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Splash Adventure (Alabama Adventure) Discussion Thread


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Thanks for the update Dan! I've been visiting this park for over a decade and it has been through a lot. I am just grateful that Rampage has been saved and is running better than I thought was even possible. Amazing ride. Looking forward to the park filling in the empty spaces and expanding a bit going forward now that many infrastructure updates have been made!

 

HWFan, I'm looking forward to your update as well! I love extensive detailed reports.

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It's been several years since the TPR Deep South Tour, but i distinctly remember Rampage ERT at night being ABSOLUTELY NUTS!! I'm so very glad that you all have stepped in and, for all intents and purposes, saved it.

 

Thank you and keep up the good work! Looking forward to seeing you all put your distinctive flavor on the park!

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After having the incredible opportunity of spending six week living & working with the Koch Family as they continue to improve Alabama Splash Adventure, I wanted to post a trip report with a lot of pictures showing what the park looks like now.

 

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Friday morning started with the 3am to 9am Coasterthon to raise money for the local Children's Hospital. The group ended with 101 laps on Rampage!

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The train left after the Coasterthon to go rest on the break run.

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But it had to have some more fun first of course.

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To give you some perspective, Rampage's station in on the right, and the train is stopped on the break run far above the station. It's break run & return to the station are unique and totally awesome.

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In case you forgot what coaster we were talking about.

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I had the best parking spot ever for the event, right next to the coasters. But now let's hop in and (as the rapper Nelly would say) take a ride wit me.

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See, I told you it was prime parking.

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The first drop really gets the ride off to a fast start and it makes great use of the terrain.

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This is the view you would get if you were inside my brain on Friday.

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Driving back up to the Admin building is fun whenever I get to use these old paths which aren't open to Guests...for now...

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In Alabama, "Cool Zone" means shade. Not A/C. Just shade.

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Those queue structures are reminders of the pain-machine that used to reside there.

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Now we're on the, as I call it, Jungle Explorer path. But the secret is, it's not a Jungle because jungles don't look like this.

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Here is the entrance to the old boomerang coaster.

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The only open & unused spot of the small "family ride loop" would be the station for the old kiddie coaster, but Guests can't see it from the open paths.

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If you stood on that wooden bridge in 2011, you might have gotten wet from the ride. However, if you do it during a bad thunderstorm now, you can still get wet.

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That building was "Mission Control" for the S&S tower that stood in front of it.

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You can take selfies with the park's handy mirrors, if you're into that sort of thing.

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The S&S tower was pretty far removed from the center of the park, so it's content for now.

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The Rampage and some footers from some stupid ride.

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This is the park's massive Admin/Warehouse/Maintenance building.

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This is one of the hallways, many of which are full of doors on each side. You have to watch out for the Scooby-Doo gang & a monster running back and forth between each door.

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I had to keep a reminder of home on my computer.

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This is what a drawer inside a theme park employees desk looks like. Yes, it is very exciting.

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Well, now it's time to head back down to the park for opening that day.

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Another amazing Rampage view.

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Driving past the rides section (we'll get to that later).

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See, rides.

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The famous backside of wat...err, the new Drop Zone family drop ride. It's very colorful.

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This is my parking spot right behind the

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I see the gate!

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Here's a look at the front gate from inside the park, right before it opens.

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Here is the view when you turn around from the last picture. (Fun fact, Alabama Splash Adventure's main street is the exact length of Mainstreet USA at the Magic Kingdom.)

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Mrs. Koch welcoming everyone and leading the countdown to opening!

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One thing that surprised/impressed me was how nice the park's landscaping is. There are dozens of these planters all over the park, and they're all really nice.

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Here's a map of the park for you the peruse.

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The ticket booths in front of the park.

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The park is completely renovating their Funnel Cake location, but there is still some work to do like painting, selling funnel cakes all year, making funnel cakes all year, etc.

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Here is a television.

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Both of the park's gift shops look very nice. Everything is just clean and organized. Nothing special but that's perfect.

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When Dan talked about cleaning up sight-lines in the park, here's an example. Even though these stairs don't actually (and have never actually) lead somewhere, Dan personally power washed all of them to make it look clean from the main street.

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This year the park is adding a small history room to showcase some of the park's....interesting....history.

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Concept art. Very pretty.

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Spoiler Alert: This concept art never even fully came true.

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Now this is finally some concept art that reflected reality. This is from when the water park was first built. However, things like the wave pool & Upsurge have been added since then.

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This is a sign. This sign was actually the inspiration for the song, "I Saw the Sign". (Please don't fact check that.)

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Here's another thing.

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These are buildings at the park. They house things, like the Star Theater, for example, which is an awesome air-conditioned space for catered group meals.

