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Photo TR: S-A-R's End of the Summer Mega Road Trip


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Day 4: Hersheypark!


After Kennywood, we made a 3 hour long drive in our cold, wet clothes to our hotel in Carlisle, PA (a real gem of a town, let me tell ya!). After getting a few hours of sleep, we crawled out of bed so we could experience Fahrenheit, which had been teasing us the previous night's drive with numerous radio advertisements and billboards along the Turnpike.


Our first ride on Fahrenheit was a lot of fun, but nothing earth shattering. Only two things really took me by surprise; First, I didn't expect the first drop to have a really strong effect since the crest was so gradual. But, no, you get ejected, especially in the back. Second, the little airtime hill in between the last few turns is insane!!! The entire train would suddenly scream every time the train went over it because of the intensity.


As the day wore on though, the ride warmed up and sped up. The Norwegian loop began to sway more and more with each train's passing and everything became more and more intense. By night time, the twisting on the Norwegian loop was extremely quick, the trains just shot through the corkscrews, and the bunny hop was delivering some of the most intense airtime I have ever experienced. I know some people were annoyed that Hershey didn't install something with a little more variation from what is already in the park, but there were no complaints from our camp!


It is definitely a nice compliment to the park's other Intamin looper. Storm Runner is simply one of the best rides I've ever experienced. I don't really know of a more complete coaster. It really has everything; inversions, air time, big drops, a launch, quick transitions, and high banked curves.


Well, I'll leave it there and allow the pictures and captions to tell the rest/repeat everything I just said.


Enjoy! Knoebel's and Dorney are next!


And I'll close this segment with one more for all of you lift hill enthusiasts.


Knoebel's and Dorney are next!


We were fortunate enough to visit on a day where they actually operated the single-rider line, so we milked it for all it was worth.


This ride was an entirely different beast once it was warmed after a long day of operating. Though, maybe I shouldn't use the word "beast" since this ride is actually good.


There are a few more night rides to be had though!


Robby rolls in pleased after his wicked night ride.


... and it pretty much blew our minds! But I can totally understand why the voters of Amusement Today don't have a greater appreciation for its intense launch, wicked pops of airtime, fast pace, and unique, thrilling inversions... especially when darkness is thrown into the mix. I mean, the ride just lacks so much, ya know? It's no Kingda Ka!


In all seriousness, the wait for the front seat wasn't much different than the rest of the rows, so were pretty amped about our night ride...


Yeah, that's right ladies... we travel the country riding roller coasters like this one, which drops 180 ft and goes from 0-70 mph in less than 2 seconds (as demonstrated by Robby). What's that, baby? 'Why' you ask? Because we're a bunch of rough ridin' bad asses with ostrich sized huevos, that's why. Don't all jump at once.


We took an intimate ride up the Kissing Tower to check out the sweet overhead views of the park. Sorry for the not-so-sweet picture quality though.


Falcon is an acrophobic, motion sick-prone person's worst nightmare... but a surprisingly fun, intimidating ride for those who aren't.


My nomination for "favorite inversion."


And right after we got in, we saw this...


Finally! After three hours, the rides were finally up.


It takes a LOT to make complain, but the situation became so irritating that we eventually left the park just so we could politely ask what their weather policy was (i.e. if lightning is within so many miles). However, before I even got my entire question out, the lady straight up offered me free tickets if I left! Most parks would say, "sorry, no rain checks," but they offered and I wasn't even asking! I just wanted to know what it would take before they re-opened everything. After seeing the clear radar we walked back into the park so we could wait it out a little bit longer....


Two and a half hours later, the thunder and lightning are long gone, but the rides still aren't open... they are beginning to make Cedar Fair look good.


Long after the rains had stopped, all the major rides were still closed. We were incredibly excited to find that the Merry Derry Dip was still open! The Merry Derry Dip is essential a carpet slide, but damnit, does Hershey try to make this ride seem official. They even had an automated spiel for the thing. Can somebody please explain why the Merry Derry Dip was open, but the monorail wasn't?


That's what she said.


So the rains eventually stopped, but we quickly learned that Hershey has a Cedar Fair approach to weather. With everything closed, we went next door and had a bunch of cows sing to us about the complicated process of making chocolate.


That's a hot look.


I bet this one is a big seller!


We sought refuge in a gift shop during the rains.


"I get the feeling this might go on clearance soon. Just a thought..."


And then the rains came...


I felt like such a coaster bad @$$ 'cause I got pics of Storm Runner with a storm rolling in. That's right. Coaster ladies, pm me for the digits. I'm a baller.


