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Photo TR: Wisconsin Dells with the Alveys, 8/12


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FRIDAY, AUGUST 12, 2005

THE STRIP

WISCONSIN DELLS, WISCONSIN

 

I have been reading Theme Park Review since roughly this time last year, when I accidentally stumbled upon it during a slow, rainy day at work for a previous employer. When I was in California in March for Knott’s Winter Coaster Solace and West Coast Bash, I stood in the Xcelerator line behind the world-famous couple. And when I read that the Alveys would be coming as close as the Dells of the Wisconsin River, how could an avid TPR reader (as well as up-and-coming coater enthusiast) like myself not jump at the chance to meet, greet, wine, dine, and ride coasters with the Alveys? Okay, maybe not the wine and dine part, but you get the idea.

 

Rolling into Wisconsin Dells after the tedious drive of 3 ½ hours from northwest of Minneapolis, I pulled into a gas station and gave Robb a call. He said that they were filming on Hades, and to meet at the front of the park. I then wheeled over to Mount Olympus. The way they were parking cars was totally befuddling. They were running all the cars into one row. Which is fine, except when you realize that they are going to fill this row to the VERY FAR END OF THE PARKING LOT. I only managed to get ¾ of the way down the row, which made for a very long walk. Also, I noticed a troubling lack of dispatches from the big steel-frame monster known as Hades.

 

Knowing the park, I knew damn well I wasn’t going to stay up by the north gate and make an unnecessary trip up that hill for someone. While the SoCalers on the trip might be in climbing shape from climbing a certain mountain north of LA, I am not. So, I walked around to where I could see the train on Hades making the first drop out of the station. Lo and behold, there were Robb and Elissa in the front row, awaiting train dispatch and ready to film. The train FINALLY rolled out of the station, and I went back down the hill to make a few other rides on the other coasters here. Roughly half an hour after I entered the park, I finally met up with the entourage, which was splitting up. Elissa and Derek went to have their mis-adventures on Dive to Atlantis (ask them about it), and the rest of us went to film from the bronc-saddle seat on Cyclops.

 

Reuniting, we find our hero, Elissa, SOAKED! Apparently, the ride attendants decided that instead of two people in the log (which they had been doing the whole time they had been open), four people would go into this particular log. And when the log went down the last drop, copious amounts of water were unceremoniously dumped on the occupants of said log. Elissa and Derek were both drenched, as well as the camera Elissa had brought. Robb remarked something to the effect of the Dells are hazardous to a camera’s health.

 

The crew split up at this point, with Elissa, Robb, Andrew, and myself going out to the parking lot to get footage and talk for a bit, and everyone else going to get credits on the kiddie coaster and Pegasus.

 

We then went over to Riverview. I had not been here before. The clientele at this place was significantly different than what we had seen over at Mt. Olympus. I will not comment, but I think after Robb gets done captioning the photos, the idea will be clear. The most diplomatic way to put the park is “ghetto.” Robb, Elissa, Joey, and Fred were sent around three times on the Wacky Worm, and Andrew was sent around twice on the Orient Express-themed Dragon Wagon. The four of us who hadn’t ridden Galaxi yet rode it. This was the first (and so far only) coaster where I felt the need to duck under anything. Another indicator of the park’s ghettoness was when the cars needed to be manually pushed from the unloading platform to the loading end. The cars also needed to be given some, ahem, encouragement to get out of the station to the bottom of the lift hill. It was interesting, and that’s all I’m going to say.

 

After this somewhat mortifying experience, the next few minutes yielded some of the most hilarious moments ever captured by a carousing coaster crew from California. Someone asked how fast the Sellner spinning dragons spun. Since they had a few tickets left over, Robb and Jew-boy hopped aboard to find out. As soon as the brake was released, that dragon spun, and spun, and spun. It was hilarious to hear Robb yelling in agony whenever the opening faced us. “Wha………wha…………wha…..”

 

Lunchtime! According to Derek's PDA, there was a Pizza Hut on the corner of Wisconsin Dells Parkway and Hwy. 13, the road in off Exit 87. Well, a few minutes of wandering around on I-90/94 later, we find that there is no Pizza Hut, and most of us ended up at the biggest McDonalds I had ever seen. The inside was themed like a Northwoods lodge. Over lunch, I explained some of how I am becoming a coaster enthusiast, Robb’s periodic trips to the Twin Cities, and Southern California theme parks.

