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Philrad's '08 Eastern US theme park visits

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Yes, I must admit that I get really bored in the winter months in Southwestern New York. Work is slow and I can only handle so much TV, so it's time for some trip reports that will take us all back to those sunny summer days of pleasure-filled times - feelings of joy and giddiness one can only experience by visiting a theme or amusement park. Come...let me whisk you away on a whirlwind journey of fun and epic magic where we can soar like eagles and feel freedom whisping through our hair as we float, float, float...oh, how we'll float!!!



Perhaps a little too gay for the mainstream?


Oh okay, let's try this then:


Let me say that we have had snow on the ground in Southwestern NY since November 9th, so before I go Jack Torrance on everyone's ass...I'm gonna dish out periodical trip reports within this topic. I hope you enjoy this more than arguing over a couple pieces of B&M track in rural Ohio...if not, hey...at least I tried!


First stop - King's Dominion


Riders kick the sky, yet it is not Raptor...hmmm. Up next - Cedar Point. Can you taste the excitement?


That Volcano coaster..again!


Anybody that has not been to KD may not know about this hidden gem - this coaster flies into an algae ridden swamp tunnel...surprise!


Broad spectrum of coast rollers.


Busy day for Italian B-Stunt Job Coaster


Flyin' Eagles - the ride op simply ruled. Don't remember his name but will never forget the "Yeahhhh.....fly highhhh...yeeeeahhhhh!


Busy day - again


It decided to fail while we were in line, but it soon passed go and collected 200.


After beer we decided to try stand-up Togo - yay.


Too many crappy woodies can only mean one thing...NEED BEER!! I have NEVER been so excited to see Budweiser Select in my entire life!


Probably the least lethal of the woodies at this park. My spine was somewhat attached when we returned to the station.


GRRRR...I am Great Bear! I mean, Grizzly Adams! It's all about the cheese, folks...how many other trip reports are there out there lately, huh, huh???


Does anyone think that KD contracted someone to tear down Hurler and they accidentally tore down Hypersonic instead? Ooops!


I'd much rather ride a cramped Ri-crochet. Someday, I will spin you a yarn about this lil' coaster.


You simply have no idea what you are in for my friends. My condolences...


Good God, mon...Predator is like riding a snow sled on powdery-poofy sneaux compared to this hell-machine! This thing IS death!


Wellll....I guess as long as it's not as rough as Predator??


This can't be good...HURLER??


I cried no, no, mooorre!


It was busy today...


Ride in the front and back seat of this to experience what I mean by schizophrenic coaster.


Hightower and schizophrenic wooden racing coaster loom beyond.


Junior Beast lurking in the woods?


Oh look, it's another one of those Intamin coasters that blasts you out of a volcano - hmm.


Dominator 2.0


Up in one high tower, we glimpse another high tower. I'm higgghhh toooo!!!!


Dora happens to like older men, but who doesn't??


I decided that I should call in another vacation day while we were in Virginia to explore King's Dominion - who wants to go back to work anyway? First off, we have the Eiffel Tower clone signage. Oooohhhh!

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Does anyone think that KD contracted someone to tear down Hurler and they accidentally tore down Hypersonic instead? Ooops!


They probably contracted to have both torn down, but could only afford one.


Last time I checked, parts of Hypersuckit were stacked up on the far side of the Hurler.

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Thanks for the comments, guys! I will try to throw in some CP pix after I return from dinner/cocktail hour this evening. Feel free to use any of my pix as you see fit, Robb!


Regarding Hypersuckit (loved that one, Chuck!) I kind of agreed that it wasn't one of the better coasters that I had ridden back when it was still operational...but I still remember losing all saliva in my mouth waiting for that launch! It definitely was more "one trick pony-ish" than TTD or Ka. I could see how it lost it's appeal over the years.


I did also remember seeing the track pieces over by Hurler and thought for a split second that it might have been for a new coaster. Then I remembered what the track looked like for Hyper when I was there the last time it was standing. I do think that the GL flat transfers will be an excellent addition for that area in '09!


As far as when we visited, it was June 24th (a Tuesday). Almost everything was a walk-on except Volcano and Dominator. The longest wait was for Dominator, which was the last coaster we rode before leaving around 9:00. That wait was maybe twenty minutes.


