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Photo TR: Six park Summer Kickoff trip!


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Okay I had fun making my first one so I will post one more TR of a trip I took earlier this year. I hit the road on Easter Sunday all by myself and drove through the night to kick off the trip in Dollywood. Other parks on the agenda included Six Flags Over Georgia, Carowinds, Kings Dominion, Busch Gardens Europe, a second day at Kings Dominion, and then Six Flags America. It was the best trip I have ever taken. I had a lot of fun, rode a lot of new coasters, and spent entirely too much money. I'm gonna put these up one park at a time.

 

ADMIN EDIT: I have update your title to include the proper "Photo TR:" header and to make it more simple yet descriptive. Aside from that, thanks for sharing this with us and keep up the great work!

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Anybody else get goosebumps walking into their first park of the year?

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A butterfly made out of flowers? I never took this shot and you never saw me post it either.

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I got to visit during the Festival Of Nations.

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I headed straight back to Thunderhead.

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The first coaster of the year for me was gonna be one of the best on my trip.

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This thing was super amazing.

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My new number two wood coaster.

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Not only do I prefer wood coasters, I also think they are much prettier to look at.

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Plus did I mention this thing was super amazing.

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Next up and just down the pathway was Mystery Mine.

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This ride did have nice theming.

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It also had a very photogenic invert.

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It does provide a fairly unique ride experience.

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It had some nice elements, and seems to be kind of popular, but just not entirely my thing.

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I put in a few rides on Tennessee Tornado next. I found it to be an above average looper.

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The brand new Adventure Mountain. I made the mistake of not doing this before the park got busy. Later in the day it had a super long line and I never ended up doing it.

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I caught a few shows and got to get within a foot of a real live bald eagle to capture a few shots of this bird and his trainer.

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This park provided one of the prettier train rides I have ever rode.

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This is just a stunningly beautiful area.

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Dollywood is one of the most beautiful parks I have ever visited.

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This was the perfect park to kick off this trip with.

Edited by jedimaster1227
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The second park on my agenda was Six Flags Over Georgia. It provided quite the change of pace from the nice relaxed country feel that Dollywood provided. SFOG was really busy and the skyline was dominated by Goliath. A very nice platinum flash pass completely negated the crowds for me, but the 95 degree weather still darn near killed this Michigan boy.

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Standing outside the front gate greeting me as I walked up was Goliath.

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Got my pass processed and was ready for some B&M hyper awesomeness!

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Walked through the front gate and was greeted with more costumed characters than I've ever seen at a Six Flags park at one time before.

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It was quickly apparent that lines were gonna be 30+ minute waits at the minimum today. So I grabbed a platinum flash pass and took my first ride of the day on Georgia Cyclone.

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I wish I could start every day with a ride on a nice little woody like this.

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Okay now I was itching for a shot at Goliath.

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Goliath is an incredible ride.

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Holy airtime Batman!

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Next up was Georgia Scorcher. A fun little stand up coaster. You can tell what rides I really like, somehow this is the only shot I got of Scorcher and I got a feeling that wasn't even what I was pointing my camera at.

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I headed back into the depths of Gotham City to ride this compact little beauty.

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This thing had some nice zip to it.

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I thought this one ran a little better than the Chicago version. Maybe my ears were just well rested from half a year of not riding coasters.

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It is actually a nice compact invert.

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How many Ninjas does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

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No one will ever know because Ninjas don't need light.

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Sorry. I promise not to tell anymore Ninja jokes.

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This was another good woody.

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Are you ready for a flyer? To tell the truth I'm not really a fan of flying coasters.

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But this one was actually pretty good.

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I put in a ride on SFOG's dark boat ride Monster Mansion. It is one of those moments that actually makes me feel guilty that I leave my kids behind to take a trip like this without them.

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Now I made the loop around the park and found myself snapping this nice little pic. Now off to Goliath for another 8 or so rides before taking off early for the day.

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Dollywood and SFOG are two parks that I want to visit sometime. How does Thunderhead run---being a GCII, I'd guess it's still pretty smooth. I ask because I'm curious as to how GCIIs hold up over time.

