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Photo TR: The Kiwis Do Texas Midwest 2013


mattnz
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Going through these photos is bringing back so many memories, but I had forgotten about the awesome gift bags. I drink coffee out of my Outlaw Run mug every day.

 

Neil: I was wrong - there were obviously SIX of us in the manly log. Not five! Haha! Thanks for posting the pic.

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Another great update! I'd only been to SDC once, in 2001, and after visiting again I'm not quite sure why I haven't made the 6 hour drive from here since that first visit. I'll definitely be heading down there at some point next year. Such a fantastic park.

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How I wish I can work at SDC when I am 80 like those staffs! Miss that place so much! Need to go back and explore the park more, Cinnamon bread and the skillets were my favorite. Even though they don't have Outlaw Run, it would still be my favorite park so far. Visiting the park definitely is a life long memory. Thank you for bringing back the memory!

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Our next stop on the Texas Midwest tour was one of the most amazing places you can eat in all of North America - Lambert's Cafe, the 'Home of the Throwed Rolls'. I was very excited to return here, having thoroughly enjoyed the food on TPR's 2010 Midwest trip, so thank you for adding it to our itinerary once again Robb and Elissa!

 

The menu consists of extra large portions of homestyle cooking. Occasionally the helpings are so generous they serve your meal in a sauce pan! The restaurant is also famous for their 'pass arounds', which is a nice concept, enabling you to sample plenty of different dishes, along with their incredibly large 32 oz drinks (which they'll refill for you!). The steaming hot throwed rolls, which are literally hurled at you by a waiter if you put your hand up, are also fantastic. All in all, this is an amazing eatery, and we have absolutely nothing like it in New Zealand.

 

After travelling to St. Louis we reached a surreal place I never thought I'd visit again, the City Museum. It's hard to describe this former International Shoe building but one I quite liked was that it was a "giant playground for adults". The museum also bills itself an "eclectic mixture of playground, funhouse, surrealistic pavilion and architectural marvel". Sums it up pretty well to me! We had the whole place to ourselves and plenty of time to sustain injuries. This was easily one of the craziest and most enjoyable days of the trip. And all without riding a single roller coaster!

 

Excuse the quality of some of the photos in this update. We had our small but hardy camera out today...

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Next stop on the trip was the awesome Lambert's Cafe.

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While we waited for our tables, we took some time to do a little shopping.

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This looked deliciously alcoholic.

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Quite a few of us sampled the local brews.

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I had to buy some genuine Missouri moonshine!

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These strangely realistic cats creeped me out.

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Finally, it was time to eat.

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And Lambert's did not disappoint!

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It's an absolutely fantastic place.

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The food consists of delicious, homestyle cooking.

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Uh-oh...

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Onwards to St. Louis. What is with America's obsession with fireworks?

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We drove near the Gateway Arch, but didn't stop by this time.

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I cannot believe we made it back to this surreal place. I thought it was all a dream!

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Crazy, random fun awaits...

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Delving deep inside.

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I noticed quite a few new things since 2010.

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I don't remember any of this from last time.

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The playground structures at the City Museum can be very confusing!

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This led us to one of the most claustrophobic experiences of my life. The only way out was via a tiny tunnel underneath the floor.

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The slide to oblivion!

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Time to explore some more...

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Love the clash of art and insanity in this place.

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Inside the whale.

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The Enchanted Caves.

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Hey TPR!

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The City Museum is also known for its ten-story shoe shaft slides.

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Good luck Andy!

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Neil and Roxanne added to our entertainment.

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There was so much to see...

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Including some actual museum-style exhibits.

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The City Museum is even educational.

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And enlightened!

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Knobs anyone?

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For no particular reason, they had this giant, empty ballroom. Well, why not?

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But back to the creative ways for TPR to injure ourselves!

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This room reminded me of something out of the movie Saw.

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This place is really not for the faint hearted...

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The ball pit was a good time! It looked so innocent, but I witnessed quite a few injuries in here...

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Yup.

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We made our way to the rooftop.

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The views were great.

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Some were very unnerving.

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They had crazy climbing structures everywhere.

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This one was particularly frightening...but Andrew braved it!

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Neil drove a bus off the side of the building. No, really!

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I was glad not to be in the middle of a heatwave like our last visit. This was exhausting enough!

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Ahh!

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Glad to see the creaky Ferris Wheel of death still here.

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These slides were fun...

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If you could make it to the top!

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Whee!

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I am still having nightmares about this image!

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I was glad to see Alexis make it out alive.

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Everyone becomes a kid again at the City Museum!

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I can't recommend the place highly enough.

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Just stock up your first aid kit. Thanks for reading!

