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Photo TR: Chuck & Derek Hit Myrtle Beach


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Derek and I headed six+ hours' south of Williamsburg two weekends ago to 1) take advantage of Freestyle Music Park's remarkably cheap pre-4:00 pm admission (about ten bucks apiece), 2) hit two credits that were closed most of last season (Round About and Soak'd), 3) credit whore at a tiny new park in North North Myrtle Beach, and 4) squeeze in what ever we could before heading back the next day (which turned out to be some time in the surf and bit of mini-golf).

 

Beer was, of course, involved. It made for a helluva good weekend getaway.

 

I thought FMP was "nice," as I did when it was still Hard Rock Park, and it's tough to beat the price. It seemed a bit busier than when I was there with Larry over Labor Day Weekend last year. But there were two bummers:

 

1. The infamous Monstars of Rock makeover of Nights in White Satin: The Trip--OK, this "new" dark ride is pretty much crap, with its lame plywood cutouts and minimal effects, but I do give the park credit for doing what they could to make sure they could get as many attractions going as possible in a pretty short period of time. What they have here is a decent concept for a dark ride (getting the Monstars to their show on time), poorly executed. It's long and air conditioned, at least, and they still have the nifty flickering candles from last year.

 

2. The Time Machine--FMP took a high-capacity B&M and made it into a low capacity Vekoma. Really, the operations for this ride need work--now. Guests line up in front of a different door for each decade from the 1960s to the 2000s, watch old music videos, and wait. For a long time. With one-train operation (at least on that day). You don't have to suffer through the Led Zep stuff again, anyway. On the upside, the ride is OK, if a bit rattly, and I think the onride music (we had the 1970s) works better than "Whole Lotta Love." We actually rode up the lifthill to "Life in the Fast Lane," which used to be the music for the Vekoma mine-train coaster back in the day. But the B&M rattle pretty much covers up the music until you hit the midcourse (then we could make out "Rock and Roll All Night" pretty clearly).

 

Round About is an OK family coaster, and Soak'd is what it is--you do get a bit soaked.

 

All in all, FMP will probably live to see another season. And maybe they'll improve Monstars of Rock. I wish them well.

 

Here's a look at a great time in Myrtle Beach. Thanks for setting this up, Derek.

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"But with every fantasy comes a price, eh, Tattoo?"

 

More to come--after I finish dinner.

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. . . to ride on some sort of industrial gantry. Interesting, gentlemen."

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. . . under an enormous fan . . .

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"So, your fantasy is to queue up . . .

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"Smiles, everyone, smiles! My dear guests! I am Mr. Roarke! Welcome to Fantasy Harbour State Park!"

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All in all, a decent family ride--and the "car wash" ending is a nice, refreshing touch.

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I did like how the music kept changing on the car's "radio."

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I recall a wee bit of air on this first drop, but that was about it.

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This is the most interesting part of the ride--the Ferris wheel lift. It's kind of cool.

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Gotta love British signage. And get ready to hear a bit of Gary Numan's "Cars." A lot.

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Oddly enough, I don't recall hearing the old Yes tune here at all.

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Having swept the Myrtle's Beach opposition aside, we headed Across the Pond.

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Stick around another ten minutes or so, and you just might see a train--blasting thhrough the vortex of time!

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The key to Round About has always been Myrtle's Beach. Lee knew it. Patton knew it. Now you know it.

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Here is our first objective.

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Deja vu increasing.

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I am experiencing a strong sense of deja vu (which I still have yet to ride).

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I think the tape over strategic parts of the sign is very "rock 'n' roll," don't you?

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. . . and the giant, mutant space breasts (Praise the Lord, again).

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We're between Beach Church (Praise the Lord) . . .

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OK, let's try to remember where we parked. (Hmm--some row numbers might be a good idea.)

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Are you ready for . . .

 

MONSTARS OF ROCK!?

 

Nope. Me neither. But here we go.

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Yeah, time to hit the surf. One more set of pics to come.

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"And in the end . . ."

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Yeah, I dun failed at takin' pitchers of Iron Horse. But don't be fooled by my pink gun! It'll kill ya good as a gray one!

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Rattle-rattle-rattle . . . "and roll all night!"

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Anyway, it's still Led Zep to me.

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. . . it'll help pass the time.

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Besides, . . .

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And educational!

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It's fun!

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Come on!

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And now, match the decade with the adjective!

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Did you know that time machine has a backstory? Here it is. Of course, it's tucked away in a corner and no one can read the sign because of all the reflections in the glass.

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. . . when I encountered these five lines.