Red Robin's parking lot provided some cool pictures, though we don't recommend going to that Red Robin. They get pissed off at you when they screw up your order.


No, no... that totally was NOT extreme!! Something about some washed up high school football player's hot daughter who skis and some other dude's son that surfs or skates or something and you shoot things... yeah, I don't know, but I do know one thing; that was totally a credit!




How extreme is the Reese's Cup, Andrew? That's right, it's X-treme.


I'm not going to lie, it wasn't until I started resizing and cropping these photos for the TR that I realized I got one of Storm Runner's trains at the top of the top hat.


Hershey seems to have mastered the art of building rides on top of each other without giving the place a janky, carny feel.


Jeff, are these credits?


Sooperdooperlooper is a fun little mine train.


Great Bear... it's a really fun ride, but it completely dies out at the end. Still, the GP eats it up. Considering capacity, it's been the most popular ride during both of my visits to the park.




To us nerds, this is just a generic Boomerang clone, but to the GP, this is the scariest ride in the park! Seriously, the GP is terrified of the fact that this thing goes backwards!


Fun fact of the day: There is a coaster in Illinois called the Whizzer that is better than Fahrenheit. I know this because I read it in Amusement Today.


Back to Fahrenheit, I'm not sure what the general reviews have been, we were all big fans of the Norwegian loop! Not the most intense inversion ever, but it had some sweet twisting action.


Hooraaaaay Lightning Racer ERT!


Did Hershey hire the guys that planned Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom?


It's like a fast, swooping sofa ride. Gotta love those Millennium Flyer trains.


Wildcat is one of those rides I just don't quite 'get.' I've heard rage reviews of the thing in the past, and while it's fun, it's not very memorable outside of the first drop.


...Yeah, so much for that theory. It really doesn't matter when they have freakin' water falls along the track as well as automatic geysers.


Oh, and you know that lever next to your seat that releases your water bomb? Yeah, don't pull that in the station as your ride op is coming to check your restraint.


Seeing how none of us are fans of waiting 3 hours for family coasters, we went ahead and knocked out Roller Soaker, thinking that we would be safe from getting drenched since it was 65 degrees and few people had made their way over to the ride yet...


[bad Idea #3 of the trip]


There are at least a few people on these boards that will appreciate this.


...or maybe the voters just aren't fans of intense launches, crazy pops of airtime, awesome inversions that are unique, vertical drops, quick transitions, and nice settings?


Maybe it's because the voters don't like waiting in cramped, unorganized stations.


We went straight to the awesomeness that is Storm Runner following Fahrenheit. In case you guys didn't know though, Storm Runner isn't as good as rides such as Steel Force, Kingda Ka, Top Thrill Dragster, and Volcano. I know this because I read it in Amusement Today.


Fahrenheit is a ridiculously good looking ride.


As the day went on and the ride got faster, the Norwegian loop shake more and more. We couldn't believe how much the thing was swaying back and forth after each train passed at night!


We'll have more of Fahrenheit later, though. It's not even the best ride in the park...


The short little trains fly through this tight before rocketing over the "oh $%!!" hill. Seriously, every time the train went over that little bunny hop, the entire train would suddenly scream because the airtime is so crazy. We're talking Phantom/SROS-type airtime.


Fahrenheit is one of those rides that you have to let warm up. It progressively got better throughout the day. Our morning ride was "really fun," while our afternoon ride was considerably better and by night time it was flat out awesome!


Vertical lift porn!


I really didn't understand why people thought vertical lifts were so cool, but I found out this summer. It really does have sort of a thrill factor to it.


Like everybody else, as soon as the gates opened, we headed straight for Fahrenheit.


Day 4 landed us at Hersheypark! The shops leading to the main entrance of the park really remind me of BGE.

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I wish I would have seen those shirts when I was at Hershey, I would have picked up the Canyon River Rapids one.


It is impossible to stay dry on Rollersoaker, I wore a poncho last time and still got drenched. At least you didn't have to wait for it, it usually has a crazy line that is one of the slowest moving around I guess because of the horrible capacity (I estimate it at around 240 an hour)

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Your trip report is absolutely amazing so far! It looks like Hershey wasn't too crowded when you were there. How were the lines for Storm Runner and Fahrenheit? I would also like to say that my parents bought about 3 or 4 of those "I survived the Sooperdooperlooper" shirt's and all of them are different.

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Every once in a while, he makes the mistake of badmouthing Spurrier, to which I point out how he, along with the rest of this campus, has an unhealthy obsession with a man who has been dead for 25 years.

Steve Spurrier is a traitor, anyone who aligns himself with The University of South Carolina is dead to me. Praise Urban and be merry.


