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First ever visit to the USA from a Dutchy, roadtrip May 2016


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I did a 6 week coaster tour through the US in 2014. I think you need more rest days if you are driving and spending all day in parks. Maybe cut down on driving time by booking a flight from Cleveland to Richmond and skip Kennywood. You don't want to burn yourself out so much you miss one of the more important parks.

 

Thats true, i'm scared that i will be to tired to enjoy anything at a point. Some things, like the 2nd day Hersheypark, or Kennywood are on a 'maybe' list so if needed i can put in a few rest days. We will see how it goes, only a few months to go!!!

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I did a 6 week coaster tour through the US in 2014. I think you need more rest days if you are driving and spending all day in parks. Maybe cut down on driving time by booking a flight from Cleveland to Richmond and skip Kennywood. You don't want to burn yourself out so much you miss one of the more important parks.

 

Thats true, i'm scared that i will be to tired to enjoy anything at a point. Some things, like the 2nd day Hersheypark, or Kennywood are on a 'maybe' list so if needed i can put in a few rest days. We will see how it goes, only a few months to go!!!

 

Kennywood is absolutely worth it - just for the classic rides they have in the "Old Kennywood" section.

 

what a line up of classics!

 

(and the Phantom's Revenge, Jackrabbit, Racer, and Thunderbolt are well worth it as well - try to stay until night time, as the lighting packages (in particular on Racer) are gorgeous!)

 

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  • 5 months later...

Well, i'm back from the States after 23 days, more then 3000 miles of highway and 14 Themeparks!!

 

I'm going to try to post my experience here, be prepared for LOTS of pictures and my humble opinions on all the American rollercoasters !

 

Let me first start of by explaining where i come from. I live in The Netherlands, 25 years old from Rotterdam (a kinda big city here) and since i was young i loved rollercoasters!

 

I live 45 minutes from the 'Efteling' back when it only had Python and a old wooden coaster named Pegasus and loved it! I was so scared the first time i went on Python.

 

My real rollercoaster 'nerdship' was born is when we got 'Six Flags Holland' and i got 'Superman the Ride', Goliath etc etc. and was blewn away by all the thrills in my little country! Then i investigated abroad and found that Germany had loads of Themeparks. My best experience ever goes out to Europa Park, in my opinion the best themepark in the world! The first time in Silver Star i will never forget.

 

My top 5 before the roadtrip:

 

1. Goliath

2. Expedition GeForce

3. Silver Star

4. Krake

5. Baron 1898

 

This is from experience, i've been on these all.

 

And now it was time to venture on my lifelong dream, a tour through the USA and visit al the parks i dreamed about, watched so many video's about.

 

This is the schedule:

 

1. Busch Gardens Tampa

2. Seaworld Orlando

3. Carowinds

4. Dollywood

5. Kings Island

6. Cedar Point

7. Kennywood

8. Kings Dominion

9. Busch Gardens Williamsburg

10. Hersheypark

11. Dorney Park

12. Knoebels

13. Six Flags Great Adventure

14. Six Flags New England

 

But not before a 14 hour long flight, really exhausting.....

 

We finally arrived in Orlando, i would've never dreamed i would step foot in Orlando. A dream come true! After settling in our hotel i went to bed, hella tired!

 

The next day we drove the 1 hour drive to Tampa for our first themepark in the USA, so exited i felt like a little child !

 

We decided to hit up Cheeta Hunt first since it can get quite a long que (or so i've read).

 

After waiting for around 25 minutes for front seat we took place in the comfy intamin seats, what a beautiful place with so much green around!

 

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Almost time for our first USA-coaster! (thats my dad btw)

 

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Beautiful!

 

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Did i tell you its beautiful here?

 

Cheeta Hunt:

I LOVED this ride, the launches are great! Ride is really smooth and easy, nice airtime too! I really liked the part after the MCBR with the thight turns and then the 3rd launch with AWESOME airtime hill! Great start of our trip

 

Next up: Montu!

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So awesome!

 

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Only have a selfie of the entrance, its me on the right :).

 

Forgot to take lots of pictures of this one, freshly painted blue B&M track, how could i forget?

 

We waited only 15 minutes for a front seat ride and since my only B&M Invert is Black Mamba i was really looking forward to this one!

