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Photo TR: 27 Parks in 6 Weeks

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^Where did you sit on KK? I went there last summer with flash pass and waiting for the front alone (once in the station) was around 20 minutes.


Not the front row. I went on twice and both were wherever there were less people. Maybe I got lucky and the short queues were because it had recently reopened? It wasn't busy at SFGAdv on the 4th of July, it had been very busy the week before when I had visited.

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My pipe dream of a list for this season is six parks, though I might have to cross that list down in half. You must have lots of money. Sending some my way would be cool.


Ever thought she might just work hard and saved for 12 months to do this trip?



I've been looking for work over the summer since 2012. I've applied to dozens of jobs around and I got nothing. Apparently no one wants to hire a college student.

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Ok... Keeping the thread on the topic of theme parks and roller coasters. Next up was Six Flags New England, home to the biggest disappointment of the trip... Bizarro. I wasn't really impressed with the entire park. First complaint was Bizarro's lockers, which seemed to have a bigger queue than the actual ride. None of the booths for purchasing the lockers were fully functional, so it was a bit of a mess. The queue was so long that it was blocking the actual queue, confusing pretty much everyone. Once I finally got on the ride (of course I was stapled to the point of pain) it was just not that intense or airtime filled or interesting. Don't get me wrong it was ok, but I don't understand how this was ever voted the best ride in the world. At the time of opening, there were better roller coasters. I'd really like to hear what people liked about it, because maybe I'm missing something?


The big pleasant surprise was Goliath, which I found really fun. Shame it seemed to have bad capacity and closed at least twice during the day when I was there. I was lucky to get a ride on it. The Dark Knight was a really good floorless B&M, I'm not a big fan of the model in general but this was one of the better ones. Mind Eraser was a Vekoma SLC, there's not much to say about it, it wasn't the worst SLC, but not the least worst either. The collection here just isn't that interesting, except for Bizarro, which I found to be "meh". I enjoyed Bizarro as much as I enjoyed Goliath and The Dark Knight. The park overall isn't somewhere I would hurry back to.


Bizarro - 7

Gotham City Gauntlet - 3

Catwoman's Whip - 4

Mind Eraser - 5

The Dark Knight - 7

Goliath - 7

Flashback - 5

Cyclone - 6

Pandemonium - 4

Thunderbolt - 3


Hey the first drop was good...




Goliath was hella fun.



Cyclone was much more enjoyable than I expected too.


Not sure why they're closing it. Maybe we'll find out soon.


The ride has a pretty colour scheme.



A little bit headache inducing, but not a long lasting one.

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^Interesting that you enjoyed Goliath with the new trains as most people here have been saying they are quite nasty.


It appears I have different opinions from the majority on a lot of these rides. I hadn't read anything about Goliath before going in and didn't get a ride on the old trains to compare it to.


Rye Playland was somewhere I was considering skipping on this tour. In a lot of ways I wish I had. The staff were rude, the place was dirty, there wasn't a good ride in the park and it was filled with unsupervised, big groups of children (some of whom I saw verbally abuse staff members, no wonder they were rude). I can't think of a good thing to say about this park, except it's right on the beach and it's midway area is nicely presented in a vintage style. The coasters were a wild mouse (is there anything left to say about a wild mouse?), Superflight (a Zamperla Flying that is the most painful coaster I have ever experienced), two kiddie coasters and Dragon (which you've probably seen pictures of).


Dragon is ok. As I mentioned before the park was full of kids and when I went on Dragon, the train was filled with all kids and no adults apart from me. The restraints on Dragon (I'm not sure how to explain this...) don't go down further than the biggest person in the car. Trains hold 4 people, so there's 3 kids (2 rows of 2) in the car with a lot of space inbetween their laps and the bar (for them it would be just like a buzz bar). The restraint was locked and the attendant looked over at the other children in the car then turns back to me. He then, without warning or permission, pushed down on the restraint and put (what felt like) his full weight on it. I've been stapled in restraints before, but this caused me to actually shout in pain. The coaster is not rough. Apart from the section that goes into the dragon's mouth it had nothing memorable about it.


