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I am glad they're doing a good job with it (though I'll be curious to see if that level of quality keeps on year after year), and if I lived 30 minutes away I'd probably consider going. I guess that's probably what they're hoping for anyway, I doubt anyone thinks this is going to draw people from 2+ hours away. I'll be curious to hear how this works out for them

 

The thing is is that the event is in fact bringing people in from 2+ hours way. I myself live 4 hours away, took the trip down from Massachusetts for opening night and had a great time. I also have many non coaster enthusiast friends that want to go down for the event because it looks, and in my opinion, is that good. I also saw many license plates from other states like New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and Massachusetts. So what ever the park is do, it's clearly working.

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Wow! It really does look like they did a great job! I really like the blue lights on the trees, and I really like what they did with the Old Country path. With this path being reopened I really hope that will be the area of new additions for 2017/2018.

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Oh absolutely. El Toro desperately needs cold weather wheels but I don't believe Intamin provides those for the plug n' plays. Does anyone know if the other Intamin woodies are so weather sensitive? Hell, El Toro evens slows down dramatically during summer nights where it sits quiet between park operating days. Then it gains it's speed back during morning test runs.

 

Everland can't run T Express if the weather is lower than -2 and I know from personal experience once the temperatures get low in the winter, it can be very hit and miss on the visits if it's even running, even when it's above that amount if it's windy or wet. They normally just take it down for its yearly rehab January-February because the temperature just doesn't get high enough to run it at all so they use that time to get the work done since Everland is a 365 day park.

 

I'm kind of curious if El Toro is not as smooth when the cars are empty, when I've used the single-rider line I've sometimes ended up in a "single-rider dump" and though it's nothing to complain about at all, it always seems a bit more shaky in an empty car. A "single-rider dump" being the times they've been running all 3 trains they have to constantly load so fast and dispatch that the grouper already has the next trains peoples lined up so by the time single seats are spotted the gates have already shut again so they dump you in an empty car in the middle when there's a big empty spot where a group has gone for the front or back and the grouper didn't have time to get people to those gates so they fill up the seats with the 2-3 people in the single rider line. You still need a reservation ticket (T Express doesn't always open its standby line) so there's normally only 1 or 2 in the single rider line. It's a shame since they dispatch so many cars there's always a lot of empty seats but I guess they don't want people flooding the single rider line when it's sold out.

 

 

it could also just be because the ride runs almost 300 days a year for the last 7 years but I was just curious if El Toro could be like that since I remember when I first arrived riding an empty car and not finding it too rattly.

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An example of what my friends and I took to referring to as the "single ride dump" is the man in his own car.

 

I wish there was a way to run the single rider without needing the reservation ticket, I always see so many empty seats but at the speed they needed to get the trains out to keep 3 trains cycling there just isn't much time for the spotter to spot the seats, get a person there and get him past the next 2 trains worth on the platform before the gates close.

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Oh absolutely. El Toro desperately needs cold weather wheels but I don't believe Intamin provides those for the plug n' plays. Does anyone know if the other Intamin woodies are so weather sensitive? Hell, El Toro evens slows down dramatically during summer nights where it sits quiet between park operating days. Then it gains it's speed back during morning test runs.

 

Everland can't run T Express if the weather is lower than -2 and I know from personal experience once the temperatures get low in the winter, it can be very hit and miss on the visits if it's even running, even when it's above that amount if it's windy or wet. They normally just take it down for its yearly rehab January-February because the temperature just doesn't get high enough to run it at all so they use that time to get the work done since Everland is a 365 day park.

 

I'm kind of curious if El Toro is not as smooth when the cars are empty, when I've used the single-rider line I've sometimes ended up in a "single-rider dump" and though it's nothing to complain about at all, it always seems a bit more shaky in an empty car. A "single-rider dump" being the times they've been running all 3 trains they have to constantly load so fast and dispatch that the grouper already has the next trains peoples lined up so by the time single seats are spotted the gates have already shut again so they dump you in an empty car in the middle when there's a big empty spot where a group has gone for the front or back and the grouper didn't have time to get people to those gates so they fill up the seats with the 2-3 people in the single rider line. You still need a reservation ticket (T Express doesn't always open its standby line) so there's normally only 1 or 2 in the single rider line. It's a shame since they dispatch so many cars there's always a lot of empty seats but I guess they don't want people flooding the single rider line when it's sold out.

