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Skycoastin' Steve's 2010 Season Extravaganza!!

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^It's really not a big deal about which ride I'm at, I just thought it was a bit ironic that it just happened to be one that I really don't enjoy riding. However, I loved operating the boomerang at AA last year, and boomerangs are just about my least favorite rides on Earth, so you don't necessarily have to like a ride to like working there.

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  • 1 month later...

So because I got really bored today, I started editing some pictures I've taken this year. And I really like how they've turned out so far. Plus this thread needed a little bump.


Intimidator's first drop.


Knott's entrance and Silver Bullet.


Mindbender subterranean loop.


My avatar thrown for a color loop!


Night shot of Intimidator!

Edited by Skycoastin Steve
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  • 3 weeks later...

Well it's finally time for another trip report. My friend Jen and I took our bad selves up the east coast for a little extravaganza this past week and hit up Carowinds, Six Flags Great Adventure, Six Flags America, Kings Dominion, and Busch Gardens Williamsburg in four days. All in all it was a fun trip filled with laughs, annoying GP, great coasters, way too many toll roads, and great food. And VISUAL SCANS!!!!!


To start off, Jen flew in Monday night and got all her coaster credits at Carowinds on Tuesday while I was working. I rode Intimidator and Nighthawk with her while she did the rest of the coasters by herself. After that, we headed to my home in Fredericksburg, VA, where we got some sleep and departed for SFGAd Wednesday morning at 5!


After fighting some DC traffic, we were able to get to the park at opening, and figured since the weather was going to be crappy, we might as well hit up Kingda Ka before the rain came. We also found out about Superman being down for the day when we got there, which kinda sucked since Jen was going to miss the credit. Kingda Ka had a "slight" technical delay that caused two separate downtimes in the first hour of operation, and even though we were the 5th train that was launched with people, it took us a full hour to ride. Way to get that ride up and running for the day! Along with that, KK's crew seemed about as disinterested as possible when locking the restraints on empty trains for test cycles, and were going slower than molasses sliding down a sloth's back on a freezing cold day. This was a theme for the entire day.


After Kingda Ka, we got a back row ride on El Toro, which is just as INSANE as ever, but unfortunately we rode in the clown train, which just made us feel silly. Thankfully we got back on for a 3rd row ride in the regular colored train and left that ridiculous other train alone. Ride still kicks ass and has wicked airtime, but is definitely starting to get a tad rough. Maybe I just rode on a bad day, but it was a lot bumpier than last year. We then got a credit on the incredibly uneventful Bizarro and horribly rough Runaway Mine Train before grabbing a cycle on Great American Scream Machine. I really, really do love Arrow loopers, but the ride op stapled me like I've never been stapled in my life and it was one of the most painful rides I've ever had. Being 6'5, Arrow OTSRs already are torture for me, but this kid literally put his entire body weight on the restraint and got two full extra clicks when it was already plenty tight to begin with. I was fearing for my collarbones as I thought they were going to snap at any point. GASM did get bonus points though, as when it came to a near complete stop on the MCBR, the pneumatic brake system made a loud fart noise that cracked me right up. Then we took the last 4 inversions at a snail's pace and I thought my collarbones would surely be stabbing through the OTSRs by the end of the ride. Luckily they weren't.


By this time, it was time for lunch out in the car, but unfortunately for us, it started raining by the time we got back in the park. Seeing how we had driven a LONG way to be at the park that day, we continued to soldier on and get credits for Jen. We started back at Blackbeard's Lost Treasure Train, which was my 300th coaster lap of the year, then moved on to Skull Mountain (back row = awesome), and the kiddie coaster. By this time it was a steady rainfall, and we still had to get Nitro. The rain didn't phase us, and we had a 2nd row, 80 mph ride in steady, cold rain; and I literally rode with my shirt over my head the entire ride (which was actually a pretty awesome experience). We found out Batman wasn't operating in the rain, so sadly Jen didn't get her umpteenth Batman credit, and we moved on to Dark Knight. The indoor-ness of the coaster was awesome to get out of the rain, but the ride still sucked just as much as it did last year. All we had left after that was the one side of Rolling Thunder that was operating for the day, and I gotta say while it was a really fun ride, the rain hurt like hell and a few of those turns were not friendly with the track being slippery. I about damn near dislocated a hip on one of the turns.


