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Photo TR: TPR's Steaming Hot Mid-America Trip


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Robb, you have a very SHARP EYE !!! Chuck, I have to tell you, you guy can catch my attention ! every update is as great as the former one. You really capture THE moments, and your verbosity, well... you know how much I enjoyed your "coaster of the week" updates. WE WANT MORE !!!

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WOAH! WOAH! WOAH! WOAH! WOAH! WOAH! WOAH! WOAH!!! WOAH!!!!

 

In this picture...

 

Is Rick getting... A BLOW JOB?!?!?!

 

I never even noticed. Sorry about that, Va. Jackie!

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Awesome TR Chuck! That was such a strange day. I remember the weather was a bit overcast and funky. That combined with the near-end of the trip made for a grim day, topped off with a dip in the river styx...

 

I'm definitely in the camp that loved Hades. It was a crazy experience that I would have loved to try at least twice if not for the three + hour line. That tunnel was such a WTF happened kinda moment

 

The Dells was still a lot of fun though and the theming was pretty good considering. Funny enough, when I was looking at the go karts and their line ups, I thought how Power Park has forever ruined any other go kart experience as nothing will seem worth any line if not hitting almost 100km/ h haha

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Great pictures!

 

I remember going to Mt. Olympus last year. After my ride on Hades, I had to sit down for a few minutes because it was so aggressive. BTW, is there ever a time when Hades is "not aggressive?" I see that sign in front of Hades in every PTR I've seen.

 

I missed the kiddie coaster credit when I was in the Dells. Dang, how did I miss it? I guess I was too busy riding the Ducks!

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Chapter 11: They Put the "Fair" After "Cedar"--Valleyfair

 

The last day of a TPR tour is always full of mixed emotions. Everybody's sad that the whole crazy experience is coming to an end, but they still make the most of that last 24 hours or so. And I think visiting Valleyfair was the perfect way to end the Mid-America Trip.

 

This is the "Fair" in "Cedar Fair," and the park reminded me a lot of Dorney in Pennsylvania. They're both good examples of a traditional amusement park gone "corporate," both are attractive and well-maintained, and both, of course, have plenty of those Cedar Fair trash cans. But VF still seems to have a "family-run" spirit to it; the staff there remembers that in addition to turning a profit, it's all about making sure guests have as good a time as possible.

 

And they gave us a great finale to TPR's Mid-America Trip! Morning ERT on Wild Thing, the park's Morgan hyper; a group lunch complete with a brass band (Minnesota Tex-Mex, anyone?); a great backstage tour; and one of the best ERT sessions of the whole trip--nighttime on Renegade. Now, what about those coasters?

 

Renegade: Outlaw Coaster--This was a great trip for GCI woodies, and Renegade didn't disappoint, especially after dark. As you'd expect, it's all twisty and out of control, with some decent airtime, as well. Night rides on this sucker were a great way to end the trip.

 

Wild Thing--I am a fan of the Morgan hypers, even if they do seem like "mine trains on steroids," sometimes. Wild Thing, although it isn't quite as good as Mamba at Worlds of Fun, is a kick. Besides, I do like those big, comfy Morgan trains. (By the way, this was credit number 500 for me.)

 

Excalibur--This is an old Arrow wood/steel hybrid and, frankly, I expected the worst. Fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised! The ride has a unique layout and wasn't nearly as rough as I'd feared. (During a Q&A at lunch, the park mentioned that they had been tweaking Excalibur to smooth it out--especially right after the first drop.) It was running very well that day, too.

 

Steel Venom--I prefer this Intamin impulse to the one at Six Flags Great America, mainly because the hold brake on the back spike works (it's a great "WTF" moment).

 

High Roller--This is an odd (although I'm not sure why) old woodie with good ol' buzz bars, in addition to seatbelts. It probably ranks a bit below KD's Rebel Yell, but it's a decent ride.

 

Corkscrew--I wasn't quite as sold on this Arrow loopscrew as others were in the group, but it is a better ride than others of its vintage (for example, Carolina Cyclone). I think Valleyfair maintains it pretty well.