 

Same question with Georgia Cyclone...being a mirror-image of SFMM's Psyclone---and a Dinn-Summers coaster at that---has it gotten rough? I never hear anyone talk about it.

 

Thanks for sharing. I look forward to the rest of the report.

 

Eric

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Georgia Cyclone was definitely a little rough. I thought it was more than rideable though. On a scale of one to ten, with ten being like Son Of Beast rough, I would say maybe a five.

 

I thought Thunderhead ran beautiful. On the same scale I would say maybe two or three at the very worst. I've only rode two GCI's, with Roar at SFA being the other one, but they sit solidly at my number two and number three wood coasters. Six Flags St. Louis, Beech Bend, and Valleyfair are all on the agenda this year and I can't wait to ride Evel Knievel, Kentucky Rumbler, and Renegade.

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hey man! This trip is nearly identical to mine minus Dollywood this summer! So far this is a great report, I'll be interested to see your comparison of the 3 B&M hypers (Goliath, Intimidator, Apollo's Chariot) of your trip because I'm excited to see how those end up next to Diamondback, Raging Bull, and Nitro too (all of which I have ridden ). Keep up the awesome work man can't wait to see the rest!

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Unfortunately I have not ridden Nitro though I was considering trying to make the trek out there this weekend. Don't know if I'm being unrealistic and just pushing myself to hard though if I do it.

 

That being said I love B&M hypers. Best steel coasters I have rode in my opinion. Kings Island is only five hours away from me and is kind of like a secondary home park, and I was so pumped when they built Diamondback. I think Diamondback is amazing and is possibly the best of the bunch that I have ridden. Though in all fairness I have put 150+ rides on it and not more than a dozen on any other B&M. I thought Goliath at SFOG was very very good too, but I think Intimidator Carolina might possibly be the best I have ever ridden. I hesitate to say it's my favorite as I only got to ride it 8 times and I just don't feel right placing it at the top of the list until I get to ride it more, but either way it is amazing. By the time I made my way around to Busch Gardens Europe I had already had been riding rides like Intimidator and Goliath all week long, and while I found Apollos Chariot to be an above average coaster I thought it was slightly tame in comparison to it's siblings.

 

On a side note my second favorite steel coaster of this trip behind Intimidator Carolina was actually Superman Ride Of Steel at Six Flags America.

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Day 3 found me pulling into Carowinds on another hot sunny day.

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The new Intimidator towers over the parking lot.

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Holy B&M sweetness!

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I've now had my Cedar Fair platinum pass out of four different parks.

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I found Carowinds to be a really nice mid sized park.

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I probably shouldn't mention that I hate Nascar.

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I was hoping that this ride was half as good as it looked, and I thought it was amazing. Possibly my new favorite steel coaster.

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This ride has some of the best airtime I've ever experienced anywhere.

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After a quick ride on Intimidator I jumped on Nighthawk before the line could fill in.

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The line for this later in the day was easily the longest in the park so I would hit this early.

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I had heard good things about this ride, but I'm not the biggest fan of inverts so I was a little apprehensive.

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This thing ran real good though with absolute minimal ear banging for me.

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This thing was definitely an above average invert in my book.

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After three straight steel coasters I was ready for some good wood.

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This ran a little rough in spots, but was a fun ride overall. Unfortunately they were only running one side.

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Headspin!

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I miss Geauga Lake.

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This was the first boomerang I ever rode.

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I like taking pictures of these corkscrew rides better than I like riding them.

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I'm really a sucker for these areas that have corkscrews over top walkways.

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Time for another woody!

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This was was definitely a little on the rough side, but I still enjoyed it.

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Ricochet. I hate that mouse pictures almost always look the same.

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This was down most of the day and I thought I was gonna miss it.

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Standard stand up stuff. A little on the rough side though.

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One more shot of Intimidator taken from their tower.

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Okay one more taken from my hotel room across the street. What a view!

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Nice photos I really enjoyed the TR. I need to get down to DollyWood soon i've never been there before! It looks like an amazing park but I don't wan't to get to over hyped about it incase it isn't all it seemed. But i'm sure it is awesome!

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Great pictures! I can't believe all the positive things I'm hearing about Intimidator. I really want to get on that sucker now. Goliath and Diamondback will prove though competition.