After Rolling Thunder, we were hoping to get one last run on El Toro, but they had just shut it down for the weather, so we got out of there to get dry and warm again. All in all, I gotta say it was a pretty rough day with the weather being cold and rainy, operations being awful, and SFGAd's GP maybe being the worst I've ever seen that day. Either way, El Toro was awesome and was worth the headache of the rest of the day.


And now for a rant. I realize Six Flags has their ride ops do the "visual scan" ever since that jackass got his head removed by Batman at SFOG, but SFGAd takes it to a whole new level of lunacy. They literally make their ride ops put their hand over their eyes like they're shielding the sun, and turn in multiple directions to simulate the "scan." Even the operators in the INDOOR coasters and the SINGLE operator at the kiddie coaster were required to do it. Not only is it pointless to do that when 1. it's not sunny and 2. you're at an indoor coaster, it just looks idiotic and unprofessional. Even the GP was making fun of them and laughing at them. To me it was just entertaining, and I was thanking the Flying Spaghetti Monster that Carowinds does not have a similar policy. Rant over.


Part 2 of the trip, including Six Flags America and Kings Dominion will be coming in the near future. While you wait on that, enjoy these pictures from SFGAd!

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Kingda Ka was running rather efficient in the morning, 5 trains with guests in the first hour!


Pointless airtime hill.


Percy, you better look through that window, Steve is trying to take your picture!


*in effeminate voice*


"uh, uh, girl, I ain't looking through that window....."






One of SFGAd diligent ride operators doing a visual scan, but he seems to be amused that he sees a familiar face. Could it be?!?! A visitor from the west coast?!?!?!............






Gross train, heinous airtime.


At Bizarro now, and I guess I didn't heed the warning of high voltage. Oops!


Through the..........nevermind.


This Mine Train operator is scanning the midway next to the ride, and the ride doesn't even go there. How does that even work?


Hello again, Gertrude! I never thought I'd see you all the way over on the east coast! Get back to Valencia and start doing your manly poses, New Jersey is far too dumpy for you!


More clown train action.


Thankfully a hideous train doesn't affect airtime.


The Ultimate Flight was grounded for the day.


Time for an orGASMic experience!


The only corkscrew slower than Anaconda's.


What would a trip report of mine be like without a loop picture?!?!


Coming down off the farting brake run.


3, 2, 1, FLY!


My 300th lap of the year came on this beast!


Underrated indoor coaster, but not as good as SFOT's Runaway Mountain.




One last picture to show all you lovely Cedar Fair haters that yes, even the almighty Six Flags (REALLY hard to say that with a straight face) has portions of parks with a ridiculous number of trash cans.

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Now it's time for Part 2 of the East Coast Extravaganza, a day reserved for two!


After we left SFGAd, we drove to Baltimore and had an awesome dinner at ESPNZone (RIP) while watching game 6 of the Stanley Cup, and we stayed in a hotel right near BWI airport so we would be semi-close to SFA in the morning.


The next morning we were off to SFA to get Jen some more credits, and as it was a weekday still during school, credits were pretty easy to come by. We got there right about at opening and went straight back to Gotham City. After a quick walk-on to Joker's Jinx (which was running considerably better than in April), we went over to Superman to get Jen her 125th credit. As with Joker's Jinx, Superman was running WAY better than in April, and I was actually somewhat impressed with it this time. The 2nd giant helix still does nothing for me, but the airtime hills were giving some pretty strong air. After that it was a bone jarring ride on Batwing (winner of slowest ride crew of the day at SFA), and then we headed back over to Wild One. Wild One is such a great ride for being as old as it is, and I actually ended up ranking it higher than Roar after this visit. Old woodies kick ass. We then headed over for our obligatory ride on the kiddie coaster, and then risked our lives on the SLC (ouch), and finished up at Roar (meh) to end our quick stop at the park. Overall it wasn't a terrible experience like SFGAd was, but as I've said before on this board, the clientele for Six Flags parks is so cheap and low class these days that it's almost impossible to enjoy myself at one of their parks anymore.