Oh, and you know that lever next to your seat that releases your water bomb? Yeah, don't pull that in the station as your ride op is coming to check your restraint.

It's almost like they should put a sign next to the lever to tell people not to pull it in the station.


p.s., I still love that photo of Storm Runner with the storm clouds. That's gangster.

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Day 5: Knoebel's and Dorney!


So, this was one of the most stressful and hectic days of the entire trip. After an hour and a half drive, we arrived at the Knoebel's parking lot. I was waiting for the people in the car next to us to get out before I tried to, but they were just staring at the back end of my car. So I got out and found smoke billowing from my left rear tire!!!


As I walked over near the tire, I could feel the heat radiating from it. Eventually, a worker came over and told me that if it didn't stop soon I'd have to move it elsewhere (since their parking lots or grass). Well, it didn't stop for probably 20 minutes. Eventually, I forced Andrew and Robby to go and enjoy the park while I tried to deal with our car issue. The nice folks at Knoebel's gave me a little car advice and then pointed me in the direction of a mechanic. The news wasn't good. My left rear brake had become jammed, destroying the brake, the brake line, the brake caliper, and the rotor. So, we were indefinitely stuck at Knoebel's until the car was fixed.


The mechanics took me back down to the park and thrashed on the car all day. Our scheduled time of departure came and went, so our time at Dorney was quickly ticking away.


Knoebel's was fun as always, but it was hard to fully enjoy the place when I was frustrated about the car and eagerly waiting for a phone call. The highlight of the day though, was without a doubt, the Flyers. I skipped out last year, which was a big regret. We were all completely blown away by their awesomeness. That might be the best freakin' flat ride in all the land.


We were all a bit underwhelmed by the bumper cars. It seems unanimous that these are the best bumper cars around, but we just didn't quite understand. Don't get me wrong, they were good! But they weren't amazing. Maybe it was just the mood we were in and the fact that half the people who rode with us were freaking idiots that didn't understand how to operate a bumper car. Can't exactly say that they are my all-time favorite.


I could write quite a bit about our day at Knoebel's, but I'm not going to worry about it. Sorry for the lack of pictures. We just weren't really in the picture taking mood while at the park.


Eventually, at 5:30, we got a call saying that the car was fixed. After a quick discussion, we decided to go ahead and try and do as much of Dorney as we could. So we hauled our way over to Allentown and walked into Dorney's front gates around 7:30. Yep, two and a half hours to conquer the park! It's not the craziest thing I've ever tried to do at a park. I'll let the pictures tell the rest.


Enjoy! SFGAdv is next!


I really regret not buying this hat so I could go as a socially awkward ACEr for Halloween this year.


SFGAdv is next!


What the crap? Why would somebody, other than nerds like us, go to Dorney and buy shot glasses of Xcelerator or Shivering Timbers?


Haha!!! Andrew didn't know how to brace himself for the holding brake!


Finally, after conquering Laser, Steel Force, Thunderhawk, Wild Mouse, and getting multiple rides on Hydra and Talon, the only thing left to do is Voodoo.


Maybe I have to ride it in order to break my blurry photo curse. Most of my better angles throughout the day were ruined my blurriness.


I know, it's a crappy picture, but I still sort of like it. Maybe it's because we were only there for two and a half hours, which also happened to be at night, but I really thought Dorney was one of the best CF parks around. For me, it's second only to KBF.


Here's Wild Mouse, which in all seriousness, was probably our longest wait of the night! At least it doesn't suck as bad as SFKK's version.


"Why does everybody hate this ride so much?"


It really was a lot of fun. Like I said, the only downfall is how the last 1/3 of the ride dies out. But hey, that doesn't stop people from ranting and raving about Boardwalk Bullet!




Dang it!


Andrew: 2 Scott: 0


... our night ERT on Hydra!


Robby, what are you pointing to?...


Andrew, along with the rest of us, gave our approval! Again, it's not Batman intense, but it's not a cupcake coaster. Plus, the layout was a bit refreshing.


Like it or not, you have to admit that this is one of the best looking coasters around.


Well, we will have plenty of opportunities to form our own opinion with our Talon night ERT!


Talon is another one of those coasters that everybody seems to love or hate.


Now I'm not a trains nerd, but I got a kick out of this miniature train. I'd never seen anything quite like it.


"New" for '08 is Voodoo. If only Laser could get similar treatment.


We'll come back to Voodoo later though.


Laser is incredibly intense and has awesome pacing... so naturally, it doesn't belong at a Cedar Fair park.


Hey Jow!


This also marks the beginning of the "NERD shot" battle.