We almost didn't even go as this was a trip to DC to see Michael's kids and grand-kids south of Richmond. We drove by the exit for KD, I saw the tower and said to Michael, "Awww man - I really would have liked to have hit KD being that we were so close." So we drove to the next exit (which was quite a ways down the road), turned around, and I called my co-worker and said that I was taking an extra vacation day - glad I did as we had an awesome time!

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Actually, I should have probably posted this trip report first, but I got my dates crossed.


One week before we took off for Virginia, I had to go to Michigan for a business trip. Being that we would be driving near Sandusky on the way out, we took off a couple days early in order to attend Cedar Point's Gay Day on June 15th. We got a room at the Breakers.


Even though this event is not official by any means, there were plenty that were up and representing! Everyone seemed cool about seeing guys holding hands with other guys and ladies with ladies. There were some occasional "Tee-Hee's" by giddy teen girls when they would see two twinks walk by them holding hands, but overall - a pretty comfortable vibe. Even the family in the Jesus shirts in line for Maverick didn't seem to have a problem with seeing two leather bears holding hands!


Overall, the park was dead with hardly any waits for anything. Not quite as dead as Kings Dominion mind you, but close. I think Millie, TTD and Maverick had the longest waits (no surprise there), but most everything else was a walk-on!


Didn't get too many pictures this time, but then again...how many CP pics can one actually handle??


Okay...on to the report!


Love seeing the expressions on people's faces! Next up - Waldameer for my plant picnic! Thanks for reading!


Baby, I'm ready to gooooo! Could these be lesbians in the front seat?


Vote on which is more impressive - hardly any line for Maverick, train stacking, or Mean Streak. You can also vote for Michael if you wish! ;-)


Holy crap, look at that huge....double wooden, steel tracked, what used to be smooth as glass, but no longer is racing coaster!


Most important picture in the report: Where to get BEER - Last Chance Saloon. Do not, I repeat do not miss this place if you think coasters are more fun on beer!


Obligatory shot! CP definitely needs more phallus-looking rides!


Walk with me through the Gay Happy Tunnel to Fun!


Cresting the lift on Magnum. Love that first drop!


Michael says, "I needs me some liquid courage before I go on that coaster behind me!"


Holy crap, look at that giant....lobby!

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July 5th was my shop picnic at Waldameer. Who could pass up a chance to ride RFII for free? Not me obviously!


I was worried that in addition to my plant picnic, there would be other picnics and the place would be packed. Not to mention, it was about 80 degrees that day, so figured the water park would be mobbed.


In actuality, it really wasn't that bad. RFII had about a twenty minute wait and no ride wait was over a half hour. As most of you on the Behemoth Bash tour found out...this is a really fun lil' amusement park! I just wished I could have joined you all for the thunderstormy ride session!



And now folks...I bring you....Waldameer!


I will leave you with a final shot of the sun setting over Lake Erie on Presque Isle. Beautiful, but damn you lake for your lake effect snow!! Next stop - partying at the Erie County Fair!


Ooops - almost forgot random photo of Wacky Shack for all of the dark ride enthusiasts!


Walking down Peninsula Drive.


Close-up of happy people.


Hill going into the second tunnel back over the road. Sorry for the graininess - I was messing with the settings.


These pics are from another visit to Presque Isle with some views of RF II.


Steel Dragon. While it fails in comparison to a hot name like Steel Eel, I really do love this little coaster!


Coaster signage for the nerd in all of us.


Feed me your naughty children!!!


I remembered that these folks were a big TPR hit during the Tour De Force!


Now that wasn't too bad, was it Michael? Sis and Dad are to the left of me.


Michael settling in before the drop.


Naturally, we also had to give X-Scream a whirl. Michael looks looks like he is praying to God or pooping his drawers - let's hope it's the praying!


She claims that her Uncle Phil got her into roller coasters and theme parks at a young age. Now she will only go on front seats of coasters and she makes hubby ride along!


My niece and her husband were just getting on the X-Scream when we got to the picnic pavilion.


In addition to being a great amusement park, they also offer a free reading quiz at the front gate/fence! Who says amusement parks can't learned people?

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In August, we visited the Erie County Fair just outside of Buffalo. I guess that they boast it as one of the largest county fairs in the country, but it really didn't seem that large to me. Overall, it was a really fun time despite the fact that we got rained out later in the day.