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Good luck Andy!

 

Grinning like an idiot because I have no idea what I'm in for.

 

What an evening -- heck, three or four hours wasn't enough time to see even half of the place. Guess I don't know how many hours we're allowed before the TPR legal department considers it too heavy a risk of serious injury.

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I'll be honest, I never understood all the hype for the City Museum. After going there with TPR, I'd have to say it was one of my favorite things we did on this trip. Such a cool place, and 4 hours wasn't enough time to even see half of that place! Lots of injuries happened that night, but I don't think anyone would say it ruined how much fun they had. I think my favorite memory was TPDave hiding in the dark at the bottom of the 10 story slide, scaring the crap out of each person that would come down. I keep hoping to see pictures of some of the reactions from that, but I can't remember who took them. It might have been Hanno...

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^^ I have absolutely no idea where the Saw room was!

^ I really do hope everyone came away without permanent injuries (apart from those of the mind...).

 

Our next update is Six Flags St. Louis.

 

Six Flags needed a bit of redemption among the trip participants after Texas, and I think everyone came away from St. Louis feeling pretty good about the chain again. Six Flags St. Louis is a park that covers all its bases: it has a good, solid line-up of coasters and flat rides, it's quite pretty, and it's in Missouri, a state I have always found to be very friendly and welcoming. The park also gave us a backstage tour and ERT sessions on American Thunder and Mr. Freeze, which was fantastic.

 

Both those latter rides are excellent - American Thunder (I FAR preferred the name Evel Knievel though!) is a very solid GCI woodie with good twisty elements and Mr. Freeze: Reverse Blast is awesome backwards, as it was in Texas. The park also has an intense Batman clone and The Boss, a ride that will kick your ass but also deliver some great high speed thrills. I love the first drop, which just seems to go on and on.

 

All in all, we certainly had a 'Six Flags day'. Our group came up with a ratings system of our own by this point and we had to take a few flags off for the following:

 

1 flag off for inconsistent policies! This is the park where you actually had to pay for storing your loose items on the Arrow mine train, but not for many of their major rides, which made no sense whatsoever.

2 flags off for rude ride ops! The girl who ran the queue for The Boss was bossy, to say the least. In fact, I'd almost give her props for being the biggest boss of the park. We got BOSSED by both her and the ride!

 

It was an overcast day and what a contrast that made to our last visit in 2010, where it felt like we were on the surface of the sun...

 

I wish the park well in the future. A good, stand-out steel coaster is what the park needs, and I'm sure one day they'll get it.

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We're ready to have a Six Flags day, even if the park isn't!

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For some reason, I decided to wear a Six Flags St. Louis shirt to Six Flags St. Louis.

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The park has a nice, classic feel, like a lot of parks built in the 1970s during the American theme park-building renaissance.

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First up on today's schedule was a backstage tour of Mr. Freeze: Reverse Blast.

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It was too early for the river rapids ride.

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This is the director of maintenance and grandfather of Mr. Freeze who led our tour, as in 2010!

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The dual-loading station.

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We got to walk down the launch track.

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LIMs and such.

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We were led outside to an area usually off-limits to the public.

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Backstage tours are always much appreciated. Thanks Six Flags!

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We'll ride you later Mr. Freeze...

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American Thunder (formerly Evel Knievel) awaited us for ERT.

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It's a really fun ride that criss crosses over and under itself multiple times.

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I liked the fun facts in the queue.

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The ride even has a little bit of airtime.

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Nice empty station during ERT, which was split between American Thunder and Mr. Freeze.

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Apparently I couldn't wait for a train while taking this photo...

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American Thunder is a good wooden coaster in a state with some great woodies.

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We went back to Mr. Freeze for some ERT rides, and it was similarly excellent to its cousin in Texas - a really fun launched coaster with some great forces that doesn't seem to have aged at all since it opened in 1998.

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I loved looking down from 200 feet in the air!

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Six Flags St. Louis has some scenic spots.

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We were led through the park...

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...to be first riders of the day on the all-new old, relocated Boomerang (apart from the ride op in this photo, who has the worst job in the park!).

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TPR members anticipate their fate...

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The boomerang element where the ride gets its name.

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Yellow trains make a delightful contrast against the green track and orange supports...

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I don't remember this one being too bad, actually. But these rides are just not fun at all! Why do we have to keep riding them?! (I blame Six Flags Over Texas...)

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Alas, Superman: Tower Of Power, the park's 230 foot Intamin drop tower, was closed. (That's at least half a flag off, I think!)

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I was looking forward to trying out the park's classic woodie, Screamin' Eagle, again.

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The view is somewhat tarnished nowadays...

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Station shot.

