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Photo TR: Matt and Derek in Minneapolis


DerekRx
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Last year seemed to be as good a time as any for me to finally venture into Minnesota to rack up some credits with the addition of Renegade, but with high airfare prices and Nick Universe's announcement of 2 more coasters coming in 2008, I decided I may as well wait. Matt was only too happy to make the drive out from Chicago to meet up with me, especially after I told him of all the beer places I hoped to hit. After picking me up at the airport, it was off to the Mall of America.

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by the end of the night, Matt was just a bump on a log saving his energy to release a fury of excitement at Valleyfair the next day

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I blame my crappy score on all the distractions coming from the park, totally not on my Happy Gilmore style of golfing

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and it was nice to get more shots of the park from

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the course was pretty boring, but we still stink at mini-golf

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hello friends!

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above Nick Universe and off to the side is some indoor mini-golf, gotta try that!

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this one goes out to you, Big Mike

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the park is a LOT bigger than I figured, with lots of other rides plopped down, but it also still has a nice openness about it, and you can totally forget that you're indoors and at a mall

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speaking of rare rides that are still running, hello Mighty Axe with a new name

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how's your tumbler, Knott's?

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and though it has a new name, it's good to see this thing still runs

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at least Ghost Blasters is still the same, and running very well, with all the targets and props working!

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shame they're taking them out and redoing the whole ride to some barnyard characters I never heard of

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I really liked the flume, especially the giant Babe and Paul Bunyan animatronics, and the storyline was pretty cool.

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the park has a flume complete with a moose with SpongeBob on his back

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to some this thing is more intense than it seems, like to the emo people who rode with me and screamed the whole time.

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spinning seems to be the in thing in Minn

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Cedar Fair's last coaster addition before leaving was a good one and really fits the place nicely, even with the bright orange track, but at least they weren't the ones to give it the pretty unoriginal name of Fairly Odd Coaster.

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here's a shot for all you control console geeks out there

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it's cool how close to the ceiling this is

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the halfpipes are definitely more intense and fun than diskos, and they count as credits to boot!

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Avatar Airbender (mmmm...Bender) was next and was also a lot of fun with some airtime and spinning goodness

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next on the agenda was the Pepsi Orange Streak. A fun family coaster with a random darkride section, and probably the best thing with Pepsi affiliation in the US

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SpongeBob's house doubles as a bouncy house for the youngins

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but in any case, the ride is really fun and pretty thrilling

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I think the trains are sort of themed to evil tikis or something

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it works better here than on Drachen Fire, but these restraints were a little ouchy too

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like a severe cutback

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after the midcourse, it's right back to the action

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The zero G rolls on the Gerstlauers sure are spread out and leaves you saying "omg! wtf is that!?"

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Vertical loops are the norm these days too, though they're on their way out it seems, replaced by Norwegians and such.

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It seems these drops are becoming more and more present

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especially ones with big ole loops

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I know little about SpongeBob, but I know I likes me Eurofighters

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The first stop, the new coaster on the block, SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom Plunge

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More construction, or deconstruction of the old theme. Something tells me this won't be used for a hypercoaster or a strata, though an Aquatrax isn't out of the question!

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I was shocked how the park is just right there in the center of the mall, all opened to the world and all

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Time to check out the newly rethemed Park at Mall of America, now called Nickelodeon Universe, with lots of characters we old Nick people don't know much about. Where's Ren and Stimpy!?

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Love the look of that Eurofighter, I'd definitely make the effort if I was in the Minnesota neck of the woods.

 

Disk-o's count as credits? I go off whatever is on coaster counter so unfortunately not for me.

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^No, disko's don't count as credits, but Avatar is not a disko, it is an Intamin Surf Rider/Half-Pipe. Those count as credits.

 

Looks like you had a pretty awesome time at the park. It's a shame you couldn't make it to the mall when it was still Camp Snoopy though.

 

Can't wait for the Valleyfair photos.

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?!@@# - I completely forgot that you were coming up here, and that I was planing on tagging along. DAMN MY SENILITY!