The rides were pretty expensive and they did not have the pay one price ride option available on the weekends. Unfortunately, we did not take a lot of midway pictures, nor did I ride any of the rides...I was way more enthralled with the freak shows signs and the various weird things going on.


So with that said, what else was left to do? Drink and party! Being that we are in the beginning stages of planning a trip to Oktoberfest in September, we figured this might be a good chance to get in a little practice!


Then the rain came - the end.


Butch lesbian woman just came up and started partying and dancing with us - she was awesome! If you're reading this, we love you BLW!!!! Thank you for teaching me how to dance!


Michael and Sis told me that perhaps I should just stick to drinking beer!


Once the oldies came on, it was time to get jiggy wit' it.


But wait, are those drag queens on stage? Nope...drat!


Back to the beer tent. Now be aware that this is nothing like the beer tents at Oktoberfest...not even close. As you can see, no Mas=fail.


Actually, I think it was like a hard lemonade or something, but not too bad. This young lady gets straight A's for passing out free booze! You rule, free booze lady!


What? Free shots?? Are you kidding me?? Not that me and my brother in law were excited or anything - nope, not us!


Next stop...alcohol!! Disclaimer: If you are under 21 you must receive parental permission before viewing the remaining slides. Also,if scenes of consuming alcoholic beverages offends you, please proceed directly to the 'Zaniest moments at Disney World' topic!


NFTA did a recent Six Sigma project on their metro system and figured they could save millions by switching to these cost effective, state-of-the-art people movers.


Complete with a "you know you're in Western New York when..." type of sign!


They have an antique hearse nearby for the loser of the freak battle...


If cat eating capabara=fail, we can always unleash the giant man-eating snake AND snake girl on it?


Giant cat eating capabara. Would this qualify as Elissa approved? Not sure if evil rodents get any love, or not? ;-)


And of course...the freak shows! Totally awesome snake girl still hangs in Western NY.


Obligatory Monkey Maze featuring Tarzan falling into a crocodile pit while losing his bottle of chicken wing hot sauce...


People wearing interesting clothing....


Creepy clowns scribbling with chalk...


The bouncy corded thingie that is also a big hit at the local mall...


Complete with a ferris wheel...


Yep...it's America's Fair right here in good ole' Buffalo, New York!

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^Thanks! I thought the shirt was awesome too!


Movin' on along...


The very next weekend, Michael and I went on a weekend camping excursion to Canada. The first night was spent at the Yogi Bear Jellystone campground in Niagara Falls. We had wanted to go to the new Niagara's Fury exhibit and basically just hang out in NF for an afternoon/evening.


As far as Niagara's Fury - it was okay, but I was slightly disappointed. Yeah, there is the rain, snow, fog/mist and all that, but it just seemed like it was over way too fast. Bottom line - I think that I would pass on it if I were showing visitors around the area. I will say however, that I do like what they are doing with the Table Rock Centre...now if only the American side will follow suit and "de-ghetto-ize" the downtown area.



I had purchased online tickets to the CNE (Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto) complete with unlimited ride passes. Interesting experience, but the thing that will be forever engrained in our heads was the ride op at the Swing Tower ride. Michael and I could not help but think of this guy as the Seinfeld Soup Nazi, but only younger! We were waiting in line and just chatting, not really even watching the ride...there were about three younger kids (maybe 10-12 years old) in front of us at the front of the line. The ride had just come to a complete stop and the op was unloading riders. Not knowing that the kids in front of us had unhooked the chain and started making their way to the seats, we simply followed them in figuring the op had unhooked the chain...wrong!


The op comes over to us screaming about how we had all entered the line before he had unhooked the chain. So about seven of us were all ushered right out of the ride exit and were made to get back in the entrance line where he unhooked the chain and proceeded to let us back in again. The seven of us were the only one's in line!


The young boy finally fessed up and told the op that he was the one that unhooked the chain and that he was very sorry...didn't matter, the op just kept yelling at him in some foreign language, waving his hands all over the place like a nut.


So after a very short cycle (but long enough for me on those swinging death chairs) the ride slows to a stop. Same kid lifts his chain and hops out of the seat....very, very bad decision! Again, the op runs over screaming and swearing at him telling him that he had "not given the f-ing signal for people to unload the ride yet." Then he tells the kids to get the hell off his ride, to not come back, and throws in more foreign ranting for good measure - like wow!


