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Photo TR: Jason's California Adventure


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For me, the days leading up to the first "real" park of the trip were enjoyable. Others said it felt like a few days of just waiting around for something big to happen. Regardless, the big day did eventually come around, and what a day it was! Welcome to Day Two: Bay Area Bash at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom!

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And with that, we say "goodnight" to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and the Bay Area Bash. Also, since Terrence wasn't available, Foghorn Leghorn filled in.

 

Next stop: Gilroy Gardens!

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Robb informed us that Six Flags has done this challenge for only two groups: TPR... and the Special Olympics!

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Six Flags officials took studious measurements... but really, there were no winners in this contest!

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Oh, right, we're doing the Tony Hawk Challenge! Basically, teams of two went out on the coaster holding full cups of water and attempting to keep them as full as possible (which in most instances wasn't very). The winners were the ones who spilled the least--and there were used coaster parts on the line!

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What's all that water doing underneath the track?

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Looks like there's something going on up there....

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We had ERT on Vertical Velocity, as well, but the main draw was Tony Hawk's Big Spin.

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I liked this version a lot better than the one at Six Flags America (my home Six Flags). The trains made for a much smoother (but still rough) ride. After eight laps (four consecutive, a break, then four more consecutive), I was ready to move on.

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ROAR!!!

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Following a rousing round of TPR Trivia while waiting for the park to clear, it was time to begin night ERT! First stop: Roar!

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"Please pet me! I'm lonely!"

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Five minutes until the park closes=still enough time to pet some stingrays!

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Story time: Making our way from dinner to the night ERT waiting area, we ran into Sir Topham Hat... who kind of looks a little like Robbie... who proceeded to walk up to Sir Topham Hat and apologize for being a lousy son. Sir Topham placed his hand on his forehead, lowered it and shook it in disappointment as his long-lost son continued to ask forgiveness for his wayward life. It was one of the funniest random ad-libbed moments of the entire trip! (And I'm sure Natatomic has photos of the actual incident that she'll be sharing eventually.)

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...before returning you to this SFDK rapids ride, already in progress.

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Because no photos are allowed inside the factory itself, we'll now pause for Bunny Corn...

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Rockin' the sexy paper hat!

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...even lit up in neon!

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...used to create works of art...

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This place has jellybeans everywhere... hanging from the ceiling...

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When manufacturing jellybeans, it's important to know what time it is at all times all over the world!

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This is the line we encountered for the factory tour... after we had already stood in line to get to this side of the building! We made it on one of the final tours of the day.

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"I'm a giant jellybean. Feed me your babies!"

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After lunch, a number of us left the park for a couple hours to partake in the optional "surprise" activity... a tour of the Jelly Belly jellybean factory!

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SFDK's PR guy hosted a Q&A. There was a lot of corporate-speak, but being in PR myself, I understand that sometimes (most of the time) you have to toe the line.

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The best prizes were the pictures painted by the park's animals. Most people, though, won SFDK tote bags... not that there's anything wrong with that!

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Edgar, our host for the day, presided over the lunchtime raffle, at which everyone received a prize!

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Then the dolphin spent about five minutes scaring the bejesus out of Neil!

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...with a dead pig on them!

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The park's mascots came and served us potato chips...

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The view from here was gorgeous, as well.

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...and then on to the first TPR picnic pavillion of the trip!

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One more stop to see the dolphins...

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That one's drowning! Oh, penguins can swim? Well never mind then.

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Speaking of lunch, the ceremony was about to begin! But first a quick stop off to see the penguins.

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And we'll end this visit to Thomas Town with Sir Topham Hat-in-a-box... just because we can!

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...and Harold the Helicopter. And look who's riding Harold! I didn't even realize that until I was scrolling through my pictures later on at lunch.

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...Bertie the Bus...

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All non-train Thomas characters are required to have alliterative names (it's the law in Thomas Town), so other friends include Cranky the Crane...

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This is where they're all going today. Jolly, jolly, jolly!

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And there are all his engine friends, Gordon, Percy and James!

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There he is!

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Believe it or not, you can actually Flash Pass Thomas! (Speaking of which, now would be a good time to mention we had Gold Q-Bots for the entire day...).

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I had promised my girlfriend's daughter I'd bring back a full report on Thomas Town... so you get to join in the fun, too!

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I think we all know how this is going to end up....

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And then there's this guy....

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Run away, little girl! Before the coyote eats you! Or makes you ride on his rocket sled!

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Get down with your bad self, Sylvester!

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Clark Kent is late for a meeting! Unfortunately, he can't find anyplace to change into his "street" clothes now that this is what all the remaining phone booths look like....

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If only they hadn't shallacked Batman and turned him into a store display!

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Oh noes, the Joker!

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Wonder Woman's all "Yeah, I know I'm hot!"

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Random chair swing photo: check!

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Besides, if I was going to throw my money away on a game, I'd much rather lose it trying to win one of these!

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I half thought about trying to win this cape for the Piers cape-of-the-day contest. Then I half decided to forget it.

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Step right up, folks! Welcome to rip-off alley!

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Oh, it's just teacups :(

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Time for a little Monkey Business!

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"There it is, folks, the back side of water!" (Don't worry; they'll be plenty more of these jokes as the TR continues.)

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They even had a display of almost-butterflies.

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The butterfly garden was amazing! Unfortunatly, most of my photos came out blurry... but not this one!

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The perimeter around the park was absolutely gorgeous--I'll be the houses on the other side cost a fortune!

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This one got so close, my camera almost wouldn't focus!

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I was most impressed by the giraffes.

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What makes this a fennec fox? No clue; the sign just said it was!

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We see you, Tava!

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While the rides were nice, I was really excited about the animals at this park.

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...and Boomerang.

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...Scrambler...

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...the world's strangest Vertical Velocity (it was too tall for zoning codes as originally constructed, so they lopped of part of one end and angled the other about 45 degrees)...

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More rides: the (misspelled) Tasmanian Devil...

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Meanwhile, Bugs, Daffy and Sylvester turn the tables and go hunting for Elmer Fudd!

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...snakey come down the hill!

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Snakey go up the hill...

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We rode this in honor of the new "G.I. Joe" movie, which opened that day!

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Though we technically didn't get ERT on it, we rode it before most members of the GP had a chance to make it that far into the park, so it was more or less "free" ERT, at least for one circuit.

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Kong was right across the way.

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This is what Medusa looks like, yep!

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But plenty of other TPRers did!

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And then it was time for ERT on Medusa! Which, of course, I didn't ride, not being a particular fan of those types of coasters.