 

After lunch, we headed over to Timber Falls Adventure Park. Wristbands were purchased, and rides were taken. After the first ride, the TPR Invaders were absolutely dumbfounded. They were reduced to laughing, simple smiles, and babbling. They weren’t sure how Avalanche could possibly be that intense, how fun it was, and just the overall level of insanity. Since it was a quiet afternoon, we pretty much sat wherever we wanted. As far as the coaster itself, it had “seasoned” quite a bit since I rode it June 10. There was a lot more side-to-side shuffling than before, as well as more squeaking. It’s still absolutely NUTS.

 

Back to Mt. Olympus to find that the line for Hades had not shrunk since park opening. It was to the bottom of the stairs. So the crew went to Cyclops for more riding and filming. After Cyclops, some of the gang went back to the hotel to change and get ready for some waterpark action, while Robb, Fred, Joey, and myself went up to Zeus to ride. Fred then went over to the hotel while Robb, the other guy, and me went out to the top parking lot, for different reasons. Robb and Joey were there to get footage, while I was there to get my car, as, unfortunately, it was time for me to head back to the Twin Cities.

 

I gave Robb and Joey a ride back to the hotel end of the park, where we officially bid adieu. I also suggested that if they could, that they should come to the Minnesota State Fair, just for the whole atmosphere.

 

Speaking of the Minnesota State Fair, if TPR ever wants to have a Flatride Challenge, I am officially suggesting Opening Night of the Minnesota State Fair with the Gang of Four (Jerry Dorf, Cameron and Loren Willis, and myself) because A) it’s not that busy, B) the flatride lineup kicks serious @$$, and C) we know the operators of a few large pieces. Sound good?

 

Paul “The MNSF opens in 10 days!” Miller

 

PS: I have high-res originals of all of the below photos. If you want any of them, let me know.

 

PPS: You'll have to start at the bottom and scroll up if you want the photos in chronological order. This is the first time I've posted multiple photos in a thread, so bear with me. Thanks!

dellsexitsign.JPG.3977c103cd2b291b9f72dc54f776a775.JPG

After 3.5 hours on I-94, this is a great sign to see

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"Damn, this camera has to get me through Sunday!"

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Hades, smile! You're on Candid Camera!

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A photo of two photographers taking pictures of each other taking a picture. Try saying that three times fast.

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All that cheese in Wisconsin must have affected his sanity...

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Finally, a good shot of the Hades train

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"Damn, Elissa sure is having fun"

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Loaded into the Big Green Torture Chamber...

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"HELP!!!!"

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Robb looks like he's been kicked by a donkey...

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More Avalanche madness

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However, when it's all over, it sure is nice to be back on home turf.

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Heh. Sounds like you got to have fun AND meet the Alveys. I must say that Im both jelous of you, and pleased. Oh well, the only important thing is you got to ride the uber-air machine known as Cyclops (you DID ride back seat, right?) Regaurdless, I cant wait to go back to the Dells. Hopefully next time I can spend more than a few hours, so I can hit Avalanche, and maybe whore in the other credits there in the Dells...But yeah. VIVA LA MT OLYMPUS! (and more specificly Cyclops)

 

Jared"Cyclops is my solid #1 woodie to date"Becker

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Nice photos and trip report. One thing I'd like to point out though is that Joey is "Jew-boy", the dude in the picture with Elissa on the Wacky Mouse. I, the guy in the orange Wildfire shirt, am Derek (Dr. Ruth if you're formal). Not that I'd mind being confused with Joey, he's a great guy and very mature for being as young as he is. I just don't want to be called Jewish, because I'm anything but! I eat pork, blow my money foolishly, and only get presents for one day in December, definitely NOT Jewish.

 

All clear...Dispatch, enjoy your ride,

 

Derek "I am not a Jew" Ruth

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Robb's face in the Avalanche picture pretty much sums up that ride. I really hope more people get out there to ride it because it is insane. I can't rant and rave enough about how awesome Avalanche is. The thing just never loses speed and flies around the track.

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