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Skycoastin' Steve's 2010 Season Extravaganza!!


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So I'll just jump on the bandwagon of hosting a thread to document my travels this season, as I should have a TON. This stands to be the most epic season yet for me, and I'll be sharing it all with you lovely TPR members through picture and words in a beautiful symphony of coaster nerdity (is that a word?). Here is what the Skycoastin' maniac has planned for 2010:

 

West Coast Bash

March 19 – Belmont Park, Scandia, Pacific Park

March 20 – WCB @ Magic Mountain

March 21 – WCB @ Knott's, Adventure City

 

My Own Intimida-tour

April 2 - Kings Dominion

April 3 - Six Flags America/Kings Dominion

April 4 - Carowinds

 

East Coast Extravaganza!

June 9 - Six Flags Great Adventure

June 10 - Six Flags America/Kings Dominion

June 11 - Busch Gardens

 

Sky Rockets, Flaming Birds Rising from the Ashes, REALLY Old Coasters, and CHOCOLATE!!!!

July 18 - Kennywood

July 19 - Knoebel's

July 20 - Hersheypark

 

Steve's Mega Geek Out Tour

August 21 - Kennywood

August 22 - Delgrosso's, Lakemont, Waldameer

August 23 - Cedar Point

August 24 - Cedar Point

 

So that's it! Should be an epic season!

 

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Quick Links!

 

March 13 - Six Flags Over Georgia - Page 2

 

March 19-21 - West Coast Bash Weekend - Page 5

 

March 27 - Opening Day at Carowinds - Page 7

 

April 2 - Opening Day at Kings Dominion - Page 8

 

April 3 - Six Flags America and Kings Dominion - Page 9

 

April 4 - Easter Sunday at Carowinds - Page 9

 

June 9 - Six Flags Great Adventure - Page 11

 

June 10 - Six Flags America and Kings Dominion - Page 12

 

June 11 - Busch Gardens Williamsburg - Page 12

 

July 18 - Kennywood - Page 13

 

July 19 - Knoebel's - Page 13

 

July 20 - Hersheypark - Page 16

 

August 21 & 22 - Kennywood, DelGrosso's, Lakemont, and Waldameer - Page 18

 

August 23 & 24 - Cedar Point - Page 19

 

October 10 - Busch Gardens Tampa - Page 21

Edited by Skycoastin Steve
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Steve - April 4 is Easter. Is Carowinds open on Easter Sunday? I know SFoG is because we do our yearly "Heathens Tour" there each year. I was thinking of going to Carowinds instead this year, but couldn't verify that they would be open during my planning.

 

D.

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^Yep, they are open 10-6 on Easter Sunday. If there's one thing I've learned from working at parks, it's that they don't close for holidays.

 

I also think that since it's only a Christian holiday that people who aren't religious or practice another religion may get upset with the park for shutting down on Easter. That's a slippery slope.

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How long are you planning on spending at Legoland, CA? Because you've got about a two hour drive in between there and the Santa Monica pier. Luckily for you, the only things you'll want to ride at Belmont Park and Pacific Park are Giant Dipper and West Coaster.

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^Legoland is just going to be a quick stop. I know if you get in there and out within an hour it's free (according to a few colleagues who went there in November), so we're just going to get whatever of the three credits we can in an hour. After that, we're just taking our time and doing a bit of sight seeing in LA because the rides don't open at Pacific Park until 6 that night, which is kind of nice. Probably going to do dinner at Ivy At The Shore right there near the pier, as well.

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So a little change of plans, looks like I'll be heading to SFOG this Saturday. My friend who is coming to WCB with me is coming up for the weekend and since we have nothing better to do and have to make our first use of our SF season passes at SFOG, we'll be there on Saturday. So expect a few pics!

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^Luckily, I already have all the Kennywood credits (minus Sky Rocket, of course). So if Sky Rocket isn't ready by the time I go on that trip, I'm just not going to go to Kennywood. The good thing is, Knoebel's is open until 10 that night, I'll be starting bright and early, there aren't a ton of credits to be had at those parks, and I have a lead foot.

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^Legoland is just going to be a quick stop. I know if you get in there and out within an hour it's free (according to a few colleagues who went there in November), so we're just going to get whatever of the three credits we can in an hour.

