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Photo TR: 6 Parks in Wisconsin and Minnesota! August 2nd-5th


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Disclaimer: This is my very first TR on any website, let alone Photo TR. This is very long. Please, bare with me as I may ramble, or screw things up!

 

So... among my many other trips this season, I took a trip to Wisconsin and Minnesota to ride some coasters this past weekend.

I took my Mom with me. My Mom is awesome and I don't know what'd I do without her. She is seriously the best travel partner ever! She's down for riding in the car for for however long we need to, and she's down for sleeping in the car when it's called for. She doesn't care how fast we have to rush through parks just so I can get all the credits, and she also doesn't care how many parks and coasters that I try to cram into just one day.

 

Anyways, like I stated above, this is my first TR ever on any website. I'm going to do my TR first, then post pictures from the trip.

Here's the parks that I visited this trip, and will be posting about...

- Little Amerricka in Marshall, WI

- Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park in the Wisconsin Dells, WI

- Timber Falls Adventure Park in the Wisconsin Dells, WI

- Valleyfair! in Shakopee, MN

- Nickelodeon Universe (Mall Of America) in Bloomington, MN

- Como Town in St. Paul, MN

 

Here we go...

We left home (Saginaw, MI) at 9:30 p.m. on Friday, August 1st. We drove through the night till we got to Little Amerricka in Marshall, Wisconsin. We arrived at the park at about 6:00 in the morning which I thought would be perfect so we could get some shut eye in the car. Boy was I wrong. We, and the park, were surrounded by crop fields, cow pastures, and the worst smell ever! Plus, I can never sleep in cars. (side note... make sure you double check the times the parks are open that you are traveling to!).

It finally started getting light enough for me to read the sign that said the park wasn't going to open till 12:00 p.m., which I thought opened at 10:00, so we now had 6 hours to waste in Marshall, WI, which if you have ever been there, has 1 blinking light, 2 gas stations, a dollar store, and maybe about 8 other random little stores that also weren't open. We spent a lot of time sitting in the car staring out the window.

Finally at about 8:30 a.m. I saw someone pull in the park, which looks like a run down carnival, with a newly refurbished Woodie in the middle of the park, and a weird little monorail running the perimeter of the park. I went and walked around the park and took some pictures and was hoping to con/pay the person into letting me ride the coasters so I could be on my way to the Wisconsin Dells.

That didn't happen, as I chickened out and couldn't ask. It probably wouldn't have happened anyway.

Finally 12:00 p.m. rolled around. I ran to the ticket building, bought my tickets, and hopped in line for the ricketiest Mouse coaster that I have ever ridden. I'm pretty sure on the bunny hills that led back to the station, that the cars were coming off the track and slamming back down.

After the Mad Mouse, I headed over to the claustrophobic deathtrap known as the Wild & Wooly Toboggan. I have ridden a few of these at traveling fairs before, and wasn't looking forward to this one. Hopped in the car, got the ride over with!

Next up was Little Dipper, which was appropriately placed next to a cemetery! It was a rickety little thing that would fling you from your seat over each little hill. The ride operator was being nice, and since I was the only person on the coaster, he let me go around 4 times, but I was ready to stop after the first lap but I didn't have the heart to say it cause the guy was so nice and excited that I drove all the way from Michigan to ride it.

After the Little Dipper I headed over to the Meteor. This little guy looks amazing. It looks so fresh and clean. The trains look real nice, and it still has the old hand brakes that I love! I was pretty excited to ride it. There was no wait at all, and I magically got the front seat. I asked the ride operator if he would snap my photo real quick, and he did. He also said because I had tickets and not a wristband, that we would get a bonus lap. It was a fun little ride. It was very smooth for a Woodie, and they let me take pictures on the ride, which never happens! While pulling through the station for our 3rd lap, he said if we make a lot of noise that we'd get a 4th bonus lap, which we did. After my ride I snapped a few more pictures, went back to the building and bought 1 more ticket to keep as a souvenir and got a little photocopied park map. Talked to the Owner/Manager? Lady for a few minutes and she thanked my for driving all that way to visit their little park. It was nice to be appreciated.

We left Marshall, WI as soon as possible!

 

We were now on our way to the Wisconsin Dells.

Once we arrived in the Dells we stopped and grabbed some Subway to eat.

After Subway we headed down the street to Mt. Olympus. This place looks amazing when you're pulling up to it. It's like wooden coaster heaven, kind of like Holiday World, but it looks way more impressive.

It may have been the busiest that I have ever seen a park in my life, but for some reason the lines for the coasters weren't that bad. It could have been cause it was blazing hot out and everyone was riding water rides/slides. While I'm on the water park subject, I'd like to thank the person at Mt. Olympus that decided it was OK for people to walk around in their bathing suits, cause there was definitely some nice scenery wandering around!

After buying my wristband, and my Mom's "Spectator" wristband we entered the park.

It was way bigger, and way more beautiful than I had expected.

I went to the first station that i saw, which happened to be Zeus.

I waited about 10 minutes for the front seat. The ride was a little rough but not too rough, and it had some pretty good airtime.

After Zeus I headed over to Hades, which I had been super excited to ride since it opened!

I waited about 45 minutes to an hour for the front seat. After all of my excitement and anticipation, I was not let down one bit! I LOVED this coaster!

It drops right out of the station and pretty much has a whole coaster ride before you even reach the lift hill. Once you crest the lift hill, you see a small black hole at the bottom of the hill, a giant parking lot, and the rest of the coaster on the other side of the parking lot.