 

Mad Mouse--You know, I think this is my first Arrow mouse, and I don't think it's any worse than other such rides by different manufacturers. (I did get a kick out of the very Roller Coaster Tycoonish cars.)

 

My thanks to Valleyfair for showing us a great time--and, again, to Robb and Elissa for setting everything up.

 

Everybody got their lanyards? Time to go to Valleyfair!

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Good morning, Valleyfair. Your entrance is small, but cute.

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OK, gang--are we ready?

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TPDave, Bryan, and Lou are ready, as you can tell from their "superhero" poses.

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As for this group, well, I'm sure they'll be ready soon.

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Damn! And I was hoping to do some skeet surfing in the water park today.

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But will it make my "heart sing"?

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The color scheme does, indeed, "make everything groovy."

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Again, two trains at once! I am on fire!

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"Wild Thing, I think you move me . . ." and everyone else riding in this train.

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Here's a shot from the point of view of a bear sitting in a tree.

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Yes, this is an acceptable 500th credit.

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But it was close. Number 499 was Miner Mike!

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Sorry, Bryan. It's no longer "all about you." Quit jumping in front of my camera.

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Hmm--that mouse does look more than slightly perturbed.

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That's it , Jon! Sell that ride, baby! Sell it!

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"Pink. Why did it have to be pink?"

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"Yes, the red cars are much more macho!"

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"But it takes REAL MEN to ride a pink mouse!"

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This is one of the weirdest ride names, ever. How does "venom" suggest "steel"? You may as well call it the "Twisted Titwillow" or the "Bratwurst Bomb."

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This twisty bit is pretty freaky, though,

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The hold brake prompted Martin to ask, "Is it supposed to do that?"

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Death, taxes, another old Arrow ride (Corkscrew--catchy name, eh?).

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Not bad as these rides go.

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Would I make a special trip for it? Eh, probably not. More to come.

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And now, presenting Valleyfair's official mascot--at least until the end of this season.

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Meet Colonel Oom Pah Pah! Looks like this is the last year for this proud military man, as he has to make way for the Peanuts gang.

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"Vell, if this is indeed my last season, I spend it making zee vhoopee mit frauleins, ja?"

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The High Roller just kind of ambles over its course, but it's an enjoyable ride.

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Cheese Curds--The Official Food of the Midwest. Do you realize how many cows have to get knocked up each year to provide the milk to make the cheese that the park deep fries each season? It's a staggeringly large number of bovines, I'm sure!

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"Whosoever pulls this sword from this stone . . ." Damn--somebody beat me to it.

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This is the only picture I have of Excalibur. It looks like Wild Thing and Big Thunder Mountain had a baby.

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"The Renegade, who had it made . . .

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. . . in jail for a bounty!" (More on this ride later.)

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The park pulled out the stops for our group lunch.

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Hmm--a woman blowing a t-bone. Now that's an unusual sight. I'll bet she can blow that thing in seven positions, too.

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"Allo, ladies! Omm Pah Pah ist here, ja! Time to make mit der vhoopee!"

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Aw-w-w-w . . . sweet, chaste Domo love.

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The backstage tour begins.

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Taken from deep in the bowels of Valleyfair's uber secret area: The park's drop tower, Screamin' Swing, Wild Thing, and Mad Mouse.

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Yes, even park staff have to be reminded not to climb the handrails.

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Behold many strange and wondrous things! Like these big yellow balls! Yes, they are the Balls of Destiny, and they call for thee!

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Yes, you will encounter wheels of all kinds here . . .

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. . . and this parade car.

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OK, which wheel would you rather have: This one?

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Or this one?

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Dave, you forgot your package.

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Oh my god! You've seen the BIG BOARD! You may not leave here alive!

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If you have a serious polyurethane fetish, this is the place for you.

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Unfortunately, I've forgotten our guide's name, but he's been maintaining Valleyfair's rides for a long time and gave us a great tour.