 

And O MY GOD, this ride is AMAZING!! Its so intense, maybe it was the heat but my legs felt really high G-forces! The ride is really LONG aswell, pretty awesome. The Batwing was amazing, one of my favourites so far.

 

We are not used to this kind of heat in Holland so we decided to take it easy and drink lots of water. You have a very nice shade walkway on your way to Falcons Fury with some animals, looked really nice.

 

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Nice view

 

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Thats HIGH up!

 

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i FIT :)!

 

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This was an INSANE experience, best droptower i've ever done!!

 

Falcons Fury is great, and terrifying!!!!!! I never been so scared in my whole life, the turning part is nerve wrecking!

 

After that we made our way to Kumba who lies in the forest in the back of the park, one of the most iconic coasters of our trip. I was really looking forward to this ride!

 

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Nobody has this picture...

 

The que was quite long here (35 minutes) for front seat but boy did this ride ROCK!

 

Very intense, esp. the Zero-G-Roll and Dive Loop + Corkscrews, i loved this ride. B&M really did find something special with this ride! I was dizzy after this one, i normally NEVER get dizzy out of coasters. I also loved the way Kumba was mostly hidden and you could walk a little bit around it with bridges etc.

 

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Great coaster!

 

Next up:

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SHIEKRA!

 

After my experience with Krake and Baron i LOVE dive coasters, i just love the drops and the beauty of the big B&M track. Funny thing was, no que @ Shiekra! After 3 minutes i was frontseat! Hanging over the top is so scary and the drop is insane! It feels way larger then Baron (it is ofcource) and the 2nd drop is a lot of fun aswell! Its a little bit short but that doens't matter when you just can go around and go again.

 

Shiekra was my favourite of this park! Great scenery again here, the whole park is so tidy clean and beautiful!

 

To bad the crowds where quite high and park closed at 6 so could only do Cheeta Hunt 1 more time, all other coasters i did 1 time only..

 

But that doens't take away from the fact that i LOVED Busch Gardens, the scenery, the coasters and the ride crews all where great! I really want to get back to this place to try out Cobra's Curse and get some more rides on Kumba/Montu/Cheeta Hunt and Shiekra, so many awesome coasters in 1 park!

 

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Such an awesome structure

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Awesome view!

 

NEXT UP: Seaworld Orlando!

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Thanks for the awesome day Busch Gardens!

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On the first day of a trip in this heat, you were probably better off not running around the park to get re-rides, even though the coasters are really good. I'm looking forward to see your new Top 10 if you can post it after the trip report is done.

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On the first day of a trip in this heat, you were probably better off not running around the park to get re-rides, even though the coasters are really good. I'm looking forward to see your new Top 10 if you can post it after the trip report is done.

 

Yes i will post a new top 5/10 when i'm done writing the whole report. Hoping to get to Seaworld today or tomorrow .

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The next day we went to Seaworld Orlando, unfortunately a week to early for Mako. We did see it testing a bunch of times but didn't get to ride .

 

Seaworld is one of those parks i always dreamed of visiting, it felt like such a far reach from my small country. It felt really special to walk past the gates and know i'm really in Orlando!

 

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We're here!

 

Well Mako is not gonna open today but that didn't stop us from having a good time though! Park was open from 9 till 9 so enough time to explore the whole park.

 

We started ofcourse with one of the coasters i looked out for the most; Manta!

 

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Looks very nice!

 

It looks so beautiful with the blue track and since i've never done a flying coaster before i was really looking forward to this and even was a bit scared!

 

Being a saturday i expected the worst but it was not so bad, after 25 minutes we took place front seat, really love the dual loading station btw!

 

Then the ride, holy crap this was awesome! The Pretzel Loop must be the most intense thing i've ever experienced, amazing! The rest of the ride is really great aswell, i really felt like i was flying. Great location for the ride aswell since you can walk around it and the entrance looks amazing aswell. The que was nice and cool with aircon and the Manta's in the que were a nice touch!

 

We ended up riding manta 5 times, 1 time after sunset and every ride was awesome! It looked like they really take care of the rides here, the paint job looks brand new!

 

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Awesome!

 

We then hit up the water ride Journey to Atlantis with a 10 minute wait, not to bad! Great theming inside and a nice long drop that was not so wet! Only to get suprised by the 2nd little drop that totally SOAKED us! Is that intended?

 

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Great ride with great theming.