I don't know if the tunnel under the parking lot is usually lit or not, but it wasn't the day I rode. I was surprised at all of the action in the tunnel. If I'm not mistaking I may have even felt a decent sized drop in there. You fly out of the other side of the parking lot, get a little air, and back in the tunnel you go. Now, back on the park side of the parking lot you fly back out of the tunnel and over a decent size hill that had some good air time, and do some more fast paced twists and turns back toward the station. You then wipe the tears from your eyes real quick so it doesn't look like you were crying, which I almost did with excitement!

Overall I loved Hades. The ending had a little shuffling going on, but besides that I have no complaints.

After Hades I headed over to Cyclops which had no wait at all. I rode in the front seat cause I'm usually a front seat kind of guy. It was a crazy ride! I got off and had to see why you have to be 18 to ride in the back car. I found out alright, haha. After I almost got flung out of the train, and got slammed around like crazy, a fun slammed around like crazy though, we pulled back in to the station. I pushed my spine back in my body through the top of my head and was on my way to ride Little Titan's, which I never got to ride cause the ride operators were being sticklers! I even tried to bribe them with money, as well as kids and their parents. Unfortunately people thought I was nuts and wouldn't take me up on the offer.

I then headed over to Pegasus. There was also no wait for it, and it seemed to me to be your average family Woodie.

After Pegasus we headed to the indoor section of the park so I could ride Opa, the spinning mouse.

Spinning and I don't really work well together, but this coaster didn't bother me at all. It was actually quite boring compared to other spinning mice that I have ridden (i.e. the one at Beech Bend, WOW!).

After riding Opa, I went in one of the little gift stores and bought a Hades shirt, then we wandered back over to Hades so I could make sure it was actually as good as I though it was. It was!

 

We forcefully left Mt. Olympus and headed about 2 blocks away to Timber Falls Adventure Park.

We arrived there and I saw the cutest little Woodie ever named Avalanche! The train only has 3 cars. The coaster travels around the whole park, which isn't big at all.

I bought my ticket, ran up the entrance ramp, hopped in the cute little train, and had no idea that I was in for one of, if not the craziest, most out of control rides of my life!

You know how you hear the GP sometimes say "it felt like it was going to fly off the track"? Well, it even crossed my mind this time, haha. It's an insane little coaster. I had to ride it again, and asked one of the ride operators if I could film it with my digital camera. He said he didn't care. Up the lift hill I go, down the drop, around a highly banked turn, over a little hill, then I realize that there's no way I could film the ride by holding the camera in my hand, so I unfortunately gave up.

 

After Timber Falls Adventure Park, and after being up for 39 hours straight, we started our 4 hour drive to Bloomington, Minnesota to our hotel. I was fine till we got about an hour and a half away, and all of a sudden I couldn't hold my eyes open any longer. So I asked my Mom if she could drive. She reluctantly said yes, as she's paranoid to drive on the highway. I finally dozed off for about 20 minutes and woke up to the sounds of rumble strips. My mom was all nervous cause there were semi's all around us, so she slowed down to like 45 mph and was swerving all over, haha. I told her she better speed up to at least 60 and just watch her lane, and everyone else will pass her if they need to. She finally calmed down and I dozed back off only to wake up about 15 minutes later to a big thud and some more swerving. She hit some sort of animal and spider cracked my front fascia on my car. Oh well, we're alive and well, and I am wide awake now. I finished out the drive, we checked in to our hotel, and after about 43 hours of no sleep, I fell asleep before my head even hit the pillow.

 

We woke up Sunday morning August, 3rd and headed to Valleyfair! in Shakopee, Minnesota which was only about 15 minutes from our hotel. We got to the park and got waved through the parking toll booths, cause I have a oh so special Cedar Point Platinum Pass. We rolled right up to the gates to park, cause my Mom is handicapped. Got my Mom her Senior ticket for $16.00 and went and got my ticket from Guest Services.

We then headed straight to the back of the park so I could ride Renegade. Fact about me: I may be GCI's biggest fan! I was SO excited to ride this thing I thought I was going to pee my pants!

I told my Mom that I would be right back cause there was no line and it should be quick. Wrong! There are hidden parts of the line, like the part that goes under the station.

Anyway, it still only took me maybe a half an hour and I was in the front seat. It was definitely a GCI Woodie with Millennium Flyer Trains. These are my favorite coasters out there, and this was no exception. It had the airtime, the quick direction changes, the laterals, and everything else that I was hoping for, but I must say, out of the 7 GCI's that I have ridden this may be the roughest, besides Gwazi that is. It was still a super good ride though.

After Renegade we headed over to Excalibur. I was really surprised at how fun and smooth this thing was. I was not expecting this. There was no wait at all, so I rode the front seat. There was a pretty good pop of air that took me by surprise, and I wasn't expecting it to have that much speed.

From Excalibur we headed back up to the Mad Mouse so I could get it out of the way. I hate how mice always have the longest lines, and are so boring. Waited. Got it out of the way. Moved on to the High Roller. Waited about 10 minutes for the front seat. I expected a lot more out of the ride. It crawled over the hills and had no airtime what so ever. Oh well, it's another credit.

After High Roller I went over to Mild Thing and tried to beg my way on to there, which didn't happen. Guess I need that Big Mike charm!

I then talked my Mom into riding the Ferris Wheel so We could take some pictures while at the top.

After the Ferris Wheel, we head to the Corkscrew. It's your everyday head banging Corkscrew with a good little airtime hill.

After the Corkscrew we headed over to Steel Venom, where some small bruises were born.

