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Tyler's Year of a Million (new) Coasters!


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There's a lot of new rides opening this season, and we've been making runs all around the mid-Atlantic to ride them over the past two weeks! I didn't take my camera to Busch Gardens, so no Verbolten right now. But for now, Apocalypse! (And tomorrow, Skyrush!)

 

Six Flags America

June 2, 2012

 

Today was the first of two days of season passholder previews for Apocalypse at Six Flags America. Now, if Mike and I are hitting up SFA, there's usually a good reason. Eleven years after the last new roller coaster opened, we've come to be pretty bored with the selection and we tend to make the drive up to New Jersey more than we do just down the street to Largo.

 

First, the park. It's doing great. The place has been constantly improving over the past five or six years, and every time we go it's more and more noticeable. There are new chains lining the pathway back in Gotham City, employees are high-fiving like it's nobody's business, and, best of all, there's theme music playing everywhere. Gotham has always been silent, but Coyote Creek is playing some deep-South banjo music and Skull Island is playing some crazy techno-dubstep-apocalyptic awesome mixes.

 

Which brings us to the new ride! While waiting for the ride to open at 2pm, managers kept coming over and talking to everyone, and one of them (I don't know her name, but she was the nicest person I think I've ever met) did mention that she genuinely felt that the ride rode a bit smoother here at America than it did "somewhere else." Good news for us, because I've been dreading the imminent pain the ride would hand to me on a silver (and orange and black) platter. Good news for you, it's not too bad! A few trouble spots, most notably the corkscrew, but overall not bad.

 

The park did a seriously awesome job with the theme. For the park that everyone loves to hate, Six Flags America really pulled out all the stops for this ride. The theme music all around sets the mood, and walking through the line you see crashed vehicles with sirens blaring on occasion, pieces of an airplane engine, a spraypainted hideout, and a ride roaring overhead. The theming along the course is scarce, but there are a few cool things to see. Moving on to pictures! (As if you read all this anyway.)

 

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Question: We don't ever spend time here...what's the occasion??

 

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Answer: We drove all the way here to hang out with these guys!

 

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See? Best friends forever. Least judgmental guys I know.

 

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Alright, alright, so we're here for this. LARRY. I made sure to take this so please use it!

 

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Soon there should be an archway in this shot! The entrance is missing it right now.

 

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We grabbed ourselves some Rita's (way to go Six Flags on that one) and joined the few people waiting outside at 1pm for our 2pm ride time and.....

 

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.....skip forward an hour and it's time for the important people who have been doing all their last-minute improvements to get a ride, and.....

 

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.....then it's time for us to ride! We were walking quick and I wasn't going to hold up the crowd of anxious people behind me, so this is the only line-shot I have. Just take my word for it that they did a great job!

 

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We managed to get ourselves on the very first public ride. Not to shabby, I must say! And on the way out we got to high-five every higher-up running the park. We're famous!

 

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There are still work trucks scattered around, but you almost can't tell since half the cars are props. No need to move them, so carry on!

 

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Best part of the ride right here - FIRE. I didn't realize they were giving us fire until I saw the smoke from across the park. As a fire/roller coaster enthusiast, I approve!

 

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Another train of riders heads back. Everyone seemed to love it, though our train full of the first public riders was definitely the loudest!

 

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An overview. The area looks great, and there's more grass and plants to grow in around the back half of the ride. Seriously, amazing job Six Flags! Hopefully they stick with themes from here on out, it really does make a difference!

Edited by coasterfreak101
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Gah, why couldn't it have had awesome theming like that at Great America?! Really awesome to see that Six Flags is actually theming rides (and theming them well). I just hope it goes over better at SFA than it did at SFGAm, but if it's smoother now than I'm sure it will.

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Nice theming. At the very least acceptable theming. The last few new rides Six Flags corporate have put out have raised the bar for the chain, as far as theming goes.

 

They seemed to have improved leaps and bounds since "Parking Lot: the Ride with the Yellow Loop of Doom" and Goliath a.k.a. "What's the Green Boomerang Thingy in Crack Axel Canyon next to that other Boomerang Thingy", oh wait, that was this year

 

Actually, I too have been pretty impressed with what they've done with Apocalypse, Dare Devil Dive, and Gotham City Gauntlet Escape from Arkham Asylum (you can tell they were really trying hard with that last one. I'll commend them for effort).

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These pictures are amazing! Not only is the theming amazing, but it also helps a story, a well defined story. Dare I say it, but I really prefer this Apocalypse over the other one out in California. To conclude, I really hope that any and all future Six Flags installments have great detail such as this, because having a storyline is cool.

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It's not overly bad, I would say. The top and the exit of the corkscrew have kinks that make you hit your head, and there are a few spots that have small jolts, but if you hold your head to one side you'll be just fine. It's either improved from SFGAm or I just don't think it's as bad as everyone said! One of the managers onsite said that she did feel it was smoother here though.

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Good news for you, it's not too bad! A few trouble spots, most notably the corkscrew, but overall not bad.

