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Photo TR: Wild Adventures with Adam


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This past weekend, I had the chance to stop in Valdosta for a few hours to visit Wild Adventures. The park feels eerily similar to Cypress Gardens Adventure Park (likely because of the influence of the original owners on the former park) in layout, style and feel, but it is slowly coming into its own as a Herschend park.

 

I was fortunate enough to run into Dave from Marketing at the park's entrance, where I was happily greeted with open arms. This was definitely a certain hospitality close to that which I felt at Dollywood last Summer.

 

I was only at the park for four hours, plus it rained, so I didn't have much time to experience what I'm sure were some of the better aspects of the park, but this visit has given me enough reason to return down the road. I'll let the photos do the rest of the talking, but I will close by saying that I am looking forward to coming back to Wild Adventures in the future to experience the many things I missed during my short visit.

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What better way to start a photo report than with a Vekoma Boomerang? It'll definitely wake you up.

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Hiya Tony! Excited yet?

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Feels like home to me... No, really. It feels like Cypress Gardens.

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Didn't get to do this today, but I'm sure I'll get it eventually.

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Sleeping tigers.

 

Fierce.

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I believe this is a newer addition in the park. It sounded great, but because of the short time we had in the park, we had to pass for the day.

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Robbie Knieval was jumping this the day after our visit, but I have an exclusive POV of his jump, taken from the future!

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Here we go!

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Nothing but air now!

 

(Please realize I didn't actually walk out onto the ramp...)

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These lions are actually cameras. You are under their video surveillance. They are watching you.

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A quality flat ride that I also believe is a newer addition to the park.

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This place smelled of Burning Rome BBQ, and while it smelled great, I was again on a time limit.

 

Thanks to Jewish teachers and Islamic scholars, this will still be here when I return. Think of it as the first backup system!

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For the love of Larry.

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I am proud to say that I was not this sad or pathetic.

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Little known fact: I actually really like SLC's.

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Better known fact: SLC's are not popular with many.

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Sadly known fact: It broke down right before we were about to get on the ride.

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From the looks of it, we had no luck with this one for the day.

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I'll give them credit. The ride sign is pretty cool.

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For those unfamiliar with ski slope difficulties, the black diamond is the toughest/most intense (next to the double black diamond).

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Index art.

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One of this year's additions, Viking Voyage came from the recently shuttered Celebration City.

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As Dave of the park's marketing staff had warned, this coaster is quite intense for what it is.

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Woosh!

 

(Can you tell which direction this is moving in?)

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This guy was experiencing firsthand what wonders the front row of this crazy contraption could offer.

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A beautifully twisted mess of steel that could be deadly.

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"I can see my dignity over there!"

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This first drop really packs a pretty punch!

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Out, and back.

And out, and back.

And out again... Then back again.

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Turns on these are quite bizarre.

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The park also has a really nice looking upcharge skycoaster.

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Cheetah, the park's only wooden coaster peeks out over the top of the tree line.

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Simple and effective.

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The ride has a steel structure with a wooden track, and is fairly smooth. From what I've been told, the ride's recent $1 million dollar refurbishment made it much better.

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This was also my first coaster with Gerstlauer trains... And they were nowhere near as bad as I expected them to be.

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"I'm Adam Roth, and I approve this message."

 

This advertisement has been paid for by the Bryan and Adam Show: Complete the Show Campaign, a subsidiary of Finish the Show, Inc.

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What's this?

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Wes, this is where you come in.

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This park just got my immediate approval.

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Another transplant from Celebration City.

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This is actually one of the better boomerangs I've been on.

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This is an index-friendly report.

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This is the third transfer from Celebration City. Not the best flyers I've been on by any means, but they were fun nonetheless. They were my brother's first flyers, and he really enjoyed them.

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Kidtums-friendly as well!

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Something Wild Adventures has that Cypress Gardens doesn't anymore.

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This black diamond coaster actually makes two circuits through the layout.

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And despite it being older than Cypress Gardens' model, it was far smoother.

 

Plus, it flies over a gator pool, which is unique.

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This is true.

 

Don't fear Knights or Noles.

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Tyler's Playland.

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You wanna know what TPR loves more than coasters, food and patch jackets?

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TURTLES!!!

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They are putting on a show...

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He couldn't get on top of her.

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Turtle fail.

Edited by jedimaster1227
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(Continued)

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Then it started to rain, and the rollerskater closed. This is a clone of the Okeechobee Rampage that ran at Cypress Gardens.

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The Mad Mouse was another missed credit for the trip, but I'm sure I'll get it next time.

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Some entrance features noted on the way out.