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I thought I would Mix it Up by adding this picture. (The picture includes the "Mix-It-Up" ICEE stand, so that's what the joke is. But still, even if you knew that, the joke isn't really that funny anyway.)

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The entrance to the water park.

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The Aqua Maze is actually a pretty cool attraction. Kids love it, and there have only been a couple built.

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This is a pathway.

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This is the entrance to the area with food, lockers, changing room, and other things.

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Mama Lizetti's pizza place is really good. (I've never actually tried it, but I wanted to make the park look good.)

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Surfside is the other water park eatery.

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To increase capacity, Dan was able to organize the addition of a large new patio with fifteen tables. It was built in a day. Take that Rome!

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The World's Largest Pepsi Oasis. It's the largest, so any other Pepsi Oasis at any other park should feel bad. Just kidding, Pepsi Oasis are not sentient.

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The wave pool has waves that people seem to enjoy.

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Upsurge is actually a pretty great halfpipe-type attraction.

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Cabanas

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The famous backside of a Pepsi Oasis.

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A view from the "terrace" down into the kids area.

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This lazy river pictures isn't that great because I was too lazy to get a better one.

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Dan spent over a hundred hours renovating this rock work (which extends around the kiddie area), and it look great.

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They have these awesome lockers.

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The park's GM, Mike Kamp, actually developed the technology behind these lockers, which are now used at parks around the country, including Universal.

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Neptune's Plunge is made up of our black slide that do twists and turns. Because, you know, REAL slide have curves!

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This is a great look at what I will call, water park past & water park future.

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There are a lot of water things on this play structure.

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Wipeout, which is a water adventure course where you get to wear a harness! Horses also get to wear harnesses sometimes, so...

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Let's head down this path.

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This is an area that the park is currently putting a lot of work into, as they will be able to host large events with lots of seating and catering capacity down here soon.

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Right between the green & blue buildings in the previous picture you can see wipeout, which is at the end of Main Street.

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This is the view if you turn around.

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We are NOT on a log flume. Because this is a crappy log flume, built crappily. Blagh.

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This is an amphitheater that once hosted Smashmouth! But it also hosted me signing alone at night.

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A ride pad waiting for some time to go by.

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There are a few ride pads together that are empty. Fortunately, the park built a very nice bright blue fence, which makes them a lot less visible for now.

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Let's head around the ride's loop. Drop Zone on the left and Jump Around on the right.

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The Wacky Worm coaster, CentiSPEED!

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"Crank and Roll" - A completely Guest powered attraction.

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Heading down past CentiSPEED.

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Here's the park's new tea cup ride. It's great for families and really rounds out the family rides area, which is nice.

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The Rampage Oasis before opening. It has misters and free soda, which is pretty cool.

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Little Bumpers is a covered, kiddie bumper boat ride.

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Moving on, restrooms on the left and the park's Rio Grande train, Splash Express, is behind the white fence on the right.

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The station for Splash Express is on the right, but let's head up to Drop Zone.

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See? I told you it was very colorful. It isn't very intense, but families seem to love it!

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The General's Diner is a great, air-conditioned restaurant that has memorabilia from Mrs. Koch's life on the walls. Pretty neat.

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In case you forgot, this is what Wipeout looks like

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Finally, Little Harbor, a kiddie boat ride.

 

I'll talk about the park more later, but I'm already 30min late to pick up my dad from the airport, so I hope my rushed captions were okay. If not, I apologize.

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Those stairs were actually built for the very short lived Dino Domain walk through attraction that was only there for 1999. There was a building up there too that was used as the haunted house for Scare Fest when they had it (last in 2004). When Stratos Fear Screamer was built in 2001 you also used those steps to get to the attraction, but when Southland Entertainment split the park up in 2003 they blocked them up. Plus I had to use them everyday when I parked next to the old haunted house

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Thanks for all the posts and the photos of behind the scenes and the park guest experience scenes. If you visit the park this summer, you will see a much improved park. Even during the summer season, we continue to make aesthetic improvements as well as guest experience improvements. I haven't had one angry mob of mothers after me yet this season! LOL but true. Check out our Facebook reviews and see the colossal shift that is occurring in the Alabama community. My back, arms, and hands hurt so badly from all this hard work but we love it. The General stood over the french fry frier in Surfside Grill for hours on Saturday to make sure our well attended Saturday June 11, 2016 guests got fed quickly. This place is fun, but it is one very high degree of operating difficulty. Saving a relic park has been extremely tough, but we are here to stay and we do love this park very much too. It has a great personality, like all great parks do. Thanks for the posts Josh and friends. I am off to Channel 6 this morning with the General who is going to cook a funnel cake live at 8:45 a.m. central time today. She is making television history! Thank you all. Daniel Koch.

