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Photo TR: Roller Coaster Tomfoolery Tour 2012

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After putting together two successful trips in 2010 and 2011, a friend and I decided it was time for us to once more set out on a voyage of roller coaster riding. These trips have become something that I really look forward to in the summer. Nothing like hitting the open road with a friend, riding roller coasters. Below is our tale of six theme parks over seven days.


THE DAVE THOMAS DISCLAIMER™: I like to write out my experiences as detailed as I can. So, be prepared for some word reading.


Part 1: Kings Dominion (day 1) - You are here

Part 2: Busch Gardens Williamsburg - Page 2

Part 3: Kings Dominion (day 2) - Page 2

Part 4: Six Flags America - Page 2

Part 5: Six Flags Great Adventure Page 3

Part 6: Dorney Park

Part 7: Knoebels

Part 8: Michigan's Adventure

Ugh...this is going to take forever.




Part 1: Kings Dominion (day 1)


After stopping for the night in Hagerstown, MD, we made our grand entrance to the first park of the trip, Kings Dominion early in the morning of June 2. Our plan was to hang out at the park for a few hours, then head down to Williamsburg to finish the night at Busch Gardens. We weren't too concerned about getting all the credits today since we were planning a full day back at the park on the 4th. Our main goal today was to ensure that I305 would be my friend's 100th credit. Would we succeed? Read on to find out!


Our first stop of the day was Dominator, the relocated floorless from Geauga Lake. Dominator is a pretty good coaster, but out of the (admittedly few) floorless coasters I've been on, this would be my least favourite. Not quite sure what it is, but after the loop and the low turn, it just seems kind of...boring. That said, the vertical loop was awesome and had great hangtime, but the rest of the ride felt kind of lackluster. Well...that and my head caught a few good whacks in the corkscrews. I enjoyed it and we definitely had quite a few re-rides on it, but it wasn't as good as I was hoping it to be.


Our next stop took us over to Anaconda, the oft-maligned Arrow multilooper. It was well...coathangery. Is that a word? No? Well...it is now. The first few inversions weren't too bad, but when you get into the curves/corkscrews, oh dear lord. It throws you around something fierce in there. There was a redeeming feature in the ride in that there was great hangtime coming through the corkscrews. That said, it was not enough for us to come back to ride it again. One and done for sure.


As we got off Anaconda, we realized that my friend now had 99 credits. It was time for the reason we were at the park...Intimidator 305. All I have to say about this ride is wow. Just...wow. Crazy forces from the start to the end of the ride...it was insane. I wasn't fully prepared for how intense it was going to be and actually greyed out in the turn after the first drop. The best way I could describe this ride is that it always seems "angry", like this ride is going to do what it wants, regardless of what you think. The quick snaps were a ton of fun and there was still airtime all over the place, even despite the trim on the third hill. Intimidator 305 is easily my number 1 steel coaster now...simply phenomenal.


With our goal for the day accomplished, we continued hitting up some of the credits at the park since we still had a few hours until we had to leave. Next up for us was Flight of Fear. I had been on the Kings Island Flight of Fear in 2010 and really enjoyed it, so I was looking forward to this one. Happily, the ride was more or less the same, with the exception of the MCBR. The MCBR on this version didn't bring the train to a complete stop, so the second half of the ride was a bit more intense. That said, it still seemed to slow down pretty hard, but it's better than coming to a full stop. The only bad part of the ride was that the ride ops were incredibly slow. We waited about 45 minutes for it, while everything else was more or less a walk-on.


From there, we decided to head across the park and see what other shenanigans we could get up to. As we were going across the park, we decided to grab our rides on Rebel Yell. Rebel Yell reminds me so much of Kings Island's Racer it's crazy. We rode both sides and what is clearly the story of my life, lost both times. Rebel Yell is a nice ride to get kids started on roller coasters. It's not really intense, but it was surprisingly smooth and pretty fun at that.


Since we still had even more time before we had to leave, we figured we might as well hit up the park's other woodies. The first of the woodies we did was Hurler. Why Paramount decided to theme a wooden coaster around Wayne's World is beyond me. Hurler seemed to get a pretty bad wrap in enthusiast circles, but I didn't think it was too bad. Granted, it was pretty damn rough and shaky in the turn after the first drop and well...every turn. But hey, the straight parts were pretty fun! OK, so it's really not that good. But, it's definitely not as bad as everyone says.


