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Photo TR: The Kiwis Do Texas Midwest 2013


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I have to admit, Wisconsin Dells was my least favourite stop on the 2010 TPR Midwest trip. I thought Mt. Olympus was more of a 'family entertainment centre' than an amusement park, one that just happened to have four wooden roller coasters. It didn't help that their most impressive-looking coaster, Hades, was the roughest ride I had ever experienced in my life...

 

When I heard that Hades was going to get a barrel roll and become Hades 360 - and that we were going to ride it on the 2013 trip - I was more than a little terrified. Turns out, the barrel roll was the smoothest part of the ride. The rest of the ride was truly horrendous. I know the coaster is called 'Hades', but I think Mt. Olympus has taken the concept too far! The new Timberliner train made no difference to the ride experience either. We were beaten up and not in a good way AT ALL. What a shame, because the ride still looks so utterly impressive.

 

Fortunately the park still had Cyclops running as insane as ever, with the right-handed drop in front of the station providing the craziest moment of ejector air time you're ever likely to find on a wooden coaster - almost to the point where I wonder how no one has actually been thrown from the train!

 

My problem with Mt. Olympus is that it seems to be so poorly run. The park obviously does exceptionally well in its own market evidenced by how they keep buying up nearby independent motels and hotels and re-themeing them. So why not put a bit of effort into the upkeep of their rides and maybe train the staff a bit (or a lot) better. I also wish the rides section of the park was more rounded out - they could do with a few other non-coaster or go-kart attractions. But I guess the water park is primarily where the locals and vacationers want to go.

 

Despite everything mentioned above, I had a thoroughly awesome time at Mt. Olympus. It helped that the park gave us ERT, a nice lunch and even opened up Little Titans for us (a rare and awesome credit!). But I think it was also because I had my first beer at around 11:15 and spent most of the day getting to know my fellow trip participants a bit better. And we had a really good time!

 

We finished up in the Dells at Timber Falls where we had not only HellCat but the entire place to ourselves, after which we hit the road for a surprise stop at Little Amerricka (and I think that deserves its own segment).

 

All in all, I'm so glad we got to stop in the Dells - thank you Robb and Elissa for arranging a thoroughly awesome day for all of us (and I hope we didn't behave too badly - I was glad to come from a heavy drinking country like New Zealand where I'd already prepared my liver...).

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I loved our tacky motel room. (And yet apparently this was the most expensive place we stayed at!)

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Kind of reminds me of the British sitcom Hi-de-Hi!

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On our way to the park we drove past the turnaround on Zeus, which I remember being more than a little rough...

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Oh dear God.

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You have to admit, it LOOKS impressive.

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Welcome to Mt. Olympus!

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We wandered past the first drop on Zeus.

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I am sure this is perfectly safe, and I know it would be normal in Europe and elsewhere, but does that track look a wee bit too close for comfort, or is it just me? This is Wisconsin, right?!

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I loved the sign in the queue: "Hades 360 is very aggressive today." Only difference in the sign from 2010: addition of the number 360. I think Hades rides aggressively each and every single day!

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The station is a long way up.

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This section is both before the lift hill and after the return from the tunnel, but it's hard to tell which is which.

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TPR are ready to ride!

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Hades truly was a journey to hell and back again!

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Is the petting zoo there to help you forget about how awful Hades was? Aww, look at those cute animals...

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Mt. Olympus has a 'roller coaster hill' which hosts Hades, Zeus and Cyclops (in order of roughness).

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The back seat on Cyclops is where the air time is at. But I don't think their 'you must be over 18 to ride the back car' rule makes any sense.

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A higher height restriction might be a better idea!

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Because Cyclops really seems to want to eject those back car riders!

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Cyclops has the perfect viewing area for taking amusing pictures.

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I love the expressions in the front row.

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More TPR members give the back car a whirl.

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Neil and I dared to put our hands up.

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In Mt. Olympus, you don't need a shirt to ride!

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Andrew and I look like we're being a bit stupid in the back row, but I swear to God, all we did was put our hands up - and I made sure my seat belt was very, very tight. The ride did the rest!

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Zeus was running as badly as ever, alas. I feel like it could be good with some re-tracking and better care.

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Mt. Olympus is also known for their go-kart tracks.