 

Maybe I caught Georgia Cyclone on a good day, excuse me, GREAT day because I thought it was one of the best woodies I had been on! The airtime in the last car was crazy, and the ride wasn't rough at all, just a good wooden coaster feel to it.

 

No Acrophobia?

 

SFOG's Batman was probably the most intense coaster experience I had been on. Two times in a row in the front seat and I had to sit down for a while to put my head on straight! It was a killer hot day, too. Probably 95+ degreese.

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Day four found me getting to visit Kings Dominion for a chance to ride the much anticipated Intimidator 305. I have a cousin that lives in Richmond, so I was able to take advantage of a free place to stay while in town and used that to stay in the area for a second visit to Kings Dominion. The plan was to spend Thursday at Kings Dominion, Friday at Busch Gardens, and then to return back for a second day at Kings Dominion.

 

I am glad that I planned for a second day at Kings Dominion, because Intimidator had problems on day one and I only got to put two rides on it. First off they didn't get it open till almost 45 minutes after the parks scheduled opening, and then when they did finally get it up and running they only opened it as a one train operation. Later about 3pm they just closed the ride down for the rest of the day. On top of that my phone decided to call it quits on me. Already in a sour mood over the death of my phone, when I-305 went down again I just gave up and left for the day.

 

Day six went much better, but was much busier. On Saturday the shortest line for a coaster in the park was actually Intimidator. I know that sounds backwards, but it was the truth. I rode it 14 times and never waited more than 30 minutes, with most waits averaging in the 15 to 20 minute range. I was using the single rider line, but I speculated that at many points it was just as quick if not actually quicker to use the main line. The rest of the lines ranged from 30 minutes to an hour or more. With long lines everywhere else and short lines on a ride as good as Intimidator I never ended up hitting the rides I had planned on hitting on the second day. I just stayed at I-305 for most of the day with a couple rides each on Rebel Yell and Grizzly. So between the two days I never got a chance to ride several of the rides I would of liked to hit, and Shockwave and Hurler were both down for the entirety of both my visits.

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Kings Island's midway is my favorite midway. This looks just like it, but a little more wooded.

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But who cares about midways right now? Let's ride Intimidator 305!!!

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I'm a Millennium Force fanboy all the way, so I can't even describe how excited I was to get on this thing.

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In reality a comparison to MF isn't fair. They are entirely two different rides.

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Imagine if Millennium and Maverick got together and had an illegitimate child. Then gave that child a little too much sugar... This is one seriously intense ride.

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One more centerfold shot.

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Next up was another ride much anticipated by me.

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Volcano was a very nice ride. On return trips I will visit this first and then hit Intimidator though, as this line seemed consistently much longer over the two days of my visits.

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I enjoyed the theming and the sustained elevations.

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Next up was looking like I was gonna get to ride three straight woodies. Any park that allows me to ride three straight woodies is a-ok in my book.

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Somehow I ended up with very few pics of any of those woodies. Not sure as to how that happened as woody pics are total coaster porn to me. Rebel Yell was great though and ran real nicely.

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I had heard really good things about Grizzly and had already decided it was gonna be my favorite ride in the park.

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It didn't actually end up being my favorite ride in the park, but it was still very good.

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I wish I had seen this ride before they started removing trees from the area. As it is I thought it had a beautiful wooded setting.

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I got denied on my third woody. Hurler was down for some repairs. I heard they are doing some re-tracking supposedly.

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I put in a ride on Ricochet while I was in the area.

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Shockwave was unfortunately also down.

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Headspin yesterday and Dominator today! Hi-five for Geauga Lake.

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This used to be one of my favorite coasters.

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It has slipped a little due the fact that I have ridden many new coasters since the last time I've got to ride it.

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I still believe that this ride is well above average for the style of ride it is though.

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Anaconda was down for most of the day on Thursday but opened just before I ended up leaving.

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It may have the prettiest queue I have ever seen.

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I like that this ride was built over the water. The tunnel into the water especially was a nice touch.

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I'm not really much of a "credit" counter so I usually skip out on the kiddie coasters, but I rarely pass up the chance to shoot a few pics of them.