With Hurler out of the way, we made our way over to Grizzly for our next ride. Grizzly is the same layout as my most hated coaster, Wild Beast at Canada's Wonderland, so I had extraordinarily low expectations for this ride. Luckily, it wasn't anywhere near as bad as Wild Beast. It was still pretty shaky, but it did give one or two pops of light airtime and it was set nicely in the woods. I really wonder what Paramount did differently between the two rides to create two radically different experiences.


After coming off Grizzly, we looked at our watches (cell phone...whatever) and saw that we should head out for Williamsburg. On the whole, it was a really productive stop at Kings Dominion, and we still had a full day ahead of us to get the rest of the park done. I'll include my thoughts on the park as a whole when I do the second half of the Kings Dominion update. But for now, here are some pictures of our first day at Kings Dominion!


After 11 hours of driving over two days, we arrive at the first park of the trip!


Dominator's huge vertical loop was awesome


Hurray for another Eiffel Tower!


Heading under Dominator's first drop


Cobra roll funtimes...it was a pretty smooth roll too


This turn was pretty fun


Covered up maintenance ball


Fwoosh. I need a better camera.


Oh. Yay?


Not sure why, but all I can think of is coathangers


Ouch ouch ouch ouch


Vertical loop and whatever Arrow decided to call that other inversion that's not quite an immelman


But let's be honest. THIS is what we came for.




Twisty = fun


And with this, it completes the North American giga trifecta. Just need to get out to Japan to ride Steel Dragon.


That is a LONG way up...


Prepare for twisty!


This was my favourite part of the ride


More airtime because everyone loves airtime


God, this ride is awesome


The whole ride is intense goodness


Nerd! Congrats buddy!


Random picture from Flight of Fear's station


I love bumper cars. These weren't too bad.


Didn't ride Drop Tower today, but here's a picture anyway. Don't say I never give you anything.


In the midnight hour, she cried "more, more, more". With a rebel yell, she cried "more, more, more".


Wayne's World: The Ride


You get some nice light air too


Just before the first drop


Definitely not "hands up" smooth. But, whatever floats your boat.


First drop!




For some reason, this was the only picture I took of Grizzly.


Oh yeah, we also decided to ride the log flume


Ker-sploosh! We escaped getting wet from the splash, but someone had killer timing with the water jet and soaked us.


It was a good half-day at Kings Dominion...and we still had another full day to go!


Next up...Busch Gardens Williamsburg!

Edited by mightypotato
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Great TR! I do like all of your details! And I'm so jealous that you have a friend who goes with you on epic road trips to visit coasters. I need to find a friend like that and then I need to road trip over to this park. I love your pics of I-305. I'm seriously salivating over this coaster. What a great coaster for #100!! I haven't hit 100 yet, but when I do, I want it to be something awesome!!

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Anaconda's "transition" (if that is the correct term) after the midcourse brake run is proof that Arrow's Ron Toomer hated mankind in general. It gives new definition to "clunky."

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^I was always bracing myself when Team TPR rode Hurler during Coasting for Kids. But we were all pleasantly surprised that the ride was better than it had been in previous years--not great, but more bearable.

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Seeing that person in the front left seat with their hands up, makes my left side throb. Ouch! That turn out of the drop was brutal on me a few years ago and I thought I bruised a kidney!


I have done that a few times before. I don't put my hands up as much as I used too.



Nice report so far by the way.

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Seeing that person in the front left seat with their hands up, makes my left side throb. Ouch! That turn out of the drop was brutal on me a few years ago and I thought I bruised a kidney!


I have done that a few times before. I don't put my hands up as much as I used too.



Nice report so far by the way.


That's why I tend to avoid hurler like the plauge....funny thing is I was at the park on june 2nd,didn't get home that night till after 3 am due to traffic.

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^I was always bracing myself when Team TPR rode Hurler during Coasting for Kids. But we were all pleasantly surprised that the ride was better than it had been in previous years--not great, but more bearable.


