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The "Pleasant/Unpleasant Surprise" Thread


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The Coasting for Kids brunch at Kings Dominion was a pleasant surprise. Instead of the usual fried chicken-hot dogs-burger meal at the picnic shelters, the park gave us a nice spread of scrambled eggs, bacon, chicken strips, asparagus, cake, and other goodies in a banquet room over the Starbucks.

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  • 4 weeks later...
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A few weeks ago I had the chance to visit Coney Island/Luna Park and I had a few pleasant, and unpleasant surprises.

 

Pleasant Surprises:

Cyclone:

Cyclone was by far the most pleasant surprise of the park. Given the age of this coaster I was expecting the absolute worst... Well, my partner and I reluctantly got in line, and managed to get a front row seat. I don't know if it was all the padding in the trains, or the way we were sitting, but the ride was actually really fun!! It was by no means glass smooth, but it was really enjoyable. If I had to rate how rough the coaster was I would give it a 5/10. I can think of at least 5 wooden coasters off the top of my head that are much more rough than this coaster and they are at least 65 years newer! We actually both got some really fun floater time in the front seat, and the high lateral g's were actually something we both enjoyed. We asked the ride-op about the smoothness of the ride, and he said that the back was by far the worst part of the ride, so maybe we just got lucky by sitting in the front! Cyclone is not by any means the most thrilling, or best coaster out there. . . But we both enjoyed the ride, and were laughing most of the time. We got off the ride actually wanting to go again!!

 

Soarin' Eagle:

Soarin' Eagle was another pleasant surprise of the trip! I had heard/read nothing but horror stories of Volare flying coasters, but to our surprise we actually ended up enjoying it. Yes the coaster was rough, but over all it was fun. Neither of us had ever been on a Volare style coaster before so it was a unique credit. The heartline rolls provided a unique feeling floating between the train you are laying on, and the restraints on your back. I sat on the far left side of the train, and the last turn before the brake run puts you within (what seams like inches) of the building to the left of the brake run, and it seriously feels like you are about to smash face first into the building. Again, Soarin' Eagle is not by any means the most thrilling, or best coaster out there. . . But we both enjoyed the ride, and were laughing most of the time at the unique feeling the coaster provided.

 

 

Unpleasant Surprises:

Thunderbolt:

With Thunderbolt being as new as it is I guess we both expected "more" out of the coaster. By "more" I mean more of a smooth coaster. The coaster just seemed really jerky, and rough for it to be as new as it is. The coaster was not by any means a "bad" ride. It had a fun layout, and the first drop, and airtime hills on the way back to the station were really good... However, the bumps, jerks, and vibrations throughout the ride just made the ride less enjoyable. Maybe I just hyped myself up to much for this coaster, and it ended up letting me down.

 

Steeplechase:

Having never been on a Zamperla Motocoaster style coaster I was excited for the unique riding position! The launch was fun, but the rest of the ride was just... boring. Maybe if it had more of a thrilling layout I would have enjoyed it more (I know it is suppose to be more of a family attraction,) but after the launch and first hill I was bored. The riding position was nothing special... I didn't even notice it after the launch. Again, maybe I just hyped myself up to much for this coaster, and it ended up letting me down.

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I've never had an unpleasant surprise XD

 

-I walked on to Intimidator 305 hearing how intense it was but I thought that I had ridden Kingda Ka and El Toro (other intense Intamins) I would do it with ease. Wrong. The cable lift at 45 degrees was terrifying at how fast it was. Blacked out on the first turn, and the drop was insane. It was also glass smooth.

 

-I thought Dominator was just another B&M floorless but I was pleasantly surprised by how intense it was for one of its kind. It actually had some nice positive g's and the loop was enormous. I loved it.

 

-I went to CW for Behemoth's opening day thinking I would hate the brand new staggered trains, but they were actually pretty cool. I went with 2 other people so one guy and I took up the front 2 seats and the other took the back corner of the front car. It was weird having to turn around to see him, and even more weird having all that space where another seat would normally. It made the ride even better having that space, and I imagine that the back must be insane because of the longer trains.

 

 

That's all, but I'm hoping by the end of this month Volcano and Superman: Ride of Steel (SFA) will make this list

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I'd have to say a real pleasant surprise for me was the first time I rode a Batman clone, in my case the original at SFGam. I rode it around 2000, when the attention was on bigger inverts built since then, and boy did this one blow me away! The intensity is ridiculous. I rode this after having ridden Montu, Top Gun: The Jet Coaster, and it was right up there with it. It would be ranked higher on my list, but I don't really prefer intensity anymore.

