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Themeparkman's Summer 2009 TR's!

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Summer Trip 4B- Freestyle Music Park!!!!!


From the start of planning my worlds of fun trip back in May I had wanted more than anything to make it out to visit Freestyle before anything else could happen to the park. I had looked into airfare and all the expenses and it just didn't add up to trek out to this park all by itself, and it looked slim that I would make it out there this summer. However, I worked my tail off to earn the money to make this trip happen, and I am so glad I made it work. This was my birthday trip to myself, and though it wasn't my birthday then, it is in one hour!!


I flew into Myrtle Beach around noon the day after visiting SFOG (after I connected through laguardia) and then having spent all my money on airfare decided to walk to the beach and check out Family Kingdom. The walk was a lot longer than I though, but it was very pretty and nice to be outside in the hot air. I will save the Family Kingdom update for my next post.


I spent the night literally across the street from FMP and got to watch the fireworks twice which was nice. But enough with the story telling, onto the report! I woke up bright and early to walk my happy ___ over to the park and arrived about an hour before opening (that's a lot better than the 4 hours early at sfog). The entry I thought was pretty nice and had an inviting feel inside. The one thing I though it could use just for feel though, is a garden or fountain in the big circle right in the middle of the midway. Ticket prices were very reasonable for the park and only cost 20 dollars for two people, which I generously allowed a gp in with me since I went alone. For my first ride of the day and at the park, I went right to led zep...I mean time machine. Like before, I will review the coasters in the pictures.


The rides I thought the rides rode fantastic all day long and each one of them had a great aspect to them. The only one that I was very iffy about was MonStars of Rock, I really don't know what to say about that ride. Besides that, they had ample rides for kids which is what the park needed, or so I've heard. They had a couple moderate thrill rides but nothing too extreme, which would be my only let down of the park. Albeit you can see the many places they can and will put flats, for now it didn't really have a ton of thrills. The coasters on the other hand were all fantastic! I am now a huge fan of onboard audio and high tech rides with non traditional methods of thrill. Overall, the rides were fantastic with awesome queue houses and lines and were some of the best I have ridden.


The Grubbin' As I have stated before, I was broke from airfare and decided to buy a jar of peanut butter and bread on the beach the day before and that was my breakfast and dinner at the park. I did however eat at the park for lunch and ate at the place next to the huss breakdance and had a pepperoni pizza and drink for like 6 bucks, it was a delicious deal. So my review for the food isn't much, but what I did have was really good and appetizing. Oh ya, the restaurant had huge lava lamps inside which was cool as well.


The atmosphere I am not sure if everyone will agree with this, but it'll stir things up a little bit. I wouldn't say it is as good themed as IOA is, but it is pretty damn good and had a great feel to it. Myrtles Beach was so colorful and fun and then you have Across the Pond which felt like suburbs in europe, very awesome feel. Kids in America was nothing too special, but was very well oriented towards the kids with lots of rides, free rides that are normally upcharge and a nice concert vanue. Then lastly the Country USA section was very nicely themed as well with well fit rides and names, the only thing I didn't like was the music. The entry as well felt very IOA-esque and overall was very nicely done.


The operations After coming from the awfulness that was SFOG operations, anything would be better. Overall the staff at all the locations: rides, restaurants and shows, were all very helpful and courteous. The often asked how my day was going and stuff like that, and though it isn't much, it does make the park seem more personable. Most of the rides ran at capacity, or so it seemed, with the exception of one. Time Machine. All day it ran single train while the second train sat back and watched. This caused a rather obnoxious wait that wasn't really needed, but I got over it and enjoyed the coaster completely.


Overall there is really only one remark I want to say and that is, if you have the means to check this park out, by all means do it because it is awesome. I don't really know why, but I absolutely fell in love with it in just one day and most parks don't do that. It took elitches forever for me to love it again. Before visiting this park, I just wanted to get in, check it out, pick up the credits and then whatever happened after that, happened. Now, I want to see this park make it more than any other theme park I have been to.


A full 100+ picture album of Freestyle can be found on my facebook!