I always like these type of impulse coasters. I liked the one at Geauga Lake, so I figured I'd like this, and I did. That hold brake on the back spike really takes people by surprise!

After Steel Venom we rode the train around the park and snapped a few more photo's.

From the train we headed back to Wild Thing. I really liked this coaster. I again waited about 10 minutes for the front seat. I wasn't expecting it to have as much speed and airtime as it did, and I especially didn't expect it to be as smooth as it was. I had tears running all over my face, and so did the girl next to me, so I felt a little better about it.

After riding Wild Thing, we headed towards the front of the park. I picked myself up a sweet Renegade shirt, we pick up an over priced photo of us, and were on our way out of the park.

 

We left the park at about 6:00 p.m. Found a target and bought some Peanut Butter Cups (my favorite, and some Sun Chips to take back to our Hotel. Then I had to hunt down a car wash to try and get the 10,000,000 smashed mosquito's off of my car. On the way back we decided it would be a good idea to pick up some Pizza Hut. It was delicious as usual. We then just hung out and relaxed at the Hotel. Watched some TV, and played on the internet, then got some good sleep.

 

We woke up bright and early on Monday, August 4th and headed to my most anticipated place of the trip, the Mall Of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. Not only am I a Coaster Enthusiast, I'm also a Mall Rat, and my Mom and I both love Putt-Putt Golf! The MOA has all 3 things in the same place. How perfect!

We arrived and headed right inside to see the Lego store... Eeeee.. I also love Lego's!

From there headed to get my wristband for Nickelodeon Universe. I purchased it at one of the little self serve stations, then stood around like and idiot trying to figure out how to get it on. I saw all kinds of kids, parents, and random people wearing them. I knew there had to be a way. I was trying to peel it apart, lick it, my mom suggested maybe it's magnetic... no luck! Finally I asked some lady and she told me that I had to get a sticker for it.. Duh! How simple!

After I got that all figured out I headed straight for the Avatar Airbender, cause it was the one that I was looking forward to the least and wanted to get it out of the way. I waited about 10 to 15 minutes before I was loaded on. You go right up to the glass ceiling on the thing. It looks like you could kick right through it. It actually turned out to be a super fun ride, and didn't make me sick at all.

From there I headed to the Pepsi Orange Streak. I expected this thing to be slow and boring, but I ended up really liking it. It travels around the whole park and you get to see everything. It even goes through the mountain that houses most of the log flume. It was a lot more zippy than I expected, and it turned out to be quite fun.

After the Pepsi Orange Streak I headed for the Sponge Bob Square Pants Rock Bottom Plunge.

After riding Mystery Mine at Dollywood, I was having mixed feelings about riding this. I only waited about 5 minutes to sit in the front left of the car. I had to take my plugs out of my ears so I didn't lose them or get them mashed into my head. It turned out to be a pretty good ride. These vertical lift hills are really weird, but you get some good ejector air cresting the hill. It wasn't as rough and head bangy as I thought it was going to be, although the bruises that were born the day before at Valleyfair! were really brought to life after my ride.

After Sponge Bob Square Pants Rock Bottom Plunge we headed over to the Fairly Odd Coaster. This thing was a lot crazier than I was anticipating. The first drop took me by surprise, and the rest of the coaster was history. We pulled back to the station and I had to close my eyes and hold my head cause I was SUPER dizzy! I haven't felt that sick since MaxAir at CP! The coaster looks awesome though, and is very photogenic, and I love how it interacts with the Midway's. It even had 2 little spots of airtime. They take an on-ride video of you that you can purchase. I asked the lady working if I could take a picture of the screen. She said yes, so I actually took a video of it. They don't show your entire ride, but you get to see a good chunk of it.

After riding the Fairly Odd Coaster we headed over to the Underwater Adventures Aquarium in the basement of the MOA. You go down 2 different sets of escalators to get down there. We paid something like $16.00 a piece to get in. They have a few different sections, my favorite probably being everyone else's favorite, the 300ft underwater tunnel. They had a moving floor in there that you just stand on, but the best part was you could get off of it anytime you wanted to to spend more time in the tunnel. There were some pretty sweet sharks in there. After the tunnel, I spent about 20 minutes trying to get my Mom to pet the Stingrays, I finally convinced her and was able to snap a photo of it.

After the Underwater Adventures Aquarium we headed to the Guest Services counter so I could rent a wheel chair for my Mom, cause I knew that we had a lot of fast moving to do to see the whole mall. The wheel chair was free to use which I was pretty pumped about cause I'm used to paying a ton to rent them at parks.

We started on the 1st floor and worked our way up the to 4th. I walked pretty fast, and stopped in maybe 12 to 15 stores. I saw all kinds of good Nike's, which I have a huge collection of but unfortunately didn't have enough money left to add any to the collection, and I also had to check out the Hot Topic there, cause I manage one here in Michigan and had to see how they operated. We then went back down to the 3rd floor and ate at Famous Dave's.

After Famous Dave's we tracked down the Moose Mountain Adventure Golf. I was really looking forward to playing this course, cause from pictures I have seen from it, it looks awesome. Well, it definitely looks awesome, but it was probably the worst layed out Putt-Putt that I have ever played.

We still had fun playing though. I won. I actually got a hole-in-one on the 18th hole too which earned me a free game, which I ended up keeping as a souvenir.