I realize that rider safety has to be taken seriously in the amusement business, but this guy was simply over-the-top crazy. Either he was having the worst day of his entire life, or he just hated people in general. With all of the bad customer experiences people have listed on this site, I have never, ever encountered anything like this dude - what a trip!


Despite Swing Tower Nazi and getting eventually rained out of the fair, the entire trip was awesome. I will add Canada's Wonderland pics tomorrow...enjoy!


And for all that were reading/scrolling just to see if Aqua Lady lived or died - she lived! Even audience participant lady is impressed! Thank you for reading!


Bills in Toronto vs Miami. Good luck with that one!


After we were exhausted from cheering and hollering during the dog show, we decided to head back to the car. It was still quite menacing looking out, but luckily by the time we got back to our campground north of Toronto, it had cleared up. Oh yeah, this is the CN Tower - it's a big tower that does not have thrill rides at the top. I think they should move the swing tower on top of the needle!


Hoorah! Our side wins the 'dog with frisbee in mouth while running the obstacle course' event!


This Boston Terrier's all, "You'd like to THINK I'm jumping through hoops for y'all!"


It had started to rain pretty hard outside, so we headed into the Iams dog show which was just starting.


As it was starting to look threatening, we decided to go into one of the buildings and check out...The Harmonicats! How could you go wrong with older men blowing into long wooden instruments and making beautiful music? I think Michael was jealous at this point, so we forged on.


Beer AND boobs for the straight guys! Now, I could make at least five comments about this mural, but I will stick with...why does that goat look so nervous??


After the scarring experience that was the Swing Tower, we moved on to happier things - Cuckoo Haus! I mean, how could anyone not like beer for the merry, gay chaps and...


My first Star Flyer experience has been forever marred. Not to mention...is this like the most unsafe ride you have ever been on? And this is like a damn baby version compared with what the hardcore German's have at the traveling fairs and Holiday Park! Forget this noise, man....uh-uh!




Or a crappy dark ride that was just that - dark...I mean like nothing but darkness for about thirty seconds. I was starting to really think that the fair could not get more ghetto than this until...


Well now that our bellies are full of deep fried goodness, how 'bout a ride on the Zipper to settle things down a bit?


What did he think? Well, he said that it tasted somewhat foreign to him because it had been so long since he had Beaver Tail. He also mentioned that if he had his druthers, he would rather stick with long and loaded footlong hot dogs, or perhaps banana's on a stick.


I was completely shocked when Michael told me he wanted Beaver Tail. Know that it has been at least four-score and seven year ago since Michael last had Beaver Tail. He told me that he didn't like Beaver Tail anymore, but wanted to try it again just to see...I told him as long as it was just this one time!


Being in Canada how could I not have poutine! Oh, the cheesy, gravy, cholesteroly inducing goodness! This should keep my arteries nice and clogged until I can get back to Buffalo and have some wings!


We opted to hit the indoor food court instead where we ran into these guys: The ex-Beaver and Mounty Mouse!


And Mitch's "long and loaded" footlong monster dogs...


They had lot's of food including the non-Pizza Pizza pizza stand...


Overview of the midway. Seems like it used to be a lot bigger in years past.


Michael asked the ride op if we could take a couple pics on the ride and he said we could as long as we didn't throw anything. Okey-Dokey, Cap'n!


We then decide to do the Pizza Pizza wheel. Is this the Canadian version of Little Caesar's pizza?


Audience participant lady is wondering if Aqua Woman is gonna make it out alive...will she do it? Keep reading to find out!


Into the tank she goes! Think the chosen audience participant lady could be ummm...a little more excited?


First stop was the water escape trick. Had to watch this one!


Why are you taking my picture?Freak!


Park map for anyone that happens to interested in such things.


Entrance gate. It rained at first, cleared up for a bit, then stormed later. Glad that we did not do CW today!

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Next day, we hit up Canada's Wonderland. Main reason for the trek? Behemoth, of course! While it was a very fun coaster, I still think that I prefer Nitro when comparing the overall layout and ride experience. Still a wonderful addition for a park that sorely needed a great roller coaster.


The park and the surrounding area itself has changed a lot since the last time I was there (which I think was around 1988). I remember seeing Wonder Mountain from miles away on the Interstate when there was nothing around the place but corn and wheat fields! Anyone that has been there recently knows that it is now pretty much within the Toronto city limits.