Maybe I caught this place on a bad day or my opinion is too subjective on this park based on the story. But I can't remember much I liked to balance out the bad at this park. The staff seemed rude at every ride I encountered, I'd say there was one exception to that, so not everyone. I'll probably never make a trip back here.


Never again.


This is like a medieval torture device.






Didn't get a chance to go in here (i.e. I was too scared)



I liked the wild mouse sign...


A world of no.


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Once I finally got on the ride (of course I was stapled to the point of pain) it was just not that intense or airtime filled or interesting. Don't get me wrong it was ok, but I don't understand how this was ever voted the best ride in the world. At the time of opening, there were better roller coasters.


Superman: Ride of Steel was an AWESOME coaster back in the day. The accident in 2004 brought about some pretty brutal restraint modifications in the form of shin-shackles (ala Six Flags America and Darien Lake). These were bad but bearable, then the Bizarro re-do brought about new trains that just don't seem to be correct for the coaster's track. I could be wrong but I believe it's because they're much more lightweight, resulting in significant loss of speed as you move further through the course. The drop, first hill, and turnaround aren't harmed too much by the new trains, but the hills following are really neutered. You used to get extreme airtime in the s-bend between the two helices, now there's nothing. It's hard to believe when riding it as Bizarro, but the difference was night and day.


Sometimes it's still possible to get a ride that scratches the surface of Superman's old awesomeness at the very end of the hottest days in the summer.

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Ok this next update is just going to be a complete mess of my time in Florida. I was there for just under 2 weeks, staying on I-drive apart from the last night that I spent in Cabana Bay the new onsite hotel at Universal Resort. I managed to visit all the major parks in the area, but stupidly skipped the Funspot parks and didn't make it over to Legoland.


There has been a lot of new, amazing additions in the area since I was last in Orlando:


Cheetah Hunt - Although it's not the most thrilling coaster in the park, it has lots of very different sections and interesting transitions that make it a really fun (and long) coaster. I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did and ended up going on it more than any other ride.


Diagon Alley - Everything about it is amazing apart from the queues. I tried both of the beers that are exclusive to the park and the Wizard's Brew was, um, horrible. But the Dragon beer was really damn good. (I also tried Duff beer over in the new Simpson's section, which was unimpressive but I would imagine Duff beer should taste unimpressive.) Gringott's bank ride is probably the best dark ride I've ever been on, the technology is amazing. I'm so glad I didn't read any spoilers on the ride because there are some great surprises. I was 'lucky' that the single rider queue was open and that I 'only' queued for just over 2 hours. I didn't see the rides posted queue get down to 2 hours at any other time, most of the time it was 300 minutes (over the 3 days I went into Diagon Alley).


The New Fantasyland - Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is a fun family ride that I liked but I would have liked a little more of the dark ride section. It's very nice to look at as well. Last time I came, they had just started with the construction on the land, so I was excited to see how it had turned out. I was so impressed, especially with the Be Our Guest restaurant. I would put visiting this restaurant as more important than most of the rides at Disney, the food is good but not the focus of why this place is so magical. I especially loved the West Wing section, complete with torn curtains and the enchanted rose from the story. The other new ride I really loved was the Under the Sea Little Mermaid themed dark ride, which isn't really that new. The use of music in the scenes as you are travelling around makes it a really fun ride.


I gave myself a lot of time in Orlando because it was July and there's only so many hours a day I can take in those crowds without taking a break. I spent my last night at Cabana Bay, which is a great resort. I loved the theming and the pools looked great (I didn't get a chance to use them sadly), the rooms were nice and it wasn't too expensive for an onsite resort. My only complaint about it is the walls were paper thin, I could hear entire conversations of my neighbours and it didn't sound like they were shouting. Other than that, lovely place to stay and the food options were interesting and fairly varied.