After playing Putt-Putt we headed back to Nickelodeon Universe so I could ride the Log Chute. I love flumes, and this thing was no exception. It may be the best, if it's not the best flume that I have ever ridden. The theming was awesome. There's a big mountain that it goes in and out of, little cabins, a GIANT cow/bull, and Paul Bunyan. It has like 2 or 3 lift hills with 2 drops. One of them being hidden and it can't be seen from anywhere unless your going down it. I was really impressed with it. After the MOA and Nickelodeon Universe I was hoping to have time take my Mom to IKEA, cause I always tell her about it but she's never been to one.

Unfortunately we spent over 11 hours at the mall and had no time, so we just headed back to the hotel to get some rest, cause we had a long drive ahead of us on Tuesday.

 

We woke up on Tuesday, August 5th... got some free Donuts and Waffles at the Hotel, then headed off to Como Town in St. Paul Minnesota for the last credit of the trip.

We drove about 25 minutes through a bunch of construction to get there. We got to the park and had to park super far away from the entrance. I spotted an employee taking some water in a locked gate not meant for the public. I begged him to let us in there so my Mom didn't have to walk all the way around to the gate. He was super nice, and understood the situation and let us in.

I went and bought my 4 tickets at $0.75 each and headed for the Screaming Dragon. After being laughed and stared at by the kids in line, as well as the ride operator... I was nestled in the front seat and ready for my death grip going up the lift hill so I didn't tip out of the train. 3 times around the course, and a few laughs later I had collected the last credit of the trip.

On the way out I picked up a couple park maps for the collection. I opened one of them up to check it out and had no idea the place was as large as it was. It looked to me like a mini Carnival Midway. I was wrong. They had a pretty decent sized Zoo that you could go in for free, but we unfortunately didn't have time. After we got to the car, we did spot a few Giraffes though.

 

We left Como Town and started the long trek home.

We ended up passing back by the Wisconsin Dell's and couldn't pass it up. We decided to play a quick round of Putt-Putt Golf at the World's Largest Pirate's Cove! They had 91 holes... yes, 91!

We only played one 18 hole course, that took about 2 hours to play through, which took some of our valuable driving time away... but we just couldn't pass it up, though I did have to pass up Avalanche, the cutest, craziest coaster that I told you about at Timber Falls that was right next door.

We left Pirate's Cove to continue our drive and we stopped somewhere in Wisconsin again and ate at Buffalo Wild Wings.

We continued our drive from there into Illinois where I had to try some Del Taco that I hear so much about. It was pretty good. We continued our drive through Chicago, and into Indiana.

Finally, Welcome to Michigan... Ahhh... then the dreaded Highway that is 69. The worst highway to drive at night. It's long, it's boring, and it's the best way home.

I ended up getting home at 4:30 a.m. on Wednesday, August 6th. Slept fast cause I had to work 8.5 hours that day. I am still trying to catch up on sleep.

 

Overall, this trip was one of my favorites that I have taken

We visited 6 different parks.

I rode 23 Roller Coasters, which were all new credits for me.

I rode 2 new Log Flumes.

We played 2 new Putt-Putt courses.

W saw a lot of new, and beautiful things.

I spent some quality time with my Mom.

We drove 1596.9 miles the whole trip, and spent I don't wanna know how much in gas.

 

I really hope you enjoyed reading my TR. (That is, if you made it all the way through!)

Thanks a ton for reading!

 

Photo's coming soon.

Keep an eye out!

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Here are pictures from Day 1, and the first park of the visit. Little Amerricka in Marshall, Wisconsin.

The pictures are not in order by ride, but they are posted in the order they were taken through out the day. I did get permission to take pictures on the rides too, but unfortunately this was the only park I was able to do so.

At the end of each update, I'm going to post a photo or two that my Mom took. (Mostly because they are of me, and we all know that a little self promotion never hurt anyone. )

 

Here we go...

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Here is a picture that my Mom took of me on the Little Dipper.

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While leaving the park I took this picture of the parks elaborate entrance.

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One of the few decent shots that I got of the Monorail.

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A close up of the train in the station. Isn't it nice?

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Some more family fun, cause that's what this coaster is all about! You can walk right up to this thing. You get so close you could slap the train when it passes by.

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After riding I snapped a few more photos of the Meteor in action. Here it is going up the lift hill.

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That's me going up Meteor's lift hill on the 4th lap!

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Another POV! This is some service!

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POV of some little bunny hops.

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Cresting the lift hill.

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Lift hill POV!!!

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I asked the ride operator if he would take my picture for me. He was more than happy to. He grabbed my camera and hopped down on the track and snapped away. The people at Little Amerricka were super nice!

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The train returning to the station.

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A nice photo of the old hand controls being used.

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Family fun on the Meteor.

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POV of the treacherous little bunny hills.

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POV on Little Dipper. Cresting the hill. You think it's just a coincidence there's a cemetery right there? I don't!

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Wild & Wooly Toboggan's layout.

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This is me crammed in the Wild & Wooly Toboggan car. I'm only like 5'6" and I was smashed in there. I don't know how anyone bigger, or taller can fit in these things.

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Lift hill POV on the Wild & Wooly Toboggan.

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The Mad Mouse consumes another victim!

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The section of the Mad Mouse where it felt like the car was lifting off the track and slamming back down. I'm pretty sure the bumpers on the front of the cars keep you from flipping over.

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On ride shot looking down the Mad Mouse layout.

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Close call or what?

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The crazy old school mouse cars.

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The train waiting patiently in the station for me to ride.

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The front of Little Dipper's train.

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The big drop!

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Little Dipper's lift hill.

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This, and the next 4 photos pretty much show the whole layout of the Meteor.

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While taking some pictures of Meteor I noticed this guy oiling the Mad Mouse lift hill chain... with motor oil for an automobile? I found this quite odd.