Now it was time for the 90 minute trip down 95 to get to Kings Dominion and some more 305 action!


*intermission with elevator music*



We arrived at Kings Dominion early in the afternoon to see a wonderful sight, a parking lot with very few cars in it, meaning we would have minimal waits yet again! The first stop in KD was at Dominator, which was doing to B&M shuffle more than usual, but it's still a fantastic ride. Dominator gets points for being one of the more photogenic coasters around, especially given its location. Next it was the Ghoster Coaster, which is actually not bad for a kiddie woodie. After that we got a lap on Backlot Stunt Coaster, and I really wish they still launched it at the speed they used to, that parking lot helix was insane when it first opened! Once we got off Backlot, we headed over into the Congo area and jumped on Avalanche, which had to be the biggest surprise of the trip by far. I guess it was because we had almost all adults in our train, but it was seriously hauling booty through the entire course and was flirting with the top of the track on a couple occasions. I had a blast on it!


Since we had just slid down the mountain on snow, we figured it was time to blast out of the mountain in liquid hot MAG-MA, so we got in line for Volcano, which actually had about a 20 minute wait. We went for the 2nd to last row just because that's the easiest row to get in line for in that extremely odd station, and it was a terrific ride as always. Then it was time for some shoulder/head slamming action on Anaconda, and the riders behind us on that ride get the award for most obnoxious riders of the trip! Sometimes I don't know how the people I come across at parks exist. Anywho, still working our way back towards 305, we got a quick lap on Flight of Fear, and as always, enclosed spaghetti bowl is MUCH better than open-air spaghetti bowl!


Now it was finally time to get Jen on 305, and it did not disappoint! We got a hellacious 15th row ride to start off, and she said she blacked out to the point where I said something to her on the top of the 2nd hill and she still wasn't coherent enough to understand what I said at that point. Regardless, she still loved it, and was pondering just how bad that first turn was before the trims. The line was in the station, but since it was one-train operation, we went ahead and crossed to the other side of the park to finish up the rest of the credits.


For a little back story, I've been avoiding Shockwave like the plague almost my entire life. I hadn't ridden it since I was in 6th grade (1997 to be exact). So not only had I been fortunate enough to not have ridden it for 13 years, I had also forgotten JUST HOW BAD this ride was. Not only was the crew disinterested, slow, showed no enthusiasm, and barely even paid attention to the ride, it was probably one of the top 2 or 3 WORST rides I've ever had in my entire life. It got the worst ride AND worst crew of the whole trip, so congrats to Shockwave for being the overall crappiest experience of the week!


On to the good now. After Shockwave nearly killed us, we went for something a little better and took a spin on Drop Tower(Zone), which scared Jen to death (she hates drop rides bwahahaha). Once her heart rate resumed normal function, we got a back car ride on Rebel Yell, which was fun as always. They've done some great track work on that ride that's made it much more bearable. Next was Ricochet.......yawn. Then we inevitably also had to ride Hurler, which I actually thought was a lot better with the trims, simply for the fact that I didn't feel like I had been punched in the ribs by Evander Holyfield for 10 straight minutes. The airtime was still ok, so there was a little bit of redeeming quality there. After that, the only credit left (other than the 2nd half of Rebel Yell, which was closed), was Grizzly, which gave us two excellent rides in the front row of the back car. Every time I ride that ride I remember why it's my favorite woodie at KD. So much fun.


Once we were done with Grizzly, we got another ride on Rebel Yell and headed back over to 305. We got two more rides on 305, one in the front half of the train, and then another towards the back, and I still think the ride is just as good as it was before, just in a different way. I also don't think they're quite done with modifying the ride, so KD fanboys can rest easy I think. On our way out of the park we got another lap each on Volcano and Dominator to finish the day.