 

 

Weird. Except for the steady chorus of enthusiast whining and a different color scheme, that's exactly how it was at SFGAm too. Good to see it operational again.

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Alright, so we hit Hersheypark yesterday for what was probably the best day I've ever had at the park! We rode all twelve roller coasters, checked out downtown Hershey from the monorail, and even spent some time at the zoo. It rained twice, and not even that could dampen our day. Part of that was probably because this place's brand new roller coaster is the bomb diggity!

 

Hersheypark, part one

June 3, 2012

 

Boyfriend Mike and I have both decided that Skyrush is our mutual #1. It takes the El Toro crossover hill airtime and the twisty laterals of Intimidator and makes an entire ride out of them. Riding in a wing seat, especially in the back row, is the equivalent of subjecting your body to some form of masochistic wonderland - your entire body flings left to right and your thighs hate you and love you at the same time and I don't really know how else to put it. The back-left seat offered what I can easily say is the craziest, most insane experience I've ever had - it was either hold on for dear life on the twists or feel helpless and unable to keep myself from flying into the creek, and I'm not one to put my hands down on a roller coaster.

 

This is the part where most people switch over to the negatives, like how loading sucks and their thighs felt like an eighteen-wheeler ran into them and all that good stuff. Yeah, loading sucks. It's the guests, coupled with the single-side loading and unloading, that make that happen. The way I see it, trains were being dispatched at the same rate as any other ride yesterday, most of which had terrible operations. That means that, if the park could work out the problems with their design, this thing could pump out trains Intimidator-style.

 

As far as my thighs are concerned, they're just fine. The last two of our six rides (two in the front, four in the back) had me bending my legs to brace for the airtime, but even then it was still bearable, and somehow just added to the bat-outta-hell experience to me. I don't think that modifications to the lapbar, like shaping the part that meets the legs more ergonomically, would hurt, but I also don't think that they're necessary no matter how much people complain. Suck it up, or don't ride! The line dropped down to 20 minutes halfway through the day and let me tell you, I wasn't complaining!

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I know this is what you're all here to see, so let's get started!

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One running-of-the-bulls later, we were halfway up the stairs in the front row line. Slow operations made that take a half hour, but it was very worth it!

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This ride is beautiful from everywhere. Props to everyone involved for that one.

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Underskirt shot! Waiting for a backseat ride after our first one up front...who knew it could get 20x better??

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Skyrush's station really opens up some great views of The Hollow from a new vantage point!

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I'll never understand the people who don't like Great Bear's placement...maybe it's because I didn't know Comet Hollow before it, but I love how it fits in the area!

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Speaking of Comet Hollow (now just The Hollow), Comet's station looks good this season! The line could use some cover though, since they removed the old one.

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Love the work they did on sooperdooperLooper's trains, track, brakes, station, and queue. Great work on keeping a classic pristine!

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The orange trains are gonna take some getting used to, but I think I like them!

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I always liked this shot, and now there's a new ride in the mix! Just another thing that helps make The Hollow my favorite area of the park.

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Working our way through Minetown, we ran across this nice plaza in front of the ZooAmerica entrance. I think the pavers and the statue are new? If not, I missed them before. Either way, I like it!

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And moving around the park, Storm Runner! That ride with the layout nobody but Stengel and the guys at Intamin could've possibly thought up.

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Rain, rain, go away! Well, no rain with this set of clouds. But they don't make for nice pictures!

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Alright, better. Another couple-hour window of sunlight and warmth!

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The new trains on this thing really make a world of difference. Still hurts the back, but my head really appreciates it!

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Things my head still doesn't appreciate: the back seat of this ride. Great layout. Good forces. Extraordinary rattle.

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Pretty ride though! I just don't know what I hate more - the rattling feeling, or the rattling noise!

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Norwegian loop! In Pennsylvania though so I guess it's not very Norwegian. I mean I guess it could've immigrated. But whatever.

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We braved Roller Soaker today. No line but for individual rows, and it still took almost twenty minutes to ride!

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The water was FREEZING. But Mike had never been on it in all his years of visiting the park, so we had to!

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Walking the circle around Midway America, and it hit me how much I love that they built their ferris wheel on top of a building! Really makes it stand out wherever you're looking from.

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One thunderstorm later, we made it to Wild Mouse! I don't know when they added this sign here, but it's nice.

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I liked this view from the queue, through the guardrails. Now you can like it too!

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I don't know if all of these Wild Mouse models have you walk through the center of the structure, but Hershey's does, and it's cool to look up!

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Okay so I went out of order a little bit. We waited out our first thunderstorm in the Wildcat station, and hopped on as soon as it let up! The sun came out in full force for another hour or so, and it was much appreciated!

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Even more out of order, I saved these ones for the end of this half of the report! Didn't want anyone to forget about the wonderful ride they just spent copious amounts of money on.

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Seriously, these trains are awesome. Bit of rattling in the back, but that's where the best ride is so get over it. The wings aren't so much about the nothing-below aspect to me, but rather the insanely intensified forces.

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And, in case you forgot, it's called Skyrush! Hope you enjoyed, be back soon with some more Skyrush, and some views of the entire park from up above!

