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Photo TR: Cedar Point, Kings Island, and other oddities


saginawhxc
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I spent the last two weekends on the road. I had some real fun, saw some good friends, and took a couple of pictures along the way.

 

Sat. Sep. 25th - Cedar Point

Sun. Sep. 26th - Michigan Renaissance Festival

Fri. Oct. 1st - Cincinnati Zoo, Kings Island

Sat. Oct. 2nd - Holiday World, Kings Island

Sun. Oct. 3rd - Columbus Zoo

 

Sat. Sep. 25th - I started the day with taking my 3 year old niece to see Disney On Ice. We had a blast, but unfortunately I somehow forgot my camera in the car and didn't realize it till the lights dimmed. So no Disney pictures.

 

As soon as the show was over I drove the half an hour back to her mothers house to drop her off and then spent the next four hours racing to Cedar Point. I arrived at the park about 7pm. It was still light enough I got to take a few pictures before the sun started to set. I didn't bother with any of the indoor haunted houses as I will still be making a few visits before the season ends and will have plenty of opportunity to visit those later. My goal was to knock out at least one trip through all the outdoor areas. I basically hung out and took pictures and enjoyed the atmosphere for the evening.

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I thought these crosses near the front of the park were a nice touch.

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Baby cherub either in deep thought or taking a dump. You decide.

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Whatever you picked last time he is now doing the opposite.

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Cedar Point supports putting leashes on your naked women.

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The entrance to my favorite scare zone. Cornstalkers.

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Kings Island has celebrity skeletons. Cedar Point has a Michael Jackson zombie.

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This poor guy gets electrocuted every year. Still hasn't learned his lesson.

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It's thrilling...

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See? Tell me your not thrilled.

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Skeletons+ Video games = Thrilling.

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I hope to score 666 on skee-ball someday. I'm sure he cheated though as we all know you can never trust a plastic skeleton.

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Hanging out by Gemini was a no brainer.

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The park seems to come alive as soon as the scare actors come out for the night.

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I absolutely love the fog and the way they use it for scares inside the outdoor scare zones.

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The fog along with the colored lights make for some really cool visuals.

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There was a actor stalking in this area but I swear he disappeared as soon as he saw me trying to get his picture.

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Just because I don't think I could do a report without at least one coaster picture and since Wildcat doesn't get much love in the TR's I'll post this one.

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Back in the Fright Zone the lights and fog were reaching epic levels of awesomeness.

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Where's Catherine Zeta-Jones when you need her?

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I'll give a bit of love to the Mine Ride too.

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The bridge to Terror Island.

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I'll finish the Cedar Point pictures with what was easily my favorite of the bunch.

Edited by saginawhxc
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The day after Cedar Point I visited the Michigan Renaissance Festival. I like visiting this every year as it really makes me feel like less of a geek. These things are possibly worse than Star Trek conventions, but with some entirely awesome food. That being said I always have a fun time. There are a several really good shows, a pretty friendly atmosphere, and like I mentioned some really good food.

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Included just so I could remember how to spell "Renaissance."

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The have a queen. I hate queens. Every time I have them somebody has aces or kings.

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The jousting event always seems to be the main draw. Honestly though once you've seen it once...

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Though this is the first year I've ever seen a female compete. I love seeing a girl that knows how to handle a big stick.

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Okay follow up to the big stick joke is a photo of two guys sword fighting... awkward...

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But if you are gonna sword fight make sure you use protection.

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Okay I promise I'm done with that line of incredibly awful captions.

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This guy was upset at the fact that the other guy put up a parody website.

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Almost a credit... right? Okay so maybe not but it beats guys in armor pretending to fight.

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The same with this sweet little swing ride.

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No jokes here, just an entirely interesting Birds Of Prey demonstration. I love stuff like this.

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I have the same mask in my size at home.

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This guy said "@#$% that mask" and took it off much to the dismay of his handler.

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Though I think I creamed my photographer wanna be pants at the photo op it gave me.

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I actually had to step back to even being able to focus properly I was so close.

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Gorgeous bird.

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The Washing Well Wenches are always one of the more amusing shows.

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Though I kind of felt sorry for them on this chilly 50 degree day.

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I wore a kilt once. It was quite liberating.

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Because facebook is so "renaissance."

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I thought about asking her if those were handles on her head but thought better about it. (She looked like she could possibly beat me up.)