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"I know. You're wondering about the scars. Well, it's a very interesting story."

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Hmm--unless I miss my guess, this is a prop for Haunt. I'm rather intuitive that way. Next up--a closer look at Renegade.

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And now, we must bid adieu to Valleyfair--and TPR's Mid-America Trip! What a great time that was!

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And now, forbidden views of Renegade!

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Please send our Mamas this telegram: We are in fear of our life . . .

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. . . from the long arm of the law STOP . . .

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. . . Hangman is comin' down from the gallows . . .

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. . . and it won't be very long STOP . . .

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. . . Yes the jig is up STOP The news is out STOP They finally found us STOP"

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"Domo, I'm taking this picture whether you like it or not! Quit biting my nipples, damn you!"

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Well, if they had to name a ride after a Styx tune, "Renegade" was probably the best choice.

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Beats "Mr. Roboto," that's for sure.

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Head 'em up, move 'em out!

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See you later, Renegade! You're a great ride--much better than that stupid Lorenzo Lamas TV show that shares your name.

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Valleyfair does not believe in air-conditioning the great outdoors.

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The park's train gives you some nice views of Wild Thing.

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Yes, you see? It is just as I had foreseen! And still you think me mad?

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OK, this group is going to be hopelessly lost in a moment.

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"Ah, so we meet again, Bryan! You have a nasty habit of surviving!"

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"Soon, someone go wrong way! Then DOMO FEED!"

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Time for a snack . . .

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. . . and a song. (Chicks dig the hat.)

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You enjoying that brew, Dave . . . oh, wait . . .

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TPR + Buffalo Wild Wings =

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Total Devastation

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After dinner at BWW, it was back to the park . . .

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. . . for nighttime ERT on Renegade!

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Let's see: Divv and Scott are fired up and ready to go, while Jake and Dave are practicing their Stan Laurel impersonations.

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This is what TPR is all about, folks: great people and great times!

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Yes, this was a terrific topper for another great TPR Trip! Thank you, Valleyfair for being such great hosts--and thank you Robb and Elissa for making it all happen!

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Funny that you start off by saying that Valleyfair put the Fair in Cedar Fair. When I went to the park a week before you guys, I gave the parking attendant my KBF Platinum Pass for free parking. Of course Cedar Fair still hasn't fixed the problem of linking their passes at all properties in their computer system. The parking attendant tells me I gave her a pass for a different park. I explained it was from Knotts Berry Farm and she still looked confused and said that was a different company. I pointed to the area on the card where it says "Cedar Fair Entertainment Company" and she still didn't realize Valleyfair was part of Cedar Fair. Now I can understand if she didn't know all the parks in the chain, but she should have been trained to accept other "Cedar Fair" passes.

 

But I did get a kick out of every time I tried to explain why the pass was valid she tried to scan it again. As if my words would magically make the scanning of the pass possible.

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Funny that you start off by saying that Valleyfair put the Fair in Cedar Fair. When I went to the park a week before you guys, I gave the parking attendant my KBF Platinum Pass for free parking. Of course Cedar Fair still hasn't fixed the problem of linking their passes at all properties in their computer system. The parking attendant tells me I gave her a pass for a different park. I explained it was from Knotts Berry Farm and she still looked confused and said that was a different company. I pointed to the area on the card where it says "Cedar Fair Entertainment Company" and she still didn't realize Valleyfair was part of Cedar Fair. Now I can understand if she didn't know all the parks in the chain, but she should have been trained to accept other "Cedar Fair" passes.

 

But I did get a kick out of every time I tried to explain why the pass was valid she tried to scan it again. As if my words would magically make the scanning of the pass possible.

 

This is particularly funny because Valleyfair was the first park to "join" the chain when Cedar Fair bought them out.

 

^If this was a "Ghost Hunters" episode, someone would say, "Did you see that--whoa!" Then they cut to a commercial, return, show the same guy saying the same thing, then show a shot of an empty hallway. At least my Renegade picture delivers!

Edited by cfc
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