Overall, a beautiful day and a nice experience for the most part. Michael and I turned in two line jumpers on Behemoth with the help of some folks in front of us. I did notice this to be a bit of a problem during the day, but it was crowded and (I suppose) should have been expected for a new coaster.


Anyway...on with the photos!


Poor Yogi...he used to be THE man at Canada's Wonderland. Now he has been demoted to campground owner while just down the road, the Rugrats are laughing at him, Ranger Smith and Boo-Boo! For shame, for shame!


Thanks for the awesome day, CW! As soon as that Mega-Lite is installed, I promise that I will be back!


I will leave the park with some closing shots of the beautiful fountains.


"That goes for you too Tyler and Melanie...put the butts out before the ride, or I'm gonna have to tell the folks!"


Wait a second...what is this??? Finish smoking before entering the kiddy coaster? WTF?


It is kinda tucked away at the back of the park, but a fun lil' wooden coaster for the kids. I told some kids in front of us to stick with this coaster and never, EVER go anywhere near the spooky, dreaded Wild Beast!


Feeling a bit whorish, Michael and I decided to ride another one of my first ever wooden coasters - Scooby Doo's Ghoster Coaster!


Complete with pastel swan boats! I knew Canada was liberal and gay friendly, but this was much more than I ever expected!


This land was made for you and meeee!


Wait, what is this I see??


"Oh, Mighty One...I cast thee Time Warp and Flight Deck into the fiery inferno and request to bringeth forth the Intamin Mega-Lite in 2011!"


And what is up with this thing? They could take this and Flight Deck out and probably have room for an Intamin Mega-Lite. That would go perfect there!




I HAD to ride this thing as it just looked too cool to pass by. I really wish the cycle could have been longer with more unexpected drops, but it was still good. I have a video with me on it at night - perhaps I will try uploading it to the report.


Yep, you guessed it...GERD! I really used to like these looping starships though.


Look at the line for it! Issssshh!


We passed on the Togo for the same reason I passed over Drop Tower...


Actually, this one was called Klockwerks or something, but it'll always be Corn Popper to me! Wheee!!!!


I told you I'd be ownin' the Corn Popper!


Being that it was quite warm, I decided to buy a flavored water. What I got was frozen popsicle in a bottle.


Artsy flower shot. You know, for some reason I did not ride the Drop Tower and I love these Intamin towers. Oh wait, the line was about an hour...that was why.


Overall, one of the better Arrow's. Simple, yet fun! Very odd color combo though...I remember it being all black during the 80's


This was my third looper (Viper at DL was my first, Corkscrew was 2nd). I can admit to being terrified going up this lift hill as a kid!


This one is for all of the Arrow fans out there!


Hello, my friendsssss...I am Dragon Fire...come and ride me pleeeassse!


Again with the GERD. Looked fun though!


The last time I was here, this was called Quixote's Kettles. They gayed it up a bit and renamed it Spinovator. I admit, the kettles w/handles were way cooler looking!


We rode near the front figuring it would be less painful - wrong! This easily passes Hurler for crappiest coaster I have ever ridden to date. This thing kept me off Minebuster...I just couldn't do it after this hunk-o-junk!


I think that I would have preferred riding the coaster mascot in my underwear over this coaster - it was HORRIBLE!


Wild Death Beast!


The line for Bat was over a half hour so we decided to skip this and ride...


I pondered this Top Scan, but my GERD was acting up - I figured that people would not care to be bathed in my acidic stomach juices.


Oooohhh...a Corn Popper! I am soooo riding you later, baby! Love the Corn Popper!


Close up for any gum wall/tree enthusiasts out there.


While in line for Thunder Run, we came across this...a gumdrop tree!


After the diving show, we rode Vortex. While it was a crapload better than Iron Dragon, it was definitely not Big Bad Wolf. Little herky-jerky towards the end.


The high-diving show was getting ready to start, so we waited and watched. This pic is for all the ladies and the gay guys! ;-)


Wonder Mountain + falling water!


Dora feelin' the love. We were gonna hook her up with Michael again, but there was a line to take pictures - fail.


What could be (almost) better than beer? Behemoth!


During our half hour traffic jam waiting to get into the parking lot, I decided to snap some pics. Look...Beer store!!! I just so happen to love beer!


