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Eric and Candace's East Coast Trip PTR

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SFA cont'd...


I did take a few non-coaster photos today.


and to leave for Williamsburg! Busch Gardens is next! (Hopefully, a little sooner this time)


After a group vote at lunch, it was time for an obligatory myspace photo...


The mac was extra cheesy today, just hows I likes it.


I love the unique views you can get at the different park's picnic pavillions.


We ran into the infamous Uncle Sams on the way to lunch.


I meant to ride the train to catch a glimpse of Ultratwister but we never got the chance.


Candace was dragging a little bit after all the ERT tag we played that morning. :)


Time for lunch.


I did actually ride this. One of my few spinning rides on the trip. It wasn't that bad.


It is a good ride, but maybe it was having an off day. Whatever was the case, it still can't hold a candle to it's namesake up north!


This had more airtime than the 2nd hill!


"Hi, I am Superman, and I'd rather be in Six Flags New England."


Superman is running!


But that is okay, because...


GCI can always say that they were just trying to match the mediocrity of the park, right?


After riding Boulder Dash, I was singing your praises! How could you GCI?!?


A rough GCI ride?!?


Next up...


I think I took this one because it said "Lice baths" and Max never took baths, so everyone said that Max should get a lice bath.


I took this picture thinking I would be able to come up with some sort of caption instead of this one where I am describing how I can't think of a caption while making a run-on sentence.


In the above picture am I:

A) Attempting to put my camera back in my bag, and like a moron hitting the button


B) Cleverly, sneaking a picture of Robb's boxers into this update


There are three people currently walking around SFA with one shoe. Talk amongst yourselves.


Is it the same thing that makes natural disasters good for photojournalists?


Why are these things so photogenic?


Would you actually wait 60 minutes for an SLC?


We tried to stall as long as possible, but we needed the credit.


Even with our doom awaiting us, TPR members never pass up an opportunity for a clever picture.


Our next destination was this piece of crap.


However, this photo on the other hand...


There is nothing funny about this picture...

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I'm really enjoying these updates! Looks like it was quite an awesome trip. Sounds like the trip to SFA turned out to be the exercise park of the trip with all the back-and-forth during ERT breakdowns. Thanks for all the great photos too, keep 'em coming!


Actually, Busch Gardens was by far the exercise park for the trip. That park is mammoth.


The ERT breakdowns were more humorous than annoying. I also forgot to mention in the update that we got their version of the Flash Pass, so no one was really worried that they weren't going to get any of their credits.


Glad you are liking it!

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^The SFA Flash Pass, did anyone even use all their tickets, I know I certainly didn't?


Poor old SFA, it's like an extremely fit and healthy person who falls seriously ill and then can't get medical treatment. There are so many coasters there that could be great but were running terribly especially Superman, Joker's Jinx (the launch was so slow compared to Flight of Fear), Wild One, and Roar.


I really felt for that poor PR girl, she wasn't getting much love from the rest of the team.

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^The SFA Flash Pass, did anyone even use all their tickets, I know I certainly didn't?


We only used 2 of the 5 rides and ended up giving them away.


Did superman have the trim on between the last two hills?


I don't recall. It evidently wasn't running very well that day, so perhaps it was on.

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^^Thanks for that, I was wondering why they were launching Joker's Jinx so slow, the train really crawled through the course.


SFA love to make you work for catered lunch too, the walk was so long to the picnic area. I felt like I was in the book The Stand where they walked from Boulder to Las Vegas, at least the devil wasn't waiting for me at the other end like the book, but there were still some scary people there.


I'd hate to be at SFA when it's crowded, if indeed it ever manages to attract crowds anymore.

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Because of the amount of pictures I have for Busch Gardens, I am going to break this it up into smaller updates.


Day 6- Busch Gardens (Part 1-Morning ERT)


On the way to Williamsburg, Robb informed us that Busch Gardens had selected our group to do a filming session on Griffon in the morning. We were already scheduled to have an hour of ERT on Griffon, as well as Alpengeist, so this meant that we would be arriving at the park 45 minutes early and essentially getting more ERT! This also meant that with evening ERT on Big Bad Wolf, this was going to be nearly a 15-hour day at the park!