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Dude still amazing stuff! On your comment about mine, Diamondback is currently my favorite B&M out there followed by Apollo, I definitely see Intimidator and Goliath both being serious contenders, thanks for your input! Keep the pictures coming man!

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WOW! You rated GA Cyclone and Intimidator 232 really high. I am surprised. GA Cyclone is at the top of my worst coaster list and Intimidator 232 was super disappointing to me. Granted I get to ride Goliath every weekend and I have ridden AC but I232 just had no airtime to me. The first drop was the only part I liked. Glad you liked the souths parks though!

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I loved Goliath too. I am pretty sure I liked Intimidator "232" better, but not by a massive amount or anything. I thought the airtime on Intimidator was just unbelievable. I thought both Goliath and Intimidator blew Apollo's Chariot away though, but I thought the location and setting of AC was far superior to it's two younger brothers.

 

On a side note I just spent the weekend riding Diamondback again and I'm not so convinced I actually like Intimidator Carowinds better. Maybe I'll just have to go down there and ride it some more to decide...

 

I liked the Georgia Cyclone. It was a little rough in spots, but not bad.

 

My top 3 steel of this trip:

1. Intimidator at Carowinds

2. Goliath at SFOG

3. Superman Ride Of Steel at Six Flags America

 

My top 3 wood of this trip:

1. Thunderhead at Dollywood

2. Roar at Six Flags America

3. The Wild One at Six Flags America

 

I think tonight I am gonna try to actually finish this report. I was gonna do it all in a day or two but life has been crazy lately and I have put it off too much now.

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I think tonight I am gonna try to actually finish this report. I was gonna do it all in a day or two but life has been crazy lately and I have put it off too much now.

 

You have some nice pictures in here.

 

Finish it at your own pace; no one on this site is going anywhere.

Edited by larrygator
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I agree with you about Thunderhead and Roar. Both great coasters. I don't know why but I guess some people either like it rough or just get some good rides somewhere on GA Cyclone because in the last 4 years I have only ridden it 4 times and it was brutal every time. I have sat in the "magic" seat too and I just can't enjoy any airtime there is to be had because it is bashing my body so bad. As far as AC, I thought it was better than Intimidator 232 but not better than Goliath. I agree the setting for AC is the best though. Maybe I just need to ride 232 again but the 2 rides I got on it a few weeks ago were really really boring.

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Okay so I arrived at Busch Gardens on a friday morning. Every day of the trip so far had been hot and sunny, but this day was almost the exact opposite. It was rainy, windy, and kind of cold for most of the day. Very early in the day I realized that I had not charged my camera at all and it was already flashing the warning light for low battery so unfortunately I took as few pics as I could until I shot the things that I felt like I needed to shoot and then let loose until my battery ran out. So all in all I only took about 50 photos total in "world's most beautiful park."

 

All four coasters were really good in this park. I was super excited to ride Apollo's Chariot and was slightly curious about Alpengeist and Griffon, but honestly was expecting Apollo's Chariot to be my favorite of the day. "That was better than I expected it to be" ended up being the main theme of the day for me though as Alpengeist blew away any inverted ride I had rode to this point, Griffon's first drop left me giggling like a little school girl, and Loch Ness Monster became my new favorite Arrow looper. By days end I thought that Apollo's Chariot was actually only my third favorite out of the big three in the park.

 

I really wish I had visited this park last year and got to ride Big Bad Wolf.

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That seems like quite the boast to me.

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The park was filled with sights like this though.

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I normally skip water rides but decided to do this based on the completely empty queue and the fact that it was raining anyways.

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The drop was pretty standard, but the theming inside was well done. The fire effects were worth the ride alone.

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I was super excited to ride Apollo's Chariot next.

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It was really good, but possibly one of the weaker B&M hypers that I have rode. That still puts it at really really good though.

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I can't wait to go back and shoot this place properly though as this is all I have for AC shots.

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I loved the view of the river running through the park from the bridge.

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I would of loved to do the boat rides and shoot from the lower walkway but I never ended up making it down there. Oh well I'll hit it on a return trip.

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I did lunch and a show at the Festhaus. If visiting I would suggest to consider doing the same.