Next Up: Family Kingdom.


The entry midway at night after the fireworks. Pretty park! I love Freestyle Music Park!


No pans on either trip really. My camera was dead and I couldnt find the charger, so I used my parents, which of course didn't have the pan feature.


There it is in all its might. The stereotypical Time Machine picture. Who cares, it looks cool with the setting sun and the dark clouds.


I don't know how they had it last year, and if you know you should let me know, but at the station they split you up into 5 decades each featuring unique and popular music from that decade. I thought it was awesome and very well fitting of the name. I rode in all 5 decades multiple times.


The rattle wasn't bad at all. This coaster will never be a top coaster in the theme park world, but it is perfect for the park and is still a ridiculously fun coaster.


I think this picture is really cool. This coaster rocked, and the music was awesome.


From outside the blimp. I wish they didn't trim it as hard as they do.


Time Machine through Iron Horses station. Cool!


I just wish it was more audience interactive and played with the guests on the ground a little more. Still a great coaster though.


The weather wasn't as good on this trip as it had been on the other ones, but still it wasn't too bad. This coaster was called Soak'd. Very fun and the operators did a great job having fun as well.


The huss breakdance was in the Across the Pond section and was situated in the middle of the street block and looked like taxi cabs. Very nice touch.


So the trains had working audio, but it changed songs like it would song like on a radio! How cool. It also had working lights.


I know this ride gave HRP a headache, but it is just sooo cool! It was short yes, but a lot of fun nonetheless. It also offered some nice airtime in the back on the first drop. It was a winner.


See what I mean by brilliantly themed stations? They are just stunning for a coaster.


They have a very nice building and a very nice ride inside (like structurally) but they need to do some work to make it better in an experience sense. Something besides cardboard cutouts and glow in the dark paint.


Artsy picture. Where this was taken is a perfect example of where they can put a flat ride in the future, or perhaps another sweet coaster.


Kiddie credit! Um, vekomas with magnetic breaks is still a new concept to me. It is going to take a little while for me to get use to it, even if it has only been on kid coasters.


It was a pretty smooth coaster with lots of fun moments, I had fun on this one.


So, I have never ridden the other mine train models by vekoma, and I know they are wayyy better themed than this one, but it still wasn't that bad either. Give it to the park that they did an awesome job with all the stations. The infield could just use some lovin'


There it is! The legendary gibson guitar! So cool...


Oh how long it has been since I saw when they put the hard rock park sign there to when I actually got to see it.

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Summer Trip #4 part C- Family Kingdom


Well, I am now officially 19 years old. In the last year I got like 60 new credits, visited a ton of great parks and got a couple jobs in the industry. Sounds like a good year to me. Heres to making 19 all the better!


So inbetween hitting SFOG on monday and Freestyle on Wednesday, I hit the beach hard and visited another little park, Family Kingdom! Since my flight left at 1am monday and arrived at 6am and I had spent all day at SFOG the day before, and then caught another early flight to Myrtle Beach on tuesday, I was completely out of energy and passed out on the beach for a solid couple of hours. I used to really love the mountains of Colorado, but the beach gets me everytime. I cannot wait to move back to the beach. Anyways, after waking up from my slumber I walked down the beach a good while to the ocean side park and was surprised with how big it was. I was expecting Santa Cruz size or Pacific Pier, but nothing this size. Swamp Fox had a nice draw to it and it was in a nice part of town for demand, conveniently located next to all the hotels. Tickets to this place werent bad for an everything pass but I opted out of it to just ride the two coasters, and that was fairly steep. The place felt like a big carnival, but it was a good feeling since it has been awhile since I went to one. So, in lieu of writing a TR for a carnival I will just say if you are in town for FMP it is definitely worth checking Family Kingdom out as well. Swamp fox was awesome!


Next up: Wherever the wind may take me, hopefully out to Orlando!


Thanks for following my summer TR thread, hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!


Speedy Gonzalez, a standard Big Apple. Also had nice paint!


The coaster had also recently been painted. A nice change from the lackluster paint that Twister II has presently.


