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PTR: 2800 miles through the South and up the Mississippi


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Since I had some spare time on my hands and Harrahs Corporation decided to reward me for frequenting their casinos I decided to embark on a 6 day trip to include some parks I had not been too before. I piggybacked 3 free nights at Harrahs New Orleans with 3 free nights in Harrahs Tunica for some free lodging.

 

I did not do anything touristy in New Orleans since I have been there many times and I also had a lot of driving each day. I lucked out at Newark Ariport as I volunteered to be bumped and ended up with a $600 travel voucher (which has already been applied to a new trip I'll be taking in 2 weeks). Being bumped was no big deal as I had no plans for the first night in New Orleans and arriving 3 hours later kept me out of the casino. I enjoyed a steak at John Besh's Steakhouse (sorry, no photos). I was very impressed with the BBQ Shrimp appetizer (so fresh) but not with my ribeye steak.

 

On the morning of June 28th I embarked on a huge drive to Galveston Pleasure Pier. I'm not a big fan of 5 hour drives for one credit, but what the hell.

 

Iron Shark blew me away with both its forceful nature and the comfort level. The coaster is completely re-rideable and I did ride it 6 times. The rest of the rides on the pier are fairly standard (The Star Flyer and Giant Wheel are not open yet) and the discounted $21.99 preview price was fair, I believe the price will increase to $26.99 when the remaining two rides open.

 

Galveston Pleasure Pier on June 28th (see below)

Waterville USA and Dixie Landin' on June 29th

Magic Springs on July 1st

SFStL on July 2nd

Memphis BBQ Pulled Pork Challenge

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This plaque commemorates a 17 foot seawall that was constructed over 100 years ago after the city was destroyed by a hurricane.

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The aforementioned seawall. For those that don't know, the whole city was raised 17 feet to mitigate future hurricane damage.

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Enough of the history, here's the pier.

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A very traditional amusement pier entrance

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Hey Adam!

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And there is the star of the show

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Twisty!!!!

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More Twisty!

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Energetic ride operators. Iron Shark even had a grouper to maximize capacity.

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Since the pier is not very wide, you can only get so many different angles of the coaster.

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Revolution was my favorite flat ride, swinging out over the side of the pier made it more thrilling.

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Gulf Glider, their Wave Swinger, had nicely painted panels with scenes of historically significance to Galveston.

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Double decker carousel

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Pirate's Plunge's splash zone extends well on to the pier, so pedestrians better pay attention. But in 100 degree weather you dry quickly.

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The not quite ready for prime-time players

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Nice themed bumper cars that did not look very forceful. There are kiddie bumpers under the same structure.

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"Cyclone" is name of the the park's Fireball

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KidTums approved

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Stealing Divv's signature shot. FAIL!!!!!

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I walked to the edge of the water to get the best view from the southern side.

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Then I walked out along a 200 foot jetty to get this panoramic parting shot. Next up will be a quick stop in Kemah.

Edited by larrygator
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That pier looks great; makes me miss the Myrtle Beach Pavilion. The price seems pretty good, too, despite the non-stop bitching on the park's Facebook page.

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I feel like every seaside town in America should have a park like this (you hear me Daytona?), this place looks great. How were the new Eurofighter trains on Iron Shark? All reviews so far have been great.

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^Or even some of the rougher new ones.

 

I love the looks of the classic piers, they did a great job mimicking that look! Thanks for the pics, but no ride signs?

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Larry, any chance you got some pics of how the supports were connected to the pier? I think I read somewhere that it's actually sitting on blocks (?), much the same as a traveling coaster, yet I haven't seen any pics of it anywhere.

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Fow what it's worth, since I had to drive right past Kemah I decided to stop to ride Boardwalk Bullet and take some pictures for the Park Index. However, Boardwalk Bullet was closed for the day.

 

I had car issues around Beaumont, Texas that caused me to waste an hour. Since I was now running a little late I was unable to sample some authentic Boudin (Cajun sausage) in Scott, Louisiana. Apparently, Scott is the Boudin capital of the world.

 

I working on the next update (Waterville USA and Dixie Landin').

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I guess I won't get another ride on Boardwalk Bullet during this trip.

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Waffle House: Grilled Chicken, bacon and cheese on Texas Toast. Texas Toast makes everything better.

Edited by larrygator
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After seeing these pics, makes me want to jump in my truck and drive the hour to go ride Iron Shark some more. To bad you couldn't get a ride on Boardwalk Bullet since its been running pretty good lately. Yes I totally agree Texas toast makes anything better.

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June 29th was another big driving day, every day of the trip was. I drove from New Orleans to Gulf Shores, Alabama then back west to Baton Rouge before settling in New Orleans for the night.

 

Gulf Shores is home to Waterville USA, a water park with a wooden coaster. I really don't have much to say about the place as I only went there to ride Cannonball Run.

 

Baton Rouge is home to Dixie Landin'. Even though the coasters are not great, I enjoyed the park because it had a great flat ride package and looked nice at night. Dixie Landin' also had fifty cent skeeball and you only need 240 (small prize) or 310 (large prize) to win and they let you upgrade two small prizes to a large prize. I spent $2, won all 4 games and took home a large alligator and gave the other two prizes to a woman who was trying to control her two unruly children and the skeeball both.

 

While in Baton Rouge, I tried to stop by a place called Chimes for dinner, but the line was too long so I settled for Jack-in-the-Box Tacos. I know they are complete crap but I love them.

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You drive under the coaster structure to get to the main parking lot.

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From the parking lot you can see the out and back section.

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View from the station. If you don't get an all day pass it is $5 per ride.

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The coaster is small and uneventful from the front row and back row.

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You can save $26 by visiting Dixie Landin' after 5PM.

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You have to cross over the road to get from the parking lot / ticket booth to the park.

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and here's the view from the aforementioned bridge.

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A S&S Space Shot is part of the flat package I enjoyed.

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as was the Enterprise

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and a Rainbow, not quite as much fun as a Falling Star but close.

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The spinning coaster trying to escape capture on film. Yes, I still use the phrase "on film" even without film. The only load two people per car sitting in opposite corners and don't only single riders. Very Elissa friendly as it makes spinning a rare occurence.

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On the Galaxi you can ride three across if you fit (I wish I had a picture of this occuring). I seem to remember years ago someone posted a picture of this happening in South America and others commented never in America. Well Baton Rouge is in America, so take that.

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another fun flat. Besides the ones I pictured they had traditional flats in the form of a Scrambler, Paratrooper, Music Express, Wave Swinger, Tilt-a-Whirl, Pirate Ship and Spider.

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Since I got there after the water park closed and it was 100 degrees, there was a long line for the log flume.

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Here is the lead car on the family coaster, Loco Loco.

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This was the longest I've waited for a Boomerang in years.

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There is a giant wheel behind that there tree.

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I think this is the first Boomerang I have been with an extra belt holding down the restraint.

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My camera doesn't do night shots, but this gives you an idea of the what Dixie Landin' does to their flats.

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Food is reasonably priced but I didn't try anything.

Edited by larrygator
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I too have a weakness for Jack-in-the-Box tacos. I think it's because they actually fry up a corn tortilla, rather than using taco shells.

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