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Captain Lee and his gang led us in a Q&A session on the tigers. For those of you who don't know who Captain Lee is, he's kind of like SFDK's version of Joan Embery. And if you don't know who Joan Embery is... well then you're probably younger than I am or never watched the "Tonight Show" when Johnny Carson was alive. Moving on....

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OMG! Tigers can swim! Soylent green is people!

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"I'll eat Siegfried; you can have Roy."

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Now, it could have just been the pain meds, but I swear at this point my foot actually came off my ankle, floated up to eye level and said, "Oh, come on! You have got to be freakin' kidding me! Who do you think I am, Rocky?"

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This was our first official stop of the day.

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If you think he's hungry now, you "otter" see what he does when they bring out the red Jell-O!

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Let's all sing like the birdies sing....

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After a few minutes these wild creatures came to join in the fun. And they brought some animals for us to look at, too!

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Of course I took advantage of the opportunity to have my picture taken with a camel! The smile, however, is 100 percent fake. Not only was I still recovering from bacon sickness, but my foot still felt like someone snapped it in two and tried to reconnect it with Scotch tape.

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Finally the gates did open... and look who was on hand to greet us!

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I nearly won Elissa Bingo just standing around in the plaza waiting for the gates to open. Speaking of which, here's a rare side-view of Ice Bat for your viewing pleasure!

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And they stole Shamu!

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What? A locked gate? Do these people not know who we are?

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OMG, OMG, it's almost time for the bash to begin!

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That would be Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge off in the background.

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My first plate! Unfortunately, having been on a diet immediately prior to the trip, I consumed enough grease that morning to make myself sick. I wouldn't make that mistake during the next two days of all-you-can-eat bacon!

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The morning started with all-you-can-eat bacon and pancakes at IHOP. Yes, you read that right. And it was included in the trip!

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You know, one thing I forgot to mention in the portion of my TR at the Jelly Belly factory was the Belly Flops! Robb implored all of us to try these (and I think we all did). Basically they take all the jellybeans that stick together (and thus receive two to three times the amount of sugar they're meant to), package them in a jumbo bag and sell them for between $5 and $9 depending on quantity. Apparently they're for sale one place and one place only: the Jelly Belly Factory Tour gift shop. I'm sitting here munching on mine now, and they are beyond awesome!

 

The one thing that concerns me, though, is that according to the bag, Belly Flops "taste great, but don't quite meet all of our demanding standards for size, color, shape and flavor." I want to know whose job it is to lick the jellybeans to determine which ones go into the Belly Flops pile for not meeting the demanding flavor standard!

 

At any rate, our next stop on the trip was Gilroy Gardens. For those who aren't familiar, this place was built by a bazillionaire named Michael Bonfante, who was OK with having a park with rides themed to the local agriculture (Gilroy is the "Garlic Capital of the World"), but really just wanted someplace to display his beloved Circus Trees (more on them later). He spent over $100 million to build this showcase and opened the park in 2001. Unfortunately, attendance wasn't great, so eventually Paramount Parks--now Cedar Fair--was brought in to manage the park. According to Robb, Mr. Bonfante went a little crazy after that and was never seen or heard from again... or something like that.

 

Either way, I saw an interview with the guy on the Travel Channel a few years ago and have wanted to visit his park ever since. And now, thanks to TPR, I can check that wish off my list. Enjoy!

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Goodbye, Gilroy Gardens. Thanks for being our location during the first half of quite possibly the best day in TPR history!

 

Next stop: the amazing Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, which I'm still not 100 percent sure I didn't just dream because nothing could possibly be as good as our afternoon/evening there was. Stay tuned!

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...but we found out later. Apparently maintenance employees dust and sweep each tree every day. And you thought Disney's standards were high!

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I took my fries over to the ol' Learning Shed and sat a spell. And what did we learn? Well, I'll tell you what we didn't learn: We didn't learn just how Gilroy Gardens stays so lush and immaculate...

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These are the garlic fries. To be honest, they weren't that good. I knew I should have gone with the fried artchoke hearts instead!

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You know, you can't say "Gilroy" without thinking garlic. The Gilroy tourism bureau had a building in the park, handing out sheets with fun facts about garlic. One of the park's signature rides is the Garlic Twirl. The park's mascot/logo is a head of garlic wearing sunglasses, for crying out loud! So food-wise, everything in the park must be garlic-related, right?

 

Wrong. The only garlic item they sold at the entire park was garlic fries, and they were available at only one stand. And that stand was themed to a town other than Gilroy! Castroville, Calif., by the way, is the "Artichoke Capital of the World."

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Hey, that doesn't look like a paddleboat....

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At Gilroy Gardens even the trees have nametags!

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I spent the last 45 minutes or so of our Gilroy time touring the gardens. This one was dedicated to Mrs. Bonfante.

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OK, so some were better than others....

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The basket tree was my favorite. I even bought a pressed penny depicting it. (Did you get that one, Kerry?)

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OK, remember the Circus Trees? (You did read my intro, didn't you?) Well, here are the ones I managed to see during our time there.

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Wood!

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And now, since Scott left such nice comments earlier in the TR... monorail upskirt porn!

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Even though Gilroy's had hokey displays relating to magnification (magnification... magnification... magnification)!

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Having ridden through it on the monorail and later walked through it at the ground level, I have to say I didn't think Gilroy's butterfly garden was as nice as Six Flags Discovery Kingdom's.

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Mostly the monorail went through here.

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Gilroy Gardens monorail!

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OK, I know at least one person who's been patiently waiting for this....

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That's pretty much the pinnacle of chair swing theming right there.

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No way was I leaving without getting a picture of the Mushroom Swing!

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"Veggie-veggie, fruit-fruit!"

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Basically it was just a series of waterfalls, the first of which you could walk past and not get wet, the second of which you got splashed and the third of which you actually had to walk under! I turned back after the second one.

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OK, so this is probably the most non-Dan-friendly attraction in the history of theme parks....

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Yeah, we totally gave him the wrong directions!

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"Am I the last one? How do I get out of here?"

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Josh figured he'd be in here for awhile, so he brought his lunch with him!

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After lunch we performed a TPR takeover of the Pinnacles Rock Maze. It was trickier than it looked!

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"Workin' at the car wash, girl! Come on and sing it with me!"

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Jeez, how many gas stations does this town need?

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Is this where they grow the twirling garlic?

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Another gas station....

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Take the tree tunnel!

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Coming soon to Dave TV!

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The journey on quite possibly the best-themed antique car ride in America began at the Old Gilroy Service Station. I talked a lot to the family in front of me while waiting in line. Their young son was absolutely fascinated that there was a group that (to borrow a line from Big Mike) traveled the world riding roller coasters. It still amazes me how some of the GP (even the young, impressionable ones) think we're celebrities when they see our shirts, lanyards, etc.

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...or a '57 Chevy.