So it had old school breaks, so old I am not even sure of their proper name. They were like two pads that rose up and down and just pushed against the belly of the coaster. It was pretty cool, and inefficient.


Swamp Foxs' first drop. This coaster actually had some nice airtime for being older. It ran really well too and was pretty smooth, I thoroughly enjoyed it.


Ferris Wheels always make for pretty pictures. This one has a nice draw to it from the street.


This beach feels awful like Virginia Beach, or at least it did to me. Which reminded me of BBW, now I am upset.

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Part A- Universal Studios


Having watched them build Manta since they cut the first tree down and followed HRRR since the very first things went wrong, I was really wanting to get out to Orlando and check out these two coasters. I can't say how many times I have been out there in my life, but it is A LOT. And it is also the birth place of my obsession having lived there as a little boy. I checked out my schedule and picked the weekend with the least amount of work, which happened to be October 17 and 18, and booked my flight out there! I had class 'til 1pm and had a flight out on the 16th at 5pm and didn't fly back until Monday the 19th at 8:30am. I had a midterm at 10:30! Take that!


Anyways, my brother and I had two full days at the park and spent them at Universal Resort and SeaWorld, on Saturday and Sunday respectively. It had been just a little over a year since I had been to Orlando, and on that trip spent a day at each of the parks (minus Disney), so this trip was a lot more crammed for time which was a big bummer. On Saturday, Universal closed at 5pm and IOA closed at 7pm, so I got a little time, in addition to some in the middle of the day, over at IOA. Regardless of the time, I got to ride most of my favorite rides and had a great trip. I will post Universal Studios for now and will post IOA and SWO later. I feel like with my fourth trip I dumped too many pictures at once haha.


The RIDES- What can I even say about this place? For looking like it has no rides what so ever, it definitely has some of my favorite rides of all time. We got to the park way before opening hoping to get first on Rockit, but they let hotelers enter the park first, so that didn't work. Either way, HRRR stayed down for an hour after opening. I waited. After HRRR, we headed over to Mummy and got a couple spins on her. That ride is a complete package with the dark ride part and then with the actual coaster. I enjoyed the fire and the launch, making this one of my favorite coasters. Throughout the day, I also got some rides on Jaws, Simpsons, Men in Black and Disaster. Everyone of those was worth the wait, and a very awesome show and ride. If you have not checked these out, I definitely recommend checking them out. Besides the wait for Rockit at the start, the only negative part about this visit was the crowds. By the end of the evening, HRRR got up to a 3 hour wait and the midways were packed. That is the main reason I did not get to ride many rides at this park as well as IOA. To conclude, Universal has excellent rides and is a very enjoyable park based on that.


The Grubbin' Having such little amounts of times at the park(s), food was the first thing to go in order to ride more rides. By dinner though I was starving and had to get a slice of pizza in San Francisco. It was very delicious and not too unreasonably priced for its size. On a side not, I did find the only ride, besides tea cups, that makes me sick...Simpsons. I am 2/2 on getting of that ride and almost puking.


The Atmosphere Overall this park had a very great and inviting atmosphere. I mean, overall it really doesn't have the most distinguishable themes, but it still has a good "vibe" to it. The San Francisco part of the park is definitely my favorite, and for being thousands of miles away from the real Fisherman's Wharf, it reminded me of the real one. Another bonus of going at this time of the year, was the HHN decorations. They made the park feel pretty cool too.


The Operations Besides Rockit being down for an hour at opening, they were very good with through put and friendliness. Jaws, Simpsons and Disaster had minimal waits for most of the day. And then for mummy and rockit, I went throught the singles line when available which definitely helped speed up the lines. Overall though, all the personnel were very happy and made the experience more worth while.


Without further a due, the pictures! I apologize for really only having HRRR pictures, taking pictures of buildings is boring. If you would like to see my complete picture gallery, visit my facebook!


Thanks for reading, and look for IOA coming soon!



To conclude, I leave you with a picture of a big shark. I have been told that it is held up by Intamin cables, so I was hesitant to go anywhere near it. Everyone knows the thing could attack at any time.