We're here, we're here! I see Wonder Mountain, a cool drop tower, a Boomerang, Behemoth... and a crappy wooden roller coaster!

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Thanks for the comment! Yeah, overall it really is a nice park and with the addition of Behemoth, it finally crossed over that hurdle of not having a landmark coaster.


Overall, I have to say that I was very impressed with Hanna-Barbara Land and all of the things they had for the little kids. It seemed like they had really expanded the old kiddy-land area and put in tons of kids attractions where it used to be just a wooded walk-through over to Thunder Canyon. I don't think that anyone could complain about the lack of things to do for the younger thrillseekers!


The overall acreage does not seem to have expanded too much. They have a lot more crammed into the park than what they had back in the eighties. I sure wish I had taken more pictures of the park from back in the day!


Glad to see you are enjoying my report...next stop - HersheyPark!

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Okay...time to get back to work! Next stop - HersheyPark for the families second annual Labor Day weekend camping excursion. Last year, we had such a good time spending the weekend at the campground and park, we decided to do it again this year!


To put it blatantly, I have become a HersheyPark fanboy. The first time I stepped into the park I was very impressed. Lines were decent sized for a holiday weekend, but not overwhelming. The staff was friendly and attentive and the park seemed amazingly clean.


I loved the fact that they have buses running almost continually all day and evening back and forth to the campground. The Hershey Highmeadow's campground is also clean and the rates are reasonable.


A great time was had by all despite a little rain here and there. I am already looking forward to our 2009 visit!


Then decided to go for the mucho deluge! Thx for reading - next up Cedar Point Halloweekends.


Very wet...


By the way...they got wet!


We opted to wait and hold out for....bear dogs! Yep...that is correct - bear dogs! My brother-in-law killed the not-so great bear at ZooAmerica with his hands and we made him into hot dogs...sorry PETA! All kidding aside, they actually were bear dogs, but the bear was killed on a hunting trip in Canada, so it was legal. So don't worry folks...Not-So-Great Bear is still living his boring, depressing confined life at ZooAmerica in Hershey, Pennsylvania.


Lightning Racer and the Wurstburg Grill Express - loaded weiners delivered right to your mouth...lightning fast!


I made sure that I stayed back for this shot as I did not want to get soiled by the track lubricants.


Okay...enough nonsense - it's beer time! Michelob Amber Bock or Yuengling?


Comet in Comet Hollow...this coaster busted my 16 year old nephews coaster virginity on the first day. He rode almost every coaster on the second day and loved them all - he's hooked!


A mish-mash of coasters and rides in this shot.


You know you're at a good amusement park when they have multiple phallus shaped rides!


Okay...enough animals for now (sorry PETA)...time for the Kissing Tower! Here we have a Corporate down-sized cocoa manufacturing plant.


Mr. Buffalo...can you please tell me if the Bills are are going to go the playoffs in '08/'09? 7-9 you say?? Again?? Awww...crap!


This guy wanted to know why the Hershey B&M get's more love than he does...said he was great too.


This bird of prey told me that he'd rather be hanging out in Comet Hollow.


So...umm...who is this 'Laser Snake Horse on Fire' you speak of?


Last year, we never got over to Zoo America, so we decided to check it out this year.


One of the best launch coasters ever! Still can't wait to ride Blue Fire though...


Looks pretty fun at night too!


So colorful and fun looking - even on a cloudy day!


I heard the Rodeo was gonna pack it up for another stint somewhere in another town.


Think they got really wet? Read on to find out!


Almost there!


They opted for the back seat for the optimal stomach-dropping experience.


I wasn't feeling like walking around wet, so I opted to stay dry and take pictures of my sister, husband and Michael on the ride-which-takes-you-up-a-big-hill-and-then-goes-down-the-big-hill-and-get's-people- wet-ride. Yeah, I forgot the name of it!


I do like Lazy River's, but it's sad that this is coming as a result of removing one of the better rapid rides.


Taking out old ride (which rocked) is bad.


New ride is good.


Hello there Milt! I wish there were more corporate owners like you that would build a town, school and hospital for his factory workers...and then throw in a kick-ass amusement center for good measure!


Next day, it started to clear up a bit. Uh-oh...looks like it could be a tad crowded today!


It was storming when we first got to the campground, so Michael and I set up the tent with some extra layers of protection from the elements! Yes...we's rednecks!