The park had asked Robb to choose 30 people in the group based off specific criteria to take part in the filming shoot. Fortunately, both Candace and I were chosen. What this meant was we would get on the first two rides of the day. We started out on the outside seats of the back row. I really liked the ride but was a little disappointed that we didn’t tilt over the edge on the first drop very much. For the 2nd ride, we moved up to the middle row and it wasn’t much different of a ride. (I will come back to Griffon after my Alpengeist review.)


After our two rides on Griffon, Candace and I decided to run over to Alpengeist while the rest of the group rode Griffon. Evidently, not many people had this idea because we ended up getting back-to-back rides by ourselves! I am a big fan of this ride. I felt it was extremely forceful and had a very unique layout for an inverted coaster. (I am used to Batman clones up to this point).


Since we still had some time left for ERT, we decided to head back to Griffon for another ride. Just like Alpengeist, we would be the only ones on Griffon! We decided to give the front row a try and we loved it. These giant drop coasters are quite an unique experience especially in the front outside row. There is absolutely no track around you and it really feels like you are flying through the ride. Griffon is a great overall ride, I just wished they decided to do something else with the layout besides repeating the drop and immelman loop. After we rode Griffon, it was time to meet up with the rest of the group for our DarKastle walkthrough but that is for the next update.


Picture time...


One of the best ERT sessions on the trip! Darkastle walkthrough is next!




We headed back to Griffon for one more ride before ERT ended. Looks like Axel is pleading for one more ride!


Completely unintentional two train shots are the best


The ride does a great job of interacting with the terrain.


and another.


More Alpengeist.




Why are Boomerangs, which have loops that look awfully like Cobra Rolls, called Boomerangs and not Cobra Rolls? Silly Vekoma.


Loved the first drop!


Here is your lift hill porn and whatnot for those that dig it.


This is what the station looked like after our two rides on Alpengeist. You've got to love ERT on TPR!


If a 200 foot coaster is a Hyper Coaster and a 300 foot coaster is a Giga Coaster, what is a 21,741 meter coaster?


Attention future owners of Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Do not mess with the theming!


Next up is some B&M sweet goodness.


Sorry, that loop is just hypnotizing to me. Okay, moving on now.


With the addition of Griffon, Busch Gardens became the champions of having the most Immelman loops in one park. That is a fact, at least I think...


I love me some Immelmans.


Dangit! That track got in the way of the sun in this picture!


This would be a better shot with people on it, oh well.


Testing has begun!


While waiting for the filming session to begin, we might as well take some early morning shots.


This is why!


And why are we here so early when ERT isn't scheduled until 9:00?


Time for a long day at Busch Gardens.

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More Busch Gardens...


Day 6-Busch Gardens (Part 2)


This update will cover our Curse of DarKastle walkthrough.


This was a great tour. More Busch Gardens to come!


Here is one of the effects designed to disorient the rider. At this point, you are made to believe that you are flying around out of control, when in fact the vehicle is staying level throughout the ride.


This is where malfunctioning cars go. If a car needs to be serviced during the day, this door opens up and the vehicle goes into a maintenance shed without interrupting operations.


Nice wallpaper.


Nice eyebrows.


Without knowing the backstory, I am going to assume that this kid is a huge douche.


From what I gathered, between each 3D screen, there would be these transition rooms to allow time for each screen to reset for the next car.


There were plenty of tripping hazards along the tour.


This is a mean ass family.


Larry shows off moves from his former job in air traffic control.


As you can see, the whole tour was filmed by Robb.


The game quickly ended on the next round with "Right hand red".


I am a big fan of dark rides so I was pretty excited about this tour.


It's time to go in!


The monitors were not running audio so we never did catch the back story.


I love the theming for this ride.


Our guide would be Larry Giles who I believed was head of the design of the ride.


After morning ERT, it was time for a tour of this.

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Day 6-Busch Gardens (Part 3)


The final part of this update will cover the rest of our day at Busch Gardens after morning ERT and the DarKastle tour.


I want to move on to the pictures so I will just say that I loved this park and felt that it was on par to the Disney and Universal parks with its theming and attractions.