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The Ded-Bob show is always one I tell anybody new to the fest to check out. Good laughs and good fun. This one is my boys favorite.

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Some of the humor goes over their head, but he does a excellent job of playing to both the older crowd and the younger.

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"You mean Rob is seriously only spelt with one B?"

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Proof that someone out there is dirtier than TPR.

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If you think we have the ability to offend than Christophe The Insultor should be avoided at all costs.

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I forget this lady's name but I will say she is seriously one of the nicest people I know. She did something incredibly nice a couple of years ago. I have made sure to tip her well every time since.

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Who's nerdier Renaissance Geeks or Coaster Enthusiasts? It might me a close one.

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Random statue>Random barrels parks seem to keep mistaking for real theming

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Okay a few more Renaissance pictures. I didn't mean to submit those last ones yet.

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"Yes the guy posting this must be an idiot if he doesn't even realize how the submit button works."

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Which way?

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I wanted to give her my pickle but had to settle on taking one of hers instead.

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Praying to the pickle gods that the weird guy with a camera doesn't hit on her again.

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The Renaissance crotch grab. She seems to really be enjoying it.

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"At least I don't waste all my time trying to hire little kids to ride kiddie coasters I'm way too old for."

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The Birds Of Prey clothing line.

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If you drink enough beer maybe you forget what you are wearing.

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"Don't tag this on facebook please."

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"I'm not even old enough to have a facebook."

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Well that should shut her up.

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I will never ever complain about any amusement park bathroom again. I promise.

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Willie Nelson even made an appearance.

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And so did DOMO!

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But DOMO seriously sucked at throwing tomatoes.

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Did I mention they had really good food?

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Fri. Oct. 1st.

Since I was gonna make my way down to Kings Island for their Friday evening haunt I decided to spend the day visiting the Cincinnati Zoo. It is a pretty good size zoo and is landscaped pretty well, but I think it is also the hardest to navigate of the major zoos I've visited. They had some cool exhibits though. I enjoyed their nocturnal animal building, their cat house featured several uncommon small to mid sized cats, and their manatee exhibit was awesome.

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Not half as cool as my bird pictures from the Renaissance Fest.

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Here lizard, lizard.

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"So did you hear that Robb's been lying to us this whole time about how to spell his name?"

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Did you know that baby chimpanzee's love to fling their own poop? Did you know that TPR members are much better at it though?

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"I could write better captions than this guy."

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They're here...

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Like an ACE day at the water park.

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Stick me alone in a cage for every day of my life and I promise I'll resort to tree humping too.

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I tried very hard to get a picture of this Gorilla but he kept hiding behind the tree. As you can see he plays a pretty mean game of hide and seek.

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"If the lion can't write better captions than maybe I'll just take a dump on his keyboard and at least that'll be more entertaining."

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So how come Ohio gets to keep their Manatees, yet Seaworld SD has them "recalled" back to Florida?!

 

Both the Cincinnati and Columbus zoo's have them too. I don't understand why Seaworld couldn't keep them. It's too bad. They are such impressive creatures.

 

Great pictures so far Thanks for sharing. The bird ones from the Ren. Festival were amazing.
Great pictures! The bird ones are really awesome!

 

I feel lucky to be standing there when this happened. They only remove the masks during the birds hunt so shots like this are rare and hard to get. As much as I love amusement park photography I think these are some of my favorite all time shots. I was almost breathless shooting them. Looking at them now I find myself wishing I had the same camera back when I visited Dollywood and saw their bird show. I remember standing five feet from an uncaged bald eagle during their show.

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Fri. Oct. 1st

After the Cincinnati Zoo I made my way over to Kings Island for the evening. I got there about 6:30. The park didn't open till 7. At just a couple of minutes till 7 I found myself wondering why they hadn't even let us past the metal detectors yet. At 7 there was the sound of cannon fire and the metal gates up by the turnstiles were rolled up and all the scare actors came running out in a frenzy. It was kind of a nice touch.

 

Okay I have to admit that the only parks Halloween events that I've ever attended are Cedar Point and Kings Island. I've done Cedar Points dozens of times at the very least and this was my third Kings Island event. I think Kings Island has a real nice size collection of mazes, and I love the way the mist seems to just fill the whole park. The little extra theming on Beast is an awesome touch, even though it made me cry to see a SOB headstone. I really don't know how Kings Island gets even 5% of the votes though on "Best Halloween Event" in the golden tickets though. I like Cedar Points Halloweekends 5x better.