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You know, I did feel like time had stopped . . .

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. . . along with the appropriate merchandise. (I did buy a Monstars kitchen magnet.)

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Still, I give the park credit for getting another attraction up and running . . .

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Yep--this is about as good as the ride gets. There is kind of a Mad Magazine/Paul Coker, Jr., vibe about the characters.

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"Extra! Read all about it! Lame plywood cutouts take over old outlet mall! Extra! Extra!"

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"Nights in white satin/Never reaching the end . . ."

 

Well, that last line was mistaken.

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Great report, Chuck...looking forward to the next installment! I really hope that F-S-M-P can survive, but it looks like....well, it just might not make it as is. They certainly need a lot of help & hope!

 

Also loved the beer TR...now I know what to do the next time I visit MB:

 

*Golf

*Duclaw

*Golf

*Beach

*Golf

*Green Leafe Cafe

*Beach

*Golf

*Liberty

*F-S-M-P (maybe)

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^Please note that the Green Leafe is located in Williamsburg, Va.--not Myrtle Beach, S.C.

 

Shh! Keep this under your hats! But Derek and I are about to get a credit that . . .

 

BIG MIKE DOESN'T HAVE! BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA!

 

And then we're gonna play some mini-golf.

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Giant carnivorous frogs are a hazard you won't find on any other golf course. Thanks for reading.

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It appears that the "Fountain of Youth" drains here.

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We've found Gilligan and the castaways!

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Hmm--it appears that the Loch Ness Monster is moonlighting.

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"The rumors of my extinction are greatly exaggerated."

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Now we must descend and brave Atlanticus's sinister jungle.

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The true source of Tidy Bowl cleanser! It will make your toilet feel like a teenager again!

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At last! After years of searching! Ponce de Leon, eat your heart out!

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Hmm--appears that a lot of people are golfing with the Gods tonight. (It took about 90 minutes to finish 18 holes.)

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To golf with the Gods, you must scale Mt. Atlanticus.

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Or so, er, artistic?

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Who knew that mini-golf could be so educational?

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"I am defender of the sacred relics, keeper of the holy flame, and operator of the churro cart!"

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"I am Derek--of the Minotaur Imperial Guard! None may pass!"

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"'All-powerful,' my butt--which is stuck in concrete, I might add!"

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Hail, Atlanticus! Home of the all-powerful Gods of Putt-Putt!

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Yep--that's about it.

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Here's another view of the park.

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Ka-ching!

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This thing was just barely able to complete its circuit.

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"OK, everyone who feels cheap and used has gotta raise their hands!"

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Touch it! I double dog dare you!

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OK. I lied. There was no murder. Here's Derek, very much alive.

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"Yes, it's Murder on the Orient Express!"

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"I've called you all here because I'm going to reveal the killer."

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This wee little park recently opened in North Myrtle Beach.

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Good stuff, Chuck. I'll just piggyback a few pictures onto this as well.

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and to make Chuck's PTR more complete, here's a kinda sorta shot of Iron Horse...which played no music on our ride, but still had fire so it gets a gold star.

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Hopefully new for 201X, Aqua 8 Trax

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At least this remained and still played Stairway to Heaven, sort of, at random, even when no one was "playing" the strings

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I don't think there were this many people in the entire park last year when I visited, yet alone in line for The Led Zeppelin Time Machine

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Several blistering minutes in the sun later, a train broke through the space-time continuum into our realm again

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Round About was pretty much like a giant rollerskater with a funky lift and random onboard 80s music

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Not quite soaked, but refreshingly damp. Kinda disappointing though that there are no waterbombs on the train

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The Gibson guitar got to stay, and yay, Soak'd is working on this trip! They must have paid their bill on time

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farewell, mural, we hardly knew ye

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A lot has changed since last year

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Wow, it's REALLY a good idea for adults to get there before 5pm!! If only you could leave your kids in the car (or at Beach Church) until after 5, or just buy them a _______ pass, then everyone gets in cheap! Boy, this sign is all sorts of messed up. Not that anyone is paying over $20 to get in these days anyway.

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Onto Myrtle Beach and Freestyle!

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Me sad poor Wolfie go bye-bye

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Last chance I'll get this shot of the Rhine

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First stop, Busch Gardens for my final BBW ride ever.

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Good stuff. Hopefully FMP can stayn afloat enough to stick around for a while longer. And at least they are getting decent crowds - even if the prices are ridiculously reduced. Hopefully that pays off in the long run.

 

But you know operations are awful when people are sitting on the floor waiting for their turn to ride TTM.

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