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Meteor's cute little curved station.

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I walked around the park before it opened and snapped a few pictures. This is the Mad Mouse.

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Part, or most of the parking lot. See the big cement things in the distance. There are piles of animal crap piled in there. I'm sure that's what helped contribute to the horrible smell.

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A sort of front entrance that cars and motorcycles were flying in and out of before the park opened.

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The Robert E. Lee Fairy. Talk about low water!

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The entrance to the Parking Lot with that sign that has the park hours on it, that I shojuld have payed closer attention to!

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Welcome to Marshall, Wisconsin... The stinkiest town ever!

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We arrived to the Chicago Skyway at about 3:30 a.m.

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Here is the second photo update for Day 1 of my trip with the 2nd and 3rd parks of the trip, which were Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park as well as Timber Falls Adventure Park, both being in the Wisconsin Dells.

Again, I'll end this photo update with a few photos that my Mom took.

 

Hope you enjoy...

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Here I am on the front seat of Cyclops, with some guy excited to be getting his 15 seconds of fame in the foreground, ruining the photo!

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Get that magnifying glass back out. That's me in the front seat heading down the drop out of Hades station.

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Here comes the cute little train out of one of it's high banked turns. This is my last photo from Day 1. I was pretty excited leaving Timber Falls, as I had a pretty rad souvenir. The ride operator never collected my ticket!

 

Now, a couple photos that my Mom took of me.

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This little thing hauls some serious ass!

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Notice the people holding on for their lives!

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Look at the cute little train at the top of the hill. How deceiving that little thing is!

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A couple of the insane little hills.

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What a view! ;)

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From what I could see, besides the coaster, the park had a log flume, maybe some bumper cars?, an arcade, and obviously putt-putt golf.

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Just pulled in the parking lot of Timber Falls Adventure Park. That is Avalanche that you see there.

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Leaving Mt. Olympus we saw these upside down buildings. I've seen a few of these in different parts of the country, but this was the largest out of all of them.

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Here you can see how big the parking lot is that Hades travels under. I was surprised at how long the tunnels really were, as well as how much action was packed in there!

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Another shot of Hades on the far side of the parking lot.

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Main Entrance sign for the parking lot.

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Hades just about to enter the tunnel on the far side of the parking lot. I really like the theming.

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One of Mt. Olympus' awesome (looking) wooden go-cart tracks. I say "looking" because I unfortunately didn't have time to ride any of them.

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Some of Zeus' airtime filled hills.

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Hades exiting the underground tunnel on the park side of the parking lot. For those that don't know (if that's possible), Hades tunnel goes all the way under the parking lot. 2 ways!

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Hades first drop and another entrance sign to the park.

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A closeup of Cyclops while on our way out of the park.

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I know it's kind of blurry and grainy, but that's me on the right again.

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Hades train pulling back in the station.

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The sort of station fly-by on Hades and some of the pre-lift fun in the background.

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Hades and Zeus' stations with Hades going up it's lift hill.

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The sweet entrance sign for Hades.

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Another shot, but this time with Zeus in the background.

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Cyclops and it's infamous drop. Notice the empty last car.

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3 very good coasters. A little slice of heaven? I think so!

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Themed Restrooms, Resteraunts, and Shops.

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Some massive Greek theming!

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Triton... this may be the only picture that I took of any of the water slides.

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Opa. The very tame indoor spinning mouse. This is the only photo that I took of it, cause, well... that's all it deserved.

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Another shot of Little Titans.

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Little Titans. My first denied credit of the trip. I tried to bribe the ride operators with money, as well as some kids and their parents. Everyone just thought I was nuts! How do you do it Big Mike?

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Pegasus on one of it's last little bunny hills before hitting the brakes.

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A close up of the sign.

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Pegasus going up it's little lift hill.

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This thing is no joke! I rode in the back seat to see what the sign was all about. I found out!

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Up the lift it goes.

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Cyclops' sign.

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Get your magnifying glass out. That's me in the front seat.

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I had a nice view of Hades exiting the station while I was waiting for the front seat.

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Some of Hades pre-lift excitement.

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My much anticipated ride on Hades was almost here! Notice the nice drop right out of the station.

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You walk right next to Zeus' first drop while entering the park.

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Mt. Olympus is pretty photogenic from outside the park.

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Ticket Booth.

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This is Hades' first hill. You can see where it enters and exits from under the parking lot.

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Here is a picture of Zeus before entering the park.

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What's that I see back there?

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Alright... here are my photos from Day 2 of my trip. We spent the majority of the day at Valleyfair! in Shakopee, Minnesota. We spent the rest of the day at our hotel room in Bloomington relaxing and trying to get caught up on sleep.

Again... I'll end this update with a few photo's that my Mom took.

 

Hope you enjoy!

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Pizza Hut! Our breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

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Here we are again on the Antique Cars.

Thanks to the employee for taking the picture while that bar was in front of my Mom's face!

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Let's take each others picture at the same time: Part 2!

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There I am in the front seat of Excalibur.

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That's me in the front seat of Renegade.

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This was our view out of the hotel window.

This is my last photo for this update.

 

The next 6 photos were taken by my Mom.

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This was our hotel room.

We stayed at the Comfort Inn in Blomington, like a mile and a half from the Mall Of America. It was pretty damn nice for only $68 a night, thanks to Expedia!

Our room got screwed up. We were supposed to have 2 double beds, but ended up with one King. Everything was booked so they couldn't move us around. As you can see, we made a divider with pillows.

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Some of my collection of soaps, shampoos, conditioners, and lotions from hotels.