 

Another pleasant surprise would be White Lightning at Funspot. I had fallen out of following coasters for a bit, and I went to Fun Spot knowing they had two coasters, but for me it was a go kart trip. Since I hadn't read about it, I didn't know just how good this little guy was. I'd much rather ride this than the much more heralded coasters on the other side of Interstate 4!

 

For unpleasant surprises, I'd have to list Goliath at SFMM first. It was my second hyper, with my first being Raging Bull, and I really expected to be blown away by the much larger coaster, which had briefly been the world's tallest. To this day, I can still remember very little about the ride except that it was underwhelming. I don't remember being all that thrilled by the massive drop, or anything that happened after it. I'm a negative G junkie and this simply didn't do it for me.

 

Another I'd have to list is V2/Wicked Twister. After the first impulse premiered, I remember everyone talking about how much better they were than what they looked like. I came in with high expectations and it's a fairly unremarkable ride.

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I've never had an unpleasant surprise XD

 

-I walked on to Intimidator 305 hearing how intense it was but I thought that I had ridden Kingda Ka and El Toro (other intense Intamins) I would do it with ease. Wrong. The cable lift at 45 degrees was terrifying at how fast it was. Blacked out on the first turn, and the drop was insane. It was also glass smooth.

 

-I thought Dominator was just another B&M floorless but I was pleasantly surprised by how intense it was for one of its kind. It actually had some nice positive g's and the loop was enormous. I loved it.

 

-I went to CW for Behemoth's opening day thinking I would hate the brand new staggered trains, but they were actually pretty cool. I went with 2 other people so one guy and I took up the front 2 seats and the other took the back corner of the front car. It was weird having to turn around to see him, and even more weird having all that space where another seat would normally. It made the ride even better having that space, and I imagine that the back must be insane because of the longer trains.

 

 

That's all, but I'm hoping by the end of this month Volcano and Superman: Ride of Steel (SFA) will make this list

Well your assumption's definetly right about behemoth ... Find the back car's my favourite on that coaster! Unlike the front, the turnaround actually provides some really cool forces in the back rows.

 

Speaking of CW, guess this brings me to the pleasant and unpleasant surprise. To cut a long story short, while riding sky rider (RIP ) found the entire ride to be really smooth (at least way better than everyone had told me), and full of airtime and good positive forces to boot! Unfortunately, on both turnaround sections, this quickly turned into an unpleasant surprise full of head banging

 

As a side note, always found it really cool how sky rider was one of the only coasters to my knowledge that one could design in RCT3 nearly perfectly, with no custom elements/mods required.

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Pleasant:

Fujiyama- I loved the twisted hills at the end of the ride, they are very unique and make you feel like you're on a slightly rough GCI woodie.

Steel Dragon 2000- Very fun ride with surprisingly strong positive G. The first drop is much better than I expected as well.

Eejanaika- New train made it the smoothest traditional 4D coaster. The last two elements are insanely fast maybe due to shorter trains. Facing the catwalk on the brake run is a nice bonus.

Hollywood Dream The Ride- Forward is a snooze fest, but back drop is definitely much better.

Space Fantasy- final show room and some good spinning are pleasant surprises.

Blackhole Scramble- Some nice pops of air, not Space Mountain good but has its moments.

Space World log flume- helix!

Milky Way- Very good airtime, feels like you're jumping on the standup side.

 

Unpleasant:

Gao- Rough! Rough! Rough!

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  • 1 month later...

So, yesterday I got to FINALLY ride Millennium at Fantasy Island after all but one of the coasters being closed on my previous visit.

 

This ride is amazing! It's silky smooth! I had heard people say that it was smooth but I honestly did not expect it. No headbanging whatsoever! A very very pleasant surprise!

 

Now, I did also ride Odyssey again yesterday and apparently it is running a brand new train from Vekoma. Purchased in the offseason and only installed for the start of this season. Hearing that news I was expecting an ever better ride than it was last year as I thought it ran pretty well and was a pretty decent ride overall.

 

What a let down! It was headbanging galore and I came off with a horrible headache.