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...a snazzy 1960s Corvette...

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A 1920s Model A Ford...

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This was a pretty cool little car ride. You got to decide which you'd rather drive:

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Gener-bear!

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Rollin'... rollin'... rollin' on the river....

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Hey, those trees look like paddleboats that look like ducks and swans!

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"I miss my old friends at the bottom of the TPR page."

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More prettiness....

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Pretty....

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What it really amounted to was a very heavily horticultured lazy river.

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Back on topic, Rainbow Gardens is actually what Elissa affectionately (sarcastically?) referred to as "the spinning boat ride."

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As you can imagine, a number of TPRers had fun with this sign! Which reminds me of a story I forgot to recount earlier.

 

As we were pulling out of Beverly Hills on our sightseeing day, the bus driver/tour guide pointed out that had we kept going straight ahead, we would have ended up in West Hollywood... where the entire fire department is gay... and the entire police force is gay... and the city council, "Oh yeah, they're all gay." At which point half the bus started cheering and shouting things like, "Can we go there instead?" The driver/tour guide, totally oblivious, says something like, "Uh oh, what's all the cheering? Did we spot a celebrity?"

 

At this point Elissa stood up and said something along the lines of, "How many of you would rather go to West Hollywood than the Chinese Theater?" More cheers. She then very tactfully turned around and let the bus driver know that a good number of his passengers were *ahem* eligible to fight fires in West Hollywood. At which point the driver said, "Oh...." (awkward pause... awkward pause... awkward pause....) "So how many of you remember the TV show '77 Sunset Strip,' because they filmed it right over there!"

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He advised this plant person to call Liberty Medical to find out how he too can get low-cost supplies to help manage his diabeetus.

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Our engineer was Wilford Brimley!

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And now here's something you'll really like! All aboard!

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Regardless, it's the flora and fauna, not the rides, that are the real stars of Gilroy Gardens.

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Here's one of the few rides in the park not themed to the local agriculture... or anything in California, for that matter.

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So does this guy. I wasn't sure what his name was, so I decided he should be called "Gil."

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Robbie called these "Bobo Bears." I dubbed them "Gener-Bears." Either way, fake Care Bears absolutely rock as prizes!

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Berry nice!

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Do not ride if you:

Are pregnant.

Suffer from back or neck injuries.

Are lactose intolerant.

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"Grrrr! I'm a poisonous snake!"

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You know, even more disturbing than the food rides is the fact that they chose to theme an attraction after a poisonous snake... and then had a plaque bragging about it!

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This, on the other hand, really is a credit!

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Topiary high-five!

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This is *almost* a credit.

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"Who are you calling a dip?"

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At least that's an actual phrase....

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I love the paint job on these.

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Who knew garlic was so limber?

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Did I mention most of Gilroy Gardens' rides were themed as food?

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We see you, Panorama Wheel!

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Theming! Actually, Quicksilver Express was pretty awesome. Most of it went through woodlands, with trees nearly close enough to touch.

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Nerrrrrrrrrds!

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"Look! Coaster nerds! Let's blow them up and then laugh at them!"

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Little do they know I just stole all their souls with my camera!

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And now you know.

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Time for a little morning ERT!

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The entry plaza of the future... today!

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Darn right it does! We were like one-third of the park's attendance that day!

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Follow the green footprints to Gilroy!

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"You know, things used to be a lot easier before Mom and Dad made me start earning my keep by planning future TPR trips. The Holiday Inn Express--Shanghai wants how much per night for a 20-room block? Blimey!"

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I really liked GG. Though I was confused by the lack of awesome garlic related food. At least I got awesome garlic fries at Santa Cruz that were COVERED in awesome garlic hot death! I think the conversation while we were waiting went something like this:

 

Elissa: I hope he's making eight orders with that giant pot of garlic.

 

Me: No, that's just for us!

 

And it was! Not the best garlic fries ever (that still goes to the ones I had at the Gilroy Garlic Festival one year), but they were damn tasty.

 

Thanks for being our location during the first half of quite possibly the best day in TPR history!

 

Um, Belmont was not for another couple of days...

 

dt

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^^ Unfortunately one of the biggest sacrifices of being managed first by Paramount, and now by CF, was the food quality/offerings. When Bonfante ran the park, the food was absolutely incredible (the guy did come from the food industry), far and away the best of any theme park in the state. I rated it right up there with the Busch parks, it was that dam delicous! Now it's your basic CF mass produced overpriced garbage, oh well . . .

 

Great TR and comments so far, always fun to read about my home parks from an outside perspective. Looking forward to the rest, thanks!

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Ooo, don't knock the garlic fries, Jason. Robbie had some and now he SWEARS by them. He said they cleared up his sinuses, gave him a boost of energy, made him poop sunshine and rainbows...all kinds of good stuff.

 

Anyway, great TR. Can't wait to read more!

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Thanks again to everyone for the great comments! So, contrary to pretty much everyone else on the trip who has espoused an opinion so far, I thought our beach day at Santa Cruz (rather than our beach day at Belmont) was the most amazing part of the entire trip, as well as one of the best days of my life (TPR is responsible for two of those now).

 

Anyway, on to the photos. Enjoy!

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So long, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Thank you for a phenominal evening!

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Finally it was time to meet beneath the Giant Dipper, where Larry, the world's most awesome bus driver and coaster enthusiast, was waiting to deliver us back to the world's greatest across-the-street-from-Yahoo! hotel, the Best Western Avatar.

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I rounded out the evening with a few spins on Giant Dipper and one last rides on Haunted Castle, where Tyler impressed the ladies with his cool neon glasses. (No really, that girl on the left was all over him!)

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"We tried to shoot them... but they're already dead!"

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Can't you read? They don't want to be disturbed!

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Looks like there's some ghost evictin' goin' on!

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SCBB was a dark ride fan's dream (another reason I enjoyed it so much). Their newest is a Sally "Ghost Blasters." This is also the ride at which I had my favorite random conversation of the trip while waiting line line:

 

Mike Austin: "Why is there a bird on your hat?"

Me: "It's the logo of my local baseball team, the Baltimore Orioles."

Mike: "Oreos? I thought that was a type of breakfast cereal."

Me: "You're thinking of Cheerios."

Mike: "Oh. Chocolate biscuits I meant, then."

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Oh no, one of the Cave Train Adventure people escaped and got on the sky ride!

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Wonder no more!

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I wonder what this car would look like if it was full of TPR members....

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Here you go, Mr. Dino! So, to offer a brief synopsis, the Cave Train Adventure is a miniature locomotive that carries mining cars full of riders through a faux cave populated with limited-animation vignettes that shows what would happen if a non-Flintstones modern Stone Age family went on vacation at the beach.