 

We then hit up Kraken, i was also looking forward to this ride since its my first floorless coaster!

 

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Once again, i really liked the ride. It was nice and smooth and i noticed it was not so intense as Kumba yesterday, or maybe i was more used to it? We did multiple rides on the front and back rows since the que was max. 5 minutes, great airtime on the first drop in the back btw! We need these kind of rides in Europe some more!

 

Ofcourse we hit all the shows, the Dolphin show and the Shamu show were really nice and we saw the Orca's get fed afterwards wich was very cool to see!

 

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I was really suprised by the crowds @ Seaworld on a saturday, longest wait was 30 minutes for Manta in the afternoon, all other rides were walk ons. Food was great to (no picture unfortunately) and didn't have to wait long. The only ride that was closed was the observation tower wich was a shame.

 

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We ended up doing Manta 2 times before we decided to leave around 8.45, i really liked Seaworld Orlando. Its very clean, the staff is friendly and works hard and the theming/landscaping is awesome!

 

I never saw a 'bad' part of the park, its not that big but it has a nice atmosphere. Its a shame it gets some bad rep. for the animals but when i see the people working with the animals they look like they take good care of them.

 

Hopefully Mako gets all the attention it deserves, it looks awesome! I will return here someday !

 

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We left the next morning for a 9 hour drive to Charlotte for our first Cedar Fair park, Carowinds!

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To bad the crowds where quite high and park closed at 6 so could only do Cheeta Hunt 1 more time, all other coasters i did 1 time only.

I'm just going to put it out there that I do not understand at all when someone travels across the world to go to parks and does NOT get the virtual queue option. BGT's Quick Queue starts at $21 which is *NOTHING* compared to the cost of your entire trip and that would have guaranteed you would have gotten 1 more ride on every single coaster in the park without waiting.

 

I really hate hearing complaints like this because IMO if you flew across the planet and are complaining you could only get 1 ride on each coaster, you're doing it wrong.

 

You shouldn't complain about things that are your own doing. Sorry, just my take on things.

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To bad the crowds where quite high and park closed at 6 so could only do Cheeta Hunt 1 more time, all other coasters i did 1 time only.

I'm just going to put it out there that I do not understand at all when someone travels across the world to go to parks and does NOT get the virtual queue option. BGT's Quick Queue starts at $21 which is *NOTHING* compared to the cost of your entire trip and that would have guaranteed you would have gotten 1 more ride on every single coaster in the park without waiting.

 

I really hate hearing complaints like this because IMO if you flew across the planet and are complaining you could only get 1 ride on each coaster, you're doing it wrong.

 

You shouldn't complain about things that are your own doing. Sorry, just my take on things.

 

Hi Robb,

 

Sorry if my bad english made it look like a complaint, its not .

 

I most def. looked into the virtual queue option but with the heat my dad couldn't take more rides anyway so i'm not complaining whatsoever, but looking back i maybe would have gone on some rides alone but its not as fun.

 

Now that i think of it, we did Shiekra 3 times so i was kinda wrong anyway.

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Really looking forward to following your trip. You really should squeeze in a quick stop at Holiday World to ride their four great coasters, as well as the awesome water coasters.

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After a very long drive (9 hours) we ended up in Charlotte, 20 minutes away from Carowinds!

We were going to stay 2 days at this park here. I read on this forum it might be to much but i wanted to make sure i did everything since i prob. will never visit this area again for a holiday .

We went ahead and got our Platinum Pass processed and decided to get the mealplan and the refill cup aswell since were going to quite a few Cedar Fair parks!

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Got 'em!

 

I was so looking forward to this park, since i really love Silver Star @ Europa Park and this park having a Hyper, and a GIGA coaster (my first one) and an awesome B&M invert the line-up is great!

 

Amazing skyline on our way there.

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Fury looks so HUGE, pictures don't do it justice. So awesome.

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Were here (eveing picture ofcourse)

 

We decided to hit up Intimidator first since i read on the forum it kinda got 2nd place because of Fury . This is also my first B&M with the 'winged' seating and for my first ride i asked for a front row (we always try to do front row first ride) and we got it. I was scared we couldn't because of the assigned seating but it was no problem.

 

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Oh hi!