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Screamin' Eagle is a fun ride, but doesn't deliver any significant airtime, which is a bit of a shame. I do love the layout and scenery, however.

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Onwards to other attractions...

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Somewhere around here is...

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...a generically re-themed spinning coaster.

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Just your standard Gerstlauer spinner. (I spot TPR members!)

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I do think these rides are good for the parks that have them. It's nice to have a few mid-sized coaster thrills.

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Laura is a bona-fide carousel enthusiast!

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Xcalibur is one weird contraption and definitely worth a spin.

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There aren't too many of these Evolution rides left!

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This is my only photo of The Boss. Shortly afterwards I got BOSSED and had to put my loose items away.

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I'm not sure what we were expecting...

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Haha!

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We rode the river rapids back in 2010 but didn't feel like a spin today. Especially since it wasn't 114 degrees like last time (I'm NOT kidding!).

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Glad to see the Scooby-Doo Ghostblasters ride was still here.

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This is a really fun, old school version utilising a former dark ride.

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For some reason we all found this ride name funny.

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Some pretty fountains for a good cause...

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Oh my God! The Looney Tunes 80s show is chain-wide!!

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The DC Comics Plaza was the least shaded, and most generic, area of the park.

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But I will never turn down a Batman ride!

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This one, like all the clones that drop to the right for some reason, was very intense.

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A very nice ride.

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This ride was not so nice.

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Why on earth did we ride Ninja when we already had the credit?!

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We must be gluttons for punishment. This ride BOSSED us, and not in a good way!

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The Superman drop tower and all-new SkyScreamer, with River King Mine Train and Ninja in the foreground.

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Speaking of River King Mine Train, it's a little hard to photograph, but you can get some views from the Ninja queue.

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Just your standard Arrow mine train which originally had two tracks, the other half of which we rode at Magic Springs.

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I am always intrigued as to why on earth the park once put stand-up trains on this thing!

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We had a fantastic lunch at Six Flags St. Louis, mainly because the servers didn't know when to stop on the generous helpings.

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We wanted to ride the train, but time was running a bit short...

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It looks like Six Flags St. Louis turn part of their park into a giant dance party after dark. We noticed this trend throughout many US parks this year. Must be a new trend - which we loved!

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All in all, we definitely had a Six Flags day. Next up: drunk in the Dells! Thanks for reading.

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Which of the Mr.Freeze rides do you think is better after riding both?

 

I found them both pretty much the same - if there's a difference in terms of the launch, etc, I didn't notice. But I'd give St. Louis' the edge because it's in Missouri.

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If I remember correctly, they actually scanned our tickets before giving them to us so we could get into the park more smoothly that morning. And I can't remember exactly who it was, might have been the VP of the park, but definitely someone high up, came out to say hi to us as well. Little things like that definitely make a big difference. The park in general was definitely nicer than expected too.

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^^^Same here, after hearing the Texas one is more intense, I did not anticipate too much on this but ended up loving this. I honestly do not understand myself AT ALL that I chose Ninja as my #100 and rode it twice . I don't like their lose articles policy either that our Q-Bot group had to seperate multiple times and it really wasted a lot of time so for me, 2 flags down. Plus one flag down for the roughness of the Boomerang and one flag down for thelack of restrooms.

 

So glad that you enjoyed the park a lot, probably Silver Dollar City was too great that I did not even enjoy Cedar Point ...

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The Batman coaster is actually the Studio Backlot area. The DC Comics Plaza is where Mr. Freeze is. Sorry, it isn't that important, I was just distracted by it. And I agree, it is the most generic area of the park. And the only thing that matches the backlot theme is the pavement.

 

Good photos! The one of Xcalibur is funky and actually looks like the "arm" is bent. And I love any photo that has Mr. Freeze in it.

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This one, like all the clones that drop to the right for some reason, was very intense.

 

Wow, I am ashamed to say that I never noticed that they had a mirror image clone (dropped to the right).

So this one, Goliath at SFFT, and Vampire at La Ronde are the only 3 that are mirror images?

Some small detail just blew my mind. Thanks!

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The Batman coaster is actually the Studio Backlot area. The DC Comics Plaza is where Mr. Freeze is. Sorry, it isn't that important, I was just distracted by it. And I agree, it is the most generic area of the park. And the only thing that matches the backlot theme is the pavement.

 

Duly noted! (I appreciate it!)

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There's nothing I like hearing more than guests having a great day at our park. It makes those 15 hour days worth it. As I can only speak for admissions and not rides, if you experience bad service, please let either guest relations know or the lead at the front gate.

 

The highlight of my day when TPR visited was getting to stamp KidTums' hand.

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