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Thanks for all the posts and the photos of behind the scenes and the park guest experience scenes. If you visit the park this summer, you will see a much improved park. Even during the summer season, we continue to make aesthetic improvements as well as guest experience improvements. I haven't had one angry mob of mothers after me yet this season! LOL but true. Check out our Facebook reviews and see the colossal shift that is occurring in the Alabama community. My back, arms, and hands hurt so badly from all this hard work but we love it. The General stood over the french fry frier in Surfside Grill for hours on Saturday to make sure our well attended Saturday June 11, 2016 guests got fed quickly. This place is fun, but it is one very high degree of operating difficulty. Saving a relic park has been extremely tough, but we are here to stay and we do love this park very much too. It has a great personality, like all great parks do. Thanks for the posts Josh and friends. I am off to Channel 6 this morning with the General who is going to cook a funnel cake live at 8:45 a.m. central time today. She is making television history! Thank you all. Daniel Koch.

It was funny walking around the park with Mrs. Koch, because little kids would see her and get all excited. I've never seen such happy Guests either. The thing that the Koch's needed to accomplish to be successful at ASA was to give the entire park a new attitude. By making themselves the "unofficial" mascots of the park, it personifies the park and does so in a way that is completely genuine. A lot of people don't expect to see Dan & The General working non-stop while the park is open, but they do. They both have the attitude of not thinking that they're above certain jobs. If they see a need, they fill it. I'm really excited for the park's future (by the way, I'm not on the park's payroll right now, so I'm saying this because it's the truth).

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We are entering 2018 and 2019 planning and beyond. Look out, we are getting dangerous. Thrilling rides are coming but for now, our friends on this forum must understand that we (Koch family and friends) came here and rescued a corpse. This park was a corpse, right Josh? But now, the park is out of the morgue and out of critical care and moving into recovery! Thanks TPR family and friends. See you at the park for lift hill hikes if time and space allow.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the updates, Dan and Josh. This project is very interesting. Will the log flume eventually be refurbished? I'd love to stop at this park on one of our trips down to Pensacola, FL sometime in the next few years.

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We are entering 2018 and 2019 planning and beyond. Look out, we are getting dangerous. Thrilling rides are coming but for now, our friends on this forum must understand that we (Koch family and friends) came here and rescued a corpse. This park was a corpse, right Josh? But now, the park is out of the morgue and out of critical care and moving into recovery! Thanks TPR family and friends. See you at the park for lift hill hikes if time and space allow.

 

I had a wonderful visit in the rain the other week, and the great Rampage ERT aside, the 8(?) high speed laps on Centi-SPEED with wet breaks until the lift was turned off to stop it was a true highlight of my trip. I'm still laughing just thinking of it. I hope to be back again some day and wish you all the best of luck.

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We are entering 2018 and 2019 planning and beyond. Look out, we are getting dangerous. Thrilling rides are coming but for now, our friends on this forum must understand that we (Koch family and friends) came here and rescued a corpse. This park was a corpse, right Josh? But now, the park is out of the morgue and out of critical care and moving into recovery! Thanks TPR family and friends. See you at the park for lift hill hikes if time and space allow.

 

My Wish:

 

2017

- Scrambler (Filling the Gap from Kids Rides to Rampage)

- Mat Slides for Waterpark replacing Speed Slides

 

2018

- Gerstlauer Spinning Coaster (Filling the Gap between Centispeed and Rampage)

 

2019

- Zamperla Discovery

- Flow Rider for Waterpark

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We are entering 2018 and 2019 planning and beyond. Look out, we are getting dangerous. Thrilling rides are coming but for now, our friends on this forum must understand that we (Koch family and friends) came here and rescued a corpse. This park was a corpse, right Josh? But now, the park is out of the morgue and out of critical care and moving into recovery! Thanks TPR family and friends. See you at the park for lift hill hikes if time and space allow.

 

My Wish:

 

2017

- Scrambler (Filling the Gap from Kids Rides to Rampage)

- Mat Slides for Waterpark replacing Speed Slides

 

2018

- Gerstlauer Spinning Coaster (Filling the Gap between Centispeed and Rampage)

 

2019

- Zamperla Discovery

- Flow Rider for Waterpark

 

Those are some good suggestions!

Here are some more IMHO:

 

NOTE: Some of the following ideas MAY NOT ever be possible in Splash Adventure's timeline, but it would be fun to see them show up at some point! Currently, Rampage is the only draw for me, but it's not enough on its own to get me to travel from nearby Georgia. If Splash Adventure was to add some of the following rides, though???