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Forging on...


Next stop on our theme park journeys was CP Halloweekends for my birthday weekend (Sept. 12th-14th). We had a great time despite the weather. It rained on and off all day Saturday and we almost didn't even go into the park. But after we went off the peninsula for lunch and a couple of beers, the weather finally started to break. With this pattern of sucky weather, the park was dead and lines were the shortest I have ever seen - even shorter than Gay Day!


We also got in a little extra time as we decided to go into the park Friday night after we arrived. It was slightly raining on and off, but almost ALL of the rides and coasters were open and almost everything was a walk-on! In about two hours, we got on Millie twice, Maverick twice, TTD once, Power Tower twice and Skyhawk once.


Being that we got in so much Friday and Saturday with the park being dead, we actually left Sunday early in the afternoon because we were all coastered out and just plain bored/exhausted. This was the first time that I have seen them open a gate when you got off Millie, you could just walk right back into the queue and hop on! We did this three times in a row!


On another note...I guess one of the benefits of this economic downturn is that I have ample time for re-sizing pictures for TPR. That and a voluntary layoff from mid-March till mid-April means that I will be taking a vacation and going out West for stops in Las Vegas, Arizona and quite possibly attending....West Coast Bash! I am really looking forward to attending that event as it will be my first!




Now...on with the pics!


Obligatory skull shot going into the Haunted Frontier Trail area.




I decided to give these guys some love - they were near beer place.


We even did Iron freakin' Dragon because of all the walk-on's! I think we walked on and rode just about every ride at the park during this trip - except the water rides...those were closed, of course.


Sky Ride was even open in this weather! Almost everything was a walk-on - love the crap weather!


I decided that I wanted to look cool like those dudes that wear pantyhose on their heads.


This is the new Snoopy 'Joe Cool' themed area for kids - very nice!


I've heard of Radiohead, but Monitorhead?


Thought this was going to be Liberace at first but then saw it was Ray Charles.


The Grave-Full Dead decided to add a blue-haired, crossdressing Ronnie James Dio to their line-up this year.


Hendrix was headlining this year, but he didn't light his guitar on fire or anything.


This one pulled toilet duty by the Gemini.


The skeletons were being a bit more mischievous this year than in years past.


Finally about 2:30 in the afternoon, the rain started to subside, but I got all dorked out in a rainsuit just in case!


When we woke up the next day however, it did not look promising.


Bring in the party-mobile! We paid $20 to go in the park from 10:00-12:00 on Friday night, but it was well worth it!


But wait...what is this? MF running in the RAIN???


WildCat not looking very wild through the rain covered windshield.


The park hardly looked open because of the slight mist/rain. We all know how CP is during any hint of rain showers!


Here we are again at CP. Looks a little gloomy out there...wonder if any of the rides will be open?

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I'm loving your photo TR's. I cannot wait for the next updates.

Cedar Point looks so deserted. Its kinda scary. And I'm surprised they are running their coasters in the rain. Hope you had a great time.


And once again, magnificent photo's



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Thanks for the nice comments, James! Only one trip report left from 2008 (Kings Island), but that one will be coming either later tonight or tomorrow.


Yes, it was very surprising to see the coasters at CP running in light rain. I think that they could be letting up a little bit on the "close everything down if the sky darkens" mentality. I think that was a huge reason why the park was dead - everyone figured the rides would not be open.






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This is the end...my only friend, the end...


After a busy year of theme park and fair/expo visits, I am afraid that this is the last of my reports - a trip to the Kings Island Halloween Haunt.


We had originally planned on going to Great Adventure on this fall weekend, but the weather forecast for the East Coast was not looking good - Kings Island was about our only choice for decent weather.


While we had a really great time, Lazer Snake is obviously going to be the much needed upgrade for this park in '09. Maybe not as huge as Behemoth was for CW, but a much needed mega coaster to compliment the so-so and downright crap coasters.


On the downside, I am afraid that I will have to side with just about everyone on the poor excuse for a coaster that is Son Of Beast. My expectations were so low for this coaster that I almost didn't even ride. But after a couple of cocktails in the parking lot, we decided that we should go in and just do it!


There were at least two moments where I thought that something in my chest/rib area jarred completely loose that wasn't really supposed to move. The jackhammering along with the bizarre, uncomfortable feeling in my chest/ribs made me glad when the ride finally came to a stop. It was not like heart attack symptoms, but just a very odd sensation.