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I did a run through Curse Of Darkastle and had a blast.

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I'm not usually a fan of inverted rides.

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This one was extremely good though.

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Even after 8 laps I think I only swatted my ears maybe one or two times.

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Apollo's Chariot and Alpengeist were both amazing, but could Griffon keep pace?

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I was kind of curious about Griffon even though the concept seemed gimmicky to me.

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I thought it was amazing though. Possibly my new favorite first drop on a coaster.

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Loch Ness Monster ended up being a really good Arrow looper.

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My favorite part is a nice sized tunneled helix near the end of the ride that has absolutely nothing to do with this picture.

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I grew up watching Sesame Street so I was possibly a little excited to come across a Sesame Street themed kids area populated with characters from the show. These days all the rage is Elmo, but when I was growing up Big Bird was where it was at.

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Finally in the last couple of hours the weather broke and allowed me to take my last couple of shots with a pretty blue sky in the background.

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This ended up being my favorite coaster of the day.

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The only complaint I could even come close to having about this ride was that it maybe felt a little short.

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Day 7 found me at Six Flags America in Maryland. Everything I had ever heard about this park was mostly negative. I had heard good things about Superman Ride Of Steel, but that was about it. In fact I almost skipped this park so I could just hang out in Richmond VA with my cousin one more day. I keep my priorities in line though and I left the cousin I only get to see every couple of years behind in Virginia and moved on to my final park of the week.

 

This ended up being one of the best days on my trip. This was a first time visit to this park and I have to believe with what I have heard compared to what I saw that this park is working hard to turn their image around. This park was clean, ride ops seemed competent, I saw no sign of any sort of "trouble", had one of the three best steel coasters I rode on this trip, two out of three of my favorite three woodies of the week, and lines were nearly non-existent.

 

I really look forward to returning to this park next year.

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Entering the park I was kind of considering hitting SROS a few quick times, hitting everything else, and then hitting the road as early as I could.

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Before even entering the gate I was greeted by several Looney Tunes characters. I am always impressed by Six Flags employees willingness to take pictures of you with your camera instead of trying to force you to buy pictures from them.

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I immediately started heading straight back towards Superman Ride Of Steel.

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I came across Jokers Jinx first though and stopped and put in a quick ride.

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I've always enjoyed Flight Of Fear at Kings Island so I was kind of looking forward to this.

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After a quick fun ride on Jokers Jinx I finished my journey back to SROS.

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I thought this ride was absolutely great.

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The bigger of the two hills you see is the second hill of the ride and leads into a nice helix. Coming out of that helix you hit that smaller hill you see and are provided with some of the best air time I've ever felt anywhere.

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I managed to put in 19 laps on this though out the day.

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Next up was Roar. I knew it was a GCI, but hadn't really heard much of anything about it.

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While not quite as impressive as Thunderhead was a few days ago, this was still an amazing ride.

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I put in 27 rides on this throughout the day and never felt the least bit beat up in any way at all.

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This ride was definitely the hidden gem in this park, and if I had to choose only one ride from this park to ride it would be this and not the highly touted SROS.

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The three parks that are closest to me are all Cedar Fair parks and I would absolutely love to see a ride like this added at one of those parks.

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I hit Mind Eraser next, but this ride could of been called Ear Eraser instead.

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I rode it once and moved on.

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I headed to Wild One next.

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1917? Wow. After seeing that I had no clue what to expect from this antique.

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But this ride was the second unexpected gem of this park, and was one of the three best woodies I rode all week long.

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The final helix was one of the more intense I've ever encountered. It really cooks around that thing.

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If this was the only coaster in the park I would still suggest making the trip to ride it.

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Batwing was down for the majority of the day but they got it running sometime in the last couple hours.

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It was your standard flying coaster. Put my one ride in and went back to SROS for my last couple rides of the day.

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SROS and Roar may of been the best one two punch of all the parks I visited all week long.

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After SFA I made a quick stop in DC to check out a few things.

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The sun started setting almost immediately on me though and I ended up seeing all the sights at night.

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I still had fun and really enjoyed a quick little two hour walk through DC. I wouldn't mind coming back here sometime and checking stuff out during the day.

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