 

 

it could also just be because the ride runs almost 300 days a year for the last 7 years but I was just curious if El Toro could be like that since I remember when I first arrived riding an empty car and not finding it too rattly.

 

The front half of Toro's train is generally always smooth, whether the train is full or empty. It's very similar to when the ride first opened. The back half is more rattly. But it's noticeably smoother with a full train here than an empty one. Toro has large gap between the upstop wheels and the track so the train tends to bounce more when it's empty because I guess less weight is holding it down. Car 6 row 2 is the best row on the ride tho. Smooth as glass with all the speed of the back.

 

And that's interesting about T-Express. I guess it works in the park's favor that they can just perform rehab during the coldest part of the season. Toro has the most difficulty in the beginning of the season where it's trying to break in all its brand new parts while it's only 40 degrees out. Towards the end of the year when everything is broken in, it does much better in the cold. If you don't mind me asking, does T Express also encounter the same issues Toro does with people not fitting in the ride? I thought that might be more of an American issue. Lol

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One of my greatest Toro memories is riding seven consecutive laps in the sleeting rain / high-30's temps at the end of last season. It was running "slow" but I was having too much fun to really care. I have a hard time being snobby about the ride because it just puts the biggest d@mn grin on my face .... every. single. lap.

 

I'm glad the opening weekend for HITP was pretty successful, and I'm excited to check it out in the next few weeks (even without the bull).

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This event looks like a lot of fun and I would imagine that a cold night ride on Nitro would be a blast.

 

Just not sure I would make the trek from here without El Toro running. If they were able to run it, I would probably have been heading down there in the next couple of weekends as I love me some holiday events. But seeing El Toro standing there in the dark idle might just make me feel depressed & bereft of holiday joy.

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^^ OMG shut up about those waffles already! Where did you get them?? lol

 

Just got the thumbs up our office is closed Friday so I'll definitely be up to check out this affair, finally. Weather looks like it might be decent! We are taking my nephew for his 3rd visit to the park. He's 2 but loves the park so extra excited he's coming along, think he's gonna love it. So much Ive heard from all these reports that I want and/or need to check out. Funnel cake, hot cocoa, ornaments, waffles, light shows...

 

oh who am I kidding I absolutely cannot wait to ride Nitro on Friday afternoon!

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oh who am I kidding I absolutely cannot wait to ride Poinsettia Peak on Friday afternoon!

Fixed

 

 

Speaking of which, is anyone else as surprised as me that no one has yet asked if Poinsettia Peak is considered a new credit?

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I don't know. Maybe if they changed the death metal to something like Chestnuts Roasting on a Open Fire. Then they could have added fire effects to the inside. Boom! New credit.

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If you don't mind me asking, does T Express also encounter the same issues Toro does with people not fitting in the ride? I thought that might be more of an American issue. Lol

 

Completely honestly, In just under 6 years of semi-frequent visits to the park, I have yet to see a single person be declined.

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^ I'm not trying to come down on you, but don't you feel like that was a tad unsafe? I feel if you have to put that much effort into locking a restraint, a real risk is in place.

 

Having worked on a few coasters, no I wasn't worried. All the coasters I've worked on, the "green light" so to speak (When the restraint is considered "down") isn't the first locking position, it's usually the 3rd or 4th. Leaving a margin of error in case the restraint pops up one tick. With Toro it's a hydraulically locking restraint, I trust those a great deal, as the only way they've moved on me is if they've gone down (never up) during the ride. If the operations panel says all the restraints are down, the restraint isn't "barely" down, it's down enough to be secure.