As for the ranking of coasters, I'm not going to go through the whole list for this portion of the trip. My favourites are Manta (it's pretzel loop is my favourite element on any coaster), Incredible Hulk, Kumba (though I still slightly prefer it's sister Dragon Khan), Sheikra and Expedition Everest (wish I'd gotten to ride it before the Yeti stopped working).


I finally got to try Via Napoli, it was very good.




Germany home of sea salt dark chocolate caramels and really good beer.


Disney making a Community reference, probably.


Change of careers for the King of Westeros.


Cheetah Hunt!


This is a great balance between fun and surprising and is very re-rideable.


Frozen Summer Fun was so popular.


I do love Star Tours 2.


I did not remember this being so rough.


Disney can even theme the weather now. Amazing!


Yeah, I'm a little bit scared of drop rides.


Hogwarts Express...


The train carriages.


Kings Cross is NOT this clean.


I still miss you Back to the Future ride.





Traditional British food.








This pic is going to give me so much street cred with the children I teach.


Peter Pan's Flight is unskippable on every trip.










Got my Holga lens out for the Cabana Bay photos.




I wish I could've stayed at this hotel longer.

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No SeaWorld?


I went to SeaWorld, I just didn't get any good photos as it was the evening. I like SeaWorld, but I'm not much of a show person, so I just went on Manta 3 times. I also rode the new Empire of the Penguin, which I thought was a good ride, I didn't have any expectations of it before going in. The exhibit afterwards was nice too, one of the penguins splashed me in the face with cold water, little troublemaker. I'm glad the US now has a trackless dark ride, so you can no longer complain about not having one . Even if it's obviously not as good as Pooh's Hunny Hunt or Mystic Manor.


I told you the pictures weren't great. This was the best on of Manta.


The troublemaking penguin.


The penguin exhibit.


And again. I really didn't spend too much time in Seaworld. I just went one evening to try and get some Manta rides in and get on the new ride.

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I'm glad the US now has a trackless dark ride


Um, GhostWood Estate at Kennywood is trackless.


I didn't even know about that one. I've actually never even heard of it. I guess the people who I've read complaining are more upset there's is no version at the US Disney parks?

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Obviously for most theme park fans a trip to Cedar Point is on their travel bucket list. Whenever you try to have a conversation with another coaster fanatic, it seems like one of Cedar Point's collection of coasters comes up. For a lot of people (especially who live in the US) it seems like this is one of the first places enthusiasts tick off of their list. Cedar Point is a big deal. This was also the first park on the tour that I didn't visit alone. I met up with some other guys who were also going on the New Hotness tour and we spent 2 days at the parks. Most of us had never visited before, so it was really nice to compare notes with some fellow Cedar Point newbies, but also have the knowledge of the guys who had visited previously.


Now first things first, I'm going to get the negative out of the way. What is the deal with the seat belts on Millie, TTD and Wicked Twister? The restraints aren't tight at all but those belts are pretty small. I had heard the stories before about these rides, but I still don't understand why they are smaller than rides with similar restraint systems. Bizarro's belts felt bigger (well they were bigger) than Millies. Is this just what Cedar Fair asked for from the manufacturer or were they added afterwards? I felt bad going on those rides too many times as the operator would have to do my belt up for me. Obviously I understand, I wouldn't have this problem if I lost weight, yes I'm not asking for things to change for my personal circumstances. This is more of a question of why is this different at Cedar Point. Again Wicked Twister was tight, but I got on Possessed and Vertical Velocity easily with no extra help from a ride op. I know this is talked about A LOT, but I just thought I would mention this happened to me as well. I really thought I was going to get turned away from Millie!


Overall I found the park really pleasant, sure it's huge and there's a lot of walking but I quite enjoyed the break between coasters. I found the staff above average in terms of service and the whole park had a much nicer atmosphere than I expected for a place that has to deal with such a high amount of customers. One mystery is why there's no lockers at Magnum XL-200 even though you can't take your bag on the ride, you must use the TTD lockers which are kind of far as they've blocked the path off that goes directly to them. You must walk past the lockers and then back, then do the same again to get back to Magnum.