 

Seriously? I've never heard anything like that before...do you know how this works? I need my Legoland credits too, and I really don't want to pay about $60 bucks for three kiddie credits I could do in an hour.

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^What my friend told me was that when you get there, you can tell them you want to just shop. They give you a ticket with a time on it, and you go in. All the coasters are in the shopping area, and have no ticket takers or anything. You can just get in line and ride them while you're "shopping," and if you leave before an hour is up, there's no charge. It's kinda like when you park at an airport and leave within half an hour and they don't make you pay anything. The only drawback is, apparently the lines are kinda long so it's tough to get all three in an hour.

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That's great, I'll have to try that sometime soon. Even if you don't get all the credits, it's worth a try...I do have to wonder though, how do they know when your time is up and you have to pay? Do you have a beeper on you?

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I never heard of that policy at Legoland.

 

For the record, this is how it works at Busch Parks. You leave a deposit on your credit card at the front gate and if you don't return in an hour, you get billed the full admission price.

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Yeah, I didn't know until I got there. It wasn't even posted on their website. When I walked up to the ticket counter they told me they don't let adults in without kids. I told the cashier I wanted to ride the coaster and she asked me if I was in a coaster club. When I said yes she asked if I had a membership card then let me buy a ticket when I showed her my card. The coasters (rode the kiddie coaster too) weren't very good anyway, but it still sucks that you can't get credits you would like to get.

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Alright so my first day of the season wasn't a bad one at all (well, it had its ups and downs, pardon the coaster pun).

 

We made our way to SFOG yesterday and got some good rides on all kinds of B&M action, and one good cycle on GASM. When we first got there, I had to renew my season pass, which thankfully didn't take too long since it wasn't too crowded. Now I'm all set for WCB! First coaster of the year was a 2nd row ride on Goliath, which was running AWESOME yesterday despite the cold, windy conditions. Seriously, I don't know what changed from last year to this year, but Goliath went from barely being a top 25 coaster for me to possibly jumping into my top 10. It definitely beat Nitro out, although I still think I like Apollo and Diamondback a little better.

 

After our first ride on Goliath, we made our way over to Georgia Scorcher, which didn't have too bad of a wait despite the fact that they were running one train (as was every coaster in the park except Superman). I only got one ride on this last year and didn't really remember it that well, but it was a great ride! We rode in the 2nd row from the back and I was actually getting airtime on this thing! Kind of a strange feeling getting airtime standing up. After the Scorcher we headed to Gotham City. Mindbender had a pretty long line so we hit up Batman, which also had a long line. Dispatch intervals on Batman were a shade under 4 minutes (no, not exaggerating, more to come on operations later). Kinda made me question my sanity for waiting a long time for a Batman clone, but we were able to get a front row ride when only two people boarded it in front of us and nobody else took the two empty front row seats. It was just a typical Batman experience.

 

After Batman we got pulled pork barbecue for lunch and grabbed another cycle on Goliath, this time the 6th row, which didn't have great airtime until the last few hills, but then it was crazy airtime! Next we headed back to the back of the park and had to wait a little bit for a front row ride on GASM, but in my experience, waiting for the front row for GASM is necessary because of how rough the rest of the train is. Yesterday proved my point, as it was a smooth, pretty airtime-filled ride in the front row while everyone else complained of its roughness in the middle and back. A moment to rant on GASM. While they had fresh paint on the parts of the ride you could see from the midways, the backside of that ride looked like death. While I'm obviously smart enough to know that chipped paint doesn't make the ride unsafe, anyone from the GP would see what that ride looks like back there and think that it's about to fall over. I know the recovery from the flood is a gradual process, but MAN it looked bad.

 

Superman was next, and while it's obviously nothing spectacular, we still had a good first row ride after only waiting 2 trains to get on. Funny how a two train operation cuts down waiting time, isn't it? On an unrelated note, the pop of airtime entering a pretzel loop on a B&M flyer is spectacular. Then we got a quick ride on Monster Mansion, which was a neat little dark ride that provided a nice change of pace in entertainment. They did a pretty good job with this one. Back up to the front of the park to ride Goliath again, the 4th row this time, which once again delivered some delicious airtime. However, on this ride, I neglected to zip up my jacket pockets like I ALWAYS do, and my cell phone fell victim to the negative g-forces and flew out of my pocket. Didn't even notice it was gone till the end. While it sucked to lose my phone, it was my own damn fault, and it was a hell of a lot better than if my wallet or camera had flown out of my other pocket. Cell phones are easily replaceable, my wallet and everything in it.....not so much.

