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Jon's 2012 Coaster Season - WI State Fair

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Great trip report Jon!!! I really need to check out St. Louis it's one of the only big U.S. cities I haven't visited.


You definitely should! Walking around the city is so nice, even though some parts are kinda run down, but those could be avoided. I know it does have a reputation for being unsafe, but I felt totally safe the whole time (East Saint Louis is a whole other story though..).


Nice Tr jon, I'm glad you enjoyed the park. But I see the guy with the judgment day sign all the time and it freaks me out


I guess he makes his way to Chicago too. I couldn't hear anything he was saying, but it mustn't have been too convincing since no one was listening.

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X Flight!


After counting down the days since September first, I was able to ride X Flight this past weekend. Great America hasn't gotten a major new coaster since 2003, and has lost two since then. But would it be worth the wait? Luckily for me I just started riding in 2009, so I only had to wait three years, but it was definitely worth waiting those three years.

After hearing reviews of Swarm, I did become very worried seeing how similar the two are, but one ride took away all the worries. The ride, will not Batman intense, has some good forces, good pacing and a great compact layout. From the dive loop drop to the long heartline roll every element of the ride was great. To add to the experience, it wasn't just plopped down like Six Flags has down, but actually given good theming, neat effects, a great soundtrack, themed ride spiels and themed ride uniforms to take it from just a ride to more of an experience. Was it a Disney like experience? Of course not. But for a Six Flags park it was very good, and something I hope to see continued in the future as it's something the parks could benefit from. But now, onto the pictures! (The pictures were taken on two different days, which is way some look much more dark and cloudy.)


Or if you're too lazy to read, I threw together a simple video.



Also, if you'd like to see it's construction in short form, I took a screenshot of the webcam every day and made a kinda sorta timelapse from them.



The sign. SFMM fanboys might find it looking very similar to a certain wooden coasters sign.


The track goes right over the entrance plaza.


The safety sign, oddly located by the exit.


X Flight does have a maximum height.


The station, unfortantly much simpler than in the concept art.


Control booth.


Inside the station. Fun stuff.


X Flight's runway.


It really towers over what was once a relatively flat area of the park.


Lots of hangtime on the first drop. Thrilling, yet terrifying.



Following the drop is the very parabolic zero g roll.


I guess immelmanns were inspired by a flight maneuver so, makes sense that X Flight would have one!


View from Eagles queue.


And from the station.


Always nice to get a new type of inversion in the park. Still waiting for my cobra roll though.


From the immelmann you dive under the mist...


...and then into even more mist! Check out the video for a better view of the water effect.


Then you turn into this. What is this, zero g, corkscrew, inline? Who cares, it's fun!


I get it, you wanted a tunnel, not a facade. Shut up, it's still a cool effect.



Gotta love head choppers.


One more big sweeping turn.



The keyhole is a really really REALLY awesome part of the ride.


Look at how small it is!


Just barely squeezes through!


It's just such a fun moment. So happy we got it.


Even goes over the queue too! Can you see the "worker" inside the top?


And right after it, another tight fit with even more mist.


And this mist is pouring out, so when theres wind it goes everywhere.


And it's continuous. Even with no trains nearby it keeps coming.


A quick and intense helix to round off the end.


But look how happy everyone looks! And note the lack of neon green ride op shirts!


All in all, it's a great ride you need to check out if your in the area.


You can even get a with profanity, why not! (Also, 13.5 stories?!)


Not sure why the actual spotlights don't light up, but regardless, the sign looks very nice at night. Thanks for reading!

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Jer looks excited to ride!


Anyways, awesome PTR Jon, I can't wait for June to finally ride this amazing coaster! At what point does the queue split up by the way, and were you able to ride both sides of the train? X2's queue splits up with one queue going up some stairs and the other leads you to a tunnel and takes you up to some other stairs if I remember correctly...

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Anyways, awesome Photo TR Jon, I can't wait for June to finally ride this amazing coaster! At what point does the queue split up by the way, and were you able to ride both sides of the train? X2's queue splits up with one queue going up some stairs and the other leads you to a tunnel and takes you up to some other stairs if I remember correctly...


It splits under the station. We were allowed to pick which side we wanted to go to.