I was bracing myself heavily during Coasting for Kids too... agreed that it's probably better than it used to be, but I avoid it because it beats me up so badly, even now. The best use for that ride is as kindling, IMO.

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Part 2: Busch Gardens Williamsburg


We left Kings Dominion around 3:30pm or so and made our way down to Williamsburg, with plans to stay until the park closed for the night. As we pulled into the park around 5:00pm, the parking lots were PACKED. Definitely not a good sign. The helpful parking attendant told us it was packed mainly because it was a Saturday and that the Washington Redskins were in the park that day. We didn't see any of the players (or maybe we did, I wouldn't know them to see them), but it was still pretty neat. We sprung for preferred parking, which was definitely worth it and made our way into the park. As we were coming into the park, it seemed that a lot of people, especially families were leaving for the day...definitely a good sign.


Our first stop of the night was Griffon. I had ridden Griffon back in 2007 during its opening season and I was happy to see that it hasn't really lost any of its punch. Some nice moments of airtime on the drops and the little camel hump before the splashdown. The two immelmans also provided some decent forces. And naturally, the holding chain just before the first drop is awesome. I love that sensation of being held over the drop. Also, if you get the opportunity, grab a seat on the outside. Some nice extra bonus forces await you in the turns. The splashdown still doesn't really do anything when you're on the ride, but hey...at least it looks pretty when you're watching the ride.


Next up was Alpengeist. For me, this ride is a very special one. Alpengeist is the ride that turned me into a coaster enthusiast. Back in 1997, I went to Busch Gardens with my family and I was terrified of everything except Big Bad Wolf. I don't know what made me want to ride Alpengeist, but once I did...I was hooked and my obsession was born. After that, it became a search for bigger, faster, better.


While it's definitely not as intense as it was back in '97, Alpengeist is still a pretty damn good ride. To my surprise, it was running pretty smooth and only really gave you a shot going out of the cobra roll and coming into the MCBR. Speaking of the MCBR, it didn't seem to be on too hard, throwing you into the dive under the bridge at a pretty good clip. The ride still has my favourite first drop on an inverted coaster too. That long, sweeping dive into the ravine is great. My only wish is that they would turn off the trim on the pre-drop just to make it crazy intense again. But that won't happen...so whatever.


After Alpengeist, it was time for the park's new hotness for 2012, Verbolten! The queue was beyond full and they were using the overflow line, though it didn't stretch too far. But, even with the queue 110% full, the operations were fantastic and we never stopped moving. To get through the entire queue (overflow and all) took about 45 minutes. Bravo to the Verbolten crew. You guys rule. Not that I would have minded staying in line longer, the queue was impressively themed. The tourism office, Gunther's Creepy Office and the garage were all extremely well done. There was so much to look at, you could never be bored in this line. They even went above and beyond the call of duty and added oil stains to the floor in the garage area. Attention to little things like that is what puts Busch Gardens in the upper echelon of theme parks.


OK, so the queue is nice, but "what about the ride?" you're probably asking yourself. While it's not really intense or anything like that, it's a great replacement for Big Bad Wolf. This is a perfect ride for people who aren't quite sure they want to tackle something a bit bigger and need some encouragement. It's got enough of a kick to satisfy a thrill seeker, but it's not overly scary so as to deter families. The interior "Black Forest" portion is great and I never could get my bearings in there even after multiple rides. The freefall portion is also great. I really think Zierer and Busch Gardens hit it out of the park with Verbolten. It perfectly fit the park's needs and should be a great addition to their lineup for years to come.


After getting off Verbolten, we noticed how quickly the crowd at the park seemed to be dying that pretty much only Verbolten had much of a line. This worked in our favour. We decided to keep grabbing as many rides on everything as we could, so our next stop took us over to Italy and Apollo's Chariot. So...what else can I really add to the discussion about Apollo's that hasn't been said before? It's one of the best B&M hypers and delivers great airtime. Yeah...I know that wasn't anything new or controversial, but hey...it is what it is...fantastic. Also, if I could buy a B&M hyper seat and use it as a computer chair, I totally would. Most comfortable thing ever.