All told, we got 30 laps on 20 different coasters in 2 different parks, which was a pretty successful day! The next day would only get better, as it was time to visit Busch Gardens! Part 3 will be coming in the near future, but for now, enjoy pictures from Day 2!

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Pictures from day 2! Enjoy!


SFA to start the day.


Joker's Jinx, a mess of steel!


*cue Superman music*


Hands up!


Airtime from afar!


It was truly insane how much this hill wobbled after the train passed over it. All coaster track has give to it, but this one seemed a bit more than usual.


This one turned out great, my favorite picture from SFA.






I'm not sure I understand this one. Is the wooden fence or the water in the rapids ride high voltage?


Kings Dominion!


And now it's time for a series of dominating pictures!




rattle, rattle, rattle


shuffle, shuffle, shuffle


Nothing like a snail's pace zero-g roll over 100 feet above the ground!


Had a blast on it!




Still the fastest lift hill ever.


One of the better photo taking spots on the ride. I think the on-ride photo should have been on this turn.


These hills now have an abundance of air!




Even the loop was painful.


Only decent place on the ride was the airtime hill, but these people seem to be hating life right about now.


Drop Towers and Jet Streams, a story of high things.








The guy's face in the front row cracks me up.






A pleasant sunset picture to end this part of the TR.

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Time for the 3rd and final leg of the East Coast Extravaganza, an absolutely perfect day at Busch Gardens Williamsburg! This day had everything; great rides, great food, great weather, and an always great show at the Festhaus. It was a fantastic way to end the trip, and I only wish I could get back to this park more often, seeing how it is my favorite park on the planet. BGW and Holiday World are the only two parks that have never given me a bad day for any reason.


On a Friday with moderate/heavy crowds, we were able to get 3 laps each on Griffon and Alpengeist, along with 2 laps on Apollo, and then a lap each on Loch Ness Monster and Grover's Alpine Express. We also rode Europe in the Air, Le Scoot, DarKastle, Escape from Pompeii, all three legs of the Sky Ride, and the train. Dinner was at Trapper's Smokehouse (more on that later), and we also enjoyed a beer with the German singing/dancing show at the Festhaus (which I HAVE to see every single time I go there).


Alright, now on with the pictures!


Gorgeous entrance to a gorgeous park.


Nessie had a pretty long line when we first got in, so we had to hold off on that one for a little while.


Still a wonderful ride, as I do LOVE my Arrow loopers.


Upskirt shot. Giggity.


Alpengeist. mmmmmmm.......


Probably one of the luckiest shots of all time. I was waiting on Alpengeist to hit the cobra roll and Griffon snuck in there right at the right time.




I can't believe they replaced Corkscrew Hill with this. I guess they wanted family friendly, and they certainly achieved that, but I think even the most ADD 4 year old hopped up on Jolly Ranchers and Mountain Dew would fall asleep during this "attraction."


He looks upset, as if he were thinking, "If only I had the body of a lion, then I could do......"




Dive machines. Spectacular.


Immelmanns. Also spectacular.




I could literally photograph the splashdown for an entire day.


Love it! Nothing like heading up towards a giant saw, and when all hope is lost and you think you're about to turn into a human banana split, you splash down!


Time for some invert action, baby!


If only ski lifts really did this.


Rolling. They had the breaks turned up a bit more than usual on the midcourse and the zero-g roll was going pretty slow. Kinda disappointed with it, but it's still an awesome invert.


Spectacular first drop.


Three Immelmanns in one park? Yes please!




This ride really doesn't do it for me the way it used to.


I like how this one turned out, has kind of an old feel to it, which goes along with the ride.


"I like pleasure spiked with pain while riding in my Arrow train, it's my Arrow train!"


Red Hot Chili Pepper fans should get the reference.


*credit Jen with the lyrics, brilliant!*


Most photogenic ride element in history?


Credit! My only new credit of the trip!


Considerably cuter and less creepy than what the train for Mr. Six's Dance Coaster will look like.


Actually one of the better kiddies I've ridden. Is it sad that I've ridden enough to compare them?


Where's Fabio when you need him?