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I was pleasantly surprised by Anaconda at Kings Dominion. The ride was a bit jerky, but not nearly to the extent as everyone makes it out to be. It's actually a really fun coaster that had a lot of fun elements. I was also unpleasantly surprised by the lack of airtime on i305, especially when considering it has a few bunny hills. It was barely noticeable, virtually non-existent.

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Eejanaika- New train made it the smoothest traditional 4D coaster. The last two elements are insanely fast maybe due to shorter trains. Facing the catwalk on the brake run is a nice bonus.

 

Eejanaika got new trains? I know it was repainted but I didn't know it got new trains! Picture anywhere?

 

I believe I posted these pleasant surprises way back, but I'll say it again because they still hold true.

 

X2: I rode it a couple weeks ago, and it was FANTASTIC! Every time I ride it, it gets better and better. I actually prefer it to Maverick now because of how balls-out insane it is.

 

Viper: This is a pretty darn good Arrow that is 25+ years old. I'm finally tall enough where the restraint comfortably sits on my shoulders, so there was no head banging to be had! I find it much more enjoyable than Scream.

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Desperado: I thought it would hurt me a lot and I was a bit afraid of the roughness as some have reported getting bruises. When I rode it however it wasn't that bad and I found it to be quite fun and had some ejector on it as well.

 

Viper at SFMM: I heard about the fifth car trick so I rode in the first row of the fifth car and I enjoyed the ride very much. I ended up riding twice!

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Pleasant surprises:

The first time I was at Cedar Point, I figured that since I was there, I was going to ride everything. I had no idea what most of the rides were, and just wandered up to one, then the next. I thought of all things, Maverick was a kid type of coaster - what an amazing surprise on such an awesome ride! Definitely not a ride for the faint of heart.

 

Gemini - very smooth and very fun. I was dreading going on it (again, the whole not knowing what to expect thing), figuring I would hate it to death due to the fact it's a woodie (generally woodies are not my favorite, but they do have their place in the theme park world). I think Gemini is one of my favorite woodies. The high fives from people in the other train certainly make it an extra enjoyable factor!

 

 

 

Unpleasant surprise:

Also at Cedar Point - Corkscrew. I spent half the day looking for the station (yeah, I know, stupid that I would be so slow as to not be able to find it). I may have loved rides like it 20 years ago, but I certainly don't like it now. I swear I had been beaten all to heck. The fact I enjoyed Gemini, yet hated Corkscrew was just a surprise both ways that I never would have expected.

 

Also, Iron Dragon is too tame and boring for my taste.

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From my latest adventure:

 

Pleasant:

1. Lightning Run (KK) - I knew it was going to be good, but HO. LEE. F*CK. Worth the trip alone!

2. Raven (Holiday World) - This was incredibly fast-paced, with some awesome lateral forces and drops. I can definitely see why it was voted best in the world at one time.

3. Screamin' Eagle (SFSTL) - Another quick-paced woodie with some surprisingly decent drops combined with old-school goodness.

4. Ninja (SFSTL) - Really not that rough. What is everybody's problem with this ride? Must be entirely psychosomatic because it's a Vekoma, right?

 

Unpleasant:

1. Cornball Express - It was decent, but nowhere near top 10 or 20 material, as many people spout.

2. Steel Hawg - Neat little ride, just relatively forceless.

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Eejanaika- New train made it the smoothest traditional 4D coaster. The last two elements are insanely fast maybe due to shorter trains. Facing the catwalk on the brake run is a nice bonus.

 

Eejanaika got new trains? I know it was repainted but I didn't know it got new trains! Picture anywhere?

No I didn't take pictures, it's the same train like those on Dinoconda.

 

One more positive thing about Eejanaika, their loading process is very innovative. What they do is they divided the loading platform into four individual areas. Operators fill up two areas at a time and guests can leave their belongings in their areas. Eejanaika runs two trains so the areas for your train is exclusive. You can put on your shoes or whatever without having to rush or slowing down the loading process. I absolutely loved this design!

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Pleasant surprises?

 

Great Bear at Hersheypark: Rode not expecting anything and found it to be really good fun.

Escape from Krypton SFMM: Backwards launch....no expectations....killed myself laughing the short time I was on it. A good sign!

Gatekeeper CP: A lot of criticism on this website of this ride. When I rode it that criticism is in the back of your mind...I loved it and re rode it about 5 times due to the fun factor and smoothness (and the keyhole effect). Realised that sometimes it is best to ignore a review and judge for yourself.