I always carry them when I travel, cause you never know when you may need them. Ever slept in the car for 4 days and had to take baths in pools? haha, I have!

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My Mom relaxing in the chair in our hotel room.

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Took a photo of the entrance to the park on the way out, cause I seem to to everything backwards.

This is my last picture from Valleyfair!

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Some people about to get soaked on the top spin ride that I can't remember the name of.

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Sweet arcade theming with Wild Thing in the background.

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Train tunnels.

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Blurry on ride photo of me on Wild Thing.

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Two trains!

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Up the lift it goes.

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Wild Thing's station and sign.

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Another nerdy train shot. This one for a reason though. The axles were at least a few inches too short, so any time the train would turn it would slam to the outside of the track. Someone needs a new tape measure!

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Look, a train.

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Mmmm... Wild Thing airtime!

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Corkscrew, coming out of a corkscrew. Screwy huh?

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A lot of Corkscrew is over the water.

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Train POV.

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Wild Thing tunnel.

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The goodness that is Wild Thing, shot from the train.

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Nerdy train shot.

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Steel Venom's train flying through the station.

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Nerd shot.

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Steel Venom just coming out of the holding brake.

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Someone's about to get wet.

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Driving Miss Daisy.

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A mini carousel! Look at how tiny the horses are.

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Looking up through the ferris wheels structure.

I'm a structure nerd. I love bridges and weird buildings, and any other cool structures you can think of.

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Corkscrew in it's loop.

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That's me!

Ladies of TPR... I'm 28 and single. I don't drink or smoke or do any drugs. I love roller coasters, traveling, and riding my bike, and more importantly... I love my Mom! ;)

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Let's take each others picture at the same time.

It's really nice when parks have ferris wheels, trains, monorails, or antique cars so my Mom can actually ride something.

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Corkscrew's first hill, as well as Wild Thing's first hill in the background... with only one train. Booo!

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High Roller's turnaround.

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The small but fast and rocky ferris wheel.

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More prettiness.

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My Mom and I on a little bridge. I have no idea what she's looking at, but it's definitely not the camera.

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More nice landscaping.

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Aaaannd another!

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Most of Mild Things layout.

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Here is Mild Thing. This would be my 2nd, and final denied credit of the trip.

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Frog Hopper, cause the kids were so damn cute on it.

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At least it looks good!

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A better shot of the train.

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A dark shot of High Roller, rolling back in to it's station.

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Just in case you like Wild Mice though, here's a close up of one of the cars.

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Yuck! Another damn Wild Mouse credit.

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Excalibur going up it's lift hill. I really expected this ride to be jerky like a mine ride, but it was surprisingly smooth and fast, and had some airtime!

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Excalibur's train leaving the station.

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Blurry on ride photo of me on Renegade: The Outlaw Coaster!

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Sexiness! The trains look so nostalgic even though their brand new.

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Station fly-by, again. It's a beautiful thing, what do you expect!

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Here comes my chariot!

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Some of the hidden line that goes under the station.

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I've been spotted!

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Train coming out of the station fly-by, and some of the queuing area.

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Good ole' GCI station fly-by!

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There's just something about Millennium Flyer trains that I love so much, but I can't put my finger on it.

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Renegade's sign, entrance, and exit.

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Mmmmm... GCI!

This is what I was most excited for in the park. I wasn't let down!

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Something else that I thought was nice... even though it's full of algae and seaweed. Even though there's a little waterfall and a fountain, it looks pretty stagnant.

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Treasure Tree Gift Shop.

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Obviously... Corkscrew.

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I was surprised at how nicely landscaped the park was.

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I think I can, I think I can...

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This is most of High Roller, which would be more appropriately named Slow Roller.

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One of Wild Thing's massive helix's.

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Here you can see how close our VIP parking spot was. Ok, it was a handicapped spot for my Mom, but it sounded good for a second.

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Ahhhh yes, here we are!

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A decent view of Excalibur while driving down the highway.

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For a second I thought the Big Mike Road Show must have been passing through.

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Welcome to Shakopee, Minnesota!

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So STR8FXXXINEDGE, not only am I a coaster enthusiast, but I am also a tattoo enthusiast... especially sweet traditional style tattoos. I love your coaster tattoo (ok...so I might be a MySpace stalker).

Anyway, awesome TR. If I can ever get through these dang Ohio, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania parks, I will eventually start making my way to the more northerly parts of the country.

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Nice pictures, sounds like you had a great trip. I hate to say it but I agree with you about how slow High Roller has been running lately, and it's all because of the one trim that was put on the turnaround a couple years ago. That return run to the station used to be filled with airtime, now there's hardly any.

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Thanks for the kind words everyone!

It really was a great trip.

 

I will post the last photo update of the trip tomorrow.

 

So STR8FXXXINEDGE, not only am I a coaster enthusiast, but I am also a tattoo enthusiast... especially sweet traditional style tattoos. I love your coaster tattoo (ok...so I might be a MySpace stalker).

 

And you didn't add me? Pshhh!

Just kidding. Add me though. I always like new people to talk to, especially about roller coasters and tattoos!

Pennsylvania is a good place to be stuck riding coasters.

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Hey, thanks for the pictures of the Arrow Mad Mouse. That model is one of my top ten coasters. No, seriously.

 

Oh, and for all of the other pics, too. I actually really like ValleyFair, though I haven't been there in a long, long time.

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This is update 1 of 2, for Day 3 of the trip.

I have a TON of photos from the MOA and Nickelodeon Universe that I'm going to post.