 

Looks like you guys had a really awesome weekend! That EuroFighter does look fun - and I agree with you that the park there is surprisingly entertaining.

 

Cameron.

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On Sunday we ventured to Valleyfair (sometimes without an !), another park I hadn't been to but was really in no hurry to get to...at least up until last year with the addition of Renegade. Being a Cedar Fair park, I was expecting lots of concrete, trash cans, blandness, lack of crowds, and a bunch of coasters that were just average at best. Well, almost everything was as I expected, except there was less concrete (just found in the newer sections of the park) and it wasn't as bland, there was actually some charm and character to parts of the park, and some of the employees were pretty friendly, especially the girl in Guest Services who knew how to get Platinum Passholders in. With the lack of people, we racked up the coaster credits within 2 hours, but we also took plenty of rides on Renegade and enjoyed some of the other rides in the park. While it's not the greatest park in the world, it isn't terrible and isn't a park I'd dread to get back to. I think I could have a good time at Valleyfair even without getting credits, as long as the crowds aren't bad.

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Farewell turnaround of wandering randomness! Adios, Valleyfair, thanks for the credits. Now it's time to get our beer on! (but you can check the Beer Thread for that update, already done). Thanks, Matt for sharing in the fun!

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goodbye Steel Venom, I'll say hi to your older younger brother Voodoo soon!

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This ferris wheel looked too scary for even me to want to ride, even if it was only like 50 feet off the ground.

Power Tower was fun, even though Matt was too afraid to ride :p

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more scenery they forgot to take out and replace with another 12 trash cans

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as we were heading out we caught a roving band playing Madonna's new song

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random vertical loopage

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But it's definitely a great coaster with good pacing, nice airtime pops, out of control feelings, and still smooth and rerideable.

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I think the only thing missing from Renegade is a killer finale airtime moment, or maybe a jo-jo roll, or possibly onboard audio that plays The Styx. Now that'd rule!

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it was warming up a bit, and some peoples were enjoying the emptiness in the waterpark. Fearing Big Mike was around though, all the women had t-shirts on over top of their bikinis

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Heading back to Renegade they were adding the 2nd train, so we checked out the rapid instead. Seeing these waterfalls, and knowing my luck since the log flume, I decided against a ride

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no Mild Thing credit for me, unless I chop off my legs at the knee. Hey, that rhymed!

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The park had a couple of nice kiddie areas not themed to cartoon shows from 30 years ago, but with nice older rides from that era

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With no line, we decided to ride the Xtreme Swing. Fun and thrilling, but the cycle could be a bit longer

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bad log flume! I hope they take you out and replace you with a Maverick!!

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but after the hidden waterfall on the exit of the tunnel that soaked me, I had a different opinion

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I've been a sucker for log flumes lately, and this one looked nice

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how's it going, Cameron.

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THE MOST RANDOM TURNAROUND EVER! Really wacky, but semi-thrilling and fun. Still, glad Dorney's neighbors complained and delayed the delivery of the hyper so Valleyfair could get this and we could have Steel Force

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and then prepare ourselves for the entry into...

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but first, we must go down at a really (not so) steep angle

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up the lift, I can't wait to make our return through the vinyl-sided tunnel shed of doom!

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I vaguely remember something bad about this back car though

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and we decided to sit in the last car, my favorite spot on Steel Force

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one more credit, and it's the tallest one in the park

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and unknownst to me, this one uses the holding brake too! Joygasm!

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Yay for Steel Venom, just one big old fun coaster. I just love Impulses, as every seat offers a different experience

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People were getting soaked on the shoot the chutes, not an acceptable amount of wetness to me

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what an unusual station for Corkscrew, not sure what they're going for here.

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Corkscrew, looking so much like it wants to be like its brother at CP, but it's not quite there

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are you sure we're at a CF park!?

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more scenery and peacefulness

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here's some of that charm I noticed in the park

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as for High Roller itself, I could see where it had the potential for airtime (well, not really "see" as much as "hear")

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Not exactly sure what's up with these trains, but it was nice to see no seat dividers on a CF woodie

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High Roller was nearby, I totally forgot it was an IAD coaster

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The Arrow mice are weird, with all the typical wild mouse characteristics along with banking and trick track. Odd, but amusing!