 

I have a huge issue with KI's policy of walking through their mazes in conga lines. I don't know if this is common at other parks around the country but at the majority of KI's mazes you have to walk through with your hands on the shoulders of the person in front of you. I don't generally get too scared in any haunted house anyways but this virtually eliminates any chance of getting a good scare, and on top of that it makes it really hard to really get the chance to check out the actual maze itself and enjoy it. I promise you that it entirely makes it not worth standing in line 30 minutes to an hour for a maze.

 

It was really nice to see them use Son Of Beasts queue again though. It made me sad to stand in it again. I don't care what anyone says. I liked the ride and I hope to see it running again someday. On top of that it looks like they reused Cedar Points props from the retired Werewolf Canyon for the haunted house.

 

Since I met up with some friends I actually spent more time riding roller coasters than I was hoping to. Since I've pretty much ridden every thing at Kings Island to death I would of liked to focus more on the mazes, but I wouldn't trade time with friends for nothing. So I only did Death Row, Trail Of Terror, and Wolf Pack (or whatever it was called.) Trail Of Terror is still pretty good, the Son Of Beast one was alright, and Death Row was @#$%ing awful.

 

Death Row. Okay I challenge anybody out there to properly defend this maze. Hands down the single worst haunted attraction I've ever walked through. I don't normally focus too much on the negative but this maze is seriously so bad that I have to ask: WTF was somebody thinking when they designed this? My eleven year old son could design something better in an hour. Seriously you just walked through a "prison" that was just a series of twists and turn with bars on all sides of you. It took about 5 minutes or so to walk through and they use strobes through the entire maze. There is also siren going off the whole time your in there. Between the strobes and the siren I actually started to feel physically disoriented by the time I got out of it. If there had been some good scares, or almost any attempt to, then it might of been at least slightly okay at least though. The whole time your were in there though all the inmates ever seemed to say to you was things like "keep moving" or at one point one said "stay in single file." In their defense they did say it in a growling voice though.... so scary. Only once through the entire maze did anyone even make any sort of effort to scare us. The only thing even remotely positive I can say about the maze is the electric chair prop near the end.

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Kings Island loves their skeletons during their haunt.

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That area in front of the fountain was packed with scare actors and fog for the first 30 minutes the park was open.

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I can't remember seeing this character in years past, and didn't see it any of the three mazes I went through. So I'm not sure what maze it belonged too but I thought it was kind of cool.

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Not as good as my bird pictures from the Ren Fest.

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The overlord was a nice touch but if you stood there for longer than five minutes he started to keep going over the same material again and again.

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I absolutely love the atmosphere of the park during a haunt.

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Seriously like 90% of KI's theming seems to come from skeletons.

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Hey that's not a skeleton.

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Hey that's not a... oh wait never mind.

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At Kings Island the fog seems to have a perfect way of just lingering perfectly and filling the majority of the park.

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Noooooooooooooo!

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Even trimmed I still love night rides on The Beast.

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When comparing CP's and KI's haunts I have to give a nod to KI for not being afraid to use a little more gore.

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I never expected to see anybody walking through the Son Of Beast queue ever again.

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Sat. Oct. 2nd

Made my way over to Holiday World for my last visit of the year. I was gonna meet up with all the same friends from the night before again. Plus I also was gonna do a second meet up with Alex from here on TPR too. More importantly I planned on spending almost the entirety of the day on The Voyage! Voyage>Friends. Sorry but gotta keep my priorities straight here. \

 

They ran Voyage as a one train operation for the entirety of the day. It was the Raven train. First car second row had a locked out seat which ended up attributing to an amazing day for me. The ops kind of picked up on me marathoning the ride early in the day and then pointed out that row two was single rider only because of the broken bar in one of the seats, and that if I wanted I could practically just stay there. It wasn't the best seat, but it worked. Before the day was done I managed to put in 46 rides on Voyage, and two a piece on Raven and Legend. About half of my Voyage rides were in 1:2, and the rest were pretty spread out. I think 3:1 and 4:1 provided the best rides though.

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I think I set a new park record and only took like 30 pictures during the day. The result is Voyage theming making its way into this report!

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Not the best coaster shot but I didn't have time to set my camera up and relied on automatic settings and this is what I got. Back row contains Alex from here at TPR though.