The first 99 are here, and as soon as I post these 99, I'll finish up with the rest.

 

Here we go. These are from Day 3 of my trip which took place at the Mall Of America and Nickelodeon Universe in Bloomington, Minnesota.

They are in the order of which we went about things through out the day, and not grouped by ride or anything else.

 

Enjoy!

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Close up this time.

 

Update 2 from Day 3 up next!

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Zippin through the turnaround.

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Most of the course.

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Tight, forceful little helix.

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You get pretty close to the Sponge Bob coaster from the golf course.

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Having some fun with the theming.

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Some of the course.

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"No Cussin'". That unfortunately wasn't the case.

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It looks awesome, but that's about it. The artificial grass was too soft for the ball to roll good on, and the whole course was completely flat.

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Time to play the most boring putt-putt golf course ever!

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The other super creepy, realistic, mannequin/statue!

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A special shout out to the Big Mike Road Show & moose!

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A Christmas section that had a carousel, and Skiers and Snowboarders that actually went up and down hills.

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Creepy! Told ya so. They were eerily realistic.

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They had a store that had a different section for every holiday. They also had a couple super creepy statues, which you'll soon see. This Halloween thing had a ferris wheel, tilt-a-whirl, and I don't remember what all.

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Me waiting for my food.

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My Mom waiting for her food.

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Dinner time at Famous Dave's.

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This thing was so nice.

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Top of another one of the lifts. I'm not 100% sure, but I think there were 3 lift hills.

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Aaaaand another.

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Another overview.

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Top of one of the log flumes lifts.

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Inside the Nascar challenge. You actually race against a bunch of other people and the cars move as if you're actually driving them. From what I could tell, it seems like you move on to other rounds if you win or something. Who knows... back to the good stuff.

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They had a Nascar challenge. I hate Nascar, but I had to take pictures for my roommate. He drag races, and hates Nascar more than I do.

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Another section of the mall. This reminds me of the inside of a giant cruise ship.

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I think this was that Wii Fit - Family Challenge that they keep advertising.

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Another.

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See what I'm sayin.

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They had different theming for each section of the mall, as you'll see :).

It was nice. It kept you from getting bored of looking at the same thing for hours on end.

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Another overview shot.

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Some Straight Edge fun at the movie theatre.

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Here is where you exit, and go up the second lift hill.

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Here is where you enter the log flumes cave.

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Pepsi Orange Streak's super long train.

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It just looks so good!

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Look top left. You can see how close Avatar Airbender gets to the ceiling.

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Some what of an overview of the Fairly Odd Coaster.

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A different view of the other dinosaurs.

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More Lego Dinosaurs. This time with babies.

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A nice view of the drop.

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On the 2nd floor, you can get pretty close to Sponge Bob Square Pants Rock Bottom Plunge.

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Another.

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Aquarium in the resteraunt.

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Rainforest Cafe. We did not eat here, as I have ate at 2 other Rainforest Cafe's and I didn't care for the food at either of them.

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We are now done with the aquarium.

We have ventured back in to the mall. Here is another Lego statue. Star Wars? Halo? I don't know.

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Ticket counter.

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Circle Of Life.

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My Mom after I convinced her to pet the stingrays.

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Jaws!

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Ugly octopus. I never realized how gross those things are. I can't believe people eat them. Yuck!

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Little Sea Horsies!

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Get it? How clever.

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Snake... YUCK!

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They had a pretty decent sized model of the Titanic.

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Flesh, and everything else besides bone eating piranha!

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Baby alligators.

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The tunnel has ended, and I expected it to all be over, but I was wrong. There was still all kinds of stuff to see.

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Look at this lazy ass thing.

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Look at those teeth!

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What the! This thing was awesome!

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Duh nuh, Duh nuh, Duh nuh...

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A giant stingray.

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There we go!

I was surprised at how big the aquariums were. I guess there is over a million gallons of water. That's HUGE!

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A turtle. In Shark Cove? I want sharks!

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Shark Cove... Now I'm excited!

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Piece of a ship. If you look closely at that sign, they had some neat trivia along the way.

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Fishies! Which you're about to see a lot of.

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They had different parts of the tunnel too, that had fish from each of the regions or whatever they are.

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We are now in the 300ft underwater tunnel. These are some sort of weird looking half alligator, half fish things.

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Take note Cedar Fair. That is actually a trash can!

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My mom making her way through the foresty section.

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They had all kinds of different stuff while making your way down. Here is a Koi pond.

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On our way to the Underwater Adventures that is in the basement of the mall.

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One of the little caves.

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The splash, which got me a lot more wet that I expected.

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The last drop on the super sweet log flume!

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Up the lift it goes.

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Weird snake-ish looking pine tree thing.

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I have never been so dizzy in my life. I had to literally close my eyes and hold my head when it was over. Luckily though, it didn't make me sick.

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Here is the sign, cause in Brian fashion, I photograph everything ass backwards.

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Cute little thing ain't it?

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Yes, I did whore this thing up. It didn't even take any begging or paying anyone to ride it either!

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Sponge Bob's over banked turn and the Dora ferris wheel.

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if you can't tell, that's me in the front seat.

I swear those aren't nerdy goggles. They are my actual glasses.

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Pepsi Orange Streak's control panel, with 5 cameras!

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My Mom patiently waiting for me. Everyone wave to my Mom.

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Pepsi Orange Streak's lift hill.

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Down the drop, which gave some good airtime.

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Up the vertical lift.

I also forgot to get a photo of the awesome sign for this coaster. I'm upset about this one. Even though there are a million pictures out there of the sign, I don't have one of my own.