The theming of the park was superb. Though it is not my most favorite park ever, I was very glad to go again and check the park out.


Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit! Credit #149 for me. By all means, check this ride out. Between all the crazy elements and the music, it is a must ride.


Rockit from Disaster. I had three very smooth rides with none of that rattle posted earlier. Another cool part about this ride was the drop off the 1st MCBR. It was crazy steep leading in to the (fail) of the building shoot through.


This looks awful like Coaster Diner. But its not! It is a conspiracy. Random story: Robb just posted a status on his facebook, and some guy posted a link to his group that was the one who hacked TPR. What is the world coming to?


Hey there pretty lady. Besides the lift/queue, the treble clef was very photogenic. I was dissapointed to only ride it three times, as I was hoping to ride it more. I could also only get the secret code menu twice, which was lame.


See what I mean about San Fran being the best? It definitely has a Fisherman's Wharf feel to it.


Men in Black. This, and Toy Story, are the most awesome dark/shooter rides. I will also kick your butt at this one. Had a blast on it!


Another very fun section, this time located towards City Walk. From watching this coaster be built, I could point out all the fails in real life.


It would never be a true "top" coaster to me, but it was definitely re rideable and has some awesome elements. Take, for example, the non inverting loop. Nothing too extreme or intense, but still a blast to experience.


From the station looking back. Overall I thought this was a very very fun coaster, and the GP thought so too with 3 hour waits.


I experimented a little with some different picture taking. My Rockit virginity was wrecked by Rage Against the Machine.


The Rings! They are real! Oh my...


One of my favorite places ever!! It was good to be back. One whole year without the Hulk was killing me.

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  • 1 month later...

Summer Trip #5 - Orlando!!


Part B- Islands of Adventure


To conclude the first day of our two day trip to Orlando, we finished at Islands of Adventure and a couple runs on some of my favorite coasters. In retrospect, this trip was awesome, but holy smokes is it hard to even try to squeeze these two parks in to one day. Last time I was here, I spent a day at each, and even that was difficult. Either way, I had a blast, and will be back hopefully in November of 10.


The Rides- What is there to even say here? There isn't a ride in this park that I would do away with. They are all awesome, and truly offer something for everyone in the family. And though there are only a dozen or so rides in the park, you can get lost to time due to the "escapism" aspect of the park.


The Atmosphere- I am sure most of you would agree that one of the largest parts of the theme park industry is to allow the guest to escape from reality, forget about the monotony of daily life, and experience something out of this world. Is this theme park the poster child for the theme park image? I think so.


The Operations- Every single person at Universal, along with myself, decided it would be best to go to IOA since Universal closed a few hours earlier, and overall the park did a great job dealing with this flood. Despite the lack of time in this park, I got numerous runs on all of the major attractions. They did great, and the singles line definitely helps.


I think overall this has to be one of my favorite parks ever as there truly is nothing like it in the world. Yes I haven't traveled to THAT many parks, but at this point I can say that, even though I have been to it countless times, I still look forward to visiting every single time. Keeping with that spirit, I hope I can be out there in November for the IAAPA convention.


A full gallery of my pictures can be found on my facebook.


Pretty coaster! Now on to Margaritaville!


Here is to IAAPA in '10.


Didn't ride it today. It was cold and the line was long. Still one of my favorite flumes though.


Definitely one of my favorites. It is so disorienting.


But lets be real, is there any cooler of a coaster out there? I don't think so. Side story- I can honestly say I am psyched for Battlestar, and I think vekoma has done brilliantly.


Dragons were feuding with the park today. They went down a couple times will in the park, and only dueled every now and then. Kill joy.


Turns out Jurrasic Park has SheiKra scoops. Didn't know that until this trip.


The attention to detail is unbelieveable, and is what allows the park to execute the escapism. Everything is perfect.


For first halves of coasters, this has to be one of the best.


The obligatory through-the-fog picture of the Hulk. What a great ride!


There is a thread floating around right now about interactive coasters, well here is one for you.