With 4 out of the 6 credits at the park done, we figured we would hit up the last of the "adult" coasters, leaving the sad and pathetic part of our trip for the next day. So, we went over to Loch Ness Monster to have some interlocking loop goodness. The trims going into the first loop didn't seem to be on as hard as my last visit in 2007, so that was a definite plus. I'm very pleased with how the ride has kept up over the years too. It doesn't deliver much in the way of roughness. Granted, most of the ride is either more or less a straight line or a seemingly never-ending helix, but whatever. There are a few eccentricities to the ride which I'll never understand. Namely, the random hill up to both the MCBR and the second lift. I don't quite understand why those are there, not that they detract from the ride. Also, the ride's interlocking loops are probably the best looking inversions ever.


With the major rides surprisingly taken care of, we decided to ride Alpengeist and Griffon a few more times before heading out for the night. We checked in to the hotel, went to bed and early the next morning, were back at the park for another round of excitement.


On our second day, we had bought Quick Queue passes since we figured we would need them. Turns out, we didn't. There were no lines...for anything (except Verbolten). But, since we paid for the Quick Queue (unlimited plus, since we're ballin' like that) we made use of the Quick Queue lines, much to the amusement of the staff.


Our first stop was going to be Verbolten, but it was temporarily out of service, so we decided to come back later. Also, when we were heading back to Verbolten, the line stretched all the way across the bridge into San Marco. I know, WTF right? While waiting our Verbolten, we basically went back and forth between Alpengeist and Griffon. Luckily, the two rides are pretty close to each other.


After Verbolten opened and we used our Quick Queue to skip the ridiculously long line, we decided to ride Mach Tower. To be honest, I didn't care much for Mach Tower. It seemed to hit the brakes far too early and you never really got a sensation of freefall like you do on an Intamin tower. It was definitely a one and done type of thing.


Since it was a bit warm outside, we thought it would be a good idea to ride both Escape from Pompeii and Roman Rapids. Surprisingly, we didn't get too wet on Escape from Pompeii. Mainly because there were a total of 6 people in the boat, so we kind of just skimmed across the water. However, on Roman Rapids we got drenched under the row of waterfalls. It was hilarious, awesome and fun...exactly why I love rapids rides. To dry off, we rode Apollo's Chariot a few times. I can't think of a better blow dryer.


Once we were dried, we decided that we had put it off for long enough and that it was time to ride Grover's Alpine Express. We wandered into the Sesame Street themed area and sadly joined the line for Grover's with young children and their parents. We sat down, pulled down the lap bar and rode. Sure, we got the credit...but it always feels so wrong riding a kiddie coaster. On the plus side, the Sesame Street area is pretty darn nice!


We spent the rest of the day wandering around the park, grabbing rides on whatever coaster not named Verbolten we came across. We ended up catching one of the animal shows (Secret Life of Predators I think it was called) which was pretty fun. One of the best parts of coming to a Busch park is the food. OH GOD THE FOOD. No matter where you go in the park, you are guaranteed to have a great meal. We ended up eating at Trapper's Smokehouse, the Irish pub (name escapes me at the moment) and The Festhaus over our day and a half in the park. You really can't go wrong with that trio.


As night was creeping in, we left the park and made our way back up to Doswell in preparation for our full day at Kings Dominion. Looking back, I noticed that I have been to Busch Gardens for the opening year of every new coaster since Drachen Fire in 1992 (which I tragically never rode). I was there for Alpengeist in '97, Apollo's in '99, Griffon in 2007 and now Verbolten in 2012. Something keeps drawing me back here, and I know I'll be back for whenever the next ride goes in.


You know, I had really forgotten just how good Busch Gardens is. Everything about the place is in that top 1% of theme parks. Landscaping, rides, food, staff, shows...everything. My friend had never been to Busch Gardens and he was comparing it to places like Universal and Disney. I think that says a lot right there.


Here are some pictures from our day and a half at the park for your viewing pleasure


This sight always makes me happy


Sooooo happy to be back here


Bald eagles are cool. Americans have an awesome national animal.


A (big bad) wolf


I love the theming in this park


OK, enough of that. Here's a roller coaster!


NINETY DEGREES! Wait...do people still say that here?