Andrew: 1 Scott: 0


I couldn't care less that the thing is sitting on wooden blocks, this thing is awesome!


If somebody is capable of doing THAT, then I think line jumping SHOULD be a sport!!


Laser is 1/3 of the reason why we came to Dorney. In typical Cedar Fair fashion, Dorney is removing it's best ride.


BONUS Fun Fact of the Day: Steel Force is the world's tallest and fastest mine train coaster.


It was sort of fun, but for a 200 ft tall coaster, it left a LOT to be desired. The "airtime" was barely existent which isn't particularly good for an out-n-back coaster. We actually had a conversation in the middle about what ride we were going to do next!


Steel Eel > [2(Steel Force + Wild Thing)]


Somebody ralphed.


The car ride might be the best ride in this picture.


Next we headed to Steel Force, the Morgan hyper that towers over the entire park.


Fun Fact of the Day: Steel Force is the 18th best steel coaster on the planet. It's better than rides such as Sheikra, Raptor, Titan, Hulk, Kumba, Goliath (SFMM), Tatsu, Xcelerator, Storm Runner, Kraken, Fahrenheit, and Dominator. I know this because I read it in Amusement Today.


So honestly, it wasn't the most intense coaster on the planet, but I wouldn't say it was any less intense than Superman Krypton Coaster or Medusa. It was actually a blast up until the direction change after the cobra roll. Then it just died. They should have just ended it there.


I expected the jojo roll to be about as lame and stupid as the music of Katy Perry. It was surprisingly cool and fun though, along with the rest of the ride!


Well, our Hydra ERT will allow us to find out!!


And it has a zero-g roll! Can it really be that bad?


So I've always been fascinated with this thing simply because everything it does is so unusual for B&M. The order isn't predictable and some of the inversions are tweaked and goofy.


So seeing how that we were all pretty curious about this ride, I love floorless coasters, and Andrew was a floorless virgin (yes, he's from Florida... I know), we went straight for Hydra.


I'm really not sure why this place has such a bad rap.


We'll hit you later. We're kind of interested in seeing what everybody is whining about on Hydra.


Talon is staring us down, taunting us saying, "You have two and a half hours to own everything. Yeah, good luck with that."


Just a reminder of where we are.


I just need to vent about how Cedar Fair needs to seriously up their season pass game. It's so convenient at the Six Flags parks where you can simply scan your pass and walk in. At Cedar Fair parks, you have to go to guest relations, wait to be helped, and then fill out a sheet before you can enter.


But at the same time, they stare at me kind of funny and I get to pretend I'm from California.


Hooray! More Cedar Fair goodness!


I'm a bit of a Pennsylvania fan boy because you have cool little towns like this one, along with awesome parks like Waldameer, Kennywood, Hershey, and Knoebel's.


We found this sign to be hilarious, particularly because the guy has obviously had a really bad day, given the placement of his hand in comparison to the rest of his body.


And I know its a travesty because it's Knoebel's, but that's actually all of the Knoebel's pictures I have! We were really pressed for time and were content with Knoebel's, so we jetted off to Dorney to try and get in what we could.


Many people say these are the best bumper cars in the world. We were all slightly confused by this. Can't exactly say they are my favorite. Good? Yes, but I didn't really see how they were so superior. Maybe if the people we rode with knew how to operate them, they would have been more fun.


The little pedal makes it go. Turn the wheel left to go left, and vice versa to go right. It's not complicated, people.


(Parking + Auto Advice + Gate Admission + Southern Chicken Dinner) < $5


I think they are trying to beat Waldameer's record for time spent trying to finance/build a new coaster.


I remember standing here almost exactly a year ago thinking, "man, I wish it was open. Hopefully I'll make it back next year."


Day 5 started out at Knoebel's in the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania. The problem with it being in the middle of nowhere is that you don't have a lot of options should your car breakdown. ;-)


Since my day was cut short due to car problems, I really didn't focus on taking many pictures at Knoebel's. It just didn't seem as good as I remembered. Phoenix was "fun," but didn't have any of the ejector airtime I remember.

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We were all a bit underwhelmed by the bumper cars. It seems unanimous that these are the best bumper cars around, but we just didn't quite understand. Don't get me wrong, they were good! But they weren't amazing. Maybe it was just the mood we were in and the fact that half the people who rode with us were freaking idiots that didn't understand how to operate a bumper car.


The key to the bumper cars at Knoebels is to ride with people who know how to use them. Our ride wasn't actually that great, but right before we got on, the GCI guys were pretty much destroying each other on them. I have never seen bumper cars cause such impacts before! As a group, we were all pretty nervous riding them after witnessing the carnage.