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"Grrr! I want to see more train pictures!"

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We, however, went on a different kind of train! This classic 1961 dark ride was the greatest ever! It kind of reminded me of the old Land of Dooz at Kings Dominion.

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For our rail fans, they also had a fully restored train that offered rides! I'm not sure if this was officially part of the park, but it was close enough for me to get this picture right outside the station of the Giant Dipper.

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...and Tornado. They also had chair swings ("Sea Swings"), new for 2009, that I would have ridden had I known they fanned out over Monterey Bay. Oh well.

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...Speed Bumps (the bumper cars of the past, apparently)...

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("The Bumper Cars of the Future")

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...Space Race...

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...Wipeout (an indoor Crazy Dance and reputedly the favorite ride of Elissa's evil twin)...

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...Sea Serpent...

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...Starfish...

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...Freefall...

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...Rock-O-Plane (first one of these I'd ever seen in person--then the week I got back I saw one at a church carnival less than two miles from my apartment)...

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...Logger's Revenge (I wonder what ticked him off to begin with)...

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...Riptide (left over from the era when park officials decreed every ride at the boardwalk should have a sea-related name, a practice that Marc(?) said had since ended)...

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...Rock 'n' Roll...

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...Double Shot!...

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...Pirate...

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And now we come to the portion of the TR I like to call "Various attractions at SCBB that Jason didn't have time or care to ride." Like the Fire Ball...

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Granted, it was from another park altogether....

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Speaking of amusement park history, SCBB had an authentic Laffing Sal on display.

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We ended the tour with a look at the nuts and bolts of the issue.

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The flywheel that controls the lift chain or a set piece from "Saw VI"? You decide!

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If you don't like "nerd" shots, you'd best skip the next couple pictures....

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I'm sure people with much nicer cameras than mine (natatomic) got some amazing pictures in here.

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As one can imagine, it made for some pretty nice photo ops.

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Next, we got to go into the "restricted" area inside the supports for the Giant Dipper, where had we put a hand in the wrong place, the train would have run it right over! I heard a number of people say it was their favorite part of the trip (being amongst the coaster supports, that is--not having their hands run over).

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And then Marc(?) really went all out! For those who aren't as familiar with carousel history as I am, in the olden days they would sneak a brass ring in with the iron ones, and if you were lucky enough to pull that one, you got a free ride on the carousel. With the cost of brass these days, they no longer do that... but Marc(?) gave Robb one of the carousel's old brass rings to give out as a prize. Robb, in turn, decreed that the first person to completely fill out their entire Elissa Bingo card would get the ring.

 

 

At this point Mike turned to me and said, "What was it you said before about these trips always getting better?" (Congratulations to Bas on ultimately winning the ring.)

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This is where carousel rings sleep when they're not being used.

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Robbie has a picture of me when we first caught a glimpse of this thing. I'm going to get him to send it to the funeral parlor in my hometown so I can get them to pose that expression on my face when I die!

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But this was the best part! Not only did I get to ride one of the country's last "ring" carousels... I also got to see the machine that supplies it with rings! For me, it truly does not get better than that (though another event on the trip several days later came pretty darned close... stay tuned).

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Then things *really* got good. Marc(?) announced he was taking us underneath the 1911 carousel to see how it worked, including the poles sticking out under the floor as the horses go up and down (which you can see here, kind of, if you squint).

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Inside it's like the Pirates of the Caribbean. Only with less singing and more volcanoes!

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Then we commenced on a behind-the-scenes historical tour of the park. This building onced housed the park's high-dive pool. Now it's a miniature golf course, among other things.

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First he announced that in the park's archives they had recently found a huge stack of these unused postcards from the '60s, and we would all be getting one as a souvenir, compliments of SCBB. It was at this point that I turned to Mike Moody and said, "You know, every time I think these trips can't possibly get better, they always do!"

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And then we met this guy (whose name was Marc, I think... but I can't remember for sure, and his nametag is turned the wrong way in my pictures). He pretty much was sent to make 90 percent of my amusement park dreams come true that afternoon.

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...the first TPR volleyball tournament!

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We also got to chat with Marty from SCBB, who was responsible for helping set up...

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Hi, Big Mike!

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Oh, did we mention that dinner came with all-you-could-drink beer and wine (that's "and," not "or," for those who had trouble making a decision...)?

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Yep, nothing wrong with this!

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And the utensils were made out of potatoes!

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For my money, this was the absolute best meal of the trip, if only for the all-you-could-eat coconut shrimp (though everything else on this plate was also amazing).

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Buf-fay!

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Well, this looks promising....

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Robb told us dinner would be located on the deck near the casino, which wasn't a real casino at all, but an arcade. (This especially confused Wes, who works in a real casino themed as a fake carnival.)

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...like these doughnuts that, despite how difficult it is to tell here, were approximately the size of my head! Also: deep-fried Twinkies (which I've had before, so no big loss), garlic fries (which Dave said were much better than those at Gilroy) and most of all, chocolate covered bacon!

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I snapped this picture because the restaurant is named after one of the greatest songs in the history of music. However, it also gives me a chance to say that I'm kind of disappointed that I missed some of the boardwalk's more unique treats...

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Time to squeeze in one more credit before dinner! Unfortunately, this is the best picture I got of the Hurricane. I'm sure others will fill the void.

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During our park tour (I'm getting ahead of myself), we later learned that the park had the opportunity to refurbish this original organ with digital recordings at a quarter of the cost of returning it to its original mechanical state. The park's owner emphatically chose the latter, despite the increased cost.

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The carousel has two band organs, this one visible while in line.

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"Hop on! I'll take you closer to the scary clown!"

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"I see lots of tasty humans!" (Also, this is where you return the rings--you don't get to keep them).

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Because it's one of the only "ring" carousels left in the United States!

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...and the other is the 1911 Looff carousel. Why?

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There are two very rare things in this picture. One is a pay phone...

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Going my way?

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There sure are a lot of rules on this ride....

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In California, smoking is much scarier than ghosts! In fact, the only thing scarier is a salad without avocado!

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The exterior displays were 10 times scarier than anything inside.

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There's a giant spider! Quick, someone find a giant newspaper!

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On to the Haunted Castle! We were lucky to catch it literally days before it was scheduled to go down for a major interior re-theming.

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OK, that's enough Giant Dipper for now; we'll return later in the TR. But on an entirely different note, can you see Barnacle Bill's wiener?

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The train leaves the station via a dank, dark hole!

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Did we mention that it was the park's 100th anniversary? No? Well, that's probably because it was really the park's 102nd anniversary. It costs a lot to re-decal coaster trains, you know!

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The Giant Dipper is more famous than Paris Hilton!

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Time to ride the Eyeball-Popper!