Back row on the ravine drop = pure bliss.


Time to get (a little) wet! Complete with water cannons, I was able to dodge those suckers this time around.


This park is a photographer's paradise. If only I had a professional camera.....


Best park food in the expanses of the universe.


Dinner and beer for 2, complete with fried pickles!










Taken from the train. Sometimes these pictures take themselves.


If only Alpengeist was going down the first hill.


More wildlife :)


Easily my favorite ride sign picture I've ever taken.


Pretty awesome edit I did on the previous picture.


Totally random picture that turned out terrifically. Like I said, sometimes they take themselves.


Different perspective on the first drop, from the Sky Ride.


For those of you who choke up easily, look away. :(


Footers painted green, presumably to blend in.




Oh well, at least Der Fallinfast will be here next year!


Just breaks your heart.




One more loop! I really hope they don't take this out any time soon.


Upskirt of Apollo's lift hill.


On the way out, taken from the parking lot.


Just for good measure, THROUGH THE TREES!!!!!!




Thanks for reading!

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These are some great photos you have here, but those BBW photos are quite sad


I actually almost avoided walking by there all together, but finally made my way past it at the end of the day.


Fantastic photos! It's interesting that Alpengeist doesn't have seats on the zero car, never knew that.


Now that you mention it, that is pretty rare.

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  • 3 weeks later...

A little bit of an update on my travel plans on the front page. About to do a quick three day jaunt through PA next weekend, and I have a wicked midwest trip in the works for August. Also, if anyone comes to Carowinds, look for me now at the Skycoaster, cause Skycoastin' Steve has gone back to his roots!

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Well I just had an absolutely spectacular day at Kennywood yesterday. I'm doing the loner thing for this trip, and it's a shame that nobody else was able to share the fun day with me, but sometimes that's just how it goes! I was able to get a ton of rides in on everything, including Thunderbolt and Racer (which I was only able to ride one time each during my first visit there in 2008). Thunderbolt was actually much, much better than I remember it, and made a pretty good jump in my wooden rankings.


As far as the day went, it was a perfect day weather wise out, and I was able to spend the day from open to close. The line for Sky Rocket was long all day, so I only got to ride it twice, but they were both fantastic rides! Kennywood really got a winner with this one. It's fun, still somewhat family-friendly (saw a bunch of kids on it), just quirky and unique enough to fit the park, yet modern and thrilling enough to satisfy the thrill seekers. And smooth! I was very pleased with the ride, and really had no huge complaints (imagine that, a TPR member with no complaints about a new ride).


Phantom's Revenge was running amazingly well yesterday, and it actually climbed back into my top 10 above *holdbreathfordramaticeffect*..........Apollo's Chariot, Montu, and Intimidator (which are my top 3 B&Ms). Phantom is just insanely ridicu-nuts and SO much fun. It's one of those rides that you forget how good it is until you go back and ride it again. It has the right mix of intensity, out of control-ness, and airtime that make it a very, very, very high quality coaster. Back row was absolutely heinous.


Jack Rabbit continues to be one of my favorite woodies, and the airtime on the double down still makes me laugh every time. I can't even imagine what that ride had to be like when it was first built. People 90 years later think it's a crazy ride, so what did people back then think?!?!


Total ride count for the day is as follows:


Sky Rocket: 2

Phantom's Revenge: 11

Jack Rabbit: 8

Thunderbolt: 5

Racer: 4

Exterminator: 1

Swing Shot: 3

Log Jammer: 1

Noah's Ark: 1

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Time for pictures! Full album can be found here on facebook.


Passing by Heinz Field while driving through Pittsburgh.




Phantom's Revenge!




The "bungee ride."


Of all the idiotic things the GP say, calling a Skycoaster a bungee ride is far and away (like the distance from Pluto to the Sun) the #1 thing that annoys me.


Thunderbolt's entrance painting.


Cool station front. Everything at this park is cool!


Maybe the only woodie with more intense laterals than Legend?




Now that's what I'm talking about.


Why are ugly rides so photogenic?


First drop upskirt!