 

-Gas-powered Flying Scooters (like at Knoebels)

-Gas-powered Loop-O-Plane (like the one that was at Miracle Strip in FL)

-A ride like Catwoman Whip at Six Flags Over Texas (or a classic Enterprise)

-A Gerstlauer Sky Fly

-A Zipper would be INCREDIBLE!!!

-Zamperla Air Race

-A Top Spin with a great program (and theming) similar to Talocan

-The "updated/re-vamped" ride which is a lot like the classic Rock-N-Roll flat ride. I think one opened in California not too long ago? I searched for it, but couldn't find it. Anyone care to lend a hand about what I'm referring to?

-A classic Whacky Shack-style dark ride

-Classic (Lusse-style) bumper cars

 

-Then, there's some "Big Budget" rides like a custom Chance Hyper G-TX and/or an Intamin Mega-Lite that might possibly fit within the (future) Splash Adventure budget and would be a HUGE/UNIQUE draw for the area and way beyond???

 

Oh well...if you're reading this Dan...have "fun" with my suggestions!

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Welp.. looks like we've hit the tipping point where instead of just waiting for actual information from the park or talking about new improvements, enthusiasts turn this into their own literary version of RCT3.

 

In that case, I'll put in my $0.02.

 

2017: Free ice cream and free food

2018: Free $100 bills for every lap on Rampage

2019: Year off from all of the free stuff, but free back rubs are available upon request.

2020: Tips from all of free back rubs and lack of free food/$100 bill program frees up enough cash for those gas powered scooters, straight from 1975, mentioned above.

2021: The gas powered scooters were such a hit that this park puts in the world's first 350 ft. B&M giga powered by gas!!

2022: As a direct result of more requests for gas powered attractions, a separate entrance for enthusiasts is included in the park, which features a dark unlit pathway leading to a fiery pit with the 'world's tallest drop on a fiery pit in Alabama.'

2023: gas prices inflate again and the park closes.

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^First, LMAO. That is exactly what this thread needed.

 

and second, this:

 

enthusiasts turn this into their own literary version of RCT3.

 

It's fun to provide suggestions as feedback to a post by the owner of the park, but let's stay realistic. It has already been made clear the pace at which the park is developing and what to expect in upcoming years. We are lucky to have Dan here providing such candid information for us, let's not scare him away by being crazy enthusiasts.

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^First, LMAO. That is exactly what this thread needed.

 

and second, this:

 

enthusiasts turn this into their own literary version of RCT3.

 

It's fun to provide suggestions as feedback to a post by the owner of the park, but let's stay realistic. It has already been made clear the pace at which the park is developing and what to expect in upcoming years. We are lucky to have Dan here providing such candid information for us, let's not scare him away by being crazy enthusiasts.

 

I thought my ideas were realistic. Also I wonder if they could get SFOG's Bumper Cars if The Bumper Car arena is still there

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^I think switching 2018 and 2019 would be more realistic, and replacing "Gerstlauer" spinner with "Zamperla" spinner would make MUCh more sense, considering Gerstlauer look much more expensive... but as Dan had already mentioned

 

But candidly, a big roller coaster isn't looming in the five year forecast. It wouldn't make sense for us. With that said, I do believe we need some more thrilling elements and some great family rides and slides are looming in the future. Those rides and slides are coming.

I won't pretend to know how to run an amusement park, but I assume being slow and steady with ride implementation would be best while they continue to work on other aspects of the park that need immediate attention.

 

It's incredibly refreshing hearing from Dan about the park. I'm also greatly looking forward to new improvements and happenings for the park, and wish you the guys the best in running it! I hope to get down there at some point to at least ride Rampage.

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^First, LMAO. That is exactly what this thread needed.

 

and second, this:

 

enthusiasts turn this into their own literary version of RCT3.

 

It's fun to provide suggestions as feedback to a post by the owner of the park, but let's stay realistic. It has already been made clear the pace at which the park is developing and what to expect in upcoming years. We are lucky to have Dan here providing such candid information for us, let's not scare him away by being crazy enthusiasts.

 

I thought my ideas were realistic. Also I wonder if they could get SFOG's Bumper Cars if The Bumper Car arena is still there

Actually yes yours are pretty realistic although probably still a bit optimistic. Good suggestions though. I'd love to see that. Although not much is left of the bumper car arena, I'm sure they could get a good deal on the actual cars and it'd be a great addition along the main midway.