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Some of them are built on multiple levels and look quite interesting, but I don't think I'm a 'go-kart person'.

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We were all very surprised to hear that the park would let us ride Little Titans, a hitherto unobtainable credit!

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Yay! Another new and rare credit.

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Suck it Iron Rattler and New Texas Giant, I'm unlikely to ever get to do this again!

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It was a cute and quite fun kiddie coaster too.

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Hmm, no fences whatsoever around the ride. I must be becoming a little American myself, but this just struck me as odd...

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The toilets were not hewn from real rock, apparently.

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Pegasus is the other woodie at the park.

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It's a fairly large junior coaster, but doesn't have much else to recommend it.

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Onwards to track down the last remaining credit.

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Some of the outdoor water park - I should have spent some time photographing people getting knocked over in the giant wave pool.

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Opa! (Which later became a catch phrase on the trip for some reason!)

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I think I am becoming a 'water park person', but we didn't take a dip today.

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Our side looked a lot more fun.

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Walking out the park we passed by Hades. Sigh - it does look decent, doesn't it?

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Next up today was an hour of 'exclusive park time' at Timber Falls!

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HellCat is the star here and by all accounts TPR loved it.

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But Andrew and I did not! It was the same in 2010 - everyone else seemed to respond positively to this coaster, but we felt it rode way too rough.

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A lot of people gave the log flume a go.

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It looked like a wet one...

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Yup!

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Some preferred the kind of pointless bumper boats.

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You mostly got wet from the water jets shooting out of your motor!

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Some even tried this thing...

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These Skyscraper rides get a "hell no!" from me.

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It looks like we have a new 'Boss' in TPDave. Thanks for reading!

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Nice pics. RE: Mount Olympus' success - since the "old man"(Jim Laskaris, present owner Nick's dad) died, Nick's basically taken over the town. He's on the planning commission for Lake Delton township IIRC, and if he isn't, that's a recent development. A lot of the other attractions with rides on that strip have gotten zoned out of existence. There's a story about one operator buying a bunch of kiddie rides as part of an expansion, only to get zoned "industrial" or something and wind up selling those attractions to Nick at half price.

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I'm glad to say I have been to the Dells and survived. Hades 360 is probably the worst coaster I've ridden up to this point, and Hellcat was definitely rough too. Was anyone actually sober that day?

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What? No photos of us having the time of our life drinking at Mt Olympus? I think the only people that remember this day are the ones that were under 21. lol It is nice to see photos of Timberfalls. I remember getting on Hellcat, getting off of it and playing mini golf, but I don't remember the park or the ride itself. lol And I didn't get any photos of the place.

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A ha -- Mount O, the park we all either forgot, or wanted to forget.

 

I legitimately liked Timber Falls, though -- Hellcat was one of my favorite woodies from the trip.

 

Keep it coming Matt! Great stuff so far.

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What? No photos of us having the time of our life drinking at Mt Olympus?

Here 'ya go!

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"We drink to forget.... Hades 360!"

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Their low-lying areas are a joke. That park is going to kill someone someday. I remember seeing their main midway and a ride area to a wooden coaster blocked off by a cone when I went there this summer.

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What? No photos of us having the time of our life drinking at Mt Olympus?

Here 'ya go!

 

Haha! Awesome! Wow, there were more of us drinking than I remember. Nothing like a little collective boozing in the Dells to forget Hades!

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What? No photos of us having the time of our life drinking at Mt Olympus?

Here 'ya go!

 

Haha! Awesome! Wow, there were more of us drinking than I remember. Nothing like a little collective boozing in the Dells to forget Hades!

 

I didn't think there was that many drinking either. I love that our table has almost everyone with a dirty shirley in hand.

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Little Amerricka is a small park in Wisconsin geared toward children and families with an enticing four credits. When I saw the itinerary for the Texas Midwest trip the credit whore in me scanned it carefully to see if a stop here could be a possibility - so you can imagine how delighted I was when our bus pulled off the highway for a little unscheduled credit run...

 

But Little Amerricka is more than a credit run and much more than a small park for kids. It's a really charming place with great old school attractions, some of which we weren't able to experience as the day was getting long and we still had a long drive ahead. Train enthusiasts in particular should note the 1/3 size railroad that covers two miles of Wisconsin countryside.