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No Lightning Racer? WAT.

 

I don't understand how you guys can pick out rattle when riding Fahrenheit. I didn't feel a thing when I rode!

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No Lightning Racer? WAT.

 

I don't understand how you guys can pick out rattle when riding Fahrenheit. I didn't feel a thing when I rode!

 

This. Everything about this post is correct.

Also I forgot to mention, but Wild Mouse broke down around 3:30. They fixed it pretty quickly, but we were impatient and decided to go to Wildcat instead.

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Don't worry guys, I'm not done! There just aren't many vantage points to see Lightning Racer from, especially with the Boardwalk in the way now. But I have some pictures from the ferris wheel, so it'll show up here soon!

 

As far as Fahrenheit's rattle...it's not even like picking something out. It's not so much a rattle you feel either, but one that you hear. Unless your ears are clogged up, you should be able to hear it. It's more feel-able in the back, but it's bad either way. Trust me, I'm not making it up - that would be a really dumb thing to lie about!

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I rode the back on Fahrenheit last Saturday and it had a pretty bad rattle. Waiting in line you could hear the rattle on the turn before the airtime hill. Even hear it in the people's voice when they were screaming/yelling around that bend.

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Sorry for the wait, but I'm back! Hopefully it was worth it.

 

Hersheypark, part two

June 4, 2012

 

This is the second half of our trip to Hersheypark - if you missed the first half (and my review of the most wonderful, amazing, ridiculously insane roller coaster EVER), check the last page! If you didn't miss it, or you don't care, continue on!

 

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So I think we left off after one storm but before another...I'm not sure. Either way, here's a ferris wheel! Let's check it out.

 

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You can see Wildcat from up here...

 

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You can see the Boardwalk and the whole rest of the park from up here too!

 

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Very beautiful ride...very obnoxious rattling noise. Fix your problems (and get better operators)!

 

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As much as I hate the placement of the Boardwalk and how it's run over the entire back of the park, it is a real quality place in terms of aesthetics.

 

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Some of the only views you can get of Lightning Racer are from up here! AJ, are you paying attention?

 

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No, but really, here's another picture of Lightning Racer! Making sure to include plenty so that noone is deprived this time around.

 

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And one more. Seriously, GCI knows how to make the most beautiful rides out there, and when you put two of them together it doesn't hurt!

 

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This seemed like a good idea at this point in time...

 

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...Not so much at this point. That nice shoot of water right there in the middle? It got me very wet.

 

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Heading back up to the Monorail (another first for Mike), I stopped to take some pictures of Fahrenheit!

 

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What better pairing than a roller coaster and a brand new car? Yours for only some very high price on a sticker in the window.

 

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Fun fact, this Hershey factory is empty, replaced with one down the road a bit that does people's jobs with newfangled machines. Sad to see this one sit here vacant! Also, it would be cool to still be able to board the Monorail from the factory area - I miss 1970!

 

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Storm Runner is awesome. And that's about that.

 

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I love this element on Storm Runner, so I took a lot of pictures of it!

 

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Pretty sure the guys at Intamin are doing some crazy Swiss drugs or something, because nobody in their right mind comes up with this.

 

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Skyrush, I see you from the Monorail exit ramp! Let's go check you out from the Kissing Tower, shall we?

 

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The Hollow from above! So much crammed in here, and I love it.

 

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But in particular I love this, this wonderful, masochistically-amazing ride right here. Seriously guys, go ride it. And don't complain about your thighs.

 

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Right around now another storm started rolling in. From off the ride, the cables of the Kissing Tower (which we're currently still on) were banging against the tower, but didn't catch on the ride carriage - suck on that, Windseeker!

 

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They did start closing rides right after this one, though. Almost ruined the rest of our night. But then we realized something.

 

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There's a zoo! Another thing Mike has never done here. We spent an hour walking around the zoo in the freezing cold rain, listening to the howling of the old cocoa silos from the abandoned factory.

 

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We also found a slide! I think this is for children, but I also choose to believe that I qualify for that group.

 

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Problem with sliding in the rain - it's very cold. So cold it makes my pictures blury! Or something like that.

 

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After some time with the wolves in the freezing rain, and four more insane, even better than before rides on Skyrush, it was time to head out.

 

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But not before I got to fulfill my quota of pictures required to be taken from this new path!

 

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So here's a picture of Skyrush...

 

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...And another picture of Skyrush to go with it.

 

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And you thought they stopped there! Oh no, there are more. As an enthusiast, I can't stop until every angle has been photographed extensively!

 

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This path cover looks like it's going to be overgrown with vines, similar to the vine tunnel at Kings Dominion. Can't wait to see it all grown in!

 

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Can't make a trip to Hershey without a stop at the Chocolate Factory for the Chocolate Tour and some milkshakes! IT'S THE MILK CHOCOLATE.

 

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And to wrap it up, a photo with the Reese's guy that singled us out drinking our milkshakes and walked through a maze of tables to get to us! Awesome day all around, can't wait to get back!

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