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What is up TPR family and friends? We appreciate all the input, good bad and otherwise. The good news is that the park is growing. It may not become the wild teen thrill park during my lifetime, but I think what we are becoming is a fantastic cool, relaxing beautiful place to visit. We are working very hard on 2017, 2018 and 2019 plans. We must add water park capacity. The decision to spend the money on the bombdiggity Pepsi Oasis for 2016 in the water park food court was a great decision. Nothing spectacular is coming for 2017. But that is ok, because good cool capacity fun stuff is being dialed in for 2018 and beyond. And, little stuff is coming for 2017. If a park is adding stuff, good stuff is going on and good stuff is going on here. We bought a tidal wave of negativity here, but we have reversed the tidal wave! Come visit us and see what we are becoming. This park is becoming super cool and within 1/2 a decade you are going to see substantial improvements, but a B & M, etc. just aint in the cards for the next 1/2 decade, but I guarantee you that when you visit us, you will leave with a happy feeling that you have made a visit to somewhere wonderful! Thanks for the comments and support. We love the enthusiast community. You all get it.

 

Dan Koch, son of the "General" a/k/a Mrs. Koch.

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  • 5 weeks later...

I got in 4 rides on Rampage this afternoon (all walk-ons), and it was running great

The first 1/2 of the ride was pretty good. Nothing too crazy, just some light airtime moments and fun twisty bits through the woods (this part of the ride is best experienced in the front seat, IMO). The laterals begin to get progressively stronger toward the middle of the layout, and then you hit THE drop, you'll know the one when you ride it in the back seat. It felt really similar to Georgia Cyclone's infamous 4th drop, with a crazy jolt of surprising ejector air. From that point on, the ride is absolutely relentless, with ejector air and intense laterals all over the place.

It's such a spectacular ending I can see now why this ride receives such high praise.

 

Upsurge was pretty cool, but not nearly as intense as it looked from off-ride. It generated a long line, probably because people kept getting stuck in the middle and having to slowly shuffle their way uphill.

 

The best thing in the water park is the bowl slide. Try to keep your head lifted up, though, as the bumps at the slide connections can be pretty jarring. The last time I rode one of these, the lifeguards instructed riders to put their hands behind their heads when entering the bowl. I'm not sure why the speed slide was removed from this complex, but I hope they'll add back a trapdoor or an aqua-loop or something.

 

The black slides (seemingly arbitrarily) had no single tubes, so I didn't ride them. Weird, since the promo pic on their website shows a single tube. Maybe they just forgot to put them out in front of the slides, I don't know, lol.

 

The water maze seemed really weird to me. The wet parts of the maze were all in the center, and the outer edge (where you spend a lot of your time if you know your way through) was completely dry except for the waterfall at the end. The maze looks very modular and easy to reconfigure, though, so I hope they'll keep switching up the layout during the off-season.

 

I skipped the ropes course, due to long lines. It looked pretty cool, but very very tiny in comparison to the one that used to operate at Dollywood.

 

Overall, it's a nice little park, though the dry park is literally all kiddie rides except for Rampage, lol. I considered riding the Wacky Worm, but I gave it a pass. I usually only do kiddie credits when I'm visiting parks with other people, because I don't want to feel like a creeper, lol. I do make an exception for exemplary kiddie coasters, like the Beastie clones at Cedar Fair parks (hint hint, Koch family, in case you're looking for ideas for a family ride to add to your lineup ).

 

I somehow totally forgot that this park had free soft drinks until I'd already left. I was only in the park for 3 hours, so I didn't stop to eat. I probably would have if I'd noticed the free drinks, though. I'm just so used to Holiday World's well-marked Pepsi-Oasis huts. The park is clearly still a work in progress. I don't have any basis for comparison against the former Alabama Adventure, since this was my first visit, but I'm really looking forward to seeing how it will be developed over the next 3 or 4 years.

 

Also, the place was a little bit hard to find. I passed by it a couples of times looking for the pull-off from the main road, since there wasn't a sign for it. Then I remembered I could type in "Visionland" into my horribly outdated GPS, and it took me straight there... The perks of being a theme park nerd

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For some reason I was told by guest services, and by one of the two lifegards operating the bowl slide, that I was not allowed to wear a rash guard on the slide, because it could get snagged or torn and cause a safety hazard (supposedly), even though people wearing form-fitting tankini tops (which are made out of the same fabric and functionally identical to rash guards in every way) had no problems.

 

This policy just seemed very uninformed to me.

 

Has anybody else ever had this issue before? Surely I'm not the only one who's tried to wear a rash guard on body slides.

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I really hope it's a flat ride. I would say that they need an ARM drop tower, but they just added that frog hopper this year.

They need something relatively unique and thrilling, but still on the smaller side, like a Zamperla Air Race or an Orbiter.

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