 

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Lookin' good

 

I really liked Intimidator! In the front seat you get MAJOR airtime on the first high turn, awesome! The next 2 hills are great aswell but then you hit a trim wich slows it down. Luckily the hills after that produce some nice airtime aswell. We tried another run in the back and it wasn't as great here! The front is way better in my opinion and you have a really nice view, great coaster overall!

 

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Approved!

 

We then decided it was time... time for....

 

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FURY!

 

I was insanely nervous, it is so HIGH! Our first ride we asked for front but didn't get it but got the back row instead.

What can i say about this ride that hasn't been said already? B&M found god with this ride! Its awesome from start to finish, never a dull moment.

The first drop seems to go on forever! And the airtime you get on the first turn is insane! The whole ride is amazing!

2nd ride we got a front seat on and that was so terrifying!!!! Even better in the front .

 

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Awesome!

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No lines!

 

We ended up doing Fury around 20 times over 2 days, it is my new favourite coaster until now! I really hope we might ever get a 'Fury' in Europe

Next to Fury was something a little bit different, Hurler....

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I read terrible things about this ride but wanted to try it anyway. We went front seat (our rule ) and i was braced for a beating...

It was really OK! Not nearly as bad as i was expecting and even a little bit of airtime .

If you guys want to ride a rough coaster, ride Bandit in Movie Park Germany, this is smooth compared to that one .

 

We then hit up the smallest drop tower i've ever seen, lots of fun, not scary at all! Nice view of fury aswell from this.

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I must say, for so many coasters this park is really small! You can walk from one side to the other in less then 10 minutes! Great for my legs .

 

Since we were right next to hit we went to the Python (Efteling) but then in Carolina, i forgot the name.

 

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Nice colours!

 

It was a little bit different then the Python but still very much liked it, i'm soft for old Arrows even if they hit you up a little bit .

We then walked the whole way around to hit Afterburn, its nicely tucked away in the back.

 

Did i tell you we had no que's whatsoever the 2 days we were here? Awesome, compliments to the crews @ Fury, Intimidator and Afterburn for working really hard, i complimented a lot of employees on there hard work, probs Carowinds!

 

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Oh hi.

Ok, back to Afterburn... We took place front seat (ofcources) on our first ride.

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Nice and green here!

 

We loved this ride! Once again a great invert of B&M, a little shorter then Montu but had a really nice pacing. The batwing is again the best element here after the final corkscrew (intense !). We ended up doing Afterburn a bunch of times and in the back its even more crazy but i like the view the front gives!

This one ended up being one of the best inverts of the trip!

 

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So pretty

 

We did all the major coasters in the park and it was quite hot so we decided to hit up the big water ride.

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We got SOAKED on this one, like REALLY SOAKED , we kinda liked it since it was 34 degrees celcius out but i can understand its not for everyone .

 

The only ride that had a bit of a que was Nighthawk (ofcourse) but we went the 2nd day early to avoid a big que. The loading is really slow, and being laid on your back on a lifthill is really wierd.

 

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Nice colour!

 

I liked this ride, but not LOVED it. No suprise since i did Manta 2 days ago wich shits on this ride . The vest is not as comfortable but the ride itself was quite smooth. Only did this once, it looked really great though!

 

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Nice

 

We then hit up Vortex wich was my first Stand-up and it was OK. It was not as smooth and i didn't really liked the standing position but it was quite intense for a little ride.

 

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B&M loopings are sexy (i think)

 

Over the course of this day and the next we did loads of Fury, Intimidator and Afterburn ofcourse!

 

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So pretty

 

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You to Intimi =)

 

This park has such an awesome top 3 coaster list that makes most parks jealous, and the trip is worth it for Fury alone!

The park itself has very nice employees, great food (in the big barn thing atleast) and low crowds wich is an awesome combination. Its very clean and what it misses in theming it makes up for in rides.

 

I'm a little bit sad that i probably will not visit this park in the next 10 years but am very grateful i got the chance to get here for 2 days.

And btw, the lightsaber of Fury looks so AWESOME!

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After the 2nd day we drove the 3 hours to Pigeon Forge for our visit the next day to Dollywood! To bad we only got the evening to experience Pigeon Forge because it looks like an awesome place to explore!

 

Next up, Dollywood!

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Nice lightning package

Edited by BenBlom
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To bad the crowds where quite high and park closed at 6 so could only do Cheeta Hunt 1 more time, all other coasters i did 1 time only.