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That kid in the back cracks me up.

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Some of my friends riding the Turkey Whirl. You know I spent a LOT of time riding Voyage if I ended up with more pictures of the Turkey Whirl than I did of all the coasters.

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For lunch I had my regular Holiday World pre-thanksgiving thanksgiving meal. Perfect.

Edited by saginawhxc
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Sun. Oct. 3rd

 

I almost considered skipping my planned day at Columbus Zoo for a second day at Holiday World but I'm glad I didn't. Columbus Zoo ended up being a fantastic zoo.

 

First off they are supposedly rated the #1 zoo in the nation. I'm not sure how accurate that is but I'm guessing it is just as debated as our golden ticket awards. That being said I do believe Columbus Zoo was the best major zoo I've visited. Jack Hanna is the zoo director so good things were expected before ever visiting.

 

On top of hearing so many good things about the zoo they had a credit that I didn't have yet. They actually have a whole little mini amusement park and water park inside the zoo. Between a world class zoo, a water park, and an amusement park this would be a fantastic two day destination for any family.

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First things first. Lets get my new credit out of the way.

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The Sea Dragon was built in 1952 if I remember the sign correctly.

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For a junior woody it was pretty decent.

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The park also had some sweet looking flyers but I didn't see an operator in sight and I had a zoo to visit so I didn't get to ride :(

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The polar bear exhibit was really good. Many zoos have similar exhibits but this one seemed just a notch better than the rest.

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Columbus zoo was extremely well laid out and easy to navigate.

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The animal encounters show was excellent and they brought out the same cheetah that was on Letterman a couple of weeks ago.

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It was pretty cool to sit 15 feet from an uncaged cheetah.

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The show was short, but informative. I wish more zoos provided experiences like this.

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They had a very nice sized aquarium and an extremely well themed manatee tank.

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I'm not a bird watcher but bird pictures seem to pop up in an awful lot of my reports lately.

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The gorillas were inside for the winter already, but the indoor gorilla house provided some really nice personal views.

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This was one of the only places all day that i had to deal with a crowd of people. As I was watching this gorilla I was afraid he was gonna move before I could navigate through the kids by the glass to get these shots.

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They are really impressive creatures.

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I was amused to see a slide in one of the ape exhibits.

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My camera earns another baby ape credit.

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Finally reached the end of this report. Thanks for reading.

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Columbus Zoo was spectacular and is wonderful place to visit if you are into zoo's. Holiday World is a must visit for any enthusiast.

 

Columbus Zoo is only about an hour and a half north of Kings Island. So Holiday World and Columbus Zoo are easily do-able in a two days, or three if you wanted to stop at Kings Island.

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It's a good thing the whole Ohio - Michigan rivalry doesn't extend to amusement parks. I would take Shivering Timbers over any Ohio coaster, but Michigan's Adventure is kinda blah and Shivering Timbers alone doesn't even come close to stacking up against Cedar Point and Kings Island combined.

 

I actually overheard this near the wolverine exhibit. A young mother telling her small daughter "C'mon honey let's keep moving. The Michigan mascot is making me nauseous." It was great.

 

I spent all day wishing I had a Michigan hoodie or something. I could care less about college sports, but I knew I was deep in "enemy" territory. I might just have to buy one for my next visit to Columbus.

 

On a neat note about the Bluejackets though that is slightly theme park related, they had a PR booth set up at Kings Island a few years back. NOBODY seemed to be even slightly interested. Somehow I ended up sitting and talking hockey with their director of marketing or something like that for over an hour. He gave me his card and an open invite to a behind the scenes tour of the arena some night before the game. Said he could probably even introduce me to some of the players. I never ended up going. Don't know why. I guess I just got lazy and never got around to calling him. I suck.

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I haven't even been on Shivering Timbers and I know it would beat out Ohio's wooden coasters, which isn't saying much. As for beating Maverick, I think I'll have to ride it first. If El Toro can't kick Maverick out of my #1 spot, I'm not sure ST can. I'm sure it beats Millennium Force though .

 

 

You didn't take a behind the scenes tour of Nationwide Arena ? You do suck .

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Shivering Timbers definitely trumps any wood coaster in Ohio. I've never rode El Toro but if you like Maverick better than than it then I'm guessing you would still pick Maverick over Timbers too.

 

Shivering Timbers is an air time beast though. You should totally make the trek up here to visit it someday.