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Er... make that a historic credit!

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But who cares about that for now; there's a credit!

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The sky ride is prolific, practically spanning the entire length of the boardwalk.

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This is why it's called the Santa Cruz "Beach" Boardwalk.

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It was *slightly* crowded that day.

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After a two-hour drive from Gilroy (the final 30 minutes of which was spent crawling through the final two blocks of the drive), we were at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, the happiest place on sand!

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During our three-day stay in Santa Clara, California's Great America was just down the street, within walking distance from our awesome Best Western Avatar hotel. Some TPRers walked there our first night and used their Cedar Fair season passes to get a jump start on the park. Personally, however, CGA was the one park on the trip I had little interest in. Had we still had the hotel that day, I may have chosen to stay there, sleep in and rest my still-sore foot.

 

Alas, we didn't, so off I (and we) went. I will say that as far as Cedar Fair parks go, this one wasn't half bad (it was, however, still approximately 48 percent bad).

 

For some reason the sun was always in the wrong spot as far as my camera was concerned for the first half of the day, so some of the photos are a bit streaky or washed out. But... what can you do? Anyway, enjoy. Or at least try to....

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2. As we approached our hotel, just down the street from Magic Mountain, Robb got on the microphone and said, "So how would you guys like to go to the park tonight?" He had been in contact with Magic Mountain, let them know we were pulling in ahead of schedule and arranged for us to have bonus time at the park during its final 90 minutes of operation that evening!

 

The one caveat was, we would have to walk back to the hotel on our own after park closing, which pretty much left me out, what with my bum foot still slowing me down. It was just as well since I knew we were going to have 14 full hours at the park the next day (no, that's not a typo), and I was pretty beat from the long days we'd had already. Still, I was just a teensy bit envious when I found out later that the folks who went over that night also got bonus ERT!

 

No matter; the next day would provide me with my fill of SFMM and provide still more amazing moments to remember long after the day ended.

 

Next up: Six Flags Magic Mountain!

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During the long drive from Santa Clara to Valencia, Robb primed us for the next day's park, Six Flags Magic Mountain, with an old "KidSongs" video that had been recorded there! Altogether now: "Water, water everywhere, we're gonna get wet!"

 

Two really cool things happened that evening: 1. After dining at the world's slowest Taco Bell during our highway rest stop dinner break, I discovered at the convenience store across the street that they still make Hostess pudding pies! I hadn't seen them since I was maybe 12! I bought two, and they were both the pinnacle of deliciousness.

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Our CGA day may have been one of our more lackluster park days (of course, "lackluster" on a TPR trip beats a normal "great" day any time)... but at least we got some cool bus signs out of it!

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When I die, that's how I want to be delivered to my grave: hanging on to the roof of the hearse!

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Though both, I suppose, would be better than winning a Robot Monkey. Is this even a "Robot Chicken" character, or did they just randomly decide it would make a "cute" stuffed animal?

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You know, I'm starting to believe CGA may just be the king of irrelevant character spotting. I mean, had this game been open, I'm not really sure which I'd rather have won: 1960s Harvey comic book "star" Hot Stuff or 1960s "Superboy" comics bit player Krypto the Superdog.

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Sadly, the takeover of Camp Snoopy also means no more beer and wine at the Nicktoons Cafe (I don't know about you, but when I think "cartoons," I always think "wine"). Maybe Charlie Brown will open his own tavern here with Great Pumpkin Ale or something.

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OK, so I went into the Nickelodeon Store to see if I could get change for the pressed penny machine outside. The conversation went something like this:

 

Me: "Excuse me."

Cashier: "What?" (This, I've come to believe, is how Cedar Fair instructs its employees to respond to guests who approach them--I've heard it so many times that it can't be a coincidence.)

Me: "Would it be possible for me to get change for the penny machine outside?"

Cashier (rolling her eyes and shaking her head before I've even finished the question): "I can't open the cash register unless you BUY something. Are you planning to buy anything?"

Me: "Just a pressed penny."

Cashier: "Then there's nothing I can do for you. Sorry."

 

Let me just say that I'm a firm believer that when a company treats its employees decently, its employees will treat its customers decently. With that in mind, I'm also a firm believer that the only people Cedar Fair must hate more than its customers are its employees.

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...and Powdered Toast Man from "The Ren and Stimpy Show." (Wait, what, seriously? They made a sign for Powdered Toast Man? I think I would have opted for a third with Pixie and Dixie instead of... Powdered Toast Man? Seriously?)

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Goodbye even more obscure characters, like Snap from "Chalk Zone" (which actually was a pretty good show)...

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Avatar will bend minds no more... but the Best Western Avatar hotel will live in our hearts and dreams forever!

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So long, Jimmy Neutron. I hope you get to be used in promotional appearances instead of sent to the shredder.

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...or faded 4-D shows starring SpongeBob and Patrick.

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...or Patrick...

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No more SpongeBob (which is a good thing since the world could always use less SpongeBob)...

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...or here. On a more serious note, I wonder what theme parks do with their character costumes once the license runs out. Are they destroyed as part of the license agreement? Are they owned by Nickelodeon and leased to the parks, thereby returning to Nickelodeon for use at other parks and promotional events? If that's not the case, does Nick have an option to purchase them for those uses? I'm suddenly intrigued by this minor detail of theme park operations.

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...or here...

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Dora will no longer explore here...

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"If I push this building over on Tommy, then I'll be the big "Rugrats" star! Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!"

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Out: Angela Pickles. In: Cedar Fair trashcans.

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So long, Runaway Reptar. We'll miss your massive theming!

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Hmm... a quick Google shows that it was last shown on U.S. television in 2007.

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Actually, Nick Central seemed pretty heavily themed to the Wild Thornberrys.... Is that show even on anymore?

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"That's strange. I think I see a beagle in a World War I-era fighter plane... and he's headed this way!"

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You'll be part of a miniature golf course soon!

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Farewell, Wild Thornberrys!

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Having had our fill of Cedar Fair for one day, we voted 45-1 to leave CGA an hour early, giving me just 30 minutes to complete my new self-appointed mission: document Nickelodeon Central for posterity (and eventual profit when theme park/Nickelodeon enthusiasts who are kids now start scouring the 'net (or whatever we have then) for photos of places they loved during their childhoods).

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The second-best part of lunch was this Smurf house, randomly sitting by itself in a small patch of sand near the rest rooms. What was the best part of lunch, you ask? Impromptu Q&A with a park manager (Jim, I think?), who told us officially, more than a week before it hit the message boards, that Planet Snoopy was taking over Nickelodeon Central in 2010.

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After a couple flats (and a couple benches), we made our way back to the picnic area at the appointed time for lunch.