I'm just going to put it out there that I do not understand at all when someone travels across the world to go to parks and does NOT get the virtual queue option.

 

You shouldn't complain about things that are your own doing. Sorry, just my take on things.

 

Not everyone has unlimited funds though. It's expensive enough visiting parks, and I, personally, can't justify paying more for "skip the line programs" so I suck it up and wait in line. The park being crowded is not "your own doing" though. If it was a once in a lifetime visit somewhere, maybe. But as of now, for me I can't.

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If it was a once in a lifetime visit somewhere, maybe

 

The title of the thread is literally "First ever visit to the USA, roadtrip May 2016"

 

Right, but what I'm getting at is if I went one time to Cedar Point and I knew I wouldn't make it back in the foreseeable future, then I may, because when crowded you can't do everything. That doesn't apply to many places. I should have specified originally.

 

PS (It's always nice being the butt-end of Coasterbill snark)

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PS (It's always nice being the butt-end of Coasterbill snark)

 

It's nothing like being at the end of Robb's, and you're basically arguing with him while saying the exact same thing he just said so I'm just trying to help you out. He clearly stated that he was specifically talking about once in a lifetime trips like this one, then you argued with him until the very end when you ended up saying the same thing he just said.

 

Also regarding the report... front row of Kumba? It's great up there but the back seat is nuts on that ride.

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i read a translated version of their trip report lined in the original post. i'm really glad you guys liked Kings Dominion and Intimidator 305 so much! it really is a ride that must be experienced first hand to be fully appreciated, isn't it?

 

you didn't mention Flight of Fear in your trip report - you guys didn't miss it, did you? personally i think it's pretty fun, but i suppose compared to the dozens of world class coasters you guys have been experiencing on this journey, maybe it just wasn't super noteworthy. understandable.

 

Busch Gardens Williamsburg is a really special place as well. looks like a wonderful trip. cheers!

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PS (It's always nice being the butt-end of Coasterbill snark)

 

 

 

Also regarding the report... front row of Kumba? It's great up there but the back seat is nuts on that ride.

 

Yea... we kinda have a tradition going for front row on our first ride on a coaster (no matter wich one) so Kumba was no different. I found it kinda insane already so can imagine how the back is! I'll get back there someday to try the back !

 

Hopefully i'll get to writing Dollywood later today but i'm at work at the moment.

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If it was a once in a lifetime visit somewhere, maybe

 

The title of the thread is literally "First ever visit to the USA, roadtrip May 2016"

 

Right, but what I'm getting at is if I went one time to Cedar Point and I knew I wouldn't make it back in the foreseeable future, then I may, because when crowded you can't do everything. That doesn't apply to many places. I should have specified originally.

 

PS (It's always nice being the butt-end of Coasterbill snark)

 

Yep, thats why we mostly planned multiple days on all the parks (busch gardens not included unfortunately) just to make sure we got every ride in.

 

If needed we would have gotten the que-skippers but in the end we didn't really need it, only if we wanted to re-ride Kumba/Montu but Shiekra was just as fine with no que .

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I'm loving this TR so far! Was Dollywood really only 3 hours from Carowinds? I was thinking it took longer than that. It's so cool you took a trip like this with your dad and made so many fun memories. Looking forward to the rest of your report!

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I'm loving this TR so far! Was Dollywood really only 3 hours from Carowinds? I was thinking it took longer than that. It's so cool you took a trip like this with your dad and made so many fun memories. Looking forward to the rest of your report!

 

Yes, 3 hours. A beautiful drive if i might add

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Today we hit up Dollywood, the one thing on my mind? Will i get to do Lightning Rod? One of the most anticipated coasters this year and haunted by troubles....

 

We decided to get the preffered parking and was very glad we did! Its a very long walk from the regular parking and since we only have 1 day here we dindn't want to waste lots of time walking.

 

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We're here!

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Such an awesome location for a themepark

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Great atmosphere here

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Great theming

We decided if we wanted to go for Lightning Rod we got to do it right away so as soon as the park opened up we went to the queue line and we saw people getting on it! I was SO EXCITED!! The queue moved slow but steady and within 20 minutes we were in the station on the next train! We got assigned the 2nd car of the back of the train and moved slowly out of the station.