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^Pssh, Yeah!! "Former World Champ" just means I'm more experienced, son!


Honestly, and I can only imagine the heat I'm going to take for this, my favorites are still the defunct bumper cars at SFOT. They also had an oval track format, but were faster and lighter, so you could actually spin people out and slam into them.


I can't believe I just said that something in Texas is better than something in Pennsylvania! It's possible that I might have slight emotional attachment to them though, since after all, that's where I earned my World Championship title (see avatar).

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^ You know what I think? I think you actually bought all those shot glasses....and then used them before you wrote this part of the report.


Knoebels' bumper cars FTW.



"Former" champ just means you're washed up, and can't remember things as well from all the beating you took.

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I expected the jojo roll to be about as lame and stupid as the music of Katy Perry.

You obviously can't recognize talent when you hear it. If anything I thought you would have developed some better musical taste after listening to radio for the entire trip. Shame on you.


BONUS Fun Fact of the Day: Steel Force is the world's tallest and fastest mine train coaster.

You forgot Nitro, although I assume Steel Dragon 2000 would top both for the tallest and fastest mine train.

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The key to the bumper cars at Knoebels is to ride with people who know how to use them. Our ride wasn't actually that great, but right before we got on, the GCI guys were pretty much destroying each other on them. I have never seen bumper cars cause such impacts before! As a group, we were all pretty nervous riding them after witnessing the carnage.


Seconded. Last year at PPP there were a lot of broken cars. Before the PPP crowd had got to them, that is. Turns out that DAFE had had an ERT session the night before. The video is pretty amazing, if you can find it.


By the way, not all the cars at Knoebels are the same.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Day 6: Six Flags Great Adventure


The most anticipated park of the trip was easily Six Flags Great Adventure, for one reason and one reason only: El Toro.




Had we known how much New Jersey sucks (sorry Big Mike and the other cool NJ folk of TPR), we might have reconsidered! After arriving at our hotel in Princeton following our night at Dorney, Andrew and I went out in search of a Walmart, Walgreen's, or something along those lines that was open 24 hours. Well, turns out, none of that seems to exist. So we drove around for half an hour (even stumbled onto Princeton U's campus) and eventually decided to give up and head back to the hotel. However, the person who thought up the New Jersey road system was obviously on one sick speedball or other narcotic concoction seeing how you aren't allowed to turn at intersections! So we drove around like idiots trying to figure out how in the hell to get back to the other side of the road!


Meanwhile, Princeton's finest had caught on that we were extremely confused as well, and seeing how we were going the speed limit, he naturally decided to pull us over! He made me step out of the car and asked my full story about why I was there and what I was doing. He then went back to the car and asked Andrew as the same thing, obviously making sure our stories matched ('cause I mean, how many people from Indiana drive from Alabama to New Jersey to go to Six Flags?). The cop asked Andrew what we were doing "today," to which he responded "going to Six Flags, sir." The cop responded, "Today!?" Andrew simply said, "yes sir, it's 1 am." The cop then gave me my license back and let us go. It at least makes for an entertaining story!


So, anyway, we got up bright and early and headed to the middle of nowhere New Jersey to ride the greatest freaking ride in the nation! Seeing how it's a bit late right now, I'm just going to make a few quick points.


1. El Toro completely met and surpassed the hype. This thing is about as close to perfect as they come. It created an entirely new level of airtime beyond "ejector air" simply known as "El Toro air." It's in a league of it's own. The ride is so smooth, the pacing is sick, the first drop is unreal, and the airtime makes you question the integrity of the restraints. On more than one occasion, I remember getting stapled and thinking "there is no way I'm going to enjoy the airtime now." However, I kid you not, my ass left the seat. It's that powerful, yet it's not painful. It's just amazing. I don't like comparing wood coasters to steel coasters, but I can easily say that El Toro is, without a doubt, the greatest coaster I have ever experienced. Folks, get to Jackson, experience El Toro, and then get the hell out of New Jersey!


2. The rest of the park didn't really meet the hype. We were all a bit letdown. The park felt like it was built in the 70's and then mostly untouched. Golden Kingdom was very impressive but it felt so out of place. It was on par, if not better, than what you would find at Busch Gardens Tampa! The rest of the park was just fairly bland, save the area around the mine train. The flat ride collection at the park was non-existant and half the coasters are either over-hyped (e.g. Nitro) or need to be torn down (e.g. GASM, Rolling Thunder, Runaway Mine Train). If it wasn't for El Toro, I would have no desire to return!