What a great drop, crazy intense!


ohhhh, fancy shot


Probably the best alternative I've seen to throwing gum on the ground. You get points!


Airtime hair!


Phantom fountain action.


Through the.........TRACK!


ohhhhhhhhh another fancy schmancy shot


Jen says the guy in the front has jazz hands hahahaha


Artsy fartsy, fancy schmancy, oozy schmoozy shot.


More airtime hair!




Now a moment to talk about how much I love S&S Screamin' Swings.








So I don't get it. Are we exterminating bugs or gremlins? Painful ride.


Since you put it that way, I think I'll keep my hands and feet inside the car!


Sky Rocket's in flight!





Airtime-filled barrel rolls. I freakin' loved them.


Another very cool element was the cliffhanger.


Ok I know zero-g rolls are supposed to feature some semblance of weightlessness (hence the name), but usually they don't. The ones on this ride did.


And we're turning......


Nice little airtime pops at the end.


I don't know about the rest of the train, but the front row gets some serious ejector air going into the top hat.


Also a very smooth coaster.


Undercarriage porn!


Jack Rabbit!


Double down.


One of the best moments of airtime you can find anywhere, and the damn thing is almost 90 years old. They sure don't make 'em like they used to!


Through the........supports?


For some reason I adore this logo.


Another fun woodie!


The tamest of the three woodies, but still a classic!


Go! Go! Go! Go! Go!


Noah's Ark. So bizarre, yet so awesome at the same time.


I had to see it with my own eyes, but it appears the French army DID advance on someone one time. Granted they had help, but let's just let them have this one. They did after all just implode at the World Cup.


Fantastic log flume.


A more acceptable amount of wetness.


Skycoasters? Awesome.


Sunsets? Awesome.


Skycoasters at sunset? :-)


Phantom from across the way.




Phantom's first drop. My night ride on this was spectacular. That 2nd drop goes down into pitch black nothingness. Crazy.


No hot chick from Adventureland to be found. :-(


Jack Rabbit looks great at night.


As does Racer!

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So the day after Kennywood I made it up to Knoebel's and had yet another fantastic day! Knoebel's had to be one of the most unique parks I've ever been to, but in a good way! It was just a throwback to the "old days" and felt so much more genuine than most parks do these days. But enough of that, the reason I came was for the two epic woodies in Phoenix and Twister!


Twister was really, really good, but beat me to death. I think my ribs were already sore from Thunderbolt the day before, but that double helix was REALLY aggressive, as were most of the other under-banked turns on the course. However, it's still currently ranked in my top 15 woodies, so I definitely enjoyed it. But four laps were more than enough for me.


On to Phoenix, and I gotta say, even with all the hype, I was still thinking the airtime couldn't be that great on this thing. Boy was I wrong. It just made me laugh nonstop every time I rode it. It was just ridiculous how much airtime there was on that coaster. Four of my five rides were in the front of the train, as my back car ride wasn't that great. However, the front of the train was INSANE! It was a tad bit rougher than I thought it would be, but then again, it's older than Jeff Johnson. I ended up putting it at #7 on my woodie list.


As for the rest of the park, I was really just geeking out over the old feel of it and the "fair" atmosphere it had. I had some of their world famous pizza, and I gotta say, it was spectacular. I also got a chocolate milkshake and a frozen whoopie pie, which were just about the greatest things ever. As far as the other rides are concerned, I rode the bumper cars (holy SH*T!), the log flume (very fun!), Downdraft (better than expected!), the Whipper (fantastic old ride), the Flyer (snapping FTW!), Fandango (poor man's Maxair, but still good), the Galleon (pirate ship), as well as the Sky Ride to get a nice view of the park from above.


All in all, this is definitely a park I'll be visiting again in the future, just so I can do a lot of the things I missed out on this time around. Fun day! Pictures are in the next post.

Edited by Skycoastin Steve
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Phantom's Revenge is one of the most pleasant surprises I've ever had--an amazingly ugly looking ride that is, in fact, just amazing (and it never lets up). Sky Rocket looks great, too.

Edited by cfc
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