Highlights for the Day


- Curse of DarKastle. It wasn't as good as Spiderman, but I live the overall story better.

- Getting the Quick Queue system for the day = no waits on a crowded day

- Spending an hour soaking people on Roman Rapids

- Big Bad Wolf ERT

- Finally getting the chance to experience this park


You do not want to get on his bad side. Kings Dominion is next!


Transformation is complete!


Yep, we are definitely going to need some glitter!


Its almost there, but it seems to be missing something.


Now, its time for the mouth.


Here is the progress so far.


Since we have all this black makeup, how about some of this stuff.


A little black stripe action.


Then, add white makeup.


First, add green makeup to half the face and forehead.


I will close this update with what I like to call:

"G.J.'s transformation"

Here is a normal picture for comparison.


*Not shown, the chicken dance


If you've never been before, the stage with the polka band rises up to make room for the hyper polka dancers.


Its the Red-Bull Fueled Polka Dancers.


Or you can catch the polka band whilst enjoying a beer (or a Minute Maid juice box).


Like the opportunity to own a piece of Ireland. Or is it the chance to listen to an incredibly, annoying (yet addictive) song over and over.


Time to check out some of the things that makes Busch Gardens so unique.


And here was my lunch.


We'll come back here in a bit, because it is time for lunch.


While we were waiting for lunch to be ready, we killed some time in here.


They really got the ride backwards. Get the riders wet first, then dry them off with the flames.


I did escape from Pompeii and managed to get a little wet.


*Bonus Denzel Washington Movie Reference*

Any guesses?


Since we realized that we had just walked down into what was essentially a pit, we delayed the climb out by taking pictures of turtles.


Now, back to the interlocking loops.


We managed to break away from the hypnotizing, interlocking loops long enough to provide this photo for you guys.


Poor Nessie is now dwarfed by Griffon and Alpengeist.


I bet no one has a photo with the sky lift precisely in this position.


Loch Ness Monster was not a part of the Quick Queue system. Probably, because there was absolutely no wait on a crowded day.


Can you handle one more?


Some rapid's action for you know who.


As demonstrated here. This specific cannon was probably the best one, I think it was number 10?


This side wasn't quite as good as the cannons facing Apollo's Chariot.


We did spray some complete strangers!


Being a good husband, I refrained from spraying her. (Actually, the quarters from G.J. hadn't arrived yet! Dangit!)


Here I am sitting by the water cannons as my wife goes by.


Last one.


Nice airtime here.


Of the 3 B&M hypers I have been on, I rank it 2nd with Nitro firmly on top.


We ended up riding Apollo's Chariot twice. The first time I didn't care too much for it, but the second time around was a lot better.


You can't get many good shots of this coaster from inside the park, so I will have to settle with some crappy bus shots.


Naturally, our main focus in Italy was this ride.


Italy seemed like it was nicely themed but we didn't linger in this section that much.


On the way to Italy, crazy shenanigans were being performed by TPR members.


I can't imagine what this curve was like before the trim on the drop.


I was not disappointed and night time ERT was amazing!


After watching all the coaster shows/videos featuring this ride, I was thrilled to finally get a chance to ride it.


Thanks to the Quick Queue we got right into the station with only a three or four train wait.


I am a little fuzzy on the order here, but I believe we hit up Big Bad Wolf after DarKastle.


Thanks to Chuck (cfc), I probably would of never found the urge to take this picture.


I am just going to randomly start this update with the log flume.

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^I AM a sexy BEAST!!!


Seeing pics of Kings Dominion WOULD get on my bad side...SO DON'T SHOW THEM!!! SKIP 'EM!!!




Awesome stuff! Might just have found myself a new avatar. Naw, I think R&E like seeing their picture on the site, so I'll leave my old one up...



G "C.Alvarez=Lurker" Money

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  • 2 months later...

I guess after neglecting this thread for over two months, its time for another update. I checked the motivational meter tonight and it was flickering around a 2, so I figured I should update while the getting was good...


Day 7 - Kings Dominion


Kings Dominion just wasn't very good. We got Morning ERT on the two best rides at the park by far, Dominator and Volcano. After that, we would witness the worst operations of any park on the trip by far.