Immelmanny goodness


More immelman




Love this first drop


Heading into the first loop


Lift hill goodness


Zero-G rolls continue to be my favourite inversions


Fun fact: this is an accurate representation of my usual skiing experience


Still fun and intense, despite the trim


I love this park. So much.


Any German speakers care to translate? We were curious what this said.


Here's a random Mach Tower picture because why not


Here are a bunch of pictures from the Verbolten queue




I'm an insurance adjuster. This is a total loss. The tree coming through the car tells me that.


Enter here for a Black Forest tour


Not sure what that sign means, but it can't be good


Awesome looking station!


lol, fart.


So much detail, so much to look at!


Creepy office is creepy


Roll out the barrels, we'll have a barrel of fun...




Definitely weird seeing this (with motion blur technology) instead of Big Bad Wolf


Hurray B&M hypers!


I love the way these look


Back the next day to relive the madness


More vertical drop fun




Hurray Le Scoot!


I love log flumes


*toot toot*


We're still in a theme park. Doesn't look like it though.


A wolf from the predators show




Pikachu seems intrigued about that owl


A wolf and its trainer having fun


Jumping wolf!


Two wolves now!


A fox doing foxy things


A great spot for kids!


Most intense ride at the park


Grover always took the front row. What a jerk.


Almost greyed out here because of the forces


Baby Clydesdale!


Das Festhaus


One final picture of Alpengeist's zero-g roll


Kings Dominion (Day 2) up next!

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Awesome TR! You have some great pictures! I visited this park in '09 and I agree that their attention to detail is really cool. I was underwhelmed with the food (I ate in the German area) but could be because I'm vegetarian and 98% of the food was designed for meat-lovers.

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Part 3: Kings Dominion (Day 2)


The following day, we made our way back to Kings Dominion for our full day at the park. Our goal today was mainly to finish the credits, then re-ride whatever we liked. Since we had Fast Lane, we knew this would be happening.


Our first stop of the day was Volcano: The Blast Coaster. I was really pleased with Volcano. The launches were plenty fun and getting shot out of the top of the mountain ruled. I also really enjoyed the slower barrel rolls as you wind your way around the mountain before diving into the brakes. My only real criticism of the ride is that it's too short. It seems like it could have done something more, especially after the dive. Still, it's a great ride and you don't see many Intamin inverts around that aren't of the impulse variety.


We were going to head over to Avalanche since it's right next door to Volcano. However, it turned out that the ride didn't open until noon. Alright, no big deal. So instead, we made our way over to Backlot Stunt Coaster. After riding this one, I've been on all three versions of the ride...so go me? It seems that all three versions of the ride have different effects that work. For instance, CW had no effects working, KI had the helicopter working and KD had the fire and water effects working. Not really much to say about this ride that hasn't been said. It's a decent family ride with some nice forces in the helix.


Next up was the park's TOGO standup, Shockwave. This standup is a lot like Skyrider at Canada's Wonderland, with the exception of the ending. Also, I enjoy Skyrider (*shock! gasp!*). Shockwave was terrible. It was rough as hell throughout the entire ride, getting bashed around big time in the helix. Once you get out of the helix, your pain continues through the turns, right up until you hit the brake. And if you're a guy, guess what? You get bonus crotch shots! Hurrah! This was by far my least favourite ride at the park. At least I can console myself with the knowledge that I'll never have to ride it again.


Our next coaster was the park's wild mouse, Ricochet. This is one of those larger Mack wild mouse rides that all the Legoland parks have. It was fun for what it was and didn't seemed to be too heavily braked, so we got some nice forces going through the corners. I've never been a big fan of wild mouse rides, so this didn't really appeal to me much. Though later in the day, the ride was fully e-stopped. Not sure what was going on, but it was interesting to look at.


Since we were in the area, we thought it would be wise to hit up the park's towers, Drop Tower and the "new hotness" for 2012, Windseeker. Let's start with Drop Tower though. This is one of those 3rd generation towers...not quite a Gyro Drop, but it looks like it. Like virtually all Intamin towers, I really enjoyed this. The 275 feet or whatever it is really allows a sensation of prolonged freefall that you don't get on some of the shorter towers. I'd put this about equal with the tower at Kings Island as my favourite drop towers.