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...and landed at the Delta Flyer.

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I was contemplating attempting the massive line for the Psycho Mouse when I ran into Chris, Darren, Gary and a few others and opted to ride the sky ride with them instead. We started on Eagle's Flight...

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OK, how many of you out there would actually trust theme park sushi? Yeah, that's what I thought. (This officially ends the "food segment" of this portion of the TR. Stay tuned for more food in the next report!)

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Looks like it's not just for Disneyland anymore!

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It was getting pretty hot, and with that out of the way, I decided to head back to the entry shops to take a break and sample something I'd seen earlier and wanted to try: frozen Orange Crush. For the record, it was amazing! Also, this officially begins the "food segment" of this portion of the TR.

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Just before noon, I finally got my ride on Grizzly.

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There are definitely some people on that train who could be related to Natalie....

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Rounding out our tour of KidZville, we have everyone's favorite generic credit whore coaster, Taxi Jam!

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Of course, CGA has the standard Paramount/Cedar Fair Mystery Machine photo op (actually, theirs looked slightly better than some I've seen), but it was so far removed from the other Scooby stuff that it wasn't really being utilized, at least not while I was hanging around there.

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"Let's split up! Velma, you go with Shaggy and Scooby. Daphne and I will search behind this bush for about 20 minutes...."

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"Cheese it, Scoob! The fuzz!"

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Wrong. This thing that looks like a mildly themed cue... that's the ride! I don't really understand how it works myself, but I guess each kid who goes in gets a toy boat, and then he/she follows that toy boat through the little waterways, passing the random flats up close along the way? I can't decide if the person who came up with this should be given a medal or hung.

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OK, I was all excited about this because I thought it was some kind of boat-driven Scooby-Doo dark ride.

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At least some kids have probably heard of this cartoon....

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Wow, Pixie and Dixie are so popular, they made not just one but two ride signs at CGA! Also of note: Dick Dastardly and Muttley.

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Fun fact: Quick Draw McGraw's last feature cartoon was made in 1961. That's nearly half a century ago, kids.

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And what was the name of Top Cat's friendly nemesis from the police department?

 

(That would be Officer Dibble.)

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Ah yes, Top Cat, the animated world's answer to Sgt. Bilko... whoever he is.

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A few people *might* remember Magilla Gorilla... ah, but what was the little girl's name?

 

(If you said "Ogee," you're correct!)

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Mr. Peebles? Yep, he's a household name!

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Remember Granny Sweet and Precious Pupp? Neither does anyone else!

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Bonus Round!

 

From left: Hong Kong Phooey, Baba Looey and Atom Ant.

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Ready for Round Two?

 

Top row, from left: Yogi Bear, Snagglepuss, Magilla Gorilla and Dixie. Bottom row, from left: Quick Draw McGraw and Wally Gator. (Boy, Wally Gator sure is represented on these swings a lot.)

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Round One: Name these long-forgotten Hanna -Barbera characters.

 

Top row, from left: Dixie, Dick Dastardly, Touche Turtle and Wally Gator. Bottom row, from left: Wally Gator, Boo Boo Bear and Secret Squirrel.

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You know, one of my favorite things about Hanna-Barbera lands is the fact that parks pay large amounts in licensing fees for characters that no one under 30, much less the kids they want to attract to these areas, has ever heard of. Pixie and Dixie could be the poster-mice for this argument.

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So here, possibly for the last time, is the iconic Cartoon Carousel.

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As I've stated in previous TRs, I love Hanna-Barbera lands. With all the Camp Snoopy takeovers coming, I'm not sure if this one will be around next year (the official announcement said Snoopy would overtake the Nick Central area, but said nothing about KidZville). However, given that the focus seems to be on centralizing the licensing, I wouldn't be surprised if this year isn't the death rattle for Scooby and his friends.

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You know, right in the middle of all this concrete, CGA has to go and put in something like this. Almost makes me want to... *like* Cedar Fair. Almost.

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Sorry, rapids fans, this is the best I could do on this day.

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...and some chair swings.

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...Flying Eagles (found on page 224 of the "Cedar Fair Book of Generic Ride Names")...

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...Delirium (which I think a couple of our people were told they were too tall to ride?)...

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Random flat rides at the park included Centrifuge...

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"Who moved my cheese? God help you if you moved my cheese!"

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Aww, it doesn't look that psycho to me. Maybe it's just a poor, misunderstood coaster....

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I did really like the Psycho Mouse building. In fact, I'd go so far as to say it's the best "mouse" station I've ever seen!

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Maybe that tiki idol thing is what packs 'em in....

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Survivor: The Ride seemed like a fun little attraction, though I'm confused as to why they thought paying royalties to the "Survivor" people would boost attendance on this thing. Seems like a better Cedar Fair name would be "Disko With a Hill in the Middle."

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Another pre-11 a.m. view. I hear they did start running boats on this. Eventually.

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Ditto!

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TPR takeover of Drop Tower!

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The tree tunnel may have been the best attraction at the park open before 11 a.m....

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Still, naming a racecar ride after a racecar driver no one has thought about in three quarters of a century is better than randomly theming it after Road Runner and Coyote, so CGA gets the edge on its Six Flags counterpart in this instance.

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Show of hands: Who here knows who Barney Oldfield is? Anyone?

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For some reason I got a picture of this sign, but not the coaster itself. Guess I just wasn't "feeling" it that day.

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And this is the coaster that goes with it.

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This sign is much cooler than it has any right to be.

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Upon finding out we would have quite a long wait for Grizzly (it ended up being closed for another hour and a half), Mike Moody and I went off in search of open rides (they weren't exactly easy to find) and decided to try our luck on Berserker.

 

Following my amazing experience with the Bayern Kurve at Kennywood earlier ths year, I was expecting a really good ride. What I got was a Bayern Kurve look-alike that went around five times at a top speed of approximately two mph.

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This was the day before it made national headlines for getting stuck.

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After ERT ended at 10 a.m., a bunch of us went over to get our Grizzly credit only to find this. We later discovered that "11:00 a.m." is Cedar Fair code for "Whenever we feel like it."

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If you sqint, it kind of looks like the American flag. Minus three stripes and about 45 stars, of course.

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Unfortunately, this is the only photo of Flight Deck in motion my camera was able to capture due to whatever funky lighting was going on. But everyone pretty much knows what Flight Deck looks like anyway... right?

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I spy TPR members... and sharks!

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I spy TPR members!

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But really, who has time to look at fountains or signs when ERT on Fligh Deck awaits?

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Having visited CGA's sister park (now Six Flags Great America) in June, I can honestly say I liked Six Flags' entry plaza more than its California counterpart. Why cover up that beautiful fountain with a sign? (And just FYI, this sign on the official CGA website still has the Paramount logo on it.)

