Joe.


It's too big for just one photo!


At least this ride is good.


Why I didn't just take a photo of the whole of Deluge escapes me. Start the abuse now.


Certainly more so than this.


Tornado slides are always great fun.


Here's Splashwater Kingdom from way up!


The following photos are bought to you by the Ferris Wheel...


Call me crazy, but no Deluge this time. It's first on my list next time I'm here.


We passed the waterpark on the way back the to big wheel.


Disney's Kentucky Kingdom was looking a bit weak.


Three great American Superheroes.


I enjoyed it so much I thought I'd give it 3 photos in this update.


Here's one Vekoma ride that everyone can enjoy.


But eventually the kiddie coaster had th be done.


I just wanted to lie on the bench.


Ian wanted to see what the big fuss about Dippin' Dots was.


But they were letting you just swap sides after the ride was over!


You only really duel a couple of times.


The ride was certainly nothing special.


Both sides duelling on a quiet Sunday!


And now for something I really didn't expect...


And the hot dogs from Blue Moose Cafe were fairly decent as well.


On the way to Twisted Twins, go catch some mist from Mile High Falls.


Is Ian: A) Taking a photo of Thunder Run? B) Taking a leak through the fence? Answers on a postcard please.


Crazy South American Guy in Row 2 seems to like it!


It had some good hills, but it was rather rough and tumble.


And this wasn't much better.


Thanks to the carefully placed map, this is the best shot I got of the ride.


Certainly not at the top of the re-ride list. But it wasn't all that bad.


The second ever SLC wasn't much of an improvement over the first one.


Oh great.


Big smooth sideloop. Hey Nicole.


Big smooth vertical loop. Hey Derek.


It was the smoothest Stand-up of the whole trip. Not that it had much competition.


Chang had no line all day. And no line is a good line.


The launch is smooth as a baby's bottom.


Next stop was Greezed Lightnin', which was just round the courner from Road Runner.


It's a Wild Mouse. That's all you need to know really.


First stop was Road Runner Express - credit whores know that get the low capacity stuff done early.


This park was a real surprise. Much better than I thought it would be.


For all you baseball freaks.


Welcome to Kentucky!

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