So...Windseeker. I suppose this is one of those "been on one, been on all of them" type rides. The ride cycle and experience was exactly the same as the Canada's Wonderland version. But, I suppose that should be expected. There was a major difference though in that this one had a soundtrack accompanying it as it went up and down the tower. Even better, the music fit perfectly with the ride cycles. For instance, on our first ride,

played and synched up perfectly. I also took the opportunity on Windseeker to gawk at the remains of Hypersonic's station and compressor tanks. I still would have liked to have ridden that.


As it was now past noon, we made our way over to Avalanche, the park's Mack bobsled. This was the first Mack bobsled I had been on, and wow does this ever kick the crap out of the Intamin versions. The trains were super comfortable, almost like you were in a recliner or something. The ride also felt more like a bobsled run than the two Intamin bobsleds I've been on. Definitely a nice little ride. I'm surprised more of these aren't around the US (or at least in places I've been to).


After Avalanche, it seemed like as good a time as any for lunch. We thought we would try Outer Hanks for a change of pace. NOPE! Closed. OK...so we'll go to Trail's End Grill. NOPE! Closed. Alright...so we'll grudgingly go to the Juke Box Cafe. NOPE! Closed. Seriously? This is getting ridiculous. How about Country Kitchen? NOPE! Closed. NONE of the actual sit down restaurants were open on this day. Hell, even most of the kiosks (i.e., lemonade, Boardwalk Fries, etc) weren't open. We finally managed to get lunch at the Country Kitchen Pit and Grill (which was admittedly pretty tasty), but what a disaster that was. I don't know if we caught the park on one hell of an off day (or if it was because the park wasn't busy), but I was definitely not impressed.


With our stomachs finally full, we set out for our last credit, Ghoster Coaster! Hurray for kiddie wooden coasters! We grabbed our ride on Ghoster Coaster and still managed to enjoy ourselves on it. Mainly because we got to play along with the little kids on the ride, being really excited and whatnot. But, I guess a ride is really what you make of it. If you want to have fun, you will. Since we were in the area, we also hit up Boo Blasters. I absolutely DOMINATED during our ride with a score somewhere just above 2000. Bow before me mortals, for I am your shooting dark ride god!


Now that all the credits had been done, we spent the rest of the day at the park mainly bouncing between Volcano and I305. Our Fast Lane wristbands only got us through twice on Volcano. Every other time, we needed to use the normal line. But, luckily for us, the lines were once again non-existent. Our longest wait was about 15 minutes for the front row.


All in all, I liked Kings Dominion. It has a few pretty freaking awesome coasters, some decent flats (flyers are a huge plus!) and had its fair share of shade. If I'm ever back in the area, I'd definitely make a point of stopping in for a while.


Here are some pictures from our second visit to Kings Dominion!


Back at the park for round 2!


Our first stop of the day


Sure, it's just roll, turn, roll, turn...but it's still fun!


Roll...heading towards turn.


Turn...heading towards roll.


It does seem like they could have done more after that dive


Italian Job/Backlot Stunt Coaster Trifecta: COMPLETE


Random theming


Completely original and creative picture!


Ow...my balls.


That girl in the front right is not happy




With people this time!


Ouch ouch ouch




Fun laterals in the corners


Sideways hairtime?


New hotness!


I do like Windseekers, they're pretty relaxing.


Seeking wind at 300 feet in the air!


Feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme, get on up, it's bobsled time!


Heading up the lift...


Canada bobsled > all other bobsleds


Lots of turns and direction changes made for a fun ride


Family fun!


We didn't ride this. Dignity: INTACT


However, we did ride this. Dignity -1


The face on the girl in the fourth row is something no human should be able to do.


Time for some random pictures from the Eiffel Tower


Hurray Drop Tower!






This is supposed to be a picture of Rebel Yell. However, there's a lot of other crap in the way.


Prepare to seek some wind


Anaconda bringing the pain


Not quite sure what these two were doing under I305...didn't look like they were looking for a lost item.


Next up: Six Flags America!

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From looking at the pictures the park seems very dead. I guess this goes to show to only purchase Fastlane if you can see/know the park will be extremely busy.