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Only three flags? Well, that's just ominous from the beginning.

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Great TR Jason.

 

I love reading your TR and watching your pictures.

 

So the inverted boomerang valleyed the day after our visit ?

 

Too bad you decided to stay at the hotel. The news that we would get night ERT on Goliath that evening and the ERT itself was one of the many hightlights of the trip for me.

 

And because our busdriver Larry didn't want to miss the ERT, we didn't have to walk back to the hotel

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^^^I don't know if it "valleyed" as much as it "hung." Basically, according to the news reports I found online, a trainful of riders was stuck on the ride 80 feet off the ground for five and a half hours in temperatures up to 90 degrees while the park brought in a tower truck to get them all down. Again, according to online reports, the park "made up" the situation to the riders by offering them free pizza and drinks. Which at a Cedar Fair park, of course, is approximately a $200 value. (Yeah, I got in one last dig--but wait 'till we get to Knott's!)

 

^^Thanks, Mike... and Legoland is still to come!

 

^It wasn't, but that's just my opinion. I'm a little biased against CF after some bad experiences in the past couple years at Cedar Point, Kings Dominion and now, on this trip, Knott's Berry Farm. Compared to them, CGA fell into the OK/nothing special category (as opposed to the "I won't be going there again" category... though based on geographic distance, I probably won't anyway). Also, I must be just old enough to have missed the KidSongs craze because a lot of people on the bus went nuts when Robb started that video, but it was all new to me.

 

Anyway, the next day brought us to (and most of us back to) Six Flags Magic Mountain! For most of us, this place was something special because of all the amazing coasters it held. For me, this place was special because of all the TV and movie memories it held! "National Lampoon's Vacation," "Step By Step," one of my favorite episodes of "CHiPs"... the list goes on. To come here and not think about them would be like, if you're of a certain age, going to Kings Island and not thinking about "The Brady Bunch."

 

Be that as it may, SFMM was one of the most awesome parks (and definitely had the friendliest employees, including Disneyland) we visited during the West Coast Trip. It was a long day, so photos are split into two sections. Enjoy part one!

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This was one of the best Johnny Rocket burgers I'd ever tasted (TPR makes everything better!), but when they brought out the milkshakes... well, that pretty much made this the best lunch of the trip!

 

And lunch seems like a good place to break. More to come in part two!

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...because that's where our trip-included meal was being served! Served by whom, you ask? Why, none other than SFMM President Jay Thomas and his executive staff, of course!

 

This really blew me away, and it goes a long way toward proving the point I made in the preceding installment of this ongoing TR: employees who are treated well are more likely to treat customers well. Here we have a park president who's not afraid to be seen serving burgers to a bunch of coaster geeks when he could just as easily have been sitting in his air conditioned office, playing Solitaire on his computer (that's what park presidents do, right?). We certainly didn't expect this treatment, and we would have enjoyed SFMM without it, but the executive staff really set an example for the employees to follow... and I got the impression it wasn't something they did just to put on a show for us.

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There are about 28 Johnny Rockets at SFMM, but this was the one we were interested in...

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..and the most Cedar Fair-named restaurant ever (not at a Cedar Fair park, ironically).

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...Daffy and Bugs...

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On our way to lunch, we passed a few random sights, including one of the park's half-dozen flats, the Scrambler...

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For those who are wondering, the Orient Express is the park's incline railway, and as the day wears on, it's a godsend. Whose idea was it to build a park on a real mountain, anyway?

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Back again to things I don't understand: Why is the highest point in Magic Mountain called "Samurai Summit"? Regardless, I guess at least it makes the "Orient Express" name work.

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Somewhere out in that vast arid desert lies TPR headquarters....

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...you're doing it wrong!"

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"Sufferin' succotash, Magic Mountain! You've got a great museum here, but...

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And now here's something we hope you'll really like (if you're a coaster geek, that is)!

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Magic Mountain never sends me a Christmas card. Now I know how Charlie Brown feels.

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You know, if California politicians spent more time balancing the state's budget instead of doing things like drafting proclamations for Bugs Bunny's birthday, maybe the state would be in a little better shape right now. Just sayin'.

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The vintage literature on display called the park's former Spillikin Corners "the largest craft village in the West." What it probably should have said was, "Why go to Knott's Berry Farm? We have all your rustic shopping needs met right here!" Much as I hate to admit it, the closest thing that still exists to Spillikin Corners is probably Cedar Point's Frontier Trail.

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OMG! If anyone sees one of these for sale on eBay, I want to know! Seriously, someone find me one in an XL. I know what I want for Christmas this year (really)!

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Kind of makes you wonder why snap shirts never caught on....

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And now, here's Bugs.

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More troll paraphernalia... in shirt form!

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Boogie down at Magic Mountain, jive turkeys!

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Mappy map map map map....

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The two in the middle look more than a "little" crazy, if you ask me....

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...yet it had its own king. Or maybe this was just a local eccentric who liked wearing Jughead hats.

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I find it odd that Trollywood was a city...

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There was a lot of stuff up here featuring the trolls. That's not a bad thing; I miss the days when parks had their own unique mascots instead of licensing nationally recognized characters (though that does make more sense from a marketing standpoint).

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If they still sold pennants that looked like this, I would have bought one in a heartbeat!

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1971 L.A. Times supplement.

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Did I mention this place was Awesome? Didn't I read somewhere that an intern came up with this? If so, then props to him.

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If your do-rag has a cross on it and you're not happy about that, you made a Valentine with a Band-Aid on it, or you have a see-through stomach and recently swallowed a giant peanut, you are advised not to view these exhibits. Please keep all hands, arms and legs in Magic of the Mountain at all times. Thank you, and have a Six Flags day.

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...Magic of the Mountain!

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We stood below Sky Tower, keeping an eye on the trees that apparently escaped and followed us from Gilroy Gardens, as we waited for the elevator to descend and take us to...

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Ah, but then it was time for the real fun to begin!

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On another note, why do parks feel it's necessary to add "The Ride" to attractions based on movies? Is anyone really going to get off the coaster and say, "How misleading! I thought I was going into a movie theater"?

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...and the Awesomeness (note the capital "A") that is Terminator: Salvation!

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...Deja Vu (What's up with those 90-degree ends? California parks sure do like to "tweak" their boomerangs.)...

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While we were back there, we took a brief tour of the rest of the back side of the park, including Cyclone 500...

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Maybe it's supposed to indicate that Batman finally forced the Riddler out of Gotham? If so, then I applaud you for your symbolism, SFMM.

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One more thing I don't understand and then I'll move on: Why isn't Riddler's Revenge located on the Gotham City backlot? It's right next to Batman: The Ride, but you can't get there from here, if you know what I mean.