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Mad Mouse had walk-on conditions still, time to get that credit

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I think they need more than 4 trims on the first drop

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Being an Arrow with wood structure in a Cedar Fair park, I figured this would be more like Gemini. I was stupid to think that

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after a few rides on Renegade I remembered I needed more credits, so while we were in the back of the park, time for Excalibur

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The flyby wasn't as noticeable as Thunderheads, but it also wasn't nearly as loud

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Renegade was a lot better than I was told by some friends. While it's still no OzCat to me, it's one of my favorites from GCI. I liked the semi-out-n-back beginning, and the airtime pops and turns were good

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with the weather sort of iffy, the park was dead in the late morning, so they only ran 1 train at first, but there was never more than a 1 train wait for any row.

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first stop, ALLLLLLLL the way in the back of the park, Renegade, which just was finishing up testing as we got back there. Got the front seat on ride 1

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but the disco ball fountain is unique

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This entrance looks very Cedar Fair inspired

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Leave Minneapolis, head southwest, and when you think there's nothing around, Valleyfair should show up in front of you

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I was going to do a PTR, but I think we have almost the exact same pictures!

 

This was a much needed extended weekend, and Renegade IMO, is worth the drive.....as long as there's beer involved. I like Valleyfair, but it's not a park I'd go out of my way to get too. If I'm in the area, then yes.

 

It's just not as exciting without the !

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Hey! Nice to see that someone enjoys the park as much as I do!

 

Renegade was a lot better than I was told by some friends. While it's still no OzCat to me, it's one of my favorites from GCI. I liked the semi-out-n-back beginning, and the airtime pops and turns were good

 

Yeah ever since opening day last year it's been my favorite woodie in the park. Night rides on that thing are beastly.

 

 

I think they need more than 4 trims on the first drop

 

Not exactly sure what's up with these trains, but it was nice to see no seat dividers on a CF woodie
I love the trains. Very comfy, and yeah no seat dividers are huge pluses.

 

Corkscrew, looking so much like it wants to be like its brother at CP, but it's not quite there
Aw come on I think it rides better then CP's. . .

 

what an unusual station for Corkscrew, not sure what they're going for here.
Being a regular, I should know, but I don't, and I don't think anyone ever will.

 

but after the hidden waterfall on the exit of the tunnel that soaked me, I had a different opinion

Yeah it's either a hit or miss, sometimes they have that waterfall off which is nice cuz you don't get wet, but on a summer day it's a great ride.

 

bad log flume! I hope they take you out and replace you with a Maverick!!

I hate myself for agreeing.

 

You're lucky you didn't visit on a busy day, you woulda had to wait for Renegade probably 30-45 (Yes, here in MinnEsota, we consider that a semi-long line. Well, glad to see you had fun!

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Cedar Fair's last coaster addition before leaving was a good one and really fits the place nicely, even with the bright orange track, but at least they weren't the ones to give it the pretty unoriginal name of Fairly Odd Coaster.

Cedar Fair didn't own Camp Snoopy when it added Timberland Twister. They were long gone at that point. Camp Snoopy just had the rights to Peanuts then.

 

I agree with Vffreak07. Our Corkscrew is better than CP's.

 

Why did you skip Como Town? You totally missed out on the best drop tower in the state!

 

Glad you enjoyed the parks you did visit though. Stop at Adventureland some time.

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Fantastic report Derek!

 

I was a bit worried about what would happen to Mall of America when Nickelodeon moved in, but it seems to have turned out rather well in the end. I'm glad they kept their Tumbler, because I was stupid and didn't do it last year!

 

I was a bit indifferent about Valleyfair, it came across a being a bit too sterile for me. Not Michigan's Adventure sterile, but still lacking something. The tiny Ferris Wheel's rules mean they won't let you take your camera on the ride so you can take photos, because it's a drop hazard. Although that said I could think of far worse parks to visit, and I would always try and give parks a second chance within reason. And it seemed to have less trash cans than the other Cedar Fair parks I've been to. Renegade was a great coaster, and I'd love to try riding that thing at night after it's been going for a whole day.