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I know it's a little bit late at this point, but here's my trip report from opening day;

 

---

 

Overall, had a really awesome family-friendly time at the park on Saturday with the wife, the 4-year-old, and our 8-month-old baby. Since we were there primarily for the activities, the rides ended up being more of an afterthought, but it was still an amazing experience. All the LED lights lining every square inch of the park really made it a sight to behold.

 

As I previously mentioned, we got to the park later in the day around 3 PM, and after getting settled, we ended up making our way to Santa's house for photos. The line wasn't even that long -- it didn't make it around a single corner in the rope line -- but it still took us about an hour to get up to the front. When we made it inside, we quickly discovered why... unlike other places where they just rush you in and rush you right back out, Santa was perfectly happy to spend some quality time with the kids and be very accommodating. The photos came out GREAT, too! Usually we've done the Macy's Santaland photos for our Christmas cards in the past, but this one came out so good we're thinking of just using that. Unfortunately, we picked up one of the packages that included digital prints, only to find that the code printed on the card was never activated. We're still in the process of trying to claim these prints and hopefully it'll all work out.

 

After the photo experience, we walked through Old Country -- I mean, "Joy to the World" -- to make our way to the Showcase Theater for the Jack Frost stage show. First time I'd been in this theater in years, and the warmth inside was much appreciated since it was already getting dark and cold. The show itself lasted for a half-hour, maybe a little bit longer, and had a character playing Jack Frost doing his best Jim Carrey impression and throwing in some topical jokes (poking fun at Donald Trump and Teresa Giuduce, among others). We also had an elf named Adam who did juggling and stacking tricks, the "misfit toys" who had some really talented trained dogs with them, and a strongman balancer who stacked chairs nearly to the ceiling of the theater. All in all, not a bad way to kill some time!

 

At this point it was already about 5:30 and we hadn't been on ANY rides as of yet. So the 4-year-old and I hit up some of our favorite flats; first we did the Buccaneer and got top row, then we did the Swashbuckler -- which, when it's about 40 degrees outside, is a real slap in the face with that cold air. Yow. After Swashbuckler, we headed in the direction of Skull Mountain... I mean, "Poinsettia Peak"... and checked to see if he finally hit that 44" mark. SUCCESS! He measured up (must be those winter boots!) and we hopped in line. Yes, outside of those lights strung across the outside, and a Poinsettia Peak sign that barely obscures the old Skull Mountain sign, they didn't change a DAMN thing with the ride. And since it was one of the few coasters open for the event, it was also more crowded than I had ever seen it, with people actually spilling back out of the station into the cave. When we finally made our way through the turnstile and saw how packed that station was, we ended up turning the corner and heading towards the front of the ride instead of the exalted back, and ended up with only two groups in front of us for the second row. But of course, just as we get in line, they ended up taking one train out of service and running it empty every circuit. No biggie -- it still only ended up being about a 10-15 minute wait due to this. For his first ride on it, the kiddo LOVED it! He kept screaming "SKULL MOUNTAIN!!! YEAHHHHH!!!" the entire time going through the ride. I gotta say, it definitely makes the ride more enjoyable when you get to share it with someone that's having a blast. Merry Christmas, creepy jack-o-lantern. Merry Christmas, alien and strobe lights. Merry Christmas, death metal soundtrack. Merry Christmas, obnoxious Takis advertising. Merry Christmas to all.

 

After Skull Mountain success, the kiddo and I met up with the ladies and we walked around for a bit, seeing more of the sights, including the animatronic reindeer at the North Pole Village (creepy but cute), and then made our way back to the main square just in time to catch one of the light shows with the big tree. And wow -- what they've done with this thing is AMAZING. Using all the LED lights to tell a story synced up with the music is pretty cool for a Six Flags park, and you know, I haven't been able to get that stupid song out of my head since Saturday. AAAAGH. Really, though, very impressive and definitely worth catching if you happen to find yourself in the main square on the half-hour.