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Oh well. At least it's dedicated to families (especially ones with dads who have ripped abs).

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Wow, I'd heard that Six Flags was turning things around, but what with all this pollution and these run-down buildings....

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OK, so I'm going to offer this suggestion, and if Six Flags wants to pay me for it, that's fine; if not, that's fine, too: Wouldn't it be uber-cool if they actually had a Bat-signal in the DC Comics/Gotham City areas of the various Six Flags parks? I mean, they're strapped for cash right now, but for the cost of a spotlight and some plywood cut into the shape of a bat, they could have a really cool new attraction to draw people to the parks in 2010. They could build a whole advertising campaign around it, maybe spoof it with a "Mr. Six" signal in the commercials.

 

Just a thought....

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Of course, there's really only one reason anyone comes to Gotham City (or the Gotham City Backlot)....

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...or this have to do with Gotham City.

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I'm also not sure exactly what this...

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Back on the topic of things that confuse me, why is this secton called the "Gotham City Backlot"? Are they filming a movie about Gotham City here? Is this not the real Gotham City?

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And now you know!

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Unfortunately, we missed the fireworks. By about 31 years.

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The only thing I'm a little confused about on this coaster is when exactly they moved it from Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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"Rusty? Can I call you Rusty? I had a bad experience on this ride once. I threw up."

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The Screamy Meemy, on the other hand, was one of my favorite coasters of the trip!

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We thought wrong. If Superman: The Escape was too intense, then Goldrusher was at the exact opposite end of that spectrum. This thing would have bored KidTums. But hey, it's vintage '71!

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Mike and I thought maybe Goldrusher would be more our speed.

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This coaster actually kind of confuses me. I mean, what are you escaping from? The Fortress of Solitude? Not really; you go right back down there. And you're not escaping from Superman; you're actually speeding toward him. Maybe this is explained in the pre-show. I dunno.

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Thanks to Six Flags' decorative foresight, we can determine just what year this coaster was built. Otherwise, we would have had to cut it open and count the rings.

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This used to be the 99-Cent Super Store.

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After Ninja, Mike Moody and I followed some other TPRers over to Superman: The Escape. Mostly this was just to check it out and get a few photos because there was no way you were getting either of us on that ride!

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If, however, you're looking for a nice aerial view of the track... then welcome!

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If you want a better shot of the train than this, you've come to the wrong TR.

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"Coaster enthusiasts! I'm scared, Chang!"

 

"Wu! You sissy boy! You shut up and look at my man boobs! Look at them!"

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Ninja's sign did a really good job of hiding in the shadows. We almost didn't see it for our first "GP" ride of the day!

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Theme parks, roller coasters and... flying mules?

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...or is that Katy's Kettle? Either way, no standing in line for us. Because, you know, Gold Q-Bots!

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Robb had told us to meet up after ERT to get our Gold Q-Bots for the day at Katie's Kettle...

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OK, this is just one example of what makes Magic Mountain's employees stand out so much (with others to follow): Toward the end of ERT, after my fourth spin on Revolution, I hung around in the station, waiting for them to dispatch the retro train (they had two; the other was just plain). The op in charge of safety checks started talking to me, asking me about TPR, etc., and wanted to know if I wanted one more ride before the GP came in. I told him actually, I had been hoping to get a picture of the retro train in action (I didn't go into how it looked like the one from "CHiPs") from the offload platform, but since no one was around to ride it, I would just wait for the GP to come in if that was OK.

 

His response: "Why wait?" He then called up to the op in the control booth and cleared the train for dispatch. They ran the retro train, empty, just so I could get this photo. I felt like a VIP!

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So counting ERT on Terminator: Salvation that night and bonus ERT on Goliath the night before, that's... six coasters' worth of ERT at SFMM. Did I mention these guys rock?

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...and Viper (which is one of Six Flags' catch-all names--in various parks it's used on steel coasters, woodies, whatever, as long as the logo looks good on the sign).

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...X2...

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We also had ERT on Tatsu...

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So how was my first vertical loop? I really enjoyed it (enough to ride four more times)! Honestly, I'm glad the train pretty much braked at the edge of the slope before going into the loop. That really helped calm my nerves the first time through. After that, though, it was like, "What are we stopping for? Let's go through the loop!"

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Love that retro paint job! This is how it looked in that episode of "CHiPs."

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OK, so actually, even though he was responsible for some really amazing movies, I didn't really care about John Hughes. The fact of the matter is, I had never ridden a vertical loop roller coaster, and I wanted the very first one to be my very first one.

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In memory of John Hughes, who died a couple days prior, I wanted my first ride of the day to be on the Whipper Snapper.

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Watch out for trucks during ERT!

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Actually, that's not entirely untrue. They did send a special guest to open them for us: SFMM Operations Manager Neil Thurman! (Seriously, Neil is awesome.)

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Nah, they were just waiting for some special guests to come open them for us!

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Oh noes! The gates are locked! Did they not know we were coming early for ERT?

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It was a real thrill to know we were sleeping so close to the Six Flags California Gift Shop!

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How close was our hotel to Magic Mountain? This was the view from the parking lot!

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Love your trip reports Jason!! I really enjoy reading your perspective on everything!!!

 

I didn't notice all the Hannah-Barbera cartoon characters. Guess I was too busy riding! Thanks for posting those! It was a trip down cartoon lane for me!! My favorite's are Muttely, Quick Draw McGraw, and of course Yogi!!

 

And now at this time I would like to present the Most Great and Awesome Park Award! On this TPR Summer of 2009 I hereby present this Award to Six Flags Magic Mountain!!

 

From beginning to end Magic Mountain did not disappoint! I Love Magic Mountain!!

 

Love the shots of the museum! I was a little sad going through though, because my brother actually had one of the Magic Mountain Pendants and one of those classic Troll t-shirts! However I was young and now I have no idea what happened to that stuff....

 

Did I mention I LOVE Magic Mountain!!

 

In the words of Jay Thomas himself "Spread the word out there about us, tell everyone you can, So that more people come and then we can make this park even better than it already is!!"

 

Look foward to more!!

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Great TR. I liked seeing the old Hannah-Barbera themed rides. I remember seeing rides like that at Canada's Wonderland and also Kings Dominion when I was younger. I always liked to ride sitting on Jabber Jaws on the carousel.

 

Also, nice Vacation references. Classic movie, one of my favorites.

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On another note, why do parks feel it's necessary to add "The Ride" to attractions based on movies? Is anyone really going to get off the coaster and say, "How misleading! I thought I was going into a movie theater"?

 

, that is so true. I'm glad you took a step up and rode your first looping coaster. Did you try any of the park's other coasters?

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