3. Lastly, and I'm sorry if I offend anybody, but there are some obvious cultural differences on the East Coast. The biggest of which is the fact that the higher population concentration results in the majority of the people having a much smaller space cushion than those from, say the South or Midwest. So, it isn't any big deal to them if they are leaning against you or literally standing on your foot while in line for a ride. For us, that simply made for a lot of really awkward, uncomfortable experiences throughout the remainder of the trip!


Anyway, enough ranting! I hope the cool Garden State residents on TPR aren't offended! I'll let the pictures and the captions tell the rest. Enjoy!


For the next update, we will be conquering three parks in three different states in one day, as well as Natasha $#%&ing Bedingfield!!!


*Ghost of Robby* Photo #2!


So this concludes our day SFGAdv. Next up, three parks in one day and Natasha $%#@ing Bedingfield!!!


As if there was any doubt, the rides in the pitch black night solidified El Toro's spot as our number 1 steel coaster ;-)


On a side note, the El Toro staff freaking ROCKED! When we got in line, the queue was lined out the entrance was listed at 2 or 2.5 hours. After 40 minutes, we were on the ride!


Oh sweet jeebus... night rides on El Toro.


Four coasters... only two of which are worth mentioning.




Note: This is the part where, towards the end of the day, the train is going so freaking fast that it feels like the trains are going to just rip through the tracks.


It's slightly amazing that the park was even able to build Kingda Ka. We frequently saw planes flying very low near the park.


Nightfall cannot come soon enough!


This time, instead of making the long walk to the other side of the park, we simply took the sky ride.


BeemerBoy 4 Prez!


PMW Ya'll!!!


I know most of us aren't fans of clones, but the Batman clones are still one of the best, most intense designs B&M has ever put out!


Unlike Superman, Batman still isn't a drag to ride, nor does it have a 3 hour line today!


The Premier fanboy inside of us wept as we waited in line for Dark Knight.


Next, we decided to wait an hour and a half to ride the new Dark Knight Coaster. Apparently, according to the sign, it is a high speed, thrilling coaster and has an intensity level of 5, the same as El Toro and Kingda Ka!


Honestly, it was fun, but it just didn't go together. They made it out to be some big, intense coaster with this awesome, freaky pre-show... all for a generic wild mouse. It was quite entertaining to see so many pissed off riders walk out of the building and tell everybody in line that it wasn't worth the wait.


Ohhh ha ha! I get what they are doing here!! They are so clever!! They. Are. SOOO. Clever!! They are making a sexual innuendo by suggesting that the rocket, representing Nitro, is actually a...


I never thought the day would come where getting a B&M flyer credit is a drag! Fortunately for us, we planned to go back to the park for half a day to ensure plenty of El Toro action, so we don't have to wait in the 3 hour line it has today!


Andrew re-enacts his Kingda Ka experience.


Those of you who caught our cross-country TR might remember that I have a tendency to jump on top of my car to get better pictures. Does this count as a NERD shot against me though? I'm going to say no...


As we left the park to go get some lunch, I couldn't help but look at GASM and think, "why the hell could they not have swapped strategies with SFGAm?"


As expected, Medusa was fun though, for whatever reason, it didn't seem to have as strong of a kick as Scream did. It was still one of the best rides in the park though!


Mmmmm zero g-roll awesomeness. The zero g-roll might be the greatest inversion not named "flying snake dive."


SFGAdv may actually hold the record for most mine train coasters in a single park, with three. Believe it or not (I had no idea before going to the park), Medusa is actually "themed" around the "Medusa Mining Co." You learn something every day...


Medusa is really tucked away in a corner. It's easy to forget the ride even exists because it is so removed from everything.


After Skull Mountain, we decided to hike over to Medusa before grabbing lunch. El Toro taunted and teased us though, as the Intamin fart noise is to us what the Sirens were to Odysseus.


Skull Mountain was cool in a very WTF sort of way! The drop was awesome, but the theming was a bit bizarre!




Andrew: 3 Scott: 1


Nitro suffers from Thunder Dolphin Syndrome. It looks sooo good, but none of us were impressed! It just seemed to "go through the motions." It was just a notch above Steel Force.


Screw it, let's go ride Nitro!


We decided to head to the far right side of the park to see what was going down in Movie Town.


This would be the center of the park. If you were to hang a right at the fountain, you'd be facing the entrance.


The park was nice and all, but most of it feels like it was built in the 70's (which it was) and was never touched afterward.


It looks so fun though! Have you ever had one of those rides where you are bracing yourself so hard and taking such a beating, that you feel incredibly relieved once you hit the brake run, sort of like you just finished running a 5k? Yeah, GASM is one of those rides.