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The adventure doesn't end just because you have left the park's gates.

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Much of the park can be seen from the parking lot.

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And the lot's exit drives you around the perimeter of much of the park.

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I'll get back to you eventually.

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You also pass by the Splash Island water park which is included in your park admission.

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Looks very nice! Maybe next visit, I'll get to experience this part of the park.

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What have we here?

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It looks like Splash Island is getting a new slide!

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Make that a new speed slide!

 

Thanks for reading everyone!

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Two things -

 

#1 - For a park that is really in the middle of nowhere it just amazes me how much this park has. Glad to see it's being taken good care of.

 

#2 - Bone down, tortoise...bone down!

 

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It took me two visits to get all the coasters of the park. Hangman wasn't available my first visit as well. It rained too my second visit. Cheetah is running awesome now. I'm glad I missed it in 2007 when I finally got it now in better form.

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Hey Adam...

 

Forgive me for stepping on the toes of your trip report, but I really just wanted to take a moment to evangelize this park. It's deserving of a little up talk. By all rights, what with its financial troubles over the last 6 years and the continued battles with Sherrif Paulk and the Lowndes County Commission, it should have closed probably after the 2006 season. Yet, even in the face of certain death, it has stomped on the toes of the naysayers and proclaimed, "I... have HAD.... E-NOUGH of... YOU!"

 

One of the things that sets this park uniqueness is it's location in relation to Valdosta. It's deep in the heart of Lowndes County. The directions to get there are to take I-75 to Exit 13. Then drive past three farms, a cow pasture and the entrance to the park is 500 feet up the road past the cemetery. LOL

 

I don't remember where exactly, but Jay (ElToroExtreme) met the Public Relations Director for this park somewhere along the way. We actually bought season passes after we went the middle of April so that we could A: Get a 50% off discount at Dollywood two weeks later and B: get into the Chicago concert. Yes, Chicago was in concert here! I took some pics at the concert, but I still had my old Blackberry at the time. Consequently, the pictures were horrid.

 

I remember going here when the park first opened in like '98 I think? The last time I went was in 2004 and it had kinda gone down hill. Jack Hannah wasn't doing the wild life thing there anymore and Cheetah had fallen into disrepair like crazy. Even in 2004 the thing was absolutely UN-RIDABLE. During the off-season (which is only January, February and half of March for them) they managed to re-track LARGE portions of Cheetah which is a feat in and of itself given the time. What amazed me more is that Herschend did most of the work "in house" with only minimal supervision from CCI. To say that I was blown away by how incredible the ride is now would be an understatement. There are sections of the ride where it gives pretty good ejector air and the banks don't make you have to visit the chiropractor anymore. They're still runnin the old Gerstlauer trains which amazingly enough, were pretty darn comfortable compared to some other Gershies I've ridden. The day that David, Jay and I were there, we bumped into my boss from work and marathoned it. The park was pretty empty, so the ride was a walk on and we got 8 laps out of it without having to move. OH Yeah... This is definitely a back of the train ride.

 

This is NOT my video, else it would be better, but from it you can see the portions of Cheetah that got re-tracked.

 

The changes that have been made to the park since Herschend took it over, have been stupendous. As Jay stated, no longer is it the concrete paradise that it used to be. They have absolutely gone bananas with putting in greenery, saplings, and they cleaned up the lake at the center of the park which was just RIPE with algae and all manner of things dank and dingy. It's still not the lake at Universal Studios or Knobles, but it's getting there.

 

On the day that Chicago was in concert at the park, we showed up at about 11:00 and got some rides in, but the main purpose of being there was the Chicago Concert and the Water Park. The TALL slide in the water park was just completely off the chain. Jay rode the slide that sticks out a little, then goes straight down. As he tells it, his butt never touched the slide all the way down. LOL The Wave Pool was in very good repair and they have a BRAND NEW water castle that rivals the one at Dorney Park easily. The only 2 parts of the Water Park that were MILDLY irritating was the lack of large lockers. (Imagine if you will, three gay men with their man purses trying to cram all three of them into a SMALL locker) And the lazy river was PACKED with lots of irritating people. It was more of a schitzo, bi-polar river of doom.

 

Herschend appears to be taking their investment in this park VERY seriously. In the future (maybe in the next 5 or 10 years), I see the park getting a B&M like Kumba at Busch Gardens Tampa, maybe a little bit better drop tower, and if not a re-profile and expansion of Cheetah, then a nice shiny new GCI with Millennium Flyers.

 

If you're in the Valdosta area or travelling down I-75 for any reason and you got a day or an afternoon to blow... Wild Adventures is ABSOLUTELY worth the stop.

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