 

About this time, we were starting to get pretty hungry, but the lines at just about all of the food stands were ridiculous. So we made a decision to hit a few more rides and then bounce and grab dinner outside the park (we don't have a dining pass, either, so that decision is a little easier to make). The kiddo and I went on one of his favorites, the tea cups (which has been loosely themed to the "Gingerbread Twist" by the simple addition of a few gingerbread man figures around the outside). I don't know how many more rides I have left on tea cups before they start making me hurl, because after the ride was over, I needed to take a minute to gather my bearings while the kiddo just wanted to go again. No thanks. At this point, I talked my wife into taking him on Houdini's Great Escape while I relaxed for a bit inside the Yum Yum Cafe with the napping baby. She agreed and got in line with him.

 

Now, keep in mind, my wife really isn't a huge thrill ride fanatic. It's been a constant struggle to get her on even the most basic coasters; I think to date, her entire coaster count is at 4, including the Tickler at Coney Island, the Flying Turns at Knoebels, the Crazy Mouse at Steel Pier, and Blackbeard here at Great Adventure. So I had to reassure her that no, Houdini is NOT a coaster, no, you don't go upside down on it, you'll be fine. "OK, no problem." ** EDIT: I have since been reminded by her that no, she's gone on FIVE, and I forgot Laff Trakk at Hersheypark. My apologies, hon! You're going on Nitro next, right?

 

I get a text message from her as she's on her way out, so I meet up with the two of them in the gift shop near the front. The first thing she says is "Chris, I'm going to kill you." Once she realized that the entire room was spinning around her, she ended up closing her eyes for a large portion of the ride. Of course, the kiddo loved it, but I doubt she'll be re-riding it any time soon (even though it's more tame than a pirate ship).

 

We wrapped up the day with purchasing a couple of the souvenir Six Flags ornaments to add to our tree (the classic Great Adventure 80's logo and the Holiday In The Park commemorative one), and headed back to the car around 8:00. Not bad for 5 hours of park time! No adult coasters this time around, but you know, I'm okay with that. As far as a family outing goes, we had a lot of fun together between the Santa photos, the stage show, and all the lights everywhere.

 

I took a few photos with my phone, attached below:

 

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Curtain call at "Jack Frost's Magical Christmas".

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Looks much more impressive at night.

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Red, radioactive glows throughout!

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The Christmas tree, just before the lights and music start.

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LEDs in action, #1.

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LEDs in action, #2.

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LEDs in action, #3.

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Rainbow carousel!

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The selection of official ornaments for this year; HITP, 80's logo, Kingda Ka, Nitro, and El Toro!

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Projecting the logo on the ground as we left the park.

Edited by coneyislandchris
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we headed in the direction of Skull Mountain... I mean, "Poinsettia Peak"... and checked to see if he finally hit that 44" mark. SUCCESS! He measured up (must be those winter boots!) and we hopped in line. Yes, outside of those lights strung across the outside, and a Poinsettia Peak sign that barely obscures the old Skull Mountain sign, they didn't change a DAMN thing with the ride. And since it was one of the few coasters open for the event, it was also more crowded than I had ever seen it, with people actually spilling back out of the station into the cave. When we finally made our way through the turnstile and saw how packed that station was, we ended up turning the corner and heading towards the front of the ride instead of the exalted back, and ended up with only two groups in front of us for the second row. But of course, just as we get in line, they ended up taking one train out of service and running it empty every circuit. No biggie -- it still only ended up being about a 10-15 minute wait due to this. For his first ride on it, the kiddo LOVED it! He kept screaming "SKULL MOUNTAIN!!! YEAHHHHH!!!" the entire time going through the ride. I gotta say, it definitely makes the ride more enjoyable when you get to share it with someone that's having a blast. Merry Christmas, creepy jack-o-lantern. Merry Christmas, alien and strobe lights. Merry Christmas, death metal soundtrack. Merry Christmas, obnoxious Takis advertising. Merry Christmas to all.

 

I love this paragraph so much, literally LOLing in my office. Great report, I am really enjoying reading everyones reports of HITP. And awesome photos, especially the ones taken by your wife. Some amazing shots.

 

I can't wait til Friday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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