 

That was about the time a rain storm hit (the weather went from sunny and warm, to cloudy and cold, and back and forth several times, it was a strange day for weather). We were in the station waiting to get on Mindbender when the rain hit, and that ended any chances we had of riding it. After that, we pretty much just left.

 

Now a moment to rant on SFOG's operations. I've rarely ever been that disgusted with an operations department as I was yesterday. Seeing as how I'm an operations employee, I'm always pretty hard on other parks' operations staff (although I still give credit when it's due), but they took the cake yesterday. They were slow, uninterested in cycling people through as quickly as possible because of the ridiculous one train operation park wide, and exceedingly obnoxious. Every single coaster's operators would waste 30-40 seconds PER CYCLE to try to play to the crowd AFTER restraints were fully checked and ready to go. Instead of playing to them while they were ACTUALLY CHECKING RESTRAINTS, they would wait until the end and have screaming matches with the riders. Most of the time, the riders just looked annoyed and wanted to get the hell out of the station, but those wonderful operators had to get their obligatory two "oh yeahs" from the crowd every. single. time. Multiply 30 seconds wasted per cycle and extrapolate it over an entire day, they were spending over an hour total the entire day just playing to the crowd after the train was ready to dispatch instead of letting the train go and moving the line faster. Completely unacceptable. Waiting times should not be over half an hour on a day when the park was practically dead. That was pretty much the one big negative of the day yesterday.

 

Anyway, other than the operations and losing my cell phone, it was still a good day and I snapped some great pics. Had 3 cycles on Goliath, and 1 each on the Scorcher, Batman, GASM, Superman, and Monster Mansion. Pics are on their way in just a few minutes.

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Instead of posting every picture I took on every trip, I'm basically only going to post my favorites. Takes too long to post them all!

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First picture of the year, subterranian loop action on Mindbender!

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Loop action on Batman, I consider myself a loop enthusiast, a loopthusiast!

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Nice looking turn on the Scorcher.

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Artsy Goliath.

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Airtime and blue skies. The airtime was always there, the blue skies weren't!

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First drop action.

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I love my Skycoasters! Didn't ride it, though, don't really prefer to pay for them after riding them for free for three years.

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The part of GASM that didn't still look like Floodageddon.

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This was as close as I would get to Ninja. Getting anywhere near that thing just makes my back, shoulders, and neck hurt. DO NOT WANT!

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This will be a staple of any of my TRs, a picture of me in front of that respective park's Skycoaster! What else would you expect from a guy with Skycoastin' in his user name?!?!

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Superman pretzeling behind the sign.

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Artsy fartsy Superman.

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Coming down the loop.

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Another picture to illustrate just how random the weather was all day!

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This one just looks freaky.

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Epic helix action and a cloud of death moving in. Compare this to the sky two pictures above this one! Yes these were taken on the same day!

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Another wacky weather shot.

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Corkscrew action on Scorcher, taken on the way out.

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A practically overbanked turn on a stand-up. Those Swiss sure know how to build a coaster!

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My favorite picture of the day, and the current background on my computer.

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Last picture of the day. Next stop, California!

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Great pictures! Looks like you had a blast. I was gonna take the kids there yesterday as well. But the weather has been $h!t. I didn't want to drive tha fam 4 hours to possibly have the rides down for a portion of the day. Glad it wasn't too busy and you got on the things you wanted.

 

Guy "Want to see pictures of the pulled pork!" Koepp

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I was there yesterday as well. Oh yeah, Oh yeah, do the wave! Ops were terrible, but I must say it was a much more enjoyable time than my last trip to SFOG in 2006. We were also next in line for Mindbender when the rain hit, just my luck. How'd you like the ride attendant singing "Goodbye, so long, farewell" as everyone was leaving the station?

 

Ron "Goliath and Monster Mansion were the hits of the day for me" Patton

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