The park was deserted on that day. I think we saw more employees than actual guests. That said, we had purchased our Fast Lane/Flash Passes for the entire trip weeks in advance. We had a good laugh about it, but better safe than sorry, right?

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I think it was good idea for use to get fast lane as we did ahead of time especial when we really only had one and a half days at the park. It is a nice park and it has some Awesome rides as was previousy stated. I would agree that if I was every in the area I would not hesitate to go back. I aslo the windseeker better then wounderland because of the sound track.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Part 4: Six Flags America


The following day, we made our way to Six Flags America. We got there insanely early, not really planning the drive out very well. But hey...better 45 minutes early than too late, right? Anyways, since we were literally the first people in the park, we parked in the very front row because...well why not? While we were waiting for the park to open, we watched a few episodes of The Simpsons on my iPod. Sadly, this would be the most entertaining part of the day.


Our first stop of the day was to take care of some formalities. Namely, getting our Six Flags season passes processed. While getting my picture taken, the guy at the counter asked for a "Six Flags smile". I proceeded to give him an extremely stupid smile, which is now preserved forever. With that taken care of, we made our way to the Flash Pass office to pick up our Gold Q-Bracelets. I had never used the bracelets before and while they were good (especially for the water park), I greatly prefer the actual Q-Bot. With the bracelets, you have to go to the Flash Pass machine, scan your bracelet, select your ride, then scan your bracelet again. It's definitely more of a hassle than scrolling through the rides and selecting one on the Q-Bot.


After getting our bracelets, we queued up for our first ride of the day, Superman: Ride of Steel. We made our way back to the ride and found that yet again, there was really no need to Flash Pass. There was zero line. Automatic walk-on. Money well spent, yet again! Anyways, we got on and I had to deal with my most hated of all roller coaster restraints...the Intamin Leg Shackles. I've got no issue with any other restraint on any other ride (SFNE Bizarro included...I don't get why people hate on those restraints so much) but I HATE the leg shackles. They make me feel very cramped and claustrophobic. That, and they're just not comfortable.


But, back to the ride itself here. I greatly preferred the Darien Lake RoS over this one. They may be mirror versions of one another, but this one definitely felt rougher in the helices and didn't offer that crazy ejector airtime at the end like the Darien Lake version has. That said, this ride is still good, but it's far down on my list of hyper coasters. Probably actually at the bottom. Needless to say, I was pretty disappointed. The ride did pick up a little bit throughout the day, but it's overall "blah" feeling kept sticking around.


Up next, even further in the back of the park was Batwing, the park's Vekoma flyer. Last year, I said how I preferred the Vekoma flyer to the B&M ones. Well...nothing has changed. I actually quite enjoyed Batwing. The loop is one of my favourite inversions out there, offering some pretty decent forces. I also love the general layout of the Flying Dutchman rides. The lie to fly and fly to lie transitions are fun as all hell, so are the barrel rolls near the end of the ride. We ended up riding this quite a few times throughout the day since the park was deserted, which made me happy. However, I did almost lose my cell phone on the ride. I had tucked away securely (or so I thought) in my pocket, but just as we hit the brake run, it decided to fly out. Luckily, it landed under my back, so I was able to grab it. That was the first time something like that has ever happened to me on a roller coaster. Kind of freaked me out.


Trudging our way back from the hinterlands of Six Flags America, our next ride was Joker's Jinx. After just going on Flight of Fear the day before, we more or less knew what we were in for. The launch on Joker's Jinx didn't seem as intense as the one on Flight of Fear and a lot of the fun I felt was lost when you could clearly see the layout and know what was coming next. At least there was no MCBR, so it didn't get any braking. At all. In addition to the ride lacking...something that I just can't put my finger on, it also felt a bit rougher than it's companions at KD and KI. While I did have fun on the ride, it's definitely third out of three for the ones I've been on.


Next in our parade of the park was Roar, one of the park's two woodies. Holy crap was this ride rough. I'm not sure if it's the PTC trains or maybe GCI hadn't gotten their stuff together yet, but damn was this terrible. From the first drop right to the brakes, the ride was shaking us around, punching at our backs, kidneys and whatever other vital organ it managed to find. It's rather unfortunate, because the ride looks like it should be a ton of fun. It's just too damn rough to actually enjoy. Maybe Millennium Flyers would help out, I don't know. But...for sure this was a one and done. On a positive note though, the ride ops on Roar were outstandingly funny. They were telling jokes constantly and seemed to be having a really good time. The dispatches didn't even seem to suffer, not that it would have mattered the park was so empty.