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Nice TR! I'm realizing more and more that I really didn't take advantage of all that SFGAm had to offer when I visited in 2005, and I now have X-Flight as an excuse to go back. X-Flight really does look fantastic; it looks like one of the best 'full experiences' to have hit a SF park in a while now. I hope it catches on and inspire some other parks (namely SFMM ) to do better!

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X-Flight is definitely one of the coolest looking rides this year. That keyhole element is one of the coolest looking elements I've seen on a coaster ever.


After hearing reviews of how fun Wild Eagle was, I've definitely got both wing coasters on my list of must-rides in the future.

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  • 1 month later...

I finally made it on X-Flight last Friday, and I loved it. GREAT RIDE! It was fun, intense, smooth, comfortable, forceful and Unique! The theming was well-done and the Music on the Lift and on the Brakes was a GREAT touch! Smoothest brake run I've ever experienced on a coasters. I got five rides in, and I can't wait to get back and ride again!

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Rides starting to have a maximum height is kind of rediculous. Few years ago no ride had those over here...


Now they start it here also, but gladly most attendants don't argue as long as you fit into the seat - being 77 inches plus shoes I hate those.

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^While I don't think someone who is a little over the maximum height couldn't ride, I do think they might find it very uncomfortable. The biggest problem with the ride seems to be that your restraint lowers through out the course and it can pull the straps down on you very hard. I'm short myself so I haven't had too much of a problem with it, but some of my taller friends have had problems with the straps digging down on them which would be incredibly uncomfortable should the ride breakdown. It does at least seem that people are being notified somewhere before the station as I haven't seen anyone get kicked off the ride for being too tall yet.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This past weekend I took my annual trip up to the Dells for two days of coasters, waterparks, and mini golf. The hot weather kept us mostly in the waterpark, but I can never turn down a chance to ride Hellcat, although I'm not positive I can say the same about Mt. Olympus' coasters. Despite the heat, it was still a very fun two days filled with a good amount of riding. As for the parks themselves:


Timber Falls: Timber Falls always looks great whenever I go. They do a very good job of keeping the park looking nice and keeping things throughout the park working. A wristband still only gets you 5 Hellcat rides, but that's fine with the current operations as it would take forever to get any more. The log flume only had three boats on it, but that was ok as it had a very short line. The mini golf is in great shape and the course across the road is one of the best looking I've ever seen.


As for those Hellcat operations I mentioned, it's no secret Timber Falls has implemented some changes to save money. From what I experienced, for Hellcat to run it has to either have a full train, or have atleast five minutes between rides if the train isn't full (the times seemed to depend on the ride op.) With the small crowds Timber Falls pulls on the ride side, getting a full train isn't always easy. On one of my rides, I sat in the train alone for about 7 minutes until the ride op closed all the restraints and got ready to dispatch the ride, only for more people to come up so the restraints were unlocked to let them on. Now, I understand the need to save money, but this makes getting 5 rides very time consuming and there is no warning of this before you board. The ride itself is still smooth, full of airtime and just plain fun, but just beware that a visit for what should be a quick five rides, may take up to 25 - 30 minutes depending on the crowds.


Mount Olympus: Mount Olympus in general just has a pretty bad reputation. The fact that they call themselves is a theme park is laughable. Really, it's a waterpark that just happens to have some go karts and coasters as well. Nothing more. Going in with those expectations may somewhat help improve an experience. The ride ops were actually slightly better than in past years, and the park was pretty clean, had a surprisingly good selection of food, and a new dj by the wave pool adds a nice atmosphere to the lower waterpark. As for the rides themselves:


Lost City of Atlantis: This new for 2012 waterpark addition brings 7 new slides to the park ranging from kiddie to family. The slides are fun, but nothing amazing. You will stay very, very wet thanks to water guns aimed at the slide lines and the giant geysers which will absolutely soak you.


Pegasus: This ride just ran weird. It wasn't "rough" but it was..bouncy. It was just weird.


Cyclops: Pretty smooth except for the last big turn. Still full of airtime and you gotta love its restraints that come no where close to touching you.


Zeus: Doesn't do much, a little air, rough. It's a one and done.


Hades: In it's current state, it really sends you to hell and back. It's still fun with its steep drop and crazy tunnel, but it's not exactly a ride you could marathon, even in the front seat. It's a shame as it used to be so much better. It still has enough going for it to bring me back for another ride, but at its current rate of self destruction I'm not sure how much longer that will last. It also will not be released with any empty seats, so if you're a single rider you may be moved to another seat in the train to help fill it up.