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Nice trip reports. About Simpsons at USF, what made it make you sick? I'm planning on going to USH sometime in 2010 and am really clueless about Simpsons (I have motion sickness...so I'm not sure if I should ride it. I don't even know if it's different or not than Florida's.)

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Summer Trip #5 - Orlando!!


Part C- SeaWorld Orlando!


Lets be honest here, there hasn't been a coaster in my entire life that I have been more excited to ride than I was for Manta. In fact, this trip has little to do with Rockit (icing on the cake you could say), as it was solely about getting out to one of my favorite parks and riding her. For reasons unknown to me, this coaster was hook, line, and sinker. I have and had ridden Tatsu and two Supermans, but She was different. I was last at SeaWorld shortly after ground breaking, and have followed it sense.


Can you tell that I LOVE this coaster? It has practically consumed my soul. If you didn't know as well, I have started construction on my own model of Manta, something I wish you would check out (see my signature) and follow me on.


The Rides - Manta = Love. Kraken = Love. Journey to Atlantis = Love. Wild Arctic = Love. Moral of the story, you can't go wrong with any of the attractions.


The Atmosphere - Outside of the great feel of the rides, the numerous animal exhibits and the beauty of this park, it has a grand feeling of fun. There is something about this park that I love. The lake makes for a stunning backdrop with the skytower and coasters in the background, and then the general upkeep just adds to that feel.


The Best Experience - Outside of Manta you may ask. Well, that easily goes to stingray feeding. It took me a solid 15 minutes to commit to the feed, but it was awesome to finally do it. They are just such graceful and gorgeous animals.


At this point, I am going to stop talking because it will just me turn in to me saying how much I love Manta, something I am sure you already picked up on.


The full album, featuring many other great photos, can be found on my facebook.


For now, my "Summer" trips have been concluded for 09. I rode about 60 new coasters and visited a fair amount of new parks. It was a great year and heres to making 2010 even better.


I dont know if you are interested or not (seeing is how there are like 6 parks on this page, and like 2 comments), but I do have my IAAPA album featuring some of the events, the Vegas coasters and other bonuses. Let me know if you would be interested in me posting that.


I cannot wait to ride you again. My model is going to be flawless, because you too, are flawless. Thanks for reading, and be sure to click the link below for my model!


This is what I mean about a stunning backdrop.


I think of all the pictures I have taken this summer, and of all my favorites, this one is hands down my best.


The view from Shamu stadium. Another fun fact- Believe was a lot better this time around than from what I remember it as.


I have yet to wait in a line for this coaster in all my experiences on it. Fun fact though, they still stacked trains.


The first half of this ride has the perfect selection of elements, pacing, and compactness. Just gorgeous.


Might be just me, but this attraction could use some modernizing of its props? They just seem so last year.


IMO, there isn't one dull moment on this coaster.


How nice would it be to be able to fall asleep on your own, fluffy, pink butt?


Why is it that you dont get soaked on this drop, but you get DRENCHED on the little drop after this?


Pretzel loop is the best inversion.


Having watched them build this coaster as a kid, it was great to get back and ride it again. Still one of my top coasters.


Can I have your hand in marriage?


Beautiful entrance. Flows nicely and has a great feel to it with the crashing waves and the lighthouse.


Oh how long I have waited to stand right there and stare at your lift hill.

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Nice trip reports. About Simpsons at USF, what made it make you sick? I'm planning on going to USH sometime in 2010 and am really clueless about Simpsons (I have motion sickness...so I'm not sure if I should ride it. I don't even know if it's different or not than Florida's.)


I think that I get sick on it because the screen is so massive and the motions of the ride. I don't get sick on any of the other simulators, it is just that one. And to clarify, this is the one in Florida. I would check it out if I was you.



You guys are killing me by the way.

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Great pictures. I agree fully with your opinions on Manta. It is the best flyer I've ever experienced and was instantly a top ten coaster after my first ride. It's also the only flying coaster I've ever experienced airtime on, very interesting sensation.


I would love to see your pictures from IAAPA and the Vegas coasters.

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