Needless to say, I did survive, but this is one coaster that I do not have any desire to ever re-ride. I figured going in the front would mean a less painful ride. Just like Wildbeast at CW, I was proved wrong once again! I decided that trying another seat on this one was not in my best interest.


The Senior Beast was much better. While it is no where near as crazy fast as I remember when riding it in the 80's, the unique layout is just too cool to ignore. Front seat at night is still a wild ride, but no where near as bone jarring as it's much younger son.


As stated, Lazer Horse will be the key addition for this park that might make us want to return at some point in '09 - we'll see what happens.


Now..step right up for Kings Island Halloween Haunt '09!


Next year, this area is being transformed into Yo Gabba Gabba Land!!!




Main Street USA - Ohio style beee-yotches!!!!!


How many theme park train rides present - FOOTERS!!! Disney can't handle gettin' served with this kinda theme action!


Train station. Disney - eat your frickin' heart out!




'Snake Tail Dip O'er the Water' is almost complete. Also included in admission - brake-looking track piece for all brake nerds.


Butch crane shot. Hey...Manitowoc happens to be one of my customers!


Me guess the coaster trax has been completed now....


Ummm....what is this Lazer Snake Horse on Fire you speak of?


Tyco-The Ride.


Signature tear-drop Arrow loop.


Going for the always artsy three-trains-in-one-picture-at-the-top-of -the-Eiffel Tower shot!


Racer...it was a decent racing woodie. I wanted to make out with it after riding SOB!




Similar to a Drop Tower shot I caught in the Eiffel Tower at KD, but with added glimpse of Bob Evans restaurant! I just missed the funky Cincinnati Chili-Ghetti place located right next door...drat!


A quick peek at Hot Action Zone + Suspended Coaster in Bee Infested Ditch.


I liked Invertigo...and yes, I admit I like most Boomerangs too! There I said it! Worse than coming out of the closet for God's sake! Geez!


This turn dislodged something in my chest/rib area - whatever it was...it wudn't raht! I think I would prefer a 200 foot plunge into five consecutive wooden loops with a crash ending into a brick wall as opposed to this coaster in it's current state!


Oh, those poor souls in the front! I hope they were like fourteen so their bodies could absorb the upcoming failure!


Vortex would have been okay, but that damned turn-around and brake before the corkscrew was pure death! OUCH!


We were all impressed with Firehawk. Not Tatsu by any means, but a very fun ride in the front row at night!


Yay for Eiffel Tower shots! When the elevator got stuck on the way down and the ride op turned white as a sheet, I became a little nervous. It started about twenty seconds later and we had a safe descent. WHEW!


Dad likes his boobs nice and firm...even Blue-Face is impressed!


A Festhaus with absolutely no beer service available - is this what some refer to as "epic fail"?


Wait..when did cross-dressing Ronnie James Dio lose the blue hair, silver skirt, and John Lennon sunglasses?


Mmmmmm....Pat 'nJoe skins!


I preferred the bee-infested Gun Top Deck Flight swooping in and out of a big ditch.


So beautiful and stupid...


Hmmm... so how about the lady in Seat 16?


Bloody alien in Zen mode.


I thought E.K. Jr. already did this gig?


Hey look...Lazer Snake is testing!


FOF queue with walk-in UFO (no reservations required). Yep, you guys are right...excessive trims ruined this one.


These guys also liked to party! Dad paired up with one of them for the front seat of Vortex.


I was glad to see that there is more than just life after death...partying after death! Woo-Hoo!


This robotic, bloody alien type - creature drew quite the crowd near Drop Tower.


A gory scene, yes...but it was the guy on the right that really freaked me out! Throw in another carnivorous, blood thirsty rodent as an added bonus! ;-)


Is this infringement on Six Flags and/or DC Comics? If not, I wonder how much CF paid for this exhibit?


Now why did they have to go and associate me with Carowinds and Bender?




We arrived and decided on a cocktail before trying to attempt...


Yep...this be the place! Cincinnati - home of strange tasting chili-ghetti stuff, a Buffalo Bills-like pro football team, WKRP, and the biggest, crappiest non-looping wooden coaster in the world!


Woo-Hoo...look at me gettin' in some party motor home driving action!

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