I like to write as you can clearly see, but here is what I know you all really care about, the pictures. Enjoy.


Here's what remains of the old Riverview Park and Waterworld.


I believe all that stands from the old days is two go karts tracks. It's now just animals. Very expensive animals.


Hopefully, TF won't suffer the same fate.


Shirts and prices.


So this has been updated to say Hellcat..


but all the other signs still say Avalanche.



The panel of the front row has been taken off for some reason. Feels kinda cool.


The only good that came from sitting in the train for five minutes is being able to easily take pictures in the train.



Getting pictures with the train in them takes a lot of time now.


Crazy little bunny hops.


The log flume is good, but wasn't very wet.





The bumper boats sit right underneath the coaster.


All the scattered propellers are still spinning.


Sky Scraper, tons of fun and tons of money.


It's a big draw during the night.


The bright lights and load music are great for drawing in people.



The main point of our nighttime return was mini golf.


The course is situated right next to the river.


Like right next to the river.



Theres kind of a mining theme to the courses.




It's just a great looking course.



And at the end of the course, there's chickens. Because why not?



They should really just take the fake window stickers down. They look fine from the road but not too good up close.



The one ride that has managed to stay in decent condition.





Always fun to take new riders to the back and not tell them about the drop.


The three major coasters are all a bit odd in that they all have a drop into the station after the brake run.


After my third ride some people just started climbing on the track and hammering stuff.


We watched for a while until they just kinda gave up and walked away. The ride tested once, but didn't reopen.




Bouncy bouncy bouncy




I'll pick the second one.





Atleast the sign is cool.



The first part is still fun and relatively smooth.



It is cool how close the ride goes to the queue line.


The lift hill literally goes straight over the station.


And then it gets bad. Real bad.


Go karts aren't really my thing, but they do have a lot of them.




Fun ride, but not worth the new $15 price.



This spot once held a Kuka robot arm, the only decent and free flat ride, so of course it was removed.


The upper waterpark has the oldest slides, but they're still pretty fun.


The best of the three endless rivers.


They probably spend more time on making cool signs than on maintaining coasters.


The raft slides are fun, but can get incredibly long lines.


The wave pool is still the best thing in the park.


That giant geyser is pure evil. It shots over the line and into the bowl slide itself, so it will just pelt you with tons of water.




There was no one in the indoor park, so all the employees just looked bored as hell.


Opa only had three cars on it, so I skipped it.


So as a whole, Mt. O is still fun but there's a lot of work to be done, and I hope someday it can reach the potential it has. Thanks for reading!

Edited by deathbydinn
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What a very nice and in depth trip report! I try to make it to the Dells every year, or at least every other year. It's a fun place to go for coasters (not so good ones,) mini golf, and amazing water parks. I agree that Hellcat is an amazing ride, and am glad Timber Falls is doing a great job keeping the park nice and tidy. The log flume is one of my favorites that I've been on, good theming and fun layout.


Mount Olympus, I agree on everything. It's not my favorite water park, but I love the old mat slides in the upper water park. I just feel like they lack the collection that Wilderness and Noah's Ark have, and Mt. Olympus is HUGE! Oh well, I just hope they add more slides to fill up all the empty room.

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I just wish the raft lines weren't so long. They're good slides, but I don't think they're really worth the waits they get. IMO they should do away with some of the extra hotel parking by the second entrance and add some newer generation slides there.


Great report too, it seems like every time I go to Mt. O , I somehow manage to barely take any pictures.

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Nice report!


I was sorry that I missed Hellcat when we were there last year as that seems to have the reputation as the best ride in the Dells.


Although I have to say that even though I thought Hades was a little rough, I enjoyed my ride on it in the front seat at night. It just seemed crazy fast and out of control for the entire ride. After coming back and reading all the negative reports of the ride, I felt lucky that I seemed to have caught it on a good night. Either that, or it could have been the cocktails we had at the campground before we walked over to the park for the late night rides that loosened me up a bit?


Mt. Olympus was definitely a quirky park, but I still wished that we would have had more time to enjoy it. When we were there, it was cold and rainy so we really had to push ourselves to do a couple of slides and that demonic wave pool! Being that the weather was horrid, that made the indoor park a zoo as everyone at the resort tried to cram into there...they could definitely use an expansion to that indoor park as well.