Highlights of the Day


-Dominator-This is a good ride that seems to be attracted to mediocre parks.

-Volcano. This is a pretty good ride for a prototype but what's up with the anti-climatic ending?


I'll close this update on a positive note. There was no crowds! Moreys Piers is next! (Hopefully, I'll update it a little quicker)


This reminds me of the Grizzly River Rampage at Opryland and makes me sad. :(


All joking aside, this was the most painful roller coaster I have ever been on.


Three out of four Chiropractors rate this ride their Number 1 woodie!


Ride two Kings Dominion wooden coaters, and get one free consultation with an area back specialist.


A little known fact about Kings Dominion is that it has an active partnership with the greater Doswell Area Chiropractic Association.


Although I have heard it is usually rough, Anaconda was actually running pretty good. I guess this ride was a highlight since it didn't hurt. (Foreshadowing)


I have actually wanted to ride this roller coaster since I saw it in a roller coaster program years ago.


Did anyone else bang their knees on the speakers? I guess it wouldn't of been that bad, if the speakers were actually working.


This was the Italian Job themed coaster but it was delinquent on its bills so they turned off all of its effects.


Reason #4267 to go on a TPR trip. Taking pictures of the general public trying to figure out why there is a bunch of coaster geeks on the opposite end of a rope drop.


After ERT, we had exclusive Scooby time!

I didn't do so well on this one.


Volcano was another good ride. Besides being rushed by the management, ERT was definitely the highlight of the day!


Sarcasm aside, it was a great roller coaster!


They painted it a different color because it is the tallest loop on a floorless coaster. Why didn't Geauga Lake think of that?!


By far, one of the best coasters in a crappy park in America.


I guess a year ago this would of been a pretty boring photo. But now there is the coaster with the largest yellow vertical loop on a orange coaster in the world! That's what they told us at lunch at least.


Our Morning ERT awaits us...


This is probably the best shot I got of both buses.


This is your average morning on a TPR trip. Arrive at the park early enough to stare at it across the street at the local convenient store.

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lol yeah no crowds but the worst operations of the entire trip...


It was amazing. I mean I waited with others for about 4-5 trains on Grizzly it took us 30 minutes. Absolutely amazing! Then there was Drop Tower which we walked on and proceeded to wait almost 5 minutes for them to actually start it.


I was so disappointed by Kings Dominion... Then they told us how they thought it was as good as Busch Gardens...


Glad you are back posting

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I thought they said they were in the same league as Disney?! Or at least they have to sort of trick themselves into thinking that they are competitive with those guys just so they can find a reason, regardless of how false, to roll out of bed and open the doggone park...


I seriously feel bad for Dominator. I'm sure they'll prove that being designed well won't mean squat for longevity.

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Enjoyed the BGE update and always glad to see that park. Thank you much for all the rapids shots and agree with you on the face water cannons. Got the wettest with those verses any of the others.


As far as Pompeii goes, if the fire doesn't work, there's always air drying on Apollo. One of the people I rode RR with a couple summers ago made that joke. Good call.


Man, Dominator is just impressive. Period. That one is definitely on the "would ride" list. Just very likeable. Nice reference to Grizzly and agreed once again.


Good up date and front page well earned.

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Huge Hummel Boy thanks you for your support--but he would prefer cash next time.


Dominator is definitely a diamond in the rough at KD, a park that has lost a lot of its charm over the years. I think Drop Tower has had consistently poor operations all season, while coaster operations tend to vary. Spring is the time to visit this park--it's at its best early in the season.

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Great TRs! I enjoyed going through all of them. It makes me miss BGE, I really enjoyed the park, probably alot more than I do the one over here. I had no idea they trimmed Big Bad Wolf's drop now! Thats dissapointing...


I can see how you wouldn't think much of Hurler, I don't remember it at King's Dominion since it was so long ago, but it was horrid at Carowinds. As for Dominator, are they really going to keep the loop a different color? Seems odd...


Overall thanks for sharing! I enjoyed them, just make sure to get some more awesome shots of Volcano next time. (just kidding)



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