 

The coaster line-up is particularly old school and includes a relocated 1950s junior woodie, a 1960s Allan Herschell Mad Mouse which I've always wanted to try, and a Chance Toboggan (there are almost none of these left - and that might possibly be a good thing!).

 

It may have helped that many of us were drunk after our day in the Dells, but I think stops like these always put TPR in a good mood, alcohol or otherwise. I for one really appreciate surprise stops on TPR trips, so thanks again to Robb and Elissa for the chance to visit Little Amerricka. I imagine many great memories are created for the young and young at heart who visit this gorgeous little park.

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Our bus pulled off the the highway for a little unscheduled stop in Marshall, Wisconsin...

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We were here for a quick visit to Little Amerricka, a park that has been on my radar for many, many years. YAY!

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Little Amerricka is known for their old school attractions.

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Ferris Wheels are known for scaring the living beejesus out of some hardened coaster enthusiasts!

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I had always wanted to ride an Allan Herschell Mad Mouse.

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We're not-entirely-sober but we're ready to ride!

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Like all good Wild Mouse coasters, you have to squeeze your ass into the tiny little seat.

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Oh God it's really happening!

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I loved this ride! It wasn't comfortable in the least - very much like a trash can rolling down a hill! - but (like all good Wild Mouse coasters) it was pretty death-defying, especially the final bunny hops.

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Meteor is the name of the park's relocated Philadelphia Toboggan Co. junior wooden coaster (or was it in fact completely re-built?).

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Either way it ran great!

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Gotta love an old school woodie.

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Move over Great America, Little Amerricka got their junior woodie credit first!

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Yay, the park has a Roll-o-Plane! I loved the version at Knoebel's.

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Credit #3 was another quality Allan Herschell creation.

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This is known as the 'coaster of death' due to the graveyard backdrop, but I totally forgot to grab a photo of the tombstones in the distance (I was drunk!).

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It was a real 'back slapper' - watch those drops against the metal seats, ouch!

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I love how Little Amerricka has a junior parachute ride - didn't all theme parks used to have these for adults too?

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The awesomely named 'Whisky River Railway'.

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May the Intamin gods have mercy on us all - it's a Chance Toboggan!

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I cannot believe I got to ride one of these crazy contraptions. Andrew and I even managed to squeeze into one car.

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At this point you loose every shred of virginity you ever had!

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Everyone should head out to Little Amerricka to ride this thing at least once - there are so few left!

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Thank you Little Amerricka for hosting TPR. I had a great time and really appreciated your awesome hospitality.

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What a great ending to a great day.

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Ah, I remember the Chance Toboggan at the Stanislaus County Fair in Turlock, California, when I was a kid. The lift hill tube reeked of cigarettes and carny sweat.

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It was such a fun surprise for us. It was a better surprise then the announcement of iPad air. The park was awesome to stay open and let us coaster nerds come ride.

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I remember the mouse made a horrendous banging sound on those last couple bunny hills, and the toboggan is an unforgettable experience. That vertical lift is crazy. I'm surprised we all made it out of Wisconsin alive.

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I remember the mouse made a horrendous banging sound on those last couple bunny hills, and the toboggan is an unforgettable experience. That vertical lift is crazy. I'm surprised we all made it out of Wisconsin alive.

 

I think the reason for that noise was the fact that the supports weren't connected to the foundations. They simply stood on the ground and were lifted and banged down when a car took one of the hills.

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I remember the mouse made a horrendous banging sound on those last couple bunny hills, and the toboggan is an unforgettable experience. That vertical lift is crazy. I'm surprised we all made it out of Wisconsin alive.

 

I think the reason for that noise was the fact that the supports weren't connected to the foundations. They simply stood on the ground and were lifted and banged down when a car took one of the hills.

Yeah, I noticed that too, the supports moove on a pretty big range and it looks pretty scary.

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This is known as the 'coaster of death' due to the graveyard backdrop, but I totally forgot to grab a photo of the tombstones in the distance (I was drunk!).

 

I didn't realize it until taking a ride on the Wild Mouse. Then it hit me -- oh, this is that park with the graveyard next door! I do have one picture that has both the ride and the graveyard, but it's from sort of far away.

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