On an major dork note, this was a bit of an accomplishment for me. When first became really interested in coasters, during my pre-teen awkwardness, one of my biggest goals was to ride the three big Arrow loopers at the Six Flags parks. GASM was the last of the trifecta.


It also suckceeded in giving me a headache for most of the day.


[bad Idea #4 of the trip]


Oooo corkscrewy goodness. It looks nice at least!


Forget making the loop bigger... just make it HIGHER!


I can't lie, I was pretty psyched about GASM. The views around the park really remind me of Shockwave at SFGAm, and hell, Viper was pretty sweet.


Yeah, I'd be bummed if I Golden Kingdom really reminded us of BGA. We were all pretty blown away by the area. Unfortunately, it felt incredibly out of place compared to the rest of the park, which wasn't bad, but just wasn't near the same level of quality.


Andrew looks more than pleased to never have to ride Ka again. I think he liked the view though...


Once a line started to form on El Toro we decided to go ahead and knock out Kingda Ka.


Ka's launch can only be described as an acceleration from 0-128 mph in a car with incredibly bad wheel alignment and a transmission that slips on every gear change. After climbing 456 ft, you are trimmed as you start to fall back down to that beautiful New Jersey ground, where you then visit an untrained chiropractor. Then, right as you might get some real enjoyment out of the experience, you greet the brakes.


There is the world's tallest and fastest coaster in a nut shell, folks. At least they didn't spend too much money on it!


We'll be back for more, but until then, we have credits to hit.


Holy crap!! I mean... they said it was awesome.... they said it was insane... they said it was the best.... and.... and... it was!!!!! Minds officially blown, among other things.


Robby is:


A) thinking "meh..."


B) reflecting on his life and what he should do now that it is complete.


C) wishing he had suggested we spend an extra day in LOUisville so that we could experience more of that Vekoma SLC bliss... and KY girls.


I could hug every single person in line for Kingda Ka and Superman right now. Especially since it remained like this for probably 20 minutes.


Wooden coasters aren't supposed to do that...


Sacred feces, this is what we came for...


With special emphasis on "came."


They all went left, we went straight ;-D


OMGZ OMGZ!!! We have to goes to da Superman!!!! It's like... like the best ride EVER!!!! Then lets do Kingda Ka!! It's like 1000 feet tall!!


The first ride to show its big scary face as we pulled up was Kingda Ka, which was fitting since, like New Jersey, it looks nice on paper but mostly just sucks.


So after receiving a warm welcome to New Jersey by the Princeton Police Department at 1 am, we got a few hours of shut eye and then awoke for the most anticipated stop of the entire trip; Six Flags Great Adventure.


Yeah, I'm not sure why we were excited to go to New Jersey either...

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I guess GASM is a love it or hate it type of ride. I try to ride it every time I am at the park, I barely have any headbanging.


Superman always has a crazy line thanks to the slow dispatching and the popularity.


I also agree with what you said about the flat rides being non existant. I guess that is a result of around 12 or so rides being removed in the past 3 seasons and with rumors of Fantasy Fling (Round Up) leaving this year, it makes all the coaster lines longer.

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As if there was any doubt, the rides in the pitch black night solidified El Toro's spot as our number 1 steel coaster.


So then what's your favorite woodie?


El Toro takes both! I mean, El Toro is technically a wooden coaster since it's made of wood, but it's also 'far to smooth for a wooden coaster.'


Day 7: Three Parks, Four States, One Day!


This was one of the most spontaneous days of the entire trip! The original plan was to start the day off at SFGAdv, and once we got all of our credits/were content with El Toro, we would leave and head to Playland Park outside of NYC for the rest of the night.


Well, the day started out perfectly fine and normal. We got our credits and said goodbye to El Toro after a number of rides. We were pretty psyched about Playland simply because it had become a huge running joke. A few days before the trip started, I discovered that Natasha Bedingfield was a free concert during the time we were going to be there. We just found this absolutely hilarious. Why would an artist of that caliber be playing at a place like Playland?!?!?


Getting to Playland required the mistake of driving into NYC, where you have to deal with horrible traffic, the douchiest drivers, and outrageous tolls! Oh, and here's a fun fact for you: You have to pay with cash in the "no cash" lane! Nice!! Throw rain into the mix and it was a glorious experience!


As we finally pulled into the Playland parking lot, we were slammed with a torrential downpour. This didn't really bode well for the rest of the night! Once the rain let up, we strolled around the park for a while in hopes that some of the rides would start to open. No dice. The park wasn't quite as janky as expected though. They had a sort of nice set up, but it was still very different from anything I've been to before. The bathrooms were absolutely hilarious simply because they had signs telling guests not to wash their hair or feet in the sinks!! WTF!??