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The line around 10 in the morning

 

Its so awesome that dollywood put car noises around the lift hill, makes for an exciting start and the launch is insane! Not intense but very fun. Loads of airtime on the first 2 hills and the rest of the ride. I really liked the outward turns halfway on the ride, it really throws you around! The quaddruple down is one of the best elements i've ever experienced, so much AIRTIME

 

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Oh hi

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Almost there.....

 

We then decided the go around for another ride and asked the grouper for a frontseat ride and we got lucky! Frontseat this ride is INSANE, so much wind in your face and the airtime is great again, one of the best rides of the trip!

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Very much approved!

 

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Awesome ride

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Awesome sight when you're in the queue

 

Its to bad it would'nt run anymore later on the day, but we got 2 rides and one of the was frontrow so i'm not sad . Hopefully they work out all the problems of this ride because its a gem! This was also my first RMC .

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My dad very much approved this ride

 

We then decided to walk straight to the next nearby coaster and were blown away by the atmosphere and beautiful scenery this park has to offer!

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So beautiful

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Nice looking rapids which we didn't do ;).

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Did i already tell you its beautiful here?

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Unfortunately i have no pictures of Blazing Fury and didn't really know what to expect of this ride but it was really fun, nice theming inside and really long! Awesome for kids aswell.

 

I then saw a ride i was really looking forward to, Tennessee Tornado! The looping looks really massive!

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Oh hi.

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We went for the front row, ofcourse!

The ride was really awesome, if a bit short. Really smooth aswell, not a single bump, for an Arrow thats amazing .

The first drop and loop we're very intense as well, a very great ride .

 

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Next up....

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Wild Eagle!

This was my 2nd Wing coaster, besides Flug der Deamonen in Heide Park wich i liked, but didn't LOVE.

 

This ride i liked a lot better, we got a total of 4 rides in all in the front rows and the pacing of this ride is almost perfect. The drop and loops are great and the last turns look slow but are quite intense. A great ride, not the most intense but the smoothness and scenery makes it awesome.

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Great location

 

We then hit up Firechase Express wich we only did once because of the long queue (40 minutes) but it was an awesome kids ride and the backwards launch is even a little bit intense!

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Again great scenery

 

We then walked back a little bit to go on the flume ride which was nice tucked away in a corner with very dense woods, not to wet but a nice ride anyway.

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Mandatory picture

 

We then got hungry and decided to eat @ Aunt Anny's since it was well written about on the internet and i really liked my meal! Nice and fresh and not to much, but since it was an all you can eat buffet we could've gotten more but i was full on my first go

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YUM

 

We then went to Mystery Mine, my first Gerstlauer coaster and i didn't know much about this coaster and i LOVED it. The theming is great and the drop out of the station is awesome. The ride itself is not to long but the 2 vertical lifts make it intimidating and the finale is awesome!

 

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Great location again

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Last ride was Thunderhead, i can compare this ride to Joris & the Dragon @ Efteling and Wodan in Europa Park and this ride was way more 'out-of-control' then the former, i really needed to hold on to my lap bar, it was so fast! In the back it was even more insane but i liked the front better. No queue here so we went on a few times.

 

The location is again a winner here, beautiful !

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Nicely tucked away

 

We then walked the full circle back and hit up Mystery mine and Wild Eagle again, looked at Lightning Rod but it wasn't running and since we had to go for a drive to Mason we decided to leave around 5 pm. Next time i will visit this park for 2 days, the atmosphere and scenery are so beautiful and all the employees are so friendly and nice.

 

This has to be one of the most beautiful parks i've ever visited, the rides are all of top-quality and the queues were short (besides Firechaser). I really enjoyed my day here and hope i can return here once again in my life!

 

Ofcourse we couldn't leave before we tried the famous....

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Cinnamon Bread!!

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Its very good!

 

Best.Bread.EVER.!

 

Thanks Dollywood for an amazing day, i will be back someday (i hope)

 

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So nice, bye Dollywood!

 

Next up: Kings Island!

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I'm really enjoying this report, thanks so much for taking the time to write it up! Your time at Dollywood looked amazing. I'm in Atlanta now, a few hours away, and haven't been to the park in nearly a decade. Glad you had a chance to ride Lightning Rod, and I'm hoping to get on it in the fall. Thunderhead is still one of my favorites after all these years and I'm hoping it holds up next time I go. Looking forward to reading the rest of your report, really loving your perspective!

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