I'd say the food is over priced, but no surprises there, what do you expect? The Thirsty Pony which is close to Breakers Express was a good place to go after the park to get drinks and food, if you're really upset about the pricing/quality there's lots of places that are a short drive away.


I will tell you now, there's going to be a lot of "this was one of my favourite moments" on this part of the trip because obviously the next portion is a TPR trip and this is CEDAR POINT. So I'm going to apologise in advance my completely subjective opinions on these theme parks and coasters as this whole part of the trip was so so so so exciting.


I loved Maverick and Millie and Magnum and TTD and Mean Streak. Yes. I really liked Mean Streak. I don't have a clue what people are talking about with how rough it is (but if you've read previous entries in this TR I seem to feel the effects of how rough a coaster is very differently from most of the coaster loving community). Looking back though, Maverick is definitely my favourite and it is closely followed by Millennium Force. The reason I loved Maverick so much is that it took my breath away with a mix of intensity and quick transitions. Millie was great too, the first drop was awesome and there was a bit of airtime here and there.


Top Thrill Dragster was slightly better than Kingda Ka, but so slightly it's almost not worth mentioning. It's still an awesome trick that it pulls (even if it's a one trick pony).


Gatekeeper is... A wing rider. Not the best I've been on and not the worst, but it's just so middle of the pack that it is difficult to get excited about.


Raptor wasn't my favourite inverted B&M, I would put it somewhere at the top of the middle of the pack but I was expecting more after hearing how great it is.


Blue Streak was a surprising little woodie that I enjoyed more than I expected to.


Iron Dragon is worth going on just because there aren't many of this type around, although (again) it wasn't my favourite suspended coaster. (Spoilers there's a much better one later in this trip).


Mantis wasn't painful on my first ride (in fact it was probably the second best stand up I have been on) but the second ride the operator did not want me to bend my knees at all and the seat locked far too high and it was NOT a fun ride.


Mean Streak was really fun, I was expecting a really rough ride but it wasn't bad at all. I'd compare it to White Cyclone at Nagashima, a huge (and fun) woodie that has a few sections that aren't that great but isn't anywhere near as rough as I expected.


Corkscrew... Doesn't it look all pretty over the midway... And isn't it a horrible, painful ride that I found completely torturous. I don't usually get a headache from any ride (maybe some bruises) but I had to have a break after this thing.


Gemini was really fun, mainly because it is so weird and I don't understand why it was made. It's pretty unique though and enjoyable to ride, I had no complaints on taking a few spins, but it's not the type that you could marathon.


Magnum was pretty similar to the other Morgan hypers I have been on, a really fun ride with some airtime but not quite amazing.


I didn't like Wicked Twister as much as Possessed but it's a forceful, thrilling ride that's short but sweet. It packs a punch, as they say.


Gatekeeper 6

Raptor 7

Blue Streak 6

Iron Dragon 5

Mantis 6

Mean Streak 6 (more of a 6.5 really)

Corkscrew 3

Maverick 9

Gemini 6

Magnum XL 7

Millennium Force 9

Top Thrill Dragster 7

Wicked Twister 6


What a pretty (one trick) pony.


Maverick was so close to being a 10/10 coaster. Genuine 9.5.


Such nice photos of such a painful horrible experience of a coaster.


Millennium Force was so much fun even if the seatbelts weren't.


Rob was wearing a Lil' Sebastian t-shirt when we ran into the pony himself.


Well, maybe just a look-a-like.


Maverick again! Look at the twisty goodness.




I feel sorry for Mean Streak and hope people stop being so MEAN to it.


That wasn't even a proper joke, that was just me repeating a word from the name of the coaster.


I know you can't believe anyone would be able to put up with me after visiting these parks alone.


Another unfairly... Actually no the second ride made me see how the position of the seat on these things can change the whole ride.



















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Nice pictures. I thought Mean Streak was bad because it combined some nasty rough spots with a rather boring ride, overall. It wasn't the most painful ride, but still weak (in my opinion).

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