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Sponge Bob Square Pants Rock Bottom Plunge in the loop.

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Look at that twisty Gerstlauer goodness!

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One of the 3 photos that I took of Avatar Airbender. I guess i was so nervous that it was going to make me sick, that I forgot to take some good photos of it, and get a photo of the sign. Oh well.

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Finally... Nickelodeon Universe.

I was really surprised at all of the super nice landscaping. You didn't feel like you were indoors at all.

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Some random Lego stuff on top of the store. There was a ship and an octopus, which was exciting.

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And again.

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Lego Dinosaur. Sweet!

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Lego's... Mmmm!

I thought this Lego store was going to be an actual store that was huge, and it wasn't. It was still awesome though!

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We have arrived!

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Alright, here is update 2 from Day 3.

Hope you're still following along!

 

After this update, I'm going to make something to eat, take my laundry out of the dryer, then post my photo's from the last day of the trip, which was Como Town in St. Paul, Minnesota.

 

I promise it will be over soon!

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Leaving the mall now. This is also my last photo from the MOA!

 

Please stay tuned for the last 2 small updates.

Thanks for reading!

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Giant Lego clock tower thing-a-ma-jiggy!

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Lego dinosaurs again.

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The Fairly Odd Coaster comes right down on the midway. Check out that ladies face, haha.

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The last drop.

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Looking out from the log flume line.

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I still can't get over how amazing this this looks, and rides... and it's in a damn mall!

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The entrance to the basement for the Underwater Adventures Aquarium.

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My Mom and I in the middle of our game.

We kept letting people play ahead of us so we could enjoy the view and take photos at our leisure.

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Alright... this is the last update. I promise.

I'm going to start this update with a few photos that my Mom took from Day 3 at the MOA.

Day 4 photos will follow after that. Day 4 consists of photos from Como Town in St. Paul, Minnesota, Pirates Cove in the Wisconsin Dells, and a few photos of stuff that I collected throughout the trip.

 

Enjoy!

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LAST PICTURE OF MY TR!!!

 

These are the two shirts that I purchased.

A Hades shirt from Mt. Olympus, and a Renegade shirt from Valleyfair!

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Park receipts, wrist bands, tickets, pencils, pictures, and even a ring from the ring toss at Valleyfair!

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Some larger park maps, and yes... I'm so nerdy that I keep bags from parks!

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Here are some brochure's, maps, and our putt-putt score cards, as well as the free game that I won at the MOA.

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That's how many miles we drove during the 4 day trip.

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Get your magnifying glass out. That's me in the second car.

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In Illinois, they a lot of rest stops that are above the highway. It's pretty neat.

This is my last photo of the trip.

 

I'm going to post one more photo that my Mom took of me, then on to the collection of crap that I collected during the trip.

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I had to try Del Taco. I think I like it better than Taco Bell.

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Hawaii? Nope, just the Wisconsin Dells.

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91 holes! That's insane!

I wish I had time to play all of them.

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Playing putt-putt. Of course, I won. Sorry Mom. ;)

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More pretty landscaping. It's cool how tropical some of these places feel.

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Another shot of Avalanche.

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Look what's right next door! It's the cute little Avalanche. Unfortunately, I had to pass it up this time.

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Waterfall.

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Brenda is my Mom. I am Brian.

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Water! Water makes anything fun.

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Pirates Cove landscaping.

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Passing by the Wisconsin Dells again, we couldn't pass it up. We stopped at the worlds largest Pirates Cove putt-putt place.

Look off in the distance. That would be Hades at Mt. Olympus.

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And more!

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More prettiness.

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Notice the MPH. It was like that for a while!

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Windows down. Messed up hair. Sleeping passenger. This is just like every other trip I've ever taken!

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The prettiness that is Wisconsin.

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This would be my car, and the locked gate behind it would be the gate that I conned an employee in to letting us in to so my Mom didn't have to walk all the way around to the entrance.

What a nice guy he was.

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That there would be the ride operator that laughed at me. You laugh at me? I'm the one having fun! :p

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The whole course.

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The lift and the spiral drop.

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Photo of Screaming Dragon from outside the park.

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Park entrance.

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Ticket booth.

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Como Town's carnival like midway.

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The station and sign.

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POV Baybeee!

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This seems a little ass backwards to me. It feels like the train is going to tip over to the left, so it seems to me you'd want the bigger person on the right.

Ok... as I was typing that, it came to me. Bigger person on the left so you don't squish the smaller person going up the lift... Duh!

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Look at that little beauty!

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Here's what we drove a half an hour out of the way for. The Screaming Dragon at Como Town in St. Paul, Minnesota.

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That's my last name.

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Minneapolis or St. Paul?

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This begins the update for the last day of the trip. Day 4. This was our hotel as we were pulling out of the driveway.

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This was our bed at the hotel. Notice the left side of the bed. That's my sleeping bag, and pillow. I never use the sheets, pillows, or blankets at hotels. I also never use the remote. Yuck!

 

This is the last photo from day 3 of our trip.

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My new best friend and I!

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Look to the far right of the photo. That's me whoring it up on the Back at the Barnyard Hayride.

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That's all folks!

It was an amazing trip.

I really hope that you enjoy all of my photos (if you make it through all of them). I know that I am!

 

It feels good to be able to share my trip with people who actually care about this stuff. There's nothing worse than getting home from a trip and wanting to tell people about your trip, and no one cares!

 

Thanks for reading everyone.

I really appreciate it!

 

Comments are welcome.

Enjoy!

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