After Roar, we continued our way to another back area of the park for their SLC, Mind Eraser. Not really much to say here, it's an SLC. It was rough. I won't ride it again.


After a quick and rather uninspired lunch, we made our way over to the last of our credits, Wild One. This was the park's other woodie and is definitely the "good one" of the two. I actually really enjoyed the ride. It was pretty smooth and offered some light airtime throughout the course. Of course, the best part of the ride is the insane unbanked helix at the end. That thing was full of lateral force funtimes. I was actually pretty surprised by how much fun the ride was. It was probably my favourite ride at the park.


Now before you start asking...no we didn't ride Apocalypse. We missed the opening by about two days. We weren't sure when it was opening when the trip was being planned, so we just kind of took our chances. It did suck missing it by only a few days, but we weren't really too beat up about it.


After finishing the credits, we mainly went back and forth between Superman, Batwing, Wild One and the park's drop tower. After a few hours of doing that, we got bored and decided to leave.


Overall, I was definitely not impressed by the park. Everything seemed to feel dirty here. Whether it was the rides, buildings, paths, whatever. It just felt kind of gross. The mediocre at best ride lineup and staff that just didn't seem to give a damn didn't do the park any favours either. Now that I've been to SFA, I'm in no real hurry to get back.


Here are some pictures from our day! Enjoy!


Next up, Six Flags America!


Fountain statues


First up, some Intamin hypercoaster goodness!


I think this is actually the last Superman: Ride of Steel to keep its name intact


Still good airtime here, despite not being as intense as Darien Lake


More first drop


Second hill, not much airtime here, tragically


Another look at the hill




I'm Batman.


This stock layout is way better than B&M's stock layout


Egg turn or whatever it's actually called


Lie to fly transitions are fun!


Rolling into the brakes. You can clearly see just how busy the park was today


They were only running one side of the station, which meant one train ops.


Wow...does this ride need a paint job




I really think this works better enclosed and in the dark


This looks like it could use a new coat of paint too


At least it didn't have OTSR's




Tim Burton Batmobile > every other Batmobile




Ouch ouch ouch


Please make the hurting stop...


The worst part is, I really wanted to like this ride


I mean, it looks nice but...damn





Your destruction manifests


Lying there broken


Looking up as I still stand...


I'm a real Wild One...


And I like wild fun


In a world gone crazy


Everything seems hazy


I'm a Wild One


Ooh yeah, I'm a Wild One


Song lyrics are fun!


Weird cross between Jack Nicholson, Cesar Romero and Mark Hamill


It's like a mini drop tower! Also crooked, because I was apparently drunk that day


All aboard the most depressing train ride ever!




Gorgeous views from the train!


Sad, rusted train left sitting in the grass


Apocalypse standing there, taunting us




I did like this touch of theming though.


Not terribly upset that I missed this...


Ride sign!


Next up: Six Flags Great Adventure!

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Great report (I said the report was great, not the park). Me and my buddy were there back in 2009 and were done in 90 minutes (that included at least 5-7 rides on Wild One, the best ride there!)


Calling out Slayer lyrics may be cool, albeit a little run of the mill these days... but going on to Iggy Pop/Joan Jett (or whatever version of Wild One you prefer) is definitely rockin.


I prefer those Vekoma flyers to B&M myself. It's too bad the park is kinda... what's a kind word? Uninspired? I was surprised when I rode that Superman that even a simple Intamin hyper could run soo poorly.


The memory I have of sitting in the brake run of their Vekoma SLC... waiting... and waiting... the smell of that huge porous (!?) shoulder harness nearly made me puke. It was a smell that I'd rather not describe... it was bad.

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Too bad about S:ROS. I thought I'd read it was actually comparable to others, but just didn't get as much praise because of its unfortunate location. Also, it sounds like Roar is an even worse version of the other Roar, which is rough even with MFs. There's something that kind of appeals to me about SFA's overall coaster collection, though.

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