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I took my boys to Cedar Point's Halloweekends on Saturday. I fully expected an insanely busy day, but I am pretty sure I have never seen the park as busy as it was on Saturday. I've heard talk of a four hour wait for Millennium. I personally witnessed lines for it that stretched back to Red Garter Saloon, but I can't imagine it being much longer than 3 hours personally.

 

Being that my youngest was slightly under the 48" mark we were gonna head first to Disaster Transport and follow it up with Iron Dragon. Both of those have minimum height requirements of 46". My son spotted Domo at DT! Too funny. I hope they never take him out of there.

 

My youngest seemed border line with Iron Dragon last year, but this year it was obvious that he loved it. Hopefully he will finally hit a growth spurt this winter and we can get him on some of the big boys next year.

 

After our Iron Dragon ride I let my oldest boy take off with his 15 year cousin for a Magnum ride while I did some kiddie stuff with the younger two. I believe they waited an hour for their ride on Magnum.

 

We caught the parade and went to get in line early for our first maze of the day. The indoor mazes opened at five and we got in line about 4:40. By the time we got there the queue was already full with the line spilling out into pathway. It was after six by the time we left the house. We followed that up with Eerie Estate and another hour wait.

 

We ate dinner at Midway Market for what was easily my worst meal I've ever had there. They were out of almost everything. Very disheartening based on the $62 to pay for dinner for all of us.

 

After eating we made a run through Fear Faire. It was nearly shoulder to shoulder at points inside the maze which made it seem really lame. We started to get a little disheartened with the crowds at this point. Heading back to Fright Zone we ran into a mass mob of people piled up all the way back Red Garter Saloon. It took us twenty minutes just to get into Fright Zone! Once again the scare zone was nearly shoulder to shoulder and it seemed like many of the scare actors were relegated to moving people along safely rather than actually trying to scare people. Carn Evil seemed pretty vacant in comparison. There was still a lot of people in there, but it didn't seem near as bad. Kind of the same thing with Terror Island. Being that we had way more fun in those two mazes we made two runs apiece through both of them. After that we did another run through Fear Faire and found WAY less people in it, so as soon as we got out of it we did a third lap.

 

It was now after 11pm and the park seemed to be emptying out quickly. On our way back to Cornstalkers we put another run in on Iron Dragon and then found Fright Zone nearly empty. Having skipped Cornstalkers two hour wait earlier at opening proved to be a smart choice because as we walked into it's queue at 11:50 we found zero line and walked right in.

 

My favorite - Terror Island

Matthew's favorite - Cornstalkers

Andrew's favorite - Happy Jack's Toy Factory

Joey's favorite - Iron Dragon

 

Classic moment of the day: My son trying to escape from a scare actor on Terror Island lost his shoe. The scare actor than stole his shoe and Matthew was trying to chase him down with only one shoe on. Then while he was trying to put his shoe back on another scare actor came out of the fog and Matthew nearly fell over on his butt. I laughed till my stomach hurt watching this.

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I love this little skeleton covered gazebo at the entrance for the queue for Eerie Estate. Well what normally is the entrance. Today it stretched twenty minutes past the entrance.

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Happy Jacks was our favorite indoor maze for the second year running.

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There is just something awesome about the whole creepy toy theme.

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My oldest two boys and the best scared faces they could come up with for the camera.

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We made a visit to Planet Snoopy. I liked all the Charlie Brown themed halloween decorations.

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I used to think Vampires were cool, but I'm quickly getting tired of the whole Twilight/True Blood obsession going on.

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Though I could never get tired of It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.

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In case you couldn't tell, this is a skeleton.

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I liked this kids lego costume.

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I want to get myself a pair of this guys glasses.

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I like the addition of all the creepy cob web covered statues spread through out the park.

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The only ride without a line all day. It was a walk on. My boys wanted to ride it. I said "no chance in hell."

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Really short kid, really tall skeleton, or fun with perspective?

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These are not random people standing around. This is the line for Millennium Force.

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On our way out. Exhausted and not looking forward to the 3 and a half hour drive home.

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I'll switch over to a few I took with my phone but for some reason didn't with my camera. Our final family ride on Ocean Motion.

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Joey is only 47.5" so we were stuck only getting to ride Disaster Transport and Iron Dragon.

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At one point or another Iron Dragon has been each of my boys and my favorite coaster.

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