 

Unpleasant surprises.

 

I haven't had any "unpleasant" surprises at theme parks....more rides that I have expected more from given their reputations and gotten off disappointed. That is in no way a criticism...just personal preference. Case in point below with my first one.

 

Escape from Gringotts Universal: Diagon alley blew me away...majorly impressed. I had been told nothing but awesome reports about the new ride...and as good as it was (and it was)...it had been hyped up to the point that I expected it to hit my number one spot ridewise with ease. It didn't even crack my top 10.....which leaves you a bit underwhelmed even though you KNOW it is an awesome ride.

 

Millenium Force CP: Again awesome ride...is in my top 10...but suffered from its own hype.

 

The Swarm, Thorpe Park. Had ridden Gatekeeper before this ride so was expecting the same kind of "fun" quotient. The theming was awesome...the ride....meh. Disappointing!

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Pleasant:

 

Powder Keg: I did NOT expect an awesome family coaster like this for a low height restriction. This ride is great!

 

Thunderation: A surprisingly fast mine train with some forceful helices.

 

Bizarro: Let me give some background to this. I had been reading lots of reviews about how bad the rattle was or how sluggish it was this season. I don't know what they are talking about, because it was fantastic! Easily in my top 5 coasters!

 

Thunderbolt: I never read any discussion about this classic coaster. It had some pretty good airtime and was relatively smooth.

 

Unpleasant:

 

Wildfire: While it's by no means a bad coaster, I was just expecting a little more. Maybe I just wish it was a Kumba clone

 

Goliath: I had already written my review a couple weeks ago about my opinion, but wow this ride is awful. I was highly anticipating my first GIB considering how rare they are. Well, turns out the Premier trains ruined the ride from what it used to be. Sigh, what a disappointment

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  • 3 months later...

My perfect example of this is when I rode the renovated "Classic Coaster" at the state fair this year. Waiting in line I was expecting some OK air and a nice classic woodie feel, but once I got up to the gates and stepped in I was surprised to find NO SEATBELTS and a lapbar that locked in about 8" above my lap!

 

Due to the lack of safety features, I was feeling like there couldn't be anything even remotely "ejector" about the air on this coaster, but as soon as we hit the turnaround and down the next drop I had my second surprise. RIGHT after the turnaround the back car got pulled down that drop so fast I really thought I would not follow it for a minute. I never was able to keep my hands off that bar when I was in the back car. I felt like it was borderline unsafe for someone who was caught unawares, but I didn't say anything- I hope they can keep it this way forever!

 

Those old Prior and Church trains are awesome, and when they finally put a second train on it was even faster than the first one.

 

(watch the people in back flail around as they get thrown down this drop)

 

(you can see it in this one too!)

 

It looks like a mild little drop but I had the fleeting image of death the first time I rode it

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Pleasant Surprise:

 

Legend (Holiday World) - Everyone talked about how horrible this ride was, but I loved it!! I was a huge fan of the lateral Gs and how this coaster intertwined with the water park.

 

Boss (SFSTL): so many people would not ride this ride with me, so I had to ride it single rider and this woody became my top ten wooden coasters!

 

Roller Coaster at Arnold's Park: I was under the impression that this ride was going to be rough because of the age and state of the park, however the reno they did was amazing and this coaster was so much fun to ride.

 

Unpleasant

 

Voyage (Holiday World) - I did not hate this ride, but with all of the positive hype that I was reading about, I went with high expectations and was not 100% disappointed but I feel that it did not live up to its name.

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  • 3 months later...

*Bump*

 

After a trip to Silver Dollar City and Texas:

 

Pleasant

- Shockwave / New Revolution: This ride was freakin' COOL! Even with the VR headgear, you still notice the awesome forces from the coaster.

- Wildfire: very smooth with a good pace

- Powder Keg: I really liked the launch in the back row, and it had some surprisingly decent drops and airtime.

 

Unpleasant

- Batman The Ride (Fiesta): I was hoping for a more thrilling version of Green Lantern, but we didn't flip that much. It felt more like a flat than a coaster.

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Most pleasant surprise was probably riding the Wild Mouse at Blackpool Pleasure Beach for the first time many years back. It looks so tame and innocent from the line. I was blown away by how insane it was!

 

Of course, the same park has an unpleasant surprise too - how piss-poor The Big One is.

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