Would love to go back and visit Noah's Ark!

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Thank you for this trip report. This past weekend I made my first ever trip to the Dells. I stopped at Timber Falls and got the wristband. I did 3 rides on Hell Cat. That ride was my number 1 coasters out of those in the Dells after my first round of riding it and those at Mt. Olympus but overall is my number 2 after a second trip on Hades.


I wish I would've paid attention to what you wrote about Hades. My first ride of my life on Hades was in the last car. I was so excited and then I literally thought I was going to Die. the pre-lift portion was relatively smooth but a bit jerky in spots. The big drop I had my hands up and soon regretted. At the bottom of the drop the car was just shaking violently and I had no time (being my first time) to brace for what was to come. Into the darkness I went and I felt completely vulnerable to this ride. I have never felt so afraid on a coaster in my life. I grabbed on at the bottom of the first big drop but the darkness consumes you. The speed and the roughness of the ride and that fact that you can't see forced me to have a face of panic. I wish I would've bought my On ride photo. I would have everyone laughing. Finally we emerged on the other side of the parking lot and I was able to breath. However, I knew I was going to have to go back into the tunnel (or HELL rather). I hoped it would be better on the return trip but this just had me bouncing all over the place. After coming out of the tunnel over the hill, the huge turnaround was the absolute roughest part of the ride. I watched riders on the trains prior to mine all holding on for dear life... no one had their hands up and some were holding their heads. Needless to say, I gave it another try later in the day after my headache went away. I talked to some locals who were waiting in line with me and they advised me that the front seat was way better. So took my second trip in the front row..... and WOW.... As I braced for impact going down the first big drop into the tunnel..... there were no violent jerks, it was much smoother and nice pops of air... I was able to let go and put my hands up and just enjoy the rush. This made Hades my number one coaster out of the Dells. Actually one of my top woodies period... I wish I got to ride is sooner back when it had first opened. I can imagine how much better the ride was. I hope Mt. Olympus pours some effort into smoothing out this ride.


I also did Cyclops in the back row.... I survived!!! That is all I can say... and 1 ride was enough for me.

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For the first time ever, the WI State Fair began managing it's midway rather than having it done by the rides company. Similar to other larger US fairs and European fun fairs, the rides and games were provided by multiple companies, rather than just one like in the past. This allowed the fair to be more selective and provide even better rides. The Stratosphere and Flipper both made their US debut here, and many other rides like the Sky Wheel, Fun Factory, Rotor, etc made their WI debut this year. Many of the typical fair rides like a Scrambler, Matterhorn, Zipper, Wacky Worm where there as well, but I focused on the more unique rides. Enjoy!


The Stratosphere stands 200 feet tall and is the most visible ride of the midway.


Unfortantly, it seemed to be having some issues as I never saw it run with people.


A Zamperla Windstorm replaced the Schwarzkopf Wildcat from the past two years.


It was really really janky.


Not necessarily rough, but it kinda felt like there were speed bumps on the track.


This hill had a little pop of air.


I don't think I ever feared for my life so much as I did on that drop. I felt like I was just going to nose dive into the ground.


There were running both trains though, which was nice it could have done fine with one.


Across from it was this thing, that looked like an Enterprise on steroids.



This is a ride I'd very much like to see more of.


It starts out easy enough.


But it gets real crazy and it really throws you around when your car spins.



The Skywheel ran pretty fast, but they were only using two seats on each wheel.


The wheels spin independently which is great if you're on top because you don't have to stop to let others load/unload.


I wish they were more common, as it was much more fun than a normal ferris wheel.


I had no idea portable rotors existed, but we had one. Not sure why they really needed this and a gravitron as well.


There was an awesome looking fun house with some really creepy animatronics around it.




The highlight for me, was the KMG Fun Factory. It's basically a tilt a whirl where the cars also bounce up and down while they spin.


However, the spinning is controlled, so it gets really crazy. It doesn't look like much from the outside, but once your on it it's insane, especially the last few seconds.



Since it's a fair, I have to put in some animal pictures. There were some jumping dogs.


A calf.


A bathing horse.


And a cannibal pig. Thanks for reading!

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