After hanging around for close to an hour and seeing a massive storm cell strolling in on the radar, we decided to just forget about it and head to our hotel in Hartford. However, as we neared Hartford, we realized that SFNE was just half an hour away and we could easily run up and score some night rides!


So we decided to sacrifice rest and get a sneak preview, which turned out to be an awesome idea! We arrived the park with enough time to ride Batman, then get in line for SROS. Even though we only scored two rides, it was still well worth the trip! I'll save my opinions about SFNE for the next full-sized SFNE update.


Day 8 is next, with SFNE followed by a night at Lake Compounce!


Well, that concludes day 7! We'll be back 'tomorrow' for a full day at SFNE and Lake Compounce!


We managed to get a night ride on Batman, which can best be described as "cute."


El Toro in morning, SROS at night... this is one of the sickest coaster days ever!


This thing is freakin' MASSIVE!! It practically spans the entire park!


Trust me Robby, this is better than getting much needed sleep back at the Holiday Inn!


To hell with the hotel! We're going to SFNE for night rides!!


With even more nasty weather rolling in, we emotionally decided to skip out on Natasha and simply head north to our hotel in Hartford... or so that was the plan.


*another sigh* Yet another missed credit!


*sigh* Another closed coaster. I was honestly psyched to try the Zamperla death machine! I mean, they look pretty freakin' cool to the unsuspecting rider!


Believe it or not, this is a credit! Unfortunately, we won't be able to slut ourselves out on it :-/


Even though it stopped raining, there was still a lot of bad weather in the area and a wicked cell was moving in, so all of the rides remained closed...


Another trifecta is accomplished! In one year, I reached all three major bodies of water bordering the U.S. via seaside parks (Belmont, Kemah, Playland)!


Anybody up for a swim?


Playland definitely wasn't exactly what I expected....


I guess we better check out the map to see how we want to kill the time left until the concert!!


There was a band playing that was covering Natasha! WTF? I’ve never been to a concert where the opening band covered the main act!!


Seriously, why (or how) is Natasha Bedingfield playing a concert at Playland!?!?


...Natasha $%#&ing Bedingfield!!


Well, they do have a few coasters. And…


“What the hell are we doing here?”


So after spending the morning and early afternoon at SFGAdv, we planned to spend the remainder of the day at Playland in Rye, NY. As we pulled up to the parking gate, things obviously weren't looking the brightest.


Bad Idea #5 of the trip: driving through NYC


What can I say? I'm a baller! I’m sure this will help my street cred.


It looks like such a cool ride!! But I seriously hope to find something else in its place the next time I visit the park.


We were stunned by how much the Eruption towers bowed in every time the ride ran! It’s no wonder the Cedar Point one collapsed!!


It would appear that SF has plenty of land to expand. They could practically recreate Geauga Lake here…


We gave Medusa one last ride before saying goodbye.


I pride myself in taking original pictures ;-)


I feel like this is something I should find in RCT.


El Toro pictures make me happy :-) Notice the nice reflection…


I’ll give them credit for actually racing Rolling Thunder. However, the 5 minute dispatch times were embarrassing and the ride blows.


$30,000,000, folks. $30,000,000.


Oh, and notice Toro's transfer track... it's totally a steel coaster ;-)


Heck freakin’ yes! It simply never gets old.


Can they just make this section a separate park?


It was sort of scary how Cedar Fair-esque certain parts of this park were. Come on, Six Flags! Don’t sink to that level!


SFGAdv is probably the only park where you can get half the flat ride collection in one picture!


We wisely planned a half-day return to SFGAdv to ensure we got plenty of rides on El Toro! We also had a few credits that we needed to grab before we could say good riddance to New Jersey.


Day 7 brought us back to SFGAdv before heading north!

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Those green trashcans at Great Adventure are for the parade route, before the parade starts they put up yellow chain links on the trashcans. Otherwise they normally don't have so many (most of them have been removed since the parade is done for the season)

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I'm sad we never went and picked up our pictures from the photo shoot we had before the park opened on our first day. GADV really needs to up its game and let you check your photos online, because the card the lady gave us definitely didn't give us that option...



haha, awesome report.

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Agree with you that GASM does look VERY cool and that seeing the old Gotham Observatory brings a tear to the eye. Several of the captions gave me a good laugh and the look on Robbie's face in the one SFNE pic is priceless.


Bummer about Playland, but hey, you have to improvise sometimes. Been enjoying the updates. Good work.

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