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I was quite underwhelmed by the park when I visited last September, but I'm going to blame that more on the park's refusal to use two trains on Renegade despite a 1.5hr wait, and every other coaster in the park running two trains. When I asked about it, I was told, "We can't shut the ride down because there are too many people waiting." FAIL.

 

That said, Renegade was pretty good, but that was really the only redeeming factor in the park. The Impulse was fun but many can be found closer, Wild Thing was mediocre, and nothing else really did anything for me.

 

Good TR, though! I wish I had hit MOA this year... the only things running last year while I was there was the spinning mouse and "L'il Shaver". No flats or anything. Total drag.

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Cedar Fair's last coaster addition before leaving was a good one and really fits the place nicely, even with the bright orange track, but at least they weren't the ones to give it the pretty unoriginal name of Fairly Odd Coaster.

Cedar Fair didn't own Camp Snoopy when it added Timberland Twister. They were long gone at that point. Camp Snoopy just had the rights to Peanuts then.

 

Wrong. CF left in early 2005 when agreements could not be made between the mall and CF on such subjects as advertising. They then tried to get the Peanuts rights straight from United Media but the price for the rights would skyrocket if the brand was only used at one park unlike CF which was using the brand at multiple parks.

 

CF ordered two spinning coasters. One to go to Camp Snoopy and the other to Worlds of Fun. They were both added in 2004, so Timberland Twister was added by Cedar Fair before they left. It was also the only coaster addition by Cedar Fair in their 8 year rule at the mall.

 

Cedar Fair also never owned the park they were just hired to run it.

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Cedar Fair's last coaster addition before leaving was a good one and really fits the place nicely, even with the bright orange track, but at least they weren't the ones to give it the pretty unoriginal name of Fairly Odd Coaster.

Cedar Fair didn't own Camp Snoopy when it added Timberland Twister. They were long gone at that point. Camp Snoopy just had the rights to Peanuts then.

 

 

True but not true at the same time. Cedar Fair NEVER owned Camp Snoopy, but they actively managed the park until march of 2005. As you know, Twister opened in April of 2004.

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bad log flume! I hope they take you out and replace you with a Maverick!!

I hate myself for agreeing.

Yeah I agree. You get more wet on the Log Chute than on the Flume at VF. Plus I don't mind another steelie here anyways.

 

You're lucky you didn't visit on a busy day, you woulda had to wait for Renegade probably 30-45 (Yes, here in MinnEsota, we consider that a semi-long line. Well, glad to see you had fun!

Thats why I go at night. Less lines, more awesome!

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but after the hidden waterfall on the exit of the tunnel that soaked me, I had a different opinion

 

That waterfall got me too last year. Matt and I were already soaked from the rain, so I figured I'd hit the log flume. Figured I couldn't possibly get more wet. How wrong I was.

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These parks look like they would be good for a little day trip. I was surprised at the Nick themed park at Mall of America. It actually looked like it would be fun, which is weird sense "Nick park" and "fun for adults" never seemed to be able to come together. I do wish we could have seen more of that Pepsi ride, it looked pretty interesting.

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the only real physical problem i have with Nick Universe is that it is so damn loud.

 

 

when it was Camp Snoopy, even on a busy day it wasn't so bad.

I remember when i had an all-day pass and i actually had to leave the park and go within the walls of the mall as i was starting to get a migraine.

 

 

 

 

Valleyfair i do love it a lot, i love their ice cream!

 

 

i just drive down there and grab rides on Wild Thing and Renegade all day.

 

 

the only things i would not miss if they tore them out would be

 

IMAX theater (waste of space if you ask me - UNLESS they start putting in better shows)

and

Excalibur - another great waste of space. something so much better can be put there.

 

 

the Waterpark can be moved somewhere else, its got no space to grow and therefore its essentially stuck the way it is right now which is sad.

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